Tag Archive | Tolkien

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!

Tolkien Blog Party Tag

I’m hopping on the delightful Tolkien Blog Party going on here and answering a fun tag!

You can find the tag HERE if you’d like to do it yourself! 🙂

Would You Rather…

1.  …join Thorin’s Company or the Fellowship?

The Fellowship! I do enjoy Thorin and Co. and Bilbo, but I’d love to hang out with all the Fellowship members. 😀

2.  …ride Shadowfax or an eagle?

An eagle! That would be super cool. I’d have to make sure to make friends with one first since they don’t just carry anyone around. 😉

3.  …travel through Moria or Mirkwood?

Oh boy. They’re both an equal mix of terrifying and really cool. 😛 I think I would go with Mirkwood. It’s kind of dark in there and, I mean, there are spiders, and I’m not saying it’s not creepy — because it is! But also, I mean, it’s an enormous wood, and at least it’s not UNDERGROUND and infested with Balrogs. And there’s always the chance you might run into the wood elves which would be totally cool, unless you’re Thorin and co. XD

4.  …learn to make elvish rope or mithril chainmail?

Mithril chainmail! Elvish rope is cool and all, but mithril is the best. So gorgeous, so lightweight, and sooo useful. 😀

5.  …try to outwit Smaug or Saruman?

Help. I think I would be in major trouble either way. XD Um. Wow. This one is super hard. I feel like I’d be in bigger trouble if I didn’t SUCCEED with outwitting Smaug, but . . . I’ll go with him anyway. As long as I could do it like Bilbo and have a quick escape if things weren’t going well!

6.  …spend an hour with Grima Wormtongue or Denethor?

Denethor. I mean, he’s kind of the worst but Grima’s totally creepy, let’s be real.

7.  …attend Faramir’s wedding or Samwise’s wedding?

Faramir’s! Because Faramir is my number-one-favorite character in The Lord of the Rings (the books; we don’t discuss what they did to his character in the films. I still love him, but… just no). And Eowyn is ALSO the best. So yes, hands-down!

8.  …have to care for the One Ring or the Arkenstone for a day?

Definitely the Arkenstone! It’s prettier and less prone to take over my mind. XD

9.  …have tea with Bilbo or Frodo?

Bilbo! I feel like that would be super fun! 😀 I just wrote a post (more like a short story) featuring Bilbo and it was a blast.

10.  …fight alongside Boromir or Eomer?

Eomerrr! He’s another of my top-favorites and a seriously underrated character. (I think Eomer and Faramir and Aragorn are my favorite characters in LOTR. And Eowyn. And Merry. And Legolas. OKAY, I have a lot of favorite characters. XD)


How about you? Share your answers in a comment or go join the party yourself!

Also, talking of Lord of the Rings fun . . .

If you missed it, be sure to go check out my post about the winner of the Silmaril Awards ceremony for Most Silver Tongue — which is set at Rivendell and features Bilbo, Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle, and several characters from various beloved fantasy books including Narnia, Goldstone Wood, and Prydain. There are many shenanigans.

It’s basically a fanfiction crossover short story post and I had WAY too much fun writing it. XD

Thanks for reading!

2.5 Quick Things!

Heya, fellow dreamers of the page!

I’ve been kind of terrible about keeping up with bookish news because this summer has been crazy (maybe I’ll have a Book Ishness updates post next month and some reading updates soon?).

But there are two exciting (time-sensitive) bookish things of awesome I want to make sure you hear about! (Unless, of course, you already have, if you’re following my other blog or my social media. XD)

ANYHOO.

1. Silmaril Awards Voting Closing Sept. 13!

Firstly, make sure you get your votes in for your favorite fantasy characters in the SILMARIL AWARDS because voting ends today (Friday the 13th — ooh, ominous — at 11:59 Central). SO HURRY!

Vote HERE and read my post HERE.

(If you have no clue what the Silmaril Awards are, you can check out the website at that first link. XD)

2. Giveaway on my other blog! (Ends Sept. 16)

 

And I’m celebrating my 6 year anniversary of starting a blog, over on my other blog, and giving away copies of Dealing with Dragons and Searching for Dragons (US only) and 4 swag-packs of a handful of misc. fantasy bookmarks etc. (INT).

So go check that out if you haven’t!

You have until Monday night! (Sept. 16, 2019, 11:59 pm Central.)

2.5: I’m not dead

So yes, that’s the news I wanted to share, and otherwise, I’m not dead, I’m (sorta) reading, and I will try to be back soonish with some fun bookish posts again! I’ve been recovering from a crazy summer, what can I say. XD (And obsessively posting on my Bookstagram every day for a few months now, which mayyy be distracting me from blogging. Just a little. :P)

Did you vote? Enter the giveaway? And are you ready for Fall yet? (Please go away, 100 degree Texan summer.) I hope you’re having a bookish end-of-summer! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Book Ishness! (Feb. 2019)

Happy Groundhog Day!

Time for a look at all the book ishness this month! Things I read in January (featuring micro reviews!), my February TBR nightstand, and book releases and other fun!

I’m pretty sure ALL the books are releasing this month, though. O_O

FEBRUARY RELEASES

Alphabetical by author . . . (Find them on Goodreads HERE.)

  • Receive – Sarah Addison-Fox — The final book in the Stormers Trilogy! I loved book one, and this reminds me I should hasten to read book 2 which is patiently awaiting me on my Kindle app!
  • Honor: A Quest In – Kendra E. Ardnek — Another Bookania book, featuring Robin Hood!
  • Whispers from the Depths – C.W. Briar — Don’t know a lot about this one but it’s from Uncommon Universes Press and features the sea!
  • To Court a Queen – H.L. Burke — Watching the author write this one via snippets on Facebook has been so fun. I’m excited to read about a knight and a cat-fairy!
  • Castle on the Rise – Kristy Cambron — Sequel to The Lost Castle, this is set in Ireland and the first book was gorgeous, so I know what I’m getting from the library next chance I get . . .
  • The Warrior Maiden – Melanie Dickerson — Hagenheim plus Mulan!
  • If Wishes Were Curses – Janeen Ippolito — I don’t read a lot of urban fantasy (silly, really, since I write it from time to time) but I’m cautiously excited about this one . . . 😀
  • In the Land of the Everliving – Stephen R. Lawhead — This reminds me I should read book one of this series which came out last year!
  • The Blood Spell – C.J. Redwine — I don’t know a lot about this but it’s a Cinderella retelling and I “met” the author at a Facebook party recently. I’m curious about this one! (She’s also going to be teaching at Realm Makers. I’m not 100% sure I’ll be able to go but I’m so so hoping!)
  • King’s Ward – E. Kaiser Writes — This sounds super fun and I’ve enjoyed this author’s work before!

Not Pictured

  • Run – Kyle Robert Shultz — Crockett and Crane short story coming to Patreon in February; I just read this one and it’s funny and super spooky! :O
  • Daughter of the River – Catherine Jones Payne — More mermaids!
  • Flare – J.M. Hackman — Sequel to Spark, which is on my TBR!

I TOLD you everything was coming out this month! :O

OTHER FEBRUARY NEWS

Second Son Readalong

The Second Son readalong is continuing so if you want hop in there’s always time! Check out the info HERE!

#FantasyMonth

You can check out all the fantastic Fantasy Month goings-on HERE! I’m not officially joining in on the posts and stuff (#becauselife) but I hope to join in on this fun #FantasyMonth hashtag game! (Either on social media or as a blog tag. Which do you think is more fun?)

Giveaway

Check out Allison Tebo’s giveaway for young readers! Closes on Valentine’s Day.

MY FEBRUARY NIGHTSTAND

Here’s what I’d love to read this month, though of course I have no idea how many of these I’ll actually make it through. XD

  • The Book of Lost Tales 2 and The King’s Scrolls are for my personal challenge to read one book in each of these series per month. (Don’t tell but I’m not quiiiite done Lost Tales 1, but I’m close so I’m putting this one in. ;))
  • Second Son is a reread aloud for the readalong. Really enjoying it!
  • In the Shadow of Croft Towers is a review book so that one is up soon!
  • Rothana is the Fellowship of Fantasy bookclub read for February and I am excited! (Also terrified, but hey.)
  • Beneath the Haunting Sea I snagged from the library because I adored this author’s Echo North. I don’t have time to read it but I’m going to MAKE time because I need it in my life! ❤
  • The Gilded Wolves I also libraried and am joining the Fantasy Readalong with Gillian Adams and Jill Williamson on Instagram. (@fantasyreadalong)

There are ebooks I should read too, and I always have oodles of other books staring puppy-eye-pleadingly at me, so we’ll see what the month’s reading actually looks like — especially since I doubt I will have time to even read all of THESE! But I’m going to try, and I’m excited for all the awesome books, and will be happy with whatever I do get to read! 🙂

Any of these on your lists? Which one should I read first?? And what are you reading this weekend?

(If you’d like to join in on Nightstand Books, you can do so here.)

MY READING NEWS

January Reads

  1. Mirrors and Pearls by Lea Doue — Snow White with dragons! Fun novella. 4 stars
  2. A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones — Elio! BUTTER PIES!! 5 stars
  3. On Stories by C.S. Lewis — Some excellent essays on books and writing, mixed in with some I didn’t “get” much. (When he talks about books I haven’t read, it can be difficult to follow.) I love his style and profound thoughts on writing and story! 5 stars
  4. One Flew Over the Gryphon’s Nest by Kyle Robert Shultz — Short Beaumont and Beasley story featuring Nick and co. being psychoanalyzed at an insane asylum, in audio-drama form. So fun! XD 5 stars
  5. My Fault by R.J. Conte — I needed a random fluffy ebook novella and this was that but had surprising deeper, darker themes as well. Picked it up because the author’s a Realmie. Not my usual genre but kept me absorbed. 3 stars
  6. Resistance by Jaye L. Knight — Yes, I FINALLY read this! XD I already felt like I had, since I’ve been following the series forever (and my sis tells me about them) but hadn’t actually gotten through it. Yes, I really like Rayad and Jace and co. Minor quibbles but really enjoyed it! Felt kinda classic. ^_^ 5 stars
  7. The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien — GORGEOUS. Loved Alan Lee’s illustrations, Tolkien’s writing at various stages (so cool!), and Christopher Tolkien’s commentary. Bittersweet as the last one he’s planning to put out. 5 stars
  8. Beast in the Machine by E.B. Dawson — Enchanting Beauty and the Beast short tale with a dash of sci-fi and a spirited heroine. LOVED the descriptions! Read an ARC so I’ll give a full review at some point. ^_^ 4 stars
  9. The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame — Re-read. I say read but it was an audiobook. I still think it’s one of the most fun little tales EVER! I could be biased due to the audiobook’s fabulous British accents. XD But I LOVE the Dragon! And the Boy, and St. George. And all the shenanigans. 😀 5 stars
  10. Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones — It was okay. More of a picture book, actually, and one really shouldn’t attempt to illustrate DWJ. Interesting though! 3 stars

So there you are! All the Book Ishness! Sorry I kind of disappeared off the face of the earth. *cough* I’ve had internet issues and lacking motivations and other fun stuff like that. 😛 Also, another reason I keep forgetting to blog here is sharing bookish stuff on Instagram. But I’ve missed blogging so hopefully I can get back to it! ❤

What are you reading? And are you excited about any of these? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! 🙂

In Bookish News: September 2018

Hi everyone!

It’s time for bookish news, including fantasy-character-book-awards happening right now, September book releases, and bookishness I’ve been up to (a.k.a. what I’ve been reading and August’s book haul and possibly a nightstand).

SEPTEMBER RELEASES

There were a lot of books in August, but fewer this month. (…Most likely because most of them are coming out in October. O_O) But here are a few I’m excited about! 🙂

  • Armor of Aletheia by Ralene Burke (technically this was the end of August, but hey) — This sounds like an awesome fantasy story — and by a fellow Realmie, too! I’m always up for an outcast princess and a bounty hunter hero sent after her… 😀 I’m excited to read it. 🙂 And I love the purple!
  • Kate’s Conundrum by Sarah Holman (September 1) — Wait, didn’t a Kate book just come out a few months ago, you ask? Yes it did, but there’s another one already, I’m SO STOKED about this story! I love the Kate’s Case Files books. 😀 (Plus, the cover makes me happy.)
  • Magnolia Summer by Melanie Dickerson (September 5) — This just came out yesterday and it’s a Zorro-esque historical romance set in Alabama! I’m so curious about it and it’s GORGEOUS! (Plus, it’s Melanie’s first self-published book, and the very first book she wrote, so that’s cool.)
  • I also hear a rumor of the second book in the Green Princess trilogy by H.L. Burke possibly releasing this month… Because she’s a writing machine. 😉 Which reminds me that I’m excited to read the FIRST book in that series… ahem. 😛

The Silmaril Awards

The Silmaril Awards are back!

You can learn more about them here at the shiny new official website, but basically it’s a fan-voted just-for-fun award to choose the best characters from fantasy literature, in different categories.

Nominations are happening right now! so you can check out the list of categories to nominate HERE! And you can drop by my own post, where I’m hosting the Wisest Counselor (a.k.a. best mentor-type characters) award — and leave a comment nominating your favorite wise fantasy characters! 🙂

Nominations are only open a couple more days (September 7 is the last day) before moving on to the voting round, so make sure you get in your nominees and second those already nominated!


August Book Haul

I wasn’t going to get many books after my Realm Makers book escapades, but a Bryan Davis sale happened, and I won a couple books (the top two — thanks to the author), and I last-minute suddenly went to a library sale (because absurdly-cheap-books — yay!) sooo I got a few. *nervous laughter*


August Reads

As always, you can find links to these HERE on Goodreads.

This was The Month of the Re-Read, apparently. I re-read many things.

Re-reads

  • Cart and Cwidder + Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones — It was so much fun re-reading these. 🙂 Which reminds me, I need to pop over to the DWJ Goodreads group and squeal about these, since the Dalemark Quartet is our summer bookclub read… Can’t wait to read the next two!
  • Magician’s Ward – Patricia C. Wrede — I finally read the first in the series, so of course I had to re-read this one, and Mairelon is still AWESOME. I love Regency Fantasy. 😀
  • Right Ho, Jeeves – P. G. Wodehouse — I’ve been audiobooking this one for awhile, listening in snatches while on walks or doing mindless chores like laundry, because my new phone means I can LISTEN TO THINGS and I’m so happy. Anyway, this was delightful and hilarious as always, and Jeeves and Bertie are CLASSIC. 😀

New Small Reads

  • Windswept – Sarah Delenah White — SO MUCH ADORBZ. AND FEELZ. And I loved it. (It’s by the author of Halayda. Of course I loved it.)
  • Initiation – Grace Bridges — I read this in a handy pamphlet given to me by the author when I had a mentor appointment with her at Realm Makers. It was an intriguing short story and made me curious about her Earthcore series, featuring New Zealand superheroes. 🙂
  • East of the Sun and West of the Moon — This was a random picture book I read. Because I’ve been meaning to brush up on this fairytale. It mayyy or may not be squeezing its way into one of my WIPs? We shall see.

New Reads

  • Mairelon the Magician – Patricia C. Wrede — I finally read this one (which takes place before Magician’s Ward) and while I didn’t love it as much as its sequel, it was still delightful! And I finally got to learn how Kim and Mairelon met. 🙂 🙂 Regency fantasy is (still) awesome!
  • Fly Away – Patricia MacLachlan — I hardly ever read contemporary, but I LOVE this author. This book was adorable and sweet and just precious and let me hug it.
  • The Worth of a King – Kendra E. Ardnek — Really enjoyed this new fantasy release! You can check out my review if you missed it, but basically Prince Delaney is MY FAVORITE and I need a winged horse and a cream cake ASAP.

September Nightstand

I’m currently in the middle of reading:

  • Fawkes – Nadine Brandes (review book)
  • Cinder – Marissa Meyer (for fun)

Hoping to read soon:

  • Spice Bringer – H.L. Burke (Fellowship of Fantasy Bookclub book of the month for September)
  • The Orphan’s Wish – Melanie Dickerson (review book)

I’m also have two or three re-reads, I a couple of books to edit and one to beta-read, and there’s also a couple of ebook review books… All of which adds up to about a dozen books. So I’m definitely going to stay busy this month. XD (Even if it wasn’t looking like it was already going to be a crazy month… *wilts slightly*)

I also just finished re-reading The Beast of Talesend (glorious as ever) and listening to Worldbuilding From the Inside Out by Janeen Ippolito (thanks to the author for the free audiobook code!) and enjoyed it. Mini review on Goodreads here. I told you I’ve been enjoying audiobooks suddenly. 😉


Bookish giveaway coming soon

Oh! And I’ll be having a blogiversary on my other blog (5 years since I started blogging! :O) next week, and I’m going to be giving away booooks! So… watch for that. 😉


That’s what I have for you today. Let me know what you’re currently reading or any bookish things you’re excited for! Thanks for reading! 🙂

I’m Back! + Realm Makers Bookhaul + Bookish News! {August 2018}

Hello my page-dreamers!

It’s time to share ALL the bookishness that’s been up in my life while I’ve been… er… not blogging, and other bookish news!

Realm Makers & New Books

I’m finally back after being away from home and my blog for most of July, due to life and going to the Realm Makers conference, which was AMAZING. (I’ll hopefully put together a recap post on my other blog soon…ish.)

On the bookish front, I met SO many delightful authors and friends there, got a whole stack of books signed, and brought home way too many new books! (I jest. There is no such thing.)

July Book Haul

I got sooo many books at Realm Makers! (There are even 2 more not pictured in this photo; see below. XD)

I’m not going to list them aaall, but the ones I’ve read are Magicians’ Rivalry (I had to get the new cover, so I traded a pineapple for it… yes, that was a thing), and The Janus Elixir and The Hound of Duville (both of which I edited, so I may be biased, but they’re hilarious and awesome), and Healers and Warriors and Windswept, which I just finished! (All the books on the bottom row were given to me, save for the pineapple trade and Launch.) I’m SO excited to read all the new reads! ❤ It’ll just take me a gazillion years, is all. XD

Forgive the graininess of photo; hotel room lighting is not conducive to good pics. XD Flower by H.L. Burke (The Green Princess book 1), which I’m excited to read! And The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reeder, which I ADORED (as I may have mentioned. *cough*). Loved it so much I had to buy a paperback at Realm Makers, and I was so excited to meet the awesome author, who is so sweet! ❤ (These are separate from the rest of my Realm Makers bookhaul, because I’m lending them to one of my roomies so don’t have them home with me yet. :D)

And then my not-at-Realm-Makers book acquisitions of July. Blue and white covers with masks! TWINS! 😀 I LOVED Lightporter, which was a gift from the author (thanks, C.B.!) and Fawkes was a review book from Booklook Bloggers which I’m excited to read! 😀


Instagram!

Also, I’m now on Instagram! *gasp* You can check out my account where I’m mostly sharing Bookstagram posts… because books. 😉


July Reading

I… read a total of one book in July. I was just so busy! *collapses*

But I really enjoyed it, so that’s always good. 😉 I’m addicted to this series featuring modern times/fae/biblical stuff/fun characters — it’s one of my happy places. 🙂


August Nightstand

I hesitate to do a monthly nightstand these days because there’s never enough time to read the ones I want to, so what I’m planning to read always changes on a regular basis. XD But here are some books I’m excited to read… and if I get two or three of them read in August, I’ll be happy! 😛

Rereading King’s Warrior (aloud), and rereading The Dalemark Quartet, if I can find time! (Actually, I just read the first two in the series, so now I just have the second pair…) The rest are new reads (Renegade Skyfarer, The Wildcat of Braeton, Dagger’s Sleep, Divine Summons, Windswept — the one without a thick enough spine to see, but I just read it! — Dissociate, Orphan’s Wish, Fawkes) and I’m sooo excited for them all. 😀 Plus ebooks. But we won’t go there. 😉

(Also notice my cute owl bullet journal which was my constant companion for my Realm Makers trip.)


AUGUST RELEASES

Aren’t they so pretty?? I love the purpley-blue-green colors this month. XD (Links to their pages on Goodreads can be found here at least for now, if you’d like to investigate them further.)

  • The Wolf Prince by Claire M. Banschbach — I’ve been reading snippets of this on the author’s blog for ages now and I love her stories, so I’m ecstatic for it to release!
  • The Worth of a King by Kendra E. Ardnek — I’m on the blogtour for this one, so you’ll likely see a review from me near the end of the month. I’m excited to check it out!
  • The Fall of Gondolin by J.R.R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien — This one’s like the Beren and Luthien book from last year, a collection of the various drafts etc. of one particular story, from various stages of Tolkien’s writing, but I’m still really excited. And illustrations by Alan Lee. 😀
  • Fairest Son by H.S.J. Williams — A retelling of Snow White where the Snow White character is a Fae prince. I’m ABSURDLY excited for this novella! It looks delightful! 😀
  • Discerned by Sarah Addison-Fox — The 4th and final book in the Allegiance series — I can’t wait to read this conclusion! (Of course, I should probably read Dissociate, book 3, first. *cough*)
  • Tales of Ever After by the Fellowship of Fantasy authors — You probably already know about this one, since I was on the blog tour. XD But fairytale retellings! I’ve only read the three of the stories which I reviewed, but I’m looking forward to reading the rest.
  • Dancing and Doughnuts by Rachel Kovaciny — All I know about this one is that it’s a western retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, so basically I need it. XD
  • Spice Bringer by H.L. Burke — I’m addicted to this author (who writes way too fast, apparently, because I never seem to catch up on reading all her fun books!) and the cover is gorgeous and I need to meet the snarky fire salamander, Alk, who’s inhabiting the cover. So yeah. I’m excited for this shiny. 😀

Bookish Events in August

To celebrate Escape and Endurance releasing, Sarah Holman is doing an awesome Journey Through Taelis thing this month, with freebies, discounts, giveaways, and fun — so check it out! 🙂

It’s the last month for the Fellowship of Fantasy’s Summer Reading Quest for kids (here’s the link for older readers) and… I’ve hardly read anything for it because life, but hey. XD

The Last Motley by DJ Edwards (my review) is the book of the month for the Fellowship of Fantasy bookclub, so if you’re looking for a good read this August and if you do the Facebook thing, head on over there and check it out! 🙂


Whew! Okay, that’s the roundup of bookish things. I’m so happy to be back to blogging! What are you reading these days? And are you excited for any of the new releases I mentioned? Have you read any of the books in my bookhaul? (So excited!) Chat with me! Thanks for reading! 🙂