Oh heck, it is Friday! This day totally snuck up on me. I’ve been hosting this Friday Favorites thing since the beginning of the year, so you’d think I’d be prepared every Friday. *narrator voice* But she never was.
But enough about my status as a hot mess book blogger, let’s talk about this week’s FF topic: books to recommend. Recommending books is always SO HARD for me. Books I love are a part of my soul and recommending a book is giving a piece of that soul over to someone for their judgement. I very vividly remember loaning a copy of A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab to a friend, and as they walked away I turned to my other friend and said “OMG, he isn’t gonna like the book and I’m gonna cry.” But really, that’s how I feel every time I recommend a book. I am very protective of my favorite books.
Since recommendations are pretty specific to the genre or style the person is looking for, I’ve broken the recs down in that style.
Classic Novel: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – Look, I love me some Jane Austen, but North and South has my heart. And part of that may be because I watched the BBC Miniseries before I read it and was therefore blessed with Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton. I always get bored while reading classic novels and N&S never got boring for me.
Violent, but really damn good science fiction: tie between Red Rising by Pierce Brown and Old Man’s War by John Scalzi – These books are both so brutal, but so very damn good. Old Man’s War explores some really interesting issues while having some of the most spectacularly violent deaths. Red Rising is just a freaking masterpiece of world building and brutal plot twists, set against a revolutionary landscape.
YA Fantasy that isn’t really YA because it gets smutty, y’all: Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas – I’m gonna start this by saying ToG is always my first rec over ACOTAR, which I’ve fallen out of love with. But that aside, these series are crazy addictive. You know they aren’t great, but you JUST CAN’T STOP. As I read them I saw all the cracks in the writing style and plotting, but I didn’t care. I was too wrapped up in the characters and story and sometimes that’s just what we need from a book.
Epic world building, the likes of which have never been seen before: Any book by Brandon Sanderson – That man can build a damn world. The Way of Kings (book 1 of the Stormlight Archive) was the first epic high fantasy book I can remember reading and enjoying! Sanderson somehow made a 1000+ page book seem like a smooth, easy read. Don’t even get me started on his Mistborn series. Seriously, don’t I’ll talk about my deep love for those books for days. *whispers* go read Mistborn!
Cheesy, old school YA paranormal: All the books by L.J. Smith – Y’all, L.J. Smith is my JAM! I read these books as an actual teen at least 10+ times each. I just couldn’t stop myself. I wanted to keep revisiting these stories over and over. I’ve gone back and read them as an adult and they mostly stand up, though the style of YA was very different back in the 90s. I think in autumn of this year I’m going to do a massive reread because they are very autumn-ish books to me.
Audiobook: The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, narrated by a full cast – One day I’ll finally get my full list of all the voice actors for this series and write a proper review for these audiobooks because they deserve all the recognition in the world. I’ve been a huge audiobook listener for the last 5+ years and a fan of Illuminae for the last year or so. You put those two together, and holy heck my mind was blown. I cannot begin to describe how amazing these audiobooks are. They add a whole extra layer of depth to this already unique book series. My plan is to listen to the audio and read the physical book at the same time for my next reread. Honestly, even though I just finished a reread a few month ago, I’m already wanting to jump back into the books.
What are some of your favorite books to recommend?
Friday Favorites posts from around the bookish community: