Five Books I’m Thrilled Were Recommended To Me…And Would Recommend In A Heartbeat, To You

Topt Ten Tuesday
This week the wonderful women at The Broke and The Bookish want to know all about the books that I am glad came to me as recommendations. I thought this was going to be a hard one for me, since I am usually the one who is recommending books, but once I got going, it was much easier than I thought to come up with some books I might not have read without a little nudge. I didn’t quite make it to ten though.

Five Books I’m Thrilled Were Recommended to Me

  • The Cypress House by Michael Koryta – I read So Cold The River (my review) last year by the same author, and while it started it off in a promising manner, it had fizzled out for me by the end. A friend recommended that I try The Cypress House, and almost guaranteed that I would love it, and boy was she right. Probably one of my favorite books this year – so I am really looking forward The Ridge, coming out in June. I am loving Koryta’s brand of supernatural historical mystery.
  • The Taker by Alma Katsu – After finishing and loving  A Discovery of Witches (my review), I was casting about for my next big read and in a paranormal sort of mood. Alma Katsu stepped in to suggest her yet to be released historical novel, a dark and juicy tale of immortality and unrequited love. As you can imagine the two don’t necessarily mix, and it was so intense that I wrote a list of dos and don’t for who should read The Taker. It’s not out until September here in the States, but enterprising types can snag a copy on The Book Depository since it’s already out in the UK.
  • The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand – The other day when I posted the movie trailer for part one of Atlas Shrugged, I commented that most people read Rand either in college or shortly thereafter. It’s about the time in life when the philosophies of objectivism seem feasible and, I dare say, even attractive. One of my friends recommended I read this shortly after we graduated college, so no, I did not escape that cliché.  I did find that this didn’t hold up quite as well a few years later on reread. Still I am glad not to have missed this post collegial rite of passage.
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler- One of my favorite and most recommended books of all time, Kindred (my review), was actually passed along to me by my mother, whose friend had lent her a copy, raving about it. I have since bought my own copy, though my mom might still have the other one (oops!), and it is one of the few books that I have actually taken the time to read more than once since I reached adulthood. This is one of the books that I love to see others review, or tell me that they have read.
  • Dracula In Love by Karen Essex – I actually had this one on the shelves and might have gotten to it eventually, with the proper alignment of the stars. The problem was I had already just read a Dracula re-telling with Mina as the lead character. I didn’t want to read the books back to back, nor did I really want to read a story I had just read in the face of all my other reading options. Allie (Hist-Fic Chic) insisted that not only would I really like this one, but I would like it better than the other book I had read. I was skeptical, but she told me this for months, every chance she got – over brunch and dinner and phone conversations. But she was right (my review of Dracula in Love). The book is a very smart and sexy take on the vampire legend, and I loved it. As it turns out we went on to meet and LOVE Karen, who is so very smart and fun. We always try to see her when she comes to NYC. Karen, come back!

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Perfect Peace, by Daniel Black   Book Review

What have been some of the favorite books that you have read that someone else recommended?

You may also like


  1. OMG. The Broke and the Bookish? I LOVE that name. I wish I’d have thought of it! I kinda has the same reaction to So Cold the River as well. I thought it got a little silly. But I really really liked Cypress House, and I’m having a serious attack of the “needs” for his newest (evil? lighthouse? can someone send me an ARC PLEASE?).

  2. The Taker is the most recent must-purchase book on my wishlist! One of my favorite blogger recommendations is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Such a great read.

  3. Whatever would I do without book recommendations? Everything I read these days has been recommended to me by someone. I don’t even know how I would pick five!

  4. I am excited about reading The Cypress House and The Taker, and am glad to see that they are on this list. I get so many great recommendations from the blogs that my list would probably have hundreds of books on it. Thanks for sharing these with us. A few new ones to add to my wish list, I think!

  5. As someone who recently read and was completely wowed by Kindred, I can completely relate to this list. I want EVERYONE to read Kindred now.

  6. Thanks for sharing these! I read The Fountainhead right when I finished graduate school. I didn’t think about it being a book that’s good for that time of life but it’s true…

  7. I read Nick Harkaway’s recent novel The Gone-Away World because of a now-defunct book blog, and I just sent a copy to another blogger (who commented here) because I like it THAT MUCH!

  8. Nicole, I am honored that you chose Dracula in Love on this short list. I clicked on the link to see what you’ve been reading not dreaming I’d find my novel there. Thanks so much for supporting my books!

  9. Hi Nicole,
    Thanks for finding a way to contact me via I hope you’ll join us there – you’d be a perfect fit for our mission, and it’s a guilt-free zone, so becoming a member doesn’t require anything of you. I’d love to have your book ideas and your action ideas – I see you’re inclined that way already from the yummy post about your fabulous brunch meal!
    And I agree about Octavia Butler – her Parable of the Sower is one of my favorites, so it’s time to put Kindred into my TBR queue!
    I loved Oscar Wao and I’m fortunate to get to teach To Kill a Mockingbird almost every year – such a gorgeous book in every way. Love Geraldine Brooks’s work too…
    I’m thinking that you and I have similar tastes but often disparate reading lists, so I’ll be following you regularly now! Hope you might consider doing the same!