TTT: “Queen”ly Books

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I figure I should get back into the blogging business, and what better way than to get back on track with a Top Ten Tuesday list, amiright? This week, the topic is “Frequently Used Words in [_____] Titles” which made me think of the plethora of fantasy books I’ve seen lately that use “Queen” in their titles. So instead of highlighting ten words that get overused in titles, I decided to do ten books that have Queen in the title!

Ten Fantasy Books that use Queen in the Title

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows – This is probably one of the books that’s been on my TBR for the longest time. I just…haven’t gotten to it yet?

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi – Definitely one of the priority reads. I might even end up reading this for my and Meg’s Fableulous Retellings Podcast…

The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice – Read this book years back when I still had a thing for Anne Rice vampires. Wasn’t as great as Interview with a Vampire, but it was still good.

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa – I actually read the first book of the Iron Fey series, though to be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to read the rest.

Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings – Absolutely loved The Belgariad, so I’d recommend the series to high fantasy fans.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine – Another one that’s on my list to read. I’d given this to one of my voldies as a Christmas present, and she’d enjoyed it.

Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce – I actually liked Trickster’s Choice, but I haven’t read the sequel. Wasn’t too interested in knowing what happened to some of the characters, really.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – The more I think about this book, the more I believe this was only “meh” for me.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – Ugh. Sucky main character = nope.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – Enjoyed the first book a lot, but I haven’t honestly been catching up to this series. This is a favorite series of one of my voldies, though!

There are definitely more Queen-related titles out there, many of which are not fantasy books, but if I had to keep listing them, I’d never end this list!


TTT: Surprisingly Good Books

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Sometimes I read books that surprise me in a good way. It doesn’t really happen so often mostly because I tend to have high expectations with my books, and they either meet those expectations or not. (Oh, god, when did I become a book snob?! I SWEAR I’M REALLY NOT.) Occasionally, though, there are some books that pulled punches and knocked it out of the ballpark. So there ya go.

Top Ten Books That Were Surprisingly Good

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Contemporary new adult isn’t something I normally enjoy or read, but I had to pick this up because A) it spoke to me, and B) it’s by Rainbow Frelling Rowell, and I loved Carry On, so I had to try this book. No regrets there. Loved this almost as much as her book on gay wizards.

Gilded Cage by Vic James – With an overglut of dystopian YAs, why would we need another one? Gilded Cage was surprisingly good for a dystopian, but it’s also because there’s fantasy thrown in here, and several perspectives I actually enjoyed.

Speak Easy by Catherynne M. Valente – Okay, this one was a stretch. I figured I would enjoy this book, and I did. But I didn’t think I’d enjoy it that much. It definitely put Valente on a priority list for me, that’s for sure.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden – I will say I actually liked this book better than its predecessor, and that’s a surprise considering it’s the second and sequel of an already good book. This one had a lot more adventure, though, since for the most part, character intros were made and done with in The Bear and the Nightingale.

The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith – This is a sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Honestly, need I say more? I haven’t even read the first book before biting (hah!) into this one, but it was available on audiobook and I just had to borrow it! I will admit I didn’t take this seriously, but it was so well done.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – IS SO SAD THO. Really, it was poetic to listen to as an audiobook. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I thought I would, but I did up until the last quarter of the book. Then I just died inside and asked the world what I did to deserve such an ending. Sigh.

Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter – I find I’m picky with my urban fantasies. Many haven’t really appealed to me, which is a shame because I really do want to try as many as I can. They’re also pretty easy, quick reads. Faith Hunter in particular is pretty good at her craft. For some reason, I’ve actually enjoyed Blood of the Earth much more than Skinwalker, but she’s still an author I’d read more of!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Honestly, I don’t know why it had taken me so long to actually read this! Loved the book to pieces; it was a blast from the nostalgic past, and while I had misgivings about it, Whil Weaton’s audiobook narration clinched the deal. Surprisingly good, and I cannot wait for the movie.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – This was a book that I’d listened to on audiobook concurrently while I watched the show. So I can’t remember whether I’d read the final scenes first or watched them. Either way, I actually enjoyed this book. Maybe the fact that Sam Heughan plays Jamie Fraser helped. A helluva lot.

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger – Another urban fantasy new adult mash-up! And yeah, okay, quick read, somewhat silly, somewhat dramatic. But come on. It’s a book about bartenders who have superpowers based off of the type of cocktails they cook up and drink. I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would, clearly.

How about you? What books were surprisingly good?

TTT: Book Quotes

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I have done quote-related Top Ten Tuesdays before, but I specified them mostly through Terry Pratchett quotes and swoon-worthy quotes. So this time I’ll actually do my Goodreads favorites! I’ve been trying to save quotes up from books I absolutely adored, but it’s much harder to do when you get so invested in a book that you forget to take pictures or make note of what quote you really loved. Also, Goodreads doesn’t always have the one particular quote I want from a particular scene from a particular book…but I’ll make do.

I also limited quotes to one from each author, because then I might end up just doing a V.E. Schwab special or something…wait. That’s not an entirely bad idea…I’m going to save that for another quotes-related TTT!

Top Ten Book Quotes a la Goodreads



“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”

He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”

Cress by Marissa Meyer

There’s a lot of quotes that made me die a bit in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, and this one wasn’t half as funny, but it’s so. damn. true. I blame Cinder for everything. And I love her for it.

Elend smiled. “Oh, come on. You have to admit that you’re unusual, Vin. You’re like some strange mixture of a noblewoman, a street urchin, and a cat. Plus, you’ve managed–in our short three years together–to kill not only my god, but my father, my brother, and my fiancee. That’s kind of like a homicidal hat trick.”

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Elend is just full of snazzy things to say about awesome Vin.

Richard did not believe in angels, he never had. He was damned if he was going to start now. Still, it was much easier not to believe in something when it was not actually looking directly at you and saying your name.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

No list of quotes would be complete without a Gaiman quote. Honestly, it was between this and one from American Gods, but the AG one would have meant the use of profane things.

“I’ve looked at the world for quite a few years now and I’ve found that if I don’t laugh, I’ll probably end up crying.”

Demon Lord of Karanda by David Eddings

Silk is the bees’ knees! Again, there were plenty more fun things he’s said in the Belgariad, but this one has a grain of truth that still resonates with me. I laugh to prevent myself from crying over the world, too, Kheldar.

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Which brings me to this gem of a Douglas Adams quote. ‘Nuff said. I could do a special on his sayings, too.

Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Definitely another quote that’s stayed with me for years on end.

The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Pretty much the modern version of this is: “Fictional men have given me high expectations in romance!” True dat.

Once upon a time, the sky knew the weight of angel armies on the move, and the wind blew infernal with the fire of their wings.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

I love all of Laini Taylor’s “Once upon a time” openers in her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. This one was just extra poetic, which was beautiful.

“So you would have me throw Shazi to the wolves?”

“Shazi?” Jalal’s grin widened. “Honestly, I pity the wolves.”

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t use any of the other quotes I adored in Wrath, but I really liked this one.

“Things are or they are not, Vasya,” he interrupted. “If you want something, it means you do not have it, it means that you do not believe it is there, which means it will never be there. The fire is or it is not. That which you call magic is simply not allowing the world to be other than as you will it.”

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Magic is so much clearer now! Seriously, though, Morozko you old frost demon, you.

Was there a book quote that stayed with you for a while?

TTT: Forever Re-reads

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You know, it’s hard enough trying to get through my exponentially multiplying TBR shelf, and if I could reread every book I adored and liked and enjoyed over the 20-something years, I totally would. But that would take away from reading everything else, no? Sigh. Where’s that time turner when I really need it?

In any case, I have been in the mood for re-reads lately, mostly because I’m in the middle of Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce, and my golly gosh, reading about where it all began for Numair made me want to pick up The Immortals series to read all over again. Ugh. Must. Not.

Ten Books I Could Read Forever

Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce – Or just about every. damn. book about Tortall in the universe, really. Okay, maybe not, but judging from how worn out my paperback copies of Song of the Lioness and The Immortals series are, you could definitely tell which ones I’ve read over and over again.

Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab – I must have leafed through the three books over and over again, and after getting a collector’s edition of A Darker Shade of Magic, I ended up re-reading that from cover to cover, short stories included! There’s just so much about this trilogy that I love, and I cannot wait for more.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – While I do adore the rest of this trilogy, Poison Study does have a soft spot in my heart. It’s one of my favorite “girl turns into an assassin and is trained by her sexy mentor” trope (is that really a trope, because if it isn’t, IT SHOULD BE). No, seriously, Valek is lovely. And so is Yelena.

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson – I don’t know how often I really do re-read this series, but I have definitely skim-read the first book several times after I’d finished it. The third was a little more comprehensive and probably a lot more to take in, but Mistborn: The Last Empire is definitely worth returning to every so often.

The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh – Um. Duh. If the food didn’t keep bringing me back, it’s all the damn words Ahdieh uses to weave her tale.

Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs – My friend definitely has seen me go into a complete rut where all I did over a span of a weekend was read and reread random books from the Mercy Thompson series. At this point I must have read the third, fourth, and fifth books in the installment so many times I’ve lost count.

Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – These were just so much fun, and I could definitely pick these up again just to make my day even brighter. A lot of this series made me laugh and squee. There was a lot of squeeing involved, let me tell ya. Alright, maybe not, because we’d be here all day.

The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks – Another high fantasy that made it onto the list! And yes, I’d reread this over and over. I definitely have read The Way of Shadows several times now, including the first few chapters of its graphic novelization. It’s just such a great read.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – This list would be remiss without the series that started my rereading sprees. Harry Potter is definitely a staple in my household, and I honestly would be lying to you if I denied ever re-reading these books. I’m also pretty damn good at HP trivia, too, so that pretty much tells you how many times I’ve actually read the entire series. Well, books 1-5, that is.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Here’s a non-fantasy for ya! Oh yes, I still read this book constantly. Whenever I’m feeling nostalgic. Whenever I’m feeling romantic. Whenever life just sucks and you just want an Eliza Bennett to put Mr. Darcy in his place so that he becomes pliable to her whims and then she can snog the eff out of him much later (oh, Lizzy, I knew your intentions from the get-go, you saucy minx). Which reminds me, I may be due for another re-read of this soon.

What books could YOU re-read forever?

TTT: TBR Culling

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I actually DNFed quite a number of books last year, and I also got into the habit of periodically culling my TBR on Goodreads, so you’d think this would be easy peasy. But that’s the thing with DNFs and list deletions: they disappear. Ah well. Now this is good excuse to do my year’s worth of culling on Goodreads!

Ten Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis – This was just one of those books you get disinterested in after taking a chance on the movie. It just didn’t grab me, to be honest.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – This was just one of those books most everyone read and loved and this was something I probably should have read in high school. It’s been in my list since 2009, and chances are if I haven’t read it by now, I probably won’t.

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern – Not actually sure what got me interested in this book. It’s not the type of book I’d read willingly. Maybe because of the movie? But I don’t recall wanting to watch the movie either…anyway, it’s off my list now.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke – It took me years to realize I wasn’t going to read my copy of this book. So I sold it. I mean…I watched and enjoyed the TV series?

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse – Back in the day, I had this crazy fascination with the Holy Grail and Arthurian legends. I mean, I’m still pretty into Arthurian legends, but just not so much on the Holy Grail. There were so many other stories in Britannic lore that were interesting than some goblet purity test. I was kind of over the puzzle-solving phenomenon revolving the Holy Grail since Dan Brown overplayed it with The Da Vinci Code.

Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky – This sounded interesting when I started playing the game based off this book. I didn’t get very far, though, so my interest kind of waned. It is a pretty cool post-apocalyptic piece of fiction, though. Just not for me.

Momo by Michael Ende – I could probably finish reading this quickly, but eh. Maybe one day?

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong – I like me my urban fantasies, but I’m not quite sure why this was on my TBR. Well. Maybe it had to do with the fact that there are werewolves involved. Buuut, er, the fact that the MC is the ONLY female werewolf has the potential to bother me. Because many reasons I don’t want to get into. So no thanks.

Perdido Street by China Mieville – I have discovered that I’m not as into “weird” or “fantastic” fiction as I originally thought I’d be. It’s okay once in a while, but it’s not at the top of my priority to-read list.

Rook by Sharon Cameron – If I’m going to be reading another. damn. dystopian, it better be a really good one. As is, I’ve been iffy about this book because the reviews weren’t very kind with regards to its worldbuilding and pacing. And I haven’t been very fond of YA dystopians anyway, especially if we’re just going to recreate a part of history. Wouldn’t that just be writing speculative historical fiction then?! Sigh.

Well. That cut down my list of books by 10! Not that that helped much…considering how many I’ve added to the TBR again…