Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2013

This is a very late post, but these are the top five books I read in 2013: # 5 Mockingjay I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about this final book in the Hunger Games Trilogy. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. I would put a close second behind the first book. It was unpredictable and it felt like the author was true to her own preferences rather than letting the expectations of the audience shape the story. I have to admit that there was a point when the body count felt a little over the top, but I was very impressed at the shocking turn during the climactic point. Any book that has surprises in this day and age is pretty rare. # 4 The Haunting of Aliazabel Cray I read this book for the second time and consider it to be one of the most unusual books I’ve ever read. It is set in a kind of alternative universe London which is plagued by a plethora of demons. Thaniel and his partner Cathaline are professional demon hunters and become involved in protecting a girl named Aliazabel whose part in a grand demonic conspiracy will determine the fate of all of London. The world of the story is enthralling and the culmination of the plot is big and cool. # 3 Jane Eyre My wife recommended this classic and I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. It is the story of a young governess who takes a job in a mysterious house that actually does contain a disturbing mystery. The strongest aspect of the novel is Jane herself—the girl who would have truly disrupted any Jane Austen novel. Team Edward and Team Jacob meet Team Rochester and Team Darcy. # 2 The Princess Bride Another suggestion from my wife. It was like watching the movie, but with far more depth. There is a frame story surrounding the more familiar tale and that alone makes it worth reading. But the additional meta-fiction epilogue kind of expands your mind. The book will certainly make the reader see the movie on a whole new and more resonating level. # 1 Weapons of Mass Instruction John Taylor Gatto is the teacher’s teacher who has completely uprooted all ideas of what it means to be a teacher. He has been given all kinds of awards by the modern education system even as he brutally rips all its ideals apart. It has been a long time since a book has rewired my thinking in such a significant way. Brace yourself for clarity that will cost you some sleep.

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