Top 10 Stand-Alone Books On My Shelf: Part One

Before we start this I need to clarify two points:

  1. This list is absolutely, 100% NOT exhaustive. I have WAY more favourite stand-alone books than ten. But since I’m selecting an arbitrary number, ten seemed like as good a number as any.
  2. You’ll notice I added On My Shelf to the title and there’s a very good reason for that. I read a lot of books. A LOT. Far more than my budget allows for. Therefore I tend to borrow books from people, libraries, and basically anywhere I can get my hands on them. I have read so many amazing books that aren’t on my shelf. Which–btw– makes me incredibly sad 😦 — and for that reason those books won’t be included. Sorry City of Ghosts. I love you but I borrowed you.

I should also mention this list will not include any books in a series. This should be obvious given the title, but whatever, I’m stating it. It also won’t include non-fiction books. But don’t fear! Both series and non-fiction books will have their own special post.

Okay, I think that covers it. In no particular order here are the Top 10 Stand-Alone Books (on my shelf). Let’s do this!

Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger

Okay we’re starting off with quite literally my all time favourite book. I first read this back in High School as required reading. I adore everything by Salinger but there’s something about Holden Caulfield that really speaks to me.

Let’s not read into that too much.

Published in 1951, the novel is a glimpse into the life of Holden Caulfield — a sixteen-year-old angsty teen who has recently been kicked out of yet another prep school. He’s confused, anti-establishment, and sees phonies everywhere. The entire novel spans two days but honestly, it covers a lot of stuff.

A Fair Warning: You’ll need to pull yourself out of 2019 and time travel back to the fifties because things were much different back then.

White Oleander – Janet Fitch

Full disclosure: I don’t often re-read books. Too many books, too little time. But like Catcher In The Rye, I have read White Oleander several times. The first time I read this book I was immediately enthralled with the characters.

Astrid is sent to multiple foster homes after her mother, Ingrid, is imprisoned for murdering her boyfriend. Each of Astrid’s homes are like mini stories and let me tell you, they are not all sunshine and rainbows. Both Ingrid and Astrid are incredibly creative types and I believe this book had a small hand in igniting my creativity long before I knew there was a spark.

Side Note: If you haven’t read the book and are tempted to just watch the movie instead, DON’T! It’s not nearly as good as the novel. The only reason to watch it is to see Michelle Pfeiffer’s stunning performance as Ingrid. She totally nailed it.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

If it’s wrong to prefer the Brontë sisters over Jane Austen then I don’t wanna be right.

Maybe it’s because there’s a darker edge to the sisters’s novels that *ahem* speaks to me…MOVING ON.

An orphan girl takes a position as governess and gets tangled into the web of lies, madness, and love. You know…the usual. Jane loves Mr. Rochester and he loves her but SECRETS. As far as novels written in the 1840s go, it’s progressive. It touches on topics such as feminism, class, religion, and sexuality. All the good stuff. It was first published under the name of Currer Bell because nice girls did not write books…apparently.

Fun Fact: Jane Eyre was first published on October 16, 1847. That’s 172 years ago!

The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall – Anne Brontë

Speaking of Brontës.

Oh look! More SECRETS. Of course.

Helen Graham, if that is her real name (Spoilers: it’s not), is on the run from a wicked husband and a life she wants to forget. Told in a series of letters, this novel is dark and discusses subjects that were incredibly taboo in the 1800s. Hell, they’re taboo even now. Alcohol abuse, martial breakdown (think abuse), and raising children as a single parent.

Like her sister, Anne published this novel in 1848 under the name Acton Bell, because see reason above.

Side Note: Anne only published two novels and was the lesser known of the three sisters. Her other novel is called Agnes Grey.

Good Omens – Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

“Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.”

What a line!

The end of the world is happening this Saturday and an Angel and a Demon aren’t best pleased. And where is the damn Antichrist?

This book is a fabulous mix humour and fantasy that’s in keeping with both Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s style. I mean how could you NOT love this book?

Recently made into an Amazon mini-series (which I haven’t watched but OMG it stars David Tennant as Crowley and Jon Hamm as Archangel Gabriel so I AM IN LOVE ❤ ) it’s receiving amazing reviews. But don’t skip the book because it’s a real treat!

Fun Fact: There was supposed to be a sequel to Good Omens called: 668 – The Neighbour of the Beast. (How awesome is that title?!) Sadly the passing of Terry Pratchett has left the release of this book in limbo.

Well folks, this post is getting LONG and I’m cutting it here. Next week I’ll wrap up the last five books on my shelf that I love!

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