Monday, April 20, 2020

Honorable Mention Books

Many months ago, I blogged about my all-time favorite books {10-6 HERE and 5-1 HERE}. I got some surprised feedback from some of you that those books largely didn't seem like my reading style now, and that got me thinking. 

Would these books hold up if I read them now or are they my favorites somewhat for how they impacted me all those years ago {some over 20 years since I read!}? I started thinking about what other books I would consider favorites but not ALL-TIME FAVORITES and came up with this 'honorable mention' favorites list or the 'everyone gets a participation trophy' list haha.

So I would say these are my favorites of the last handful of years {give or take} in no particular order:

Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman - I've read this book 3 times in the past 2 years and have gifted it numerous times. I even BOUGHT it to keep on my Kindle which I NEVER do. This book has everything I like - a love story, a lovable main character, a little bit more 'oomph' than a typical chick lit book, I just love everything about this book. If anything were to jump into my top 10, it would be this...and it still might!

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson - This is the best thriller I've ever read. Forget Gone Girl. It's this. I read it geez 8 years ago for book club, and it isn't anything I ever would have picked up before, and literally I bought it for a friend's birthday LAST WEEK.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - This book lived up to ALLLLL the hype about it. It was beautiful, it was tragic, it was a page turner. When it ended, I literally started crying because I was so sad it was over. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - If you weren't reading these books 10 years ago, you weren't living. This trilogy by Stieg Larsson {and the follow-ups by another author} were so INTERESTING. The cases being worked, the characters, Lisbeth Salander as a heroine...just so COOL.

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy - This was also a book club pick [interestingly enough, chosen by the same girl who chose Before I Go to Sleep], and this was the first book that started my anti-racism journey. It was so eye-opening and shocking to this suburban, middle class, white girl. From an education standpoint, it is probably the most important book I've ever read for the journey it has put me on to become [still figuring this out] an antiracism activist who is raising antiracism activists.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - I mean it wouldn't be a list of favorites without at least one WW2 book [spoiler alert - there are more]. At first I was annoyed that this book was told 100% in letter format. But then I loved it because it was so unique and had the book play out in such a different way. I loved the characters, the story of Guernsey, the history, and especially {duh} the love story! It doesn't hurt that the movie was PRECIOUS and had some of my favorite Downton actors in it!!

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi - I think at one point this book was in my Top 10, I can't remember what bumped it off, but this book was SO fascinating. I have always been a sucker for cult stories {David Koresh, Jim Jones, etc.}, and this was the MASTER of all stories. It was so fascinating reading about Charles Mason and his followers from the point of view of the person who was able to get him convicted. Truly a GENIUS of a novel.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - If I weren't so lazy, I would have put this ahead of Guernsey in my list because this is the first WW2 historical fiction book I read, and 5+ years later, I've read dozens of them. I knew SO little about WW2 - I know I learned about it in school but I guess nothing stuck? - so it was so interesting to read about occupied France and the captivating characters in this story. This book really made me want to learn more and more about WW2 and especially the stories of the women who lived then. So good!

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley - My sister recommended this book to me after listening to me talk endlessly about Outlander. And thus began a love affair with Susanna Kearsley. I have found almost all of her books to be winners, and I love that there is always an element of history to them {The Winter Sea specifically focuses on the Jacobite rising in Scotland in the 1700s #nerdalert} but there is also a present-day narrative too and almost always a love story. You guys know I'm a sucker for a love story!

I went through all the books I have blogged about in the last handful of years plus everything I can remember reading from before my blogging days to come up with this list. Does this seem a little more like the present day reader I am? Any shocking selections on here?


Natasha said...

I want to read GhettoSide and Before I Go To Sleep.

The only one on here which surprises me is Helter Skelter :)

Kathryn Bagley said...

Cancel the wedding and The nightengale are def on my top list! You listed a couple I've been wanting to read!

Emily said...

Yes this sounds much more like your current reading style! I too loved Girl with dragon tattoo, cancel the wedding, crawdads, and nightingale. I’d never heard of ghetto side but I’ll add that to my list!