Favorite LGBT+ Books that DON’T Feature Cis M/M Couples

Hosted at the Goodreads group: Top 5 Wednesday.

The prompt post says it better than I ever could.

This may seem oddly specific, but in honor of Pride being this month, I wanted to have a topic to celebrate LGBTQ+ books. But, the book community tends to, when given the chance, lift up cis m/m pairings the most. And while those books are still important and valued (we’ve even had topics covering m/m relationships earlier this year, which featured many cis m/m pairings), I wanted to shine the spotlight on some of those lesser known, recognized, and celebrated books. – Samantha

I’m guilty of this. I love reading books that have LGBT+ representation, as well as romance novels that feature LGBT+ couples – but, sadly, I usually default to cis (someone that identifies exclusively to the sex they were assigned at birth) M/M stories. Mostly because they are the easiest to find. (And I’ve come across too many cis F/F stories that are still sexist.) I do miss the days when I used to spend hours searching for books on the internet, going through dozens of lists until I found exactly what I was looking for.

That being said, there’s no way this will be limited to only five. I mean, I’d been wanting to do a couple lists like this for Pride month, but the last time I gave it a thought was back in March and I’ve been too absent lately to get it done.

Favorite Books Featuring a Cis F/F Pairing

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Daybreak Rising by Kiran Oliver

Rep: lesbian, demi, pan, trans and doubtlessly something I’m forgetting.

Celosia Brennan was supposed to be a hero. After a spectacular failure that cost her people their freedom, she is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance at redemption. Together with a gifted team of rebels, she not only sets her sights on freedom, but defeating her personal demons along the way.

Now branded a failure, Celosia desperately volunteers for the next mission: taking down the corrupt Council with a team of her fellow elementally gifted mages. Leading the Ember Operative gives Celosia her last hope at redemption. They seek to overthrow the Council once and for all, this time bringing the fight to Valeria, the largest city under the Council’s iron grip. But Celosia’s new teammates don’t trust her—except for Ianthe, a powerful Ice Elementalist who happens to believe in second chances.

With Council spies, uncontrolled magic, and the distraction of unexpected love, Celosia will have to win the trust of her teammates and push her abilities to the breaking point to complete the Ember Operative. Except if she falters this time, there won’t be any Elementalists left to stop the Council from taking over not just their country, but the entire world.

Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger

Rep: lesbian

Vampires are keeping an inventor in their potting shed. Imogene wants to seduce her.

Imogene Hale is a lowly parlourmaid with a soul-crushing secret. Seeking solace, she takes work at a local vampire hive, only to fall desperately in love with the amazing lady inventor imprisoned there.

Genevieve Lefoux is heartsick, lonely, and French.

With culture, class, and the lady herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster overcome all odds and win Genevieve’s heart, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents this stand-alone lesbian romance is set in her popular steampunk Parasolverse, full of class prejudice, elusive equations, and paranormal creatures taking tea.

Supernatural Society stories can be read in any order. Look for surprise appearances from popular Parasol Protectorate characters and the occasional strategic application of cognac.

Delicate Sensibilities?

This story contains women pleasing women and ladies who know what they want and pursue it, sometimes in exquisite detail.

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Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Rep: lesbian with a secondary trans character (that’s the main character in the sequel)

Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.

Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman

Rep: lesbian

Small-batch independent yarn dyer Clara Ziegler is eager to brainstorm new color combinations–if only she could come up with ideas she likes as much as last time! When she sees Danielle Solomon’s paintings of Florida wildlife by chance at a neighborhood gallery, she finds her source of inspiration. Outspoken, passionate, and complicated, Danielle herself soon proves even more captivating than her artwork…

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The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz

Rep: lesbian and asexual

Clara Gutierrez is a highly-skilled technician specializing in the popular ‘Raise’ AI companions. Her childhood in a migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering in any one place, so she sticks around just long enough to replenish her funds before she moves on, her only constant companion Joanie, a fierce, energetic Raise hummingbird.

Sal is a fully autonomous robot, the creation of which was declared illegal ages earlier due to ethical concerns. She is older than the law, however, at best out of place in society and at worst hated. Her old master is long dead, but she continues to run the tea shop her master had owned, lost in memories of the past, slowly breaking down, and aiming to fulfill her master’s dream for the shop.

When Clara stops by Sal’s shop for lunch, she doesn’t expect to find a real robot there, let alone one who might need her help. But as they begin to spend time together and learn more about each other, they both start to wrestle with the concept of moving on…

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars by Michael Dante DiMartino & Irene Koh

Rep: bisexual

Relishing their newfound feelings for each other, Korra and Asami leave the Spirit World . . . but find nothing in Republic City but political hijinks and human vs. spirit conflict!

A pompous developer plans to turn the new spirit portal into an amusement park, potentially severing an already tumultuous connection with the spirits. What’s more, the triads have realigned and are in a brutal all-out brawl at the city’s borders – where hundreds of evacuees have relocated!

In order to get through it all, Korra and Asami vow to look out for each other – but first, they’ve got to get better at being a team and a couple!

Favorite Books Featuring a Trans Character

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The Doctor’s Discretion by E.E. Ottoman

Rep: Trans with a M/M romance.

(I find it important to note that this is an #ownvoices trans story.)

New York City, 1831.

Passion, medicine and a plan to break the law …

When Doctor William Blackwood, a proper gentleman who prefers books to actual patients, meets retired Navy surgeon Doctor Augustus Hill, they find in each other not just companionship but the chance of pleasure–and perhaps even more. The desire between them is undeniable but their budding relationship is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious patient at New York Hospital.

Mr. Moss has been accused of being born a woman but living his life as a man, an act that will see him committed to an asylum for the rest of his life. William and Augustus are determined to mount a rescue even if it means kidnapping him instead.

Their desperate plan sets William and Augustus against the hospital authorities, and the law. Soon they find themselves embroiled in New York’s seedy underworld, mixed up with prostitutes, spies, and more than a lifetime’s worth of secrets. When nothing is as it seems can they find something real in each other?

Spy Stuff by Mathew J. Metzger

Rep: Trans with a M/M romance. (Side note: some angst free bi-rep, too.)

(Also #ownvoices trans.)

Anton never thought anyone would ever want to date him. Everyone knows nobody wants a transgender boyfriend, right? So he’s as shocked as anyone when seemingly-straight Jude Kalinowski asks him out, and doesn’t appear to be joking.

The only problem is … well, Jude doesn’t actually know.

Anton can see how this will play out: Jude is a nice guy, and nice guys finish last. And Anton is transgender, and transgender people don’t get happy endings. If he tells Jude, it might destroy everything.

And if Jude tells anyone else … it will.

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Dreadnought by April Daniels

Rep: Trans lesbian

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero.

Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.

She doesn’t have much time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

Favorite Books With a Poly Relationship

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Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

Features: F/F/M

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.
With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . .

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Features: F/F/M open relationship

Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn’t want a fairy tale happy ending after all.

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The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

Features: M/M/F open relationship-ish

Moon has spent his life hiding what he is — a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself… someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn’t tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power… that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony’s survival… and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save himself… and his newfound kin.

Assorted Rep

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The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

Rep: lesbian (but it takes until the final book for her to get a girlfriend)

You know how all those old fairy tales take you through lots of scary adventures till you finally reach that inevitable line: “And they lived happily ever after…” Guess what? It’s not true. Life in never-never land isn’t all sweetness and light. Cinderella – whose real name is Danielle Whiteshore (nee Danielle de Glas) – does marry Prince Armand. And (if you can ignore the pigeon incident) their wedding is a dream-come-true.

But not long after the “happily ever after,” Danielle is attacked by her stepsister Charlotte, who suddenly has all sorts of magic to call upon. And though Talia – otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty – comes to the rescue (she’s a martial arts master, and all those fairy blessings make her almost unbeatable), Charlotte gets away.

That’s when Danielle discovers a number of disturbing facts: Armand has been kidnapped and taken to the realm of the Fairies; Danielle is pregnant with his child; and the Queen has her very own Secret Service that consists of Talia and Snow (White, of course). Snow is an expert at mirror magic and heavy-duty flirting.

Can three princesses track down Armand and extract both the prince and themselves from the clutches of some of fantasyland’s most nefarious villains?

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows

Rep: more than I could list, but let’s give it a try… There is a F/F romance with a bisexual woman and a trans woman, a poly F/F/M romance with a aromantic woman, a M/M romance that is budding into a M/M/F romance, a trans man and, finally, the royalty in main fantasy country practice triad marriages.

When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.

There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.

Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.

Can one girl – an accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?

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Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan

Rep: an entire gender neutral society

The future is coming…for some, sooner than others.

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but when faced with a terminal illness, he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. He could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began…but only if he can survive Hollow World.

 

And there’s a list of … 15 awesome LGBT+ friendly books that don’t feature cis M/M. Go me! Anyway, totally can’t wait to see everyone elses lists and I plan to load up my TBR this week!

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Top Ten Books I Will Read this Summer (Summer TBR)

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. I actually did pretty good with my spring TBR. I only missed one book. So, that book carries over this quarter and I hope I can get all these read this summer. (The first three are books I’ve had since last year, the rest are from my trusty true randomizer.)

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The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan

A daughter vanishes. Two rogues are paid a fortune to find her. It isn’t enough.

When Gabriel Winter’s daughter mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, the wealthy whiskey baron seeks revenge. Having lived in Colnora during the infamous Year of Fear, he hires the one man he knows can deliver a bloody retribution – the notorious Duster.

Ride with Royce and Hadrian as the cynical ex-assassin and idealistic ex-mercenary travel to a mysterious old-world city filled with nobles claiming descent from imperial aristocracy. Riyria’s job appears easy: discover what happened to the missing duchess and, if she lives, bring her home . . . if not, punish those responsible. But nothing is simple in the crowded, narrow, mist-filled streets of Rochelle, where more than one ancient legend lurks.

The Painter Knight by Fiona Patton

THE PASSING OF THE FLAME

Simon, the Court Painter of Branion, was the closest friend of the kingdom’s ruler. Aristok Marsellus the Third. And though Marsellus was the vessel of the Living Flame, able to call upon the power of his god at need, while Simon was a follower of the opposing Essusiate religion, still it was the painter, not Marsellus’s own priests and guards, who was the Aristok’s staunchest ally and defender.

Yet not even Simon could protect Marsellus from unexpected treachery within the Banion court. But when an assassin’s blade put a sudden end to Marsellus’s reign, it was Simon who—at the dictate of both his own god and his friend’s specter—became the champion and rescuer of the new Aristok, Marsellus’s five-year-old daughter Kassandra.

With civil and religious war threatening the suddenly leaderless realm, and Kassandra herself lighting to survive becoming the new vessel of the living Flame, Simon had no choice but to flee Branion with the child. Pursued by the very forces which should have been the new ruler’s protectors, Simon and a most unlikely band of companions had to keep both the child and her powers hidden while they made a desperate bid to reach the one person who could offer the uncrowned Aristok both sanctuary and a chance, however desperate, of regaining her kingdom and bringing her father’s slayers to justice.

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Karneval omnibus #8 by Touya Mikanagi

At Yanari’s party, Nai and the crew deepen their friendships and experience the warmth that comes of supporting and encouraging one another. Upon their return to the 2nd Ship, Gareki is summoned to meet with a stranger, who has come aboard disguised as a tree…?!
But back at Chronomé Academy, Kafka launches an attack, sending a swarm of Varuga to lay siege to the prestigious school. And when Tsubame attempts to protect her friends…she ends up a hostage herself! With Gareki back on board the 2nd Ship, who will come to her rescue?!

The Heart of the Lost Star by Megan Derr

Kamir is on the verge of losing everything. Knowing full well he can’t meet the ultimatum his parents have issued, he instead finally puts in motion his plans to live completely independent of them. His plans are interrupted, however, by the unexpected return of his despised ex-husband—and thrown even further into upheaval when he ends up comforting the man he’s secretly loved for years.

Jader may not know where he comes from, but he knows where he belongs and what he wants—until he helps rescue some stranded Bentan travelers, one of whom look almost exactly like Jader, throwing his life and everything he thought he knew into tumult. Scared and overwhelmed, Jader flees—and lands unexpectedly in the arms of a man he’s always seen, but never really noticed.

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Dreamhearth by M.C.A. Hogarth

Jahir and Vasiht’h have earned their licenses as xenotherapists at last, and they have their hearts set on starting their practice in one of the Alliance’s most exciting and cosmopolitan destinations: a sector starbase. But dream therapy is a revolutionary treatment modality, and as esper practictioners they will have to work hard to win the trust of their community. Not only that, but they have a deadline: if they can’t prove themselves an asset to the starbase within six months, they’ll have to leave! It’ll take hard work, compassion, and a dollop of luck to navigate the pitfalls of this challenge… but surely two such extraordinary friends can find a way to claim their dream hearth.

Open for Business by Angel Martinez

When humans forsake the temples, the gods need to find other employment. Hades opens Brandywine Investigations after his divorce and his subsequent move to the modern world. If he was hoping for boring infidelity cases and lost dogs, he’s sorely mistaken as murder and mayhem find his agency and his extended family at an astonishing rate.

Includes:
Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses: Brandywine Investigations #1
No Enemy But Time: Brandywine Investigations #2
Dragons, Diamonds & Discord: Brandywine Investigations #3

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A Harvest of Ripe Figs by Shira Glassman

Esther of the Singing Hands is Perach’s Sweetheart, a young and beautiful musician with a Girl Next Door image. When her violin is stolen after a concert in the capital city, she doesn’t expect the queen herself to show up, intent upon solving the mystery.

But Queen Shulamit–lesbian, intellectual, and mother of the six month old crown princess–loves to play detective. With the help of her legendary bodyguard Rivka and her dragon, and with the support of her partner Aviva the Chef, Shulamit turns her mind toward the solution–which she quickly begins to suspect involves the use of illegal magic that could threaten the safety of her citizens.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

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City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Telepath by Janet Edwards

Amber is one of over a million eighteen-year-olds in one of the great hive cities of twenty-sixth century Earth. She’s about to enter the Lottery of 2532, which will assess her abilities and decide her hive level, her profession, her whole future life. Amber’s dream is to be level 10 or above, her nightmare is to be a level 99 Sewage Technician.

When Lottery discovers Amber is a rare and precious telepath, she must adapt to a new life protecting the people of the crowded hive city. Her job is hunting down criminals before they commit their crimes, but she doesn’t know she’s being hunted herself.

 

Well… These are definitely not the books I would have chosen for this list, but that’s why I use a randomizer – because some of these I really need to get through. Anyway, what are you planning to read this season?

If I’d Win a $100 Visa Card…(I wouldn’t be a very good reader)

Hosted at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Love the prompt this week!

You have just won a $100.00 Visa gift card. Will you spend the entire amount on a rare collector’s edition you have always wanted, or buy several newly-published books? Explain your choice.

Honestly? Probably neither. I’d most likely spend it on video games. You see, I usually use Amazon gift cards to buy my books and Visa cards for digital downloads – except I do try to use Steam gift cards when I can. Ooh, or I might buy nail polish with it. My reasoning is that if I buy a Visa gift card (which I do) I know it costs a ‘service fee’ so I try to only use that for things I can’t buy using a gift card that has no service fee. (Like Amazon or Steam cards.) So… Yeah, I’d probably be buying indie games that aren’t on Steam or nail polish.

If I had to choose between the two options listed… I’m not really a collector. I don’t see the value in something that you can’t use and the only thing it’s good for is to look at. (A few exceptions are things used for decoration. I don’t mind artwork, as long the house isn’t like a gallery, things with historical/cultural significance, or a few other odds ‘n’ ends. My bedroom has a few decorations, but little that serves no other function. I use things like candles, lanterns, – paper and train – incense burners and vases (and a Rubik’s Cube) as decoration.)

There was a time when I would have loved to get a nice leather bound set of Sherlock Holmes stories – but that time has passed. There was also a time that I would have liked a signed copy of a book from my favorite author – but I now have one and the author…is no longer my favorite. 😦

So, even if I’d rather buy like ten ten dollar books, I’d be much more likely to buy four to six newly published books than a collector’s edition of anything. (Seriously, I can’t even think of a single collector’s edition I’d want, anyway. And, yes, I know some people would go ahead and read them, but I’d be terrified that I’d damage the book. It’s not uncommon for pages/covers to get bent and food to get on my books. Nor is it common, but it does happen.)

Which would you choose?

My Most Read Authors of the Past 2 Years

Hosted at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.

Love the prompt this week, even if I had to go through every book I’d finished in the last two years to get the answer. I will admit, the answer does surprise me a bit – both for who it is and, more, for how few books it is. (Author name links to Goodreads page.)

What author have you read the most in the past two years?

Martha Wells. Seven books – which is a little more than one every four months. I really expected my most read author to have something like ten or twelve books that I’d read in the past couple years, but…I do always say that Wells is one of my favorite authors, so this is fitting, I think.

Close seconds, at six books each, are Jim C. Hines (who is also one of my favorite authors, though I’m not loving his book that I’m currently trying to read) and Angel Martinez (because I binged a series of hers back in January but haven’t read anything of hers since).

Who are your most read authors of the past two years?

Top Ten (eight, really, but who’s counting?) Books I May Have DNFd Too Soon

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Subtitled: And that I have been thinking about trying to finish. If I could ever discover which box I shoved them in. Anyway, lately I’ve been thinking a bit about trying again with some of those DNFs so this was a very timely topic.

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

DNF PG 148

This one is mostly my own fault, because this is kind of a slice of life sci-fi where nothing really happens and the chapters are more like barely connected one-shots/drabbles. I didn’t realize that when I bought it nor when I tried reading it. Now that I know what I’m getting into, I definitely think I could enjoy it.

Champion of the Rose by Andrea K. Host

DNF PG 61

So I basically had a knee-jerk reaction to something that happened in the story. It upset me and I decided I didn’t (ever) need to read it. Now, I realize that the event that took place could actually form a very interesting plot as long as it wasn’t hand-waved away or shoved under the rug.

Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks

DNF PG 27

I tried reading this LGBT+ friendly book at a time when I was looking for a cute, sweet romantic fantasy and instead was given a worldbuilding heavy fantasy romance. I would like to, maybe, give this another shot sometime that I’m looking for dense world building.

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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

DNF PG 88

I’ve got a delightfully vitriol spewing review over on Goodreads – but I truthfully can’t remember anything about this book besides a vague impression of music. Like symphony orchestra, music.

Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh

DNF PG 26

All I can tell you about this book was that the style of writing confused me. I’m hoping that, if I do give this book another read that my increased experience with sci-fi will eliminate that problem. (Or maybe it really is just me.)

Black and White by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge

DNF PG 31

I honestly don’t know. I mean, I check my Goodreads review and all I’m getting is that the book has too much cursing in it for me at the time. (Also that I had rather prudish ideas and a jacked up opinion of myself.)

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With the Lightnings by David Drake

DNF

Honestly, I forgot I even had this book until I was going through some of my old stuff looking for another book. And I ran across this… I don’t remember why/when I bought it or why/where I DNF’d it – and it was either before Goodreads or early enough in my use of it that I didn’t make any notes on it. (Best guess, it was an early attempt at reading sci-fi back when I had no idea what I liked/wanted out of the genre.)

Shadow Magic by Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett

DNF

(And this was the book I was looking for when I found the previous.) I don’t remember why I bought this book and I only have a vague recollection as to why I stopped reading it. (I believe it’s told in alternating first person perspective – something that until the Starbound trilogy, was a death knell for me.) Two interesting notes: I completely forgot about this book until I found another website talking about LGBT+ friendly fantasy books and this one was well liked by the blogger – and this was probably another early attempt at fantasy (when I wasn’t sure what I wanted/liked and just sort of threw out a net on anything that sounded interesting).

Honestly, I’m a little amazed that’s all I came up with. I went through all my Goodreads books that I’d DNF’d in the last four years or so and this is all I came up with. Most of them, judging by my brief thoughts, would cause me even more trouble if I tried to read it now than it did then.

Have you read any of these books? Do you recommend I give one of them another shot? What DNF books are you thinking about trying again?

My Blog Personality

Hosted at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. First day really back after a month long hiatus (I’m so not including my May Wrap Up post!) and I’m excited to be getting back into the swing of things. Hopefully I’ll start getting these posts linked up and quit forgetting about them.

What do you thing your blog says about you?

That I’m lazy, a procrastinator and not good at managing time. Also that I’m always saying I’ll do better, but it never works out that way. (I’m trying. Honestly, I am. I love blogging and would hate to see this fall by the wayside.)

I also think that if you pay attention to my monthly wrap up posts, you’ll learn quite a lot about me through the shows/movies I watch, the music I listen to and the games I play. To say nothing of the books I like. I think that the sort of entertainment media a person likes says stuff about your personality. (Of course, I’m not sure what it says…)

I think my blog probably also indicates that I’m not good with people. I mean, I can monologue on a post and then send it out in the world and be perfectly happy – but when it comes time to reply to comments, I get…fidgety.

I know the community is great. Everyone has bee so nice to me right from the start, but I’m a major introvert and it’s so exhausting even replying to a handful of comments. It’s something I’m trying to get better at.

I also hope that my blog says I’m open minded. I love reading diverse books, stories about people that aren’t like me, and I hope it comes through on my blog.

What does your blog say about you?

May Wrap Up

So, I’m provisionally back. Because it turns out that getting wisdom teeth pulled isn’t as much of a vacation as I’d hoped. (Who would have thought?) So, I’ll be here for TTT’s and my Monday posts – I hope – but beyond that… I have no idea. I would like to get a bit more out in June, but we will have to see how things go.

Good news is that I now have two fewer teeth than when I started the month. And, really, it wasn’t bad. I mean, I’d kind of built this really scary thing up in my mind – running through all the things that could go wrong, but that also sometimes helps me because at least I have a plan for when (I mean, if) things do go wrong – but there was no trouble and fairly minor pain.

I thought that while I was convalescing I’d get some reading done and instead played video games for a week… So, I’m definitely not thrilled with the amount of books I’ve read this month, but that was why I set myself a low Goodreads challenge this year – so I wouldn’t feel pressured. (Besides, it seems that I always read less in the summer than any other time of year. And, the calendar might not yet say summer, but we’ve already been so hot.)

Favorite Books of the Month

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Other Books of the Month

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Even if I only read three books this month, at least two of them were five star reads. The third one…wasn’t very good. At all. But, still.

Watching/Listing/Playing

I’ve not been watching a lot this month. I mean, I thought I’d watch TV like crazy while I was recouping, but…Well, I only finished two shows this month and watched very little else.

I watched season two of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I like the show, and it’s usually pretty fun, but what I like the most is that it’s not like all the comedy shows I used to watch. This one actually develops and doesn’t have a big reset button at the end of each episode.

I also watched season four of Glee. I am making my way through the entire series for the first time, as I avoided it while it was on TV, and while I will finish it, this season was quite a disappointment. There were a lot of things I didn’t like, some that I would have liked to see, and several couples that are just bad/unhealthy. (I really no longer support Blaine/Kurt and I NEVER supported Finn/Rachel but they just keep getting progressively worse. I do still totally support Santana/Brittany, so there is that. And to a lesser degree, Mike/Tina. Though I am beyond thrilled at Tina’s character development this season. I also do kind of support Jake/Marley. I wasn’t sure I would, then I realized Ryder’s an ass, so…*cough*he can just die with Finn*cough* (if you’ll pardon the joke because I do know about that, but while I might understand the mourning for a talented actor, I hate the character of Finn Hudson with a passion.)

 

Two new songs this month, one from a sing whose music I adore, and one from a band that I’d never heard of before, but that has some awesome stuff.

And as for where all my time has went this month … oh, about ninety hours in a complete Mass Effect playthrough. (Second time finishing Mass Effect, second time starting ME2 and first time playing ME3.) As a whole, I like the games, but the third one kind of left me a mess. Seriously, the whole series is so much fun up until the last third of ME3 and then it’s like the depression train hits and while I still liked it, I don’t think it’ll be a game I replay often. (It ruined me, my friends. Totally ruined me.)

I also gave Valkyria Chronicles a go over Memorial Day weekend (as I couldn’t reply Dragon Age II like I’d planned) and…I’m not impressed. I might get back to it someday, but for now its been marked as ‘abandoned’ in my Steam library. For one thing, if you think the Mako in Mass Effect is a pain to drive, the tank in VC is so much worse. And while I like strategy games, I like taking my time and plotting out an extended game. That’s pretty much impossible to do with VC.

Anyway, that’s how my May has went. How was yours and what have you got planned for June?

May Hiatus

Well, can you guess by the title what this post is going to be about?

For most of the year, I’ve been feeling like I’m scrambling, trying to catch up with posting/socializing on other blogs. And I’ve been quite noticeably failing. This really started after I caught a bug back in February and in April it got even worse. (Dealing with headaches, another bug and a migraine all in one month is not my idea of a good month.)

So, I have several reasons I’ve decided to take this hiatus. The first and most important is because I don’t think I’ve been taking good enough care of myself. I need some time to rest and relax and recharge. Also, hopefully I can get a bit of a schedule cushion so I’m not scrambling for posts.

Finally, I’m hoping to get my wisdom teeth out this month. I’ve been putting this off longer than I should have, and they hurt. Totally not fun. So, I’ll be making an appointment, and hopefully will be getting them out within a week or two. And I’ve heard enough horror stories about this that I’m either going to be totally sidelined and miserable for a week (because, truthfully, I’m a terrible patient) or I’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about (because, oddly enough, I think I’ve got a pretty high pain threshold).

So, with that, I’m planing on taking it easy. (Lots of gaming and reading and probably some shows…) Beyond that though, I’m still planning on taking it easy. I think I’ve just been running myself ragged and that’s got to stop.

I’ll see you guys at the end of the month, at least for an update as to what I’m doing.

Top Ten Books I’d Slay a Dragon to Get Early

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Okay, so the topic is ‘lion’ but I’m no big game hunter – besides, lions are cute, cuddly little things so who’d want to hurt them – and dragon just fits my books so much better. (And I’m not necessarily saying I’d slay a dragon for each book, but, yeah, maybe all combined. Maybe a very small dragon like those from Discworld…)

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The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Vol. 3

When Asami is kidnapped, Korra sets out to the Spirit Wilds to find her. Now teeming with dark spirits influenced by the half spirit-half human Tokuga, the landscape is more dangerous than ever before. The two women must trust in each other and work together if they are to make it out alive. Their fate is revealed in this stunning, action-packed conclusion to The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars!

Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan

The epic battle between humankind and their godlike rulers finally ignites in the masterful follow-up to Age of Myth and Age of Swords.

Rich in magic and adventure, Michael J. Sullivan’s soaring fantasy novels are masterworks of heroism, love, and sacrifice. Now in Age of War, the epic battle between humankind and the cruel, god-like beings who once ruled them finally ignites in all its fury.

The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile—and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron will and a compassionate heart. The arrogant Fhrey are barely held in check by their leader, Nyphron, who seeks to advance his own nefarious agenda.

As the Fhrey overlords marshal their army and sorcerers to crush the rebellion, old loyalties will be challenged and fresh conspiracies will threaten to undo all that Persephone has accomplished. In the darkest hour, when hope is all but lost, new heroes will rise . . . but at what terrible cost?

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian

(Currently synopsis-less at Goodreads. If I didn’t edit this before it goes live that means either the synopsis still isn’t up or – more likely – I forgot to check. But I can say, without a synopsis that, because it’s Sebastian, that I want it.)

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Competence by Gail Carriger

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

When she uncovers rumors of a new kind of vampire, Prim and the Custard crew embark on a mission to Peru. There, they encounter airship pirates and strange atmospheric phenomena, and are mistaken for representatives of the Spanish Inquisition. Forced into extreme subterfuge (and some rather ridiculous outfits) Prim must also answer three of life’s most challenging questions:
Can the perfect book club give a man back his soul?
Will her brother ever stop wearing his idiotic velvet fez?
And can the amount of lard in Christmas pudding save an entire species?

The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen.

Firestarter by Tara Sim

The crew of the Prometheus is intent on taking down the world’s clock towers so that time can run freely. Now captives, Colton, Daphne, and the others have a stark choice: join the Prometheus’s cause, or fight back in any small way they can and face the consequences. But Zavier, leader of the terrorists, has a bigger plan—to bring back the lost god of time.

As new threats emerge, loyalties must shift. No matter where the Prometheus goes—Prague, Austria, India—nowhere is safe, and every second ticks closer toward the eleventh hour. Walking the line between villainy and heroism, each will have to choose what’s most important: saving those you love at the expense of the many, or making impossible sacrifices for the sake of a better world.

(Currently existing without a cover.)

Untitled sequel in the Regency Imposters series by Cat Sebastian

(Nor does it have a synopsis, but it is Sebastian, again, and currently I am willing to read anything of hers sight unseen.)

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Legacy of Light by Sarah Raughley

The world is in chaos.

After Saul’s strike on Oslo—one seemingly led by Maia herself—the Effigies’ reputation is in shambles. Now they’re being hunted by nations across the globe, grouped in with the very terrorists they’ve been trying to stop.

With Maia’s resurrected twin, June, carrying out vicious attacks across the world, everyone believes Maia is a killer. Belle has gone rogue, Chae Rin and Lake have disappeared, and the Sect is being dismantled and replaced by a terrifying new world order helmed by Blackwell. As for Saul, his ultimate plan still remains a mystery.

And Maia? No one has seen or heard from her in weeks.

It’s all somehow connected—Saul, Phantoms, the Effigies, everything. But if the Effigies can’t put the pieces together soon, there may not be much left of the world they’ve fought so desperately to save.The world is in chaos.

(My precioussss. Sorry, too good to pass up, but I am so excited for this book, especially after the doozy that the last book hit us with. Besides, that cover is gorgeous.)

Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines

(No cover, no synopsis, no release date other than, tentatively, this year. I still want the book because it’s Hines and it’s sci-fi.)

Finally, the last book on my list is one that isn’t even written yet, but that the author says will be this year and, possibly published as well. It is the fourth book in the Rebel Mechanics series by Shanna Swendson.

So, what books would you slay to get early? (Or are we going a kinder, gentler way?)

April Wrap Up

I really don’t have much to say right now. I’m going to be taking a hiatus next month – which will get it’s own post to update you about that later (Wednesday, I hope) – and other than making that decision, my month has been pretty awful.

Except for reading. I’ve gotten a ton of reading done. (Mostly because I’ve not felt good this last week and a half and I’ve been reading like crazy.)

Favorite Books of the Month

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Other Books of the Month

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… Yeah, I actually read 15 books this month. And DNF’d 4. … Huh.

Watching/Listening/Playing

You guys might remember that I finally broke down and joined Netflix. Well, I’ve been exposed to some shows that I’ve been interested in and never really tried before. Some of them haven’t worked out so well, but there’s a few that I’ll be continuing.

I watched season one of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I surprised myself how much I like the show. It’s quirky and has more going for it than just humor.

I also watched season of of The Fosters. I like the show, but I think it’s going to be one of those ‘occasionally’ shows because it’s a bit too soap-y ish and contemporary for me to really love.

I am obsessed with this song. I’m not a fan of either Coldplay or The Chainsmokers. (In fact, I’d say that I don’t like either of them…) But I LOVE this song. And I bet it seriously doesn’t help that I kind of hear this as a theme song (okay, one of many) for a couple in a story that I’m writing.

I’ve also been playing some video games this month. (For the week-ish that I actually felt good…) Anyway, I’ve been making progress in the Mass Effect trilogy. Yeah, I know, I’m terribly behind. But, hey, at least I can get advice when I run into trouble. (I’m currently replaying the first one, because I was a little unhappy with my Shepard in 2, but I’m not sure I’ll import him right away. I might play through 2 ans 3 once each before importing… Haven’t decided yet.)

So, that’s April shut, I hope May’s better and I hope you guys have an awesome month!