Most Popular Books on My TBR

I don’t know how long I’ve had this idea saved to my computer, but I found the idea over at Howling Libraries. The idea is thus: go to your Goodreads shelf of ‘want to read’ books, sort by number of ratings, and share. I’m honestly really, really curious to see what I’ve got. (Because I read a lot of books that I know aren’t popular.)

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City of Glass by Cassandra Claire
697,175 Ratings – 4.33 Average
…Yup. I knew this one would be in the top two of my list. I actually plan to read it soon-ish, because I kind of totally want to finish the book series before I finish the tv series.

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
561,778 Ratings – 4.34 Average
Is it strange that I thought this would have been the most popular book on my TBR? Anyway…I’ve been enjoying the series and there’s some of Riordan’s never work that has really caught my eye.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
187,882 Ratings – 4.15 Average
This is a book I actually already own, that I bought, lost interest in and have finally decided to give it a real shot.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
164,372 Ratings – 4.46 Average
*shifty eyes* Is it okay if I say I’d forgotten this book was even on my list? And look at that nosedive in the ratings from the last two.

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
102,229 Ratings – 4.04 Average
Not too surprised about this. I mean, I know how popular urban fantasy is and this is a fairly well known author in the genre.

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
40,233 Ratings – 4.17 Average
And, now, after only five books, we are out of the hundred thousands. This book is one that I started, read somewhere 148 pages and stopped because the book wasn’t what I expected. Now I’m going to try again, going into the story with my eyes open.

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
39,814 Ratings – 3.93 Average
Another book that I bought and lost interest in before reading it and that I’m going to try again with. It also has the dubious honor of being the first book on the list to average less than four Goodreads stars.

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett
35,981 Ratings – 4.18 Average
I’m actually surprised it’s this low. I mean, maybe it’s just because I spend so much time in the fantasy world , but it feels like everyone talks about the Discworld books.

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
21,416 Ratings – 3.92 Average
*blinks* I…really didn’t expect to see this book on the list. Then again, I didn’t think the numbers would be dropping down this low…

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
20,304 Ratings – 4.01 Average
Okay, this list was a little more embarrassing than I thought it’d be, because I thought I could at least keep in the hundred thousands. Needless to say, I didn’t think this book would be here, either. As it sits, I don’t even have five more books on my TBR that is over 10,000 Goodreads ratings.

So…Do I actually need to be interested in more popular books? Is this list totally fine and I should keep on keeping on? On a side note, have you read any of these books? And what would your list look like? (And now I want to make a list of the most popular books that I’ve already read. Hmm…)

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Top Ten Longest Books I’ve Read

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. To get my results, I sorted from highest to lowest page number at Goodreads. I know the length my change a little, because they’re not always right, but these all seem reasonable enough. I didn’t include any short story collections – mostly because I don’t know which is the exact version of Sherlock Holmes I read. (And those books aren’t on my shelves any longer so…I can’t really check.)

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Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan

Length: 932

A FORCED WEDDING. A DOUBLE EXECUTION. TWO THIEVES HAVE OTHER PLANS.

The New Empire intends to celebrate its victory over the Nationalists with a day that will never be forgotten. On the high holiday of Wintertide, they plan to execute two traitors (Degan Gaunt and the Witch of Melengar) as well as force the Empress into a marriage of their own design. But they didn’t account for Royce and Hadrian finally locating the Heir of Novron—or the pair’s desire to wreak havoc on the New Empire’s carefully crafted scheme.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Length: 870 (I didn’t know this was longer than Deathly Hallows. Maybe because while I didn’t enjoy this book, I loathed that one.)

After the Dementors’ attack on his cousin Dudley, Harry knows he is about to become Voldemort’s next target.

Although many are denying the Dark Lord’s return, Harry is not alone, and a secret order is gathering at Grimmauld Place to fight against the Dark forces.

Meanwhile, Voldemort’s savage assaults on Harry’s mind are growing stronger every day.

He must allow Professor Snape to teach him to protect himself before he runs out of time.

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Winter by Marissa Meyer

Length: 827

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan

Length: 786

A PUPPET IS CROWNED. THE TRUE HEIR REMAINS HIDDEN. A ROGUE’S SECRET COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING.

War has come to Melengar and once more Royce and Hadrian are hired to make a desperate gamble and form an alliance with the Nationalists whom are fighting the Imperialists in the south. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce’s suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own grab for power. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian’s past–what he discovers may end their friendship and break Riyria in two.

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The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Length: 763

They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Length: 759

Harry Potter is leaving Privet Drive for the last time. But as he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid’s motorbike and they take to the skies, he knows Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters will not be far behind.

The protective charm that has kept him safe until now is broken. But the Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything he loves. And he knows he can’t keep hiding.

To stop Voldemort, Harry knows he must find the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them.

He will have to face his enemy in one final battle.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Length: 734

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Length: 722

An orphan’s life is harsh–and often short–in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly.

Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game–or die trying…

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Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Length: 704

Darkness falls…despair abounds…evil reigns…

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems. Before long, Eragon doesn’t know whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle–one that might put Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life…

The High King’s Tomb by Kristen Britain

Length: 679

For Karigan G’ladheon, the call of magic in her blood is too strong to resist. Karigan returns to the Green Riders, the magical messengers of the king, to find she’s badly needed. Rider magic has become unstable, many Riders have been lost, and the Rider corps is seriously threatened. The timing couldn’t be worse. An ancient evil, long dormant, has reawakened, and the world is in peril. Karigan must face deadly danger and complex magic to save the kingdom from certain doom.

Fun facts about the previous list:

Ratings:

2 books were rated 1 star

5 books were rated 2 stars

3 books were rated 5 stars

  • and none of them are currently on my shelf.

I am not a Harry Potter fan, but the three HP books on this list are without a doubt my three least favorite. (Or most hated, if you prefer.)

Four of the books made me stop reading the series.

Three of the books were series ends.

And of the remaining three books, two of them were HP books.

20 Questions Book Tag

I found this at Brin’s Book Blog and thought it sound like a lot of fun.

1. How many books is too many books in a series?

Hmm… Five. I’m all for being longer than a trilogy, but it has to end sometime. And, I mean, if I start reading the series when the first book is published and one book is published in the series a year – which is a little quicker than most get published – I’m still committing five years to a five book series. So, that’s assuming that I’ll still like the same stuff five years from now that I do now. And won’t just totally loose interest between books two and three. I mean, there are some series that I loved and never wanted to end, but … there’s this old saying in the entertainment business ‘leave them wanting more’ that I wish people followed nowadays instead of driving every popular thing into the ground. *ahem* Okay. Rant over.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

Eh. I know it’s the cool thing to hate on them but, as long as the next book actually gets published… I don’t much care one way or another.

3. Hardback or paperback?

New or used? I mean, I buy new, I prefer paperbacks. I buy used, I prefer hardbacks. Of course, a lot of times I just buy whatever’s cheapest and/or they haven’t released a paperback by the time I buy the book. (I also do like eBooks.)

4. Favourite book?

…Can people actually…answer this question? I mean, really? Favorite book is like trying to pick a favorite star. Or a favorite animal. Kind of totally impossible. If I had to pick, right now, the book I most want to reread… Nope, still can’t do it. Bye.

5. Least favourite book?

Come on! That’s not a fair question either.

6. Love triangles, yes or no?

No. Unless they turn into a poly triad.

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

Terraforming Earth by Jack Williamson. I mean, I figured it’d be kind of gross, but I didn’t think it would be so racist and sexist.

8. A book you’re currently reading?

A book? How about all three?

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Why am I currently reading three books? Heart of Steel is a collection of short stories, mostly lesbian, all fantasy, and I am a slow reader of anthologies. The Painted Queen is, simply, not up to Elizabeth Peters’ standards and Hess’ choices do annoy me. Often. Runebinder is … strangely intense at times and while the book’s kind of awesome, sometimes I need a break.

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

Actually that was The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells.

10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

If Goodreads is accurate, that would be Oedipus the King by Sophocles. I…didn’t like it.

11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

As of right now, that would be The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan.

12. Favourite author?

Martha Wells. Tanya Huff. Jim C. Hines. Foz Meadows. Rhiannon Thomas. … In pretty much any order.

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

Buying. I mean, I’ve borrowed a few eBooks from my library, but they’ve only got the popular stuff. And…I don’t really read the same that my family does and all my reader friends…live far, far away. (And mailing books just to borrow isn’t really a thing, now is it?)

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Like, so, so much.

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Bookmarks. Does anyone actually dogear their books anymore? I’ve got this nice little collection of bookmarkers, some free and some I bought, that I love picking the bookmark for the book.

16. A book you can always reread?

I don’t really reread much. I like rereading in theory, but in practice… It’s kind of like I have so many new books that sound awesome, and I might discover a new favorite, I don’t want to reread when I could be doing that. And also, if it’s been very long since I read a book…my tastes have changed drastically over the last couple years and even more in the last five-ten years, that rereading an old favorite might make me hate the book.

17. Can you read while hearing music?

Yup. Of course, I usually wind up paying more attention to one than the other and either reading nothing or not understanding why my CD’s over. (Usually the latter.) I also have been known to read while watching TV. I really don’t do so well reading in a totally silent room.

18. One POV or multiple POV’s?

Usually, multiple. Especially with fantasy, sci-fi or romance. To me, with the first two, you learn more about the whole cast and there’s usually a pretty good cast and with the romance…I really, really prefer romance novels that are told from all members of the romance perspectives. I understand why sometimes they aren’t – as opposed to me never understanding why some fantasy/sci-fi books only have one perspective – but I still prefer getting to know the people in the romance more than it being told from just one perspective.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Unfortunately, more often than not, multiple days. Ideally, I’d like to be able to read a book in one or two days – because it’s not so quick that the book seems short and it doesn’t take me so long to read that I’ve forgotten what happened at the beginning of the book. I have managed, a few times, to read a book in one day, but I need three things to manage that: 1) a weekend that I’m not busy. 2) a good book. 3) a moderately short book.

20. A book you’ve read because of the cover?

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Not solely because of the cover, but it was a good 90% of the reason why I did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So…this was a tag that I wasn’t tagged for, but if you’re interested, I tag you.

Book Binge and Buying Ban

After much thought, I’ve decided I’m going to give myself a little mini two part challenge for the rest of the year. Right now, I currently own 37 books that I have either never read (27) or that I’m going to try to finish after marking as DNF the first time (10).

Book Binge

For the last three months of this year I am going to try very, very hard to finish all my unfinished books. That means that I will have to read roughly 12 books for each month – October, November and December.

While that sounds like a lot to me, I also know it’s totally doable, because, for the other nine months of this year, I’ve read an average 10 books each month. Just a little more pushing, and I can make 12 books each month. Maybe not easily, but I know I can do it. (Also, I might discover why some of those DNF books were marked like that to begin with.)

I’ve already got a rough TBR planned for each month, especially for November as I hope to be participating in Sci-Fi Month and I’ve got my TBR filled with all my unfinished sci-fi books!

Buying Ban

I’d say this is pretty self explanatory. I am not to buy any books until I finish ALL the books I currently own. Even though I know that my physical (and kindle) TBR is significantly less than others, I’ve noticed that books that I’m super excited for stay sitting on the shelf too long, or I loose interest in them.

Also, last month I finally read my last book that I bought in 2017. It only took me nine extra months! Which is way, way too long. Hopefully, I’ll be starting 2019 with a clean slate of books.

 

So, wish me luck and do let me know if you’ve ever done anything like this!

Top Five Favorite Magic Systems

Hosted at the Goodreads group: Top 5 Wednesday. This is a post that’s actually been in my mind for the better part of two years and, unfinished as it was, this T5W is the perfect chance to finish it off and send it out into the world. (wide web)

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Air Awakens by Elise Kova

I am not even going to go into what is wrong with the so called ‘romance’ in this series – though, by the third book, he is decrying that she is a slut and has been having sex with his brother and planning on sleeping with his father, too and calling her a whore – but I can say that I will never read another page by this author. However…The magic is so cool. It borrows heavily (and obviously) from Avatar: the Last Airbender what with the magical people having an affinity for an element.

Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron

Basically, all items have spirits. Trees have spirits that are still there after they become doors. Paving stones have spirits. Lakes and oceans and seas have spirits. Naturally the official magic users in this world are called ‘Spiritualists’ and they nicely ask their bonded spirits (usually in rings) to do things for them, help them fight. I’m explaining it terribly, but it’s really, really awesome.

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Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler

This might be cheating a little, because I am currently, right now, reading this book, but the magic is really unique, I think. You see, each person already has the power to unlock magic, in the form of elemental orbs inside themselves, but they cannot unlock all of them. Most people can only unlock one, some two, very few can unlock three. As of the point I am in the book, no one can unlock all four. And from what I understand, each person fits their element/s. Example: fire users are passionate. But, are they passionate because they are fire users, or was fire the easiest one for them to unlock because they are passionate? (Anyway, it is a little Bender like, also, but I adore the idea of control of more than one element – the main character controls two.)

Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

Basically? Okay, so the written word has power, imagination has power. With enough people reading a book, enough imagination going into the reading of the book, Libriomancers can, literally, pull things put of books. Not, usually, living things – although there have been a few work arounds – but things like ray guns. And swords. And (really small) space ships. And whatever comes from books that aren’t spec fiction. But, really, can you imagine being able to reach into a book and pull something out? (Ooh, and that’s where the first vampires and werewolves came from: people sticking their arms in books and getting bit!)

Hexbreaker by Jordan L. Hawk

Okay, this is a little ‘soulmates’ set up and I, honestly, love it. You have Witches and Familiars. Witches can channel magic, but they don’t have any of their own. Familiars – characterized by the fact that they can shapeshift into animals! – do have inherent magic, but they can’t do anything with it. So, Witches and Familiars work together – but, out there, for each Witch/Familiar there is a perfect match, magically speaking. If this Witch and Familiar bond – there’s a whole three-step process so they don’t bond accidentally – their magic is stronger than it would be with anyone else. (Naturally, because this is a sub-genre of a sub-genre of the romance genre, the strong magic also means they fall in love, but, really, that’s just icing.)

 

There we go: Five definitely awesome magic systems! I’d love to know what magic systems are your favorites and if you’ve read any of these books.

October TBR

I said I don’t do these anymore but, in the past two months, I discovered something very interesting: I read more if I have very clearly defined goals. So, this month, I am trying an experiment.

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The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters (and Joan Hess)

Egypt, 1912—Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti and Amelia finds herself the target of assassins in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters’ bestselling, beloved mystery series.

Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia is relaxing in a well-earned bubble bath in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo, when a man with knife protruding from his back staggers into the bath chamber and utters a single word—”Murder”—before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he carried was a sheet of paper with Amelia’s name and room number, and a curious piece of pasteboard the size of a calling card bearing one word: “Judas.” Most peculiarly, the stranger was wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye.

It quickly becomes apparent that someone saved Amelia from a would-be assassin—someone who is keeping a careful eye on the intrepid Englishwoman. Discovering a terse note clearly meant for Emerson—Where were you?”—pushed under their door, there can be only one answer: the brilliant master of disguise, Sethos.

But neither assassins nor the Genius of Crime will deter Amelia as she and Emerson head to the excavation site at Amarna, where they will witness the discovery of one of the most precious Egyptian artifacts: the iconic Nefertiti bust. In 1345 B.C. the sculptor Thutmose crafted the piece in tribute to the great beauty of this queen who was also the chief consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten and stepmother to King Tutankhamun.

For Amelia, this excavation season will prove to be unforgettable. Throughout her journey, a parade of men in monocles will die under suspicious circumstances, fascinating new relics will be unearthed, a diabolical mystery will be solved, and a brilliant criminal will offer his final challenge… and perhaps be unmasked at last.

Stories of the Raksura, Vol 2 by Martha Wells

Moon, Jade, and other favorites from the Indigo Cloud Court return with two new novellas from Martha Wells.

Martha Wells continues to enthusiastically ignore genre conventions in her exploration of the fascinating world of the Raksura. Her novellas and short stories contain all the elements fans have come to love from the Raksura books: courtly intrigue and politics, unfolding mysteries that reveal an increasingly strange wider world, and threats both mundane and magical.

“The Dead City” is a tale of Moon before he came to the Indigo Court. As Moon is fleeing the ruins of Saraseil, a groundling city destroyed by the Fell, he flies right into another potential disaster when a friendly caravanserai finds itself under attack by a strange force. In “The Dark Earth Below,” Moon and Jade face their biggest adventure yet; their first clutch. But even as Moon tries to prepare for impending fatherhood, members of the Kek village in the colony tree’s roots go missing, and searching for them only leads to more mysteries as the court is stalked by an unknown enemy.

Stories of Moon and the shape changers of Raksura have delighted readers for years. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw. With these two new novellas, Martha Wells shows that the world of the Raksura has many more stories to tell…

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Champion of the Rose by Andrea K. Host

Soren Armitage is an anachronism. Proclaimed Rathen Champion by the Rathen Rose, intended to support the rule of a Rathen King or Queen. But there are no Rathens. Resigned to symbolising only Darest’s faded glories, Soren is not prepared for the sudden appearance of a Rathen. Now she must find and support the heir despite the machinations of the kingdom’s regent, sylvan curses, and the strange behaviour of once-dormant protective enchantments. While the odds seem stacked against her, Soren is determined to do her best to live up to the name of Rathen Champion. But what is she to do when it seems that there is something very wrong with her Rathen? Can she trust the person she is meant to protect?

Shadow Magic by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett

Led to victory by its magic-fueled Dragon Corps, Volstov has sent a delegation to its conquered neighbors to work out the long-awaited terms of peace. Among those in the party are the decorated war hero General Alcibiades and the formerly exiled magician Caius Greylace. But even this mismatched pair can’t help but notice that their defeated enemies aren’t being very cooperative. The hidden truth is that the new emperor is harboring a treacherous secret—and once it is revealed, Alcibiades and Caius may be powerless to stop it.

With their only ally an exiled prince now fleeing his brother’s assassins, the countryside rife with terror, and Alcibiades and Caius all but prisoners, it will take the most powerful kind of magic to heal the rift between two strife-worn lands and unite two peoples against a common enemy: shadow magic.

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Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler

Magic is risen.

When magic returned to the world, it could have saved humanity, but greed and thirst for power caused mankind’s downfall instead. Now once-human monsters called Howls prowl abandoned streets, their hunger guided by corrupt necromancers and the all-powerful Kin. Only Hunters have the power to fight back in the unending war, using the same magic that ended civilization in the first place.

But they are losing.

Tenn is a Hunter, resigned to fight even though hope is nearly lost. When he is singled out by a seductive Kin named Tomás and the enigmatic Hunter Jarrett, Tenn realizes he’s become a pawn in a bigger game. One that could turn the tides of war. But if his mutinous magic and wayward heart get in the way, his power might not be used in favor of mankind.

If Tenn fails to play his part, it could cost him his friends, his life…and the entire world.

A Hole in the World by Sophie Robbins

Bianca’s life is tediously normal until the day she rescues a fairytale princess from a troll.

Then, everything changes and Bianca finds herself being thrust into the role of Prince Charming whether she likes it or not.

Despite her misgivings, she’s drawn to the strange Princess and her ways and before she knows where she is she’s forced to fight for her love – and her life.

 

Now, to read all these books in completion in October, I’ll need to read an average of 60 pages a day. This, I know, is totally doable for me – in fact, chances are great that if these books are as good as I’m expecting/hoping, I’ll read more than that and have some extra time to read more books.

Have you read any of these books? Are you interested in them? Does setting clear goals – like number of pages to read a day – help you read more/make the time to read?

September Wrap Up

Where is this year going? I mean, I can hardly believe that it’ll soon be October. At the same time, I am really looking forward to it. (I love October and fall and Halloween!)

This month has been mixed across the board, but I think I’m finally getting to be in a good place. I would like to make note, in November, I’m hoping to participate in Sci-Fi Month. If you’d like to know more about it, check out the first post, here.

Favorite Books of the Month

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Four Star Reads

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Three Star Read/s

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Two Star Read/s

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What I’ve Been Watching

I watched season three of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and…I’m not really sure why it took me so long to try that show. I mean, it’s a lot of fun and just pretty much (completely) the only ‘comedy’ show I can watch and enjoy. I watched season one of Torchwood and enjoyed it, but: I’m glad I didn’t watch it when I was first interested because I probably wouldn’t have liked it then, and I hate two of the characters and like two others. (Of course, Captain Jack is all kinds of awesome and I adore him, so it’s pretty much because of him that I will eventually watch season two.)

I watched season 1 of The Magicians and I liked it quite a bit. I did a little reading about the books and know I’ll be avoiding them because they don’t sound like my thing at all. But, the show? I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

I watched Pacific Rim: Uprising and while the movie is totally awesome, it’s not as good as the first one. (Of course, the first one is my favorite movie, so I wouldn’t really expect the sequel to be as good as the first one.) There are several plot threads that worked as well as they did because they had the chance to build things in the first movie. I watched the new-ish Wonder Woman movie and… Didn’t love it. Barely liked it. I mean, the character of Diana is awesome and Gal Gadot is absolutely gorgeous and…that was about all the movie offers. The plot is…kind of terrible. And don’t even get me started on the ‘update’ of the character. It’s all kinds of stupid and annoying. (Definitely worried about the few other DC movies I want to see if this is the way they usually are. And by few I mean Aquaman and Black Adam.)

Finally, I also watched The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey. It was okay. I guess. I mean, it totally had it’s moments when it was fun, but it just stretched endlessly and kind of ends with a whimper. (I don’t care that there are sequels, it should be a complete movie.) I never read the book but I really don’t understand why it was stretched into three movies unless it was only to cash (literally) in on the LotR popularity. I will almost certainly not be watching the other two. (Even if they do have a pretty stellar cast.)

Gaming and Music

I’ve started a lot of games this month and finished very few of them. The only ‘big’ game that I actually enjoyed enough to finish was Jade Empire. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was a fun, fairly short RPG. I think it took me like thirteen hours to complete and there was a lot of wandering around not having a clue what I was doing. I do have to note something very interesting in that when I first tried to play the game, I played as a guy and totally could not get into the game. (Probably played for thirty minutes to an hour.) This time, I played as a girl and totally immersed myself in it. What is so interesting to me is that another Bioware game – Mass Effect – was just the opposite: I tried playing as a girl and couldn’t, but played as a guy and had a blast. So… I don’t know, I just thought it was interesting/strange. (Though I am hurt because my Jade Empire girl is single because she wanted to romance the only straight romance option and was effectively friendzoned!)

I heard this song for the first time this month and immediately had to go buy it from iTunes because I adore it.

How did your September go?

Top Ten Books by My Favorite Authors that I STILL Haven’t Read

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Such a fun topic this week. There are several authors whom I adore that I am slowly going through their back catalogue of books. (And a few newly published books that I’ve not gotten to yet.)

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Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff

I quite consistently – since I read my very first book of hers – claim Huff as one of my favorite authors. However, as of me typing this, I’ve only ever read her sci-fi series. And it is AWESOME – but that’s a different subject. I have many, many urban fantasy books of hers I want to read. (I promised myself I’d watch Blood Ties before starting the series and now that I’ve finished it, I’m very excited to read the books.) As well as a few fantasy books.

Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells

Another author that’s been one of my favorites since my first introduction to her work. I am, however, much more taken with her fantasy series’ than I am her sci-fi work. If my research into this book (and my memory) is correct, this is actually a tie-in novel for…something. I don’t remember what, though I want to say a tabletop RPG.

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Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines

I have read so many books of Hines’ and sincerely wish I had chosen to start this series before trying to read his urban fantasy series. (I DNF’d the third book in that series but will probably get back to it.) However, his fairytale retelling series and his sci-fi series are both totally awesome!

Even the Wingless by M.C.A. Hogarth

Occasionally, a free ebook works out well, and that’s how I first got introduced to Hogarth. (I’m pretty sure Earthrise is permanently free on Amazon.) This series is in the same sci-fi universe as the other two series of hers I’ve been reading…however I know, just from the description, that this book – this whole series – is going to emotionally gut me. I want to read it and I will, but I’m also slightly terrified of it.

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The Shattered Gates by Ginn Hale

This author was kind of a surprise, as I had been looking at her steampunk high fantasy setting for quite a while and was surprised at how much I liked it when I finally bought it. The major reason I’ve not gotten to this book yet is that it’s the start of a ten novella series – and I’ll probably want to read the whole thing straight through.

Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan

I do currently consider Sullivan one of my favorite authors, but if I don’t get re-invigorated for his books…he probably won’t stay that way for long. Anyway…I really have nothing else to say here.

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Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian

The only romance author I’ve ever considered a favorite of mine, I have fallen woefully behind on Sebastian’s books. But, then again, it could be partially because she’s already released two books this year and is supposed to have one more coming out before the end of the year. (I wish all my favorite authors would write this fast…)

Competence by Gail Carriger

…I really have nothing to say. If we ignore the lackluster last novella of Carriger’s I tried to read, all is good. I just hope…I hope I’m wrong that my interest in these books are waning because I still want to adore them. So, I hope I do and it’s just that it’s been so long since I read any of them that I don’t remember why I loved them in the first place.

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The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters (and Joan Hess)

This book frightens me. Peters is the last mystery novelist whose books I still read and this is her last ever book. (She died while writing it, for pities sake.) It is, however, not the last one of hers I will read, because I still have a few that I’ve not read, but this was always my favorite series of hers, anyway. But, yeah, I am worried about reading this book and not loving it and I am worried that I will love it and…it’s like the end of an era for me. I’ve been reading these books since I was like 12 and now… Woah.

The Canard Case by Honor Raconteur

So, what I started doing, after, like, the first three books on this list, was go through my Goodreads favorites and five star reads, to see what authors have more stuff I haven’t read and…How in the world did I miss this book. I’ve actually not read Raconteur’s other work, but this series is just so amazing and…this book is apparently two years old already and how did I not know about it?!

 

That is…quite an odd list of books I’ve got there, but it gives a pretty good indication of what I usually read. (SF/F with the occasional historical thrown in for good measure.) Love to know what some of your unread books by your favorite authors are, and if you’ve read any of these authors.

Top Five Classics that I Wish Had A Modern Adaptation

Hosted at the Goodreads group: Top 5 Wednesday. Love the topic this week. As soon as I read it, I got super excited and had to go work on this list.

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Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson is one of the few classic authors that I actually consider myself a fan of, because these books are always filled with such adventure. And with this book, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a ‘modern’ adaptation, but I think that just an updated version – like a miniseries – would be such fun.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

Really, I could put any of Verne’s books here, but I think this was probably my favorite of his. I’d love it if it was updated not so much to modern times, (though, that would be awesome!) but to modern sensibilities. (Like having women in the story. Speaking of…)

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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I’m just going to put it out there: I’m not a fan. I read the first book and was bored out of my mind, I did like the movies (past tense because I haven’t seen any of them in years and have little interest to) but they are such a boys club. (I might not even have thought about this, but I recently watched the first Hobbit movie for the first time and… we’re an hour and a half through the movie before a named woman speaks. Pretty sure she’s the first woman we even see, but…still.)

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

I do actually remember seeing the 2002 movie and enjoying it then – but it’s been ages and I’m not sure I would now. Honestly, get rid of the racism and sexism and general bigotry of the time and this story could be awesome. (So, basically what I want is like a screen production of Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan.)

 

Now, instead of listing another book I want a modern adaptation of, I’m going to show you what I want out of my modern adaptations:

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Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle adapted to Elementary

Seriously, this is one of my favorite shows and if you’ve not seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s modernized, Americanized (which they did surprisingly well) and features diversity. Two poc main characters, both Watson and Moriarty are women, there’s various mystery of the week’s that normalize LGBT+ and there’s at least one that features a poly relationship. And we do briefly have a reoccurring trans woman character played by a transgender actress as well as a neurodivergent love interest over a few episodes. (Both were on there no where near enough as they were brilliant characters, but, hey, they were there!)

When I say ‘modern adaptations’ this is what I mean.

What modern adaptations do you want to see?

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR

Hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. … These are the only TBR lists I do anymore. I got really bad at following my lists and that made me feel guilty. Of course, I’m writing this out in August and I still have five books from my summer TBR that I haven’t read yet. *sigh* I know what I better be reading in September.

Once again, used my handy true number randomizer here. (I always find putting my TBR’s together this way interesting, because the only time I don’t obey the randomizer is when I’m already reading that book, or, this time around, have it on my summer TBR, because I do hope to get all them finished before fall gets here. It’s just really interesting to me to see a section of my books when I don’t pick what I show – both books I’m super excited to read and ones I kind of wish I didn’t buy are on this list. So that’s kind of cool.)

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A Hole in the World by Sophie Robbins

Bianca’s life is tediously normal until the day she rescues a fairytale princess from a troll.

Then, everything changes and Bianca finds herself being thrust into the role of Prince Charming whether she likes it or not.

Despite her misgivings, she’s drawn to the strange Princess and her ways and before she knows where she is she’s forced to fight for her love – and her life.

Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns

Adda and Iridian are newly-minted engineers, but in a solar system wracked by economic collapse after an interplanetary war, an engineering degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Desperate for gainful employment, they hijack a colony ship, planning to join a pirate crew at Barbary Station, an abandoned shipbreaking station in deep space.

But when they arrive at Barbary Station, nothing is as they expected. The pirates aren’t living in luxury — they’re hiding in a makeshift base welded onto the station’s exterior hull. The artificial intelligence controlling the station’s security system has gone mad, trying to kill all station residents. And it shoots down any ship that tries to leave, so there’s no way out.

Adda and Iridian have one chance to earn a place on the pirate crew: destroy the artificial intelligence. The last engineer who went up against the security system suffered explosive decapitation, and the pirates are taking bets on how the newcomers will die. But Adda and Iridian plan to beat the odds.

There’s a glorious future in piracy…if they can survive long enough.

The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells

Nicholas Valiarde is a passionate, embittered nobleman with an enigmatic past. Consumed by thoughts of vengeance, he is consoled only by thoughts of the beautiful, dangerous Madeline. He is also the greatest thief in all of Ile-Rien… On the gas light streets of the city, he assumes the guise of a master criminal, stealing jewels from wealthy nobles to finance his quest for vengeance the murder of Count Montesq. Montesq orchestrated the wrongful execution of Nicholas’s beloved godfather on false charges of necromancy–the art of divination through communion with spirits of the dead–a practice long outlawed in the kingdom of Ile-Rein.

But now Nicholas’s murderous mission is being interrupted by a series of eerie, unexplainable, even fatal events. Someone with tremendous magical powers is opposing him. Children vanish, corpses assume the visage of real people, mortal spells are cast, and traces of necromantic power that hasn’t been used for centuries are found. And when a spiritualist unwittingly leads Nicholas to a decrepit mansion, the monstrous nature of his peril finally emerges in harrowing detail. Nicholas and his compatriots must destroy an ancient and awesome evil. Even the help of Ile-Rien’s greatest sorcerer may not be enough, for Nicholas faces a woefully mismatched battle–and unthinkable horrors await the loser.

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The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment.
In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian

The one you love…

Robert Selby is determined to see his sister make an advantageous match. But he has two problems: the Selbys have no connections or money and Robert is really a housemaid named Charity Church. She’s enjoyed every minute of her masquerade over the past six years, but she knows her pretense is nearing an end. Charity needs to see her beloved friend married well and then Robert Selby will disappear…forever.

May not be who you think…

Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, has spent years repairing the estate ruined by his wastrel father, and nothing is more important than protecting his fortune and name. He shouldn’t be so beguiled by the charming young man who shows up on his doorstep asking for favors. And he certainly shouldn’t be thinking of all the disreputable things he’d like to do to the impertinent scamp.

But is who you need…

When Charity’s true nature is revealed, Alistair knows he can’t marry a scandalous woman in breeches, and Charity isn’t about to lace herself into a corset and play a respectable miss. Can these stubborn souls learn to sacrifice what they’ve always wanted for a love that is more than they could have imagined?

Gyrfalcon by Anna Butler

Earth’s last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy. In the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. A dangerous job, and Bennet doesn’t need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father-and with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war. What he doesn’t expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.

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Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless–until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.

Lover’s Knot by Donald L. Hardy

Jonathan Williams has inherited Trevaglan Farm from a distant relative. With his best friend, Alayne, in tow, Jonathan returns to the estate to take possession, meet the current staff, and generally learn what it’s like to live as the landed gentry now. He’d only been there once before, fourteen years earlier. But that was a different time, he’s a different person now, determined to put that experience out of his mind and his heart….The locals agree that Jonathan is indeed different from the lost young man he was that long ago summer, when he arrived at the farm for a stay after his mother died. Back then the hot summer days were filled with sunshine, the nearby ocean, and a new friend, Nat. Jonathan and the farmhand had quickly grown close, Jonathan needing comfort in the wake of his grief, and Nat basking in the peace and love he didn’t have at home.

But that was also a summer of rumors and strange happenings in the surrounding countryside, romantic triangles and wronged lovers. Tempers would flare like a summer lightning storm, and ebb just as quickly. By the summer’s end, one young man was dead, and another haunted for life.

Now Jonathan is determined to start anew. Until he starts seeing the ghost of his former friend everywhere he looks. Until mementos of that summer idyll reappear. Until Alayne’s life is in danger. Until the town’s resident witch tells Jonathan that ghosts are real. And this one is tied to Jonathan unto death…

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Blood Price by Tanya Huff

Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that are now plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki is forced to renew her tempestuous relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci, to stop these forces of dark magic—along with another, unexpected ally…

Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his long life how to blend with humans, how to deny the call for blood in his veins. Without him, Vicki and Mike would not survive the ancient force of chaos that has been unleashed upon the world—but in doing so, his identity may be exposed, and his life forfeit

In the Footsteps of Shadows by P.J. Ramsay

When Maya Rodriguez, an archaeologist with a sharp mind and an acerbic tongue, heads to Venezuela to retrieve a mysterious journal she has no idea what, or who, awaits her. Will she be able to follow the clues and uncover a secret long thought lost or will the treachery of those standing in her way prove too much?

 

What books are you planning to read this season? Have you read any of these?