TTT – Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Auto-Buy Authors. I’m tweaking it slightly to Auto-Read, since I’ve managed to successfully curb my book-buying, with the help of an excellent library system! So the authors who I will absolutely read anything they write, in no particular order:

Rin ChupecoRin Chupeco wrote The Bone Witch trilogy, which I adored. I need to get my hands on The Girl From The Well and The Never Tilting World.

mercedes lackey

Mercedes Lackey is still one of my all-time favorite fantasy authors. Valdemar holds a special place in my heart, and the Halfblood Chronicles, co-authored with Andre Norton, remains one of my all-time favorite series.

elizabeth acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo debuted with The Poet X, which was absolutely amazing, and after reading With The Fire On High, I am sold. I’ll read anything she writes.

SA Chakraborty

S.A. Chakraborty is the author of the Daevabad trilogy, with the conclusion due out in April. I can’t wait, because the first two have been great. I might have to re-read them before the third, though, which is not something I do often.

anne marie mclemoreAnne-Marie McLemore writes enthralling fairy tales and I just can’t get enough. I am still working my way through her catalog, but I’ve read two of her books and two short stories so far.

rosamund hodgeRosamund Hodge also writes fairy tales, but more recognizable ones – retellings, rather than just involving fantastical elements. Between Romeo & Juliet, Beauty & The Beast, and Little Red Riding Hood, her stories are magical and mesmerizing.

Amy Rose Capetta, along with Cori McCarthy, are a pair of non-binary authors that have, both together and separately, written some awesome fantasy novels, from gender-fluid sorcerers to queer King Arthur in space. I’ve read more of Capetta than I have of McCarthy, but I plan to fix that soon.

katherine lockeI can’t forget one of my favorite authors on Twitter, Katherine Locke. They wrote The Girl With The Red Balloon and The Spy With The Red Balloon, as well as a short story in Unbroken. They’re editing It’s A Whole Spiel, an upcoming short story collection about Jewish teenagers, which I very much want to get my hands on.

neil gaimanThe sole white man on this list is Neil Gaiman, who is arguably the King of Fantasy and a massive ally of marginalized people.


TTT – Character Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a character freebie, and since I’ve just gotten home from Anthrocon, I’m going with books I’ve read with anthropomorphic characters!

One of the amazing fursuits we saw at Anthrocon this weekend!

First a bit of explanation, if you’re unfamiliar. Anthrocon is one of the world’s largest furry conventions. A furry is often described as someone who likes anthropomorphic animals, or humanoid animals. Not just sentient talking animals, but usually bipedal and clothes-wearing. Often furries have a fursona, or an idea of what animal they’d be if anthros existed, and sometimes they have invested in full fursuits. It is a joyful, extremely accepting sub-culture, where gender and sexuality norms are thrown out the door. I generally call myself furry-adjacent; I’m not really a furry myself, but I work at Anthrocon for a dear friend who is, a lot of my friends are, and I love the culture. If you follow me on Twitter, I’ve probably been posting pictures of the con. I’ve scheduled this post ahead of time, because I’m going to be EXHAUSTED afterwards, but I usually post pictures, and on Sunday I will talk all about it, complete with lots of pictures!

So! Ten books I’ve read with anthropomorphic characters!

First off, the classic: Redwall. Brian Jacques’ iconic series is FULL of anthropomorphic characters. I read most of these when I was a kid, but I know there are several out there I haven’t read yet. Redwall, Mattimeo, Martin the Warrior, Mariel of Redwall, and Salamandastron are absolute classics and probably should have been on last week’s childhood favorites list as well.

Another classic childhood book is The Wind in the Willows. Mole, Toad, Ratty, and Badger are childhood institutions. So many people think furries are strange, but this is what we grew up on! (I’ve included a pic of one of the badgers we saw at the con!)

lion witch and wardrobe

While Aslan might not be anthropomorphic by everyone’s standards, there are many anthropomorphic characters in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and its following books.

mouse and motorcycle

The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a Beverly Cleary book from 1965. This is not a new phenomenon, by any means!

animal farm

Another book that most people don’t associate with furries is George Orwell’s Animal Farm. He’s relatively unclear throughout the book if these are actual animals or anthropomorphs, but if they’re running a farm, they kind of have to be able to use tools, right? I’m counting it.


One book I reviewed last year was The Complete Maus – which is a graphic novel about the Holocaust if people were mice.

the shape of water

Now we’re going to get into stuff a little more recent. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is about an anthropomorphic fish-man and the woman who loves him.


Mouse Guard is a roleplaying game and graphic novel series, and it’s GORGEOUS. It was slated to get a movie, but I read recently that that was no longer happening. Which is incredibly sad, given the clip they released. It would have been AMAZING.

The Eve of Redemption series is a series I read via Kindle Unlimited, about anthropomorphic dragons. It was quite good.

girls of paper and fire

The last book might be reaching a bit, as they are demons, but they’re described as being part animal, part human, with references like “the deer-woman” so Girls of Paper and Fire is my last pick here. I never actually reviewed the book on the blog, because I was so blown away by it. It definitely needs a content warning for sexual assault, but it is absolutely amazing, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

So. Ten books with anthropomorphic characters, in honor of Anthrocon and all my fuzzy friends! (Stay tuned for Sunday, where I will talk about my weekend, including my trip to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, complete with a picture dump of furries and birbs!)

TTT – Childhood Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Childhood Favorites. I had to go hunting to find the covers I remember from the 80s on most of these. I was a horse-and-dragon girl, so that’s what most of these books are!

The books that aren’t horses or dragons are books my parents read to us before bed every night. We worked through some advanced books and series this way.

misty of chincoteagueOne of my all-time favorites, and one that’s on my mind lately, is Misty of Chincoteague. My uncle gave me all of Marguerite Henry’s books, which I still own. This actually came up recently because the Beebe ranch from the book actually burned last week. All the horses were safe, but that’s a part of history up in flames.

Continuing in the horse topic, I devoured the Black Stallion books (and specifically The Island Stallion). Loved those horses.

The last horse books on this list are the Golden Filly series by Lauraine Snelling, a middle-grade series beginning with The Race. They follow a girl jockey as she fights to race her family’s horses and then through her father’s fight with cancer. I don’t know what happened to my copies – I may have given them to a cousin – but I loved them, all ten books.

On to the dragons!

jeremy thatcher dragon hatcherJeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher is a book I actually don’t remember much about other than I remember loving it. I should re-read it.

forbidden doorThe Forbidden Door is a book I spotted in a grocery store checkout line (I know!) and somehow convinced my mother to buy. Two children find a dragon at the back of a seacave, crying because he can’t get back through the door to his own world. They’re able to open the door, and find themselves in a land of dragons, where the young dragon turns out to be a prince. Similar to Narnia, time moves differently on different sides of the door, and the kids go in and out of it a few different times. Loved that book.

dragon's baitThe last of the books I personally read, Dragon’s Bait still occupies a magical place in my memory. It focuses on a girl ostracized from her community on suspicion of being a witch. They stake her out for the dragon, who finds her, shapeshifts into a boy, and offers to help her get revenge. Looking back on it now, this book helped form a lot of my desires in a partner. (Which is slightly messed up, as the dragon-boy is…not a very moral person.) I had this book out from the library in my early teens, and then years later finally figured out which book it was and bought myself a copy.

Books that I loved as a child because they were read to me:

I don’t remember in what order my parents read these books to us. So in no particular order:

little house on the prairieMom read us the Little House on the Prairie series – we had a box set, and I remember pretending to be Laura at my grandparents’ log cabin in the winter. I definitely dressed up as a Pioneer girl one year for Halloween.

hobbitDad read us the four-book Tolkien saga, but The Hobbit is the one I really remember. It definitely started my love of fantasy. And perhaps dragons. (That might have also been Disney’s Sleeping Beauty though.)

anne of green gablesThe second series my mother read to us was Anne of Green Gables. I don’t actually recall a lot about the series, but it still occupies a comfort-food like space in my brain.

lion witch and wardrobeLastly, Dad read us most, if not all, of the Chronicles of Narnia. Even though looking back at them, they’re rather heavy-handed on the Christian metaphors, they were still a childhood favorite.

Well that was a trip down Memory Lane, and I want to dig Dragon’s Bait out of my moving boxes and re-read it now!



TTT – Books on my Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is your summer TBR list. I’m going to try to make this not just a hodgepodge of my last few Library Loot posts, though those are definitely all on my summer TBR list! You can find a linkup on Artsy Reader’s site to see what everyone else is reading this summer.

descendant of the craneTopping my list is Descendant of the Crane, which I received in May’s Illumicrate box and still haven’t read! I have so many library books that I feel bad if I read a book I actually own! Because it’s an Illumicrate special edition, it has gorgeous red sprayed edges and is just a beautiful book.

how to read novels like a professorHow To Read Novels Like a Professor is a book I picked up from Baldwin’s Book Barn several months ago and have yet to read. I’m hoping to pick up tips to make my reviews better!

I’m hoping to get Technically, You Started It and Wicked Fox from my library soon, but they’re both on order, so we’ll see how soon they make it through the process into the library catalog.

ash kickersAsh Kickers, the sequel to Smoke Eaters, is coming out in July, and I ABSOLUTELY have to get my hands on that. (I somehow missed that it was out in July, or it would have been on last week’s anticipated releases!!) I LOVE that cover.

fate of foodThe Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World is a new nonfiction book that speaks directly to my climate change/prepper interests, but again, not sure how soon the library will send it my way.

song of the deadThe sequel to Reign of the Fallen, Song of the Dead, snuck out when I wasn’t paying attention, so I need to snag a copy of that at some point.

bid my soul farewellAlright, this one isn’t out until September, so it’s more Fall than Summer, but it SHOULD have been on last week’s anticipated releases. Somehow I missed that it had a release date. AND A GORGEOUS COVER! Bid My Soul Farewell is the sequel to Give the Dark My Love, because I love my necromancer ladies.

Finally, I’d like to read a few graphic novels; I’m behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, and graphic novels are quick! Batwoman: Elegy looks amazing, and Moonstruck looks absolutely adorable.

So that’s what I’d like to read, in addition to my last few Library Loot posts. Can’t wait to see what everyone else plans to devour!

TTT – Most Anticipated Releases of 2019 (Second Half)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is your most anticipated releases of the second half of 2019. (My first half anticipated releases are listed here, and my most anticipated LGBT+ releases I listed last week.) There is a linkup on Artsy Reader’s page so you can see what everyone else is looking forward to as well!

dragon republicWell first, I screwed up and had this one on my first half release list, and it’s coming out in August, so it belongs here. The Dragon Republic is the sequel to The Poppy War, which was an amazing blend of fantasy and military fiction. People who were lucky enough to get ARCs have been raving about it, so I’m definitely looking forward to that!

the deepContinuing my primal/predatory mermaids kick, The Deep should be coming out in November. The mermaids in The Deep are descended from pregnant black women that were thrown off of slave ships. It’s an interesting premise, based off of a song. I cannot wait to read it.

the testamentsThe Testaments is the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale that we never knew we were getting. I don’t know if it was the success of the show, or the current state of politics that inspired Margaret Atwood, but either way, I will be reading this. I hope it doesn’t destroy me. It should be out in September.

house of salt and sorrowsHouse of Salt and Sorrows, due out in August, looks to be a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and I’m rather interested.

the storm crowThe Storm Crow is the beginning of a series focused on magical, elemental crows. I’m intrigued. Out in July.

the rage of dragonsThe Rage of Dragons looks to be an interesting world, where women can call down dragons and men can…become dragons? Maybe? I’m not sure, but I want to read it! Due out in July.

the starless seaI think I’ll be reading The Starless Sea around Christmas time – it comes out in November – because a love story set in a secret underground magical library that spans time and space sounds AMAZING.

Spin the dawnSpin the Dawn has made a huge splash among my Twitter friends, and it looks right up my alley. I can’t wait for July! (And that cover – WOW.)

fireborneAnd I haven’t seen much buzz about this one, but Fireborne looks really interesting. It’s billed as “Aegon Targaryen and Hermione Granger with dragons” and if that’s not an attention-catching sentence, I don’t know what is! (October)

slaySlay combines online gaming and racial tension, with a black woman programmer, and I am here for this. (September)

color outside the linesComing in at eleven – because I can never keep these things to just ten – is Color Outside The Lines, a YA anthology about interracial and LGBTQ+ relationships. It will be another holiday read, since it’s out in November.

TTT – Top Ten Upcoming LGBT+ Releases

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is your top ten unpopular bookish opinions, but I could only come up with two. Since it’s still Pride Month, and the next couple weeks are on “second half of 2019 releases/summer TBR list” I’m going to do the ten upcoming LGBTQIA+ releases I’m looking forward to instead! (The downside to writing this post is that I discovered several LGBTQIA+ releases from the FIRST half of 2019 that are now on my TBR list. Whoops.) If you’re looking for unpopular bookish opinions, though, Artsy Reader Girl will have a linky with everyone participating this week. On to my list!

all of us with wingsAll of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil (June 18) – an #ownvoices YA fantasy with a bisexual Mexican/American MC.

technically you started itTechnically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson (June 25) – this YA romance has a demisexual main character (YAY!) and a bisexual love interest.

destroy all monstersDestroy All Monsters by Sam J. Miller (July 2) – an adult magical realism tale, dealing with heavy topics like child molestation and PTSD. I got to meet Sam Miller at the Baltimore Book Fest last year, and he’s awesome. (Though I still haven’t managed to read Blackfish City – oops.)

shatter the skyShatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells (July 30) – a YA fantasy with dragons and rebellion. Sign me up.

of ice and shadowsOf Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst (August 13) – the sequel to Inkmistress and Of Fire and Stars.

criers warCrier’s War by Nina Varela (October 1) – debut F/F fantasy between a human girl and a Made one. (They appear to be automatons made originally to be playthings before they rebelled?) Looks awesome.

orpheus girlOrpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry (October 8) – another debut, this one re-imagining the Orpheus story as an F/F love story in Texas. I’m hearing conflicting reports about it though, so I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up or not.

never tilting worldThe Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco (October 15) – billed as Frozen meets Mad Max, this fantasy is the next book from the author of The Bone Witch Trilogy, which I loved.

tarnished are the starsTarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor (October 15) – queer sci-fi fantasy about a girl with a clockwork heart.

gideon the ninthGideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (September 10) – this book had me at lesbian necromancers. Lady necromancers are kind of my THING. Soooo yeah. A lady necromancer and her reluctant swordswoman? Yeah I need this book YESTERDAY. (And that cover. Hot damn.)