Top Ten Tuesday: Books with One Word Titles

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics:

Forthcoming TOP TEN TUESDAY TOPICS:

  • March 3: Books With Single-Word Titles (submitted by Kitty from Kitty Marie’s Reading Corner)
  • March 10: Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence
  • March 17: Spring 2020 TBR (or whichever season it is where you live)
  • March 24: Genre Freebie 

Many thanks to Kitty for coming up with this topic – and Jana as always for hosting this. I think I prefer these more random lists: some of my Top Ten Tuesdays and Top Five Saturdays feel like I am continually reverting to the same sets of books. These sorts of Top Tens, however, delve further into my reading list…

So, let’s be rigid with this one: I am looking for one word titles, no cheating by ignoring articles.

The List

Tyll, Daniel Kehlmann

He’s a trickster, a player, a jester. His handshake’s like a pact with the devil, his smile like a crack in the clouds; he’s watching you now and he’s gone when you turn. Tyll Ulenspiegel is here!

In a village like every other village in Germany, a scrawny boy balances on a rope between two trees. He’s practising. He practises by the mill, by the blacksmiths; he practises in the forest at night, where the Cold Woman whispers and goblins roam. When he comes out, he will never be the same.

Tyll will escape the ordinary villages. In the mines he will defy death. On the battlefield he will run faster than cannonballs. In the courts he will trick the heads of state. As a travelling entertainer, his journey will take him across the land and into the heart of a never-ending war.

A prince’s doomed acceptance of the Bohemian throne has European armies lurching brutally for dominion and now the Winter King casts a sunless pall. Between the quests of fat counts, witch-hunters and scheming queens, Tyll dances his mocking fugue; exposing the folly of kings and the wisdom of fools.

Nominated for the International Booker and downloaded, literally, last night!

Deeplight, Frances Hardinge

The gods of the Myriad were as real as the coastlines and currents, and as merciless as the winds and whirlpools. Then one day they rose up and tore each other apart, killing many hundreds of islanders and changing the Myriad forever.

On the jumbled streets of the Island of Lady’s Crave live Hark and his best friend Jelt. They are scavengers: living off their wits, diving for relics of the gods, desperate for anything they can sell. But now there is something stirring beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it. Something valuable. Something dangerous.

Nothing is quite as it seems, and when the waves try to claim Jelt, Hark will do anything to save him. Even if it means compromising not just who Jelt is, but what he is . . .

Oh goodness, this is such a good book: if you love thoughtful intelligent fantasy with vivid, credible characters then go and get this book. Today!

Knife, Jo Nesbo

HARRY HOLE’S DEADLIEST ENEMY IS BACK… AND OUT FOR BLOOD

Harry is in a bad place: Rakel has left him, he’s working cold cases and notorious murderer Svein Finne is back on the streets.

THE FIRST KILLER HARRY PUT BEHIND BARS IS OUT TO GET HIM.

Harry is responsible for the many years Finne spent in prison but now he’s free and ready to pick up where he left off.

I’ve not read a huge amount of Nesbo: loved Blood on Snow and enjoyed The Snowman although found it a little bloodthirsty for my tastes. But will probably pick this one up when time allows.

Remembered, Yvonne Battle-Felton

It is 1910 and Philadelphia is burning.

The last place Spring wants to be is in the rundown, coloured section of a hospital surrounded by the groans of sick people and the ghost of her dead sister. But as her son Edward lays dying, she has no other choice.

There’re whispers that Edward drove a streetcar into a shop window. Some people think it was an accident, others claim that it was his fault, the police are certain that he was part of a darker agenda. Is he guilty? Can they find the truth?

All Spring knows is that time is running out. She has to tell him the story of how he came to be. With the help of her dead sister, newspaper clippings and reconstructed memories, she must find a way to get through to him. To shatter the silences that governed her life, she will do everything she can to lead him home.

Akin, Emma Donoghue

Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when a social worker calls looking for a temporary home for Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew. Though he has never met the boy, he gets talked into taking him along to France.

This odd couple, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, argue about everything from steak haché to screen time, and the trip is looking like a disaster. But as Michael’s sharp eye and ease with tech help Noah unearth troubling details about their family’s past, both come to grasp the risks that loved ones take for one another, and find they are more akin than they knew.

Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room a huge bestseller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a young boy who unpick their painful stories and embark on writing a new one together.

Quichotte, Salman Rushdie

In a tour-de-force that is both an homage to an immortal work of literature and a modern masterpiece about the quest for love and family, Booker Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author Salman Rushdie has created a dazzling Don Quixote for the modern age.

Inspired by the Cervantes classic, Sam DuChamp, mediocre writer of spy thrillers, creates Quichotte, a courtly, addled salesman obsessed with television, who falls in impossible love with the TV star Salman R. Together with his (imaginary) son Sancho, Quichotte sets off on a picaresque quest across America to prove worthy of her hand, gallantly braving the tragicomic perils of an age where ‘Anything-Can-Happen’. Meanwhile his creator, in a midlife crisis, has equally urgent challenges of his own.

Just as Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirise the culture of his time, Rushdie takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse, with the kind of storytelling magic that is the hallmark of his work. The fully realised lives of DuChamp and Quichotte intertwine in a profoundly human quest for love and a wickedly entertaining portrait of an age in which fact is so often indiscernible from fiction.

Underland, Robert Macfarlane

Discover the hidden worlds beneath our feet…

In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland’s glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet’s past and future. Global in its geography, gripping in its voice and haunting in its implications, Underland is a work of huge range and power, and a remarkable new chapter in Macfarlane’s long-term exploration of landscape and the human heart.

Skyward, Brandon Sanderson

Spensa’s world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity’s only defense is to take to their ships and fight the enemy in the skies. Pilots have become the heroes of what’s left of the human race.

Spensa has always dreamed of being one of them; of soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s – a pilot who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, placing Spensa’s chances of attending flight school somewhere between slim and none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is still determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They’ve doubled their fleet, making Spensa’s world twice as dangerous . . . but their desperation to survive might just take her skyward . . .

Pet, Akwaeke Emezi

There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth.

In their riveting and timely young adult debut, acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi asks difficult questions about what choices a young person can make when the adults around them are in denial.

Read this book – read it. It is wonderful and Emezi is such a powerful and thoughtful and important writer.

Alex, Pierre Lemaître

Alex Prévost – kidnapped, beaten, suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse in a wooden cage – is in no position to bargain. Her abductor’s only desire is to watch her die.

HE WANTS ONLY ONE THING

Apart from a shaky police report, Commandant Camille Verhœven has nothing to go on: no suspect, no leads. If he is to find Alex, he will have to get inside her head.

ESCAPE IS JUST THE BEGINNING

Resourceful, tough, beautiful, always two steps ahead – Alex will keep Verhœven guessing till the bitter end. And before long, saving her life will be the least of his worries.

This is by the author of Blood Wedding, a gripping psychological thriller and I’m looking forward to reading more from him.

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