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For my first Top Ten Tuesday post I am going to list my top ten Favorite Books of All Time (so far…)
These are books that I have read over and over; books that have transported me to the point of not being aware of my actual surroundings; books that I dreamt about while reading, and still think of on a regular basis
These are in no particular order…
Aztec is the extraordinary story of the last and greatest native civilization of North America. Told in the words of one of the most robust and memorable characters in modern fiction, Mixtli-Dark Cloud, Aztec reveals the very depths of Aztec civilization from the peak and feather-banner splendor of the Aztec Capital of Tenochtitlan to the arrival of Hernán Cortes and his conquistadores, and their destruction of the Aztec empire. The story of Mixtli is the story of the Aztecs themselves—a compelling, epic tale of heroic dignity and a colossal civilization’s rise and fall.
– This book began my love affair with Historical Fiction, I never knew much about the Aztecs before reading this. Sometimes a well researched book, even fiction, can give you a better understanding of history than any classroom or text book. I first read this when I was about 18, and have since read it at least three more times; every time finding something new or understanding something better. –
A glorious novel of the controversial Richard III – a monarch betrayed in life by his allies and betrayed in death by history.
In this beautifully rendered modern classic, Sharon Kay Penman redeems Richard III – vilified as the bitter, twisted, scheming hunchback who murdered his nephews, the princes in the Tower – from his maligned place in history with a dazzling combination of research and storytelling.
Born into the treacherous courts of fifteenth-century England, in the midst of what history has called The War of the Roses, Richard was raised in the shadow of his charismatic brother, King Edward IV. Loyal to his friends and passionately in love with the one woman who was denied him, Richard emerges as a gifted man far more sinned against than sinning.
This magnificent retelling of his life is filled with all of the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and lore of the fifteenth century, the rigors of court politics, and the passions and prejudices of royalty.
– This is really one of my absolute all time favorites. The copy I have is almost falling apart because I have read it so many times. Sharon Kay Penman is my favorite author and I have read almost everything she has ever written. –
A fantastic starter set for new Tolkien fans or readers interested in rediscovering the magic of Middle-earth, this three-volume box set features paperback editions of the complete trilogy — The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King — each with art from the New Line Productions feature film on the cover.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a genuine masterpiece. The most widely read and influential fantasy epic of all time, it is also quite simply one of the most memorable and beloved tales ever told. Originally published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings set the framework upon which all epic/quest fantasy since has been built. Through the urgings of the enigmatic wizard Gandalf, young hobbit Frodo Baggins embarks on an urgent, incredibly treacherous journey to destroy the One Ring. This ring — created and then lost by the Dark Lord, Sauron, centuries earlier — is a weapon of evil, one that Sauron desperately wants returned to him. With the power of the ring once again his own, the Dark Lord will unleash his wrath upon all of Middle-earth. The only way to prevent this horrible fate from becoming reality is to return the Ring to Mordor, the only place it can be destroyed. Unfortunately for our heroes, Mordor is also Sauron’s lair. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is essential reading not only for fans of fantasy but for lovers of classic literature as well…
– I was a LOTR fan long before the movies came out. My copy of this book has actually fallen apart…sooo if anyone want to buy me a bday present….(js) This “series” began my love for Epic Fantasy, although anything else is truly incomparable.-
Set in England’s Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of friends, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.
– When I was a kid books with animals as the characters were my favorite; this is the first one that I read that was more adult in tone and theme. I think I was 12 or 13 the first time I read this. –
A grand love story and an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are torn apart by war.
Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné. As he becomes involved with the letter’s recipient, his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena, their younger brother leaves school for the stage—and Europe’s unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty.
From the Hungarian village of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andras’s garret to the enduring passion he discovers on the rue de Sévigné, from the despair of a Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the unforgettable story of brothers bound by history and love, of a marriage tested by disaster, of a Jewish family’s struggle against annihilation, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war.
– I stupidly resisted reading this book for the longest time. I saw it in the bookstore, liked the cover, and read the synopsis…like, UGH, another love story set during WWII, I have only read that a thousand times. I think I finally bought it out of sheer desperation during the summer drought of decent books being published. I couldn’t have been more wrong in my assumption about this novel. It is beautifully written, the story wholly original, and I legitimately didn’t do anything else except read for two days straight. This is one of those in which the synopsis barely does the story justice. –
The world knows Madame Tussaud as a wax artist extraordinaire . . . but who was this woman who became one of the most famous sculptresses of all time? In these pages, her tumultuous and amazing story comes to life as only Michelle Moran can tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin.
– I almost didn’t buy this book because of the cover photo ( I am the worst book snob…I’m working on it though!) The reason I grudgingly gave it a shot is because I was going to Paris and wanted to read something to set the mood and stave off the anxiety of traveling. I had never heard of Madame Tussaud in any capacity and I was amazed to learn that she was a real person and how her famous wax museum got its start. I ended up writing a research paper on her in college because I loved this book so much, I wanted to learn everything I could about her. –
With Inés of My Soul, Isabel Allende reaches far back in Chilean history to tell the fictionalized story of a woman forgotten to history. In the 16th century, Inés Suarez was a poor seamstress in Spain whose husband went to the Americas to seek his fortune. After he disappears, she gets royal permission to search for him and sails to the New World to discover he had been killed in Peru. She settles in Cuzco and falls passionately in love with the conquistador Pedro de Valdivia. His dream is to conquer Chile, an area with fierce indigenous tribes who have held off others who have attempted to colonize them. With Ines and her sword at his side, Valdivia leads his conquistadors south from Peru, carving out a new country in the process. Inés of My Soul has received mostly positive reviews with the Miami Herald saying, “The historic battles are well-told, as seen through Inés’ perspective, but it is in the matching of a historical timeline with the intimacy of the conquistadors’ lives that Allende spins a fabulous tale.”
– While this is one of my favorite books, the only reason it is in my Top Ten is because it is the first book that I read by Isabele Allende. It was beautifully written historical fiction and as soon as I finished I knew I had to try to read her entire body of work. My actual favorite book by her is Island Beneath the Sea; but I would read anything she puts out even if it was a copy of the phone book. –
First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Washington Post) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is the story of Shadow—released from prison just days after his wife and best friend are killed in an accident—who gets recruited to be bodyguard, driver, and errand boy for the enigmatic trickster, Mr. Wednesday. So begins Shadow’s dark and strange road trip, one that introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. For, beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.
– This book blew me away. I couldn’t think about anything else while reading it, and it left me with the worst book hangover I’ve had in years. I only read it for the first time this year because of lol the hype surrounding the show. It is definitely not something I would usually pick up, and another one where the synopsis failed miserably to do it justice. The ironic thing is I read it because i wanted to watch the show, but after seeing the first episode i don’t want to watch the show anymore because I loved the book so much. –
The exciting tales of Harry Potter, the young wizard-in-training, have taken the world by storm, and fans just can’t get enough of the magical world of Hogwarts and beyond. If you buy one of the Harry Potter books, we guarantee you’ll want the next… and the next… and the next — so why not have them all, right at your fingertips? With the Harry Potter Boxed Set (Years 1-7), Barnes & Noble.com offers simple one-stop shopping for your Harry Potter library! As easy as the wave of a magic wand, you can get all seven Harry Potter books delivered to your doorstep at once.
– I mean…is an explanation even necessary? I started reading the Harry Potter series in 2003 (?) when …”The Prisoner of Azkaban” was recently released. I kept hearing about people going crazy over this new series, so I thought let me see what all the hype is about. I was on break from my job and went to a bookstore in the local mall and I bought “…The Sorcerers Stone” and I fell in love instantly upon reading the first few pages. And we’ve been together ever since ;]
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.
– While I loved “The Kite Runner,” I liked this one even more because it gives perspective on the lives of Arab women, which before this was entirely off of my radar. It is a brutal story, it mad me cry and rage, but it opened my eyes for sure. It also gave me the since unwavering belief that a hefty majority of people, women especially, want the same things in life; that being a better life for their families and most especially their children; I believe that this want is nearly universal and connects people more than the masses realize. –
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