This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a fun one for me. The topic is older books you want people to remember, with “older” basically meaning anything that’s not a new release. My list is composed of books that either blew me away when they first came out or that I’ve loved and treasured since childhood. So, in no particular order…
1. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society — First published in 2008. Remember how popular this book was when it came out? I read it a few years ago and absolutely LOVED it! It’s a charming epistolary novel about the inhabitants of Guernsey during World War II, and I count it among my all-time favorite books.
2.Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale — First published in 2006. This is a delightfully gothic novel with plenty of creepy atmosphere and surprising plot twists. I also remember being impressed by the lovely writing style.
3. Robin McKinley, The Outlaws of Sherwood — First published in 1988. This is one of my childhood favorites, and having just reread it recently, I can tell you that it definitely holds up! This is the story of Robin Hood as it should be told. I’ve read a few other Robin Hood retellings, but all of them fell far short of this book. If you’re at all interested in the Robin Hood legend, the Middle Ages, or fantasy books in general, I HIGHLY recommend this book!
4.Winifred Watson, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day — First published in 1937, but some interest was recently generated by the 2008 movie starring Frances McDormand and Amy Adams. The book is a sweet, uplifting 1930s Cinderella story, and it’s a wonderful comfort read.
5. L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables — First published in 1908. This book may not really belong on the list, as I don’t think it’s in any danger of being forgotten. But this story of the talkative red-haired orphan who erupts into Avonlea and changes the lives of everyone around her is one of my childhood favorites. For years my ideal place to live was Prince Edward Island! I hope young girls are still reading the Anne books; I know I’ll definitely be giving them to my daughters if and when I have any!
6. Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss — First published in 2010. This is one of my favorite YA contemporary romances, and I hope it doesn’t get overshadowed by the gajillions of new YA books that are coming down the pike.
7. Megan Whalen Turner, The Thief — First published in 1996. Seriously, how good is this series? It’s epic fantasy with a unique setting (pseudo ancient Greece), and it’s surprisingly dark and complex for a children’s series. The King of Attolia, book #3, is actually my favorite installment, but this is a series you should really start from the beginning.
8. Elizabeth C. Bunce, A Curse Dark as Gold — First published in 2008. I love a good fairy tale retelling, and this is definitely the best twist on “Rumpelstiltskin” I’ve ever read (though, granted, I haven’t read that many).
9. Connie Willis, Bellwether — First published in 1996. This is a funny, romantic, slightly screwball look at scientists in academia. I really like it, even as a person who doesn’t read a ton of sci fi.
10. Elizabeth Marie Pope, The Perilous Gard — First published in 1983. I really wish I had discovered this book as a kid, but there’s still a lot to enjoy. It’s based on the Tam Lin legend, with a relentlessly practical heroine and a rather grumpy hero. I like that the heroine actually saves the hero in this one!