Lists, Reviews

What We Read When We Want To Read For Fun: A Top Ten List

And by we, I mean me.

And I don’t read Raymond Carver when I’m looking for a fluffy read, but I really do love What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

This week’s top ten list: top ten books when you need something light and fun (as hosted by the broke and the bookish). I am not a fluffy reader by nature. Actually, I’m not even a light and fun person by nature. I think my love for all things dark and macabre inhibits that amount of literary fluff I can process. However, that does not mean I do not read for fun. I do, but it tends to be a bit left of center.


In no particular order (and I’ll pretend not to feel embarrassed admitting I read the Southern Vampire Mystery series):

10. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I like reading about intelligent women in academia. If they happen to find their soul mate with a yoga-loving vampire, all the better. Added bonus: Harkness is an all around very interesting person. I’ve come across her non-fiction for professional purposes and she’s enjoyable whether writing about vampire romance or Elizabethan gardens.

9. Experiment in Terror series by Karina Halle. This series is about a short, dark haired, blue eyed girl. I can’t imagine the appeal – I cannot relate to Perry at all. Plus she hunts ghosts with her sexy partner and Halle frequently uses songs titles as chapter titles, I appreciate that. And (I always have just one more thing), I’m about to head to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver and these novels take place there. I also happen to love these week’s photo (about adventures in Oregon).

8. Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace. A cute British love quest and personality defined by pizza type. Who doesn’t love that? 

7. Austenland by Shannon Hale. I read this book because I have a girl crush on Keri Russell (she’s just so gorgeous and effortless) and she stars in Austenland. It’s about a Jane Austen theme park.

6. Heartburn by Nora Ephron. Okay, so I haven’t read this one yet, but I have it on good authority I am going to love it. I think every good book shelf needs at least one unread book that you are bound to fall in love with.

5. Naked by David Sedaris. After years of avoidance, I finally caved and read Naked (and now Me Talk Pretty One Day and Barrel Fever). It’s good fun. Next up to stop avoiding: Jonathan Tropper.

4. Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard. I actually quite enjoy Dante’e Divine Comedy. Gabriel’s Inferno mixes smutty romance with great Italian literature – it’s very intellectual for the genre. And good looking professors in bow ties and glasses never hurt a book’s appeal. As always, I use the term smutty with great affection. 

3. Sookie Stackhouse series. Because True Blood… I can’t watch a series if I know it’s based on novels and then not read the novels. And although I enjoy it, I do think the series is abominably adapted. Fun, but abominable.

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Because what’s better than a trilogy in five parts. Or six parts now I suppose, though I haven’t read And Another Thing…

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I wouldn’t recommend this one as light and fluffy if it is your first time reading it. But if you’ve already read it, why not fall in love with Edward Fairfax Rochester all over again. I do once or twice every couple of years.

There you have it, ten books I would turn to (or recommend for you) if looking for a book on the lighter side of things. So what do you read for fun?

Image from CCOOL found via Pinterest. It is a quarterly photography publication featuring young adventures. Check them out.

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  • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Don’t avoid Tropper… he’s good (light) reading – although I have been known to cry (with snot i.e. a lot) whilst reading his books.

    I totally get the Keri Russell thing – I flirted with the idea of calling Penny ‘Felicity’….

    • Rory

      She went to my high school, but was a few grades ahead (the closest I will ever come to meeting her…), I listed Tropper because you said he was funny.

      Have you seen Keri Russell’s home tour in Elle Decor? It is absolutely fabulous.I would move in there in a heartbeat.She is my style idol (decor and fashion).

      • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

        Wow! You’re practically best friends! 😉

        • Rory

          Yes, quite, in my mind. And I approve of the name Felicity. You should have another baby just to use all of your unused baby names.

      • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

        Luckily my husband doesn’t read your blog #nomorebabies! Of course, you should feel free to use the name 😉

        • Rory

          Ha! I’ll think about. Maybe. Someday.

          (Probably not.)

  • Lianne @

    I never thought I’d love Harkness’ The Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night as much as I do xD The premise intrigued me but guh, totally blown away by the detail.

    I didn’t think to include The Hitchhiker’s Guide of the Galaxy, it’s hilarious. Didn’t know about the sixth part though 😉

    My TTT

    • Rory

      She truly researches her books, it’s refreshing and well done. I want to go to one of her lectures someday, I bet it would be fascinating and there would probably be good wine.

      • Lianne @

        That would be awesome 😀

  • Bonnie (@missbonnie13)

    I really enjoyed The Discovery of Witches… although have you picked up the second book? I have to do a re-read of Discovery in hopes I’m able to better understand it. I must have forgotten everything. lol
    I just downloaded the audiobook for Austenland! It sounded fun.
    Oh Perry and Dex. <3

    • Rory

      I liked the second book, but I very much found it to be a middle trilogy book. But I am glad Diana and Matthew got married. Matthew ranks up in my top ten male fictional crushed. I have a thing for scholarly male research types, preferably with glasses. I always wanted to wear glasses, but alas, I have fantastic eyesite. Maybe someday…(although I am thankful that I do have good eyesight, I do enjoy the current trend in glasses).

      • Bonnie (@missbonnie13)

        I just felt so extremely lost in book 2, it was strange. I plan on doing a re-read of book 1 and trying to get through the rest of book 2 in preparation for book 3. lol Did that make sense?
        hahaha Don’t wish you could wear glasses! I have to pracitcally wear my glasses to put my contacts in I’m so blind… it’s not fun.

        • Rory

          I think if you read them back to back it will make more sense. I’m also weird history nerd and really enjoyed the Elizabethan history references.

          And I do want glasses. Not so badly that I’ll buy the fake ones, but close! Someday when I’m old and have to wear glasses I’ll regret this statement…

  • Merin

    I have The Discovery of Witches sitting in my enormous to-read pile! I need to try to get to it soon. I hadn’t realized it involved vampires or romance!

    • Rory

      It has a little bit of everything. It’s not fluff in the way Meg Cabot or Charlaine Harris is full, but it’s still a lot of fun. I reserve the right to amend my opinion should the author kill off my favorite characters in the final book of the trilogy. I hate when authors do that. And I will be crushed if Diana and Matthew don’t get their happily ever after – that’s what fluff is all about!

      • Merin

        Oh, I hate that, too! That tends to impact my whole opinion of the series.

        • Rory

          Agreed, definitely. It becomes a bit “I wasted hours investing time in this series and you killed “blank” off? NOOO….”.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB

    There is definitely some nostalgia connected to Jane Eyre (so by proxy, light and fluff).

    • Rory

      Agreed. I love Jane Eyre. As a reflex, I smile when the idea of Jane and Edward living happily ever after crosses my mind (which is surprisingly frequently)…

  • marissa | Rae Gun Ramblings

    I put shannon hale on my list too!

    My Top Ten

  • Lucy

    Sookie is a good choice! Are you going to read the last book? I’m scared to see the ending! Witches is pretty fun too. I’m interested in checking out Gabriel’s Inferno and Experiment in Terror too.

    • Rory

      I am going to read the last book, but I have grave reservations about it (pun sort of intended). I haven’t liked the last two and I’m worried about what will happen. My prediction is that Sookie will end up with Sam (or maybe Quinn?) and I’ll be annoyed at how many books were spent leading up to and following the Sookie/Eric relationship. Do you ever watch the show? I just saw the trailer for season 6 and I’m not sure anyone bothered to even minorly consult the books – except for character names. It looks bizarre, but last season was very odd as well.

      • Lucy

        Haha, yes I share your grave reservations! I hope Quinn is not even in this book. I didn’t read the last book so maybe he’s back in Sookie’s life already? And I really don’t want Sookie to end up with Sam but I think you’re right about that.
        I am up to date with True Blood but haven’t seen the trailer yet. It is interesting that the show is so different than the books. So maybe at least Sookie will end up with Eric on TB.
        I will be watching for your review!

  • Words for Worms

    I’ve been meaning to read A Discovery of Witches. You’ve just pushed me further that direction. I am so rooting for a Sookie-Sam happily ever after. I love book Sam. The show is so crazy compared to the books. Enjoyable in its own way, but definitely a hideously bad adaptation!

    • Rory

      Read it! Matthew is the best.

      I won’t mind Sookie and Sam, which is where I feel it’s heading. She has said she wants kids, so that limits the undead…

      I can’t imagine where the series will go, but I’m sure – no matter what – it will be visually please for the female viewers.

  • Milka@AnonymousAficionados

    Brilliant list – the ones I have not read sound interesting, and I love that you included Austenland on the list because I loved that one and cannot wait to see the film.

    • Rory

      It has Keri Russell and JJ Field. What’s not to like?

  • Quinn

    I really need to read Austenland. I have a copy, and I am such a Janeite, I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet. Not to mention that I love Shannon Hale, as well. 🙂

    • Rory

      You’ll like it, I guarantee.

      Don’t hold me to that. But it is decent and despite not believing in it, I do adore the idea of meeting someone, falling in love, and living happily ever after after two weeks and one kiss. Not to give away the plot or anything…

      (I really didn’t, rest assured…)

  • Anne

    Charlotte Street and Austenland made my list as well. I loved both of those books!

    • Rory

      Lovely choices, I approve.

  • picturemereading

    Yay! I love Austenland! 🙂

    • Rory

      I think I first saw the trailer because of you (shared on twitter?). I’m hoping it makes it to Colorado. Movies are the only reason I ever wish I lived in LA or NY…

  • Melinda

    Thanks for sharing. I only have Jane Eyre on my list , but your list sounds interesting

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