Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. For this latest Top Ten Tuesday, participants are challenged to list books that they loved and which subsequently made them want to read more books like them. While this is a rather wordy topic, I am choosing to interpret it as any amazing book or comic that, upon completion, immediately made me want to read or enjoy something similar, be it in the same genre, format or by the same author.
This was a rather interesting topic to consider, and for a while I was not certain that I could field a Top Ten List for it. However, after a long think, I was able to come up with 10 incredible books or comics that awoke something in me and helped to shape what I would read in the future. Each of the entries on this list really spoke to me for some reason or another, and many of these are responsible for my current reading choices.
Top Ten Tuesday:
Jingo by Terry Pratchett
Let us start off this list with the outstanding and funny Discworld novel, Jingo by Terry Pratchett, which really ignited my passion for this amazing series. Funnily enough, I actually read this novel for the first time while waiting in line for a Terry Pratchett book signing in a book shop here in Canberra. Due to the long line, I was able to get through a good swath of the novel while I waited and found myself deeply enjoying the outrageous and clever story within. While I had read some of Pratchett’s novels before, such as The Carpet People or The Nome trilogy, I do not think that I ever fully appreciated the Discworld series until that moment as I swiftly got caught up in Jingo’s great humour, clever satire, and fun characters. After getting my copy of Jingo signed (it remains one of my most prized possessions), I immediately went about reading or re-reading some of the other Discworld novels, and soon I was hopelessly addicted to this fantastic series. Since that day I have read every entry in this amazing series innumerable times and in my opinion it is the best and most impressive literary series of all time. I still deeply, deeply love all the Discworld novels (check out my reviews for Moving Pictures and The Last Continent), and I owe my love of this series to Jingo.
Next, we have the awesome and exciting Deep Silence by Jonathan Maberry, the 10th and final entry in the crazy Joe Ledger series. When Deep Silence came out, I grabbed an audiobook copy of this book because I thought it sounded interesting and I wanted to try something different. However, I was unprepared for just how much I would enjoy Deep Silence’s cool thriller/science fiction hybrid story, as it ended up being one of the best novels I read in 2018. I loved this amazing book so much that the moment I finished Deep Silence I immediately started reading the first novel in series, Patient Zero. Since then, I have gone on and read all 10 novels in the Joe Ledger series, as well as the first novel in the Rogue Team International series, Rage (one of the best books and audiobooks I read in 2019), and standalone novel Ink (one of the best books and audiobooks of 2020). I am now a deeply devoted fan of Jonathan Maberry’s writing, and I will be grabbing every single novel that he realises in the future, including the upcoming Relentless.
Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee
The third entry on this list is the epic Batman comic, Hush, which is responsible for my current love of comic books. Years ago, I happened across a copy of Hush while in the library. Looking for anything to do other than the very important maths homework I had, I chose to read Hush, figuring it would be interesting. At that point I really had not read any mainstream comics before, but Batman is Batman, so I thought it would be worth it. What I found was a really cool Batman story that saw Batman face off against all his greatest enemies, as well as new foe Hush. I really liked this comic, especially as it serves as an excellent introduction to key elements of the Batman mythos, and I had a wonderful time getting through it one sitting. Right after finishing it, I immediately started reading some of the other comics the library had, which kept enhancing my love for superhero comics and hooked me for life. While I have read many comics since then, I fully blame the existence of my multi-shelf comic collection on Batman: Hush.
Those familiar with my blog will know that I have a certain fondness for Star Wars tie-in fiction, having read and reviewed a ton of Star Wars novels and comics over that last couple of years. However, the book that started my current obsession with Star Wars media was the fun Last Shot by Daniel José Older. Serving as a tie-in to the Solo film, Last Shot was an impulse buy I made as I thought it would be an interesting novel to review. This proved to be correct as I really enjoyed Last Shot and soon after I started grabbing more and more Star Wars books. This obsession continues to this day, and I have already enjoyed several great Star Wars books this year alone (make sure to check out my recent list of favourite Star Wars novels).
Talon of the Silver Hawk by Raymond E. Feist
The next entry on this list is a rather interesting Talon of the Silver Hawk by Raymond E. Feist. I received a copy of Talon of the Silver Hawk as a birthday present years ago and while I was unfamiliar with the author, I thought it was a great gift and immediately started reading it. I swiftly became engrossed with this awesome novel and despite it being the 20th book in Feist’s Riftwar Cycle, I had an incredible time reading it. I had so much fun with this book that I immediately grabbed a copy of Feist’s debut novel, Magician, from the library and from there, every single Riftwar Cycle novel, as well as the tie-in Empire trilogy. The Riftwar Cycle proved to be an interesting grounding in fantasy fiction, and I fully blame Talon of the Silver Hawk as the reason why I currently have a massive stack of Feist hardcovers in my study, including his latest two novels, King of Ashes and Queen of Storms.
Another series that I instantly became addicted to, is the epic Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. I had long meant to read this amazing urban fantasy series, but I only got a chance to do so last year when I received a copy of the latest book, Battle Ground. I had such a great time reading Battle Ground that I went on to read some of the early entries in the series, including Storm Front, Fool Moon and Grave Peril. This is turning into such an incredible series to explore in full, and I am so very glad that I read Battle Ground last year.
In a similar vein to Last Shot and Hush above, I owe my current love for Star Wars comics to one specific release, the first volume of the awesome Darth Vader (2015) series, Vader. This was an incredible comic that showcased Darth Vader right after the events of A New Hope and includes the moment that he found out that his son was alive. I have a lot of love for this awesome comic especially as it convinced me to grab the rest of the Darth Vader series, and then several other awesome series. I have since gone on to read most of the current comics in the canon (check out my list of favourites) and I am eagerly awaiting the next batch of awesome Star Wars comics.
The Crystal Shard by R. A. Salvatore
Salvatore is another author whose works I have greatly enjoyed over the years, and my appreciation of his novels begun when I read The Crystal Shard. The Crystal Shard was an impressive fantasy novel released as part of The Forgotten Realms shared fantasy universe and contained a fantastic story that introduced many of Salvatore’s iconic characters. I really enjoyed The Crystal Shard and after I finished I quickly read the rest of the books in The Icewind Dale trilogy as well as all three books in prequel Dark Elf trilogy. I have since gone on to read over 30 of Salvatore’s novels, including his recent releases Timeless, Boundless and Relentless, and he remains one of my all-time favourite writers.
Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell
While I currently enjoy novels from a great range of different genres, for many years I predominantly read historical fiction novels. While much of this was a professional choice, the reason I started reading this genre in the first place was because I happened across a copy of Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell. Sword Song was an excellent historical fiction novel and the fourth entry in The Last Kingdom series. Despite reading it out of order, I had an incredible time with Sword Song, and I swiftly started reading the rest of Cornwell’s novels, as well as several other great historical fiction reads. Historical fiction still remains one of my absolute favourite genres to this day, and much of this is thanks to the awesome story contained in Sword Song.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The final entry on this list is The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. As I mentioned above, for many years I primarily read historical fiction novels, which meant that my fantasy fiction reading was severely neglected. However, once I started reading and reviewing recent fantasy novels, I decided that I would be useful to go back and check out some of the bigger fantasy series that I had missed. One that particularly appealed to me was Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series, including the first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora. I had heard amazing things about The Lies of Locke Lamora and this praise was well deserved, as this novel was a clever and outstanding piece of fantasy fiction. I had such an incredible time reading The Lies of Locke Lamora that I instantly started the rest of the Gentleman Bastards books. I was also inspired to check out several other great fantasy series I had heard mentioned in the same breath as Lynch’s books, such as The Kingkiller Chronicles, The First Law series, and The Stormlight Archive. My adventures in these epic fantasy series has proven very enjoyable and I am so glad that reading The Lies of Locke Lamora led me to them.
That is the end of this latest Top Ten list. I think I came up with a really interesting and varied list of books that inspired me to read similar titles and I ended up having a fun time producing this article. Each of the novels and comics above comes highly recommended and you may be surprised how inspired you may find yourself after checking them out. Let me know which of the above entries are your favourites and I cannot wait to find out what novels inspired you to read more of the same.