This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is a freebie, so I took a while to think of a theme I liked… But you’ll be relieved (or not) to discover that I did eventually make my mind up: the theme for me this week is “top ten books I picked up at random that were a really good idea”. All of these books I just grabbed in a bookstore or library, without checking reviews or being recommended them. I’ve linked my reviews in cases where I’ve posted them here, though!
- A Taste of Blood Wine, Freda Warrington. I thought this might be a silly vampire story, but I was in the mood for that. I didn’t expect it to be as well written and absorbing as it was — nor to have LGBT+ characters, female scientists pre-WWII, and a rich mythic background.
- The Dragonbone Chair, Tad Williams. I actually bought this whole series in one go, plus his Otherland books, and enjoyed them all greatly. Time for a reread, soon!
- A Sorcerer’s Treason, Sarah Zettel. It’s been a while since I read this series, so I just remember picking it up in Borders and getting quite absorbed.
- Dead Harvest, Chris F. Holm. And that whole series, in fact. I really loved the pulp pastiche covers, and loving the story was a good bonus.
- The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman. Granted, I didn’t read it until rather later, but just the summary was enough to make me grab this one.
- The Gate to Women’s Country, Sheri S. Tepper. I liked this so much more than I expected. I’d been more or less anti-recommended Tepper’s work, and just picked this one up because it was in the SF Masterworks list.
- The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence. I picked this up in Belgium — I can’t remember if it was the time my ereader broke and I just had to get my hands on some books, any books, to fill the void. Anyway, I ended up loving it, but I hadn’t read anything about it beforehand and I was quite surprised by the depth of the subject matter.
- The Rose Garden, Susanna Kearsley. On the face of it, this didn’t even look like my thing. But I ended up giving it four stars, so not bad, right?
- On Basilisk Station, David Weber. I loved this — and my sister loved it even more. Yet I remember just being mildly curious when I picked it up at the library…
- Century Rain, Alastair Reynolds. Even if I hadn’t loved the book, it’d be worth the price of entry because it was the book that got my sister back into reading, after years of not being interested. And it’s still her favourite.
I really need to jot down ideas for freebie weeks in advance. Any suggestions, people?!