My favorite books come up quite often around here, but there are other books that I love that I rarely, if ever, talk about. Rissi's post last month made me realize that, though I'm just now getting around to writing about it. :) So here are a few books (or series in some cases) that I really enjoyed but I don't talk about enough.
When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead. Rebecca Stead's books have this amazing timeless quality. Growing up in the 90s, I read a lot of books that were written between the 70s and the 90s: think Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, The Baby-Sitters Club, etc. And those books all have a certain feeling that I can't really explain...they fit so perfectly into my childhood that I never felt like I was reading some outdated book published 10 or 20 years before I was born. When You Reach Me is just like that. It's set in the 70s but was published in 2009, and it feels just like a book I would have read as a kid. It makes me feel so nostalgic, down to the way the paper feels in the paperback edition. :) Besides all of that, it's a really good, addicting story, and I just loved it. (Also, if you're a fan of A Wrinkle in Time, you will appreciate this one even more. I've only read that book once, years ago, though I'm planning on reading the whole series soon.)
Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko. This book caught my attention because it's about a kid named Moose who lives on Alcatraz during the 1930s because his dad works there. But there's a lot more to it than that, and I was pleasantly surprised by how funny and interesting it was! There's a big focus on Moose's family, especially his older sister Natalie, who has autism. I love the interactions between those two. There are two sequels, and while I haven't read the third book yet, I thought the second one was even better than the first. :)
The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale. I first read The Goose Girl when I was about 11 or 12, and for years I had the story stuck in the back of my mind. I didn't know the title or the author until I randomly stumbled across it again several years later. This is one of my favorite books, and Shannon Hale is an author you have to check out if you enjoy fairy tale retellings. I think this might be her best. (Though she sometimes writes out of that genre. She wrote Austenland, so she's responsible for one of my favorite movies.)
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley. This book series is just begging to be a BBC mini-series! They're set in a small English village in the 50s and the narrator is Flavia de Luce, an eleven year old girl obsessed with chemistry (particularly poisons), annoying her older sisters, and solving crimes. I don't read these books for the mysteries, though they're usually interesting...I read them for Flavia, a hilarious/precocious/sometimes annoying character, her family and the cast of villagers, and the whole atmosphere of the stories. This series is wonderfully quirky.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry. If you've read a lot of dystopian fiction over the past few years (like The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.), then this one probably seems quiet and mild. But The Giver was written years before those. I feel like most people read this one and then stop, but I really enjoyed the entire series. The second book, Gathering Blue, seems to be overlooked, but I felt a connection the main character because she's a natural dyer and works with fiber. :) But the last book, Son, might be my favorite. It was strange and slightly disjointed but I think it wrapped up the series perfectly.
A Distant Melody, by Sarah Sundin. The three books in this series surprised me so much! I used to read a lot of Christian historical fiction, but most of it was set during the 1800s. These books are about three brothers who are pilots during WWII (and their love interests, of course). Sarah Sundin obviously did her research, so there's a lot of detail. But I never felt overwhelmed by the information about planes or attacks that she was including, it was just very intense and interesting. The first book was probably my favorite, though the third was incredible, too, and everything was tied up at the end beautifully.
What are some books that you enjoy but don't mention as often as you should?