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: Most Anticipated Upcoming Releases for 2020

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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.

If It Bleeds by Stephen King

If It Bleeds by Stephen King (expected May 5, 2020) – This is the next novel in the Holly Gibney series.  I haven’t even really read the blurb- but like all new Stephen King books, I’m super excited for it.

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The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence (expected April 21, 2020) – Ugh – This year is going to be my year to catch up on all things Mark Lawrence.  I might even reread Prince of Thorns.  I’m super excited for this one, even if I likely won’t get to it right away.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (expect May 19, 2020) – This prequel feels like it is finally my chance to join in with everyone’s love for The Hunger Games.  I never read the books because I loved the movie so much.  I’m sure this book will get a movie too, but I plan to read the book first this time.

A Conjuring of Assassins by Cate Glass

A Conjuring of Assassins by Cate Glass (expected February 4, 2020) – This is the sequel to last year’s An Illusion of Thieves.  I loved that one and I’m confident I’ll love this one too.

Eden by Tim Lebbon

Eden by Tim Lebbon (expected April 7, 2020) – I’d tell you what this is about but I stopped reading after it said eco-thriller.  It made me think of another favorite author, Michael Crichton.

The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell

The Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell (expected May 5, 2020) – This book is set in a world where magic is paid for in memories.  I’m both curious and hesitant about this one.  I can see it being really fantastic, but I can also see the premise setting the book up for trouble. Are there armies of people who remember nothing?  How does that work?  Is magic used sparingly?  I’m remaining cautiously optimistic.

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin (expected March 24, 2020) – This novel is based on a short story that was included in Jemisin’s How Long Til Black Future Month? which released last year.  While I wasn’t sure I quite liked that particular story, I loved the concept and I’m hopeful that with a full length novel she can answer some of the questions I had about it.

 

These last three I’ve all mentioned in previous posts, which I’ve linked to below in case you missed them or would like to check them out again.

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso (expected February 18, 2020)

The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey (expected April 14, 2020)

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (expected May 19, 2020)

What are your most anticipated releases for the first half of the year?  Leave me a link below so I can check them out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Spooks, Psychics and other Supernatural books on my TBR

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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 books I’d give new titles too, but honestly, I’m not that creative.  So in honor of Halloween I’m doing a follow up to my post: Monster Books on my TBR, with a post dedicated to ghosts and the supernatural!

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill – Rock star buys ghost on eBay and chaos ensues written by Joe Hill?  Yes.  Please.

A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman

A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman – Malerman wrote Bird Box, in case you didn’t know, and while I want to read that someday, having seen the movie (which is fantastic by the way) I’m not in too much of a rush.  But seeing that had me adding this- two teenagers find a house at the bottom of a lake and go diving, only to discover they aren’t alone.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray – This is less of a horror novel than others on this list- but it still sounds like a fantastical ghost story.  (And the reviews are really good!)

Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay – I keep seeing Tremblay’s name come up in conjunction with horror.  I also recently read his short story: The Last Conversation, and while I wasn’t wowed, I was intrigued enough that I wanted to read more of the author.  I settled on this book, in which a boy disappears and then a ghost haunts the town.  *Shrugs*  What can I say?  It’s got ghosts.  Good enough for me.

The Deep by Alma Katsu

The Deep by Alma Katsu – A haunted Titanic and a phenomenal cover.

The Possession by Michael Rutger

The Possession by Michael Rutger – This book is a sequel to The Anomaly, which did make it to my Monster Books TBR.  But it’s been getting rave reviews left and right and sounds right up my alley!

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz – Short order cook sees ghosts.  I’m told it’s a classic and the series is relatively good to start with.  Also I need to read more Koontz.  Somehow missed him when he was more popular.

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire – Haunted highways are one of my favorite urban legends, so I knew when I heard about this book I had to read it.  The one book I’ve read of McGuire’s was good fun popcorn horror, and I have high hopes!

Slade House by David Mitchell

Slade House by David Mitchell – I guess you’re supposed to have read The Bone Clocks first, but I don’t really care.  Every nine years on Halloween- the residents of Slade House extend an invitation to an unsuspecting guest.  The problem is, once they enter, they can never leave…

The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining by Stephen King – I know I know okay?!?!  It’s impossible that I am a Stephen King fan and haven’t read this.  But I’ve started it like 10 times and the beginning is just boring alright?  I just need to read it before I see Doctor Sleep.

What about you?  Got any good ghost stories for me?

 

Book Review: Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Rating:  ★★★★

I’m going to write a spoiler laden review here, because this book is older than I am.  You’ve been warned.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King.  That one time, the movie was better than the book.

I can’t believe I just said that about a Stephen King book.  The thing is- most movies based on Stephen King books just suck.  Sometimes, if we’re really lucky, like in the case of The Green Mile, the movie will be at least as good, but I’ve never, ever, said the movie was better. (I’m excluding IT, because I’ve never technically finished reading IT.)

I always read the author notes or introductions or whatever else there is to read in a book.  There was a wonderful little intro to this, a letter from Stephen King to his constant readers, in which he introduces Pet Sematary as the book he personally thinks is the scariest he’s ever written.  The one book in which he felt he might have actually gone too far.

And having already watched the movie, I could completely understand.  Because the movie was fucked up.  In a good way.  I was pretty much stunned into silence at the end.  It did feel like the movie went too far.  It was one of the best horror films I think I’d seen in a long time.

And with the ending in mind, I happily jumped into the book.  I patiently waited through 400 pages of the mundanities (spell check is telling me this is not a word, I’m making it a word) of everyday family life in small town Maine.  And I actually did enjoy most of it.  I liked Louis as a character.  I loved Jud.  I loved the backdrop and the creepy Pet Sematary, and loved knowing how King came to write the novel.

There is very little action in the book.  Sure we get a few glimpses of the horror to come- Church the cat, Pascow’s ghost, the ORINCO truck.  But nothing really happens until the end.  This is the slow burn he’s so well known for.

I think, maybe, if I had read the book before the movie, I might have felt more surprise and more suspense.  I watched Pet Sematary knowing nothing about it.  I read Pet Sematary thinking I knew what was going to happen.  So all the parts where Louis is in the graveyard digging up his two-year old, Rachel forging ever onward to her untimely demise, I get the sense the reader was supposed to be thinking, OMG NO!, but the impact might have been a little lost on me.

The thing is- I was expecting the book to languor in the horror of an evil two year old going all stabby stabby.  I was expecting there to be some slow realization by Louis that what he’d brought back was, in fact, not his son.  I was expecting there to be a longer ending.

What actually happened, is that Louis seems to surface from whatever fever dream possessed him to bring his son back from the dead in the first place, makes a very clear choice to undo his mistake, and then lapses right back into the fever dream.

It almost felt like, to me, King thought, “Oh shit, I’ve gone too far.  I should probably wrap this up.”  And then wrapped it up.  The whole ending, in this 500+ page book, takes maybe 30 pages?  It was disappointing to say the least.

Especially knowing what I know about King’s work.  There are times when it seems like he’s gone too far.  The opening to Mr. Mercedes for example, exploring all the gory and gruesome details of a sociopath driving a car into a crowd of people in need.  Or that short story he wrote, Survivor Type, which I read 15 years ago at my mother’s kitchen table on a sunny summer day and still gives me nightmares.

This, in comparison to those things, in comparison to it’s own movie, seemed tame.

That being said, though I was disappointed with the ending, I did enjoy most of the book.  And I read through all 500 pages insanely fast.  So- it’s worth reading, sure.  Just don’t read it after you’ve seen the movie.  Or if you can’t wait, just don’t expect the book to match the movie.  You’ll end up a little disappointed.

Pet Sematary can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.

Book Review: The Institute by Stephen King

Before I get to that review I know you’re simply dying to read- I just wanted to note that I know I haven’t been as consistent in keeping up with the comments not only on my blog but just generally following what all of you are doing.

Remember back in June when I was unemployed?  It only lasted a month (it’s a good thing, but also an exhausting thing).  I am now commuting an additional hour each day to and from work, getting home an hour later than I used to, and rushing to get the dog walked and dinner on the table and the kid ready for bed.

So please forgive me!  I am trying to keep up with everyone still.  Don’t feel obligated to reply to my flurry of comments on last week’s posts.  I know I can be kind of obnoxious returning to comment again and again, but the conversations about books is why I blog. Sure I love the reviewing and stuff- but I honestly just don’t have enough people in my day-to-day life to chat books with, which is why I come and bug all of you :).  On to other things.

The Institute by Stephen King

Rating:  ★★★★

I added myself to the library waitlist for this back in April.  Not kidding.  And by then I’d already been checking to see if I could add myself for a few months.  That’s how long I’ve been waiting.

Anyway- while it wasn’t the epic I’ve been wanting to read since the last time I read Under the Dome, it was still thoroughly enjoyable and well worth reading.  The opening was perfect.  We meet one of the side characters, Tim Jamieson, as he finds his way to the small town of Dupray, South Carolina.  Slowly, we are introduced to some of the background characters.

It was everything I love about King’s characters, the subtle detailing that brings them to life.  The homeless woman who follows conspiracy theories and wears a sombrero, the motel owner who’s too nosy for his own good, the brothers who no one can tell apart and run the convenience store… it never ceases to amaze me how he can paint a full portrait in just a few lines and make the world feel as populated and colorful as the one we live in.

I was so enchanted by these opening chapters and feeling like I was going to get exactly what I’d been hoping for, it was really jarring to switch to Luke’s POV and not see Jamieson again for another 300 pages or so.  I just kept thinking, yeah, but what’s going on in Dupray?  Surely there’s a reason we were introduced to Jamieson so early?

But sadly it wasn’t.  And I think I was so taken with Jamieson as a character and Dupray as the setting that it detracted a little from my enjoyment of Luke and his friends.

A heads up to all the parents out there- this novel focuses heavily on kids, and nevermind happy endings, they don’t have happy stories, period.  What they are put through is horrible.  I think it was made more tolerable by the very fantastic premise, feeling like it was a far departure from reality, but it was still difficult at times.

The pacing was pretty quick, with shortish chapters, and I was never really bored at any point in time.  I made the mistake of thinking I knew how it would end, and I was terribly, horribly, wrong.  I wish I had let my expectations go a bit, so that I would have felt more of the suspense.

WARNING: If you are uber sensitive to spoilers- I recommend stopping here.  I won’t actually talk about plot or events, but more themes and ideas.

 

The ending was pretty shocking, and I don’t often say that of a King book.  Usually I have an idea… good wins out over evil… the villains are served their just desserts…

This ending is much more ambiguous- but it was ambiguous in a good way that made me think.  I know what physically happened to all of the characters, I don’t feel like I’m left wondering about where they’re headed.  But I was given a lot to think about.  Right vs. Wrong.  Moral and Immoral.  How one weighs the greater good against the rights and freedoms of a few.

All in all – this felt like classic King while also feeling like something new.  I enjoyed it for the most part even if it won’t go down as an all time favorite.  If you like King, this is definitely worth checking out!

The Institute can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.

 

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?

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Outside My Comfort Zone

TTT-NEW

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 books I enjoyed outside my comfort zone, but I covered that here not too long ago.  Instead I put together a list of ten books on my TBR outside my comfort zone.  They all fall into the realm of non-fiction, since it’s probably the furthest outside my comfort zone I can go.

The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs by Tristan Gooley

The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley – I added this and meant to read it last year for the Pop Sugar Challenge.  I never got around to this particular book but would still like to read it.

Bunk by Kevin Young

Bunk: The True Story of Hoaxes, Hucksters, Humbug, Plagiarists, Forgeries and Phonies by Kevin Young – Another one I added for a forgotten prompt on Pop Sugar.  It sounds like an interesting discussion of the connection between power, fake news and race.

The Last Good Heist by Tim White

The Last Good Heist by Tim White, Randall Richard and Wayne Worcester – A true crime book about a heist in which thieves stole from a secret bank utilized by La Cosa Nostra.  I added this because I actually own it (through a purchase my mother made on her Kindle).  It seems to have some ties to my very tiny state of Rhode Island and sounds interesting.

On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King – If people have only read one book by Stephen King, it always seems to be this one.  I’m not even sure it counts as outside my comfort zone.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen – I grew up listening to The Boss.  His music always makes me really nostalgic, and I’d love to read more about him.  Also- thanks to my mother, I already sort of own it.  (Also – I’m dying to see that new movie, Blinded by the Light with the probably awesome sound track.  Has anyone seen it?)

The Lie by William Dameron

The Lie: A Memoir of Two Marriages, Catfishing & Coming Out by William Dameron – I got to see William Dameron speak earlier in the year about his path to publishing, and would love to read his book also.  Again- I own it… just need to read it…

Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris – It’s Neil Patrick Harris!  It’s gotta be funny right?  Or at least interesting?

The Vikings by Robert Ferguson

The Vikings: A History by Robert Ferguson – I’m really getting tired of reminding myself how many books I own and haven’t read.  I love history, but I especially love all things Vikings.

A Brief History of the Vikings by Jonathan Clements

A Brief History of the Vikings: The Last Pagans or the First Modern Europeans? by Jonathan Clements – See Above.

Always I am Caesar by W. Jeffrey Tatum

Always I am Caesar by W. Jeffrey Tatum – Julius Caesar is probably one of the most interesting historical figures, to me.  Tyrant, dictator, genius.  Love, loss, betrayal… Just so much real life drama there.  I own this one too (for years… sigh).

And that’s all 10!  Which books are outside your comfort zone?

September Challenge: Mythothon

I first heard about this fun Norse themed readathon from Nicole @ Book Wyrm Knits (thank you!).  I have a hard time resisting anything Norse themed, so I decided to play along too.

This readathon is hosted by Foxes and Fairy Tales, and if you’d like to join in, please check out the information and sign up thread here.

Rules

If it can be added on Goodreads, it counts — novellas, graphic novels, audiobooks etc. are all fair game.

One book per square.

Your TBR can change over the course of the readathon.

There are a couple of different ways to play: it’s entirely up to you! Get a five-in-a-row bingo line, tackle the Nine World prompts in the centre (blue) or challenge the gods around the outside (yellow). This should mean you can increase or decrease how challenging you make your month.

mythothongrid

I don’t have as much time for reading as I’d like too, so I’m going to start small and see how far it takes me.  I’ve decided to go for a five-in-a-row (row three, going across).  If you’d like to read the prompt for each square, please check out the sign up thread I’ve linked above.

HEIMDALL, GUARDIAN OF THE BIFROST: Read an LGBT+ book.

Overthrow by Caleb Crain

Overthrow by Caleb Crain – I lucked out and won this in a giveaway, and the publishers were kind enough to send it ASAP.  This is about a group of friends who develop some special abilities, and have a run in with a security contractor, and the legal and political consequences of that run in.

JOTUNHEIM – LAND OF THE GIANTS: Read a long book.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky – 720 pages.  That qualifies as long right?!  This book is already getting some hype, so my explanation is probably not needed, Imaginary Friend is a literary horror novel about a boy who wanders into the woods and returns six days later with an imaginary friend… I absolutely can’t wait for this one, I’m just hoping I can cram it in before the end of September!

ASGARD – LAND OF THE ÆSIR GODS: Read any book you choose!

A Pilgrimage of Swords by Anthony Ryan

A Pilgrimage of Swords by Anthony Ryan – Ryan is an author I’ve been meaning to check out for quite some time.  And to be honest, I’m going to need a short book in here because to balance out the long one.  A veteran warrior named Pilgrim, armed with a fabled blade, embarks on a quest to request that the Mad God hear his prayers and absolve him of his sins.

VANAHEIMR – LAND OF THE VANIR GODS: Read an award-winning or nominated book.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematary by Stephen King – Nominated for two awards, the Locus and the World Fantasy award in 1984… I watched the movie recently and I am anxious to get started!

LOKI, GOD OF MISCHIEF: Read a standalone novel.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – About a girl who finds a book with secrets just waiting to be discovered.  I think.  The blurb is enticing but vague.  Either way- I can’t wait!

Are you planning on joining this readathon?  Leave me a link below so I can see what exciting reads you have planned for September!

Book Haul

Last week I had a super hectic week with a couple late weekdays.  I had to travel to a job fair in the small, but quaint town of Westerly, RI.  After work I wandered High Street for a bit looking for my favorite… a used book shop.

Westerly RI High St

The above photo is probably 60 years old at this point, but the truth is, High Street doesn’t look much different today.  Anyway- in my wandering I discovered Rereads Book Shop!

ReReads Book Shop Westerly, RI

I think this place is every book lovers dream.  Between the historic building and the shelves literally overflowing with books- I could not have been happier.

Rereads Book Shop 2At one point I thought I was sitting on an ottoman and looked down and realized half of my seat was actually a stack of books.  I realize that may not appeal to everyone- but as someone who lives with a lot of clutter in her life already, a shop with furniture made of books suits me just fine.  Anyway, the owner, Jill was great, and even took some time out of her day to chat with me about my favorite topic, Science Fiction and Fantasy.  She let me know most paperbacks were buy 2 get 1 (my favorite kind of sale) and showed me where to find everything I was looking for.

I took 6 books off her hands with no problem at all, ReReads Book Shop 3and the truth is I could easily spend an entire Sunday there on a treasure hunt.  If you ever happen to find yourself in Westerly, stop in and say hi to Jill.  Word on the street (by which I mean her fabulous Yelp reviews) is that she stays open late to cater to all us late night, have to get out of work first book worms.

 

So without further adieu, here are the six books I finally decided on:

First – can I just say I’ve been looking for this set FOREVER.  No book store I’ve been to, new or used, ever seems to have the whole set.  Needless to say I took all three: The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur.

And I grabbed these two- because I haven’t read them yet: Insomnia and Skeleton Crew.

The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence

And I stumbled across a copy of The Liar’s Key as I was sitting on a stack of books, which I grabbed, because even though I haven’t started this series yet, I already own the first book and I’m sure I’ll want it in the future.