Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 Reading Failures




Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is books I meant to read in 2018 . . . but didn’t. There are so many books and so little time! I own all of these and promise to read them ASAP. (ASAP = sometime this year. Like I said, so many books!)








2018 Reading Failures







1. Vincent And Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman




The deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers' lives. Confidant, champion, sympathizer, friend, Theo supported Vincent as he struggled to find his path in life. They shared everything, swapping stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions.


















2. Son by Lois Lowry



They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

















3. The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver



Using a playful parallel-universe structure, The Post-Birthday World follows one woman's future as it unfolds under the influence of two drastically different men.

Children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a quiet and settled life in London with her partner, fellow American expatriate Lawrence Trainer, a smart, loyal, disciplined intellectual at a prestigious think tank. To their small circle of friends, their relationship is rock solid. Until the night Irina unaccountably finds herself dying to kiss another man: their old friend from South London, the stylish, extravagant, passionate top-ranking snooker player Ramsey Acton. The decision to give in to temptation will have consequences for her career, her relationships with family and friends, and perhaps most importantly the texture of her daily life.













4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini



Despite their class differences, Amir, the son of a wealthy businessman, and Hassan, his devoted sidekick and the son of Amir's household servant, play together, cause mischief together, and compete in the annual kite-fighting tournament—Amir flying the kite, and Hassan running down the kites they fell. But one day, Amir betrays Hassan, and his betrayal grows increasingly devastating as their tale continues. Amir will spend much of his life coming to terms with his initial and subsequent acts of cowardice, and finally seek to make reparations.
















5. A Time To Dance, A Time To Die: The Extraordinary Story Of The Dancing Plague Of 1518 By John Waller



The true story of a wild dancing epidemic that brought death and fear to a 16th-century city, and the terrifying supernatural beliefs from which it arose. In July 1518 a terrifying and mysterious plague struck the medieval city of Strasbourg. Hundreds of men and women danced wildly, day after day, in the punishing summer heat. They did not want to dance, but could not stop. 

Throughout August and early September more and more were seized by the same terrible compulsion. By the time the epidemic subsided, heat and exhaustion had claimed an untold number of lives, leaving thousands bewildered and bereaved, and an enduring enigma for future generations. Drawing on fresh evidence, John Waller's account of the bizarre events of 1518 explains why Strasbourg's dancing plague took place. In doing so it leads us into a largely vanished world, evoking the sights, sounds, aromas, diseases and hardships, the fervent supernaturalism, and the desperate hedonism of the late medieval world. At the same time, the extraordinary story this book tells offers rich insights into how people behave when driven beyond the limits of endurance.












6. Death With Interruptions by José Saramago



What happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death? On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This, of course, causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration. Flags are hung out on balconies; people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying; life-insurance policies become meaningless; and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots. 

Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small "d," became human and were to fall in love?












7. Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia



In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.














8. Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco



Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.















9. Bridge Of Clay by Markus Zusak



Bridge of Clay is about a boy who is caught in the current—of destroying everything he has, to become all he needs to be. He's a boy in search of greatness, as a cure for memory and tragedy. He builds a bridge to save his family, but also to save himself.




















10. Dear Martin by Nic Stone



Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.









Have you read any of these? What did you think? Help me prioritize.








54 comments:

  1. I wasn't a huge fan of Son, but I do hope you like it more than I did.

    This is my Top Ten Tuesday post.

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    1. I hope so, too! I wasn’t a huge fan of the third book in that series, but I loved the first two.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. The Kite Runner is the only one of your books I've read, and I highly recommend it. One of my middle school students has been reading it recently and it's been fun talking about it with her. I'm also curious about Bridge of Clay since The Book Thief was so amazing. Hope you're able to get to all your missed books!

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    1. The Book Thief is one of my favorite books ever. Maybe that’s why I haven’t read Bridge of Clay. I’m too nervous!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I still need to read Jack the Ripper as well so don't feel too badly. I read Dear Martin at the end of 2017 and really liked it. In fact, it's probably the reason I put off reading The Hate U Give for so long. I was afraid they would be too much alike. Hope you find time for these in 2019!

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    1. Jack the Ripper has been getting really good reviews. I’m excited for it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I need to read Stalking Jack The Ripper as well, it's on my 2019 TBR.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/top-ten-tuesday-195/

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  5. I own a some of these and have some on them on my wishlist. Hope you get to all of these and love them!

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  6. Seeing Son on your list reminds me that I need to finish the Giver series. I only read the first book and I loved the concept (even wrote an essay on dystopias and memory). I can't believe José Saramago made your list! It's the first time I'm seeing a Portuguese author mentioned by someone who isn't Portuguese! =D I loved Staking Jack the Ripper - the eerie atmosphere and the creepiness. <3 I hope you love it too.

    Happy readings! ;)
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

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    1. I loved the first two Giver books and felt “meh” about the third. I own two José Saramago books and haven’t read either of them. I swear they will be read this year!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I'm liking the sound of Vincent and Theo: the Van Gogh Brothers... I'm not an arty person but Van Gogh is my favourite and I have a few prints of his around my house. Reading this would definitely be interesting.

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    1. I’m not an art person, either, but the book sounds really good!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I still need to read Eliza And Her Monsters too! I wanted to get to it last year, but sadly I never did. Here's hoping we both love when we pick it up! :)
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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  9. The only one here I've read is Stalking Jack the Ripper and I thought it was a lot fun. A Time to Dance, A Time to Die sounds really interesting! I've also been meaning to check out Bridge of Clay.

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    1. I’m glad Stalking Jack The Ripper is fun. Hopefully I get to read it soon.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. I really loved The Kite Runner...such a powerful and heartbreaking read. As for the others, I haven't read any of them although I've been meaning to read Son for forever. Maybe this year?

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    1. So many people love Kite Runner. I’m excited to read it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. I never made it past The Giver but I hope you really enjoy Son! My brother loves that series! I did read Stalking Jack the Ripper and really enjoyed that series.

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    1. I’m nervous about Son because I didn’t like the third book in the series. Hopefully it’s good!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. I think I bought The Kite Runner. I haven't read it yet. I also have Dear Martin but I haven't read it either. I hope you enjoy all of these when you get to them.

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

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  13. The Maniscalco books look so interesting to me, even if I'm not really into Jack the Ripper stuff. I've thought about starting that series a few times though, just based on reviews I've seen and stuff.

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    1. It does get a lot of good reviews. Hopefully it lives up to the hype.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. Love, love, LOVED Eliza. It deals with a lot of topics and it does so quite well. The art was really cool too.

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  15. I read The Post-Birthday World years ago! I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it, I still have a copy!

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  16. Argh, I haven't read Dear Martin yet either!!! Weren't we talking about doing a buddy read or shared review or something? I guess we suck. Lionel Shriver has publicly said some highly insensitive/racist stuff, so I'd feel okay about taking her off your TBR. I liked Son, but it was kind of weird, and I didn't think The Giver really needed the pinning down that Son offers. Death with Interruptions sounds really good.

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    1. Haha, we do suck. There are just so many books! I’ll still review Dear Martin with you, if you want. That’s sad about Lionel Shriver. I heard about the stuff she said after I bought the book. I might still read the book (because I paid money for it), but I won’t hype it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. Great list! I love the sound of A Time to Dance, A Time to Die and I need to try some Kerri Maniscalco and Khaled Hosseini soon.

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    1. That dancing plague book sounds so weird. I hope it’s good.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  18. I know what you mean about so many books and so little time. ;) You have some books on your list that are on my tbr as well. We'll get to them this year, right?

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  19. I read The Son and was thoroughly disappointed after loving the other Giver books. 😐

    I think I read The Kite Runner. I remember having it in the apartment from the library, but I don't remember actually reading it, which is rare for me, so sometimes I'm thinking I am remembering the movie. Was there a movie? Regardless, whichever one it was, I loved it. 👍✨

    I want to read the dancing plague book. 📗

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    1. A few people have said that Son is disappointing. I guess I’ll find out if I agree. Kite Runner is a modern classic, so I bet there was a movie. I’ll have to watch it, if I like the book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  20. Dear Martin and Stalking Jack the Ripper are great. I hope you like it! :)

    Check out my TTT and my ARC review of Enchantée by Gita Trelease

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  21. Ahhh I'm so happy to see Eliza and Her Monsters on your list, I hope you'll get to read it soon, I loved it so, so much :) I also want to read Dear, Martin, I only heard great things about it :)

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    1. I’m happy that Eliza and Her Monsters lived up to the hype. Hopefully Dear Martin does, too.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  22. That story about the dancing plague sounds really interesting. I wonder if that was the source of the folklore that if you dance with fairies you can't stop until you die came from?

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    1. I don’t think I’ve heard about that folklore. I guess I’ll have to read the book and find out.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  23. The Kite Runner made me cry! I thought it was a beautifully written book with friendship and family and war.

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  24. First of all, I've decided ASAP means "After Some Additional Procrastination" and second, I now have to add all but maybe 3 of those books to my TBR list so I'm not sure if I should thank you or punch you in the nose. The only one I've read is The Kite Runner and you can add me to the "Loved it!" column.

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  25. Eliza and Dear Martin were two on my list that I never got to as well.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  26. As you say you'll be trying to read these this year, it sounds like you're in for some interesting reads this upcoming year.

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  27. I have been trying to read a BUNCH of these for years! Like Stalking Jack the Ripper, the rest of The Giver books, Dear Martin... I did read Eliza though, and I enjoyed it! Not as much as Made You Up, but it was still definitely worth the read! Hope you get to a few of these this year!

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  28. Dear Martin is stunning and heartbreaking. I hope you enjoy it, and all of the other titles on your tbr, when you get to it! And oh dang, why am I only just now hearing about Vincent and Theo?

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  29. I checked Vincent and Leo and Dear Martin out of the library, but never got around to them.

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  30. Many of my students breathlessly recommend The Kite Runner so I think I'm going to get hold of it sometime this year... Good luck with your list:)

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  31. Dear Martin and Eliza and her Monsters are ones I want to read a lot as well. And I love The Kite Runner - it's one of my all time favourite books so I hope you will be able to appreciate it too whenever you get around to reading it.

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