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broodings from the burrow

October 1, 2019

top ten numerical titles
posted by soe 1:27 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to consider numerical books, or, rather, book titles that contain numbers.

With an assist from my lists at Goodreads, here are ten I’ve enjoyed:

  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia: Historical middle-grade fiction dealing with the Black Panthers in Oakland in 1968.
  • 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff: A short epistolary memoir set in the years right after World War II chronicling the friendship of an American author and a British bookseller. If you liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and haven’t yet read this, give it a shot. (Also, a charming movie.)
  • The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Shenkein: This book made me so mad! After a horrific dockside accident while loading ammunition (due to neglect and prejudice) that killed 300 soldiers during World War II, nearly 250 Black Naval sailors went on strike for safer working conditions. Instead of improvements, 50 men found themselves accused of treason.
  • Crazy ’08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History by Cait Murphy: This history will give you ammunition for every person who wants to discount modern sports because of doping. Plus, it’s a really enjoyable look at the early days of major league baseball.
  • The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander: A kidlit classic detailing the exploits of Taran, the Assistant Pigkeeper; Hen Wen, the pig who can predict the future; the kick-ass Eilonwy; and their ragtag bunch of fantasy meme characters. Sound familiar? The Black Cauldron is based on this book and others in the series.
  • The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser: Five Harlem siblings and their parents face eviction when their landlord suddenly decides not to renew their lease. The kids unite to find a way to stay in their home.
  • The 13 Clocks by James Thurber: “There are only a few reasons why everybody has always wanted to read this kind of story: if you have always wanted to love a Princess; if you always wanted to be a Prince; if you always wanted the wicked Duke to be punished; or if you always wanted to live happily ever after.”
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: With one of the best opening lines of all literature and one of the best plot twists at the end, this classic history of the French Revolution was the first Dickens I truly loved. If you only read it in high school and hated it as assigned reading, I’d urge you to consider a re-read.
  • Just One Day by Gayle Foreman: In this y.a. travel novel, a young woman meets a boy while on a pre-college European tour, ditches her tour group to spend the evening with him, and then finds herself abandoned. Her quest to fill in the gaps in the story will take a year.
  • Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott: While Little Women may have edged out this story of a shy girl adopted by her bachelor uncle and ensconced at “The Aunt-Hill” to be raised amidst her titular male cousins, this was still a formative read growing up. Sadly, its sequel, Rose in Bloom, veers too far into moralism to live up to this charming tale, which has a similar sensibility to Pollyanna and some of L.M. Montgomery’s novels.

Honorable mentions (because this turned out to be a way harder topic than I expected) go to 13 Little Blue Envelopes; One of Our Thursdays Is Missing; 101 Two-Letter Words; The Two Towers; Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed History; Five, Six, Seven, Nate!; The Thirteenth Tale; The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy; and Two Boys Kissing.

How about you? Any numerical titles you’d recommend?

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

A Tale of Two Cities was on my list this week as well.


Comment by Lydia 10.01.19 @ 6:20 am

4 3 2 1! It was wonderful!

Comment by Kat 10.01.19 @ 8:01 am

I’ve thought about rereading “A Tale of Two Cities.” I enjoyed it when I read it in high school, so I might like it even more now. Surprisingly, there aren’t that many number-y titles on my shelves. Among those I do have (and that you didn’t already mention) are “Slaughter-House Five” by Kurt Vonnegut, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell, “The One Hundred and One Dalmatians” by Dodie Smith, “Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech, “The Twenty-One Balloons” by William Pene du Bois, and “100 Cupboards” by N.D. Wilson. I also enjoyed “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline.

Comment by Karen 10.01.19 @ 8:21 am

Nice list! I have a collection of James Thurber’s short stories that I haven’t read in a while. I should get it out again! Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

Comment by Poinsettia 10.01.19 @ 6:01 pm

Yes, One Crazy Summer was great. Thanks for sharing!

Lauren @ Always Me

Comment by Lauren @ Always Me 10.03.19 @ 11:30 am