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

niknik5622 by niknik5622 | Red Wing, MN
Jan 25, 2012

I LOVE reading so much. It is my favorite past time, hands down, and I like to do a lot of things. But, what I love even more than reading is watching the love of reading budding in my daughters and son. I have read to all of them since they were babies and now my two oldest read to me. Going to the library is a favorite family activity.

laclay by laclay | BEAUMONT, TX
Jan 25, 2012

I love Gone with the Wind, The Stand, I've read both of these numerous times. Coming of age books,true crime, mysteries....I love a good book.

leeplen by leeplen | PROSPECT PARK, NJ
Jan 25, 2012

I love Catherine the Great by Robert Massie. It is long but very entertaining and a good read. What a life she led and all the events that she lived through and the country she built.

Karenf by Karenf | AUSTIN, TX
Jan 25, 2012

I love to read. Steven Kings newest book, 11/22/63, is a real page turner if you can overcome the initial shock of 850 pages. Better have a lot of time on your hands because you won't be able to put it down.

elissapugh by elissapugh | NASHVILLE, TN
Jan 25, 2012

I will be sharing these titles with my book clubs! Thanks!

sirenajen by sirenajen | SHAKOPEE, MN
Jan 25, 2012

Reading has always been my escape. Since my husband suddenly passed away, leaving me a 36 year old widow with a two year old autistic son, reading has become much more than an escape, it's become my passion. I've done a lot of soul searching, and it's all been with a great book!

greenteamom56 by greenteamom56 | Honey Brook, PA
Jan 25, 2012

Reading is something that i love to do when i have me time. :) A good book and a cup of tea. "My sisters keeper" was one book i could not put down.

MonCherieMe by MonCherieMe | Ironwood, MI
Jan 25, 2012

I would be lost without reading! My book of choice would be The Nora Roberts Key Trilogy...I have read them twice many twists & turns and each time I read them, I find something new! sweepingnews(at)gmail(dot)ccom

jnhagama by jnhagama | CENTERVILLE, OH
Jan 25, 2012

There is nothing like picking up a good book! It is much better than a movie any day!

bowenrh by bowenrh | GAITHERSBURG, MD
Jan 25, 2012

Books get me through the most difficult days. I just finished The Book Thief and it was a heartfelt story that I could not put down.

bufflady by bufflady | BUFFALO, NY
Jan 25, 2012

one of my favorite books, and one i pick up anytime i am having a rough time . is Random Acts of Kindness by the editors of Conari Press, forward by Daphne Rose Kingma. I believe there are others int eh series .. and it is truly inspirational. Reminds me that everyone has worries and troubles and it is the little acts of kindness that we can do for others that truly can change a life, get someone through a really rough day .

advisorswife by advisorswife | Bethany, OK
Jan 25, 2012

I am an adult reader, meaning that I hated reading until I became an adult. Now, I teach reading in middle school and am so grateful for the journeys I have taken through my books! I highly recommend Saving CeCe Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. Pure joy!

marybethk by marybethk | Omaha, NE
Jan 25, 2012

Over the years, I have read and re-read Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" - and each time, I find something new and relevant. Life experiences - both good and bad - resonate with each of the March girls - and myself - in some way, and I come away with a new understanding of myself as a woman. I have sisters, I understand what it's like to feel clumsy and not lady-like, I have experienced love and love lost...the similarities create a rich, satisfying read each time.

Sophiagram by Sophiagram | Grand Island, NY
Jan 25, 2012

Vampire Journals....#7 books in the series If you like Vampire Diary... .you like these books!!!

pam674 by pam674 | SUN VALLEY, NV
Jan 25, 2012

I just finished reading Betrayel by Fern Michaels. It was the best book that I have read in quite a while. I could not put it down. I don't want to give anything away, but it was really kind of scary, because it could happen to anyone. I highly recommend this book. Be prepared though, because you wont want to put it down until you are finished reading it.