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Top 10 Must Haves to Add to Your Library

Updated on November 28, 2016

1. Gladiatrix by Russel Whitfield

What I found interesting about this book was that it was focused around women gladiators in placed in the ancient Roman times. The book is centered on Lysandra, a Spartan warrior priestess. The story begins with her being the only survivor of a shipwreck and by chance becomes the property of Lucius Balbus, who is the owner of a Ludus of female gladiators. As a Spartan Lysandra refuses to accept her role as a slave in the Ludus and has difficulties adapting to her new life, but once she enters the arena her Spartan warrior spirit rises within her and she wins over the crowd and earns the respect of her master, Balbus. This book is gripping and pulls you into a world of action and danger as Lysandra fights for her life and her freedom.

2. Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin

This is a suspense horror book that reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe. In the book the main character is haunted by ghosts who live out their tragic ends in a loop. These horrific scenes begin to play out upon the death of his wife; afraid he is losing his mind Nicholas Close returns to his hometown only to be intertwines with a series of murders and disappearances. This is a terrifying story that will haunt you once the book is closed and has an ending that you will never see coming. If you’re into spooky horror stories that will haunt you from beginning to end Stephen M. Irwin is your guy.

3. Poisoner Mysteries Series by Sara Poole

Currently there are 3 books in this series Poison, The Borgia Betrayal, and The Borgia Mistress. The series is intriguing because at the center of the books is mistress of death a poisoner Francesca Giordano. What is interesting is that she is her title of poisoner for the Borgia family because women weren’t usually poisoners for fear of being accused of witchcraft. The first book Poison is placed in 1492 with the original mob family the Borgias. Francesca’s father is brutally murdered and she sets off in search of his killer by taking on the role of poisoner for one of the dangerous families in Italy the Borgias. This is a gripping novel that uncovers mysteries and plot twists around every page.

4. Watermark by Vanitha Sankaran

This novel is set during the days of the Inquisition in Medieval France and follows the character Auda who is an albino girl and had her tongue cut out of her mouth when she was born in order to prevent her from poisoning the world with the devil’s lies. This is a book about a courageous girl who overcomes adversity in a time when people like her were scarce and most likely feared. During this time women writers didn’t exist and Auda learns to read and write since she cannot speak and in doing this she begins to write work that speaks of women empowerment and her work straddles a heretic line that spins her world out of control. If you’re into books about women overcoming the odds and fighting for what they believe in then this is a novel for you.

Movie Trailer for The Hunger Games

5. The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

Yes this is child’s play, but all three books are an all-around excellent read. They follow the main character Katniss as she sacrifices herself to save her sister from going into the Hunger Games. It’s an interesting story about a girl who unifies districts to stand up against the capital and ultimately end these barbaric games where children are offered up as tributes to fight to the death to determine a winner. It’s a captivating story and once you begin it will be difficult to put the books down. If you are one that isn't interested in reading a more juvenile novel the movie adaptation is great as well.

6. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

A murder mystery novel placed in medieval Cambridge, England that captivates its audience with nail biting suspense. In this historical crime thriller Christian children are being murdered and all clues point to the Jewish community. Henry II calls in a secret forensic specialist, Adelia, to investigate these heinous crimes, but her clues lead to more than just the Jewish community, they also take her behind the doors of the country’s churches uncovering some shocking evidence. This is a great historical crime thriller that keeps the readers on the edge of their seats, eager to see what lies within the next chapter. There is also a second book in this series The Serpents Tale which is a follow up to the Mistress of the Art of Death and uncovers even more secrets than the first book in the series.

7. Walking Dead Novels by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga

There are currently 4 books in the series, The Rise of the Governor, The Road to Woodbury, The Fall of the Governor Part 1, and The Fall of the Governor Part 2. I have read The Rise of the Governor and The Road to Woodbury and they are excellent books that give you more insight into the world of The Walking Dead. Kirkman currently has many different universes going on in the world of The Walking Dead, with the comics, the novels and the television show the fans of this series can get a sense of what life is like from different angles. The novels are written in a way that allows the reader to imagine the scene for themselves. I always enjoy a book when the descriptions allow me to play a movie of what is going on in my head; it helps me get a better understanding of how everything is being played out. If you are a fan of the comics and the show, but you haven’t had time to dive into the novels I urge that you do.

8. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

This is a comic novel about a supermodel that has the world by the balls and in a horrific freeway accident becomes horribly disfigured, ultimately becoming and invisible monster. Her life becomes the exact opposite of what it was, her friend steals her clothes and her fiancé leaves her, but she meets this transgender character who is only one surgery away from becoming a woman and together, with another friend in tow, they set off on an adventure. This book can be confusing to read as it is not one about the plot, but mainly about the characters. This is a twisted novel that will leave you laughing at moments when you shouldn’t which is what sets this book apart from so many others.

Movie Trailer: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

Out of all the book series I have read this one is by far my favorite. When first plunging into book 1 you are overwhelmed with so much background information that it can be really difficult to push through the book, but if you can you are in for an interesting ride following the main character Lisbeth Salander. This book trilogy is packed with twists and turns that will leave your head spinning and you wanting more. Lisbeth Salander is a character unlike any other and is thrown into a world that categorizes her as mentally unstable; when she seems to be the most real, get to the point character within the trilogy. She sees the world in black and white, good and evil and there is no room for a gray area. So follow her on this journey and uncover who is the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

10. Ivy Cole and the Moon Series by Gina Farago

This is a two book series with Ivy Cole being the first book and Luna being the second. This book series is centered on Ivy Cole who is a vigilante of sorts. She uses her curse of the moon to unleash her wrath on those who are less deserving of human life, murderers, women beaters, abusers and such. She is a heroine who truly fights for the underdog and plays judge, jury and executioner to her victims. The stories takes place in Doe Springs and when the Sherif department becomes suspicious of all of these vicious murder/animal attacks Ivy finds herself in the middle, suddenly she isn’t the only werewolf lurking in this town. This is a tale of the hunter becoming the hunted and the sequel is even more intriguing. If you enjoy supernatural wolf stories Ivy Cole isn’t your typical damned and cursed kind of book it is much, much more.


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    • Brittany Kussman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brittany Kussman 

      4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      The other books in my library are classics like Moby-Dick or the works of Poe. These are more fun and escaping kind of books. I enjoy them cause I can allow myself to drift off and get lost within the pages.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm only laughing because I have none of these. I'll give the mystery series a try since I love that genre. Thanks for the suggestions.


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