Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week we’re checking out the highs and lows of books with numbers in the title.
As I combed through my shelves for books this week, there was a glorious moment where I thought I could actually count down from ten to one purely based on the titles.
And I can.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E Harrow
I haven’t actually read this one yet, but advance word of mouth is EPIC. I am excited enough that I’ve stuck to starting with it as Ten, in spite of the temptation to dial it up to (Station) Eleven.
Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee
Let’s hear it for a huge favourite of mine: maths as magic, equations to control reality, weapons of WTF, excellent pickles and the vengeful undead. A Hugo runner-up and a Subjective Chaos award winner, Machineries of Empire deserves your eyeballs.
1984 – George Orwell
I saw 1984 on stage a few years back, and I still haven’t recovered. It remains the only play to give me a migraine, but I’d highly recommend it if it ever comes your way. The book is also the fuel of nightmares, of course – and sadly appears to have become a manual for modern government. Essential – if unpleasant – reading.
The Seven (and a half) Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton
An intricately plotted whodunnit peopled with an extravagantly unlikeable cast, this is one of those books that’s hard to put down and a shame to spoil. A great way to while away an afternoon.
Six Wakes – Mur Lafferty
Six Wakes has a great pitch: six clones awake on a generation ship to discover one of them killed the rest. Cue a claustrophobic murder mystery with musings on human nature, technology and ethics, but sadly I really didn’t enjoy the execution.
Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
Time travel and alien abductions don’t feature in your average war story, but this is far from average. Is it science fiction or a psychological tale of psychedelic PTSD? Either way, it provides plenty of food for thought.
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Even a man paid to burn books can’t resist their allure in Bradbury’s prescient novel. Have I ever featured so many SF classics in a Top Ten? I doubt it, but this is a firm favourite. Do yourself a favour and read the book (the recent dramatisation is lacklustre), then resist the urge to go hug your books and your friends.
The Three – Sarah Lotz
Four planes crash simultaneously. Against all the odds, three children survive. The Three is a compelling piece of fictional non-fiction asking how and why. I love a story structured around interviews and news reports – but fair warning, the harrowing prologue could put you off air travel for good.
Between Two Thorns – Emma Newman
A portal fantasy of the Fae and a scathing feminist urban fantasy of manners, Emma Newman’s Split Worlds seem like light-hearted fluff until you realise just how much it has to say. Fair warning: it doesn’t stand alone.
The Beautiful Ones – Silvia Moreno Garcia
This is one of those rare romance novels that won me over – largely thanks to the charm of its book-loving heroine. Expect social vipers, melodrama and a lingering look at the cost of our choices and the value of self-knowledge.
Got any non-cheaty suggestions for Ten, Eight and Four?