Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top ten twins in children's books

Francesca Haig's new book is The Fire Sermon.

One entry from her list of the greatest twins in children’s books, as shared at the Guardian:
Sam and Eric, in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

The twins in Golding’s classic can’t be told apart – not even by Piggy, the only boy who really tries. They’re so identical that the joint nickname that Jack gives them, “Samneric”, sticks. These twins have none of the heroism of Ralph or Piggy, or the charismatic evil of Jack or Roger – instead, they’re the ordinary, well-intentioned bystanders who become complicit in awful crimes. By the end, the question is not whether we can tell Sam and Eric apart, but whether we can distinguish Samneric from ourselves.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Lord of the Flies is on Shaun Byron Fitzpatrick list of thirteen favorite, occasionally-banned, YA novels, Matt Kraus's list of six famous books with extremely faithful film adaptations, Michael Hogan's list of the ten best fictional evil children, Danny Wallace's six best books list, Gemma Malley's top ten list of dystopian novels for teenagers, AbeBooks' list of 20 books of shattered childhoods and is one of the top ten works of literature according to Stephen King. It appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best pigs in literature, ten of the best pairs of glasses in literature, and ten of the best horrid children in literature, Katharine Quarmby's top ten list of disability stories, and William Skidelsky's list of ten of the best accounts of being marooned in literature. It is a book that made a difference to Isla Fisher and is one of Suzi Quatro's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hanif Kureishi's six favorite books

Hanif Kureishi is a British playwright, novelist, and film writer whose celebrated screenplays include My Beautiful Laundrette. His latest novel is The Last Word.

One of Kureishi's six favorite books, as shared at The Week magazine:
Psychopathology of Everyday Life by Sigmund Freud

A seminal work of psychology. Freud looks at memory, the loss of it, misremembrances, words, and malapropisms to investigate the mental mechanics of his subjects and their engagement with the quotidian.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 29, 2015

S.J. Watson's six best books

S.J. Watson is the author of Before I Go To Sleep and Second Life.

One of his six best books, as shared at the Daily Express:
In My Skin by Kate Holden

A woman’s journey from the Melbourne suburbs to the twin worlds of heroin addiction and the sex industry. Fearless and powerful, it’s an eye-opening book that forces you to question your prejudices.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: In My Skin: A Memoir of Addiction.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Five of the funniest YA zombie novels

Rachel Paxton-Gillilan is a freelance writer and semi-professional nerd.

At the B & N Teen Blog she tagged five of the funniest YA zombie novels, including:
Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion

Imagine an incredibly funny Romeo and Juliet, but with more brain eating. R is a soulful philosopher trapped in the body of a zombie. His days are spent engaging in traditional zombie hobbies: riding escalators, groaning, and eating brains. But when R eats the brains of a teenage boy and begins hearing his thoughts, things take an unexpected turn, as he falls in love with the boy’s girlfriend. The two star-crossed lovers begin a romance that will transform more than just their lives—it’ll change everything. Bonus: Warm Bodies was turned into an equally charming movie starring the always welcome Nicholas Hoult.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Warm Bodies is among Nick Harkaway's six favorite holiday books and Nicole Hill's seven favorite literary oddballs.

The Page 69 Test: Warm Bodies.

My Book, The Movie: Warm Bodies.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 27, 2015

The top ten treasure hunts in fiction

Jane Alexander is a novelist and short story writer. Her debut novel is The Last Treasure Hunt. One of the author's top ten treasure hunts in fiction, as shared at the Guardian:
Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

The first in the Dark Is Rising series that chronicles the battle between the forces of Light and Dark, this family adventure story starts with a hidden door behind which the Drew children discover an ancient document. The document, written in Latin and Early English, points to the existence of a grail and foretells the return of Arthur Pendragon if it is ever brought to light. Cooper is working in darker territory than Blyton, blending Arthurian myth with genuinely unsettling intimations of the evil that she develops more fully in the rest of the series. Her books are deeply embedded in the landscapes and legends of Wales and southern England; here the children must decipher the clues of the Cornish coastline itself – its standing stones and rocky headlands – in their quest to find the grail before it can be claimed by the agents of darkness.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Five of the best books that use amnesia effectively

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well.

At B & N Reads Somers tagged five books that use amnesia effectively, including:
I Am the Cheese, by Robert Cormier

When used poorly, the big mistake made with amnesia is having the character be totally aware of their memory loss—this makes the amnesia the focus. In I Am the Cheese, Adam’s amnesia only becomes obvious as the story grows increasingly disturbing, and the facts stop adding up. One of the most complex and challenging young adult novels ever penned, Cormier’s use of amnesia doesn’t just provide cover for plot trickery, it serves to treat the reader like the proverbial boiling frog, with tension rising by almost-unnoticed increments until the mind-blowing resolution.
Read about the other entries on the list.

I Am the Cheese is among Anthony Horowitz's 6 favorite books for teens.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Eight top YA magical realism books

Sarah Skilton is the author of Bruised, a martial arts drama for young adults; and High and Dry, a hardboiled teen mystery. At the B&N Teen Blog she tagged eight top Young Adult magical realism books, including:
The River King, by Alice Hoffman

In the town of Haddan, Massachusetts, a decades-long rift between wealthy boarding school students and the local townspeople is torn wide open after the drowning murder of Gus Pierce, an outcast student. Policeman Abel Grey, whose actions as a teenager once contributed to the town’s collective grief, is determined to solve the crime. Meanwhile, Gus’s crush and best friend, Carlin Leander, grows ever more despondent as stones, water lilies, sand, and silver fish surface in her room, gifts from the deceased.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thirty books by women to read during Women’s History Month

One title on Refinery29's list of thirty books by women to read during Women’s History Month:
Dora: a Headcase by Lidia Yuknavitch

What: A novel that centers on 17-year-old Ida, a fictionalized version of Freud's famous case study of "hysterical" bisexual Dora.

Why: Because Ida takes back the term "hysterical," and because we need more out-there portrayals of femininity in popular culture — for Women's History Month and every other. “I want to create new girl myths,” Yuknavitch said of her writing. Let's have lots more where this came from.
Learn about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 23, 2015

The ten best nature books

Tim Dee is the author of Four Fields and The Running Sky. One of his ten best nature books, as shared at the Guardian:
Silent Spring
Rachel Carson, 1962

At the other end of the savagely exploitative century from Melville came a book that woke up the world, or at least spoke loud and clear to its sleepwalking citizens. Carson’s account (she was a research biologist) of the devastating impact of the accumulation of insecticides up food chains and into ecosystems was angry and brilliant. What had blithely been thought of as the balance of nature was seen to be increasingly skewed. Here was an early but decisive news bulletin from the anthropocene – the world where just one species was calling the shots and with disastrous effect.
Read about the other books on the list.

Silent Spring made a list of the best books on global warming at the Guardian in 2009. It is among Gill Lewis's ten top birds in books and John Kerry's five top books about progressivism.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fifty great novels about madness

At Flavorwire, Emily Temple tagged fifty of the best novels about madness.  One title on the list:
Remainder, Tom McCarthy

In this strange and cerebral novel, an unnamed man receives an enormous settlement after being involved in an accident that “involved something falling from the sky.” But as he recovers, he is struck by a sense of inauthenticity. “Ever since learning to move again,” he says, “I’d felt that all my acts were duplicates, unnatural, acquired.” So, in order to achieve some sort of grasp on truth, he uses his new wealth to obsessively create re-enactments of scenes he either remembers or has imagined, from the utterly banal to the extreme, replaying them over and over again. It’s a kind of madness no one has ever seen before.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Remainder.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Eight YA novels that adults also should read

At the Guardian children’s literature expert Daniel Hahn recommended eight YA novels that adults also should read, including:
Revolver: Marcus Sedgwick

Sedgwick has written across the age ranges, from children to adults, but it is his dark and atmospheric YA-branded work that best shows off what he can do. In Revolver, all his skill is com­pacted into something small and potent, controlled and devastating. As it begins, 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle, in 1910, 15-year-old Sig discovers his father’s corpse; but how did he die? The arrival of a threatening stranger forces Sig to investigate his parents’ past and confronts him with big quest­ions about his own future. Set over just a couple of days, Sedgwick’s spare, crisply written narrative flips between the past and recent present, but the ten­sion never disappears, and as he creates this most hostile of environ­ments, it’s impossible not to be drawn in.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five duelists you should never challenge

Sebastien de Castell is the author of the novels Traitor’s Blade and its sequel Knight’s Shadow. At Tor.com he tagged five duelists one should never challenge, including:
Adela de Otero—The Fencing Master by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

When fencing master Don Jaime Astarloa meets the enigmatic Adela de Otero, he is initially insulted by her request that he teach her his secret “two hundred Escudo” thrust—an attack for which there is no defence. His resistance gives way when he sees how skilled Adela can be with the blade and so he begins to teach her his techniques. But Adela has her own secrets, including the true reason why she is so determined to master the unstoppable thrust—secrets which will draw Don Jaime into a dangerous game of intrigue and murder. Arturo Pérez-Reverte brilliantly intertwines an exploration of the philosophical underpinnings of our fascination with the sword with a complex and engaging mystery.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Top ten war memoirs

One of Andrew Sharples' top ten war memoirs, as shared at the Guardian:
Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab

Bravo Two Zero was probably the first war memoir I ever read and my introduction to the world of special forces. I devoured it in a single sitting, captivated by the sheer toughness of these SAS men who seemed then, as they do now, positively superhuman. It made me feel I was there, right in the middle of a desperate firefight and then, later, caged in a dank prison cell, waiting to be tortured. The story is brutal but as a teenager, I wanted nothing more than to be tested in the same way as McNab and his comrades.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Also see: Anthony Swofford's five best list of books about war by authors who served.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Four books that changed David Vann

David Vann's latest novel is Aquarium.

One of four books that changed the author, as shared at the Sydney Morning Herald:
Flannery O'Connor

I have to start with Flannery O'Connor's stories, especially "Everything That Rises Must Converge," because it's from her that I learned a protagonist is divided. Julian says mean things about the old family mansion and the old south but actually wants them. Though he doesn't realise it, he wants a return to slavery and privilege and all he pretends now to despise.
Read about the other books on the list.

Learn about David Vann's six favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Six SF/F medical thrillers that prove technology is a hell of a drug

At the B & N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Adam Rowe tagged six top sci-fi and fantasy medical thrillers, including:
Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz

Flex is set in an urban fantasy world in which the titular magical drug is a crystalized form of luck. You snort it, live a charmed life while high, and face a proportional amount of bad luck when you finally crash. When one father turns to Flex to heal his burned daughter, he runs a gamut of drug dealers, brain-wiping authorities, and the dangers of the drug itself. That’s right: this is basically Breaking Bad meets The Dresden Files.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 16, 2015

Six top books about environmental protection

Wendell Berry’s newest essay collection is Our Only World. One of his six favorite books about environmental protection, as shared at The Week magazine:
Nature as Measure: The Selected Essays of Wes Jackson

A scientist and advocate, Wes Jackson is fully and honorably the heir of the foregoing five writers. This 2011 book addresses "the problem of agriculture" and the prospects for practical solutions.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Seven of the best YA Cinderella retellings

Rachel Paxton-Gillilan is a freelance writer and semi-professional nerd.

At the B & N Teen Blog she tagged seven of the best YA Cinderella retellings, including:
Ash, by Malinda Lo

Like the classic Cinderella, Ash finds herself at the mercy of her evil stepmother after her father’s untimely death. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. When Ash meets Sidhean, a dark and dangerous fairy, she believes her dreams of being saved are finally going to come true. But then she meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, and Ash’s heart begins to change. She’s faced with the choice between her fairy-tale dreams and her true love. Beautifully and lyrically written, Ash is a welcome and refreshing take on the fairy-tale genre.
Read about the other books on the list.

Writers Read: Malinda Lo (September 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Five books that lived up to the hype

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well.

At B & N Reads Somers tagged "five novels that came wrapped in copious amounts of hype—which was totally warranted," including:
Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan

The “cyberpunk” genre isn’t as well-defined or deeply populated as some other categories, and as a result, whenever a new novel is announced promising that combination of believable tech wizardry and body horror that defines the genre, people tend to get excited and throw around a lot of superlatives. But any doubts about Altered Carbon are waved away within the first few pages, as Morgan’s sharp writing, imaginative concepts, and gritty, realistic feel combine to make this one of the best recent science-fiction books—and one that lived up to every great review and eager recommendation preceding its arrival in your hands.
Read about the other books on the list.

Altered Carbon is among Lauren Davis's ten most depressing futuristic retirement scenarios in science fiction and Charlie Jane Anders's top ten science fiction novels that pack more action than most summer movies and top 10 science fiction detective novels of all time.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 13, 2015

Seven of the best YA books set on distant planets and moons

Rachel Paxton-Gillilan is a freelance writer and semi-professional nerd.

At the B & N Teen Blog she tagged seven of the best YA books set on distant planets and moons, including:
This Place Has No Atmosphere, by Paula Danziger

For younger readers, This Place Has No Atmosphere is a hilarious coming-of-age story, set on an experimental moon community. Aurora’s parents announce she’ll be leaving the popular crowd and her boyfriend behind on Earth, which doesn’t even begin to fill her heart with joy. But after her parents promise the family will return in one year, she reluctantly agrees to be dragged on the journey, where she must adjust if she doesn’t want to drown in a pool of her own depression. It’s funny and poignant, and while it might be set in 2057, the problems are distinctly current.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Top ten knights in literature

Thomas Asbridge is reader in medieval history at Queen Mary, University of London and the author of The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones. One of his top ten knights in literature, as shared at the Guardian:
Beowulf, anonymous

More than 1,000 years ago, audiences were transfixed by the stirring tale of Beowulf’s battle with the monster Grendel, and the story - replete with magical swords, an evil witch and even a dragon - retains its power to this day. In strict terms, Beowulf was not a knight, but rather a Scandinavian warrior, immortalised in an epic Old English poem composed in the early middle ages (but perhaps not written down until the eighth century). JRR Tolkien was one of the work’s greatest (and most influential) fans.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Five theological fantasies for ecstatic atheists

At Tor.com Rachel Hartman tagged five theological fantasies for ecstatic atheists, including:
The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold

This is the queen mother of theological fantasy. Bujold has created a pantheon of gods and a theological system that make so much intuitive sense that I could totally believe in all of it, if I wasn’t already satisfied with my own beliefs. People are the only way the gods can interact with matter; free will is our ability to tell them no. To this I can only say, YES, PLEASE.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ten of the best feminists in literature and beyond

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. One figure on her list of the ten best feminists in literature and beyond, as shared at the Guardian:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” In the most high-profile pop-feminist moment of 2013, Beyoncé included these words – taken from a TED talk given by Adichie – on her single Flawless. In the talk, which has since been published as a book called We Should All Be Feminists, the Nigerian-born author asks: why are girls taught to shrink themselves, to compete for men, to limit their ambitions? She urges her audience to reclaim the word “feminist” and to say: “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today, and we must fix it.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

Learn about the book that changed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's life.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 9, 2015

Anne Tyler's six favorite books

Anne Tyler is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Breathing Lessons, The Accidental Tourist, and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. Her latest novel is A Spool of Blue Thread. One of Tyler's six favorite books, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

When this 1940 novel was rediscovered in the 1960s, poet Randall Jarrell said that if human beings were raised in orphanages for the next thousand years, they could learn purely from reading the book how to form families again. Well, heaven forbid that anyone should form a family like the Pollits’. Still, it’s a powerful, unforgettable story.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Ten of the best historical romance novels

Beverly Jenkins is the award-winning author of more than 30 novels, most recently Destiny's Captive. One of her ten favorite historical novels, shared at Publishers Weekly:
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

This is the great Chase at the top of her game. When hard-charging Jessica Trent travels to Paris to pry her nitwit brother Bertie from the clutches of Sebastian Ballister, aka the Marques of Dain, the last thing she expects is to be attracted to the notorious rake. Dain, whose tortured past is responsible for his arrogance and amoral ways, definitely doesn’t expect to be attracted to Bertie’s take-charge sister either. Yet attraction begets passion, which begets a very public scandal and a marriage to save Jessica’s reputation. The characters are full-bodied and evenly matched. The passion is to die for, and every romance reader I know has this book on their keeper shelf.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Six top novels featuring Artificial Intelligence

At the B & N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Andrew Liptak tagged six "novels that help bend the curve when it comes to robotics," including:
Nexus, by Ramez Naam

In Ramez Naam’s debut trilogy (including Crux and the upcoming Apex), a new drug called Nexus links people together mentally, and a young scientist is drawn into a world of trouble that stretches from academia to shadowy government labs. As Kade Lane works to improve the drug, he finds that there are those who are working to use it to turn people into unwitting killers. Naam works to realistically display the consequences of post-human intelligence, as a new generation comes into the world drastically different than their predecessors.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

The 2015 Amelia Bloomer top ten books list

The 2015 Amelia Bloomer Project list highlights the power of the individual and the collective voices of women across time and around the world. One title on the list:
Manning, Kate. My Notorious Life

After growing up in poverty, Axie becomes a medical practitioner and businesswoman who insists on providing 19th century women with reproductive choice.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Page 69 Test: My Notorious Life.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ten top castles in fiction

Jessamy Taylor is the author of King’s Company, an historical adventure story.

At the Guardian she tagged her ten top castles in fiction, including:
The Castle of the Forest Sauvage, from The Sword in the Stone by TH White

TH White’s castle is solid and warm, a paradise for children to grow up in. His version of medieval England, where ruddy-faced barons are fatherly landlords to a contented peasantry, is a myth – his description of an idyllic Christmas in the castle finishes: “Even the weather behaved itself”. But it’s a lovely fantasy, of freedom and security combined. As the year turns and the Wart learns his lessons from Merlin, Sir Ector’s castle is the safe home at the end of all his adventures, until he leaves for London, and the sword which waits in the stone.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Sword in the Stone is on John Dougherty's top ten list of fictional badgers and Gill Lewis's top ten list of birds in books; it is the first part of The Once and Future King, which is among Philip Womack's best classic children's books and Lev Grossman's five top fantasy books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ten top books about women in the 1950s

Virginia Nicholson is the author of Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story of Women in the 1950s.

At the Guardian, she tagged her ten top books about women in the 1950s, including:
A Fine Day for a Hanging by Carol Ann Lee

The story of women in the 1950s would not be complete without telling the bitter tale of the nightclub hostess Ruth Ellis, who in 1955 became the last woman to be hanged in Britain. Carol Ann Lee’s sympathetic disentangling of the evidence produces much new material and gives an account of Ellis that today would have spared her the noose. Probably abused as a child, she was certainly on the receiving end of snobbery, bullying, violence. Lee also points out that she was discriminated against for being a woman who not only needed but wanted to pursue ambitions outside the home.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The 19 books on the "How to be a man" reading list

At the Telegraph Chris Moss tagged "19 books - novels, poetry and non-fiction - that provide life lessons, relationship counselling and sex education for the modern male," including:
Fight Club (1996)

Chuck Palahniuk’s exploration of the sickness of modern masculinity wrought by consumerism and our belonging to “a generation of men raised by women” is better known in its film version, but the book has a verve all of its own. When two men decide to establish a bare-knuckle fight club with a strict patriarchy in their bid to self-heal, they find no shortage of willing combatants.
Learn about the other entries on the list.

Fight Club is among E. Lockhart's seven favorite suspense novels, Joel Cunningham's top five books short enough to polish off in an afternoon, but deep enough to keep you thinking long into the night, Kathryn Williams's eight craziest unreliable narrators in fiction, Jessica Soffer's ten best book endings, Sebastian Beaumont's top ten books about psychological journeys, and Pauline Melville's top ten revolutionary tales.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top ten books about love

Jemma Forte's novels include If You’re Not the One and When I Met You.

One of her top ten books about love, as shared at the Daily Express:
The Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford

As much as I’m opposed to the rather lazy over used tag ‘chick lit’ that doesn’t mean to say I don’t enjoy reading light, witty, clever books about trying to meet Mr Right and love.

It all comes down to how they’re written and I can only imagine how much this book was adored back in the 1940’s when it first appeared. The fact that it still reads so well now tells you all you need to know about the extraordinary skill of the writer.

This book is timeless, full of energy and the humour and fun shine off the page. It’s also fascinating because it’s such a great account of what it was like to be an aristocratic female during this period.

Nancy Mitford was a blue blood and this book is largely autobiographical, something which is true of so many debuts.

Written during a time when upper class society girls were expected to ‘marry not fall in love’ this is about love and growing up, so something we can all relate to (even if we’re still trying to achieve that…)
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Pursuit of Love is among Anjelica Huston's seven favorite books, Elizabeth Buchan's top ten books to comfort & console during a divorce, and Anna Quindlen's five best novels on women in search of themselves.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tatjana Soli's six favorite books that conjure exotic locales

Tatjana Soli is the author of The Lotus Eaters, The Forgetting Tree, and The Last Good Paradise.

One of her six favorite books that conjure exotic locales, as shared at The Week magazine:
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

I love novels like this that create their own microcosm of the world. In an unnamed South American country, guests at a fancy birthday party are kidnapped by terrorists. The outcome is unexpected and magical. I reread this novel whenever I want to remind myself about the possibilities of literature.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Bel Canto is among Kathryn Williams's six top novels set in just one place, Dell Villa's top eight books to read when you’re in the mood to cry for days, John Mullen's ten best birthday parties in literature, and Joyce Hackett's top ten musical novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Five top books about revenge

Fanny Blake's books include With a Friend Like You, The Secrets Women Keep, What Women Want, and Women of a Dangerous Age.

One of her five top books about revenge, as shared at the Daily Express:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The snowballing story of the disintegrating marriage of Amy and Nick Dunne opens with the disappearance of Amy on their fifth anniversary.

Nick is soon the prime suspect for her murder. But, as in the rest of this novel, appearances are deceptive.

Taking revenge on Nick for his infidelity and other failures as a husband, Amy has concocted a plot to destroy him that’s so devious, it’s brilliant.

But her plan for revenge spirals into something else. I can’t say more without plot-spoiling.
Read about the other books on the list.

Gone Girl made Monique Alice's list of six great fictional evil geniuses, Jeff Somers's lists of six books that’ll make you glad you’re single and five books with an outstanding standalone scene that can be read on its own, Lucie Whitehouse's ten top list of psychological suspense novels with marriages at their heart and Kathryn Williams's list of eight of fiction’s craziest unreliable narrators.

--Marshal Zeringue

Four books that changed Peter Twohig

Peter Twohig was a rock musician, public servant, management consultant and naturopath before turning to full-time writing. He has degrees in professional writing and philosophy, and lives on the NSW Central Coast. His first novel, The Cartographer, won the prestigious Ned Kelly Award. Its sequel, The Torch, is "a novel about innocence for grown-ups" set in 1960s Melbourne.

One of four books that changed him, as shared at the Sydney Morning Herald:

Anthony Burgess

This was the book that showed me it's the artist who determines art, not society. Burgess freely invented an argot for the main characters, then played with it happily, if darkly. It was impossible not to be drawn into thought-forms conjured by the slang, not to enjoy the evil. What a thrilling power to possess. I wanted it. I read the book when I was 15; shortly after, I would hear a similar linguistic power on the radio. It was John Lennon.
Read about the other books on the list.

A Clockwork Orange is among Darren Shan's top ten books about outsiders for teenagers, Ian Rankin's six best books, and Laura Hird's literary top ten.

--Marshal Zeringue