Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new subject each week and this week's topic is "Books I'm So Happy Were Recommended to Me".

My top ten would include:

1. The Harry Potter series

This series would be at the top of my list of favorites. The funny thing is that if it hadn't been for my younger sister convincing me to read them, I might not have picked them up. I thought at the time that the books were just for little kids and the church I was attending (and my parents) were up in arms against it. That should have made me want to read the books but I was still reluctant until my sister dared me to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I liked the first book and by the third book I was hooked. She likes to remind me sometimes (and gloat) that if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be such a Potter fan. I don't know about that but I am grateful for her recommendation.

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The title of this book sounds so boring and off putting that I would never have considered this as a book I would like. I had no idea what it was about but on my first day of work at a library when I'd forgotten to bring reading material for my lunch break, the director convinced me to try this book. I pulled it off the shelf display and started reading it and ended up checking it out to take home. It became one of my favorite books. That goes to show you that you can't judge a book by its title!

3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Yes, I went there. While I am no longer the huge Twilight fan I was before Breaking Dawn and the films were released, I do grudgingly admit that I liked the early books in the series in spite of their flaws. Twilight is a book I had briefly heard of but had no intention of reading. At the time I thought to myself "I read vampire books (The Vampire Diaries) when I was 13 years old and I'm over that now". Then in my YA Services class in grad school my professor and several female students (from their 20s into their 50s) recommended this book. Since we had to read 20+ YA books for our class, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I listened to them even though the books have lost a lot of their appeal to me now. At the time I was already a Harry Potter fan but didn't think of it as YA fiction (or at least I thought it was a fluke and not representative of YA fiction). It is because of Twilight and other books recommended to me in this class I began to read YA fiction again.

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I can't remember who recommended this book to me but I hadn't heard of it when they did. It took me some time after that to listen to the recommendation. I remember checking the book out of the library and it just sat there in my stack of books. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get into the story. Once I picked it up and The Reaping began, I was hooked! Thank you to whoever recommended this book to me!

5. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

This book was originally recommended to me by a friend from high school (thank you Heather!). She read the book back when we were in Jr. High. I remember picking up a book (it was The Two Towers, not part one The Fellowship of the Ring) and it didn't make sense to me or seem like something I'd like. I returned it to the library and didn't think of it again till the summer of 2001 when I saw a movie trailer for The Fellowship of the Ring while at a movie with my cousins. They both said how much they loved the book (and to be honest it appeared to be more girl friendly thanks to the presence of Arwen and a certain pretty boy blond elf) so I knew the time had come for me to give the book another try. It is now one of my favorites (and so are the movies)! In this case while my friend from school and my cousins recommended the book, it was kind of the movie trailer that deserves the most credit for convincing me to read it.

6. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

This book was highly recommended to me by a library colleague. She had read it for her book club and said it was a wonderful story. I thought the book cover was really pretty and it sounded kind of interesting though at the time I read mostly YA fiction. I am glad I eventually listened to Deb and gave this book a try. It is wonderful and definitely makes my list of favorite books. It has quirky characters, a fantastic setting (Savannah), and a touching story. I'd even suggest this to mature YA readers because CeeCee is a teen.

7. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I have to thank a lot of book bloggers for this one. I do not like science fiction in general (except for Star Wars and Star Trek related fiction) but based on all the excellent reviews, I decided to try this. Across the Universe became one of my favorite books of this year so far. It really does have mass appeal to it so if you are leery of science fiction, there is romance, a murder mystery, and it reads more like a dystopian novel too.

8. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

This is another book recommended to me in my YA class. I hadn't heard of Sarah Dessen before that. Just Listen is the first Sarah Dessen book I read and I loved it so much that I went out and read all the others that I could get my hands on! It helped me become a big fan of YA fiction and decide to give contemporary YA fiction a chance. Now Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite YA authors.

9. Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

This is another book that my sister gets credit for. She kept telling me how wonderful Michelle Moran's books are and she finally just made me try her copy and sent me home with it. Now it is one of my favorite historical fiction books of all time! I did try one other book by her, Madame Tussaud, which wasn't as good but my sister has convinced me to try Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen which are her favorites.

10. The Book of Negroes (Someone Knows My Name) by Lawrence Hill

This is a Canadian author and I hadn't heard of the book until my cousin's wife loaned me her copy. This was quite an act of kindness and faith on her part as she lives in Canada. Thankfully I was able to get her book back to her. It is a fantastic and powerful story. I am so glad that Loria recommended this to me and that I listened to her! I hope she will send more recommendations my way in the future.

10. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

This was recommended to me in a readers' advisory class I took. We had to use NoveList (a database) to look up genres were weren't familiar with and one of the librarians who wrote for NoveList had included this book on her list of Celtic fantasy books to try. I am so glad this book was suggested to me as it led me to one of my favorite authors. I hadn't heard of Juliet Marillier before this. Daughter of the Forest is a great starting point for readers new to her work. The Sevenwaters series are among my favorite fantasy books.


  1. I think another meme topic might be "Top Ten Places to Get a Good Book Recommendation."

    That's tricky for me.

    Here's my gratitude list: Top Ten Books I'm Happy Were Recommended to Me. I hope you will stop by!

  2. I love that we both have Guernsey on our list! It is definitely not something I would have picked up on my own either. I loved Saving CeeCee...such a heartwarming read. Great list, Christina!

  3. I have read a Juliet Marillier book, but not Daughter of the Forest. Adding it to my TBR list.

  4. The Book of Negroes does sound good. I've been putting off reading it for one reason or another . . . but I might just have to move it up on my TBR list.

  5. Love Harry Potter. The Hobbit was recommended to me back in Middle School, which spawed my love of TLOTR trilogy!

  6. # 1,3, and 4 has made quite a few list. Cleopatra's daughter i would like to add to my list. Happy Reading 2 U.

  7. Nice choices! I would definitely include Saving CeeCee Honeycutt on a list. When I first heard about it, I was afraid it wouldn't have any real substance to it, but after a rave review from my sister I gave it a shot. There is just something so hopeful and warm about the characters and plot, and I didn't want to put it down!


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