There are books you read, and then there are books that change you. They serve as a source for inspiration. Whether it's a romance novel, an action and adventure book, a suspense filled thriller or a science-fiction book, there is so much to learn from these terrific reads.
We came across this beautifully-composed video that sums up the "magic" that books offer.
As avid readers, we truly believe there is nothing like a good book. So we wanted to share our love of reading with you! It was really hard to narrow the list down but here is our top 10 list of must reads and a few guilty pleasures:
- The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht: "As long-hidden secrets come to light, The Tiger's Wife deftly walks the line between the realistic and the fantastical. ...These strange and beautiful stories from the past eventually converge with Natalia's present, revealing oddly comforting truths about death, belief in the impossible, and the art of letting go." - Stephan Lee, O - The Oprah Magazine
- The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach: "Harbach's expansive, allusive first novel combines the pleasures of an old-fashioned baseball story with a stately, self-reflective meditation on talent and the limits of ambition. ...If it seems a stretch for a baseball novel to hold truth and beauty and the entire human condition in its mitt, well, 'The Art of Fielding' isn't really a baseball novel at all, or not only." - Gregory Cowles, The New York Times
- Blueprints for Building Better Girls by Elissa Schappell: "Schappell's sardonic, not-afraid-to-show-ugly voice quietly carries us along, linking sex and dread - not in a Scary Movie way but rather in a mode of hard-lesson suburban nihilism." - Ben Dickinson, ELLE Magazine
- Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson: "The ambition of Eleanor Henderson's debut novel about a group of unambitious lost souls, is beautiful. In nearly 400 pages, Henderson does not hold back once: she writes the hell out of every moment, every scene, every perspective, every fleeting impression, every impulse and desire and bit of emotional detritus. She is never ironic or underwhelmed; her preferred mode is fierce, devoted and elegiac." - Stacey D'erasmo, The New York Times
- I Totally Meant to Do That by Jane Borden: "In her collection of essays, Time Out New York's comedy editor takes material that has been a gift to generations of New York jokers ? moving, say, or finding a roommate ? and bounces her polite, deferential Southern personality off of them, spinning them into funny, epic tales of one woman retaining her dignity in the most awful of situations, whether it's being sworn at by strangers, working as an undercover shopper in Chinatown or being jammed into the passenger seat of a van on the BQE with a mover named Georgie." - Dan Kois, NPR
- Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult: "What a plot! Zoe, Max and Vanessa are thrown into decisions and situations for which they are utterly unprepared. Picoult's supporting characters ? Zoe's New Age mother, a suicidal teenager Zoe treats each week, the church pastor and the lawyer who represents Zoe and Vanessa in the courtroom drama at the novel's end ? are equally unforgettable." - Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
- Inseperable by Dora Heldt: "This was a heartfelt tale of friendships had, loved, lost, and then rekindled. It truly shows the depth of the female friendship bond. " - Amanda J Umlandt, ELLE Magazine
- Huck by Janet Elder: "Huck is a story of a mother, a father, a 12-year-old boy and his toy poodle. The set-up sounds ordinary -- but the events in their lives are not. Huck is one of those books that has you rooting for a happy ending. The tale is deceptively simple; the larger message is genuinely touching." - Fern Siegel, Huffington Post
- A World on Fire by Amanda Foreman: "Which side would Great Britain support during the Civil War? Foreman gives us an enormous cast of characters and a wealth of vivid description in her lavish examination of a second battle between North and South. ...Foreman turns from the patriotic gore to her true subject of the British and the war. While guns blazed, another battle was being waged, for English hearts and minds, at both the elite and popular levels." - Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The New York Times
- Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick: "Author and artist, Brian Selznick creates two separate but intertwining narratives in Wonderstruck. ...It's the journey to that end that enchants, as the characters assert their independence in this moving story of family and community." - Abbe Wright, O - The Oprah Magazine
Now that you know our top 10, we want to know which books you simply can't put down. If you were stranded on a dessert island which book would you want in your hand? We want your recommendations.
If you share your book reviews and recommendations this week you'll be entered for a chance to win one of our giveaway prizes. Submit your favorite book to SheSpeaks Reviews and add a comment to this blog post by 6pm EST on January 30th, 2012. You can enter a review AND a comment and you will have two entries to win!
The Tiger's Wife
Ten Thousand Saints
Blueprints for Building Better Girls
The Art of Fielding
The contest starts January 24, 2012 and ends January 30, 2012; at 6:00 p.m. Must be a US resident. No purchase necessary.