Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Jesscommendations

TTT is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl but it began life over at The Broke and the Bookish.

For this week’s TTT the theme is ‘Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me’. However, Jess @jessticulates and I have decided to do a slight twist on this and do a recommendation swap. Jesscommendations have lead to me reading some truly excellent books so I’m quite excited about this! She has, as usual, excelled herself and it’s a great mix of genres and diverse books that I’m looking forward to. Some I already own, some she’s convincing me to give another try (book one of The Diviners didn’t really do much for me first time round) and some I’m saying to get my mitts on.

You can find the other half of this post with my recommendations for Jess here.

So, over to Jess….

1. The Diviners by Libba Bray

I love this series and as well as it being a historical fantasy/paranormal series, something I’d say Nat and I both enjoy, I mostly want Nat to read it because I don’t think anyone has brought 1920s New York to life the way Libba Bray does. She doesn’t focus on flapper girls and prohibition, but instead on the social history of America as a country built by immigrants. It’s very timely and therefore very sad—we haven’t changed much in 100 years.

2. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Selfishly, this is one of my favourite novels so I’d really like Nat to read it so I can gush over it with her—or have my heart broken if she doesn’t like it. (No pressure, Nat.) Madeline Miller’s writing is lovely though, she’s like her own Greek chorus, and I think Nat would enjoy it.

3. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

This is another case of me wanting more people to gush about a book with, but I’d also love to see Nat’s thoughts on a zombie book because, to my knowledge, she hasn’t read many.

4. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Like me, Nat loves Six of Crows and didn’t enjoy Shadow and Bone so I’d really like to see her thoughts on this book considering it features characters from both series—I especially want to know what she thinks of the ending, which I still have mixed feelings about myself. (I promise this is better than Shadow and Bone, Nat!)

5. The Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde

I don’t read poetry very often – something I’d like to rectify – but Nat is a brilliant poet herself and I think she’d really enjoy this collection. It’s the first poetry collection I’ve read in a while that had me underlining whole sections that I loved.

6. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

According to Nat’s review of Ghost Wall she loves novellas, which means I can thrust this Asian-inspired fantasy tale at her and yell at her to read it. There’s so much packed into this story and I think the history nerd in Nat would appreciate its exploration of the stories we might miss out on when we only listen to the upper echelons of society.

7. The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang

More Asian-inspired fantasy which I desperately need Nat to read because I think she’ll love Misaki; she’s a triumph of a fantasy heroine, and a woman who rediscovers her own personhood after spending years as nothing more than a wife and mother. It’s also the perfect example of some of the fantastic self-published work out there.

8. Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch

Nat is a big Terry Pratchett fan, and Gabby Hutchinson Crouch is a writer who’s written for the Horrible Histories series on CBBC so I think Nat’d love the sense of humour in this MG fantasy novel. It’s heavily inspired by fairy tales, but it’s a bit more Shrek than Disney and Nat needs to read it for Trevor the talking spider alone.

9. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

If you thought I wouldn’t sneak a Moreno-Garcia novel onto this list, you thought wrong. Like me, Nat loves a period drama so I think she’d love the period drama with a dash of magic vibes this novel has. I also think Moreno-Garcia’s best antagonist is in this book, in some ways she was my favourite character, so I’d love to know what Nat thinks of it.

10. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

As much as I’m a fantasy fan, I actually find dragons pretty boring (le gasp), so the fact that I really enjoyed this YA novel means it’s one I think Nat should try, too. It’s unlike a lot of the YA of its time – it’s quite a slow-moving book, and yet never boring – and I get the feeling that Seraphina herself is a heroine Nat would like a lot.

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