Top Ten Tuesday is a meme over at The Broke and the Bookish.
1. Lanark by Alasdair Gray. This was recommended to me by a friend after I mentioned that I wanted to read more Scottish authors. I was expecting him to be more in the style of Grassic Gibbons (whom I also haven't read yet) so thought he was an author I was going to have to work myself up to reading. I couldn't have been more wrong. One of the strangest books I have ever read and I loved it. Surprisingly I liked the autobiographical sections more than the sci fi.
2. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davison. A friend who has recommended lots of books to me had been raving about this one for a few years. I always get round to reading her recommendations eventually and when I do I wonder why it took me so long. This was one of them. The first fifty pages are disturbing and if you have a week stomach then read it in bits. Once you get past it it's definitely worth it.
3. Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson. This is on my list for a few reasons. First of all it's a fantastic book. Ferguson is a funny writer with the ability to laugh at himself. Second if you have a love of Japan and want to learn more about the country then I highly recommend it. Lastly it taught me that travel writing books can be fun. It's a non fiction genre that had never had much appeal to me in the past. I would rather go travelling myself than read about others experiences. Whilst I still haven't read that much travel writing it's something I plan on rectifying at some point.
4. One For the Money by Janet Evanovich. I have mentioned that I love the Stephanie Plum books before. I love them for their humour (grandma Mazur in particular). I don't remember who recommended them but I have to thank them for more than introducing me to a funny series. Crime is another genre I dismissed. I had read a few crime books when I was a young teen and didn't think much of them. Thanks to this one book I began to listen to friends who do read a lot of crime books. Have had a great time reading them and this year I seem to reading more crime than anything else.
5. Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland. Through this I found one of my favourite authors. Although I don't recommend people new to Coupland starting with this one. It's good but I think "All Families Are Psychotic" is more likely to hook new fans.
6. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Halloween a few years ago I wanted a book that really scared me. I do like a good horror book (although I am a coward when it comes to zombies and films). I don't remember what I had been reading but I do know I was disappointed. My friend recommended this one. He said it was one of the scariest books he had ever read. It didn't scare me but it was very creepy. One of those books that stays with you and you have absolutely no idea where it is going. I think it might even beat Lanark on the strangest book front.
7. Nocturnes by John Connolly. The same friend who recommended The Gargoyle recommended this. Again I took my time to getting round to it. Truth is I probably would have read it eventually as I liked his other book "The Book of Lost Things". Who knows how many years later I would have read it had my friend not nagged at me and I'm glad she did. This is what I should have read when I wanted a scary book. It's short stories and most of them scared the hell out of me. The first one in the book actually made me want to throw up at one point. Oh, and the novella got me onto the Charlie Parker series. A great book and a pretty cover.
8. Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman. One of the funniest books I have read in a long time. Mainly from the point of view of the supervillain who is in prison and making plans for his next evil plan of world domination. Full of cliches which just made it all the more funny. So glad this was recommended to me. A few similar books were released around the same time but they just weren't as good.
9. The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I am mainly glad I read it when it was first released after a friend recommended it. That year it was one of my favourite books and I had soon passed it on to others too. I have since been put off the book. I hated the film which is maybe no surprise as how many of us are disappointed by the films of our favourite books? I then read "Her Fearful Symmetry" and this books is now listed as one of my most hated if not the most hated. It was just awful. It has put me off reading any future books by the author and rereading the one that I did love. So I am glad I read it when it was recommended as I would have missed out otherwise.
10. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. When I was told I should read this I had already been aware of Steinbeck and had loved "The Grapes of Wrath" yet it was still a number of years before I picked it up (noticing a theme here?). I can't rave about this book enough. It's not only my favourite Steinbeck but is on my list of all time favourite books.