Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

‘The most’ in this context is a little ambiguous, but I’m taking it to mean the most frequently. So let’s commence with a list of the top ten books I recommend most often.

1. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Three (or is it four?) stories unfurl simultaneously in this novel that was my introduction to Margaret Atwood. Now in her old age, Iris Chase reflects on her life and the tragedy of her younger sister Laura’s death. Told through newspaper articles, and excerpts of Laura’s novel The Blind Assassin, which is a story within a story on its own, Atwood’s bestseller is a completely submersive read and one I wholly and absolutely recommend.

2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

“Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles”, what’s not to love? The film based on the book and written by Goldman is a cult classic and the book is just as wonderful. Different enough from the film to ensure it’s captivating from the outset, The Princess Bride is witty, wonderful and completely recommendable.

3. Wait by Frank Partnoy

Procrastinating is something we all do, but it’s nice to know that if done consciously and in the right way, it serves a useful purpose. Wait is an informative and well-written collection of research from a broad range of academic fields that investigate time’s effect on decision making. (Read my review here.)

4. The Raven’s Gift by Don Rearden

For a post-apocalyptic novel, this one ticks all the boxes. Unexplainable disease; barren, tempestuous environment; imminent danger and dwindling supplies, but it’s so much more than the sum of its parts. Aided by its unique structure, The Raven’s Gift is a well-paced, moody novel that’s definitely worth a read even if doomsday isn’t really your thing. It’s not usually mine either. (Read my review here.)

Don Rearden

5. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

For anyone suffering a bit of a quarter-life crisis, I recommend this book. Philip Carey travels, falls in love, pursues art and then becomes a doctor. I truly empathised with Philip’s confusion about the future of his life, and the fact that he could still have a worthwhile career after everything else he did was particularly comforting.

6. Letters to the End of Love by Yvette Walker

Not out until 11 April, I was lucky enough to get a review copy of Yvette Walker’s debut novel. It’s beautiful. Do try and get your hands on a copy. Stay tuned for my review.

7. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

14-year-old town outcast Jasper Jones risks a murder charge if young Charlie Bucktin can’t unearth the truth. Set in 1965 in the small mining town of Corrigan, Jasper Jones is a very powerful story about growing up in a narrow-minded world.

8. Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is one of my favourite storytellers and Hard Times is without a doubt my favourite of his stories. Blatantly anti-utilitarian, Hard Times explores the emotional impact of growing up, and working during the Industrial Age. A must-read.

9. Thank You for Not Reading by Dubravka Ugrešić

A series of essays about contemporary literary culture, Thank You for Not Reading is unlike any other book I’ve read.  Ugrešić’s dry wit and compelling backstory make this book an absolute must-read. (This review says it so much better than I can.)

10. Snobs by Julian Fellowes

For anyone that has fallen in love with Downton Abbey, Snobs offers a more contemporary take on British high society with the same wit and humour we’ve come to expect from Julian Fellowes.


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