Top Ten Tuesday: Books Written Before I was Born

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 

This week’s topic is:

Books Written Before I was Born

I’ve chosen to highlight 5 books I have read that were written before I was born, and 5 books I would like to read. This is mainly because, as it turns out, I have read very few books published before 1992. This is a shame, because there a lot of great books that were written in the 80’s and early 90’s that I’ve clearly been missing out on!

Books written before 1992 that I have read:

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein : I loved loved looooved his poetry when I was young! I still have my old hard cover copy, and I’ve already started reading the poems with my daughter. These poem collections are fun, goofy, and sometimes just plain weird, but they are great for young poetry lovers and adults alike.

Matilda by Roald Dahl: Matilda was my favourite Roald Dahl book as a kid. Quite a few of his books (I’m looking at YOU ‘The Witches’) were too scary for me, but Matilda was perfect. This book is wonderful for any little kid with a love of reading.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede: A princess who doesn’t want to be a princess anymore, so she runs off to live with a dragon. She spends her time learning how to cook and fending off any knights who try to rescue her. This series was one of my favourites in middle school, my copies (hard to come by for some reason) are worn out from repeated read-throughs. This book is wonderful for kids who are looking for something outside of the typical ‘Knight saves the princess’ motif.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Go figure, the person who was too scared to read ‘The Witches’ picked out this book because the cover image looked freaky. I read this book in my early teens, which I feel like was a tad early for some of the horribly scarring imagery it features. Still a great (and jarring) dystopian read.

Child of the Morning by Pauline Gedge: If I’m ever asked to name my absolute favourite, have-read-more-than-10-times, will-die-buried-with-this book, it would be Child of the Morning. I was (and still am) obsessed with Egyptian history as a kid, and when I found a book of Egyptian historical fiction NOT about Cleopatra, I had to read it! Hatshepsut is a great historical figure to read about, and I enjoyed the fictional spin that Pauline Gedge adds to her story. I can’t say it’s the most accurate of depictions, but it is a fun read.

Books written before 1992 that I want to read:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: I’ve been told to read this book by multiple people over the years. Supposedly, it’s a great combination of fiction narrative and self-help book. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read it before now, but I’ve officially put it on my TBR list so it will get read….eventually.

The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks: This book was frequently mentioned in my psych classes as a great source of neurological disorders. Now clearly it’s a bit out of date at this point, so there may be some inaccuracies and out of date terminology. But if taken with a grain of salt, sometimes even out of date psychological stories can be interesting to read.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir: I’m always looking for some really good historical fiction/non-fiction novels. This one by Alison Weir has great reviews, so it has officially made it onto my TBR list.

Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler: Octavia’s Butler’s reputation alone had me adding this to my TBR list. The list of accolades that came alone with this book also helped my choice. I had never actually heard of this title before I was making this post, but I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I look forward to giving it a read.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt: I heard about this book through the author S.T. Gibson (A Dowry of Blood). A book that’s considered a multiple-read for someone is always worth a look, it could be your next great read! The summary definitely looks intriguing, and it has decent reviews so clearly other people have enjoyed it as well.

This prompt was definitely a learning experience for me, and now I have 5 more books on my TBR list! Have you read any of the books in my Top Ten List? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


  1. lydiaschoch says:

    Where the Sidewalk Ends was such a fun collection.

    My post.

  2. Leslie says:

    I’ve heard so many good things about Where the Sidewalk Ends. It’s part of one of my reading challenges this year! Great list.

    My Top Ten

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