Saturday, August 23, 2014

Amazing Reads: Powerful Books

My lovely friend Nichole of Butterscotch Sundae tagged me on Facebook asking me to share a list of ten books that have stuck with me or meant something to me. So I wrote a FB post that was kind of like a novel and decided that the best thing to do with it was to share it with my readers, as well.

So, if we're friends on Facebook, forgive me, but if we're not - I've got something new for you!

Some of these will be no surprise if you've been reading me for a while. I've reviewed a handful and some have shown up on lists before. It was really difficult to whittle the never-ending list of books I love down to just ten, and at the same time it was a little bit easier than I expected it to be. It might have been harder to get it down to my top four reads when I did that a few weeks ago.

Anyway, here goes. My top ten most powerful or touching or impactful reads of ever.

1. The Red Tent, Anita Diamant

reading, fiction, amreading, books, recommendations

If you have not read this I really can't describe for you why it's impacted me so. It's one of the first books I recommend when someone asks for a new read.

2. Sarah's Key, Tatiana de Rosnay
Amazing. Just absolutely amazing. Such powerful writing and story. You'll never forget it once you read it. The impact of this one has stayed with me over the years since I read it.

3. Still Alice, Lisa Genova
Lisa Genova has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Everything she has written that I have read I have loved. She might show up again down this list. This book is a fictional account of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's. If you've ever known someone with Alzheimer's you should read it. It's really spot on.

4. Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess
I've never laughed as hard as I have when reading this book. It's my go-to rec when someone wants something funny. Jenny's real - and her words take over - giving you an experience, not just a good read.

5. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

reading, fiction, amreading, books, recommendations, classics

One of the few books I've read more than once. And have plans to read again. When I graduated from college I went through a classics phase. This was my first pick. It is just a story that sticks with you. I have not seen the movie and really don't have an interest in doing so. Also? Something about this cover has stayed with me for years. (And I do mean years!)

6. Handle With Care, Jodi Picoult
I'm a fan of her books, and honestly, it'd be easy for me to go with My Sister's Keeper here, which I did love (and did see the movie - a long time later, but I was curious!), but Handle With Care is a book where the ending freaking sticks with me and comes back to make me think about it at the most random times. So while that's Picoult's norm, an ending with a twist, this was beyond that.

7. Room, Emma Donoghue
This is sometimes called a controversial read. But it was such a great one. I read it in one day. Almost one sitting, because I couldn't put it down. I want to say it might be remembered as one of the best books of our "generation," but I don't know if I can take it that far.

8. The Pocket Therapist, Therese J. Borchard
I've read this book several times. It's a fantastic reminder of how we need to take care of ourselves. Some of the points made are truly obvious, but having them on paper in front of me makes them more real. I'm definitely a fan.

9. The Passage, Justin Cronin

reading, fiction, amreading, books, recommendations, series, book #1

This book is over 1000 pages. Yes. You read that right. One. Thousand. And guess what? It's part one of three. Damn it. I don't do trilogies. But I finished these thousand+ pages before I knew it was part one. GAH! It stuck with me enough that I have part two at the ready, I just haven't started it yet (I only bought it a few months ago - cut me some slack, eh?).

And now - number ten. It's too hard. I can't decide between Dan Brown or Kahled Hosseini (probably incomparable - and yet) or Sarah Addison Allen (I read ALL of her books). I also contemplated adding Kelly Corrigan, because The Middle Place deserves a spot here, as well.

10. The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown
Why did I pick this one? I don't know. I mean, I do, but I don't. I think it's because it was the big winner of all of his books. The one that introduced me to him. The one I kind of quote and make references to sometimes. The one that made me read Angels & Demons. And so, there you have it.

So - what do you think, my reading friends? Do you have a list of your own? Feel free to leave me some suggestions in the comments!

* There are affiliate links scattered throughout this post (and below!). *


  1. I think we are reading soul sisters! Room is one of my favorite books ever, and I LOVE Jodi Picoult although I can't remember Handle With Care at all! Will have to go find it again. Really great list!

  2. What a terrific list Andrea. Sounds like I'll be busy for awhile!

  3. Thanks for sharing this list. I love to hear about books that other readers love.

  4. Great list! The only one on it I've read so far is The DaVinci Code. Need to add the others to my "to read" on Goodreads so I'm ready next time I need a good book. :)

  5. I've read 6 of your 10! A few I would add to my own list are Middlesex, Loving Frank, The Orchardist and any by Barbara Kingsolver!

  6. Love that you're such an eclectic reader! I loved The Red Tent as well. Saved it to read till I was pregnant. ;) And the Passage and Great Gatsby. Awesome.


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