Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Favorites


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is 5-star reads, but I'd have to go back a long way to come up with ten of them.  Since I haven't been great about writing reviews this year, I thought I'd share my recent favorites instead.



The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar
Why did it take me so long to read this author? She is a marvelous story-teller, her characters are well-drawn and memorable, and the writing is excellent. I've added all of her other books to my list.


Like Family by Paolo Giordano
A very short, quiet, character-driven novel... I loved it!



Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
The audio version of this debut novel, narrated by Tavia Gilbert, is outstanding.



City on Fire  by Garth Risk Hallberg
I hesitated about whether to include this 900+ page chunkster here, especially after my anger and disappointment over the non-ending. (my review) But the book was so well-written, totally consuming, and I still find myself thinking about the characters nearly three months later. Ending aside, this really is a great book.



Miller's Crossing by Anna Quindlen
Again, I wasn't sure about including this book because I'm only halfway through it. Quindlen's new novel will be released 4/5/16 and I'm loving every page. If this continues, it will be one of my 2016 favorites.


Enraging, eye-opening, and important. Don't miss it! The audio version, narrated by Mozhan Marno, is excellent.


Which books have been your recent favorites? Have you read any of these?
Click here for more Top Ten Tuesday posts.

32 comments:

  1. Haha - I was surprised to see City on Fire here after reading your review (your thoughts echoed mine)! It's funny how your opinion can change over time...and what sticks with you and what doesn't. Unfortunately for me, COF is sticking with me still, but more because I'm still SO mad I wasted 2 weeks on that thing.

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    1. Sarah - Isn't it funny... I just couldn't NOT include City on Fire. My anger subsided after a few weeks (maybe a month), but I couldn't stop thinking about the characters. Would happily pick up novel about any one of them! I hope Hallberg's next effort has a bit more editing.... and, of course, an ending. ;-)

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  2. I cannot wait to read Be Frank With Me! And I really need to read The Story Hour. I've only read one Jon Krakauer and it was excellent. This one is on my TBR.

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    1. Katherine - I think you will enjoy Be Frank With Me whether you decide to read or listen!

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  3. I have the Missoula book in my Audible library, but just haven't chosen it yet for listening. I have enjoyed other books by this author. Still...it's the subject matter.

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    1. Kay - I know what you mean... at times this was really a tough listen. Choose the time carefully.

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  4. I loved Missoula and The Story Hour too! Marno is narrating my current listen and she is great!

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    1. Kathy - Marno was a new-to-me narrator, bit I would happily listen to her again!

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  5. They all sound great, especially the first three with Like Family at the top.

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    1. JaneGS - Like Family could easily be read in a sitting or two. It has a slightly melancholy feel, but still very highly recommended.

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  6. I've been wanting to add more titles to my audiobook list, I think I found two here :)

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    1. Molly - Both of those books has me adding distance to my morning walks!

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  7. I loved City on Fire. I listened to it on audio. And it's funny, but the ending didn't bother me at all. In fact, I struggle to remember how it ended, but I can't forget the characters and the world that Hallberg made. And Missoula was so eye-opening.
    I have only read The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar, but I remember loving it at the time. I'm not sure why I never picked up anything else by her.

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    1. Rachel Reads - How interesting! I kept expecting some resolution in City on Fire and it just ended... felt like I deserved more of a wrap-up after investing that much time. Still feel like it was an amazing book.

      The Space Between Us will be my next Umrigar. It's waiting on my shelf.

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  8. Great list - I just posted about Like Family too! Such a wonderful read. Really excited to hear more about Quindlen's new book. I haven't read anything from her in a long time.

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    1. Iliana - I usually prefer Quindlen's nonfiction, but am absolutely loving this novel... would love to sit and read all day today!

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  9. We matched thoughts on many of these!

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    1. Patty - I think our taste in books has a pretty big overlap :)

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  10. I think I would definitely like to try Like Family. My favs over past several months would be Career of Evil (Galbraith); Deep South (Theroux); The Waters of Eternal Youth (Donna Leon); and Lolly Willowes (Warner). I'm currently reading The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee. I will be paying overdue fees just to finish it; that's what I get when reserved books become available at same time. ๐Ÿ˜ But I definitely want to finish. Learning more about Paris, the Opera Garnier, opera singers, and ladies of the evening in late 19th century Paris. Great one for Paris fans.

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    1. JudyMac - I have another friend who is raving about Queen of the Night right now. It wasn't on my radar since I'm not a bug opera fan, but may need to reconsider.

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  11. Wow glad you're liking the Anna Quindlen book. I look forward to your review!

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    1. Susan - Finished Quindlen's novel last night and loved everything about it!

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  12. I was surprised to see City on Fire in your list!! But it's nice to see it considering how much time you invested in it.

    Glad to see Missoula in the list!!

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    1. Athira - It's funny, but I just couldn't leave City on Fire off this list. Once the initial anger subsided, my appreciation has been steadily growing.

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  13. I really want to read Like Family! I loved Missoula as well, no matter how angry it made me. :) This is such a great list, and many are on my TBR.

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    1. Kathy - Like Family is such a lovely, quiet, little novel.. a little melancholy, too... and it can easily be read in a day.

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  14. JoAnn,
    I'm definitely going to try The Story Hour, and I've made notes about this author. Right up my alley.
    Judith

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    1. Judith - Umrigar has been on my 'authors to read' list for years and I even had a couple of her older novels on my shelf. I purchased The Story Hour when it was a kindle daily deal and started reading it almost immediately after downloading. She is an excellent writer... I think you would like her, too.

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  15. I have loved every Umrigar I have ever read but save The Space Between Us for last because so, so good! Agree about Miller's Valley - I'm knocking something off my book club's list this year so I make all of them read it!

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    1. Lisa - Thanks for the tip about Umrigar. I have The Worl We Found on my shelf, too... maybe I'll read that next instead. Miller's Valley is so, so good!!

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  16. I love this list. Thank you. I have been thinking of reading 'Missoula' for a very long time. I should get to it soon. I have received an uncorrected copy of 'Miller's Valley' from Netgally. I love the cover. So, I have decided to wait till the release to grab a physical copy. :)

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    1. Deepika Ramesh - Missoula is a tough read... it will make you very angry, but it is an important book. Only a few more days until Miller's Valley is released. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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