Top Ten Books I Found Through Recs/Hype

This is a rendition of Top Ten Tuesday by the thebrokeandthebookish.wordpress.com. The prompt was books people keep telling you you must read, but I felt more comfortable listing works I’ve already read for that reason and liked rather than just passing on other recs or books you’ve probably heard the hype about already, anyhow. So, here goes:

Top Ten Books I Found Through Recs/Hype:

1. “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling
-My secret’s been that I actually put this down the first time I tried to read it and only picked them up again for the hype…only to get thoroughly into the fandom.

2. “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory
-This was lent to me by my mother, who firmly believes that Anne did probably engage in incest with George in order to beget an heir.

3. “The Great, Good Thing” by Roderick Townley
-A friend gifted me this work and I loved its meta style.

4. “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman
-I’m actually not a fan of most of Gaiman’s works, and the synopsis for this book is not something I normally go for, but somehow I really like this one.

5. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
-This one actually had to be recommended to me over years, simply because it’s so hard to explain and the title sounds boring to me, I think.

6. “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones
-One of my happiest author discoveries, I think this was actually thrust upon me by my little sister.

7. “Wee Free Men” by Terry Pratchet
-This is another big author whose works I largely don’t connect with, so I need recommendations to find the ones that I do really enjoy.

8. “Soulless” by Gail Carriger
(Full review here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/soulless-the-parasol-protectorate-series-1/)
-This was another gift from a friend.

9. “Her Royal Spyness” by Rhys Bowen
(Full review here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/her-royal-spyness/)
-A friend literally put this into my hands in a bookstore and I couldn’t put it down.

10. Georgette Heyer books
-This regency romance author I found because a close friend began a reading aloud marathon of them with me, and luckily she wrote enough for me to still be working through them. Examples are:
“The Grand Sophy”: (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/the-grand-sophy/)
“Black Sheep”: (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/regency-romances-best-bickering/)
Frederica,
and for mysteries-
“Behold, Here’s Poison”: (https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/behold-heres-poison/)

Well, I guess that rather doubled as my reading secrets blog. So, what are your favorite books discovered through insistent recommendations?

Neil Gaiman’s “M Is for Magic” anthology

M is for Magic

By: Neil Gaiman

(http://www.neilgaiman.com/)

Harper Trophy 2007

A children’s fantasy anthology review

Neil Gaiman’s fantastical stories throw words, images, and problems around like paint in M is for Magic.  The stories range from tales of thievery and the devil to dealings with trolls, phoenixes, and the Holy Grail.  The resulting works brim with bold patterns: zebra stripes, leopard print, and giraffe spots-somewhat familiar, starkly memorable, and all vying for attention.  These bold stories will grab your mind, flash their bright themes, and then settle down quietly for a snack.  Gaiman writes like a general.  He either attacks the reader with surprise, efficiently wrapping everything up before all the meanings and uproar quite settle down, or else slowly sets up his plots to surround and take down, completing his mission so quietly and easily that it feels like you didn’t quite get the full experience you were expecting.

In short, these stories are likeable.  They delve around the edges of disturbing behavior and fairy tales, but always manage to remain uniquely Gaiman’s.  On another note, the way the endings are reached seems designed to leave the reader unsettled and wanting something more.  While that might be appropriate for many of these particular plots, I wish there had been a little bit more resolution with a few of them.  It seems that there is no middle ground with these works, either everything is subtle or absolutely nothing is.  I longed for a little in-between.  That being said, these stories will definitely give you something interesting to while away your time, and they are different enough that there should be something for every fantastic taste.  My personal favorites are “Sunbird” and “Troll Bridge.”  Yours may be something else, but you’ll never know unless you read it.  I recommend taking it to waiting rooms, on airplanes, or anywhere else that really needs a good dose of anti-boredom magic.