Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: The Books That Started It All


Ever feel like you use the same books over and over and over for your Top Ten Tuesday lists?  I do, which is why I'm super excited about this week's topic.  Before we get to that, though, I just want to encourage you to hop on board the TTT train.  It's a fun way to find new blogs to love, grow your own audience, and, of course, add more awesome books to your TBR pile mountain mountain chain.  What's not to love?  All you have to do is click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl, read a few instructions, make your own list, and start spreading the love around the book blogosphere.  It's a good time, I promise!

Today's topic is (First) Ten Books I Reviewed On My Blog.  Isn't that a fun prompt?  I started blogging waaayyyy back in August of 2006, so it was fun to see what I was reading back then and ponder how my reading tastes have changed and not changed over the 13 ensuing years.  Kick back, relax, and let's take a little stroll down the BBB memory lane ...

(First) Ten Books I Reviewed On My Blog:   


1.  The Peacegiver by James L. Ferrell (reviewed August 13, 2006):  My husband and I read this inspirational book at the same time and had some great discussions because of it.  The book uses a fictional frame story about a couple struggling to keep their marriage together to teach the reader about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Verdict:  According to the review I wrote of The Peacegiver, both my husband and I found this one enlightening, even though it was a little cheesy and not all that well-written. 


2.  The Known World by Edward P. Jones (reviewed August 14, 2006):  This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is about a former slave who earns enough money to buy his own plantation, complete with a passel of slaves.  When he dies, his widow tries to keep everything running smoothly, but it's not long before the whole operation descends into chaos.  Verdict:  While I didn't love this one, it offered a unique view on slavery that I appreciated.   


3.  Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs (reviewed August 18, 2006):  I've long been a fan of Reich's Temperance Brennan series.  This is the 9th book starring the intrepid forensic anthropologist and while it wasn't my favorite of the bunch, I enjoyed it.  There are now 17 books in the series, although it has been stalled due to the author's ill health.  Verdict:  This is still one of my very favorite crime fiction series.


4.  The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (reviewed September 1, 2006):  This bleak novel concerns a doctor who, because of a fierce snowstorm, is forced to deliver his own twins, one of whom has Down syndrome.  While his wife is still under heavy anesthesia, the man gives the child to his nurse, imploring her to take the baby to an institution.  The nurse can't bear to leave the infant; instead, she leaves town and raises the girl on her own without telling the doctor.  The story is about the consequences of the doctor's action and how it affects all involved parties.  Verdict:  I found this novel compelling and thought-provoking, but couldn't quite get over how depressing it was.  


5.  Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (reviewed September 13, 2006):  I loved this beautiful novel about family and faith.  It features a sibling pair who run off to the Badlands in hot pursuit of their outlaw older brother.  Verdict:  This novel left a deep impression on me.  I loved the characters, the writing, and the messages.  As much as I adored this book, I haven't read anything else by Enger.  Weird. 


6.  Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (reviewed October 15, 2006):  I've always loved Southern novels and this one is a classic.  It's about a huge scandal in a small town—a widower of only three weeks marries a Yankee and sets every tongue in town to wagging.  Verdict:  This novel is laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it also has moments of great poignancy.  I loved it.


7.  Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark (reviewed November 2, 2006):  Clark has kept me entertained with clean, but compelling mysteries since I was a teenager.  Her newer books aren't nearly as good as her older ones, so I haven't read her much lately.  This book is about toddler twins who are kidnapped.  Verdict:  Tame and predictable, but still a page-turner.


8.  The Ruins by Scott Smith (reviewed November 4, 2006):  I made the mistake of reading this creepy novel on Halloween night, which made me jump at every little sound!  It concerns a group of friends who venture into a Mexican jungle to check out some old ruins.  Mayhem ensues.  Verdict:  This is a super spooky page-turner, which I enjoyed in spite of an ending that just didn't satisfy.


9.  The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean (reviewed November 30, 2006):  This memorable historical novel features a Russian woman who finds herself trapped in the art museum where she works while war rages around her.  As she fights to survive, she also works to save precious masterpieces.  Verdict:  This is a beautifully written story with vivid details and a unique perspective on World War II.


10.  Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (reviewed December 18, 2006):  I enjoyed this series opener about a former WWI nurse who opens a detective agency in 1929 in London.  Her first case has her following a woman suspected of having an extramarital affair.  Although the case seems pretty routine, Maisie soon discovers there's more going on than meets the eye.  Much more.  Verdict:  This is an intriguing start to a series that now has 15 installments.  It's got a little bit of everything—history, romance, adventure, and humor.  Although I enjoyed this first book, I haven't continued on with the series, something I need to remedy.

So there you have it—the first ten books I reviewed on my blog.  Have you read any of them?  What were the first ten you reviewed?  How have your reading tastes changed/not changed over the course of your book blogging career?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor.

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

41 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh you have been blogging forever!!! Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. I know, right? It's been fun, though, and I'm still enjoying it :)

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. The ruins! I read that in 2017 and still have the image of those creepy vines seared into my brain!!! The ending was entirely what I expected from the beginning, so I wasn't disappointed, but what a creepy story! Made me want to stay home forever, haha.

    I've also read Memory Keeper (yup, depressing) and Cold Sassy Tree (enjoyed this more than I expected!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? Such a creepy book! I can't remember how it ended, but apparently I was not satisfied with whatever did or did not happen. I think I just wanted answers that didn't come.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Stephanie!

      Delete
  3. I love Maisie Dobbs you definitely need to carry on with the series book 15 has just come out this month!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually have ARCs for every book in the series. In my defense, I always pass them on to my MIL since the Maisie Dobbs series is her favorite. Still, when she gives them back, I just stick them on my shelf. Shame on me. I need to keep going with the series.

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  4. I have to say, your reading tastes are quite varied!! And I completely agree, I feel like every Tuesday I talk about the same ten books. I keep thinking, surely everyone is tired of hearing about this, right?!

    I have to get back to the Tempe Brennan series. I did enjoy that first book, and I liked The Ruins too! Great list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like my tastes were more varied back in the day, but I still like to mix it up a little!

      The Tempe series is great. I love the characters, the science, the mysteries, everything. And, yeah, THE RUINS was crazy!

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  5. Oh wow, you've been blogging for twice as long as I have! That's dedication right there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. I know, it's been a looonnnggg time! I'm still loving it, though, so I'll keep going until I don't :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. The Known World does sound interesting.

    My TTT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely has a unique plot.

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  7. Kudos to you for blogging since 2006! I'v been blogging since 2012.

    Here's a link to my TTT post for this week: https://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2019/04/top-ten-tuesday-first-ten-books-i.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Six years is great! That's a long time in the book blogging world where blogs constantly come and go.

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  8. It's so fun to see that your first 10 included books I've read. I absolutely loved Cold Sassy Tree! I participated in Top Ten this week and had a blast looking back at my first "reviews."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. COLD SASSY TREE is a fun one. I should re-read it when I need a light, humorous read.

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by and commenting!

      Delete
  9. After reading the fact that you couldn't get over the sadness of The Memory Keeper's Daughter, I don't feel so bad about not reading it. My mom gave it to me and it sat on my shelf for years. I just couldn't get myself to pick it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a hard time with books that are unceasingly depressing. This one fits that bill as far as I remember. If you don't like bleak, sad stories, I would let it stay on your shelf. Sorry, mom :(

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  10. I have Reichs on my TBR, because I loved Bones so much, and want to read the books that launched such a fantastic character. Wow! 13 years of reviewing. That's a long haul. Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny enough (considering how much I love the Tempe Brennan series), I did not care for Bones. It was too different from the books. Same concept, but Tempe has a completely different personality in the show than she does in the books and the tv characters are completely different than those in the book. I couldn't watch Bones unless I thought of it as a completely different entity than the books!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. I've heard of a few of these, but haven't read any of them. But, that's one of the things I love most about books - there are so many out there to appeal to different tastes and preferences!

    Visiting from TTT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally! I love it when I find bloggers whose tastes really gel with mine, but it's also fun to visit those whose preferences are completely different. It's a good way to expand my reading horizons.

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  12. What an interesting list. I haven't heard of these books. It was fun to look back at my early reviews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree -- this was a fun prompt.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  13. Gosh you have been blogging for quite a while! I haven't read any of these books, but some of them sound intriguing! I hope you had fun traveling a little bit back in time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did! I really enjoyed doing the prompt this week. Sometimes I have a hard time coming up with anything for the TTT lists -- this one was super easy and fun.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  14. I love it that you have been reviewing books since 2006. That is a long time!

    I have read and reviewed several of these...Madonnas of Leningrad, Peace Like a River, Known World, Cold Sassy Tree...It's interesting to me that we have lived parallel lives, in a way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a long time! I've read and reviewed some great books in that time, though. And, you're right, we have lived parallel lives in a way. Cool!

      Thanks for coming by, Deb!

      Delete
  15. Terrific list, Susan - I haven't read any of these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, these are some oldies but goodies! Kind of like me :)

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  16. I haven't read any Mary Higgins Clark in a long time! I always enjoyed her work though. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her books kept me up WAAAYYY too late during my high school years! I used to really like her, but her newer books just haven't seemed nearly as good as her golden oldies.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  17. Oh my goodness, I remember when Cold Sassy Tree was all the rage. It seemed like *everyone* was reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! It was a big deal back in the day. I don't really remember reading it, but according to my review, I loved it.

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  18. I haven't read any of these books, though I have read a temperance Brennan book. Then again, 2006 is a long time ago and I had no idea what was releasing in books at that time. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. 2006 was a VERY long time ago :)

      The Tempe Brennan series is a great one. I'm just sad that it's stalled right now because the author is ill. I hope she feels better soon and starts writing again.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  19. A very eclectic list. I am impressed to see you have been reviewing books for 13 years. My first actual review was in 2010 and it was one sentence. Boy have my reviews changed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. I've never written a one-sentence review in my life! Mine have always been wordy :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

      Delete
  20. 2006?!?! Wow! Would you say your reviewing style has changed at all?
    I started reviewing 2 years ago and I've already changed in that, at first, I use to review every book I read. Definitely don't do that now. :D
    Happy Reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. I used to feel obligated to read and review every book I was sent, even if I hated it. I definitely don't do that anymore. Also, I think the tone of my reviews have changed. I still say it like it is, but I try to be more balanced in nothing the things I liked in a book and the things I didn't.

      Thanks for coming by, Keri!

      Delete
    2. Do you have a blog? I don't see a link in your profile and I'd love to visit yours ...

      Delete

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin