TTT: New-To-Me Authors of 2017

For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

Happy New Year! Last year I experimented a lot on different authors, especially because of the amount of audiobooks I borrowed and listened to. I also didn’t stray too far from my favorites, and ended up reading a fair share of familiar authors as well. What I did like is that regardless of what I’d read earlier on in the year, a number of authors wrote their stories so lovely that I wanted more. Here are just a lovely few!

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2017

Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes) – Admittedly, I was very dry on high fantasies in 2017, which is sad, because some really epic stories are going on in the high fantasy/epic fantasy genre that I really need to pick up more on that front. I may have yelled at Sabaa a bit in my mind (and maybe once or twice on Twitter…), but AEitA was SO GOOD.

Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season) – Not sure why I enjoyed her debut book so much, because strip the worldbuilding away and it’s almost a typical YA story. That said, clairvoyant magic system. Yaaaaspls.

Katherine Arden (The Bear and the Nightingale) – Arden has certainly built up my kind of historical fairy-tale setting! Arden’s TBatN and its sequel The Girl in the Tower remind me of something Juliet Marillier would write about if Marillier wrote about Russian fairy tales. All the same, I love both authors now, so yay!

Raina Telgemeier (Sisters) – Telgemeier is my new Satrapi, except I actually related more to Sisters, which is, as its moniker would have it, a story that is exactly about sisters. I’m pretty keen on reading the rest of Telgemeier’s graphic novel series, because she really did make me laugh.

Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking) – HERE COMES THE GENERAL (RISE UP!). Been meaning to read through her work, and her passing early in 2017 propelled me into getting a copy of at least one of her biographies. Loved the voice, loved her humor.

Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine) – I was mostly on the fence for some of the volumes of this series, but I will admit that the writing is absolute crack and altogether ingenious. Loved the illustration as well in his TW+TD series, but when it came down to writing in so many different voices, Gillen has many beat.

Vikas Swarup (Q&A) – Loved the perspective in this book. I read this as an audiobook, so it was easier to imagine the setting (though to be honest, imagining the setting wasn’t hard when most of your head was ingrained in Slumdog Millionaire…). I really liked the story, though.

Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See) – All the Light We Cannot See is Doerr’s highest-rated book on Goodreads, but I might have to try his other books. That said, I had a love-hate relationship with his ending in AtLWCS, so if his other books end in a similar manner, I might just nope out of it. He writes beautifully, in any case.

Vic James (Gilded Cage) – This was one of the NetGalley ARCs that I thoroughly enjoyed reading in 2017. I will definitely be interested in reading more from this author, and I really should get myself a copy of the second book somehow!

Margaret C. Sullivan (The Jane Austen Handbook) – Enjoyed this book! I also realized I actually did read another book of hers, so she’s technically not new to me, but we won’t really count the other Jane Austen book, since it was mainly one about covers! So there.

How about you? Which authors would you like to read more of that you read in 2017?

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2017 End of Year Book Survey

Hah, I had mentioned to my friend that I’d try to binge-read over my break, but that clearly didn’t happen! All the same, I at least got through a decent amount of books this year, and had a great run at the beginning of 2017 as far as five-star reads went. I’m still very determined to read a lot more, and while I don’t do many resolutions, at least setting and making my GoodReads goal has been a steady consistency!

Normally I do two reflection posts, so this one would be the first. Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner has been hosting this End of Year Book Survey for a few years now, and it’d be my fourth time getting into the groove. This is basically where I highlight some fun bookish facts about what I’ve read in 2017.

2017 READING STATS

Number Of Books You Read: 68
Number of Re-Reads: 6
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

BEST IN BOOKS

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

Stand Alone:

Series:

Mid-Series:

Graphic Novel:

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The extra 300 pages of absolutely new plot threw me off, really. I’d still recommend the trilogy, though!

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

I did enjoy the book, even amidst my giggling critique of its new adulty-ness. All the same, it was entertaining overall.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Because women in power. Yaaaaaas.

5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

Best Series Started in 2017:

Best Sequel Started in 2017:

Best Series Ender in 2017:

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

SABAA TAHIR

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Read this pretty early on, so would need to reacquaint myself again when I pick up the second book.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

Shoutout to Dan De Los Santos for illustrating two of the three favorite covers on my list!

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

HELENE AQUILLA

It was going to a girl who was badass. As the only female trainee and one of the top four competitors in the Black Mask training academy, she gets my vote.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

It wasn’t life-changing, but it definitely was thought-provoking. And highly disturbing.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?

Finishing the entire series was an “About Time” moment, really.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest:

(11 pages)

Longest:

(1,049 pages)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Words cannot describe my reaction to the end of this book. I cannot.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Lila Bard and Kell Maresh (A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab)

Ohhhh yes. I think those who’ve read and ship these characters are totally thinking about a literal ship in which the ship…ships? Teehee. Teach me your Antari ways, Kell.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Bran and Mercy (Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs)

Bran is Mercy’s adoptive father, and also the scariest werewolf alpha in the western hemisphere. That said, their relationship is a tricky one, and I always love the moments where Bran shows just how much he’d go to protect his surrogate coyote daughter.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Elias Veturius (An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir)

Just what is it about cold-trained killers that makes me crush on them in literature? Seriously, though, other than a hard body, Elias has a good heart and a moral compass. It kind of makes him the antithesis of an assassin, but there ya go.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Nothing like soul-crushing goodness to put your life in perspective.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Don’t get me started again.

Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

Well, not biased or anything…but Fableulous Retellings Podcast is lovely…

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

My blubbering about A Conjuring of Light was pretty much the culmination of the entire year.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Haven’t been getting into much discussion lately, but I’ve been pretty bad with blogging and following other blogs. I really need to change that this year.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

While I didn’t get it completely done, I did adore The Reading Quest activity that Aentee created.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Gosh. Honestly, when I heard that I got another short story in Dreaming Robot Press.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Work really picked up this year, especially when I had to transition out of a not-so-stressful little-voldie environment to full-on stress mode by February. Honestly, most of my blogging ended up in the summer, during my breaks.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Interestingly enough, it’s a toss-up between my review for A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Maybe the Fableulous Retellings reposts, though I won’t say not to love anywhere else.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Storiarts doesn’t have as many book selections as Lithographs, but it’s worth pointing out because their fingerless gloves are adorbs!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

My Goodreads goal got done! I would have missed it by 3 books, but thankfully, the audiobook spree was going strong.

Can’t say anything else about any of my other reading challenges. I really need to commit to those someday…

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Read more. Yep.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Snort. I’ve been really bad at reading my ARCs right now I can’t bring myself to answer this.

How did your bookish year go?

Book Traveling Thursdays: The Little Prince

Book Traveling Thursday is a book meme that involves book covers from different parts of the world. Rules include picking a book according to the theme and then posting the original covers, covers from your country, your favorite covers, and your least favorite covers. This week, the theme is: “A Book You Recently Read That Was Translated From Another Language.”

This was a bit harder for me to find. I don’t typically read translated works because I often take issue with full-book translations, however, I’m not opposed to foreign stories. Fairy tales tend to be the best translated stories ever. But anyway, one of the most recent translations I’ve read is my best friend’s favorite book ever: The Little Prince. Or, really Le Petit Prince.

Original Cover

This story is undoubtedly a classic, and the original French was first published in 1943.

US Covers

There are a couple more editions in the US, including a special anniversary release, but these were definitely some of my favorites of the US covers.

Favorite Covers

Most of the translations pretty much stick to the illustrations within the original book, but I love the color and look of the Romanian version, and the artwork in the Russian version is so pretty!

Least Favorite Cover

Too much happening in this Spanish version of The Little Prince.

The Reading Quest: A Sort of Wrap Up

I think if we limited this to the amount of times I’ve Instagrammed #thereadingquest I probably would have done well. As is…I got kind of overwhelmed with work and reading other things off my TBR that my quest pretty much failed to launch. As a Mage, anyway. When I changed my character to a Bard (because heck, if I’m still in the character customization zone I can totally change my character class without penalty, right?), I at least felt a little bit accomplished, lol!

Last month, I’d signed up for The Reading Quest challenge hosted by Aentee @ Read at Midnight. It was such a cool challenge that I was so enthused about it that I made myself a huge list that accounted for all of the quests and side quests on the board, knowing that I probably wouldn’t hit many in a month but hell, might as well fill up the board with possibilities!

In the end, I took some bookstagram pics, I read a bit, I crossed a few things off my TBR, and I realized I practically meandered into sidequest land. Which, if you know me, shouldn’t be surprising. I’m the type of girl who plays games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim and starts deviating from the main quest the minute I’m given freedom to roam. (“Alright, let’s head down to the settlement to meet the–OH THERE’S SOMETHING SHINY DOWN IN THE WATER LET’S JUMP IN!”)

So I changed my class. Beep boop. And the rest is history?

In summary, I read:

Book with TV/Movie AdaptationThe Killing Joke by Alan Moore
Mini-GameMonstress, Vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu
GrindDreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

I started reading Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie as a Buddy Read but my friend and I realized we were not getting into the novel so decided just to DNF it, so I suppose it doesn’t count. I also started Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch but it wasn’t likely that I’d get it finished anytime soon. Well, maybe by next week, who knows.

So okay, I went up 20 experience points? All the same, it was pretty fun to play, and it definitely gave me excuse to take pretty pics of my books!

What do I do with the rest of the list, you ask? Well, I suppose I can try to keep track of it as a TBR for the foreseeable future. I mean, I’m pretty behind on most of my reading challenges minus the Goodreads one, so…who knows.

In any case, how did you guys do?

TTT: Fictional Fathers

For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here,

So last month, I’d done a TTT in commemoration to Mother’s Day and the book moms I’d encountered in stories. With Father’s Day also coming up this month, I thought it was high time to talk about the fictional dads as well! Like fictional mothers, the fathers in the stories I’ve read are also pretty nonexistent. Half the time, we get the deadbeat dads who want nothing to do with their offspring, and on the rare occasion that they do, it’s because down the line, they want to use their kid for a greater purpose.

And then, of course, there are the father figure type role models, which are cool, in a sense. And I do want to mention them at some point, but I can wait to do so at a later time on a category about mentors and parental figures. This TTT is for the fictional fathers who’ve raised fictional daughters and sons.

Top Ten Fictional Fathers

Arthur Weasley – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling – Well, honestly, I couldn’t include Mrs. Weasley without her other half! Rarely do we see both parents playing positive and amazing roles in books, so honestly, the Weasley clan is lucky (for the most part…hem hem). I took to Arthur much easier than I took to Molly when I read the series, and for good reason. He’s unambitious but brilliant in his own way, and he’s personable and enthusiastic. He’s definitely one of the father figures in Harry’s life, but let’s not forget he’s managed to rear five individualistic boys as well! (And on a related note, my heartstrings almost snapped when he got bitten by Nagini in the fifth book!)

Easier said than done, Arthur.

Mr. Murry – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – The Murry children are exceptional, and all of them are mathematically and scientifically gifted. I’d say it’s in the genes, considering both Mr. and Mrs. Murry are geniuses in their fields, but I believe half of it is also how the kids were reared. Meg, in general, is practically mathematically inclined, and her love of the subject can be attributed to the fact that her father often played math games with her to bolster her learning. That’s A+ in my book.

George Cooper – Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce – George and his mother weren’t exactly living the high life, and even as a healer, mom wasn’t earning respectable wages. So George, being the young man–well, young man chosen by the Trickster–that he was, decided to go in the way of the criminal folk. The man was the bloody King of the Rogue for a good number of years until he’d decided things needed changin’. And that’s where Alanna and the crew came in. At the end of the Song of the Lioness Quartet, the thief-king turned a new leaf and became a nobleman spymaster, and he went ahead and taught his only daughter the tricks of the trade. Even with his feisty wife objecting quite a bit.

By the ever talented Minuiko.

Terciel – Sabriel by Garth Nix – I mean, this could go either way, to be honest. I didn’t think Terciel was very present in terms of his rearing Sabriel, and honestly, he was pretty deadbeat when it came to raising Lirael. However, for a man who’d been the only Abhorsen left during a tumultuous time, I think he tried his best to do right by his first heir. Sabriel did admire her father, and while he couldn’t physically make his way down to magic-less Ancelstierre, he’d occasionally send his spirit-form out in order to spend some time with his daughter. Which is a good thing, because his ass needed saving, and there was clearly only one woman who’d loved him enough to even bother looking for him.

Hans Hubermann – The Book Thief by Markus Zusack – Hans Hubermann! He and his wife were the adoptive parents of Liesl Meminger, and they were amazing. I will admit I am basing this off of the movie first, and then the audiobook of The Book Thief, but I mean, come on. How could anyone not love a father who teaches his adoptive daughter to read? And then proceeds to turn his basement to a mini-dictionary?

Maxim Maresh – A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – Here’s another father that kind of came off as standoffish and surly on first impression. Admittedly, it wasn’t until the beginning of the third book where I even changed my mind about the man. That said, he loves his family, and in his own way, he tried very hard to protect them. It was heartbreaking to see the ordeals he faced in the third book of Shades of Magic, though in a way, I was glad that it happened, if only because the Steel Prince came into action one more time.

Adam Hauptman – Moon Called by Patricia Briggs – Honestly, I could put Bran AND Adam on this list of fatherly werewolves (because honestly, Mercy was raised by the Marrok, and he is absolutely lovely as well). I went for Adam mostly because he’s got a human child, and he’s terribly fond and protective of her. The first book pretty much puts this out in the open when he goes ahead and brings down his fury on those who’d gone over to harm Jessie. His protective side shows up again in Iron Kissed in much the same extent, and you really don’t want to be on the receiving end of that anger.

Bigby Wolf – Fables: Vol. 18, Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham – Here’s another werewolf father! It’s interesting to see how Bigby changes throughout the series. At the beginning he’s pretty much the lone wolf with a powerful pull on the Fabletown community. By the time the Adversary arc comes to a close, he’s more than happy to give others the reins just so he can spend more time with his children. And honestly, with the group of kidds he has, it’s no wonder he chose to settle down! All the same, when his children get in trouble, Bigby–and his wife–is the first to spring to action in order to help save them. To a certain extent, that is, but uh, spoilers.

Mr. Bennet – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Yes, yes, of course I was going to put Mr. Bennet in here! If I was going to put his wife in the Mother’s Day TTT, I was going to have him down as well. Unlike Mrs. Bennet and her theatrics, I like Mr. Bennet for his cynicism. He does get as ridiculous as his wife, but hey, he tries. And he dotes on Lizzie, which is something.

Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – My high school life pretty much revolved around this book and how much I actually admired Atticus Finch. Of course, it also helped that the fantastic Gregory Peck had starred as Atticus in the classic To Kill a Mockingbird movie. But yes, it’s kind of easy to do so in the eyes of Scout, who pretty much venerated her father and respected his views.

Who are your favorite fictional fathers?