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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite books about Motherhood & Identity Crisis

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is about motherhood.  I have chosen the theme of identity crisis in motherhood.  This is the first time I have strayed away from using ten books, but I could only think of 3 great ones that fit the bill.  Please help me and add some others!  I know there are lots more out there and I’d love to hear from you.

  1.  Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – This is a hilarious book about a stay-at-home mother who disassociates herself from the social niceties of the other private school parents.  She had been an incredible revolutionary architect, but her dreams were dashed by a neighbor who bulldozes her award winning design.  She abandons her career as they move to Seattle with it’s uninspired architecture.  She is married to a Microsoft guru and starts to feel small.  She finally disappears.. to Antartica.
  2. Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin – This is the story of a little girl growing up in Russia with big dreams and aspirations of becoming a poet.  She moves to the United States for college.  She ends up marrying and then having children without fully intending to.  The line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred as she is not sure of who she is, what she was, and if she ever was destined to be a great poet.  My review.  
  3. Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki – This is a novel about art, identity and motherhood.  It is about identity perceptions and truths behind the perceptions.  It is about mothering different children differently.  It is about questioning one’s one identity and decisions.   My review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Butterfly Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by the Broke and the Bookish.  Today’s meme is Cover Story.  My theme is butterfly covers.  What is the symbolic meaning of butterflies?  It is widely viewed as a symbol of personal transformation, freedom from previous struggles, renewal and hope (according to reference.com.) The black butterfly is often viewed as a symbol of bad luck and in some cultures, a harbinger of death.  In some cultures, the butterfly is seen as the personification of a person’s soul, whether they are alive, dying or dead.  Can you think of any other book covers with butterflies on the cover?

  1.  Still Alice by Lisa Genova – a novel about a woman who develops early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey – a quirky and witty novel about a translator who travels to Brazil to find the writer whose work she translates, who has mysteriously disappeared.  Emma, the translator, undergoes a transformation herself during this process. 
  3. In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez – Set during the Trujillo dictatorship, this novel tells the story of the Mirabal sisters (the butterflies), three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.
  4. Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen – a book about the change in a woman’s life after muttering a couple of forbidden words on air on one of the country’s highest rated morning talk shows.
  5. The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman -a small town librarian is struck by lighting and her boring life immediately become more exciting.
  6. Emma by Jane Austen – a timeless comedy of manners set in Regency England.  Emma, determined to arrange marriages for her friends while avoiding one for herself, finally meets her match in Mr. Knightley.
  7. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque – Paul is a German soldier on the Western Front who confronts the death of his friends, his enemies, as well as a previous way of life and life view. 
  8. The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allen Poe – a short detective story that uses rational thought to solve a crime.
  9. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris – A killer is on the loose and being investigated by a rookie.  The only man who can help is locked away in an asylum.  He is willing to aid the investigation if it will help him escape.
  10. Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah – Two sisters learn the truth about their mother’s past as their father lies on his deathbed, changing their feelings about their own identity.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things that Will Make Me Not Want to Read a Book

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is about book turn-offs.  Here is a list of 10 reasons I might choose not to read a book.  This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  It is a weekly meme always centered around a top ten list.  Anyone can join in.  What do you agree or disagree with on my list?    What was or would be on your list?

  1. Zombies – Ok, I have to admit I was hooked on ‘The Walking Dead’ for a brief period, though I’m not sure why I got into it.  Somehow, I will watch things on television I wouldn’t dream of reading about.  I think I would have a hard time devoting reading time to zombies.
  2. Vampires – There have been so many books and book series based on vampires and yes, I know many love these books.  Again, I cannot go there.
  3. Erotica – I love a beautiful romance in an otherwise well written plot heavy book, but I’ve never gotten into reading erotica.
  4. Political Propaganda –  I don’t mind reading a book that involves politics or sheds light on political history or current events, however, there are many political books out there that seem to be propaganda.  They are trying to persuade others of their way of thinking and I prefer less bias.
  5. Werewolves – Ok, this is for the same reason I’m not going to read books about zombies or vampires.
  6. Cheesy romance – I see these romance books with a woman in long flowing dress and I am immediately not interested.
  7. Chick lit – The kind of book I know ahead of time I will not like, is the super fluffy, containing little of real substance book.  Unfortunately many of these book best fit into the genre “chick-lit” or “women’s literature.”
  8. Strongly religious – There are many amazing books that relate to religion.  However, I do not want to read a book solely about religion or a book that in any way wants to persuade me of a certain religion.
  9. Self-help – I avoid books that try to make me a better, happier, wealthier, smarter, more well liked person.  I do read books on parenting, gardening, cooking, etc – books in order to do something better, but not to inherently change myself.
  10. Bargain books – Amazon offers a free book every month for prime members.  I sometimes download these, yet never have read a single one.  I want to choose my own books out of many not just the 4 that amazon is pushing that month.  I do read netgalley’s ARCs, but there are so many to choose from.  I often actually hear of a book that I want to read and then go looking for it on netgalley.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Things That Will Make Me Want to Read a Book

Today’s topic is “things that will make me want to read a book.”  TopTen Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Anyone can join in and link up together.  Do any of these reasons resonate with you?  What drives you to pick up a new book?

  1.  An author I love has come out with a new book.  I love that goodreads sends me notifications of this.
  2. One of my good friends who I consider has similar taste in books has given it 5 stars.  We all have those few people whose taste in books is so close to ours that we cyber stalk what they are giving high marks.
  3. It has become controversial or polarizing.  I enjoy books that have affected people to extremes, both negative and positive.
  4. It seems unique.  There is something about it that sets it apart from other books I’ve read.
  5. It ‘s from a genre or relates to a time period I have not read about in quite a while.  Once I’ve read a particular kind of book, I need a break from that genre.  For instance, after reading a WW2 novel, I need to wait many months before I’m ready to sit down with another.   If I read a fluff book, I will need a break from fluff for a while as well.
  6. There is something historical or cultural that I am interested in learning more about within the novel.
  7. My book club is reading it.  Of course it’s more fun to read a book when you can enjoy a discussion afterwards with friends.
  8. It is a 2nd or 3rd book in a series I have started and loved.  Two examples of this are ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ and ‘The Hunger Games.’
  9. It is a companion novel to another novel I have read.  For example, I cannot wait to read Kate Atkinson’s ‘A God in Ruins’ having read ‘Life After Life.’  I also cannot wait to read ‘Anything is Possible’ having read ‘My Name is Lucy Barton.’
  10. The book is a gift from a friend.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Unique Books I’ve Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week has a different theme.. all based around a top 10 list.  This week’s topic is the top ten unique books I’ve read.  Each of these is unique for different reasons.  This is a somewhat ambiguous topic, so I chose books that I felt stood out to me as having elements I’ve not seen in other books.  Did any of these make your list?  What did or would make your list?

  1.  Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  3. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
  4. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
  5. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  8. Magic America by C.E. Medford
  9. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  10. Nicotine by Nell Zink

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday will feature 10 books on my spring to be read list.   Next to each book, I will add the publication date (or expected publication date), a blurb copied from Goodreads’ description of the book and the reason why it is on my list.  This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Have you read any of these?  What is on your spring TBR list?

 

  1.  Hillbilly Elegy:  A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance – published June 28, 2016 – Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.

Why?  This is my book club’s pick.  So many people have asked me if I’ve read this, so I’m excited to get to this finally.

 

 

 

2.  The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti – expected publication date March 28, 2017 – Both a coming-of-age novel and a literary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley explores what it means to be a hero, and the cost we pay to protect the people we love most.

Why?  I have never read anything by Hannah Tinti, but her books have been so well received in the past that I requested an ARC of this book from netgalley.

 

 

 

3.  We Shall Not Sleep by Estep NagyExpected publication date July 4, 2017 – Vividly capturing the rift between the cold warriors of Jim’s generation and the rebellious seekers of Catta’s, We Shall Not All Sleep is a richly told story of American class, family, and manipulation—a compelling portrait of a unique and privileged WASP stronghold on the brink of dissolution.

Why?  I read an article about what an amazing book this was, so I requested it from netgalley.

 

4.  Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Published July 7, 2015 – From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

Why?  This is not my usual genre and I will probably hate it, but I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.  I am intrigued by the ‘Sliding Doors’ aspect to this book.  This is my other bookclub’s pick.

 

5.   Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout – Expected Publication Date April 15, 2017 – Written in tandem with My Name Is Lucy Barton and drawing on the small-town characters evoked there, these pages reverberate with the themes of love, loss, and hope that have drawn millions of readers to Strout’s work.

Why?  I love Elizabeth Strout and want to read everything she writes.  I loved ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ and am excited to read this counterpart to it.

 

 

 

6.    Woman No 17 by Edan LepuckiExpected Publication Date May 9, 2017 – A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles, from the New York Times bestselling author of California.

Why?  I have heard exciting things about this book, so I requested it from netgalley.  It is a little outside of my usual box, but I’m super excited for it!

 

 

7.  The Gift of Failure:  How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey – Published August 11, 2015 – Providing a path toward solutions, Lahey lays out a blueprint with targeted advice for handling homework, report cards, social dynamics, and sports. Most importantly, she sets forth a plan to help parents learn to step back and embrace their children’s failures.

Why?  One night a friend and I were discussing parenting dilemmas, strategies and favorite parenting books.  Shortly afterwards, she sent me this as a gift.

 

8.   A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway – Published 1929 – In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the war to end all wars. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded, and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms.

Why?  I chose to read this book for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.  It will fulfill the following requirements:  A book published between 1900 and 1950, A book about War, and a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country.

 

 

9.   Ill Will by Dan Chaon – Published March 7, 2017 – “We are always telling a story to ourselves, about ourselves,” Dustin Tillman likes to say. It’s one of the little mantras he shares with his patients, and it’s meant to be reassuring. But what if that story is a lie?

Why? I’d heard great things about this author, so I thought I’d give his new novel a try and requested this through netgalley.

 

 

 

10. The Legend of Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Origins by Renae De Liz, Ray Dillon (illustrator) – Published December 13, 2016 – In the beginning, there was only chaos. But Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, saw a better future–and eventually, her daughter would be destined to bring that new world to life. Before her ultimate fate unfolds, though, Diana of Themyscira must learn the important lessons of an Amazonian childhood.

Why? This will fulfill the following requirement in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge:  Read a superhero comic with a female lead.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Debut Novels I’ve Read in the Past 3 Years

This week’s top ten Tuesday will highlight 10 favorite debut novels (in no particular order) I’ve read in the past few years.  This meme is usually hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, however, they are taking a break.  So, this one is blogger’s choice.  I love reading debut novels!  It’s always a gamble, but it can be so satisfying to find a new author’s work to love.  Have you read any of these?  What are your recent favorite debut authors/books?

 

  1.  Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – A family in Ghana divided by slavery, sweeping over 300 years.  (2016)

 

 

Yaa Gyasi, born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama.  She spent 7 years writing this novel which was published when she was only 26 years old and has won numerous awards for it.

 

2. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng– A Chinese American family searches for the reasons behind their daughter’s death. (2014)

Celeste Ng grew up Pittsburgh, PA and Shaker Heights, OH.  She graduated from Harvard and from the MFA program at the University of Michigan.

 

 

 

3. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld– A fantastical novel exploring death row and the humanity of an inmate there. (2014)

Rene Denfeld had authored several non-fiction works prior to this first fictional novel.  She is a death penalty investigator and a mother to 3 children adopted from foster care.

 

 

 

4.  The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker – A novel about the power of art to heal. (2017)

Kayla Rae Whitaker has received a BA from University of Kentucky and an MFA from NYU.  After living in Brooklyn for many year, she and her husband have returned to her home state, Kentucky.

 

 

 

5. I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh – A thriller with twists, so the less said the better.  (2015)

Clare Mackintosh spent 12 years working for the police, including time on the CID.  She left in 2011, and now writes full time.

 

7.  Red Rising by Pierce Brown – A dystopian novel of epic proportions.  (2014)

Pierce Brown grew up in seven different states.  He graduated from Pepperdine University in 2010.  He wrote 6 novels and face rejection from over 120 agents prior to selling Red Rising.

 

 

7.  Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – A magical, fantastical world set in England containing politics, romance and diversity.  (2015)

Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia, but currently lives in England.  She writes full time.

 

 

8.  The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson – A novel about the dangers lurking within in a wealthy Marin high school, particularly cyberbullying. (2017)

Lindsey Lee Johnson grew up in Marin County.  She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband.  She holds a professional writing degree from the University of Southern California.

 

 

 

 

9.  Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler – A novel about the secret thrilling life of waitstaff inside one of NYC’s most famous restaurants. (2016)

Stephanie Danler waitressed in NYC after graduating from Kenyon college.  She later obtained a MFA at the New School and drew on her waiting experience in the writing of this novel.

 

 

10.  Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey  – A quirky, humorous mystery novel set in Brazil. (2016)

Idra Novey grew up in a small mining town in Pennsylvania, but has lived in Chile and Brazil.  She has translated the work of several Brazilian authors prior to publishing this book.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Favorite Books Read in 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week is a freebie, so I will post my favorite reads from last year.  They are in no particular order. Have you read any of these?  Were any of these favorites of yours?  What were your favorites from last year?  If you did your own TTT post today, feel free to link up to mine in the comments section, especially as there isn’t a link up at the Broke and the Bookish.

  1.  The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – This is  a historical fiction novel about slavery in America and attempted escape via a virtual underground railroad.  My review
  2. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – This is a work of contemporary fiction that begins with a young woman recovering from complications of appendicitis in the hospital.  Her mother visits her and through their conversations, you learn more about the nature of the woman’s dysfunctional childhood.  However, more is learned by what is not said than what is said.  My review
  3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – This is a historical fiction novel about two sisters in France during World War 2 and how they participate in the resistance movement there.   My review
  4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – This is a memoir by a neurosurgical fellow who at the age of 36 has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.  My review
  5. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – This is a novel about a marriage and the secrets that sustain it.  The first half is written from the husband’s perspective and the second half from the wife’s.  My review
  6. Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson – This is a dream-like novel about a woman who is traveling back to Brooklyn to visit her ill father.  She catches a glimpse of one of her close childhood friends who she has not spoken to since childhood and the memories come flooding back to her.  It is a story about growing up black in Brooklyn in the 1970s, about close friendships and how they make you stronger, about not understanding or accepting death as a child…  My review
  7. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood – This is Margaret Atwood’s modern day adaption of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest.’   My review
  8. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – This is a historical fiction novel spanning some 400+ years following many generations of a family, some of which were sold into slavery and brought to America, while others remained in Ghana.  My review
  9. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – This is collection of autobiographical essays by Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show.  Trevor Noah grew up in South Africa under apartheid, son of a black woman and white man.  My review
  10. Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin – This novel by Russian born author Olga Grushin, takes place in 40 rooms of homes/dorms/apartments within which the protagonist of this novel has lived.   It is a dreamy look into the hopes and aspirations that a woman has in childhood and what they become in the future.  It is about the choices a woman makes in life.  My review

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I wish had more resolution to them (Books with Open Endings)

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is Books I Wish had more X in them.  I have chosen to pick 10 books that I wish had more resolution to them.  These are books that left me with a feeling that all was not resolved, that the ending was up to interpretation.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  In many of the books I mention below, the endings are ones I love to hate, or just plain love.  I often think that leaving some loose ends allows the reader to imagine more and makes the novel stay with you to a greater extent.  @!@!@!   Major Spoiler Alert @!@!@!

  1.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – This novel has perhaps one of the most controversial devisive endings of all time.  This is a thriller where you expect the bad guy to be caught it in the end.  Instead, the degree of psychopathy is unravelled until the book ends… leaving the reader wanting more.   Many have argued whether the ending was brilliant versus lazy (the author just wanted to be done with the book).  Your thoughts?
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – This novel ends with the heroine getting into a black car with unknown men.  They might be helping her to escape, if we are to believe Nick.  Or they may be arresting her for treason.  What did you think?  Were you an optimist or a pessimist as this book ended?

 3.  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – This book is epic,  encompassing such a long time period.  The ending is strange without clear resolution for such a chaotic book.  Theo is still kind of engaged to Kitsy and trying to get the stolen works back, but there is no resolution.  Is there some symbolism of the painting to Theo’s life that it is still with him?  Was this ending satisfying or dissatisfying to you?

4.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman  This is a beautiful fantastical novel about a man who returns home for a funeral.  Memories of his childhood begin flooding back when he finds himself at a farm at the end of the lane where he grew up.  He and Lettie Hempstock had spent time together in their fantastical world that seems to be a beautiful highlight of his horrific, chilling childhood.  The end of the novel is vague.  He refers to this part of his childhood as “a memory forgotten.”  Did this fantastical world exist or was it his imagination.  He is seeing two moons in the rearview mirror.  Is that a hint that this other fantastical world truly exists?  

5. Atonement by Ian McEwan This is a novel that doesn’t have an open ending in the sense that the others on this list do.  It is a novel that toys with your emotions.  It tells the story of a young couple in love just before WW2.  The boy is falsely accused of rape.  However, the two reunite after he is released from prison and live happily ever after, until we later find out this is fabricated.  They both died in the war.  Briony, trying to atone for her mistake of falsely accusing him, wrote a book detailing the truths of the rape, but the book will never be published as she fears lawsuit from the couple (rapist and victim) who are now married.  When I read the book and learned that the beautiful happy ending was not true, I refused to accept it, at least for a while.  How about you?

6. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – This book ends with Rhett leaving Scarlett and Scarlett going back to her family home.   She says “I’ll think of it tomorrow at Tara.  I can stand it then.  Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back.”  So, how are we to take this?  Will she get Rhett back?  Or is she deluding herself?  What was your take on this?  Has she gained some self understanding by this point?

7. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – I am including this one because there are two endings to this book.  Originally, Charles Dickens wrote the book with the ending that Pip and Estella reunite years later.  Estella has been widowed by an abusive first husband and is now married to a poor doctor.  The last sentence in this version is “suffering had been stronger than Miss Havisham’s teaching and had given her a heart to understand what mine used to be.”  However, in the current version of Great Expectations read today, the ending is different, as a friend of Charles Dickens had encouraged him to change.  In this current version, Pip returns to the Satis house which has been torn down, but he sees Estella on the horizon.  We are led to believe that Pip and Estella live happily ever after.  Which ending do you prefer?  Why?

8.  Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – Is this the never ending story or the forever ending story?   I can’t decide. This book starts in 1930 where Ursula shoots Hitler in a smoky cafe after having lunch with him.  Then it goes back to 1910 where she is born and dies repeatedly, setting the book back again and again.  Her life story changing slightly each time to escape the previous death.   It is a book that never seems to really end. I loved it and felt it was brilliant, but others were thoroughly annoyed by it.  What did you think?  I thought the book might circle back to the initial scene, but it doesn’t.  Why do you think Kate Atkinson wrote it this way?

9.  The Road by Cormac McCarthy – This is a bleak dystopian world with little hope.  It is about a boy and his father who walk through this desolate lawless harsh world.  It is monotonous, joyless, brutal.  However, at the end as the father dies, the boy joins a group of kind souls who take him in.  Is this a hopeful ending for an otherwise gory bleak book?  Does it mean that society will rebuild itself?  Is this a surprising ending for Cormac McCarthy?  Why or why not?

10.  Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin – This is an amazing book that is about a life led through 40 rooms, from childhood to adulthood, from Russia to America.  It is about childhood dreams and aspirations for the future that get lost but still percolate beneath the surface.  It is about the choices women make in their lives, sacrificing some of their own dreams to be there for their families.  In this novel the fantastical blends with reality, so that there is a blur.  As the reader, and it appears even to the narrator,  the reality is unclear.  Is it a life well lived?  Was she a gifted poet?  Here is my review.

So, what other books might you include on this list?  Do you disagree with any of the books I have here?  Do you like or dislike books with open or ambiguous endings?  Please, share your thoughts!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Graphic Novels (An 8 year old Boy’s Perspective)

I had so much fun creating my list of top 10 favorite picture books for The Broke and the Bookish meme, that I thought I’d let my son play too.  He’s 8 years old and loves graphic novels.  He’s read tons of them and these are his favorites.  Again, these are in no particular order.  What are your favorite graphic novels for this age group?  He is always on the hunt for great books and would love your recommendations!

1.  Bone Series by Jeff Smith – a series of 10 books.  Tales of humor, mystery and adventure when 3 cousins get separated.  They attempt to find each other encountering many creatures in the process.

 

 

 

2.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney – My son devoured all 11 books in this series.  He was so excited to watch a movie and then so disappointed.  “Mom, this is not nearly as good as the book.”  It was a fun proud mom moment to have him make this realization.  He never asked to watch another Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie again.

 

 

  3.   Big Nate Series by Lincoln Peirce – This is an 8 book series of books that my son absolutely loved.  There are other Big Nate books out there as well, aside from the series as well as comic strip compilations.  These are books that my son goes back to and re-reads when he’s out of other reading material.  I hear him laughing out loud and he loves relaying snippets from these books to us.

 4.  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Having read and loved the non-graphic version of this book, I was excited to see how my son would react to this.  At first, he was definitely taken aback by the violence with which the book starts, but he quickly got into it, and now rates it in his top ten.

 

 

 

5.  13 Story Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths – My son has read the first 5 books in this series.  It looks like the 6th is available in text in Australia, but not yet here in the US.  My son describes this series as having both an excellent storyline and great humor.

 

 

 

6.  Meanwhile by Jason Shiga – This is a choose-your-own-adventure graphic novel, fun to read over and over with different outcomes.

 

 

 

 

7.  Star Wars Jedi Academy Series by Jeffrey Brown – This is a 3 book series that my son tore through quickly engrossing him far more than any other star wars books have.

 

 

 

8.  The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby Series by Dav Pilkey, George Beard, and Harold Hutchins – This 2 book series is for kids who love silly humor.  The thing that bothers me about this series is all the misspelled words, because it is supposed to be written by two young kids themselves.  However, this doesn’t seem to bother my son.

 

9.  Amulet (Series) by Kazu Kibuishi – A 7 book series in a terrifying world of man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot and two children.

 

 

 

 

 10. Lucy and Andy Neanderthal  by Jeffrey Brown – A stand alone graphic novel by the author of the Star Wars Jedi Academy series.