Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island

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 I’d Want With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island. I love this! This topic is really making me think… or over-think? If I was stranded… which means reading the same 10 books over and over again… potentially forever…

Hmmm, what to pick, what to pick? Here are my ten:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Not a surprise for anyone who knows me… I’ve already read this book (and series) multiple times, but if I’m going to be stuck on a deserted island indefinitely, I think I need Jamie and Claire for company.

The Lord of the Rings (one-volume edition) by J. R. R. Tolkien

Is it cheating to pick an all-in-one edition of three books? I’m declaring that this counts! I’ve been wanting to go back and reread LOTR, and with endless reading time to fill, it seems like a perfect opportunity to really dig in and enjoy.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’m tempted to just fill my list with all-in-one editions of all my favorite authors, such as a complete-works-of-Jane-Austen volume, if I had one… but I’ll hold back and stick to actual individual books…

In which case, I’d have to pick just one Jane Austen, although it’s a tough choice and I might want to swap for Persuasion. But really, can’t go wrong with any Jane Austen books!

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

I’ve been obsessed with this book since reading it last year and then re-reading it this year. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of re-reading it!

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

I’ve read this book several times already, but each time, it affects me in new and different ways.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

I still have my edition of The Riverside Shakespeare from my college days, and it’s not exactly a light, portable volume. Still, if I were stranded on a deserted island, at least I’d finally have time to get to all the plays I haven’t read yet! (I know I said I wouldn’t do any more all-in-one books, but I had to make an exception for Shakespeare.)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I think this is a book that I haven’t spent enough time with yet in my life. I’ve read it only once, and I’ve always meant to go back to it again, at least once. And if not while stranded, then when?

The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye

Yet another book that I’ve sworn to re-read at some point. Since it’s over 900 pages, this will last a good long while!

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Such a beautifully written book! I listened to the audiobook my first time around, and I think lying on the beach of my deserted island with this book in hand would give me a whole new opportunity to enjoy it all over again.

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

This just seems like a really practical choice for a deserted island situation. Although if I were truly being practical, then this list should include a medical book, something on identifying edible plants, and perhaps a book on sending smoke signals?

What books would you want along on a deserted island? Please share your TTT links!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer 2021 TBR

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 Summer 2021 TBR.

This is really just scratching the surface — so many books to read! Here are 10 of my upcoming reads, all being released in June, July or August. Six out of ten are sequels or continuations of series, and four are new stand-alones. They all sound amazing!

  1. Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
  2. The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison (set in the world of The Goblin Emperor)
  3. The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig
  4. While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory
  5. The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
  6. Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell (the 3rd Simon Snow book)
  7. Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev (fun series of Jane Austen retellings)
  8. Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  9. Feral Creatures by Kira Jane Buxton (sequel to Hollow Kingdom)
  10. Sunrise By the Sea by Jenny Colgan (another book in the Little Beach Street Bakery series!)

What are you planning to read this summer? Please share your links!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Book Review: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Title: The Goblin Emperor
Author: Katherine Addison
Publisher: Tor
Publication date: April 1, 2014
Length: 483 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Purchased
Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.

Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend… and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne – or his life.

Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor is an exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.

I have seen people RAVING about this book for years. And you know what? They’re all 100% right — The Goblin Emperor is amazing!

Maia, at age 18, has spent the last ten years of his life in exile, raised by his cousin, a cruel man who resents Maia and his role as Maia’s guardian. Maia’s mother was the 4th wife of the emperor, but he didn’t care for her and sent her away almost immediately. Maia has met his father exactly once in his life, at his mother’s funeral.

All this changes when a messenger arrives to inform Maia that his father and his brothers have all died in an airship crash. Maia is now the sole surviving descendant of the emperor… making him the new emperor. And he’s totally unprepared.

What follows is a whirlwind for us as readers as well as for Maia, as his life is turned completely upside down. He’s thrust into the role of emperor and introduced to court life, with its power plays, obsequiousness, and scheming. There are a vast number of people he’s expected to know, rituals to follow, and decisions to make.

What’s more, it means that Maia will never know a moment of solitude ever again. He is constantly accompanied by his personal guards, has a household who dress and feed him, and his every moment is scheduled down to the second, it seems. He is dressed in fine garments, adorned with the crown jewels, and put on display for formal events and ceremonies — and he has to get through it all without letting anyone see how scared and unprepared he is.

I loved, loved, loved this book, although at the beginning, I was afraid it was going to break my brain. This is not an easy book.

Author Katherine Addison has pulled off an incredible feat of world-building, creating a language and political system that are intricate and hard to follow, but which make their own sort of sense once you get the rhythm of it all.

Thankfully, there’s a guide to grammar, people, and places at the back of the book — although I admit that when I first saw this, I felt completely overwhelmed.

There are tons of names and families and relationships to keep track of, plus it helps to understand the forms of address:

Of course, I had to go looking for Goblin Emperor fan art, and fell down the rabbit hole for a while. Here are a few that jumped out at me:

https://twitter.com/AceArt3mis/status/1104470827205083137/photo/1
https://www.deviantart.com/shiftingpath/art/Winternight-582912404
Found on multiple Pinterest boards – source not identified

I simply can’t say enough good things about The Goblin Emperor! Be warned — this is not an easy read. Absolute attention is required, or you’re likely to drown in the sea of names and places and titles and concepts that are all completely new. It all makes total sense once you get into it, but at the beginning, I was definitely struggling to stay afloat.

Is The Goblin Emperor worth the effort? Absolutely! It’s a well-crafted high fantasy story, with a world that follows its own internal logic and rules, and a lead character — Maia Drazhar, of the house Drazahada (the ruling house of the Ethuveraz (Elflands)), otherwise known as His Serenity Edrehasivar VII — who is vulnerable, kind, inquisitive, and bold in his own quiet way.

Now that I’ve read this amazing book once, I know I’ll want to read it again. The first read requires a lot of learning, figuring out what this world is about, how the names and titles work, how different people connect. Now that I’ve got it, I’d love to experience it all over again, this time concentrating more on the nuances of the story and the character development. Maybe audiobook for a re-read?

Consider me fully and completely on the Goblin Emperor bandwagon! Now I know why so many people consider it a favorite. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet… well, jump in! It’s glorious.

PS – Added after the fact: I’d love to see a graphic novel adaptation of The Goblin Emperor!