Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Top Ten All-Time Favorite Series

Guest post by Jaime 


1. Earth's Children's series by Jean Auel - My best friend in college introduced me to this series, and it remains today as my favorite ever. It takes place in prehistoric times, when both humans and neanderthals roam the Earth. The first book in the series tells the coming of age story of Ayla, a 5 year old girl who has lost her family in an earthquake, and is adopted by a clan of "Others." The series progresses as she grows up and meets other people of her kind.

   2. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. - My niece introduced me to this series and I fell in love with it from the first book. Never in my life have I zipped through a series so fast. (They were all out by the time I read them.) They made me remember what first love feels like and are one of my go-to series when nothing else is capturing my attention.

3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - I read this series as it was released and re-read the whole series last year. Such magic and wonder!

4. Gabriel's Inferno series by Sylvain Reynard - Romance series. The first book in this series was one of the most romantic books I've ever read. It has next to no sex in it, yet was one of the most erotic things I've ever read. This author has a serious talent with words, and can make the most everyday things sound sexy.

5. Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R, Ward. - Seriously hot  series about alpha male vampires and the women they love. There are currently 11 books in the series and it's not over yet!

6. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - Gritty look at a futuristic world which pits children against children for the amusement of the leaders and to keep the society in check.

7. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon - I'm going to include this in my list even though I'm only on the 4th novel in series. Woman in the 20th century accidentally time travels to 18th century Scotland and meets Jamie Fraser, her soon to be lover/best friend/husband/thorn in her side. These novels are so huge and packed with details that I feel like I've visited Scotland 100 times.

  8. The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson - This series begins with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Full of suspense and mystery. You'll find yourself holding your breath to find out what happens next.

9. The Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly - I'm currently half way through this series. Police series that starts with the Black Echo - highly entertaining whodunits that will keep you guessing until the very end.

10. The Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown - Mystery series full of symbolism and plot twists you won't see coming.

Want to share your own Top 10 reads list? Contact me on the Book Haven Facebook page via private message.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Best of 2013 …. So far….

Guest Post by Laurie:
My Top 10 Reads

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Loved Gone Girl and while this one isn’t quite as good, it was well worth reading. It’s the story of the brutal murder of a family. One little girl survives and testifies against her brother. Years later, she is convinced to revisit the crime to determine if he was truly guilty. Typical Flynn, so many twists and turns you never quite see it coming.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I loved everything about this one. It’s a beautiful story about survival and finding love. I loved the meaning of the flowers and just the beautiful way it is written. This is my most often recommended book this year.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I love all of her books and this one is really great. Many years ago, Laurel witnesses her mother commit a terrible crime during a family picnic. Morton takes you back in time to understand the events . Lots of plot twists in this one too.

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf – This is the story of a school shooting told from many different perspectives – the students, the parents, the police, the teachers. It hits very close to home in the wake of Newton but was very well written and worth reading.

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown. Valerie and Nick have been bullied and belittled by their classmates. Valerie starts a hate list – a list of everyone she feels has wronged her in some way… from her parents, to teachers to fellow students. One day, Nick goes a little crazy and opens fire in the school cafeteria, Valerie is implicated in the shooting when police realize all the victims were on The Hate List. This is a story of healing and redemption.

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppal. This is the story of the wives behind the men who had the Right Stuff. It’s a fascinating read and all true. I learned a lot and, as a military wife, could relate to so much of what the astronaut wives went through. A great read.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Aliens invade and almost wipe out the human species. The survival of humanity depends on finding a military genius capable of defeating the “buggers”. Enter Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender's childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battleschool. Here he trains with others like himself, competing in a series of contests until he realizes that maybe it’s more than just a game.

The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorrant. The true story of the dogs terrorized and trained to fight by Michael Vick’s “bad newz” dog fighting. It’s the story of a monster, but it is also the story of what love can do and how it heals.

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover - Sky meets bad boy Holder under strange circumstances. From the beginning there is an attraction between them. They grow closer and closer until they realize that there is a horrible secret between them. Will their love be able to conquer their past?

The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene. The Fault in our Stars made my laugh, cry, hope, despair and everything in between. It's a story about love and it's a story about death but most of all, it's a celebration of life. This book reminded me of how temporal our lives truly are and to appreciate every day and every person I love now, today because you just never know when the story will drop off mid sentence.

Want to share your own Top 10 reads list? Contact me on the Book Haven Facebook page via private message.