When I was getting all nostalgic about my childhood favorites, I also looked through some of my adulthood reads and I found that I loved a lot of books. I also hated a lot of books and I could make a whole new post about that, but right now I’m going to focus on the positive.
In the next weeks, I’m getting new bookcases and packing away more of my books. And I’m happy to say some of my favorites below will be gracing those shelves.
This is nowhere near ten (like last time). I think I’ve gotten picker as I’ve gotten older, but here are a few of my favorites. In no particular order.
The Birth of Venus by Sara Dunant
This book sticks with me. Every time I think of it, I think of the specific scene with the death of a nun and if you’ve read the book, you’d know what I’m talking about. The love story is so raw and it caught me when I was peak hopeless romantic—which meant my early adulthood life when I hadn’t been in any romantic relationships so every dramatic love story was what I wanted. But the story still holds up and I love the book so much.
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
This is the second book I read twice. I think the amount of books I’ve read more than once is less than five. I loved this story. It made me curious about a thousand things. I will say the first time I tried, I was a little young for the book. My mother had a copy from a college class she had and I tried to read it. It can get confusing, but I finally did get through it and loved it. I also loved the second book in the series.Technically I read this in middle school but I don’t feel it fits anywhere near childhood. There is sex and sexual assault and what you’d do for the love of your family. It’s based on Celtic folklore and the seven swans’ story…so if you know anything about that you’d know the plot. But Juliet Marillier is my favorite author and has shaped how I’ve written fantasy. I love her stuff and this is what started it all.
The Martian by Andy Weir
This book was just so good? And so easy to read? Even with all the science and the math I was able to understand what the character was going through. I was able to relate to the main character even though I’d never be in the same situation as him. It was a smooth read. The characters believable. And the movie, even though it strayed a bit (naturally), was also good. All around an uplifting story and a quick read. If you feel sad, I’d recommend this, because it’s hard to feel sad with mark Watney sending (.)(.) as a message to NASA even though he’s been stranded on Mars for months. He’s just a mess, but I love that about him.
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
I think Gail Carson Levine just understood me as a young fantasy loving child. I only read the two books, but she was just so good. The romance, the This is a YA novel that I read as an adult. And if you know me, you’d know that I won’t shut up about this damn book. I think about it all the time and honestly, I wish I could forget the book and reread it right now. It’s a story about a young girl named Julia and her coming of age story…but also that the earth is slowing down and one day it will not turn. It’s so interesting to see her life continue on, finding her first love, learning about herself, seeing her parents fall out of love, all on the back drop of the end of the world. It’s strange and really takes me for a ride. This book should be one that I had to read in high school not a few of the other “contemporary” works my teachers thought fantastic. I am mostly thinking Until They Bring the Streetcars Back by Stanley Gordon West. Because I have some weirdly strong feelings about that book, but I digress.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Do you want to have a good old-fashioned romance that just is too good? That gives you the twist and turns but, in the end, just feels right? This is the book. I read this book when the cheesy wistful romance side of me had worn down and man did it still feel good. There’s a movie about it now too (basically why I decided to read it. I heard the movie was coming and had to get the book first) and that’s pretty good too. Not the same but still gives me the sweet warm feelings.
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
This was the start of my love for mystery novels. Even before Nancy Drew which I read and bonded over with friends of mine. This was a defining story. When I was in 4th grade, our teacher gave us eHonestly, I shouldn’t love this book so much. It’s a good read. The Goodread’s description doesn’t do it justice. It’s so much more than Project Runway meets Mulan. That’s like the first third. Then it becomes epic wizard quest. Kind of gives me Two Princesses of Bamarre vibes which is basically a good old-fashioned fantasy adventure. It’s got love. It’s got dress making. It’s got magic. It’s even got a wizard. Read this book. Trust me you’ll love it. And there’s a sequel. I can’t wait to dig into that.
Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear
Do you like space operas? Have you ever read a space opera? Do you like random giant space whale creatures and smuggling routes? Please say yes to the last one because it’s important for our friendship. This book is just good. It’s a bit wordy and I recommend the audiobook, but it feels so big and wonderous and terrifying. Just like space. I love the main characters. I love the ship AI and how it’s got its own societal pressures. I also love that they have space cats. This book is good and it has the intrigue that I’d want from science fiction. It feels like a classic story like A Space Odyssey or Lost in Space. If you like science fiction, you’d slip into this book like cozy pjs and a nice cup of hot chocolate.
I’m not much of a rereader, but I might have to dig back into some of these.
Have you read any of these? Do you have any favorites you want me to read? Let me know in the comments below.