Top Ten Tuesday #7: Top Ten Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish.

I've read a lot of books in my lifetime; I've only been reviewing for about two years. So this list is comprised of those that stick out in memory from the late nineties to 2011. The original topic was "top ten favorite books from before I was a blogger" but I edited idea that more to my taste. Some that I list are great, some are nostalgic, and some are just really, really bad.

#1. A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons) by George R. R. Martin

I've read and reread these books many times since I first found them, but I've enevr reviewed them. Even A Dance With Dragons, which was published after I started blogging, was never a review goal for me. It;'s too daunting - the scope, the endless characters, all without spoiling? Impossible. I do love this series (it's home to some of my all-time favorite characters: The Hound, Rhaegar Targaryen, Ned Stark, Arya), but it firmly belongs to my "just read and enjoy" list.

#2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I've loved Harry Potter since I was 11 years old. It's crazy to think, but this series has been a huge part of my life for more than half the years I've been on this earth. To even think of a life before Harry is  hard for me. I'd loved reading before, but Harry was that series, the one that showed me all kinds of books - historical, fantasy, romance, mystery - can catapult you into times and places unknown. I can't even imagine trying to critically analyze these books - another reason I'm lucky it wrapped up before I launched my reviewing ambitions. I'm lying -- Jo please write more of them!

#3. The first 8 books of the Discworld series (The Color of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort, Sourcery, Wyrd Sisters, Pyramids, and Guards! Guards!) by Terry Pratchett

Fantasy that is funny is hard to do. Moreover, it's hard to do well. Terry Pratchett is beloved by many for this series and it's easy to see why. Funny, irreverent, silly, and not afraid to poke at the tropes and cliches of its genre, Discworld books tend to be short, to the point and endlessly amusing. I stopped reading the series in 2010, I got distracted, but I plan to get back to them soon. Maybe I'll review Eric, book nine, but with more than thirty sequels after that to read it's quite a daunting enterprise.

#4. The first three of the Black Jewels series (Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of the Darkness) by Anne Bishop

Unlike the others listed so far, which I left off because I love them too much to attempt, this series infuriated me when I read it back in 2009. I was angered, disappointed and creeped out by much of what happens over the course of these three books. I've read books that were worse, in terms of writing and character, but so much of these novels add up to a miserable read. I will never read anything from this series, ever again.

#5.The Prince of Tides, Beach Music and South of Broad by Pat Conroy

Pat Conroy is a master at voice and intricate plots. While neither of the other two books I've read has ever matched up the amount of feeling The Prince of Tides caused within me, I can't help but be continually impressed with this author. The Prince of Tides pops up a lot - in my recommendations to friends, in my rereads when I need something that I know will be good - and I would never be able to analyze the Wingos. Lowenstein has that on lock, anyway.

#6.The first three Dark Tower (The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, and The Wastelands) novels by Stephen King

I readily admit I am not a King fan. I've tried a couple novels of his over the years (The Eyes of the Dragon, Lisey's Story) in addition to these, and have never found any of them worthwhile. This series had potential and it was utterly squandered. I was mildly intrigued with the first, dismayed by the second, and utterly bored by the third. Even the thought of reviewing these books has me both frustrated and contemplating a nap.

#7. The first 10 of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Mystery series (Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, Altogether Dead, From Dead to Worse, Dead and Gone and Dead in the Family) by Charlaine Harris

I read the first five of these before this series went crazy popular and, well, just insane. Charlaine Harris does not know when to say goodbye. Sookie (god, what a dumb name) went from naive to the most desired woman ever to just plain annoying over the course of the series. The books can be fun, but they are utter fluff. I wouldn't be able to coherently, and sincerely, write reviews for 10 novels that are practically interchangeable with one another (Sookie has someone new fall in love with her, someone dies in Bon Temps, Sookie needs to be saved, romantic entanglements ensure. Fin.). Just.. no. This series should have been definitely dead (ba dum tsh!) by book seven.

#8. The first four novels in the Walsh Family series (Watermelon, Rachel's Holiday, Angels, and Anybody Out There?) by Marian Keyes

I just love these books. They're cute, contemporary, filled with lively and funny and real characters. Yes, the plots can veer a bit in formulaic territory, but the characters, and the various interactions among the Walsh sisters, make each read so much fun. Anybody Out There brought me to tears and remains my favorite, but Rachel's Holiday is a close second -- though that might change when I get to read Helen's book, The Mystery of Mercy Close. All I know is I want to get a drink with Marian Keyes.

#9. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

I'm glad I read this before I started reviewing. I honestly might be shunned if my unfavorable opinions were more widely known. Everyone I know that loves fantasy, loooooves Tigana, recommends Tigana, would not ever stop talking about Tigana. So I tried it. And I was bored from the getgo. The storylines seemed so derivative, the characters wooden. It was not for me - though I was impressed by Kay's writing to keep buying his books. I have Under Heaven AND River of Stars waiting to be read. I can only hope they improve upon their predecessor. I may retry this one again someday, but I doubt it.

#10. The Dune Chronicles series (Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune) by Frank Herbert

To me, Dune is the end-all, be-all for interplanetary science fiction. Maybe even for the whole genre of scifi. Nothing else in that area has involved me or interested me as deeply as Frank Herbert's magnum opus (we do not speak of the "novels" by his son and Kevin J. Anderson.) It is the standard against which all other comers are judged. It's extensive and so intricate; it set the mold for fantasy and scifi authors as much as Tolkien's LoTR did. (Hey Robert Jordan? As much as I love the Aiel, and I do, they are Fremen-lite.) Cultures, customs, plots, warfare, Herbert's scope is impressive and impossible to review. The later books may have flagged as the scifi angel got more and more convoluted, but this is a hallmark series.


  1. Harry Potter is on my list too. :)
    I used to loved the Sookie Stackhouse series... I think I read at least the first 7 all in a row, they were so much fun! Note, past tense.
    I own that series of Marian Keyes but have yet to get around to it... sounds like something I'm positive to love though.
    Top Ten Tuesday!

    1. I've seen HP on nearly every TTT for today. Gotta love the universal appeal of the boy wizard!

      Sookie started out amusing and fun, but Harris really drove into the ground by dragging it out so long.

      And yes! Read Marian Keyes! Her books are so very fun.

  2. Awesome list -- and I love how you played around with the question. My wife adored Dune and it's on my someday TBR. I should bump it up.

    I'm so not a King fan -- Lisey's Story was a surprise hit -- but my wife is addicted to the Dark Tower books.

    1. Dune is great. It can be a bit dry at times, but the ideas and worldbuilding are unparalleled. It's a shame that Herbert's son keeps pumping out sequels as a cash grab. Stick with the ones by Frank, if you ever do try them :)

      Everyone I know that loves sff adores TDT. I was so irritated and confused! Sigh. Just not an author for me, I guess :)

  3. I love the Discworld! Every book isn't great, but most of them are hilarious that I've read so far. My favorite's number 23, but otherwise I've only read 1-4, I think. I need to get back into it, but, you're right, it's daunting.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.