Top Ten Tuesday | Books I’m Glad I Finally Read This Year

top ten tuesday

I’m planning on publishing my favorite books of the year a bit later in the month (I still have a few weeks to fit them in!), so I decided to go with a looser take on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday Theme: books I’m glad I finally read this year. They may not be books I necessarily liked, but they’re books I felt really good about crossing off my TBR list – the ones that gave me a sense of accomplishment about having read. The ones everyone seems to lie about having read, but I no longer do. Definitely going to be reading more books like this next year.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Anna and I have a complicated relationship. It took me close to nine months to finish this book. But I did it!

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. This book had been weighing on my conscience for about a year before I read it. Last September, I went to an event with David Mitchell and Pierce Brown, and, when asked, lied to both of them about having read Cloud Atlas (I said it was my favorite Mitchell book because, at that point, I hadn’t actually read any books by David Mitchell). Now, I no longer guilty about not having read it.

The Shining by Stephen King. My cousin has been nagging me to read this for years (it’s his favorite book). I love Stephen King, but I hadn’t really picked it up yet. I’m more into his lesser-known works for some reason. But, this year, I read The Shining. And while it wasn’t a favorite, I’m glad I finally read it!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I put off reading this book for so long! I don’t know why. It’s definitely one of my favorites of the year, and really reignited my passion for science fiction.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare. This year, I read nine Shakespeare plays. This is the only one of those nine that wasn’t for my Graduate Studies in Shakespeare class. And, while I feel really accomplished having read the others, there’s something about voluntarily reading Shakespeare that just feels good. Plus, I really, really loved it.

Beowulf. This book was assigned reading in high school, college, and grad school. And it took me until this year to finally, actually read it (and not just the SparksNotes). I can’t tell you how awesome that feels.

The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman. Last year, I went a bit Gaiman crazy, but never picked up his infamous graphic novel series. My graphic novel experience is somewhat limited – I’ve probably read a total of four or five graphic novels in my lifetime – but The Sandman definitely made me want to read more. I absolutely loved Vol. 1, and am planning on reading the rest of the series soon.

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut. Not only had I never read Vonnegut (who seems to be one of those must-read authors), I’d started this novella last year and never finished it. So I felt doubly accomplished when I finally got through it.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Morrison and I have a love-hate thing going on. I can totally see why she’s such a famous and beloved author, but I cannot for the life of me identify with her books. Which makes it really hard to read them. The only other book I’ve read of hers is Song of Solomon, which I read my senior year in college for a Modern American Lit class. And, to be honest, I didn’t really like it. Maybe I was just too immature to appreciate her then, but The Bluest Eye definitely gave me a new appreciation for Morrison.

The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. I kind of missed out on these growing up, because the first one came out when I was sixteen, and therefore “too cool for middle-grade books.” Or, at least I thought I was. I was still into books, but I definitely didn’t do my research back then. I distinctly remember seeing a copy of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief in Barnes and Noble, and thinking it was just a dumb Harry Potter knockoff. How wrong I was! I am really glad I ended up reading these, because I really enjoyed them. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series soon, and then moving on to the rest of Riordan’s books – Magnus Chase looks really cool, but I’m making myself wait until I read the other books first.


What books are you most glad to have read – or finally finished – this year?

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14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Books I’m Glad I Finally Read This Year

  1. Isn’t it great to cross these off your list? Book guilt is a terrible feeling! I was also glad I read Anna Karenina this year. I had always been intimidated by Tolstoy and thought he was too difficult for me, but that turned out not to be the case. Still, I’m glad I waited because if I’d tried when I was too young I would not have understood the book and gotten frustrated.

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  2. Interesting take on this week’s prompt! I love that you “lied” to Pierce Brown and David Mitchell about reading “Cloud Atlas” — haha! And I’m jealous that you got to meet Pierce Brown — “Red Rising” was my favorite read of the year! I also loved “Ready Player One.” It was a good year for me and science fiction!

    I’m glad to have finally read “The Thirteenth Tale,” which had been languishing on my to-read list for years and which was one of the best books I read this year. 🙂

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  3. I have read “War and Peace,” but not Anna Karenina. Bravo to you for finishing it! The Shining is still on my TBR pile though!
    I love Shakespeare – but I totally agree that it feels good to read something just because you want to! Macbeth is a fabulous play, and it is incredible live. I’m interested to see how this new movie adaptation will pan out.
    Beowulf is also awesome 🙂 This is a great list (and you have the best story behind a pick I’ve seen – the whole lying about Cloud Atlas thing)

    My TTT: http://rlhendrian.blogspot.com/2015/12/ttt-top-10-books-i-read-in-2015.html

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  4. Some great books on this list! Vonnegut is a favorite of mine (CAT’S CRADLE is hilarious and exquisitely dark), though I haven’t read GOD BLESS YOU, MR. ROSEWATER yet.

    This year has been a lot of re-reading for me and a lot of non-fiction for research. But what I’m looking forward to are some new books by new writers that I’ll dig in with as soon as the semester’s done.

    Anything else up and coming on your TBR list?

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    1. I wish I’d fit in more re-reading this year! Right now, I’d really like to finish Through the Narrows (which I’m really enjoying, I just hit a reading slump halfway through) and A Brief History of Time before the end of the year. And, if I have time, I still haven’t gotten around to reading All The Light We Cannot See. What books are on your TBR?

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      1. Thanks for checking out the book–glad you’re enjoying it!

        My TBR is just a mess of hundreds of books! But I’ve got a few I’d like to get to over the winter that have been in my “currently reading” pile on Goodreads that I’ve slipped away from. Those include Kristene Perron’s WARPWORLD and a history about this crazy ranger/scout during the F&I war – WAR ON THE RUN.

        Now that you’ve got me thinking, my brain is reeling with the whole list of others just calling to me from my shelves!

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        1. My TBR list is so long, I have it all written down in a notebook to keep track. There are too many good books! I’m trying to concentrate on finishing my “currently reading” books this month, too, but I keep getting distracted.

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  5. That is extremely awesome and dope that you actually read Beowulf. Kudos! I browse through upon research for Epic tales, so I salute you reading what looks liklike heavy read. Not particular in size but the wording.

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    1. Thanks! I actually found it pretty intimidating the first few attempts, but for some reason, the language wasn’t too bad this time around. I liked Seamus Heaney’s translation, and, one day, I want to read Tolkien’s translation, too.

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