Top Ten Tuesday: One Word Titles

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is One Word Titles.  Titles are rarely what attract me to a book, but they are sometimes intriguing.  So I’m going to attempt to pull the most interesting one word titles out of my TBR.

Hammered by Elizabeth Bear

Hammered by Elizabeth Bear – I think this is one of the few I added because of the title.  I think Hammered might have something to do with robotics, but at the same time it sounds to me like the MC might spend a lot of time at the bar…

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk – Every time I start talking about Fight Club, someone jumps in and recommends Choke.  I added it more because of the overwhelming number of recommendations I was given, but I still think the title is intriguing.  Who is choking precisely?  Are they choking someone else or choking on something?  Or is this just the sound people make when they try to say the author’s last name?

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – I love this title because of the whimsy it implies.  It reminds me of Alice in Wonderland- I just imagine all sorts of odd things happening in Neverwhere.

Feed by M.T. Anderson, Feed by Mira Grant, The Feed by Nick Clark Windo, and Feeder by Patrick Weekes – When I was looking through my options for this week’s TTT, the word Feed stood out to me.  I found it in five different titles, one of which I didn’t include here because it was two whole words (and not a fake word like ‘the’ obviously.)

Amazonia by James Rollins

Amazonia by James Rollins – I’ve actually mentioned this book before- but it sounds very Crichtonesque.  Soldier goes into jungle missing an arm, comes back with both.  WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?  So of course I added it.  But what first attracted me was the title- because I love all things set in a jungle.

It by Stephen King

It by Stephen King – One word. Two letters.  King has a lot of one word titles to choose from- but none are so terrifyingly vague as It.  That thing that takes all the forms of your worst nightmares.  It’s lurking in the sewer and in the caves.  You cannot escape It.  It is coming for you.  And most horrifying of all… It’s length.

Satantango Laszlo Krasznahorkai

Satantango by Laszlo Krasznahorkai – I discovered this a couple years ago when I was attempting to read more translated works.  It sounds like a small town drama, which are the best kind.  Also- how could you not be intrigued by a title like Satantango?

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson – I think one word titles are difficult to make interesting- but it’s hard not to be grabbed by this word.  I like this title because the word is interesting, invented while sounding real, and manages to give you some clue as to what the book is about.  I’d guess some sort of puzzle solving, but here it’s more code breaking.

Synners by Pat Cadigan

Synners by Pat Cadigan – Synners wound up on my TBR because I was searching for a top 50 best SFF books of all time, assembled from as many sources as I could find.  This book kept popping up as one of the most underrated SF novels out there.  The title I like because phonetically it sounds like “sinners” while visually it reminds me of “synergy”.  I’m guessing the two meet somewhere in the middle.

Uncharted by Kevin Anderson and Sarah Hoyt

Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt – This title caught my eye because it shares a name with one of my favorite video game franchises of all times: Uncharted.  That game is more about the explorations of Sir Francis Drake then Lewis and Clarke, but I’m fond enough of the game that I couldn’t let go of the title and decided to go for it.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat put off by the scantily clad woman on the cover.

What do you think of these books?  Have you read any of them?  Which one word titles speak most strongly to you?

Reading Challenge: 20 in ’20

I love me a reading challenge.  I rarely finish them but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy trying.  And sometimes they do help motivate me.

I’m borrowing this challenge from the Captain at The Captain’s Quarters.  I’m using it to help me catch up on books and authors I should have already read a very, very long time ago.  I listed the number of ratings each book has on GoodReads after the title and author.  I thought it would be fun to see how many others have read them before me.  Spoiler: Eight of them have more than 100,000 ratings, and all but one have more than 10,000 ratings.

Simpsons Shame

These are books that seem destined (or maybe already are) considered to be classics of the genre.  Books that for some reason or other I keep putting off.  Maybe the blurb doesn’t speak to me the way I want it to or I already attempted them multiple times (I’m looking at you The Name of the Wind) and just never finished, but didn’t dislike enough to officially DNF.

11-22-63 Stephen King

11/22/63 by Stephen King : 386,635 – This is the oldest book on my TBR.  I own it.  It was one of the first I added to GoodReads back in 2015.  I think it’s the time travel that’s putting me off.  I realized a couple years ago time travel and all it’s wonderfully mind bending paradoxes sort of puts me off.

The Name of the Wind Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss : 642,245 – I’ve started listening to this multiple times.  I even made it like halfway through on a road trip to Ohio once.  It’s just so long.  Also- I’m putting it back on Rothfuss since there’s no third book in sight.

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Spakowski Witcher 3

Blood of Elves (The Witcher #3) by Andrzej Sapkowski : 62,301 – I was reading these before the show was a thing.  Right after I sank like 500 hours into the very wonderful Witcher 3: Wild Hunt video game.  I don’t know why I keep putting it off.  I was excited for this too since it’s the first full length novel set in the Witcherverse.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson : 83,654 – This one is just intimidating because of it’s length.  And the fact that it’s hard science fiction.  Which always goes over my head.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells : 45,161 – There’s a lot of Murderbot love circulating out there.  But I heard that Murderbot likes to watch TV (who doesn’t?) and I became a little concerned it wasn’t going to be what I wanted it to be.  My expectations have been reset, which is a good thing, but also caused me to drag my feet in picking it up.

The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell

The Winter King (The Warlord Chronicles #1) by Bernard Cornwell : 34,056 – I don’t even have a good reason for not having read this one.  Favorite author.  Favorite subject.  Good reviews.  It was actually pretty hard to find (I wanted to purchase it and no bookstore ever seemed to have it).  I did finally track down a copy, I just need to make the time.

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey : 142,112 – Why are there so many books in this series?  The thought of reading all nine is a little daunting, but I know this is well loved by several readers I trust.  And hey- maybe by the time I finish the series will be complete.

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erickson 1

Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen #1) by Steven Erikson : 82,296 – I’ve heard this book comes with a steep learning curve, which is why I’ve put it off for so long. But now that I’m thinking of it, the same could be and has been said of two of my other favorites: Too Like the Lightning and Ninefox Gambit.  So who knows.  Maybe it’ll be a surprise favorite.

The Shining and Doctor Sleep by Stephen King : 1,027,773  & 165,444 – I wanted to read both before seeing the new Doctor Sleep movie (and maybe The Shining).  I’ve started The Shining at least twice that I remember.  It’s just so darn slow.  But it’s hard to feel like a real Stephen King fan when I haven’t read it.  So.  2020 will be the year.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky : 43,448 – I started this during a bad reading slump and just never finished.  Not because it wasn’t good, I got further with this than I did any other book during that reading slump.  But somehow it’s always harder to go back to something you’ve started previously.  Anyway- this book gets lots of love in my virtual book club so it’s becoming a priority.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.jpg

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam #1) by Margaret Atwood : 207,217 – Here’s a super shameful secret.  I’ve never read a single thing Margaret Atwood.  A lot of it has to do with her attitude toward genre fiction and her insistence that she doesn’t write it.  It just feels really disrespectful to her readers, not to mention seriously out of touch.  Anyway- I don’t have much interest in The Handmaid’s Tale though I would like to check it out someday so I’m going with this one.

Malice by John Gwynne

Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) by John Gwynne : 13,583 – After coming to the sad conclusion the Abercrombie is not quite what I’m looking for, I’m hoping Gwynne will fill the void.

Brian McLellan Sins of Empire

Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #1) by Brian McClellan : 9,573 – Military Fantasy.  I realize it’s not something that everyone gets excited about, but when the action scenes are written well I think it’s probably one of my favorite subgenres.  I have high hopes for this.

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb : 212,259 – She has written so much that I think I really just didn’t know where to start with Hobb.  This might not be the best place, but I already own it, so…

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson : 255,777 – I’ve never read Sanderson.  And honestly just the blurb has me cringing away in fear.  But it has all these awards and a super high rating and like everyone has read it except me… So I’m obligated, right?

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

Blood Song (Raven’s Shadow #1) by Anthony Ryan : 66,267 – Ryan has been on my radar a long time.  I finally read something by him last year, A Pilgrimage of Swords.  It was a quick novella and not necessarily one of my favorites, but it was because I wanted more of what I’d read.  Hoping this scratches that itch.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance Trilogy #1) by N.K. Jemisin : 46,482 – This series isn’t nearly as popular as Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, but I tried The Fifth Season and it just didn’t grab me the way I wanted it to.  I think the abused children sucked a lot of the joy out of it for me.  But I do like her style and I think this one might be more my speed.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1) by John Scalzi : 30,774 – Nope.  Haven’t read Scalzi either.  This is likely to be a group read for February, so I might as well read him in a group setting and see what all the fuss is about.

The Word For World Is Forest by Ursula K Le Guin

The Word for World is Forest (Hainish Cycle #5) by Ursula K. Le Guin : 14,121 – I actually have read Le Guin before.  I wasn’t a huge fan of A Wizard of Earthsea – but it was a middle grade book and I don’t have a great history with YA or children’s books anyway, so I’m willing to give her another shot.  Especially knowing how well loved she is.  I picked this one to continue with because I love a good forest setting.

And there it is!  My 20 in ’20.  I’m really excited for some of these and feeling pretty hesitant on others, but either way, I hope to be more educated in my two favorite genres come 2021.  Many thanks again to the Captain for letting me tag along with my own Ports for Plunder.

Have you read any of these?  Are there any super popular books out there you haven’t read yet?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I own and have thus far ignored.

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic: Books On My TBR I’m Avoiding Reading and Why, comes to us from Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea and I think it’s a great topic because I have SO MANY OF THEM.

The Name of the Wind Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles #1) by Patrick Rothfuss – Full disclosure: I’ve started the audiobook of this at least two times that I remember.  I think I need to eye read it, but honestly I made it halfway the second time and I still wasn’t seeing the appeal.  I think it’s incredibly slow paced and it didn’t feel like there was a lot of plot.  Also – someone tell me again why this trilogy isn’t finished yet?  What is Rothfuss waiting for?

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch 1

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentlemen Bastards #1) by Scott Lynch – I’m avoiding this for two reasons. 1) I have the paperback, and it’s 700 pages long with tiny text and it’s going to hurt my hands to keep holding this open for extended periods of time. 2) I’m terrified I won’t love it, because everything I know about it says it should be a home run.

The Wish Granter Ravenspire 2 by CJ Redwine

The Wish Granter (Ravenspire #2) by C.J. Redwine – I bought this without ever reading the first book because it’s a Rumpelstiltsken retelling- and it’s one of my favorite (grim) fairy tales. Then the first one came available through my library, and I decided maybe I should just begin at the beginning.  The Shadow Queen turned out to be full of tropes I hate and flat characters with corny dialogue that made my skin crawl (I’m sorry).  Anyway, I still want to read it, because I own it, but it might take me a year… or 10.

The Once and Future King by T.H. White

The Once and Future King by T.H. White – I really, really, want to read, what is not the original King Arthur, but certainly a King Arthur classic.  But it was written in the 50s and I’m really nervous the pacing will be slow, or the language dense… ugh.  I need to get over it.

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Half A King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie – I bought this before I really knew who Joe Abercrombie was (I was just starting to get into SFF and learning about GoodReads okay?!).  By the time I realized Abercrombie was really well known for his First Law series… I was a little nervous about why I never saw anyone mentioning Shattered Sea…

Wonder Woman Warbringer DC Icons 1 by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo – I love Six of Crows as much as any regular devourer of YA.  However, when I later tracked back to read the Grisha trilogy, I was sort of baffled it was written by the same author.  It’s not that they are bad books, they just feel so… generic.  And it’s made me drag my feet on reading this.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson – Have you seen it?!  It’s like 900 pages long!  Also – I’ve come to the conclusion that Stephenson is a lot smarter than I am.. and that makes me nervous.

The Drawing of Three by Stephen King

The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) by Stephen King – I love King.. so I feel qualified to say… The Gunslinger was kind of boring.  I’ve heard these books get better with time, and I already own this one… but I haven’t been in any rush to get to it.

A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin – I read A Game of Thrones about 1.5 years ago.  And I actually did enjoy it, but I’m nervous that with the time that’s passed and the complexity of these books and this world.. that I won’t remember enough to enjoy it…

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erickson 1

Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen #1) by Steven Erikson – Another read that’s been classified as “difficult.”  But I want to love it so bad!  But what if I can’t figure it out?!

I have probably a hundred others I could add to this list, but that’s ten!  What about you?  What books have you been avoiding?

 

 

 

Book Review: Atmosphæra Incognita by Neal Stephenson

atmosphaera incognita by neal stephenson

Rating:  ★★★★

Blurb (from GoodReads): Atmosphæra Incognita is a beautifully detailed, high-tech rendering of a tale as old as the Biblical Tower of Babel. It is an account, scrupulously imagined, of the years-long construction of a twenty-kilometer-high tower that will bring the human enterprise, in all its complexity, to the threshold of outer space. It is a story of persistence, of visionary imaginings, of the ceaseless technological innovation needed to bring these imaginings to life.

This is my first experience with Neal Stephenson. At a mere 104 pages, it was much less intimidating than some of his other very lengthy novels. The premise is very simple: eccentric billionaire wants to build tower twenty miles high. It moves at a meandering pace, going over everything from the tower proposal to purchasing the real estate to the actual engineering of the tower and the various obstacles they must face.

But the science behind building something so completely impossible was fascinating, and I didn’t mind the slower pace here. It’s obvious that Stephenson does his research and is very thorough about it. It’s incredibly imaginative and immersive. Little ideas kept popping up here and there like helipads and base jumping and they each put a smile on my face.

The characters were great. I adored Carl, which is truly impressive give that we never really meet him, and I liked Emma a lot too. Within the first few pages it occurred to me that she was someone I could have easily been friends with in real life, which I know sounds strange, but it isn’t a thought that occurs to me about fictional characters often.

It all culminates in one explosive ending which I won’t spoil. I very much enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick break from their usual fare. Thank you to NetGalley and Subterranean Press for the ARC to review.

Atmosphæra Incognita releases on July 31, 2019 and can be found on GoodReads or preordered on Amazon.

Book Discussion: Authors that have been on my TBR for way too long

I don’t know about you- but I have quite a few authors with multiple books on my TBR that have been there forever.  I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’m so hesitant to jump in and wondering if it’s just that I don’t know where to start.  I’m enlisting your help to get me started on some of these books!  Let me know if there’s one that’s better than the others or books that make for good introductions to these authors and their worlds.

Robert Jackson Bennett – Everything he writes sounds exactly like something I need in my life.  I even own his Divine Cities omnibus.  Still haven’t read him.

Chuck Wendig – I think I actually have read a short story by Wendig, and that was what put him on my radar initially, but I never ended up committing to any of his novels.  Now Wanderers is coming in July, and I’m positively giddy with excitement because it sounds epic.

Neal Stephenson – I see Stephenson’s books everywhere.  But I feel like people are pretty mixed on whether they like them or not.  To top it off, from what I understand, his books are all like 800+ pages long.  Where is the best place to start?!

Claire North – The book she’s probably most recognized for is The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, but for some reason that book doesn’t appeal to me so much.  These others  do.

Nancy Kress – Let’s be clear.  I want to read all the Nancy Kress books.  I don’t know if it’s her beautiful covers, or the descriptions or the possibilities for discussion, but every time one of her books pops up in my GoodReads feed. I add it.  Please, someone tell me where to start!

Joe Abercrombie – This is perhaps the most embarrassing one to admit to, because I love dark fiction and everyone recommends him as one of the top grimdark authors.  I think his blurbs are not doing his books justice.  Every time I look at one of them it turns into a TL;DR.  But now he has a new one coming out and I really just need to get on the bandwagon.

Other authors I need recommendations for: Brandon Sanderson (I know, I know), John Scalzi, and Richard Morgan.  Have you read any of these authors?  Can you tell me a good place to start?  Do you have any authors that have been on your TBR for way too long?