Welcome back to Top Five Thursday, where Lauren procrastinates on her T5T post for two entire days before finally giving in and publishing it because Reddit isn’t working.
This week’s topic continues our previous start of working our way through the alphabet with book titles! As always, we’re brought to you by Shannah @ Bionic Book Worm.
Just like last week, I’m going to play this one in hard mode and if a book has the word “the” in front of the title, it’s not going to count. Let’s see how far I can get!
F – Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
I will gladly admit that I picked this one up for 10 cents at a library book sale and never intended to read it. I’d heard about it, I’d seen the “special edition” copies that we’d gotten in by the dozens when I worked at BAM, but I’d never thought it sounded interesting enough to actually open. I ended up stranded one day in my car, waiting on something, and lo and behold, this was the only book I had in the car. (Well, aside from my emergency The Fellowship of the Ring, which would be taking this spot if not for that pesky “the.”) I started it and didn’t put it down until I was done with it. It was much better than I was thinking it would be, especially for a book about a small Alabama town in the 1930s/1940s. Turns out, the Whistle Stop Cafe is real (but not real like it is in the book), and is located just a few miles away from Birmingham in a suburb called Irondale. Also, the book talks about Miss Fancy the Elephant who lives in Avondale, and I’ve bene to Avondale Brewery, which has Miss Fancy as their logo. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve mentioned the lesbian subtext in the book to people who have seen the movie, and they’ve all said “Really? I never noticed!” So now I want to watch and compare.
G – Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Being from Alabama, I can tell you that To Kill a Mockingbird is basically our state book. Everyone reads it in school (whether it be middle or high school) and everyone loves it. Well, everyone except me. I’ve tried to understand why people like this book, but I just can’t. (See my entire rant post about this book here.) I’ve read the book probalby 6-7 times, trying to figure out why it’s so beloved, but I just can’t. I was working at the bookstore still when Go Set a Watchman was announced, and I was curious. Harper Lee said she would never publish another book, but within a few months of her sister passing away, suddenly this one was “discovered” and her agent said Lee was “ecstatic” to have it published. I found Go Set a Watchman to be better than To Kill a Mockingbird, but maybe that’s because it shows Atticus as a real person (knocking him down from the nostalgic “hero status” he has achieved over the years) and Scout isn’t a bratty kid anymore. I would read this one again. (I never want to touch the other one ever again.)
H – Heist Society by Ally Carter
I have always enjoyed reading books about heists. It has been a long time since I’ve read Heist Society, but my mom still recommends them to most people who come into the library looking for something fun. The main character’s family is full of cons and criminals, and she herself is at boarding school in an attempt to get away from it all. I don’t remember all of the details (whether it’s she that wants the normal life or her parents), but I do remember that once she gets her friends involved, it’s thoroughly entertaining. It’s written for YA girls, so it is a little childish in parts, but for the most part it’s fun enough. It’s an entire trilogy, and the plots get more elaborate as time goes on.
I – Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
This was my first used book. I remember going into a musty-smelling used book store in Aberdeen, Maryland (where I lived from age 7 – 9) and picking this one up. It was already falling apart at the time, and I read it cover to cover several times through and found that I loved it. It was incredible to me, that someone so young could survive all on her own, after everyone she knew and loved and been taken away from her. I believe my book is one of the original printings, if not a second edition, and it has fallen apart in my hands several times. In fact, I once took it to my school library to see if they had book tape (which is less acidic so it doesn’t eat away at the paper) to repair it, and the librarian looked down her nose at me and told me I should just throw it away and buy a new copy. She still gave me the tape, but I could tell she thought it was a lost cause. I still have it on my shelf, even with the grossly incorrect afterword (where Scott O’Dell talks about being inspired by the girl Robinson Crusoe).
J – Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
I’ve seen the movie probably a half-dozen times, but I had never actually picked this book up until I saw it on Steven’s shelf and asked to borrow it. He told me “It’s much gorier than the movies are,” but I read the whole thing through and didn’t see a single instance that disturbed me, so I’m chalking this one up to his blood aversion. (Although they do talk about the small raptors tearing someone’s insides apart because he’s gone and drugged himself, but oh well.) The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the fact that the children were so irritating. They were at least semi-useful in the movie, but I kept hoping the girl would get eaten by the T-Rex, because then I wouldn’t have to listen to her complain any more.
Well that was fun! Hopefully I’ll be able to stay on track for next week and actually get this post up on time!
Until next time, and keep reading.