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

JustAddCoffee by JustAddCoffee | CROWN POINT, IN
Jan 25, 2012

Love all these books! Would love Jodi picoult!

emolie27 by emolie27 | LIVONIA, MI
Jan 25, 2012

I love David Sedaris books! They are so funny and insightful!

stblissout by stblissout | BAY CITY, MI
Jan 25, 2012

I love my book club ! We read everything from classics to new favorites like The Help, and everything in between! God knows what i would be without them!

mandolin_summer by mandolin_summer | MIAMI SPRINGS, FL
Jan 25, 2012

My most recent "must read" was the Night Circus - a magical book that I devoured!!

listwake by listwake | CRANBERRY TWP, PA
Jan 25, 2012

love to read and discover new books. you have some good ones listed

teacherjen3 by teacherjen3 | HUNTINGTN BCH, CA
Jan 25, 2012

I love reading. I can't wait to find a new book that I don't want to put down. I am going to read some reviews to help me choose the next book I read.

crystalpound by crystalpound | West Columbia, SC
Jan 25, 2012

I love to read. It has always been a great hobby of mine. There is nothing better than a good book to get lost in.

Stacey012345 by Stacey012345 | TINTON FALLS, NJ
Jan 25, 2012

Books are an amazing escape from the everyday, and an inspiration to change the routine and open our eyes to new and different ideas. I can't imagine life without being surrounded by great literature.

benbri1 by benbri1 | TYLER, TX
Jan 25, 2012

I have been in love with books since a child; my mother would catch me up in the wee hours with a book, even before I could read! Now my home has an extensive library because to me books are still among the greatest treasures on earth, especially old books which I collect. Reading is a gift that continues to open doors. I do not remember learning how to read, only that I can; I take advantage of that gift every day. There is nothing so rich and rewarding as holding a book, turning the pages, smelling the ink, paper, leather...then becoming completely absorbed in a subject. It really is like a door to a place I can enter as often as I choose, and the content never grows stale, the characters always reliably the same, waiting to pick up where we left off. My husband and I read to each other which adds another measure of enjoyment to books. Evening tea with a good book, by the fireplace - heavenly!

HeidisMama by HeidisMama | Niagara Falls, NY
Jan 25, 2012

Thank you for the video :) I'm an avid book reader. There is nothing quite like curling up with a book, and reading, unable to put it down, no matter how late the hour, because you're just so invested in the story and the characters that you NEED to know what happens next! Most recently I've I've fallen for authors S.G. Browne (Breather's: A Zombie's Lament, Fated) and Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln; Vampire Hunter) - I like satires ;)

malgosia by malgosia | ELK GROVE VLG, IL
Jan 25, 2012

I love to read books. My last book that I read is Water for Elephants.

lisatarvin by lisatarvin | Cullman, AL
Jan 25, 2012

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin is great! The best books I have read in forever! I also love my Kindle got me back into reading.

sparkplug72 by sparkplug72 | MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Jan 25, 2012

My must read, nearly every year, is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. One of THE best books that I've ever read, and I read a lot. It's my go-to favorite.

blumedenley by blumedenley | CLAYTON, NC
Jan 25, 2012

I have to say I love books. I have just read Cannary Row and God Grew Tired of US. I really loved Cannary Row. When I started reading God Grew Tired of Us it hit a cord. The things the author went threw are horrible.

TheresaHuse by TheresaHuse | PASO ROBLES, CA
Jan 25, 2012

I could live in a book store. I love reading & would love to win. I am currently reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo