Top Ten Recent Additions to My All-Time Favorite Books

Top Ten Tuesday 2

The prompt for this week indicates that we should restrict “recent” to the past three years. I’m taking that to mean “books I’ve read for the first time in the last three years,” not “published in the last three years” (although a significant number have turned out to be just that). Here’s what I came up with:

  1. The Magicians – Lev Grossman. Basically Harry Potter, The College Years with a healthy dose of Narnia thrown in. So, yeah, awesome.
  1. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson. Easily one of the best horror stories I’ve ever read. So wonderfully creepy.
  1. The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides. I read this on my honeymoon, and thus didn’t get a chance to review it (both because, well, honeymoon and because we moved down to South Carolina shortly thereafter). But I really enjoyed it, and I think it earns a place on my All-Time Favorites shelf (although that shelf is getting pretty large and unwieldy these days).
  1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman. Just…spectacular. I’ve gone on and on about this book, so I won’t do it again here, but just read it. Trust me.
  1. The Silent Wife – A. S. A. Harrison. Sadly, Harrison’s fantastic debut novel was to be her only novel, as she passed away shortly before The Silent Wife was published.
  1. Joyland – Stephen King. I don’t know quite what it is about this book, but I really, really enjoyed it. Maybe because for once it was a sort of short, simple novel, whereas a lot of King’s other books are much heftier. Joyland was a light, quick, easy read, and one heck of a fun ride.
  1. The Langoliers – Stephen King. A novella from King’s collection Four Past Midnight, The Langoliers is an incredibly spooky story that will leave you with questions about time travel and parallel dimensions that even the master of horror himself can’t quite answer.
  1. Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places – Gillian Flynn. I didn’t want to finish out my list with Ms. Flynn—even though I could have, her books are so good—so I’m counting these as one, even though the only common threads between them are their unreliable female narrators and lots of dark, twisty stuff that you probably don’t want to think about.
  1. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier. I just re-read this one recently and it’s just as good as the first time I read it (i.e., AMAZING). Classic Gothic horror, with a little bit of romance thrown in. It’s awesome.
  1. 14 – Peter Clines. A super fun story about a possibly-haunted, possibly just really WTF building in Los Angeles. I originally read it on NetGalley and recently bought a hard copy so I could read it again, and it was just as awesome as when I read it the first time.

I would absolutely recommend any one of these books. Check out the links for more info and to see if any of them are for you!


What books have made it onto your all-time favorites list in the past few years?

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16 thoughts on “Top Ten Recent Additions to My All-Time Favorite Books

  1. I second The Ocean at the End of the Lane! That was such an amazing book. Like…it’s one of those books I wish I could wipe from my memory just so I could experience reading it for the first time all over again.

    • I can’t really say—it’s the first one I read, and I loved it, but then I read Neverwhere and wasn’t totally crazy about it. At the very least, it’ll be a really quick read, and I would recommend it even if you decide to read another Gaiman first 🙂

  2. What a great list. I love Neil Gaiman and thought the Ocean book was just lovely.
    Rebecca is one of my ‘all time favourites’ it’s the one book that I choose over and over again!
    Lynn 😀

    • I just can’t stop fangirling over Ocean. It was so amazing.

      And I find so many people who love Rebecca in the blogosphere, but it seems so underrated outside of it! Most of my friends have never read it.

    • Thanks! I heard the movie was actually pretty good as far as adaptations go, but I haven’t seen it. Hope you like it! If you do, you should definitely get her other two as well—I think they might be even better than Gone Girl 🙂

  3. I loved Rebecca, 14, and all the Gillian Flynn, all of which I’ve read in the last few years as well. Oh my gosh how I hated the The Marriage Plot though! I really liked The Virgin Suicides and loved Middlesex, but found The Marriage Plot to be utterly pretentious and boring and I only made it through 80 pages. It was very popular when it first came out and some people love it, but somehow I am just unable to understand why.

    • Haha, I can definitely understand that! I wouldn’t say that I didn’t find it pretentious at all, but I think the plot of the book called for a little pretension 🙂 I understand if that put you off, though.

  4. Margaret Atwood and Gary Shteyngart books–both of whom I only discovered in the past three years (Atwood obviously being more surprising not to have encountered before).

    I loved The Handmaid’s Tale and the Blind Assassin (Atwood), and would recommend any of Shteyngart’s novels and non-fiction. If Vonnegut were a Jewish Soviet refugee adapting to western society he’d have the voice of Gary Shteyngart. It’s a good thing.

    • Cool! I recently read The Handmaid’s Tale as well and really enjoyed it. Not sure I’ve even heard of Gary Shteyngart, but I’ll look into him!

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