Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by those lovelies over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re discussing our Top Ten Book Club reads. Now, since I tend to blather on about the same books over and over again (The Sky Is Everywhere, Harry Potter, The Princess Diaries anyone?), I’ll make an effort to discuss Classic, YA and Adult fiction here, since book clubs aren’t normally limited by genre. Also, I think you all know that there are about 1000 YA books I’d like to recommend (to you, to my girlfriends, to random people on the streets), but I’ll limit myself here. It’s going to take some discipline, but here goes.
1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger– Guys, I could spend weeks talking about this book. It is my favorite. I am absolutely in love with both Henry and Claire and I never, ever tire of reading it. If you haven’t tried this one, pick it up.
2. Persuasion by Jane Austen– Everyone loves Darcy and Elizabeth and they love those Dashwood sisters and Emma, but I think people often overlook this beautiful book. And sweet holy breeches, that letter by Captain Wentworth? It melted me. I was practically a puddle on the floor.
3. How To Save A Life by Sara Zarr– I think Zarr always asks interesting questions in her novels and this one is no different. It touched so many emotions in me and I really believe it’s one that speaks outside of typical genre lines. I related to the kids in the story, but it really hit a nerve with me as a mom.
4. Night by Elie Wiesel– This is not a happy book. It’s dark, and haunting and sad. But it’s essential that memories of horrors past not die, but are shared and carried on so that we have the foresight and the heart to never let them happen again. Here Wiesel accounts his experiences as a teenage boy thrust into a concentration camp with his father. It’s brutally vivid, but it is such a good read.
5. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton– This is the only book I’ve ever read by Wharton, but I devoured it. It’s a picture of New york society during the late 1800’s and it’s full of lush descriptions, scandals and hateworthy characters. In fact, the only person I really loved was the one that everyone in the story kept at arm’s length. It’s a good book.
6. If I Stay by Gayle Forman– Ok, I talk about this one quite often too, but I really feel that there are so many beautiful themes to discuss here. Again, this is one I related to in so many ways, be it mother to child, daughter to parent, sibling to sibling or love to love—this one had everything. And yeah, it made me cry till my eyeballs practically bled, but it made my heart soar, and swoon and smile in equal amounts as well.
7. Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See– This book delves into Chinese culture during the foot binding era (reason enough to read it because THAT is some crazy business) but the real story is about friendship. If you don’t cry in this one then you have no heart!
8. Possession by AS Byatt– There is so much to discuss here. The story revolves around two modern-day scholars who discover love letters written by two Victorian-era poets who were quite famous. Byatt created tons of poetry and back story so that you’re really reading two stories at once (and they’re beautifully written). And at one point, it all sounded so authentic to me that I was convinced these poets must have actually existed. Seriously. I looked them up online. (Genius? No. Gullible? Quite).
9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak– You need to read this book about Liesel and the Hubermann’s and how they lived in Nazi Germany while hiding a Jew in their home. And it’s fantastically narrated by Death. It’s sad and dark and yet somehow hopeful.
10. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor– This one is still on my mind (oh and yea for you and me, the review is coming next week!). I loved the creativity of the story and was totally blown away by the beauty of Taylor’s writing.
11. I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan– You must get sick of me talking about this book, but I had to mention it. I think it speaks across genres because it’s all about human connection. Again, there are so many ways I related to it. I’m thinking of choosing this for my own book club (or any of the ten above. Geesh. It’s so hard to choose).