The 2010s have been a formative year for me as a reader. I’ve always loved books but I haven’t always been a reader. It wasn’t until I graduated from high school and was able to choose the books I wanted to read that I truly became a voracious reader. Then in 2011, I got a part-time job at my local library. Through that job, I discovered new authors, new series, and even genres I’d never really considered before. I also met many book lovers like myself. One of those booklovers, a fellow librarian, introduced me to Goodreads.com and even though I had to leave the job when life intervened, I continued to make discoveries. In 2015 I started this blog for a couple of reasons but mainly because I missed sharing my passion for good books with the patrons and librarians at work. It has been a joy share the ups and downs of the reader’s life. As the decade comes to a close, I thought I’d take the time to review some of the best and most important books I’ve read over the past 10 years. I’ve tried to narrow it down, but I’ve read a lot of great books during the decade so bear with me.
Romance: Sometimes you just need the comfort and escape of the modern fairytale quality of a good Rom/Com. I discovered, however, that not all books that can be categorized as Romance fit into the mold of that stereotype.
- Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
- Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Historical Fiction: I love learning about history and while I understand that Historical Fiction takes liberties with the facts, it is a gateway to learning the true stories behind the fictionalized versions. And who doesn’t love being transported to another place and time?
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
- Kopp Sisters series by Amy Stewart
Fantasy: Of all of the genres I read, this is the one about which my feelings have changed the most. As a child, while I loved a good fairytale story, I tended to gravitate toward the wit and realism of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby series and then the young adult fiction of Judy Blume where the characters and their situations were recognizable. Then came Harry Potter. Ever since reading that seminal series, I’ve been searching for more Fantasy fiction that captivates me as Harry’s world did.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
- Soulless by Gail Carriger
- All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
- Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Children’s Literature: It’s okay to look back when it comes to reading. Whether it’s revisiting an old favorite or discovering a classic I’d missed when I was younger, there is nothing to warm the soul like reading a good children’s story.
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
- The Star Seed by Mary Alice Fontenot *
- This one, in particular, transports me back to my childhood. The author was a local woman who made yearly visits to my elementary school where she would usually read from one of her Clovis Crawfish books. I loved this sweet telling of the Christmas story as a child but it is difficult to find so a few years ago my friend surprised me with a copy for my birthday ♥.
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Western: Since reading Lonesome Dove in college, I’ve been on the lookout for another as transporting as that classic. Plus, when I find a good one, I get to share it with my father and sharing a good book is always fun.
- Wide Open by Larry Bjornson
Mystery/Thriller: Mystery is another genre I don’t read too much of though I do enjoy the occasional cozy mystery, particularly one set in Britain. There are a few exceptions though. I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan.
- The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Chick-Lit: This is another genre that gets a bad rap but it is my favorite genre so it hurts when people put it down based a few crappy wannabe Chick-Lit novels. I know about those; I’ve read more than my fair share of them.
- Austenland by Shannon Hale
- The Garden of Small Beginnings and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
- The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane by Kelly Harms
- The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Women’s Fiction: Women’s Fiction, to me, is basically the Judy Blume books I loved as a teen all grown up, dealing with issues that all women face from the mundane to the extraordinary.
Fiction: Some books just don’t fit into the mold of any one genre but I had to mention them.
Classic Literature: These are the books that have endured in our hearts and minds for generations and make their way onto every must-read list ever compiled.