Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books On My Spring TBR

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! Don’t forget to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl and join the linkup!


Books On My Spring TBR

Let’s see if I can get some of these read this quarter, hmm? I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to make good progress on them, but we’ll have to see. I have at least been less frequently distracted by shiny new books this year than usual. (I think that’s because of my Bucket List Books Challenge.) Let’s see if I can keep it up.

A note: this is in an approximate order of when I want to get to the books. The e-books and audio books are scattered in among the paper books, but other than that I hope to read the books in approximately this order. I may vary the order based on reading preferences at the time I pick up a new book or based on what I have vs. what I still need to buy/checkout from the library.

  1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank ~ This one is on my Top TBR list, and I really want to get to it soon.
  2. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis ~ I think this was officially on my Winter TBR. I don’t want it to also end up on my Summer TBR, so I’ve prioritized reading it.
  3. Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare ~ I really don’t know why these plays are listed in the order they are in my “Complete Works” volume, but I said that I was going to read them in order (so that I didn’t just re-read my favorites and ignore the others), and so I’m going to read them IN ORDER. I do believe this will be a new one for me, instead of a re-read.
  4. Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience by Indre Viskontas (audio) ~ It’s not often I get to hear someone I’ve done theatre with give science lectures. (Though this is also not the first time.) That is awesome enough for me to pick this Great Courses lecture series up even if the summary hadn’t sounded fascinating (which it totally does).
  5. The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg (e-book) ~ I’ve been curious about this one for a while. I bought the e-book thinking that would get me to read it sooner, but so far that hasn’t worked.
  6. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking ~ Another book on my Top TBR. I own a copy now, so I have no excuses.
  7. The Book of Night With Moon by Diane Duane (e-book) ~ I love the Feline Wizards stories, and want to re-read them.
  8. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare ~ Not sure I’ll get to two Shakespeare plays this quarter, but let’s see if I can make it. This is another new one for me.
  9. The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes (audio) ~ I have the audio version for this, and I’m hoping to get to it soon. It just sounds so amusing! I’m not sure that it will be this spring, though, because I don’t know how long the Brain Myths lecture series will take me. That one seems like it could take a while to fully absorb.
  10. So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane (e-book) ~ I recently bought new, updated copies of the Young Wizards series, where all the tech has been revised for the new generation. I’m curious to re-visit this series and see what the changes were.

That’s a lot of reading! Some of those are long books, and others are heavy books (and one or two might be both). Somehow I suspect I have aimed higher this season than I will be able to achieve, but that’s the way goals go! Aim high!

Have a great spring, and happy reading!


Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books That Surprised Me

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! Don’t forget to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl and join the linkup!


Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way)

Let’s play with colors! Also, that means that I’ll be trying to find a good mix of “good” and “bad” reasons for being surprised by books.

  1. NPCs by Drew Hayes ~ I thought from the blurb that I’d like this book. I didn’t know that I’d absolutely love it or that I’d then devour the rest of the (currently available) series.
  2. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein ~ I thought I’d like this one. I was very surprised that I couldn’t even bring myself to finish it.
  3. The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette ~ When this one started it was good, but slow-paced. It stayed slow-paced, and the part that surprised me was that I liked it that way.
  4. To Kill a Nightingale by Harper Lee ~ I’ve said this before, but I was shocked by not not shocked I was.
  5. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie ~ I totally didn’t see the “whodunnit” coming in this book. Christie was a master at writing mysteries, IMO. Sooooo good.
  6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth ~ I was surprised by how different this book was from the first one in the series (Divergent). It felt like Roth took a kick-ass heroine and removed her spine.
  7. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card ~ I enjoyed the twist in this one. I suppose maybe I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t (I have still never seen War Games) and it was quite an enjoyable read. I should really go back and read the book again, and maybe continue on with the series this time.
  8. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ~ This book surprised me with how unlike it’s hype it was. (Mulan but in Japan? Um, no.) Also with how much hype there was in general. I didn’t see much to be hyped about other than the premise.
  9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins ~ So many surprises in this one for me. One of them being that I actually enjoyed the series — I had enjoyed the first books, but didn’t expect to ultimately enjoy the series. I kept expecting to get furious at it, you know? I kept thinking the hype was too strong and I was going to hate the books at the end. It turned out that maybe I didn’t like them as much as the hype suggested, but I did still really like them.
  10. The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble ~ This one surprised me in how different the first part of the book was from the ending. I liked it when I started it — liked it a lot. It reminded me of some of my favorite books from my youth. And then it got boring. And then it got weird. And then I was done with it.

And there you have it! 10 various surprising books. Have you read anything that surprised you lately?

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Favorite Book Quotes

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! Don’t forget to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl and join the linkup!


Ten Favorite Book Quotes

Oh man. So many good book quotes and I’m sure I’ll forget some of my favorites. Here are the ones I can think of to look for off the top of my head. This reinforces the idea, though, that I need to re-star my habit of keeping a notebook of favorite quotes — I used to do that, and got out of the habit, but I miss it.

  1. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ~ “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
  2. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher ~ “Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.”
  3. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire ~ “We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.”
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling ~ “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
  5. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”
  6. Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede & Carolyn Stevermer ~ “How dreadful…to be caught up in a game and have no idea of the rules.”
  7. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ~ “Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”
  8. Bellwether by Connie Willis ~ “Don’t they know science doesn’t work like that? You can’t just order scientific breakthroughs. They happen when you are looking at something you’ve been working on for years and suddenly see a connection you never noticed before, or when you’re looking for something else altogether. Sometimes they even happen by accident. Don’t they know you can’t get a scientific breakthrough just because you want one?”
  9. Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff ~ “Better the comfort of a lie than the absurdity of the truth.”
  10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster ~ “So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”

And a bonus quote that is just funny and not really any deeper than that. (I tried to make my official ten quotes have some meaning to them, but I couldn’t resist including this one.)

When Rome burned, the emperor’s cats still expected to be fed on time.

~ Seanan McGuire, Rosemary & Rue

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books I Could Re-read Forever

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday!


Books I Could Re-read Forever

Oh, man. Does this topic know me, or does it know me? I have so many books that I can (and have) re-read again and again and again… here’s the first ten of those books that I think of. (There are more than ten. I’m not telling how many more than ten are on my shelf, though.)

    1. Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong ~ Paige and Lucas are my favorite pairing in the Otherworld series, and this is the book where they meet.
    2. Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong ~ More Paige and Lucas! Yay!
    3. Sorcery and Cecilia: or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer ~ This is the first of the Letter Game books, and it’s my favorite of the three. It might be my favorite book ever, just because it’s so unique and enjoyable and fun.
    4. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George ~ I love all three of the Princesses of Westfallin trilogy, but this is the one I have re-read the most often. (Partly because it came out first, and so every time one of the following books was released, I re-read this one first.)
    5. Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff ~ Tony and Lee. And Henry. Mmmm. Love these books, and in this one they actually start getting something sorted out. And then the series ended. Darn it.
    6. Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff ~ Snarky cats, magic, innocent hot guy, and a portal to Hell in the basement. Such an amazing assortment of fun. I love it to pieces.
    7. Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey ~ This is a Cinderella re-telling in Lackey’s Elemental Masters series. I think this is where she hit her peak with the series, and the books went steeply downhill from here. Sad, really, but this one is worth reading over again even if the ones that followed were mediocre.
    8. The Harper Hall Trilogy by Anne McCaffrey ~ I’m running out of room, so I’m putting the whole trilogy here instead of just one book. These are my favorite of the Pern books, partly because of the music and partly because of the fire lizards. In any case, I read these often. (So often that my original books fell apart and I had to buy new copies.)
    9. On Fortune’s Wheel by Cynthia Voigt ~ The only reason I haven’t re-read this one more often than I have is because it’s been stored at the back of my bookshelves until recently. I’ve read it multiple times, though, and I’ll be reading it again.
    10. Elfshadow & Elfsong by Elaine Cunningham ~ I know, that’s two books and not one. It’s not really cheating since they’re part of the same series, right? I think they count. But again: more magic and music combined! Awesomesauce.

There you go. Ten-ish books that I can re-read forever. And I didn’t even get started with the Harry Potter books…

Side note: my apologies if any words seem odd. My computer is trying to auto-correct some of the names, and I’m not sure I caught them all even though I proof-read this post. I did catch that it turned “Wrede” into “Were”, though. WTF?

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Goodreads Declutter #2

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! I’ve started doing this a little with my Goodreads TBR declutter, but that just means this is a good time to do another declutter post!


Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading (Maybe)

(The “Maybe” is my addition, since I’m doing this as a Goodreads TBR declutter post and so I might decide I want to keep the books on my TBR.)

1: Time Transit by Kay Austin

There’s a reason Maude Kincaid is one of the best Time Rogues, and it’s the same reason she’s now dead—or soon will be. Gut-shot and lying in a sub-orbital tram station reeking of brimstone, waiting for the atmospherics to give out, she’s exactly where she intended: She’s saved CORE, her friends and her reality. And only a woman willing to bend the rules could do it.

The time travel was nothing. That’s been as natural as breathing since Maude became one of the 22nd century’s elite cadre of protectors against temporal rifts. Jumps to Dealey Plaza and the old South were nothing. Taking the bullet was a little harder. Maude’s only regret is about Gil. Gil, with whom she shared the 21st-century delights called Sonic burgers and blueberry Slushies. Gil, who’s half cowboy, half PhD, but all man. Gil, whom she abandoned with his memory erased because he was from another time, another reality, and because Time Rogues can’t afford to know love. Today, she can’t afford to forget it.

I got this book when Shomi was a new imprint for Dorchester. (It’s since been folded into their Love Spell line. RIP Shomi.) That was a long time ago. I think it’s only still on my TBR because it’s still physically on my shelf. That’s going to change, because I have no interest in the blurb.

Verdict: REMOVE

2: Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman

At the end of her bestselling Coldfire trilogy, C.S. Friedman challenged readers to imagine what a world would be like if sorcery required the ultimate sacrifice-that of life itself. Now, in Feast of Souls, she introduces us to a terrifying world in which the cost of magic is just that…in which the fuel for sorcery is the very fire of the human spirit, and those who hunger for magical power must pay for it with their lives. In this epic tale of nightmarish shadows and desperate hope, the greatest threat of all may not be that of ancient enemies returned, or ancient wars resumed, but of the darkness that lies within the hearts of men.

The premise still sounds interesting. I continually forget about this book, but everytime I read the blurb I want to read the book.

Verdict: KEEP

3: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m not sure about starting another paranormal werewolf/vampire series, but I do like the idea of magic and technology taking turns working. Plus, a lot of my friends have rated it very highly.

Verdict: KEEP

4: Disappearing Nightly by Laura Resnick

“I’m not a heroine; I just play heroines. Also psychotics, orphans, vamps, hookers, and housewives.”

When bizarre magical disappearances disrupt performances in the Big Apple, struggling actress Esther Diamond receives a cryptic warning not to appear in an Off-Broadway musical because “there is Evil among us.”

Since the show much go on, Esther teams up with a conjuring cowboy, a banker with stage aspirations, and a group of drag queens. They’re led in their efforts by Esther’s new BFF, Dr. Maximillian Zadok, a 350-year-old mage whose day job is protecting New York from Evil. Also on the case is Detective Connor Lopez, a sexy cop who fears that Max and Esther may be a bigger problem than the vanishing performers.

Boldly facing down an enraged producer, a hungry tiger, and other deadly obstacles, Esther, Max, and their friends pursue Evil to its lair in their fearless determination to find the missing performers and restore harmony to their city.

Magic + theatre was what got me hooked on this in the first place. It still sounds interesting.

Verdict: KEEP

5: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.

Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.

This is a re-read for me, and I can’t remember if I liked it or not… but I want to remember. Therefore I want to read it.

Verdict: KEEP

6: The Hob’s Bargain by Patricia Briggs

Hated and feared, magic was banished from the land. But now, freed from the spells of the wicked bloodmages, magic—both good and evil—returns. And Aren of Fallbrook feels her own power of sight strengthen and grow…

Overcome by visions of mayhem and murder, Aren vows to save her village from the ruthless raiders who have descended upon it—and killed her family. With the return of wildlings to the hills and forests, she strikes a bargain with the Hob, a magical, human-like creature imbued with the power of the mountains. But the Hob is the last of his kind. And he will exact a heavy price to defend the village—a price Aren herself must pay.

I don’t remember why I have this one on my shelves. I think I got the book as part of a blog contest? I have never had a personal interest in the book, though, and have hung onto it by default.

Verdict: REMOVE

7: The Anubis Gates by Time Powers

Brendan Doyle, a specialist in the work of the early-nineteenth century poet William Ashbless, reluctantly accepts an invitation from a millionaire to act as a guide to time-travelling tourists. But while attending a lecture given by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810, he becomes marooned in Regency London, where dark and dangerous forces know about the gates in time. Caught up in the intrigue between rival bands of beggars, pursued by Egyptian sorcerers, befriended by Coleridge, Doyle somehow survives. And learns more about the mysterious Ashbless than he could ever have imagined possible.

I’m not 100% sure about this one, but I like the idea of time travel and I like the Egyptian setting, too. I’m going to keep this one on here for now and see if I can get to it soon.

Verdict: KEEP

8: Sleeping With The Fishes by MaryJanice Davidson

Fredericka Bimm is a mermaid. But she’s not the stuff of legends. A marine biologist, she knows what’s in the water so chooses not to expose herself to toxins. Then two strangers come into her life. Her new colleague is a hunk with a mermaid fixation. The other claims he is Artur – her rightful ruler!

Yeah… no. I thought this sounded amusing at the time, but I’m not interested anymore.

Verdict: REMOVE

9: Bring It On (Retrievers #3) by Laura Anne Gilman

Nobody said juggling a career and a relationship would be easy… Wren Valere used to have a simple life. Her partner Sergei would negotiate the terms of the Retrieval all right, the theft and she would use her magical Talent to carry it out. Paycheck deposited, on to the next job.

Now? Her relationship with Sergei is even more complicated (sex will do that). Her fellow lonejacks are trying to organize against the Mage’s Council. The nonhuman population of Manhattan is getting fed up with being ignored and abused. And the Council? Well, they have an agenda of their own, and it’s not one the lonejacks are going to like.

And Sergei is far too involved with the Silence, his former employers, for Wren’s liking.

When it comes down to choosing sides, the first rule of the lonejack credo is “Don’t get involved.” But when friends are in danger, and the city you love is at risk, sometimes getting into the thick of things is all you can do.

I think I still want to read this one. I liked the first two in the series (though I don’t remember them very well anymore). I’m keeping it on the TBR since I enjoyed the first ones, but if it takes me too long to get to it I may change my mind. We’ll see.

Verdict: KEEP

10: Burning Bridges (Retrievers #4) by Laura Anne Gilman

Wren Valere used to be almost invisible. But now she’s not only being seen, she’s getting involved.

Recent attacks against nonhuman Fatae have escalated into hate crimes against magic users in general–humans included. With the Mage Council distracted by internal power struggles, Wren is guilted into stepping up as spokesperson for the fragilely united Fatae and lonejack communities.

And, because the cosmos deems her without enough complications, her partner-lover Sergei is drowning in his own problems. But not only can’t she help him she’s the cause.

With lives on the line, including her own, Wren’s going to have to break the lonejack credo, ditch her long-cherished invisibility and take a stand.

But burning bridges can be deadly.

This one sounds less interesting than it used to. I’m going to take it off the TBR, though I’ll admit that if I read book 3 and like it I will almost certainly put this one back ON the TBR. That, however, is a decision for another day.

Verdict: REMOVE


Well, it wasn’t quite the plan for the Top Ten Tuesday, but it’s close! And at least I did remove some of the books I reviewed!

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Love Freebie

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This one is a “Love Freebie” (Romances, swoons, OTPs, kisses, sexy scenes, etc.) because Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Mr. Wyrm and I don’t celebrate in the traditional way (aka going out and spending tons of money on a fancy dinner and flowers and chocolates), but I think we’ll get some cheesecake to share for dessert. Yum. (That’s our tradition. Take-out Cheesecake Factory cheesecake.)


Love Freebie: My Favorite Literary Couples

This is just in order of the first couples I think of, not necessarily in order of preference. Also, I’m not going to explain any of them (too distracted by thoughts of cheesecake) but if you’re curious about why, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to explain when I’m less distracted! (Mmmm, cheesecake.)

Side note: I just realized these pairings may result in spoilers. Sorry.

  1. the Mage Winds trilogy by Mercedes Lackey ~ Elspeth & Darkwind
  2. Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn ~ Coriel & Kent
  3. the Tower & the Hive series by Anne McCaffrey ~ Damia & Afra
  4. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis ~ Ned & Verity (and the cat!) (and yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to comment…)
  5. Dime Store Magic (and the rest of the Otherworld series) by Kelley Armstrong ~ Paige & Lucas
  6. Elfshadow (and the following books) by Elaine Cunningham ~ Arilyn & Danilo
  7. Tinker by Wen Spencer ~ Tinker & Wolf Who Rules
  8. Indexing by Seanan McGuire ~ Henry & Jeff (note: Henry is short for Henrietta. I have no arguments against same-gender couples, but this isn’t one of them.)
  9. Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff ~ Tony & Lee (this one is a same-gender couple, though they do more dancing around it than actually being a couple. And I don’t get more books featuring them. Sigh.)
  10. Phenomenal Girl 5 by A.J. Menden ~ Lainey & Robert

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books on my TBR the Longest

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday!


Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

In this case, I’m using books physically on my bookshelf. There will be a look at my Goodreads TBR list shortly, but when I read TBR books I’m hoping to prioritize ones I actually have.

    1. Bloodring by Faith Hunter ~ Hmm… I don’t remember buying this one…
    2. The Devil & Dan Cooley by Holly Lisle and Walter Spence ~ I looked for this one for ages, and finally found it in a used book store. I’m not giving up on it now.
    3. Mall, Mayhem, & Magic by Holly Lisle and Chris Guin ~ I found this one as the same time as the one listed above. Ditto not giving up on it.
    4. Minerva Wakes by Holly Lisle ~ I was on a Holly Lisle kick for a while, where I bought every book of hers I saw in stores. But I found I didn’t like them all, so I stopped. I liked some, though, and this blurb sounded like it might be one that I liked. I haven’t quite gotten up the nerve to try yet.
    5. Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre ~ I don’t remember buying this one, either. It seems either I went on a book buying spree when I picked up things that sounded interesting but weren’t on my TBR yet, or I was gifted a bunch of books.
    6. Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin ~ I think I remember buying this one, but I don’t remember why. Hopefully it will turn out to be a good book.
    7. Deathwish by Rob Thurman ~ This one I know I bought. Thurman has been on my online TBR list for a while, and I thought buying the book would encourage me to read the book sooner rather than later. It didn’t work.
    8. The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory ~ Is it wrong to hope that having a co-author will make Lackey enjoyable again? Because that (plus an interesting plot) is why I bought this book.
    9. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb ~ These were gifted to me by my sister, I think. And then they got moved–unintentionally–to the back TBR pile and I forgot I had them.
    10. Venom by Jenifer Estep ~ This was another gift, but I procrastinated reading it because I forgot the details of the beginning of the series. I think it’s time to admit that I’m never going to remember unless I re-read the beginning (and I’m not likely to do that) and just read this book and hope the author left me enough clues to remember previous plots.