Books We Can't Put Down - Top 10 & Giveaway

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Jan 24, 2012

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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.


Make a Comment

Lydia62 by Lydia62 | OSHKOSH, WI
Feb 01, 2012

I just loved the Book Video!!!!! How fascinating..........

Shelly826 by Shelly826 | Tinley Park, IL
Jan 29, 2012

The most recent books I read are The Language of Flowers by Vannessa Diffenbaugh (Great Book!), The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Wonderful!), and The Help. I love reading books that have a magical kind of storyline, where I can be taken away to another time, place or look at normal everyday things differently. Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors. Her books such as Garden Spells, and The Girl Who Chased the Moon are stories full of magical enchantment.

Phall24 by Phall24 | Bel Air, MD
Jan 29, 2012

I have always been a bookworm. Books give you a chance to escape reality for at least a few minutes. I love just about every genre - cannot get into romance - and love classics. It's hard to choose just one book to pick as my favorite. The Harry Potter series was phenomenal. I can't believe how quickly I breezed through those books. I also loved the Left Behind series. If you haven't read them, check them out. The series is based on the Book of Revelation from the Bible.

stef42678 by stef42678 | LAS VEGAS, NV
Jan 29, 2012

My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird, a great story and fun to read. I also really love the Twilight series, it's addicting.

delynnr by delynnr | Johnstown, CO
Jan 28, 2012

The cover of my nook sums it up nicely "Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity." I don't want to ever live in a world where 'reality' is the only option! Fiction keeps me sane in this crazy world

Jackie9641 by Jackie9641 | GRAYSLAKE, IL
Jan 28, 2012

I force myself to read at least 2 books a month. I know to some people, that's a week's (or less) worth of reading -- but it's the best I can do while working more-than-full-time and having 9 monthly magazine subscriptions and 2 daily newspaper subscriptions, too, to read. If I could, I would "drop out" of life and simply read, read, read. I put 2 reviews in the review section -- but I'll tell you one of my fav authors here: Jonathan Tropper. check him out and have a laugh on me!

jordangoad by jordangoad | Gardendale, AL
Jan 28, 2012

Thanks for sharing! I will definitely have to try these out because I've been looking for some new ones to read. Some of my favorites overall are The Help and of course, the classic, To Kill A Mockingbird.

mwoods by mwoods | burnsville, MN
Jan 27, 2012

Oh, how I love a good book! Something that makes me laugh, cry, think, scream or shake my head! My favorites are Gerald's Game by Stephen King and P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. Curling up with a good book on a rainy afternoon is one of my favorite things to do!

ruthhill74 by ruthhill74 | Yelm, WA
Jan 27, 2012

I submitted my review of Hunger Games. I love that series. I read all sorts of books, but I still like the classics like Austen and Dickens.

jerylt by jerylt | ABERDEEN, NJ
Jan 27, 2012

Books I would recommend include The Pub Across the Pond by Mary Carter and The Violets of March by Sarah Jio. I also liked Perfect Chemistry and Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles, and I love Jodi Picoult books.

SpeakingForYou by SpeakingForYou | JONESBORO, AR
Jan 27, 2012

I love to read mystery/thriller/suspense books. Harlan Coben is my favorite. I also like Linwood Barclay. I have a Kindle and offers many books for free so I've read alot of the older books (classics) and have enjoyed them. Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre have been my favorites so far.

morgana84 by morgana84 | TUSCALOOSA, AL
Jan 26, 2012

One of the most recent books I have finished has been the most inspirational - The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was truly provoked and excited about the number of ideas she presented as ways to make my life more fulfilling. This book will stay with me for some time to come!

BetteronaBudget by BetteronaBudget | TAYLORSVILLE, UT
Jan 26, 2012

Oh...books are just so fantastic...I'm so happy just reading this post! I really don't know that I could share a favorite, but some of my favorite reads are: The Hunger Games, Bud Not Buddy, The Help, and Summer of the Monkeys. I also love autobiographies!

pudgebutters by pudgebutters | Chattanooga, TN
Jan 26, 2012

I reviewed Tina Fey's Bossypants book - soooo funny!

GlamCityBlonde by GlamCityBlonde | Lapeer, MI
Jan 26, 2012

I'm home with a very rare illness and without books I would be totally lost. I love reading, on my nook when the light bothers me, real books when I'm able to use light. I read probably four books a week, give or take a few, some weeks a book a day, it all depends. However, I cannot imagine not reading and having books in my life.