Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Which Have Been Recommended by Maris

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week, we're talking about books we read because other people recommended them! I'm focusing my list on one recommendation source: Maris Kreizman, who is pretty much just "Maris" in book world. Here are ten books I've read and that Maris has recommended (or rated 5 stars, which is basically the same thing as far as I'm concerned).

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine: This little coming-of-age story about a pre-teen pop star a la Justin Beiber trying to navigate his momager, fauxmances, and homeschooling during his tour wasn't quite a five star for me, but it was certainly an interesting read that raised some good questions about child entertainers.

The Line of Beauty: This is a classic of LGBTQ lit, about a young British man who becomes attached to an upper-crust family and his life as a gay man during the Thatcher years as the AIDS crisis begins. It's beautifully written and involving.

The Group: It can feel like the issues we face as women are all unique to our own time period, but this book, set in the 1950s and following a group of friends through their early post-college years shows that fitting in to the workplace, trash dudes, and trying to remain sane as a parent are timeless.

The Queen of the Night: I absolutely love this book. It is very, at times almost preposterously, dramatic but also feels rooted in emotional truth and its rich characters. 

Boy Snow Bird: I still feel uncomfortable about the ending of this one, but the way Helen Oyeyemi builds her story and uses language is remarkable.

Valley of the Dolls: This is not a "great" book by a traditional understanding of such...the prose is solid at best, and the most prominent character is pretty boring, but it delightfully trashy and is SUCH fun to read.

Cat's Eye: Female friendships are one of my favorite things to read about, and Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, so it's no surprise I thought this book was fantastic!

Gilead: I was concerned about this because I don't tend to like faith-heavy fiction, but figured if Maris liked it, it was worth a try. It was a bit of a slow start but was one of those books I'm glad I stuck with, I found it deeply moving (and no, not too religious at all).

In The Woods: I don't usually care for mystery/thrillers. I find them formulaic and too dependent on disguising their twists to create interest, but this one hooked me with its strong characters even though the ending wasn't too hard to see coming. 

The Song of Achilles: This retelling of the events of The Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus, including an explicitly homosexual relationship (explicit in the sent of outright, rather than in the sense of obscene) with his companion Achilles, is incredibly compelling.


  1. I've never heard of Maris, but it looks like he has good taste in books. I've only read one of these - IN THE WOODS. It got me totally hooked on French's books. I love her!

    Happy TTT!

    1. Maris is a she! And yes, I agree that she's got good (and wide-ranging!) taste

  2. Gilead sounds like a good read.

    My post.

  3. The Song of Achilles was such a great read! I haven't gotten around to Circe yet, but supposed to be great as well.

    My TTT.