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.

Top Ten Tuesday – Best of 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. She has the linkup on her page so you can go see what everyone else loved reading this year!

I went back through my “Best of 2018” tag, and found far more than ten books, so I had to whittle down the list to my absolute favorites! I expect a few of these will be on several Best Of lists – Circe, Trail of Lightning, and City of Brass will probably be popular. It’ll be interesting to see how many of the others pop up on other peoples’ lists!

The Good Demon
Starless
Trail of Lightning

Spinning Silver
Circe
The Book of Essie

The Astonishing Color of After
City of Brass
Educated

The Bone Witch (and its sequel!) The Heart Forger

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some wonderful books – I never even wrote reviews for Girls of Paper and Fire, and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. Both were EXCELLENT. And the anthologies I read this year! Unbroken, Toil & Trouble, and A Thousand Beginnings and Endings were all amazing. (But somehow I didn’t tag them with my “Best Of” tag, so I’m only thinking of them now…) I read some really amazing things this year, and keeping this list down to ten is absolutely impossible, given that I’ve already linked fourteen books and mentioned two more! I’m going to stop here, go look at what other people thought was the best of the year, and add a bunch of books to my to-read list!

 

TTT – My Winter Wish List

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are enjoying yourself, whether you’re surrounded by loved ones (and hopefully opening many bookish presents!) or curled up by yourself with a favorite book. My husband and I plan to go see Aquaman today (cos that’s a present for both of us!) and have a feast of Chinese food.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. She has a list on her page of everyone participating each week, so go check out all the other participating blogs! This week’s topic is “Books I Hope I Find Under My Christmas Tree This Morning” because Christmas, obviously!

We celebrate Christmas, but we don’t really do surprises – and we rarely wait until Christmas to give gifts to one another. (It’s just my husband and I here.) So I’ve already received my gifts – a beautiful scarf and writer’s gloves, printed with e.e. cummings’ poem “I Carry Your Heart.” My version of the Top Ten Tuesday will simply be a book wish list instead. There might be a bit of a theme, as I’m getting back into the creative writing I used to do a lot of in high school and college.

Writing Monsters, Wonderbook, and Violence: A Writer’s Guide are all books useful for writing fantasy, which is what my short stories usually are. I flipped through Writing Monsters and Wonderbook at Barnes & Noble recently, and definitely want those. There’s several books about writing fight scenes, but Violence apparently also gets into the psychology of people who get violent, so that sounds interesting.

There’s a series of writer’s thesauruses that I’d really like to collect all of; I have The Emotion Thesaurus, and I really want the Emotional Wound Thesaurus. The other four – the Positive Trait, Negative Trait, Rural Setting, and Urban Setting Thesauruses would also be useful to have around.

After all the books on writing, I’d love to own a copy of Educated: A Memoir and Rage Becomes Her. I’ve already read them both, but would really like to own them.

Can’t wait to see what other people want to read vs. what they want to own!

 

 

TTT – Winter Reading List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and she has a giant list of participating blogs, so head on over and peruse what people are reading this winter!

This week’s theme is “Your Winter TBR list.”

I have several books that I’ll be reading between Christmas and New Year’s, for the End of Yearathon, but beyond those, these are the books I’m looking forward to reading:

Two books by Anna-Marie McLemore – Blanca & Roja (LOVE that cover!) and The Weight of Feathers.

Christina Dalcher’s Vox just got to me (you’ll see it again in tomorrow’s Library Loot!)

Sam Hawke’s City of Lies.

Black Wings Beating by Alex London. (I have some black-feathered costume wings and a box full of crow feathers, so I’m going to try to take some neat Instagram photos with it!)

Ling Ma’s Severance was my December Book of the Month – I haven’t read November’s either, which was The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory. Or, for that matter, my…September, I think, book, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. I need to catch up on those!

For the last two I’m intending to read this winter, I actually have two of Charlie Jane Anders’ books – her first, All The Birds In The Sky, and an ARC of her second, The City in the Middle of the Night.

TTT – Cozy or Wintry Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s topic is “cozy wintry reads.” She has a whole list of links to other blogs participating, so go find your next book to curl up with!

Winter is actually my favorite season, so this was a fun list to come up with.

First, a few I’ve already read and written about:

Spinning Silver is a wonderful fairytale loosely based on Rumpelstiltskin and an amalgamation of other stories, and has a wintry, icy theme running throughout it. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is another fairytale retelling, but it’s about the relationship between the “evil” queen and her stepdaughter, and it is absolutely LOVELY. The Wolves of Winter is a dystopia written after climate change has thrown the world into disarray, and the main character is living in a place of near-endless winter.

A duology and a trilogy, the third of which is due out in January:

The Crown’s Game and The Crown’s Fate are a duology about two magicians fighting for the position of the Tsar’s Sorcerer, and they are heartbreaking and gorgeous. The first one made me ugly cry, the second one began the healing process. These two books are just beautiful.

The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower, and The Winter of the Witch are ALSO based on Russia, and are also lovely, though not quite as emotional as the duology was. (That’s probably a good thing, The Crown’s Game BROKE me.)

Last, we have a standalone and a duology that I have read but the reviews are going live over the next couple of weeks.

Wintersong and Shadowsong are basically Labyrinth fanfiction. I enjoyed them, and they do introduce some new ideas, but there are also DEFINITELY recognizable elements from the old Jim Henson movie. (Which I loved, so that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.) It was interesting to see the movie deconstructed and put back together in an entirely new way, though.

krampus yule lordThe last book I have for you is Krampus, the Yule Lord, by Brom. How do I sum up this book? It’s Appalachia Gothic, with cops in cahoots with the local criminals, a bit of domestic violence, and weird things happening in the woods. And it’s ancient gods with grudges, with Krampus locked in an eternal fight with Santa Claus. Whatever it is, it’s great.

What are you reading this Christmas?