Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Favorite Pre-Blogging Books.

I'm linking up today with The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday!  I've loved her topics for a while, but have never actually participated until today!  This week's topic is the top ten books read before blogging.
I don't really feel like my book reading has changed all that much due to blogging-- I'd say more just due to growing up.  Although I do get some great book recommendations from my blog friends.  But it was fun to go back and think of books that I read a long time ago that have stayed with me, some for over a decade.  It's so hard to come up with a list like this because I KNOW that I'm leaving something out that I loved.  But here's what I came up with, in no particular order. 
1. The Great Gatsby-- Far and away the best book I read in school.  I've read it multiple times and just love it.  It was the first book I remember shocking me with an out-of-the-blue plot twist, so maybe that's why it holds a special place in my heart.

2. The Mark of the Lion series-- I read this trilogy in high school, and I remember being completely blown away with the story.  Gladiators in the Colisseum, forbidden love, and God's ultimate grace and redemption all come together for a truly moving trilogy.

3. Sammy's Hill-- Funniest book I've ever read.  Sammy is a young staffer on Capitol Hill and thanks to her neuroses and crazy shenanigans, you'll be laughing to the end.

4. Eve's Daughters-- Another book from my school days, Lynn Austin tells the story of four generations of women and how their choices have affected the following generations.  The way the story is told is pure genius.

5. Baby Proof-- Like most women readers, I'm a big Emily Giffin fan.  I started reading with Something Borrowed and Something Blue, but my favorite book of hers to this day is Baby Proof.  It's sweet and touching and highly recommended.
6. The Last Juror-- This one is still my favorite John Grisham book.  As much as I love his usual stories, this one is completely different and completely amazing.  With the backdrop of a murder trial, it's really about a young man who moves to small town Mississippi and the relationships he develops over a decade as the owner of the local newspaper.  A little legal thriller and a lot of heart.

7. The Notebook-- Ah, The Notebook.  I don't think I've ever cried more at any book than this one.  And the fact that I've read it more than once knowing that would happen just proves how good the story is.  If you've only seen the movie, do yourself a favor and read the book to get the real story.  It's a million times better.

8. Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit-- This whole series by Charles Swindoll-- Great Lives from God's Word-- is amazing.  I've read seven, but Paul is my favorite.  Paul endured so much to tell the Gospel that completely transformed his life, but his story is often overlooked when we read Scripture since we're more focused on his message.  Swindoll takes the time to give great insight into the man who penned almost half of the New Testament.  (Also in the series are David, Esther, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Job, and of course, Jesus.)

9. In the Time of the Butterflies-- Probably the only things I know about the Trujillo reign and subsequent revolution in the Domincan Republic comes from this book.  I'm always amazed how good authors can draw you into a story even when you know the end from the beginning.  Julia Alvarez manages it with this story of the Mirabal family during the Trujillo dictatorship and their involvement in the underground movement.  Just talking about this book makes me want to read it again!

10. The Time Traveler's Wife-- This book stuck with me for so long.  And again, the movie didn't even come close to doing the book justice.  It was a completely unique tale, which I love.  I can't even begin to describe the non-linear, yet totally captivating love story between Henry and Claire.  This book came close to making me cry as much as The Notebook, but was worth every tear.

Of course, I couldn't pick just ten.  So here are two additional "honorable mentions."
The Kite Runner-- Again, a truly unique story.  A story of a man that spans 30+ years from his childhood in Kabul to adulthood in America after their escape from the communist regime and then his return to Afghanistan at the request of a friend during the Taliban reign.  It's a moving story about relationships between friends and fathers and sons.

Absolute Power-- This was my first David Baldacci book, and has led me to so many more wonderful stories of his.  It's a great thriller with unforeseen twists and turns along the way.  I recommend all of his stories!


  1. I will be adding a few books to my to-read list after reading your list. I'm so intrigued by "Eve's Daughters." Thanks!

  2. I liked The Great Gatsby. I keep meaning to re-read it before I see the new movie.

    I loved the Time Traveler's Wife. I thought the book was so much better than the movie!!

  3. I've read a few of these, but it's been so long for some of them that I can barely remember what they were about! I rarely re-read books and yet, some of these are really begging for a second go-around.

    Happy TTT!

  4. these are so many books i need to read, thanks for sharing all of these! i need to head over to the library now

  5. Love the Great Gatsby. I'm really excited to see the upcoming movie of it. Great list!
    Em @ A Beautiful Madness
    My Top Ten

  6. I hope to reread The Great Gatsby before the film comes out :)


  7. Great Top 10. I loved the Notebook and the Time Travelers Wife is in my TBR pile :)
    New Follower
    Danielle @ Coffee and Characters

  8. I've added a few of these my to-read list :). I need to hurry up and read The Great Gatsby, everyone who has read it raves about it!

  9. I love the cover of Sammy's Hill, I'll definitely be reading the synopsis :D

    My Top Ten

    Have a great week!

  10. Okay, adding a few of these to my never ending list. I have always wanted to read the Kite Runner and I forget about it a lot!

  11. Ohhh I'm adding some of these to my ever growing to-read list LOL - Especially The Last Juror!

  12. Oh The Great Gatsby is definitely one of my top faves! There are some on here I've never read though, so I'll be adding them to my list! :) Thanks for sharing!