I really like lists. All kinds of lists. I like making physical lists (like on paper!) and crossing things off with an actual pen. In this digital age, that alone might sounds nuts. But I can top it. Sometimes I’ll even make a list after I’ve completed the task just so I can cross it off.
Make list of favorite lists Write blog about lists Find pictures to go with blog Get sucked into Vortex of reading lists and don’t fall asleep until 2 am
It’s a very satisfying feeling. OK, yes it’s also really weird.
At my day job, I’ll make lists for other people on my team too, just to be sure they know what they need to do.
Some people love this. I think others might immediately hit the delete button when they see my Today’s To-Dos!! email come through, complete with far too many exclamation points, peppered with emoji smiley faces and, of course, color-coded by task importance and/or due date. (Yes, I’m that person. If my daughter’s spirit animal is Ron Swanson, mine is Leslie Knope. BTW I LOVE that my 12-year-old daughter said her spirit animal is Ron Swanson of Parks & Rec. It might be the funniest thing she’s ever said.)
My love of lists isn’t limited to chores or tasks. I love any kind of list. List of Top 5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Significant Other—I’ve read it. List of Best Ways to Eat an Apple—Totally read it and changed the way I eat apples, revolutionary. Top 10 Reasons Your Colleagues Are Annoyed With Your Peppy Attitude—Clearly read it, but did NOT follow any of the advice.
But my favorite lists are book lists. (Obviously!) What is it about the list I love so much? It’s hard to say. Part of it must be expediency. There are so many articles and blogs out there I love to read, just on books alone. But I don’t have time to read them all. Therefore, perhaps I’m looking for a way to get the most out of my entertainment.
I’ve learned, particularly over the last few years as I’ve become more ensconced in the blogging book world, I definitely have a tendency to read specific types of blogs: the personal story and the list. If you give me a good story or you have a list, I’m all over it! (Both together is like the perfect storm.)
Since I love lists, here’s my list of top 5 books I’ve read this year (so far, year’s not over yet). But I’ve read 70 books…so I think I have enough to pick my 5 favorites…easier said than done! (And after this I have another top 5 list, which I think is an even better top 5 list. So don’t leave just yet!!! 🙂 )
My Top 5 Favorite Books I’ve Read So Far This Year
#1 – Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Why: Potentially one of the most unique books I have ever read. Not the easiest read (and to be honest there were parts where I was having unpleasant Ulysses flashbacks). But when I was done I felt like it sort of changed my outlook on literature…and that’s kind of a big deal.
#2 – The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel
Why: I’m usually drawn more to fiction than nonfiction. But there is just something about this book that is almost philosophical in nature. I can’t shake it.
#3 Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Why: I may need to rethink my fiction vs nonfiction claim. This true story graphic novel is poignant and breaks down stereotypes in a compelling and unique manner. I’ve just never read anything like it.
#4 Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare (OK, this like 6 books or something, but I’m condensing)
Why: This book (series) is just obsessive level for me. I love the characters. I love the conflicts. I love the subtle commentary on society and prejudice still relevant today even though the first book was published over 10 years ago. I can’t get enough.
#5 Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Why: I worried, at first, that this book wouldn’t live up to the hype. And it did feel a little formulaic to me for at the beginning, but in the end, the themes are so powerful and the main characters so well done, it won me over and I loved it.
Honorable mention (because picking 5 is SOOOO hard!): Clockwork Angel Series by Cassandra Clare, Yes Please! by Amy Poehler, The Vegetarian by Kang Han, Solo by Kwame Alexander.
And, because if you have a blog about lists you can’t just have one list here are 5 of my favorite book-related lists. I won’t say they are my absolute top 5 favorites because I read a lot of lists. But these bloggers/sites create lists that aren’t just your boring old “my 5 favorite books from this year so far lists.” 😉 They consistently write unusual book lists I really enjoy reading!
5 of My Favorite Book Lists (And the Bloggers/Sites Who Wrote Them)!
My Bookish Dreams – The Orangutan Librarian
This is one of my favorite blogs and The Orangutan Librarian has tons of great book-related lists to read. But I really like this one called My Bookish Dreams because it’s not just a list of book recommendations, it’s a whimsical list of a reader’s fantasy world. Like the blog, it’s funny and intelligent.
Friday Favorites – Graphic Novels – Books, Vertigo and Tea
This is another one of my favorite blogs and I always enjoy the recurrent Friday Favorites list! The blog lists from BVT consistently introduce me to books or even types of literature I may not be familiar with, graphic novels for example. I am only a recent convert to the graphic novel world and this list helped me navigate it!
Bustle is kind of the behemoth on this list. Not really a blog, but a giant mega-site of all kinds of lists, articles and information. Still, it’s a great source of interesting book lists. They have everything from the normal, like Best YA for 2018, to the bizarre, like the one I’ve flagged here. I prefer the more bizarre ones, personally. I’ve never heard of How to Live Safely in a Fictional Universe, but now I want to read it!
Ideal Mash-ups – Books In Her Eyes
The blogger behind Books In Her Eyes often posts top 10 lists, which are among my favorite types of lists, ranging from best LGBTQ to books with the blogger’s favorite colors on the cover. I also enjoy the mini-review roundup list. I don’t always have time to read a full review, so I like it when they get condensed into shorter reviews and I can read more of them. Plus, the topics BIHE chooses can be unusual, like the one I’ve flagged here, ideal mash-ups. It’s so clever!
The Top 10 Best Top 100 Book Lists – Book Riot
Book Riot’s name is apt. If there were some sort of global fascist internet dictator who decreed there could only be one site for every topic – one site for movies, one site for cat videos, one site for Bronies…Then I would vote for Book Riot to be the one site to represent all things bookish. Although if there were a fascist internet dictator, I’m guessing voting would not be allowed… (Thank goodness fascist dictators are currently more worried about where people eat, or don’t, than trying to control the internet…for now…)
Book Riot’s bookish supremacy is well encapsulated by this best of best of list linked here. The Top 10 Best Top 100 Book Lists. Next, I’d like to see The Top 10 Best Top 10 Lists About the Top 10 Books. I’m confused just writing that.
Anyone else a big fan of book lists? Anyone hate them? Anyone have recommendations of bloggers who write have unique takes on the book list tradition?