Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite books of the past decade

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

First- a belated Happy Memorial Day weekend to all my American friends!  I hope you enjoyed it!  I’m sorry to kick this week off with a T10T when I haven’t posted a single review in weeks, but it was a hectic weekend for my family, filled with grilling, guacamole, sunshine and sprinklers.  My huge library book haul seems to be doing the trick as I will have a couple reviews for you all later this week.

Anyway, I’m looking at this topic and relieved because it seems easier than some of the last topics we’ve had this month, but I’m also wondering if I have a favorite for each year of the past ten.  I guess we’ll find out!

The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky

2019: The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky.  I’ve read significantly less 2019 releases than probably most other book bloggers- but I don’t foresee this changing.  I read this all in mostly one sitting. Not bad for a 500+ page novel! Honorable mentions to: The Test by Sylvain Neuvel, and Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald.

The Mere Wife Maria Dahvana Headley

2018: The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley.  I also haven’t read that many 2018 releases apparently.  In my review, I only gave this 4.5 stars because the ending disappointed me, but months later I find myself craving more fierce, unapologetic fiction like this book, and wishing for ANYTHING with a similar voice. It really does deserve five stars. Honorable mentions: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal, and The Black God’s Drums by P. Djeli Clark.

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2017: The Moon and the Other by John Kessel.  I think this is another that I gave 4.5 stars to instead of 5.  My reason for including this and The Mere Wife (above), is that in the end, I’ve held these novels to a higher standard.  If we’re going by literary accomplishment, I have more respect for them than I do for some of my 5 star reads for 2017.  The Moon and the Other is beautifully written, metaphoric, entertaining, and manages to give lots of food for thought. Honorable mentions: The Will to Battle and Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer, and Tyrant’s Throne by Sebastien de Castell.

TLtL

2016: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer.  This is a weird one for me.  I absolutely will not recommend it to anyone to read, but it remains as a favorite.  I think if you can read it with buddies who can help you understand the intricacies of the plot and the world building, you’ll get more out of it.  If you are patient, this is one of the most rewarding books I’ve ever read. Honorable Mentions: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo and The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

2015: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  I suspect I’m not the only person to slot this for their 2015 favorite.  SoC is the reason I will still occasionally pick up a YA novel despite being disappointed with most other YA offerings (it’s not them, it’s me).  It’s dark and gritty with just the right touch of romance. Honorable mentions: The Just City by Jo Walton and Warriors of the Storm by Bernard Cornwell.

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2014: Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. These books are fast paced and the characters and their banter are fabulous.  There’s not a lot of magic- but a little, and I’m more than okay with that.  Fun fact: the author is an actual fencer, and his dueling scenes are better for it. Honorable mentions: Revival and Mr. Mercedes both by Stephen King.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

2013: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.  This is about a vampire from Christmasland.  I know that’s odd.  Don’t question it.  Just go with it.  Honorable mention: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.

Gone Girl Gillian Flynn

2012: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I know Amy Dunne is a sociopath, but she’s a disciplined and brilliant sociopath.  For some reason- along the with The Mere Wife, I’ve been thinking a lot about Gone Girl and wishing there were more stories like this available.  Honorable Mention: Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson and The Rook by Daniel O’Malley.

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2011: Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Much like Amy Dunne, I find Jorg to be a very compelling as a character.  Also- this is just a delightfully wicked book. Honorable mention: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning and Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.

Sh*t my dad says by Justin Halpern

2010: Sh*t my Dad Says by Justin Halpern.  So this is a weird place to end up.  Anyway- apparently I didn’t read much and definitely wasn’t tracking my reading in 2010.  Don’t let that stop you from checking out this hilarious book. Justin’s dad is definitely a guy I wouldn’t mind drinking a beer with.  Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book:

“On [Justin’s] Response to Having [His] Tires Slashed ‘Oh, don’t go to the goddamned cops. They’re busy with real shit. I don’t want my tax dollars going to figuring out who thinks you’re an asshole.'”

And that’s it!  What about you?  What are your favorite books of the past ten years?

 

 

37 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite books of the past decade

    • The Calculating Stars is phenomenal! I hope you get a chance to check it out. It was really tough to choose between that and The Mere Wife.. And could totally be reversed depending on my mood.

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  1. Love your list! I’m also sad to see a bunch of books on my “can’t wait to read” list that I STILL haven’t read, like Prince of Thorns, NOS4A2 and Six of Crows. Maybe someday?

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    • Haha! I’m so surprised because I feel like I know your tastes well enough now to know that you would absolutely love at least Prince of Thorns and Six of Crows. I’m pretty confident you’d enjoy NOS4A2 too.

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  2. I love that I get book recs from your posts that I haven’t heard of yet! Also, I’ve heard of Too Like the Lightning and also of how it’s not for everyone but maybe I can find someone to buddy read it with and it’ll be a fun reading experience. I’ve also heard of Traitor’s Blade, but I’ve yet to add it to my TBR for some reason. I don’t know, I guess I just haven’t heard enough things about it? But as a fantasy fan, I feel like I would really miss out if I never read it, and this post was the final push to convince me to add this to my TBR! And yessss, another Six of Crows fan!! It’s one of my favorite books of all time and it’s just perfection (or the closest thing to it that we can get) imo and I just love that book so! much!

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    • I agree Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are perfection! I wouldn’t change a thing about them (well maybe except about that thing with Matthias in the end, that was out of left field).

      Too Like the Lightning is definitely not for everyone. It’s told from 400 years in the future in the style of 19th century language (at times, not all times). Sometimes dialogue is written side by side to indicate speaker and translator or people talking over each other. The plot and world-building are hugely complex. But what I love about it is that it’s really unique- there’s nothing else like it, not even the world building, the characters grow on you, and nothing is at all what it seems. Also- the narrator is not really reliable. The good news is, if you can make it through book one, the rest are easier. It’s a love it or hate it kind of book, and I would totally understand why some people might hate it. I’m actually planning to re-read all three books before Perhaps the Stars comes out (hopefully in 2020).

      And Traitor’s Blade/the Greatcoats is phenomenal! The banter is fun but the story itself is pretty dark and Falcio is a great character. He feels very real. I hope you love them all!!

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    • Me too! But I remember picking it up and asking myself: wtf? at the mishmash of themes in there. Vampires and Christmas are not usually things I think of together.

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    • Go with Prince of Thorns/Broken Empire! I think Prince of Fools follows in time to that trilogy.

      I need to read his One Shot Kill and I just won Limited Wish in a Giveaway, but I’m hoping to read all his books someday. He’s such a fantastic writer.

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  3. Some good sounding books on this list 🙂 I’ve not read the Wolf in the Whale … most of the 500+ in one sitting? You’re a machine. Must have been a great book!

    I don’t read very many new releases either. I just go for what I’m interested in (also means the series I start tend to be finished haha nice bonus).

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    • Oh gosh it’s so nice to be alone. I feel like the only blogger who doesn’t review many new releases. Lol. Part of it is the size of my blog- being smaller, it’s hard to get approval for those big releases I wouldn’t mind diving into- but mostly it’s the size of my TBR. There’s just so many interesting books out there that aren’t new releases.

      The Wolf in the Whale is wonderful- but I’m not sure I’d recommend it for you if that makes sense? It’s a great fantasy, but what I loved about it was the romance. And that sort of doesn’t seem like your thing (please correct me if I’m wrong- I should know by now not to make assumptions).

      But yeah- I used to read 500 pages in a weekend day, no sweat, but that’s pretty rare these days. The Wolf in the Whale I was forsaking all other adulting and just indulging. Don’t regret it. Hell I don’t think I even ate that day.

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      • Nope, you are totally correct. Romance isn’t a thing that penetrates my black heart 🙈

        Absolutely same as you there. My blog is small compared to most so getting the new releases isn’t an easy thing. Etgalley is my best friend for those.

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      • That was supposed to say: “it’s so nice not* to be alone”. Smh. My brain has short circuited for the week. I end up getting Lost new releases pretty quickly from my library anyway. As long as the books been ordered I can put a hold on it. Then if for some reason I don’t want to finish and don’t want to review it, I don’t have to.

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      • God, I love the library. If mine doesn’t have it, we pay £1 and they’ll source it from a library in the surrounding areas.

        I read it as ‘not alone’ the first time. Apparently my brain wasn’t working when reading 😂

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      • And apparently, my last reply was riddled with typos too. This is embarrassing. lol. The library is wonderful! I live in a very small state, so they will actually source from any of their in-network libraries for free! I can drop off my books for return at any library for free also.

        I did try to utilize an out-of-network library once via a system called UCAT. They said it would cost $5.. but then they never ended up charging me for it. It’s a great system!

        Now if only I could get them to separate the SF&F books from the General Fiction population…

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      • They don’t seperate the genres at my library either. Can go from Simon Scarrow to Stephen King to .

        I didn’t notice your typos 😂

        I live in Leicestershire and border Rutland (smallest county in UK) so we get their library service tacked onto ours haha.

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    • Jorg is probably one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. He’s dark and disturbed and meanwhile he’s still a child. I hope you get to check it out- it’s excellent! Just don’t expect any “likeable” characters (in the sense that you wouldn’t want to be friends with any of them).

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    • Locke & Key is AWESOME! You should make some time for them soon if you haven’t read them yet. They would have been on this list but I was going for firsts only and I think the first one came out before 2010.

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