TTT – Books I Loved Without Many Reviews on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. She has a linky on her page with everyone’s posts this week, go find other unappreciated great books! This week’s topic is “Books I Loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads” so I’m going to go through my Read list on Goodreads and see what I can find!

So the very first one I see is A Spark of White Fire, with only 288 ratings on Goodreads? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Oh my god, that book was incredible. It ripped my heart out. It’s only been out since September, so maybe people just haven’t discovered it yet? Wow. JUST GO READ IT PEOPLE.

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? has 1511 ratings, coming in much closer to the 2k mark, so I’m guessing that’s largely because it’s also new. (BUT FANTASTIC.)

Blanca & Roja also came out recently (October) and has 1229 ratings, so I’m sure that number will go up.

The Brilliant Death only has 774 ratings? WAT. Get on that, people. It is a fantastic, genderfluid political fantasy book with a touch of romance. It’s great.

Give the Dark My Love is one of my lady necromancer books, and at 1351 ratings, more people need to read it!

Alright, I know The Good Demon was a little polarizing, but I personally LOVED the southern gothic feel. It was lyrical and mesmerizing, and only has 480 ratings. If you don’t mind a little suspenseful horror, it’s really a beautiful novel.

HOW DOES UNBROKEN ONLY HAVE 336 RATINGS?! HOW?! This anthology spotlights teenagers living with chronic illnesses, mental illnesses, and disabilities of all kinds. It is an amazing piece of representation and I adore it. I thought it had made a big splash in YA circles, but apparently not as big as I thought.

Alright, all seven of those are fairly recent releases, let’s get challenging for the last three and see if I can find some older books…

Alright, so first we have The Wrong Stars (and its sequel, The Dreaming Stars) at 1766 and 366 ratings, respectively. This is a pair of science fiction novels with a fascinating premise and amazing representation, with a bisexual and demisexual woman as part of its core couple. (The other half is also bi.)

Next up we have Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher, also known as Ursula Vernon, at 539 ratings. I didn’t actually write up a review for this book, but I have read it, and really enjoyed it. The author writes magical stories that bring to mind the Wild West and wilderness, where you can only depend on yourself and maybe the hermit up in the mountains. She also has a hilarious Twitter.

Okay, for a really old one, let’s point out The Harrad Experiment. It’s a fiction book that portrays polyamory in a very positive light, and those are rather rare, because fiction thrives on conflict. It first came out in 1966. I have not actually hunted down more of Robert H. Rimmer’s books to see if more of his books feature polyamory, but I adore this one. And it only has 363 ratings on Goodreads.

For an eleventh, because I absolutely loved this book, is Sean Grigsby’s Smoke Eaters. It has 312 ratings currently, and the sequel, Ash Kickers, is due out in July. He writes an amazing future world where firefighters fight dragons, and it is badass. (And I LOVE his covers.)

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TTT: Favorite Couples

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. She has a linkup on her page with everyone who’s participating, if you want more fantastic couples! This week’s topic is “Favorite Couples.” Since we had “Favorite Platonic Relationships” not too long ago, I stuck with your typical romantic definition of couple.

First off, we have Teo and Cielo (nb/nb) from The Brilliant Death. Both shapeshifting witches who play with gender and together make an amazing couple.

Two of the couples from Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom make this list – Kaz/Inej (m/f) and Jasper/Wylan (m/m). Love them both. I love how devoted the entire group is to each other, but especially Kaz with Inej.

Percy and Monty (m/m) from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue are an amazing, smartass pair that I love.

The romance between Vika Andreyeva and Nikolai Karimov (f/m) of The Crown’s Game and The Crown’s Fate tore my heart out.

The central couple from The Wrong Stars and The Dreaming Stars, Captain Callie Machedo and Elena, are precious and I love them. They’re also both bisexual women, with Callie being demisexual.

In Starless, we have a nonbinary bodyguard falling in love with their charge, the princess. (nb/f) I love how the princess is understanding of her bodyguard’s confusion about their gender, and doesn’t judge how her bodyguard chooses to present.

Another favorite couple is Anna and Charles from Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series. I love seeing how Anna’s confidence has developed through the series. (f/m)

I can’t write about my favorite literary couples without mentioning Benedict and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. They are my favorite characters in my favorite Shakespeare play, and the banter between them and from them about each other is some of the best wordplay I have ever read.

I know that’s only nine, but I can’t think of a tenth that I love as much as these.

TTT – Ten Most Recent Additions to my To-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. She has a linkup on her blog to collect everyone who’s participating each week! This week’s topic is the ten most recent additions to my to-read list, so let me pull up Goodreads and see what I’ve added recently!

First up I have The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley. I added it because I saw it on Twitter as one of those “this book was just bought by X publisher to be published some years from now” so there isn’t even a cover yet. It’s a fantasy set in Victorian England about a tightrope walker that cannot die. She’s drafted into some tournament thing and learns the “terrible truth” of what she really is, and it’s a POC author, and it just looks fantastic. It’s not due out until 2021, but with it on my To-Read list, I’ll  be notified of any ARC giveaways, and Goodreads will email me to remind me when it’s released.

After that is Nahoko Uehashi’s The Beast Player and Joan He’s Descendant of the Crane, both for the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge. (Descendant of the Crane I had my eye on previously, though. It looks lovely. And that cover is gorgeous.)

Next is Love Poems (for Married People) by John Kenney. It looks amusing. After that is A House of Rage and Sorrow, the sequel to A Spark of White Fire. No cover yet. Hannah Capin’s The Dead Queens Club, a high school version of King Henry and his wives, is up next. I’ve heard good things about it, and it seems appropriate since the Ren Faire I work at runs King Henry’s court as its plot. (Currently Catherine is out of favor and Anne Boleyn is winning the King’s eye – one of the people we play D&D with plays Anne’s father at Faire!)

A lot of these books aren’t out yet – that’s part of why I mark them as to-read on Goodreads, to take advantage of possible giveaways, and the notification when they come out reminds me they exist!

More 2019 releases are Erin Morganstern’s The Starless Sea, about a magic library, Mary Fan’s Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon, and No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America by Darnell L. Moore. That last comes out the soonest, on February 19th!

My tenth book is actually an older book, released in 1989. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, by Maxine Hong Kingston, hits both the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge AND my 50 states goal (which I need to make a page for!), since it’s about growing up Chinese-American in California.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Meant to Read in 2018 But Didn’t Get To

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, she has a linkup on her page so you can see what other people regret not reading!

Oh man. I have way, WAY more than ten books that should go on this list! First, the ones I meant to read and really SHOULD have read, for blogging reasons!

I snagged several books at the Baltimore Book Festival in September that I STILL haven’t gotten around to reading – The Root, the first Wrath & Athenaeum book, by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun, who I got to see in several panels that weekend. He’s fantastic, and I REALLY need to carve out the time to read his books. I also watched Charlie Jane Anders in a few panels, bought her book (All The Birds In The Sky), and received her second book (The City in the Middle of the Night) as an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway. It comes out in February, so I have to read it and review it before then! I also received a book free from a local author (The Shadow of the Rock), with a promise to review it on the blog, and I need to make that happen too. (Rather desperately. I feel pretty guilty about that last one.) I can’t believe I haven’t read ANY of the books I got from the festival. I’ve been too occupied with library books!

I haven’t entirely kept up with those, either. I never did read America for Beginners, which was on my summer TBR list, or Guidebook to Relative Strangers, which was one of Book Riot’s Persist Book Club reads. Both of those got turned back in unread, as did The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. They weren’t the only ones, but they were the three I felt worst about!

Other books I wanted to read and never got around to include Sabaa Tahir’s Ember in the Ashes, though given she’s of Pakistani descent, reading that series this year for the Year of the Asian might be better anyway! I also meant to read Sam J. Miller’s Blackfish City – I even bought it for my Kindle! The last one I’ll mention is Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, the start of the Grishaverse. I read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, and they were AMAZING. But I haven’t read the rest, and lord, do I need to!

Even reading as much as I do, I can’t read as much as I’d like. I simply don’t have enough time in my life to cram as much information into my brain as I want to. That frustrates me to no end!

Top Ten Tuesday – New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Go see what everyone else is reading!

how long til black future monthI read A LOT of new authors in 2018. I was trying to read more diversely, AND I read a lot of debut novels. I read FAR more new authors than old authors. I get the feeling this topic is supposed to be authors who already have a body of work that I’m just getting introduced to, though, so I’ll try to go with that.

I didn’t actually write up a review, but I did read N. K. Jemisin‘s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms this year – and it was amazing epic fantasy. I just checked out her newest, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? from the library, and I’m eager to get to it. I’d read more of her stuff, but I’ve been avoiding epic fantasy lately. I just don’t feel like I have the time to devote to it!

Rosamund Hodge became a favorite author of mine this year. I started the year with Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, and went on to read Crimson Bound and Cruel Beauty. I recently checked out Endless Water, Starless Sky, the sequel to Bright Smoke. I’ve also gone through her list of short stories on her webpage. She’s amazing.

CirceI discovered Madeline Miller through the Book of the Month club – Circe was the first book of hers I read, and though I bought Song of Achilles on my Kindle, I have yet to read it. I should really do that.

Again in books I didn’t actually review, I read my first Ursula Vernon this year, after meeting her at Anthrocon over the summer. I bought three of her books there, and they’re all excellent!

Jenny Han got so much publicity with Netflix’s adaptation of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before that I finally read the book (and its sequel) and those are also excellent. Need to get my hands on the third!

I read Mary Roach‘s Bonk and loved it, and she apparently has a few other nonfiction microhistories. Her voice is fantastic, so I might need to pick those up at some point.

I don’t know that I’ll read any more of his stuff, but John Scalzi‘s Redshirts was pretty hilarious.

Oh, this might be a shock, but the first (and only, currently) Sarah J. Maas book I’ve read was her contribution to the DC Icons series, Catwoman: Soulstealer. It was really good, but I’m still not sure I want to spend the time to read her series.

Anna-Marie McLemore was also new to me this year; I checked out The Weight of Feathers but didn’t get around to reading it for a while. I finally read it in December, and the lyrical beauty of her writing blew me away. Blanca y Roja is now sitting on my shelf to be read!

My last new-to-me author is Katherine Locke, the author of The Girl with the Red Balloon and The Spy with the Red Balloon. I really enjoy her Twitter account as well as her books!

 

 

TTT – Most Anticipated Releases for 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and she has a linkup on her site to see what everyone else is looking forward to this year!

I have twelve this week because I simply couldn’t narrow it down any further! There are more I’m looking forward to, but these are my top twelve. All fantasy, because that’s what I get the most excited about.

 

I have five upcoming sequels: The Winter of the Witch (sequel to The Bear and The Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, out today!), The Kingdom of Copper (City of Brass, 1/22), Storm of Locusts (Trail of Lightning, 4/23), The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, whoops, this one is actually out in the last half of 2019 – August), and The Shadow Glass (The Bone Witch/The Heart Forger, 3/1).

The rest of my list are new worlds. Some of them are debut authors, some are not.

 

White Stag (out today) is about a teenage girl entwined with the fae and becoming more monster than human. A Memory Called Empire (March) is about interstellar politics. It looks Aztec or Mayan inspired, but I’m not sure of that. Crown of Feathers (2/12) only needs two words. Phoenix. Riders. PHOENIX. RIDERS.

 

Once & Future (3/5), an F/F sci-fi King Arthur retelling, Descendant of the Crane (4/2), a new Chinese-inspired fantasy by a debut author, We Hunt the Flame (5/14), another debut but this one middle-eastern fantasy, and Black Leopard, Red Wolf (2/5), a new fantasy by Marlon James, round out my most anticipated books.