Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most


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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish,
and features weekly top-ten lists! This week it’s…

Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most

So this Top Ten basically amounts to “Which books are my absolute favorites?” Because my favorites are obviously ones I recommend the most! So these are ten of my favorite books, and why you should read them (in no particular order):

Mistborn: The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson

A thousand years ago, evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields. But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on a criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy – the magic that lies in all metals.

I will sing this book’s praises to anyone who will listen. It’s high fantasy, with a seriously incredible magic system, intensely memorable characters, and a plot that doesn’t let up until the end of the final book. The author refers to it as “a hybrid fantasy, heist story, kung-fu epic”. I like to think of it as a crazy combination of Lord of the Rings, Ocean’s 11, and The Avengers – like if the crew of Ocean’s 11 had awesome superpowers and tried to take down Sauron. I realize that’s a super weird pitch, but it’s AMAZING. This book would appeal to readers of YA and Adult fantasy alike – you really get the best of both worlds in this series. I cannot say enough good things about it. Just read it, please. You won’t regret it.

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

In this ingenious and captivating reimagining of Rudyard Kipling’s classic adventure The Jungle Book, Neil Gaiman tells the unforgettable story of Nobody Owens, a living, breathing boy whose home is a graveyard, raised by a guardian who belongs neither to the mortal world nor the realm of the dead. Among the mausoleums and headstones of his home, Bod experiences things most mortals can barely imagine. But real, flesh-and-blood danger waits just outside the cemetery walls: the man who murdered the infant Bod’s family will not rest until he finds Nobody Owens and finishes the job he began many years ago.

If you haven’t read this book… just… what are you doing with your life?? It’s so good. Plus I always love the books that make me cry, and this one definitely did that. It’s beautiful and everyone should read it.

Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion

‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.

I’m not usually one for “zombie books” but this book is a shining exception. The writing is fantastic and often really beautiful, and it makes you think and it’s just… it’s awesome.

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

This is a GORGEOUS book, both in its words and its descriptions – I don’t think I’ve read a more visually stunning book in my life. This one is incredibly atmospheric, and the descriptions are to die for. The plot almost takes a back-seat in favor of describing this beautiful circus, and it totally works here.

Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent energy storms will. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must come together to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

A huge stand-out in an otherwise cluttered genre. The characters are all fantastic, the relationships are SO well-developed, and the worldbuilding is phenomenal. Again, what are you doing if you haven’t read this book!?

Storm Front, by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get interesting.

This is definitely not a YA series, but it’s one of my absolute favorites. The Dresden Files are extremely exciting, often witty, and always entertaining. I’d definitely recommend trying them out if you’re a fan of mysteries and paranormal/fantasy.

Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld

It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides of the war. But their paths cross in the most unexpected way, taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure….One that will change both their lives forever.

STEAMPUNK WWI. NEED I SAY MORE.

The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

This book is so much more than that blurb implies, but it’s really something you have to read to find out. A lot of people are put off by the slow start, as was I, but seriously, push through the beginning because the middle/end are SO worth it. I reviewed this book here, if you want to check it out.

The Archived, by Victoria Schwab

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Mackenzie Bishop is a Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Her job isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Her grandfather’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

I have no words, and I’m recommending it to everyone who will give me 5 seconds to talk about it. It’s by far my favorite book so far this year. My review is here, if you need further convincing.

The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan

After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There’s little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.

This series is like… my comfort food. I’ve read it multiple times and it never gets old. It’s fun, and light, and has so much heart. It’s definitely the best middle-grade fiction I’ve read, and I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it already.

What books are YOU recommending this week??

Let me know in the comments, and leave a link to your Top Ten post! I’d love to stop by! :)

22 thoughts on “Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most

    • Yes!! Definitely read the book before seeing the movie – the two are VERY different. The movie often seemed more like a comedy to me, and the book (while it has its amusing moments) is much more introspective. Which I think is a point in the book’s favor. ;)

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Yeah, I lose my words when I talk about The Archived. For some reason it really left an impression on me – I hope you love it!

      And thank you! The quote is actually from the Mistborn series – #1 in my list, lol. ;D

  1. So far, I’ve read Warm Bodies, The Night Circus, Under the Never Sky, The Archived, and the Lightning Thief. Also really need to get my hands on Leviathan and The Raven Boys—both books have been suggested to me time and time again, and I think they sound fantastic.

    • Oh man, Leviathan is just pure steampunk alternate-history FUN. And The Raven Boys is one of my favorite books of the past year – it really left an impression and I can’t WAIT until book 2. I hope you enjoy both of them whenever you get to read them!

  2. LOL – I LOVE your description of Mistborn! It’s such an awesome series and I don’t even really like high fantasy (I called it epic fantasy — is there a difference?). I also really liked THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and UNDER THE NEVER SKY.

    • Haha thank you! That’s how I pitch it to anyone I’m telling to read it, and it’s been a pretty successful motivator so far. ;) Yeah, epic/high fantasy… I think they’re pretty similar? I don’t know the exact differences if there are any, lol.

  3. Oooh, yes, what an excellent list of books here! And Brandon Sanderson… I really want to read his books, ever since I’ve been reading the Wheel of Time books he helped finish. It shames me to say this, but I STILL haven’t read a Neil Gaiman book (other than Stardust). Maybe I should pick up The Graveyard Book.

    • Brandon Sanderson has released a couple of novellas recently – “The Emperor’s Soul” and “Legion” – that I highly recommend if you’re ever looking for a quick but awesome read. But they’re both really different from Mistborn (which is the reason I’m such a huge fan of his).

      I haven’t read much Neil Gaiman either, other than Stardust and The Graveyard Book (I think that’s it, actually…). The Graveyard Book is amazing, I hope you get to read it soon!

  4. The only books I’ve read off this list is Night Circus and Leviathan series – and I agree with the reasons you love them! The Night Circus is beautifully written and I so badly wanted to climb inside my book and be apart of the magic. And the Leviathan series is the first steampunk type novel I had read and loved it. Plus, the illustrations and map were beautiful! Great list, I’ll have to check out some of these others you recommended.

    • The illustrations in Leviathan were incredible!! That was probably partly why I loved it – I love steampunky drawings, lol.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Raven Boys!! I loved that book, but I have a hard time recommending it because I’m not sure how to describe it. I mean – I know what it’s about – and why I loved it, it’s just one of those books that’s hard for me.

    Great list!

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