Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic:
Freebie — your choice
Since this one is a freebie, I’ve decided to use it to do a Wishes for My TBR Pile post. Wishes for My TBR Pile is a monthly post where I list and sometimes discuss the books I’ve discovered and would like to purchase.
Song of Kali by Dan Simmons (November 1, 1985)
Calcutta: a monstrous city of immense slums, disease and misery, is clasped in the foetid embrace of an ancient cult. At its decaying core is the Goddess Kali: the dark mother of pain, four-armed and eternal, her song the sound of death and destruction.
Robert Luczak has been hired by Harper’s to find a noted Indian poet who has reappeared, under strange circumstances, years after he was thought dead. But nothing is simple in Calcutta and Lucsak’s routine assignment turns into a nightmare when he learns that the poet is rumoured to have been brought back to life in a bloody and grisly ceremony of human sacrifice. (Goodreads)
I recently discovered this one on Book Outlet. The title piqued my interest because I know Kali is a Hindu goddess and I thought it would be interesting to read a story based on her. Then I read the synopsis and a review and I became even more intrigued by the story. I have a strong feeling that it’ll creep me out.
Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better by Pema Chödrön (September 1, 2015)
When her granddaughter was accepted to Naropa University, the celebrated author Pema Chödrön promised that she’d speak at the commencement ceremony. Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better contains the wisdom shared on that day.
“What do we do when life doesn’t go the way we hoped?” begins Pema “We say, ‘I’m a failure.” But what if failing wasn’t just “okay,” but the most direct way to becoming a more complete, loving, and fulfilled human being?
Through the insights of her own teachers and life journey, Pema Chödrön offers us her heartfelt advice on how to face the unknown — in ourselves and in the world — and how our missteps can open our eyes to see new possibilities and purpose. For Pema’s millions of readers, prospective graduates, or anyone at a life crossroads, this gem of clarity and reassurance is sure to find a welcome place in many a kitchen, office, and backpack. (Goodreads)
Whenever I visit Emily’s blog, Books, the Universe, and Everything, I either discover a new book I’ll want to read, find a review of a book that I plan to read, or see an enticing photo of a place to visit. Recently I visited and read her review of Chödön’s commencement speech at Naropa University. I knew nothing about this book or author before then but I’m glad Emily discussed it on her blog because it’s a book I need to read.
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (April 14, 2015)
Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, THE FISHERMEN is the story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990’s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings.
What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact — both tragic and redemptive — will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal. Seen through the prism of one family’s destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions — economic, political, and religious — and the epic beauty of its own culture.
With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation’s masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose. (Goodreads)
I discovered this one in a Youtube video by Jen Campbell, a booktuber and published author (her book is below). I enjoyed her in-depth review so much that I was convinced to get the book. Then I read Darkowaa’s review of it over on African Book Addict and it made me want to immediately purchase the book. I had to temper myself. If I’m good for the rest of the month, I’ll reward myself with it in October.
The Fishermen is on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize.
Here’s Jen’s video:
The Diviners by Libba Bray (September 18, 2012)
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City — and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened. (Goodreads)
I added this to my Goodreads TBR list a few months after it was published and forgot about it, but my interest in the story was renewed this year because of the buzz leading up to its sequel. I’d love to get it, but I might hold out and wait until the hardback copy hits Book Outlet…maybe.
John Crow’s Devil by Marlon James (2005)
This stunning debut novel tells the story of a biblical struggle in a remote Jamaican village in 1957. With language as taut as classic works by Cormac McCarthy, and a richness reminiscent of early Toni Morrison, Marlon James reveals his unique narrative command that will firmly establish his place as one of today’s freshest, most talented young writers.
In the village of Gibbeah — where certain women fly and certain men protect secrets with their lives — magic coexists with religion, and good and evil are never as they seem. In this town, a battle is fought between two men of God. The story begins when a drunkard named Hector Bligh (the “Rum Preacher”) is dragged from his pulpit by a man calling himself “Apostle” York. Handsome and brash, York demands a fire-and-brimstone church, but sets in motion a phenomenal and deadly struggle for the soul of Gibbeah itself. John Crow’s Devil is a novel about religious mania, redemption, sexual obsession, and the eternal struggle inside all of us between the righteous and the wicked. (Goodreads)
This is Marlon James’ first novel and I’d love to get it so that I’ll have all his books. It’s been on my TBR list for a long time now so I need to get it soon.
Marlon James’ third novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, which is centered on the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. AND HE SIGNED MY COPY!! 😀 See more here.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (October 16, 1847)
A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman’s quest for freedom. Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor — qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall.
But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved? (Goodreads)
My plan is to get this and actually read it this time (not pretend to read it like I did in college) and then read Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea. Basically, I’ll do my homework four years after it was assigned.
The Final Empire (Mistborn, 1) by Brandon Sanderson (July 17, 2006)
In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals. (Goodreads)
I want this. I want it bad. I want it as much as I want Obioma’s The Fishermen. I’d like to get a box set of the U.K. version. I’m thinking Christmas present, if I can wait that long.
Zeus: King of the Gods by George O’Connor (January 5, 2010)
George O’Connor is a Greek mythology buff and a classic superhero comics fan, and he’s out to remind us how much our pantheon of superheroes (Superman, Batman, the X-Men, etc.) owes to mankind’s ORIGINAL superheroes: the Greek pantheon.
In OLYMPIANS, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.
Volume 1 of OLYMPIANS, ZEUS: King OF THE GODS, introduces readers to the ruler of the Olympian Pantheon, telling his story from his boyhood to his ascendance to supreme power. (Goodreads)
I’ve wanted to try this comic series since reading O’Connor’s Book Brahmin interview in a Shelf Awareness newsletter. Book Brahmin is a column where author’s share what they are reading and what they have read. The other books in the series are available on Book Outlet so hopefully this one will pop up on there soon as well.
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell (April 5, 2012)
This Sunday Times Bestseller is a miscellany of hilarious and peculiar bookshop moments:
‘Can books conduct electricity?’
‘My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that’s ok… isn’t it?’
A John Cleese Twitter question [‘What is your pet peeve?’], first sparked the ‘Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops’ blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller’s collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor.
From ‘Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?’ to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year’s weather; and from ‘I’ve forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter’ to ‘Excuse me… is this book edible?’
This full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers McLeod also includes top ‘Weird Things’ from bookshops around the world. (Goodreads)
I’ve wanted to get this book ever since I first heard about it back in 2012 but I keep forgetting to purchase it. I think it’ll be hilarious. The author, Jen Campbell, is a book blogger and booktuber. I didn’t realize that she’s the author of this book until a few days ago. If you’d like to check out her videos or blog posts, here are the links: This Is Not the Six Word Novel (blog) and Jen Campbell (Youtube).
On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks (April 28, 2015)
When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.” It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.
With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions — weight lifting and swimming — also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists — Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick — who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer — and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human. (Goodreads)
This caught my interest when I saw it in the New York Times Books section. Honestly, it was more the cover that held my attention. I like good-looking men in leather jackets on bikes who seem to be waiting for me to hop on. Anyways, I’d like to try Sacks’ books so I thought why not start here, as Biographile suggested.