Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a Father’s Day freebie. I am going with the books I’ve shared with my dad (that he enjoyed). Do you give books to your dad? It’s my go to gift for him because he loves to read, even when his TBR is piled to the ceiling! If you have any dad book recommendations, leave a comment!
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Note: Oh yes, you know you’re off to a good start on the list when it takes a girl like me to enlighten her dad about the wonders of Harry Potter. He’s not super clueless about pop culture, but prior to the movie releases, it was off his radar completely. Now he loves all of the books!
Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Note: This is a follow up pick of mine for him when he was in a book hangover from HP and needed more magic in his life. So, I gave him this lit fic / historical fic / epically long book with more footnotes than you can shake a stick at. It took him over a month to get through, but he loved it, and still talks about it years late.
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England’s history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England–until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.
Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell’s student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Note: I haven’t actually read this one, but he is a big sci fi fan. So when I was wandering around Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR and saw this on the shelf with a staff recommendation note… I took a chance. One of his favorite space opera series!
Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.
Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.
Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.
Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Note: I love when I introduce my dad to a book that he very well should have found on his own prior to me being born. Case in point – Ender’s Game. This book is brilliant and, again, set in space for the most part. Perfect for dads who love Star Wars, Star Trek, video games and everything in between.
Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.
But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military’s purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power. Peter seeks to control the political process, to become a ruler. Valentine’s abilities turn more toward the subtle control of the beliefs of commoner and elite alike, through powerfully convincing essays. Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails.
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
Note: In the pre-Da Vinci Code world, there was an author named Dan Brown who hadn’t hit it big yet. But he lives a few towns away from us. And I had heard of him because this is New Hampshire, and I read local fic whenever I can. Angels & Demons is my favorite of his books!
When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol—seared into the chest of a murdered physicist—he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati … the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy—the Catholic Church.
Langdon’s worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.
Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair … a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.
Shogun by James Clavell
Note: This is another one of those books that he should have found way before my existence. It is a saga. It is adventure, romance, power crazy, and it is amazing. If you love east versus west type stories, this may be a good one for you too.
A bold English adventurer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love. All brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power…
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Note: Yes, I went there. I was reading this over a holiday and devoured it so fast, I not only had to get the next one, but I had to force someone to read this. My dad was the first target, and when he finished it, I forced it on friends. Repeatedly.
Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.
The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.
When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein
Note: Next on the list of books he should have read ages ago: The Lord of the Rings series. Can you believe that I’m the one who introduced him to it? HAHAHAHAHA. It’s exactly the type of book I knew he would love. Maybe he read The Hobbit as a kid and it didn’t really catch his interest… I don’t know what happened. But thankfully I fixed the problem!
The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths are searching for a Hobbit. Frodo Baggins knows that they are seeking him and the Ring he bears—the Ring of Power that will enable evil Sauron to destroy all that is good in Middle-earth. Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it can be destroyed: Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron’s realm.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Note: I think you may be catching on that I love high fantasy, so any fans of fantasy will understand that Ursula K. Le Guin is a goddess. If you haven’t read any of her books, you should hop on over to Goodreads and see all her books, read the summaries and see what you are drawn to. She’s a must.
Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.
Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.
Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Note: And this is where the list stops for now. I only gave him the first book right before the HBO series began. He slowed down his reading so that it could match in time with the show series. And now that the books have halted and the show is beyond the books, he refuses to move further with anything until the next book comes out. He’s an optimist and thinks that Winds of Winter will come out this year, by the way. I am a realist and will only believe that the next book exists when it is on a shelf in a bookstore.
Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.