Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books I Want to 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 Backlist Books I Want to Read. For my list, I’m focusing on new (or new-ish) to me authors whose books I’ve enjoyed recently — and now I want to dig deeper and discover what they’ve written earlier in their writing careers. And yes, a couple of these backlist books go WAY back.

Because I’ve read…

by…

I need to read…

Bannerless and The Wild Dead Carrie Vaughn The Kitty Norville series
Scythe and Thunderhead Neal Shusterman Challenger Deep
Rebecca Daphne du Maurier Jamaica Inn
The Calculating Stars Mary Robinette Kowal The Glamourist Histories series
The Binti books Nnedi Okorafor Who Fears Death
NOS4A2 Joe Hill 20th Century Ghosts
Eligible Curtis Sittenfeld Prep
The Great Alone Kristin Hannah Night Road
Unbury Carol Josh Malerman Bird Box
Great Expectations Charles Dickens Bleak House

 

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

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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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Thursday Quotables: Competence by Gail Carriger

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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!
Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a Thursday Quotables post. Something (looking at you, Gail Carriger!) must have inspired me this week!
Onward with this week’s Thursday Quotable:

 

Competence by Gail Carriger
(published July 17, 2018)

I’m listening to this utterly delightful and profoundly silly new book by Gail Carriger, the 3rd book in her Custard Protocol series. Here, the adventurous crew of the Spotted Custard dirigible, makes their way from Singapore to South America on a trip filled with hazardous aetherosphere currents, navigational challenges, rogue prisoners, and unexpected romance. The audiobook is just so darn cute and lovable, and today in particular, I found myself laughing out loud in public places while listening. So there’s that.

So… this angry rebuke from an unfriendly member of the engineering crew cracked me up:

“Well, there’s no need to throw Italian mathematicians at me.”

 

(Maybe you had to be there…)

This book, as with the others in this ‘verse, places a great deal of importance on fashion, and particularly headwear:

Primose couldn’t help herself, her eyes were drawn to the top of her brother’s head. A sort of blue velvet and silver-embroidered flowerpot perched there. It sported a long silken tassel out the top which trailed down one side to tickle his temple.

“Percy, what are you wearing? Is that a Turkish lounging cap? It’s middy! We’re outside. There are so many thing wrong with that right now, and I can’t even begin — “

The book and the entire series are terrifically charming, and should not be missed! Here’s the synopsis (via Goodreads)… and I’ll share more thoughts once I’ve finished the audiobook!

From New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger comes the delightful sequel to Imprudence.

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

When she uncovers rumors of a new kind of vampire, Prim and the Custard crew embark on a mission to Peru. There, they encounter airship pirates and strange atmospheric phenomena, and are mistaken for representatives of the Spanish Inquisition. Forced into extreme subterfuge (and some rather ridiculous outfits) Prim must also answer three of life’s most challenging questions:

Can the perfect book club give a man back his soul?

Will her brother ever stop wearing his idiotic velvet fez?

And can the amount of lard in Christmas pudding save an entire species?

What lines have you loved this week? Please share!

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: 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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An update on Thursday Quotables

Hi there, lovely readers!

Several years ago, I started up a weekly feature here at Bookshelf Fantasies called Thursday Quotables:

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Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly 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 of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

For anyone who pays attention to such things, you may have noticed that I’ve really slacked off when it comes to weekly posts. In fact, I just realized that my last Thursday Quotables post was for Thankgsgiving — and even then, it was a repost of a holiday favorite, not a brand-new “quotable” discovery.

So what’s going on?

Well, the answer is simply that I’ve lost a little motivation when it comes to doing TQ posts according to a fixed weekly schedule. I’m finding that when I come across lines or quote that I love in whatever books I’m reading, I tend to go ahead and include them in my review posts. Or else, I get so caught up when I’m reading an amazing book that I don’t stop to highlight or flag the parts I want to come back to, because I’m focused on the reading itself and not thinking about posting about the reading.

At this point, I think I need to acknowledge that I’m not going to keep up with Thursday Quotables as a weekly blogging event here on my blog. When inspiration strikes, I’m sure I’ll continue to do occasional TQ posts, but I’d rather not feel like I need to hold myself to a schedule.

For those of you who participate in Thursday Quotables… well, great! Keep going! Come back and share your links with me, either here or on social media, whenever you feel like it. I’d love to see what you’re up to.

This isn’t good-bye for Thursday Quotables… maybe it’s more like “see ya when I see ya”!

Of course, if anyone is interested in “adopting” Thursday Quotables and taking it on as a new host, send me a message and let me know. Meanwhile, I’ll continue my TQ posts… when I feel like it.

Ah, the freedom!

Thursday Quotables: Thanksgiving

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Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly 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 of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

Reblogging my Thanksgiving Thursday Quotables from last year (and the year before), since I really don’t think I can do better than celebrating with Buffy!

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 In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d depart book-world for this week’s Thursday Quotables post and turn instead to one of my very favorite Thanksgiving moments, the “Pangs” episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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Willow: Buffy, earlier you agreed with me about Thanksgiving. It’s a sham. It’s all about death

Buffy: It *is* a sham. But it’s a sham with yams. It’s a yam sham.

Willow: You’re not gonna jokey-rhyme your way out of this one.

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Giles – “…It’s very common for Indian spirits to change to animal form.”
Buffy – “Yeah, well it’s plenty uncommon for me to freeze up during a fight. I mean, I had the guy, I was ready for the takedown and I stopped. And ‘Native American’.”
Giles – “Sorry?”
Buffy – “We don’t say ‘Indian’.”
Giles – “Oh, right. Yes, yes. Um, always behind on the terms. Still trying not to refer to you lot as ‘Bloody Colonials’.”

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving, filled with friends, family, laughter… and pie.

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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!
  • Click on the linky button (look for the cute froggie face) below to add your link.
  • After you link up, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!