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Top Ten Tuesday #13: Books I've Read So Far

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Jun 25 2013 · 900 views

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Unfortunately I haven't been keeping up with these, but school and a couple other projects are done so I have a little more time now--plus, I really like this theme. It's been an amazing bookish year so far for me, with a lot of really great books read--38 read so far total. It's actually fairly surprising to me that all of the books below (with the exception of The Walking Dead) I rated 5 stars--something that I don't do very often, so to have 11 books (because of ASoIaF) already this year with 5 stars is pretty awesome.

June 25: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013

  • The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Definitely my favorite book this year. This book is truly amazing--everything about it is fantastic, and I hope to be reading it again soon, even though I'm trying to re-read less books since I have so many unread books I want to read.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. Specifically, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows. I'm waiting to read DwD until it comes out in paperback because I'm slightly OCD in wanting the whole series to be the same type of book. Anyway, these books are amazing, with the exception of the adult content, and are definitely all 5-star books. 
  • The Prestige, by Christopher Priest. I watched the movie before reading the book (unfortunately--I always like reading the book first), but both were still amazing. It’s very rare when it’s hard to choose which is better: the book or the movie. Most of the time, it’s the book, but either way it’s always fairly easy to decide which was better—even if both were enjoyable. For The Prestige, it truly is hard to decide which is better (the book is one of my favorite books, and the movie is one of my favorite movies). I absolutely loved the book and everything Priest did, particularly with the structure of the novel. But the film was just as amazing (as expected, coming from Nolan), and is shown in another great way. So this is perhaps one of the few times that I'm not even going to try to say which I liked better--they were both amazing works of art.
  • Holes, by Louis Sachar. I've blogged about this book before, so I won't say much here, but it was definitely one of the most enjoyable books I've read so far this year.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. Basically tied with Holes. Another amazing book that I've blogged about before, and definitely one of my favorites. 
  • The Floating Admiral, by members of the Detection Club (including Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, & G.K. Chesterton). Really an enjoyable book. I love classic detective mysteries (Agatha Christie, etc.), and this one worked really well. Sure, there were a few jarring transitions--to be expected with each chapter written by a new author--but overall it was definitely really well-done. 
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Full review here. Quite the amazing and heart-wrenching book. Highly recommended. 
  • Human Chain, by Seamus Heaney. Quite possibly the greatest poet alive, Heaney is fantastic, and this book of poems of his was quite enjoyable. My favorite poem by him, however, was not in this collection: "From the Frontier of Writing". Still a great collection, though.
  • A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This one I actually hesitated slightly to give 5 stars. It's an amazing book, but the second half does drag on quite a bit, and doesn't seem completely necessary. However, not only is it the first Sherlock Holmes, but it's really quite commendable how much thought Doyle put into the character of the killer, to be able to go that in-depth with him (again, even if it did drag on). Plus, I also enjoyed it slightly more than The Sign of Four, possibly just because I had already seen the Jeremy Brett TV movie version several times, and knew the story. 
  • The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman. And also the first graphic novel I have read. Definitely entertaining and well-done. Having already watched the TV show, it was cool to see the similarities and differences. I hope to read more of these in the future. 
What about you guys? Any amazing books you've read so far this year? 

~ Velox

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The Lonesome Wanderer
Jun 25 2013 03:25 PM

My favorite book I have read this year is Ender's Game.

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I just read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which I got and got signed last Friday. Really good book (like most of Neil Gaiman's stuff). Really captures the sense of horror unique to childhood, typified by a sense of powerlessness.


Oh, and if the Walking Dead is your first graphic novel, allow me to recommend some others. Watchmen is of course a must-read as far as standalone stories go, but if you're willing to dive into a series I might recommend The Sandman (10 books, about the King of Dreams escaping from captivity and adapting to a different world), Transmetropolitan (10 books, about a gonzo journalist fighting corruption in a cyberpunk America), and Y: The Last Man (10 books, about a mysterious event wiping out all of Earth's male population save for one).

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Jun 25 2013 08:13 PM

Amazing books I've read for the first time, or in general? For the latter, I'm going to mention to Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Being that my only exposure to Oz is the '39 MGM film, it was interesting to see how Mr. Maguire almost completely reconstructs Oz into such a politically charged world. I'm unfamiliar with Baum's original works, though, so how much Maguire takes from him is unknown to me. I am also in the process of reading the sequel, Son of a Witch, which is so far interesting but I wouldn't put it up there with 'Wicked.'


As a first time read: I'm in the process of reading Tolkien's Unfinished Tales (midway through the Children of Hurin section). Despite the fact that I have a really hard time organizing all of the nouns in my head, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Tolkien's world building continues to impress me.


And from there I hope to move on to Gone With the Wind

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Jean Valjean
Jun 25 2013 10:11 PM

:kaukau: I've been reading a lot more comic books lately, since I have more time for those and I can get done with them quicker.  However, I have just started on the novel The Last Days of Krypton.  No, I haven't bought it, so I'm only going to have the chance to make progress whenever I bike through a town with a Barnes & Noble, but it's a good read so far.  It's truly the type of classic science fiction I grew up with.


Anyway, I'm also looking at the books Superman and PhilosophyThe Principles of Management, The Art of WarThe New Interpreter's Bible - Volume I of XII, and a bunch of other stuff that's nonfiction.  When I get on a role with my books and have more time for them, I might write reviews for them, much like you do.  Though I've given up on reading for now, and writing, as you've probably noticed, in order to pursue some other ambitions, since I really want to branch out.


Anyway, to comment on the books you've mentioned thus far, it sounds like you haven't read Bone yet.  Very good book, and debatably the best graphic novel of all time.  I say this is debatable, because the title usually goes to Watchmen, but Bone is...woah.  Seriously, it's out of this world.  It's one of the best things I've ever read.  You know how sometimes some people can get picky and have impossible expectations for a story?  This is the type of thing that meets those impossible expectations, and I have to admit that after reading this, it was very difficult to go back to works that were merely average.  I don't throw the term "masterpiece" around often, but this is one of them.


Of the graphic novels I am currently reading (again, whenever I bike through a town with a Barnes & Noble), I'm reading Superman Beyond Man of TomorrowSuperman For Tomorrow, and Superman: What is the Price of Tomorrow?  It sounds like there's a theme going on there, but that's entirely coincidental.  After I'm done with these, I'm going to read Superman: BirthrightDeath of Superman, A World Without SupermanWhatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?Red SonMan of SteelWhat's So Funny About Truth, Justice, & the American Way?For the Man Who Has Everything, and Superman for All Seasons.  Unfortunately, I'm having trouble finding some of these.  Otherwise, I recently completed Superman: Secret OriginThe Last Son of KryptonSuperman: Earth One - Volume ISuperman: Earth One - Volume IIAll-Star SupermanAction Comics No. 1 (the New 52 iteration), Justice League (the incredibly lame origin story they concocted), Aquaman: The Trench (far better than the first Superman comic, but I'm disappointed that it wasn't set up with a legendary structure), and most recently Superman: Secret Identity.  Of all the Superman stories I've read, my favorites are by far All-StarSecret Identity, and one I read a couple of years ago called Kingdom Come.  Their narrative voices are as vast as the character himself.


Other than that, the only other thing on this list that stands out is Holes, since it's the only one I've read, and I can definitely say it was a nice read.  I liked the book better than the movie.


Reading the comments, I find it interesting, because V1P2 mentions Gone With the Wind.  I happened to have recently purchased one of the original copies from a thrift store, and plan on reading it sometime.  I seriously have to have one of those nights where I stay up late reading a book under my covers.


EDIT: Oh, and I also want to read the novelization of the Man of Steel movie, since something tells me that story should work better as a book, considering the poor cinematography.  I've read the first chapter, and it's already explaining a lot more, so hopefully the next time I see the movie I can explain things to the friend I'm with.



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Jun 27 2013 09:36 PM

Nice list.


From what I've heard, the author of The Prestige was present at one of Nolan's screenings and was thoroughly impressed at what Nolan had done, wishing he had thought of some of it.



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@ The Lonesome Wanderer ~ That is definitely near the top of my "to-read" list, as I've heard many great things about it.


@ Lyichir ~ Ah, yes, that's another book I must check out soon! I've heard so many amazing things about it already, and just about Neil Gaiman in general. Planning to read American Gods first, though. Thanks for the GN recommendations! I've been recommended Sandman more than I can count, and I know how Watchmen is another of those "must-reads." Can't say I've heard of the other ones, but they sound interesting and I'll have to give 'em a shot.


@ V1P2 ~ Nice! I've been meaning to give the Wicked books a read at some point. Definitely agreed with how impressive Tolkien is.


@ Kraggh ~ My main response to your post: ...


=P But I'll have to check out some of those other things you mentioned. Sounds like you've been reading some awesome things.


@ Ben ~ Yeah, that's just yet another thing I love about Nolan's version. =P I have The Prestige DVD, and there's a short making of where Priest is actually one of the commentators, so it was really cool to see some things he had to say. It's always awesome when authors are happy with their film remakes. 

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