Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish.
This week is the Top Ten Books I Read Before I was a Blogger. And considering that this is only my fourth week of blogging, that list is quite sizable. In fact, since I started reviewing books on Goodreads in January 2010, I have 26 five starred books. But here are ten of them in no particular order. I tried to get a variety genres and avoid listing those books that perhaps are a little too wildly popular.
- The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel of the Reign of Edward II by Susan Higginbotham: This was one of the first books I downloaded onto my Kindle. It was free at the time and was so good! It’s a bit long, but it is a true historical fiction; the kind where you swear you did research yourself when you start quoting facts that you only learned while following the drama of the story. And who doesn’t like the Plantagenent times?
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater: I met Maggie several years ago before she was well known and a bestseller. She had come as a guest speaker for a writing event that I was helping run and it was interesting to hear her process for getting published. For whatever reason, I decided not to read her books, thinking they were simply jumping on the Twilight bandwagon with mysterious supernatural boys and their love interests. But that was a bad call because when I finally decided to give her books a chance, I loved it. Scorpio Races was a blast to read and I liked the idea of kelpies/water horses. I have yet to read any of her other books but I won’t be passing judgment again for a while. 😛
- Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz: I picked this one up as a random purchase on a summer vacation to the beach. I had never read Koontz before, had never heard of the series before (it wasn’t one back then), and had decided to give it a go. I really liked it and I have read the next two in the series, but after the third one, I felt that the series was beginning to fall flat. The original still remains one of my favorites.
- The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of the Slave Sally Miller and her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans by John Bailey: This was a book that I randomly picked up from the used book store. It is probably one of my favorite nonfiction books of all time. The chapters alternate between telling the story of Sally and then ones that are more fact heavy, explaining what New Orleans was like back then, the culture, etc. I learned a lot and it really kept me interested. I would love to find more books like this.
- The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd: I bought this book while in line at a bookstore; it was one of those shiny books that they purposefully have the lines go by. It’s a long book but it covers the lives of generations of families in a localized area in England. It tells the stories of different ages in history, from the time the conquest, to the civil war, to Victorian times…it’s fascinating to see how families rise and fall and develop.
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Scottish highlanders, sexy scenes, historical elements; what isn’t there to like about Outlander? Okay, so I’ve heard people’s complaints about how Clare is treated by Jamie at certain points, and their problems with the functions of time travel, and the issue of Clare’s first husband…but who cares? Sometimes I think people get too hung up on things. To me this was a great book and I definitely plan on reading the rest of the series.
- The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea: Another longer read, but probably one of my top reads ever. Ever. It’s cute and serious, almost magical realism with children being pursued and helped by Celtic gods as they travel across Ireland. The language can’t help but bring a smile to your face. Highly recommend it.
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: If you don’t cry at the end of this book, you’re inhuman. But even the inhuman narrator of death seems to feel, so there you go. Beautiful, jarring, stunning. This was definitely a book I stayed up late to finish and consequently couldn’t fall asleep afterwards I was so moved by it.
- I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella: I think part of the reason I love this book so much is that the reader of the audio book (got it from audible) was so good and really made it quite entertaining. I don’t usually go for ‘chick lit’ but this was fun and a great summer read. Things don’t always have to be doom and gloom and heavy.
- War by Sebastian Junger: Journalists experience a little of what it is like to be in Afghanistan in the mountains fighting a war. I read it for one of my last classes in college, and it provoked some great discussions. I strongly support our troops and have had several friends serve and deploy. Reading this book was to my understanding very honest and I recommend this book to anyone with a stomach for it.
Oy vey. Sorry for the novel! I’d add pictures, but quite frankly I think the post is long enough!
What are your top ten? Have you read any of these?