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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

My Top 10 Brain-Candy Books

I'm again participating in Jana's Top Ten Tuesday book sharing blog roundup. The Artsy Reader Girl's theme this week is a "freebie - make up your own category" so I decided to share some of my all time fave brain-candy books. What is a brain-candy book? To me, it's a default, go-to genre or author where I know I'll enjoy the book, but it isn't usually particularly challenging or complex......just a solid, enjoyable read. Here's some of my faves:


David Baldacci is a favorite go-to author. He's authored several series, all in the detective genre, and all entertaining. The Fallen is #4 in his most recent series of the "memory man" Decker and I really like the premise behind it (still crime solving basis). He has plenty of standalone books as well and I'm rarely disappointed.

I'll read anything by Harlan Coben. He has a great way of writing about average people in extraordinary circumstances as they try to solve a crime, find a missing person, or save themselves. Run Away is about a man trying to find his teenage daughter and save her from the drug culture. Only one of many possible choices for this brain-candy author.

Robert Dugoni is a local lawyer and author with a very readable writing style. My Sister's Grave is the first in his Tracy Crosswhite detective series about a woman detective and her issues within the department as well as her past (her sister was murdered, which is why she becomes a detective). His standalones are equally good.

James Grippando is another fave mystery / thriller author I reach for. I really enjoy his series based around Florida based lawyer Jack Swyteck. I love the lawyerly spin and there's some lighthearted dialog sprinkled in most of the novels. Quick, energetic, entertaining, sometimes twisty novels.

I reviewed A Curious Beginning on the blog and then was able to receive an ARC for the 5th installment, A Murderous Relation. These historical mysteries revolve around the indomitable Veronica Speedwell. Mysteries, a slowly developing romance, and evocative scenes of London circa early 1800s make for good, fun reading.


Karin Slaughter writes a more graphic type of mystery/thriller than Raybourn (above). But sometimes that's what I'm in the mood for and she does it well. This is book #1 in the Will Trent detective series and I thoroughly enjoy them all.


I adore a good Arthurian Legend tale and Marion Zimmer Bradley has this great oldie but goodie duology of the legend told from the powerful women who were involved at the time. Great, fun reads that make the time fly by!

Fantasy is not a standard go-to genre for me because sometimes they're too complex or too simple. However, this Red Rising series suited my entertainment requirement, my quick read requirement and each subsequent book mostly fulfilled the brain-candy rule too. A series I quite enjoyed!

Orson Scott Card is another favorite author (known for his Ender's Game series) but this Alvin Maker series is my favorite of his. Full of magic and history, I found it engrossing and unputdownable and absolutely a great brain-candy fix. He's also got some fun standalone books (Enchantment, a Sleeping Beauty retelling) that would qualify.

Another type of book that often satisfies my craving for brain-candy is stories about witches. Used to be vampires, but I'm kinda over that and prefer reading about magic and witches. The Discovery of Witches trilogy actually blends both witches and vampires AND has a healthy dose of historical fiction. The trifecta!

Wicked and Son of a Witch are fun, twisted Wizard of Oz stories, Mirror Mirror and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister are Snow White and Cinderella retellings respectively. All excellent brain-candy books as they wind and twist around the original stories in creative ways.

So that completes my Top Ten list of Brain-Candy books (plus one!). If you came up with a list of fave go-to reads, what would be on the list?

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