Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want for Christmas

Today's Top Ten Tuesday are the ten books I would most like to find under the Christmas tree. So, in no particular order, here are ten books I've been wanting to read, even have on my to-be-read list on Goodreads, and would love to see Santa (or any of his many helpers) bring me:

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho-- PAULO COELHO'S enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom points Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find wordly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transformation power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

2. Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar, Shaun Whiteside

One. Two. Three. That’s all it takes to drive the nail into her head, to leave her hanging on the wall. She deserved to die. Now all he needs is absolution for his sins, and he knows just the people who can help.

We know what you should say. We say what you want to hear.

Kris, Tamara, Wolf, and Frauke. Four young friends with too much time on their hands and one big idea: an agency called Sorry. Unfair dismissals, the wrongly accused, jilted lovers: everyone has a price and the Sorry team will find out what that is. It’s as simple as that. The idea catches on like wildfire and the quartet are soon raking in the cash, doing the emotional dirty work for fat cats, businessmen, and the romantically challenged.

But what they didn’t count on is that their latest client would be a killer.

3. Forbidden (The Books of Mortals #1)by Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee

New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker teams with Tosca Lee to create this gripping thriller set in a desolate future.

Many years have passed since civilization's brush with apocalypse. The world's greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace... and fear. But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: Every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a piece of cryptic writing. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life. When decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.

But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition, and greed.

Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of dark desires and staggering stakes peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare to take the ride.

4. Second Nature: A Novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard

New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard’s novels, with their riveting stories and unforgettable characters, have won the hearts of millions of readers. Now, from the author of The Deep End of the Ocean and No Time to Wave Goodbye, comes the fierce and moving tale of one woman’s fight for her identity and her life when fate holds out a second chance.

Sicily Coyne was just thirteen when her father was killed in a school fire that left her face disfigured. Twelve years later, a young surgeon, Eliza Cappadora, offers hope in the form of a revolutionary new surgery that may give Sicily back the grace and function she lost. Raised by a dynamic, tenacious aunt who taught her to lead a normal life, and engaged to a wonderful man who knew her long before the accident, Sicily rejects the offer: She knows who she is, and so do the people who love her. But when a secret surfaces that shatters Sicily’s carefully constructed world, she calls off the wedding and agrees to the radical procedure in order to begin a new life.

Her beauty restored virtually overnight, Sicily rushes toward life with open arms, seeking new experiences, adventures, and, most of all, love. But she soon discovers that her new face carries with it risks that no one could have imagined. Confronting a moral and medical crisis that quickly becomes a matter of life and death, Sicily is surrounded by experts and loving family, but the choice that will transform her future, for better or worse, is one she must make alone.

An intense and moving story of courage, consequence, and possibility, Second Nature showcases the acclaimed storyteller at her very best.

5. Wicked Autumn(A Max Tudor Mystery #1) by G.M. Malliet

What could be more dangerous than cozy village life in the English countryside?

Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold’s in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. Now he has found a measure of peace among urban escapees and yoga practitioners, artists and crafters and New Agers. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women’s Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max’s training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play.

Max has ministered to the community long enough to be familiar with the tangled alliances and animosities among the residents, but this tragedy surprises and confounds him. It is impossible to believe anyone in his lovely village capable of the crime, and yet given the victim, he must acknowledge that almost everyone had probably fantasized about killing Wanda Batton-Smythe.

As the investigation unfolds, Max becomes more intricately involved. Memories he’d rather not revisit are stirred, evoking the demons from the past which led him to Nether Monkslip.

In WICKED AUTUMN, G.M. Malliet serves up an irresistible English village—deliciously skewered—a flawed but likeable protagonist, and a brilliantly modern version of the traditional drawing room mystery.

6. Damage Control by Denise Hamilton

Critically acclaimed author Denise Hamilton weaves an engrossing story of teenage friendship and adult betrayal, featuring a high-powered public relations executive who gets swept up in murder and scandal involving a political family.

Maggie Silver is solidly middle class, with a mortgage to pay and an ill mother to support. She does her best to scramble up the ladder at an exclusive, high-powered PR firm in Southern California, whose clients are movie stars and famous athletes. Now, Maggie is being asked to take on her toughest client yet: Senator Henry Paxton, distinguished statesman from Southern California, who also happens to be the father of Anabelle, Maggie’s former high school best friend.

Senator Paxton’s young, female aide has been found murdered, and it is up to Maggie to run damage control and prevent a scandal. Thrown back into the Paxtons’ glamorous world, Maggie is unexpectedly flooded with memories from the stormy years in high school when her friendship with Anabelle was dramatically severed after a tragedy that neither of them has been able to forget. As Maggie gets further embroiled in the lives of the Paxtons, she realizes that the ties of her old friendship are stronger than she thinks.

Riveting and suspense-filled, Damage Control examines our craving for celebrity and spectacle and how far the bonds of friendship can stretch before they break forever.

7. The Strange Man (The Coming Evil #1)by Greg Mitchell

Dras Weldon is a twenty-two-year-old unemployed washout. He lives in a world populated by horror movies and comic books, content to hide in the shadow of adolescence. Under the scrutinizing eye of his older brother, Jeff, a pastor, Dras lives a life of professed Christianity with very little observable spirituality. He must change. However, when a demon known only as “the Strange Man” comes to his small town of Greensboro and threatens Dras’s best friend, Rosalyn Myers, Dras discovers that only by putting his faith into action can he save his friend from danger. Suddenly he is thrust into a race against the clock and forced to battle demonic forces in an effort to convince Rosalyn to accept Christ and turn away from the coming evil.

8. In the Bleak Midwinter (Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery #1)by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Heavy Snow...Icy Desires...Cold-Blooded Murder

Clare Fergusson, St. Alban's new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Miller's Kill, New York. She is not just a "lady," she's a tough ex Army chopper pilot, and nobody's fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town's police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who's also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby's mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Miller's Kill like the ever-present Adirondacks. What they discover is a world of trouble, an attraction to each other-and murder...

9. The Chair: A Novel by James L. Rubart

If someone gave you a chair and said it was made by Jesus Christ, would you believe them?

When an elderly lady shows up in Corin Roscoe's antiques store and gives him a chair she claims was crafted by Jesus, he scoffs. But when a young boy is miraculously healed two days after sitting in the chair, he stops laughing and starts wondering . . . could this chair heal the person whose life Corin destroyed twelve years ago?

As word spreads of the boy's healing, a mega-church pastor is determined to manipulate Corin into turning over the chair. And that mysterious woman who gave him the piece flits in and out of his life like a shadow, insinuating it's Corin’s destiny to guard the chair above everything else. But why?

Desperate, he turns to the one person he can trust, a college history professor who knows more about the legend of the chair than he'll reveal. Corin's life shatters as he searches for the truth about the artifact and the unexplained phenomena surrounding it. What’s more, he's not the only one willing do almost anything to possess the power seemingly connected to the chair.

10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.


  1. Let's hope Santa is checking out our Top Ten lists this week....It's a bit late, isn't it? Worrisome....

  2. I haven't heard of most of these books but I am going to have to add some to my TBR pile.

  3. Oh wow, GREAT picks! I've added several to my TBR list - and am glad I've discovered your blog now so I can continue to see what you read. Good luck getting the books you want this holiday season!

  4. stopping by to view what is on your reading list for Santa. Happy Holidays.

  5. Wicked Autumn sounds great, I might have to add it to my Santa list!

  6. When I saw The Alchemist topping your list, I smiled really widely. I've read it and it's really recommendable. I think it's one of the best philosophical books I've read so far in my lifetime. The ideas are age-old but the writing execution is great. I hope Santa will bring you this book and the rest of your wishes!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    Happy holidays,
    Nancy @ Simple Clockwork

  7. Wonderful choices. I've heard good things about The Curious Incident of the Dog. Hope Santa is very good to you this year. Happy holidays!

  8. Great list of books! Happy Holidays!

  9. The Chair sounds like a really interesting read. I'll look into that one. And, I've heard of The Alchemyst, so I should check that out, too. People seem to really like it.

    Nice list, and thank you for stopping by my blog today. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  10. Curious Incident was a good read! I tried reading The Alchemist, and maybe I wasn't in the mood for it but I just couldn't get into it.. :(

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Michele | Top 10

  11. Sorry sounds really intriguing/engrossing. I've read Curious Incident, which is really good!

  12. Ooh, Sorry sounds a little intense. I may have to look into it. And I enjoy Ted Dekker's novels as well. You have a great list! I hope Santa drops off at least some of them for you on Christmas.

    Thanks for visiting my top ten.

  13. Great choices!

    Hope Santa brings some of them for you.

    Laura @ The Traveling Owl

  14. I'm giving The Alchemist to mum's boyfriend for Christmas as he's sick of reading the same old stuff. I'm pretty sure he'll enjoy it! I really want to read Forbidden too and have The Curious Incident waiting on my shelf for me. Thanks for stopping by :)

  15. Great picks! I'm always hearing great things about The Alchemist.

    Thanks for stopping by Project to be Read :)

  16. I haven't heard of any of these but Damage Control looks like something I might read. I hope you get these for Christmas or at least some of them. Thanks for commenting on mine.

    Happy Holidays,

  17. So many of your books look just awesome - I hope you get them all. I'm curious about Forbidden.


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?