Top Ten Tuesday ~ 2016 Releases We Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To (But TOTALLY Plan To)

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! They come back from hiatus next week, but until then, here’s another post from earlier this year:

Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To (But TOTALLY Plan To)

These are in essentially reverse publication order, because the easiest way to figure this out was to go to my “to read” shelf on Goodreads and sort by pub date. This is not every 2016 book from my Goodreads “to read” shelf, but the ones that interested me the most. There was one (a graphic novel) which I left off of this list because I haven’t caught up in that series yet, though that book still is high on my interest list.

  1. Exile for Dreamers (Stranje House #2) by Kathleen Baldwin ~ I enjoyed the first one of these a lot, and am curious to see where the story goes
  2. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid ~ I’m pretty sure I was gifted this book last Christmas. I know nothing else about it except it was highly recommended.
  3. Clockwork Alchemist by Sara C. Roethle ~ pretty cover
  4. Spare and Found Parts by Sarah Maria Griffin ~ this one has an interesting concept
  5. Gone With the Witch (Wishcraft Mystery #6) and The Witch and the Dead (Wishcraft Mystery #7) by Heather Blake ~ I really like this series, so adding two books (instead of one) makes sense to me, since they were both released in 2016
  6. A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe ~ the cover is what originally interested me, but the summary sounds interesting too
  7. Nightstruck by Jenna Black ~ LOVE the premise on this one… and it’s on my TBR shelf already, so I have no excuses
  8. Chaos Choreography (InCryptid #5) by Seanan McGuire ~ I need to catch up on the rest of the series (well, okay, just book #4) but then I can read this one
  9. The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss ~ I didn’t have to read the premise of this one to know I was interested. Talk about a catchy title!
  10. Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner ~ I’m not sure about Shatner’s writing style (haven’t read anything by him) but I loved watching the documentary about Leonard Nimoy, and would love to know more

What about you? Do you have any recently published books that you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten to yet?

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books I Liked More/Less Than I Thought I Would

Let’s do another Top Ten Tuesday! They’re still on hiatus until August 15th, so we’re going to revisit an old topic, Top Ten Books I Liked More/Less Than I Thought I Would. I’m going to try to give five of each… we’ll see how that goes.

One note on these… in general, these books will be relatively recent reads. This is not because I’ve never read anything that was surprisingly good or surprisingly bad before this year. It’s only because the recent reads are fresher in my mind, and so are what I think of first.

Books I liked MORE then expected:

  1. NPCs by Drew HayesI expected to enjoy this book. I ended up loving it; I think it’s my favorite read of 2017 so far.
  2. Norse Mythology by Neil GaimanI picked this one up expecting it to be a less-dry-than-usual mythology book. Instead, Gaiman wrote this to read more like fiction than mythology, and yet still be myth.
  3. Glitter & Mayhem anthology of short storiesWhen I snagged this ebook, I thought I’d like the story I bought it for, and that’s about it. I didn’t expect to enjoy many of the other stories, and so I was thrilled when I did.
  4. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L’EngleI know I read this book when I was younger… or at least, I know I started to read this book. I always considered it my least favorite of the Time Trilogy (which is now the Time Quintet) because I couldn’t remember the ending. I suspect now that I never got that far. In any case, I re-read it last year because I’d already re-read A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door, so I figured I might as well finish out the set. And I really liked it this time around! So glad I picked it up!
  5. City of the Lost by Kelley ArmstrongI really like Armstrong’s urban fantasy novels, but I haven’t enjoyed her thrillers much before. I picked this one up because Armstrong has finished her paranormal series, and so I decided to give this new suspense-thriller series a chance. I liked it so much more than I expected! This series is now on my “to read” list as soon as a new book gets announced.

Books I liked LESS than expected:

  1. The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola CarrI wanted to love this book, I really did. Instead I barely liked it.
  2. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules VerneI knew this would be written in something other than the modern style, but I still expected it to be READABLE. I didn’t expect a listing of different types of fish instead of an actual adventure novel. (DNF)
  3. The Seventh Bride by T. KingfisherTo be fair, most of what I enjoyed less than expected about this book was the narration. In order to make her main character sound as young as appropriate, the narrator’s other characters all sounded a bit out of place.
  4. Nozy Cat #1 by Lyn KeyI can’t speak to the actual plot in this case. I couldn’t get past the writing style in order to enjoy what sounded like a good premise and fun characters. YMMV, and if you enjoy this writing style more power to you… but it wasn’t for me. (DNF)
  5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisOkay, not one book in this case, but seven. I grew up LOVING this series. Absolutely adoring them. I wanted to go to Narnia. I wanted to be Queen Susan. So imagine my surprise (and horror) when, this time around, I was a bit turned off by reading them. They weren’t as fun as they were supposed to be. The books had a lot more less-nice stuff than I remembered. (And not the intentional less-nice stuff like war and betrayal. The unintentional less-nice stuff like sexism and racism.) I’m not sure I will be able to re-read these again any time soon, if ever. I’ll just remember that I loved them once, and that they didn’t age as well as I’d hoped, and maybe I can leave it at that.

Top Ten Tuesdays ~ Best Books You’ve Read in 2017

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I used to participate in the Ten on Tuesdays. That was a lot of fun, but eventually Carole decided it was too much work to do weekly, and it turned into a monthly blog prompt. (I don’t blame her. That’s a lot of work for one person to maintain.)

And then I started following Zuky the BookBum, and found out about the Top Ten Tuesdays. This is hosted by a team of people, so it sounds more sustainable, and it also seems to be book-focused (which fits my preferences nicely). In any case, I think I’m going to participate in the TTT for a while. Now: they are on a hiatus until August 15th, but there are plenty of past topics I can cover until then. Also, one or more of the topics might not spark any ideas for me, so once they have started up their weekly topics again I might either skip a week or do a previous prompt instead. It sounds like fun.

The prompt for June 27 – the most recent one listed – is: Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far. They specify that you can break this out however you want, so what I’m going to do is this:

  • Review my list of books read, starting with the most recently completed
  • Start with books released this year, then move on to books from last year, etc
  • List books that I enjoyed – they are not in order of my favorites, but in the order mentioned above

This means that I’m not picking my favorites here, just listing ten books from this year which I enjoyed. (And if I haven’t read ten 2017 books that I enjoyed, then at least they’ll still be recent releases.)

  1. Down Among the Sticks & Bones – Seanan McGuire (2017 release)
  2. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry – Neil deGrasse Tyson (2017)
  3. Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman (2017)
  4. A Darkness Absolute – Kelley Armstrong (2017)
  5. Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire (2016)
  6. In Shining Armor – Elliott James (2016)
  7. Project Elfhome – Wen Spencer (2016)
  8. The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher (2016)
  9. NPCs – Drew Hayes (2014)
  10. Half-Off Ragnarok – Seanan McGuire (2014)

(Hmm. I do seem to be on a Seanan McGuire kick, don’t I? Well, she’s a good author, and very prolific, so I can’t say I’m surprised.)

Sound like fun? Feel free to join us! The Top Ten Tuesday prompts and guidelines are all listed on their site.