Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Top Ten Books So Far This Year

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is to list your favorite books that you've read so far this year.
I have read 85 books so far, but these are my favorites:

10. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
A hilarious take on fairy tales. In this story, Prince Charming is really 4 different guys who have some serious issues. These books are both funny and adventurous. After I read and raved about this one in March, my students have been devouring them. My review

9. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
This is one of two adult novels on the list. I love Brandon Sanderson's work and I've been desperate to read this one, his debut novel, for years. It definitely lived up to the billing - complex, beautifully paced world development and a creative, yet believable system of magic.

8. Starcross by Phillip Reeve
The first book in this series is Larklight, which I loved, but Starcross (book 2) is even better. These are Victorian space-pirate adventures. Not really steampunk, though. They take place entirely in space, traveling to different planets, encountering aliens, and trying to save the universe. But they are set in the 1800s. In this world, Darwin figured out space travel. I also love these books for their sophisticated, witty dialogue and humor. Best for grades 7-12

7. The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni
One of the best new releases of the year. The Eighth Day is based on the idea that there is actually a secret day between Wednesday and Thursday that only some people experience. Actually, there is also a whole set of people who exist only on that extra day. This creative premise weaves in a fair amount of Arthurian legend and makes for an epic battle scene at the end. My Review

6. Sand by Hugh Howey
This is the other adult book on my Top Ten. I've read everything Hugh has ever written. He is definitely my favorite adult sci-fi author. This is his newest novel and I pre-ordered a signed copy. Set in a future world that is so dry that everything is constantly being buried by blowing sand, this book really highlights Hugh Howey's world-building skills and his ability to write a seriously intense plot. I loved WOOL, but I think this might be his best work yet.

5. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
I read this book as an audiobook narrated by the author and it was an incredible experience. The experiences of the narrators are haunting, powerful, and true reflections of America at this time.

4. The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
My favorite new release of the year so far. Oh man this book is terrific! The creepiness builds steadily until the unbelievably dark seems totally plausible. Wonderfully written, beautifully paced, and populated by a cast of richly interesting characters, The Night Gardener kept me totally glued to the page. My Review

3. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
This is the 4th book in the Thief of Eddis series. It is a perfect example of a genre I adore - Castle Intrigue. I made that name up myself *smile* My Review

2. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
Somehow both whimsical and scary at the same time. I loved this creative, wonderfully imagined story with a broad cast of rich characters. Jonathan Auxier is a super-talented writer and this one may become a modern classic.

1. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Britain is beset by ghosts. They emerge at night, haunting all kinds of places and attempting to kill the living. Only children can see and hear the ghosts, so they form the first line of defense against The Problem. The Screaming Staircase follows the three children of Lockwood & Co, a psychic defense agency, as they battle ghosts and try to stay alive through the night.

Wholly engrossing and beautifully crafted, Jonathan Stroud has written an edge-of-your-seat who-dunnit with complex characters, a fascinating world, and a unique narrative style that really works.

Read this as an audiobook. Miranda Raison does an impeccable job as the narrator.


As I looked back over the 85 titles that I've read so far this year, I was really pleased to see so many wonderful titles, but these 10 really stood out above the rest. And I'm super excited because I got an ARC of the second Lockwood & Co book, The Whispering Skull. Thank you NetGalley!

Happy Reading!


  1. I haven't heard of most of these, but they all look interesting! I love Brandon Sanderson, but haven't read ELANTRIS yet. I need to get on that. Also, I'd never heard of THE EIGHTH DAY -- it sounds awesome. I'll definitely have to check it out.


    1. Thanks for visiting, Susan! I highly recommend Elantris to fans of Sanderson. Both new releases on this list are amazing, The Night Gardener and The Eighth Day.