Fox on Books

Book reviews, opinions, musings and ramblings. General bookish excitement!

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

top ten

Hosted by the awesome folks at The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme celebrating all things book.

This week, they’re asking what ten books you recommend the most. I LOVE this question! I recommend books all the time – it’s the best part of my job. We often get customers looking for their next book, or trying to find a present for someone. I have to be able to recommend books over a range of genres, and it’s a fabulous opportunity to share books I love with others, passing on the obsession. These are my go-to recommends:


The Peculiar is my top pick for 10-15 year olds who enjoy fantasy, both boys and girls. It’s a steampunk faerie tale, and has some of the most glorious language I’ve ever seen, let alone in YA. Absolutely wonderful book.


Promise was the debut crime novel of a former Australian crime reporter, Tony Cavanaugh. Smart, creepy, exciting crime set in Queensland that was good enough to distract me from the real world all day when I couldn’t quite finish it in time before having to go back to work. (The sequel’s stellar, too!)

finalempireBrandon Sanderson is amazing. His magic system in Mistborn is probably the best, most well-established that I’ve come across. And the scope of his storylines is beyond ambitious. The trilogy is complete and infinitely satisfying – this book and this series is a sure thing.

(Actually, I’ll recommend either Mistborn or The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss interchangeably as my never-fail fantasy series. At work we’ll usually have run out of one or the other because I so regularly sell them through, so whichever’s there that day gets my plug!)

This is the old-school cover, the one I have!

I see your Caelena from Throne of Glass and raise you Yelena, from Maria V Snyder’s exceptional YA Fantasy series. She’s one of the original badass heroines, kicking butt and taking names before it was a big deal that she was a woman. This series is phenomenal for YA fantasy fans of all ages, and I keep passing the obsession on.


A new favourite, this is one I recommend to customers who like contemporary romance/chick lit but want something a little smarter and more memorable than average. The Rosie Project fits the bill and then some. There are no clichés here, and this book was such a great experience.


Do I even need to explain this one? I recommend it to teens (usually 14+, given the tragic nature of the story) and make a point of telling their parents to read it too. I’ve never come across anyone who hasn’t been deeply affected by how insightful, honest, painful and simply beautiful this one of a kind book is. John Green has delivered an absolute masterpiece with The Fault In Our Stars.


Marian Keyes is chick-lit with heart. For women (hey, not stereotyping, just basing it on who I sell this to) who want drama, heartache and for everything to be mostly okay at the end, no-one fits better than Marian. Her grasp of the complexity of human emotions make her novels stand out.


Not only do I recommend this all the time, I’ve bought about five copies for family and friends. Caitlin Moran is hilarious (think Kaz Cooke, Australians!), but also intelligently articulates truths about life as a woman that we don’t necessarily pay enough attention to. The perfect gift for your best friend, or a woman you don’t know all that well but need to find something for. Clever, sarcastic, sassy, and insightful.


A memoir I recommend to customers looking for something a little different. Scott Johnson‘s dad was a spy, working for the CIA through the Cold War. How this affected Scott, and his relationship with his Dad makes for compelling reading. Added to this, Johnson’s journalistic background is evident – his writing is evocative and often unexpectedly gorgeous.


I have to have Garth Nix in here! Whenever possible, I’ll introduce someone to my favourite author. Nix’s work is just as good for teens as adults, and I’ve read the Old Kingdom trilogy, starting with Sabriel, more than a few times. Nix’s world-building, characters and inventive magic systems make this a Fantasy/YA Fantasy crossover series that stands the test of time. Unmissable. (Also, I couldn’t be more excited about the forthcoming – 2014 – release of Clariel, the fourth book set in this universe!)

Who are your go-to authors to recommend? I’d love to know what you think of my old reliables!

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13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

  1. We both have Sabriel on our list! HIGH FIVE! Also, we both have a Maria V Snyder as well, although I chose Touch of Power whereas you chose Poison Study. They’re both totally awesome though.

    • Woot for Garth Nix! It’s quite simply, amazing fantasy. Great bookish minds 🙂
      And I generally love Snyder, Touch of Power was fantastic too (I’m actually hoping to read Scent of Magic in the next clue of days!)
      This was such a fun TTT, right?!

  2. I’ve wanted to read The Peculiar since I first saw the cover; it’s just amazing!

    I’ve been trying to recommend Sabriel to several people, but they all think it’s too “dark” because the summary mentions necromancy. I wouldn’t say it’s dark at all!

    • I agree, Sabriel’s really not dark, is it? It’s that classic high fantasy, with huge stakes and a complicated magic system that really pays off. For a book that spends so much time in death, it’s really quite light at times (Mogget?? Is he your favourite too?!). Thanks for the comment! Happy reading!

  3. Jessica on said:

    What a great list! I have Fault in Our Stars on request at the library (number 60 something last I checked). I’m off to buy How to Be a Woman.

    Jessica @ Literary, etc

    • I think you’ll love How to Be A Woman! It’s so funny and relevant ^_^ And I’ve never read a YA book with more beautiful language than The Peculiar. Thank you so much for the comment! Happy reading!

  4. Almost all of these are new to me! Excellent. Thank you.

    Here’s my list of Top Ten Books I Recommend!

  5. Oh, Sabriel, I really liked that book! Great list!

    Happy reading!
    My TTT

  6. comehometobooks on said:

    Nice list! I haven’t heard of a lot of these, but I do love the Mistborn series and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I’m definitely going to check out your other pics, especially the first one — it looks so interesting!


  7. Pingback: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch | Fox on Books

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