Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations

Top Ten TuesdayOooh, it’s TUESDAY!  I’m off from work (yay!  I’m off *every* Tuesday!), and that means I get to sleep in and hang out with a bunch of top ten lists all day if I want!  Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by the wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish!
This week we’re talking about recommendations, books we recommend the most.  This will be FUN!  I’m looking forward to others’ recommendations, as well!

Top Ten  Books I Recommend The Most

1.  The By the Numbers series by Janet Evanovitch–I LOVE these books, and while the last few have been kind of…meh, the first dozen or so are a HOOT, and a fun read.  I recommend these books to people who are looking for fast, fun reads.  I think my friend Susan put it best when she said “they won’t contaminate you”.

2.  Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake–I just…fell in love with this book from the first chapter.  Cas, as a character, was likeable and relatable, and the fact that he went around killing dangerous ghosts?  AWESOME.  I think I have only not recommended this book to one person, and that was just to say “yeah, don’t read this before bed…”

3.  Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger–this is probably the strangest book on my list.  Not because it’s steampunk, or deals with werewolves and vampires, but because I did not like the book.  I read the entire thing, and I liked the characters, I liked the storyline, I just…hated the way it was written.  I’m not a huge fan of Victorian area writing styles (the insistence on calling people by their last names and the overwrought descriptions) just drive me bonkers.  However, I know that there are people out there who like all of that stuff, and for them, Soulless and the entire series would be GREAT books for them, just…not for me, unfortunately.

4.  The Many Lives of Lilith Lane by EV Whitney–one of my favorite reads from last year, Lilith was originally an Amazon serial, but is now available in both ebook and hard copy forms.  I picked up the free first issue, and loved it so much I went out an immediately bought the serial.  I loved each installment, and I recommend it to people who are looking for something new/a new author to read.

5.  unEnchanted by Chanda Hahn–I got this for free of off the Kindle store, and it’s the story of a girl who happens to be descended from the original Grimm brothers–but they brought a curse down on the family, and each descendant is destined to relive each fairy tale until one of them completes every single one.  Mina’s father was the last Grimm to succumb to the curse, and now it’s Mina’s turn.  A great book for people like me who love fairytale retellings.

6.  The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon–one of my favorite series, EVER.  I love the characters, the settings, the storylines…everything about this series I love…well, except for The Firey Cross, but that’s what happens when you send a barely edited book to press…or at least that’s what I’ve heard.  The series starts out in post WWII Scotland, and covers the Jacobite rising, the 60s, and is now working on the American revolution.  LOVE seeing the world through Claire and Jamie’s eyes!

7.  Summer Sisters by Judy Blume–probably my all time favorite Judy Blume book, I read the covers off my copy practically.  It got lost in a move, unfortunately, but I remember several times reading it, then as soon as I finished the last page flipping back to the front and starting all over again.  It’s a great summer read, or for when you need a good tear jerker.

8.  The Anna Pigeon novels by Nevada Barr–set in the National Park system from Michigan to California to the very southern tip of Florida, you get to see the parks through Anna’s eyes.  These are great novels for anyone who loves the NPS, the outdoors, or mystery novels.

9.  The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough–one of my all time favorites, I’ve owned several different copies over the years as I leant it out and ended up rebuying it when I didn’t get my copy back.  My current copy is a coverless hardbound one that I “borrowed” from my last job and “forgot” to take back when I finished reading it (it was a decorative book on a shelf, no one even missed it).

10.  The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child–the first Aloysius Pendergast novel I read, I was fascinated by the story and the characters.  Now I devour just about anything these authors write, but I probably recommend this book more than any of the others because it was the one that made me fall in love with the series.


From my Kindle #4

1.  Various Princess Diaries books and novellas by Meg Cabot finished between 11/28 and 12/5–finishing up the series, finally!  Mia was getting suuuuuuuper annoying there at the end, and I almost didn’t read #10.  I’m glad I did, though I’m not sure why we got 4 books during Mia’s Freshman year, and then only 1 book each for her Junior and Senior years.  In fact, we don’t see *anything* of Mia from about the middle of her Junior year until right before graduation.  It was quite a leap, but Mia grew up so much during that break that it was crazy!  Sure, she was still a bit obsessive and neurotic, but nothing near the last several books.  Forever Princess was a decent ending to the series, and I’m glad I managed to read it.

2.  The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet, Far Thing) by Libba Bray finished 12/8, 11.13)–Oh.  My.  Goodness.  I love love loved these books!  Set in Victorian times, I thought I had a chance to not like them in the way I didn’t like Souless, but the big difference between the two series is that the Gemma Doyle books are written in a more modern style, it’s just set in Victorian times.  The first book also starts in English controlled India, which I find fascinating.  5/5 stars for Beauty, 4/5 for Angels and Sweet, Far.  I cannot WAIT to read more Libba Bray!!

3.  Love is Strong as Death by Carolyn Nash finished 12/15–I saw an ad somewhere, probably on Facebook, advertising the first episode of assorted Kindle serials for free if you emailed Plympton Press, the publisher.  As I *love* free things for my Kindle, I hopped right on that one and got the first episode of this, The Many Lives of Lilith Lane, and Hacker Mom.  I enjoyed all of them, but only liked Lilith enough to buy the rest of the episodes.  I received, last month, the opportunity to receive the full copies of the serials for free–so HECK YEAH!  Love is Strong as Death tells the story of Rachel, Terry, and Peter and their relationship to an old estate that recently was put up for sale.  About halfway through the story it is apparent exactly where its going, but the story is extremely well told that you don’t really care about the predictability, and I awarded it 4/5 stars.

4.  World Without End by Ken Follet finished 12/20–while I felt this flowed better than Pillars of the Earth, it’s still not what I’ve come to expect from epic historical fiction.  Follet should probably stick to his normal genre and leave this to someone else.  3/5 stars.

5.  James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing by G Norman Lippert finished 12/25–Lippert started writing James Potter fanfiction when his wife and child were upset about the ending of the HP series.  While this starts out suuuuuuuuuuuper slow (it was veering into this is so boring and I hate the changes he made I think I’ll DNF this book…), about 25% of the way through the book it picks up and gets interesting.  While there are several almost deal-breaking changes to normal HP cannon (students eating at tables that aren’t their houses’, visiting other common rooms, mixed years in classes and dormitories, first years trying out for Quiddich w/o having even a single flying lesson to name a few), once actual plot shows up and the action starts, the book gets interesting.  3/5 stars

6.  Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Black finished 12/–O.  M.  G.  SO GOOD.