This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt concerns books I’m sure I would go crazy without, and those are all the light and fun novels out there. Life becomes hectic, and sometimes the best relief I find comes in the form of quick, fun books. Here are some of my favorites to recommend:
1. Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard
Okay, I unwrapped the mystery on this one. Dennard couldn’t fool me, but she did satisfy my never-ending reading obsession. The plot fell weak in my opinion, but the story overall holds a light tone with a hint of adventure prickling the air. As the sequel won’t be released until July, I look forward to the short story of A Dawn Most Wicked, which comes out next month.
2. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow & Bone makes me want to chuck it at people and make them read it. Bardugo’s writing is pinched in the right amount of detail with swift pacing, and my only regret is that I read through her book too quickly. I tried, I really did try, to slow down, but I realized Shadow & Bone is one of those books I couldn’t walk away from. That’s not to say the story is perfect — near the halfway mark it becomes easy to spot the antagonist and uncoil his plot. Regardless, it didn’t detract from my reading experience, which was rather fun. Now I’m left counting down the days for its sequel — out this June!
3. Anna & French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I don’t usually recommend chick-lit, yet alone read it very often. Anna & the French Kiss, however, is equally light and fun riddled in some proper drama. I remember reading this smack in the height of stress during a biology course, and this book was the perfect remedy. Perkins kept me sane. I think Anna is a relatable character, if not frustrating at times, and although the book is predictable, it accomplishes what it should for its genre.
4. The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
The Gathering Storm reminds me of a cross between Bardugo’s Shadow & Bone and Dennard’s Something Strange & Deadly. The story follows Duchess Katerina Alexandrovna through the glitz and glam of Imperial Russia’s high society as she comes to terms with a disturbing power: necromancy. Filled with creatures from faeries to vampires, Bridges also includes romance and conspiracy. It sounds like a lot to bundle, yet it’s surprisingly light and fast-paced. I still have the sequel to read, and the third and final installment comes out this August!
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I suppose this isn’t exactly “light” in context, eh? I’m cheating a bit here. Despite its violence, which –and correct me if I’m wrong, because it’s been a while — felt tamed, The Hunger Games is suspenseful and action-packed. It’s not the same type of “light and fun” as other titles I mentioned so far, but I promise it is highly addicting. With the second film coming out this year, I highly encourage those who haven’t read the books to read them now. If you like the movies, you’ll enjoy the series. (I warn you, though, Mockingjay is a depressing one.)
6. The Merchant & the Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chiang
At 60 pages, Chiang’s novella might be short but it’s bound to make readers think. I always intended to review this story, and maybe someday I will, but for now it remains on my shelf of beloved books. Within this story lie several other stories with a prominent theme. Overall, this is a very easy-flowing and enjoyable book to sit down with, have a cup a of tea, and relax. To provide a sense of what The Merchant & the Alchemist’s Gate is about, I think its Goodreads summary best describes it:
It’s a story that includes not just buried treasure and a band of thieves, but also men haunted by their past and others trapped by their future; it includes not just a beloved wife and a veiled seductress, but also long journeys taken by caravan and even longer ones taken with a single step. Above all, it’s a story about recognizing the will of Allah and accepting it, no matter what form it takes.
7. Angus, Thongs, & Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
If you are in need of a good laugh, I recommend the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. I’ve only read the first book in the series, but it gave me plenty of genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Anyone who’s lived through an awkward adolescence will appreciate the humor, and Georgia just might provoke your own pre-teen flashbacks with a laugh.
8. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
I still have a collection of Oscar Wilde plays sitting on my desk (yes, my desk, because I’m so certain I’ll read it “soon” that I refuse to place it back on the shelf), but The Importance of Being Earnest remains the only one I have read. It’s smart, witty, and precise — a brilliant little play that mocks high society with light satire and humor that’ll have you coming back for seconds, possibly more. Wilde’s play is a classic I never tire of and simply adore.
9. Don Juan by Molière
Yet another little play that I had fun reading for the light atmosphere and charming humor. Don Juan, or Dom Juan (also called The Feast with the Statue), is the third play in Molière’s hypocrisy trilogy. I can’t say I’ve read the first two plays, although I do have my eye on them. Until then, I’m left with the fond memories of reading Don Juan, which remains a work of literature I continually recommend.
10. Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor
This is a compilation of three short stories, each one different from the other yet connected by thematic elements. I must admit that I never did finish the third story, and maybe someday I will return to it. However, I did enjoy the second story quite a bit (it remains my favorite of the three), and the book overall is a light, pleasurable way to pass time.
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- Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
- An Idiot Girl’s Christmas by Laurie Notaro