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12 / 30 books. 40% done!

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Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

TTT: What Do You Recommend?

If you're like me (and I know you are!), you get asked for book recommendations all the time.  Despite the number of books I read every year, I still find the "What do you think I should read next?" question to be a difficult one to answer.  Books are such a subjective thing!  Everyone's tastes differ so widely, it's hard to find one (let alone ten) books that have across-the-board appeal.  With that in mind, I give you this week's TTT topic:  Top Ten Books I Recommend Most Often.

If you're unfamiliar with TTT, it's a fun meme, both bookish and list-y in nature, that's hosted by the fabulous ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.  Feel free to join in the fun!

Okay, here we go.  In no particular order, here are the ten books (or series) I find myself recommending over and over:

1.  The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling -- Duh, I know.  Everyone's going to have these books on their lists, but obviously, there are reasons this series appeals to readers young and old.  The story is engaging, imaginative, exciting and just downright fun.  If you haven't read it yet, you're totally missing out.

2.  The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins -- Another duh, but seriously, these books are such good reads.  Even though it's gory, this series is perfect for reluctant teen readers, boys and girls alike.  The story is compelling, exciting and thought-provoking—a winning combination.

3.  The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer -- It's no secret that I love this YA "rebooted" fairy tales series.  The story is unique, well-paced and absorbing.  Not to mention clean.  Sarah recommended these to me and I've recommended them to lots of people, adults and teenagers alike.

4.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand -- This one has received lots of hype, but guess what?  It totally deserves it.  This true story is absorbing, horrifying and, ultimately, inspiring.  It's not one I would hand to anyone younger than 15, but I've recommended it to plenty of adults.

5.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -- This is one of my favorite books of all time.  It's an unputdownable ode to the power of words, both said and unsaid.

6.  The Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson -- This is another YA series I discovered recently.  Its premise isn't anything super original, but it's still an intriguing ghost-hunting story.  Although the books seem very dark and grisly, they're actually quite upbeat, even funny.  Not to mention mostly clean.  This is another series that has lots of teen/adult crossover appeal.

7.  The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr -- Like I've said many times, Carr is the only adult romance writer I read.  That's because the author has a magical way of making the small towns in which she sets her stories come alive for me.  The people with which she populates these hamlets generally value the things that I do—family, commitment, community and helping others.  Since Carr's novels usually have some strong language and sex scenes, I don't recommend them to everyone, but I still talk them up quite a bit since I love them so much.

8.  Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi -- Yeah, yeah, it's another YA dystopian series, but this is one of my favorites.  The books blend familiar post-apocalyptic elements with more supernatural ones, creating a nice blend of sci fi, paranormal and action/adventure.  It's clever, intriguing and twisty enough to keep most readers interested.

9.  The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson -- I'm not huge on epic fantasy in general, but Brandon Sanderson really knows how to write it.  My friend Robin encouraged me to read the Mistborn series and I immediately fell in love with the story.  Sanderson excels at creating intricate, intriguing worlds—some readers tire of the endless detail, but I don't.  Not at all.  This is a fantastic series that I recommend all the time.

10.  Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys -- This one's a gritty historical YA that's set in a brothel in New Orleans' French Quarter.  So, yeah, it's not a book I recommend to everyone.  Still, it's a very atmospheric murder mystery featuring a most appealing heroine.  It's just a good story, one that's much more uplifting than it sounds.

What about you?  Which books do you find yourself recommending over and over and over?  Do we have any in common?

[All book images from Barnes & Noble]


  1. I have Harry Potter and UTNS and TTEN on my list too! I also definitely agree with The Hunger Games even though they weren't on my list. I really need to read Out of the Easy, I've been hearing great things.

    ~Marie @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer
    My Top Ten Tuesday

  2. That's a great list over there! I keep seeing The Book Thief in today's lists. Seriously, I need to read it! :)

    And thanks for stopping by my Top Ten.

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

  3. Great list! I can't believe I forgot to include The Book Thief on mine -- I do recommend that one to just about everyone.

    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies

  4. Great recommendations. I got The Name of the Star and Virgin River still on my TBR shelf.

  5. Great list! I am currently reading The Book Thief(which seems to be on EVERYONE'S list!) and am loving it!

    Out of the Easy was absolutely amazing! Ruta Sepetys is just a stunning writer!

    Unbroken is sitting on my shelf..I really need to get to that one!

    Great list!

    My Top Ten

  6. Great top ten! I've read (and recommended) quite a few of your choices too :)

    My Top 10

  7. I read Out Of the Easy last month, and I loved it. Under The Never Sky is pretty amazing too - I think it's awesome that I care so much for the characters, since I usually don't connect that easy when writing is in third person.

  8. I totally agree with Mistborn! (But you knew that, lol.) ;)

    But Shades of London/Lunar Chronicles/Harry Potter/Hunger Games are all fav's as well. And it's becoming increasingly clear that I really need to read The Book Thief...

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT :)

  9. Thanks for visiting my blog!! Harry Potter and The Hunger Games definitely should have made my list. I have heard of The Book Thief, but I haven't read it. I will have to check it out.

    Great list!!

  10. Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are a given. The only reason I didn't include them on my list...all of my friends read them before I did.

    I have heard great reviews of The Book Thief, but I haven't read it yet. I will have to check it out. Great list!!

  11. The Hunger Games series is my jam too :-) Awesome list.

    Tanya Patrice

  12. I haven't read The Harry Potter books but intend to at least start that series one day. I loved THE HUNGER GAMES series but did not like THE BOOK THIEF at all. In fact, I didn't even get half way through it.

    For suspense, I have recommended The Kanner Lake 4-part series by Brandilyn Collins.

  13. Harry Potter and the Hunger Games? Of course! Everyone should read those. (And The Book Thief too, that was on my list.)

    I STILL haven't started reading the Lunar Chronicle series but I really want to. And I really want to read Maureen Johnson books because I love following her on Twitter but haven't read anything of hers yet. Fail! Definitely hope to read both series over the summer! :)

  14. I think I need to add Unbroken to my Wishlist.

  15. I want to read over half of these. Oh goodness. I need to step on it.

  16. Wonderful top ten! Harry Potter is also on my TTT list, and while neither the Virgin River series nor the Lunar Chronicles are on my list, I love the former and really, really like the latter. (Well, to be fair, I haven't read Scarlet yet, but from all I've heard, I won't be disappointed when I do.)

    I'll have to take a look at some of your other picks. The Book Thief is on my TBR list, and the Ross books have been crossing my radar with increasing frequency. Sorry, though; the Hunger Games trilogy is just not for me. (Watch me eat my words someday...)

  17. I agree with so many of these! Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, The Name of the Star, Under the Never Sky and Cinder are all fab. I'm just waiting on Scarlet and The Madness Underneath from the library so I can't wait to carry on those series! I've seen The Book Thief on SO many top tens and I'm feeling guiltier about not having read it. Must fix that soon!

  18. Gah, I really need to get myself to the epic fantasy Brandon Sanderson table. I've only read his silly MG series about Alcatraz :)

  19. The Book Thief has been on my to-read list for too long. Glad to know you recommend it.

    Thanks for stopping by :)

  20. I've seen The Book Thief and Under The Never Sky around quite a lot! I have a copy of Zusak's novel (got it from the used book store) so I really need to move it up on the pile a bit!
    But you're right, not every book works for everyone! For instance I'm not sure I'd recommend THG to every reader, even though I enjoyed it myself. I've even found unlikely people who don't like Harry Potter o.O But well, to each their own :)
    Thanks for stopping by!

  21. I've heard a lot about Unbroken but haven't read it yet. Excellent choices in Under the Never Sky, The Name of the Star and of course HP, Hunger Games and The Book Thief are must reads!

  22. Harry Potter would naturally have made my list, had I participated in this week's TTT.
    The Book Thief has featured on a number of people's lists this week, I must get round to that book at some point.


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