Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week has a different topic. Check it out! This week’s theme is books on your Winter TBR list.
13 reasons Why by Jay Asher
“You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
Need to talk? Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) anytime if you are in the United States. It’s free and confidential.”
Why: Had so many people recommend this.
79 Squares by Malcolm Bosse
“When fourteen-year-old Eric and his gang are caught trespassing in a stranger’s garden, he has no idea that his life is about to change forever.
On probation after breaking windows at his school, Eric plans on having an easy summer vacation hanging out with his friends.
That is, before Eric meets 82-year-old Mr Beck whilst trespassing in the old man’s garden.
Oddly, Mr Beck invites Eric to study his garden by dividing it into 79 equal squares.
Although he has no idea what this exercise means, Eric soon begins to look forward to the time he spends with Mr Beck.
But as their unlikely friendship grows, Eric’s parents become increasingly concerned and they forbid him from seeing Mr Beck.
And their friendship is further threatened when a shocking revelation about Mr Beck’s past turns the entire town against him.
But even in the face of hostility, Eric is determined to defend their friendship. And his loyalty will be put to the test when his old friend comes under physical attack…
The 79 Squares is a poignant coming-of age tale about friendship, love and trust.”
Why: past due ARC I need to get cleared off my list!
Booke of the Hidden by Jeri Waters
“To get a fresh start away from a bad relationship, Kylie Strange moves across the country to open a shop in a seemingly quiet town in rural Maine. During renovations on Strange Herbs & Teas, she discovers a peculiar and ancient codex, The Booke of the Hidden, bricked into the wall. Every small town has its legends and unusual histories, and this artifact sends Kylie right into the center of Moody Bog’s biggest secret.
While puzzling over the tome’s oddly blank pages, Kylie gets an unexpected visitor—Erasmus Dark, an inscrutable stranger who claims to be a demon, knows she has the book, and warns her that she has opened a portal to the netherworld. Kylie brushes off this nonsense, until a series of bizarre murders put her, the newcomer, at the center. With the help of the demon and a coven of witches she befriends while dodging the handsome but sharp-eyed sheriff, Kylie hunts for a killer—that might not be human.”
Why: It’s on my review list, and due soon 😆
Crash Land on Kurai by SJ Pajonas
“Yumi Minamoto has the shortest fuse on the ship.
She’s just whipped a bully and been confined to quarters, but she’s not staying there. A disgraced journalist trying to clear her name, her job is to document the mission to the Hikoboshi system, and she’s determined to get it right, despite all the trouble she causes. But when unknown vessels fire on their ship, and Yumi’s life pod crash lands on a dying moon, she’s separated from her family and friends, and her mission falls to pieces. Now she must navigate the unfamiliar and deadly terrain, deal with a society she doesn’t understand, and try to stay alive until rescue comes… if it ever does.
Crash Land on Kurai is the first book in the Hikoboshi Series, an action adventure, space opera series that explores the worlds settled by the Japanese who fled Earth a century ago. Culture, history, technology, and swords clash in a fast-paced future society on the brink of war.”
Why: Pajonas’ works are delightful.
Damn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig
“HOOK YOUR AUDIENCE WITH UNFORGETTABLE STORYTELLING
What do Luke Skywalker, John McClane, and a lonely dog on Ho‘okipa Beach have in common?
Simply put, we care about them.
Great storytelling is making readers care about your characters, the choices they make, and what happens to them. It’s making your audience feel the tension and emotion of a situation right alongside your protagonist. And to tell a damn fine story, you need to understand why and how that caring happens.
Using a mix of personal stories, pop fiction examples, and traditional storytelling terms, New York Times best-selling author Chuck Wendig will help you internalize the feel of powerful storytelling. In Damn Fine Story, you’ll explore:
*Freytag’s Pyramid for visualizing story structure – and when to break away from traditional storytelling forms
*Character relationships and interactions as the basis of every strong plot – no matter the form or genre
*Rising and falling tension that pulls the audience through to the climax and conclusion of the story
*Developing themes as a way to craft characters with depth
Whether you’re writing a novel, screenplay, video game, comic, or even if you just like to tell stories to your friends and family over dinner, this funny and informative guide is chock-full of examples about the art and craft of storytelling – and how to write a damn fine story of your own.”
Why: I love Wendig’s other writing books, and looking forward to this one. Hoping it’ll prompt motivation on my part :/
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
“The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.
Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition. But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions. With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.
A page-turner that draws on both meticulously researched history and an exuberant imagination, Dragon Teeth is based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Cope and Marsh; in William Johnson readers will find an inspiring hero only Michael Crichton could have imagined. Perfectly paced and brilliantly plotted, this enormously winning adventure is destined to become another Crichton classic.”
Why: I love Crichton’s works, and dinosaurs.
How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci
“Whenever we worry about what to eat, how to love, or simply how to be happy, we are worrying about how to lead a good life. No goal is more elusive. In How to Be a Stoic, philosopher Massimo Pigliucci offers Stoicism, the ancient philosophy that inspired the great emperor Marcus Aurelius, as the best way to attain it. Stoicism is a pragmatic philosophy that focuses our attention on what is possible and gives us perspective on what is unimportant. By understanding Stoicism, we can learn to answer crucial questions: Should we get married or divorced? How should we handle our money in a world nearly destroyed by a financial crisis? How can we survive great personal tragedy? Whoever we are, Stoicism has something for us–and How to Be a Stoic is the essential guide.”
Why: This is for SF Book Review. As one of the resident philosophers, it’s right up my alley.
Highwayman by RA Salvatore
“In The Highwayman, New York Times–bestselling author R. A. Salvatore takes his readers back to his signature world of Corona, introducing a fascinating new hero in the Saga of the First King series.
It is God’s year 54, many years before the Demon Wars, in the land of Corona. The roads are unsafe to travel; goblins and bloodthirsty Powries search out human prey. Two religions struggle fiercely for control. Bran Dynard, a monk of the fledgling religion of Abelle, returns from his mission in a far-off land with a book of mystical knowledge and a beautiful and mysterious new wife. But he soon realizes that the world he left behind has changed, and his dream of spreading the wisdom he learned to his fellow monks is crushed. Forced to hide his wife and his precious book, Bran must decide whom he can trust and where he should now place his faith.
Twenty years later, the situation has grown darker and more desperate. Only the Highwayman travels freely, his sword casting aside both Powries and soldiers. The people need a savior, but is the Highwayman on a mission of mercy…or vengeance?”
Why: I’ve read this book before, many years ago, but I’m on a challenge to read all of RA Salvatore’s books. A question to the author put this one first 😛
Remember, Remember by Anna Elliot (Sherlock)
“The game’s afoot in this fast-paced Victorian mystery! A lovely young American actress has a major problem. It’s a cold morning in 1897 when she awakens outside the British Museum, lying face down on the concrete pavement. She has no memories. She does not even know who she is, although she has a vague recollection of the name Sherlock Holmes. She thinks she may have just killed someone, and she knows someone wants to kill her. As she searches for clues to her true identity, she will learn that she is not the only target. Unless she can defeat her evil adversaries, the people most dear to her will die.”
Why: I love all things Sherlock.
Spymaster by Margaret Weis
“Captain Kate Fitzmaurice was born to sail. She has made a life of her own as a privateer and smuggler. Hired by the notorious Henry Wallace, spymaster for the queen of Freya, to find a young man who claims to be the true heir to the Freyan, she begins to believe that her ship has finally come in.
But no fair wind lasts forever. Soon Kate’s checkered past will catch up to her. It will take more than just quick wits and her considerable luck if she hopes to bring herself—and her crew—through intact.”
Why: I love Weis’ works, and, well, DRAGONS!