Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [top ten]

Top Ten Tuesday — Top Books that came Recommended

I don't participate in the meme over at The Broke and the Bookish very often — it's pretty sporadic. But every so often, the topic is such that I must share. Today's topic is the Top Ten Books that Came Recommended. Basically, those books I never would have read without someone pushing it into my hands and demanding that I 'go'. To be honest, most of the books I read, especially before I started blogging, are books that I found for myself. But, there definitely are some books out there that I wouldn't have read without that extra little push. So — here they are.

1) Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta — Anyone who has followed me on Twitter for any length of time knows that I am almost obsessively in love with this book. It's one of those books that ruins you for anything else for a while, because nothing, and I mean nothing can match the brilliance that is this book. I read this book because it won the 2009 Printz Award. So, it's not really a recommendation, because it didn't come from a specific person, but I'm counting it, because I love it. With all my heart I love it, and I would never have known about it without that list.
(The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart gets an honorable mention for the exact same reason)

2) Pretend You Don't See Her by Mary Higgins Clark — I've talked about this one before, but my mom handed me this book when I was 11/12 because I wouldn't stop whining about needing something to read. I devoured it and went right back to my mom begging for more. I was in love with MHC for years. I've read all but her newest couple releases, and there is still something comforting about going back and reading those old favorites again.

3) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak — This is one that I probably would have picked up on my own without a recommendation, but it would have taken me a lot longer to learn about it, and to get it actually read. It was all over Goodreads for a long time, and it seemed like everyone I talked to on that site constantly raved about this book. I remember checking it out from the library at least three times, but never managing to get it read before it was came due again. I finally just sat down to read it, and it blew my mind away. I loved it. Thank you random Goodread friends.

4) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer — I don't care what all you haters say. In my experience, most of those who profess deep and undying hatred for this series were among the most ardent fans when it was 'cool' to like these books. This is not my normal read. When my friend recommended the book to me, I didn't even need to give her the 'look' before she was stumbling over her words, telling me why it wasn't as bad as it sounded. So, I read it. And I really enjoyed it. It's not some great piece of literary fiction. But it's never claimed to be. It's a teenage vampire love story for crying out loud! Read it to be entertained. Stephenie Meyer tells a great story, even if her characters would totally suck in real life. This is also the book that made me decide it was okay to give Paranormal fiction a chance. (still don't love it, but I enjoy it upon occasion)

5) The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley — This is another set I've mentioned before. I hated fantasy when I was younger. I thought I was 'above' the genre, and refused to read it. My friend in 8th grade bribed me to read these two books and I loved them. They changed the way I read.

6) Enchantment by Orson Scott Card — This is one of my older sister's very favorite books. (She actually talks about it in a guest post) It's a retelling of Sleeping Beauty set between ancient Ukranie/Russia and modern America. It's a powerful read and one that has become one of my favorite fairy tale retellings. It's amazing.

7) The Kite Runner- by Khaled Hosseini — This is another book that I saw mentioned on Goodreads all the time. Everyone who read it seemed moved by it, and I wanted to better understand what everyone was talking about. So I read it, and let me tell you — I didn't remember the last time that I had been so incredibly moved by a book. It broke my heart. And Hosseini's second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns just might be even better.

8) Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan — This is a series that was first recommended to my by my 15 year old brother. He loves this series, and has been trying to convince me to read it for a while now. Then, one of my groups on Goodreads read it as a group read, and I decided that I might as well read it. I wasn't expecting anything more than moderate enjoyment, but wow! I haven't been this caught up in a fantasy story like this in a long while. There were some inconsistencies and things in the story, but I was so caught up in the lives of these young characters that I didn't really care. It was such a fun read, and now I can't wait to continue the series!

9) The Book by M. Clifford — This is a by-choice self-published novel (as in, the author didn't seek and doesn't want an actual publishing contract) that I would never have heard of without Lori from The Next Best Book Blog. She reviewed this book, a dystopian novel about a society where the government has taken complete control of the written word by making printed books illegal (environmental hazard/damage) and put all literature into one e-reader, called 'The Book'. The main character accidentally learns that they are really censoring the books, removing 'undesireable' words, phrases, or pages **cough**newHuckFinntranslation**cough**. This is an especially scary dystopian novel, because it could really happen. I won a copy on Lori's blog and read straight through this one. It would have been a shame to have missed this.

10) A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb — This is a book that I didn't expect to like. I had heard a lot of people on Goodreads talk about it, and grabbed it from the library on a whim. (this is something I do regularly. I have over 300 books sitting in my bedroom right now that I could/should be reading, but I will go to the library fairly often and just walk up and down the aisles, grabbing books that look interesting. Some I read right away, some I never read at all...) Anyway... I grabbed a copy of this and brought it home, but didn't expect much. A few days later, I was getting ready for bed and needed to pick out my book for the next day. (I was living in Arlington, VA at the time, and worked in DC). I had an hour+ commute to and from work, and a book was a must. So, I grabbed a few library books from the piles in my room and decided that I would read the first few pages and take whatever book grabbed my attention. I started with this book and told myself I'd stop after 3 6 10 20 one more chapter just one more okay, one more maybe two more just one more just till this part is over. And then, suddenly, the book was done, it was way later than I should have been going to bed, and I still didn't have anything to read on my commute. This one was awesome!

So, there you have it. Those are my top ten books I'm so glad you forced me to read. What are yours?! I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment, so I can come check out your top lists and add some more books to my insanely large tbr pile!