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My Progress:

9 / 30 books. 30% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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My Progress:

14 / 51 states. 27% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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13 / 50 books. 26% done!

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37 / 50 books. 74% done!

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29 / 52 books. 56% done!

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22 / 40 books. 55% done!

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5 / 25 books. 20% done!

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18 / 100 books. 18% done!

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43 / 104 books. 41% done!

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35 / 52 books. 67% done!

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39 / 165 books. 24% done!
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: A Decade of Favorites

This week's TTT topic is a fun one: Favorite Books Released in the Last Ten Years (one book per year).  Since I keep lists of all the books I read each year, with asterisks denoting my favorites, I'm going to use those lists to put my own spin on the topic.  Instead of chatting about my favorite books released in a certain year, I'm going to talk about the best ones I read each year, regardless of when they were published.  That should be a little easier than Googling "Best Novels of 20--"! 

Before I do that, I want to encourage you to join in the TTT fun.  It's a good time and a great way to spread some love across the book blogosphere, find new blogs to love, and add intriguing-looking titles to your TBR pile.  What's not to love?  All you have to do is click over to That Artsy Reader Girl, read a few instructions, make your own list, and share it with the world.  Easy cheesy.

Okay, here we go with my Top Ten Favorite Books Read Over the Last Ten Years:


The Help (2009) by Kathryn Stockett—Like scores of other readers, I loved this revealing novel about a Southern socialite who decides to write a tell-all book about what it's like for the black women working for white society women in the 1960s South.  It's a warm, funny, poignant novel that makes for a wonderful read.  I adored the movie as well, which is odd since I don't usually like book-to-film adaptations.


This is the year I discovered Kimberley Griffiths Little, a talented writer who has since become a personal friend.  Back in 2010, she was writing MG novels only.  These days, she pens books for children, young adults, and adults. 

I read and loved two of her books in 2010—The Healing Spell, which came out that year, and an ARC of Circle of Secrets, which was published in 2011.  Both are atmospheric stories set in the Louisiana bayou that concern family, friendship, and finding one's place in the world.


I found another talented MG author in 2011:  Cynthia Lord.  I read both Rules (2006) and Touch Blue (2010) this year.  Rules is a sweet novel about a 12-year-old girl who's frustrated with her autistic brother and the way his condition seems to overwhelm her life and that of her family.  Touch Blue concerns an island in Maine where the state is planning to shut down the local school, forcing the island children to go to the mainland to get an education.  In an effort to save the school by increasing enrollment, island families take in foster kids.  Tess's family takes on a 13-year-old boy whose presence in their lives could be either a blessing or a curse.  I enjoyed both books and have continued to read every book Lord writes. 


Cinder (2012) by Marissa Meyer—Sci-fi isn't really my jam, so it took me a while to actually pick up my ARC of Cinder.  When I did, I was surprised to find myself totally drawn into this YA story about a cyborg Cinderella.  It's a fun, inventive novel, which I enjoyed very much.  I've since read—and loved—the whole series, which is exciting, engrossing, clean, and entertaining.


How the Light Gets In (2013) by Louise Penny—Apparently, I didn't post my "Books Read" list for this year, so I had to Google books that came out in 2013.  I've enjoyed every book in Penny's Inspector Gamache series and How the Light Gets In, which I read in 2017, is still my favorite.  It's tense and exciting, but also tender and funny.


Apparently, this was the year I discovered Kate Morton, who quickly became one of my favorite authors.  I read four of her books, all the ones she had published to that point, in 2014:  The House at Riverton (2008), The Forgotten Garden (2009), The Distant Hours (2010), and The Secret Keeper (2012).  Although I enjoyed them all, The Secret Keeper was my favorite.  All of them are atmospheric, engrossing tales about families and secrets.


Salt to the Sea (2016) by Ruta Sepetys—I didn't love Sepetys' Between Shades of Gray (2011), but I really enjoyed Out of the Easy (2013).  Apparently, I received an ARC of Salt to the Sea because I read the book in 2015, before it came out.  This WWII novel is vivid, heartbreaking, and moving.  I loved it.


Little Black Lies (2015) by Sharon Bolton—This mystery/thriller about a string of children who go missing from a small, safe community on the Falkland Islands and the people desperate to find them, is my favorite of Bolton's books.  It kept me guessing until the very last sentence.  Literally.


The Disappearances (2017) by Emily Bain Murphy—It's hard to explain the plot of this unique novel.  The cover makes it look like a horror novel, but it's not.  Suffice it to say, I adored the story.  I've heard rumors that the author FINALLY has a new book coming out in 2020 and I cannot wait.  After The Disappearances, I want to read everything Murphy writes!


The Solace of Water (2018) by Elizabeth Byler Younts—Younts was raised Amish and while she has since left the religion, she remains close to the Amish community and her family members who still reside there.  This familiarity with their religion/culture gives Younts an insider's view that informs her fiction.  I've read a couple of Younts' books and The Solace of Water, a novel about two very different women (one is a black preacher's wife, the other a white Amish woman) who form an unlikely friendship in the 1950s South, is my favorite.  It's a powerful, touching novel which I loved.


I've read a couple books so far this year that I've marked as favorites, but the one that stands out most is The Island of Sea Women (2019) by Lisa See.  I've read and enjoyed several books by See, but this one gleams even among them.  It tells the story of a real group of women in South Korea who have been going into the sea for generations to harvest seafood that they sell to support their families.  The women are the breadwinners, leaving their husbands behind to rear the children.  It's a sweeping, epic novel that stretches across several decades, focusing especially on the WWII years.  Warm, intriguing, and memorable, it's a fantastic read that I highly recommend.

So, there you go, some favorites that I've read over the past decade.  Which titles did you choose for each year?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!
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