If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times – read these books


I’m as tight as all-get-out when it comes to handing out five stars. Do I even have enough (after four and a half years of blogging) to put together a list of ten? Just.

It’s Top Ten Tuesday and the topic is ‘Ten of My Most Recent Five Star Reads’ (there’s no legitimate reason for the gratuitous Paul Newman pic, I just felt like it).

So, in case you missed me banging on about these books the first time, here are my most recent winners –

1. Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett – for historical fiction with the driest of humour.

2. The Night Rainbow by Claire King – for an unforgettable character (who might make you cry).

3. Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum – for an OMG moment.

4. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – to be honest, it’s the first time I’ve recommended this book.

5. The Golden Age by Joan London – to see how a master creates a sense of time and place.

6. The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood – the most relevant book of the decade? Yes.

7. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – avoid spoilers and enjoy the ride.

8. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – best books I’ve read recently? Pfft. This is one of the best books I’ve read. Ever.

9. 99 Reasons Why by Caroline Smailes – who knew e-book publishing could be SO MUCH FUN?

10. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner – for a perfect dissection of relationships.

28 responses

  1. No reason is required for a Paul Newman pic – feel free to make an entire post of them. The only one of these I’ve read is The Natural Way of Things, but I do have Rush Oh!, Burial Rites, and The Golden Age in my TBR – I’m definitely looking forward to reading them now!

  2. I love how so many of us have mentioned this week that we don’t give out 5-stars so easily: we’re such a tough crowd to please! lol 😀 Anyway, fantastic list, yay for Burial Rites 🙂 Will definitely be keeping a lookout for Rush Oh! and will check out a number of the other novels you mentioned here (am definitely curious about The Natural Way of Things, I guess I’ve been seeing it quite often because it is shortlisted?).

    My TTT

    • I limit my fives because when I really love a book I do want people to know that I really, really love it and that it’s worth reading – I figure if I gave out fives all the time, no one would notice when an important book came along. Then again, does anyone notice anyway? 😀

      The Natural Way of Things is getting tonnes of press in Australia because it’s up for a few prizes but also because it is extremely topical – although speculative fiction, the story is based on a number of high-profile (in Australia but similar stuff happens everywhere) cases of sex-crimes against women, where the media has / almost has portrayed the woman as the one at fault.

  3. I’m always on board for a gratuitous Paul Newman pic 🙂

    I’m getting even more impatient waiting for The Natural Way of Things to be published here, it’s taking an inexplicably long time – WHY???

    I’ve only read 2 of your 10 so plenty for me to look out for here – some are already in the TBR thanks to your reviews 🙂

  4. I have read five of these and really enjoyed them all. Four or five stars all the way. So I have added the rest to my holds at the library, starting with Night Rainbow. Thank you so much!

  5. I’ve read two,of these. A Little Life was moving and kept me reading even though it was a bit improbable, sorry to disagree with the 5 stars yiu gave Karen Fowler but it had too much of the authors research to make it enjoyable

    • I know a few people who haven’t enjoyed the Fowler – I think the reason I really liked it was because it made me laugh AND cry, and that’s a rare thing for me in the one book.

  6. Oh yes on Burial Rites and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. I’m reading Angle of Repose right now and have Crossing to Safety waiting for me–I’m pretty sure I am going to want to read everything Stegner has ever written!

    And I see nothing wrong with that picture. Nothing wrong at all. And he’s also reading a book, if you pay really close attention. 😉

    • Thanks for giving an official reason for my Newman pic 😉

      Angle of Repose will be the next Stegner on my list – like you, pretty sure I’ll want to read everything he’s written (but in the same way I meter out Richard Yates, I’ll do the same with Stegner – spread out the reading joy!).

  7. I loved Burial Rites and Crossing to Safety — and I think we have fairly compatible tastes, so I must check out more from your list! Rush Oh and The Night Rainbow will be priorities, I think.

  8. Catching up on blogs! I’ve read two of these – Kent and Stegner (both of which I’ve reviewed on my blog as I think you know), and plan to read London and Wood this year, all being well. I’ve also heard good things about a couple of others there and would love to read them but have a horrible feeling that their time has past, unless I can wangle my reading group to read them!

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