TTT: Impulsive Cover Buys (That Paid Off)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jamie @ The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday, and this week is a cover freebie. Below are ten books that I impulse bought based solely (or mostly) on their covers. I think the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ does a terrible disservice to the folks who spend their time designing and illustrating book covers.

When I have the disposable income to do so, I’ll cover buy a few books and see how it goes. The books that made the list this week are cover buys that ended up being favourites of mine.

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Sabriel: This first instalment in a series of fantastic heroines, necromancy, and insidious magic set me on a path to seeking out more cool and unique fantasy contests.

A Certain Slant of Light: This beautiful and slightly creepy cover conceals a unique story of the afterlife that I’ve never seen replicated before or since.

Hawkeye: The colour choice and bold graphics drew me in, and this turned out to be one of the funniest comics I’ve picked up in ages.

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Annihilation: This gorgeous graphic cover is the first in a creepy and slow-moving speculative sci-fi trilogy that is absolutely unforgettable.

Sunshine: In a world where magical gifts manifest and creatures roam, the titular character is trapped with a vampire in an incredibly interesting story. The sparkly cover is rather different from the content matter, but it was certainly eye-catching.

Saga: I had no idea of the epic tale of family and space that waited for me within the pages of this excellently illustrated comic. Fiona Staples is a master.

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Kaptara: This brilliantly coloured and rendered cover conceals a hilarious story set in deep space with a distinctly 80’s vibe.

Deathless: The stark and beautiful graphic cover still doesn’t quite convey the tale of love, death, and magic that lays within the pages of this book. The story stayed with me for years.

The Gentlemen’s Alliance Cross: Arina’s Tanemura’s striking manga illustrations are densely detailed and convey her story lines wonderfully. The first in a series that I absolutely adore.

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The Fionavar Tapestry: This beautiful cover introduced me to my favourite author via a series that would go on to influence both my reading and writing forever more.

That’s all for today! Have you read any of my cover picks? What theme did you choose this week? Let me know in the comments below!

 

TTT: Books I’d Love to See Under the Tree

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Hey y’all. It’s Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday! TTT is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I’m currently suffering either a nasty stomach bug or food poisoning, so this post will be rather shorter than usual and possibly a little incoherent.

Still, I want to try my best to keep things going!

The theme this week is ‘Top Ten Books I’d Love to See Under the Christmas Tree’. I don’t actually have a tree this year, which I’m sad about as I love the smell of fresh pine. In any case, here are ten books that I would love to receive as gifts! Honestly, any book as a gift is wonderful, especially when you’re gifting a personal favourite to someone.

But sometimes you just want to get your hands on something specific!

In no particular order, here’s my wishlist:

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– Goldenhand, by Garth Nix

– The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill

– Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel

– The Dark Days Club, by Alison Goodman

– Luna: New Moon, by Ian McDonald

– The Paper Menagerie, by Ken Liu

– Every Heart A Doorway, by Seanan McGuire

– Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente

– And I Darken, by Kiersten White

– The Trees, by Ali Shaw

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So there they are, books that I was unable to pick up myself for one reason or another, but that I’ve really wanted to read. Getting them as gifts would be really cool.

Gifts aren’t everything during the holidays – seeing your family and friends is the best part of the season. But there’s no denying that presents are a delight!

I hope you all have a great end of the year, and receive some cool books as well!

What are some books you’d love to receive as gifts? Have you read any of my wishlist – and how were they? Let me know in the comments below!

TTT: Favourite ‘New To Me’ Authors

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday is basically exactly as it sounds: participants list their ‘top ten’ of whatever the subject is every week.

The year is coming to a close, and with it come the inevitable ‘best of 2016’ lists. This week we’re looking at the ten best ‘new to me’ authors I discovered in 2016. Honestly, I stuck with a lot of tried and true favourites this year, so this list was a bit difficult to compile.

Here we go!

  • Richard Wagamese

I read Indian Horse this Easter, and it stayed with me for the rest of the year. Definitely an author I’ll be reading more of, and a book that is an important read for Canadians especially.

  • Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter was exactly the sort of soft science fiction that I had been craving, and the excellent characterisation helped deliver.

  • Xia Jia

My favourite author from Invisible Planets, her beautiful writing and interesting concepts captured me and held on tight. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that I would love to read everything she’s ever written.

  • Hao Jingfang

Another fantastic writer from Invisible Planets, her creativity is incredibly compelling. I deeply wish there was more of her work available to read in English.

  • Laura Ruby

Bone Gap was the only magical realism novel I read this year, but I’m sure it would have won out over any competition. I look forward to reading more of Ruby’s work.

  • Andre Alexis

I loved philosophy class in uni, and Fifteen Dogs was certainly evocative of the philosophical puzzles that students wrestled with in class. A tragic but compelling book that cemented him as a success in my mind.

  • William Dalrymple

Some of the only non-fiction I’ve read this year, Nine Lives was a testament to Dalrymple’s skill as an author. Compelling real-life stories told without exoticism or patronising, I intend to read his other books.

  • Nnedi Okorafor

My only middle grade read this year, Akata Witch was a revelation of great kidlit. Exploring a new and unfamiliar (to me) kind of magic, it kept me guessing and thinking to the very last.

  • E.I. Wong

My favourite blogger before he hung up his keyboard, Eric Wong’s poetry is at times off-colour, and humorous at all times. I was exceptionally lucky to grab a copy of his book.

  • Charlaine Harris

I started speed-reading through the Sookie Stackhouse books this year. I’m on book eight now, and loving them. Expect a review of the series as a whole sometime in the new year.

So there you have it! I didn’t really do as much reading as I wanted this year, so a great deal of the authors I read are favourites. Still, that in no way means they’re not worthy of the title. It does mean that I (thankfully) didn’t read as many terrible books as I could have.

Who were your ‘new to you’ favourite authors this year? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments below!

TTT: Favourite Villains in Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday is basically exactly as it sounds: participants list their ‘top ten’ of whatever the subject is every week.

This week was ‘all about villains’ and participants were challenged to come up with their own list about villains. My top ten (or rather, my top nine) this week is a list of villains that I found compelling, terrifying, or both. Everyone on this list added a necessary evil to the books they were in.

Now, in no particular order, here we go!

Count Olaf

An arsonist with a deep desire to create orphans and acquire their inheritances, Olaf insinuates himself into their lives using murder, strange plots, and lots of disguises. Extremely creepy, he’s interesting because the reader never learns very much about him. However when his motivations become clearer (in The End) he becomes a more believably complex character and a masterful villain.

King Leck

A more unsettling villain is hard to find in any other books. Leck is unquestionably a psychopath and a sadist. But the worst part about him is his insanely insidious gift that holds even after his death. Making people believe something is scary, but that belief passing unquestionably from person to person like a virus is next level terrifying.

Black Jack Randall

A sadist of the most disgusting kind, he derives a deep pleasure from torturing and hurting other people. He can’t perform sexually unless his (unwilling) partner is afraid or he is hurting them. He is obsessive and once fixated on someone will do everything he can to get what he wants from them.

Irial

While I’m absolutely positive that Irial doesn’t see himself as a villain, there is no question that he is one. Though granted he’s trying to strengthen his people, he forges a disgustingly perverse connection with a teenager. Sucking all of the negative emotion from her to keep himself strong, he commits unspeakable atrocities in front of her to gain them. Dark fae have always unnerved me, but this pushed me to absolute fear.

Skinner Sweet

Skinner Sweet is the kind of character that you love to hate. Sometimes he’s just kind of a dick, and sometimes his actions are so completely reprehensible that you don’t want to believe them of him. He’s on this list because reading about him is always extremely enjoyable despite his awful actions.

Wanderer

Though some may disagree, Wanda is unquestionably the villain of this book for me (fight me). Part of a colonization after an invading force has taken over the Earth, she does her best to subsume the consciousness in the body that she’s stolen. She then proceeds to seek out that body’s lover, because through memories she also fancies herself in love with him. While there’s no doubt that she’s a likeable and sympathetic villain, she belongs on this list.

Lord Voldemort

I’m sure you knew this one was coming. But really the man split his goddamned soul in the pursuit of immortality. In addition he basically enslaves the very people that seek utopia under his regime while using them to persecute all other groups of people. He has intense intelligence and magical power at his disposal, and those become more unstable as time goes on – making him unpredictable and thus even more dangerous.

Galbatorix

Megalomania and insanity are not a good mix. No nation should have an immortal king who has committed genocide and murdered the entire order of people keeping the peace. While he’s kept a semblance of order, he destroyed a golden age and quickly halted all progress. Also he twisted a dragon to be his slave. Not cool, man.

Opal Koboi

A villain that becomes more terrifying in each book in which she appears, she’s the epitome of evil genius. She uses her intelligence to construct plots that become increasingly elaborate and which are meticulously planned. She’s also emotionally unstable and sometimes flies into rages. You never know when she’s going to pop up because she has a million failsafes in place for her own death.

Did any of my villains make their way to your list? What are some of your favourite villains in books?

Fall TBR List – Top Ten Tuesday

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I’ve discovered yet another book meme, this one hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday is basically exactly as it sounds: participants list their ‘top ten’ of whatever the subject is every week. I thought I’d start this week since the topic is your Fall TBR list!

Generally I don’t ever have a coherent TBR, but this upcoming season seems to be the exception for me.

I don’t know that I’ll be able to read all of these, or if I’ll be adding in other reads here and there, but these are the books that I’m looking forward to getting to this season!

Goldenhand, by Garth Nix

The highly anticipated continuation of The Old Kingdom series, I cannot wait to get my hands on this and throw myself back into the fantastic world that Nix has created.

The Night Wanderer, by Drew Hayden Taylor

Chosen because I want to do some spooky reading in October, and I’m excited to read something billed as ‘A Native Gothic Novel’.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, by Cassandra Rose Clarke

A book I’ve been curious about since it came out, I finally came across a copy at my bookstore.  Apparently dealing with sentient rights, I’m looking forward to reading it.

My Real Children, by Jo Walton

A book about one woman’s life, and the two distinct paths it takes after a choice is made.

Invisible Planets: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese SF in Translation, translated by Ken Liu

It’s always thrilling to read more diverse authors, and I’m so excited to take a look at the worlds created by these authors.

Children of Icarus, by Caighlan Smith

An ARC I got through NetGalley, there isn’t a lot of information about this book save that it’s based in mythology about Icarus.

The Dhow House, by Jean McNeil

Another NetGalley find, this time from Legend Press – who also published The Blackbird Singularity.

The Vegetarian, by Han Kang

A protagonist who stops eating meat and the surprising consequences of her choice.

Spider’s Song, by Anita Daher

Another spooky October read, this time not supernatural but instead dealing with more human terrors.

The Girl with All the Gifts, by M.R. Carey

Possibly another October read, I saw the movie trailer based on this book and am super intrigued about the concept.

Do we share any of the same books? What’s on your Fall TBR list?