Tuesday Top Ten


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten books and/or authors that were gateways in my reading journey, ones that introduced me to a new genre, reinvigorated my interest in reading, somehow changed or affected my reading journey.

  1. Dystopian Books – The Giver by Lois Lowry – My first foray into dystopian novels, The Giver will always be my first and my favorite!
  2. Young Adult – Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – It wasn’t my first YA book, but the first one that dealt so directly with difficult issues that matter to young adults, the first time I realized what great literature exists for teens.
  3. Stories told in a series of books – Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling –  They’re everywhere!  Prior to this series, I don’t ever remember reading books where you needed to wait until the series was complete to be able to finish the story! I do love many of these series, I just have taken a vow not to start one until all of the books are released so I don’t have to wait so long between pieces of the story!
  4. Historical Non-Fiction – Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham – Historical non-fiction has never really been my thing – I don’t want to read the equivalent of a high school social studies textbook – but this book proved that there was historical fiction out there that would tell me a story while teaching me about the past.
  5. Current Non-Fiction – Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – Too much of current non-fiction is just someone trying to turn their opinions into fact or someone trying to catch the wave of popularity associated with the issue or personality of the day.  But this story grabbed my interest and held it, teaching me about the past and the present.
  6. Mysteries – Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene – Giving credit where credit is due, Nancy and the gang were my first introduction to the mystery genre, one that I still love today.
  7. Cozy Mysteries – Kinsey Milhone series by Sue Grafton – My first cozy mystery series, there are still a number that I regularly read and enjoy – they are always a fun, quick escape!
  8. Detective Stories – Moe Prager series by Reed Farrel Coleman – Another part of the progression, the jump to grittier detective stories, this series continues to be a favorite.  It will be bittersweet when the last book comes out next month.
  9. Historical Fiction – A Good American by Alex George – I had not read historical fiction in a long time, didn’t really consider it a genre that I liked that well, until I read this and now I find myself reading all kinds of historical fiction!
  10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – The book the reinvigorated and affirmed my love for the written word.  The funny thing?  I walked by it in the bookstore for months, picked it up and put it back down, before I finally decided to give it a try – and it is my favorite book.

Finding Books

I know that we all have a to-read list that’s way too long, and if you’re like me, piles of books sitting around that you haven’t yet read – piles that never seem to shrink.  But sometimes, all of us, even me with my huge piles of books and daily access to a library, don’t know what to read next.  Maybe we’re bored by the same old authors and genres, or maybe we love them and want to find more like them.  Could just be that we’re in the mood for some science fiction or romance or a biography or a mystery and don’t know where to start.   Luckily, there are tons of great free resources out there for bookworms.  I know that I won’t possibly list everything useful that’s out there, so please feel free to share your favorites!

  1. Your Local Librarian!  They deal with books every day – the read reviews, order books, read books themselves, and know what other patrons read and like.  Ask them for help!  They will surely have some recommendations.
  2. Novelist – If your library has a subscription to this online database, use it!  Unfortunately, our library system had to discontinue our subscription due to the cost and underuse, but I think it’s a really fantastic tool for readers.
  3. GoodReads – A place where you can keep track of what you read, read and write reviews, and get recommendations from other readers.  You can follow other readers, and they can follow what you read.  You can follow me there!  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/17550974-watchingthewords
  4. Shelfari – Another place where you can keep track of your reading, read reviews, and share recommendations.  This is where I keep track of everything I read, even if I never review it.  I just like their interface better than others.  You can follow me here too! http://www.shelfari.com/watchingthewords
  5. LibraryThing – And yet another site that does many of the same things as Shelfari and Good Reads.  Unfortunately, I no longer keep an active account on their site since I found the interface to be a bit too clunky for my tastes, but there is tons of information available on this site.
  6. The Reader’s Advisor Online – Search based on your reading preferences for a selection of applicable titles.  Clicking on one of the titles will give you a brief description of the book.  The ability to refine your search is really nice on this site and can give you very specific recommendations.
  7. Book Reporter – A site with tons of reviews and information about upcoming releases.  They also have contests and we all need to win more books!  😉
  8. BookPage – You may have seen this magazine in your local public library, but their website has even more reviews, interviews, and contests!  You can also sign up for emails.
  9. Overbooked – Lists of starred reviews as well as “if you like…” lists by author, genre, themes, literary devices and more!
  10. What’s Next – This site gives users a simple interface for finding the in-order list of books by an author or in a series.
  11. All Readers – The search possibilities on this site are significant.  You can narrow down your search to very specific books that you like or browse through lists by genre broad categories.
  12. YA Series – A site for getting a list of the books in a young adult series, in order.
  13. Fantastic Fiction – A site for getting the list of books published by any particular author and getting the ordered list of books in any specific series.