Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: What I’m Reading This Spring





Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is ten books I’m (hopefully) going to read this spring. These books have been sitting on my to-read shelf for way too long. I should probably make them a priority.










What I’m Reading This Spring







1. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir Of A Family And Culture In Crisis by J.D. Vance


The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.















2. Borderliners by Peter Høeg




Strange things are happening at Biehl's Academy when this elite school opens its doors to a group of orphans and reform-school rejects, kids at the end of the system's tether. The school is run by a peculiar set of rules by which every minute is regimented and controlled. Soon, they suspect they are guinea pigs in a bizarre social experiment and that their only hope of escape is to break through a dangerous threshold of time and space.


















3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini



Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

















4. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini



A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them.
















5. The Case For Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel



Using the dramatic scenario of an investigative journalist pursuing his story and leads, Lee Strobel uses his experience as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune to interview experts about the evidence for Christ from the fields of science, philosophy, and history.


















6. History Of Wolves by Emily Fridlund



Fourteen-year-old Madeline lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Madeline is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Madeline as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong. 

And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Madeline finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn’t understand. Over the course of a few days, Madeline makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Madeline confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do—and fail to do—for the people they love
.















7. The Avenue Of The Giants by Marc Dugain



Inspired by the true story of California “Co-ed Killer” Edmund Kemper, The Avenue of the Giants follows Al Kenner as he progresses from antisocial adolescent to full-fledged serial killer in the turbulent ‘60s and ‘70s. A giant at over seven feet tall with an IQ higher than Einstein’s, Al has never been ordinary. Tainted by his parents’ divorce and his mother’s abusive behavior, his life takes a chilling turn on the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Al spends five years in a psychiatric hospital, and although he convinces the staff that he is of sound mind, he continues to harbor vicious impulses. Al leads a double life, befriending the Santa Cruz Police Chief and contemplating marrying his daughter, all the while committing a series of brutal murders.
















8. The Bear And The Nightingale by Katherine Arden



At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn't mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa's new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa's stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse's most frightening tales.















9. 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.















10. Blindness by José Saramago



A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" that spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations, and assaulting women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides her charges—among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears—through the barren streets, and their procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing.





















Have you read any of these? What did you think?






69 comments:

  1. I just added History of Wolves to my TBR! Do you think my family will accept 'Sorry, there are books to read' as the reason why I'm ignoring them???

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  2. I really hope you will like The Bear and the Nightingale. I really loved the second book earlier this year when I read it and the trilogy overall is just really good.

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  3. Great list! I really want to read The Bear and the Nightingale and A Thousand Splendid Suns this year, and I love the sound of The Case for Christ. Happy reading!

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  4. You've got some great books to read this spring! Hillbilly Elegy was eye-opening for sure! I just loved both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, and Gone Girl? Despite all the hype over the years it still remains one of my all time favorite domestic thrillers. Enjoy your spring reading!

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  5. I've been eyeing A History of Wolves for a while and boy does The Avenue of the Giants sound interesting. Looks like you have a lot of good reading ahead.

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    1. I hope The Avenue of the Giants is good. I’ve seen zero reviews of it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. Hillbilly Elegy was interesting. I would love to eventually get to Eliza and The Bear and the Nightingale since I own them!!Great list!

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    1. I’m glad it was interesting. It’s been sitting on my shelf for way too long.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I've been hearing a lot about The Bear and The Nightingale lately, debating adding it to my TBR. Hope you enjoy Eliza and Her Monsters!!

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    1. The Bear and the Nightingale has been getting nonstop hype for years. I hope it lives up to it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I really enjoyed "The Kite Runner" and will be curious as to your take on Strobel's "The Case for Christ" (which I have not read). The "history of Wolves" also sounds interesting.

    www.thepulpitandthepen.com

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    1. I’m glad you liked The Kite Runner. It seems to be a very well-loved book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  9. I haven't read Hosseini's later books, but "The Kite Runner" was wonderful.

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  10. I remember reading The Kite Runner years ago. That books is such a hard, but good read. I hope you enjoy it.

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  11. Hillbilly Elegy sounds amazing.

    My Top Ten Tuesday post.

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  12. I've had The Bear and the Nightingale on my TBR for way too long. Excited to see what you think about it :)
    Dani @ The Restricted Section

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    1. I’m excited to read it. The hype scares me a little, though.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  13. This looks like a great lineup of books! I've been wanting to check out Blindness for a while. Borderliners sounds incredible and right up my alley, I can't believe I've never heard of it. I love The Bear and the Nightingale (and the entire trilogy) so much! I hope you have a great time reading these!

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    1. Thanks! If you read Blindness or Borderliners, I hope you like them.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. What a wide range of books! I've only read The Kite Runner (loved it!). I'm adding a number from your list to my TBR.

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    1. I’m glad you liked The Kite Runner. I feel like the only person who hasn’t read it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. Oooh, I really need to read The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns! I've heard they're fantastic. Hope you enjoy them.

    I've been meaning to read The Bear and the Nightingale for a long time, too, and haven't gotten to it. But I do love Katherine Arden's writing style, or what I've read of it, at least. :) Great list!

    Here's my Top Ten Tuesday post.

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    1. All of those books have a ton of hype around them. I hope they live up to it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  16. Eliza and Her Monsters is one of my favorites! :) I really want to read The Bear and the Nightingale soon too. Happy reading!

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    1. I’m glad it’s one of your favorites. I hope it becomes one of mine.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. I've had Eliza and Her Monsters on my library wish list for ages and still haven't got around to requesting it. Thanks for putting it back on my radar.

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  18. The Kite Runner made me cry. What a heartbreaking book! And The Borderliners looks awesome. I haven't read it, but I love Peter Hoeg!! :)

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    1. I’ve never read a Peter Hoeg book, but I’ve heard good things about them.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  19. People have been telling me to read the Kite Runner for years. It intimidates me a bit though. Eliza and her Monsters sounds nice, might look that out :)

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    1. I’m intimidated by The Kite Runner, too. It’s one of the most hyped books ever.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  20. I am pleasantly surprised to see Eliza on your TBR. I loved it, and I hope you enjoy it too

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    1. Eliza isn’t my normal kind of book, but I’m curious and hopeful I’ll like it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  21. I haven't read any of these, some of them seem pretty heavy! Hope you enjoy them!

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  22. I haven't read any of these but I think I own The Kite Runner. I hope you enjoy all of these!

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

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  23. The Bear and the Nightingale is one I've been meaning to read forever and just haven't. I'm interested to see what you think!

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    1. The Bear and the Nightingale has been sitting on my shelf for so long. I hope we both like it!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  24. The Bear and the Nightingale is one of my favorites so I hope it's a great read for you too.

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  25. I read The Case for Christ a few years ago and really liked it. I read a few of his other books too. Also Hillbilly Elegy sounds super interesting, and I'd like to give that a read at some point.

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    1. I’m glad you liked The Case for Christ! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blogger talk about it. Probably because it’s been around for so long.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  26. The Bear and the Nightingale is on my Spring TBR too... but I should probably try to read that (and Sky in the Deep) before the weather gets too springy. We still have a lot of winter vibes going around here. Although since you live up near Denver, you probably already know that, LOL.

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    1. Yeah, it’s still very wintery around here. I should probably read that book before summer, though.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  27. Great list! Blindness is one of my all-time favourite books. I`ve read it almost 10 years ago and I still remember it vividly.

    Carmen`s Reading Corner

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    1. I’m glad it’s a favorite. Hopefully it becomes one of my favorites, too.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  28. I really enjoyed Eliza and her Monsters! And I read The Case for Christ years ago and thought it was a great read. I'm actually reading a very similar book right now that gives a different perspective called Cold-Case Christianity. It's written by a cold-case detective who examined the New Testament scriptures to see if they are truly eyewitness accounts (like Lee Strobel, he was an atheist when he started his investigation). I've found it fascinating!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. If I like The Case For Christ, I might look for that book. I love when modern science is applied to ancient times.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  29. I have read and loved The Kite Runner and A THousand Splendid Suns! Now Eliza is on my shelf for more than one year now! I will have to read it soon!

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    1. Eliza has been on my shelf for nearly a year, too. I have a bad habit of procrastinating books.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  30. Oooooo Borderliners sounds right up my alley! Definitely gonna check it out!

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  31. Great list! I have The Bear and the Nightingale on Audible and am looking forward to listening to it.

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  32. I read The Kite Runner over a decade ago but I remember it breaking me. I need to re-read it. I hope you like it!! I also need to read The Bear in in the Nightingale! It's been on my kindle for way too long.

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  33. I shed a lot of tears when I read The Kite Runner! I still have a copy on my bookshelves upstairs. The film was really emotional too.

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  34. Both Hosseini books on my physical TBR.
    Arden's book was ok, but I noticed that for non-russian speaking readers it appeals more, so it might be a good one. I am planning to finish series this year.

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  35. The Bear and the Nightingale should probably be on my TBR as well. The cover is stunning and it sounds really lovely!

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  36. I hope you love The Bear and the Nightingale as much as I did! The series is really wonderful. And it's a much harder read, but I thought Blindness was incredible

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  37. I really liked The Bear and the Nightingale, but I loved and adored the second book. I liked the third one somewhere inbetween one and two. The series taken as a whole is wonderful in my opinion. 👍✨

    I have Hillbilly Elegy on my Kindle and I hope to get to it this year. I was led to believe it helps one understand why poor rural Whites support tRump, but two bloggers who I know have read it said it doesn't; it's more about giving excuses for their choices. It should still be a pretty interesting read. 🔰

    I haven't figured out if I read The Kite Runner, or am only remembering the movie. I guess that in itself means I should read it even if it ends up being a re-read. 😛

    I won't read Eliza and Her Monsters because the author horrendously misrepresented schizophrenia in her first book and somehow, even after it was called out by the Diversity in YA group and every reader with personal experience of schizophrenia, on Goodreads, it still got lauded by YA readers because it was a fun (funny) story. Gross. 😒

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  38. I actually DNFed The Bear and the Nightingale, but I ADORED Eliza and her Monsters! Hope you have a great bookish spring, AJ!

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