Sweet! A topic for Top Ten Tuesday that isn't going to make me feel guilty after pressing publish! Thanks, The Broke and the Bookish! That makes me feel a lot better after last week's topic...
This week's topic is the Top Ten Books You Recommend The Most.
This may still be a hard one to do, as I recommend books to people constantly. And the books I recommend tend to change a lot based on a few factors:
1) How recently I've read them - book I just finished and couldn't bear to turn the last page? Getting recommended to everyone and their brother. New and Old friends alike.
2) The person who wants a book - Some people just aren't made to ready YA fiction, or romance, or sci-fi. Know your audience, people!
3) How selfish am I feeling? - You guys know what I mean. Sometimes you turn the last page of a book and you just have this feeling of wow. I want to keep this one to myself. Just for a little while. It was a book that was just that good.
So, with those criteria (and more) in mind, here's my list:
1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - I still consider this to be one of the most beautifully written and put together books I've read. Probably ever. Top Ten at the very least. It's just a magical and beautiful love story set inside a world I want to be a part of - and a circus I would die to visit.
2. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness - I still wish I had written this book. Deborah Harkness is the historian I want to be - one who studies what I want to study and writes brilliantly beautiful novels on the side. I adore Diana and love Matthew. It's a romance novel with vampires, deamons, and witches. But it's so much more than that. It's an amazing novel and ranks up there with The Night Circus in my hypothetical Top Ten favorite books ever.
3. The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles #1) by Patrick Rothfuss - I love everything about this book. The characters and world that Rothfuss created. The language he uses. The exquisite attention to detail and story building that he employs. It's all so amazing. It's an epic like none other and if you read this - even if you're not a Fantasy lover - you will not be disappointed.
4. The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) by Jasper Fforde - I wish I was Thursday Next. Seriously. How many of us wouldn't want to be? A woman who can jump into and out of books at will? Who learns about, lives in, and polices Bookworld - the land/world that exists inside/between all books? Top that amazing storyline with an amazingly heroic heroine, a first-class set of plots, and Fforde's witty writing style? How can you not love this book?
5. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister - It's a book about the little things in life and the interconnectedness of life told through a series of cooking classes. Each chapter explores the current life of one of the students. It also shows how integral food and the creation of food is to our lives. And it's just a fun, sweet, beautifully delicious book.
6. A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin - If you think you're a fantasy buff and you haven't read Ursula K. Le Guin, you need to hang your head in shame now. This woman and this series is amazing. It makes me rethink everything I thought I knew about the genre and reading in general. It's incredible, fun, and masterful.
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - This book is amazing. A book about the Holocaust told by Death himself? It's brilliantly constructed and hauntingly poignant. There is nothing but praise that I can give for this book and I believe everyone should read it at some point in their lives. The sooner the better.
8. Sunshine by Robin McKinley - This is a seriously interesting and creative take on the Vampire Novel. McKinley does amazing things with her alternate post-apocalytpic universe. Her characters feel so real and it forces you to reevaluate how you pictured/understood vampire lore/legend before. Beware, there is nothing like Twilight between these covers!
9. Lamb: The Gospel of Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore - Quite possibly the most hilarious book I have ever read. We're talking I was sitting on a plane and the guy sitting next to me asked me to either stop reading my book or stop laughing at it because I was disturbing him funny. This book chronicles the missing 30 years of Jesus' life - and is told by his wise-ass, snarky, hilarious best friend Biff. And? It's not that offensive at all! Moore did a lot of research going into writing this. Religious or not, everyone will love this book.
10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster - This is my hands-down favorite book ever. It's about a boy named Milo who isn't interested in anything. One grey, gloomy day he arrives home and finds that someone has delievered a toy tollbooth to him so he sets it up because he has nothing better to do. When he drives through he finds himself in a land far away and sets out on many adventures. This book has great morals, interesting looks at academics, and is just incredibly fun. Whenever I'm feeling low I flip back to my old, original copy (bought in 2nd grade, when I first read it) and just settle in between its pages and feel at home for a while. It may be a "kid's book," but I firmly believe anyone can find happiness between its' pages.
What about all you guys out there? What books do you recommend most? What books do you find people recommending to you most? Better yet, what books do people get super invested in recommending to you once they've discovered you haven't read it yet? Take note: you're now recommending some of these books to me! Because we all know I need a longer list of books I want to read! Ha!