Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years.
It was surprisingly hard to choose! A few of my 5-star books didn’t make the cut; they were really good the first time through, but I don’t see myself re-reading them. For me, a favorite book is one I would enjoy re-reading. All of the books below fall in that category – and a few have already been read more than once.
I was also surprised not to find any mysteries in the group. There are plenty I enjoyed, and I discovered several new authors I will be following, but going by the “re-read” criteria, they were slightly less likely to be re-read than the fantasy books and a few romances. Maybe that’s just because in the case of most of the mystery authors, I started late and I have a backlog to catch up on before I can even think about re-reading! That said, a shout-out here to Charles Finch, Rhys Bowen, and Tasha Alexander, whose historical mystery series are all excellent.
These are in no particular order:
- The Wise Man’s Fear (Patrick Rothfuss) This one really does deserve top billing (even if I’m stretching a point because it really came out in 2011; I just didn’t get to it until 2012.) The man is an incredible writer. Granted, the Felurian section went on too long (if you’ve read it, you know what I mean.) But OMG, the writing. And the world-building. And the way he is dropping clues to some really big revelation or disaster that is coming, but we can’t be sure what it is or where he’s going. When book three of the Kingkiller Chronicle comes out, I am so sitting down with the Tor re-read posts and going through both the first two books first. (For some reason, I didn’t review TWMF, but I did review the first book, The Name of the Wind.)
- A Snicker of Magic (Natalie Lloyd) Wonderful MG book with magic, words, and the magic of words – plus two delightful characters in Felicity Pickle and the Beadle.
- The Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer) Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. These post-dystopian SF re-imaginings of fairy tales are amazing! Not to mention that they have a diverse cast of characters (not only racial diversity, but one character is a cyborg – disabled and with multiple prosthetics) and the author subverts gender expectations without being obvious about it (all three female MCs are experts at “boy” stuff – mechanics/robotics, programming/hacking, and piloting a ship.)
- Shadow of Night and The Book of Life (Deborah Harkness). Oh, heck, throw in A Discovery of Witches even though it’s outside the 3-year window. These are about the only vampire books I like (so far). Wonderful paranormal/supernatural fantasy.
- Seraphina (Rachel Hartman) blew me away with its take on shapeshifting dragons, human-dragon relations (generally poor), feudal politics, and the struggles of a half-blood, all set in an analog of late medieval or early Renaissance northern Europe. I can’t wait to read book 2, Shadow Scale!
- The River of No Return (Bee Ridgway). The best time travel book I’ve ever read. Think Regency romance meets secret-society spy novel meets conspiracy theory, throw in terrific writing and a ton of literary quotes and references (I’d love to see an annotated version!) and you might have some idea of what this book is like. Maybe.
- Libriomancer and Codex Born (Jim C. Hines). Especially Libriomancer. How can you not love a book in which magic consists of pulling things out of books – like light sabers, ray guns, and healing cordials? Like The River of No Return, Libriomancer is full of references to other books (most of them more recognizable.) And it’s an action-packed thrill ride, to boot.
- the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy (Nora Roberts). Something about this romantic suspense trilogy featuring a quartet of Irish witches really appeals to me. I’ve read them all twice already. Dark Witch, Shadow Spell, and Blood Magick.
- the Finishing School series (Gail Carriger). Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies, and Waistcoats & Weaponry. Paranormal steampunk fantasy for the MG/YA set, and sheer fun.