Books I just can’t get rid of

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Someone in my book club Facebook group recently posed the question “What is a book (or 2, or 3) that sits on your shelf that you will never give away or get rid of because of how much you love it or reread it, etc.?”

My answer? This whole shelf.

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Everyone has a few (or in my case nearly 30) books that they’re unwilling to part with under any circumstances.

You know what I’m talking about. You may go years between rereadings, but the characters that grace those pages are somehow permanently etched into your soul. The idea of selling or donating that particular book just HURTS.

The books that I could never bear to part with are:

  • The entire Harry Potter series (including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)
  • The Hobbit (deluxe collectors edition)
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (I intend to buy hard copies of the rest of the series at some point)
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff
  • The Lord of the Rings series
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • Timeline by Michael Crichton

What can I say? I go for variety.

What books have a permanent place on your shelf? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: The Black Key by Amy Ewing

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The Black KeyTitle: The Black Key
Author: Amy Ewing
Published:  October 4, 2016
Series: The Lone City #3
Genre:  Dystopian/High Fantasy
Format:  Kindle
Source:  Purchased

For too long, Violet and the people of the outer circles of the Lone City have lived a life of servitude, controlled and manipulated by the royalty of the Jewel. But now, the secret society known as the Black Key is preparing to seize power and knock down the walls dividing each circle.

And while Violet knows she is at the center of this rebellion, she has a more personal stake in it—for her sister, Hazel, has been taken by the Duchess of the Lake. Now, after fighting so hard to escape the Jewel, Violet must do everything in her power to return, to save not only Hazel, but the future of the Lone City.

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Review: The Girl With All the Gifts

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The Girl With All the GiftsTitle: The Girl With All the Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Published:  June 19, 2014
Series: The Girl With All the Gifts #1
Genre:  Dystopian/Science Fiction
Format:  Hardcover
Source:  Borrowed

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

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Review: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

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ThunderheadTitle: Thunderhead
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published:  January 9, 2018
Series: The Arc of a Scythe #2
Genre:  Dystopian
Format:  Hardcover
Source:  Purchased

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

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Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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ScytheTitle: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published:  November 22, 2016
Series: The Arc of a Scythe #1
Genre:  Dystopian
Format:  Hardcover
Source:  Purchased

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

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Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodTitle: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Published:  February 17, 1986
Genre:  Dystopian
Format:  Kindle
Source:  Purchased

The Handmaid’s Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.
The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

 

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Review: The Librarian of Auschwitz

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The Librarian of AuschwitzTitle: The Librarian of Auschwitz
Author: Antonio Iturbe (Translated by Lilit Thwaites
Published:  October 10, 2017
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Format:  Hardcover
Source:  Purchased

This is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Fredy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

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