Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Outlander fans

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books to Read If You Love/Loved X (X can be a genre, specific book, author, movie/TV show, etc.). I’m in the midst of an Outlander obsession at the moment, with the long-awaited book #9 coming out NEXT WEEK… so you’ll excuse me if this series is pretty much all that’s on my mind right now.

Here are 10 books I think Outlander fans should check out:

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

What’s the connection?

Set in Scotland, historical fiction, Jacobite uprising, time-slip romance (and really, can’t go wrong with any of this author’s books!)


Clanlands by Sam Heughan & Graham McTavish

What’s the connection?

Outlander stars (!!), fun facts about Scotland, lots of references to the creation and filming of the Outlander TV series


A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong

What’s the connection?

A romance across time, time travel, lovers from different eras


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

What’s the connection:

Strong female lead character, male lead who seems too good to be true, time travel (in book #2), epic romance


Finding Fraser by KC Dyer

What’s the connection?

You literally could not be more connected to Outlander! A romantic adventure in which the main character heads to Scotland to find her very own Jamie Fraser.


Poldark series by Winston Graham

What’s the connection?

Historical fiction, time period overlaps somewhat with Outlander, gorgeous settings, heroic male lead, epic romance


The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

What’s the connection?

Set in the Scottish Highlands (and just a really enjoyable read)


On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon by Kaye Gibbons

What’s the connection?

Historical fiction, wartime medicine, women in medicine


Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow

What’s the connection:

Ongoing series with a remarkable, memorable woman as the lead character. Also, recommended by Diana Gabaldon via her Methadone List.


In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl

What’s the connection?

Women in medicine, wartime medicine, World War (although this is WWI, not Claire’s WWII)


Have you read any of these? Are there other books you’d recommend for people who love Outlander?

If you wrote a TTT this week, please share your links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading.

What a challenging topic! I do have people like this in my life (and yes, I tolerate them), but it would be hard to just make a blanket statement about what books to recommend without knowing anything about their overall interests. So, here is a somewhat scattered and arbitrary list of books I might give to non-readers — but realizing that this is a total crapshoot and none of these might work at all!

  1. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi: For someone who enjoys science fiction and humor, I can’t think of a better place to start! This book has it all, and is very accessible.
  2. The Martian by Andy Weir: More science fiction, but since I’m assuming most people have at least a passing familiarity with the movie version, it could be fun for someone who enjoyed the plot to read the original book.
  3. Emma by Jane Austen: For someone who says they can’t get into classics, I typically push Emma. It’s just so funny! The audiobook makes it even more “user-friendly”, and is a great entry for someone who doesn’t typically read non-contemporary books.
  4. The Salt Path by Raynor Wynn: If the person who doesn’t read says that they don’t like made-up stories, then I’d go with a memoir that feels compelling and presents an unusual life… and I just loved this one.
  5. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal: And even more science fiction! This is one of my all-time favorites, and it really is superb for so many reasons — great science fiction, very human characters, strong feminist messaging, and an interesting look at at a historical period and what it could have been in different circumstances.
  6. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling: This one needs no explanation, and again, most people have probably already seen the movies or think they know enough about Harry Potter… but experiencing the books for the first time is such a special experience, and I could easily see someone who doesn’t usually enjoy books really getting immersed in this series.
  7. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery: Anne is such a sweet and optimistic character, and her world is so lovely. I challenge anyone to read this book and not be charmed!
  8. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne: Another one that I found so immersive, in terms of historical setting and characters, that I can’t imagine anyone not being captivated.
  9. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende: Such a beautifully written book, and great on so many levels! I’ve given this book to a lot of people over the years, both avid readers and people who don’t read a lot, and have always gotten a positive response.
  10. Good Talk by Mira Jacob: This book got passed around my entire extended family over the past year. A graphic memoir, it’s easy to read yet also provides some great food for thought and discussion.

What books would you recommend to people who say they don’t like reading?

If you wrote a TTT this week, please share your links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me.

I could probably list hundreds, but here are the first 10 that come to mind… with a big THANK YOU to the amazing people who did the recommending! (With review links where available, in case you want to know more about the books…)

1. Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland: Recommended by my husband’s friend, whose book group read this over the summer. (review)

2. Finishing School series by Gail Carriger: Even though I loved the Parasol Protectorate series, I was under the impression that I wouldn’t care for these books — but my daughter kept insisting I needed to give them a try. She was right! So enjoyable. (review)

3. Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell: A captivating novel about Shakespeare and his players, which I probably never would have read except that my book group picked it for a group read. Loved it! (review)

4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid Jenkins: I’ve loved this author’s works, but for some reason didn’t get around to reading Evelyn Hugo despite owning a copy… until all the rave reviews from other book bloggers convinced me to finally read it. Thank you, all! Such an excellent book. (review)

5. The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler: I had never heard of Octavia Butler as of about 15 years ago, before a coworker (who’s also once of my best book buddies) urged me to read this. Truly a life-changing read.

6. Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow: I first heard of these books because they were recommended by another favorite author, Diana Gabaldon, on her “Methadone List“. The Kate books quickly became favorites, and I hope the author never stops writing them! (series overview)

7. If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser: My son, who is the most reluctant of readers, insisted that I read this book. And since he almost never reads willingly, I had to check it out to see what it was that made such an impression. (review)

8. The Blind Side by Michael Lewis: I am not a sports fan. At all. So why would I read a football book? Because one day while driving to work, I heard a review on NPR, and it was so highly recommended that I thought I’d give it a try. Glad I did!

9. All of Tamora Pierce’s books! I could list tons of books recommended by my daughter, but Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books were her favorites as a teen (and probably still are), and I finally got around to reading them over the past couple of years. And with minor exceptions, thought they were excellent!

10. I would be remiss if I didn’t include Letters from Thailand by Botan, which is the book that is at least partially responsible for me falling in love with my husband! If he hadn’t recommended it, we might never have started talking about books, and we all know how a booklover’s heart glows when you get on our favorite subject! If you want to know the backstory, you can check out my post here.

What books made your list this week? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That I MUST Read (according to my friends)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read. I love my bookish friends, but I don’t always read what they tell me to! Here are the ones that have been recommended to me the most often — or have been pushed on me with the greatest force. And maybe someday I’ll actually read them… at least a few, anyway.

PicMonkey Collage

1) The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman: I have no doubt that I’d love these — but the collection is just so huge that it feels overwhelming to even think about starting.

2) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: I’m truly a fan of Neil Gaiman, and I’ve liked the little I’ve read by Terry Pratchett. It’s not that I’m avoiding Good Omens. I just never seem to get around to it.

3) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: I’m certain that I will love this book, and I really do want to read it. However, I’m trying to stick to my resolution not to start any more series until I know that all volumes are available, or at least pending with a definite publication date. So I’m continuing to wait on this one.

4) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: I’ve read (and loved) other books by Marquez, and I know this one is supposed to be his masterpiece. I read about half of it many, many years ago, then got interrupted by life distractions and never went back to it. But I’ve been told repeatedly that I must.

5) The Beka Cooper books by Tamora Pierce: My daughter is a huge fan of Tamora Pierce, and has been urging these books on me for years now. I really do plan to read them, eventually.

6 & 7) The Bronze Horseman series by Paullina Simons and the Into the Wilderness books by Sara Donati: Fellow Outlander fans have been pushing these books on me for a while now, but to be honest, I’ve really never felt interested in starting either one.

8) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: Everyone keeps telling me to read this one… and so far, I just don’t want to.

9) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: This has been recommended to me by several people, and I’m finally going to read it for a book group this fall! I’m really looking forward to it.

10) The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub: No excuses. I absolutely trust the friend who says I have to read The Talisman. And I swear, I will! Sooner or later.

Have you read any of the books on my list? Which ones should get top priority… and which should I not even bother with?

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To My Anti-YA Friend

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To X Person — where X could be just about anyone. I had a hard time figuring out my focus for this week, but then it came to me! I have a certain BBF (Best Book Friend) who is wonderful in every way — except she turns up her nose whenever I suggest a young adult novel. Typical conversation:

BBF: What are you reading?

Me: (Shows book cover)

BBF: Oh. Is that… YA? (said with a distinct sneer and an uplifted eyebrow)

To be honest, I think she’s been permanently scarred by the Twilight series, and has never recovered. But just to show her that the world of YA is full of wonderful books, here is my list of 10 books I’d give her that I’m sure would crack her YA aversion!

Code Name Verity

1) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Fault in Our Stars

2) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Incantation

3) Incantation by Alice Hoffman

The Blue Sword (Damar, #1)

4) The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

Eleanor & Park

5) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

6) Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

7) The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

8) The Diviners by Libba Bray

How I Live Now

9) How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

10) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

These ten books just scratch the surface — but my hope is that my BBF would start to appreciate the depth, imagination, and fabulous writing that you can easily find on the YA shelf. A smattering of contemporary, fantasy, historical, and sci-fi, these are just a few of my favorites — and these are the YA books I tend to push into unsuspecting people’s hands the most in response to the question, “Hmm. What do you recommend?”

PS – You may ask, “What about The Book Thief?” It’s simple: I adore The Book Thief and think everyone should read it — but because I really did put together this list with a particular person in mind, I decided not to include something that I knew she’d already read!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!