Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I’ve been gone for a couple of weeks at an artist’s workshop, and anyone who has seen Big Fish knows then when time stops it has to go super-fast when it re-starts in order to catch up. As a result, over the next three days I will be posting all of the Top Ten Tuesdays I missed while I was gone. For the newer viewer: Top Ten Tuesdays is the utterly bookish meme created by the gals over at The Broke and the Bookish.
1. For those who enjoy the work of Francesca Lia Block: Janet Fitch writes the adult version of Block’s magical-L.A. Fitch can satisfy the need for beautiful language and fanciful thinking present in any Block fan, though her version of the desert city is less overtly fantastic than Block’s.
2. Fans of Edith Wharton will really dig: Henry James, particularly Daisy Miller and The Portrait of a Lady. The two authors were longtime friends and correspondents, and each possessed a sharp wit and keen eye for human behavior.
3. Those who liked Melissa Marr‘s Wicked Lovely series might enjoy: Maggie Stiefvater‘s Books of Faerie (Lament, Ballad, the forthcoming Requiem). Both series are contemporary urban fantasy informed by Celtic myth. That ever-popular YA love-triangle is present in both series, but neither author plays it straight, and both authors possess a love of music that shines through in the narrative.
4. If you can’t get enough Judy Blume, try: Rob Thomas. Blume and Thomas write about adolescence, in all it’s unbridled enthusiasm and foolishness, with a frankness few can match. Blume’s YA characters tend to skew slightly younger than Thomas’, but the honesty and humor in both oeuvres is undeniably similar.
5. A reader who liked the futuristic slang and world-building of Scott Westerfeld‘s Uglies series could really sink their teeth into: Feed by M.T. Anderson.
6. Addicts of J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series can get a fix from: the works of Roald Dahl. Dahl novels like James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Matilda feature children in less-than-ideal family situations discovering their own agency…livened up with a heaping helping of whimsical British humor.
7. Those who appreciated Robert A. Heinlein‘s space-faring novels Tunnel in the Sky and Farmer in the Sky should try: Higher Education by Charles Sheffield and Jerry Pournelle. Teens forced to forge new lives for themselves…in SPACE! What could possibly go wrong?
8. If you’re a fan of Jerry Spinelli novels like Stargirl or There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock; pick up a copy of: Crooked by Laura and Tom McNeal. Spinelli’s female protagonists often struggle with their peers’ inability to accept the protag’s lack of desire to conform. So it goes with the McNeal’s Clara Wilson, one of the few literary characters I’ve found myself able to completely identify with. Clara navigates by her own compass as much as any Stargirl or Maisie. Which isn’t to say that she always makes the right choice. Crooked is a novel of growing up, deciding the kind of person one wants to be…just like much of Spinelli’s work.
9. If your favorite part of Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games series was reading about Katniss’ survival skills and determination, you might like: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The fictionalized account of the real life Woman-of-San-Nicolas-Island is chock full of both survival skills and emotional turmoil, just like The Hunger Games, and both novels feature heroines dealing with the loss of family.
10. Just for a shock, if you enjoy Sara Shepard‘s Pretty Little Liars series (I sure do, I love a trashy book now and then) give this classic a try: Alexandre Dumas‘ Le Comte de Monte Cristo (The Count of Monte Cristo). Revenge years in the making, romance, betrayal…it’s got everything but the designer labels!