Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Want More Like Them

It’s time for another Top Ten list from That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic today is “Books I Loved that Made Me Want More Books Like Them.” My time of serious reading is short enough that if I did this topic straight, it’d resemble many past TTT posts, simply restating my favorite books over the last 2 years. So I’m changing it up just a bit. Most of the books on this list are books that I didn’t like, but make me want to try to find other books like them. Maybe the premise was super interesting, but the execution was poor. Or it didn’t turn out to be the type of book I was expecting at all, so now I want to go find something that actually is what I was looking for. I’ve ordered them lower ratings to higher ratings (as rated by me), and the last few actually are books I did like that made me want to read more like them.

10. The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
While I’m not much of a horror fan, the idea of a group of kids investigating local ghost stories and urban legends sounds like it could be fun. Sadly, the urban legends and such are a much smaller part of the book than I expected, and the book seemed more drama than anything to me. See my review here.

9. Rabbits by Terry Miles
Based on the premise, I was expecting something like the movie The Game crossed with Ready Player One, maybe even with escape room elements thrown in. Boy, would I love to read that! This wasn’t it.  See my review here.

8. Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman
This is really just a representative of an entire genre that has let me down. I keep trying Christian mystery/suspense books like this one and keep being disappointed (though I have liked a couple). Usually there’s a romance sub-plot that gets in the way, but the mystery is often convoluted and un-suspenseful too. I’d love to find some good ones, but am about ready to give up on the genre instead. See my review here.

7. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
This is one of a few entries that are here specifically because of the audiobook. I listened to 2 books in this series and just couldn’t stand the main character, but I think that has a lot to do with the narrator. The MC is independent, bucks society, and is often haughty…and the narrator takes that to an extreme. I almost hated her by the time the book was over. My sister, who recommended the book in the first place, said there’s another version with a different narrator that is a lot better. I think the story might otherwise be one I’d like, so I plan to give it another try with the different narrator. See my review here.

6. Wingfeather Tales by Andrew Peterson and various authors
This entry may be sort of cheating. I’d love to try to find other books that are more what I would have liked to see from this, but they’ll never exist. This is a collection of short stories set in the world of The Wingfeather Saga, which is a wonderful series of 4 middle-grade fantasy books. Like so very many others, I’d love to see a continuation of that series, even if not directly picking up where the series left off, written by the author himself, but he’s said he’s not going to do that (well, for sure not the direct continuation, at least). While this book had its good moments, most of the stories were written by other people, so it just wasn’t the same. See my review here.

5. Time and Again by Deborah Heal
This was a pretty interesting idea—a dual timeline story where the people in modern day use a mysterious computer program to watch events unfold in the past. The execution was lacking, sadly; though I’m not exactly a history buff, I really like the idea of the pre-teen who hates to learn seeing history literally come to life before her eyes, and that history influencing the viewers. The first book in the series (shown here) was okay, but the 2nd killed my interest. See my review here.

4. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
I liked this book, though I didn’t care for the atmosphere and author’s writing style. The mystery itself and the culmination of the story I really liked, though, and I’d love to find more books with this kind of out-of-the-box approach to presenting and solving the mystery. See my review here.

3. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
I don’t know if I’d call myself a Marshmallow, exactly, but that might just be because I’m not much of a follower. Be that as it may, I do love the show Veronica Mars, so as soon as I heard that Kristen Bell narrated the audiobook of the 1st of 2 books written as a follow-up to the movie (which was a follow-up to the show), I knew I had to listen to it. Now that I’ve started to move on to books written as additional stories for other TV shows I love (with varying degrees of success), I would just love for more of those to have audiobooks narrated by their main stars. So far, though, I’ve not found much of that. See my review here.

2. There I Go Again by William Daniels
I’m not much of a non-fiction reader and have never really cared much for biographies. But as soon as I saw that the actor who played Mr. Feeny wrote a book about his time in the spotlight, I didn’t even hesitate to get it into my hands. Since then, I’ve discovered that I actually don’t mind autobiographies or memoirs, but apparently I’m kind of particular about the subject matter (I suppose that’s probably normal, actually), as I’ve since read books by John Cooper (only partially autobiographical) and Cary Elwes and have also acquired autobiographies by Tim Conway and Steven Curtis Chapman. See my review here.

1. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
This entry is also specific to the audiobook. I absolutely loved the narrator for the version I listened to, Nadia May. From my review: “The way she differentiated all of the larger characters was astounding, and I especially loved her voice for Mr. Gibson (Molly’s dad). There were times that I’d get so caught up in it that I’d completely forget this was one person doing all of the voices.” I badly want to listen to other books narrated by her (though sadly I don’t seem to have access to many that interest me, even though I can see she’s narrated several I’d like to read), and hope to come across other narrators as amazing as she (I’ve already discovered a couple I like almost as much).  See my review here.

Have you read any of these books? What’s on your list?

20 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Want More Like Them

  1. Hi Kristi! Have you read Carrie Stuart Parks, James Hannibal, or Tom Threadgill? Those are great Christian suspense authors where romance doesn’t factor in that often – also, the If I Run series by Terri Blackstock is one of my very faves 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually have a book by Parks on my TBR, my next planned attempt at that genre. I haven’t heard of the other two, but I’ll definitely look into them, so thanks for the recommendations! Sadly, I seem to have a very different preference for these kinds of books, because most of the ones I don’t like are loved by so many others. I’m just not seeing what they’re seeing (or they’re not seeing what I’m seeing), which is why I can’t just look at reviews to decide to try another one.

      I have read a couple of Blackstock–one I liked, one I didn’t (though to be fair, it wasn’t in the genre we’re talking about, it was Christmas romance), and I haven’t decided to pick up another yet. I’ve heard of the series you mentioned in the past, so it does seem like a good idea to start there. (To be clear, I don’t hate romance in books by any means, but it always feels so forced and clunky in Christian suspense/procedural-type books.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your twist on the TTT this week! It’s so frustrating when a book could be exactly what you’re looking for, and just… isn’t. I’ve had similar problems with audiobooks in the past, and sometimes I can switch to a print version and be okay. Sometimes the narrator’s voice still stays with me, though. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • The narration definitely tends to stick with me, good or bad. I can be listening to an audiobook where the narration is perfectly pleasant, and later go back to reading a regular, completely unrelated book, and at least for a while read it with the voice of the narrator from the audiobook. I’ve determined that the only way I can retry the audiobook that my sister recommends with a different narrator is to re-read the first book with that new narrator. Cleanse my palate, so to speak.


  3. Oh I love how you twisted the topic! There have been several books I haven’t liked, but they introduced me into a whole new realm of tropes or topics I later loved. I haven’t really heard of any of the books you mentioned, although the premise of Rabbits does sound really interesting. It’s especially disappointing when a book doesn’t live up to what you think it’ll be about!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even more disappointing is that my husband was waiting to see what I thought of Rabbits because it sounded really interesting to him too (he is the one who encouraged me to give it a try, in fact). But after hearing me rant about it, it left him with no interest. I actually regret that, because he might have liked it more than me.


    • I think they really over-sold the urban legend/ghost story side of things in the synopsis, even comparing it to Stranger Things. It’s really just a minor backdrop to a coming-of-age story, more drama than scary or exciting. There’s a place for that, certainly, but not what I was looking for.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting list. I haven’t read any of the books, but I have read one by Elizabeth Gaskell. Will have to read “Wives and Daughters” one day.

    I love the way you display your books here. Great idea.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “I want to read another book like this—just one that is a lot better!” So often I love a book’s premise, but the execution leaves much to be desired.

    I’ve read a few books in the Amelia Peabody series and enjoyed them. It was a long time ago, though, and I’ve never listened to any on audio. I have definitely encountered narrators I just didn’t like, though. They definitely make a big difference.

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!


    Liked by 1 person

    • I later listened to a different audiobook narrated by that same person (cautiously), and it was a huge difference. For that 2nd book, she was really no better or worse than the average narrators out there, so I’d say in the first book, she was just really pushing the one annoying trait of the MC that would turn me off to the book (haughtiness).


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