Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tanya's Fave Five

As you’ll notice, I’m far behind Meredith in updating my list of Faves and you should probably just consider that a trend you’ll have to get used to. My schedule doesn’t ever stop me from reading, but it does sometimes slow me down and prevent me from having the free time to write or talk about the books I loved or hated. Yes, loved or hated. I’m not usually a “somewhere in the middle” kind of gal and you’ll notice that as well. And you’ll probably love or hate that about me. Clear as mud?

My husband and I have been debating lately (not uncommon at all), about what makes good music. I think it was you, Meredith, who once said that whatever made your toes tap was good music. I love it. My taste in music is similar to my taste in b
ooks in that I like what I like. It doesn’t have to be the best-written literature since Hemingway, but just something that evokes emotion from me and keeps me turning the pages (so, yes, that means I loved the Twilight books). The best books are the ones that make you actually feel lost when they end. Which is why I’m a big fan of series—there’s always something more.

Ok, list of Top 5 Faves.

1. A Land Remembered. (Patrick Smith) – I always try to convey how much I loved this book by telling people that I had to read this book as a summer read for 11th grade English and after our presentation on the book, our teacher gave us the option of donating the book or doing an assignment on it, and I chose the assignment. It’s the story of three generations of a Florida family battling hardships of the frontier and how they go from being dirt-poor to wealthy real estate tycoons. Throughout the book you’ll fall absolutely in love with the characters as if they were your own ancestors and you’ll see them fight off starvation, hurricanes (before the days of the weatherman giving you three weeks notice), freezes, rustlers, and the loss of their own family members. This is the only one of my top 5 books that is “in order.” For the last 10 years, this has been my favorite book—I made my mom and my husband read it, btw. Mer, you’re next.

2. The Outsiders. (S.E. Hinton) – Apparently while other kids were having fun in school and tolerating the assigned reading, I was being a big dork and loving all of the books. You really can’t help but fall in love with Pony Boy and get lost in the social-class war he and his friends battle every day. Pony Boy is a “Greaser” who comes from a broken home, no money and way of life that means literally fighting respect. He and his friends battle with the “Socs” (short for Socials) a group who has money and social prowess. One night Johnny kills a Soc in a fight and Pony Boy struggles with the ethics of murder and standing by your friends. When you finish the book, look up how old the author was when she wrote it. You won’t believe it.

3. Roots. (Alex Haley) – I figured I’d lump of the school readings together. I mean, if more than 10 years later these books are so memorable to me, they’ve gotta be good, right? There’s no short way to describe Roots, except to say that is a heart- and gut-wrenching (based on a) true story of a slave and his family from the time he was kidnapped in Africa, through the next seven generations. It’s ridiculously long, and at the end you will be so disappointed that it is over.

4. Lucky. (Alice Sebold) – This is the non-fiction, memoir counterpart to The Lovely Bones that Meredith has in her top 5. Sebold is a great writer and story-teller for sure. She was raped as a college freshman, but the police said she was "lucky." At least she wasn't murdered and dismembered like the girl before her. The memoir starts with her violent attack and then spins into remembering her life previous and facing her life head-on afterwards (struggles with addiction and all). I read this just out of college it was very personal for me because I realized how truly LUCKY my friends and I were to have never faced something so evil.

5. The Stephanie Plum Novels. (Janet Evanovich) – What a crack up series. The whole series is special to me because I had stopped reading for so long and this one, recommended by a neighbor, got me hooked again. I read 17 books in this series (yep, it’s a long one) last summer and haven’t stopped “inhaling” them since. Evanovich captures the true definition of writing physical comedy. Not writing about it, but writing it. The books are easy reads, will absolutely make you laugh out loud and are favorites of women I personally know from the ages of 20 something to 70 something and everywhere in between. Personal faves include books 4 and 8.


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