Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week’s theme is ‘Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me’, but instead of talking about books I’ve read, this week I thought I’d ask my lovely friend Natalie @ Too Short to Read to recommend me some books that she thinks I’d enjoy instead. She’s had to listen to me rant at her about books many a time, so I imagine she knows my tastes very well at this point – take it away, Nat!
(I’ve put everything Nat wrote in blue just to avoid confusion – and also because it’s one of her favourite colours.)
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend: Will I ever stop shouting at Jess to read this series? Nope, because I know she’s going to really enjoy it. A delightfully diverse cast that’s bright and lively with undercurrents of pathos. Deliciously whacky but pacy, it’s a book about learning to live when you thought all hope was gone. I know it often gets compared to HP but it’s very much its own book, Nevermoor is more of a response to that sort of narrative and a positive one.
Otto and the Flying Twins by Charlotte Haptie: A wonderful and under appreciated children’s book, I need to recommend the first book in the Karmidee series to Jess for multiple reasons: a POC protagonist, hidden magic, an unlikely ‘chosen one’ and complex mother-daughter relationships to name but a few. But top of the list is one simple fact – in this book WITCHES TURN INTO UNICORNS WHEN THEY’RE TIRED.
The Foundling by Stacey Halls: Jess is a self confessed history nerd and I think she’d find this one very interesting. The Foundling explores the life of a working class woman trying to do the best thing she can for her illegitimate child. It’s really interesting to see a novel set in London in the 1800’s that’s almost wholly focused on the working class/lower middle class but not a full on Dickens ‘state of the poor’ book. Again, a book with a very strong focus on mother/daughter relationships and I know that’s Jess’ jam.
The Bullet Journal Method: Track Your Past, Order Your Present, Plan Your Future by Ryder Carroll: The only non-fic on this list. Jess is a Ravenclaw, she’s a born list maker and she has multiple writing projects on the go at all times. Something tells me journaling might appeal strongly to her list making and organisational tendencies and it also might help her get closer to giving the world her wonderful creative work. It’s a win win situation.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie: I know Jess is interested in reading books exploring the spectrum of gender and sexuality, so this hits multiple spots as it’s also an AI book and I know how much she loved The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. She wants to read more sci fi, and this is the type that’s right up her street. Quieter, and very character focused.
Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier: Jess has had mixed experiences of Marillier, she loved Daughter of the Forest and hated Son of the Shadows (with good reason). There’s a lot of other Marillier books out there beyond the Sevenwaters series, but Heart’s Blood is the one I’m dying for her to read. She’s a big Beauty & the Beast fan and I really want her opinion on Marillier’s take on the fairy tale as it’s very different.
Redwall Series by Brian Jacques: Yes, I know, despite being a book loving, British, 90’s child Jess has never read a Redwall book. It’s practically criminal! Hopefully we can rectify this soon cos I think she’ll find it really interesting.
The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas: I know how much Jess wanted to like The Calculating Stars – which features women in science, alternate histories and won a Hugo award – it should have been right up her street but it really was not for her. I got this as an e-arc years ago and I think it may be more suited to her tastes. Even though time travel narratives can annoy her it’s dealt with very interestingly here. Time travel is normalised after it was discovered by a group of female scientists, the narrative works on multiple timelines simultaneously is led by a cast of female characters including queer relationships.
teaching my mother how to give birth by Warsan Shire: I can’t let this list go by without recommending a poetry collection (or I think I’d have my uni credentials revoked) and I think she’d love this one. Warsan Shire is a Somali poet who was born in Kenya and raised in London. Her multicultural heritage threads throughout the collection which brims with raw emotion as she explores womanhood, heritage and relationships. It’s a slim pamphlet but it’s lingered with me for years – I can’t wait for her full collection.
The Dreamblood Duology by N. K. Jemisin: I know how much Jess adored The Broken Earth trilogy so I’d love her thoughts on this duology. In Jemisin’s ever-expanding body of work, this series is not one that’s discussed a lot but I adored it. The richness of the culture she imagines is fascinating and feels very rooted in Egypt/north African history which I know she really enjoyed exploring in The Daevabad Trilogy. There’s also a really interesting exploration of a woman entering a previously male profession in book 2!
Thanks so much for the recommendations, Nat! These are all books I’d really like to try; I have a copy of Nevermoor, so with any luck that’s one I can get to before the end of the year.
If you’re not already following Natalie’s blog then you should be – she’s a proper good egg!