Happy Tuesday! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday list is all about books that made me want to read more books like them. Whether it’s books that share a genre, a time period, or an author, I finished the following novels & instantly wanted more of the same.
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more magical realism
I first read Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer in 7th or 8th grade, and I was instantly captivated by the magical realism in this novel. It kindled in me a love of fiction that depicts real life with a plausible twist. Things such as time travel (as in the case of this particular book) or wallpaper that changes with your mood (a la Sarah Addison Allen) or a lucid dream where you meet yourself 5 different times with 5 very different results (thanks, James Rubart!). I’m not even a fantasy fan as a general rule, but I do love me some magical realism.
more marriage of convenience stories
I first fell in love marriage of convenience stories when I read Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke and continued to add MOC books to my TBR galaxy whenever I found one. And yes, while Newlywed Games by Mary Davis is technically a fake engagement story, I’m counting it here because it opened the door for me to find contemporary MOC stories – something I hadn’t really considered before. Since then, I’ve found great contemporary ones like An Unlikely Proposal by Toni Shiloh, The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon, and the Lonestar series by Colleen Coble.
more fairy tale retellings
Fairy tales have been my fave since the moment I first saw Cinderella, but I didn’t even know I wanted fairy tale retellings until I discovered Melanie Dickerson & her fabulous books, including The Healer’s Apprentice and (my personal fave) The Merchant’s Daughter. It’s so much fun to see how the author incorporates familiar aspects of the beloved fairy tale being retold while also giving it a unique spin. If you prefer contemporary retellings, check out Once Upon a Summer by Andrea Boyd, Toni Shiloh, Teresa Tysinger, and Jaycee Weaver too!
more romantic suspense
The first romantic suspense I remember reading is Danger in the Shadows by Dee Henderson, and it has been my favorite genre ever since. As soon as I read Danger, I became a diehard fan of the O’Malley family and waited eagerly for each new book to release. While I waited between books, I also discovered Terri Blackstock and now my ‘romantic suspense’ faves list is full of so many fabulous authors. And I still want more please 🙂
more dual timeline novels
Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson is one of the first dual timeline novels I remember reading, and I was hooked. I love that we get the best of both worlds, so to speak, if you’re a fan of contemporary and historical fiction. And I love even more how the authors tie the two timelines together. Note: this is not to be confused with time travel novels which would fall into the magical realism category.
more dual timeline suspense
Dual timeline PLUS can’t-put-down suspense with a dash of romance!?! Yes please! Jaime Jo Wright is definitely a pioneer in this subgenre and I’ve been a huge fan since her debut novel, The House on Foster Hill, released. There’s something about the added suspense element that magnifies everything I already adore about dual timeline.
more ‘messy’ Christian fiction
I don’t even know if that’s exactly what I want to say for these books – Lu. by Beth Troy & its sequel Louisa. I rewrote that header about 10 times before I settled on ‘messy’ Christian fiction. By this, I mean that I want main characters who aren’t believers, who struggle with sin & grace, but who fall hard for Jesus & their lives are irrevocably changed. They may not talk like I do or act like I do or look like I do but they are loved by Jesus just as much as He loves me. AND their journey isn’t boring or saccharine; rather like Lu’s it’s a little snarky, a little hilarious, and a lot messy.
more Mimi Matthews
From the moment I closed the last page of The Matrimonial Advertisement I knew I needed to read everything Mimi Matthews had written & would write in the future. She is so skilled at writing sparks aplenty (but clean) romance & weaving characters & plots into delicious layers while you hang on every word on the page. I’ve almost caught up on her backlist so I can enjoy all the great books she has coming out soon.
more gilded age/progressive era fiction
The Gilded Age & Progressive Era in US history are not time periods I was very familiar with until I read my first books by Jen Turano and Elizabeth Camden. Since the time periods overlap a little bit, I’m including them together rather than split hairs over dates. The point is that everything about the advances in industry & medicine, the increase in social justice issues, and the manners & means of these two eras in American history fascinate me, and I just can’t get enough of books set there.
more cozy mysteries
The first cozy mystery I remember reading is Murder Simply Brewed by Vannetta Chapman, and suddenly my eyes were opened to an inexhaustible genre that I never knew about before. The comforting nature of the familiar formula, the quirky characters, the clever plots, the splashes of romance, the fun titles … I love discovering new series & new-to-me authors in this genre.
What about you? What are some books you read that made you want to read more like them?