12:50 AM

Top Ten Books I Was Surprised to Love

these books are books i read for class or fun, books i really didn't know that i would be sucked into, would fall in love with, would lose myself in, would even in some cases be changed by. so here you go. i'm not really sure why the list is ordered this way, but it made sense.

10. love, rosie - a modern epistolary novel, this fluffy piece of chick lit is the traditional story of love derailed by circumstances... and eventually remedied, through no disloyalty of the main characters. a little bit like jane eyre in its heart.
9. running with scissors - ok, so skip the sex scenes - it's quite easy to see them coming - and this book is hilarious, shocking, tragic, fascinating, and brilliant. dry, a memoir about overcoming alcoholism, was much better, but by then i was hooked on augusten burroughs, so it came as no surprise.
8. the lord of the flies - really quite excellent book about sin nature run amock. think LOST but with little boys, and no enemies but each other.
7. the constant princess - this very compassionate reading of katherine of aragon captivated me. i love how philippa gregory tends to root what she writes in history, and this book did a great job of explaining the facts in a way that really made you rethink the whole story, because it's possible that katherine's story really did unfold this way.
6. the opposite of fate - this memoir by amy tan really brought out my inner-writer. having read most of tan's work, it was really interesting to learn about her personal life and her relationship with her remarkable mother, who has clearly shaped quite a bit about her books. i loved it.
5. the historian - this is a novel about dracula. i mean, what are the odds that i would go for that? to make matters more unlikely, it's by a dracula expert - and over 650 pages. boy was i surprised. it was AWESOME.
4. the thirteenth tale - ok, so there's some weird twin psychology, but never have i been so shocked by a book's ending. the twist caused my jaw to hit the floor - for two days at least, my mouth hung open most of the time after i finished the book. it's a traditional gothic novel, but with a unique structure. ok, maybe not unique, but structurally very woman in white while being more in the spirit of wuthering heights. an absolute blast.
3. mama day - i used to wonder what married people fought about. now i know. that sounds awful, but it's really wonderful. kinda like this book. yay for sacrificial love being chosen by selfish people.
2. the harry potter series - i read the first book when i was working at barnes & noble in the kids' section, largely to see it for myself and make up my mind about recommending it or not, but also to see what the hype is about. i guess it really took until the next february for me to really get hooked (book 3 did it for me, and right after my car accident, you might remember), and i loved them so much i went to one of those crazy book release parties last summer. so that's pretty surprising.
1. the time traveler's wife - this book was remarkably good. i cried like a baby. there were a few r-rated scenes, so read with caution, but it's powerful, beautiful, and good - changed the way i think of myself as a single woman who hopes to get married, as a part of the church that the Lord Jesus died for and is coming back for, and as a person who loves novels. they are really powerful things.

in other news, i am reading wendy shalit's latest - girls gone mild: young women reclaim self-respect and find it's not be to be good, which will be released in paperback this summer under the title the good girls' revolution: young rebels with self-esteem and high standards. it is FABULOUS. anyone who knows women or girls should read it. i'm serious.