I Need Some Wow Books

not enough time

I need some amazing books in my life. I want to read books that blow me away, the type of titles that will end up in my list of favorites. Sometimes it’s frustrating when you feel like the books that you’ve been reading are just so-so. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed reading some of the titles that I’ve reviewed (life’s too short to read books that suck). I just want more novels that I can enthusiastically recommend – those that will make me excited to blog about them, titles that will induce a book hangover or novels that will make me fall in love with its characters. I need more of those right now because I don’t want to experience a reading or blogging slump. Life has been really busy lately and that will continue in the coming weeks so I’m trying to be a little choosy about the titles I pick up.

book hangover

So I’m here to ask for recommendations. Please let me know about the books that you’ve read and loved recently. Based on the books that I’ve reviewed in my blog, what do you think will work for me? Also, what novels have ended up in your favorites shelf this year? I’m always interested in hearing about other readers’ favorite titles and it’s been fun going through all the best of 2012 lists for the first half of the year. I have a list of books I plan to read in 2012 as well as a TBR pile in Goodreads if you’d like to go through that to let me know what I should prioritize.

42 thoughts on “I Need Some Wow Books

  1. Well Prez, since you’re read Trese already, does that mean you’re fine venturing into graphic novel territory? If so:

    * Daytripper
    * A Bride’s Story
    * Cross Game
    * 20th Century Boys

    For prose:
    * The Sword Edged Blonde
    * Moribito: Guadrian of the Spirit

    • Yep, I’m okay with reading graphic novels, it’s just that they’re so expensive and I feel like I have to be really careful when reading them. I’ve read Daytripper – my officemate let me borrow his copy. 🙂

      I’ll keep in mind the other suggestions that you mentioned. Thanks Pao!

  2. Lately, I’ve been reading Michael Grant’s GONE series and it’s really amazing. I don’t know if you’ve read them, but if you have, that’s more awesome! 🙂

  3. Interesting TBR! There are 3 books in it which I gave 5/5: The Guernsey blabla Society, Tigana and The Game of Kings – all great, although TGoK is dense. Dorothy Dunnett is probably my favorite author, but I’m always a bit afraid to recommend her because she’s tough-going, at least for the first two books in the Lymond Chronicles. Also loved Fly by Night, the Curious Incident and The Book Thief.

    I’d also recommend probably everything Guy Gavriel Kay has written, except Isobel. I hear Holes is great too, but haven’t read it.

    • LOL at “The Guernsey blabla Society”, it’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it? I keep putting Tigana off because it’s such a doorstopper, I feel like I have to be in the mood for a lengthy book before I start it. I remember starting The Game of Kings before but I wasn’t fully engaged so I stopped it, which was a bit of a disappointment since it comes highly recommended in Sounis (the LiveJournal community for Megan Whalen Turner fans).

      I have Fly By Night, The Curious Incident, The Book Thief and the first two Fionavar Tapestry novels in my TBR pile, maybe I should bump them up.

  4. My favorites that are on your TBR list for the year are Dorothy Sayers and Connie Willis.

    Most of the books that have been truly wowing me lately are MG, but I know you don’t like those as much.

    • Brandy, I don’t find that surprising since I believe I got the recommendations for those two authors from Sounis.

      Sorry I’m not more of a middle grade reader! I do venture into that subgenre (classification?) from time to time but not as often as YA or adult fantasy.

      • Nothing to apologize for! We all like different types of books, it just means I can’t be of much help to you right now. I fell in love with MG books through teaching them.

        I will say even if MG isn’t your “thing” if you ever have the chance to read N.D. Wilson’s new series that starts with The Dragon’s Tooth, you should. The second book, The Drowned Vault, comes out in September. They are much like The Thief-targeted for MG, but readable at any level. And they do some awesome things with mythology.

      • I know, I do keep in mind some of the MG books that I find intriguing based on reviews. I just checked and Dragon’s Tooth is already on my wishlist based on your recommendation, you know I can’t resist any book similar to MWT’s.

  5. I was about to suggest Ender’s Game for you, then I saw you have it on your list. I read it this year and loved it so much.

    I recommend The Night Circus by Erin Morgensten – more than halfway through this one and finding it really great. I also recommend The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder and Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green. Also, try reading some of Terry Pratchett’s books. They’re quite awesome and funny, with just the right amount of fantasy!

    • I have read and loved Ender’s Game and I’m looking forward to watching the movie! I’ve heard that the sequel, Speaker for the Dead is just as good? Haven’t read it though.

      Thanks for the recs! I have Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching novels but haven’t gotten the chance to read them. I think they’re more middle grade than YA, right?

  6. I loath slumps!! Alrighty then. You asked for recommendations *cracks knuckles* here we go….

    – THE BOOK THIEF or I AM THE MESSENGER (for the love of &!@*% why haven’t you read Zusak yet? You’ll adore him.)
    – SHADOW & BONE by Leah Bardugo (you know I love me some Russia)
    – SHATTER ME (I think you’ll get a kick out of Warren in all his insanity)
    – CHIME by Franny Billingsly (I can’t remember if you’ve read this or not, but you should)

    Dear me this is hard! You’ve read most everything I have, but as far as your list goes, you should read EASY. Also, I liked NIGHTSHIFTED pretty well but it was no Kate Daniels book. But… if you haven’t read Seanin McGuire’s October Daye series it’s all kinds of fantastic. The first two are good bordering great but #3 is beyond fan-freaking-tastic. That said, read them all. They’re good stuff.

    Best of luck to you Chachic! I know you’ll find something great soon!

    • Michelle, I’m not exactly in the middle of a slump because I’m still reading books but I just want to read more WOW books.

      LOL I’ve had my copy of The Book Thief in my TBR pile since 2007. I think I keep putting it off because it’s a war novel and those are emotionally draining. But since I loved Code Name Verity, I have a feeling I’ll be a Zusak fan as well.

      I’ve read Chime and I didn’t love it as much as I was expecting. It got rave reviews from several bloggers I follow but I thought it was just okay. Shatter Me, Nightshifted and Easy are already on my TBR pile. Oooh looks like I should start on the Toby Daye books soon – I remember I wanted to bump them up but then I got distracted by another book. Sigh, that’s what happens when you have so many on the TBR pile.

  7. Hmm.. You could try The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It’s one of the BEST books I’ve read this year and in my whole life! We might have different genre preferences, but I super duper hope you’ll end up loving this book! ^_^

  8. I loved A Northern Light! And Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell too, it’s a brick of a book that if thrown at your head, will probably knock you out, but it’s a pretty great read. 🙂 Oh, and The Book Thief too. (take note of Michelle’s cursing in her comment above. Haha :D)

    • I have copies of both of those books but I haven’t read them yet! I don’t think I’ll be reading Jonathan Strange anytime soon since I’m not in the mood for chunksters right now. Might end up in a slump if I force it. 😛

  9. Sorry to hear you are in a reading slump! I can sympathize since I just read some books ranging from not-bad-but-not-great to terrible to couldn’t-even-finish-it.

    From your list, I loved Tigana and Cordelia’s Honor. I loved Elfland, too, but sometimes I’m hesitant to recommend that one just because a lot of people seem disappointed in it being more dramatic and character-oriented than fantasy-oriented.

    I also love the Toby Daye series, but Rosemary and Rue isn’t as good as the rest of the series. Like the Kate Daniels series, the books that come after the first one get better. Four and five are amazing!

    I hope you find some books you love soon! 🙂

    • Well, more blogging than reading slump since I haven’t stopped reading but I haven’t been blogging that much. I suspect real life getting busy has something to do with that as well.

      Sigh, wish I was in the mood to read Tigana. I feel like I have to brace myself before reading a doorstopper like that. The next Vorkosigan book that I’m planning to read is Cordelia’s Honor, I’m curious about the romance between Miles’ parents. And I already have a copy of Elfland, just need to find time to read it.

      I’ll keep that in mind about the Toby Daye books! You and Michelle have convinced me to bump those up. I know Janice is a fan of the series too. It must be pretty good.

  10. Your faves rock, and your TBR stack rules. I’m having serious Diana Wynne Jones love lately, so go for Chrestomanci. Dogsbody and Tale of Time City are next for me, go read them so I have someone to bounce off of. I also loved Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Not on your list, but one I loved so much I ReRead was Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland.

    • Your faves rock, and your TBR stack rules.

      Aww shucks. *blushes* I haven’t read all of the Chrestomanci books but I have copies of them. I also have copies of Fire and Hemlock, Dogsbody and Tale of Time City. I bought the 2012 reissues, I should probably read at least one of those. This is the first time I’ve heard of Susan Vreeland’s novel, will look it up in Goodreads.

  11. Hi Chachic, I recommend reading Touch of Power by Maria Snyder if you haven’t read it yet, it’s the starting book of her new healer series. I really loved it and ended up still thinking about it a few days after and wanting more. I think you will like it, it reminds me of the characters and stories of Kristine Cashore and Sherwood Smith somehow. The story has a female protagonist who is tough but compassionate. Its doesn’t end on a cliffhanger even if its a part of a series. It is a great read.

    • I remember enjoying Poison Study but the sequels didn’t live up to how great the first book was. I can’t even remember the details anymore. I’m not sure how I’ll feel with another Maria Snyder novel but I’ll look it up and will go through reviews.

  12. Two bulky, but very excellent books I read in 2012 so far :

    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Susanna Clarke Beautiful, beautiful prose, characters are in deep shades of gray, Shakespearean tragedies, etc. I just had problems with its depiction of its female characters, though.
    The Warded(Painted) Man – Peter V. Brett Way much better than Demon’s Lexicon when it comes to demon mythology, IMHO. It has some of the most fascinating and cinematic scenes I’ve read in a long while.

    • This is the first time I’ve heard of The Warded Man and it sounds intriguing, will try to find a copy of that. And like I said on Twitter, I should probably read more Brandon Sanderson novels.

  13. Just about to finish Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, and it is definitely going on my favorites shelf! I LOVE it, and all the tech-savvy-ness and hacks make me feel cool reading it. This is an epic novel about a group of kids trying to win back their city’s freedom from a government that’s treating everyone like a terrorist after an attack on the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

    I also *very highly* recommend:
    Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns by John Green
    Feed by MT Anderson
    Nation by Terry Pratchett
    Sunshine by Robin McKinley

    • I think I have a copy of Little Brother somewhere in my TBR pile. I’m not sure if I’ve read a review of it though. Both of the John Green books that you mentioned are already on my TBR pile, I have copies of them. As well as Feed – I just want to read that together with the sequels. I’ve already read Sunshine and the rest of Robin McKinley’s novels (she’s one of my favorites authors).

  14. People are already mentioning books I thought of… Seconding Dorothy Sayers, Connie Willis, and Lois McMaster Bujold. Also it looks like you read The Perilous Gard, but have you tried Elizabeth Marie Pope’s other book The Sherwood Ring? Maganda rin yan. In some ways The Perilous Gard is the better book, but for me The Sherwood Ring is much more entertaining, and much more unique.

    Yan na lang muna. 😀

    (At alam ko na hindi ko pa ipinadala ang postcard ko saiyo, busy talaga ako pero di ko pa nakalimutan :D)

    • All right, will take note of that! I believe the three authors that you mentioned are frequently recommended over at Sounis. Not sure if I can bump them up before I leave but maybe I can bring Strong Poison and To Say Nothing of the Dog with me to SIngapore.

      No worries about the postcard! Maybe you can just send it after I move? I don’t think it will arrive in Manila before next week.

  15. This makes me wonder about the recent books you reviewed and seemed to like. So they didn’t really wow? Hmm, so I can never guess what will really wow a person with book reading. I am hoping my next wow book will be the newest Jennifer Echols which it looks like you’re reading! Sandy had me very interested when she said she liked it better than GOING TOO FAR. Let me know how that one goes.

    • Hmm, I did enjoy reading some of them but they weren’t great enough to be included in my best of 2012 list – does that make sense? Yeah, I can never guess what will wow me, either. So I just keep trying based on everyone else’s recommendations.

      I couldn’t help but dive into the latest Jennifer Echols after Sandy mentioned that it’s even better than Going Too Far. I’ve read all of her books (except her other 2012 release) and Going Too Far is still my favorite – let’s see if Such A Rush can match it. I’m more than willing to be blown away. 😛

      • That makes perfect sense! I just saw you posted your best of 2012 so far, so hey, SERAPHINA! Whoo hoo! *fist pumps*. I’m so glad you liked that one.

        Good luck on finding that next wow-er. I hope it lands in your hands sooner rather than later.

      • Yep, I loved Seraphina and I wish more debut novels were like that. I wonder when the sequel will be out? I still need to write my review of that.

        Thanks! I’m hoping that Such A Rush will be another wow-er but we’ll see.

  16. Pingback: Shoot That Book: 2012 Favorites So Far | Chachic's Book Nook

  17. You know what I realized? I haven’t been reading too many WOW books, too. Well, there are some 4-5 stars, but I didn’t feel much of a hangover after (except for Blackout, but it was more because the Newsflesh series is over, so you know, wow hangover on the series).

    Hm, have you read Alternative Alamat yet? I don’t know why, but maybe it’s something different and well, local, for you to get out of a slump. 😀 Plus it did wow me last year, so I hope it does the same for you. 🙂

    • I can’t even remember the last book that I gave 5 stars – probably Code Name Verity? Most of what I’ve been reading are 3-4 star books. Still haven’t read Feed!

      No, I haven’t read Alternative Alamat yet. Here’s the thing, I’m really not much of a short story reader. You know I haven’t even finished reading Kwentillion? I really don’t know why I have such a hard time going through anthologies when I don’t encounter the same problem with novels. 😛

  18. Pingback: I Need Some Wow Books – Part II | Chachic's Book Nook

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