Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
PREVIOUS TOP TEN TUESDAY TOPICS:
- June 30: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2020
- July 7: Authors I Have Read Most Books By
- July 14: Books That Make Me Smile
- July 21: Book Events/Festivals I’d Love to Go
- July 28: Books With Settings I’d Love to Visit
- August 4: Books With Colours in the Title
So this is a great list: most – although not all – of my reading has been reviewed here, so a lot of these books will be books read prior to the start of the blog. And perhaps this should be by way of a promise – that these books deserve a review and maybe over the coming year I should review them.
Girl Meets Boy, Ali Smith
One sentence review: Beautiful, transformative gender-defying prose, beautifully tender.
I adore Ali Smith, as you can probably tell from my reviews of How To Be Both and Summer – and I was tempted to include the rest of the seasonal quartet on this list, but Girl meets Boy was my first Ali Smith read and hooked me with the beauty and lyricism of the language and the fluidity of identity and gender in it. Just stunning
Fingersmith, Tipping the Velvet, The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters
One sentence review: Out-Dickens Dickens with utterly convincing and tenderly created characters and wonderful plots.
Do I need to mention the plethora of lesbian representation here? If you like your historical fiction fast paced, steamy and in an utterly convincing world ranging from the Victorian era to post-war Britain, these are the books for you!
I do love the fact that Sarah Waters was struggling to find a book she wanted to read one day, so she wrote one for herself! That joy and investment really shows in the muscularity of her language.
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
One sentence review: Outstanding historical intrigue and drama with complex, compelling, morally grey and engaging characters.
Need I say more? It is Wolf Hall! It kicked off the Thomas Cromwell trilogy, followed by Bring Up The Bodies, for me perhaps the most successful of the three, and The Mirror and the Light.
Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
One sentence review: utterly compelling and moving coming-of-age story.
I read this when I was teacher training as a potential class read and loved it. Kambili is a character who stays with you with her simple quiet strength. Gorgeous and sensual language too.
Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
One sentence review: extraordinary and vivid imagination brings the city of New Crobuzon to noise, smelly, colourful life – plus slake moths!
New Crobuzon is a wonderful creation, teeming with fantastical creatures drawn from myths around the world and Mieville’s fertile and fecund imagination: humanity rubs shoulders with catacae, garuda, kephri, vodyanoi in a chaotic messy melting pot of a city. It is wonderful. And – oh Lin! – I will never get over what happens to some of his characters.
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
One sentence review: A compelling account of a man bound by and identified by tradition struggling in the face of modern colonial Nigeria.
His Dark Materials, Phillip Pullman
One sentence review: Exhilarating adventure across the multiverse seeking the truth of Dust and of growing up.
These have become iconic novels now and they remain wonderful creations. I remember reading them completely out of order when I was a barrister which may not have helped my understanding! But the imagination, the epic and classical allusions and echoes – and Lyra! I am enjoying The Book of Dust sequel trilogy (La Belle Sauvage and The Secret Commonwealth so far) but they do not quite compare to the original….
Neverwhere, American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
One sentence review: Whether writing for adults or children, Gaiman is a delight with gods hiding in plain sight, doors that should not be opened and
Neil Gaiman is an institution and a wonderful writer and I love that my daughter is loving his The Wolves in the Walls (which is very much a proto-Coraline if you ask me) and Unfortunately the Milk already! Neverwhere was my first Gaiman and hooked me with its hidden world of London Below and mad charming and chilling characters – the Marquis de Carabas!
So, there we have it – a few more than ten individual novels, but ten authors whose novels I have loved but which I read prior to commencing this blog. Perhaps over the next year I shall try to re-read and remedy that so that we have more than one sentence reviews for them all!
Forthcoming Top Ten Tuesday Topics
- August 18: Books that Should be Adapted into Netflix Shows/Movies (submitted by Nushu @ Not A Prima Donna Girl)
- August 25: Questions I Would Ask My Favorite Authors (Living or dead. You can post 10 questions for one author, one question each for 10 different authors, or anything else!)
- September 1: Books that Make Me Hungry (They could have food items on the cover, foods in the title, be about foodies or have food as a main plot point… they could be cookbooks or memoirs, etc.)
- September 8: Books for My Younger Self (These could be books you wish you had read as a child, books younger you could have really learned something from, books that meshed with your hobbies/interests, books that could have helped you go through events/changes in your life, etc.)
- September 15: Cover Freebie (choose your own topic, centered on book covers or cover art)
- September 22: Books On My Fall 2020 TBR (or spring if you live in the southern hemisphere)
- September 29: Favorite Book Quotes (these could be quotes from books you love, or bookish quotes in general)