Friday, February 20, 2009

Books I'd Recommend to Anyone

A friend asked me to create a list of my favorite books in different genres so that she wouldn't have to wade through the 100+ posts on this blog. I thought the rest of you might enjoy seeing as well, so here they are:


Bloody Jack Adventures (series)
by L.A. Meyer

Suspenseful, funny, amazing series with a main character who simply can't keep herself out of scrapes if her life depends on it (which it often does). Read my full review/plot outline/gush.

The Forestwife
Child of the May
(and if you can get it) Path of the She Wolf
by Theresa Tomlinson

Robin Hood retellings focusing on the females of Sherwood, and with a different look on Marian's character. Really good! I've never been able to read the third book in the trilogy because the publisher finds it too "adult" for the US and I don't want to pay to have it shipped from the UK.

by Lisa Klein

Hamlet--from Ophelia's point of view! Although it was the same storyline, it wasn't predictable, and I love seeing Ophelia as an interesting and smart character rather than a somewhat pathetic one (why does she have to drown herself over a man?). Full summary and review here.

Annie, Between the States
by L.M. Elliot

Torn loyalties and danger that will make even a non-history lover happy. This book made the Civil War really come alive for me; the characters and the descriptions are great--and I've been to so many of the places mentioned! Full summary and review here.

by Celia Rees

Dashing pirates, adventure, romance...
Not everyone I've recommended this to has loved it, but I do. I'm not sure why; maybe because I somehow identify with the main character a lot.


The Giver
Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry
It's a Utopian world that practices "sameness," a way of life invented for minimal pain and suffering, and everyone equal. Or are they? If you haven't read these yet, you should. NOW. Very thought-provoking and in a way, beautiful.

The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer

Opium, a strip of land between Mexico and the United States, is a dark and frightening world run by rich drug lords...and powered by human clones.
Different than The Giver trilogy, but somehow scarier. I guess the world painted seems more likely to happen. The prologue is very weird when you first read it, but don't give up. If you can't get into the prologue, skip to the first chapter and come back later.


The Ivory Lyre
The Dragonbards
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Okay, I read these a LONG time ago and it's been a while, but I thought they were amazing when I originally read them. They're pretty unique, especially in the dragon-fantasy genre.
(Couldn't find a good cover for this one.)

The Hollow Kingdom
Close Kin
In the Coils of the Snake
by Clare B. Dunkle

Really amazing goblin and elf stories, anyone? Sisters Kate and Emily are sent to live with their relations, far out in the country. One night when walking home in the dark, the girls come across a band of what they think are gypsies.

The Naming
The Riddle
The Crow
The Singing
by Alison Croggon

If you like epics (Lord of the Rings, the Inheritance Cycle, etc.), you should love this. It's the story of Maarad, a girl who is the Chosen One.

Sorcery and Cecelia
by Caroline Stevermer & Patricia C. Wrede

If you like magic and High Society, this book (and its two sequels) is for you! Cousins Cecy and Kate are about to have their debut Season, but there's magic afoot, and it's not always working for them. Full summary and review here.

Flora Segunda
by Ysabeau S. Wilce
I would recommend this book to everyone, but I don't think it's for everyone. Personally I found it hilarious, despite its being slightly bizarre. I guess you'll have to see for yourself. Full summary and review here.

Guilty Pleasures

The Seer and the Sword
by Victoria Hanley

This book definitely isn't total fluff, but it's enough of a romance that I feel sort of sappy when I read it. But it makes me happy, which is good. So there.

Crown Duel
by Sherwood Smith

In my category, this is about as much of a romance as I can stand. It's not corny, and the court intrigue is delicious. If you like it, check out its prequel, A Stranger to Command (which I found quite a bit drier).

The Raging Quiet
by Sherryl Jordan

More of a historical witch-burning-sign-language story with a love story on the side than a true romance.

Fairytale Retellings

by Eddith Pattou

A retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, an old Norwegian folktale. I think I loved it partly because it is a more unusual tale to retell, and partly because of the wonderful way it was told.

by Rafe Martin

What happened to the youngest brother in The Six Swans when his one arm remained a wing? Read his story. Full summary and review here.


  1. Great recommendations! I've read several of them and want to meet several more now. I still haven't got hold of Bloody Jack yet, but it's being moved up my list =)

  2. Great list...thanks for sharing. I've only read House of the Scorpion and The Giver but those were great. I have some of the others on my shelf and hope to get to them this year. You've also got me inkling to pick up some of the others.

  3. Oh my gosh, I've totally read The Raging Quiet, but couldn't remember the name to save my life! I love your choices and this was such a great idea!

  4. What a great idea! I like how you've divided it up by genre. A few of these I've almost picked up several times, like The Forestwife and The Seer and the Sword. Thanks for the push.


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