Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I read cos someone told me to

One of the best things about having friends who read is that they recommend books to you. I like it when my friends’ tastes and mine overlap, but it’s best when they also read stuff I’m not usually into. It’s also useful to have friends who know much more about books than I do.

For the last ten or so years, I’ve been introduced to some really excellent books by my friends Kit and Marisa who work in a bookstore. Their recommendations are usually spot on – I can’t remember any duds – but I have another  friend who’s also bookseller and I’ve tended not to like the books she’s recommended. Often the premise sounds appealing, but the style is not my cup of tea. As for her boss (the bookstore owner), when he recommends a book to me, it’s nothing to do with my tastes and all about what he likes and what he thinks everyone should like too.

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) we’re supposed to list ten books that we read because they were recommended to us. My top ten comprises titles I read because they were recommended and which I ended up loving. (At the end of the list, I’ve added some titles that I did not like much at all.)

  1. The Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner (recommended by Kit and Marisa)
  2. The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin (recommended to me by various people including my ex-husband)
  3. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (recommended by Marisa)
  4. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (recommended by Kit)
  5. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (recommended by Marisa)
  6. Ms Marvel (recommended by Marisa)
  7. Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (recommended by Li-Hsian Choo. However, I don’t like his other novels, apart from Wild Sheep Chase, which I read right after Hardboiled. Everything else, was too similar and boring.)
  8. The Eliots of Damerosehay Trilogy by Elizabeth Goudge (recommended by a Helen Vincent)
  9. The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake (recommended by Ben Matthews)
  10. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli (recommended by Kit)


And here are some recommendations that I read but did not take to:

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon; The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield; Atomised by Michel Houellebecq; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (and all the other books) by JK Rowling; The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago; the Dr Siri Mysteries by Colin Cotterill; A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li; The Boat by Nam Le.

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I read cos someone told me to

  1. Glad to see you’ve listed the Le Guin, Hartman and Peake novels, Daphne, which were also recommended to me by persons unknown over the years, as is The Goblin Emperor which I’ve just started on the recommendation of two bloggers.

    I’ve tried three Carlos Ruiz Zafon novels now hoping they might win me over but, nope, nothing doing, so I agree with you on that count! I think we may agree to differ on the Rowling series … 🙂

    Several people have recommended Elizabeth Goudge to me recently, so I plan to follow that up in the New Year, as well as deliberately going for some non-Western authors, a serious gap in my reading experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth Goudge’s books are comfort reads, along with Barbara Pym. Men tend not to take to either writer so I’d like to know how you find the books. I’m also looking forward to your experiences with non-Western authors, Looking forward to posts about those.

      Liked by 1 person

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