Top Ten Tuesday! – Top Ten Books on my Winter Reading List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the talented folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. Hundreds participate EVERY week. Why not be one of them – if you’re not already? & If you’re visiting Bibliophilopolis for the first time, I invite you to look around a bit to see if our reading tastes overlap orjustleave a comment to say “Hi.” I usually check out every tenth TTT post on their list. I’d like to view more, but there’re just way too many. 🙂

Top Ten Books on my Winter To Read List:


10. The Universe vs. Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
I’ve forgotten where I first heard of this one, but it sounded interesting. It’s on my TR shelf at which I’ve promised myself to clear out. (Where have I heard that before?)


9. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
This one’s been around for awhile and I’ve been hearing good things about it for just as long. My blogging colleague Dale at Mirror with Clouds is reading it now, so unless he pans it in a review, it’ll be part of my winter list.


(above: Eleanor Catton with her prize-winning novel)

8. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The 2013 Mann-Booker prize winner. I enjoyed one of the other finalists for this year’s prize so much (see my last post), I thought I should give the winner a try.


7. Dirtyville Rhapsodies by Josh Green
Recommended to me by author Robert Rebein at a book event this summer at Bookmama’s Bookstore. Green was also a student here in Indy. AND it was reviewed favorably by my local blogging colleague, Melissa at  so I’ll give it a read.


6. Annals of the Former World by John McPhee
A non-fiction classic. Recommended by a neighbor of mine from I was growing up, who has now lived in New Mexico for many years. He visited here this summer and we talked books. It was also a favorite of my Dad, who didn’t dispense his approbation lightly.


(above: Herman Melville)

5. Benito Cereno by Herman Melville
Somehow I was volunteered to lead a discussion of this novella next month. I’ve read it before, but probably twenty years ago and I remember almost nothing


4. Our Lady of Artichokes and other Portuguese-American Stories by Katherine Vaz
I met a couple from Portugal who were in town for a conference and happened to visit the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. Over lunch at Bluebeard (a restaurant named after a Vonnegut novel!) I mentioned my annual short story project and asked for recommendations. This was one of them.


3. Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories by Frank Bill
I was intrigued by this title, and then I also heard some good things about it. As an Indiana resident myself, I feel I should read it. 🙂


2. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Several friends and acquaintances have read this one. It’s my turn.


1. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Finally I will read this, which has been on my list for a long time. Its another Mann-Booker prizewinner (from 2005). My friend and co-worker Jane gifted her copy to me after she finished it or her book club. So, no excuse not to read it now. 🙂 This will be first up if I ever finish Barbara Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior”

That’s it for me. What books will you “hole up with” while you’re awaiting spring…?


  1. Megan said,

    December 10, 2013 at 10:01 am

    The Light Between the Oceans was one of those books that I enjoyed while reading it, but the further away from it I got afterward, the more I realized it wasn’t all that good and the more problems I had with it. It was a strange reaction. I’ll be interested to hear what you have to say.

    Never Let Me Go was so good.


    • Jay said,

      December 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Megan,
      That IS interesting. I guess I’ve read a book or two like that myself, but none come to mind immediately. Sometimes the realization occurs in the middle of a book – as I fear may be happending with “Flight Behavior” to me right now – which isn’t good.

      Glad to hear you liked Never Let Me Go. Everyone tells me I will too. 🙂


  2. December 10, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I’m reading The Luminaries now. I’ve barely made a dent but it already has me intrigued. I was a bit overwhelmed when I started it because of the long dramatis personae. Also, another great book blogger reviewed Crimes in Southern Indiana, if you’re interested:


    • Jay said,

      December 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks for the link to the Crimes in Southern Indiana review. I went ahead and bought an e-copy and am looking foward to reading.

      I’ll be anxious to hear how you like The Luminaries. I know nothing about it other than the fact it won the M-B prize…



  3. Dale said,

    December 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Jay, I don’t think I will be giving Winter’s Tale a bad review. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I’m only half way through right now and I suppose it’s the type of book that might end up poorly tying up all its plots, but I somehow don’t think so. I’m also anxious to read more of Helprin’s work. But, I might have to try Never Let Me Go or A Tale of the Time Being next. Thanks for mentioning me in your post!


    • Jay said,

      December 11, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Hi Dale,
      I figured Winter’s Tale would be a fairly safe bet. Btw- a friend at work is having kind of a family book club meeting during a skiing vacation week after Christmas, and the book eyre reading is Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. She was a little worried that it was more of a “kid’s book” (though many of her participants ARE younger) and she wouldn’t like it. I told her “Well, Dale read it and liked it, so you’re probably safe.” 🙂


      • Dale said,

        December 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm

        Hi Jay,
        Yes, there are books that are obviously for kids that adults wouldn’t care about. But I’ve found that a lot of good kids books can be enjoyed by adults as well. The Graveyard Book would be one of the latter. Hope your friend enjoys it! Everyone reading the same book during vacation sounds like a great idea. I’ve never done that.


  4. Lizzy said,

    December 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    The Light Between the Oceans is one of those books that I waffle back and forth about reading. The cover always draws me in and I pick it up at the bookstore/library/etc, but I can never bring myself to get it…this means I will probably end up reading it in a year and loving it haha. Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂


    • Jay said,

      December 11, 2013 at 8:29 am

      Hi Lizzy,
      Thanks for the comment. That’s weird, ’cause I’ve kind of been the same way – knowing about this book “forever” and having it my TBR list for a long time but for some reason never getting started. That will change soon. 🙂


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