Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Top Ten Favorite Reccommendations

This week The Broke and the Bookish are dicussing their favorite books they found through recommendations. Happily I have a 'reccommended' label just for an occasion such as this.

1. Redwall, Brian Jacques (Librarian)

My home librarian suggested this book to me many years ago, and I remember fording the marsh behind my house and finding a quiet place in the woods to read it. As I've mentioned before, it was the first time I'd ever read an epic novel, or a work of fantasy, and the idea of exploring this world with its massive history excited me.

2. Sharpe's Eagle, Bernard Cornwell (Seeking a Little Truth)
While I haven't yet read most of or even much of the Sharpe series, this book introduced me to Bernard Cornwell. He's become a favorite of mine the last year: I'm positively wild for his Saxon Stories series which are about politics, friendship, family, and war  during the 800s in England, where Anglo-Saxons and Danes fought to rule Britain.

3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J. K. Rowling
This book wasn't just recommended to me, I had a pack of friends who followed me around like ducks, pecking me on the legs and quacking "Read it!"  I avoided it for years because the books were too popular, but in August 2007 I picked up the first novel. I'd read the series through by the end of September, and I re-read them that December. Since then Potterdom has entered into the Holy Trinity of things I am geeky about, along with Star Trek and Star Wars. (Though I guess becoming a Firefly fan has made it a quad...)

4. The Quiet Game, Greg Iles (Sister)
I've never read anyone who does thrillers like Greg Iles,  and his usual southern gothic setting is a delight. The Quiet Game started me on Iles, and introduced his oft-used character Penn Gage, a lawyer-novelist turned mayor of his hometown. The Penn Gage mysteries tend to involve criminal mysteries and discussion of social and cultural issues set inside the steamy historic town of Natchez, Mississippi.

5. The Destiny Trilogy, David Mack (Everyone at the TrekBBS)
(Mere Mortals, Gods of Night, Lost Souls)
 I have heard about these Star Trek novels for years.  Ever since their release, every book thread at TrekBBS has mentioned the Destiny trilogy reverently.  Last year I picked them up, and I figured -- no way will this live up to the hype. I put it off for a few weeks because I dreaded being disappointed, but once I began to read....they're glorious.

7. Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman (Sociology Professor)

An incredible look at the ever-increasing domination of society by entertainment, and what that is doing to political commentary, the news, and our worldviews.

8. How Few Remain, Harry Turtledove (University Acquaintance)

How Few Remain is the start of a large alternate-history series which begins with the success of the southern rebellion in the United States, and the establishment of a Confederacy protected by Britain and France. Turtledove follows this new geopolitical scheme 'til the end of the second world war.  While versions of the Great War and World War 2 both feature prominently, they play out very differently. The two American states are on opposite sides of the conflict, which is why I spent twelve+ books cheering on the Prussians and American socialists in their fight against Confederate Nazis,  the Canadian resistance, and Mormon terrorists.

...it's a fun series.

9. No Ordinary Time, Doris Kearns Goodwin (Friend)
The story of the Roosevelt White House, in which FDR fights the Great Depression, racism, and corporate selfishness in an attempt to righten the American economy, make it a more democratic nation, and fight the Nazi's

10. Persian Fire, Tom Holland (The Resolute Reader)
The story of the conflict between Greece and Persia. The book is especially helpful for those wishing to understand the Persian mind and that which followed, for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all have a bloodline that makes them partially related to Persia's Zoroastrianism.

Honorable Mention: The Know-It-All, A.J. Jacobs...a humorous account of a man who tried to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.


  1. Great list, i think the only one i have heard of is Harry Potter lol, I like your back ground picture, haha

    The Book Mystress, xx

  2. What a diverse list! Thank you for sharing this with me.

    Here's my gratitude list: Top Ten Books I'm Happy Were Recommended to Me. I hope you will stop by!

  3. I love Doris Kearns Goodwin, I read A Team of Rivals and loved it. Great list!

  4. Your admittance of enjoying the holy quad of Geekdom has just gained you a new follower! They're four of my favourite things!

  5. I bet HP is on a lot of lists :)
    I really need to get around to reading Redwall. I have it on my shelf but haven't tried it yet.

    Happy TTT!

  6. I'm glad you read Harry Potter. I know what you mean about avoiding books that are too popular, that's how I felt about The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games until they were shoved into my lap.

  7. Harry Potter made my list too. I haven't heard of some of the other books on your list but I'll have to check them out.

  8. Great list! I came upon HP much the same way.
    Redwall is on my TBR list, though I keep finding other things that get in the way. *sigh* Amusing Ourselves to Death is on that list too.

  9. That's an excellent "holy quad" to be geeky about! I haven't read any Bernard Cornwell, but both the Sharpe stories and the Saxon stories seem like something I'd be interested in.

  10. Doris Kearns Goodwin...I really like the way she reports history. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

  11. I feel like I've read something by Neil Postman, but I have no idea what. Hmmm...

    Check out my list here


Thank you for visiting! Because of some very clever spambots, I've had to start moderating comments more strictly, but they're approved throughout the day.