Books on My Summer To-Be-Read List

It’s been some time since I wrote a blog post! Partly because I have things going on in my life (I’m moving! Agh!) and partly because I’ve been in that awful I-don’t-know-what-to-write quagmire. I figured I’d use a Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish to get me back in the swing of things. Today: books on my summer to be read list.

  • 23899174In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. Judy Blume has a new book! I haven’t read any of her adult books before, but I started getting into a Judy Blume kick last year and I have heard good things about this one, and also it’s Judy Blume so let’s just do it.
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I’m fully aware this has been on lists before, but I’ve actually started reading it! It’s a thousand pages, though, so it’s going to take a chunk of my summer to get through.
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. This is one of those fantasy novels that came out a while ago that I’ve meant to read, but never have.
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer. A bonus book in the Lunar Chronicles series. After reading the first three back to back, I’ll need this to tide me over until Winter comes out.
  • Drawn & 22752444Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels. A collection of comics and essays about comics. Margaret Atwood writes an essay about Kate Beaton! Wow.
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I liked Wives and Daughters. This is shorter than that, so probably good for a summer read.
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab. I don’t know much about this except that people I know seem to like it, and the cover looks cool.
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. See above.
  • Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett. Night Watch!

No children’s books, I know…right now I can’t think of a specific one I want to read, but rest assured, I will spend plenty of time reading books for twelve-year-olds this summer. =D

What do you all plan to read?

Fantasy Novels I Want to Read

For this list, I’m not talking children’s books or creepy magical realism. I mean hefty, high fantasy, the kind that are published in hardcovers that could be used as murder weapons and get reprinted in mass markets so thick that no matter how much you don’t want to crack the spine I’m sorry if you want to get through the middle you’re going to have to crack the spine.

After reading the Mistborn trilogy, and now finishing up Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, I have a hankering not just for his books, but for fat fantasy in general. I used to gobble those books up as a teenager, with Anne McCaffery’s Dragonriders of Pern and the first several volumes of Terry Brooks’ now seemingly-infinite Shanara books. There’s a lot that I want to get into, and a lot that I feel I’ve missed.

  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. I just said that I love Sanderson now, so this should be obvious. Elantris is not as long as his other books (I’ve seen it side-by-side on the shelf) but it’s his first one, and also a stand-alone story, which would be nice to read.
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Yeah, two Sanderson books. But, this is the first of an epically long series that, currently, is only two books deep. They are monstrous books, but here’s a chance to get in at the beginning on something that could be big and wonderful.
  • Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn. Nothing particular drawing me to this book (except for dragons maybe), but I picked up this and its immediate sequel from the library when the fantasy section was going through a weed, so now those books are taking up a lovely little chunky space on my shelf. Like I’ve said, I need to get through the backlog, and I’ll probably love it besides.
  • Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. I feel like I did something wrong, having never once read anything by Robin Hobb. Am I missing out? Am I a bad fantasy fan? I want to amend this.
  • Something by Mercedes Lackey. I’m even more positive I’ve done something wrong by never reading a book by Mercedes Lackey. She’s written so many, I’m not even sure where to start. Any ideas?

If anyone reading this has any other suggestions for wonderful fantasy novels I may have missed, let me know — I am wide open for ideas. And if you have read anything on my list, please tell me, are they worth it?

This post was written as part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme on The Broke and the Bookish, where they asked if there were books in a certain genre you felt you needed to read. Do you have any books you want to get to, or feel like you’ve missed out on?

Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing This Year

This post is a part of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted on The Broke and the Bookish.

I have been quite the slacker with my blogging, but let’s try to get back in the swing of things with a nice little Christmas list. Some of these are books I’m sure I’m getting from someone or other, but others are likely not.

20701976Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo. I don’t always want to own art books, but this is such a wonderful and weirdly faceted show, I’m really excited to see early drawings and how the writers even manage to come up with things.

Nine Stories. I failed at reading Seymour, an Introduction, but I love Franny and Zooey and The Catcher in the Rye too much to not try more Salinger.

Alloy of Law. I’ve read a Brandon Sanderson blog post that he will be continuing the Mistborn universe with the characters introduced in this book, so I should get on it and read this one (though I’m still rather heartbroken over The Hero of Ages).

Elantris. Same thing, more Sanderson.

Hyperbole and a Half. I skimmed part of this when it passed through the library, why haven’t I read this yet? Why? It seems brilliant.

22078240Saga Deluxe Edition. I’ve already read everything in here, but I want to read it again. And what’s that, a hardcover collecting the first three volumes is out? Yes.

Cinder. I feel I need some new SciFi/Fantasy YA, and some of my friends and coworkers have rated this book highly.

I Shall Wear Midnight. I still haven’t gotten to reading this one, though I said I would. I just can’t imagine a world without more Tiffany Aching to look forward to.

The Maze Runner. Another popular, well-received YA I haven’t gotten to yet.

Show Your Work. I’ve read this from the library, and I bought Austin Kleon’s other creative advice book, Steal Like an Artist. But I want to own this book, so I can remind myself of some things, and also scribble all over it.

Of course, Barnes and Noble gift cards are always welcome.

Any books you want to see under your Christmas tree?

 

New-to-Me Authors in 2014

This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish. Thanks to my yearly challenge on Goodreads, it’s easy to look up what books I’ve read this year, and I’m a little surprised at how many new authors that I love I’ve encountered this year.

Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve become completely enamored of her Raven Boys series: great characters, spooky story, and some amazing lines that I secretly (not so secretly) want to steal for my own writing.

Brandon Sanderson. Thanks to Mistborn, I’m now back into reading thick mass market-bound fantasy novels.

Austin Kleon. This graphic artist/writer nabbed me with his advice book, Show Your Work, and later with Steal Like an Artist (I worked backwards). His books inspired me and got me jazzed up to write. Actually, maybe I should go back and read those books again…

Brian Vaughan. (And, by association, Fiona Staples.) Saga. I love Saga. It is one of the most original and consistently interesting graphic novels I’ve ever read, and I’ve already been suggesting it to people even though I only just figured it out myself a couple months ago.

Tanith Lee. I finally read Wolf Tower, and put Tanith Lee on the list of authors I really should have been reading in high school. Seriously, what was I reading in high school?

Have you found any new authors this year?

Books on My Fall To-Be-Read List

Once again I’m taking a topic from Top Ten Tuesday on The Broke and Bookish. This time, the books that I want to read this fall.

  • 20312458A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. I’ve been putting this off for a while, and I’m not even sure why. I think I’ve just been on a short book kick? And I never did finish rereading the whole series beforehand. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)
  • Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler. I’m currently reading this, but it’s danged long (though not as long as Dance) so this will take me a while to read this.
  • Seconds by Brian Lee O’Malley. I have it, it’s sitting on my shelf, I’m gonna read it this week, I swear.
  • Extras by Scott Westerfeld. I’ve also been putting this one off, because I loved Tally and she’s not the main character here, as far as I can tell from the description. But I want to hand the whole book stack over to other people to read, so I’ve got to finish the series first.
  • Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan. Not only did I go to Lesley with Sara but her first book, If You Could Be Mine, was truly excellent. I can’t wait until this one comes out in a couple of weeks.
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I mentioned last week that I need to read more Sanderson. And I will. Perhaps on an upcoming plane trip…
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. I also mentioned last week how much I want to read the next in her Raven Boys series. This also comes out in a couple of weeks. October is a good month this year.

Those are the books I plan to read this fall. will I get to all of them? Probably. Will I kick some out in favor of another one I decide I want to read more? Also probably. And obviously I’ll be filling in my months with more than that.

What books do you plan on reading this fall?

Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From and Need to Read More

I’m taking this meme from The Broke and Bookish, who have a weekly Top Ten Tuesday list other bloggers can take part in. I’m going to cheat on mine, since I will not be listing a full ten authors, and for my own sake I’m counting a series as one book.

7235533Brandon Sanderson. I recently finished the last book in his Mistborn trilogy, The Hero of Ages, which simultaneously broke my heart and filled me with euphoric joy. He has a real sense of his plot and how to feed small bits of information that become massively important towards the end, and his characters were diverse and loveable and wonderful. I don’t think I’ll ever read his Wheel of Time books after he took over for Robert Jordan (I couldn’t get through the first one, and I don’t have a lot of desire to try again) but he has some other big chunky fantasy novels, plus some young adult, that I’m looking forward to cracking open.

Maggie Stiefvater. Another where I’ve read a series, not just one book. Not even the whole series: the first two of The Raven Boys (the third comes out next month). The plot is okay, but the characters are the real draw, and her writing style is really lovely, it drew me in so that I finished the books much faster than I thought I would have. I initially dismissed her Mercy Falls books, because I thought she was jumping on the supernatural bandwagon, but I’ll have to go back for those and The Scorpio Races.

Marcus Zusak. I read The Book Thief a little over a year ago, and I loved it. I’ll probably read it again soon. But I at least want to pick up I Am the Messenger, too.

Gayle Forman. I read If I Stay a few months ago, and it near broke my heart. I’d like to read the sequel, Where She Went. If I survive that, then I’ll try her other book pairing.

E.L. Konigsburg. I have only ever read The View from Saturday Morning. I know, but don’t worry, I’m very ashamed of never reading From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

This is what I could come up with, since generally when I really enjoy an author I seek out their other novels anyway.

What authors do you want to read more of?

 

What I’m Reading: New Loves

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

I finally started reading the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson after getting the trilogy box set for Christmas. First, I’d forgotten the magic special feeling of holding a fantasy mass market paperback in my hands. There’s just something about the way it fits in my grip, along with the kind of story I’m reading, that transports me back to some good high school aged memories. Second, oh my goodness this series is good. It was published after I’d graduated high school, which is how I forgive myself for taking this long to read it, but it’s so wonderful: interesting, unique magic system, cool characters, and SURPRISE complicated female lead who winds up being the hero. Working on book 2 right now.

I’ve also been working on Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace for the past month now. I couldn’t easily tell you the plot, except that it’s about a weird family that runs a tennis academy and drug addicts, among other things. It’s a hard read, with the style changing from section to section (it will be pages of only dialogue, to a complex description of a game the tennis students play) and I have to read it slowly, oftentimes outloud, and with nothing else to distract me. So, even without the beastly size of it (over 1,000 pages) I wouldn’t be able to sneak reads of this at work. I think I like it, though it’s going to take me another month or two to reach the end.

Rereadings Edited by Anne Fadiman
Rereadings Edited by Anne Fadiman

For Christmas I got a book, Rereadings, a collection of essays on rereading books. I’m really enjoying it, even though most of the essays are about books I’ve never personally read. It’s not just your tastes that evolve and change how you look at a book, but also the way you perceive the world, like Anne Fadiman, who as an adult suddenly notices racist implications in The Horse and His Boy. It’s inspiring me to reread things I may not remember terribly well, and write about how they hold up and how I may interpret them differently now.

I also went to a used bookstore this weekend, so a couple more novels have been added to me “to read” pile. At least I know I’ll always have something on hand.