About these 10 books lists

I’m sure you’ve seen this “10 books” chain post thing on Facebook. The rule goes something like, “HOW TO PLAY: List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. It’s not about the “right book” or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Doesn’t have to be in order. Then tag 10 friends or more and me so I can see your list.”

I’ve seen friends post their lists – some of the lists are quite impressive, too – and I’ve been tagged once, but I didn’t want to post a list on Facebook because, quite frankly, it makes me feel embarrassed that I haven’t read any of the “greats.” I’m supposed to know these things, but I can’t say I’ve read anything written by the great literary fiction authors of our time or most of the classics while you’re at it. I’m not much of a lit fiction reader and I haven’t read most of the popular ones (even though I have copies of some). The number of classic novels I’ve read? I can count them off with my fingers. GAH. I am terrible.

Anyway, so I’ve always gravitated towards sci-fi and fantasy and I don’t know if I can name books that “changed my life,” but I have favorite books that I would love to hug and squeeze and name George. THAT IZ IT.

So, that’s the list I’m going to make right now: 5 books (or series) that I would hug-squeeze-and-name-George. I’m making it a list of 5 because I’m lazy and can’t make up my mind. I don’t remember all these books in detail, but I do remember loving all of them at the time I was reading them and just feeling very impressed with the author for creating amazing pieces of work. I mean, these are the kind of books that I wished I’d written.

Top 5 books (or series) that I would hug-squeeze-and-name-George:

My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok – One of the very first books I’ve read from my mother’s collection. My mom’s a big reader and our childhood home is filled with books she bought from book sales. There were quite a lot of Chaim Potoks in there and I think this book was the first of his that I’ve ever read. I was a teenager and this book gave me serious feels. Made me wish I was an artist in anguish. Potok’s other books are also pretty good actually.

Batoru Rowaiaru (Battle Royale) by Koushun Takami – I have one word for this one: insane. A class of high school kids battle it out on an island and in the end only one survives. Insane. Wish I could read this in its original Japanese. I know people have compared this with the Hunger Games, with some people arguing Collins got the idea for her series from this book. I don’t know much about that, but they’re a bit different actually and I kind of like Battle Royale more. More hard core and grittier, but surprisingly Koushun Takami gave most of the kids their own backstory, which made the whole thing more than just kids killing off each other on an island. The movie was quite entertaining, too.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Who doesn’t love Harry Potter? I resisted reading this series for as long as I could because I found it very annoying that everybadeh was so into it. It must have been some time around the third book when I finally gave in because most of my friends were talking about it non-stop. Thank the heavens the series turned out to be awesome. I love the books because, you know, magic and loooove. Even though Dumbledore obviously played favorites, which was really unfair to everyone, you know.

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R. Tolkien – My first epic fantasy. I remember feeling amazed that a man conjured a world like Middle Earth and all that, with unique languages that have their own invented alphabet. I mean, WTF. How on earth did you do that, Tolks? I was just amazed to the bones. The books are not easy to read, but they’re worth reading at least once in a lifetime. I’ve been wanting to revisit The Hobbit ever since the film adaptation came out, but I still haven’t gotten around to it. Gah.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin – GRRM is the man, I tell you. I really have no words for how epic and awesome this series is. I’ve read all the books, but I’ve only seen Season 1 of the HBO series. After reading the books, I just wasn’t interested in the series anymore. I love that he kills off characters. I was literally laughing with glee every time somebody’s head ended up on the chopping block. Not that I like violence or anything. It’s just kind of refreshing to meet an author who’s not afeared to *brutally* lose major characters in the middle of the story.


Somehow I feel like I should mention the ones below because I also enjoyed these books.

World War Z by Max Brooks – I absolutely hate zombies. HATE them. I can’t even watch the Walking Dead. Not that I think it’s possible that the dead can reanimate and take over the world. It’s more of the idea that a virus or whatever can trigger a similar phenomenon. Kind of like the reavers in Firefly, you know? What if?? Haha, I know it’s crazy, but it makes for scary imagined stories and I HATE it. World War Z scared the crap out of me because it brought the idea down to a more personal level. It’s an interesting book. I refuse to watch the movie though because it’s nothing like the book and I don’t want to be disappointed.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins – Yeah, I also enjoyed this series. I read it because it was popular (sniff). I hated the romance-romance angle, but I guess that sort of thing can’t be helped with YA books. I think the third book is my favorite, when everything went to dust and it was all chaos. Sort of. I re-read my review of the books and it’s clear that I enjoyed all the crazy in book 3.

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind – I only got to the fourth book in the series before it got too heavy for me. I think Terry Goodkind is not for the faint of heart. The Sword of Truth series is so much darker than most fantasies I’ve read and I just couldn’t go on reading. But then again that was a few years ago. I should start it up again. Book five’s been waiting for me for ages.

I Am Just Junco series by J.A. Huss – This science fiction series by an indie author has a foul-mouthed bio-enhanced crazy emotional highly-trained female assassin for a protagonist. Lots of shooting, epic fighting, and crazy twists. It was so much fun to read.

Melissa-McPhail-Cephraels-Hand-d-copy-192x300Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail – This is an epic fantasy by another new author. It’s almost Tolkien/GRRM level, if you ask me – crazy number of characters, amazing world building and histories, intricate storylines, and a well-developed magic system. You really can’t ask for more from a fantasy series.

Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani – Also a new author whose writing is something I really like, she uses such beautiful language. Sunbolt is kind of a softer, gentler, less violent fantasy than the ones above. The book is also about magic and mages, and otherworldly creatures like shapeshifters, lycans, vampires, and breathers – but with a very different take on these creatures. None of the sappy moody types ala Twilight, not like Anne Rice’s romantic creatures, but not the mindless savage types either.

At the moment these are the ones I can think of. The first five on the list are probably going to be on my top ten most of the time, but I’ll probably come up with a slightly different list if you ask me at a different time. I’ll probably remember some other book that was pretty awesome.

What would be on your top 10 list? :)

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