Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

Top Ten Tuesday2

I’ve been wanting to participate in Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) for a while now but I keep forgetting about it. I only remember when I see tweets from other bloggers and by that time, it’s already Wednesday in my side of the world. Fortunately, I looked up the topic ahead of this week so now I get to put up my first ever Top Ten Tuesday post! Most of the books that I read nowadays are recommendations from trusted book bloggers and friends. Because there are so many reading choices out there, I rarely read books just based on the cover and synopsis. Back before I started blogging, that’s how I found out about books though. In no particular order, here are some of my favorites before I started my blog in 2010:

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale – I can still remember seeing the pretty cover, illustrated by Alison Jay, and thinking that the book looks like something that I’d enjoy reading even if I wasn’t that familiar with the original Goose Girl story. My instincts were right, I fell in love with The Goose Girl and it’s still one of my favorite fairy tale retellings. It was an added bonus that I discovered other favorite titles through Shannon Hale’s recommendations in her blog.

Goose Girl_Alison Jay

The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner – My love for MWT’s books knows no bounds, I even organized a Queen’s Thief Week to celebrate her work. I’m always curious whenever a review mentions writing or characters similar to MWT’s (although more often than not, I get disappointed because my expectations are so high). I’m so glad Shannon Hale featured MWT on her blog because that’s how I discovered this amazing series. Before my blog, I usually got ideas of what to read from Sounis, the LiveJournal community for MWT fans. I was pretty active there back when I was still using LiveJournal.

Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith – Another title that I discovered through Shannon Hale’s blog! During the time I discovered Crown Duel, I was starting to realize that I have a thing for fantasy novels and it definitely fit the bill. I also loved how nice and friendly Sherwood is to her fans, she’s quite active in the Athanarel LiveJournal community (another source of excellent recommendations before I started my blog). I was lucky enough to meet her in person when we had a Sounis/Athanarel meet up back in 2009:

Sounis Athanarel Meet Up

I Do and At First Sight by Elizabeth Chandler – I’ve talked about the Love Stories series several times here on the blog. That was the series that I closely followed as a teenage girl and Elizabeth Chandler’s I Do and At First Sight are my favorites. I can even remember the number of times I’ve reread these books. They’re out of print titles, otherwise I’d probably get duplicates because my copies are so battered.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman – I remember borrowing a copy of this from a college friend and I knew after finishing that I had to get my own copy. I got a paperback that I let my friends borrow and also a graphic novel edition because the artwork by Charles Vess is just lovely.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman – I read this trilogy back in college, based on the recommendation of a classmate. It was during finals week and I was supposed to be studying instead of reading for pleasure but I couldn’t help it, the series was just too good to put down.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I found out about this series in high school. It was my mom who got me started on Harry Potter, she got me copies of the first four books that were out then. After that, I eagerly waited for the release date of books five to seven. I had to watch the movies in cinemas as soon as they were shown too. I followed this series from high school to college up until I started working. I really am part of the Harry Potter generation, it was a part of my life for so many years.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – This series is one of my childhood favorites. I discovered it because some of the titles were available in my grade school library. Unfortunately, they didn’t have all of the books in the series. I only got to read the entire series when I ordered copies online when I was in high school (bookstores in Manila didn’t have such great stocks back then). I get the feeling that I can read the Narnia books as an adult and I would love them just as much as I did when I was a kid.

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson – Here’s another title that I found interesting because of the cover and title. I checked the premise at the back and thought that the book looked like something I’d enjoy reading. I was right. This was my first taste of Eva Ibbotson’s writing and she quickly became a favorite author after I finished reading this.

A Countess Below Stairs

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley – I love kick ass heroines in fantasy novels and Harry is one of my favorites. I’m a fan of girls who take matters into their own hands, instead of waiting to be saved or rescued by someone else. Each of Robin McKinley’s novels has a heroine like that, which is why she’s an auto-read author for me.

I guess I cheated because I included trilogies and series in my list but I couldn’t really help it, there are just way too many good books out there. I had a hard enough time narrowing down my list. What about you, what are some of your favorite books that you read before you started your blog? How did you discover them?

22 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

  1. Glad to see the Blue Sword getting love! It’s my favorite book probably ever, which is a hard thing to say as a blogger!

    • Yay, another Robin McKinley fan! The Blue Sword and Beauty are my favorites out of all her books. Have you read all of her books? I have one more left: Deerskin.

      • Yes, everything except for the Fire anthology she did with Peter Dickinson.

        I enjoyed Deerskin, but don’t read it unless you’re ready to cry. I rarely cry over books (last time was when I read “Daughter of the Forest” by Juliet Marillier) but Deerskin … ugh, tears.

      • I haven’t read her anthologies with her husband yet.

        Aww Daughter of the Forest, I cried when I read that one too! Same with Son of the Shadows. Yeah, I’ve put Deerksin on hold because from what I heard, I need to steel myself before I start reading it.

    • It’s always nice when you find out that a fellow blogger likes the same books that you do, right? It’s good to know that about half of my list would have made it to your list too. πŸ˜› I have a lot of pre-blogging favorites but even more so after I started the blog.

  2. I can never manage to fit TTT into my schedule. If I did half of the books on your list would be on my list too. This is the best one of seen yet today. πŸ™‚

    • I think Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme but I keep missing it before. And like you said, I usually couldn’t squeeze it in. I hope you get to participate in a future topic though. It doesn’t surprise me that half of the books in my list would have been included in yours. We don’t always read the same books but we still have pretty similar tastes. πŸ™‚

  3. I also have Harry Potter and His Dark Materials on my list. I have so far read, Crown Duel, The Goose Girl, and Stardust. All three are lovely reads. But I have to specially mention The Thief series! Just finished KoA! I thought nothing could top my love for QoA, but I was wrong! (The King of Kings! Ahhh!) (Sorry for fangirling here.Heehee.)

    As for Narnia, I have only read The Horse and His Boy. It was okay. I was even more discouraged when a friend told me she only loved The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe from among all of them. I haven’t read an ibbotson yet and only one Mckinley. Must remedy soon. πŸ™‚

    • FINALLY! It took you long enough to read MWT’s books. πŸ˜› I read the first three books all together and couldn’t stop thinking about them days after I finished reading the series. I felt exactly the same way about The King of Attolia – I thought it wouldn’t be able to top The Queen of Attolia but it turned out to be just as good. Feel free to fangirl about MWT on my blog anytime. πŸ˜›

      Hmm maybe the Narnia books have a special place in my heart because I read them as a child and they resonated with me. You know how books stay with you that way, the two Love Stories books in my list are like that too. You haven’t read an Eva Ibbotson novel yet? You must do so as soon as you can. Start with either A Countess Below Stairs (also available as The Secret Countess) or The Reluctant Heiress (also available as Magic Flutes). Hope you get to read The Blue Sword soon. πŸ˜€

  4. If I’d done a TTT this week, I’d have put multiple series on there. And most of them would probably have been fantasy as well! Harry Potter + The Chronicles of Narnia are certainly two of my favorite series, and I’ve gone back and reread them multiple times since I reached the end. SO GOOD.

    • I haven’t had a chance to reread the Harry Potter and Narnia books recently because there are just way too many books on my TBR pile. I keep wanting to get nice editions of those two series. But maybe later on when I have a nice personal library to put them in. Right now, I have some of my books in Manila while some are here in Singapore. Too bad you weren’t able to do this week’s Top Ten Tuesday!

  5. I’m also totally part of the Harry Potter Generation. I started reading the books back in 2000 when only the first three books were out. I love the first two books, but what hooked me was book 3.

    I listed The Goose Girl, too. I actually don’t care much for the cover. Shannon Hale is great, but my favorite Hale book is Book of a Thousand Days. Have you read that?

    And His Dark Materials is also on my TTT post. Such a great series.

    • *Harry Potter high five*

      I first discovered the series when only four books were out. I’m not sure if the fourth one was just released then. Same with me, the third book is my favorite in the whole series.

      Aww really, you’re not a fan of the Alison Jay cover? I really like that design, more than the new cover that has a picture of a girl. Yep, I’ve read Book of a Thousand Days but I still love The Goose Girl more than that one. I’m glad she has a stanalone, Asian-inspired novel like that though.

      His Dark Materials is beautiful, isn’t it? I would love to reread it so I could write a review. I don’t remember enough of the details for me to write one now.

  6. Yay for the Goose Girl, Harry Potter, and MWT of course! I enjoyed Stardust but I actually liked the film adaptation more? Maybe that’s because I saw it first. I liked Neverwhere too, with all its London references. I’ve always wanted to do TTT and I never have. Every once in awhile I see a topic I would’ve loved to participate in, but by then, like you said, it’s too late! Just FYI, next week’s topic is any TTT topic you wanted to participate in but missed. I’m going to try to put a post together.

    • I really liked the film adaptation of Stardust as well but I read the book (both in paperback and graphic novel format) before the movie came out so maybe that’s one of the reasons why I loved it more than you did.

      Next week is a good topic! Let’s see if I can go through past topics this weekend so I can choose what I post if ever. πŸ˜›

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  8. I enjoyed, savored, and loved every single one of the Harry Potter books except the last. The ending was too pat, the epilogue so prosaic, that I…I…realized just how silly I’d been. We all loved Harry so much – too much, in fact, which got in the way of a good story. Harry’s abrupt launch into the wizard world, his school adventures, encounters with Voldemort – all left us breathless, just raring for the happy ending. And happy it came! Wedding bells and baby showers – who could ask for more? I could. Goodness knows that I wish I couldn’t, but I could. Why doesn’t Rowling give us some real MEAT to chew on? The courtship, the jobs – I want details! One thing I know: if Rowling decides to write about Harry’s KIDS next, I might never pick up a book of hers again. Harry’s was a tale not worth telling twice, allowing for paraphrasing. I won’t settle for the adventures of his offspring. But here I digress. What I really want to say is that Rowling is a genius – not many people can write a series that lasts seven books and which captures the attention of most of the world for the entire duration.

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  10. Hi!

    I’ve been longing to get a copy of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’ Stardust (yes that very particular awesome illustrated one) but all I have seen at National and at Fully Booked here in Manila are the normal non-illustrated paperback novels of Gaiman. And coincidentally I’ve long tried to track down A Countess Below Stairs to no avail, and it’s on your list too!! (Noting some other books on your list, I approve of your great taste! :)) ) Which brings me to my big question, were you able to get your copies of those particular books here in Manila? Either way, maybe you could advise me as to where I possibly could get mine? Huhuhu I’m desperate!!!! Haha, great lists, btw!

    Joanna from QC

  11. Hi!

    I’ve been longing to get a copy of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’ Stardust (yes that very particular awesome illustrated one) but all I have seen at National and at Fully Booked here in Manila are the normal non-illustrated paperback novels of Gaiman. And coincidentally I’ve long tried to track down A Countess Below Stairs to no avail, and it’s on your list too!! (Noting some other books on your list, I approve of your great taste! :)) ) Which brings me to my big question, were you able to get your copies of those particular books here in Manila? Either way, maybe you could advise me as to where I possibly could get mine? Huhuhu I’m desperate!!!! Haha, great lists, btw!

    Joanna from QC

    • Hi Joanna, I got my copy of the Stardust graphic novel years ago! I can’t even remember from which bookstore, either Powerbooks or Fully Booked. You can search for a copy of it from an online bookstore that has free worldwide shipping, like Book Depository (for brand new books) or Better World Books (used books). Or you can try the special order service of local bookstores, they can order whatever title you want and they’ll quote a price for it as well as a time frame of when your order will arrive. Have you tried calling the bookstores to check whether the book is available in any of their branches? They do that too.

      A Countess Below Stairs was from Fully Booked. All my Eva Ibbotsons were from there. You can also look for it under its alternate title, The Secret Countess.

      Hope these help! Happy book hunting!

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