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25 Bookish Facts About Me

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Top Ten Tuesday, a book-list linkup hosted by The Broke & the Bookish

Today’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesday is Ten Facts About Me… which I’m pairing with a tag, 25 Bookish Facts About Me, that Cait @ Paper Fury tagged me with eons ago. Which made my day… and then I procrastinated over it for a century or two. >.> *cough* (In my defense, it was in the middle of last NaNo so I was understandably busy typing my fingers off writing various novels, and was therefore unable to read or think about already-written books.)

But I’m doing them both today because they fit into one post, so hurray! (Don’t worry, I’m combining them, not adding them on top of each other… a.k.a. it will be 25, not 35 facts. XD)

AND THANKS AGAIN EVER SO MUCH FOR TAGGING ME, CAIT! ^_^

Let’s just hope I can come up with that many facts about me, let alone about me and books. *cough*

25 Bookish Facts About Yours Truly

  1. I’ve read 50 books this year. Go me! *feels ridiculously accomplished*
  2. This is my 44th post here on my book blog. Since starting it on January 1st this year. I feel pretty good about that. πŸ™‚
  3. I sometimes randomly read introductions/forewords/prefaces/acknowledgements/author’s notes/author bios/blurbs… when I haven’t read the book yet. I know, this is weird! But starting a book is a commitment, and yet sometimes I like to nose around in a book I haven’t read, to get acquainted with it, without technically starting it, or seeing spoilers… so I read the “extra” stuff. I usually have to read them again when I read the book though so that they’ll actually make sense that time. πŸ˜›
  4. Big books scare me. …Okay, not really; but if a book is 400+ pages, I’m several times more likely to procrastinate over reading it. They sit on my shelf and stare me down. It’s… kind of daunting. *shivers*
  5. I often put off reading series. Because I want to read them ALL AT ONCE AT THE SAME TIME and don’t have that kind of time. *cough* (Also, see above “daunted” point. Times ten.)
  6. I’m addicted to reading books in one sitting, or at least in one day. Which doesn’t actually happen as often as I’d like… But whenever I can, I try to. Sometimes it’s not possible, but it’s really hard for me to focus on the rest of my day if there’s a book I’m in the middle of, calling to me . . .
  7. I’m terrified of being in a book for a long period of time, or being stuck in several at once. Because then I either (a), start getting tired of the book, or (b) start to dread reading because it feels like a chore. And I hate that. Books are my happy place! I want to enjoy them! I speak from experience here. I used to love reading several books at once, and sometimes I still feel like it, but overall I’m trying to keep it to one or two at a time these days. …Actually, points 4-7 are largely connected, apparently. Which is silly, because I often LOVE said big books/series. I just put off reading them. >.>
  8. When I visit somebody, the first thing I want to do is look at the books on their bookshelves. …Which is awkward because it’s probably impolite? I’M AN AWKWARD INTROVERTED BOOK ADDICT WHAT CAN I SAY.
  9. I spend large portions of my life just sitting and staring at the books on my bookshelf. Probably more time than I spend reading. Okay, not that long. But really though. THEY’RE SO PRETTY AND LOOKING AT BOOKS MAKES ME HAPPY. A bookcase is better to me than a view out a window.
  10. I have an entire bookcase stacked double with books I haven’t read. And then some. …What can I say, I go to a lot of library booksales. >.>
  11. I actually stare at my unread books the most. There’s just something about dreaming about what fabulousness lives between the covers…
  12. I organize and reorganize all of my books all the time. It’s basically my hobby. Especially when I feel stressed or have a lot of things I need to do that I feel guilty over not doing. (Hey, I never said I make wise life-decisions.) It’s a thing were some family member will wander into my room and pause in horror because there’s stacks of books all over my floor, bed, and chairs, and they’ll go “Oh no, Deborah’s sorting her books again.” I’m notorious. XD
  13. I usually organize my read books on two bookcases, alphabetically by author. Unless I happen to feel like organizing them by genre. But that normally doesn’t last long. The cool thing about that, though, is that when I get tired of it, it’s another excuse to reorganize my shelves! >:D *cackles* …Okay, I probably have a problem. >.> I also currently have two-ish shelves dedicated to awesome books I love that I want to reread in the near future.
  14. My unread books on said unread-bookcase are organized chaos. The order probably makes no sense to anyone but me. I organize them however I feel like it, which sometimes means by genre, sometimes by most-anticipating-reading, but rarely by author. No idea why. Read books = sort by author. Unread books = sort by most logical, whatever that is at the moment. My brain is weird. πŸ˜›
  15. My favorite genre is fantasy. (I know, I know, you know this by now… ;)) I don’t even need to elaborate. It’s just the best. ❀
  16. But I also go through genre phases of addiction, and tend to get more into other genres the more I read them. For instance, lately I’ve been reading some historical fiction and some contemporaries, and this actually makes me more interested in reading more of those on my TBR. I get into phases of reading similar books in a row, apparently? I guess it reminds me that those can be cool too. *shrug*
  17. I have this need to have or know how to get hold of all the books on my TBR. This one’s a weird one… If I add a book to my TBR on Goodreads, I need to know: how will I manage to read this someday? Typically, this means I either own it, or try to acquire it, or I look it up to see if any libraries I go to owns it, or if it’s easily findable on Amazon or somewhere like that. I then add it to the appropriate shelf (own/owned-ebooks, library, find/find-ebooks, etc.). For some reason I’m so OCD about this that I hardly ever mark a book as To-Read unless I know how I can get hold of it. (I’m also way more likely to add it to my TBR if it’s at a local library. XD) Which means I also meticulously keep a list of the unreleased books I want to read, and when they come out… My wishlist is therefore very loooong, but at least it’s fairly complete. XD
  18. I keep a list in my purse of library books I want to read. I don’t go to the library very often — usually once a month is “often”, to my mind. So, using my handy Goodreads shelf for reference, I keep a list or sometimes spreadsheet that I print, of all the books I want to get out and which library they’re at. Often organized by which ones I want next.
  19. Lists of books are my friends and I love them. I’m ridiculously organized about books, if you haven’t noticed.
  20. I try to only check 1-3 books out of the library at once. Because as much as I’m tempted to check out THE ENTIRE LIBRARY AT THE SAME TIME… I’m also finicky about sending a book back unread. I HATE doing that. So I try to be reasonable with how much time I think I have to read.
  21. Bookstores and libraries are my happy place. I don’t even always get something from them, I just love to walk up and down the aisles and look at the books… πŸ™‚
  22. I sometimes dream about books I’ve read. This is always awesome, except when it’s scary… but either way, I still usually love it.
  23. I procrastinate over books I’m “supposed” to read. When I’m “supposed” to read a book because of a recommendation or for review or something, I have this weird mixture of excitement to read it because of said reason, and a weird reluctance to read it due to a feeling of “obligation”. …It’s very bad, I tell you. I WANT to read it… but it also puts pressure on me in some way, and pressure and I do not get along well.
  24. In a weird, unexplainable way that directly contradicts the point above, I’m way more likely to want to read a book if a good friend whose book-taste I trust, highly recommends a book to me or shrieks excitedly about it in some review. Sometimes there’s a book I kinda am interested in, but it sometimes takes a high recommendation from someone for me to decide to actually try it out.
  25. And, lastly: I enjoy books; I’m a reader, not a critic. Yes, I do sometimes have complaints about aspects of a book I read, and just like anyone, I do occasionally read a 1-or-2-star book, a.k.a. that I didn’t like… But on the whole, I read books not to tear them apart, but to enjoy them. Which means that in general, because I go in with that intent, I DO enjoy them, and thus my reading experiences tend to be more pleasant than (apparently?) much of the rest of the reading community. I’m a pretty flexible reader and tend to enjoy things instead of critiquing them, because that’s my fundamental outlook on books. πŸ™‚

Aaaand now that you know way more about me and my (frankly odd, contradictory, and inexplicable) bookish habits than you ever wanted to know, I will quietly sidle off back to my reading… πŸ˜‰ And leave you to yours! Meanwhile if you read this whole thing, you deserve a cookie. *holds out tray*

Also, even aside from Top Ten Tuesday, anyone who wants to do this 25 Bookish Facts tag, feel free to snag it! ^_^

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

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Top Ten (ish) Lesser-Known Books I Love

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Late to the party, as usual… It was still Tuesday a few minutes ago, anyway… *cough*

This week’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke & the Bookish) is to share our top ten lesser-known books — specifically, books with less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.

This is one I was really curious to try! So I sorted my Goodreads shelves by the number of rating, and wrote down ones I loved that had less than 2K ratings, and it was fascinating to see.

I have a bit of a dilemma though, because many of the ones that I love that are “lesser known” as far as number of Goodreads ratings are actually more known in my circles and/or I’ve talked about before.

I could pick books I usually rave about, like Illusionarium, Paper Crowns, Broken Glass & Corroded Thorns, The Word Changers, Blood Ties, Orphan’s Song, The Blood of Kings Trilogy, Kestrel’s Midnight Song, Plenilune (for Dammerung, you understand), The Book of Sight; I could go on and on…

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All of those are beloved books I’ve read, mostly by authors I semi-know, and all of which (I think) I’ve talked at length about how much I love, before this, and all of which released in the last decade or so.

I love them, and I highly recommend them, and if you haven’t read one or all of them, I demand highly suggest you read them at once because they’re awesome!

But older books have made a great impression on me, and these are lesser-known ones that I don’t talk about much or at all, so I’d like to highlight them today. πŸ™‚

(I’m also going to cheat a little and do more than 10 because I can’t help myself. *cough*)

(Also, also, please forgive the rambling quality of this post, since I wrote it in rather a hurry very late at night and I don’t think my brain is all here… Ahem. I know it’s a mess and I should edit it before posting this but I’m too tired to fix it right now.)

In no particular order… Underrated books I love.

The Pirate’s Son – Geraldine McCaughrean

This is one of my favorite books ever, and I know that it’s weird and probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but I adored it. It’s in the 1700s and about an English boy and his sister who end up traveling with an awesome boy named Tamo who happens to be a pirate’s son, to Madagascar, where they live with natives and meet nasty pirates and… I don’t even know. I’ve read it like three times. I randomly got it at a library sale (I think because I liked Peter Pan in Scarlet by the same author?) and fell in love with it and I doubt anyone else would even like it but… it’s one of my favorites and I got addicted to this author and need to try more by her. Speaking of which…

The Death-Defying Pepper Roux – Geraldine McCaughrean

I read this a few years back, and, if I’m going to be honest, I don’t remember this book very well. All I know is it was one of the strangest books I ever read and I adored it to smithereens. There was this boy named Pepper Roux who thought he was going to die when he turns 14 and there was a lot of running around with pursuits and I think there were candles and scaffolding and back alleys and ships and a best friend I think and it’s all from the unreliable narrator point-of-view of the hero and… yeah. That’s what’s in it. I think. I could be totally wrong though because honestly it’s terrifying how little I remember about this. I very much need to get it from the library again and reread it. I just love this author. She’s brilliant.

A Room Made of Windows – Eleanor Cameron

I might think differently of it now if I reread it, I don’t know, but this is another favorite from when I was younger… it just really resonated with me at the time. It’s hard to describe the plot since there isn’t a lot of one… It’s just a historical fiction about a girl in I think the early 190os (could be wrong… I don’t remember) and her family and the strange people who live in their neighborhood, and she’s a bit of a writer and very accident prone and… I don’t know. I just liked it. Plus it’s illustrated by my favorite illustrator, Trina Schart Hyman. Which is cool. I discovered this book because I loved the author’s Mushroom Planet books, which are fabulous by the way.

The Court of the Stone Children – Eleanor Cameron

This book was SO. COOL. I seriously need to reread it. It’s sort of a mystery and a lot of it takes place at a museum thing and there’s an ancient mystery to solve and the heroine, who’s just a normal girl, meets this other girl who… well, I guess she’s a ghost but that sounds creepy when I put it that way but it’s NOT, I promise, and she’s a French girl from the time of Napoleon and the heroine needs to help her solve a hundreds-of-years-old mystery involving a statue and a journal and a painting and a murder I think… Again, I don’t remember it all that well, I just know I really loved it, especially because there was this awesome boy who was really cool whose name was Gil. He was all mysterious. Anyways, a lot of these books are hard to describe but for some reason I really enjoyed them and they’re kind of unknown, so. *shrug*

The Golden Key – George MacDonald

I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE THIS. It’s a fantasy story, quite short actually, and… I don’t even know. I just know I loved it and felt like it was probably really deep and meaningful but I couldn’t… quite… REACH it if you know what I mean. I love books that are like that. Anyways it’s like this fairytale thing and I adored it and need to read it again. (I’m seeing a trend here…)

The Day Boy and the Night Girl – George MacDonald

Okay, so I ADORE this story. It’s an original fairytale sort of story, about this evil lady who raised this boy to be awake in the daytime and fear the night, and this girl to be awake at night and fear the day, and how they end up meeting and having to guide each other through the day or night, whichever is their element and not the other’s and… I don’t know, it’s just AWESOME and I love it.

The Father Brown Mysteries – G. K. Chesterton

I own an omnibus collection of all 5 books (plus an extra short story) of Father Brown, totaling 51 short stories in all, which I picked up when a friend was getting rid of some books. I just love the Father Brown stories! Especially the ones with criminal/criminal-turned-detective, Flambeau, who’s a great friend of Father Brown. I enjoy mysteries but I don’t usually have enough patience for a full novel-length one, so mystery short stories are my favorite, and these were all so unique and awesome. Father Brown is such a unique and unexpected detective, so unassuming but smart and also humble… He just IS. And pair him with clever mysteries and my favorite character Flambeau and they’re just awesome stories with this great “feel” to them. I just really enjoy them and I’ve read the entire collection at least twice and want to read it again. To me, they’re right up there with the classic Holmes stories as far as mysteries go.

David Balfour (a.k.a. Catriona) by Robert Louis Stevenson

Considering how popular Kidnapped is, and a classic at that, I’m extremely surprised how few people seem to know about and/or have read the sequel! Kidnapped is one of my favorites due to the Scottishness and the friendship between Davy and Alan Breck Stewart (not to mention the character himself). But in my mind, I consider Kidnapped and the sequel to be the same story, just chopped in half. David Balfour (or, the title it was published under in England I believe, Catriona, referring to the heroine of the story) picks up directly after Kidnapped ends, like… literally the same day if I remember right. It deals with Davy’s adventures afterward, including some wrapping up stuff from the first book, Davy meeting a singular young woman and their story, and Alan even returns for a couple more adventures in the book. It’s sometimes odd and I have a feeling while I’m reading it that most of the story goes over my head, likely because it was written so long ago and Stevenson and authors like that were so genius, but I still really enjoy it and consider it Kidnapped: Part 2, myself. It’s a shame more people haven’t read it because more Davy and Alan is awesome, not to mention it’s neat that Davy finally finds love. I mean, all the movie adaptions like to slip a girl into the Kidnapped story, so why not just read further to find it? πŸ˜‰ But it’s more epicness and Scottishness and Alan so what is not to love? Mostly Alan. Because Alan.

The Boggart and the Monster – Susan Cooper

This is another lesser-known sequel. I couldn’t put “The Boggart” on this list, since it has over 2K ratings on Goodreads… but I really loved that book, and was so incredibly excited to find out there was a sequel and read it! In this one, the hero and heroine from modern-day Canada go back to Scotland and meet up with old friends from the first book, and there’s all sorts of fun and awesomeness and the Loch Ness Monster (except not scary, just really really cool) and the Boggart himself again, and Tommy Cameron is the best and that is all.

The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt – Patricia MacLachlan

This one’s weird because it’s modern and I like it. It’s by the author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, and I randomly picked it up at a library sale because it looked interesting. I don’t know, there’s just this really neat feel to the story and it’s about a girl who plays cello and her mom’s a writer, and a boy who likes frogs and is from a rich family and… I don’t know that there’s much PLOT exactly, but I just love it so much. It’s the best. Like… I hardly like any straightforward contemporaries but this one is so perfect. (I just wish Goodreads had my edition up… which it doesn’t. The cover on the one I have is so much more adorbz than the cover I’m using here from Goodreads.)

Prince Valiant – Hal Foster

I grew up reading these in the funnies page of the newspaper, and I love reading the book collections whenever I can find them. Prince Valiant is quite simply THE most epic thing ever, and the ultimate King Arthur thing for me. The illustrations are my favorite ever, the characters are awesome, the adventures so fun and epic… IT IS BASICALLY MY FAVORITE THING OF EVER. <333 I know it’s technically still going but I don’t read the papers anymore… so I don’t know if it’s still awesome or not, especially going through new authors and everything and some of the storylines were getting weird last I knew, but the old books are simply AWESOME.

Dominic – William Steig

This boooook! ❀ It’s about Dominic, a dog, who sets out on an adventure through the world he lives in which is inhabited by various animals who are basically like people and live in houses and all that. He has so many awesome adventures and is so heroic and finds treasure and rescues other animals along the way and fights against the feared Doomsday Gang, a collection of weasels, ferrets, foxes etc. who are nasty, and… just… he’s super epic. I love Dominic and this book and it’s the best. If you think you’re too old for animal stories? You’re not. READ THIS ONE. It has something for everyone. I just love it. It’s also illustrated by the author, which is super cool.

The Whisper of Glocken – Carol Kendall

For anyone who knows about The Gammage Cup… this is its sequel. It’s about a new set of Minipin heroes who have to set out to save The Land Between the Mountains. I wanted to put The Gammage Cup on this list but turns out it has over 2,000 ratings… which is good because it means more people have read it, but… anyway, I’m putting the sequel here. I didn’t love it as much as The Gammage Cup, but of course, there are few books I do… At any rate, it’s quite different but also just really awesome and I just LOVE this book. The characters are so fun and the adventures are original and you won’t see them coming. And the whole Glocken whisper thing… I just… I love. ❀

Hear the whisper, whisper, whisper,
That lost and far-off whisper,
And remember, member, member,
The whisper of Glocken’s . . . bell.

The Rocket’s Shadow (Rick Brant Science Adventures) – John Blaine

Anyone who loves old adventure stories like The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift… well, I do too, but the Rick Brant books were my favorites of the old books like that. I just LOVE them. Rick Brant and his friend Scotty (who was in the Marines and so Knows Stuff) are some of the bestest buddies ever and they have epic adventures all around the world and it’s great. I just love these. The first one’s my favorite because it’s when Rick and Scotty meet. And it’s just a cool adventure/mystery trying to track down people who are trying to sabotage the rocket Rick’s father and people are making. It’s like the Hardy Boys, only even better. πŸ™‚

The Sign of the Seven Seas – Carley Dawson

Apparently this is a super rare book… which is sad because that means not everyone can read it. 😦 But I found it at a garage sale for a quarter and it’s a 1700s story with evil pirates, largely on the high seas but a bit in colonial America and the jungles of Mexico, and there’s awesome characters who are the best, and the hero’s from modern times but went back in time, and magical goings-on and forbidden love and the hero turns into an adorable fluffy puppy at one point and there’s a cool character named Osterbridge Hawseye who’s kind of like Zorro or the Scarlet Pimpernel simply because he’s cool but pretends to be a fop, and there’s a creepy blind man who’s not blind and some pickles I think and a magical rope and Mr. Wicker who is one of the coolest people ever and I just ADORE it. *hugs book for eternity*

***

And… great, now I want to go reread all of these. πŸ˜› Have you read any of them? What are lesser-known favorites of yours? πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~The Page Dreamer

Ten Books I Enjoyed Last Year Outside My Typical Reading Zone

Here’s a list of books I read last year that were not what I typically read, but which I enjoyed all the same… mostly contemporary stuff because I’m not big into the genre but dabbled in it more recently. (Fantasy of a vaguely medieval nature is pretty much my genre, so some things outside it I just consider “weird.)

(Please note that I almost included several Diana Wynne Jones books, because they pretty much defy genre… but Diana Wynne Jones is a distinct category/genre herself in my mind, so that doesn’t count as being outside my typical reading zone, because I’ll read anything with her name on it. So I’m excluding those. We’ve got to be fair to the other poor books…)

The first six are Contemporary, but I’m dividing them into straightforward contemporary fiction, and contemporary fantasy. I don’t know why, but there’s somehow a HUGE difference…

CONTEMPORARY

heist society

Heist Society / Uncommon Criminals / Perfect Scoundrels / Double Crossed (free short story on Kindle) – by Ally Carter

5starratingI know, I’m cheating slightly with a series… But I have to put them all here together in place of one. These were so much fun. YA heist/con-artist books, clean and fun, and well-written — the writing is sort of humorous and just… yes. I quite enjoyed them and wish there were more! Also notable for a certain character, namely Hale, who is awesome. (What is his first name?? We may never know…)

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The Penderwicks in Spring – Jeanne Birdsall

5starratingI waited so long for this book and was delighted with it. In a sense, I almost SHOULDN’T have liked it because some of it was sad or bittersweet, but it was also so hilarious and awesome and PENDERWICK-y, even though it’s set several years after the other books. Also all of the myriad of characters were so distinct and their storylines were seamlessly juggled and just gaaah, can I sign up somewhere to write this well??

CONTEMPORARY FANTASY

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The Book of Sight (5 stars) / The Broken Circle (3 stars) / The Secret Source (4 stars) – by Deborah Dunlevy (On Goodreads)

Again with the contemporary… but I just really enjoyed these, especially the first one. For absolutely no reason. But just… it makes me happy. A group of friends and their interactions with various fantastical creatures/happenings. I’m dying to read the fourth one, still… whyyy have I not found time to read it yet?

whitecat

White Cat / Red Glove / Black Heart (The Curseworkers Trilogy) – by Holly Black

4starratingOh my goodness, how do I even start? Um. These are super dark YA, I don’t even think they should be considered YA? But despite the darkness/content and stuff, I couldn’t help really having a blast with them. (They’re even in first-person-present-tense, which I generally hate? But I just forgot while I was reading.) The hero, Cassel, is just so snarky and hilarious and unfortunate, and the series is… I don’t know. It’s mafia crime family con-artists with magic. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE. The magic is fascinating — like, there’s four or five different “types” and people are born with different kinds, and everyone wears gloves because the magic comes from the touch of hands. These books I feel like could teach me a lot about pacing and stakes and stuff, for my writing, because just everything comes at our poor hero all at once! My goodness. I can’t fully recommend them due to content, but I really enjoyed them aside from that. But yes, definitely outside my genre/comfort zone; but I’m glad I read ’em all the same. I picked up the first one on the sole recommendation of Cait’s review on Goodreads… After I read it, I thought I didn’t need to bother reading the other two. …Then the next day I realized I was really MISSING this world! Ack. So I got the other two from the library as soon as I could, and devoured them both in a day. Sigh. Addiction is bad, isn’t it? *shakes head at self* I really hope the author will write sequels or spinoffs or something, but I doubt she will…

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The Grimm Legacy – Polly Shulman

4starratingThere’s a sort of lending library of magical artifacts from fairytales, in modern-day New York… This one was fun, I enjoyed it, though I feel like it had potential to be more, if you know what I mean? But it was good. Also Aaron.

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Scepter of the Ancients (Skulduggery Pleasant #1) – Derek Landy

4starratingThis was so bizarre but I adored it all the same, because of the fantastic witty banter/dialog/snark from Skulduggery Pleasant himself. It’s set in modern-day Dublin, which is so cool, and Skulduggery is awesome, even if IS a… erm… skeleton. He’s also a detective and has the best lines and this was just rather fun even though it was also kind of scary.

…STUFF

39Illusionarium

Illusionarium – Heather Dixon

5starratingI’m considering steampunk odd/outside my general reading because I’ve only read a handful. This was my first, and I loved it so so much. (For those who haven’t, you can read my incoherent fangirl babbles on this book on my other blog.) But briefly: steampunk and alternate worlds and science-y/magic-y illusion things and sarcastic footnotes by the narrator, our hero Jonathan who’s wonderful, and then of course my favorite thing about it, the character named Lockwood who is just the best ever.

53Plenilune

Plenilune – Jennifer Freitag

5starratingUm… it’s a historical-fiction 1800s turned epic medieval fantasy on the moon story? That’s… not exactly a genre I read a lot of, since it kind of doesn’t exist. It was way too long and exhausting to read because it was so beautifully written, but a lot of it was brilliant all the same, and I really love one and a half of the characters. (Dammerung is the best ever, okay? And Rupert and I have a complicated relationship. BUT DAMMERUNG. <3)

10SkinMap

The Skin Map – Stephen R. Lawhead

5starratingOh my goodness, so much genre mashing in this one too! It defies category… It starts out Contemporary England, and then becomes some odd mix of sci-fi/fantasy with time-travel and alternate time-lines and it’s a mess and I love it so much. I need to read the rest of this series… Also it’s brilliantly written and at times hilarious and so exciting and edge-of-your seat, and the CHARACTERS are just the best.

20Frederica

Frederica – Georgette Heyer

5starratingI don’t read regency romance that often, but this one was so much fun. The family dynamics in this were the best, it was sort of like E. Nesbit meets Jane Austen sort of thing… But the hero, Lord Alverstoke, was one of those kind of awful characters you love all the same (looking at YOU, Howl…) and he and the heroine and her siblings were just… awwwk, the best. *flails around* There is also a hot air balloon. What is not to love. Shenanigans and romance ensue. It’s fabulous and I need to read more of this author.

Do you have a comfort zone/genre of books that you tend to read? Do you step out of it sometimes and are the results good or bad?

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books and Songs

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The theme of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly book/list linkup at The Broke and The Bookish) is Books and Music. There are various spins on it being done, and I’m going to do a mix of them.

This is going to be a mixed back of song-ish books I’ve read, want to read, and then some songs at the end which should be books.

On that note, I just know there are tons of awesome songs/ballads I’ve heard, mostly Celtic ones, that would make absolutely fabulous books. But I’m having a really hard time thinking of any just now.

The curious things about songs, though, is that they’re usually already perfect in song form.

And as much as it would be awesome to have some of them as books, it’s never going to equal the awesomeness of the song itself and may in fact take away from it in some ways. Songs and books are quite different forms…

Anyways, on with the varied list…

BOOKS I’VE READ

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1. The Map: A Jackaby Story by William Ritter

Oh my word, this story. It’s a shortish, novella-type adventure that goes with the Jackaby series (and it’s free on Kindle!) and I absolutely adored it. It’s not exactly based on a song, but it’s based around a song… which was so much fun. The premise basically is that they’re going after the treasure from the song Whiskey in the Jar. So much awesome. (Hopefully I’ll review the series sometime…)

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2. Orphan’s Song by Gillian Bronte Adams

This has a large music theme (obviously) and I loved it so so much. *hugs book* I’ve always thought that music could go really well with fantasy settings and magic and that sort of thing, and this author pulls that off brilliantly.

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3. Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

Not only is it based on fairytales that were I believe originally ballads (Tam Lin, Thomas the Rhymer), but it also has a lot of music involved since Tom plays the cello and there’s a whole . . . band . . . thing . . . going on. Anyways it’s awesome (and I reviewed it at length so obviously I love it a lot).

BOOKS I’VE NOT READ

SONGKEEPER-FRONT-COVER

4. Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams

…Speaking of Orphan’s Song… I just heard that the sequel, Songkeeper, has a release date! April 15th! That’s definitely a date going on my calendar. I’ve been dying for this book to come out ever since I finished the last page of Orphan’s Song, and it’s coming sooooon!!! I’m so excited. (It will also be very songish, I’m sure.)

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5. The Highwayman’s Footsteps by Nicola Morgan

I… haven’t read this one yet, so I can speak as to its quality or exact plot, but I hear tell that it’s in some way based on The Highwayman, a fabulous/tragic poem by Alfred Noyes, immortalized, for me, by Loreena McKennitt’s brilliant, gorgeous, haunting sung version of it. I’ve always thought it would make a great book so I’m very much looking forward to this novel inspired by it.

SONGS THAT SHOULD BE BOOKS

(These are probably bad examples… I wish I could think of more…)

6. The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Speaking of Loreena McKennitt… (Listen to parts of the songs I mention in this post, on her website.) She did a great, haunting version of this song. It’s a tragic song, and might better make a tragic backstory for a book than for a book itself? (I’m thinking like… a fantasy book based on it. I know it’s based on historical stuff but it would be funner this way. XD) But it feels like it needs to be involved in a book somehow… even if it would be rather grim.

7. Raglan Road

Again, Loreena sang a great version of this poem by Patrick Kavanagh. There’s just something intriguing about it. I don’t know how much of a story it could make in book form, but there’s an eerie feel to it and it could make a fabulous mystery/fantasy/romance type book similar to Tam Lin, perhaps?

8. Bold Jamie

This is a song by Cara Dillon (one of my favorite singers!) about a young man wrongfully accused of stealing many things, including a man’s daughter. I just think it could make an interesting book, or any of a hundred other fabulous Celtic ballads involving thieves or… things like that.

9. Stolen Child

I believe it was by William Butler Yeats but Loreena McKennitt did a fabulous version of it too. (Yes, she turned a LOT of great book-worth poems into songs, and has some great originals of her own as well. So much good material.)

10. The King of the Fairies (melody)

Aaand I’m just going to throw out there that there should be a book named after The King of the Fairies, which is a fabulous tune.

***

Like I said, I’m having a hard time coming up with songs. I KNOW there are a ton of awesome ones! Oh well… that’s a start, anyhow. πŸ™‚ (Basically LET’S HAVE BOOKS BASED ON ALL THE LOREENA MCKENNITT SONGS AND ALL THE AWESOME CELTIC BALLADS. This should be a genre. *nods seriously*)

…And now I have like half a dozen new plot bunnies that want me to write them. Fabulous. -_- Heehee… Writers lead perilous lives: anything can provide inspiration! πŸ˜‰

Top 12 Books Recently Added to My TBR

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The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday prompt of the week: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR (inspired by Jamie’s New To The Queue posts).

It’s usually top ten, but for myself I’m going just a liiiittle over.

I glanced at my latest books added to my To Be Read list on Goodreads, and there are quite a few intriguing morsels I’ve added lately!

They also have almost all been from recommendations or books people mentioned in blogs and such. This is the time of year when everyone’s posting their lists of favorite books of the year before, etc., so I’ve been gathering a lot more books on my forever growing TBR pile…

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

I’ve been wanting to perhaps read some of this famous mystery author, but I never know where to start, so I had once asked someone who mentioned she liked this author which was her favorite. She just got back to me and I promptly added this to my TBR. It sounds like an awesome mystery.

The Floating Admiral by Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, G. K. Chesterton, etc.

Blogger and author Kelsey Bryant mentioned this to me recently: a mystery novel where each chapter is written by a different famous mystery author! How cool is that? Now THIS I have to see.

Blood Ties by Hazel B. West

When the author mentioned on Goodreads that she’s having a blogtour for this soon and I read the description, I couldn’t resist adding this to my list. The description starts with: “In an Ireland that mixes high kings, faeries, and modern warriors who drive fast cars, Ciran, a descendant from the famous warrior Fionn Mac Cool…” and that’s all I need to know. SIGN ME UP.

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

I noticed this in a summary of 2015 books post by Deborah Dunlevy, and it sounds like so much fun. Definitely want to try it out.

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is another author who I hear good things about and never know where to START. So I asked Sarah and she recommended this one and the following one. They sound humorous. Count me in. I love humor and slightly crazy-sounding whimsical fantasy stories. Yes please.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Same story on how I came to add it as above.

ssongbirdThe Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

BECAUSE MELANIE DICKERSON! And this one is coming out this November and will be the final Hagenheim book, and is a Little Mermaid retelling set between The Merchant’s Daughter and The Princess Spy. I saw on Goodreads Shantelle add this and went AAAHH IT’S ON GOODREADS! And instantly clicked “want to read”. Yes. (Because Melanie Dickerson.)

The Map Across Time by C. S. Lakin

Again, Kelsey Bryant listed this on her top reads of last year on her blog. It sounds like a delightful fantasy which I’m itching to get my hands on…

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Cait has been after me (and everyone) forever to read some Maggie Stiefvater… So when I finally saw a review by Lisa Pickle in which she mentioned it has Welsh-ish stuff (and then I read the summary on Goodreads)… yep, had to add it.

Black Spring by Alison Croggon

Jenifer Freitag mentioned this in her list of books she read last year, saying it was recommended her by Mirriam Neal and that it’s like Wuthering Heights but better and with fantasy. I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE. (No, I haven’t actually read Wuthering Heights yet. Shush. I just need it on principal because I like the sound of the “feel”. So. Just pretend I make sense.)

Playing With Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2) by Derek Landy

Because I recently read Scepter of the Ancients, the first Skulduggery Pleasant book, and I’m dying to read more. I need more of that humorous witty banter in my life. (Now I just need to FIND more of these books… Why don’t you have them, library mine??)

The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn

Jenelle Schmidt mentioned this in her list of books she’d want on a deserted island. I’ve only read a few of Zahn’s books (Star Wars ones) and loved them… I promptly looked this up on Goodreads, and as soon as I’d read the summary I added it to my TBR so fast I think I got whiplash. It sounds like a Firefly-esque book, by Timothy Zahn, and basically I just need it right now, okay?

What have you recently added to your TBR? And is it as ever-growing as mine? (I fear it’s a booklover thing…)

Dream away in those pages…!

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t

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I’m addicted to lists, so once again I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish on their Top Ten Tuesdays bookish meme. This week’s theme is Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t (check it out!).

Here are my top ten (roughly in the order they came out) but there were others too. Apparently 2015 was a big year for books coming out that I want to read and either didn’t get ahold of or didn’t find time for. Hopefully I will get to a lot of them this year! πŸ™‚

Out of Darkness Rising – Gillian Bronte Adams

I own this and can’t BELIEVE I haven’t read it yet. It’s a Christian allegory novella, like… seventy pages long. I just need to sit down and read it, especially as I own a copy!

Mist of Midnight – Sandra Byrd

I won this in a giveaway, and again, I can’t believe it’s still sitting on my shelf unread! This must be remedied. It sounds like a mysterious intriguing historical romance.

Stolen Magic – Gail Carson Levine

It’s the sequel to A Tale of Two Castles, of course I need to read it! I just need to get to the library to snag this…

Ink and Bone – Rachel Caine

I’m irrationally drawn to this book because it’s about books and alternate history… I actually held it in my hands but could not check it out from the library as it was NaNo and I did not actually have time to read it… Yes, I reget it now. I need to try it…

Silver in the Blood – Jessica Day George

I held this one too! *flails* Oh, the pain and sorrow that writers have when they have no time to read… No idea why I want to read this one but it intrigues me so I’d like to try it out sometime.

Half-Blood – Jaye L. Knight

I haven’t yet been able to get into reading the Ilyon Chronicles yet, as Resistance is such a monster of a pagish book that it daunts me… However I may manage to trick myself into starting the series by starting with this small prequel which is currently waiting on my shelf to be devoured in probably a sitting. Because I hear great things of Jace and must meet him.

The Poisoned Cure – Deborah Dunlevy

I recently snagged an ebook copy of this, and am positively dying to get to it. Can’t wait to continue this delightful contemporary fantasy series (The Book of Sight)!

The Sunken Realm – Serena Chase

I’m currently reading this, loving it, and am so mad at myself for not getting to it sooner! I was supposed to review it eons ago and got so swamped with NaNo and holidays that I wasn’t able to look at if for MONTHS. Fortunately I’m now trying to remedy that as fast as I can… I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I finished reading The Seahorse Legacy.

A Thousand Nights – E. K. Johnston

I don’t know. But Arabian Nights retelling? Sounds… coolish. Yet again, a trip to the library is due…

The Golden Braid – Melanie Dickerson

Last but very much not least (in fact I may be the most excited about this one) another fairytale retelling by Melanie Dickerson! I just learned this is at my local library and I’m now dying to charge down there and kidnap it post-haste! AAHHH! *flails* I’m so excited to read it sometime! πŸ™‚

TTT: Book Categories to Read More Of In 2016

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I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday (from The Broke and the Bookish) because I love lists and I love books and this weekly meme is all about both. So join in if you like!

Today’s prompt is: Top Ten Resolutions We Have For 2015, which I’m putting a slight twist on.

I want to read more of these ten categories, and I’m listing some books in each category that I want to read soon if I can. (Yes, this makes for over 50, and I’m only scratching the surface… What can I say? There are a lot of books I want to read…)

Here they are, in no particular order. (Also, I’m too tired to link to all the books, but they’re all on my Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/DeborahOCarroll)

Steampunk

I discovered Steampunk last year (I’ve read three so far) and I really want to continue with the genre!

steampunk

The Mark of the Dragonfly // Airborn // The Locket Thief // Larklight // Leviathan

Heists

I also discovered heists/con-artist-y books last year, and they’re fun to read, just for the cleverness of them. I have some I’d like to read that are contemporary, and some medieval fantasy… a bit of everything.

heists

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident // The Heist // The Thief Lord // The Thief // Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman?

High Fantasy

I really miss medieval/high fantasy. I used to read a lot of it… Most of what I read used to be in this category, but I haven’t in awhile, so I’d like to get back into it.

highfantasy

The Riddle // Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan // In the Hall of the Dragon King // King’s Warrior // Moonblood

Historical Romance

I’m not much of a historical/regency-type romance reader, but I’ve gathered a few that I’d like to get around to. (Especially Georgette Heyer and Melanie Dickerson!)

historicalromance

Northanger Abbey // Wuthering Heights // Mist of Midnight // The Healer’s Apprentice // Devil’s Cub

Mysteries

I do love a good mystery — especially short stories — and don’t read enough of them.

mysteries

Father Brown (reread) // Double Sin // Sherlock Holmes (reread) // The Red House Mystery (reread) // Lord Peter

Flintlock Fantasy/1700s/Historical Fantasy

This is rather thrown together with a lot of categories, but I love the eighteenth-century setting with muskets and all, and if it has fantasy thrown in, all the better. I’m not real particular about whether it’s set in our world or another, just give me all the muskets and tricorn hats! (Pirates or Highwaymen are, apparently, a plus.)

1700s

Thieftaker // Piratica // The Highwayman’s Footsteps // Captain Blood // The Accidental Highwayman

Retellings

I love a good retelling, whether it be of a fairytale, or Robin Hood or Arthurian.

retellings

The Ryn {snow white and rose red} // Cruel Beauty {beauty and the beast} // Hood {robin hood} // The Perilous Gard {tam lin} // The Night Dance {arthurian/twelve dancing princesses}

Favorite Authors

Sometimes in a rush for the new, I put off books by authors I already love… even though I’m already fairly certain the books will be fabulous, especially when they’re by authors such as: Diana Wynne Jones, P.G. Wodehouse, Geraldine McCaughrean, Eleanor Cameron.

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Julia’s Magic // A Tale of Time City // The Tough Guide to Fantasyland // The Glorious Adventures of the Sunshine Queen // The Code of the Woosters

Tolkien (Yes, this is a category in itself.)

As my favorite author, I have several books by or about J.R.R. Tolkien which I’ve not read yet, and I’d like to read some of them soon.

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The Maps of Tolkien’s Middle-earth // Sauron Defeated // The Fall of Arthur // The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien // Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Rereads

There are so many good books I’ve read that I miss and want to revisit, or don’t remember. These are just a few…

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Westmark {Westmark Trilogy} // The Book of Three {Prydain Chronicles} // The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet {Mushroom Planet series} // The Dark Hills Divide {Land of Elyon} // The Dark is Rising {The Dark is Rising Sequence} // The Gammage Cup // The Chronicles of Narnia // Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter // Mara, Daughter of the Nile // The Lord of the Rings (and the Silmarilion) // By Darkness Hid {Blood of Kings Trilogy}

Bonus

I’d also like to read more non-fiction, more e-books, and a few Star Wars, as well as go to the library more often.

Are there book categories you’d like to read more of?

What are your 2016 bookish resolutions?

~

Dream away in those pages!