Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. I really wanted to contribute to this week’s theme because I quickly realized that a good many books that I’ve read over the past several years do not qualify. So, I endeavoured to ensure I could find ten. It was surprisingly harder than I thought it would be. I could have pulled from my TBR, sure, but I had more fun looking through what I’ve already read.
It’s late as all get-out as I write this, so let’s see if I can actually get it up while it’s still Tuesday!
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
I just read this last year, and it’s an absolute treat. If you’ve never read either author, I’d implore you to at least read this tale of an angel and a demon who realize they enjoy life on Earth too much and decide to thwart the apocalypse.
Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
I’m cheating a little with this one, but technically this is the full title, so I’m counting it. It remains one of my favourite novels, as a fantastic work of horror and early science fiction, and everybody should read it at least once. For some stunning art along with the literature, I recommend picking up the copy with illustrations by Bernie Wrightson
Hellboy: Odd Jobs, edited by Christopher Golden
I first read this anthology years ago when I was still going through the Hellboy graphic novels by Mike Mignola. Comics is the medium the series truly belongs in, but I was curious about what the books were like, so I picked this one up. I loved it so much that it inspired me to pick up all the anthologies that followed and several of the novels. Most aren’t all that spectacular, but I still hold a special place for this book.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
A fantastic science fiction novel about the multi-species crew of the Wayfarer, a ship that creates wormholes that allow other vessels to travel faster and more easily through vast distances in space. More focused on character development than plot, this book was more emotionally resonant with me than most others I’ve read over the years.
White Tears by Hari Kunzru
This novel is a fantastically unique ghost story about the history of both blues music and racism in American, most especially the systems in place that have subjugated black people. It’s an intense and disorienting tale that gets really creative with what a haunting can be.
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
The third novel published in connection with the Welcome to Night Vale podcast series, I was in love with how they managed to take a character whose mystique I thought should be left obscured and crafted a stunning and compelling tale that left me surprisingly shaken by the end. This might be overselling things a smidge, but leaving things to my imagination might actually have been less disturbing. The devil really is in the details, sometimes.
The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler
Though perhaps not superb for longer reading sessions, I found this book fascinating, as a lot of the authors included were prolific in their day but are all but forgotten now. It makes you wonder what commonly read books now won’t stand the test of time. It’s also excellent for making you want to read books you’ll probably have trouble finding. (“Forgotten” is really an attributive verb here, but I’m still counting it. I’ve come too far, have mercy on me.)
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
This Discworld novel remains one of the easiest for me to remember and is sincerely among my favourites, even after having read through over 20 of these books. Pratchett had really hit his stride with the series by this book, which tells a standalone story set in the past relative to the rest of the series about the nature of religious structures and the relationship between mortals and gods. It has a lot to say and is hilarious while saying it.
False Knees by Joshua Barkman
I had to include some comics, and I find Barkman’s strips to be a joy to look at and read, so I was happy to see that this book qualifies. It’s simply a collection of web comic strips, so I don’t have much more to say about the contents, but I highly recommend checking it out anyway.
Sin City: The Hard Goodbye by Frank Miller
This is a deeper cut from my reading shelf, as I first got into the Sin City graphic novels in my mid-to-late teens, but this remains one of my favourite comic books, which is especially saying something considering I don’t otherwise have a particular interest in noir fiction. The story is about Marv, a low-life thug who embarks on a crusade that pits him against a serial killer and corrupt public figures, all in tribute to a victim who had shown him a tenderness he didn’t know existed.
Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own list down below.