It’s time again for a new Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is the top ten books that I am so happy someone recommended to me because otherwise I may never have picked them up.
1. The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. I am pretty sure these books have been on most of my top ten lists, and with good reason-they are fabulous. If you like a fast-paced story with tough, but smart, sassy, and stylish girls, you need these books. If you want incredible spy-girl action and a hint of romance, you need these books. If you want danger, deception, betrayal, and a mysterious hot guy, you need these books. If you want a book that is all-around good, clean, fun, you need these books.
2. Gone series by Michael Grant. Again, these books have been on previous lists of mine, because they are so creeptastically awesome. These books are action-packed, totally creepy, and thought-provoking all at once. Some of the most terrifying and evil villains I have ever met are in these books. Each book is more intense than the next and I am desperate and terrified every time I get a new one. Also, I had the honor of meeting Michael Grant, and he is truly charming and hilarious, the perfect cover for his true evil-genius self.
3. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. Despite the adorable cover, I probably would not have picked this one up because it is historical fiction, which I used to think was not my cup of tea. I have been pushing myself to read more of this genre and I am finding some great reads. This one was recommended to me, and I have in turn given it to many readers. It’s a sweet and charming story about a young girl and her dreams of being a scientist at a time when this was not an appropriate female vocation. Calpurnia is stubborn and bright, and has a special relationship with her gruff old grandpa. This one is a winner!
4. The Spellmans series by Lisa Lutz. This is a non-YA recommendation that I just devoured. The Spellman’s are a quirky family of private investigators who have some major personal issues. Every book in this series is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Lisa Lutz is a comedic genius. Hmm, evil genius+comedic genius=the best book ever??
5. Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer. I am not sure why this is in the #5 spot, because Jacky Faber is my current all-time favorite heroine. I am too lazy to fool around with formatting, so just pretend this is at the top of my list. Thanks. Anyway, I read a review of one of the later books in the series and thought it sounded good, so I checked my library collection. I found the first three books and decided to order the rest. Then I found the first one on audio and everything changed. These books went from being items of interest to a full-blown obsession. Trust me, get one and you’ll be hooked. I highly recommend listening to them-it’s like going to the theater!
6. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. I read this book a quite a while ago so I don’t remember all the details, but I found it to be a hilarious satire. I mean no disrespect by this, but after 13 years of Catholic school education, I got a kick out of this one.
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This is a book I struggled with. So many people raved about it and it won awards. I tried reading it, I really did. But, it seemed to be destined for the “Not For Me” pile. And yet, people kept saying it was amazing. I got it on audio, and wouldn’t you know? They were right! What a moving story. I could not stop listening. I would get home from work and sit in my car until the chapter was finished. I laughed, I cried, I loved this book.
8. Garden Spells, and everything else written by Sarah Addison Allen. Upon a recommendation from coworkers, I discovered the magic that is Sarah Addison Allen. Strong female characters, beautiful Southern settings, and a touch of magic. These are perfect summer reads!
9. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and everything else written by Alan Bradley. It’s hard not to fall in love with the precocious Flavia de Luce, the 11-year old sleuth in these charming mysteries. Set in 1950’s England, Flavia manages to find herself at the heart of each mystery, using her vast knowledge of chemistry to solve the crime. Flavia is a sharp-tongued and sharp-witted amateur chemist who uses her love of poisons for both good and naughtiness (revenge on her tormenting older sisters).
10. Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. I had a few teen patrons looking for this series. I only had the first 4 or 5 in this 10 book series, and they needed the rest! I decided to see what the fuss was about (I am always looking to expand my list of recommended guy reads) and was pleasantly surprised. The first book was interesting enough to making pick up the second and I was totally hooked by the end. I finally got my hands on book 4. I had to laugh; I never thought I would be excited to get a book that had a burly, bearded, Viking on the cover! Don’t skip this, it is full of action, epic battles, nasty warlords, strange creatures, and even a bit of humor.
Phew! That’s a long post. I apparently have a lot to say about some of my favorite books. If you haven’t read some of these I hope I have convinced you to get them a try. I promise you won’t regret it.
Next week’s Top Ten theme: Jerks in Literature. Stay tuned.