Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads from the Past Few Years

Top Ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is:

Top ten books you would classify as your ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend to 5 if you need to)

This was a HARD theme for me! I would love to say it’s because I read so many amazing books, but it’s actually just the opposite. I feel like I’ve spent the entirety of the last few years reading, but none of it has been books of my choice. During my last two years of college and in my master’s program, I was reading roughly 800-1,000 pages a week but it was all for class. There’s something about a book being “required” that kind of takes the joy out of it, you know? This is not to say my classes weren’t interesting, because they most certainly were. I took classes on everything from the French Revolution to the Age of Exploration and modern American political and for the most part I enjoyed the reading, but I’ve always preferred fiction to non-fiction and I hated not having enough time to get lost in the kinds of books I loved. I’ve been trying to make up for my lapse in reading for fun since I graduated in 2013, and these are a few of the stand-outs!

Bill_Bryson_A_Walk_In_The_Woods1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (re-read, 2014)

I love everything Bill Bryson writes. If he published a compendium of drunk text messages, I would probably eat it up with a spoon, and “A Walk in the Woods” is where my affections for his work began. This book was summer reading for me in 10th grade, and I absolutely loved it. I know what you’re thinking – 10th grade was WAY more than five years ago – but I reread it this past summer and I felt exactly the same way. This book is hilarious, informative, and incredibly inspiring.

2. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (2014)

The first time I ever encountered Rebecca was in my eight grade English class, and I’d been meaning to read the whole book ever since. I FINALLY got around to it a few months ago and I enjoyed just as much as I thought I would. I’m a sucker for mysteries and Du Maurier’s classic is the complete package. The book starts out a little slow but the intrigue and tension surrounding Maxim de Winter and the mysterious Manderley estate builds quickly and doesn’t let up until the last pages.

3. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (2014)the-picture-of-dorian-gray

This is another book that sat on my shelf for years before I finally finished it. I false-started so
many times that it was like scavenger hunt finding all the little scraps of paper I’ve used a bookmarks since I bought it. Dorian Gray is another one that starts out pretty slowly but the ideas that Wilde is proposing really make you think – if you could do anything in the world and get away with it, would you?

4. Soul by Soul: Life in the Antebellum Slave Market by Walter Johnson (2010)

I had the great fortune of taking an amazing seminar in college about antebellum New Orleans, and this was one of the books on the reading list. What I liked about this book is that it did a wonderful job of putting the issue of slavery in context. It explains perspectives on slavery from both sides and makes a solid point as to how and why such inhumanity existed for an extended period of time. I don’t know if I could say that I enjoyed this book but it certainly taught me a lot and helped me to see the past a little differently.

jane eyre5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (2015)

As you know, I just read this book! I always wanted to read Jane Eyre but I never felt like I had the time do it. In retrospect, I probably could’ve made the time but I’m glad I waited until I could really sink my teeth into the story and give it the attention it definitely deserves.

6. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (2011)

I started reading the Song of Ice and Fire second semester of my senior year in college and I spent the summer devouring them one right after the other, and this is my favorite of the books (so far). I think I would credit this series with reminding how much I love reading fiction and get totally wrapped up in a book.

7. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman (2010)his dark materials

I spent winter break of my junior year in college reading this series for the first time and it became a fast favorite. Pullman is an amazing writer and seeing his interpretation of Dante’s

8. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (re-2014)

I very briefly joined a book club a few months ago which I loved, but I could never make the meetings. The Westing Game was one of the books chosen as part of this group and I really enjoyed revisiting it. I read it in 5th grade but honestly hadn’t given much thought to it since, and I forgot just how much fun this classic is.

agatha raisin 9. Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton (2014)

Speaking of fun reads, I’m not even a little ashamed to say that I love the Agatha Raisin series. I came across this series at the library and made my way through the first four in about a month – although these are murder mysteries, they’re very light, fun, and genuinely enjoyable.

10. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (2014)

Of all the books I’ve read in the past few years, I think I might say that this was my favorite. Like I said, I really enjoy mysteries and this is a damn good one. When the whole story came full circle, I was like:

star trek mind blown gif

I’m also an avid Sherlock watcher so I appreciated the BBC interpretation even more after reading the original.

What are your favorite reads from the past few years??

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