Friday, May 21, 2010

Question for you Book Nerds...

What are your top five favorite books?

That's my favorite question to ask people. ^^ Not only is it a conversation starter, but also a litmus test. If the person doesn't read, no biggie, I'd just jump in with a question about their favorite TV shows, and if they don't read or watch TV, then we can't be friends and they're dead to me.

(Side note: When my cousin-in-law Amber was here, she goes, "So, I like to ask people, what is your signature meal you cook?" I was sweatin bullets, various Lean Cuisines were flashing through my mind, until I remembered this easy tasty meal I make every-other Sunday but without the chicken, keyword: easy. Thank goodness for Aunt Shel, or I would have looked like a real loser, having a signature meal that's prepared via the microwave, and all.)

It's fascinating to me, what kinds of books people like to read. I'll have someone pegged as a SciFi Fantasy nerd, only to discover that one of their favorite books is The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer (thanks for the recommendation, Markie!). My sister Sara is a big fan of the Sweet Valley High series. I don't know if they would make her top five, but that's her favorite genre, along with my sister Amy. My sister Erin checked out a book from the library about the perilous journey of the Donner party, who got stuck in a mountain pass and had to eat each other to survive, and she enjoyed it so much that she decided to keep it. She loves depressing true stories.

So, here are my current top five books:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins--duh
Harry Potter series by JK Rowling--double duh
Captain Blood by Rafael Sabitini--newest gem on my list
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak--single tear
Exodus by Leon Uris--epic
The Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner--Gen
Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer--the great uniter

One interesting thing I noticed about my list is that I have seven books in my top five, not counting each individual book in the series, then it would be about 20. Another thing I noticed about my list is that they are all books I've read in the last two or three years (with the exception of the Harry Potter series, which I started about 8 years ago). Why is that, I wonder? Are my tastes changing? Or have I just forgotten how much I love Persuasion by Jane Austen? Speaking of that...

Rounding out my top ten books:

Persuasion by Jane Austen --all her books, actually
Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer--all her books, actually
The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye--epic
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami--don't read this book, it's sick!
The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen Mccullough--hard core revenge
These is my Words by Nancy E Turner--Capt'n Jack

Clearly, I have no respect for boundaries, as six books round out my top ten. I haven't even mentioned the Potato book or The Help. This is tough.

Here's the last thing I noticed about my list. With the exception of three books that I discovered on my own, all of those books were recommended to me by either you or someone else I know. My SIL Mich begged me to read Harry Potter when I had no interest in reading it whatsoever. She litrly mailed me books 1-3 so I'd have to read them, and I was hooked. The newest book on my list, Captain Blood, was recommended by a friend of mine on Goodreads. I am obsessed with this book. If there was a Captain Blood action figure, I'd buy it. If Captain Blood lived in Forks, WA, I'd go visit the town. If there was a Captain Blood team, I'd join it.

So, what are your top five books?
I'm open minded when it comes to fiction genre, so don't worry, I won't judge you if there are a few SciFi Fantasy books on your list. Too much nonfiction might indicate that you don't read for pleasure tho, and too many classic novels is definitely a red flag. Otherwise, no judgment.

Then, if you have time, join Goodreads and add me as your friend. Some of you are already on there, and I've gotten some good books from you gize, indeed. Thanks!

My review of Captain Blood:

Captain Blood Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ahoy, everybody. I've decided that Captain Blood is one of my new favorite novels. (I'm putting it in my top five, but I can't decide what to bump down, so there will be six books in my top five--shhhh). It's a swashbuckling adventure that had me completely enthralled from beginning to end. It contains pirates! Need I say more? OK. I'll tell you more. Peter Blood is my favorite kind of protagonist--a reluctant hero, overcoming misfortune, outsmarting his adversaries against all odds, and witty without effort. Plus, he's freakishly handsome (I imagine).

Here's the gist:
Unjustly arrested and shipped off to the Caribbean as a slave, Peter Blood escapes his captors, and, through a series of adventures, becomes a successful (although reluctant) pirate captain. He tempers his pirateishness for the love for an unattainable (or so he thinks) woman he met as a slave--restraining himself against his enemies, sacrificing his pride, risking his life... all for Miss Arabella Bishop, whose opinion he holds in high esteem, even though he believes he'll never see her again (wrong).

Sigh, right?

So anyhow, I recommend that ye read it, me hearties. Or else. Dead men tell no tales.<--that's a promise. View all my reviews >>


ManicMandee said...

Got lots to say on this topic. bare with me.
I do not consider myself a book nerd. However I do have a top 4 list that wasn't too hard to compile. Mostly because I've probably only really read and enjoyed maybe 25 books. If a book is on my top 4 it's because I enjoyed it enough to read it 3 times or more.
1- Harry Potter Series
2- Woman in White
3- Les Miserables
4- The Hiding Place

But I certainly enjoyed almost all those other books I just read once. I just struggle getting myself to sit down and read a book for some reason!

I agree that asking a person their favorite books is a great way to find out what kind of person they are through and through in like 1 minute.
But I have to admit that a good reader and bookworm intimidates me. Those people are just so darn smart with all those hours spent reading and I am very insecure about my ignorance and lack of necessary and unnecessary knowledge to be had out there.

I also get a kick out of the TV question too. It's funny how some people you would never guess, (like your Bishop) love the trashiest shows. Love that.

Cristin said...

DANG IT! Where was this post like at 9 am when I was on Amazon searching for new books? I already placed my order before I saw your post. Bummer at least I have some new books on my wish list. I'll be back to share my top 5 when I can narrow my list down. BUT yay for getting new books on my wish list.

Krissy said...

I was just gonna email you and ask you to recommend some books cuz I have to bring some choices to my bkclub in a couple mnths. So, thanks so much!! captain blood sounds great, cant wait to read it!
My top 5:
1-hunger games
2-far pavillions
3-harry potter
4-book thief
5-twilight series
6-hiding place
thanks again book nerd!

Memzy said...

No doubt I am a full on book NERD. There is nothing else that can grab my attention or a new BFF than hearing someone likes/loves a book like me. My "sharers" of book titles are precious relationships to me. If I don't have a book I'm reading or one "on tap" to read, life is a depressing and melancholy place.

My top books are quite identical to yours (which makes sense since we are kindred and stuff) with the exception of a few things. My top five would not have The Thief series or Captain Blood. For now. I'm in the middle of CB at the moment so that could change. I am pleasantly surprised that you put Exodus in there tho. You were so emotional/sad after you read it that I figgered you were mad for my recommendation! That's been in my top 5 since 1995 since Landee and I read it out loud to each other every night at the Riv. ::sigh::

I have a MUCH more difficult time with my top 10. I am in love with so many books that it's hard to narrow it down. Potato, Help, Red Tent, These is My Words, to name a few would be in there. I'm requesting Far Pavilions from my library RIGHT NOW. Goodreads rules. I've been many times in a book store or library and pulled up my Goodreads to see what other people liked so I could pick some books.

I'm done now. Geez!

samandlysander said...

I have been reading so much since the whole smart remarks club started. When I read the twilight series I was totally hooked on paranormal romance. I don't see how I could do a top 5 so I'll make it 10 my favorites are:

1. The Mortal Instruments Series
2. Harry Potter Series
3. Twilight Series
4. Evernight Series
5. Shiver [wolves of mercy falls series]
6. Blue Bloods Series
7.Hunger Games Series
8. The Maze Runner Series
9. Fallen by Lauren Kate
10. Evermore Series

Captain Blood sounds really good. Nothing better than a book about pirates!

Flem said...

A reader post, yay! My long commentary:
1. I feel some pride of ownership for providing Exodus to my college roomies in 95 if they will recall. QB VII is also a great Leon Uris I read from that era.
2. I too, have titles on my list recommended by goodreads friends including jespy.
3. I am very early in Captain Blood so I have little to say other than this post ruined the surprise element but thanks anyway. I will say I read Scaramouche on my flight last Sunday and it was a very tasty morsel of a book.
4. I think I can't do a top five of all time but I will attempt it:
-Watership Down (sorry memz)
-Fannie Flagg and the Miracle Man
-Harry Potter 3
-Twilight (just book 1)
-Hunger Games

Also ran:
Book Thief
Ender's Game
Dune (but not until the third time reading chapter 1)
Pride and Prejudice
Catching Up or Leading the Way (non-fiction to pay homage to the massive NF reading I have done in the last year)

From my childhood:
-From the Mixed Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankenweiler
-Remembering the Good Times
-The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp
-Sweet Sixteen

morgan said...

I would have to say my favorite is Forest of Hands and Teeth... J/K

I never think to ask someone what their favorite book is but that is because my favorites change constantly. Sometimes I am in the mood for a certain type of book and sometimes I am not. I have lots of books that I love and sometimes I think they are my favorite until I am reading a new book that I love. The book that I have read the very most in my life is the Harry Potter series and I am ALWAYS in the mood for Harry Potter. But pretty much if I loved a book, I will read it multiple times like the Hunger Games and Twilight. I like a book without a whole lot of excessive description, a love story in it, and the possibility of death.

This is Sara, BTW

Carr Family said...

I'm not really a book nerd, I just pretend to be... I can wholeheartedly agree with everything ManicMandee said. These are a few of the books I love and have read more than once.

-Harry Potter series
-To Kill a Mockingbird (currently reading it again)
-Pride & Prejudice. My all time favorite. In fact I have found myself pacing the house while I read it, and every time I get to the end I feel sad that it's over.
-A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I just finished this and cannot stop thinking about it. The first book I've ever read that made me weep. It was amazing.

I have read lots of books and enjoyed them, but I don't know that they'd be on any favorites list:

-Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns was very good.
-I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons quite a bit, but didn't care for the Lost Symbol.
-I am a Twilight fan, with the exception of Breaking Dawn which I thought was a real stretch.

I hope my tastes are acceptable and that we can still be friends:)

Katie said...

I’m a book nerd too, says my credit card statement. Love books.

Favorite Novels: East of Eden, & Gone with the Wind
Favorite Memoirs: The Glass Castle, & The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio
Favorite Nonfiction: Into Thin Air, & Follow the River
Favorite Children’s Books: Are you my Mother, & Rotten Ralph

Landee said...

It has taken me a while to comment on this even though I read the post a couple of days ago. I am the worst at committing to a Top 5 of anything. On long car trips Gty will attempt to get me to rank everything...songs, bands, TV shows of all time, movies, etc. And I literally can NOT do it.

I still can't.

I will say that The Hunger Games is my numero uno fave book of all time. All the rest are in a non-committal blur.

(Me heart Cap'n Blood looooong time though. Super long time.)

Sara M. Carter said...

hmm, toughie, but i have to go with
1:warriors (duh!!!!)
2:diary of a wimpy kid (less duh)
3:jason and the losers (i tink jason)
4:peter and the star catchers
im going to get out on a limb here and guess that the only two that are known to u guys are 1 and 2. the rest....ARE A MYSTERY....idk

Jana said...

I'm way late on this but I'm gonna go with, in no particular order

1-Harry Potter series
2- The Kite Runner
3- The Book Thief
4- A Thousand Splendid Suns
5- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Can we still be friends even though Hunger games isn't on my list??

Markie23 said...

What? No one mentioned The Body Finder?

If I were going to live on an island for the next 20 years and could only take 5 books with me they would be:

Les Miserables
Jayne Eyre
The Hunger Games
Lord the the Rings
Watership Down

::hiding The Grand Sophie under my jacket::

I can't wait to read Captain Blood. How come this hasn't been a book of the month yet????

Jenny ESP said...

My looooong reply... just find your name...

MM--I totally thought you were one of those intimidating book nerds! I've only read one book in your top four. Although I did pretend to read Les Miserables in my 8th grade English class, and my teacher was so impressed, she let me skip the rest of the book reports for the year. I've always felt guilty about that, and promised I would read it one day...

C--still waiting on you. And I'm very interested in your top five, as I credit you with introducing me to Edward. I practically owe you my first born child.

K--We love the same books! So I guess I'd better read the Hiding Place. I want to know what book you end up choosing, K? Kthanks.

NERD--mad about Exodus? Huhtothewha? I was obsessed! Reread passages over and over! Watched the movie! Searched eBay for an Ari action figure! You know this. Sadly, finding a Peter Blood action figure has become more important lately. Still, much love for Ari.

(Exodus could never be a SRBC book, btw. Took me over a week to read it, reading nonstop. Litrly.)

Sam--you are a reading machine! I get hooked in genres, too. ::putting The Maze Runner on my to-read list::

Flem--What's this "Fannie Flagg and the Miracle Man" mumbojumbo? Never heard of it, but looking it up the second I'm done here. And I'm so glad you included your childhood list. I wasn't a child reader, unfortunately. It's all very sad. I would just pretend to read. I credit you with the Book Thief, btw.

Sara Morgan--My favorites change, too. If they didn't, I wouldn't bother reading anymore. I found your top three in that paragraph. Good'nuff. The possibility of death is huge for me too. Especially when one of the main characters is willing to lay down on a bed of roses and die for someone.

SCarr--Yes, yes, we can still be friends, but just barely. I can't believe you picked Pride and Prejudice over Persuasion. Is it Mr. Darcy? Is it he? Fine. I understand.

Katie2.0--Oooo, you broke it down into categories? Touché, mon amie. Touché. But you forgot the "Favorite Teen Romance" category. Or are you above such nonsense? "Yankees in Tara? I'm not gonna think about it now. I'll think about it later." <--quote from the movie, which I hear is a dead-on interpretation of the book.

Landee--Oh geez. Now I know how Gty feels. I know your top five anyway.

Warriorcat--Oh, I wouldn't go out on that limb if I were you! Books 4 & 5 are sitting on the bookshelf behind me. Read 'em. Own 'em. Love 'em.

Jana--You can be my fox-faced frienemy. How's that?

Markie--You get credit for introducing me to the Thief series. Can't have a home-run every time, right? Although the Body Finder was a base hit. Captain Blood is a worthy book choice, indeed. Especially since we already tackled Age of Innocence. Only problem is, a bunch of people have read it now. I should have kept it under my jacket. Oh well. PS. Even Mary loved it.

The end.

Memzy said...

I should have given Flem credit for Exodus. It's totally true. And I've read a dozen by Leon Uris since then.

I was thinking that it was ME who introduced you to the Book Thief tho Jespy way back when. Why is that what I've thought all this time?

Jenny ESP said...

No, Memz, 'twas Flem who recommended it to me. I couldn't forget such a thing. ::scrolling back through old texts from over a year ago to make sure:: Yep, 'twas Flem. Then I recommended it to you, right? YW.

Sara M. Carter said...

really? u have read THE WHOLE ENTIRE PETER AND THE STARCATCHER BOOK JENNY? wow, im impressed. my teacher read that to us and im reading fudge a mania at school right now XD well not this minute but u know wut i mean.