Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.
This Wednesday’s topic is Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc: discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use. Although I mainly book blog I also follow a lot of bookish people via Twitter, Goodreads, and Booktube so my book recommendations come from a lot of places online. In fact, most of my book recommendations are now via the Internet rather than traditional media outlets.
I love Elizabeth’s channel but she is SUCH an avid reader of SFF that I feel like an ignorant fool in comparison. However, she reviewed The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and my interest was immediately piqued because, not only did she rave about it but also, she said that it was a good gateway book for people who don’t really, or haven’t, read much sci-fi. I am so glad I read it because I LOVED it; it had such an emphasis on the characters that the fact it was set in space is kind of incidental and I loved that about it. I’ve since recommended it to others and will continue to do so until my dying day.
Before I really watched many Booktube videos, or read many book blogs, I was big into watching YouTube – I was there in the hey day of charlieissocoollike, littleradge, italktosnakes etc. but as YouTube started expanding and becoming so much bigger and more professional, the creators I watched changed. I love vlog style videos because I’m nosy af, and watching Carrie Hope Fletcher’s backstage vlogs from when she was playing Eponine in Les Misérables – handily, Carrie is also a bookworm so did a video of recommendations, including The Bone Season. I’m so glad I came to this book series through such a circuitous route and I really love it.
I don’t really read non-fiction. However, this is an exception, because it’s less of a memoir and more of an exploration of why we’re so ashamed to let ourselves be vulnerable and ask for help/support, especially if it’s in the form of financial backing. She lives a very different life from me and is much more brave and creative than I could ever be but this book was incredible in making me feel like maybe I could be a little braver in life and take any opportunities that come my way. Leena particularly highlighted it in one of her videos talking about Patreon and her own reconciliation with asking for help/funding that would allow her to make the content she wants. Love Leena, love her recommendations.
2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab | Recommended by a lot of Booktube/book blogs (+ Schwab’s Twitter helped too!)
You can’t move for someone gushing over V.E. Schwab in the online book community, like I genuinely think it’s literally impossible. And that level of adoration is definitely well-deserved, in my opinion. Victoria is a writing MACHINE and when I came across this book, her own brilliant Twitter and occasional YouTube videos talking about her writing process also helped bolster the recommendation and push it higher up my TBR pile. I can’t begin to explain my love for this series but anyone who knows me at all will know that I was hooked by the very first line, principally because it seems like V.E. Schwab’s priorities re: clothing are my priorities in life too: “Kell wore a very peculiar coat.” Sold!
How can I even begin to explain the utter delight and heartbreak that is the Six of Crows duology? All I can say is that the hype is real – it is glorious and it will make you laugh, make you cry, and every other cliche bit of marketing tosh. Basically Ocean’s Eleven in a fantasy world with lots of dark antiheroes with questionable morality, no wonder there’s hype, and it’s completely justified. I am SO glad I heard Lainey and Sam gush about the original Grisha trilogy because otherwise I never would have been introduced to Bardugo’s Grishaverse and/or Six of Crows later.
That’s it for now, folks, those were my Top 5 books I’ve read because of the online book community. What are some of your favourite books recommended by people online? And do you have any recommendations for me? I’d always welcome them! And be sure to link me to your Top 5 Wednesday post, if you have one, as I’d love to read it.