Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love That Are At Least Ten Years Old

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by The Broke and The Bookish! This is a topic that was MADE for me, since I am a devoted backlist reader. I tried to mix in both books I've read several times over the years, and books that I've read more recently but that I'm looking forward to revisiting. There's definitely something exciting about reading the new buzzy book that's on everyone's mind, but there are so many amazing books that are older but just as worthy of your time. Here are ten of my favorites!



The Virgin Suicides: Middlesex might have been the award-winner, but I've always enjoyed Jeffrey Eugenides' debut more. It's tightly constructed and beautifully told and I've been on a months-long mission to make it a book club read because I'd love to have a reason to revisit it yet again.

The Secret History: Every campus novel I read gets compared to this incredible story about a group of students who commit a murder...and none has quite measured up to the engrossing story and well-drawn characters of Donna Tartt's book.

Anna Karenina: I'd made a stab at this one in high school and only gotten through about 50 pages, but when I picked it back up a few years ago I ate it up. The portions about farming get a little dry but the bulk of the novel is incredibly good.

Emma: Austen, like Tolstoy, is an author I only was able to get a handle on later in life. I'm going to confess my unpopular opinion that Pride & Prejudice is overrated, and instead recommend Emma. If you've ever seen Clueless, you'll recognize the broad strokes of this story of a wannabe matchmaker.

The Namesake: I'd heard great things about this novel for years before I finally picked it up, but I'm glad I did. If you like books that are all about delving deeply into a character, you'll love this one about the son of Indian immigrants who hates his name.

All The King's Men: If you pay attention to politics for long enough, you'll probably realize that there are very few people in it who are either all bad or all good. This story is told through the eyes of a cynical reporter who becomes a right-hand-man for a governor and watches the once-idealistic candidate become a ruthless operator.

1984: I first read this book when I was about 12 and even though I didn't really get all of it, I got enough to understand its timeless message about government manipulation and control of information. It's a book I get something new out of every time I revisit it.

The Great Gatsby: I loathed this classic when I first read it as a junior in high school. I thought everyone involved was selfish and whiny. But when I picked it up again in college, I fell in love with its powerful language and indelible characters.

In Cold Blood: The first true crime novel, this book tells the story of a heinous murder in the middle of nowhere, Kansas, and the men who committed it, and what happened to them. It's almost impossible to put down.

The Stranger Beside Me: Another true crime classic, this brought Ann Rule to immediate prominence in the genre as she recounted working at a suicide crisis call center along a handsome young man named Ted Bundy as a series of murders swept Washington.

14 comments

  1. 1984 is another that definitely deserves a re-read for me. I also have no idea how I haven't managed to read In Cold Blood yet either.

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    1. In Cold Blood is definitely worth the read! It is so interesting and well-done and one of those books that I think almost everyone will enjoy!

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  2. I love Anna Karenina, Emma, and The Great Gatsby, too! And OMG, your line about the sections of Anna Karenina that had to do with farming being dry made me laugh out loud... understatement of the century! Those sections almost killed me when I read the book for the first time. I ended up skimming through, and skipping to the juicy parts! :)

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    1. I feel like the length of Anna Karenina intimidates people but there's so much of that that's skimmable because it's about the dignity of the Russian peasant farming system and blah blah blah not even important

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  3. Such a great list! I have The Namesake sitting on my shelf and really need to read it soon.

    My TTT: https://dwellinpossibilityblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/top-ten-tuesday-throwback-freebie/

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    1. Once I read it, I wish I hadn't let it sit on my shelf for so long, so learn from my mistake!

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  4. Great list, Gabby! I've heard so many fantastic things about The Secret History, I need to read it at some point, and over the past couple of years I've been revisiting Austen; I've never read Emma, so I may have to give it a try at some point. =)

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    1. Emma and Persuasion are definitely my fave Austens, but I haven't finished reading them yet (I've still got Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park to go!)

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  5. Interesting... I read Gatsby as a junior in high school as well, loathed it, and never came back to it. Based on your comments above, maybe I should give it another go?

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    1. I think it's worth revisiting. It's pretty short if you still don't enjoy it so it's not a major time investment

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  6. The Secret History made my list too! And man- In Cold Blood should have - totally forgot that one! And The Stranger Beside Me totally freaked me out!

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    1. Secret History must be on about a million of my Top Ten Tuesdays because it's so good I can't help but always talk about it! I've re-read the true crime ones so many times they don't freak me out anymore...but they did when I first read them!

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  7. I've heard so much about The Secret History- but I have yet to decide if it's a book I would enjoy; the premise is so interesting though! I hate to admit, I haven't actually read Emma yet, but I did watch the YouTube adapation Emma Approved loved it and would highly reccomend it.
    My TTT

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    1. The Secret History is a book I recommend to everyone...it's got an interesting plot and interesting characters and holds up to re-read really well! I'll have to check out Emma Approved, since I do love the book! Thanks for the rec!

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