Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Ten Books I Haven't Talked About Enough Recently
Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven't Talked About Enough/In A While.
To narrow down the list, I looked up some of the titles on my blog to see how often I've mentioned them and when. But I kept coming across my old yearly reading lists from before I used Goodreads much, and seeing more books that I then added to this list, so I had to stop and just guess which ones I've mentioned the least. This list could easily be 50 books long!
1. Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett
The only nonfiction book on this list, it's a memoir about Patchett's friend Lucy Grealy who also wrote a great memoir called Autobiography of a Face. Ann Patchett writes so beautifully, and this story is so heartbreaking, it has stuck with me since I read it.
2. Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
There is nothing quite like this post-apocalyptic novel, and after I finished reading it I correctly predicted that I would be thinking about it for quite some time. It's on my list of books I want to read again (along with number 10 below.)
3. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Based loosely on the life of Laura Bush, this novel is a great character study of a fascinating woman and her complicated marriage.
4. One Day by David Nicholls
I was skeptical about the premise of this novel, but it made me feel many feelings. I was SO SAD when it was over.
5. Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan
One shift at a Red Lobster restaurant the night before it closes forever doesn't seem like much of a premise, but this is just a perfect little book.
6. Moloka'i by Alan Brennart
This was more of a mini-review when I posted about it, but it really deserved a more lengthy treatment. Brennart's writing is just beautiful and transportive, and this story about a little girl growing up in a leper colony was both richer and happier than I expected.
7. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
A pretty literary science fiction book about Jesuits in space. It's very unusual and original and it has only grown on me over time.
8. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
This is the best book about vampires that I've ever read.
9. The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler
A darkly comic novel by the author also known as Lemony Snicket, but this one is for adults. This is another I'd like to re-read, come to think of it, because I remember very little about it except for pretentious students, absinthe, and murder.
10. The World According to Garp by John Irving
You wouldn't know it from reading this blog, but I really love John Irving. Many years ago (obviously pre-blog) I went on a rampage and read all of his books that I could get my hands on. This was my favorite, though Cider House Rules was just about tied for first place.
Going back through my early shelves on Goodreads has given me some fodder for Throwback Thursdays and reminded me of great books to put on my staff picks shelf at work. I feel like I keep putting the same things on every time.
It was surprising to see how I rated certain books. There are some that I know I loved that got 4 stars and some I liked an awful lot that only got 3. In some cases my opinion may have changed over time, but I also think I used to just rate books lower than I do now, reserving my 5-star ratings for a very few favorite titles. One of the things I love about writing Top Ten Tuesday posts is how often it takes me back through old Goodreads shelves and blog posts from many years ago. It's so fun to revisit my reading history!