Top Five Wednesday – Required Reading

Years ago I used to participate in Top Five Wednesday all the time. Then I abandoned the blog and the channel. Recently I’ve been more interested in the topics, but this is a really old meme, so at this point there’s a whole lot of repetition. But when I find a topic I like, I’ll go ahead and participate. I have no idea who is running it anymore, but you can find the Goodreads group here.

With today’s topic I chose five books that are commonly assigned in schools, and that I believe should continue to be.

The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank’s diary during WWII is one of the most read works of the 20th century, with good reason. It provides the child’s perspective during that dark time.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s great American novel. The story gives insight into the Deep South in the US in the post Civil War era. Though the country had moved forward, nearly 100 years after the war it was still slow going.

Night

The shortest book of the bunch. Elie Wiesel’s most known work tells of his time in Auschwitz. It’s a brutal, honest, and heartbreaking read.

Dracula

This book still influences the vampire genre today. It’s the epitome of good vs evil and man vs monster. As you read you cannot help but pull for the group to defeat the Count.

Outliers

Malcolm Gladwell doesn’t write mediocre books. This one tells the story of successful people. So often we hear about or see targeted ads that claim to have the secret to riches or success. This book shows the secret is hour after hour after hour of hard work.

What are some of your favorite assigned reading books?

Top Five Wednesday: Who’s Coming to my New Year’s Party?

I haven’t done one of these in a LONG time. Mostly because the girl who took over started with crap topics. Bleh. The topic is pretty easy to comprehend. Leggo.

Katniss Everdeen

She’s the Girl on Fire. I mean, come on.

Harry Bosch

I don’t drink alcohol. So I’d sit down with a bottle of water out away from the rest of the party and talk to Harry about everything. He’s insightful and I doubt anyone could match his stories from decades with LAPD. I’d also tell him his daughter would make an excellent detective.

Mark Watney

I just finished The Martian and have LOTS of thoughts on it, but for now I’d just like to tell Mark here that’s he’s hilarious. Stay tuned for a full review in the next day or two!

A

She’s the protagonist from Every Day and it would actually be cool to invite her every year to the New Year’s party just to see her in different bodies.

Guy Montag

This might seem like an odd choice when you consider the fact that I HATE this book. But I’d invite him because every other person invited to this particular party would love books. And this bastard burns them. I’d pretty much just tell him off. And perhaps create a mob in the process.

Those are the five characters I’d invite to my New Year’s party! Who would you invite to yours!?

Top Five Wednesday: Books That Need a Sequel

Today’s topic is standalone books that NEED a sequel. But it’s time we take a trip down memory lane.

I first began buying my own books in high school and college. I know at that point in time I’d started reading a handful of series, but I always tried finding standalones. At the library. At the bookstore. Or online. I’d search for hours to find a standalone I wanted to read. I often successfully found one. I discovered several of my favorite authors this way.

But as time has passed on I’ve had to change up my strategy. Now whenever I happen to be looking for something new I’m searching for the first book in a new series. This isn’t inherently worse, just different.

All this to say that once upon a time I wanted to read as many standalone novels as I could, but now I’m reading a million series at once. I’ve never read a solid standalone I felt needed a sequel. Not once. And some of the best books I’ve ever read have been standalones.

So my answer to today’s topic is simple: A good standalone shouldn’t need a sequel. What do you think!?

Top Five Wednesday: Books Outside my Comfort Zone

Today’s Top Five Wednesday topic is the best books I’ve read outside my comfort zone, which is definitely mystery. I probably had 6-7 books in mind when I came up with my list, but I ultimately stuck with the required five books. I’ve actually talked about all five books at some point either on here or in previous videos, so there really should be no surprise ┬áthis time around.

Now watch: It’s quick!

What are the best books you’ve read that fell outside your literary comfort zone?

Top Five Wednesday: Settings I Want to see More of

The topic of this week’s Top Five Wednesday is settings I want to see more of. Pretty easy.

Panem

This was too easy. I wouldn’t want to see any new movies adapted from new books, but I definitely wouldn’t mind reading another story featuring Katniss. That’s all I want. But eh.

Hogwarts

This is coming from someone who has only read the first two in the series. But of course I grew up with the characters onscreen. Which is why I’m not excited for the play or for the book that a lot of people don’t even realize isn’t an actual book. If they did there wouldn’t be any midnight releases anywhere. It’s just a PLAY! I’d only want a new story if it’s actually a new story following the same characters we know and love. Not something completely different like the play.

The last two I’ll mention are Sera and Reach from Gears of War and Halo, respectively. Though Reach has already been destroyed.

That’s it for me!

What are the top five settings you’d like to see more books in?

Top Five Wednesday: Character Names

Today’s Top Five Wednesday topic is character names. Pretty self-explanatory. Let’s begin!

Katniss Everdeen

I love how unique the name is. And I hope to one day meet a girl named after Katniss. I’d tell her the person she’s named after is strong, independent, brave, and the Girl on Fire. Then she’d probably say duhh and walk away. Bleh.

Hieronymous Bosch

I’ve told y’all about Harry Bosch more times than I can remember. He’s named after the painter you may have heard of. I’m just glad Michael Connelly let’s us call him Harry.

Spenser

Another unique name. He’s named after the poet you may have heard of. But what really makes his name special is that his last name is never given during his series of books. He’s simply Spenser.

Hermione Granger

I mean, come on.

Master Chief

Technically his name is John-117 and he’s originally from a video game series before any book was ever written, BUT who doesn’t know Master Chief at this point? Seriously, who!? He’s the soldier we all secretly want to be. Leading entire armies and defeating monstrous enemies. Is that not your dream job?

Those are my five favorite character names! Tell me some of yours!

Top Five Wednesday: Favorite Mothers

Welcome back to the latest edition of Top Five Wednesday. Today’s topic is favorite mothers. And yes, I realize it’s Thursday. But I had some important business to tend to yesterday.

I’ll start with very easy choices who need no explanation.

Lily Potter

She wasn’t alive in any of the books and still had a huge impact on so many things. Most notably, doing everything possible to keep Harry alive.

Molly Weasley

Another one who doesn’t really need an explanation. She’s great. And funny when she’s upset.

Mrs. Everdeen

I’m just now realizing that her name is actually never mentioned in the books. I couldn’t remember off the top of my head and tried searching, but nope. My reasoning behind picking her is that she shapes Katniss into who she is in the years leading up to the Reaping in which Katniss volunteers to compete in the Games for her sister. We know immediately that she hasn’t been the best parent, and to me that’s part of what makes Katniss so strong.

Marjorie Lowe

She’s the mother of Harry Bosch. And like Lily above, she was never alive during any of the books in the series. She was killed when Harry was young, but her death shapes him into the no nonsense LAPD detective he becomes. Her death’s impact on his life simply cannot be understated.

Nana Mama

She’s Alex Cross’s grandma. She’s living with him as soon as we’re first introduced to the Cross family. She isn’t afraid to put him in his place when she disagrees with him, but also reminds him that he’s got an entire family counting on him just like he’s got a department and city counting on him. She’s witty, smart, and motherly. And you never forget that she loves every member of the Cross household.

That’s all I have for y’all today. Five great mothers from some of the series I’ve read. Who are YOUR favorite mothers from books?

Top Five Wednesday: Books That Intimidate Me

Guys, this is a topic I believe I’ve addressed on here before. Books that intimidate me. It’s definitely a topic I feel strongly about and one that baffles me at times. I won’t take up any more of your time with this mini introduction. But I will say that this is certainly not your typical Top Five Wednesday video. Now watch, please!

PS: I added something to the end. Tell me what you think if you get that far?

Also, are there any books that YOU are intimidated by?