The number one thing I’ve learned from book clubs is that I need to be more open-minded about the books I choose to read. On more than one occasion I have silently groaned when reading the book’s description and had already judged the storyline before I’ve even read the story. I’m learning. Here are a few titles that I was genuinely surprised about once I just starting reading the book.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This was the first title that came to mind since it was the most recent. To put it simply, it’s about a young (human) heroine that was raised amongst the fae. I’ve read my fair share of supernatural/fantasy books, but the fairy type just hasn’t been my thing. I was surprised when I absolutely fell in love with the characters and their surroundings. Though, it could have been that it felt a little bit like an episode of Game of Thrones at times. Regardless, I picked up the sequel, A Wicked King the moment it hit the shelves.

Turtle’s All the Way Down by John Green

I’m a huge fan of the author John Green. As a matter of fact, The Fault In Our Stars is the first novel to ever make me shed real tears. With that being said, I wasn’t that impressed with the idea that Green had decided to write from the female POV. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Though I don’t struggle with mental illness in the same way as the protagonist, I thoroughly felt the tenderness that was treated when he must have been discovering her character. If you’ve ever felt as though your world was spinning out of control, you will relate to Ava and you’ll cheer her on.

On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony

I was first introduced to this novel by a friend in high school. At that time I had zero interest in sci-fi/fantasy and was all about horror novels. But in an effort to reach outside of my literary comfort zone, I gave it a chance. The Incarnations of Immortality series is finished (finally), so if you are “greedy” reader like myself, you’ll want to read them all zealously. If you want to know what happens when you literally shoot death, pick up this book. If you’re into weird, Anthony is your guy.

Love is a Mix Tape by Robb Sheffield

The first time I read the back of this book, I was a jaded 20-something. The idea of “The troubadours of our times agree: They want to know what love is, and they want you to show them. But the answer is simple: Love is a mixtape” made me ill. But yet again, a friend of mine pushed me to read it and I did. It broke my heart (even though you learn early one that you will indeed become heartbroken). I loved that the 90s felt like a third character in the novel. You will fall in love with the Rob, Renee, and the 90s over and over again.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I was already an adult when the Harry Potter books took the world by storm. At the time, I didn’t know that adults could read and enjoy children’s literature (audible gasp!). Now, I read children’s and young adult fiction more than any other genre. I have zero excuses other than claiming ignorance. It wasn’t until I took my younger siblings to see the first film in theaters that I realized this world was amazing and I wanted to be a part of it. I immediately went out and purchased the first four books and read them during my every waking moment. I was so disappointed in myself for being so judgmental because I almost missed out on what is now my favorite fandom of all time.

Hopefully, you are not nearly as judgemental as I am. And maybe I’ve convinced you to read one or more of the books on my list. Call or stop by any Bookmans store to pick one up. Drop some recommendations down in the comments, I’m always looking to add to my to be read pile!