Tag Archive | Diana Wynne Jones

Wrapup: #MarchMagics 2022

March has wended its way to the end so it’s time to see how my #MarchMagics went . . .

It was an excellent one! Books were read, re-read, and listened to, a film was watched, pictures were taken, and I even had a Howl’s-Moving-Castle-ish birthday!

(Thanks as always to Kristen at WeBeReading for hosting March Magics, a celebration of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett!)

BOOKS READ

(Yes, my new adorable otter stamps had to feature in this pic because of Going Postal.)

In my March Magics post with my TBR for the month I mentioned what I hoped to read, so . . . how did it go?

Fairly well, I’d say!

The themes for my reading this month turned out to be Moist von Lipwig for the Pratchett books, and the Magids for Diana Wynne Jones books. Two of each!

  • Going Postal (Terry Pratchett) — This was SO MUCH FUN and I will never look at stamps the same way again. Moist von Lipwig is a delightful con-artist of a hero and I really enjoyed his POV. His parts facing off against Lord Vetinari are the BEST. Their back-and-forth of wits is excellent. XD I generally had a blast with this one and I’m so glad I finally read it! Definitely a new favorite Discworld book.
  • Making Money (Terry Pratchett) — I had planned to read a different Pratchett but instead dived straight into this sequel to Going Postal because it was on audio and I wasn’t ready to leave Moist behind yet. It wasn’t quite as fun as the first one but was still mostly enjoyable, and again, all the Moist and Vetinari parts were gold, no pun intended. XD
  • Deep Secret (Diana Wynne Jones) — This was a reread which I THOROUGHLY enjoyed! It was back in 2016 that I first read this one, and it was delightful to rediscover! Multiple worlds, centaurs, a fantasy convention, and several delightful characters. I loved it so much and it was my first “for-fun” read (not counting audiobooks) in quite awhile and I just SO enjoyed getting to curl up with a wonderful book and look forward to each night of reading. ^_^ (Yes, it’s a pretty dark one in several respects, but aside from that it’s excellent!)
  • The Merlin Conspiracy (Diana Wynne Jones) — So I’m not quite sure if I’m allowed to list this one, but I’m about a third done my re-read so I guess I’ll include it. πŸ˜‰ I had no idea I’d forgotten so much of this one from my first read several years back, so I’m having a blast re-discovering it! Different worlds and Nick and Roddy and all the things. I’m looking forward to finishing this re-read soon (especially to get to the elephant and more of Romanov!!), but I did make a fair bit of progress on it!

I listened to Going Postal and Making Money in audiobook format on Scribd and had a blast! (If you’re interested, you can sign up for two free months on this audiobook subscription site through my link which gets me a free month as well.)

BOOKS NOT READ

I haven’t FINISHED The Merlin Conspiracy but I’ll do that soon. A re-read of the two Magid books (Deep Secret and The Merlin Conspiracy) has been something I’ve been meaning to do for years so I’m so pleased to have finally gotten to (most of) it!)

I also did not manage to read Feet of Clay, sadly, which was on my TBR, but I did read two Pratchett books which was my goal (even if one of them wasn’t planned) so I’ll just have to read this one another time! I do really want to read more Vimes books, for sure, but I guess this month was a Moist von Lipwig month. XD (I also need to get my hands on the third Moist book at some point.)

WATCHED

Going Postal (2010) — After I read Going Postal, I had a blast watching this TV adaption of it. (Just two 90-minute episodes which I watched on IMDB TV/my Amazon for free.) At first it seemed like a pretty good adaption, but still felt rather different than the book in tone and some of the characters/plot ended up a bit different, plus it was less funny… I definitely preferred the book BUT it was still still very well done and enjoyable, and such fun just to see it brought to life on the screen!

INSTAGRAM

I posted a few pics related to March Magics over on my Instagram this last month. Here are some.

My TBR
I posted about House of Many Ways and a book that reminds me of it because of Twinkle. XD
My Diana Wynne Jones collection!

I think I’ve finally collected all of DWJ’s books (with the exception of some short stories, plays, her first basically-unattainable novel Changeover, none of which I’ve read, and the picture book Yes, Dear, which I HAVE read from a library but haven’t collected yet).

The top shelf and beginning of the second shelf are the main collection, and the rest of the books (after the facing-out Howl book) are other editions/copies.

You can see close-ups for the titles in my Instagram post here, and you can also see a video I posted of said shelf tour here!

A Very Howl Birthday

(An English Cream Cake my sister made me for my birthday)

My sister made me a Howl-themed birthday celebration during March! Bacon (“I hope your bacon burns!” XD) and eggs for breakfast. An amazing homemade English Cream Cake because of the cream cake from Cesari’s in the book. She said the chocolate I received could stand for logs for Calcifer. It wasn’t part of the theme on purpose, but a green shamrock shake which was minty and delicious could have been for green slime (in a good way)! XD I even had a minor cold for my actual birthday (and celebrated later) so that was a very Howl thing, the parts in the book where he’s “having a head cold like a drama queen,” as his author said, being some of my favorite parts. XD So of course I had to re-read those bits for my birthday in solidarity. πŸ˜‰

Isn’t this Howl’s Moving Castle “I think we ought to live happily ever after” sticker by Beth Wangler Art amazing? I think it’s adorable! (You can find prints and stickers of this art in her shop or her Etsy!)


All in all, this March Magics was a delight and I thoroughly enjoyed the reading, listening, watching, photographing, cake-ing, and celebrating that I did for Diana Wynne Jones-y and Pratchett-y things! ^_^

In that respect, and for me at least, March was, indeed, Magical. ❀

#MarchMagics 2022 TBR

Happy March! (Well, tomorrow . . .)

Every year since discovering it, I love joining the blog event #MarchMagics (hosted by Kristen at We Be Reading) to celebrate the works of Diana Wynne Jones (one of my favorite authors!) and of Terry Pratchett.

I have a whole DWJ page here on my blog, so . . . yeah. πŸ˜‰

This March is particularly special for me, since it will mark ten years since I read my very first Diana Wynne Jones novel, Howl’s Moving Castle. Reading it specifically in March was a coincidence, too, since I wasn’t even blogging at the time, but I do find it to be excessively fitting.

Anyway, if I find the time, perhaps I shall do a Howl-type post later this month to commemorate a decade of being a Diana Wynne Jones fan. πŸ˜‰


Meanwhile! The point of this post. My TBR for March Magics this year.

Last year, I finished my final new-to-me DWJ books (aside from some possible short stories, plays, and her first book which isn’t children’s fantasy and is virtually impossible to find; ANYWAY), an accomplished but bittersweet feeling, which leaves me with just re-reads for her books. But re-reads are always a DELIGHT with her books!

So here we are in March and my TBR is . . .

  • Deep SecretRe-read. One of DWJ’s darker, more adult novels, this one was nevertheless a fascinating read and it’s one I’ve been meaning to re-read for awhile, particularly because of the world-hopping aspects. (Call it “research” for one of my own WIPs.) So I’m looking forward to this one! And I at last have a gorgeous copy of my own, so. Also, centaurs!
  • The Merlin Conspiracy Re-read. The companion novel to Deep Secret, this is the second of the “Magids” books but is extremely different than the first book. I remember finding it great fun, and loving the elephant and Romanov the enchanter and so forth. I can’t wait. *grin*
  • Feet of Clay — I’m working on Pratchett’s City Watch sub-series of the Discworld series, so this one is the next. Because I need more Vimes. XD Guards! Guards! was the first book I read of Pratchett’s, for my very first March Magics, and I read the second book last March, so this third one feels quite fitting.
  • Going Postal — Along with Guards! Guards!, I remember this one being recommended to me by Sarah Pennington (check out her fabulous blogs here and here), and I’ve been determined to read it ever since. It sounds like a blast. So I’m hoping this is the year! I actually hope to listen to it on audiobook, since Scribd has this one available!*

*Scribd is an audiobook (and ebook) subscription site which I ADORE because audiobooks let me read while getting other stuff done, and the monthly cost isn’t terrible.

If you enjoy audiobooks and haven’t checked out Scribd, you can get two free months by using my link and I’d get a free month too.

So! That’s my official March Magics TBR.

Two DWJ re-reads. Two Pratchett new reads.

Four books.


If I can get through those, I might pick up another audiobook or two on Scribd if I have more time . . . And I’ve been itching to re-read the Dalemark Quartet and the last two Chrestomanci books, so . . . those are possible followups. But I do seem to overestimate how much I’ll be able to read, so I’m keeping the official list to four, for my own sanity. *nervous laughter*

I’m QUITE excited for these two new-to-me Pratchetts and this Diana Wynne Jones double re-read. Hurrah for March Magics!


I’m also hoping to post a bit for #MarchMagics on my Instagram but haven’t planned my month out yet so here’s hoping . . .

Let me know in a comment if you’ve read any of these! And if you’re participating by reading any Diana Wynne Jones or Pratchett books this month! πŸ™‚

#MarchMagics Wrapup 2021

Just a quick wrapup post, revisiting the Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett adventures I got up to this last month for March Magics! (Hosted by WeBeReading)

READ AND WATCHED

  • A re-watch of Howl’s Moving Castle (because why not!) — The book is still my favorite, but the film is so cozy and fun and I love it too. It makes me smile, and this time was no exception. It’s also interesting watching it again now that I’ve been watching some other Ghibli films, which was not the case last year!
  • Witch’s Business (a.k.a. Wilkin’s Tooth) by Diana Wynne Jones — I guess this was her earliest children’s book? It kind of shows and was a little different but I enjoyed it, particularly the shenanigans about halfway through when I started getting used to the adventure (as usually happens. XD), and the nods to Puss in Boots which must have been a favorite of hers, since she once wrote a retelling of it and also referenced it for the finale. *grin, grin* Don’t start a revenge business — it won’t go well. XD (Particularly when there’s a mean witch trying to stop you.) Anyway, it has the signature DWJ twistiness and shenanigans and was a bit of a shorter read but I enjoyed it. Reminded me a little of Eight Days of Luke.
  • The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones — This was my last DWJ to read that I’d never read before, so it was a bittersweet moment… Some of it was creepier than I prefer, and knowing some things about her childhood made other parts rather disturbing (as I suspected they would) but the mystery was sooo interesting and I was on the edge of my seat wanting to find out what was going on. There were so many fascinating twists, which I adored discovering. The title, like I vaguely suspected, is slightly misleading. Bwahaha. And I was delighted by certain time-related things! Anyway, certainly darker than many of her books, and I can’t say I particularly recommend it (unless, like me, you’ve read pretty much all her books and are used to the strangeness and want to give it a shot), but I’m glad I finally read it. (PLUS, what was with that barrow bit near the end, which I vaguely feel was a Hexwood or Arthurian reference or something??) Some things reminded me of Fire and Hemlock, too.
  • Men At Arms by Terry Pratchett — Since Guards! Guards! was my very first Discworld novel, it was delightful to come back to this Night Watch subseries. I usually find that in Pratchetts there’s a subplot or character that I just don’t care much about, and this was no exception (plus, there was a death I didn’t see coming and like…I was a little annoyed), BUT aside from a couple of things I disliked and threads I didn’t care about, I did really enjoy this one! Vimes is amazing and Carrot and Vetinari are certainly iiinteresting and there were some fascinating goings-on! There were clever bits and hilarious bits and surprisingly epic bits, and I for some reason wasn’t expecting much so overall I had a blast. Not one to start on, but anyway. I think I missed the Night Watch! Here’s hoping I continue the series. (VIMES, though! All of the Vimes parts were gold.)

I’d say these were two of my less-favorite Diana Wynne Jones books, but I expected that as I’ve been reading the ones that interested me more, so naturally the last two I picked up would be less-favorites. But I always find things to like in a DWJ, even the scarier ones. XD

I’ve finally finished reading all her books, so I feel somewhat accomplished! (Her adult novel Changeover is practically impossible to find, and I may have missed a scattering of little things like short stories. But otherwise, I’ve read all her books now at last.)

And March is always my Pratchett month, and I was happy to get back to the Night Watch, even if it wasn’t my favorite aside from Vimes and Certain Epic Things.

And I’ll take any excuse to re-watch Howl’s Moving Castle — or to re-read the book (though I’m saving that for sometime when I need a comfort read, since I do tend to read it every year).

But look at me, complaining! *smacks self* These were all minor complaints and I did really enjoy getting the chance to read some Jones and Pratchett and overall had a blast! So yes, it was a good March Magics, overall, I’d say!

BLOG POSTS

Other March Magics posts I made this month:

INSTAGRAM

I also posted a shelfie pic of my DWJ collection over on Instagram. My current collection!

FINAL THOUGHTS

I did not find the time, in my busy March, to re-read the Magid duology (Deep Secret and The Merlin Conspiracy), which I’m sliiightly disappointed about.

Nor did I find time to finish reading Wintersmith, which I did, however, manage to at least start.

All the same, it was a lovely March Magics! I enjoyed the adventures I was able to go on. ^_^

Did you read any Diana Wynne Jones or Terry Pratchett in March? Let me know in a comment! Thanks for reading!

If You Like Diana Wynne Jones, Read These!

I posted this on Instagram and thought, you know, it’s basically a blog post. So I’m sharing here too. Just a quick shout out to a few DWJ-ish books I love! (I’m sure there are more. These are the first ones I could think of, though.)

I thought it would be fun, for #MarchMagics, to shoutout a handful of books that give me DWJ vibes. Those vibes aren’t always…explainable, exactly? But something about them reminds me of DWJ books, something we DWJ fans are often on the lookout for. πŸ˜‰ So, aside from Terry Pratchett…

If you like Diana Wynne Jones books, check these out!

1. Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal — This was one of the first DWJ-esque books I read so it has a special place here! A shapeshifting cat, a heroine who feels like she would be quite at home in a DWJ novel, a cantankerous young wizard, even a magical flame character, and all wrapped up in one of the most whimsical, delightful books I’ve read in my life.

2. Lady Moon by Rachel Starr Thomson — Another of the most delightfully whimsical books! A princess and flaming cat and a talking wombat are only some of the delightful things we meet in its pages, and best of all is Tomas, a somewhat Howl-esque Immortal who lives in a clocktower and is procrastinating his destiny.

3. Dana Illwind and Growing Shadows by Arthur DaigleMy giveaway for a copy of this is still running, through tomorrow (March 25)! I get big DWJ vibes from this one, for everthing from the humor and the magical chaotic bits, to the very dramatic enchanter Jayden, who is sort of halfway between Howl and Chrestomanci and is one of my fave characters ever.

4. The City Between series by W.R. Gingell — Humorous, occasionally creepy, urban fantasy in modern-day Tasmania, with a spunky unreliable narrator who goes by Pet and her “three Psychos” (a fae, a half-fae, and a vampire). Athelas and Zero are my faaave. The DWJ vibes here are strong, for me at least. (Also, Masque, and Spindle, by the same author.)

5. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer — It must be the Tam Lin vibes reminding me slightly of Fire and Hemlock… Also, I met this author on Twitter during a long-ago March Magics, through a mutual love of the Dalemark Quartet! This is a lovely Beauty and the Beast/East of the Sun, West of the Moon story with characters I adore and a multi-world feeling that definitely gives me DWJ vibes.

(And of course, talking of the books in the photo, if you haven’t read Howl’s Moving Castle, Chrestomanci, Dalemark, or Fire and Hemlock, those are also good. ;))

So! If you’re a DWJ fan, what’s a book you love that reminds you of her work? Thanks for reading!

#MarchMagics 2021

Happy March Magics!

This celebration of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett is hosted each year by WeBeReading and I’m excited as always!

My (hopeful) TBR!

I’ve been wanting to reread the Magid duology (Deep Secret, which is darker/more adult, & The Merlin Conspiracy, both of which stand alone) for a long time so I’m hoping to make the time for that.

Then I have two DWJ books I collected and have been saving for this month — I thiiink they’re the last of hers I haven’t read yet? (Not counting misc. short stories etc. and her first one which was for adults and impossible to find and didn’t sound as interesting.) So I have mixed feelings about that. XD But I’m curious to read Witch’s Business and The Time of the Ghost.

Now that I finished the Death series last March, I’m going back to the Night Watch series so I’m going to try Men at Arms (I’ve heard mixed thoughts on this one but loved Guards! Guards!) and I’ve been slowly working through the Tiffany Aching books so this is the next one!

Yes, most of it’s Diana Wynne Jones because she’s my favorite. XD

March is looking to be super busy, though, so I’ll just have to see what I have time to read.

Are you reading any DWJ or Pratchett this month? Thanks for reading!

Top 14 (ish) Reads of 2020

In which Deborah over-uses the word “delightful” approximately 987348749 times. February’s not too late to have a 2020 bookish wrapup, right? *cough*

Of course I have to share my favorite reads of last year (in several categories . . . so, yes, there’s more than 14!), so let’s get to it!

According to my Goodreads, I read 100 books! (A few more on my personal list, but hey, unpublished etc. things don’t quite count. :P) Yes, many of them were shorter, but anyhoo.

Here are some stats:

  • 32 new-to-me novels
  • 21 novellas/quick reads
  • 12 re-reads
  • 10 short stories
  • 7 picture books
  • 6 non-fiction
  • 5 anthologies
  • 4 graphic novels/comics
  • 3 audiobooks
  • Total: 100 books

And here are the reviews I posted here last year:

TOP NEW READS OF 2020

  • Dana Illwind and Growing Shadows (Arthur Daigle) — Well, that made it to my top-five-favorite books of all time! Jayden and Dana are some of my favorite characters EVER and I’ve talked about short stories of theirs on the blog here before, but they are finally released in a novel form and I’ve now read it four times and just never get tired of it! I’m hoping to review it this week. I just can’t put into words how much I love it! Jayden’s one of my favorite characters ever (an elegant enchanter with anger management issues but a burning heart for justice) and Dana is just as marvelous (this sturdy girl is #goals) and they make an EPIC duo. The book is just SO FUNNY but also epic and the humor and world and snark all blend together to form one of my favorite books ever. Perfect for fans of Diana Wynne Jones, Discworld, or Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold.
  • Winter Spell (Claire M. Banschbach) — This wintry tale is perfection and has some of my favorite characters, pair-ups, and world-building ever! Plus we have ice and water magic, different faeries, a dash of romance, an epic buddy story on the side, and Northern Lights. What is not to love? Tonya, Princess Diane, August, and of course Dorian all wrapped themselves around my heart and won’t let go. I love it so, so much!
  • In the Region of the Summer Stars (Stephen R. Lawhead) — This Celtic fantasy felt like coming home and swept me into a world of ancient Ireland that I’d been longing for without remembering that I was. It’s a marvelous adventure with warriors, horses, boats, druids, fae, and our hero Conor, all in the stunning hills and coasts of Eirlandia. It’s fantastic and I really need to finish reading the series — hopefully soon!
  • Between Floors (W.R. Gingell)note: this is book 3; starts with Between Jobs — I’ve been quite enjoying the City Between series, urban fantasy set in modern Tasmania with fae etc., and this was my favorite yet, because Athelas is my faaave! (And Zero. And just all of it.) I love the humor and the snark! Pet and her Psychos are just such fun. I’m reading them aloud with my siblings and the voices are a blast to do. *grinning*
  • Fierce Heart/War Bound/Death Wind/Elf Prince (Tara Grayce) — I’m just lumping them all together because I feel like it’s one story, Farrendel and Essie’s story, and I love iiit. (I think my favorite is War Bound, but they all go together. ;)) Farrendel is the bessst cinnamon roll elf, and I love Essie and her brothers (Edmund, though!) and all the humor and sweet romance and banter and epicness. They’re just a lot of fun (and feels)!
  • The New Emperor’s Concerto (Hazel B. West) — A fabulous swashbuckling buddy story set in futuristic London, this felt like a fun action movie and was equal parts humorous and epicly exciting. Lysander and Flynn forever! And everyone needs a Sinclair (the butler). It was so wonderfully BRITISH and I adored it. Also, all the Pratchett references.
  • Cry of the Raven (Morgan L. Busse)note: book 3; starts with Mark of the Raven — An amazing conclusion to a trilogy with books that have been on my top-favorites list each year — there’s a reason I cosplayed as Selene. πŸ˜‰ Just a really wonderful fantasy trilogy, and Selene and Damien and wyverns and the gifts/elements and THAT SCENE NEAR THE END WITH THE FLOWER, AAHH! MY HEART. I just loved how it wrapped up!
  • continued —
Between Jobs is standing in for Between Floors since I sadly don’t have a paperback of that one (yet!)
  • An Echo of the Fae (Jenelle Leanne Schmidt) — This selkie/fae, winter/summer novel is like a perfect summer day. I loved it so much! A fae summer adventure with a dash of Rapunzel, some selkie mysteries, a determined heroine in our young Echo, delightful side characters and creatures — including mini dragons! — it’s just a delight all-around and it makes me smile.
  • The Changeling Sea (Patricia A. McKillip) — I can’t even describe this book! *shrieks* It was a totally unexpected amazing book, which I picked up on a whim, and it was absolutely delightful and like an original fairy tale, all enchantments and mysterious princes and magic and the sea and a magician and a girl and a little village. Descriptions fail me but it was a lovely little book!
  • The Geppetto Codex (Kyle Robert Shultz)note: book 5; starts with The Beast of Talesend — Gareth the mild-mannered, nervous faun, and Sylvia, the hotheaded dryad, pair up to go up against terrifying puppets in 1920s fantasy Venice — and yes, it’s just as fun and wacky and thrilling and hilarious as that sounds. *grin, grin* If you haven’t tried out this Afterverse adventure yet, you’re missing out. Also, amazing prologue and epilogues which have bits of our favorites, Nick and Cordelia! *flailing*
  • Midnight for a Curse (E.J. Kitchens) — A truly delightful Beauty and the Beast novel, with humor and feels and gorgeousness, mysteries and fun characters, and a wonderful dream-aspect that I super enjoyed! Also, what would happen if the Beat didn’t actually want to be un-cursed? Bwahaha. This one was so much fun and made me happy.
  • Emberhawk (Jamie Foley) — I adored her Sentinel trilogy so I was super curious about this set in the same world at a previous time. It was fun! I loved seeing more of Felix (sly snarky fox!) and Ryon’s story and all the other characters, and the woods and adventures and the treetop city! Also, Lysander forever! (Yes, there’s a Lysander in two of my favorite books this year. It must be a Lysander year.)
  • Thief of Time (Terry Pratchett) — Probably my favorite Pratchett since Mort, Guards Guards, and The Wee Free Men. This was a fabulous conclusion to the Death series and I so enjoyed all the timey-wimey things in it and Susan and just most of it in general.
  • The Islands of Chaldea (Diana Wynne Jones) — I’ve been curious to read this one for a long time, as it’s one Diana Wynne Jones’s sister completed. I quite enjoyed it! It had a Celtic feel and a hot air balloon and yeah, fun as always! I’m nearly out of new-to-me DWJ reads, so it was a delight to read this one last March Magics. (I’ll have to do something for that this year too if I can find time.)

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Here are two books that I simply HAVE to mention, because despite not making it onto my personal top favorites, simply for personal preference reasons, they still absolutely BLEW ME AWAY and everyone must know about them. *grinning*

  • Beyond the Shadowed Earth (Joanna Ruth Meyer) — Y’all, I adore this author’s books, and I was SO impressed with this story! STUNNING and amazingly well done! A bit dark for my personal taste but I was super impressed with the character arc and loved a lot of what I got out of it. And the Silmarillion vibes near the end were a delight. Yeah, it was wow.
  • Ahab (E.B. Dawson) — Aside from a bittersweet/borderline-tragic ending which (personally) I couldn’t handle, this book is definitely one of my favorites of the year! Everything except the last couple of chapters, basically, were ABSOLUTE PERFECTION so of course I have to shout it out! Ahab and Starbuck are LIFE and this Moby Dick retelling set in space is just gorgeous and brilliant and the best aside from some sadness. XD If you can handle some sad, READ IT. IT’S SO GOOD.

BEST QUICK READS/NOVELLAS

Sometimes shorter reads and novellas don’t make it to best-of lists because they’re a little too short to pack quite the punch, which is somewhat unfair and I feel like they deserve their own category since they seem like a different category than novels… So I’m shouting out my favorite novellas/shorter books, because I read quite a few and these were the most amazing! (Not to mention fabulous if you only have a brief amount of time to consume a story.)

  • All That Glimmers (Selina J. Eckert) — An incredible modern fantasy Rumpelstiltskin story. This is one of many seasonal fairy tale retelling novellas by this author, all of which stand alone. The “Rumpelstiltskin” character in this is a mysterious fae (I love him!), and the heroine and her best friend (who has antlers!) are college students who get swept into the fae world and must heal from loss and discover fae secrets. It was just lovely. ^_^
  • Hand of Steel & The Deathhorn (Jessi L. Roberts) — These are space opera sci-fi adventures with worldbuilding/creatures I absolutely adore. I don’t read much sci-fi but this series is just the sort that I love when I do read it! Hand of Steel is about a bounty hunter (Krys) and how she comes up against space pirates including the awesome feline-like Klate (he’s my fave!). The Deathhorn tells Klate’s backstory and I love it so much. Just such a cool series!
  • Fire and Wind (Daley Downing) — Fire and Wind follows a unique character (DG — loved her!) and spans centuries, continents, and multiple fantasy creatures and it’s just a delight. It’s a spinoff from this author’s wonderful suburban fantasy series which includes Masters and Beginners, Rulers and Mages, and Healers and Warriors. I particularly love how this includes creatures and places and times from all over, from kitsunes to Anastasia/Rasputin to phoenixes to Easter Island to modern-day London or Arizona. I just love it!
  • All the Queen’s Sons (Elizabeth Kipps) — A reverse Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, this follows a shoemaker’s daughter who is trying to discover why the queen’s six sons wear out the shoes her father makes for them. It was so much fun and a marvelous new twist on my favorite fairy tale!
  • The Midnight Show (Sarah Pennington) — Another Twelve Dancing Princesses story, I loved how this was a 1920s-esque fantasy world and how the fairy tale retelling aspect blended seamlessly with being a detective story! Bastian is a great detective hero and the voice was fun and the worldbuilding was delightful. It was delicious!

BEST SHORT STORIES

  • Dawnsong (Bryn Riplinger Shutt) — THIS STORY. *clutches heart* Lyrical writing, amazing characters, funny moments, relatable struggles, a vivid setting I just want to melt into, and a story that touched my heart in all the best ways. And all in a novelette of just 15,000 words! Definitely one of my favorite short reads of the year. (Also, I adore Des, Lilias, and Artair so, so much!)
  • Shadow Light (Sarah Delena White) — This story reminded me of The Silmarillion, George MacDonald’s Day Boy and Night Girl, and a short story by Lloyd Alexander (as well as Windswept, another story by Sarah Delena White, and one of my own unpublished short stories), all in the BEST way. Like pure myth/original-fairytale. I loved it a lot!

BEST NON-FICTION

I don’t have a lot to say about these two other than that I quite enjoyed both and recommend them for creative types. ^_^

  • Adorning the Dark (Andrew Peterson)
  • Walking on Water (Madeleine L’Engle)

BEST ANTHOLOGY

  • A Very Bookish Thanksgiving (Note: This was a limited-edition anthology, but I think the novellas may be published individually later, or the anthology miiight reappear for a bit for a limited time?) — I couldn’t not give a shout-out to this lovely collection of Thanksgiving novellas inspired by works of classic fiction. A Promise of Acorns (by Kelsey Bryant; Jane-Eyre inspired) and As Long as I Belong (by Sarah Holman; Mansfield-Park inspired) were absolutely amazing stories that blew me away. I adore them. I also loved The Windles and the Lost Boy (by Rebekah Jones; Peter-Pan inspired) and the Great-Expectations inspired Grand Intentions by J. Grace Pennington about a writer! (A Fine Day Tomorrow, by Amanda Tero, inspired by Little Women, was too sad/stressful for me, but I expected that. XD So it wasn’t to my taste but those who enjoy Little Women will very likely like it — just my personal taste.) Just such a good collection. ^_^ I loved the classic-inspired aspects to them, and the Thanksgiving theme, and they were just so delightful!

BEST PICTURE BOOKS

  • The Four Donkeys (Lloyd Alexander) — The Four Donkeys was a delightful folk-tale-esque picture book by Lloyd Alexander. One of the last of his children’s books I hadn’t read yet, I got it for my birthday last year and found it full of his winsome wisdom and wry humor and delight that I always love.
  • Marigold and the Snoring King (J.D. Rempel) — I won a copy of Marigold and the Snoring King and it was so fun, original, and adorable! Next time you’re looking for an indie picture book, I recommend this one! It was fun and classic but fresh all at once. Charming. Made me smile!

There we are! I hope you enjoyed this look at my favorite books of the year, and if you stuck with the post this whole time, you deserve a virtual cupcake. *awards it to you*

Thanks for reading! Have you read any of these or are any going on your TBR? What’s your favorite book you read last year?