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

dreak70 by dreak70 | WOLCOTT, CT
Jan 25, 2012

I would want to have "To Kill a Mockingbird". One of my all time favorites!

smac2399 by smac2399 | CENTREVILLE, VA
Jan 25, 2012

Reviewed "Unbroken" book I read last year!

abechtold by abechtold | ONTARIO, NY
Jan 25, 2012

Books, whether paper, audio, or on a tablet, are the best! I love to curl up and read a good book at home and during long road trips and boring tasks as work audio books are wonderful. My favorite is to find old favorites from when I was younger and set them aside for when my daughter is old enough to enjoy them.

pcavalca by pcavalca | CHESAPEAKE, VA
Jan 25, 2012

The help was amazing!

momto3girlies by momto3girlies | Zanesville, OH
Jan 25, 2012

Love "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. I could read it over and over! Also love anything by Karen Kingsbury, and love all the John Grisham books. Of course, my all time favorites are the "Little House on the Prairie" series of books. Can never be too old for those. :)

cinnamonrolll by cinnamonrolll | AUSTIN, TX
Jan 25, 2012

I read the Hunger Games trilogy and loved it! Can't wait for the movie!

PatoNguyen by PatoNguyen | Austin, TX
Jan 25, 2012

I love to read. It has always been a pleasure of mine. I hope to pass that love onto my son. Currently he also loves to read and be read to.

leighmegs by leighmegs | AIKEN, SC
Jan 25, 2012

Totally agree with the Jodi Picoult pick! She is a terriffic writer. I've loved every single one of her books. Can't put them down. I am a book-aholic. I just wish I could read faster so I could read more!

CampbellSm02 by CampbellSm02 | THAYNE, WY
Jan 25, 2012

I just added a review of one of my favorite books-When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, and I plan to write a few more. When I saw the reviews I couldn't think of anything to review off-hand, now my mind is pouring over! I hope I win, that Blueprints for building better girls looks really interesting!

thebutlerdidit by thebutlerdidit | CHEBOYGAN, MI
Jan 25, 2012

Every year I read new books and re-read some old favorites. I'd never want to be without The Lord of the Rings Trilogy if I were stranded on a desert island. I'd call them together my all-time favorite. I've really enjoyed the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton (A is for Alibi etc.), the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, the Charlotte McNally Series (Drive Time, Face Time etc.) by Hank Phillippi Ryan, the Merci Ryan series by T. Jefferson Parker, OMG, too many to name!

karene10 by karene10 | GLENSIDE, PA
Jan 25, 2012

I love to read! I have so many "favorites" I don't know where to start. Right now I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I am a big fan of Danielle Steel,V.C. Andrews,and Nicholas Sparks. Oh,I loved the Harry potter series too. I think my all time favorite book was The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux.

gt3boys by gt3boys | FUQUAY VARINA, NC
Jan 25, 2012

I am one of the stubborn ones that refuses to download a book. I don't want a Nook or a Kindle, I'll stick to good 'ol fashioned books. I love the smell of the book, the look of the print on the page, and the sound of the pages being turned. I am always reading something...the day I finish a book is usually the day I start a new book! I recently read and absolutely loved The Red Tent & The Help.

laurenyevoc by laurenyevoc | HERMITAGE, TN
Jan 25, 2012

I've recently read The Help and Sarah's Key. Both were excellent books. The Help made me laugh and cry. I don't think I've ever read such a seriously funny book before! Sarah's Key gave me a completely new perspective on the Holocaust. Very sad and moving.

kellibliss by kellibliss | NARRAGANSETT, RI
Jan 25, 2012

I just read One For The Money. It's dog The Bounty Hunter with a twist! I loved it! I can't wait for the movie to come out this week! I loved the book so much so that I want to read the whole series!! It's funny and would recommend to anyone who likes to read.

rainbowsmom by rainbowsmom | Delaware, OH
Jan 25, 2012

I reviewed Wonderstruck a book my 8-year old and I really enjoyed! We spend the last half hour before bedtime reading together each night.