Top Five Wednesday: Best Suggested Books

I recently stumbled on this GoodReads group that proposes a weekly meme whose aim is to give a list of Top Five… anything, as long as they are book related. It sounds fun, and something I can manage even with my too-often-limited time.

This week the topic is: Best Suggested Books You Loved (books recommended to you):


Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

A friend whose tastes I trust implicitly mentioned reading this book, and since I loved Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale I decided to try it. The fact that it depicted a post-apocalyptic scenario was an added bonus, since I’m somewhat addicted to that trope: what I found in Oryx and Crake was much more than I expected, a tale both terrifying and sad about the end of the human race as we know it.

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

A few years ago, a friend who was involved with a small publishing house asked me to read this book with the prospect of acquiring the rights for translation and publication: knowing my love of the genre, she wanted my opinion about it. I was instantly captivated both by the story of old people who are given a second chance in life by signing up with an off-world military organization, and by the author’s writing and voice. Since then I’ve become a staunch Scalzi fan, and every title he publishes goes directly on my “buy immediately” list.

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds

I can’t recall where the recommendation for this book came from, except for the fact that someone urged me to try this author: nonetheless, whoever you are – thank you!  This story about a nanotech virus who has reduced an advanced city into a jungle of decaying buildings, where technology can be a danger, is fascinating on its own, but if you add the main character’s quest for revenge, you get a gripping tale that makes this author one of your favorites.

DreamSongs by GRR Martin

Much as I admire Martin’s writing, I had not thought about reading this collection of stories spanning his long writing career, because at the time I preferred to “sink my teeth” into full-fledged novels.  But I heard a few of this stories narrated with the special voice of actress Claudia Black, and I loved them for their depth and intensity, so I decided to read them all: as recommendations go, this was a rather indirect one, but I’m glad of it all the same!

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

I saw this book mentioned on a forum I was following and the title caught my attention: in the SF show Farscape there is a very special kind of ship – a bio-mechanoid creature labeled as a Leviathan, and my love of the show brought me to try out this book. Little did I know at the time that I would be fascinated by this new, fresh approach to space opera and that I would become a faithful fan of this series, that is now being translated on the screen with amazing success.

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8 thoughts on “Top Five Wednesday: Best Suggested Books

  1. I really need to read something by Scalzi. I don’t know why I still haven’t read something by him yet…
    Same goes for Alaistair Reynolds, I plan on reading Revelation Space this year because I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about him! 🙂


    1. The first two in this trilogy – Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood – were great, but I could not finish the third one, it felt very different from the previous two. But Atwood is always worth reading, that’s a fact 🙂


  2. Call me ancient. If I think about a book I loved, and felt cozy with, it was The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of Cabin Island (original text). Hot cocoa optional but strongly suggested.

    My suggestion for a Top 5 Topic: Weird Expressions of Insane Genius. My nomination for #1: The Eye of Argon.


  3. Wow, that’s a fascinating story about how you came to read Old Man’s War. What was the language they were translating it into when they considered buying the rights? In any case, the more people who read the OMW series the better!


    1. Indeed! It’s one of the best space opera series on the market!
      When I first read the book it was for the Italian translation: unfortunately the publisher is a little behind with the series at present, since the last one published is the third one, The Lost Colony. From what I read on various message boards, they are not going swiftly enough to satisfy the growing public…


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