Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Reads

Happy Autumn!

Being the first day of fall, it’s fitting that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is books to read this fall. I don’t usually decide what I’m going to read based on the season (unless it’s Christmas time), but here are my top ten (in no particular order). Many of these have previously appeared on my to-read lists, but maybe this time I will actually get around to them!

1. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

2. All That Is by James Salter

3. Night by Elie Wiesel

5. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

6. El Deafo by Cece Bell

7. We Are Water by Wally Lamb

8. The Circle by Dave Eggers

9. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

10. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

That’s it for me! What’s on your to-read list this fall? And which of these should I read first?!

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Top Ten Books in My Beach Bag

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list prompt that bloggers anywhere can answer!

I’m going to Greece for two weeks in just over a month, so I need to start thinking about what I’m going to read while chilling by the Aegean sea. Luckily, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is beach reads. Here are the books I have come up with so far. They aren’t necessarily lighthearted beach reads, but ones that have been on my to-read list for awhile. Let me know if you have any suggestions to fill my bag!

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Book Challenge Day 30!

Finally, the last day of the 30-Day Book Challenge! It took me a little more than 30 days, but I finished it, and that’s what matters. It was a great way to motivate myself to post every day. Hopefully I can still post regularly now that it’s over! I must admit that some of the prompts were a bit boring and repetitive, but overall it encouraged me to revisit books I have read and think deeply about them.

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Book Challenge Day 29: Love Amongst Hate

Today’s penultimate 30-Day Book Challenge prompt is a tricky one: a book everyone hated but you liked. I don’t read many books that are hated by a lot of people. I tend to follow the crowd and read ones that are well-loved. I can’t even think of a book that I’ve read that many people disliked. But there is one that many of my friends did not like, even though I enjoyed it: Sisterhood Everlasting.

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Book Challenge Day 28: Favorite Book Title

Today’s 30-Day Book Challenge prompt is an interesting one: your favorite book title. Usually the book titles that catch my eye are the snappy, one-word titles like “Crank,” “Room,” and “Feed.” I don’t typically like titles that are too descriptive or tell what the book is about. But I’ve never really thought about my favorite book title. I concern myself more with what’s inside the cover than on it. So maybe it’s appropriate that one of my favorite book titles is of a book I have yet to read: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

I worked as a bookshelver at libraries for a couple of years, and this book always got my attention. Perhaps it’s because it had a picture of cake on the front, but I also loved the title. It’s matter-of-fact but mysterious. How can cake hold emotion? How can something as sweet as lemons be sad? And what is particular about it? Over the years this book has slipped my mind, but its title has stuck. Maybe someday I’ll actually read it and see if it lives up to its title.

Have you read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, and would you recommend it? And what do you like in a book title?

Book Challenge Day 26: An Opinion Changer

I’m getting close to the end of the 30-Day Book Challenge, and today’s prompt is “a book that changed your opinion on something.” This might seem like an odd choice, but my answer to this one is Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

I took a class solely on Chaucer in college, expecting it to be very boring. Old language, old topics, old people. But I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the class and how much I learned from it. Many of the issues that Chaucer wrote about (misogyny, adultery, corrupt religion) are issues we still deal with today. People are still writing about the things Chaucer wrote about, but with different words.

And half the fun of reading Chaucer was learning Middle English.  It’s a beautiful language, especially when read aloud, and it’s interesting to see the origin of some words we use today, as well as words that fell out of use. I’m still trying to bring words like “weylawey” and “corage” back into everyday use. I wonder why they ever disappeared!

Ultimately, The Canterbury Tales showed me that old literature does not have to be boring and outdated. Chaucer was actually hilarious, and had a knack for coming up with ridiculous situations. But even when being funny, he wrote about issues that many would be too scared to write about back then and even now. He wrote about gender roles and abuse, although there are many interpretations on what his messages were “supposed” to be. In any case, through Chaucer’s writing I realized that humans have not changed very much over the past 700 years, and neither has storytelling. It has always been a way of commenting on the human experience and shared struggles.