This week’s TOp 5 Wednesday prompt was a difficult one to narrow down. –which I think is a good thing! That means that there’s no shortage of great authors out there! Seeing how Fantasy is the genre I most commonly read, it’s easy to want to […]
Tag: Top Picks
I think we all have someone that we looked up to, or still look up to, throughout our lives.
I know for myself, there were several people at different times of my life that have had a large impact on forming the person that I am today. Without these teachers and/or mentors, I wouldn’t have some of the passions that I possess, wisdom that I’ve gleaned, and a general sense of who I am.
I’ve also received a lot of direction from mentors and teachers in different books. Whether they are non-fiction, or fiction-based, some characters have been very influential and inspirational in my life. I think anyone can find new mentors that they can look up to and learn from in books.
Here’s some of my favorite five mentors/teachers in books that I’ve read.
Jesus Christ from the Holy Bible
By far the most influential person I’ve ever encountered, this man literally changed my life. A good portion of the New Testament is filled with teachings and sermons given by Jesus.
It’s amazing how simple many of his lessons are, yet how profound as well. I could quite literally talk about him, and his teachings all day, everyday, but will sum them up for the sake of this post. Not only has he taught me how to go through life on a day-to-day basis, he taught me why. Why is it important to love God, and love others as I love myself? Well, isn’t that the wonderful mystery of self-sacrifice? There’s nothing more beautiful than putting others above yourself. Without this, I’d be the most self-centered person on the planet. Jesus not only helps to bring balance in my life, but meaning, encouragement, and literally so much more. Really, I can’t say enough about him.
Apostle Paul from the Holy Bible
Another mentor figure in the New Testament of the Bible is the Apostle Paul. What makes his story so powerful is his conversion. He was the opposite of what Jesus stood for, yet, took a figurative U-turn when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. To me, his life shows that anyone has the ability to change the path they are on. Not only that, but once the truth is revealed, it cannot be denied. For myself, his story and teachings have been incredibly impactful, especially in the sense of leaving “myself” in pursuit of something much greater than me.
Gandalf from The Lord Of The Rings
Gandalf has always been one of my favorite fictional characters. I watched the movie series before reading the books, but loved him even more once I had finally picked them up.
His calm, comical nature is admirable. Tolkien put a lot of time and effort into creating his character, and developing such a strong presence throughout his books. What I love about Gandalf the most is that he never passes up an opportunity to learn. The part where he talks about the “small things” giving him hope always made me reflect on my own life, and focusing on if I appreciated every aspect of it, big or small, or not.
Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, & Mrs. Whatsit from A Wrinkle In Time
This interesting trio brings “bizarre” to an entirely different level. Bizarre, yet memorable. Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit, with all their quirks, were incredibly significant characters. They focused on bringing out the best in Meg, Charles, and Calvin by pointing out their faults. Instead of sugar-coating the situation, they challenged the kids to accept parts of themselves that weren’t necessarily “likable.” Even so, these aspects of our characters can grow, change, and morph into something beautiful and powerful.
Brom from Eragon
Lastly, I wanted to mention Brom from Eragon. Although he doesn’t get much page time, his impact on Eragon as a mentor is evident through the entire series. While he’s rather crass, he’s real, honest, and isn’t afraid of a challenge.
A good mentor must be willing to put himself at risk for the benefit of his mentee, and that’s exactly what Brom does. While it honestly took me some time to like Brom’s character, I really appreciated him at the end of the series, and all that he did for the greater good.
So, Who are some of your favorite mentors or teachers in books?
What lesson(s) did you learn from them that made them such valuable characters to you?
Let me know in the comments below!
Since we are still in February, let's talk Romance, shall we?
I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of romance in books. That doesn’t come to say that I don’t appreciate a good romance if I come across one!
If we want to be really honest, then if you get to know me a bit, you’ll find out I’m not really a romantic. You’re a girl, and you aren’t romantic? Nah, not really. I grew up with horses, dirt under my nails, and biceps which could contend with most guys my age.
I think it’s also due to the fact that our society has dumbed-down romance and made it into something meaningless and shallow and I don’t want to read about it! But, that’s a topic for another discussion.
These five books are focused on romance, or dance around the topic, and have become favorites for reasons of their own (which I’ll be sharing). The first two are a TIE–I cannot choose which I prefer more, so a tie will have to suffice.
I know I won't be alone here on this one. Where are all my Mr. Darcy fans at? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has always been, and will always be one of my absolute favorite romances. This book has the perfect combination of wit, complexity, simplicity, irony, and...everything else that makes a novel a good novel. Not to mention, Elizabeth Bennett is one of my favorite female characters, ever!
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
If you like suspense in your romances, then Jane Eyre takes the cake! I remember the first time I read Jane Eyre, and how utterly enthralled with it I became (and still am) afterwards. There's a reason why this is my all-time-favorite book! The dark setting, the cranky and moody Mr. Rochester, Jane's meekness, and the secret makes this book a splendid read.
Published in 2018, The Girl in the Tower is the sequel to The Bird and the Nightingale. This series is based off of Russian folklore, primarily focused around Father Frost. As the plot unfolds over the course of these two books, a steeping paranormal romance buds between Father Frost and Vasilica, the main character. Again, if you are one for amazing atmospheric tales, check this series out!
The Wings of the Wind is the third and final book in the Out of Egypt series. These are Christian fiction retellings, sprinkled with romance. The story overarching all three books tells of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, and the years following. In this final installment, a fiery Canaanite woman named Alanah is found after a battle between the Jews and the Canaanites by a Jewish man named Tobiah. Due to customs and other complications, the two are forced together. If you love tales of redemption, healing, and so much more, check out this series!
The Queen's Rising is another new release for 2018. I was skeptical when I picked this baby up, but boy, was I blown away by this read! This book is the epitome of forbidden and slow-burning romances. I won't tell you who falls in love for spoiler's sake, but if you like a book that has a solid romance that doesn't take front and center stage, you might want to give this one a try!
That's it for today! Tell me, what are your favorite romance reads? Let me know in the comments below!
There’s no denying that YA Fantasy is a common genre read among book lovers. Many books in this genre have become powerhouses of attention. No wonder why it’s so difficult to get to all of these books because there are just so many! While there […]
I was going to hold off on sharing my top reads and do a full post on them at the end of the year. However, the Top 5 Wednesday group on Goodreads chose this topic to feature!
The Beast Is An Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
Looking at my list, I'm thinking my favorite read for this year was actually The Beast is an Animal.
I know! I'm shocked too! I'm not normally a fan of thriller/creepy stuff, but this book was just so unusual and...fantastic. The tale opens with a folkloric telling of two twin girls who grow up in the woods. Fabled to be soul eaters, the townsfolk are terrified of the two. The reader is then introduced to a peculiar little girl who comes in contact with the twins, and doesn't lose her soul...
I must say that for this to be Peternelle van Arsdale's debut novel, it's a smashing hit. I am so looking forward to her future books.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My second top pick will probably have to be A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. (I'm seeing a trend with these titles and themes...) I don't know if you've read this book, but you should. It has such a significant, yet simple meaning that it utterly blew me away. It's been a while since I've read such an artistically-infused discussion on the process of grieving.
Warning: You will most-likely (most-definitely) cry during this read. It is quick to get through, and so engaging that you just may finish it in one sitting.
Let's not forget the illustrations! They are on almost every page, and make it so undoubtedly atmospheric that you won't be able to resist.
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli is a must on this top five list. I wasn't sure what to think going into this read because it was another YA fantasy with a dragon theme. I'm always leery with these because of my love for The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.
You can imagine my surprise when I turned up loving this book! Not only are there dragons, the mythology, character building, and overall intentions are just so beautiful that I couldn't help but love it! This is the first installment in the Iskari trilogy. I seriously can't wait until the next book comes out! I'd highly recommend this read to any of you dragon/high-fantasy lovers out there.
The GIrl In The Tower by Katherine Arden
While my sentiments weren't so fond of The Bear and the Nightingale, I absolutely loved The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. The second installment in the Winternight Trilogy, this book tales the lore of the Frost demon and Vasya to a whole new level. With a slow-burning romance, more folklore being pulled into the plot, and (of course) talking horses, this tale is just magical.
Not to mention the amazing Winter vibes you get from reading this book. It's perfect for this time of year!
Winter Queen by Amber Argyle
The last but certainly not least book on this is is Winter Queen by Amber Argyle. Part of a seven-book series, this beautiful, yet tragic tale is jammed full of fairy lore.
Argyle's writing is atmospheric, heart-wrenching, and original. I haven't heard much talk about this series, but would highly recommend it. Some of the books deal with pretty difficult subject matters, so it isn't necessarily for the weak at heart and mind. However difficult, these characters and their situations add meat to the bones of this plot and make it come to life--allowing readers to relate in all sorts of different ways.