Top Ten (not) Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week… but I was away and missed Tuesday this week! Since I really like this topic, I thought I’d post anyway, even though I’m a few days behind schedule.

This week’s topic is Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2017. I always love discovering new favorites — here are my top 10 for 2017:

Note: If you want to know more about any of the books mentioned here, click on the links to see my reviews.

1) Georgette Heyer: I’m SO late to the party, but I finally read my first Georgette Heyer novel, then read 3 more and stocked up on bunches to read in 2018.

2) Katherine Arden: I adored the first two books in her Winternight trilogy, The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower.

 

3) Sarah Gailey: The hippo books I never knew I needed! Find out more here.

4) Robert Kirkwood: I became hooked on The Walking Dead this year, first binge-watching the TV show and then binge-reading the comic series (28 volumes and counting!).

5) Jenny Colgan: Author of sweet, touching romances… both of these set in  Scotland, an added bonus.

6) Nnedi Okorafor: The Binti books are amazing, and I really enjoyed Lagoon as well.

7) Amor Towles: My book group enjoyed our discussion of Rules of Civility so much that we’re planning to read A Gentleman in Moscow next.

8) James S. A. Corey: After becoming a fan of The Expanse on Syfy, I decided to give the books a try. Three books later (Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate), I’m definitely hooked and ready for more.

9) Robin Benway: Far From the Tree was so moving! I’d really like to read more by this author.

10) Ron Chernow: My big, crazy, unexpected reading achievement was reading Alexander Hamilton… and really enjoying it! I’d love to read Chernow’s new book about Grant too. 

What a great year for trying out new-to-me authors! I can’t wait to see who I’ll meet in 2018.

Which authors did you discover in 2017? Please leave me your link!

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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!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books I loved reading with my kiddos

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a new top 10 theme each week. While the “official” topic is slightly different, I thought I’d focus on books that I loved reading with my kids. Now, bear in mind that both (sadly) have outgrown the reading-aloud phase, but I did diligently read to both of them every single day from infancy onward.

First, here are some books that were perfect for my sweeties in the baby and toddler days:

1. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown — so perfectly sweet.

2. ALL books by Sandra Boynton: I especially loved The Going to Bed Book, But Not the Hippopotamus, Moo Baa La La La — but they’re really all terrific. And years later, I can (and do) still quote them by heart!

3. The poetry of Winnie the Pooh: A good friend gave me a beautiful set of the Winnie the Pooh books when my daughter was born, and what we ended up especially loving were the poems in the books. Lines and Squares is amazing!

4. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks from A to Z: You haven’t lived until you’ve read this book with a 2-year-old! The adults in the house were on the floor completely incapacitated by laughter the first time we read this with my son, who tried his best, in his adorable 2-year-old voice, to repeat the names of all of the very silly cars. (The 2-year-old is now 15 and I’m sure would deny having any part in this, but I have video proof!)

5. Tumble Tower – a wonderful picture book that we loved to pieces.

6. Tumble Bumble – Unrelated to Tumble Tower, it’s just such a wonderful sing-songy read, and so much fun.

As the kiddos got older, we moved on to chapter books and book series, and here are some we loved:

7. Harry Potter — of course! I read the entire series out loud to my son when he was about 7 or 8. I was so proud of myself! (He loved it too.) We had such a good time with reading and discussing these books — it was an amazing experience.

8. The Hobbit — another fun read-aloud.

9. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – I read this one with my daughter. She was definitely old enough to read it on her own, but the concepts involved are pretty complex, and it was a good choice for a book to share.

10. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede — The dragon and princess trope turns upside down in these magical tales. Book #1 is really the best, but all make for a great shared read.

What books did you love reading with the kids in your life… or which would you want to read with your future kids? Please leave me your link!

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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!

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Top Ten Tuesday: My top ten books of 2016

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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 Best Books Of 2016. 

According to Goodreads, I gave a 5-star rating to 44 books in 2016. So how to narrow down my top books to just 10? Here are the books I consider the best of the best from my 2016 reading — not necessarily books published in 2016; simply the books I read this past year that I loved the most. (And okay, I cheated a bit and snuck in more than 10!)

Note: If you want to know more about any of the books mentioned here, click on the links to see my reviews.

1) Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (review)

Dark Matter

2) The Fireman by Joe Hill (review)

The Fireman

3) All the Winters After by Seré Prince Halverson (review)

All the Winters After

4) Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall (review)

Blue Asylum

5) The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett (review)

versions2

6) Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart (review)

girl-waits-with-gun

7) Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire (review)

Every Heart

8) Agent To the Stars/The Android’s Dream/Lock In by John Scalzi
(reviews here, here, and here)

9) Potterworld books: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (review) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (screenplay)

10) Flight by Sherman Alexie (review)

flight

 

What were your favorite reads of 2016? Please leave me your link!

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

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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!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2016

snowy10

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 New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2016. I love this topic! I “met” so many authors this year for the first time. Here are my top 10:

Note: If you want to know more about any of the books mentioned here, click on the links to see my reviews.

1) Blake Crouch: I thought Dark Matter was amazing!

Dark Matter

2) Shirley Barrett: Author of Rush Oh!, a book that proves that reading about whaling in early 20th century Australia can be loads of fun!

Rush Oh

3) Seré Prince Halverson: All the Winters After was one of my favorite books of 2016.

All the Winters After

4) Fredrik Backman: I know, I know — A Man Called Ove got so much buzz this year… and I have to admit, it lives up to the hype!
man-called-ove

5) Christina Baker Kline: I finally read Orphan Train with my book group, and thought it was wonderful. I look forward to reading more by this author.

orphan-train

6) Amy Stewart: Girl Waits With Gun was one of my favorites this year, and I can’t wait to read the sequel, Lady Cop Makes Trouble.

girl-waits-with-gun

7) Sally Hepworth: The Things We Keep was such a sad but lovely book. I have the author’s previous novel, The Secrets of Midwives, on my TBR, so that’s one that I’ll need to make a priority in the new year.

The Things We Keep

8) Amy Schumer: Does Amy Schumer count? I’ve enjoyed her comedy for years, and had a blast with her book, The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo.
amy-schumer

9) Sylvain Neuvel: I thought Sleeping Giants was so inventive! I can’t wait for the next book.
sleeping giants

10) Laura Barnett: The Versions of Us is a great take on the Sliding Doors style of storytelling. What if things went one way instead of the other? This book explores the different possible outcomes of a chance meeting and how people’s lives veer off into unexpected directions. Loved it.

versions2

I can’t wait to see who I’ll meet in 2017!

Which authors did you discover in 2016? Please leave me your link!

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

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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!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2015

snowy10

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 New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2015. What fun! I “met” so many authors this year for the first time. Here are my top 10:

Note: If you want to know more about any of the books mentioned here, click on the links to see my reviews.

1) Cat Winters: I read two Cat Winters books this year — an adult novel, The Uninvited, and a YA novel, The Cure for Dreaming. Both were amazing.

 

2) Dana Stabenow: On a whim, I started listening to the audiobooks of Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak mystery series. I’d always heard good things, and a big plus for me is the Alaska setting. I’m now on my 4th in the series, and it’s so consistently terrific. (Review of book #1, here.)

3) Emily St. John Mandel: I read Station Eleven early in the year, and loved it.

station eleven

4) Jacqueline Winspear: Another audio discovery! I’d been hearing about the Maisie Dobbs series for a while now, and finally decided to give the first book a try. Well worth it.

Maisie Dobbs

5) Benjamin Percy: The Dead Lands was one of the most disturbing things I read all year… and yet, I’m looking forward to reading more by this author.

Dead Lands

6) Winston Graham: Thank you, BBC and PBS, for introducing me to the gorgeous world of Poldark. After watching the first couple of episodes, I just knew I had to read the books as well.

Ross Poldark

7) Chris Pavone: I really enjoyed his sleek spy drama, The Expats, and look forward to reading The Accident in the near future.

Expats

8) Elizabeth Gaskell: North and South has been on my to-read list for years, and thanks to my book group, I’ve finally read it!

N&S

9) Jack London: Another classic! I can’t believe I never read any of Jack London’s novels before now — but I finally listened to the audiobook of The Call of the Wild, and thought it was great. I’d really like to read more of his books.

Call 2

10) Felicia Day: Is this cheating? I’ve loved Felicia Day as an actress and nerdy girl hero for a long time, but this year, I can add her to my author list as well! Her memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is such fun to read.
You're Never Weird

I can’t wait to see who I’ll meet in 2016!

Which authors did you discover in 2015?

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

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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 Read in 2014

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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 Read in 2014. I read so many great books this past year, and I’ve already raved about quite a few of them. In no particular order, here are the best of the bunch:

Note: If you want to know more about any of the books mentioned here, click on the links to see my reviews.

1) I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

IShallBeNear

 2) The Martian by Andy Weir

martian

3) Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

MOBY

4) The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

AJFikry

5) Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Midwinterblood

6) Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

unbroken

7) We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

jackson

8) The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey

girl with all the gifts

9) Archetype and Prototype by M. D. Waters

collage1214

10) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

rebecca

What were you favorite books from 2014? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

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

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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 New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

snowy10

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 New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014. What fun! I “met” so many authors this year for the first time. Here are the best of the bunch:

Note: If you want to know more about any of the books mentioned here, click on the links to see my reviews.

1) Erin Lindsay McCabe: One of my very favorite books of 2014 was Erin Lindsay McCabe’s debut novel I Shall Be Near To You. A simply stunning love story set during the Civil War, written with power, grace, and true emotion.

IShallBeNear

2) Liane Moriarty: I’m thrilled to have discovered this talented Australian writer. In 2014, I read The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies, and absolutely want to read more.

big little lies

3) Jamie Ford: I finally read Jamie Ford’s break-out bestseller, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and loved it. I’m really looking forward to reading Songs of Willow Frost in the coming months.

hotel

4) Andy Weir: The Martian was one of my biggest surprises this year! I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.

martian

5) M. R. Carey: Just when I thought the topic of zombies was completely played out, along came The Girl With All The Gifts!

girl with all the gifts

6) Patricia C. Wrede: Thanks to reading with my son, I finally caught up with this children’s author who excels at magical world-building! I enjoyed her Frontier Magic trilogy, and I’m currently 3/4 of the way through her Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author, especially Sorcery & Cecilia, which people have been recommending to me for years.

frontier magic

7) Mur Lafferty: If you like your paranormal fiction on the light and snarky side, then check out Mur Lafferty’s two very funny books, The Shambling Guide to New York City and The Ghost Train to New Orleans. The conceit wears a tiny bit thin by the second book, but I still had a lot of fun with both.

shambling

8) Andrew Smith: Grasshopper Jungle was one of the weirdest books I read in 2014 — and I loved it. I haven’t read anything else by this author yet, but I intend to.

grasshopper jungle

9) Alexander McCall Smith: Okay, here I’m extremely late to the party — but I finally read The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, and thought it was terrific! I picked up a stack of books from the series at a used book sale this fall, and I look forward to reading these on and off during the coming year.

no 1 ladies

10) Nomi Eve: Henna House is moving and lovely, and I’m looking forward to reading it again when my book club reads it in 2015.

henna house

I can’t wait to see who I’ll meet in 2015!

Which authors did you discover in 2014?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly feature, Thursday Quotables. 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!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

snowy10

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 New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013. What fun! I “met” so many authors this year for the first time. Here are the best of the bunch:

Note: If you want to know more about any of the books mentioned here, click on the links to see my reviews.

The River of No ReturnEleanor & ParkThe Rosie Project

1) Bee Ridgway: One of my very favorite books of 2013 was Bee Ridgway’s debut novel The River of No Return. It’s time travel plus historical fiction plus secret societies plus mystery plus romance… seriously, just overall excellent and so worth reading! I can’t wait for the sequel!

2) Rainbow Rowell: 2013 seems to have been the year of Rainbow Rowell! Eleanor & Park got everyone’s attention, and then we all gobbled up Attachments and Fangirl as well. Wonderful characters, wonderful writing!

3) Graeme Simsion: The Rosie Project made me so happy! I happened to read this terrific books right in the midst of a bunch of particularly dark reading choices, and I then went on to pretty much force The Rosie Project into the hands of everyone I know.

Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2)The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1)

4) Hilary Mantel: Call me late to the party, but I’d never made time for Hilary Mantel’s award winning Tudor-era books until I went on vacation this past summer. Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies are simply amazing literary accomplishments. And now I know what all the hoopla was about!

5) Jasper Fforde: Another one of those authors that I always thought I’d enjoy, but just never got around to… until this year! I finally read The Eyre Affair, and thought it was great fun. The Tuesday Next series is definitely one I’ll keep coming back to.

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned (Y: The Last Man, #1)Saga, Volume 1Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

6) Brian K. Vaughan: I’m just in awe. I love this man’s inventiveness and the skill he uses in laying out a complex story through the medium of graphic novels. Y: The Last Man is one of the best series I’ve ever read, and I really enjoyed the first two volumes in his new Saga series as well.

7) Gayle Forman: I loved Just One Day and Just One Year, and now really want to go back and read her earlier books, If I Stay and Where She Went.

Mrs. Queen Takes the TrainThe Girl You Left BehindThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)

8) William Kuhn: Mrs. Queen Takes The Train is a delight. I look forward to whatever he writes next!

9) Jojo Moyes: The Girl You Left Behind was my first Jojo Moyes book, but it certainly won’t be my last! I’ve recently picked up copies of Me Before You and The Last Letter From Your Lover, and can’t wait to read them both.

10) C. S. Lewis: Talk about old school! Finally, I’ve been to Narnia. After a woefully deficient childhood, this was the year when I made up for what I was missing by reading the seven Narnia books with my son. And even though we probably could have skipped the last one, all in all I’d say the series was a big success for both of us.

Which authors did you discover in 2013?

I can’t wait to see who I’ll meet in 2014!

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!

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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 on my Winter TBR List

snowy10

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 On My Winter TBR List. 

I feel like I’ve written a bunch of lists lately focusing on upcoming new releases and sequels, and I don’t want to repeat myself, so I’ll take a slightly different approach this week. Breaking my list into two sections:

Top 5 Graphic Novels (or Series) On My Winter TBR List:

1) Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan: 11 volumes in all. I don’t know if I’ll read them straight through, but I intend to at least make a dent this winter.

2) The Unwritten by Mike Carey. I have the first four volumes, but I’ll be happy if I get through 1 or 2, for starters.

3) Fairest In All The Land by Bill Willingham: A new hardcover stand-alone volume that connects to the worlds of Fables and Fairest.

4) Locke & Key (volume 6): Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill: Dying to read the conclusion of this amazing series.

and then…

5) Buffy/Angel & Faith/Willow: I need to catch up on all of the most recent volumes! More on the way in early 2014!

Top 5 Books That I Own But Haven’t Read Yet… But I Vow To Read Them This Winter!

1) The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

2) The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

3) Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

4) Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

5) Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill

… and one more for good luck:

To Kill a MockingbirdBack in September, I set myself a “back to school” reading goal, stating that I wanted to reread three books that I haven’t read since my high school days at some point during the current school year. Guess how many I’ve read so far? That’s correct: zero. So it’s time to get cracking on my school “assignment” as well, and what better place to start than with To Kill A Mockingbird?

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So there you have it — my (fingers crossed) not-overly-ambitious Winter TBR List. Let’s see if I can finally polish off some of these! Because more and more and more books are on the way in 2014…

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!

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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!

 

The 100 All-Time Greatest Novels… depending on who you ask.

Have you seen the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly? The cover proclaims that the double issue includes “The 100 All-Time Greatest” of all things EW-ish: movies, TV shows, albums, and yes, novels. It’s actually quite fun to read through, doing the quick mental “saw that”, “didn’t watch that”, “liked it”, “are you kidding me??” checklists.

Annoyingly, the EW website only provides the top 10 for each list, so you have to actually pick up the magazine or subscribe online to see their full top 100 list… or head to this website, which has helpfully listed the top 100 novels as selected by the EW editors.

So how did the EW editors do? Overall, I think it’s a pretty great list. Anna Karenina at #1? I suppose I could argue for any of several other great novels — but AK works too.

I was thrilled to see that the Harry Potter series made the top 10, and equally happy to see other fantasy favorites on the list, including His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

By quick count, I’ve read 41 out of the 100 books listed. Of the ones I haven’t read, in many cases I’ve read other books by the same author, just not the specific one(s) listed. For example:

  • Charles Dickens: I haven’t read Great Expectations or Bleak House, which were listed (I know, I know…) — but A Tale of Two Cities, which wasn’t listed, is always on my personal top 100 list.
  • I have read Anna Karenina, but not War and Peace (#28) or the various other classic Russian novels that also made the list.
  • I’ve read Beloved (#9) and several other Toni Morrison books not on the list, but not Song of Solomon (#52).
  • Bring Up The Bodies (#79) by Hilary Mantel is on the list, but not Wolf Hall, which I recently read.
  • I could go on with Faulkner, Forster, and Bellow, but that’s enough of a sampling!

I do have to question the selection of The Hobbit but not the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In my mind, The Hobbit is fun but LOTR is a masterpiece.

I love that they included Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume. I wrote a post early in my blogging days about the influence of this book on countless women who grew up during a certain time, wondering if girls today still read Judy Blume. For me and my friends, this was the book for pre-teen girls.

I don’t neccesarily put too much stock in any one “greatest of all time” list. It all comes down to perspective and opinion, after all. Still, I found EW’s top 100 to be a great representation of a mix of genres, eras, and authors, with everything from centuries-old classics to newer books from the last year or two.

So what do you think of EW’s selection of the 100 greatest novels of all-time? Any glaring omissions? Anything that just doesn’t deserve to be there?

For me, I’m feeling a bit inspired to check out a few of these titles that have always been “oh, gotta read it someday!” books for me. And it’s a terrific reminder of some books from my long-ago reading days that need a re-visit ASAP.

And for fun, check out their top movie and TV lists too. You may be pleasantly surprised!