Dec 20, 2011

Top Ten Books I Want for the Holidays

The Broke and the Bookish, a brilliant book blog, 
hosts a weekly top ten list meme.

I like this meme because I like lists. I like this meme because it reminds me of the Top 5 lists from High Fidelity (by Nick Hornby as a book, starring John Cusak as a movie). And I like this meme because it causes me to think long and hard about book-related topics. So here goes:

Top Ten Books I Want to Receive for the Holidays

1. The Next Always (Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, Book 1) 
by Nora Roberts
9780425243213, Berkeley (Penguin), $16

My favorite romantic fiction author's new book. I can't wait to curl up with this and read it in  one sitting.
The historic hotel in BoonsBoro, Maryland, has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it's getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect of the family, Beckett's social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there's another project he's got his eye on: the girl he's been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen...

2. Saints Astray (Santa Olivia, Book 2) 
by Jacqueline Carey
9780446571425, Grand Central Publishing (Hachette), $14.99

I fell in love with Jacqueline Carey's writing in high school. She seems to be fearless in terms of the tremendous scope of her work, covering time, space, topics, and creating worlds like few others before her.

Fellow orphans, amateur vigilantes, and members of the Santitos, Loup Garron-the fugitive daughter of a genetically engineered "wolf man"-and Pilar Ecchevarria grew up in the military zone of Outpost 12, formerly known as Santa Olivia. But now they're free, and they want to help the rest of the Santitos escape. During a series of escapades, they discover that Miguel, Loup's former sparring partner and reprobate surrogate brother, has escaped from Outpost 12 and is testifying on behalf of its forgotten citizens-at least until he disappears from protective custody. Honor drives Loup to rescue Miguel, even though entering the U.S could mean losing her liberty. Pilar vows to help her. It will take a daring and absurd caper to extricate Miguel from the mess he's created but Loup is prepared to risk everything... and this time she has help.

by Chris Riddell
9781405050593, Macmillan

I'm not sure what happened to this book. The first two books in the Ottoline series (Ottoline and the Yellow Cat and Ottoline Goes to School were both brilliantly illustrated, well-written, and overall darling books to hand to anyone, but girls especially, age 4-8. Though my sources say this was published by Macmillan in 2010, that may have only been in the UK as I've never seen this one a bookstore shelf and it's not available from Indiebound. But somehow, some way, I will get a copy.

Ottoline and Mr. Munroe do everything and go everywhere together. That is, until the day Mr. Munroe mysteriously disappears leaving a strange clue written in string...Armed with her Amateur Roving Collectors' travel pass Ottoline sets off on a journey over, under and on top of the sea to find her hairy best friend - and bring him back home.

4. The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles, Book 1) 
by John Flanagan
9780399256196, Philomel Books (Penguin), $18.99

Oh John Flanagan - I loved your Ranger's Apprentice series, perfect for boy and girl readers age 10-14, and now, now you've begun another.

They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others - they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger's Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn't mean they don't have skills. And courage - which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field . . . especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing.

by Taylor Stevens
9780307717108, Broadway Books (Random House), $14

A female Jason Bourne? (-ish.) Yes, please!

Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information—expensive information—working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in Dallas, she's never looked back.

Until now.

A Texas oil billionaire has hired her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. It’s not her usual line of work, but she can’t resist the challenge. Pulled deep into the mystery of the missing girl, Munroe finds herself back in the lands of her childhood, betrayed, cut off from civilization, and left for dead. If she has any hope of escaping the jungle and the demons that drive her, she must come face-to-face with the past that she’s tried for so long to forget. Gripping, ingenious, and impeccably paced, The Informationist marks the arrival or a thrilling new talent.

by Maggie Stiefvater
9780545224901, Scholastic, $17.99

This would be my first Maggie Stiefvater, and considering her reputation, I think it's about time.
Some race to win. Others race to survive.
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
Some riders live.
Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

by David Levithan
9780375860980, Knopf (Random House), $16.99

Dear David Levithan, you make my heart sing and hurt with every one of your books. Thank you. Love, me.

In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author. 

by Kelly Milner Halls
9781452102641, Chronicle Books, $16.99

What do guys and girls really think? Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of "he said/she said" stories-he tells it from the guy's point of view, she tells it from the girl's. These are stories of love and heartbreak. There's the good-looking jock who falls for a dangerous girl, and the flipside, the toxic girl who never learned to be loved; the basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; the gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen. Each story in this unforgettable collection teaches us that relationships are complicated-because there are two sides to every story. 

by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
9780062121660, It Books (HarperCollins), $14.99

Because this sounds wonderful and looks adorable.

HitRECord’s collaborative coalition of artists and writers are making history with The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1, a collection of innovative crowd-sourced creative projects that pushes the limits of originality, cooperation, imagination, and inspiration. HitRECord, a grassroots creative collective founded by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known worldwide for his performances in (500) Days of Summer and Inception, is a forum where thousands of artists worldwide share work and contribute to their peers’ projects in writing, music, videos, illustration, and beyond. Alongside Dean Haspiel’s ACT-I-VATE, a groundbreaking comics collective, and the photographer JR’s Inside Out Project, hitRECord is a haven for budding creatives. Now, the collective has edited together its most promising stories and illustrations to serve as its face in introducing the world to a new generation of talent, in The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories. 

10. I'm leaving this one open-ended and hoping that someone actually does give me a book for the holidays this year, as that rarely happens, for some very odd and unknown reason. Keeping my fingers crossed!


  1. There's a new Ottoline? I certainly never knew that!

    I've only recently jumped on the David LEvithan bandwagon, but I totally agree.

  2. Wow! Thank you so much for this great list. Off to add Tiny Book to my wishlist....

    Here's my Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings.

  3. So many good choices. I have The Scorpio Races ready to be read - and The Informationalist looks especially interesting too. I hope Santa hooks you up with at least a few books from your list :-)

  4. Well that's the problem, Em! It's nowhere to be found! I really do think it hasn't been released in the States yet, but I can't determine why not. So frustrating.

  5. My 10 year old daughter just read the new John Flanagan book and really liked it. I hope Santa brings everything on your list! Merry Christmas!

    Karis's Top Ten

  6. I couldn't wait for christmas, I already bought The Next Always, by Nora Roberts. It is wonderful.

  7. Wow I've never heard of The Outcasts but they look fabulous! I'll have to get my hands on them soon! Thanks for the list! I hope you get all of them from santa!

  8. I want to read Scorpio Races as well, really good list!
    My Top Ten Tuesday

  9. What a great list with interesting choices! Hope you get your books!

    Mine is here:

  10. Haha, I keep seeing ads for that Tiny Stories books on the side of book blogs. It looks awesome.

    Check out ours at The Blue Bookcase

  11. I have not read any of the books on your list. I do have your #9 on my list as well and I just got a copy of Every You, Evey Me for the library, and it looks like a fun read.

    Happy holidays!

  12. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I really liked Every You, Every Me. It was engaging and unique. I really must look into The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories. Merry Christmas! I hope Santa in good to you.

  13. I make a book wish list with high hopes that my family will ask for suggestions. We're not too old to send a wish list right?

  14. ST-We're never too old to MAKE a wishlist. But as for actually sending it? Well, your family is probably much more responsive than mine when it comes to holiday gift giving, so I'll say, waddya got to lose?


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