Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by the lovely folks over at 'The Broke & The Bookish' - to join in simply follow the link!
This week to celebrate Thanksgiving, The Broke and the Bookish have tasked us with listing bookish things we're thankful. I decided to go the traditional route and list the ten books/series that I adore. I know I talk about them already from time to time, but today I want to let them shine in all their glory as I explain (again) exactly why I love these books and why they mean so much to me.
The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
(Alanna: The First Adventure/In The Hand of the Goddess/The Woman Who Rides Like a Man/Lioness Rampant)
As you know by now, these books were my first foray into the world of fantasy. They shaped my love of books, my love of fantasy lands, of magic, of strong female characters. These books did so much for little me, and she had no idea when she picked up that strange book with the purple eyed cat on the cover, exactly how it would shape her bookish loves.
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
(The Raven Boys/The Dream Thieves/Blue Lily, Lily Blue/The Raven King)
We haven't even had the last book in the series yet (which, by the way, is going to completely emotionally destroy me. I can't wait.) but this series is a defintie favourite and one I am eternally thankful for. You don't realize when you first start reading The Raven Boys after reading that terrible blurb, just how special that book and the series really are. They creep up on you until you are so in love with these boys and Blue, with the magic and the impossibleness of it all, that you cannot ever imagine a time when you didn't know and love this book.
The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
(The Duke & I/The Viscount Who Loved Me/An Offer From a Gentleman/Romancing Mr Bridgerton/To Sir Philip With Love/When He Was Wicked/It's In His Kiss/On The Way to the Wedding)
Over a decade ago I read 'It's in His Kiss'. It was the first historical romance I ever read, and it sparked a love for the genre that is alive and well to this day. My Mum bribed me into studying for my exams with Julia Quinn's books, and I loved escaping the humdrum necessity of studying for these sweeping romances, dashing heroes and witty heroines. I adore this series, and no matter how many other historical romances I may read, I always come back to the Bridgertons.
The Discworld Series by Sir Terry Pratchett
I've read a few Discworld's over the years, but I never really got thoroughly sucked into the Discworld until recently. On discovering that I was reading 'The Shepherd's Crown' without ever having read any other Witches's thread books, my lovely friend Sarah shrieked and demanded that I go back to the start and do it properly. So I am. I'm falling in love with these books in ways I never expected to, and I'm loving going through and actually exploring the world and the series properly for the first time. This series redefined what fantasy books could be. They're bitingly funny, full of brilliance, and no matter how late to the party I am, I am so thankful that we were graced with so many books in this series by Pratchett.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I don't think I will ever be able to adequately put into words just how much I love this book. There is something indefinable about it, something magical and haunting that leaves you feeling like you have just spent several weeks on Thisby when you turn the final page. If I could move to Thisby tomorrow I would. I love the island, the characters, the horses, the rituals and festivals and traditions, the November cakes and cinnamon twists. This book is indescribably special to me, one I revisit again and again.
The Lynburn Legacy & The Demon's Trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan
(Unspoken/Untold/Unmade) (The Demon's Lexicon/The Demon's Covenant/The Demon's Surrender)
Sarah's books are amazing. They're funny, they're clever, they're heart wrenching and dark and will rip your heart out and smush it about a little before giving it back to you. Plus, I now have proof that they are for everyone after shoving them into Husband's arms and having him go feral when I with held the final book in the Lynburn Legacy from him for five minutes...
Her books are like nothing I've ever read before, the perfect blend of humour and darkness, brilliant characters, imaginative plots and utterly sublime writing. I will forever be thankful to that random day of googling 14 year old me did that led me to Sarah's writing.
The Lady Julia Grey Series by Deanna Raybourn
(Silent in the Grave/Silent in the Sanctuary/Silent on the Moor/The Dark Road to Darjeeling/The Dark Enquiry)
I stumbled across the first book in the series quite by accident and was immediately hooked. Deanna creates such startlingly real characters, flawed, human and utterly fascinating. Add in world building with some of the most thorough research to truly bring the day to day existence of these characters to life, and complex and intriguing plots that keep you on your toes and you hit perfection. I love Julia and Brisbane and all of Julia's colourful family, I love the mysteries that leave me breathless and tense even now after multiple re-readings, and I love the careful balance of darkness and light that truly brings these stories to life.
The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
Do I really need to say anything more? I grew up with Harry, Ron & Hermione. They brought light into dark times, they took me on their adventures with them, and they taught me all the ways to be brave. I'm so thankful for this incredible series.
The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas
(The Assassin's Blade/Throne of Glass/Crown of Midnight/Heir of Fire/Queen of Shadows)
When I first picked up 'Throne of Glass', I will admit, I wasn't convinced. But within a few pages I was hooked. I couldn't put it down. I was thoroughly enthralled by the world, by the bad ass heroine, by the magic and general awesomeness. That feeling has only grown with each subsequent book. And the best part? This year I passed the first book in the series to my husband, unsure what response it would get. We ended up fighting over who would get to read 'Queen of Shadows' first...
The Seven Kingdoms Trilogy by Kristin Cashore
If I cannot got to Thisby or Hogwarts, I want to visit The Dells and the Seven Kingdoms. They're so vibrant, so fascinating, filled with magic and peopled with intriguing characters. I love how different and complex these three heroines are, how they portray different facets of stereotypes and then tip them on their head and show such developed characters. I love their stories, the slow unraveling of mysteries and plots that are always so much more than I expect. Simply put, I adore these books.
So there you have the top ten books/series that I am insanely thankful for. Basically a chance for me to wax lyrical about ten of my all time favourites, would grab from the shelves if my flat was on fire. They have all had a huge impact on my life in some way or another and I adore them. Are any of these long term favourites for you? Any that you're interested in picking up after seeing why I love them? Let me know and link me to your Thanksgiving Top Ten Thankful lists in the comments below!