(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to make your own list? Clicking the image will take you to this week’s post. Happy listing!)
This week’s challenge is to create a list of books that elicited strong emotions, whether they be positive or negative. I generally have positive reactions to what I read, but not always, as my list proves. Check it out:
1. Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) – This book was my introduction to both Gaiman and Pratchett, and it blew my mind! Now I’m working my way through Pratchett’s Discworld series, and I know I need to read some more Gaiman soon.
2. Helter Skelter (Vincent T. Bugliosi and Curt Gentry) – The story of the Manson Family, its leader Charles, the horrible murders they committed, and the trials that put them behind bars. This book gave me nightmares when I first read it in high school, and it’s an incredible read.
3. Anything by Erma Bombeck – I love this woman and everything she ever wrote.
4. The Gift: Poems by Hafiz, the Great Sufi Master – I’m not a huge fan of poetry or religion, but this book of 14th century poetry made me enjoy both. At times hysterical, romantic, and sad, I loved this book.
5. The Grand Sophy (Georgette Heyer) – Although not the first of Heyer’s books I read, this one is probably my favorite so far. Sophy is just such a great character, there are some ridiculously funny moments, and it’s all amazingly well-written.
6. March (Geraldine Brooks) – A book written from the perspective of Mr. March, father of the March girls of Little Women. The story follows him through his time in the Union Army, as well as his young adulthood and the time he spends in the hospital after being wounded. The descriptions of the abuse of slaves, the horrors of battle, and the insane guilt Mr. March feels made the book very heavy indeed. The chapters from Mrs. March’s perspective were particularly difficult, and the entire novel made me at turns nauseous, sad, scared, and ultimately uplifted.
7. A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue (Wendy Shalit) – It was nice to read a book in which neither slut-shaming or “separate genders, but equal” was a motif. Most third-wave feminists consider Shalit to be setting women back a few decades, but I don’t see how “having sex like a man” is going to make women equal to them. It’s a different perspective on feminism, and one that I can appreciate, even if I don’t agree with all of it.
8. The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss) – I’d forgotten how much I love high fantasy until I read this book earlier this year. Amazing.
9. Graceling (Kristin Cashore) – I can’t help it, I’m a total fangirl. I’ve never seen a character like Katsa in a YA novel, and I love everything about her. She’s a strong feminist role model in a genre where gender stereotypes reign supreme.
10. Nightshade (Andrea Cremer) – And speaking of gender stereotypes, ugh. I can’t even begin to enumerate the ways in which I despised this book. I wanted to heave it through a plate glass window and then off a cliff. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
11. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) – Like a soap opera, but even more incomprehensible. Everyone has the same three names, the main character has zero likeable qualities, and there’s more drama than a girls’ high school locker room. Awful!
That felt good.
Your turn. What books made you laugh, cry, or so angry you saw red?