I’ll admit I love a good read. And like the raging horde, I’m a fan of Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Sookie Stackhouse and Twilight. I love ’em all! But sometimes I like to read a book that’s not been on the best seller list in a while. Something a little different, something not YA (though there’s definitely YA on this list…) Here’s a quick Top 10 of my favorite off-the-charts reads:
1. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
Alas, Babylon is a book about what would have happened had the Soviets bombed the US during the cold war. It takes place in Florida, and follows a band of survivors in a post-apocalyptic America. This was a required reading book during my senior year of high school, and I inhaled it. We were supposed to only read a chapter a week to keep up the suspense, but I couldn’t stop. I had to read it all!
2. Honolulu by Alan Brennert
A story about Korean mail-order brides navigating early 20th century Honolulu. I found it poignant and well written. It was a good slow read. Some books are the sort that I have to find out what happens next RIGHT NOW while others, like this one, I’m content to read a chapter or two and let it marinade.
3. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
This is the story of Sunshine, ordinary small-town baker, during the rebuilding period of New Arcadia after the Voodoo Wars, where the vampires pretty much took over everything. After her mysterious kidnapping and rescue, Sunshine turns out to be more than she seems. This book is one part Chocolat, one part Sookie Stackhouse, yet still different from both. It’s one of the few vampire novels where the bloodsuckers remain relatively unappealing and unattractive. I agree with Mr. Gaiman, it’s pretty much perfect.
4. Cruise Confidential by Brian David Bruns
Ever wondered what goes on with the crew while you’re on vacation on a massive cruise ship? I totally have! I went on my first cruise for my honeymoon two years ago, and while it was a bust (hurricane season is NOT a good time to cruise, fyi) the book wasn’t. I don’t know exactly how true everything is, but it’s very entertaining! An inside scoop on where the crew parties, what goes on in the massive kitchens during mealtimes, and how they make it working every single day for six straight months.
5. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Okay, okay, so this one was made into a movie. One I rather enjoyed. But the book is always better! This was a favorite during my preteen years. Ella is a girl “gifted” with obedience. She has to obey any command, even if it’s her own death! Despite this little setback, she grows up determined and strong-willed. Yes, she falls in love with Prince Charming, but it’s not your typical damsel-in-distress story. She has to find a way to break her curse and be free of the tyranny of her evil step-family. Love can come later!
So that’s my list. Have you read any of these? Got your own favorite to add? I’d love to add some good books to my queue!