Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 Books I'm Dying to Read

I like lists.  So, this meme over at The Broke and the Bookish is something I look forward to.  This week's list is Top Ten Books I'm Dying to Read.  Now c'mon, if I was really dying to read them, they would probably already have been read, no?  Unless, of course, we're talking about books with upcoming releases, and (with few exceptions) I'm just not enough of a fan boy to follow books soon to be released.  Anway, here's some books I look forward to reading at some point --

1. The Financial Lives of Poets - Jess Walter

Jess Walter's "Citizen Vince" is one of my favorite books of all time.  It's crime fiction, sort of, but I think it appeals far beyond genre readers.  I don't even know anything about "...Poets", as far as story goes, but it has Jess Walter's name on the cover, and that is enough for me.

2. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn

Flynn's debut novel "Sharp Objects" was a surprising 'hit' with both the masses and me.  Flynn basically writes about women being a bunch of evil bitches, which sounds really shallow and silly, but it's actually kind of refreshing.  Flynn goes beyond femme fatales and manipulative women and tells stories of women doing the kinds of things we generally expect only out of men...actually Flynn's women are even worse.  Anyone who has spent any time in the high school cafeteria knows where these characters come from and why they ring true.  It's not only the men who are pigs.

3. Redemption Street - Reed Farrell Coleman

Another crime novel,  and series book no less.  Coleman's series is somewhat unique in the crime genre in that the series is a story arc (similar to the trilogies you see in sci-fi and fantasy), rather than just a series of books using the same characters in un-linked stories.  The interesting thing, to me, is that I've read the series out of order and can still :  1) appreciate the books on an individual level  2) appreciate the overall story arc of the series.  The story arc btw isn't so much a mystery/crime story, it's mainly a story of family conflict.  This is the 2nd book in the series...I've read #1, #3, #4.  There are five books.  The other I need to read is "Empty Ever After".

4. Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison

I've read Morrison's debut "The Bluest Eye", and I have her so-called masterpiece "Beloved" at home.  I enjoyed "...Eye" more than I thought I would.  "Solomon", not "Beloved", is the book Harold Bloom claims is Morrison's opus, and Bloom's opinions have served me well in the past.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

This book was on my prior Top Ten list of books I haven't read.  This makes me wonder why these two lists aren't more similar? Hmm...

6. The Postman Always Rings Twice

This is the classic noir novel.  No clue why I have yet to read it.  The Italian neo-realist film Ossessione is one of the best pictures I've ever seen. It was based on the novel, and is superior to the American noir film that carries the Cain title.

7. Barabbas - Par Lagerkvist

This one is on the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, and came up on a random number search of  that list, and I became intrigued by it's story of the man pardoned to "make room" for Christ's crucifixion.  I like intelligent biblical stories, and this appears to be one.  Lagerkvist is a nobel laureate.

8. Veronika Decides to Die - Paolo Coelho

I've never read Coelho.  I've heard him referred to as simplistic.  I find beauty in the simple.  Plus, I picked this book up at the Big Ass Book Sale, and on the cover it says it's a Novel of Redemption.  I like redemptive stories.  Win?

9. Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

I have to confess to having picked this book up more than once, and being turned off by Stephenson's writing style.  I'm not even much of a sci-fi guy, but I do LOVE Gibson's Neuromancer and people are always telling me how great this cyberpunk novel is...so I want to read it and I want to like it.  Unfortunately, that can be a bad combination.  High expectations and all...

10. I don't know.  You tell me.  What book should I be dying to read?


  1. Nice. The only one I've read is To Kill a Mockingbird. I had it on tape as a kid ... which means I listened to it over, and over.

    Also someone at The Blue Bookcase reviewed Song of Solomon but I haven't read it personally.

  2. I'm completely blown away! This list looks so notable! I'm sitting here thinking why I haven't read or even heard of some of these! Plus, To Kill A Mockingbird is one of those books that once you read it you must re-read it every few years in my opinion. I hope you enjoy!

  3. There's a few on here I intend to read. To Kill A Mockingbird is high on my TBR. ;)

  4. I really want to read Veronika Decides To Die and Snow Crash also!

  5. I'm in the minority, I know, but I thought To Kill A Mockingbird was just "okay."

  6. I do not know why, but I can't seem to get through a Toni Morrison.

    I say To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a book everyone knows and everyone loves. I fell in love with Atticus Finch as a teen and I've never gotten over it.

    My list is here:

  7. Ingridlola - I couldn't find the Song of Solomon review. There was a review for another Morrison, though.

    Lu - thanks

    Julie - I hope to be blown away when I read some of these.

    Jillian and all the other Mockingbird fans - I'm looking forward to reading it. I don't even own a copy but I shouldn't have trouble finding one ;)

    1girl, Veronika may be the next book I read.

    roofbeam - that's okay with me ;)

    readerbuzz - I've only read the one, but I thought it was pretty darn good. Though it wasn't a shiny, happy book...

  8. Snow Crash is one of my favorites, and I found it far less pretentious than some of Stephenson's other books (Quicksilver, for example). Of course I live in a virtual universe a lot of the time. I had actually read it before Neuromancer, and it took a bit to get into that one for me, but enjoyed the entire trilogy.

    I haven't read that Coelho but after hating The Alchemist I don't have a lot of drive to pick it up.

  9. Jenny - Neuromancer is the only Gibson book I've read. I've read it a handful of times. Not sure why I haven't read any others. I also have The Alchemist at home, but Veronika sounds more interesting to me, so I'm going to start with it.

  10. Snow Crash is excellent. It mixes some really strange and seemingly unrelated things (language, ancient Sumerians, drugs, martial arts, religion, technology, gangs, etc) into a really intelligent and entertaining story. And how can you not love a book with a main character named Hiro Protagonist?

    And of course, everybody loves TKAM. It's just classic. The speech Atticus gives in the courtroom gets me every time.

  11. just looking back at old posts...I've read all of these (and I reviewed most of them) except Snow Crash.