Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where we get a new topic for a top 10 list.
Confession. I was not a reader in school. In fact my “great rebellion” was to not read the required books that was set for our class, well until I had no choice but to read it. Why? Because I hated being told what I could or couldn’t read. Plus with every book I was conscious of the fact that I had to analyse and decode the book and because of that I never felt like I could just read the book for the sake of enjoy it.
So, for this weeks Back to School freebie, instead of setting a required reading list, I thought I’d post a recommended back to school reading list. There’s a little bit of everything in this list so that you can pick and chose a book that suits your reading preferences.
1. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: Perfect for sci-fi fans. To start, the unconventional narrative method is pure genius. There’s a lot of tension and anticipation in these books and to top it off, we get to explore the politics that come with space travel and colonization.
2. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta: Truth be told I’d put every single one of Marchetta’s books on this list. However, the reason I chose the Piper’s Son is because it looks at the trials and tribulations of life. Tom is not in a good place in this book and this story is about him reconciling with the past, reconnecting and rebuilding friendships. It’s a messy journey but one grounded in its realism.
3. The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski: A fantasy series without a hint of magic. This series is perfect for romance, fantasy and history fans. The romance is central to the book and you will agonize over Kestrel and Arin’s love. Fantasy fans will love exploring the different dynamics in this world. History fans will love the political intrigue of the book. There’s something for everyone with this series.
4. The Hard Count by Ginger Scott: Let’s talk sports. Specifically let’s talk about sports culture and all it entails. This book looks at the social and racial elements that come into play with sports. It looks at the way sports become a crucial part of ones life for better and for worse.
5. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin: There’s nothing scarier than the “what if’s” of history. Case in point, what if Hitler won the war. Terrifying. This book delves into this alternate historic timeline and has a specific focus on identity. We all know Hitler had an idealized portrayal of a “pure” German. It’s no secret that he conducted inhumane experiments as well. This books asks “what if his experiments worked.” What if he succeeded in stripping someone of their identity. What if that experiment led to the creation of a weapon that could bring an end to Hitler’s reign. Identity is the defying theme to this book, with Yael set on fulfilling the most dangerous task whilst also trying to discover herself.
6. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera: A book that packs all the punch. More Happy Than Not brings identity and memory to the forefront. It looks at the complexities of human nature in understanding ourselves and in the relationships we develop. It’s a raw journey in exploring and accepting ones self.
7. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: This book looks at the overlooked tragedy of the Wilhelm Gustloff. I recently wrote a post about the reasons to read historical fiction and to me one of the greatest benefit of historical fiction is the opportunity it has to shine a light on these overlooked historic events.
8. Thunder Road Trilogy by Katie McGarry: This series is an addiction. Admittedly it’s the swoony romances that keep me coming back for more. However, this series also shines a light on the stereotypes that come with being part of a motorcycle club. Most people think they’re like the Sons of Anarchy, dabbling in drugs, prostitution and all sorts of illegal activity. However, the reality is that most of the clubs are just a bunch of guys that like to ride. They’re legit. They’re by no means perfect and I took issue with some aspects of this lifestyle, specifically the role of women in the club, but at the end of the day this series highlights the fact that just because somethings are different doesn’t make it wrong.
9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: A new twist to the classic fairy tales. We’re all familiar with the tales, well the disney version of them at least, but this series takes those legendary tales and twists them. You can recognise the key components of each fairy tale but there’s a sense of individuality within the story that sets it apart from the original tale.
10. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios: I had to include this book. It’s a book that has stayed with me from the moment I read it. It’s an all time favourite. It explores the reality of living with PTSD and the struggle of reconciling all sides of yourself. It explores poverty, the suffocation of living in a small town, but most of all it’s a story of two people that have experienced a lot of hurt and confusion come together and fight for a brighter future together.
Those are my recommended back to school reads.
Which books would you recommend?