Happy Tuesday everyone! It is the second day of the week already but I hope everyone is doing well and is safe. Tuesdays also mean one thing, a Top Ten Tuesday update! Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s given topic is Books I Enjoyed, but Have Never Mentioned On My Blog


This week’s topic is a tough one. I loved a lot of books. However, I am not sure if they were never mentioned in this blog. For the purposes of this update, I have changed the topic from “never” to “rarely” mentioned since I cannot guarantee that I have never mentioned them on my blog. But these books can belong to either. These are books I have read before I started doing book reviews.

All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark

With nearly 30 books read, Mary Higgins Clark is one of my most-read writers; I think she is third, behind Danielle Steel and Agatha Christie. Fun trivia: my first three (or perhaps four) read novels were all written by Clark. Of all her works that I have read, All Around the Town is one of the standouts. It was not formulaic like most of her works; if you have read at least five of her works, you will know. I was prepared to guest the perpetrator upon opening the book but Clark gave me one of her most riveting works. The book also dealt with multiple personality disorder (dissociative identity disorder), as it was called then. The plot twist was unexpected and I was blown away! Another Clark novel I liked was A Cry in the Night, the book that really turned me into an avid reader. Apparently, I have mentioned All Around the Town previously.

Zoya by Danielle Steel

With 42 books, Danielle Steel is my most-read writer of all time and it might take time before someone surpasses her. Like in the case of Clark, I had a falling apart with her because I started finding her works very formulaic. It has been at least six years since I read one of her works. Of her 42 books I read, Zoya was one of the standouts. I read it back in my university days and I can still recall how in awe I was of Steel’s depiction of the twilight years of the Romanovs’ reign in Russia. It made a deep impression on me for I wanted to learn more of the pre-Bolshevic ear. The book did remind me of the story of Anastasia but I was enchanted nonetheless. Upon searching my blog, I have mentioned Zoya at least four times but I don’t think I have discussed its merits enough.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I have read Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo back in my university days. However, I can still recall how much I loved the book although I do admit that, at first, I was daunted. The book is, after all, a pillar of literature. Although a decade has passed, the story of Edmond Dantès remains with me. I can vividly recall his escape from the Alcatraz-like Château d’If as if I’ve read the novel yesterday. If my memory serves me right, decided to read the book because it was one of the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal’s inspiration in his monumental literary works, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. I have mentioned the book on my blog at least five times.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

It was also during my university days that I read Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha. I had very few books then and our library had some interesting books so it was not surprising that I used my library card more to read works of fiction rather than to borrow accounting books. HAHA. Anyway, I read Memoirs of a Geisha following the release of its movie adaptation. My interest was piqued and because of my love for learning about a new culture, I read the book. I loved the book as it provided me more insights into the lives of geishas. Golden was able to capture every scene vividly.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Unlike the first four books, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is one of my more recent reads. And when I mean recent, I mean 2016. It was during that time that I started reading more books from must-read lists even though I barely had any iota on who the authors are. I have never heard any of them before nor have I read any of their works previously. But as I have mentioned, I am always up for a new adventure. Despite its length, I appreciated One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich because it gave me insights into life in a gulag. I didn’t even know what a gulag was back then. This is also one of the books I want to reread because I wanted to gain a better perspective of the story and Solzhenitsyn’s prose.

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho has certainly established a name in the world of literature. I liked his meditative works, including The Alchemist and By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept. Since I have talked extensively about The Alchemist, I am featuring, if my memory serves me right, the third Coelho novel I read. I liked how Veronika Decides to Die explored mental health issues. Like most Coelho’s previous works, his approach to storytelling was philosophical yet easy to grasp. I can recall nodding my head repeatedly because I felt that Coelho captured my own experiences.

A Time To Kill by John Grisham

One of the writers that made my last year in high school more memorable (it was the time I started immersing myself in works of fiction) was John Grisham and one of his works that truly impressed me was A Time To Kill. A novel set in the Deep South, it dealt with a sensitive and bleak subject. But I was in awe of how Grisham deftly navigated the world of legal practice and the justice system. It made me admire Grisham and his prose, hence, leading to more of his works. I eventually got weary because a pattern started to unravel the more I read his works. Nonetheless, this does not cloud my admiration of his earlier works like A Time To Kill and The Firm.

The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

When I started reading, I never considered reading romance novels. I was more of a mystery/suspense fiction type of reader. However, things started to change during my university days when I was introduced to Nicholas Sparks. I came across him first through the movie adaptation of The Notebook (I liked the book as well). However, it was underrated The Wedding that I really fell in love with. It is like a continuation of The Notebook for it featured Allie and Noah’s daughter and her family. The earlier parts are boring but things started to unravel towards the end of the book. I loved the plot twist. It was ingeniously pulled off. Overall, I enjoyed Sparks’ earlier works. I am no longer as invested in his newer works for they have all become predictable.

The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon

Sidney Sheldon is definitely one of my earliest reading influences. He was my first favorite author (back when I had never heard of Murakami, Rushdie, and the like). I have read all of Sheldon’s novels, including his memoir. It’s a mixed bag honestly but I loved his earlier works, like The Other Side of Midnight. To a senior in high school, the book was mesmerizing. I didn’t know that storytelling could be this compelling. I discovered a new world that day; I started reading the novel during our first subject and finished it by our second to the last subject for the day. I was that engrossed. Apart from The Other Side of Midnight, I also liked Master of the Game and Doomsday Conspiracy.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

I am always in awe of Jodi Picoult’s works. She always explores health conditions that I have rarely heard of. It was through her that I rarely encounter such as osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), or in layman’s terms, brittle bone syndromes (Handle With Care, 2009). Of her novels, My Sister’s Keeper is certainly one of the most popular and I admit it, I read it because the movie piqued my interest. I wasn’t as drawn into the movie as I was by the book. I loved the book version. It was more compelling, arousing more emotions than the movie version. Come to think of it, it has been a long time since I read any of Picoult’s works.