This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is about books we've tried because of recommendations. This is an awesome list full of great reads, and I'm so glad I discovered these books, both through friends and fellow bloggers.
1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
I'm so grateful to my younger neighbor who gave me the first three books to borrow back in 2000. I'm sure I would've discovered Harry Potter on my own eventually, but this allowed me the unique anticipation and joy of buying and devouring books 4-7 the day they came out.
2. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I had never even heard of "Red Rising" until I saw it on several bloggers' best-of-2014 lists. I read it at the beginning of 2015, then immediately blew through the second book in the series, "Golden Son." Pierce Brown is now one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend the Red Rising series, even if you don't think science fiction is your thing. There's something in the series to appeal to everyone.
3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
4 stars -- but still one of my faves
I just love this book, which, like "Red Rising," is a novel with sci-fi elements that everyone can enjoy. It wasn't really on my radar at all, but I kept seeing it on blogs and other places and finally decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did! I remember I spent an entire flight from Ohio to Dallas with my nose buried in this book.
4. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I'm not a big fan of YA, especially contemporary YA, but, while this book has teenage main characters, it is so much more than your typical young adult novel. It just blew me away.
5. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I'm a bit of a newbie to the fantasy genre (though I'm reading more and more of it, and it is addicting!), so I didn't know a thing about "Uprooted" until I saw it, like "Red Rising," on many bloggers' best-of-the-year lists, this time in 2015. I read "Uprooted" this spring and it will definitely be on my best-of-the-year list come December!
6. Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
"Saga" was my first real graphic novel and I was instantly hooked. The series is this amazing blend of great characters, science fiction, space odyssey, warfare, profanity, humor, violence and wackiness. I had no idea that such an utterly engrossing story could be told mostly through illustrations.
7. The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
A library co-worker recommended this pseudo-autobiographical novel about an American coming of age in Paris in the 1950s. It was a riot to read, but it had heart too.
8. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
As you can see, I'm still not sure how I felt about this one, but I do know it's a book I will never forget. I initially had absolutely no interest in it -- I was totally turned off by the cover and the over 700-page length. But I saw it read and loved by so many bloggers with reading tastes similar to mine that I finally decided to give it a try this summer. While I'll probably never decide if I loved or hated it, I'm glad I read it.
9. The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton
My best friend, Katie, sent me this one to read several years ago. It's a memoir about a young woman who settles in middle-of-nowhere Wyoming in hopes of finding herself -- and in the process finds herself the parent of an orphaned coyote pup. The pictures of Charlie the Coyote are stunning and adorable!
10. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
After I finished (and loved, obviously) the Hunger Games trilogy, a friend recommended I try the Maze Runner series. Not as good, but it definitely kept my interest!