Book I read thanks to blogging (that I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise)

Okay, yes, this post could easily go on forever! Which is why I (mostly) decided to go with books *directly* recommended by individual bloggers- which actually makes this post a DOUBLE WHAMMY of recommendations for reviewers as well as books!! *SURPRISE!!* This was so hard to narrow down- which is why I decided in advance I’m going to need to do multiple posts on this! Watch out for those in the future! For now, let’s jump straight into it…

Red Rising– I’ve read so many books on the *spectacular* Kat @Life and Other Disasters suggestions, so much so I could have filled an entire post with just those! Nonetheless, I chose this, because I didn’t have much space in my life for sci fi before this 😉 It’s a bloodydamn brilliant series-an adult Hunger Games, with heavy Roman inspiration… in space! And in case that wasn’t enough, it’s got characters to die for! I can’t thank Kat enough for this rec!!

Prince of Thorns– the GREAT Drew @Tattooed Book Geek is another person who I could feature again and again! I had to pick this, cos I never would’ve tried grimdark if not for Drew’s regular recommendations for this book. In fact, this is one that year’s earlier I thought was not for me. AND YET, now that I’ve grown older (though perhaps not wiser) I’ve found the cleverness and weight in series like these. And I have Drew to thank for that!

Wolf in the Whale– okay, I’m going to be a bit boring and say I had multiple cool recs from the lovely Liis. However, my reason for picking this *chillingly beautiful* read is that I’ve basically never read anything else like it! And the reason I even heard about it was because of Liis’ fantastic review!

Ten Thousand Doors of January– I can’t seem to shut up about this book, because it’s an open and shut case of how good it is! And, as I’ve mentioned before, it was all thanks to the wonderful Witty and Sarcastic Book Club’s riveting review!  

Winter Rose- McKillip is an author I’d never heard of until I started blogging (perhaps she’s not very well known in the UK?) but I frequently saw her recommended on the BRILLIANT Bookstooge’s site. So much so that I simply had to check her out. And I’m so glad I did- her writing has a beautiful, dreamlike, fairy tale quality. Her stories sucked me in. She’s not the easiest author to come by across the pond, but I’m happy to go out of my way for more of these bad boys!

Neverending Story– by contrast, Neverending Story is one I’d definitely heard of! But, it was thanks to a recommendation from the *fab* Zezee that I finally adventured into the wilds of this book. And it truly was wild! This book doesn’t just take you on a journey into a fantasy world, it takes you into the very heart of books and shows us their beauty.

Beowulf– another story I was (of course) aware of- and yet I was thoroughly intimidated out of reading. But I needn’t have been… thanks to the fantastic Joelendil’s suggestion of trying the Seamus Heaney’s translation. I loved every moment of this.

V for Vendetta– I never would’ve attempted graphic novels if not for the *stupendous* Lashaan @Bookidote’s personalised recs- so I owe him a great debt! And this is a stellar example of his suggestions- emotional, clever and with a unique artistic style. If you crave graphic novel suggestions (and many other books besides) you’d be a fool not to check out his reviews!

Exquisite– I had a hard time recommending just the one of the many, many books the MARVELOUS Meggy @Chocolatenwaffles got me to read! I really credit her with encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and start me on thrillers with her exquisite reviews! And this was a real zinger- sublime writing and intriguing twists. I was hooked on this read… almost as much as I’m hooked on Meggy’s suggestions!

Bright Side– contemporary romance is another genre I didn’t read… until I came across the delightful Deanna @A Novel Glimpse’s blog!! And thanks to her glowing mentions over the years, I put this on my tbr (with a caveat that I must be prepared to be in a weepy mood). Once again, this was a book that blew me away (and made me go through a considerable number of tissues!)

Secret History– I was so reluctant to try this book, because sadly Goldfinch wasn’t for me. AND YET, I saw an inspiring review on the amazing Meltotheany’s blog and I simply had to know more about this murder mystery told in reverse. And you know what? She was right- this one’s a winner!

Huntress– I’ve had a weird relationship with historical fiction- let’s just say a writer-who-shall-not-be-named put me off for half a decade 😉 BUT thanks to the AWESOME Beware of the Reader and her suggestion on my blog, I just had to see what all the fuss was about! And gosh, this was far better than I ever could have imagined. Gripping from beginning to end, I fell in love with the characters and was *so invested* in their stories! Can’t recommend this- and the Beware of the Reader blog- highly enough!

Before I go, as a bonus, I thought I’d mention a few books that I was inspired to pick up after seeing them more generally round the blogosphere, just to give a tiny sense of how many good books you can find from blogging (in case you don’t already know):

So, have you read any of these? Did you like them as much as I did? What’s the best recommendation you’ve ever received from blogging? And do you plan to check out these lovely people? Let me know in the comments!

Books I’m *eternally grateful* for!

orangutan list

So, we don’t have Thanksgiving here in the UK, but that doesn’t mean I can’t share some BOOKISH GRATITUDE! I tried to narrow this down to books that have a special place in my heart or that came into my life at exactly the right time (although of course, most great books feel like that, simply by virtue of being great 😉). Annnd I’m gonna be honest, I ended up with a very different post to the one I started with, because I took out anything too dark. I think I just prefer this to be a *happy place*. Without further ado, here are some of the books I’m most grateful for:

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover

Harry Potter– starting way back when I was 7- this was the first big book I ever read and I will always be thankful that it made me the reader I am today. Yes, I am a stereotypical millennial reader and proud of it 😉

Hobbit_cover

The Hobbit– aside from being mythologically rich and having wonderful characters, this book gave me my love of fantasy- how could I not include it?

peter pan and wendy

Peter Pan– this is another childhood favourite and I’d feel remiss not to include it, especially given how often it inspired me to practice flying as a child 😉 (granted, I never actually achieved my goal, but not for want of trying 😉)

rebecca

Rebecca– this book always reminds me of my mum, cos it’s her favourite. And I’m always glad that she foisted her favourites on me!

idiot

The Idiot– I originally felt like I had no special reason for including this one, but whenever I think about books that have shaped me, this springs to mind. I read this at about thirteen and it just clicked. Not only did it start a lifelong love of Dostoevsky, it taught me so many valuable lessons that I carry with me to this day.

Emma_Jane_Austen_book_cover

Emma– okay, quick confession, I’d already read Pride and Prejudice when I read this and I think I was too young to get the irony. I’m really happy I read this book, because it unlocked Austen’s humour for me. I ended up rereading Pride and Prejudice shortly after and loved it the second time round! (which was lucky, cos I was set it for school). Then, of course, I read all the others and have never looked back!

dr faustus

Dr Faustus– it just lit up my brain at exactly the right moment- yes I am enough of a dork to include academic inspiration on this list.

man's search for meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning– part autobiography, part exploration of logotherapy, Frankl’s book may seem a bit heavy on the surface. However, it’s actually the most uplifting book I’ve ever read and my brother was a hundred percent right about getting me to read it!

mort nice edition

Mort– I *needed* this book in my life- I just didn’t know it. Fortunately, a couple of my friends did know that I needed to read this and pushed me into it… and I couldn’t be happier that they did! Plus, one of my friends knew exactly which Pratchett to get me started on. So I know you’re not reading this, but thank you.

vicious

Vicious– fun fact, I was giving blood for the first time when I read this- and it was the *perfect* distraction! It was simply too brilliant! You simply can’t pay attention to anything else going on when you’ve got Schwab for company! (also, guys, give blood- it’s a great excuse to sit and read and you get free biscuits 😉 )

grey sister

Grey Sister– ah this is just a pleasure to put on the list. I was in a horrible slump a couple of summers ago and trying to deal with big life changes- this gave me a welcome distraction for a few hours- which I was immensely grateful for, I can tell you!

carry on

Carry On– I can’t stop being thankful for this magical book- because it has the power to pull me out of any slump and give me all the *warm fuzzies*!

That was fun- I feel like I should steal more traditions from across the Pond 😉 Hope all my American friends have a Happy Thanksgiving! (and if it’s not to late, the same to all you lovely Canadians!) And, I’m curious, what books are you most grateful for? Let me know in the comments!