Thursday, January 16, 2014

Guest Post by Stella MacDonald

Top Ten 
This is my top ten books (not necessarily in any order) I've read this year. I am a voracious reader, and if I could do nothing but read, I definitely would! So, here we go…

1. Shatter Me - I love how this book was written. Especially with fiction, writing is such an art, and in this book, the way the paragraphs and sentences are shaped are part of that visual picture. I wish the main character was stronger - less dependent of on a man, but it still was a great read.

2. Open MInds series - I read this in the Middle East when I was so desperately lonely for my family that I could not sleep without the comfort of a book. I would read until I passed out very late at night. I loved the idea of being able to control aspects of your body with your mind. 

3. Cold Days: The Dresden Files Book 13 - I LOVE THIS SERIES. A couple years ago, I read the first ten books of this series in a matter of a couple of months. It's been torture waiting for the rest of this series. Come on book 14!

4. The Cousins' War series, Philippa Gregory. I've been told my family goes back to Queen Elizabeth, and so I read this series with some personal interest. I'm at the very end of those books, super sad this is the last one!

5. From the Corner of His Eye - Dean Koontz. This is my favorite book of all time. I read it the first time when my 11 year old was a baby. I reread it a few months ago, and it was just as awesome as the first time! My favorite thing about this book is that some people are just good - without qualification, without needed to get something for their goodness. And, of course, there's some people who are just bad, and even though they deserve the worst punishments, sometimes that just does not happen in a timely fashion, if at all.

6. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini. This book was painful to read, but such a beautiful work of lifetime sacrifice. It takes place in Afganastan, where women have few rights, yet manage to hang onto hope anyway. 

7. The Uglies Series - I loved most of this book. I didn't care for how it finally ended, but I loved the idea of growing out of your childhood wish of being beautiful and perfect, regardless of the price, to embracing who you are and not allowing anyone to tell you who that should be.

8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth - I loved most of this book, and for me, it had to be a stand alone book. I loved that all loose strings are not all wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end. In that kind of an apocalyptic world, that's just not going to happen, and it frustrates me when things still manage to work out despite the obvious odds against it.

9. The Selection Series - Many of the YA books out there have a really weak female character who needs someone to fix her problems, or she'll never find happiness. It also frustrates me when the character is so super strong that she evidently has no weaknesses and can take whatever comes her direction. This book has such a nice balance of humanity, where sometimes she is such a weenie, but other times, she doesn't let her love interests dictate what she wants. I think there's a little bit of that in all of us.

10. World war Z - I got this book after I saw the movie, and no spoiler there. They are only loosely connected. This book was written as though it was a series of world wide reports about the zombie invasion. It was so well thought out that I was convinced that this really could have worked out this way should a zombie invasion ever happen. It was so believable! My middle son and I spent an entire two hours at Wal-Mart trying to figure out our zombie plan should that day ever come.  

rook updated Rook Could you be the monster to save who you love? Two women, separated by generations, must leave what they know to start a new life. Seventeen-year-old Kate's senior year is ruined when she's moved from the only home she's ever known. After an isolating month alone in her apartment, school starts, but neither her classmates nor her teacher are who they seem. Kali, a single mother living in the nineteenth century wilds of Montana, is stalked by a malicious past. She fights to keep her daughter safe while her freedom is threatened by her less than benevolent benefactor. Both find love, and with it hope, but that is quickly ripped away as one woman must learn the lessons of the other -- before it's too late to save either.  
amazon blog

  Praise for Rook: "This book also drew me in. I couldn't let go of what was happening and when life intervened and forced me to close my computer I kept looking for a few moments to sit down and read some more.” Brookeworm, a Blog 4 Stars "Rook had me hooked from the first page. It all started so mysteriously that I just had to know what it was all about. “ Jannat Bhat, Obsessive Compulsive Reader 4 Stars “Rook is an amazing story that had me at the edge of my seat.” Tee Loves Kyle Jacobson Blog, 5 Stars  

Excerpt Is that him? Is he back? My legs jerked, kicking and twitching me around to face the sound. I managed to roll slightly, knocking against a soft, solid object at my feet. It grunted weakly, and immediately I recoiled as though I had been bitten. Squinting, I stared, willing my eyes to find light in the dark, but there was nothing. The sound of the runner drew closer, as if they would trample me any moment. A dim, swaying light appeared through the trees, burning away the inky edges of the deep shadows. When light and sound were almost upon me, branches above me snapped, spraying me in a shower of dried pine needles and snow. 

  Rook copy2
Monica M  Author Stella MacDonald Stella is a married graduate student with three boys. Utah is home right now, but the need to wander has extended beyond the fantasy world of writing and into real life. She's lived all around the US and even into the Middle East. The world is really a small place, only made bigger through imagination.  
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