Top Ten Tuesday: Could I Have Your Attention, Please?

March 22, 2016 Christian, Deeanne Gist, Denise Hunter, Karen Witemeyer, Kathryn Stockett, Kristy Cambron, Laura Frantz, Lynn Austin, Mary Davis, Regina Jennings, Top Ten Tuesday 73

Top Ten Tuesday Favorite

Today on Top Ten Tuesday, the team at The Broke and the Bookish thought we should talk about those books that we don’t profile as often.  Because, let’s face it – as book bloggers we do have a collection of books and authors that seem to crop up in almost every post. Especially the linkups and memes. So this Tuesday, we dedicate our blogs to those books we do really love so very much… but don’t talk about nearly enough.

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Confession: I feel a bit like Barney from How I Met Your Mother, introducing you to these books you may or may not have “heard” me discussing before.

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So, haaaaaaaaaaaaave you met these books?

(Click the covers to go to Amazon.)

to win her heart

Why I should talk about it more: First and foremost, BOTH the hero and the heroine love to read. That alone should be reason enough. But add to that, Karen Witemeyer’s delightful writing, winsome characters, and a reminder not to judge books (or people) by their covers and To Win Her Heart long ago earned a spot on my favorites shelf!

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the help

Why I should talk about it more: The writer’s voice is phenomenal – capturing my attention and my heart right from the very first chapter. I did not want to put this book down. The way Kathryn Stockett seamlessly switched back and forth between the 3 main ‘voices’ of The Help was beautiful, and the life she breathed into her characters made me feel as if I knew them personally. Plus, it’s just an absolutely important novel that everyone really should read.

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Courting Morrow Little

Why I should talk about it more: I know you’ve heard me gush about Laura Frantz before – and the absolute exquisite perfection of her novels.  But I haven’t really ever talked about Courting Morrow Little here on the blog, even though it is far and away my favorite book by Laura. Perhaps it’s because it’s so dear to me that I find it difficult to treat trivially and therefore want to reserve it only for special occasions, like fine china or my grandmother’s quilt. But suffice it to say, that if a novel could be more exquisitely perfect than normal, Courting Morrow Little achieved this distinction in spades. Red Shirt (be still my heart) is the hero of heroes. Morrow is a heroine to whom you can readily relate and instantly connect on a heart-level. The combination of these two characters, mixed with the vibrant setting, is quite simply breathtaking. I’ve still not recovered. I hope I never do.

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proper pursuit

Why I should talk about it more: I would love to see A Proper Pursuit as a movie! It just begs to be played out on screen – complete with narration so as not to lose the delightful voice in which Ms. Austin writes. So entertaining and captivating, right from the first chapter. I laughed out loud often while reading A Proper Pursuit, many times just from Violet’s thoughts expressed in the narrative voice! Not to mention that A Proper Pursuit kept me guessing until the end … and then surprised me! You may have noticed I read a lot – it’s not often that a book catches me off guard with a twist that I didn’t see coming, but this one did.
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Why I should talk about it more: Well, for starters, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this book lol.  It’s a fun, deliciously romantic KissingBook that I really do need to include in my next 101 lesson syllabus. A contemporary twist on the marriage-of-convenience trope that’s filled with heat, heart, humor, and hope. An oldie, relatively-speaking, but Newlywed Games by Mary Davis is also a goodie I’ve practically memorized due to the sheer number of times I’ve read my copy!

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Why I should talk about it more: I love retellings, and I simply adore this creative 1800s Texas take on the classic story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. Regina Jennings does a fantastic job writing romantic tension, and Sixty Acres and a Bride is a prime example.  The tension felt so electric – even when Rosa and Weston weren’t even touching – that when they do touch …. get out your fans, fainting couches, freezers, and oxygen supply! Sixty Acres is also a great example for – what is to me – the seamless integration of faith into a story. It’s not a thread that leaps out and strangles you one minute or feels picked and pulled at the next.  It’s just gently there, sharpening the plot and the romance and the characters. One more thing I love about this book is the Mexicana heroine, a rarity in fiction!

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maid to match

Why I should talk about it more: Mack Danvers. 😉 Also, the meticulously researched and captivatingly presented details surrounding the running of the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Deeanne Gist’s books are always filled with laughter, great kisses, and characters that just plain make me smile.  Maid to Match fit the bill perfectly!

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Why I should talk about it more: Well, the heroine Alice Ripley says at one point “Nobody can read too much.  That’s like saying someone breathes too much”,  so I owe it to my fellow book worms to discuss our compatriot more often. Plus Alice is a book worm from industrial Illinois who moves to rural Kentucky … which could practically be my memoir lol.  But it’s perhaps the fascinating glimpse into the packhorse mobile libraries in this Depression era community that make Wonderland Creek a book I really do need to dust off and talk up in the near future.

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convenient groom

Why I should talk about this more: 1) It’s going to be a Hallmark movie as part of their 2016 Spring Fling – YAY! –  2) it’s another brilliantly cute contemporary take on the marriage-of-convenience plot, and 3) while the faith thread isn’t blatant in Denise Hunter’s The Convenient Groom there’s a subtle theme of how very much God loves us, even when we aren’t the ideal bride. It made my allegory-loving heart smile… well, that and the romance… ok, and Lucas 🙂

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Butterfly and the Violin

Why I should talk about it more: Kristy Cambron’s debut novel The Butterfly and the Violin is sweet, tender, heartbreaking, and captivating with characters that engage you right away. The story behind the painting kept me turning the pages for more, and the alternating timeline – between the present day and WW2 Poland – intersected masterfully. It’s a deeply moving read and one my heart is still pondering, two years later.

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Have you read any of these? Which would you most like to know more about? Maybe your pick will show up in a review around these parts someday soon 😉

Let me know in the comments! (And post the links to your Top Ten Tuesday posts too!)


73 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Could I Have Your Attention, Please?”

  1. Rel Mollet

    Hey Carrie – fun post!

    I have Mary Davis’ book and I was just responded to a comment on my blog how The Convenient Groom is my favourite Denise Hunter novel 🙂

    • Carrie

      thanks Rel! I need to re-read The Convenient Groom one of these days soon. 🙂

  2. CJ @ Not Another Dumb Blonde

    The Help is one of the few books my mom and I have both read and agree on – it is wonderful. I usually don’t get into books that are heavily hyped, but this was one time I totally understood why everyone was talking about this book.

  3. carylkane

    I’ve not YET read any of these books. Thank you for bringing them to my attention. I LOVE Lynn Austin’s Biblical fiction. 🙂

  4. Annie JC

    Great post! There’s just soooo many great authors out there! I honestly don’t think we bloggers give them enough credit! 😉 At least I don’t and am still trying! The ones I’ve read on this list, To Win Her Heart, The Help and Wonderland Creek, all love! The others will need to go on my TBR list! Thanks!

    • Carrie

      I know I get overwhelmed sometimes with all the great authors that I NEED to be talking about because they’re so great! lol

  5. Rachel Dixon

    The Help is the only one I have read (and have read twice lol). LOVE it! And most of the others are non my TBR (and the rest will Benny the end of today lol)

  6. Meghan Gorecki

    Oh my GOSH I love this list. AND your How I Met Your Mother reference. Lynn Austin’s are fantastic, and gosh do I need to reread The Help again. 🙂

  7. Laura Frantz

    Morrow and this author thank you so very much, Carrie! I love reading about ALL the novels here and have added some to my toppling TBR:) Never too many wanna or must reads! So interesting your thoughtful comments about CML. Since I only wrote the novel from Morrow’s perspective, I wasn’t sure her hero’s appeal would be as memorable. But I think CML is a reader favorite by far even if we don’t get inside our handsome hero’s black head!

    • Carrie

      Interestingly, Red Shirt is one of your heroes that I hear about over and over, Laura! Apparently we fell in love with him right along with Morrow 🙂

  8. Beckie B.

    Love the list. Several are already on my TBR list (big surprise!). I really liked The Butterfly And The Violin and yes, I need to recommend it to people more often.

  9. Lynn

    What a lovely list. I absolutely loved The Help – so gripping. I was absolutely certain that it was all going to go horribly wrong so I was super tense! The film was pretty good but it didn’t manage to give me quite the same sensation of fear on the part of the main characters and all that could have gone so easily wrong for them.
    Lynn 😀

    • Carrie

      I still need to see the movie but I’m in no rush because the book is always better 😉

  10. Bemused Bookworm

    The Butterfly and The Violin looks very interesting. I havent seen in before, but im gonna check it out. The other books are unfamilar to me too. Great & unique choices! 🙂

  11. Leslie

    Hi! Newlywed Games looks fun! And I love the new look of your site 🙂 (Or at least new since I’ve been here!)

  12. Grace

    I loved The Help so much!! It was also one of the few book to movie adaptations I thought was done well. Great list!

  13. Rachel

    I haven’t read any of these, but I have The Butterfly and the Violin and The Help on my TBR list – I should really get around to reading them 🙂

  14. Hallie

    Great list! I have read and loved quite a few of the books you mentioned, but a couple of them have been sitting on my TBR list for a while – maybe I’ll get around to reading them sooner rather than later now.

  15. Alexis

    I never did get around to reading the Help. I haven’t watched the movie either since I wanted to read the book first. My Sister-in-law loves the book… and she isn’t a reader at all. I really need to check it out sometime.

  16. Jennifer @ Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews

    These all sound really good. I am especially intrigued by Maid to Match. I haven’t read any of Deanne Gist’s books, but I do have Tiffany Girl on my e-reader. Love the Barney gif!

  17. Erika

    I had to read The Help for school and started it thinking I would hate it. But I loved it. The film adaption was good but the book is something special 😀

  18. Petra

    I haven’t met any of these books, so I’ll definitely need to check some of them out. Thanks a lot for sharing, and for stopping by my TTT earlier. 🙂

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