Top Ten Tuesday: First Ten Books I Reviewed

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I write a fair number of long film and TV reviews on this blog, but it hasn’t been as common for me to give books the same treatment here due to the volunteering I do as a book reviewer who uses a pseudonym elsewhere on the web. By the time I’ve written those reviews, I’m generally in the mood to write other sorts of posts for my own site.

Saturday Seven is a now-defunct blog hop I participated in. We talked about all sorts of bookish things on it, and I sorely miss it.

Hopeful Science Fiction is a series I occasionally update here that is meant to highlight sci-fi/fantasy books that have uplifting messages. Today’s prompt is reminding me that I should keep this series going. It’s been a while since I added to it.

This week’s list will include a few long book reviews, but it will also have round-up posts I did that included micro-reviews so that this post is a reasonable length. I really need to write more full-length book reviews for this site!

1. Hopeful Science Fiction: The Lovely Bones.

I should warn you all that the opening scene in this book is about a young girl’s final moments on Earth, and she had violent end. The last thing I expected from such a terrible start was to see what happened to her after she went to the afterlife.

2. History Books About Ordinary People.

This is still my favourite type of history to read about.

3. Non-Human Protagonists.

Xenofiction is an awesome genre and we need more books about it. I’m quite excited that there’s going to be a movie made about The Art of Racing in the Rain!

4. Hopeful Science Fiction: Woman on the Edge of Time.

Woman on the Edge of Time is one of my all-time favourite sci-fi classics. I keep talking about it online in the hope that more people will discover it.

5. Cold and Flu Season Reads.

I’m so glad that cold and flu season has ended. This was a round-up I did about fiction and non-fiction books about all sorts of respiratory illnesses.

6. What to Read When It’s Hot Outside.

Now that those of us in the northern hemisphere are moving closer and closer to summer, I may have to reread some of these books.

7. Cold Weather Reads.

The Valley of Horses has been something I’ve reread the past few winters, and I still think it’s the best book Jean M. Auel ever wrote. Winter tends to be a difficult season for me for mental health reasons, so it’s crucial for me have some stuff to look forward to then.

8. My 4 Favourite Science Fiction Books About Life on Mars.

Wow, I’d totally forgotten I wrote this post. Here’s hoping we all live long enough to see humans actually staying on Mars at least temporarily.

9. Hopeful Science Fiction: Semiosis.

This was such a fabulous read. As you might have already noticed, I love stories about humans moving to other planets, and this was an excellent example of that type of tale.

118 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: First Ten Books I Reviewed

  1. I was startled to see how much fiction, in particular women’s fiction, I once read and reviewed. Of course we change as we go through life, but I hadn’t realized how much I’ve changed in my book tastes.

    I love seeing all the mini-genres you have enjoyed in the past. We do have so much choice in our lives now.

    I hope you will stop by my blog and see what you think of my first reviews. My post is here.

    • Of course I’ll stop by your blog! I love seeing everyone’s responses each week.

      At what point did you stop reading as much women’s fiction?

  2. Great list! I’ve heard really good things about Semiosis, so I think I’ll have to check it out. The Lovely Bones is one I’d like to read, too, but I need to be in the right mood for it – it’s such a heart-breaking story!

    • The movie is a real tearjerker. If you can handle the dark themes in it (rape, murder, etc), I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

  3. Oh wow, Woman on the Edge of Time! It’s been so long since I read it, but I remember what an impact it made on me. (I went on a bender reading Marge Piercy books at that point — I haven’t kept up with her more recent books, but that early stuff was incredible.)

    • Thank you!

      Yeah, Jean M. Auel writes very long books. She really likes her descriptions of the landscapes in this universe (and, er, the erotic scenes). Often I’ll skim or skip those passages when rereading. I will say that the first two to three books in the Earth’s Children series are the best of them all, so you could stop there if you decide to read it.

  4. Great lists! I saw you read The Radium Girls- have you checked out Brooke Bolander’s The Only Harmless Great Thing yet? It’s super quick and an excellent alt-history of The Radium Girls.

    I can’t read The Lovely Bones because it’s just too dark for me. I saw the movie once and was pretty traumatized.

    • I just requested The Only Harmless Great Thing from the library. It sounds amazing.

      And sorry to hear you were traumatized by The Lovely Bones. It does have some pretty dark material in it.

  5. Oh my gosh, I didn’t know there was a name for books with non-human protagonists! Xenofiction. Man, that’s fun to say. I know we’ve talked about it before, but yes, yes, YES to The Art of Racing in the Rain becoming a movie.

    Flu by Gina Kolata reminds me of a book I have about the Black Death (the covers are very similar looking), but I can’t remember what the book is now and I’m not at home to check. It’s killing me. I’ll have to check out Flu, though. It sounds really interesting.

    • Yeah, xenofiction is a fantastic word.

      If you’re up for it, I’d love to discuss the film version of The Art of Racing in the Rain after we’ve both seen it. I’m waiting to ugly cry over it at home, too. LOL.

      Let me know if you think of the title of that Black Death book. It sounds interesting already.

  6. Nice variation πŸ™‚
    I like non-human protagonists too. Black Beauty is an all-time favourite even though it is a tear-jerker. I’m intrigued by The Inheritors, will look that one up. And Woman on the Edge of Time sounds like a book that needs to be on my TBR list!

  7. I read the Lovely Bones ages ago but I never reviewed it. I wish I did because it would be interesting to see what I thought about it when I was 12. I don’t think I realized how brutal it was.

  8. Ah, lists upon lists upon lists! I love it! Of the lists off your list, I particularly loved both Jane Eyre and To Kill A Mockingbird, AND you have so interested me in Radium Girls and Sick Kids. So many books for my TBR! Help! πŸ˜‰

  9. Oh nice list! Lots of new to me ones! I think the only one I know/read was The Lovely Bones…and it was in my pre-blogging days so no review exists for that. I read it out of curiosity when I was desperate for a new read!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT post!

  10. I was going to read The Lovely Bones, and then I saw the movie, and I know it’s not the same, but I feel like all the important stuff was included. I like the idea of “hopeful science fiction” too.

    • Thank you! You’re giving me even more encouragement to write more posts in that series.

      I think the film version of “The Lovely Bones” did a great job of translating the story to the big screen. There’s no need to read it if you don’t want to. πŸ™‚

  11. This has been such a fun topic for TTT! I remember reading The Lovely Bones years ago, I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever read reviews for it before. What a great list of books!

  12. I like the idea of Hopeful Science fiction! I don’t want dour all the time, even though I do love a good dystopian or post apoc.

    I’ve always been really curious about Auel’s books.

    • Thank you and agreed.

      Auel’s books were definitely interesting. I’d recommend checking out at least the first one if or when you have the time.

  13. Great post, Lydia! I love that I’ve been introduced to two new (Even if one is defunct) bookish memes. I think the majority of bookish memes are worth lauding, so finding new ones is always fun. My favorite from your list is definitely “History Books about Ordinary People”. I’ve added quite a few to my TBR. I’m really excited about Radium Girls!

    • Thank you very much.

      Radium Girls was amazing. I hope you like it.

      And do let me know if you blog about Hopeful Science Fiction. I’m always up for more recommendations in that sub-genre.

  14. Under your “Cold and Flu Season Reads,” I saw where you listed Gulp. I’ve not read that one, but I did read Stiff by Mary Roach. While it was informative, I could only take it in spurts because it was just… too much science. LOL!

    Visiting from TTT

  15. Hi! I love seeing the variety on your blog. In the history of ordinary people I thought of a book by Lisa Wingate titled Before We Were Yours. It’s about Georgia Tann and all the babies she stole and sold. She sold the children that Joan Crawford “adopted.”

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  16. These were very fun topics to explore! When I saw “cold and flu” I thought of The Stand too, even though I read in about 1995. Those first scenes are just so vivid in my mind. And I was excited to see Marge PIercy on your list. I love He, She and It and City of Darkness, City of Light, as well as her poetry. “Xenofiction” is a new word for me, and i agree that it can be delightful. And as for Mars books, I will always love The Martian Chronicles.

  17. I remember reading The Lovely Bones when I was in middle school and it gutted me. I don’t know if I want to watch the movie though — does it do the book justice? Love your little book topic groupings! Will check them out πŸ™‚

  18. So many fun lists here! I just got sucked in reading them all… I only read the first few chapters of the Lovely Bones and was so upset by it that I couldn’t sleep and had to stay up reading a whole Robin McKinley book before I could go to bed.

  19. I’m a high school speech (forensics) judge, and that opening scene in The Lovely Bones was all the rage a few years ago. After hearing that poor girl be raped and murdered over and over again at various competitions, I knew I could never read the book or watch the movie. So I was stunned to learn that it’s NOT all about her death…why did the competitors only ever pick out the opening scene to compete with?!?

    I was excited to see As I Lay Dying on one of your other lists–that was hands down my favorite college literature assigned read!

    • That’s such a good question. I have no idea why people focused on that scene…especially since her actual death was never described at all.

      And I’m glad to hear you also enjoyed As I Lay Dying.

  20. I know I read The Lovely Bones, but I can’t for the life of me remember if I liked it or not. Which probably means it was just okay for me because I usually remember both loved and hated stories. Thanks for sharing your list. πŸ‘βœ¨

    • For what it’s worth, the upsetting material was really glossed over. The main character’s death wasn’t actually described at all.

      But I think it’s great that you know where your limits are. Good for you.

  21. An impressive take on this week’s TTT. Lists within a list! Not something I’d have thought of. On paper, Lovely Bones has such an interesting concept. But I just find the idea of too depressing to have ever picked it up.

    • Thank you very much! Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t recommend The Lovely Bones to you if the blurb alone depresses you. There was hope to be found in it, but you had to wade through some sad stuff first.

  22. The Lovely Bones was one of my first dives into adult fiction and I’m a little annoyed with myself for not including it in my post, too, ‘cos I’m pretty sure it was one of my first reviews as well. Oopsies! Haha. Anyways, it definitely stayed with me through the years. This weeks topic was so interesting. I love hearing what everyone’s first book reviews were of.

  23. Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve read a book with a non-human protagonist. I remember reading Warriors by Erin Hunter (and also their bear series) and Guardians of Ga’Hoole in middle school, but that was many years ago. Also, I didn’t know xenofiction was a thing (as in, that there was a name for it!). I should definitely look more into that genre…

    Just looked at your list—I also loved Beowulf and I’m adding Grendel to my TBR now!

    • Cool. I hope you enjoy Beowulf.

      I’ll try to find Warriors and Guardians of Ga’Hoole. They both sound good, so thanks.

    • That’s awesome! If you come across any hopeful science fiction books I haven’t covered yet, I’d sure like to hear about them.

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