Show and Tell III

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Show and Tell is an original feature here on this blog where we get the chance to showcase some of our favorite books. The first one back in May 2010 was a huge success and so was the second one in July 2010. Now, a year later, there's even a lot more fantastic choices from awesome book bloggers, so read on and see what they picked.

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My pick for the 3rd Show&Tell: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
I've already talked about this book in the past, and how much I love it. I have a lot of other favorites, and this is one is definitely one of them. When I read it, it reminds me of how much I love reading! Basically though, I love everything about it! The entire story, the characters, the twists and turns. The poetic writing, the overall Gothic-like ambiance, the Jane Eyre appeal, and the lovely quotes. It's just so beautifully written and wonderfully told, and I simply like the fact that it's a "bookish book for bookish people."

Pick: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosselini
A Thousand Splendid Suns holds a special place for various reasons. Not only is it one of the most thought -provoking novels I have ever read, but it's one that will not leave you for a very long time. I think I have been lucky. I have for the most part picked up books on a whim and found that I loved them. The Kite Runner was no exception. After finishing the book I was so hopelessly torn and pained that I seriously felt no other book could ever out - do it. In fact, I didn't read a book for quite a while shortly after because nothing seemed to compare. Ironically I found that the author had written another book and I just knew that I had to read it. It turned out that I loved this one even more than The Kite Runner! Laila is the character that I felt most compassion towards even though it is Mariam who has faced much more in life as bizarre as that sounds. Perhaps it's because this beautiful girl who we witness loose herself through time has the courage to will herself to love despite all the bloodshed and hopelessness that surrounds her, or maybe it's how in an instant her innocence is lost that makes me want to reach out to her. All I know is that I connected with her, I saw her and it clicked, and I looked out for her for the remainder of the book, hoping, just hoping for the best. The book features love, loss, betrayal, anger and pain to the point where it is at times too painful to turn the next page. It's such a hard book to read, extremely tough, but so worth it. I promise you that. After finishing A Thousand Splendid Suns I had tears running down my face and couldn't stop crying, I was shattered yet I don't think it was until that very moment that I truly realised what a profound affect this book had had on me, I found that I was completely heartbroken and was left aching for people I couldn't and simply didn't have a chance in saving. Very few books have matched it since.

Picks: Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer & Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
It's hard to narrow choose my favorite books, but once they're chosen, it's easy to explain why! Bloody Jack - not just the first one, the entire series - is bloody brilliant? (See what I did there?) I'm a character driven girl, and all of the characters are ridiculously entertaining and hilarious. I want to BE Jacky Faber. As for Jane Eyre, well, I'm an English major. I've got a thing for classic literature, and as much as I love me some Shakespeare, Jane Eyre was the book that introduced me to it all.

Kristi of The Story Siren
Pick: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
One of my favorite books of all time is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Although I love various young adult titles, this children's book hold a special place in my heart. My Grandma often read this book for me. She is the person that instilled my love of reading, she constantly read to me and taught me to read myself at a very early age. This book reminds me of the wondrous things I imagined as a child and how utterly captivating books were for me.

I actually need to read this book again and refresh myself with the story and hopefully rekindle those feelings I had as a child.

Pick: The Shining by Stephen King and A Cry in the Night by Mary Higgins Clark
I'm not one for favorites. I don't have a favorite movie, song, band, or even book. And believe me I've been asked that question a lot. But, recently I got into a discussion about books that change the way you read or something to that effect. I've had several over the years. But, I will always remember when I was 12 and getting bored with my tween books (think Babysitters club, Sweet Valley High, etc). My mom was also tired of hearing me whine about it. So, she handed me 2 paperback books. She wasn't sure if I was old enough for Stephen King, but I watched plenty of horror movies with her, so why not. The other was a Mary Higgins Clark. From that moment forward, I was a fan. I've read everything published by both authors (ok not The Gunslinger series by Stephen King). They are my keeper authors. Which means I own almost everything written by both of them. In fact, both books pictured I own my very battered paperback copies and my treasured hardbacks! While, I've moved away from both authors in recent years, they will also have a special place in my reading memories!

Corrine of Lost for Words
Pick: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
It's hard to come up with just one favourite as I have a ton of books that have spoken to me at different stages in my life. One of my current favourites, and one that I re-read religiously, is Kelley Armstrong's Bitten. Werewolves, only female in the group, strong AND sensitive guys? Definitely my kind of read. Elena is on the road to figuring out her life now that she has survived becoming a werewolf. As the only female werewolf in existence, there is sure to be a lot of interest in her, especially from the pack. This is one of those reads that just sucked me in right away. I can't leave out some other favourites though, so behind me (in the picture) you'll see another one of my favourite author's works. Kristen Britain's Green Rider series sucked me in from the first page, and I LOVE the storyline. I really need to delve back into her world and read the newest installment, Blackveil. It promises to be an excellent read. I may just re-read the first three beforehand though. You know, just to refresh my memory. ;) Honestly though, I don't know what I'd do without books. They, and their authors, are all kinds of awesomesauce!
Pick: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
My favourite book is The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I first read The Lord of the Rings in my late teens and it rocked my world. I love its unique universe with incredibly original and fascinating imaginary history. Its plots and characters are completely different from anything else I have ever read. In spite of this, The Lord of the Rings is a very up-to-date book, and I can find inspiration in it every day. Its distinctive moral code is so close to my beliefs and gives me an encouragement at whatever I do. Not to mention it was a big part of getting me my university degree in English. These are the reasons it is always simple to answer what my favourite book is – The Lord of the Rings.

Jan Von Harz of Eating YA Books
Pick: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Humor is one of my favorite elements in a book, and when I find myself laughing out loud as I read I am delighted. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is certainly a laugh out loud story funny, but it is the poignant tale of one boy’s struggle to climb higher than his ancestors without losing his identity in the process that makes this book a must read.
Pick: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berednt

For bibliophiles, choosing a favorite book tends to feel like Sophie’s Choice. I love everything from Jane Austen to Neil Gaiman, so how can I pick one favorite? I decided on Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt because it opened up my eyes to an entirely new genre. I first read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in high school. Up until that point my favorite books were all fiction. I loved classics and mystery series, but I rarely read nonfiction. I assumed it was all dry and boring.

Reading Midnight was a shocking experience. It was wonderful! The descriptions of people were intoxicating. I was completely enamored with the whole city of Savannah. I could picture every street and quirky neighbor. The fact that those people really existed and those things really happened just made it all the more amazing. Since my first reading I've reread it many times. Different details and characters stand out to me each time. I also visited the city with some friends a couple years ago and seeing the restaurant, homes and cemetery Berendt describes made the book come alive even more. Midnight opened the door to the world of creative nonfiction for me. I still love fiction, but now some of my favorite books are travel memoirs or nonfiction accounts of war. A book that has the power to make you love a whole genre is well worth reading!

Pick: Matilda by Roald Dahl
I’m holding my copy of Matilda by Roald Dahl, and as you can see, my copy is very battered (literally, it’s falling apart). I’ve loved this book ever since I was five years old. For one thing, Roald Dahl is hilarious, and Matilda is such a brilliant kid. I totally attempted to use telekinesis after using this book. However, those aren’t the reasons I loved this book. I remember reading about Matilda’s trips to the library and the long list of books that she read, and the experiences and joy she got from reading those books. It made me want to go out and read all of those books, and experience similar sensations. Matilda is the book that made me into a reader by entertaining and inspiring me. I’m not sure if I’d be the person who I am today without it.

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Thanks to the participants for the 3rd Show&Tell! And if you are interested in being part of the next one, let me know down below with your e-mail and I'll be sure to send you more info. Looking forward to hearing from you.

12 comments:

  1. Love the choices! The Thirteenth Tale, A Thousand Splendid Suns and LoTR are some of my all-time favorites.
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a new addition to my TBR.

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  2. What great choices. Looks like you've given me some to look into.

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  3. I love seeing everyone's answers. The Thirteenth Tale is one of my favorites too. That one might be up for a re-read soon.

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  4. I wonder when Diane Setterfield is coming out with a new book. I will be first in line. Great choice.

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  5. A cry in the Night, I must reread this one since it is someone's favourite, i'm trying to find my favourite of MaryHC also.

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  6. What a cool feature! I should read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
    I loved Thousand Splendid Suns too. Even more than The Kite Runner.

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  7. As happens so often when Avid Reader writes, I find I agree almost entirely. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is captivating. I haven't been to Savannah yet, but want to go.

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  8. Wonderful choices from everyone. Love this post!

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  9. Oh, neat feature! This has really given me quite a few new books to add to my TBR. As if it wasn't long enough already!

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  10. Fun Show and Tell post, as usual!!

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  11. Neat feature! It's cool that you've gathered an eclectic bunch!

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