books I keep pushing everyone to read (are these books my brand?)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is actually “books I refuse to let anyone touch”, but I don’t really have any books like that. Are there books I would only lend out with specific instructions to take care of them? Of course. That really only goes for my illustrated editions of Harry Potter, though.

Instead, I thought I would talk about the books I keep mentioning over and over again on this blog. Ones that have been on countless recommendations lists. I saw this video go around on BookTube where people were talking about the books that are their “brand”, which are really the books everyone associates with those specific vloggers. It seemed like a fun video, so why not create a blog post around it? Let’s get into the books!

Let me know whether you predicted any of these books to actually be on my list! I would love to know whether this is all in my head or not.

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence
Ever since I read this book at the start of 2018, I’ve been pushing it onto everyone here. I’ve mentioned it countless times, because I still feel like not enough people have read it. It’s a character-driven story that is action-packed at the same time, and follows a girl called Nona who is training to become a Red Sister – a nun of battle, basically. Also, 98% of the characters in this book are female. YES.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
While The Secret History is an incredibly popular novel in general, I feel like I don’t see it mentioned that often in the bookish community. Maybe I’m simply not following the people who also adore this book? Either way, everyone should read it. I know it may seem like an intimidating and somewhat snobbish read, but I promise you it’s worth it. Instead of the classic whodunnit, this novel is more of a whydunnit.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This is one of the only books on my shelves I’ve actually lent out to people “in real life”. I hate saying in real life, but I don’t know how else to convey what I mean. I’ve lent it out to family and friends, and recommended the translated novel to those in my life who don’t read in English. Everyone I have recommended it to has loved it so far, which says something, right? It’s a WWII historical fiction novel about two French sisters during the German occupation of France.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I’m sure the majority of you are sick and tired of seeing me mention The Song of Achilles. Guess what? I couldn’t care less. I’m going to keep talking about it until everyone has read it. It’s a retelling of the Iliad through the eyes of Patroclus, Achilles’ best friend and partner.

I Hear the Sunspot volume 1 by Yuki Fumino
I Hear the Sunspot is a very recent addition to this list, because I only read it two months ago. The reason I’m adding it to this list is because I know I’ll keep recommending this manga for years to come. It’s absolutely wonderful. I became obsessed with it immediately, and binge-read the three English volumes available at the moment – as well as the unofficial translation of the next issues out so far. I NEED MORE INFORMATION ON WHEN THE NEXT ONES WILL BE RELEASED. This manga follows two guys at university. One of them offers to take notes for the other, who is hearing impaired, in exchange for lunch. They quickly develop a friendship, and more…

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Once again, I’ve talked about this book so often. Duh, Jolien, that’s what this entire list is about… To this day, Radio Silence is one of my favorite YA contemporary reads. It’s quietly brilliant. It has a biracial, bisexual main character who creates fanart for her favorite podcast and becomes friends with the podcasts’ creator, Aled. There is no romance between them whatsoever, which is refreshing.

Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1-2) by Michael J. Sullivan
I feel like I haven’t talked about these books in a while, even though that’s probably a lie. Michael J. Sullivan is one of my favorite fantasy authors so far, ever since I read Theft of Swords in 2015. This series has all the fantasy tropes I love, and I’ve become so attached to the two main characters.

Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop
How many times have I read Written in Red since first picking it up in 2013? I’ve marked it as read 4 times on Goodreads, but I know I’ve done re-reads of it without adding it to Goodreads. This urban fantasy series is absolutely fantastic. It has a large cast of characters, but the author manages to make you feel attached to every single one of them. There really aren’t any characters I don’t have any feelings on. Either I love them, hate them, want to protect them, want to kill them, or want to be them.

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards #1) by Scott Lynch
Once again, I feel like I don’t need to explain why The Lies of Locke Lamora is on this list. I have been in love with this series for years, and am (im)patiently waiting for the next book to be released. It’s about the Gentleman Bastards, who rob both rich people and other robbers. It’s magnificent.

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco
I feel like I haven’t screamed about this series enough, to be honest. I absolutely adore it, yet I never even reviewed the second book? I recently read the last book in the trilogy, and will be reviewing it soon. It’s Asian-inspired YA fantasy, and reminds of of The Name of the Wind. It’s told in two timelines: one in which the main character discovers she’s a bone witch (Dark asha), and one in which she has been exiled from the kingdom and is raising an army of dead monsters to proclaim war.


Did you guess these correctly? Are there any books you feel I shouldn’t have put on this list, or ones that I should’ve added instead? Let me know! I find the idea of a “brand” as a book blogger quite interesting, because I want to know which books you all associate with me. Which books are your “brand”?  I’d love to hear about it!

30 thoughts on “books I keep pushing everyone to read (are these books my brand?)

  1. I really want to read I Hear the Sunspot! Did you get it from your library? Or did you buy copies or them? I have a hard time reading manga because not a lot of it is serialized. I always try and read the library or purchased copies if the manga has been serialized though.

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    1. Yeees, you should! No, unfortunately my library doesn’t really have manga. I bought the paperbacks of the three volumes currently out, and will buy the one released at the end of the year too (even if I’ve already read the fan translation on the MangaRock app)

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      1. Oh gotcha, cool!! I really try and make sure to read the books legally when I can. So I’m glad I’m able to buy them!

        Do you read a lot of manga? What categories do you generally enjoy? I read a lot of Webtoons, some of my favorite at Kakao 79%, ReLife, and Something About Us!

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        1. I haven’t read much manga, to be honest! I only really started getting into it this year so I have loads to catch up to. I am almost finished with Death Note, which I love, and also adored the first few volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist that I read. I also want to read more Fruits Basket because the first one was so cute. And I want to buy Bloom Into You soon because that sounds adorable 😍

          I recently registered on Line Webtoon, but haven’t read any yet! I did mark My Dragon Girlfriend as one I want to read soon though. Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll look them up as soon as possible!

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  2. Great list! I had a feeling I’d see The Song of Achilles on here. 😉 Can’t blame you, though, because it’s such a good book. The Secret History, The Lies of Locke Lamora and The Bone Witch are all books I’d really like to read.

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  3. I love your take on this topic, this is such a fun and interesting theme! I definitley associate Red Sister, The Lies of Locke Lamora and Theft of Swords with you. Especially Theft of Swords, since so few people talk about it and I get excited every time it’s mentioned. If I have a brand I’m pretty sure it’s just The Bear and the Nightingale, lol.

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  4. What a cool idea for a post. I’d never thought about making specific titles part of your brand before, but it does make sense.

    My TTT.

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  5. I love The Secret History too! I really want to re-read it one of these days as it’s been a few years since I last re-read it. I can still remember the first time I read it – I bought it on a whim in a book shop and then spent the next few days on my summer break completely engrossed in it.

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    1. You know I’ve thought about doing an anonymous form where people can fill in what books they associate with me, me fill 10 books myself and see how it differs, because I find it interesting as well.

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  6. Oo I like this topic and I love the idea of a post around “your brand.” I think I might have to eventually do one on that! I actually haven’t read any of these – I can’t believe it. I have almost all of them on my TBR though – I always feel so behind. It’s never ending amazing books. Great recs!

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