Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite books read during your blog’s lifespan

I know I’ve already posted a lot today, but at the risk of oversharing, I had to participate in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! It’s a weekly meme sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s topic is your ten favorite books read during the lifespan of your blog. Now, obviously this blog is pretty new; but my previous book blog has been around since 2009, so I’m going to take my ten favorites from that blog instead. I’ve put them in chronological order because it would be far too hard to rank them otherwise!

1. Julie James, Practice Makes Perfect — Not only is this a funny, sexy contemporary romance, but it also introduced me to the concept that not all romance novels are pornographic, ill-written drivel. Some of them are, of course. But as with all genres, you have to wade through a lot of crap to get to the good stuff. (July 2009. My review.)

2. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society — I honestly did laugh, cry, and experience a whole gamut of emotions. I loved the epistolary style and the way humor, romance and pathos are all blended to create a truly affecting story. (September 2009. My review.)

3. Jennifer Echols, Going Too Far — YA is so trendy these days that a lot of mediocre stuff is being churned out to take advantage of the genre’s popularity. If you’re wondering whether good YA is out there — good YA romance, no less! — then you definitely need to give Jennifer Echols a try. This was the first Echols book I read, and it remains my favorite. (May 2010. My review.)

4. Winifred Watson, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day — I absolutely fell in love with this 1930s Cinderella story about a middle-aged spinster whose life is turned upside-down by a glamorous nightclub singer. Even better, this book led me to many other Persephone books, all of which were wonderful reads! (May 2010. My review.)

5. Kate Ross, Cut to the Quick — This book basically combines all my favorite literary things into one entertaining, well-written package. It’s a historical mystery set in the Regency period, and there’s even some romance among the secondary characters. Plus, the detective is a dandy! This is the first of four Julian Kestrel novels. I’ve already read the second, A Broken Vessel, but I’m still hoarding books three and four for a special occasion! (September 2010. My review.)

6. Rachel Aaron, The Spirit Thief — “Rollick” is really the only word to describe this book. It utilizes several standard fantasy tropes — wizards (both good and evil), a thief hero, a magic sword, a faux medieval setting, and a ragtag group of outsiders who must band together to save the world as they know it — and yet it manages to remain fresh and colossally entertaining. I’ve read the entire series thus far and am currently jonesing for the fifth and final book. Alas, it doesn’t come out until November! (March 2011. My review.)

7. Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss — This YA novel is about a typical teenage girl who goes to boarding school in France, makes some friends and finds true love. The plot sounds like a horrible cliché, but trust me: Stephanie Perkins pulls it off. These teenagers felt like real people to me, and I could relate to Anna (and drool over her crush, Étienne) despite the age difference. Moreover, the romance is positively swoonworthy. (April 2011. My review.)

8. Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races — One of the few novels I’ve read in recent years that I’d describe as basically perfect. It’s dark, atmospheric, romantic, and altogether lovely. I almost didn’t give this author a chance because I’d heard about her Twilight-esque werewolf trilogy, but I’m so glad I conquered my snobbery. This might be my favorite book on the list. (February 2012. My review.)

9. Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen — Sarah Addison Allen’s books are magic. I love her evocative descriptions, especially of the supernatural occurrences that permeate her books. In this novel, for instance, one character’s passion causes eggs to fry in their cartons. Also, I could really relate to the heroine’s shyness, and I was happy when she eventually found strength and confidence. (April 2012. My review.)

10. Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity — This novel features espionage and female pilots during World War II, but at heart it’s a story about the friendship between two young women who happen to meet during the war. The story is told through journals, which allows the narrative to unfold in an interesting way. It’s a heartbreaking book — I sobbed through the last 60 pages — but so, so good. (May 2012. My review.)

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