Go Set a Watchman
It seemed like no one was impressed with this novel, but I found it very powerful. I just remembered to take it for what it was: a draft of a book that really wasn’t meant to be a sequel. Go Set a Watchman and To Kill a Mockingbird may have the same characters, but really they are set in two different universes. It may not be perfect, but I was really moved by this book.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. It got my attention and brought me a whole series with it.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
I think finding out about Sirius, and the events after this reveal, was a pretty big surprise for me. It really changed my entire view of what the series would be like. It was a twist in the story that changed the direction of the whole series, and that is why, while it may not have been the biggest plot twist, I chose to list this one as the most surprising for me.
I learned a lot from this book. Like there are always two sides to the story and that even the “bad guy” has some redeeming qualities. Sometimes, when you find out a bit more about the other side, you can find sympathy for the other person. I’ve learned to be a bit more open-minded and less black-and-white about things since reading the book (and seeing the musical, which was also pretty amazing!).
I’ve said it before, but I really connected to Hermione when I was a child. All about those books!
Lady Audley’s Secret
A classic I read in college that just blew me away. It’s really the beginning of the thriller/mystery genre. I’ve been meaning to pick up more from this author, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet
The Secret History
The Goldfinch was fantastic and didn’t feel like it was as long as it actually was. I keep hearing about how amazing this is and how it has a “cult-like” following. If it’s as good as the Goldfinch, it will be so enjoyable.
Nancy Drew and the Clue in the Diary
My favorite in the series, and I own a first edition. It’s old and battered, and I’m just ecstatic that I own it.
Little House on the Prairie
I adored this series when I was a child. I have wonderful memories of my dad reading each book to me before bed each night. I’ll be reading these stories to my children when I have my own
Anything by Jill Mansell
As an English major in undergrad, I read a lot of heavy books. So I looked for light reads to occupy my spare time. A friend of mine was really into chic-lit and came along The One You Really Want. She gushed about it so much I had to get a copy myself. She may have stopped reading Jill Mansell, but I found that she was exactly what I need to break up the heavy serious fiction I tend to read nowadays. I own all her US editions (preordering them as they come out), and I’ve bought most of the UK editions of the ones that haven’t come out in the US yet. I still by the US versions when they come out, too. I’m anxiously waiting to get a complete set of all her books.