Top Ten Tuesday #20: Great 5-Star Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic:

Ten Books I Rated 5 Stars

I altered this week’s topic a little because I don’t want to discuss recent books I’ve read, since I’ve either recently reviewed them or will do so soon and I don’t want to recycle the same books over and over. I intend for this blog to be a sort of reading journal (an idea I got from one of James’s posts at Auxiliary Memory) so whatever books I read, I will discuss on this blog.

The following are books I’ve read over the years and rated 5 stars. A few are fairly recent reads.

In Search of Lost Dragons

In Search of Lost Dragons by Élian Black’mor and Carine-E

I’m kinda eating my words with this first one because I reviewed it last year summer and have mentioned it often since then. But guys, it’s a really beautiful book. It’s an illustrated novel about a journalist researching dragons. The story isn’t strong, but the illustrations are beautiful with full-page and double-page spreads. I loved them all. If you love dragons, I HIGHLY suggest this book. Here are some pages:

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Mad Kings & Queens

Mad Kings & Queens by Alison Rattle and Allison Vale

I don’t know why, but I really enjoy reading about the crazy things leaders did back in the day. This is a short book and I read it in one sitting, which I don’t recommend because it made me feel weird absorbing all that crazy information in one go. The entire time I read, I kept wondering why these people were allowed to rule. I mean I know why, but some intervention was needed.

The Lost Years of Merlin

The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron

This series focuses on Merlin’s boyhood as he learns more about who he is while growing into his powers. I enjoyed these books as a kid and still do now. They made me so curious about Merlin that I researched him to find out more. I didn’t learn much though. 😦 Like where did he come from? Years ago, I read on some obscure website that he’s half-demon. That scared the shit outta me.

White Man's Justice, Black Man's Grief

White Man’s Justice, Black Man’s Grief by Donald Goines

One of the forefathers of Black urban literature, Goines’s story is about how unfair the justice system is to Black men in America. We haven’t progressed very much. Read and reflect.

Dataclysm by Christian Rudder

Dataclysm by Christian Rudder

I’m glad to have read this one. Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid, uses data gathered from the website and other places on the web to expose truths about our society. The book is well-written and easy to read. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a nonfiction book to read.

Salem's Lot

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

I’m breaking my rule again but shit, this book is damn good! I read it recently but haven’t reviewed it yet. It convinced me that Stephen King is a great storyteller, which I only knew because everyone says so and because I read his memoir On Writing. I read Carrie before but Carrie was whack (I don’t know why I gave it 3 stars). Anyways, ‘Salem’s Lot scared me a little. It’s the build up that rattled me because King took his little time working up to when scary shit starts happening and the whole time you know it’s coming and anticipating it but you’re not sure when he’ll hit you with it. Great read. Very slow pace. I recommend it.

Available at Barnes and Noble

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I think this one is a hit or miss with people but I liked it. I don’t even know why I liked it because I certainly don’t think I said why in my review. I do like how it’s written, though, and the ending with Kurtz crawling made me squeamish. It was so unsettling! But I liked that too. The pacing is slow but it is a good read.

Rasputin's Daughter

Rasputin’s Daughter by Robert Alexander

My eyes were glued to this book when I first read it. It’s one of my favorites and I haven’t read it since that first time. I wonder what I would think of it now. Rasputin is one of my favorite figures in history. I don’t think he’s a good guy, but he is odd and there is such mystery around him that I’m intrigued. This novel is basically Rasputin’s story from the point-of-view of his daughter. Did he have a daughter?

The Blue Sword

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

I enjoyed this story so much. I LOVE McKinley’s writing. She’s so descriptive! And I love how well I could relate to the protagonist, Harry. Her feelings of displacement and being torn between two peoples and two countries and two cultures and being criticized for associating too much with one side. Such a great story. I recommend this duology.

Flyy Girl

Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree

Another throw-back. I think I mentioned this one before in a TTT post. I read it back in high school — I think a lot of Black girls did — and I loved it then. I need to reread it to see if I still feel the same way now. I consider it a young-adult novel and I recommend it to everyone who reads young adult.

What books did you give 5 stars?

30 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #20: Great 5-Star Reads

  1. This list is so amazing. I’ve read a few of these, and added a few to my wishlist (smh). Flyy Girl is one of my favorite books and I haven’t thought about it in awhile, so thanks for listing that! I might need to do a reread soon. It was also a high school read for me… Thanks for sharing!


  2. I love Salem’s Lot as well, but read it a few years ago. I think at last count I had read over 50 King books in my lifetime, but started way before blogging and reviewing. If you haven’t tried The Shining, you should definitely do so. It’s terrifying! Great list!


    1. Wow! That’s a lot of Stephen King books read and written. I’m slowly making my way through them in publication order. I think The Shining is next.


  3. I really need to read some of Robin McKinley’s books. Another writing / blogging friend loves her work, so I need to find out what I’m missing out on. 🙂

    I tend to be very selective (is that the right word?) about giving a book 5 stars. Sometimes I love a book but still have a couple nitpicky comments about it. But here are a few books that I’d consider a perfect 5 stars:

    – All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    – Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
    – The Distance Between Lost & Found by Kathryn Holmes
    – The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
    – Fire by Kristin Cashore
    – Quiet: The Power of Introverts… by Susan Cain
    – I Knew You’d Be Lovely by Alethea Black
    – A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
    – The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
    – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

    *stops herself before her list is a lot more than “a few”*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! YEAH! I love that you gave me a list. I’ve only read a few on your list and I agree they are all great — Quiet, A Wizard of Earthsea, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I’m jotting down the others to research and add to my TBR. I already have The Fifth Season on it, which I think I added after reading one of your wrap-up posts, and I’d like to read The Golden Compass soon.
      Yes! Definitely read some McKinley. She’s an amazing storyteller. Her writing tends to be very detailed though. I love that but I know not everyone does.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aww I loved The Blue Sword too! It was fantastic. I’ve managed to get my hands on A Knot in the Grain and other stories which is apparently a collection of novellas set in that world but I haven’t read them yet. I’m saving them. And The Lost Years of Merlin sound fascinating too! Nice list, here’s ours:


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