I was asked the other day to name my top ten favorite books.
And although a huge number of books came to mind, ranking and sorting them down to just ten is like asking a parent to pick favorite child.
Maybe it would have helped if the question had been posed in a different way:
“Pick ten books that haven’t pissed you off lately”.
“Which ten books have given you the least amount of hassle today?”
“Which of your favorite books didn’t tell you to drop them off a block away from school so they wouldn’t be seen with you?”
So yeah, I get that favorites will change from day to day.
But, in the interest of list-making (a task I secretly adore), here are my current top ten favorite books listed by genre.
This is actually a tie between Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale, and Wolfsgate by Cat Porter. Both are equally excellent and contain beautiful heroes and heroines. They both have a ton of angst, enchanting settings, steamy love scenes (Wolfsgate more so than Flowers) and really wonderful, descriptive writing. I love them both and often recommend each of them for fans of historical romance.
Hands down, no other contenders exist, my favorite contemporary romance novel this year is The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang.
This book is so awesome. And I really mean that.
You will fly through the pages of this funny, poignant story of Stella and Michael. Stella is a gem of a character and I wish she were real so we could be friends. And Michael…he is a swoon-worthy hero that steals the show.
Dang I love this book, and I hope the movie comes out soon, because don’t worry: there will be a movie. I am sure of it!
The Romance Novel I Can’t Stop Thinking About:
What, that’s not a category? It is now, sucka.
Here it is, short and sweet: The Idea of You by Robinne Lee. Read. It. Today. And then go join the Facebook support group, because, da-aaaaam, you gonna need it!
Oh my Lord, this book! This book is everything. Older woman/younger, rockstar man. Travel, celebrity, smokin’ hot sex scenes, and angsty angst in between two slices of angst alongside a side of angst…yeah, this book has all that.
I finished this book and felt completely gutted. I knew the ending was going to be rough, but I wasn’t prepared for the warnings to be true. I wasn’t prepared to have a romance novel end in a way that I both hated, and yet understood and loved it all the more.
It’s been a few weeks since I finished it, and I still think about this book every flipping’ day, people.
Read it and be obsessed like me.
Suspense and Thriller:
If I am reading purely for fun, this is the genre I really enjoy the most. I love a good page-turner. Books that are too descriptive, contain too little dialogue, and don’t have a lot of action right from the start, bore the heck out of me. So rest assured, my picks here are books you won’t be able to put down.
- The Girl on the Train. Yeah, I know, everyone already knows about this book. And that’s good, I mean, it was a HUGE best seller. But this book remains at the top of my favorites list because, unlike Gone Girl, the characters are really likable and relatable. This book has terrific hook-ability, chapter after chapter, and will keep you guessing right up until the end.
- Behind her Eyes. This book tripped me up a bit because it includes a supernatural element within a contemporary story. Usually I’m not a fan of magical-type books, but this one…this one just sort of sprinkled it around an otherwise very engrossing and engaging plot, and I found myself buying the premise hook, line, and sinker. I’ve yet to come across a book with an ending that stunned me as much as this one did.
- Cross Her Heart. This is another stunner from author Sarah Pinborough (Behind Her Eyes). This book had me from page one. The opening sentence grabbed my interest, and the book just never lets up. Quick plot, well-developed characters, and excellent writing. This is suspense storytelling at its finest.
- The Bullet. What would you do if you discovered a bullet in your neck? This is an older novel but great nonetheless. What begins as a [literal] nagging pain in the heroine’s neck turns out to be a bullet that’s been lodged there for years. As she investigates how she wound up with a bullet embedded in her body, she slowly discovers that the person that put it there has been watching her. This is a page-turner by Mary Louise Kelly that you won’t want to put down.
Hardly ever do I read SciFi, and I wouldn’t have picked up The Martian either, except it had a most wonderful opening sentence:
“I’m pretty much fucked.”
I mean, how can you go wrong with a book that opens like that? And as it turns out Andy Weir spins together a wonderfully engaging mix of science, humor and wit on the lonely planet of Mars. If you haven’t read the book (or seen the excellent movie starting Matt Damon), I would highly recommend starting it immediately. This is great fun + education, which always equals the best learning experience.
The later half of my teenage years happened at the end of the 1908’s, and I distinctly remember sitting in my room listening to an album (Def Leppard) and writing in my journal, “There will never be a better time in music than 1985.”
And now, some 25+ years later, I realize I was pretty insightful at that time.
Why is this relevant to my book choice for Young Adult? Because Eleanor and Park‘s two main characters are high school music aficionados that love to listen to their tunes on Walkmans and headphones. There are such great references to the late 80’s and 90’s that it took me right back to high school, along with all the angsty feelings associated with finding your perfect opposite. Rainbow Rowell does a fantastic job of representing teenage crushes, infatuation, and eventually, true love. I fell hard for this book and recommend it to everyone that likes a great love story that will take you back to a simpler time.
Just to recap, here are my top ten favorites as of right now:
Flowers from the Storm, by Laura Kinsale
Wolfsgate, by Cat Porter
The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang
The Idea of You, by Robinne Lee
The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
Behind Her Eyes, by Sara Pinborough
Cross Her Heart, by Sara Pinborough
The Bullet, by Mary Louse Kelly
The Martian, by Andy Weir
Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell
So there you have it, my favorites as of today, October 3, 2018.
But do check back soon because I’m sure I will have a new list started as soon as I click “publish”. And if you’ve read any of these favorites, do let me know what you thought. And feel free to recommend your favorites in the comments. I’m always on the look out for new books to love and talk about.