Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature brought to you by the Broke and the Bookish.
So it is very hard for me to pick favorites when it comes to books. What is your favorite book is probably the most difficult question I am asked on a semi-regular basis. I love so many books. But a favorite for me is something more–it has to be an obsession almost. A book I can’t stop talking or thinking about. And it’s really, really hard to pick just one. Or ten, as the case may be.
At first I narrowed down my list to the top books of the year, which brought me down to about 1/3 of my list. Then I chose ten categories, with one-two books in each, sometimes with a runner up because I really can’t help myself. I think that gives a better idea of what my real favorites actually were. I still have six books to go for my reading challenge, so a book or two might move around, but we’re working with what we’ve got here.
Before we get into the categories, I’m going to share my two actual favorites of the year because I don’t want you to have to wait until you read the rest of the page. I can’t handle the suspense.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
And with that out of the way, we can continue on with the rest of the list.
Best Young Adult
- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo–a captivating fantasy world that doesn’t let you go
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell–captures all the truth, pain and beauty of young love
- runner up: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh–a great new take on the Arabian Nights
Best Historical Fiction with Strong Fantasy Elements
- The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker–I loved the immersion of the senses into a past time and the cultures associated with each set of tradition
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon–a great love story that makes you feel as if you were in Scotland in the 1700s, which is maybe not a place you knew you wanted to go, but now you’re there you don’t want to leave.
- runner up: The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende–a family saga with a hint of the supernatural
- The Battle of Versailles by Robin Givhan–fashion history at its most compulsively readable
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot–an impressive achievement spanning a decade of research, combining science, ethics and the importance of one woman and her family
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou–at times , this memoir is hard to read, but it’s also impossible to forget
Best Science Fiction
- The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin–Where has Le Guin been all my life?
Best Impossibly Long Fiction
- The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton–the most tightly constructed and well-balanced book of its length I’ve read
- Possession by A.S. Byatt–a book people will be studying in college in years to come
Best Fiction with an Unlikable Narrator
- The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch–love can drive us to do strange things
- The Epicure’s Lament by Kate Christensen–even a hermit needs company
Best General Fiction
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie–G-d, she’s brilliant.
- Geek Love by Katherine Dunn–weird and mind-blowing
- runner up: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
- Middlemarch by George Eliot–another writer to take a look at if you like Austen and the Brontes
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker–I don’t even know what to say about this book except that everyone should read it
Best Short Stories
- Get in Trouble by Kelly Link–their creepy, magical , and amazing
- Self-Help by Lorrie Moore–as good as everyone says
So that’s my list of the best/my favorite books of the year. Have your own TTT list? Add a link in the comments. Didn’t make a list? Let me know what one of your favorites was this year–and let me know if it fits into any of these categories.