Welcome to Top 5 Saturday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by Devouring Books, and this week’s challenge is about books with metal in the title.
I actually struggled to make my list for this week’s theme! Ends up, I haven’t read that many books with a metal in the title (nor do I have many in my TBR piles or lists). I feel like this is something that is more common in fantasy book titles, and I just don’t read a lot of fantasy. Regardless, I managed to come up with a list that includes some books I’ve read, books I own but haven’t read yet, and books I don’t own but would like to read at some point. Without further ado, here are my top 5 books with metal in the title (in no particular order)!
1. “When the Sea Turned to Silver” by Grace Lin
- Genre: Fantasy (Middle-grade)
“Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.
Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late.”
- Overall Thoughts: I love this book. It’s a beautiful, magical, exquisitely written story. And the illustrations are beautiful as well!
2. “Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons” by Ashli St. Armant
- Genre: Mystery (Middle-grade)
“Viva Durant, New Orleans’ youngest detective, is on a quest to solve a jazzy mystery involving hidden treasure, while exploring the city’s unique culture, history, and music. This family-friendly audio original features original jazz music from the creator, Ashli St. Armant, and an enthusiastic performance from Audible Hall of Fame narrator, Bahni Turpin.
Plucky 14-year-old Viva Durant heads to New Orleans every summer to spend time with her loving but stern grandmother, known as Gram. After Gram reads Viva an article in the local paper about a missing treasure related to the world-famous song, “Miss Mary Mack,” Viva traverses the Crescent City on an epic adventure to solve the mystery. Along the way she meets some of the city’s most colorful characters as her journey takes her to the French Quarter, a jazz club, a creepy cemetery, and even the circus. Can Viva rise to the occasion and solve this musical mystery? Listeners will find Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons a joy to listen to!”
- Overall Thoughts: While I had some issues with the production of this audiobook (erratic sound levels, overabundance of music and singing), I actually really enjoyed the story. It’s a cute mystery with endearing characters, and the ending actually managed to surprise me!
3. “The Golden Orchard” by Flora Ahn
- Genre: Fantasy (Middle-grade)
“Maya loves to cook with her grandmother – her Halmunee – to connect with the rich family history associated with each dish, a history Maya’s mom would prefer stayed in the past. While cooking with Halmunee, something remarkable happens – the food creates such a strong memory that Maya and Halmunee are transported back in time through the memory itself. Halmunee explains that the women in her family have the gift of time travel through food and Maya can do it too, if she practices. While eating her way through the past, Maya meets Jeff: another young time traveler who brings her to the Golden Orchard, a garden of memories filled with the trees of so many people’s lives. Maya learns that time moves in ways she couldn’t imagine and sometimes family keep their memories secret to protect the ones they love.”
- Overall Thoughts: This book was really cute! I loved how food and cooking with her grandmother allowed the main character to travel through time. There was great diverse representation, and I loved the themes about family, love, and culture.
4. “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman
- Genre: YA Fantasy
“Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.
Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want–but what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other.”
- Overall Thoughts: I haven’t read this one yet, but my husband has! I’ve heard a lot of great things about it and would like to read it for myself at some point.
5. “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt
- Genre: Thriller
“It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.”
- Overall Thoughts: Though this is another book I’ve heard a lot about, I actually know very little about it. The title is familiar, but the actual story is a mystery to me. After reading the synopsis, I’m excited to add this one to my TBR! I’m intrigued by the apparent themes about family, loss, and art.
Have you read any of these books? What would your top five be?
Let me know in the comments!