Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Borrowed For The Sake Of A Buddy


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.

Today’s topic is “Books I borrowed/bought because…”  The truth is, I am hugely influenced by what my friends and family are reading.  I enjoy being part of the discussion, of the book afterward.  It’s part of why I’m a blogger.  I appreciate having that additional insight and receiving recommendations for books I might not have otherwise found.

Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota) by Ada Palmer

Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota #1) by Ada Palmer – I would never ever have picked this up without being prompted both by the Science Fiction Fantasy Book Club on GoodReads and a very timely Kindle sale.  The blurb is super vague and a confusing mess that seems like it focuses mostly on world building.  It’s turned out to be one of my favorite books of all time, and if it hadn’t been for the book club pick, I’d never have discovered it.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Back before I started really getting back into reading, circa 2015 or so, I wasn’t very active on GoodReads and I wasn’t frequenting the bookstore.  The movie wasn’t out yet, so I’d honestly never heard of this.  Thanks to a coworker, who let me borrow it, I flew this book and it succeeded in making me love reading again.  I don’t talk about this one much, because it’s since faded to the background, tainted by that terrible movie I was so looking forward to, but I still hold this up as my Nerd Bible every once in awhile.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods by Neil Gaiman – Same workplace, different co-worker.  He went ON AND ON AND ON about this book.  Probably like I do with many of my favorite things.  I didn’t end up reading it until later, but I thought of him the whole time (in a totally not creepy way).  I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as he did, but I could see why he was talking about it so much.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor – This one was prompted by a reading challenge I was doing called “Inclusive Book Bingo”.  And it seemed very YA/MG to me which was sort of a turn off right from the start.  I participated because I didn’t have any better alternatives, and reading together is better than reading alone.  What I discovered was a story worthy of adults and younger audiences.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades by Marissa Meyer – This is kind of a weird story.  The short of it is, one reader objected to the inclusion of a gay couple in Renegades, so the rest of us rounded ourselves up and initiated a buddy-read-sit-in.  I made a couple wonderful reader friends that I still message with regularly.  Renegades turned out to be pretty enjoyable, even though I haven’t gone on to continue the series.  (I’m not opposed to it, it simply isn’t a priority.)

The Mere Wife Maria Dahvana Headley

The Mere Wife by  Maria Dahvana Headley – This was a book I’d never heard of, on a subject I knew nothing about, because for some reason I never had to read Beowulf in high school.  But I really admire the literary tastes of the person who proposed the buddy read in the first place so I decided to give it a go, even though it didn’t seem like my sort of thing.  And I am so glad I did.  Because truly this was one of the best books I read last year.

Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James – The same person who prompted me to borrow The Mere Wife, prompted me to borrow this.  Unfortunately I didn’t love this one as much as I loved the other, but there was still a lot to appreciate about it, and I’m not sorry I read it.

Carnival by Elizabeth Bear

Carnival by Elizabeth Bear – Another one I can attribute to the Inclusive Book Bingo Challenge.  This was my first experience with Bear.  I still want me some carpet plant, and a House… and a Khir… so many cool things.  I likely never would have discovered this book if it hadn’t been elected as the Book Bingo group read.

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning – I have my momma to thank for this one!  She has lots of good recommendations and I think we’ve read through most of this series together.  I doubt I’d ever have found it on my own.

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel – Another great recommendation from my mom!  This is way outside my comfort zone- but when my mom recounted the story to me I was sort of in disbelief.  I’ve seen a Maine winter.  Surviving 20 of them with no roof over your head?  I read the book and I still can’t imagine.
And that’s it!  Have you ever picked up a book or read something you might not have otherwise because someone you trusted recommended it?



34 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Borrowed For The Sake Of A Buddy

  1. I’ve definitely picked up books that I wouldn’t have normally because of a friend’s recommendation. Sometimes I’ve enjoyed the books and sometimes not, but it’s always good to expand our reading horizons so I’m not sorry to have tried any of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read Ready Player One for the first time just last year, after my own return to reading after many years away. My husband had been wanting me to read it for years, since it became one of his all-time favorite books not long after it came out. I didn’t love it as much as he did, but I did like it, and I know he was happy just to be able to talk about it with me. (And yes, thank you, the movie was terrible…)

    My TTT

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read American Gods OUT LOUD to my husband. So long. I think much of my problem with the book is that I read the version Gaiman wanted to have published. The editor cut about 100 pages, and in the anniversary edition we read, the author’s version was finally released. He included an introduction in which he explained all this.

    Also, can we hear more about the buddy-read-sit-in. Was this in person or online? Who was the person who objected? I feel like there is a great story here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was on GoodReads. A girl DNF’d Renegades and said something about being Christian and she was so disappointed in Meyer for adding a gay couple to her book because it was so unnecessary. At the time I had a friend who is part of the LGBT community and she posted that she wasn’t even going to read it originally but everyone was up in arms about some gay dads, and I suggested a massive buddy read so that whoever it was who objected had to see it on her feed everywhere.

      I think I only ended up with like 3 buddies on my end (this was before I had a blog and before I was very active in the blogging community). But those people are still reading and giving me great ideas for books!

      What was worst about that incident, was how many people were piping up for her trying to defend her choices. Saying it was her opinion and people could just not look if they didn’t like it. Really made me sick.


      • “Just not look.” OMG, people. I’m not sure how someone can defend LGBTQ relationships as “not necessary.” The contradictions abound: is this reader only having sex to procreate? How many children does she have? Does she think that not acknowledged someone means they disappear (my cat uses this theory about her entire body disappearing when she puts her head under the couch). Good on you for doing a reading protest, Sarah! I love it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! I don’t really like to engage in the negativity the bookish community sometimes gets wrapped up in, but this seemed like a great way to make our point. I don’t know how much good it did, but we tried.


      • I figure if I’m going to live in a capitalist society with free speech, I’m going to make my point by buying a book or reading “questionable” material. It’s the best kind of protest (I’m not much for street marching).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad to hear that about Carnival! I’ve been wanting to read more of Elizabeth Bear’s backlist and I thought about starting from there, but I hadn’t seen anyone talk about it (as it often happens for older books). And I agree about the Too Like the Lightning synopsis being mostly unhelpful, that’s a really difficult book to summarize. (…I never quite know how to talk about it either.)
    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this is a great list. I actually picked up a copy of The Mere Wife because I’m a patron of Fran Wilde and she often lists books she’s been reading and her thoughts and I had to buy that one after I saw her thought on it. I still haven’t read it yet though LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

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