Top Ten Tuesday

The theme for this week is 2016 debuts we’re looking forward to, but I’m honestly terrible at keeping track of what’s getting released, let alone by debut authors. So instead I’ll go with any books getting released in 2016.

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J. Maas. I expect this is one a lot of people are anticipating!
  2. The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch. Again, I bet there’s plenty of people waiting on tenterhooks for this one.
  3. A Gathering of Shadows, V.E. Schwab. I wasn’t as excited by the first book as some others were, but I still thought it was fun and I’m looking forward to seeing Kell again.
  4. The Thorn of Emberlain, Scott Lynch. I can only say of course.
  5. Necessity, Jo Walton. It’s by Jo Walton, of course I’ll pick it up. More so because it finishes up the trilogy.
  6. The Devil You Know, K.J. Parker. I loved the previous novella by Parker, so I’m interested in this one.
  7. Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire. I still need to actually read Seanan McGuire’s work in general, but I’ve been interested in this one for ages. Gimme already.
  8. Ghost Talkers, Mary Robinette Kowal. I’m loving the cover.
  9. Truthwitch, Susan Dennard. Been hearing good things.
  10. Tell the Wind and Fire, Sarah Rees Brennan. I really need to try reading Brennan again, and I’m intrigued by the sound of this one.

This probably ruins me for a future list about 2016 releases, but shush.


Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s prompt is to do with Thanksgiving, which is always a little weird since, as a British person, I definitely don’t traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving. But it’s a nice opportunity to thank some bookish people.

  1. Mum. For many, many doors into portable universes, both through teaching me to read, sharing books, buying me books, recommending books…
  2. Lisa. For sharing many portable universes with me, over the last ten years!
  3. Robert. For running the SF/F bookclub and becoming a friend over the last year.
  4. Jo Walton. For writing books, providing sage advice, and being a friend.
  5. Lynn O’ Connacht. For many many good conversations about books, including plenty of recommendations and shared books!
  6. Ryan from SpecFic Junkie. For much encourage, chatter about books, and the general takeover of Habitica with things about books.
  7. Cait from Paper Fury. For a disproportionate number of giggles to how long I’ve been following her blog/twitter.
  8. To all the friends who know books are the best way to distract me. And there’s certainly been some tough times where I’ve needed this.
  9. To all of you who comment and like my posts. Otherwise it’d be a bit lonely around here.
  10. To Helen Hippo. For being my constant companion through universes fictional and real, even if I have worn most of her fur off.

’nuff said, I think.

Top Ten Tuesday

I’m not a big collector of quotes, so I took this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt as a challenge to go through Goodreads looking at what quotes other people have liked from books I read recently, and pick my favourites. Let’s see…

  1. “I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together.”
    -Mal to Alina in Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Because eeeh.
  2. “Nobody’s lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It’s something you make happen – because you love each other.”
    -From Rainbow Rowell’s Landline. Because it’s true.
  3. “Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. ‘Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.’”
    -Mark Watney in Andy Weir’s The Martian. Because I know some people who would.
  4. “I can’t give you the white picket fence, and if I did, you’d set it on fire.”
    -Curran to Kate in Magic Bleeds, by Ilona Andrews. Because I have a weakness for reading about relationships like that.
  5. “You can’t trust everything that ass Plato wrote,” Sokrates said.
    -From The Just City, by Jo Walton. Hear hear!
  6. “Books… are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with ’em, then we grow out of ’em and leave ’em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development.”
    -From The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, by Dorothy L. Sayers. Quite true!
  7. “ ‘In our inmost and secret heart, which you ask us to bare to you, we wish to banish them as we were banished, to a cold and lonely house, in the charge of a man who hated us. And we wish them trapped there as we were trapped.’
    ‘You consider that unjust, Serenity?’
    ‘We consider it cruel,’ Maia said. ‘And we do not think that cruelty is ever just.’ ”
    -From The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison. Pretty much sums up exactly why I loved the book.
  8. “In everyone’s life there are people who stay and people who go and people who are taken against their will.”
    -From Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Truth.
  9. “The most important thing is to be true to yourself, however you feel, and not try to feel or behave differently because you think you should, or someone has told you how you must feel. But do think about it. Unexamined feelings lead to all kinds of trouble.”
    -From Clariel, by Garth Nix. Because it’s a good point.
  10. “A book is a door, you know. Always and forever. A book is a door into another place and another heart and another world.”
    -From The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, by Catherynne M. Valente. Just one wise snippet from a book with quite a few wise things to say!

I’ll be interested to see what other people have come up with — and how they came up with them! I just used Goodreads and browsed through quotes which obviously have already been thought significant by previous readers…

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s theme is about book to movie adaptations, and I’m not that interested in cinema. So instead I’m going to talk about what I’d like to see adapted into audiobook format, with a full cast!

  1. The later Dark is Rising sequence books, Susan Cooper. Preferably with the original cast from the BBC adaptation of the first two, but the kids will all have grown up and some of the actors might even be retired or dead, so I’m aware this is totally mad.
  2. Sunshine, Robin McKinley. Come on, it’d be amazing. And they could have the sound effects of the kitchen work and make everyone hungry.
  3. Chalice, Robin McKinley. I love this even more than Sunshine. You could do this really well as something short and atmospheric, I think…
  4. Ben Aaronovitch’s books. I have no idea if a full casGt audio adaptation exists, but it would be awesome if it did.
  5. Seaward, Susan Cooper. It’d be beautiful, I think. You wouldn’t need a big cast — keep it minimal. Five or six actors.
  6. Anything by Patricia McKillip. It might make them more accessible to an audience who don’t so much like her prose style!
  7. Gifts, Ursula Le Guin. With the oral storytelling stuff in this trilogy, surely this’d make a good one.

And existing ones which I need to listen to include the BBC’s versions of Neverwhere and Good Omens, and Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint. If they’re not perfect, they can go down as numbers 8-10!

Top Ten Tuesday

Of the options for this week, the theme is “Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel” or “Top Ten Sophomore Novels That I Loved Just As Much If Not More As The Author’s Debut”. Because I’m fickle, I’m going to do this one somewhat randomly based on both prompts.

  1. Pacific Fire, Greg van Eekhout. I wasn’t sure about California Bones, but Pacific Fire won me over and I just had to get Dragon Coast.
  2. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. I mean, The Hobbit was okay, but I think it’s The Lord of the Rings that really cemented Tolkien’s reputation.
  3. Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch. Every subsequent book has made me more of a fan of the series.
  4. Crown of Midnight, Sarah J. Maas. I wasn’t sure if I was into the series until I read Crown of Midnight.
  5. Red Seas Under Red Skies, Scott Lynch. I loved The Lies of Locke Lamora, and I wasn’t sure if Lynch could keep it up. He could.
  6. The Wrong Goodbye, Chris F. Holm. I was worried the second book would be too much like the first, that the fun wouldn’t hold out. It did!
  7. Huntress, Malinda Lo. I liked this waaaay more than Ash.
  8. The Blasted Lands, James A. Moore. This is a second book that I’m looking forward to. I know it’s out and has been a while. Shush. I’m behind.
  9. Jacqueline Koyanagi. There’s gonna be more after Ascension, right? Right??
  10. Seth Dickinson. Gimme more Baru!

I’m really bad at keeping track of debut authors and so on, so I’m gonna be interested to see what other people have come up with this week. Maybe I’d better keep some paper at the ready for taking notes…

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s prompt from Top Ten Tuesdays is a seasonal one — a Hallowe’en themed freebie. So here’s some things that scare me in books… perhaps not all traditionally scary.

  1. When you just know a character is going to make the wrong decision. You know better than them, or you’re just smarter than them, and you can see them about to make a big mistake…
  2. Tense moments in books in third person/multiple first person. You know the character can actually die, because they haven’t had to survive to tell you the story!
  3. Knowing something a character doesn’t. Especially when there’s miscommunication going on. This one ranges from heartbreaking to embarrassing…
  4. Temptation. You know, like Frodo with the One Ring. Gaaah. You can’t help them because they’re allegedly not real. You just have to watch.
  5. Atmospheric moments. Suddenly, you’re getting a description of the weather, the atmosphere, the darkness pooling between the street lights…
  6. When you know an author is not afraid to kill characters. Scott Lynch, I can’t trust you.
  7. When a character betrays principles for a dubious higher cause. Aka the entirety of The Traitor Baru Cormorant. Gah.
  8. Revelation to another character. “I accidentally killed your best friend and we fell in love and now I’m telling you that and you’re going to hate me.”
  9. Misunderstandings. Like the above, only someone doesn’t stay to hear the full story, or somehow something else garbles the story.
  10. That moment when you hear it’s going to be a movie. Right?

Yep, I’m a giant wuss and I’m not really into actually scary books, so a Hallowe’en theme for me was a bit of a stretch!

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is “10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me”.


  1. Auto-approval on Netgalley for everything. Especially Tor.
  2. Budget and unlimited space at local community library. Please?
  3. Free publicity for the above. We need more readers.
  4. A TARDIS for personal book storage. This one’s obvious if you know me at all… and hey, I could use it to travel to my partner’s and take all my stuff!
  5. Digital and print copies in the same purchase. Wouldn’t bundles like this make life so much easier?
  6. Time spent reading pauses “real life”. Then I could get soooo much more done.
  7. More library cards. And more libraries, come to that.
  8. A conversation with Mori from Among Others, when she’s 26. Seems like it might, you know, be relevant to me.
  9. Ability to slap some characters and say no don’t do thatFitzChivalry Farseer, I’m looking at you.
  10. The ability to read some books for the first time… again. ’nuff said, right? Some books, you just wish you could come to them fresh again.

I could probably keep going for a while on this topic…

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is picking authors you would like to see write together. I’ve taken a somewhat random approach, just throwing favourite authors together in some cases. Also, I’ve kept dead authors in the equation, because you never know. If anyone could find a way to talk to a dead author, it’d probably be another living author.

  1. N.K. Jemisin and Kameron Hurley. I can only imagine what evils they would create… it’d be amazing.
  2. Gail Simone and Kelly Sue DeConnick. A sudden thought: imagine Batgirl vs Captain Marvel. Or Captain Marvel vs Red Sonja.
  3. Jo Walton and Steven Brust. I like their work, Jo admires Brust’s books, and I know Brust at least has collaborated before…
  4. Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie. Mind you, it’d end with all the characters dead.
  5. Cherie Priest and Kelley Sue DeConnick. Maybe they could adapt Bloodshot and Hellbent into a comic, using Kelly Sue’s knowledge of how to script?
  6. Jo Walton and Dorothy L. Sayers. Farthing is a pastiche of Golden Age crime fiction. I’d love to see what Wimsey would do in Walton’s alternate Britain… or what Carmichael would do, face to face with Wimsey. I feel like he’d probably get along better with Parker.
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien and Guy Gavriel Kay. The Fionavar books were influenced by Tolkien, undoubtedly, and Kay worked with Tolkien’s son on preparing The Silmarillion. The two together would surely do some fascinating things with mythology.
  8. Ursula Le Guin and Jo Walton. Because what better way to short out my fannish circuits?
  9. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Because Good Omens was genius.
  10. Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman. Might be a bit of a mismatch, but they both deal in fairytales…

This was actually a really hard one to come up with. I’ll be interesting to see what other people have thought up!

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is ‘Ten Bookish Things I Want to Quit’. Wait, there’s things about books that people might want to quit?!

Kidding, kidding, I totally have a list too.

  1. Getting caught up in my latest shiny. It’d be so nice if I could manage to keep my attention on one book or series at a time. Or maybe a couple at a time.
  2. Buying something and then not getting round to it. I’m sorry.
  3. My ridiculous backlist of ARCs. I’m actually behaving myself better now, so maybe this is an ‘I Have Quit’ one.
  4. Carrying like fifty books around the country when I travel. I have an ereader! I have no need to do this! Which leads to…
  5. …Wanting to read every book but the ones I’ve got with me. Just no, brain. Just no. Behave yourself.
  6. Being cranky about ebooks. I actually love my ereader! It is adorable and it can carry a lot of books. But lately, I don’t know, I’ve been cranky about reading in ebook and I’ve wanted to have something in my hands. (Except with my Kindle Voyage, because new shiny.)
  7. Skipping bedtime reading. What’s with that? Come on, brain, you know that reading before bed is good for you.
  8. Feeling guilty about ‘guilty pleasures’. You know what sort of book I’m talking about, probably. If you know me. But my guilty pleasure is another’s favourite book, and it’s silly to feel guilty about something that makes you happy, even if it’s a brief pleasure. (I actually wrote a whole post about this.)
  9. Rebuying books to reread. Somewhere, I have a copy. Patience, self. You can wait.
  10. Planning ridiculous reading lists… and consequently getting nothing read. Pressure works, sometimes, but not when I try and plan months ahead. Maybe plan the next book ahead, singular. But be flexible. Reading is meant to be fun, right?

Anyone else resemble these remarks? Heh.

Top Ten Tuesday

Hmm, this week’s theme is about recommending stuff you like if you like something popular, and I’m never sure about what’s actually popular and what I just know about because I’m in my own little circle. So I’m just going to suggest some readalikes.

  1. If you like N.K. Jemisin, especially The Fifth Season, try Kameron Hurley. Reading the start of The Fifth Season, I was so struck that it ‘felt like’ The Mirror Empire.
  2. If you like J.R.R. Tolkien, particularly in The Lord of the Rings mode, try Poul Anderson. He was also one of the founding writers of SF/F, and dug into a lot of the same material that influenced Tolkien.
  3. If you like Raymond Chandler, try Chris F. Holm. Mostly if you like SF/F as well, because the Collector series is a lot of fun, and riffs on Chandler and Hammett’s style and plots. But The Killing Kind is also great.
  4. If you like Jacqueline Carey, particularly the Kushiel books, try Freda Warrington, starting with A Taste of Blood Wine. There’s a similar lushness there in the language and style.
  5. If you like Ilona Andrews, try Jacqueline Carey! She has written some urban fantasy type stuff with the Agent of Hel trilogy, which is now complete.
  6. If you like Catherynne M. Valente, try Patricia McKillip — or the other way round, both being differently famous depending on your circles. The lyrical writing and some of the themes seem akin.
  7. If you like any books at all, try Jo Walton. She’s written in a whole range of genres, but mostly I’m thinking of the fantasy/coming of age story, Among Others. If you’re in love with books, you’ll have something in common with Mori.
  8. If you like Ellen Kushner’s Swordspointtry Tanya Huff’s The Fire’s Stone. Also has LGBT themes, in a more fantastical world. Never seems to get the love I’d like to see for it!
  9. If you like epic fantasy, of whatever stripe, try Tad Williams. I really enjoyed the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books, and though they stick quite close to a traditional fantasy mould, they had a lot there that I appreciated, especially by way of characters.
  10. If you like Gail Carriger, try Genevieve Cogman. The tone is less silly, but some of the same enthusiasm and tone is there.

I’ll be interested to see what other people are recommending here! I found this one difficult, because I’m never sure how to judge other people’s taste.