Tag Archive | Susan Cooper

Top 15 Favorite Reads of 2019!

Yes, I’m finally here with my favorite books I read last year! (A wizard is never late. *cough*)

Out of all the 140 books (yes, many of those were short stories or novellas) that I read in 2019 (according to my Goodreads list if you’d like to see all of them! My personal spreadsheet has 175, but anyway. XD), there were MANY amazing stories, but here are some of the ones that stood out!

But first, stats! Because stats are fun.

  • 37 new-to-me novels
  • 48 smaller reads (short stories or novellas etc.)
  • 28 rereads (some were short stories)
  • 6 anthologies
  • 9 nonfiction
  • 13 picture books
  • 10 beta-reads
  • 2 graphic novels
  • 3 misc.
  • 4 audiobook
  • 14 libraried

Oh, and here is a picture of the books I read in 2019 of which I have physical copies. 😀 (54. Last year there were 52. XD)

The pretties! Top: New reads. Middle left: Nonfiction, children’s, anthologies. Middle right: Re-reads (yes, half of it IS by Diana Wynne Jones; why do you ask?). Bottom: bookmarks to represent some books that I don’t own or read in ebook form. Plus a picture book and novella.

Now on with the main post!

In no particular order, other than that the top few are my top favorites, I present…

My Top 15 Favorite Books I Read In 2019

1. Oath of the Outcast (C.M. Banschbach)

Hands-down my favorite book of the year! I had a massive book hangover after reading this and I’m not sure I’ve recovered. It’s just so good! You’ve got a Celtic flavor, epic brothers-by-blood-and-by-bond, much stabbiness, rivers of snark (oh, man, the snark. XD), and of course my smol floof of anger management issues, the Mountain Baron a.k.a. Rhys, outcast and leader of the outlaw Cairns, most epic character of ever, who’s just setting foot on the start of a long road to redemption. I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH.

[MY REVIEW]

2. Flight of the Raven (Morgan L. Busse)

I adored the first book, and each one gets even more amazing! Flight of the Raven was just SO good (and, spoiler alert, I just read and loved book 3, and I think each one of them is going to end up on the top-reads-of-the-year posts in the years I read them!). Dreamwalking, water powers, growing peril in the land, wonderful worldbuilding and fascinating fantasy “gifts”/powrs, and characters I’ve fallen head-over-heels for! I loved this one so much! ^_^ And getting to dress up as Lady Selene Ravenwood when I went to Realm Makers (and the author also, surprise, dressing as Selene!) was definitely a highlight!

[MY REVIEW]

3. Cress (Marissa Meyer)

I liked Cinder, enjoyed Scarlet, and absolutely fell in love with Cress! I can’t wait to read Winter! Audiobooking Cress was definitely a highlight. I got to live the adventure alongside Cress and Thorne (my faves!) and all the other characters I’d grown to love in the previous book, and all while exercising this summer! (The parts in the Sahara coincided with dead-of-Texas-summer heat, so that made it an interesting exercise companion. XD) IT’S JUST SO MUCH FUN! I’m so glad I finally tried this series. 🙂

4. Curse and Consequence (Savannah Jezowski)

I loved this so much that I read it twice in the same week, because I simply HAD to share the delightful and hilarious story aloud. My siblings and I now quote these characters, particularly Hugh. XD (“Wicky, how could you!”) It’s a Regency-esque fantasy novella, with magical curses and shenanigans, a dragon, and a very Twinkle-like character. IT’S HILARIOUS and I need book two yesterday.

[MY REVIEW]

5. Head in the Heavens (E.B. Dawson)

*screaming* I don’t know WHY I adore this collection so much, other than that the author is apparently a genius. Anyway, E.B. Dawson made me fall in love with sci-fi short stories enough that they’re in my top reads of the year! I binge-read them separately and was THRILLED when they were collected in this handy volume. Sci-fi Moby Dick and Beauty and the Beast, GORGEOUS writing, and edge-of-your-seat dystopian (I don’t even like dystopian but this was just SO GOOD??), are only some of the delights that await you in this anthology!

[MY REVIEW]

6. Deadwood + Hollow (Kyle Robert Shultz)

I simply HAVE to mention these new Afterverse books, Crockett & Crane book 2 and 2.5! (I did edit them, since I am, after all, the Editor of the Afterverse. But they are totally going on this list of simply as a books this fangirling reader loves.)

In Deadwood, Todd and his friends face off against a creepy sentient town in the magical wild west. Also, I love how we get more of Julio, everyone’s favorite (second-favorite?) dragon! There is plenty of signature banter and humor and magical fun, but everything has a more serious side too, as well as creepy Pinocchio elements, and there are plenty of feels! But Todd and Julio are just THE BEST, OKAY? OKAY.

Speaking of feels, HOLLOW! It’s Sleepy Hollow meets Wonderland with a dash of time travel and WOW. It’s so delicious. And, again, feelsy. But with Ichabod Crane (Todd’s ancestor) as the main character, and important characters from both the Crockett & Crane and Beaumont & Beasley series . . . it’s ABSOLUTELY AWESOME and mind-blowing. It packs quite a punch for a novella! (Plus, that cover! *heart eyes*)

[MY REVIEW OF HOLLOW]

7. Dark is the Night (Mirriam Neal)

A new book from Mirriam Neal released and some of my favorite characters, Skata and Angel, have been published — THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I adored this book years ago when I beta-read it, and having it finally on my shelf is A DREAM. I’m so happy to have read the final version in all its vampire-hunter, urban fantasy, southern gothic, snarky-hilarious-banter-buddy-story glory! Buddy stories are my fave, and Skata and Angel are THE BEST. XD

[MY REVIEW]

8. Magic Kingdom for Sale (Terry Brooks)

This one was sheer fun, and I’m so pleased that I finally picked it up on the recommendation of Jenelle Schmidt. I was determined to read one book by Terry Brooks before going to Realm Makers 2019, where I got to meet him (!!!), and this one fit the bill perfectly. It’s a delightful portal fantasy from back when that wasn’t really a thing, and I loved the down-to-earth-ness of the main character, and the quirkiness of the world and other characters! A blast.

9. Mechanical Heart (Sarah Pennington)

Aaahh, this book! I had been dying to read it for years, and I was so excited to get to devour this author’s first full-length novel! Steampunk Rapunzel in a clocktower, with solid characters, politics, mysteries, and inventions? YES PLEASE! I still have not read enough Steampunk, but this is another one to add to the slowly growing list of ones I’ve read and loved. Fabulous!

[MY REVIEW]

10. The Fall of Gondolin (J.R.R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien)

Bittersweet as the last book Christopher Tolkien released, made more so by his recent passing, but so, so gorgeous, and a fitting end. I’m so grateful that he got to share so many stories and drafts his father wrote with us fortunate readers! This one was different than The Children of Hurin and Beren and Luthien, but as the third of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Great Tales of the Silmarillion, it was an absolute delight to get a closer look at those drafts and I was surprised how much detail there was, if sad that it wasn’t finished. I absolutely loved it, and the illustrations by Alan Lee are AMAZING!

11. The Wee Free Men (Terry Pratchett)

*laughing* The Nac Mac Feegle, though. XD They’re hilarious and totally the reason why I loved this. I had a blast reading it, and really enjoyed the gorgeous illustrated edition I managed to find at a library. It had a more Celtic feel than the other Discworld books I’ve read, and feels somehow different than them, and rather a lot more like a Diana Wynne Jones for some reason. Maybe it’s because of the young main character, who’s great! I can’t wait to read more about the Feegles and their Scottish accents and ridiculous, hilarious shenanigans. XD

12. Flower of the Underworld (Hazel B. West)

At this point, Hazel West is probably my favorite Urban Fantasy author. I absolutely LOVE her Modern Tales of Na Fianna series (the best UF everrrr), so I was curious to try this modern retelling of Hades and Persephone. IT WAS SUCH A BLAST. The normalized setting of Greek mythology in contemporary times was perfect and hilarious, and there were so many shenanigans, as well as much humor. And Hades (who’s like the only nice guy in his powerhungry family) and Persephone (who works at a landscaping business) are so much fun. And she gives him a plant named George so OBVIOUSLY this book is just the best. I just had way too much fun reading it. XD

13. Strayborn (E.E. Rawls)

This just made me happy, okay? It’s a middle-grade Christian Fantasy magical-academy type story and it felt so fresh and delightful! The characters were fabulous and unique and I loved so many of them — particularly the mentor character, Master Nephryte, who reminded me a little of Chrestomanci! Also, that cover! ❤

[MY REVIEW]

14. The Boggart Fights Back (Susan Cooper)

Aaahh! So, the first two Boggart books were on my top reads of the year lists when I read them, and I suddenly found out that years and years later there was a sequel that just came out?? I immediately snagged it from the library and devoured it. Modern fantasy set in Scotland, this time about the children of the characters from the first two. And I love the mischievous Boggart and Nessie! Delightful. 🙂

15. Compass South + Knife’s Edge (Hope Larson & Rebecca Mock)

I haven’t really read graphic novels before, so this was a first for me, and I’m surprised to see these creeping in at the end of my list, but I just HAD to include them! It’s a duology, and I’ve talked about them before, but they’re just SO MUCH FUN . Swashbuckling MG/YA graphic novels, 99% clean historical fiction, with fun characters (and twins!), unexpected twists, and just… These little books made me happy! I’m so glad I randomly picked them up at the library! 🙂


Aaand here’s a picture of all the ones I own in physical form so far!


So there are my “official” top fifteen (ish) favorites . . . but we’re not done yet!

Now I need to share some runners-up and favorites in other categories.

RUNNERS-UP THAT MAKE ME HAPPY

1. Beneath the Haunting Sea (Joanna Ruth Meyer)

This is by the author of Echo North (one of my top five favorite books I read in 2018), so naturally it’s excellent! Sea and island vibes, original mythology and fabulous characters, and all gorgeous and wild. The Silmarillion meets Jane Eyre is how it was pitched to me, which I find rather accurate. Aside from a love triangle, simply fabulous!

2. Ghostlight (Rabia Gale)

BECAUSE TREY. Trey is the hero of this book and singlehandedly gains it a spot on my favorites. A little spooky for me, but it gave me a slight book hangover, and it’s a delightful regency-esque fantasy with fabulous banter, and did I mention Trey?

3. Jeeves and the Wedding Bells (Sebastian Faulks)

It may not quite be Wodehouse, but it gets jolly close. What a hilarious set of shenanigans! Bertie Wooster and Jeeves and the usual hijinks, in a fabulous homage to P.G. Wodehouse’s classic tales.

4. Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares (Shaun Hume)

Academy story. Modern-day London. Scotland. Ewan and his misfit friends are my favorite. A dragon. A mysterious castle. It’s just a wonderful romp and it makes me happy! (Sequel to Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith.)

5. Fortunately, the Milk . . . (Neil Gaiman)

Well, firstly, that title, which I quote all the time. Secondly, this is absolutely hilarious and it makes me smile and it just wanted to be on this list! (Even if there are obviously other books I read this year which I liked more in general. But it’s just so funny and I had to mention it. XD) I particularly love re-reading the beginning. XD This currently joins Make Good Art as one of my favorite books from this author.


And then a few other categories…


FAVORITE SHORT STORIES

Arbrook Huxley and the Miraculous Confection (Mollie E. Reeder)

A new short story about Huxley from The Electrical Menagerie! *screaming* This story was an absolute delight, and so well-written. It gave me all of the feels! And the ending was perfect. I laughed so hard and then I had to read it to my siblings. XD I just love it! Absolutely delicious.

The Grift of the Magi (Ally Carter)

I loved the Heist Society books when I read them ages ago, and this might be my favorite one! It’s a short story (or maybe novella?), set after book 3, at Christmas-time, and it’s. so. good. HALE and feels and Christmas and a snowstorm and a Scottish castle and so many cons and things and a great twist at the end. I love it so much!

(There’s not a “cover” for the Jayden and Dana stories, but the one I first read was collected in this anthology awhile back, so I’m using this picture. Also, it’s just a really excellent anthology, even if I didn’t read it this year. XD)

Jayden and Dana stories (Arthur Daigle)

These don’t have covers or anything, and I mentioned them in my favorites last year, but they’re a continuing sort of short story serial over on Booksie. I just LOVE reading about these two characters, Dana Illwind and Sorcerer Lord Jayden. I “met” them in some of the Fellowship of Fantasy anthologies, and went on to read more stories of their adventures as they’re posted from time to time. There’s over a dozen of these now and I highly recommend checking them out! Jayden is the best, and so is Dana, and I love their banter and the fantastical adventures they get up to!


FAVORITE PICTURE BOOKS

‘Twas an Evening in Bethlehem (Jenelle Leanne Schmidt)

I love this so much! The art is so soft and charming and the story and poem are lovely, with elegant borders and a great cover, and the whole is just a gorgeous picture book that I love! ^_^

King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson (Kenneth Kraegel)

I ADORE THIS. I found it at the library and it’s one of the best picture books I’ve read. It’s about the great-great-great-etc. grandson of King Arthur, a little boy, who goes looking for monsters to fight, with the absolute BEST outcomes. XD I just love it!


FAVORITE NONFICTION

I think I read about ten nonfiction books this year, most of them about writing in one way or another, and these were my top favorites.

Not Write Now (Kyle Robert Shultz)

I actually copyedited this one, but it’s a marvelous reverse-psychology writer self-help book. I’ve never read anything like it before, but it’s actually really helpful and also absolutely hilarious. XD

Sometimes the Magic Works (Terry Brooks)

I had the delight of meeting Terry Brooks at the Realm Makers 2019 conference, and picked this up while I was there. I’m new to his work this year, but this collection of essays about his experiences as a writer was fabulous, and really encouraged me in a difficult time. Plus, it was just really fun. 🙂


I know that was a lot! *hides face* I just want to share all the books. XD Have you read any of these? Any going on your TBR? What was YOUR favorite book(s) of 2019? Thanks for reading!

Top Ten (ish) Lesser-Known Books I Love

TTTnew

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. 🙂

(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? 😉 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. 🙂

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. 😛 Have you read any of them? What are lesser-known favorites of yours? 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~The Page Dreamer

Reading Roundup #3: March 2016

ReadingRoundup2

Muchly belated, here are the many things I read in March! So much awesome reading. ❤

Here are some mini-reviews for a bunch of them and/or links to my reviews for the ones I reviewed in full… (Covers from Goodreads and all titles link to their pages on Goodreads as wel.) Enjoy! 🙂

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1. Blood Ties – Hazel B. West

Reviewed this on my other blog. Friendships and battles and Faerie and modern/medieval Ireland, huzzah!

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2. A Spy’s Devotion – Melanie Dickerson

Reviewed this. Lovely Regency romance! Melanie’s amazing at this time period, just like I thought she’d be! 🙂

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3. Comet in Moominland – Tove Jansson

Well, strike me pink, that was a rollicking delight of fun and charming oddness! (Especially reading it aloud with British accents, because it did seem to call for it, despite the fact it’s originally Swedish.) I believe it’s quite possible that I’m now thoroughly addicted to the world of the Moomins!

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4. Moominsummer Madness – Tove Jansson

Ack, I love it! *huggles book* Snufkin is my FAVORITE EVER! ❤ He’s so awesome and just the best! And what he did about the signs . . . and his twenty-four little woodies — GAAHH SO CUUUUTE!!! ❤ I about died from the adorableness and awesomeness of this. Also, I love Little My. She’s hilarious. XD All in all, great little book! ❤

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5. The Exploits of Moominpappa – Tove Jansson

Yet another fun one! I loved getting to read Moominpappa’s memoirs — such escapades, such oddness, such fun! 🙂 Moominpappa has quite a “feel” to his storytelling. It’s great. Also the Joxter was fun — nice to know where Snufkin’s slightly lawless ways originated. 😉 So much fun! And I especially loved how the memoirs would pause occasionally as Moominpappa is interrupted in his reading by Moomintroll, Sniff, and Snufkin, as they ask questions about the story and their various daddies’ adventures. Loved that! And the way that it all came together at the end was marvelous. 😀 The Moomin books are just loads of bizarre whimsical fun.

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6. Deep Secret – Diana Wynne Jones

Read this for March Magics. Wow, what a book. o.o It was more adult than any DWJ I’d read before, but still so so good. It takes place almost entirely at a Sci-fi/Fantasy convention which was super fun. XD Also world-hopping and centaurs and just yes. I do mean to write a review, I just haven’t yet…

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7. The Beautiful Pretender – Melanie Dickerson

Reviewed this on my other blog. It was AWESOME! But then, it’s a medieval fairy tale romance story mixing Beauty and the Beast and The Princess and the Pea and it’s by Melanie Dickerson, sooo… of course it’s awesome. 😉 Possibly my favorite from her yet!

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8. Moominland Midwinter – Tove Jansson

A good wintry tale, another fun Moomin story. 🙂 Little My is the best. XD

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9. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

I FINALLY read this one! This was for Amber Stoke’s read-along over at Seasons of Humility. Really enjoyed the book on the whole! I could have wished for less of Isabella (UGH I hated her) and more of Henry Tilney, but still. 😉 Maybe I’ll post a more complete review at some point…

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10. Dreams and Wishes: Essays on Writing For Children – Susan Cooper

I don’t read a lot of nonfiction but I was excited to read these nonfiction essays by Susan Cooper about writing. While some of them may be on writing “for” children, this collection wasn’t really… It was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I didn’t like/agree with everything, but she did have a lot of good things to say about fantasy and such, so that was fun! Definitely glad I read it.

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11. Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2) – Derek Landy

Another scary, action-packed fantasy tale in modern Dublin with Skulduggery Pleasant the skeleton detective! But most importantly, containing numerous witty lines (by Skulduggery himself, naturally) and lots of humorous banter between him and Valkyrie, because THAT’S what I really read these books for! 😉 I don’t think I liked it quite as much as the first one, but it was gripping and I find myself rather glad that it’s a book instead of a movie because with a book, it’s just the words and imagination; whereas if it was actually on a screen, it would probably be far too scary for me. 😉 And just think of all the dialog I’d miss in that case! o.o Skulduggery continues to be hilarious and awesome, the real reason I’m reading these things. I hope to have more awesome Skulduggery lines in the future… HE’S SO QUOTABLE AND FUNNY AND EPIC. Skulduggery’s the best. ❤

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12. Moominvalley in November – Tove Jansson

I was nervous that I wouldn’t like this one at first… but it turned out okay, so I was glad. 🙂 I’m not sure I liked the translator of this one as much? And it starts out rather melancholy and I wasn’t sure if I liked the characters much, but of course they grew on me. I thought it would be sad but it wasn’t. Yay! And of course I love Snufkin! 😉 It was awesome how everyone kept coming to his tent. XD And I really liked Toft too, he’s adorbz. Some of it was a little vague and hard to sort of grasp in your head if you know what I mean? And it definitely feels different than the other ones, probably mostly because the Moomins aren’t there… And kind of more shadowy and melancholy. But I ended up enjoying it more than I thought, and Snufkin in particular (and Toft) make it better of course! 🙂

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13. Rising Shadows – Ashley Townsend

Aaaand reviewed this one. So much enjoyable! Will… ❤ Really fun little book.

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I kind of read a lot in March! It was a good reading month.

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer