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 Liked Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

1. The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

These two talented ladies found inspiration in each other’s work, and it shows. There’s much of Howl in Gen, including an impossible wit and proclivity for temper tantrums. There’s also just enough fantasy to keep genre fans satisfied.

2. Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling

Flewelling’s series juggles numerous adult themes and so the tone is more mature than that of Jones’s classic children’s book. However, Alec and Seregil constantly snark at each other and get into hijinks reminiscent of Sophie and Howl’s adventures.

3. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

There’s decidedly less humor in Cashore’s series, yet fans of Diana Wynne Jones’ writing will surely find much to love in Cashore’s lush worldbuilding.

4. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unlike Howl, Unspoken is set in modern times, yet Brennan has infused her story with the same wry humor that Jones was so well known for. Had Jones decided to write a gothic romance novel, Unspoken surely would have been its doppleganger.

5. A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede

Mairelon reminded me quite a bit of Howl, though he was rather less prone to histrionics. A Matter of Magic is a slower read than Howl and rather less funny, but it’s a great example of a fantasy of manners.

6. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman can turn anything into gold, and his attempt at an original fairy tale is no exception. Both Howl and Stardust excel at not taking themselves too seriously, which I believe is an important but oft-overlooked elemet to any humorous fantasy novel.

7. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

McKinley is the queen of fairy tale adaptations, yet her Damar stories are just as brilliant. While Howl fans should seek out McKinley’s entire catalogue of work, The Blue Sword is a good place to start.

8. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

If you’re after humorous fantasy, you can’t do better than The Princess Bride.

Some other titles that aren’t quite as similar yet that might interest Howl’s fans include: Chronicles of Lumatere series by Melina Marchetta, Study series by Maria V. Snyder, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

 

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 To Read In A Day

Since nearly every book I pick up is a read-in-a-day book for me, I feel like my judgment in this category isn’t on par with most other readers’. I decided to stick mostly to children’s and younger adult books since they are all fairly short, because I’m not sure how many people other than myself would want to slog through a five hundred-plus page book in one sitting simply because it’s so good.

1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

3. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

5. The China Garden by Liz Berry

6. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

7. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

8. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

9. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

10. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi over at The Story Siren to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

Bought

  • Illusion by Paula Volsky
  • Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling
  • Mélusine by Sarah Monette
  • Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • Black Night by Christina Henry
  • Of Darkness, Light, and Fire (Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light & The Fire’s Stone) by Tanya Huff
  • Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
  • Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn
  • Tangled Webs by Anne Bishop
Gifted
  • Archangel by Sharon Shinn
  • The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Glimpses by Lynn Flewelling
  • Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

The Past Week

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

Hiren's Magical Adventure by Kathleen Patel

World on Fire by Hayley B. James

Doubletake by Rob Thurman

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Reading Now

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The Week Ahead

The Burmudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

Jane by April Lindner

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: Which non-series book would you most like to read the sequel to? Do you have any wishes for what might happen in it?

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve responded with this same answer, and in fact answered this same question a while ago in a previous Booking Through Thursday post. I’ll simply repeat what I said before.

Since I’ve already lamented multiple times about this very topic, I will keep my answer short and sweet. Ms. McKinley, please write us a sequel for Sunshine. Rae and Con’s story is not over. The ending is not poetically vague. It is inadequate, and we need more. Until you oblige us, I will have to satisfy myself with my own poorly-written fanfiction, so I ask, please spare me that.

While the romantic in me wants Rae and Con to find some way to be together, I understand that, as a strict urban fantasy story, there are no happily-ever-after guarantees. In truth, it could come across as maudlin to force the two together, yet I need at least some closure to their story.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

The Past Week

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Beauty in the Beast by Christine Danse

Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

Reading Now

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Week Ahead

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi over at The Story Siren to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

Bought

  • Pegasus by Robin McKinley
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsay
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
  • One Day by David Nicholls
  • The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
  • Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
  • Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
  • The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
  • Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr

For Review

  • World on Fire by Hayley B. James (from NetGalley)
  • The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson (from NetGalley)
  • Firelight by Kristen Callihan (from NetGalley)
  • Beauty in the Beast by Christine Danse (from NetGalley)
  • Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (from NetGalley)

Received

  • Disillusionists trading cards (thanks to Carolyn Crane!)
  • Wild & Steamy Anthology by Meljean Brook, Jill Myles, and Carolyn Crane
  • Thief! by Megan Whalen Turner
  • Eddis by Megan Whalen Turner

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: Have you every written any fan-fiction? If yes, why and for which book(s)? If no, would you like to and for which books(s)? For that matter, do you ever READ fan-fiction??

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

I do read fanfiction to fill in the void in between installments and after completion of some of my favorite series. I’ve never felt bound in by the limits of what authors provide us, and often change many aspects of a story in my head as I am reading if the author’s portrayal doesn’t comport with my own perception of a story and its characters. While there is a spate of inelegant fanfiction out there, there are likewise many fanfiction authors who have a gift for words. Reading others’ interpretations of some of my beloved stories can add a new dimension to old favorites, sometimes more thoroughly than mere discussion could.

That being said, I’ll admit to having written some fanfiction of my own. Though she asks that her readers not post any fiction derived from her work, the end of Robin McKinley’s Sunshine left me so unsatisfied that I felt compelled to write my own epilogue of sorts. In respect of her wishes, I wrote it merely for my own benefit and haven’t shared it with others. I also went through a phase a few summers ago in which I was rather preoccupied with The Office, and posted a few fics regarding Jim and Pam’s relationship (a testament to my disgustingly romantic nature). If anyone is interested, a link is provided below.

My fanfiction for The Office on FanFiction.net

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 I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read X

I’m going to cheat a bit, since I can’t decide among the genres I usually read, and do five books each for romance, fantasy, and young adult.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Romance

1. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

This one might not be considered a romance in the strictest sense, but it is simple and innocent and so lovely.

2. The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley

This novel defies romance reader expectations, going against the grain to deliver a hero unlike any I’ve seen in the genre before.

3. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Crusie infuses her novel with enough humor and palpable chemistry between her leads to win over even the harshest critics.

4. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Considered one of the seminal historical romances, Chase’s dialogue  is highly engaging and the plot substantial enough to pique picky readers’ interest.

5. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

James creates a relationship between her two characters that is sustained by mutual equality and respect rather than misunderstanding and manipulation.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Fantasy

1. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Any Gaiman work could win over fantasy-wary readers; Neverwhere just happens to be my favorite.

2. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card

Card effortlessly weaves Russian folklore into a tapestry of fairy tale, horror, romance, and coming-of-age triumph.

3. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

While not an urban fantasy, Snyder’s writing has all the accessibility of the genre along with a unique plot and a heroine to root for.

4. The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

Part steampunk magic, part romance, and part western adventure, Hobson’s world is unlike any I’ve encountered before.

5. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Each book in the Toby Daye series is better than the last. This is one of the best urban fantasies out there, with fae, folklore, romance, a genuinely relatable and capable heroine, and humor to spare.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read Young Adult

1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

It does a disservice to Marchetta’s writing to limit it to young readers. The complexity of her stories can appeal to young and mature readers alike.

2. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

A lesser known work by the author of the much lauded The Book Thief, this coming-of-age story is thought-provoking and highlights the beauty that can be found in even the most dire circumstances.

3. The China Garden by Liz Berry

Sadly overlooked amidst the masses of paranormals, this is a quiet modern fairy tale that treads new ground without abandoning its simplicity.

4. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

A novel in verse that explores the divergent yet resonant voices of high school students.

5. Beauty by Robin McKinley

This Beauty and the Beast adaptation transcends generations. It remains one of the best and most beautiful iterations of the tale.

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 Wish Would Write Another Book (debut authors, authors who seem to have taken a hiatus, OR for those who read classics authors you wish would have written another book before they passed).

1. Jane Austen

Each of Austen’s novels epitomizes romantic ideals. Her heroines are every woman’s best friend, and her heroes every woman’s dream. How nice it would be to have another pairing to add to the list of fantastic Austen couples.

2. Victoria Holt

I’ve read every novel published under the Holt pseudonym, and in fact own multiple copies of most. Her stories offer the ultimate escapist romantic adventure. I can always count on a Holt novel to cheer me up, and I wish there were at least one more to add to the shelf.

3. Neil Gaiman

It’s been quite a while since Gaiman has released an adult title, though he has been promising a third book set in his American Gods world for quite some time.

4. Liz Berry

The China Garden has been one of my favorite books for nearly a decade now. It’s such a wonderful yet overlooked story; I’d love to see Berry become a bigger presence in the young adult paranormal field.

5. J.K. Rowling

While I love Harry Potter for the story, I’ve never felt that Rowling was a particularly strong writer. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt for delivering a solid children’s series, but I’d like to see what she has to offer to an exclusively adult audience.

6. Gail Dayton

I loved the first two books in Dayton’s steampunk romance series, and so am disappointed that publication of the third seems to have been delayed.

7. Robin McKinley

I will lament McKinley’s decision to leave Sunshine as a standalone novel until she realizes the error of her ways and graces fans with a sequel to Sunshine and Con’s story.

8. Anna Katherine

I read Salt and Silver years ago and was excited to have found a new urban fantasy series with a unique premise. Unfortunately, it’s remained a standalone with no sign of a sequel on the horizon.

9. David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Any time these two authors pair up, it’s magical. I’m not aware of any plans for another alternating POV story in the future, but I hope that changes.

10. Dru Pagliasotti

Clockwork Heart was one of my favorite reads of 2010 and a welcome addition to the steampunk romance genre, which is sadly sparse. I hope to see some action on the proposed sequel this year.