Hi all! I hope you’ve had a good week since I last did one of these. I went to see Prima Facie, the new Jodie Comer play in the cinema (it was a screening of a filmed performance) on Sunday and it was absolutely INCREDIBLE, I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it, everyone was so awestruck by the end that we all just sat there for a good ten minutes afterwards!
Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today we’re talking Books I Love That Are Over Ten Years Old and this is a great one for me as a lot of the books I’ve really loved are over ten years old, so be warned, this is going to be a LONG LIST. I did institute one rule: whilst I do have multiple books by the same author on this list, I decided to only feature one book per SERIES of authors I love with long running series, otherwise this entire list could just be Percy Jackson and Skulduggery Pleasant. These are in publication order, from oldest to newest, so the order is no indication of how much I loved the book:
- Black Beauty-Anna Sewell (published 24th November 1877)
I don’t read many classics, honestly studying them in GCSE English kind of made me lose any interest I once may have had in them but this is one that I absolutely love. I feel like every reader kid has the book that they got told off for reading under the desk in class, and this one was mine! What can I say? Eleven year old me was more interested in horses than she was in Oliver Twist!
2. Ballet Shoes-Noel Streatfeild (published 1936)
Weirdly, despite the fact that I gave up ballet fairly young, I really loved dance books when I was a kid. I think it was a wish fulfilment thing, I’ve always wanted to be good at performing, but I never was so I lived vicariously through books. I think what I most loved about this one though was the sister relationship at the heart, I’ve always loved books that feature close relationships between sisters and this was one of the first books that made me fall in love with the found family trope.
3. Matilda-Roald Dahl (published 1st October 1988)
Roald Dahl was a huge part of my reading life as a child and though I’ve since learned he wasn’t the greatest as a person, Matilda still holds a special place in my heart as I naturally massively related to the young girl who was completely obsessed with books.
4. The Pact-Jodi Picoult (published 22nd April 1998)
Generally I much prefer Jodi Picoult’s post 2000 published books, but The Pact is one of the few of her earlier books that I really loved. I can’t remember if this one or My Sister’s Keeper was the first one of hers I read, but I know I borrowed both from the library and I remember being absolutely engrossed with this one, frantically turning pages to found out what brought Emily and Chris to the point we find them at the beginning of the novel.
5. Plain Truth-Jodi Picoult (published 1st May 2000)
There’s a few more Jodi Picoult books to come on this list, so be warned! I was absolutely obsessed with her books as a teenager, I’ve liked her recent books (barring The Book Of Two Ways which I wasn’t so keen on) but I really loved her older stuff. I learned a lot about the Amish community from this one and I found the mystery of what happened to the dead baby very engrossing.
6. Noughts and Crosses-Malorie Blackman (published 15th January 2001)
I can honestly think of few books that have impacted me emotionally as much as this one. It’s been a good 14/15 years I think since I first read this one and the ending hasn’t left me in all that time, I reread it about five or six years ago and that ending was still just as much of a gut punch. It’s one of the first books I ever read that really addressed racism and I remember it being really eye-opening. I highly recommend the BBC series too, it’s a really good adaptation of the book.
7. Blind Beauty-K.M. Peyton (published 16th February 2001)
I read this one on a coach to Switzerland when I went on a trip there with Guides when I was 11, and it definitely made the long hours go much faster! I really wish there were more horse novels for adults, because I so loved these kinds of books when I was a pre-teen and a teenager, and yet publishing just seems to assume your interest in horses goes away once you get past your teenage years! I loved the relationship between Tessa and Buffoon and it was just such a lovely heart-warming story (if a little sad in places!).
8. My Sister’s Keeper-Jodi Picoult (published 6th April 2004)
As I said earlier in this list, My Sister’s Keeper was one of the first Jodi Picoult books I read and it retains a special place in my heart. I was drawn in by the sister relationship between Anna and Kate, and was so crushed by the way the book ended, though having watched the film version, I do maintain that Picoult’s ending was the more emotionally impactful one. Anyway, the book brings up so many interesting issues, the family dynamics are just wonderful and I remember being gripped by each and every page. I don’t remember if this was the first Jodi Picoult book I read, or if that was The Pact, but it was definitely the one that made her an auto-buy author for me!
9. Nineteen Minutes-Jodi Picoult (published 5th March 2007)
This the last Jodi Picoult book, I promise! I could have had way more, 4 is very restrained on my part, I decided to go for the four that I took to get signed by her when I met her back in 2014 as those remain my favourites of her books. Nineteen Minutes was such an intense read, I remember being completely gripped by it and wanting to know exactly why Peter did what he did and she did an excellent job of allowing you to understand him as a reader but never condoning his actions. It’s probably the one of Jodi Picoult’s books that has the most contemporary relevance given how prevalent school shootings still are in the U.S.
10. The Book Thief-Markus Zusak (published 1st September 2007)
I first read this one I think just about ten years ago, it might have been a little over that but it was a while after it was published and I think I was about 15/16, so ten years ago seems about right. It remains one of my favourite WWII novels, and one of the most emotional books I’ve ever read, I was so close to crying towards the end. If anyone ever asks me what my favourite book is (please don’t, I hate that question with every fibre of my being!), this one is always close to the top of the list.
11. Unwind-Neal Shusterman (published 6th November 2007)
This is still one of the most memorable stories I have from reading a book as it kept me company for three hours in the back of our car in France whilst my mum was shopping! I also read practically none of this book (or series to be honest) in the UK, as I started it whilst on a German exchange and finished it whilst out on holiday in France, and I read at least some of all the Unwind series books whilst in France. Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent, the main point was meant to be that I was super engrossed by this book and it started my journey of being a massive Neal Shusterman fan. I am very glad that I read in 2014 though and not 2007 when it came out because it would have been way too dark for 11-year old me!
12. Percy Jackson and The Battle of The Labyrinth-Rick Riordan (published 6th March 2008)
I could have picked any of the five Percy Jackson books for this list as they were all published over ten years ago, but I decided to go with The Battle of The Labyrinth as my favourite of the five. This book has my favourite quest, the Labyrinth is such a fun and exciting setting and there is SO MUCH Percabeth build-up so that alone puts it to the top of the pile for me. I seriously hope the new Disney+ series does well because I desperately want to see The Battle of The Labyrinth on screen.
13. The Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins (published 14th September 2008)
This is one of those memorable books that I had that “just one more chapter” feeling with and stayed up long into the night to finish because I was just so engrossed. Every time I got to the end of a chapter, something new and exciting would happen and I’d have to read more. Much like Unwind, I’m glad I didn’t read it till a while after it was published as it was published when I was 12, so I think if I’d read it then, I would probably have been quite freaked out by it, but at 16, it was just the kind of action packed, thrilling read that I loved.
14. Dark Days-Derek Landy (Published 23rd April 2010)
I think this is the only book on the list that I read in the same year it was published, everything else was anywhere from a few years to a few decades to in the case of Black Beauty, a few centuries after! I remember my dad bought me this one whilst we were at the airport, so we must have been going somewhere, though I can’t remember where! It would be hard to pick my favourite of the whole series, as I love so many of the books so much, but as we were going for over 10 years old, only the first six or seven books were published, and of those, the fourth one definitely stands out for me. It was a real turning point in the series, where the books start to get a bit darker and the stakes are really raised, and those kinds of books are always my favourites in long running series.
15. Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein (Published 6th February 2012)
I’m pretty sure that Unwind and this one are the only books from this list that whilst they were published more than ten years ago, I read them a lot more recently. Code Name Verity I read during my first year of Uni and I remember reading it on the train back from my Uni reading week and consciously trying to stop myself from crying! It’s such a beautiful, emotional read and my favourite portrayal of female friendship in any book ever. I just love that the friendship between Queenie and Maddie is the centre of this book over any romance, and I wish more books could prioritise meaningful friendships over romantic relationships because I relate to that so much more.
So there we go, those are just some books that I read and loved that are over ten years old, I know it was a long one, but believe me this is the trimmed down version, I could have included 30+ books on this list EASILY. Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? What books did you have on your list this week? Let me know in the comments!
I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time we’re doing Completed Series I Wish Had More Books. I’m not sure how many I’ll be able to come up with for this one, generally I’m either pretty happy with how many books a series has, or the author announces once it’s over that they’re going to do a sequel series (see VE Schwab with Threads of Power), so we’ll see if I can come up with enough to make a list, or if I have to change the topic.