Santa baby, just slip a novel under the tree for me. Been an awful good girl, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post. That’s mostly because I’ve been busy and/or not interested in the topics. Well, folks, I’m back, and this week’s all about what I want for Christmas!
Ten books I want for Christmas. Hmm, this is a hard one, but I think I can manage it. And to anyone reading this list looking for gift ideas for me, I’ll also take money and gift cards and buy my own books.
Let’s get started.
01. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils… Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
I’ve wanted to read The Casual Vacancy since I first heard that Rowling was writing again, yet because I knew it would be hyped—and because I knew it wouldn’t be about anyone from the Harry Potter series no matter how hard I wished—I decided I’d wait a while before buying it.
Plus, I’m cheap, and even though I buy too many books when I should be responsible and buy important things like light bulbs and food, I tend not to buy brand new, hardcover books. I’d rather wait until they go on sale or are released in paperback.
But I wouldn’t be disappointed if Santa left this behind.
In fact, reading that blurb from Goodreads is making me rethink my decision to wait…
02. Anything by Steven R. Lawhead
If Santa is feeling generous, maybe he could help me finish a couple of series.
I do love Lawhead. He’s a great storyteller.
03. Son by Lois Lowry
They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.
Son thrusts the readers once again into the chilling world of the Newberry Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.
I loved The Giver, so when I discovered that there was actually a series by Lowry, I was ecstatic. Gathering Blue is a fascinating novel, and although Messenger wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped, I still enjoyed it. Son was released this year, and I haven’t read it yet, but I definitely plan on it.
However, I think I might need to reread the rest of The Giver Quartet. I did read The Giver this summer, but I don’t know what happened to my copy of Gathering Blue and Messenger. The last I saw them was years ago when I lent them to my sister…
04. BBC Dramas
Okay, so technically they aren’t books, but the Beeb has a reputation for making wonderful adaptations. Personally I want Sherlock Series 2 because it is epic. I also want The Hollow Crown.
The Hollow Crown is a miniseries of four history plays by William Shakespeare: Richard II; Henry IV, Part I; Henry IV, Part II; and Henry V. It stars Ben Wishaw as Richard II, Jeremy Irons as Henry IV, and Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal/Henry V.
Ladies, let me write that again for you:
Seriously, I didn’t understand the fascination my fellow females had with Mr. Hiddleston until I saw The Hollow Crown. I mean, I saw The Avengers, and he was by far the most interesting character in that—and he did a pretty decent job in Midnight in Paris, but other than that…
But watching six hours of Tom Hiddleston reciting Shakespeare is enough to make any girl fall in love.
Ahem, of course, the stories are good, too. Of course. It’s Shakespeare, after all.
Actually, The Hollow Crown is the reason why I finally read Henry V. It’s an excellent play, and I encourage you to read it.
Or watch it. With Hiddleston.
I like biographies. Normally I just read whatever Wikipedia has to say. Should Santa feel so inclined, might I suggest Stephen Tomkins’ biography of William Wilberforce? I would appreciate it.
06. The Tomorrow series by John Marsden
Tomorrow, When the War Began
The Dead of the Night
The Third Day, the Frost
Darkness, Be My Friend
Burning For Revenge
The Night is For Hunting
The Other Side of Dawn
The Ellie Chronicles: While I Live
The Ellie Chronicles: Incurable
The Ellie Chronicles: Circle of Flight
I’ve talked about this series before, but in case you don’t know:
When Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the Australian bush, they find things hideously wrong—their families are gone. Gradually they begin to comprehend that their country has been invaded and everyone in their town has been taken prisoner. As the reality of the situation hits them, they must make a decision—run and hide, give themselves up and be with their families, or fight back.
—Tomorrow, When the War Began from Goodreads
Yes, it’s an awful lot like Red Dawn. Let’s move on, please.
I read this series in high school thanks to two of my Aussie friends who had the books. I have yet to find any of John Marsden’s books for sale in the United States, although I check every bookstore I go to. I suppose I could order them from Amazon, but I’m not a fan of Amazon…
I miss Ellie and Homer and Fi and Robyn and the rest.
07. Whatever book/series is going to be the next big thing in a couple of years so that I can read it now before everyone else knows about it and be a total hipster about it when the movie is released.
I think this is pretty self-explanatory.
08. The rest of the Starcatchers series: Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Peter and the Sword of Mercy, and The Bridge to Neverland by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson; and
Peter & The Starcatcher: The Annotated Script of the Broadway Play
I love anything to do with Peter Pan. Seriously. Anything. I’ll watch any adaptation and read any book that is even remotely related to Peter Pan.
When I realized this summer that I was unable to live in New York City (sob!), I decided to do something I had put off: see a musical. I went to see Peter & the Starcatcher. I didn’t know anything about it, except that it was based on a novel. It was fantastic. It used a lot of the old vaudeville style of theater, and even though it was crazy and strange, I adored it. I laughed so hard, and I was so sad that I had gone to see it by myself.
It was worth every penny.
After that, I debated buying the script. My decision not to buy it had to do with the fact that I didn’t know how I was going to pack it to move back to Virginia. (It’s a thick book.) Instead, I bought the novel that it was based on, Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. I’ve recently started reading it, and although it is darker than the musical, it’s just as delightful.
09. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
On November 22, 1963, three shots ran out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed forever.
If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you?
Would the consequences be worth it?
Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.
Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible mission—to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a trouble loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful his school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
The only book I have ever read by Stephen King was The Green Mile. I keep seeing this for sale, and as it’s about time travel and the 1960s, I’m very interested.
And a little scared.
10. Pirate King and Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King
In England’s young silent-film industry, the megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. Nevertheless, at the request of Scotland Yard, Mary Russell is dispatched to investigate rumors of criminal activities that swirl around Fflytte’s popular movie studio. So Russell is traveling undercover to Portugal, along with the film crew that is gearing up to shoot a cinematic extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, the project will either set the standard for moviemaking for a generation… or sink a boatload of careers.
Nothing seems amiss until the enormous company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, where the thirteen blond-haired, blue-eyed actresses whom Mary is bemusedly chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers Fflytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for Morocco and the actual filming, Russel feels a building storm of trouble: a derelict boat, a film crew with secrets, ominous currents between the pirates, decks awash with budding romance—and now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their dangerous outlaw leader. Plus, there’s a spy on board. Where can Sherlock Holmes be? As movie make-believe becomes true terror, Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout.
–Pirate King from Goodreads
In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shawdows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding on the door. Out in the hivelike streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper containing a mysterious Arabic phrase. Overhead warplanes pass ominously north.
Meanwhile, Holmes is pulled by two old friends and a distant relation into the growing war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt led by Emir Abd el-Krim—who may be a Robin Hood or a power mad tribesman. The shadows of war are drawing over the ancient city of Fez, and Holmes badly wants the wisdom and courage of his wife, whom he’s learned, to his horror, has gone missing. As Holmes searches for her, and Russell searches for herself, each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it’s too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe.
–Garment of Shadows from Goodreads
I’m also a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, and King’s series about Holmes and his wife Mary Russell are fantastic. I’ve read all of them except for the above, and that needs to change. Plus… Morocco!
I love Morocco.
I love Sherlock Holmes.
I need these books, Santa.