This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is top ten characters you want to check in on after the story is done. This is an awesome one — there are so many characters I wonder about!
Anyone from The Goblin Emperor (Katherine Addison). Don’t make me choose (obviously I’d choose Maia and his wife if I had to). I know she’s not going to write a sequel (as such), so I feel free to wonder about aaaaall of the characters. And I love them all, and even those who aren’t nice… I want to know how things end up.
Faramir from The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien). Total literary crush, ’nuff said. Plus, he’s with Eowyn, so you get a twofer there.
Treebeard from The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s Middle-earth becomes our Europe, after all. What happens to the Ents? Where are they hiding?
Caspian from Prince Caspian/Voyage of the Dawn Treader (C.S. Lewis).All of the books could’ve been about Caspian and Lucy having adventures and I’d have been happy.
The Marquis de Carabas from Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman). He’s so awesome, and we know so little about him. Need to knooooowwww.
Vetch from A Wizard of Earthsea (Ursula Le Guin). He was so faithful to Ged, and yet we don’t really know what happened to him.
Esca from The Eagle of the Ninth (Rosemary Sutcliff). We get a little bit of an idea what’s going to happen, but I want to know eveeerything.
Mori from Among Others (Jo Walton). I know a certain amount of this is autobiographical, and I know Jo a little. But I want to know about Mori, where she goes, what she does. It could be anything.
Peter Carmichael from the Small Change trilogy(Jo Walton). We don’t end the trilogy with him in a good place. At all. I want to see him heal. Or not. I want to see what happens to him and to society.
Con from Sunshine (Robin McKinley). I love the vampire lore in this book, love the awkward alliance/bond that forms between Con and Sunshine. Give me moooore.
I wonder how weird my choices are compared to everyone else’s… Drop by and let me know!
This week’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesday is “Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years”. Which is a cruel one, I think, because argh, there are so many, and how can I remember when I read them all? But here’s a rough guess. These are, of course, books I’ve read in the last three years, not books published in the last three years, because I say so.
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. C’mon, you called it.
Among Others, Jo Walton. This might be a bit out of the range now, but I’ve reread it in the last three years!
Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge. I might shut up about this, someday.
Behind the Shock Machine, Gina Perry. So much research went into this, and it’s a fascinating view on a very famous experiment.
The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence. Lots of issues that fascinate me, wrapped up in an emotional book.
The Dragon Waiting, John M. Ford. Man, this took so much digging through layers of stuff. I loved it.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, Allie Brosh. Because <3.
The Grand Sophy, Georgette Heyer. Heyer is awesome, okay.
The Carpet Makers, Andreas Eschbach. I remember this blowing my mind!
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern. Gorgeous. <3
Tahdah! Now I daren’t look at other people’s lists, you’ll make me want stuff…
This week’s topic from The Broke and the Bookish is a great one: top ten heroines. Let’s see…
Yeine, from The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. Seriously, seriously kickass lady who navigates politics, would prefer a fair fight, and becomes a goddess. Why not?
Tenar, from The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin. That was always my favourite book of the bunch. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but Tenar is strong in a way that has nothing to do with physical strength.
Mori, from Among Others by Jo Walton. Because she’s quite a lot like me, only she really can see fairies and she has a streak of pragmatism I could really use.
Harriet Vane, from the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers. Bit of a change of pace from the first three, being a different genre. But she’s a woman in a man’s world, pursuing both writing and academia, a strong woman who knows her own mind and sticks to her principles. But at the same time, she’s not perfect: she snarls at Peter, she’s unfair, etc, etc.
Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève, from Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. If there’s anything that can hold her back, I don’t know what it is. She’s gorgeous, she’s a spy, she manipulates politics and gets involved in all kinds of stuff on behalf of her country.
Katherine Talbert, from The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner. Even if she doesn’t want to learn to fight at first.
Ki, from Harpy’s Flight by Megan Lindholm. Practical, determined, fierce, and good to her animals, to her friends.
Caitrin, from Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier. She doesn’t seem like she’s going to be a strong person at first, yet she learns to face her fears — without it ever seeming too easy.
Mirasol, from Chalice by Robin McKinley. She’s thrown in at the deep end, with very little gratefulness or support from those around her, and she pushes through it to do whatever she has to do.
Csethiro Celedin, from The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. She basically says that if anyone hurts Maia she’ll duel them and gut them. Like!
I’m gonna have to look at loads of posts on this one, because stories with good heroines are definitely of interest to me!
Seems odd to think that in fantasy cities in which entire economies revolve around crime there is room for the men in blue (or crimson, or whatever). But the law does the best it can, even when faced with magic, mystical creatures, or rogue deities.
So I thought about this and for some reason my mind was totally blank. I mean, there’s various forces of law and order in fantasy, of course, but I couldn’t think of specific ones. In a lot of what I read, they’re just in the background — the king’s guardsmen, the city watch, whatever. Anyway, I’ve done my best to think of some of the forces of law and order that we don’t normally associate with the men in blue, as such. Like…
The Avengers (Marvel comics). You’ve never met a more law-abiding, law-enforcing person than Steve Rogers! And, admittedly, he does wear a mostly blue uniform.
The wizards on Roke (A Wizard of Earthsea). They’re pretty insular a lot of the time, granted, but if there’s a problem out there in the world, they’re probably the only ones who can solve it. And Ged is very aware of that fact. There’s the short story in Tales from Earthsea where he goes after a disgraced wizard, and then there’s the whole plot of The Furthest Shore…
Valek (Poison Study). The Commander might be the centre of power, but he wouldn’t be that way without Valek keeping people in line.
And for a guy who does represent the boys in blue, though this is not strictly fantasy (it’s alternate history)…
Peter Carmichael (Small Change trilogy). Because he tries to do his job even when it’s hard. Because despite all the risks to himself and those he loves, he subverts the regime he’s in, and supports real justice.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is ‘ten books I’d love to read with my book club’. I am a member of an awesome group for SF/F, so that’s easy — except that we’re quite particular about the sorts of books we end up reading for discussion. So hmmmm.
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. This is kind of cheating, because we are discussing it. And actually, I’m supposed to be leading it.
Mélusine, Sarah Monette. Because it’s so different to The Goblin Emperor! (It’s the same author under a pen name.) And it’s a bit more dark than I’d normally go for; I need some impetus to get on and read it.
Century Rain, Alastair Reynolds. Or really anything by Reynolds; I used to like his work a lot, though I haven’t read any in a long time, and Century Rain was my favourite.
Lock In, John Scalzi. We’re planning to read this anyway, but it does sound fascinating. We normally enjoy Scalzi, and this sounds like there’s a fair amount to chew over here.
Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight, Kelly Sue DeConnick. Because hey, I love this series and I want to share it. And talk about how it could be even better and all the places we wanna see Carol go.
Just about anything by Octavia Butler. I think we’ve probably already discussed some of Butler’s work, but it’s all great to talk about (and sometimes problematic, too, in ways that would make it even more interesting to bat it back and forth).
The Unreal and the Real: Collected Stories, Ursula Le Guin. It’s most often Le Guin’s short stories that I find I want to discuss and pick apart to make sure I really understand them.
The Just City, Jo Walton. And we probably will, since we’re big fans of Jo.
Under the Skin, Michael Faber. I’ve been convinced to buy it, so let’s discuss it. I think someone in the group actually suggested this one, too.
Anything by Ian McDonald. I think they might’ve discussed one of his books without me at some point, but I’ve read a couple of his older ones that’re really interesting too.
What about you guys? Any reading groups online to recommend?
This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is a freebie, so I’m gonna go with ‘top ten desert island books’. These are the books I’d take for when my ereader runs out of charge, which would happen all too soon…
The Dark is Rising sequence, Susan Cooper. It comes in an omnibus, so this only has to count as one. I can’t imagine life without this series at least once a year.
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. I am positive I could read this over and over again and get different things out each time.
The Earthsea Quartet, Ursula Le Guin. A long-term favourite of mine, and even better, it’s been a while since I read it.
I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith. Another one I periodically reread; I love the development of Cassandra’s character, and I don’t know a first and last line that stick better in my head.
Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay. I don’t think the Fionavar Tapestry books come in an omnibus, so I’d have this instead, although those might be my actual favourites.
The Inheritance Trilogy, N.K. Jemisin. Just come out in an omnibus! I love these books so much, and I think they’d stand up to more rereading.
Among Others, Jo Walton. This book means too much to me to be left behind.
The Complete Brandstetter, Joseph Hansen. I think I’d enjoy rereading these, and there’s plenty of them in this omnibus.
Good Omens, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. Because I think I’d need a touch of humour now and again.
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. I’m taking a bit of a chance on this, as I’ve only read it once so far, but I’m pretty sure I could enjoy reading it over and over, imagining myself into the world, etc.
Looking forward to seeing what other people have done with the freebie theme, now!
This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is “Top Ten Books I Read in 2014”. This one you can probably predict if you follow this blog, but I won’t leave you guessing. Also, links don’t show up on my theme very well, so I’ll just say now that all the titles are links to the reviews I wrote earlier in the year.
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison. Yep, you probably predicted this one. I just loved it to bits — I’d have happily gone back to page one and started all over again right away. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but it was pretty perfect for me.
The King of Elf-land’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany. This is definitely not new to a lot of people, but it was new to me. I think I’d read one of Dunsany’s short story collections before, but not this one. It’s a lovely mythic/fairytale-like world. In style and the like, it’s not like the more typical modern fantasy, but that doesn’t put me off at all.
We Have Always Fought, Kameron Hurley. I haven’t read any of Hurley’s fiction yet; she may even be a writer who appeals to me more as a commentator than as a creator, since I did start God’s War at one point and put it down again. But I loved this collection of her essays. She very much deserved her Hugo.
My Real Children, Jo Walton. Again, probably predictable. I loved the characters in this — the sheer range of them, the ways small circumstances could change them. It was quite upsetting on a personal level because of the mentions of dementia, but the fact that it had the power to upset me only made me like it more.
The Movement: Class Warfare, Gail Simone. I think this is a pretty timely comic. This sums it up, from my review: “[T]his is a group of young people getting together against injustice. Not supervillains: injustice. Crooked cops who beat poor people and POC because they can. The whole system of privilege and disprivilege. It’s a team of heroes for the Occupy Movement, for the 99%, for the disenfranchised.”
Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge. Read this all in one go on a train journey and resented every interruption. There’s a great atmosphere to this book.
Behind the Shock Machine, Gina Perry. I’ve always been fascinated by Stanley Milgram’s experiments, and this was a great way of delving into them — looking at it not from Milgram’s point of view, not looking at the results, but at the people he used in this experiment.
What Makes This Book So Great, Jo Walton. This is kinda cheating, in that it’s a book chock full of the books Jo Walton likes. Not limited to a top ten, of course, but I have a feeling it could furnish the whole contents of this list.
Spillover, David Quammen. Fascinating stuff, with some very obvious conclusions that apparently still need to be said. We are destroying habitats, forcing animals closer together and closer to us: we’re creating the perfect situation for a pandemic. It’s going to happen again, as it’s happened before, and we’ve just got to hope it isn’t something exotic and deadly. Even the flu is bad enough when it sweeps the world.
The Broken Land, Ian McDonald. This is the only book in this list I didn’t give five stars. But it’s stayed on my mind the whole time, and the issues it examines aren’t temporary ones that’re about to go away.
This is gonna be a really interesting week to check out other people’s lists; I’m looking forward to this! Make sure you link me to your list if you comment. I’ll always visit and comment back.
I keep forgetting to post this lately — which is odd, since normally I love my routines. Still, I had it on my to do list for today, so fortunately, I didn’t forget!
What have you recently finished reading? Heart’s Blood, by Juliet Marillier. Review goes up in the morning, I think; this was a reread, and I enjoyed it a lot. Though maybe not as much as I did the first time: some things were far too obvious on a reread, and I already predicted them the first time round.
What are you currently reading?
I’ve picked The Just City, by Jo Walton, back up. I stalled because I just felt like reading old familiar stuff (including Walton’s Tooth and Claw!) but I definitely want to hurry up and finish this. I’m also reading The Spirit Thief, by Rachel Aaron, which is light and fun. Comparisons to Locke Lamora and Vlad Taltos are quite unfair, given the lightness of it, though I can’t help but think of them… Non-fiction-wise, I’m also partway through Crow Country (Mark Cocker), which is kind of fascinating, not least because I didn’t know there was so much fascination to be found in the Corvid family, and also The Language Wars (Henry Hitchings), which is a little bit dry but still interesting.
What will you read next?
Probably more of the Rachel Aaron books. After that, maybe I’ll finally get round to The Girl with All the Gifts (M.R. Carey), or maybe I’ll just reread The Goblin Emperor… Or start on something else by Sarah Monette.
This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is “top ten books you’re looking forward to in 2015”. Now, I actually don’t keep a very good track of this, so I might not manage the full ten, but we’ll see how I do…
Jo Walton, The Just City. Yeah, I know I have an eARC and I’ve borrowed someone else’s ARC, but I’m still looking forward to it being out and getting to discuss it more widely.
Maria V. Snyder, Shadow Study. More Yelena! I still need to do my reread, but these are totally my popcorn books and it’ll be nice to have more to look forward to. I might actually manage to read the Avry trilogy when I know there’s more awaiting me…
V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic. I don’t know that much about it, but it sounds awesome, and I keep being recommended Schwab’s work.
Joe Abercrombie, Half a World. I still need to get round to reading Half a King, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy it, and this is another in the same world.
Catherynne M. Valente, Radiance. From reading the summary, I’m not quite sure about it, but I adore Valente’s way with words, so it’s going to be worth a try.
Naomi Novik, Uprooted. I remember enjoying the Temeraire books, and I love reading retellings of myths/legends/folktales/fables, so this sounds right up my street.
N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season.Gimme! Gimme!
Marie Brennan, The Voyage of the Basilisk. I need to read the second book, but still. Still. Badass Victorian lady!
Nicole Burstein, Othergirl. Just spotted this on someone else’s list of upcoming 2015 books. Sounds like fun, and there’s superpowers, sooo. I’m a sucker, I know.
Brandon Sanderson, Firefight. Another one where I still need to read the previous book, but shush. Superpowers!
Oof, I managed it. What’s anyone else looking forward to?
What are you currently reading? If Walls Could Talk (Lucy Worsley) for non-fiction, which is pretty fun for light reading.
For fiction: Fever (Mary Beth Keane), which I started reading last week, read half of, and then haven’t picked up since for no apparent reason. It’s interesting, though, because it tries to take the perspective of Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary. I keep meaning to look up some of the details to see how much of it is accurate and how much total fiction. Also The Hollow Hills (Mary Stewart), and The Just City (Jo Walton), but work seems to be coming in sufficient profusion to stop me actually finishing anything at the moment.
What have you recently finished reading? The Eerie Silence and The Goldilocks Enigma (Paul Davies). He loses me a bit when he goes into string theory and the like, and I know that some smaller aspects are gonna be out of date since it was written before the Large Hadron Collider was up and running, but for the most part I hung in there. The Eerie Silence leaves me very sceptical about the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence, but then The Goldilocks Enigma seemed more positive again… Odd, from the same author!
What will you read next?
I agreed to do a buddy read of The Goblin Emperor (Katherine Addison), this weekend; other than that, I’m not looking beyond the stack of half-read books at my bedside!