Top Ten Tuesday- Epistolary Novels I’m Thankful For

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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: Thanksgiving/Thankful Freebie. I’m going for epistolary books I’m thankful for. And guess what I didn’t even know the right word for it until just now when I looked it up, I’ve always called them “formatty fun” books. So here comes the Wikipedia (super official) definition:

an epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic “documents” such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use. 

And here comes the Top Ten Formatty Fun Books I’m Thankful For!


1. 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You, by Vicki Grant. This one is “told in the language of modern romance—texting, Q&A, IM—and punctuated by Paul’s sketches”, all while answering the 36 questions that supposedly tell you whether or not you’ll form a relationship.

2. The Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot. The whole series, the OG of the epistolary genre for me. If you’ve never read any of them, first of all, you’re seriously missing out. And they are all, 100% through, told through diary entries.

3. The Illuminae Files, by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. If you want an intense book that’s also crazy fun to read, you will never find a better series than this. Every single page is a different document–a medical report, an IM conversation, a military file. I’ve talked about these books a lot, but they are just SO creative, and I have never seen anything else like it.

4. We Are Still Tornadoes, by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen. A series of letters in the early 80’s, when best friends graduate high school and Cath goes away to college while Scott stays at home working and playing with his band.

5. I Hate Everyone But You, by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin. Another college story, this one told through texts and emails. I’ve said this before, but it totally reminded me of my best friend and I when we were in college, except we had AOL Instant Messenger instead of texting because we are old.

6. It’s Not Me, It’s You, by Stephanie Kate Strohm. Told in an “oral history” format, the whole thing reads sort of like the confessional booth of a reality show, and it is delightful.

7. Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler. I hated this book, but I did like the format. It’s one long letter from a girl to her ex, that she drops off with a box of stuff collected over the course of their relationship. There are illustrations of each item, and chapters devoted to why it’s part of the box.

8. Jessica Darling, by Megan McCafferty. I love this series, it’s been way too long since I read it! Marcus Flutie and you, yes you. Another series told in journal format all the way through, up until the final one, if memory serves.

9. Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell. I’m counting this one due to the portions of Cath’s fanfiction pieces that we get to read along the way.

10. Love Letters to the Dead, by Ava Dellaira. I’ve never read this one, but it’s told through letters written to people that have all passed away.

And that’s it for this week! What are you thankful for? What did you choose for your topic?

And most of all…

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