Top Ten Tuesday- Throwback Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish blog.

This week’s topic is: Throwback Freebie, so I’ve decided to feature Ten Books I Gave Five Stars to in the Last Five Years*.

I tried to include an eclectic mix of five-star reads. I also tried to choose books I haven’t yet talked about on this blog. I can’t help but wonder if I would still give all of these five stars if I read them again today…

*On Goodreads



How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman 

This was one of the most readable non fiction history books I’ve come across. Goodman expertly brings to life all aspects of the Victorian era, covering the interesting minutiae of everyday life.  How to Be a Victorian is like the perfect armchair time travelers guide!

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 

I still find myself thinking about this post-apocalyptic novel. I was blown away by Emily St. John Mandel’s stunning prose and her interwoven narratives. I just wish I hadn’t read it during flu season! I’m still a little traumatized…

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

Denfeld’s magical realism novel about a death-row prison is hauntingly beautiful. I didn’t expect to fall as hard as I did for this bleak yet impactful tale.

The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer

I really enjoyed this lesser-known Heyer novel. I loved the central romance and the “more mature” heroine. The main misunderstanding/romantic obstacle was also ridiculously funny.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I remember being completely transported into the surreal world of The Night Circus. Morgenstern’s magical setting was evocative and enthralling. I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough.



The House at Riverton by Kate Morton 

I have a soft spot for Kate Morton’s dual timeline historical fiction novels, and The House at Riverton is no exception. I loved getting lost in her 1920’s setting, and unraveling the mysterious fates of her tragic characters.

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber 

This massive historical fiction tome left me completely enthralled. I loved Michel Faber’s gritty take on Victorian London, as well as his complex (and often downright unlikable) characters. The story went in directions I didn’t expect, and left me wanting more.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton 

This is such a lovely and odd book. Walton has created a unique and unsettling story with vivid prose and unforgettable characters. I didn’t think this would live up to the hype, but I absolutely adored The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows, and can’t wait to read it again.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl 

This suspenseful campus novel had me on the edge of my seat. I loved how Pessl structured her narrative around a made-up literature syllabus, as well as all of the academic and literary details she scattered throughout. It gave me similar vibes as The Secret History, one of my all-time favorites.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins 

This is such a fun and dramatic classic featuring one of my favorite feminist characters. I flew through The Woman in White and was thoroughly entertained from the first page to the last. I can’t wait to watch the upcoming BBC adaptation-maybe I’ll even attempt to reread the book beforehand.


16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday- Throwback Freebie

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  1. Looking back at some of the books o gave 5 stars to, I would demote about half of them to 4 stars. I don’t know if that’s because they just weren’t that good or if I’m just that hard to please now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good choices! I think I’ll often read a book and think it’s 5 stars while I’m reading it but looking back on it a few months later, I’ll realize it was only worth 3-4. But then there are those books that you read and haven’t had the experience/perspective to appreciate at the time. So looking back on them you remember them as 5 star reads.

    I went a bit further back (to my teens)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great list! I’ve read a few of these too…
    I loved The Night Circus so much, and always thought it would make a brilliant looking film, it was so visual. I really must re-read it some time to see if it’s as good as I remember.
    Station Eleven was another great read and something a bit different in the way of post apocalyptic, and I also enjoyed The House at Riverton.
    I’m pretty sure I’ve got a copy of Crimson Petal around somewhere too, so I’ll have to try and find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree-The Night Circus would make a stunning film if done well. It’s a very cinematic read. I loved it at the time, but I have a suspicion I would love it a little less if I were to reread it now.

      Hope you enjoy The Crimson Petal if you do find your copy and decide to pick it up. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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