I had a really hard time keeping this list to 10! I guess I choose a lot of books at random. I narrowed it down by only choosing books which I knew absolutely nothing about, which weren’t recommended by someone and by authors I had never read before.
What makes you choose books? Is it the cover, a clever title, interesting blurb? Probably all of the above, but if I find a book I think looks interesting, I usually read page 69 and if it grabs me, than I give it a go. It works for me anyway…
1. The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters by Michelle Lovric. This is actually (loosely) based on a true story, about a group of sisters who make a living out of their extremely long hair. I thought it sounded intriguing and it turned out to be really enjoyable. Lovely writing too, will definitely check out her other books.
2. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. I saw this one in the library and immediately borrowed it, despite its heftiness. Half the story was told in prose and half in a graphic novel style, so it made for a really different and refreshing read.
3. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor. If you have never read this, you should. It is completely different to anything else I have ever read, and utterly beautiful. It basically tells the story of all the residents of a street on one day in summer, but it’s beautifully done. One of my favourite books.
4. 1933 Was A Bad Year by John Fante. I had never heard of Fante, but I liked the title. I loved the book too, and I’m really glad I picked it up, because I’ve read some more of Fante’s work since then and he’s awesome.
5. Highest Tide by Jim Lynch. This is about a boy who finds a giant squid, and about his relationship with his grandmother. Sounds odd, which is probably why I picked it up, but it was really enjoyable.
6. All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman. Utterly weird and completely wonderful. It is a very small book, but it is unique, clever, funny, and emotional. I’m so glad I found Kaufman, he’s amazing.
7. Three To See The King by Magnus Mills. I’m sure I picked this up for the cover, which is gorgeous. I don’t remember a huge amount about the book, other than it being really odd. I must have liked it though, because I have read quite a few of Mills’ books since this one.
8. The Schooling Of Claybird Catts by Janis Owens. I thought this one was awesome. Claybird is a great character and the story really captured me. It is one of a trio of books which tells the same story from three different viewpoints.
9. Lovely green eyes by Arnost Lustig. Not a happy read this one. It tells the story of a 15 year old girl who chooses to work in a German military brothel over death in a concentration camp. Heavy going, but really worth it.
10.Girlfriend In A Coma by Douglas Coupland. Just to show that not all the books I choose on a whim turn out to be great. I only just made it through this one and it was, in a word, awful. A lesson that if I have reached page 69 and it still isn’t working for me, I should give up.
How about you? What makes you choose a book? Which were the best ones you have read on a whim?