Tag Archive | Heists

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…)

31ThePenderwicksInSpring

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

bookofsight

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…

37TheGrimmLegacy

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.

65ScepterOfTheAncients

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

 

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TTT: Book Categories to Read More Of In 2016

TTT

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.

faveauthors

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.

tolkien

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…

toreread

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!