Today’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is top ten books I’ve read recently (within the last year) that I enjoyed that are different from what I usually read.
These are in no particular order.
1. Book: Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Why is it different than normal? This was my first John Grisham.
Why I liked it: I read this in December and it was nice to see the layers of sorting through the real meaning of Christmas.
2. Book: Dubliners by James Joyce
Why was this different?This was my first James Joyce. I live in Ireland. I had to read Joyce.
Why I liked it: A weaving of several characters from across Dublin came together in an interesting way and I was able to picture many of the places described.
3: Book: Attachments by Raibow Rowell
Why is this different? This story was in the recent past (1999) and is different from an era I usually read about. Emails also played an integral part in this story
Why I liked it: There was an instant friendliness in the characters, as if they were people you really could know- even if you didn’t directly relate to them.
4. Book: The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Why is this different? This book is middle grade. haven’t read much MG since I was MG and um, was it even called it then?
Why I liked it: My grandparents sent this book, because we have a family of swans that live very near to us. This story, by the author of Charlotte’s Web, is hilarious. I loved the illustrations. Also, I read a lot of history. Some of it is very heavy. It was nice to smile with this charming swan.
5. Book: The Spy who Came in from the Cold by John LeCarre
Why is this different? I read classics, but not usually mid-20th century classics.
Why I liked it: I read this, because I was intrigued by the title. There was a lot of suspense in this book and it flew along.
6. Book: Weather Eye by Brendan McWilliams
Why is this different? This was a collection of news columns related to the weather and its phenomena.
Why I liked it: I’m the daughter of a science teacher who was previously a meteorologist for over twenty-five years. This was also Ireland-specific and written in an informative and interesting way.
7. Book: From 0 to Infinity in 26 Centuries: the Extraordinary Story of Maths by Chris Waring
Why is this different? This was short bursts, rather than a long narrative history of a subject.
Why I liked it: This was written by a math teacher and I’m married to one. I like math. I just don’t read about it a lot. Although some of it I knew already, there were enough interesting pieces to teach me something new.
8. Book: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Why is this different? I thought that this was a story about a book shop in Paris and literary prescriptions. I was intrigued! It was, but it was also more of a romance than literary or historical, which makes it something different from what I usually read. And it’s also a contemporary book that is in translation. Most translated works I read are older.
Why I liked it: The story was engaging and the journey of Jean Perdu was enlightening. Most of all, I liked the vivid imagery of the story and the literary style of the writing.
9. Book: The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag
Why is this different? I’ve read magical realism before, but this felt different enough to include on this list. It’s a mash-up of mystery, magical realism, literary, a little romance and everything tied together beautifully.
Why I liked it: I’ve included this on several top ten lists before because I loved it so much. I don’t like dangling story lines. Menna Van Praag tied the stories together in one of the most beautifully- accomplished ways that I’ve read.
10. Book: I Never Knew that About Ireland by Christopher Winn
Why was it different? This is a trivia style book. I often uncover trivia when reading and read aloud passages or facts, but I don’t often read cover-to-cover trivia books.
Why I liked it: There were so many interesting stories and titbits in this book. I especially enjoyed it, since it’s about Ireland and, as mentioned above, I live here.