Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Whim Books

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:

Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim

I can be a sucker for a pretty cover which is the main culprit for my whim book buying, however there are other reasons and it was interesting to see how I came by my 10 choices. Listed alphabetically by author, here are 10 of my favourite whim buys/reads:

~ 1 ~

The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean

This is a beautiful, emotional charged look into the siege of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg), during WWII, through the jumbled memories of a lady suffering from Alzheimer’s. I came across this completely by chance when searching for books on mental illness for a reading challenge, and boy was I pleased I did!

~ 2 ~

The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson

I snapped up a free e-copy of this Mediterranean suspense from Amazon (UK) just hoping for some mysterious fun in the sun, however I got a whole lot more from this wonderful novel. I would definitely like to read more by this author.

~ 3 ~

Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard

Again, I discovered this novel and author when searching for books on mental illness for a reading challenge; plus it has a gorgeous purple cover! I thought it was a beautiful book which led me to reading 4 more novels by Gillard, and I look forward to reading more.

~ 4 ~

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

I used up my scanty remains off an Amazon gift card on this beautiful suspense novel, as I had vaguely heard good things about Kearsley and it had a pretty cover. 4 novels later and Kearsley is one of my favourite authors!

~ 5 ~

For Tibet, with Love by Isabel Losada
(now known as A Beginner’s Guide to Changing the World)

I knew nothing about the book, the topic or the author yet this wacky memoir had to come home with me, due mainly to it’s stunning cover and intriguing premise.

~ 6 ~

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

A striking silver and purple Venice-esque  cover, an intriguing alternative, fantasy setting and only £1 in The Works; it had to be bought! Sadly I didn’t go on to read the sequel, something I really must rectify soon.

~ 7 ~

The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier

Obviously, I had heard of du Maurier when I bought this but never read any of her novels let alone a short story collection (something I didn’t really read at this point). Knowing the author and Hitchcock’s classic film, I went for it and wasn’t disappointed. I have since read more du Maurier and more short story collections.

~ 8 ~

Initiate by Tara Maya

When the author contacted me, I had never heard of them or the book. However the pretty cover and an intriguing premise got me to read this Polynesian inspired fantasy tale; the 1st book in The Unfinished Song series. 5 books later…and I want more!

~ 9 ~

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

This was a whim request in the early days of my Netgalley use, as a re-imagining of Wonderland through the eyes of Dinah, the future Queen of Hearts, sounded amazing! I never thought my request would actually be granted.

~ 10 ~

The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian

This was another surprising request granted on Netgalley, this time whilst I was looking for some new and interesting Christian non-fiction. An amazingly, inspiring book – I now pick up and/or request anything I can by Omartian.

What are some of your favourite whim reads? Have you made any whim purchases recently? Have you read any of my favourite whim reads?

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17 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Whim Books

  1. Oh wow, the Dean sounds fantastic. Definitely from what you’ve said it seems an excellent one to have opted for. Interesting to hear your first Kearsley was a lesser-known one. The Works is such a rabbit hole, isn’t it?

    I haven’t read any of your choices but I’ve just bookmarked a few GR pages 🙂 I have the Du Maurier on my shelves. I’d say my favourite whim read is Anchee Min’s Empress Orchid. It led me to read other books on the empress.

    1. Charlie, The Madonnas of Leningrad was a fantastic read and even though it has been several years since I read it, I thought of it straight away for this list 🙂 I am also really pleased to hear my list has inspired you on GR.

      You could definitely call The Works a rabbit hole – I always think it’s a bit of an Aladdin’s cave because it is packed to the brim, and sometimes the rafters, with stuff to root through! Did you review Empress Orchid on your blog? The name rings a bell.

  2. I read The Madonnas of Leningrad, picked on a whim because I liked the title, and liked it very much. Recently I read Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin on a whim after a series of books I could not stand. I will be posting my review of that one today on my blog. I think reading on a whim is my favorite way to read!

    1. Judy, how interesting that you picked and read The Madonnas of Leningrad on a whim too! It does have a very intriguing title though doesn’t it? I haven’t heard of Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin so I will have to check out your post 🙂

  3. So funny that we both picked up Lynch on a whim! I found Lynch, Rothfuss and Snyder in a second hand book store that’s just nearby – I used to spend A LOT of time in there! Not as much these days.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Lynn, it is definitely funny how we both picked up The Lies of Locke Lamora on a whim – sadly I didn’t hear people talking about this book until quite a while after I’d already read it.

      p.s. I like the sound of your local second hand bookshop 🙂

  4. Among your whim authors I have only read Susanna Kearley’s novels, and she is too one of my favorite authors. I don’t tend to buy books based on how much I like their covers, but if I like the cover I pick it up, read the blurb and that’s the ultimate factor deciding whether I buy or not. What definitely influences my whim purchases is pricing. Low prices I can’t resist!

    1. Carmen, well if I picked up a book with a pretty cover and didn’t like the blurb I wouldn’t buy it either! However if I do like the blurb and buy it, it was the cover that first drew me to it – just imagine all the books I’ve missed out on because there wasn’t a pretty cover to draw me in the first place! But I do have to agree low prices definitely encourage me to buy. You feel you can take a chance on something different or not heard of if it’s dirt cheap, what do you have to lose?! 😀

  5. I miss the romance of buying books on a whim, but space is premium so for the past few years I’ve planned and researched every book purchase (she says despite having a bloated amount of unread books). But I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover too, which is why I’m devoted to Persephone Books.

    I adore du Maurier. I read Don’t Look Now and Other Stories and was kept up all night. I had to know how all the stories ended. The Birds is so masterful, isn’t it? The premise can easily veer into B-movie territory in a less capable author’s hands but du Maurier made it so chilling.

    1. Hello Reader, thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂 It is great to hear you are a fan of Daphne du Maurier and that you loved The Birds too. I totally agree, birds attacking people could have become corny but du Maurier and Hitchcock’s films definitely capture the terror of something so ordinary turning on us.

      I can also sympathise about losing the romance of buying physical books on a whim – a lot of my physical whim reads, in this list, were either from the library or bought several years ago now. With space at premium, most of my whim purchases now are e-books for my Kindle as I don’t have to worry about taking up any physical space with them; however I have to be careful not to forget about them!

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