Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s theme is “Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR”. Well, my TBRs are generally a mess and I schedule these posts in advance, so as usual, this one is more guesswork than anything.

  1. The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson. I actually just got this as an ARC. I probably shouldn’t have requested it, because I’m trying to reduce my NG ratio, but it was so tempting…
  2. Queen of Shadows, Sarah J. Maas. Granted, I need to finish Heir of Fire first…
  3. The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch. I feel due a reread!
  4. The Dark Arts of Blood, Freda Warrington. Definitely time for some more deliciously gothic and ambiguous vampires.
  5. The Girl With All The Gifts, M.R. Carey. Because it’s high time, darn it.
  6. Permanent Present Tense, Suzanne Corkin. The next read for Habitica’s book club, and one I’ve been meaning to get to for a while.
  7. Sparrow Hill Road, Seanan McGuire. Just got this one, but I’ve been meaning to read it for a while.
  8. Santa Olivia and Saints Astray, Jacqueline Carey. Reread for the first one, first read for the second. I’ve also an urge to reread Phèdre’s trilogy, at least. We’ll see if I get chance.
  9. Assassin’s Apprentice, Robin Hobb. I’m way behind with reading Hobb’s latest releases, and I feel like starting from the beginning and having a good old wallow.
  10. The Salt Roads, Nalo Hopkinson. I just recently saw a glowing review of this, and it’s high time I got round to reading it, so it’s definitely high on my priority list.

What’s everyone else making grabby hands at? Special mention for me to Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell, and Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie, both of which are preordered.

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is… a freebie! So I’ve decided to tell you about my ten weird bookish habits/facts.

  1. If I’m going to stop reading mid chapter, it has to be at a scene break, or the end of the first paragraph on a page.
  2. The first paragraph on the page is not the right place to stop if it fills more than half the page.
  3. I don’t like stopping on odd-numbered chapters.
  4. I mark two chapters ahead with a bookmark. Sometimes there are five or six bookmarks in the book, all of them for points I haven’t reached yet.
  5. I like to whisper the words to myself. I’m synaesthetic, so it adds an extra layer for me. The mouth-feel/taste of some words is just great — like “steps” and “stepped” and “crept” and “slipped” and…
  6. I like reading statistics. But if I can’t have ’em accurate, I get sulky and won’t collect them anymore. So if I’m reading a book that I have in dead tree and ebook, I have to read one copy or the other. For the statistics.
  7. I have the Kobo Reading Life badges for literally every time of day, which requires reading five times in each time period. I have literally read around the clock five times minimum with my Kobo.
  8. I fidget while I read. Favourite fidget point, ever since I was tiny, has always been my stuffed hippo’s ears. She is on her second or third set of replacement ears… And she is a very well-read hippo.
  9. I read standing up sometimes. I have a standing desk, and I’m also allowed to read during my volunteering shift, sooooo…
  10. My teddies have a hammock above my bunk bed, at my parents’ house. They share it with books every night, just in case I wake up and need to read.

Anyone? Just me?

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is “ten finished series I have yet to finish”.

  1. Jacqueline Carey’s Agent of Hel. I think Poison Fruit is the last book, anyway? Soon I’ll get to it. Soon.
  2. Stephen Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Okay, I haven’t even finished the first book.
  3. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Sorry?
  4. Kelley Armstrong’s Darkness Rising. I’ve read the Darkest Powers trilogy, but not this one yet.
  5. Tad Williams’ Shadowmarch series. Okay, I haven’t started it. But I have the first book!
  6. Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I’d like to say that by the time this goes live, I will have finished the last book. But it’s unlikely.
  7. Kristin Cashore’s Graceling Realm books. I’m partway through Bitterblue. Perhaps I have finished it as this goes live. Perhaps not. Schrodinger’s book.
  8. Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series. I think I’ve got halfway through the series twice now, and then distra
  9. Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael books. Yeah, I don’t know that I have an excuse here…
  10. Brian Jacques’ Redwall books. I don’t know if I’ll ever actually read all of them, but it’s a nice thought that some of that warm and cosy world still awaits, should I want to visit.

Okay, that was harder than I expected, since I’m doing this quite a while in advance and I’m not sure what I’ll have got round to by then! What’s on everyone else’s lists?

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s theme is “Ten Characters You Just Didn’t Click With” and actually, I’m having a bit of trouble thinking of it. Okay, here goes…

  1. Jill Pole and Prince Rillian from The Silver ChairActually, most of the characters in the last two books. They just didn’t have the magic, somehow.
  2. Prince Sameth, Lirael AbhorsenCompared to their mother, both him and Ellimere are just weak tea. He spends so much time denying his responsibilities, where his mother just took it all on and never dreamed of saying no. In a way, it’s a more realistic characterisation, but gah, so much whining.
  3. Elvira, from Half a Crown. I love most of Jo Walton’s characters, but Elvira’s concerns seemed so far away from the concerns of the more mature characters we’ve already spent time with.
  4. Boromir, from The Lord of the Rings. I know he’s actually a good guy at heart, and we see the evil power of the Ring twisting him, but there was something so glory-seeking and self-centered about the guy, especially when compared to Faramir.
  5. Malta Vestrit, from The Liveship Traders trilogy. Ohh my god, so spoilt. And it doesn’t really get better even as she begins to grow up; I never liked her. Mind you, a lot of the characters in this trilogy were very dislikeable, to me.
  6. Miriamele, from Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Speaking of spoilt characters…
  7. Jaelle, from The Summer Tree. I never felt like I really understood the character, and I wanted more out of her.
  8. Katsa, from GracelingI know! She’s pretty kickass, but I never really connected with the character. It’s why I didn’t like it that much the first time I tried it.
  9. Lancelot, in anything. Almost the sole exception is Heather Dale’s music and parts of Steinbeck’s retelling of Malory.
  10. Dorian Havilliard, Throne of Glass. Actually, I didn’t really ‘get’ either love interest in the first book, but Chaol is growing on me. Dorian… there are some aspects I’m liking, but in the first book, he really didn’t win me over.

I tried to pick books I liked, in general, and characters who are not meant to be villains. I’ll be interested to see what other takes people have on this theme!

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s theme is all about what you’d put on a syllabus if you were teaching a 101 class. Being me, I’m going to pick fantasy work, because if I could get away with teaching a 101 class on this somewhere, I would.

  1. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The quest adventure is a big staple of fantasy literature, and Sir Gawain is a good early example that demonstrates some of the later tropes. I’d possibly add Chrétien de Troyes, The Mabinogion, Malory, some other Arthurian stuff, because that was a huge influence on later fantasy fiction.
  2. A Norse saga. I’d have to do some thought on which one, but the Norse stories were such a big influence, it needs to be considered.
  3. William Morris. I haven’t read any of his books yet, which I know is a grave lapse, but I know that his work was important in the development of fantastical novels.
  4. Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword. This one is probably my favourite, and it would amply demonstrate the way fantasy pulls from Celtic and Nordic mythologies.
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the RingsOf course. Hugely influential. The Hobbit was first, but it’s the scale of The Lord of the Rings that later fantasy has tended to emulate.
  6. C.S. Lewis. For a Christian-inspired fantasy, also common.
  7. Ursula Le Guin, all the Earthsea books. My students would cuss at me, but it’s for their own good. Here fantasy starts engaging with those older, sexist tropes. Less explicitly, also with racial tropes — and we’d have to discuss the cover issues, where many covers have portrayed Ged as white.
  8. N.K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. We’ve got the background. Now let’s start looking at stuff that’s by more diverse authors: we’ve had enough dudes on this syllabus, for sure, and Jemisin is also a person of colour.
  9. Patricia Briggs, Moon Called. It’s also worth getting a look at the urban fantasy that’s emerged in the last couple of decades. It’s often dismissed into the genre of paranormal romance; would we be doing that if the author was male? (Glance at Jim Butcher: no. No, we wouldn’t.)
  10. Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death. As I recall, this is post-apocalyptic and shows where fantasy and science can converge. It also discusses gender, sexuality and race issues, and it’s by a person of colour.

Oh, man, I would so like to teach this as a real curriculum. What’s everyone else been coming up with?

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s theme is auto-buy authors! I think I did this topic the last time it came round, but these things are prone to change. It’ll be interesting after I’ve made the list to look for the old one!

  1. Scott Lynch. Even seeing a short story of his is in a collection is enough to prompt me to at least consider picking it up.
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m not sure he’d even approve of the state of the stuff Christopher Tolkien is putting out for him is in, but I will always be fascinated with every word the guy wrote.
  3. Jo Walton. If I can’t get the ARCs, at least… Jo is my friend as well as a favourite author.
  4. N.K. Jemisin. I think I knew she’d be an auto-buy author from the first page of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.
  5. Jacqueline Carey. I’ve seen her deal with stuff I wouldn’t be that interested in ably, in a way that comes out fun. Yeah, I’ll buy anything.
  6. Guy Gavriel Kay. Person most likely to make me cry at his work, except possibly Jo.
  7. Garth Nix. I haven’t even read all his backlist yet.
  8. Patricia A. McKillip. It took me a while to get into some of her books, but I think I’m securely hooked now. I’m glad there’s still a whole bunch of backlist titles I haven’t got to yet.
  9. Neil Gaiman. Okay, I’m not 100% a fan of everything the man says, and the title of his latest collection of short stories didn’t work for me, but if he writes a book, I’ll probably get it. Maybe not immediately. But in the end.
  10. Rainbow Rowell. It surprised me, but I just preordered Carry On and realised that yeah, I probably will automatically buy anything by her. Something about her style just… works for me.

What about you guys?

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is Top Ten Authors we’ve read the most books from. It’s hard to tell on this one — Goodreads will only show me the authors I own the most books by, but let’s have a wild stab at it…

  1. Jacqueline Carey. I own and have read almost all her books, which makes at least… 13 in total. That’s a good number!
  2. Guy Gavriel Kay. I’ve only got one book by him I haven’t read yet, River of Stars.
  3. Robin Hobb/Megan Lindholm. I’ve read books by her under both identities, and there’s at least 13 on my shelves that I know I’ve read, so she’s probably high on the list.
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien. I think I’ve read everything put out by either him or by his son after his death. I’m not sure how much that is, but I’ve read his academic work as well, so we’ll say he counts.
  5. Jo Walton. I’ve read all but her most recent book, so she definitely counts.
  6. Garth Nix. I haven’t even read all his books, but there were the seven Keys to the Kingdom books, the Old Kingdom series, another series… Yep, probably the most read author.
  7. Tad Williams. I’ve read two quartets by this guy, he’s got to qualify.
  8. Brian Michael Bendis. Ultimate Spider-man and some other comics.
  9. Alistair Reynolds. Long due a reread, but yeaaaah, I read most of his books at one point.
  10. Brian Jacques. I used to read the Redwall books exhaustively. I haven’t touched them in a long time, but there were at least a dozen. This one has to count! Tempted to do a nostalgia reread, too.

What about everyone else? This was surprisingly hard to think of…

Top Ten Tuesday

Fairytale retellings! That’s this week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish, and one of my favourite genres.

  1. Heart’s Blood, Juliet Marillier. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with a lot of extra stuff. I love this a lot.
  2. Iron and Gold, Hilda Vaughan. Not a commonly known retelling, nor even a common fairytale. Well worth reading, though — and it’s set in Wales.
  3. Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge. A good changeling-child story.
  4. Redemption in Indigo, Karen Lord. It’s not a Western story, but it’s still a great retelling.
  5. Rose Daughter, Robin McKinley. McKinley’s great at fairytale retellings in general. Beauty might be my favourite, though.
  6. A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas. Beauty and the Beast seems to be a thing, huh?
  7. Deathless, Catherynne M. Valente. A retelling of Russian stories. Beautifully written and strange.
  8. The Owl Service, Alan Garner. I’m not sure anyone would consider the story of Blodeuwedd a fairytale, but this is a chilling retelling anyway.
  9. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renee Ahdieh. The others so far were ones I’ve read; this is one I want to read. I’ve heard so much about it.
  10. Bitter Greens, Kate Forsyth. Want to read this one, too. I love that it’s a retelling of Rapunzel woven with history.

Share your favourites, please!

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday celebrates characters who are fellow book nerds.

  1. Adrien English, Fatal Shadows. He owns a bookshop and it sounds awesome.
  2. Matilda Wormwood, Matilda. Well duhhh.
  3. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter. Oh Hermione.
  4. Cath Avery, Fangirl. She writes fanfic!
  5. Jo March, Little Women. One of my favourite characters when I was a kid. I wanted to sell my hair to be just like her, at one point.
  6. Jo Bettany, The Chalet School. Who else read these books? It can’t just be me??
  7. Celaena Sardothien, Throne of Glass. May have been the first thing I related to about this character.
  8. Beauty, Robin McKinley. Booooks. I want that library.
  9. Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables. Honestly, probably the originator of my hankering for red hair.
  10. Harriet Vane, Strong Poison. She’s a writer as well as a reader!

I always need more bookish characters to be friends with; who’ve I missed out?

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday celebrates diversity! So I’m gonna pick out some of my favourite diverse characters of all kinds.

  1. Yeine, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. She’s a minority (or at least lower-class) character in her own world and she’s from a matriarchy.
  2. Bran Davies, The Dark is Rising. An albino and a Welshman, how could I ignore him?
  3. Dave Brandstetter, Fadeout (and others). A gay detective — sorry, insurance claims investigator — in 1970s California.
  4. Alana Quick, Ascension. She’s a badass female mechanic (sky surgeon). And she’s got a chronic illness, and she’s queer. Wooo.
  5. Billy Kaplan (Wiccan), Young AvengersGay, Jewish, total geek. What’s not to love about this wiseass?
  6. Roshanna Chatterji (Tremor), The Movement. Asexual character!
  7. Peter Carmichael, Farthing. A gay detective in a Nazi society.
  8. Reese Holloway, Adaptation. A bisexual teenage girl, who also happens to have alien DNA!
  9. Savedra Sevaros, The Bone Palace. A trans* character, who is portrayed in a loving sexual and romantic relationship.
  10. Priya Darshini, Karen Memory. And Karen herself, of course. Lesbian heroes of a steampunk world!

Looking forward to seeing other people’s posts this week!