Sunday, August 19, 2012

De and Doug's Den: Top 10

Even though school is looming around the corner, summer has been amazing.  A big part of that has been having the opportunity to relax -- which for Doug and I means lots of reading!!!

A big part of summer reading is being able to be "swept away" or "caught up" in the story.  So, as a back to school treat, Doug and I have each made a list of our top ten "getaway" books.

Doug's Top Ten "Getaway" Books/Series:
(in alphabetical order)
-- The Civil War Anthology (Marvel Comics)
The superhero civil war pits Iron Man against Captain America in a fight about registering superheroes with the government, with real world parallels to civil rights and freedoms.  The anthology sums up the story nicely, but if you are looking for more details, check out the individual comics/storylines.

-- Dracula (Bram Stoker)
The classic vampire story; though the plot is well known, the writing draws you in with almost lyrical rhythm in many places.

-- The Hunt for Red October (Tom Clancy)
A Soviet captain goes rogue with his state-of-the-art sub and crew, leading to some memorable battles.  While the movie is excellent, the book emphasizes the global effects of this event.  This book is one of the reasons I love history.

-- Ivanhoe (Sir Walter Scott)
This essential medieval tale has it all:  crusades, damsels in distress, Templars, even cameos from Robin Hood and King Richard.  All through the tale of a knight returning from the Crusades on a quest for love and honor.

-- Jurassic Park (Michael Crichton)
Who wouldn't be swept up in a book about dinosaurs?  While the movie shows a lot of the action, the book elaborates more on scientific ethics and the terror felt by those involved.

-- The Silmarillion (J. R. R. Tolkien)
For anyone who loves The Hobbit and LOTR, this book provides the background and founding mythology for the tales.  The book includes the creation of Middle Earth, which is one of the most beautiful pieces of literature I have ever read.

-- A Song of Ice and Fire Series, a.k.a. Game of Thrones Series (George R. R. Martin)
Even though this is a long read (with at least two more books in process), this bloody struggle for power and respect is inescapable.  The series looks at the dark side of medieval culture and challenges the preconceptions of even the most avid reader.

-- The Space Trilogy Series (C. S. Lewis)
It's all you would expect from the creator of Narnia; it's full of imagination, action-packed stories, and issues of morals and ethics.  And who doesn't love a story about Mars?

-- Star Wars:  I, Jedi (Michael Stackpole)
A quintessential Star Wars story, more in the style of the original trilogy.  A pilot from Rogue Squadron embarks on a journey of self-discovery as a Jedi knight.

-- The Watcher (Dean Koontz)
A tale of good vs. evil; a man and his dog must survive attacks from a mysterious and shadowy evil creature.  A great thriller with a little blood/gore.

De's Top Ten "Getaway" Books/Series:
(in alphabetical order)
-- Avalon High (Meg Cabot)
Arthurian legend meets modern high school; really easy to read with a likable main character.

-- The Chronicles of Narnia Series (C. S. Lewis)
Classic books about the creation and history of Narnia and the people who made it that way.  Full of magic, suspense, and childhood memories.

-- The Harry Potter Series (J. K. Rowling)
Magic, friendship, love, family, honor, purpose:  what more can you ask for in a series?

-- The Heather Wells Series (Meg Cabot)
Former teen pop star becomes a sleuthing Residence Hall managing assistant (with a little weight gain).  Perfect for the beach or any vacation time.

-- The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
The first book of this popular series draws you into the world of Katniss (and Panem) so quickly, you can't help but be caught up in her fight for survival.  If you plan on finishing the series, the third book is really intense (but still good) for a light summer read.  My opinion:  save it for Fall/Winter ;)

-- I, Alex Cross (James Patterson)
Of all the detective novels I read, this has it all: avenging murder, serial killer, political intrigue, and much more.  Even if you're not familiar with the other Alex Cross novels, you can definitely follow along.

-- Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series (Rick Riordan)
For a lover of Greek mythology, this series is a MUST.  Easy to read, full of fun adventures and danger, and well-paced over the five books of the series.  While the first book doesn't leave much of a cliff-hanger, the rest of the books do.  My opinion:  buy them all and plan on finishing the series in a week.

-- Reason and Romance (Debra White Smith)
Of all of White's Jane Austen series, Reason and Romance is the easiest to imagine in real life.  Whether you are cautious about love or wear your heart on your sleeve, this book will reel you in.

-- Shopaholic Series (Sophie Kinsella)
Don't judge this series by the movie (which was pretty good).  I've only read the first half of this series, but she is just too relatable to anyone who majors in retail therapy.  This is the quick and witty romantic/comedy book you want for summer.

-- The Sleeping Beauty Proposal (Sarah Strohmeyer)
Two best friends decide to fake their engagements in order to haul in the complements, gifts, and other perks of engagement.  So what happens when the right guys fall into their laps?  The perfect book for when you want something playful and steamy, but still classy.

Bonus: The Hobbit/LOTR Series (J. R. R. Tolkien)
You can't have an epic adventure in reading without this series.  Though it is a bit of a heavy (i.e. long) read to jump into, Tokien's world is so full of wonder and amazement that you can't help but daydream about living there.

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