It’s that time again…Top Ten Tuesday! Click the link to join the fun!
The topic: Books I’ve picked up on a whim!
As you read this list, you will find that a lot of books I’ve picked up on a whim have been at the airport – usually paperback mysteries/thrillers or humor titles that I can finish by the end of the trip. I’ve also found many books while browsing bookstores – that’s the best way to stumble upon a book you’ve never heard of!
- In the Blood by Lisa Unger: This was an airport pick. I don’t want to give anything away here so I’ll just say that a college student with some serious secrets and a missing friend takes a job babysitting a manipulative boy. It’s a serious page turner and it really creeped me out!
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: I picked this up at a bookstore because the title and cover intrigued me. I’d never heard of it but since it was on a book display, I imagine it was already quite popular. I loved this! Jacket blurb:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
- Winter People by Jennifer McMahon: Another creepy book I picked up at the airport. A mother and her two daughters move into a Vermont farmhouse. One day, the girls wake up to find that their mother has vanished. While searching the house, the oldest daughter finds the diary of a woman named Sara. Sara lived in the farmhouse in the early 1900s and also vanished. Things get weird. Really weird.
- Post Secret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren: This was another bookstore browsing find. If you are unfamiliar, Frank Warren passed out postcards to strangers as part of an art project. He asked people to write down a secret and anonymously mail it to him. I found this book sooo fascinating. Some of the secrets are hilarious, some are gross, and some will break your heart.
- Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: This is one of my favorite books and it was another bookstore find. I didn’t care for his second title as much but this one is really fantastic. Here’s the blurb:
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
- The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz: This book is the first in a really funny mystery series. The Spellman’s are a really dysfunctional family and they run their own private investigating business. If you like humorous mysteries – and really zany families – you’ll probably enjoy this.
- The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde: As soon as I read the book blurb, I knew I had to read this! And I’m so glad I did. (Purchased at a bookstore on a whim.)
England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career.
- The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh: And we’re back to the creepy stuff. This is set in the Ozark Mountains and involved missing women, a small community, and a twisted love story. I couldn’t put it down but if you aren’t into dark and gritty you may not enjoy it.
- Prize Winner Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan: I think I grabbed this one while working at Borders. It was the subtitle that grabbed me: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less. It’s a true story about a woman who kept her family afloat by entering contests in the 1950s-1960s. I think they turned this into a movie but I haven’t seen it. (Have any of you watched the movie? Is it any good?)
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette? By Maria Semple: This was another airport find and I enjoyed it so much I bought another copy for my mom (she loved it too)! Here’s the blurb:
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.
Okay, your turn! What have you read on a whim?