Top Ten Tuesday #10

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click here to read more and join!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click here to read more and join!

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.

SSanD

2. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and StormShadow and BoneShadow & 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!

Anna and the French Kiss3. 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!

TGS

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.)

The Hunger Games

The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate6. 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.

Angus Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging7. 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.

The Importance of Being Earnest8. 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.

Don Juan9. 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.

Lips Touch10. 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.

››Notable Mentions:

The Melancholy Death of Oyster BoyThe Last MusketeerDr. Bird's Advice for Sad PoetsAn Idiot Girl's Christmas

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18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #10

  1. I first read the Importance of being Earnest in first year of University. I adored it :) The movie was good fun as well! I still haven’t read Anna and the French Kiss yet, but I doubt that I’ll read it. I feel like it’ll be one of those books I chuck across the room lol. Yay for the Katerina Trilogy :). And I should read The Hunger Games soon as well!

    Great list Raya!

    • I think I’m due for a re-watch of the film, because it’s been so long that I don’t remember much! Ehh, you might find Anna from A&tFK frustrating, ha ha. She certainly annoyed me at times, but it was such a light book in comparison to what I had been reading that it felt like a nice break. I’m split between an “OK” and “likeable” rating. But after that is when I read Jennifer E. Smith’s SPLFS, and we both know that didn’t go well. Do you think you’ll read her newest book? I plan to give it a shot over the summer.

      • It’s been five years since I watched the movie too. Ohhh you should watch this new comedy that started called Vicious with Ian McKellen. It’s really funny.
        Ahaha from the reviews I’ve seen I think I’ll definitely find Anna annoying, but I think I would find Lola even more annoying. I’ve pretty much figured that I’m not someone that can’t read a lot of ‘light’ books, just because I’m not that kind of person who can read them. Some of them are okay, but the others I keep thinking ‘why am I reading this.’ I think it’s because of my own cynicism lol.
        I’m not sure if I’ll read Jennifer E. Smith’s new book. I wasn’t overly impressed with her writing. If I do read it, it’ll be from the library. There are some other books that are high up the list in comparison to her new one lol.

      • I haven’t heard of it, but I’ll try watching the show!

        Oh, I really couldn’t stand Lola! There was not a moment I wasn’t eye-rolling and feeling irritated by her character. She drove me batty. I’m the same with my cynicism, especially toward light/melodramatic chick-lit, but then I feel like a grouch since most of everyone else seems to love ’em. I think I might have picked up a few of those at the library, even, so I’m approaching with caution.

      • It just started actually. Yesterday was the second episode. From the reviews I’ve read for Lola, both Lola and Anna in that book sound like characters I’d just want to knock out with a baseball bat. Ahaha I’ve come to realize that I don’t like a lot of mainstream things. And the thing is I can’t apologize for it either because most of the time I’m not sorry. Does that make any sense lol?

  2. I love Oscar Wilde. It’s interesting- on one level his tone is really light, and fun, but then at the same time his commentary on society is a little less so. I love writers like that- they suck us in and then teach us a thing or two.

    • I agree. The duality or contrast of tone and commentary creates an interesting experience. On the surface it’s quite humorous, but Wilde is rather critical when you look at it more closely. The Importance of Being Earnest is one of my favorites, and it’s something I love going back to.

    • It’s a bit of a tie between the first two — they were both suspenseful and action-packed for me, so I gunned through craving more THG. Mockingjay felt terribly depressing, though, especially with all the character deaths. I could hardly handle that one.

  3. After reading about your enthusiasm for Shadow & Bone, I’m glad I got a copy – though I shouldn’t admit I haven’t read it yet should I? In case you throw it at me. ;)

    Ugh I’ve had Angus… on my shelf for such a long time and I still haven’t read it! I tried to start it when I was pregnant and had serious baby brain, thinking that it would be so fun I wouldn’t have any problems reading it, but I didn’t even get past the first few pages. Nothing against the book at all, I was just struggling with absolutely everything I read – had nearly 40 books on the go at one time! Terrible.

    I have Lips Touch too, really looking forward to reading that as I LOVE her fantasy trilogy. I’m ashamed to admit I still haven’t read any Oscar Wilde – I have his complete works but that’s as far as I got! Yet I love his work. Just haven’t read any of it!

    My TTT list.

    • I’ll refrain from any book-throwing for now :P But I hope you enjoy Bardugo’s book! I can’t wait for the sequel to come out.

      Sorry to hear that Angus didn’t work out for you. I’ve experienced similar reading slumps where I can’t make it past the first few pages of any book. Even after the slump is gone, trying to get back into those books is a bit of strain.

      I really need to read more by Laini Taylor — Lips Touch is the only book of hers that I’ve read, though I do have Daughter of Smoke & Bone on my shelf.

  4. Angus is on my list, too. That book is hilarious, but I’ve never read any others from that series. And i completely forgot to include Anna and the French Kiss. I’m kicking myself over that one. Great picks.

    • Anna & the French Kiss makes for the perfect light, fluffy read. Anna frustrated me at times, but the book was great for my stress. Angus was a blast to read, too, and very funny (: Thanks for commenting!

  5. Do you follow the Vlogbrothers on Youtube? Anna and French Kiss is written by a fan of these brothers. It’s mentioned by one of them in a video.
    This is totally random. I just got excited. Sorry. -.-

    • I do follow them! I’m really terrible at keeping up-to-date on my youtube subscriptions, though, but I had no idea Stephanie Perkin was a fan!

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