It’s Grace here to do Top Ten Tuesday. For those of y’all who have never seen it before, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish. They release a prompt and bloggers round up ten books or points that they feel best exemplifies that prompt. It’s a great way to get some excellent book recs!
This week’s prompt? Top Ten Adult Reads.
The last Top Ten Tuesday I did was Top Ten Characters Who Should Have Their Own Books and it’s a pretty similar overlap. I wrote about characters with smaller roles that deserve the whole book. This week, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite adult reads.
One of my goals this year – which I’ve revisited while writing some of my upcoming 2014 wrap-up posts! – is reading more out-of-genre i.e. meant for adult audiences, or memoirs.
Without further ado, here are some of this year’s favorites.
1. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight | Goodreads
I read this one while I was in the British Virgin Islands over the summer and couldn’t put it down. It’s engrossing, dark, and has a ridiculous plot twist at the end – ridiculous in the best possible way. Kate was a narrator that I completely empathized with. It was so deftly plotted, with plenty of eerie circumstance and heart-wrenching emotion.
2. Austenland by Shannon Hale | Goodreads
I’ll confess that I actually read this one after seeing the movie trailer. It’s wonderful – very cute. As a young-adult reader, I often read many adorable reads but it’s rare that I stumble across that same sunny quality in adult. It wasn’t strictly chick-lit. It has heart but plenty of romantic action. As an Austen fan myself, it’s a read I’m happy that I finally read.
3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness | Goodreads
My English teacher actually recommended this one to me in eighth grade. Despite the quiet pace, it’s compelling. The complex and magical plot pull you in with this ephemeral quality. It took me a while to read and I picked it up twice separately, but it was definitely worth it in the end. It’s solid paranormal fare, and the scholarly feel of the beginning is priceless. It’s a slow build, but it’s crammed with explosive action at the end.
4. The Price of Politics by Bob Woodward | Goodreads
I’ve been trying to read more about politics. I try to keep myself up-to-date on what happens; I’ve practically grown up reading The Economist. It’s a regular topic of conversation at our dinner table. I looked at this title in my dad’s Kindle library (unfortunately, my family gets ebooks through Amazon) and randomly picked it up. Woodward’s clear explanation and insightful point-of-view cast a matter-of-fact voice onto the intricacies of modern politics. I was so appreciative of this title.
5. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson | Goodreads
I heard Jenny Lawson speak at Book Blogger Con in 2012 and she was brilliant. She’s crass (and hilarious) but also a powerful speaker; her meditations on depression are sobering. The book was much of the same. It’s laugh-out-laugh funny at some times and amusing at others, stuffed with authentic stories and Texan charm. She’s definitely a distinct individual, and it’s hysterical.
6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer | Goodreads
This was gorgeous. The writing style was incredible, with the synesthesia and perceptive narrator that made a stunning read. When I read this one, I cried and laughed and experienced the entire range of human emotion. It’s a book that profoundly changed me, staining my year. It has completely immersive language, and it’s a beautiful experience.
7. The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro | Goodreads
An absorbing read rooted in art history, The Art Forger was a book that caught me completely by surprise. A friend brought it for me to school and I devoured it within a few days. I’m secretly an art history nerd after AP Art History last year; I find it fascinating. The magnificent exploration of art and the clever mystery of this plot were wonderful.
8. Rapture Practice: A True Story About Growing Up Gay in an Evangelical Family by Aaron Hartzler | Goodreads
Aaron Hartzler is a fabulous human being. Rapture Practice was a witty account of growing up gay, and dealing with a suffocatingly Christian family. It was frustrating to read about, and likable. He’s a naturally hilarious person – I follow him on Twitter – and his accounts of God and relationships were thoughtful. I really enjoyed his memoir.
9. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter | Goodreads
This one was absolutely drenched in imagery, in magnetic characters and wonder. It’s romantic in all senses of the word, with a sense of enigma that was absolutely unparalleled. Jess Walter is a talented writer, and I’m lucky that I got to read it before my older sister took her copy back to Atlanta.
10.#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso | Goodreads
I can’t express in words how much Sophia Amoruso is my freaking IDOL. (Although, Amoruso says she doesn’t like to hear that because each girl should be her own idol and strive to better herself.) To put aside my articulation, she is a GODDESS. From her blunt advice to her sassy storytelling, everything about this book was a yes. It’s a clean read, so I could devote maybe a chapter a night. I underlined practically everything. It’s creative, straightforward, and extremely intelligent.