Top Ten Tuesday: The longest books I’ve ever read… and the longest books I’ve read 2017/2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is The Longest Books I’ve Ever Read. I actually did this topic back in 2015 as a TTT freebie, and that list hasn’t changed… so I thought I’d repeat those, but also mention the longest books I’ve read more recently (2017-2018).

First, my ten longest books ever (according to Goodreads, based on mass market paperback editions):

1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1,463 pages)

2. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (1, 443 pages)

3. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon (1,439 pages)

4. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin (1,177 pages)

5. The Stand by Stephen King (1,167 pages)

6. Shogun by James Clavell (1,210 pages)

7. War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk (1,056 pages)

8. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice (1,038 pages)

9. Hawaii by James Michener (1,036 pages)

10. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1,011 pages)

 

My more recent reading has been a bit less ambitious — here are my longest reads from 2017 – 2018:

1. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon (1,117 pages)

2. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (826 pages)

3. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (819 pages)

4. Rise: A Newsflesh Collection by Mira Grant (816 pages)

5. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King (702 pages)

6. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (656 pages)

7. The Angry Tide by Winston Graham (624 pages)

8. Feed by Mira Grant (599 pages)

9. Caliban’s War by James S. A Corey (595 pages)

10. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (592 pages)

What books are on your list this week? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten authors I’d love to meet

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Authors I’d Love to Meet. I could probably go on and on with this topic, but here are the top 10 on my mind right now, starting with favorite authors whom I’ve never seen in person:

1. Seanan McGuire: I’ve loved her books for quite a while, but this year I totally binged on the October Daye and InCryptids series, as well as the Newsflesh books by her alter ego Mira Grant. Sadly, I ended up out of town for a weekend in September when she was doing a signing event at a local bookstore, but since she’s incredibly prolific (I suspect she doesn’t sleep), I’m hoping it won’t be a long wait until there’s another book launch event to attend.

2. John Scalzi: Love, love, love his writing, and definitely need to read more.

3. Katherine Arden: I adored The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, and can’t wait for the trilogy wrap-up in 2019.

4. Amy Stewart: The Kopp Sisters rule! Her historical fiction is so much fun, and so full of terrific female characters straight out of history.

5. Jim Butcher: I’m a big Dresden fan, and loved Codex Alera and The Aeronaut’s Windlass too.

6. Jojo Moyes: Her books always move and inspire me.

7. Lisa See: I was fascinated by The Teagirl of Hummingbird Lane, and have enjoyed many of her books over the years. I’d love to hear her speak and learn more about her writing and research process.

8. Lisa Genova: Her books tackles such fascinating medical conditions. She’s another author I’d like to hear talk about inspiration, medical research, and the conditions she clearly cares so much about.

9. Dana Stabenow: I love the Kate Shugak series, and really enjoy reading this author’s blog posts on writing, general topics, and life in Alaska!

I’ll wrap up with an author whom I had the pleasure to meet once already, back in 2014 when Written in My Own Heart’s Blood was released — but I’d love to see her again (and again and again):

10: Diana Gabaldon: Author extraordinaire of the Outlander series!

Yes, I met her! What an amazing day!

Have you met any of the authors on my list? Which authors would you most want to meet? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books By My Favorite Authors (that I still haven’t read)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read. Usually, when I love an author, I read everything he or she has written… but there are always some books that fall off the bookpile or get otherwise overlooked. My selection of books by favorite authors that I still need to read :

1. Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell: This is the sequel to Doc, which I truly loved. Mary Doria Russell is a brilliant writer (The Sparrow will always be near and dear to my heart), and I bought Epitaph as soon as it came out. Why haven’t I read it yet? No idea… other than me just being lame.

2. The Sumage Solution by G. L. Carriger: Gail Carriger is an absolute favorite of mine, and I’ve read every bit of her published work… except The Sumage Solution. Maybe it’s because of the contemporary setting, since I love Carriger’s steampunk Parasol-verse so very much… but I haven’t quite brought myself around to starting Sumage. And there’s a sequel on the way, so I’d better get to it.

3. The Old Man’s War series by John Scalzi: I haven’t read a single book by John Scalzi that I haven’t enjoyed… but so far, I’ve only read his stand-alone books. I keep swearing that THIS will finally be the year when I read Old Man’s War… but it just hasn’t happened yet, and we’re getting frighteningly close to the end of 2018.

4. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik: I bought this the day it was released, and I’ve just gotten too overwhelmed by ARCs and library books to ever get around to starting. I loved Uprooted, so I’m really excited to start this one.

5. SO MANY  BOOKS by Stephen King: I always think of myself as a Stephen King fan, but it’s scary to think how many I’ve missed! Just looking at the unread King books on my shelves, I have Duma Key, Lisey’s Story, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, books 4 – 7 of The Dark Tower series, The Green Mile, a few short story collections… ugh, it never ends! I guess on the flip side, I’ll never run out of good options for when I want to be scared silly by a book.

6. Earlier works by Patricia Briggs: I adore the Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series, and could read those books over and over again (and yes, I’ve gone back for re-reads already). I really should make a point of reading some of her other works too, although I think I’m resistant to leaving those familiar worlds and going more into straight-up fantasy rather than urban fantasy.

7. More Jojo Moyes! I’ve loved so many of her books, and I actually own copies of these… so why haven’t I read them?

8. The Silk and Song trilogy by Dana Stabenow. I adore the Kate Shugak books — the characters, the crime drama, and the amazing Alaska setting. I really admire Stabenow’s writing and I enjoy historical fiction, so this trilogy (about the granddaughter of Marco Polo) should be right up my alley, despite the lack of Alaska! Seriously, the story sounds great — maybe a reading priority for 2019?

9. The Parasitology trilogy by Mira Grant: I loved the Newsflesh books SO much, and love everything she writes under her other (real) name (Seanan McGuire). I did actually read the first book in this trilogy, and thought it was really, really icky but also amazing… so I just need to return to the world of tapeworms and medical experiments gone haywire!

10. Yesternight by Cat Winters: I’ve read everything else by this author, and I think she’s so incredibly talented! I own a copy of Yesternight (I bought it as soon as it came out), and have every intention of reading it… so this is yet another book that I have no good reason for not having read yet, other than the good old “so many books, so little time” excuse.

What books are on your list this week? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 books on my TBR list for fall 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books On My Fall 2018 TBR. So much to choose from! It’s hard to narrow my list down to just 10… but here are ten books, mostly new and upcoming releases, that I’m really looking forward to reading during the next few months. (Click on any of the book cover images to see larger versions.)

 

  • Elevation by Stephen King: Never a bad time for new Stephen King!
  • Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness: A new story in the world of the All Souls books.
  • Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling): This series is so good!
  • Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey: Definitely up for a new book by the author of The Girl With All The Gifts.
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi: Sounds like an amazing, fresh retelling of Pride and Prejudice.
  • Someday by David Levithan: I loved Every Day; can’t wait for more of the story.
  • Dry by Neal Shusterman: Having just discovered Scythe a few months ago, I’m dying to try more by this author.
  • And Their Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness: Sounds like an upside-down version of Moby Dick, told from the whales’ perspective. Maybe? The synopses I’ve read aren’t crystal clear, and I only just realized now that this is an illustrated book. Maybe a graphic novel? I actually have no idea, but I’m intrigued anyway.
  • Pulp by Robin Talley: This author’s books are always powerful, and the premise sounds fascinating.
  • The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner: Folklore/fairy tale — sounds amazing, and I love the cover!

What books are you most excited to read this fall? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten totally binge-worthy TV shows

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Bingeworthy TV Shows/Movies. Yes, I’m an avid read, but I do love my TV binges too! Here are ten shows that are well worth an obsessive binge — some old, some in their current runs, all entertaining as hell.

In no particular order:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • The Walking Dead
  • The Good Place
  • Claws
  • Veronica Mars
  • iZombie
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Grace & Frankie
  • Harlots
  • Poldark

What shows do you love to binge? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype.

I’ll start my list with the book I’m reading right now:

1) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: This book got ALL the buzz, but I haven’t been reading as much YA lately and decided to pass. Then I saw the movie trailer a few weeks ago, and realized just how much I was missing out on. I picked up the book yesterday, and have read about 350 pages so far. I can’t put it down — it’s that good!

2) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Yes, a ton of people have jumped on the bandwagon ever since the TV show premiered. But it so lives up to all the hype, and remains my favorite books and series.

3) Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (review): Such a sweet, adorable love story! And I thought the movie was terrific too.

4) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (review): I actually hadn’t heard that much about this book before I read it… but once I did and fell in love with the characters, I started to see people gushing over the story everywhere.

5) Cinder by Marissa Meyer (review): Somehow, just based on the cover, I decided this book wasn’t for me, and I resisted reading it for a really long time. I don’t know what finally convinced me to read it, but I was immediately hooked once I did. And I guess it’s a good thing that I held off as long as I did, because I was able to read the first three books straight through once I started!

6) The Martian by Andy Weir (review): Here’s one that I just knew I had to read once I heard about it! A true word-of-mouth success story — and absolutely worth all the buzz.

7) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (review): Everyone said that this one would bring on the tears. Everyone was right.

8) Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant (review): I wasted a lot of breath telling people that I just wasn’t interested in these books. Silly me. I LOVED the entire series, and just wish there were more books set in this world.

9) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (review): Another one leading to buckets of tears. Just breathtaking. And I cry every time I read it.

10) A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (review): This book was everywhere… and was just delightful, exactly as promised!

 

What are the best hyped, buzzy books that you’ve read recently? Please share your TTT links!

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Thursday Quotables (on a Friday): Rise: A Newsflesh Collection by Mira Grant

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines will be, and you’re invited to join in!

After a lengthy radio silence, I’m returning to Thursday Quotables! Although I’m not doing TQ posts on a weekly basis, I’ll still be popping in and out when I have some great lines that I’m dying to share.

Onward with this week’s Thursday Quotables:
Rise: A Newsflesh Collection by Mira Grant
(published 2016)

After finishing the Newsflesh trilogy earlier in the week, I really hated the idea of leaving it all behind. Luckily, there’s Rise, a collection of short fiction set in the Newsflesh world. I’m only about 100 pages into this 600+ page paperback… but I’m loving it, of course. I hadn’t actually planned to do another TQ post this week, but then I came across the passage below, and knew that I had to share it.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m that high school geek who actually loved A Tale of Two Cities and memorized the opening lines (“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…) just for fun. And yes, I can still recite most of it, all these years later.

With that as background, here’s a passage from Rise that jumped out at me:

It began nowhere. It began everywhere. It began without warning; it began with all the warning in the world. It could have been prevented a thousand times over. There was nothing that anyone could have done.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Thursday Quotables: Deadline (Newsflesh trilogy, #2)

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines will be, and you’re invited to join in!

After a lengthy radio silence, I’m returning to Thursday Quotables! Although I’m not doing TQ posts on a weekly basis, I’ll still be popping in and out when I have some great lines that I’m dying to share. And this week’s Quotables are pretty terrific!

Onward with this week’s Thursday Quotables:
Deadline by Mira Grant
(published 2011)

I’m loving the Newsflesh trilogy! I’m on the 2nd book, and it’s amazing. The plot is startling and surprisingly moving — and, you know, filled with zombies. I love the writing, which manages to be funny even in the most horrific of situations. Here are a few choice selections:

Road trips must have been pretty boring before the zombies came.

There’s nothing funnier than seeing somebody who thinks of the infected as somebody else’s problem realize that they, too, could join the mindless zombie hordes.

About zombies on the roof of a building that they couldn’t have accessed without intervention:

“Meaning what?” I asked, picking myself up and resuming the trek toward the third floor.

Meaning this “outbreak” is somebody’s idea of cleaning house.

“Somebody had to put them there,” said Dave, unknowingly supporting George’s statement. “There’s no way our building is generating spontaneous zombies.”

I just find it interesting that kids apparently used to cry when Bambi’s mother died. George and I both held our breaths, and then cheered when she didn’t reanimate and try to eat her son.

At least no one was screaming; that meant we’d all probably managed to live through the night. Survival is always a nice thing to wake up to.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Add your Thursday Quotables post link in the comments section below… and I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week too.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten haunting books for Halloween chills

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Happy Halloween!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a Halloween freebie!

This year, I think I’ll focus on ghost stories… some read recently, some longer ago, but all good choices to send a little shiver down the spine

1. The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

2. The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

3. Thornhill by Pam Smy (review)

4. Bag of Bones by Stephen King

5. The Uninvited by Cat Winters (review)

6. The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig (review)

7. The Vanishing by Wendy Webb (review)

8. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones (review)

9. The Mystery of Grace by Charles De Lint

10. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Do you have any good ghost stories to recommend? What’s on your Halloween TTT? Share your link, please, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I host a Book Blog Meme Directory, and I’m always looking for new additions! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top ten unique book titles, take 2!

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Somehow, I got myself all scrambled up with TTT topics, so I posted this week’s topic — Top Ten Unique Book Titles — last week instead. Rather than skip a week or repeat myself, I thought I’d do a variation on the theme.

For this week, I’m focusing on a unique kind of book title — titles that are one word only, and that one word is the name of a character in the book (or even a character mentioned but never seen, as in #9, below). And since I’m creating rules for my post, I’m only including books that I’ve actually read.

Here we go — book titles that consist only of a first name:

  1. Mariana by Susanna Kearsley (review)
  2. Venetia by Georgette Heyer (review)
  3. Arabella by Georgette Heyer (review) (it would be easy to fill this list up with just Georgette Heyer books, but I’ll stop at 2)
  4. Mandy by Julie Edwards
  5. LaRose by Louise Erdrich (review)
  6. Prudence by Gail Carriger
  7. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  8. Emma by Jane Austen
  9. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  10. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (yes, I realize that Ivanhoe isn’t the character’s first name, but I’m going with it anyway…)

And in case you’re interested — here’s the link to last week’s post, and here are the book on last week’s list:

  1. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  2. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
  3. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello
  4. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
  5. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Shumer
  6. The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsburg
  7. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  8. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
  9. Intro to Alien Invasion by Owen King
  10. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

What book titles made your list this week? Share your link, please, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

(And PS – do you have any favorite books with a one-word character name as a title? Please let me know!)

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I host a Book Blog Meme Directory, and I’m always looking for new additions! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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