Books,  Fiction,  Reviews

Nine 5 Stars and How That’s Something Special

Due to my lack of motivation recently and inability to get my brain to actually focus on anything of importance, besides sleep, there are still 18 pages to be read of The Alphabet Versus the Goddess.  We’re really off to a great start here!  In an attempt to not have empty space here’s a post!

If you go to the right side of your lovely browser you will see a link to goodreads, my personal profile of books.  While browsing through it the other day, preparing for my next read, I discovered that there are very few books I’ve given five stars.  Tons of books have four, but few have five.  I became so enthralled in this fact that I calculated the percent: out of 144 books that I’ve read 9 were given five stars, which comes out to 6.25%!  In comparison to the 38 books that have four stars coming in at 26%, it’s rare that I find a book of good enough quality to give it five stars.

Maybe some of you are thinking that I’m just either way too critical or because of all those four stars, just too nice.  Truthfully, I think it’s because I just get some great suggestions and now I’m passing them on to you.  Below are the 9 books I’ve given five stars.  Go – read them!  If you want to know the 38 books that have four stars please move your cursor to the right.  Yea books!

*all descriptions courtesy of

download (14)The Shadow of the Windby Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Barcelona, 1945—A great world city lies shrouded in secrets after the war, and a boy mourning the loss of his mother finds solace in his love for an extraordinary book called The Shadow of the Wind, by an author named Julian Carax. When the boy searches for Carax’s other books, it begins to dawn on him, to his horror, that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book the man has ever written. Soon the boy realizes that The Shadow of the Wind is as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget, for the mystery of its author’s identity holds the key to an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love that someone will go to any lengths to keep secret.



The Book Thief by Markus Zusakdownload (15)

Death, a sardonic and articulate character who is afraid of humans, narrates this WWII coming-of-age story about faith, love, hope amidst tragedy. The child arrives having just stolen her first book –- although she has not yet learned how to read -– and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when she’s roused by regular nightmares about her younger brother’s death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayor’s reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents.


Dubliners by James Joyce

Each of the fifteen stories offers a glimpse of the lives of ordinary Dubliners – a death, an encounter, an opportunity not taken, a memory rekindled – collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.




download (16)

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trails of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.


download (17)All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other–if only he can come out of the war alive.





Suite Française by Irene Nemirovskydownload (18)

Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy—in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.

download (19)No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July

In these stories, July gives the most seemingly insignificant moments a sly potency. A benign encounter, a misunderstanding, a shy revelation can reconfigure the world. Her characters engage awkwardly — they are sometimes too remote, sometimes too intimate. With great compassion and generosity, July reveals their idiosyncrasies and the odd logic and longing that govern their lives.



download (20)


Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

This is the story of a tormented foundling who falls in love with the daughter of his benefactor, and of the violence and misery that result from their thwarted longing for each other.

51yeE61qxlL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Elizabeth Bennet is the perfect Austen heroine: intelligent, generous, sensible, incapable of jealousy or any other major sin. That makes her sound like an insufferable goody-goody, but the truth is she’s a completely hip character, who if provoked is not above skewering her antagonist with a piece of her exceptionally sharp — but always polite — 18th century wit.

*all descriptions courtesy of





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