Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books for People Who Like X Author

I decided to mix it up and interpret this week’s theme a little bit differently.

1. If you like Neil Gaiman, try Tim Powers.
Powers is a master of his class, yet unfortunately his name isn’t nearly as well known as it should be. His works take work, though; Powers is quite the ambitious author, often utilizing existing cultural figures to construct alternative histories replete with lamias, psychotic serial killer clowns, werewolves, time travel, and the gods.
2. If you like John Green, try David Levithan.
So this won’t come as a shock to many of you, especially since these two authors have actually collaborated before. (If you haven’t read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, do so immediately). Still, for those of you not in the know, Levithan’s writing often reaches the exhalted heights of wry youthful optimism that Green is so famous for.
3. If you like Ilona Andrews, try Seanan McGuire.
The Toby Daye series exhibits some of the best worldbuilding and characterization in urban fantasy today. For those who love Kate Daniels’s toughness and capability coupled with a quick wit and unbearable sexual tension, you’re missing out if you’re not reading about Toby.
4. If you like Holly Black, try Rob Thurman.
Though I’ve mentioned this before, I’ll say it again: Cassel Sharpe and Cal Leandros would be best buds. Though the worldbuilding in each series is starkly different, they share an easy and sarcastic narration that strikes a chord with my cynical nature.
5. If you like Diana Wynne Jones, try Megan Whalen Turner.
These two remarkable ladies drew inspiration from each other’s writing, and it shows in both of their most ubiquitous narrators. I would have loved to read a crossover book starring Gen and Howl.
6. If you like Kristin Cashore, try Sherwood Smith.
If you’re a fan Cashore’s lush prose and mixture of romance, political intrigue, and fantasy, you’ll find all that and more in the Crown Duel duet. Mel is a great heroine, and while there is slightly less magic in Smith’s work, the feel is very similar to that elicited by Cashore’s series.
7. If you like Karen Marie Moning, try Anne Bishop.
While Moning’s Fever series and Bishop’s Black Jewels series have little in common, they will forever be linked in my mind since I discovered them (and fell in love with both) in a short two-month period. Despite their differences, I believe that fans of Moning’s dark fantasy tone will be able to appreciate Bishop’s world and the ambiguously drawn characters that inhabit it.
8. If you like Stephanie Perkins, try Cath Crowley.
Perkins is undoubtedly one of the hottest names in young adult contemporary, due mainly to her remarkable ability to write main characters who seem all at once too good to be true yet utterly believable. Crowley’s work is eminently relatable yet a little grittier than Perkins; still, fans of Perkins work will likely adore Crowley’s writing as well.
9. If you like Maggie Stiefvater, try Liz Berry.
I’ve adored Berry’s The China Garden for nearly a decade now. It’s lovely and unique and criminally unrecognized, especially considering the recent surge in interest for young adult paranormal. Fans of Stiefvater’s lyrical writing will recognize the same quality in Berry’s.
That’s all I’ve got this week. Happy Fourth, all ye readers!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life

I concede defeat to this list before even starting, since I know I’m not going to come close to ten this week.

1. Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I feel a certain affinity for Jo due to her nearly uncontained passion for literature. Granted, her passions run toward the writing end of the spectrum rather than reading, but regardless I can’t help but sympathize with someone who loves the written word so very much.
2. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
While my smarty-pants tendencies have decreased somewhat as I’ve gotten older, I have been known to be an insufferable know-it-all in the right circumstances. I identify with Hermione’s need to have the answer, no matter how annoying the habit might come across to others.
3. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
And in a complete contrast of character, I like to think that on my better days I channel Luna’s aloof spirit. I’ve always marched to the beat of a different drummer and endured a healthy dose of ridicule for it from my peers as a child. Yet like Luna, I know the value of staying true to yourself, even if that makes you a flamingo among sparrows.
4. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
On most accounts, Anne and I are as different as they come, for I’ve never been one to speak my mind. However, I understand Anne’s romantic nature, even if I don’t express it as ebulliently as she does.
5. Cal Leandros from the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman
I’ve always loved Cal, even when he is at his darkest and other reviewers find little to connect to. I’ve never quite understood why Thurman’s series isn’t more popular, and this is probably partly due to the fact that I simply get Cal. I love his witty sarcasm that permeates every thought. I guess I’ve always harbored dark cloud tendencies, so it’s nice to witness someone else be unabashedly sarcastic without devolving into melodrama.
6. Sam from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater
Firstly, no, my boyfriend does not turn into a wolf. Nor is he musically inclined, let alone prone to composing his own tunes. But there’s something about Sam’s quiet sensitivity and devotion to Grace that reminds me of my own boyfriend. I’m a lucky girl, aren’t I?
7. Sophos from the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
Continuing with characters that remind me of my boyfriend, Sophos was a delightful character to accompany on his journey from timid boy to grown man. He has reserves of strength that are evident early on, yet that he is unaware of. My boyfriend has the same kind of strength, not overt and loud, but resonating from within.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: Favorite secondary characters? (Note the plural)

Oh, goodness. Where to start?

Photo from The Leandros Lair at RobThurman.net

My first nomination has to go to Robin Goodfellow from Rob Thurman’s Cal Leandros series. Rob has proved over the years that he might be a seemingly carefree puck, but he’s also fiercely loyal to those he cares about and is a fearsome opponent to anyone who dares cross him. He’s also without a doubt one of the funniest characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading (and also probably one of the only ones to develop a fear of forks, deservedly so).

Second, I’ve got to go with the Marquis de Carabas from Neil

Marquis de Carabas by ~mlang. Click to view the rest of mlang’s deviantart gallery.

Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Elegant to the last and wonderfully ambiguous, the Marquis made an already amazing book into one of my all-time favorites. And while I’m sure that my mental image of him is not quite the same as what most people gleam from his description in the books (I lean toward the version from the graphic novels rather than the TV miniseries), the otherwordly quality of my version of the Marquis simply makes him that much more unforgettable.

Next, I’d be remiss not to mention Simon from Carolyn Crane’s Disillusionists series. From the moment he strutted on the scene, I knew I would

Trading Cards available on Carolyn Crane’s website. Click to view.

grow to love him. He’s the best kind of ally to read about, because he starts off the series in the villain category yet slowly, reluctantly falls in alongside the protagonist to help her along in her endeavors. I was fascinated to learn that Crane initially meant for him to be an enemy to Justine, but soon found that he wasn’t quite what she had expected.

Lastly, and certainly not least, are Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. While I love the golden trio, it’s this duo that makes me go back to the story time and again. Neville represents the best of you that emerges despite your own misgivings, and to me, he is the true hero of the series. He withstood similar (if not worse) experiences as Harry, could in fact have been the chosen one himself, yet without the same type of support system that Harry had, he overcame overwhelming adversity to win the battle. I don’t care what you say, it was his actions that ultimately defeated Voldemort. End rant.
As for Luna, what can I say? I envy her whimsical (yet unexpectedly pragmatic) outlook on life and her unerring ability to let the unpleasant bits roll off. She is quirky in an innate sense, rather than merely adopting the affect for appearance’s sake, and I hope I have a bit of her irreverently unique aspect about me. I share her love of creatures, especially the eccentric kind. And while I don’t quite have the coloring or the carriage to carry it off myself, I adore her fashion sense.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week we get to revisit a past topic, so I’ve chosen: Top Ten Dynamic Duos

1. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Okay, confession time: I’ve never read any of Doyle’s work. In fact, the only exposure I have to this crime-solving team is the BBC miniseries (I tried watching the Robert Downey, Jr. films but couldn’t get into them). However, my unforgivable negligence in having failed to read the source material doesn’t stop me from recognizing the sheer awesomeness of this duo, and rest assured, I have Doyle’s work on my TBR list.
2. Cal and Niko (Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman)
These brothers never fail to bring a tear to my eye with the depth of devotion toward each other that they exhibit time and again. I can’t help but claim Cal as my favorite (Niko’s ability to kill you with a tubesock notwithstanding), yet both brothers hold such a soft spot in my heart.
3. Sal and Dean (On the Road by Jack Kerouac)
Kerouac’s star duo (modeled after himself and Neal Cassady) pretty much define the concept of dynamic. In their quest to burn, burn, burn like roman candles, they exemplified the chaotic energy of an entire generation and provided inspiration for the many generations that followed.
4. Harry and Hermione (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Sorry, Ron, but Harry and Hermione’s platonic friendship is the glue that held it all together. I’m sure many HP fans will lambast my decision to break up the golden trio. I’m unrepentant.
5. Kate and Curran (Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews)
This Alpha pair has been combustible since day one, and thankfully their playful antagonism hasn’t gone anywhere despite now being mated. Best of all, they are both still just as capable on their own as they are when they’re together.
6. Cat and Bones (Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost)
So Cat is still somewhat of a brat. Even so, she’s exhibited such character growth since Halfway to the Grave that I can forgive her the occasional temper tantrum. I adore these two together and, though married life has subdued them somewhat, they are still a fearsome pair to behold when the stakes are high.
7. Gen and Irene (The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner)
To list the convoluted history of this duo’s relationship would be to give away precious spoilers for a remarkable series that is never as it seems. Suffice it to say, they will satisfy even the pickiest reader’s definition of dynamic and then some.
8. Howl and Sophie (Castle series by Diana Wynne Jones)
I have a bit of a thing for couples who are as likely to snipe at each other as they are to kiss. Sophie has always refused to allow Howl to assuage his penchant for self-indulgent histrionics, and their interactions are as hilarious as they are sweet.
9. Seregil and Alec (Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling)
No list would be complete without by favorite pair of Nightrunners. They’ve endured more than their fair share of madness and mayhem throughout the years, with threats ranging from the supernatural to the political and familial. Though they began their story as master and apprentice, they have grown into true equals without sacrificing those qualities that defined them coming into their relationship. My love for these two is massive.
I’m afraid I’ll have to stop at nine this week. Let me know who you think deserves the last slot!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Authors I’d Like To See On A Reality Show

1. George R.R. Martin on Survivor

Considering how fond Martin is of killing off his characters (particularly those I actually happen to like), I’d get a kick out of seeing how long he would last before getting kicked off himself.

2. Stephanie Perkins on Project Runway

If Lola and the Boy Next Door convinced me of anything, it’s that I would love to see all of the fashions that Perkins described hit the runway for real.

3. Neil Gaiman on Face Off

Gaiman’s imagination seems to have no bounds, particularly when it comes to describing the strange and unexpected. I would love to see what crazy creatures he would come up with on this special effects makeup show.

4. Sarah Addison Allen on Top Chef

Allen’s descriptions of food culture set the perfect tone for her evocative, whimsical stories. I’ve lusted after so many of the dishes described in her stories, so I’d like to see her come up with some new culinary masterpieces.

5. Maria V. Snyder on Hell’s Kitchen

In contrast to Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen is louder, bawdier, and seemingly more cut-throat, so perhaps Snyder could put some her poisons knowledge to the test and cut back on the competition. (Of course I’m joking…sort of…)

6. Rob Thurman on Fear Factor

Thurman is one tough chick, as her kick-ass characters attest. I’d love to see how far she could make it, and whether she would ultimately succumb to chickening out or getting grossed out.

7. John Green on The Real World

Judging by his vlogs, it’s clear that Green is one of the most likable and hilarious people on the planet. I’m not even sure if The Real World is still on air (I suspect it isn’t), but I would resurrect it just to see more of A Day in the Life of John Green.

8. Seanan McGuire on American Idol

I’ve not actually heard any of McGuire’s music, although I’m aware that she has released several albums. It would be great to see someone mix things up on Idol for once, and perhaps drop a few hints about one Toby Daye in the process.

That’s all I’ve got for this week, since I don’t tend to watch much reality television.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Favorite Quotes From Books

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

“I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you — especially when you are near to me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.”

2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

“He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn’t occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.”

3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”‘

4. Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling

“Though you thrust your dagger at my eyes, I will not flinch.”

5. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”

6. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

“I was suddenly struck by how dissimilar we were. It occurred to me that if Grace and I were objects, she would be an elaborate digital clock, synced up with the World Clock in London with technical perfection, and I’d be a snow globe – shaken memories in a glass ball.”

7. Blood Magic by Eileen Wilks

“What was romance but a lovely bit of play between man and woman?”

8. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

“Nothing was happening, really, but the moment was thick with mattering.”

9. Roadkill by Rob Thurman

“Pick up your clothes. I am not your maid. How do I know this? A maid cannot kill you with a tube sock. I can. ”

10. XVII (I do not love you…) by Pablo Neruda

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books You’d Like To See Made Into A Movie

1. Nightlife by Rob Thurman

Filled with wry humor and things that go bump in the night.

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

A romcom with substance, this one would entirely depend on the soundtrack and choice of actors.

3. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

I adore cloak and dagger type fantasy, and this one has it in spades, with a kick-ass heroine to boot.

4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This one would be all atmosphere and sparse dialogue and muted colors, and it would be beautiful.

5. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

I vote for this one simply to see one of my favorite and most feared villains come to life on the big screen.

6. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

A fresh gothic romance whose visual elements demand cinematic attention.

And three that I wish had been made into better movies.

7. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Alright, I admit it; I actually liked the first one before all the hype. It’s by no means literary gold or the portrayal of a healthy relationship, but it was romantic, and I envisioned it playing out like an indie film.

8. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

The Neverwhere in my head is a wild and expansive thing, and the BBC version failed its surreal promise.

9. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

I understand that the sixties were a time apart film-wise, but this truly eerie classic calls for an update that allows the horror elements to shine.