TTT: So you liked Jodi?

I was sixteen and sick in bed when Mom bought me The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult. I loved it. There was something easy, but intense about it. Despite my feverish state, I couldn’t put it down.

I quickly moved on to more of her books. I loved them all, I noticed a common thread. She addresses pressing issues, she focuses a lot on relationships; she forces the reader to consider multiple viewpoints.

This week’s TTT with The Broke and the Bookish addresses those times when you feel like you’re spending too much time with one friend, so to speak: Top Ten Books if you liked Author X. In this case, Top Ten books you’d like if you enjoyed Jodi Picoult.

1. The Smell of Apples (originally in Afrikaans, Die Reuk van Appels) by Mark Behr – this South African novel focuses on a young adolescent’s family life during Apartheid South Africa. Often shocking, always tangible.

2. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender – a girl who can taste the feelings of the cook? It sounds like a fantasy, but is everything but, and Picoult sang its praises. The manner in which Bender analyses interpersonal relationships is phenomenal.

3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – not as mysterious as most of Picoult’s work, but the golden thread of humanity runs through this one, too.

4. Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah – a tale of family, loss and romance set in a small town. Add injury and a prolonged coma for a real toast burner (kudos to the person who knows what that means!).

5. Breathing Space (originally in Afrikaans, Wegkomkans) by Marita van der Vyver – tells the tense story of a handful of friends meeting regularly at a beach house despite their ideological differences. A mix of politics, romance, sexuality, coming of age and family.

6. It’s Me, Anna (originally in Afrikaans, Dis Ek, Anna) by Elbie Lotter – A young girl, violated by her stepfather from a young age, shares her story.

7. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – a teenager girl’s strange suicide note in the form of thirteen audio recordings. Suspenseful and shocking. A fair warning that this can be a trigger for currently struggling individuals.

8. The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux – What would you do if you could go back in time, to any time, to change your choices? Would you change them? What would you change? Three women who meet on their fortieth birthday are soon to find out. I thought this would be a sappy Mills&Boon, but really, it was everything but.

9. One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury – It’s religious angle might change your experience of it, but this one is by no means a Bible-bashing novel. It tells the story of a firefighter who is found in the rubble of the Twin Towers, but remembers nothing of his previous life. It offers lovely insight into family life. It becomes a little predictable about halfway through, but not unpleasantly so.

10. Testimony by Anita Shreve – a videotaped scandal breaks at a New England boarding school. The novel tracks the influence on lives young and old, repercussions beyond one’s wildest imaginations. A story intricately woven.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with these choices? Do you have any books to add here? As always, I love to hear from you.


  1. beckireads says:

    That was a really interesting list. I hadn’t heard of a lot of them, so I will have to check them out!

    1. That’s good to hear, I hope you’ll let me know what you think of them when you read them!

  2. I actually haven’t read any Picoult – but I plan on it! So now I know what to read after that 🙂

    1. Wow, haven’t you? I hope you’ll enjoy her when you do read some!

  3. thebookslayer says:

    Oh I haven’t read any of these. But I will def. be checking them out. I do love finding excellent books to put on my TBR list.
    Thanks for stoping by my TTT! See ya around next week.

  4. Helene says:

    I haven’t read any book by Picoult, but I heard great things about the help, so I’m going to check it out.

  5. I loved Thirteen Reasons Why, so maybe I look for Jodi Picoult then since I have not read anything by her.

    1. I continue to be surprised that so many people haven’t read Picoult… I thought she was commonly read! I hope you’ll enjoy 🙂

  6. I’m intrigued by the Shreve recommendation. And I didn’t know 13 Reasons Why could be a trigger! That makes me incredibly sad.

    1. It’s the best book by her that I have ever read.
      As for 13 Reasons Why… I guess when you’re in a bad place, just about anything can act as a trigger – a book about suicide even more so.

  7. authorheatherwood says:

    I love Jodi Picoult, her books are usually intense reads. I’m reading One Breath Away by Heather Grudenkauf that reminds me of her.

    1. I’ve never heard of that, I’ll look into it!

  8. Melissa says:

    Interesting list! It’s Me, Anna and Thirteen Reasons Why sound really good. Sad, but good.

    1. They are intense and require many cheer-up breaks in between. But certainly worth it.

  9. Gone Pecan says:

    i started reading “an invisible sign of my own” by Aimee Bender and it was good, but I was just to anxious to get to other books i had waiting for me. i think i might try again someday. i had heard about “lemon cake” and it sounded interesting. and of course i love “the help” ~dixie

    1. I’ve never read anything else by Bender, but her writing does require one’s full attention 🙂

  10. tinalinatime says:

    I’ve never read anything my Picoult but I have friends who love her books. If they’re anything like The Help or 13 Reasons I’m sure I’ll enjoy them though! 🙂 which of her books would you recommend as a starter?

    1. Well, The Tenth Circle was my first, and it turned out wonderful. It has some cartooning in between, and the references to Dante makes it intriguing too. Handle with Care might also be a good one to start with. If you’ve watched “My Sister’s Keeper”, don’t start with that book; and the Pact is maybe a little intense to start with. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

  11. Cassie says:

    I don’t particularly like Jodi Picoult but I love a lot of the books you mention so I will have to read the rest – thank you!!

    1. Mh, is it because the plots sometimes become a little predictable? I’ve thought of that. But I hope you’ll enjoy the others!

      1. Cassie says:

        I’ve only read two books by her. One, I felt like she ripped off completely from the nonfiction book about Columbine and the other one was just repetitive I think. I’m not sure why I really didn’t like the second one. Hmmm…. Can you recommend a good one? I do want to read the one she wrote with her daughter.

      2. I don’t think I’ve read 19 Minutes yet, but making fiction of a non-fiction book is not something I’m fond of. As for repetitiveness… her books are sometimes a little like that. And a little predictable in plot.
        I especially enjoyed “Songs of the Humpback Whale” and “Harvesting the Heart” – if you want to try reading her again, those should be good bets.
        As for reading the one co-authored with her daughter… I’m a little skeptical, but if my library stocks it I’ll give it a try.

      3. Cassie says:

        I just want to read a young adult book by a young adult. I think that’s why I’m intrigued. I will try Songs of a Humpback Whale because I trust your reading opinion. I’ll have to let you know when I begin so I can talk to you about it! : )

  12. You’ve put together a really interesting list and I so enjoyed reading your introduction and the descriptions of the suggested books. I think you’re right on target about Picoult. There are several books here that are new to me. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for visiting and the ego-boost! Happy Reading 🙂

  13. TrishaDM says:

    I have only read the Help (and a vast number of Piccoult’s books). I am going to have to find a few of these.

    1. I hope you manage to find – and enjoy – them!

  14. missremmers says:

    Great list! I love Jodi (especially My Sister’s Keeper). I’m curious as to the comment “A fair warning that this can be a trigger for currently struggling individuals.” in regards to Thirteen Reasons Why. Do you think reading it can trigger suicidal thoughts? I would have said the exact opposite would be true but I am not a med student so I am just curious as to what you meant.

    1. Thanks for popping by 🙂
      I think it’s important to remember that depression is by no means homogeneous – for example, with the functional shift some people become hypersomnic and others become insomnic, some lose their appetites and others can’t stop eating.
      “Triggers” are anything that can bring about a new depressive episode, or perhaps even just the fear of another episode. So for some people, emo music can be triggers. I think the act of reading a book that is basically one massive suicide note certainly does have the potential to act as a trigger – but I’m sure there can be instances where it does the opposite too.

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