Top Ten Non-Romance Relationship Books for Thanksgiving

This week I made my own Top Ten list, in honor of the coming holiday: the Top Ten Books where Gratefulness/Support is Key in People who are NOT in Love with One Another. So much of the time in stories, real support or gratefulness is just there to show which person the protagonist should romantically wind up with, and it can and should be there so often when romance is not at all part of the case. Alternatively, it is there as a background plot-point or a side story, rather than being celebrated. I just want to showcase some of the works where non-romantic relationships are the big deal, not a side story.

1. Little Witch by Anna Elizabeth Bennet
-All about new friends, and the food they feed you!
little witch3

2. Diamond Willow by Helen Frost
-Family and animals, and how they overlap!

3. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salmon Rushdie
-Family, new friends, and even new acquaintances who turn out to be allies, no matter how good they are at it.

4. Gwinna by Barbara Helen Berger
-Family, friends, and animals.
Gwinna

5. The Silent Gondoliers by S. Morgenstern (William Goldman)
-The acts of friendship here, oh how they trump all romance!

6. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
-I love how friendship and support clearly undermines other relationship terms and keeps the heroine going. This is perhaps one of the great reasons why shipping Bitterblue/Giddon revolts me-this book is about the warmth and triumph of friendship-and these readers are flying in the face of that by reading into one of the best friendships in it a romance that was never there!

7. The Merlin Trilogy by Jane Yolen
-Oh, how he connects to people! Family, memories, even the ultimately unworthy who still held his gratitude for a time, it’s all beautiful.

8. The Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett
-When Tiffany is your friend, you will wind up grateful.

9. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
-The deepest relationships in here are about family, about friends who become family, and about trust. This is another instance where I get very upset at people who insist that a close friendship ought to have been a romance just because it was the most honest and strong relationship-real gratitude and reliance happens in friendships, too!

10. Entwined by Heather Dixon
-All about family, right to the core, and none of the romances get in the way of that in the slightest.

And 11, because I can: The Magic Thief series by Sarah Prineas
-Allies, friendship, and teamwork.

How about you? What are some of your favorite non-romance relationships or books?

Top Ten Sequels Looking Forward To:

This is a belated Top 10 Tuesday generated by The Broke and the Bookish: What are the top 10 sequels you’re looking forward to reading now? This one is hard for me, but I think I’ve managed:

1. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan, sequel to Unspoken (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/unspoken-the-lynburn-legacy/)
kami

2. Copperhead by Tina Connolly, sequel to Ironskin (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/ironskin/)
Ironskin-cover

3. Merlin by Jane Yolen, the last book in her Merlin trilogy.

4. xo Orpheus: 50 New Myths edited by Kate Bernheimer (http://www.amazon.com/xo-Orpheus-Fifty-New-Myths/dp/0143122428)
-I am counting this as a sequel/companion book to her anthology of new fairy tales called “My Mother, She Killed Me, My Father, He Ate Me” which is fantastic.

5-9. The Prince’s Doom by David Blixt, sequel to Master of Verona (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/the-master-of-verona/), Voice of the Falconer (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/voice-of-the-falconer/), and Fortune’s Fool (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/fortunes-fool/)

-This counts as 5-9 because, while The Prince’s Doom is the only title of a sequel I know, David Blixt himself has assured me, in comments on the Master of Verona review, that the series will continue for at least 4 books after that and naturally, I am looking forward to all of them.

>10. The Four Emperors by David Blixt, sequel to Colossus: Stone and Steel (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/colossus-stone-and-steel/)
-Again, there are at least 2 more books after this in the series-that have titles already even!- because David Blixt is an outrageously prolific author, and I am just behind. Grad school will do that.

So, hah! I have made it to 10 AND BEYOND, thanks to Blixt’s complex plotlines which really deserve and need so many books to tell.
So, what’s in your reading queue?

Top Ten Best Books to Read Round Halloween!

Top 10 Tuesday by The Broke and the Bookish-top 10 books to read for Halloween! (For those of us who aren’t into horror!)

 

1. Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope

-Mysterious sightings of a woman in green believed to be the queen of the fairies, creepy goings-on round the keep…and minstrel songs of fey folk sacrificing Tam Lin on Hallow’s Eve.  “But the night is Halloween, lady,
The morn is Hallowday,
Then win me, win me, if ye will,
For well I think ye may.”

 

2. Thornyhold by Mary Stewart

-I once described this book as the modern negative (in terms of what’s dark is light and vice versa) of Jane Eyre, and I still think it’s an apt description.

 

3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

-Demons named the Archbishop of Canterbury and other titles!  The Dance of the Macabre!  Magical ghosts!  What more do you want?

 

4. Little Witch by Anna Elizabeth Bennet  (Minikin Snickasnee really should have been in my list of favorite names!)

-It’s not easy being a wicked witch’s daughter.  It’s also not so easy dealing with the host of magical creatures on call through her magical powders…or going to school.

little witch3

 

5. The Magic Thief by Sarah Prinneas (Crows!)

-This breaks from the exact Halloween tradition a bit, but crows!  And magic!  And mystery!

 

6. Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

-Having to dress up like the dark lord or a wizardly guide can be irritating.  Having to do it for different groups all tourist season can be murder!

Darklordofderkholmcover

 

7. Chronicles of Chrestomanci v. 2: Witch Week and Witches of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones

-Witches, witches everywhere, with everyday horrors rubbing shoulders with magical happenings, flying statues, and of course-cats who run the household.

 

8. Hexes, Inc. by Vivian Vande Velde

-A collection of stories all about people who try ordering hexes from the company.  Naturally, everything ends well…*scoff*

 

9. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard

-Death and murder everywhere converge in two confused, comical performers.

 

10. I don’t care if it’s cheating-http://shoebox.lomara.org/ by ladyjaida and Rave.

-Wizarding ghost stories, Dumbledore pranks, and Marauders, oh my!

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Similar Posts:

https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/top-ten-literary-character-names/

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/top-ten-favorite-secondary-characters/

Top Ten Literary Character Names

Top 10 Tuesday, a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week asks for your Top Ten Literary Character Names.  Thus, I present to you, in no particular order, NAMES:

 

1.  Inigo Montoya of  “The Princess Bride”

-Just saying this name sends one off down sharp and questy roads, with an accent and a singularly determined scrappiness.

 

2. Her Serene and Royal Highness the Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne, but everyone called her Amy.  And what could be more ordinary than that? of “An Ordinary Princess”

ordinary princess

-There is no way the point of this book could have been carried out better through names, which are brought up multiple times in relevance to character development.  Plus,  just take a breath and say all that at once.  It’s fun!

 

3. Wilfred Ivanhoe of “Ivanhoe”

-This is really one of the most fitting ones.  I mean, Wilfred is everything loyal and straight-laced and rather soppy, while Ivanhoe is everything intriguing, bold, and romantic adventurer.  And the character really encompasses both of these, with disguises, just like I feel that only hearing one of his names is disguising a full half of his character.   Although just saying ‘Ivanhoe’ is thrilling.

 

4.  Lynette of “King Arthur and his Knights”

-I don’t know why, really, I’m just drawn to L names for girls and I think it all started with this one.   Ls, and Red Lawns, and Ladies who lead….

 

5. Mordred of “Le Morte D’Arthur”

-Mordred is the most villainous name I know that still has room for lots of nuance in terms of romance, despair, and just pure witchery.  I love it.

 

6.  Katsa of “Graceling”

-I cannot say this name without an ! after it, not like yelling it, but it’s just got that much life, just like her.

 

7. Gwinna of “Gwinna”

Gwinna

-This heroine of Barbara Helen Berger’s gorgeous work is the daughter of the Owl Mother, making Gwinna appropriate, but also just embodies gentleness, hope, and taking off, which is what saying her name feels like in my mouth.

 

8. Tiffany Aching of “Wee Free Men”

-This combination of self-confident, assertive girl and hard-working peasants is the perfect setup for this land-based, audacious girl.

 

9.  Bilbo Baggins “The Hobbit”

-It’s just fun to say, for one.  It perfectly fits within a cozy hole in the ground, for two.  It references luggage and traveling, for three.  And it’s alliterative, for four.  I could go on.

 

10. Merriman Lyon of “The Dark is Rising”

-I love this name simply because does indeed seem like a proper version of the name “Merlin.”  It was a great comfort to me while reading this series until his identity was fully established.

 

Whereas, the total opposite of those, the worst name of all time: Albus Severus Potter

 

And now, to make it up to you, bonus my Top 10 names of real celebrities (in no particular order):

1. Benedict Cumberbatch

2. Maurice Sendak

3. Lawrence Olivier

4. Basil Rathbone

5.  Rafael Sabatini

6. Faz Fazakas

7. Vivian Vande Velde

8. Wolfgang Puck

9. Kristi Yamaguchi

10. Alexandre Dumas

 

Feel free to join in!

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Similar Posts:

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/top-10-books-i-was-forced-to-read/

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/top-ten-favorite-secondary-characters/

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/new-years-literary-resolutions/

Top 10 Books I was forced to read:

This is a meme from The Broke and the Bookish: http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com/

I no particular order, these are books I was assigned to read in school and that I loved.

 

 

1. Lion of Ireland by Morgan Llewelyn (undergrad)

lionofireland

-This tale of Brian Boru is both accurate enough that I could read it for an Irish history course, and so moving and glorious that I often reread parts.

2. Idylls of the King by Sir Alfred Tennyson (high school)

-I love Arthurian lore and am a fan of Tennyson’s verse.

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (high school)

-This not only captured my attention for witty and romantic reasons, but was often read aloud in excerpts during class.  (Mr. Collins’ proposal was coerced out of my future fiance when he fell asleep and dropped out of his desk in class.  Although I had no interest in him at the time, I do treasure that memory now.)

4. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (undergrad)

GreenKnight

-Again-I adore Arthurian lore, and this legend in particular has a special place in my imagination as mixing decapitation and romance so colorfully.

5. Candide by Voltaire (undergrad)

-We don’t know what you’re doing with your monks, indeed!

6. Canterbury Tales by Chaucer (high school and undergrad)

canterbury

-Ah, elegance, raunchiness, and insults wrapped up with a sarcastically pious bow.  Who can resist that present?

7. Caucasia by Danzy Senna (graduate school)

-This novel really hits on so many racial and coming-of-age notes, it’s remarkable.  Plus, it’s secretly a version of “The Juniper Tree.”

8. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (high school)

earnest

-*begins to eat muffins*

9. King Lear by Shakespeare (high school)

-This is my favorite Shakespeare tragedy.  Have you READ the jester’s insults?  They are his absolute best, which is saying a lot.  Plus, fake madness.  I love a good fake madness, and in here it beats Hamlet’s.

10. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard (high school)

rosandguil

-Now, if we came from back there, and it is morning, than the sun would be over there.  And if the sun is really over there, then…it’s the afternoon.

 

Any thoughts, additions, or objections?