Here’s to Ho-Ho-Hoping!

Ho, ho ho….it’s time for another book list. The idea is courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish. Please go check them out to read reviews, find new books and authors, and to join me in this awesome weekly meme!

This week, the topic for the list is “The Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings.” The fat man better come loaded for bear this year—I’m talking a fist full of B&N and Kindle gift cards—because there are a lot of books on my wish list!

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett—This one has all the markings of a book I’d love. It’s thicker than my uncle’s Philadelphia accent and has FIVE different plot lines all woven together. It’s historical fiction at its best, and it’s part of a trilogy! That means I have two more books to look forward to in the future!

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian–This is one of the books where the back/flap matter caught my eye. Sometimes, the cover draws me in (The Night Circus is the most recent example of that), but the description on this one proves why a good hook and a punchy piece of ad copy matter. Read it and tell me you’re not interested in reading this book!

“In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts.The home’s new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain due to double engine failure. The body count? Thirty-nine. What follow is a riveting ghost story with all the hallmarks readers have come to expect from bestselling, award-winning novelist Chris Bohjalian: a palpable sense of place, meticulous research, an unerring sense of the demons that drive us, and characters we care about deeply. The difference this time? Some of those characters are dead.” I KNOW!!!! GO GET IT!!

Hearing Bach’s Passions by Daniel R. Melamed—We’re going to the symphony to hear this performed in March, and I am REALLY looking forward to it. I like to know about composers as well as their works before I go to listen to them being performed. It makes the entire experience all the richer in my mind, like knowing a story before you see the movie or being able to watch a film or listen to an opera in its original language instead of relying on subtitles. Bach was a musician as well as a theologian, and I’m interested to study these two oratorios for their technical components as well as their spiritual ones. It should be interesting to hear how another religious musician interprets the world.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak—I’ve heard people talking about and/or recommending this one for awhile now. It sounds like something right up my literary alley. It’s a teen fiction read with a great deal of depth. Set in World War II in Germany, it tells the story of Liesel, an orphan who lives outside Munich, who tries to protect Jews and survives by reading pilfered books with her neighbors. It’s a book about survival and the things that make it both possible and worth it. Words are powerful things; after all, they were what made Hitler’s power possible. They are also a sort of portable magic that allow us to escape ourselves and our painful situations.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie—This is another book I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read. Many teacher friends are using in their AP classrooms, and it has been banned on more than one occasion for content. Naturally, I’ll love it. It is also one of the books that combines my love of text and visual storytelling because the illustrations done by the protagonist also help tell the story. Very, very cool stuff.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield—This is another book that combines some of my favorite elements—literature and the act of writing, memory, mystery, exploration of the meaning of identity, and recovery. Here’s the blurb—“Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.”

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by Peter David–This is a visual adaptation of Stephen King’s first Dark Tower book, and I’ve been interested to see it this way since the first book had six or seven amazing illustrations, especially the last one of Roland looking at the tower in the distance. It’ll be like reading it afresh and anew. If anyone is interested, I’d also like a new hardcover copy of the original text as well!

The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon—I have never read her before, but this one sounds darned interesting! Check out the blurb—“London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District, life could be worse: He’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own. But Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising. Like many of the Jacobites who aren’t dead or in prison, Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. Jamie is having none of it—he’s sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves—again. Lord John Grey—aristocrat, soldier, and occasional spy—finds himself in possession of a packet of explosive documents that exposes a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious danger. Time is of the essence as the investigation leads to Ireland, with a baffling message left in “Erse,” the tongue favored by Scottish Highlanders. Lord John, who oversaw Jacobite prisoners when he was governor of Ardsmiur prison, thinks Jamie may be able to translate—but will he agree to do it? Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead. A captivating return to the world Diana Gabaldon created in her Outlander and Lord John series, The Scottish Prisoner is another masterpiece of epic history, wicked deceit, and scores that can only be settled in blood.”

The other two I’d like to have don’t have visual aids to accompany them. I would really, really, really like a leather bound hard copy of Jane Eyre to read and enjoy. All my other copies are dog-eared, highlighted, and marked in the margins from all the times I’ve studied it or written about it. Yes, a virginal copy would be just the ticket.

The final book I’d like Santa to leave in my stocking is a new Bible of the apologetics variety…New American Standard Translations preferred. 🙂

What books are you looking for? Also, what translation(s) of the Bible are your favorite!?

Merry Christmas, all!

6 thoughts on “Here’s to Ho-Ho-Hoping!

  1. One book I have requested is about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Haley. Hope the husband comes through on that one. Our denomination has suggested using the Common Language version of the Bible and one of ladies of our church is currently reading it. She loves and hates it all at once.

    1. The First Wife? I have that one on my “to read” list as well! 🙂 Talk about great minds! With regards to the Bible, the NASB is a good translation—readable and accurate. I highly recommend it for study.

  2. For a reason not even known to me, I really want to read the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. After reading about psychopathic, I figure a good light read will do wonders for my dream state. 😉

  3. I want to read Stephen Kings new book 11/22/63!

    However at seeing your list I’m getting “The Night Strangers” ! Sounds great!

    The Book Thief and The Thirteenth Tale were both fantastic!!


    1. I love booklists for this reason. Folks who love to read swap titles and get feedback before investing time and money in something that might not fit the bill. Thanks for letting me know two of my choices were solid. I’ll move them up the list, and we’ll have to discuss “The Night Strangers” once we both read it!

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