Tag Archives: Alan Moore

Top Ten Surprise Endings

This week, I’m writing about the top ten book endings that left me with my mouth hanging open–because of a cliffhanger, because the ending was mindblowing, and so on.

Because of my reading preferences, I’m not often left hanging off cliffs; I prefer books that build and allow me to solve mysteries before we reach the conclusion. But there have been a few books that pleasantly surprise me with the ending.

These books were skillfully crafted and emotionally harrowing. They are the kind of books you immediately want to read again, and, in many cases, will instantly cause an addiction to that series or author.

I don’t want to give anything away or spoil it for you, so I won’t provide too much detail. Without further ado, here’s the list!

1. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
3. Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
4. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
5. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
7. Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis
8. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
9. The House of Sand of Fog by Andre Dubus III
10. The Thousandfold Thought by R. Scott Bakker

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday, bloggers create top ten lists about reading, writing, blogging, and more!

Top Ten Favorites to Re-read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday, bloggers create top ten lists about reading, writing, blogging, and more! This week, bloggers are writing about the top books they’d like to re-read.

I rarely re-read books. There are hundreds–thousands–of book out there that I want desperately to read, and my bookshelves are lined with dozens of tomes that taunt me when I walk by. (In a good way. I think.)

However, every once in a while I’ll add a book to the Re-read pile. Sometimes the book utterly captivates me from start to finish, and I can’t wait until sufficient time has passed for me to pick it up again for a new take. Other times, it is only in retrospect that I realize how much I’d like to revisit a certain book.

10. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
I first read The English Patient on a masochistic whim. After graduating from college, I kept in touch with one of my literature professors. Feeling the weight of educational duty lifting from my shoulders, I was lost and confused, and asked him what he had his students reading that summer. I’m glad I did. This is a moving and timeless tale.

9. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
A friend of mine loved it because it combined San Francisco, real estate, and Persian culture–his three passions. I can’t say I found any of those particularly interesting–except, perhaps, San Fran–but the book instantly drew me in and broke my heart. This is a great modern story that has many unexpected twists and turns; I couldn’t put it down.

8. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
I read this book, along with Hesse’s Demian, to impress a boy when I was in college. It didn’t work, but I became a lifelong Hesse fan. For that, I thank him.

7. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
For my nonfiction writing class, we watched a segment of the movie Capote. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of this fascinating and idiosyncratic man got me thinking about the man behind the story. I immediately ordered the movie and re-ordered the book, which I read a few years ago.

6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Even more fascinating to me than Truman Capote is his once-dearest friend, Harper Lee. I have very specific memories of reading this book one summer in college. A serious relationship was in its death throes and I resolved to pick up on an old habit: reading the classics I was never assigned in high school. Unfortunately, now when I think of To Kill a Mockingbird, I think of my ex. That needs to change!

5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
This is a book that I’ve read–and recommended–so many times, it’s beginning to lose some of its savor. A real shame, since this is probably my favorite book ever. I’ve even considered getting a tattoo of the final line of dialogue.

4. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
I read The Poisonwood Bible several times in my early teens, hoping to soak up the magic of Kingsolver’s prose and to learn how to imitate, however crudely, her finely wrought characterization. Each time, I found some new gem. It’s due for another re-read now, and I’m curious to see what I think after more than a decade.

3. No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July
This is the finest collection of short stories I have ever read. July’s characters are eccentric but believable, wonderfully realized and endearingly fragile. One of the stories woke something very old and deep inside me that I never realized was there; that, to me, is the mark of unforgettable literature.

2. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Jack gave me a copy of Watchmen for the first Christmas that we were together. I read the whole thing in bed on New Year’s Day. In return, I bought him the fancy library edition, which has much bigger images with finer detail. (Unfortunately, it’s also very heavy, and impossible to tuck into my purse for my daily commute.)

I’m not saying it’s why I’ve stayed with him…

1. A Song of Ice and Fire (series) by George R.R. Martin
Because everyone knows that this is the series that made me fall for Jack. He introduced George to me when we first started dating, and many of our earliest conversations revolved around Jon and Dany and Tyrion. I was pleased with the first season of the HBO show, Game of Thrones, but it only served to pique my interest in the series once more! This time, I’d like to try it on audiobook.

It’s interesting to see how many of these books bring up memories of old and new relationships. I suppose that’s fitting, since re-reading each of these books feels like visiting an old friend.

What about you? What are your favorite books to re-read?

Top Ten Required Books for School

This week, I set out to highlight the top ten books that I believe should be required reading for teens. But I think that making something required makes it seem like work, and as a result many kids don’t understand why a required book is so good. So instead, I want to focus upon books I think should be introduced to kids that usually aren’t.

This list was a bit of a challenge for me because I only went to public school for one year, so I had a little help from Jack!

So, to start it off…
10. Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
Jack: “Few books will shatter expectations and inspire critical thinking than this account of history. You may not agree with everything in the book, but it’s a fascinating and challenging new perspective.”

9. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Jack: “Easily accessible to high school students, this story first seems like a mix of superhero and detective genres. But as the story unfolds, it questions the morality of heroism itself and presents a compelling story in a unique medium.”

8. Daphne’s Book by Mary Downing Hahn
Melody: “This book is technically for middle-school students, but it’s one of my favorite books ever. I recommend it for reluctant female readers who are looking for an unexpected and heartwarming story.”

7. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Jack: “Based on the disastrous Everest expedition of 1996, this narrative presents human survival in the most extreme conditions on earth.”

6. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Melody: “This book is about as far from my previous suggestion as you can get. Drugs, sex, madness… this one has it all. Told from the perspective of a teenage girl in the 1960s, Go Ask Alice is heartbreaking and revealing in its depiction of one girl’s rebellion.”

5. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Jack: “One man’s fight to survive in a world overrun by vampires becomes a struggle to remember what it means to be human.”

Melody: “You forgot to mention that is MUCH better than the movie!”

4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Melody: “This is dystopic literature at its finest. It’s quite gritty and dark, but ultimately hopeful.”

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Melody: “I only read this a few years ago, but it was a classic with every boy I knew growing up. Ender’s story is fascinating; you will devour this book very quickly!”

2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Melody: “Lauren Oliver is now one of my favorite authors; after finishing Delirium, I read Before I Fall, and I highly recommend both to readers of all ages! (Particularly women.)”

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Melody: “The Hobbit was nearly my favorite book of 2010. It’s entertaining and funny, and it’s also a good introduction to classics; Tolkien was a student of literature from the Middle Ages, and he does a marvelous job weaving this epic narrative.”

What about you–what were your favorites in school?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday, bloggers create top ten lists about reading, writing, blogging, and more!

Top Ten Rebels in Literature

This week, I’m highlighting our top ten rebels in literature. This one was pretty tough for me, and I’m sure I’ll think of brilliant examples tomorrow. Please weigh in below!

10. Tom Sawyer
Tom is the original bad boy who is still able to charm his way into old ladies’ hearts. His ability to persuade everyone to play along with his cockamamie schemes makes him an unforgettable rebel.

9. Joe Abercrombie
Abercrombie has written one fantasy trilogy and two similar stand-alone novels. His books often feature stock fantasy characters, but they are anything but ordinary; Abercrombie turns stereotypes on their heads to great effect. His stories are entertaining, suspenseful, and very accessible, especially to fantasy newbs.

8. Cormac McCarthy
McCarthy’s signature writing style is rebellious in an anti-punctuation kind of way. I mean, really, who needs quotation marks? I’m told it’s really just a James Joyce thing, but I haven’t read enough Joyce to call him a rebel.

7. Jack Kerouac
Who suddenly packs up everything he owns in a dilapidated old car to drive cross-country with a few druggie friends in the 1940s? Dean Moriarty, of course. And Jack Kerouac, who records the whole adventure in one long scroll while on a bender.

6. Emma Donoghue
With bright red hair and a perky Irish accent, Emma Donoghue may not seem like much of a rebel. But her feminist retellings of fairy tales–both in her collection of interlaced short stories and sprinkled more subtly throughout her other novels–have breathed spunky new life into the genre.

5. Holden Caulfield
Holden Caulfield is the classic American teen rebel in literature. He smokes, he curses, he even wanders around after curfew in search of girls. (In fact, he should probably be higher on this list, but I’m a rebel too.) I wonder if J.D. Salinger knew that he was forming a mold for the entire genre of American Bildungsroman when he created Holden.

4. Rorschach
Superheroes are usually very different from other characters, but rarely have they been rebellious. Often they just stop at saving the day and garnering fame. Rorschach is a bit different. His world is as black and white as his shifting mask; he rejects the rules of society and refuses to compromise on any issue–which sometimes makes him seems like kind of a jerk. Watchmen is a fascinating and groundbreaking novel, and Alan Moore is really just a genius.

3. Tyrion Lannister
Tyrion is arguably the main character of famed fantasy author George R.R. Martin’s series, A Song of Ice and Fire, recently made more popular by the HBO adaptation “Game of Thrones.” Tyrion is wily, smart, endearing, off-putting, and deeply human. His penchant for witty comments and a surprising self-sufficiency are overshadowed only by his love for wine and women, but a more nuanced literary character I have yet to find.

2. Lisbeth Salander
Lisbeth Salander is kickass. She’s a phenomenal heroine who could care less about societal conventions, which means she breaks literary conventions as well. She is intriguing and sharp, in both mind and speech; in creating Salander, Stieg Larsson single-handedly revolutionized female protagonists.

1. Jesus
He ran away from home at the age of 12 to tell the smartest rabbis he could find how wrong they are. He was known to go on a rampage at the sight of a temple-marketplace, he walked on water when everyone else rowed around like idiots, and he turned water into wine at all of his parties. I mean, this dude didn’t even bother to be born like anyone else! If only Jesus hadn’t listened to his dad about that whole crucifixion thing.

What about you–who are your favorite literary rebels?

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday, bloggers create top ten lists about reading, writing, blogging, and more!