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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

9 / 30 books. 30% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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My Progress:

14 / 51 states. 27% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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13 / 50 books. 26% done!

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18 / 50 books. 36% done!

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37 / 50 books. 74% done!

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29 / 52 books. 56% done!

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22 / 40 books. 55% done!

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13 / 40 books. 33% done!

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5 / 25 books. 20% done!

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22 / 26.2 miles. 84% done!

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18 / 100 books. 18% done!

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43 / 104 books. 41% done!

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35 / 52 books. 67% done!

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39 / 165 books. 24% done!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

TTT: And They Call It "Tough-y" Love ... (Hee Hee)

It's Tuesday, which means it's time for more bookish list-compiling.  Love it!  Before we get to this week's topic, though, let me give a shout out to our lovely hosts over at The Broke and the Bookish.  Be sure to click on over there to get all the details about this fun meme.  If you haven't joined up, do it now!  It's a good ole time, I promise.

So, today's topic is: Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects.  "Tough" is defined as issue-y type things (suicide, grief, abuse, etc.).  Since conflict is an essential ingredient in every story, most books deal with "tough" things.  These ten, though, are the ones that popped into my mind when I read the prompt: 

1.  The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams—If you've ever been asked how many wives your dad has (and if you're Mormon, you probably have), you know what an uncomfortable subject polygamy can be!  Still, it's a fascinating topic.  In this novel, Williams explores it in a forthright, but sensitive way.  The Chosen One is such a haunting tale that I still get the shivers just from glimpsing its cover!  

2.  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green—What can I say about this one?  It's about kids with cancer.  It's sad, yes, but also irreverent, funny and touching.  

3.  Unwind by Neal Shusterman—I love Shusterman because he's such a master at examining tough issues in new and interesting ways.  Unwind is a discomfiting story about what would happen if parents could "unwind" (basically, retroactively abort) their teenage children.  Lots of people pooh-pooh this book because it's too far-fetched—the way I see it, it's not meant to be "realistic," but symbolic.  To me, it's a very illumination examination of the divisive issue of abortion.  Not to mention an original, fast-paced action/adventure story.

4.  Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler—I just finished this fantastic novel about a white woman who falls in love with a black man.  It's set in Kentucky in the late 1930s, a setting that's definitely not conducive to an interracial friendship, let alone a romance.  Calling Me Home is a heart-wrenching story about racism, motherhood, redemption, and loving someone against all possible odds.  Made me cry.  A lot.  

5.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand—War stories are always difficult to read.  Especially those that detail the abuses suffered by innocent people at the hands of the "enemy."  Unbroken is no different.  It's a difficult read, but an incredible true story of one American soldier's battle to survive.  

6.  Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum—Another WWII story.  This one's a little bit different, as it's the (fictional) story of a non-Jewish German civilian's experience during the war.  It's heart-wrenching, but totally absorbing.  

7.  After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick—Like The Fault in Our Stars, this is another novel about kids with cancer.  And yet, it's funny, real and unique.  I wasn't wild about the ending of After Ever After, but I did enjoy the rest of the book.  P.S.:  I found out after reading this one that it's actually a sequel to Drums, Girls &  Dangerous Pie, which I probably should have read first.  Oops.

8.  The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez—Although the ending of this one didn't quite satisfy me, I enjoyed the novel quite a bit.  It's the story of a teenage preacher's daughter who's struggling to deal with the pregnancy of her needy younger sister.  Genuine and real, this one touched me for lots of reasons.

9.  How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr—Another teenage pregnancy book, this novel spoke straight to my (very) tender adoptive mother's heart.  It's a beautiful, authentic story about the true meaning of family.  

10.  Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick—What's a tougher issue than cancer?  How about zombies?  Or, heck, why not do both?  In Bick's apocalyptic zombie fest, the heroine is hiking out to her favorite spot in the mountains to end her own life before cancer does it for her.  Then, the world ends, giving her a startling epiphany: She doesn't want to die after all.  Ashes is an exciting zombie-licious page-turner that kept me reading fast and furious to see what would happen next.

So, what do you think of my choices?  Have you read any of them?  Which "tough issue" books do you recommend?  

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