Top Ten Tuesday #24: Book Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Book Recommendations I've Ever Made
In a move very characteristic of me, I'm tweaking the topic this week to talk about the top ten recommendations I've ever made to anyone (that they've actually followed through with). By doing so, you, dear reader, can consider them recommendations for you.

1. The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Recommended these to my friends Maggie and Robyn, both of whom devoured all available TMI books quickly. Maggie has finished up TID as well, I believe, but I don't think Robyn's there yet. We are all anxiously awaiting CoHF now. 

2. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I first recommended these in January of 2000 (I was in sixth grade) to my friend Ashlie. She and I raced to read the first three, but then we were left waiting Goblet of Fire for ages. Then I recommended them to everybody else, with particular success with my sister, who is not a reader but loved the series. Sadly, my sis is being a ROYAL PAIN and won't finish reading Deathly Hallows because she refuses to acknowledge the end of the series. Just read it already, you dork!

3. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. My mother was the first person who followed this recommendation in 2008. Yes, yes, we've all recommended this one too, but for the record, I was an Original Fan for both of these series. I loved Suzanne when I read her other series, The Underland Chronicles, long before THG was a thing. Anyway, my mom loved it, then my sis, then sister-in-law, then my dad, then the rest of the world.

4. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Recommended to my sister. I don't care what people say; I'm so glad that I've had the opportunity to take three big series and bond with my sister over them. I read everything, but she doesn't. It's so special when we have books (and movies, obviously) that we love and can talk about. She and I were able to meet Stephenie Meyer earlier this year, and it was an experience I will always cherish. She has less fond memories because I kinda sorta interrupted her. Sorry, sis. Love you!

5. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. After Maggie finished TMI, I told her to start on these because Rose is the best ever. Mags agreed with me.

6. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. Recommended to Maura of The Whimsical Mama. It's a little ridiculous how many books I've forced upon Maura at this point, but I think this might be the one she's most happy about because now Maura's friends with Jodi and they had lunch together a few weeks ago and everything. Some other recs I've passed on include Wither, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, The Madman's Daughter, Everneath, Divergent, The Book Thief (to Maura: READ IT DARN YOU), Die for Me, Across the Universe, and many, many more. You're welcome, Maura. Sorry I keep screwing up your TBR/reading schedule. You know you love me. ;)

7. The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. This was another series I passed on to my mom. She and I used to communicate by putting books in each other's paths. She's put them outside my door; I'd put them outside hers or on her bed or on her bathroom counter or wherever. When my mom got into GG, she'd just walk into my room and take the next one. I had to start yelling at her because she' read them with the dust jacket on, and that bothered me. Eventually, I just started taking them off in advance so she'd stop.

8. Mediator series by Meg Cabot. Recommended to my friend Katie. I introduced Katie to Jesse, and there was no going back. She and I only disagree on the fact that, even though he's a tool, Paul is super attractive to me. Katie thinks I'm nuts.

9. Evernight by Claudia Gray. Also recommended to Katie. We loved the first book, and then our interest waned as things got weird, but it was fun mooning over Balthazar.

10. Boycotts & Barflies by Victoria Michaels. Recommended to Katie and her sister Shelby. Keep reading for my story on how I got hooked on Twilight, but when I got in, I was in. I'm talking a fangirl worthy of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. I followed the movie casting very closely, I read fanfiction, I did fanart, the whole shebang. My favorite fanfic authors were My-Bella and vjgm. I read and reread their stories over and over. I commented, I speculated, I emailed MB frequently. Eventually, vj or Victoria took one au story down. She reworked it and published it as Boycotts & Barflies. A lot of people dismiss this because, like Fifty Shades, it was a Twilight fanfic first. However, the plot remained the same from the fic to the final product it became and that was 100% Victoria, not Stephenie. I adored the fic and immediately bought the book as well. It took some doing but eventually I convinced Katie to get it too. She'd loved the original fic as well, but she was less convinced about buying the book. It had gone through changes, and sometimes I really miss the original fic, but it's a total guilty pleasure. I read this one at least once a year still. When we went on vacation, I made sure to bring my copy for Shelby. We're all in love.

Best recommendations ever given to me
1. Harry Potter series. My mom told me to read this, and then my aunt gave me a copy for Christmas. The full story can be read in the About Me tab at the top so I won't repeat here, but this one wins Best Rec Ever. Over the years, my mom has given me a number of lovely recommendations like Artemis Fowl, The Underland Chronicles, Ella Enchanted, Charlie Bone, etc. She was a teacher and had access to a lot of books through Scholastic Book Fairs. My aunt also recommended Eragon to me. Thanks to both of them for instilling me a love of literature!

2. Little House on the Prairie series. Recommended by my aunt. This was actually gift to my sister by our other aunt, not the one who gave me HP. Our dad used to read them to us every night, but he didn't get past Farmer Boy. I couldn't stop there, though, so I finished the series on my own, and eventually took possession of the set, which remains on the same exhalted shelf as my copies of HP.

3. Twilight series. Recommended by my bff April and online friend Cammie. I was not an original fan. Cammie is pretty eccentric so when she started going off about book three of this AMAZING series about vampires, I thought she was nuts. It took a rec from April, who is a big reader and, like me, was in college studying for a lit degree, for me to finally pick them up. Maura was also really big into them. That was the year we overlapped at college, and she and I would often get together and talk about them. I was so into Eclipse that I went back up to my dorm room during a tornado warning under the pretense of making sure all my residents were out of our hall (I was an RA) to grab my copy. I was dang glad I did, too. I'm pretty sure the sirens went off for an hour so it's not like there was anything else to do. It was the middle of the night, but there was no sleeping as we were sitting in the cramped basement hallway!

4.  Vampire Academy series. Recommended by Borders (rest in peace, my friend. #neverforget). Thanks to my quick infatuation with Twilight, I was aching for something to read in the months between The Host's release and Breaking Dawn's. I stumbled across Frostbite in Borders, then found Vampire Academy. I bought them both that day and then waited even more impatiently for Shadow Kiss than Breaking Dawn. Thanks, Borders! I miss you!

5. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Recommended by Borders. I had seen the cover in Borders for months, but I just wasn't sure about it. By the time I finally picked them up, CoB, CoA, and CoG were all out, and I thought that was the end. I remember all the drama of "Will there be a fourth book?" and "Book four is about SIMON" and "Jace and Clary aren't in it at ALL" and Cassie having to placate everyone.

5a. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Recommended by Target. Although I was a fan of TMI, I had no idea that Cassie had written Clockwork Angel until I discovered an autographed stock copy at Target. Even though it was a splurge for a broke college student, it was one of the best purchases I've ever made at Target, and that's saying something because Target is wonderful.

6. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. Recommended to me by my friend Alyssa. Alyssa and I were best friends in elementary school, but we haven't seen each other since we graduated fifth grade. Even after discovering the joys of Facebook, we didn't really reacquaint ourselves with one another, until we both wound up on Goodreads and realized we're both avid book lovers, which is not something I'd realized about her in school. Alyssa has really lovely taste in books, and I discovered several other winners because of her high recommendation as well. Glad she rated this one so highly because it's an amazing series.

7. Winger by Andrew Smith. Recommended by Justin Chanda of Simon & Schuster all but shoved this book in my hands at TLA this year, and it was the best ever. I loved this book. many feels. Seriously, thank you, Justin.

8. The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg. Recommended by Barnes & Noble. Even though I was a Borders customer through-and-through, I sometimes went to B&N in high school just to see what was on the shelf. I was combing through titles and covers when I discovered this adorable book. I wrote it down on a torn scrap of paper in my purse, went to Borders (yes, I found a book at B&N & then went to Borders to buy it. Like you haven't done that exact thing!) and looked for it. I found both LHC and Prom & Prejudice. My love of Elizabeth Eulberg hasn't waned since.

9. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Recommended to me by my friend Amanda. Amanda and I both talked Twilight when it was big. One day, while hanging out at her apartment, I saw a book on the coffee table. She saw I was looking and said I'd like it since I enjoyed Twilight. Still unsure why she said that as the two books could not be more different (aside from the ya thing), but she was right. It was wonderful. Amanda also introduced me to Emily Giffin's novels.

10. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons. Recommended by my friend Lacy. Lacy knew I was a fan of young adult books, which is not something I generally talk about a lot with people in here in Dallas as the majority of people I associate with are fellow church members, and it seems weird to talk about other books when we're talking about scriptures and whatnot, but one day, Lacy was like, "Oh, I'm reading this cool book right now. It's called Article 5." I hadn't heard of it so I pulled out my phone and looked it up on Goodreads. I harangued the library until I got a copy, then I continued to harangue them until they ordered Breaking Point because this series is incredible.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Divergent by Veronica Roth. Hereafter by Tara Hudson. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Everneath by Brodi Ashton. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. Recommended by The Internet. Thanks to everyone who ever praised these authors and these books online because I paid attention. I loved all of the first books of these series and am glad to have read them no matter how any of them ended. And there are many, many more that have either been personally recommended to me over Twitter or Goodreads or that have just received so much hype that I couldn't not read (and love) them, but I'd say if Harry Potter got me reading and wanting to be part of the publishing world, the books I read in 2012, many of them debuts, made me want to start blogging. So HUGE thanks to all the Apocalypsies for writing such lovely books.

Please share your links and let me know what you think of my picks this week!


  1. Great lists! The only books I've read from them was HP. I had seen and heard how popular they were becoming so I got around to borrowing them in the library when I was in high school. When the last three books came out, I borrowed those from my best friend, lol. It was only recently that I finally got a copy of the books for myself xD

    My TTT

    1. I'm glad you finally got on board! Thanks for visiting!

  2. Gallagher Girls series was really good! So sad that it is over :-(
    I have yet to read Twilight or Harry Potter.
    My TTT:

    1. LOVED GG. Definitely one of my all-time favorite series. Girl, you HAVE to read HP if no other reason than because everybody else has. It's like the series that has drawn the world together! Thanks for stopping by, Em!

  3. I love you so much my dear Mary! (: I'm so glad we've stayed so close over the years and keep sharing our love of books with each other!

  4. At last! This is the first list for which I have read most of the books! (I'm not proud on how far behind I"m in my reading :( ) I love all the these and I've heard wonderful things about the others. Great lists!

    Thanks for stopping by :)

    1. Don't be ashamed, Elizabeth! People read different books at different paces. Read what you want, when you want! That being said, I'm glad you've read a lot of these. I'm pretty partial! ;) Thank you for visiting!

  5. This is an excellent list! I definitely share a lot of them! My favorite recommendation is Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard!

    1. I haven't heard of that one, Vivien. I'll have to look it up!

  6. Awesome list! I totally agree with the books you have chosen. Well, at least the ones that I've read! I'll definitely look into the ones I haven't. Especially the Vampire Academy series. I really need to read those books.

    1. You MUST! Get into it before the movie comes out!