Friday, October 11, 2019

Let's Talk About: My FAVORITE Books Part 1

I thought it could be fun to post about my favorite books of all time - I blog about books monthly but most of my favorites EVER date back way longer than I've been blogging! I have a Top 10 List of favorites {yes, I AM that dorky!} that I created in college and I update as necessary, but I honestly don't change it that often - there is 1 big edit that happened in the last 5 years but the rest date back as far as high school! I'm going to split this into 2 posts, so this one will focus on #10-6. Come back next week for #1-5!!


DescriptionWe are not alone…In a cave in the Himalayas, a guide discovers a self-mutilated body with the warning--Satan exists. In the Kalahari Desert, a nun unearths evidence of a proto-human species and a deity called Older-than-Old. In Bosnia, something has been feeding upon the dead in a mass grave. So begins mankind’s most shocking realization: that the underworld is a vast geological labyrinth populated by another race of beings. Some call them devils or demons. But they are real. They are down there. And they are waiting for us to find them…

Why I Love It: This book was so unique when I read it, and so many times it shocked me. I don't think this book description screams Allena which might be why it stuck with me so much and for so long after I finished it.


DescriptionEver since legwarmers were cool, best friends Tara, Katherine, and Fintan have survived small-town ennui, big-city heartbreak, and endless giddy nights out on the town. But now that they've graduated to their slightly more serious thirties, only Fintan has what can honestly be called a "love life." With Tara struggling daily with her eternal diet—and her dreadful, penny-pinching boyfriend—and Katherine keeping her single existence as organized as her drawer full of matching bra and panty sets, it seems they'll never locate the exit door out of the "last chance saloon."

But it's always when you are least ready for change that fate insists on one. And when catastrophe inevitably follows crisis, the lives of three best friends are sure to change in unexpected ways ... and not necessarily for the worse.
Why I Love It: This is probably one of the first, if not THE first adult chick-lit books I read. I was probably in college, and I fell in love with these characters and this story. I've re-read it a time or two and still think it's such a great story of friendship, the messiness of relationships, being an adult... it's just so good! Honestly I contemplated putting Cancel the Wedding on this list but the nostalgia of how much this story meant to be when I first read it has always stayed with me. We'll see if Cancel the Wedding can sneak into the top 10...

Description: A portrait of the Mafia underworld as told through the fictional first family of American crime, the Corleones.

The leader, Vito Corleone, is the Godfather. He is a benevolent despot who stops at nothing to gain and hold power. His command post is a fortress on Long Island from which he presides over a vast underground empire that includes rackets, gambling, bookmaking, and unions. His influence runs through all levels of American society, from the cop on the beat to the nation''s mighty.   

Why I Love It: This book was so twisty and dark and seedy, and the very last paragraph had my jaw on the floor. I ate up every word and it ended with a mic drop. I'll never forget how I felt when I finished this book.


DescriptionThis is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail - and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.
Why I Love It: This book is exactly why I get upset when people call Stephen King a horror writer. The Stand scared the crap out of me but not in an axe-murderer-hiding-in-the-pantry sort of way. It was infinitely more subtle with how much it freaked me out. I remember reading this at night in my old bedroom {another book dating back to college} and looking around to make sure no one was in the room with me - that kind of creeped out. But OH SO GOOD. It starts as a 'virus kills everyone' story and then evolves into an epic good vs. evil battle, and I loved every page of it.


DescriptionA pact is sealed in secret behind the foreboding walls of Newgate Prison. In return for one night of unparalleled pleasure, a dashing condemned criminal consents to wed a beautiful heiress, thereby rescuing her from an impending and abhorred arranged union.

But in the fading echoes of hollow wedding vows, a solemn promise is broken, as a sensuous free spirit takes flight to a lush Caribbean paradise, abandoning the stranger she married to face the gallows unfulfilled.
Ruark Beauchamp’s destiny is now eternally intertwined with that of the tempestuous, intoxicating Shanna. He will be free . . . and he will find her. For no iron ever forged can imprison his resolute passion. And no hangman’s noose will keep Ruark from the bride— and ecstasy—that he craves.

Why I Love It: My boss in college knew I was a huge book worm and sent me to Half Price Books one time with the specific mission of buying a book {The Flame and the Flower} by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I had never heard of her, but my boss swore I would love her books. Later that summer I was home reading said book, and my mom starts quoting the book to me. Then I found out that my name came from another of Kathleen's books {the main character in another story, Ashes in the Wind, is Alaina and when a girl popped out when my parents were expecting a boy, my mom suggested that name as she was reading the book at the time but spelled like my dad's middle name, Allen. Interestingly enough, my middle name is Kathleen, but that is also my mom's middle name, ha.} THEN I found out my future mother-in-law had a collection of Kathleen Woodiwiss books as well and were some of her favorites! What in the world?!?! I started Shanna on the drive to Brent's college graduation, and I think I read it the entire 4+ hour car ride and fell in love. I have read every one of Kathleen's books and devoured them. She is the Queen of the romance genre, and Shanna is her masterpiece. This story is definitely over-the-top at times and some scenes are eyeroll worthy, but overall it's such a great story! I love the characters and the world that is built for us. I legit read this book every couple of years and love it wholeheartedly every time.

What do you think about these favorites? Anything intrigue or surprise you? Any guesses as to what will make the second half of my list? I hope you're excited for my top 5 next week!!!


Erika said...

I am actually super surprised by these being in your Top 10!!! OK- The Stand and The Godfather aren't as surprising, as they're generally pretty well-known and renowned (haven't read The Godfather, but did read The Stand in college. Though I don't actually remember finishing it...isn't it like a million pages long??). But the other 3 do surprise me!! Haven't read any of them, but based on covers and descriptions alone, they just look (with heavy emphasis on LOOK- totally judging covers here) to me like run-of-the-mill grocery store paperbacks that wouldn't leave any lasting impression! I'm not sure if I expected your Top 10 to be like...all Dickens and Toni Morrison or something, bahahaha, but these do surprise me! Of those 3, I feel like I need to check out The Descent- sounds really unique!!

Anonymous said...

I am loving this list, but am a bit surprised Shanna isn’t up higher. Has me a bit worried the top 5 are going to be all Harry Potter! -AP

Natasha said...

I'm surprised there are so many novels which would probably freak me out. Yikes!!! And yes, I am super curious to see what your top 5 are...

Also, I've been thinking about if I could create a top ten books list all day today and the conclusion I've come to is, "NO!" I just can't decide what my favourite books ever are... sigh.

Emily said...

When I think of your typical reads, I think of romance/chick-lit or WWII books, so it's very surprising to see books like The Descent, The Godfather, and The Stand on here! Did you used to read more of these kind of books and have since switched to more chick lit or were these always anomaly books?