Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations

Top Ten TuesdayOooh, it’s TUESDAY!  I’m off from work (yay!  I’m off *every* Tuesday!), and that means I get to sleep in and hang out with a bunch of top ten lists all day if I want!  Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by the wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish!
This week we’re talking about recommendations, books we recommend the most.  This will be FUN!  I’m looking forward to others’ recommendations, as well!

Top Ten  Books I Recommend The Most

1.  The By the Numbers series by Janet Evanovitch–I LOVE these books, and while the last few have been kind of…meh, the first dozen or so are a HOOT, and a fun read.  I recommend these books to people who are looking for fast, fun reads.  I think my friend Susan put it best when she said “they won’t contaminate you”.

2.  Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake–I just…fell in love with this book from the first chapter.  Cas, as a character, was likeable and relatable, and the fact that he went around killing dangerous ghosts?  AWESOME.  I think I have only not recommended this book to one person, and that was just to say “yeah, don’t read this before bed…”

3.  Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger–this is probably the strangest book on my list.  Not because it’s steampunk, or deals with werewolves and vampires, but because I did not like the book.  I read the entire thing, and I liked the characters, I liked the storyline, I just…hated the way it was written.  I’m not a huge fan of Victorian area writing styles (the insistence on calling people by their last names and the overwrought descriptions) just drive me bonkers.  However, I know that there are people out there who like all of that stuff, and for them, Soulless and the entire series would be GREAT books for them, just…not for me, unfortunately.

4.  The Many Lives of Lilith Lane by EV Whitney–one of my favorite reads from last year, Lilith was originally an Amazon serial, but is now available in both ebook and hard copy forms.  I picked up the free first issue, and loved it so much I went out an immediately bought the serial.  I loved each installment, and I recommend it to people who are looking for something new/a new author to read.

5.  unEnchanted by Chanda Hahn–I got this for free of off the Kindle store, and it’s the story of a girl who happens to be descended from the original Grimm brothers–but they brought a curse down on the family, and each descendant is destined to relive each fairy tale until one of them completes every single one.  Mina’s father was the last Grimm to succumb to the curse, and now it’s Mina’s turn.  A great book for people like me who love fairytale retellings.

6.  The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon–one of my favorite series, EVER.  I love the characters, the settings, the storylines…everything about this series I love…well, except for The Firey Cross, but that’s what happens when you send a barely edited book to press…or at least that’s what I’ve heard.  The series starts out in post WWII Scotland, and covers the Jacobite rising, the 60s, and is now working on the American revolution.  LOVE seeing the world through Claire and Jamie’s eyes!

7.  Summer Sisters by Judy Blume–probably my all time favorite Judy Blume book, I read the covers off my copy practically.  It got lost in a move, unfortunately, but I remember several times reading it, then as soon as I finished the last page flipping back to the front and starting all over again.  It’s a great summer read, or for when you need a good tear jerker.

8.  The Anna Pigeon novels by Nevada Barr–set in the National Park system from Michigan to California to the very southern tip of Florida, you get to see the parks through Anna’s eyes.  These are great novels for anyone who loves the NPS, the outdoors, or mystery novels.

9.  The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough–one of my all time favorites, I’ve owned several different copies over the years as I leant it out and ended up rebuying it when I didn’t get my copy back.  My current copy is a coverless hardbound one that I “borrowed” from my last job and “forgot” to take back when I finished reading it (it was a decorative book on a shelf, no one even missed it).

10.  The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child–the first Aloysius Pendergast novel I read, I was fascinated by the story and the characters.  Now I devour just about anything these authors write, but I probably recommend this book more than any of the others because it was the one that made me fall in love with the series.

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Top Ten Tuesday

Okay, this is not my favorite topic–I’m really not one to anticipate book releases (well, other than certain series like The Wheel of Time).  I honestly can not tell you a single book that has a release date in 2013.  I used to go into bookstores just to see if my favorite authors had released a new book or not.  Book release date, what’s that?  The next book I’d probably mark on my calendar would be the sequel to A Dance with Dragons, honestly.  I’m going to try, though, I pulled up a list of releases on Barnes and Noble’s website, and meandered around on Goodreads.

1.  A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson–HOLY CRAP THE LAST BOOK OMG OMG OMG!  Okay, I am totally excited about this–it’s the last book in one of the most epic series of all time.  Too bad it doesn’t come out in December so that my husband can get it for me for Christmas, like he’s done with the last few books.  My birthday, perhaps?
Release Date:  Week of Jan. 7th

2.  Scarlet by Marissa Meyer(Lunar Chronicles #2)–Okay, I haven’t read Cinder yet, but I’m sure I will by the time the second book comes out.  Cinderella retelling with cyborgs? Yes please!
Release date:  Feb. 5th

3.  Ever After by Kim Harrison (The Hollows #11)–I’m woefully behind in this series by about 3 books, but I *love* these books, so I can be excited about another one coming out to add to my teetering To Read pile.
Release Date:  Jan. 22nd

4.  Revealed by PC and Kristen Cast (House of Night #11)–Zoey Redbird is probably #1 on a lot of people’s most annoying main character EVER (she’s up there on mine), but for some reason I just can’t get enough of these books!  I’m fascinated by the Casts’ version of vampires, and the tattoos are a really neat concept, plus, this has to be close to the end of the series.  Zoey can only thwart Neferet for so long before she defeats her once and for all, right?
Release date:  sometime in 2013

5.  Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #8)–More Jamie Frasier!  YAY!  I love these books so much.  Judging from the synopsis on Goodreads, though, I’m going to have to reread An Echo in the Bone before I read this one…Jamie’s best friend marries his wife?  What?

Hmm, maybe I’ll finish out my list with books I’d like to see published?  I just…can’t dig out any more books I’d anticipate, and honestly, the list above is…not really all that anticipated, other than A Memory of Light (and I’m not going to lie, this list is the only reason I know it’s coming out).

6.  Dollhouse #2 by Anya Allyn–the ending of book was extremely abrupt, and there is no book 2 in sight yet.  Dollhouse was creepy and twisted and perfect Halloween reading–a giant dollhouse underground beneath a National Park in Australia?  EEEEEESSSSH!!!  I’m also interested to see where book #2 goes, plotwise.

7.  Matt Archer:  Monster Hunter book 2 by Kendra C Highley–Matt Archer is like..12 and works for the US Army as a monster hunter after he accidentally picks up a strange knife his uncle owns.  I’m sure there’s going to be more of this story, and the first one was very well done!

8.  The Many Lives of Lilith Lane sequel (or another book) by EV Anderson–my first foray into Kindle serials, and I love loved looooooved this story.  Lilith is splitting her time between two realities–one where her younger sister was kidnapped and murdered and one where she is still alive, but in danger of being kidnapped an murdered.  If you haven’t checked this out (or other serials from Plympton Publishing), you are missing out!

9.  Spookygirl:  Paranormal Investigator sequel by Jill Baguchinksky–LOVED this book, loved Violet, and Buster was absolutely adorable.  Would love to see more from this series and the author!  ❤ Jill!

10.  The Toadhouse Trilogy book #2 by Jess Lourey–book 1 had the heroes book hopping to save their lives.  It’s fun to see books (this one included The Time Machine, A Tale of Two Cities and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) from a different perspective, and honestly, who hasn’t wanted to step inside their favorite book and experience it as a character?

Top Ten Tuesday!

It’s Thanksgiving week everyone (well, if you’re in the United States, that is.  The silly Canadians had theirs already).  This week’s Top Ten list is going to be very thankful, and about a lot of things!  But only 10 of them!

Okay, I’m being silly–it’s the NaNo that does it.  It makes my brain go all to mush and makes me feel guilty when I type words somewhere that do NOT go into the Word file.  Heh.

 Top Ten Books/Authors I’m Thankful For

1.  Mercedes Lackey–I’m thankful for her because I know that I’ll have “go-to” fantasy as long as she’s writing books.  I may not read much in her Heralds of Valdemar series (mostly because she’s been writing it for so long that her original canon has gotten lost and/or forgotten as she continues to write them), but I love her Elemental Masters series.  I also really enjoyed that a lot of her early books are actually illustrated with some fascinating and beautiful drawings by Larry Dixon.

2.  The Harry Potter Series–I generally leave most HP references off of my TTT list (because I know I’ll see them everywhere else, too :D), but this is the prefect list to have it on.  I’ve enjoyed the books countless times and often escaped into Hogwarts with Harry, Ron, and Hermoine in daydreams.  I also appreciate it because I know that this series either brought people back into the world of reading, or introduced them to it.

3.  Judy Blume–my mom always made sure I had a never-ending stream of good books to read, and I loved Judy Blume.  She tackled the difficult adolescent issues with ease and made me feel like I wasn’t the only person in the world dealing with some issue or another.

4.  Fairytale retellings–there are a lot out there that I haven’t read, but a lot I have.  Mercedes Lackey does a wonderful job, I *love* Gregory Maguire’s books, and I’ve found a couple of cute free Kindle books that do a good job as well, notably UnEnchanted.  I love fairy tales in general, and when people put a new spin on them…it makes me happy.  I think my next “have to get” book is going to be Cinder.

5.  Faye Kellerman–she writes novels from a unique perspective that you don’t see very often in books.  Her main characters, Rina and Peter Decker are Orthodox Jewish.  She describes Peter’s conversion and Rina’s dedication to her religion and people intertwined with the cases that Decker investigates.  She works in little details that you don’t think about in normal life–such as places that serve meat will not serve cheese, painting a positive viewpoint of a people who have been beleaguered and oppressed for centuries.  I love her books (I read her husband, Jonathan, as well, but he always seems to stick in some stereotypical Jewish character or backhanded comment).

6.  By the Numbers series by Janet Evanovitch–this series was recommended to me around the same time by two completely different people–my friend Susan and my mom.  Mom and I used to pass these books back and forth, and she even got my dad into reading them, so now Dad and I pass them back and forth.  It’s one of the few series my dad will actually read (he’s not a reader at all).  They’re great “escape” reads and even though the books are getting a bit..meh, I’ll probably still read every one that is published because of how I was introduced to it.

7.  Louisa May Alcott–while I haven’t read her entire catalogue, she is one of the few authors from her era that I actually enjoy.  I used to read Little Women 2-3 times a year growing up, and I have a fantastic collector hard bound edition that has gilt edges that I just absolutely love.  She had a way of writing that somehow works even now.

8.  Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Patterson–I still giggle when I hear “We pause for identification”, because this is the first place I read this joke.  “We paws, get it?”  The story of twins fighting for their parents attention is a fantastic coming of age story set on an island.  One of my all time favorite YA reads.

9.  Diana Gabaldon–her books are well written, well researched, and just overall fantastic (except for The Firey Cross, but I blame her publishers for rushing her).  I enjoy her Lord John books, even though I’m not fond of Lord John in the Outlander series

10.  The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough–I know this was on last week’s desert island reads, but…I can’t help it.  It’s one of my top 3 all time favorite books.  Meggie is one of my favorite heroines, and the forbidden love between her and the priest Ralph…is one of my top favorite love stories.  I just love this book–I cry when the baby dies, when Paddy dies, when Ralph leaves Meggie, and at other points.  LOVE this book.