Top 10


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Books On My Summer 2022 To-Read List.

Currently, I’m reading the Hugo finalist novellas and novels. I can finish the novellas but probably not all the novels.

1, Becky Chambers: The Galaxy and the Ground Within

2, Aliette de Bodard: Fireheart Tiger

3, Adrian Tchaikovsky: Elder Race

4, Alix E. Harrow: A Spindle Splintered

5, Cat Valente: The Past is Red

6, Seanan McGuire: Across the Green Grass Fields

7, P Djeli Clark: A Master of Djinn

8, Ryka Aoki: Light from Uncommon Stars

9, Shelly Parker-Chan: She who Became the Sun

10, Arkady Martine: A Desolation Called Peace

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read.

It wasn’t easy but here’s what I came up with:

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Exciting

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Dark

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Cozy

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Funny

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Quick

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Twisty

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Adventurous

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Mysterious

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Solid

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Misunderstandings

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Top Ten Books With an Adjective In the Title.

This was a fun prompt. Here are some that I’ve read:

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Top Ten Dynamic Duos.

I chose to list two persons who work very well together. A few are lovers, most are best friends.

1, Batman and Robin

The obvious one, of course. 🙂

2, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson

One of the most iconic crimefighters in literature.

3, Robin Hood and Little John

Another famous duo who works very well together.

4, Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan by Lois McMaster Bujold

Both Aral and Cordelia are some of my favorite characters ever.

5, Irene Winters and Kai by Genevive Cogman

Our intrepid Librarian/spy and her apprentice aren’t on the best of terms in the first book, but grow to a very effective team during the series.

6, Vlad Taltos and Loiosh

Vlad is a witch, an assassin, and a thief. Loiosh is his familiar. They get out of many scrapes together and I love their sarcastic banter.

7, Temeraire and captain William Laurence

Temeraire is an exceptional dragon and is best friends with his captain Laurence. Of course, if a dragon can’t trust his or her captain, it’s very hard to work as a team.

8, Amelia Peabody-Emerson and Radcliff Emerson

The best archeologists and amateur detectives in the literary world.

9, Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin by Peter O’Donnell

The iconic best friends from the Modesty Blaise comics and books.

10, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett wrote such wonderful characters that it’s hard to choose just two. But I adore the witches. Granny and Nanny are old witches who are very set in their ways and opinions. They’re best friends who bicker quite a lot.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Ten Best Books I read in 2021

Goodreads makes lists like these quite a bit easier. 🙂

This year I gave only four reads five stars, three of them books and one comic book:

1, Mary Robinette Kowal: The Relentless Moon

The third book in the Lady Astronaut of Mars series. Even though it had a different (first-person) narrator, I enjoyed this alternate reality very much.

2, T. Kingfisher: Swordheart

A funny fantasy romance between a widow in her thirties and a man bound to a magic sword. It was just what I needed this year.

3, Becky Chambers: To be Taught if Fortunate

What could space exploration be like if people could change physically to adjust to the alien planets?

I had a lot more four star reads and it was more difficult to choose among them, but here goes:

4, Dan Koboldt: Domesticating Dragons

Dragons built on computer models and the eggs done with 3D printers, so that (wealthy) people can have their own pet dragons. A really fun read.

5, Genevieve Cogman: The Secret Chapter

The sixth book in the delightful Invisible Library series was just as much fun as the previous books. This time spy and librarian Irene and her partner Kai are roped into a heist.

6, Mur Lafferty: Six Wakes

Six clones are the crew of a starship that is carrying thousands of people to colonize a new planet. But something has gone terribly wrong. The clones awake in new bodies. Someone has murdered them all.

7, Lois McMaster Bujold: Masquerade in Lodi

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Bujold’s Pen and Desdemona fantasy novellas and this one was no exception. This time our heroes search for a man who is possessed by a demon.

8, Jeffrey Lang: Immortal Coil

I planned to reread more Star Trek: TNG books this year but only managed one. It focused on Data and his life after he installed his emotion chip.

9, Gwyneth Gibby ed.: Fiction River Presents: Time Travelers

This is an excellent collection of eight time travel stories even though not all of them are told from the point of view of the traveler. The stories have quite a lot of variety including a couple of race against the clock -stories, mysteries through times, people wrestling with their emotions, and a sweet Christmas love story.

10, T.L. Heinrich: Fire&Ice

The second book in the superhero series set in the year 1963 in the fictional Metro City. Colleen has fire powers and at night she stalks the streets as a vigilante. She is also the daughter of a mob boss and another mob boss has targeted her mother.

Comics this year had a lot of rereads which I enjoyed a lot.

Modesty Blaise is always an enjoyable action/adventure read.

Exiles reread was great and I will continue it next year.

She-Hulk reread was also very enjoyable.

But the best were the two volumes of Black Cat.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Freebie. I chose the Top Ten Bingeworthy tv series.

I did this a couple of years ago, but with all the new shows it’s time to look at them again.

1, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Especially the later seasons have continuous storylines so it’s good to binge them.

2, WandaVision

This series is only 9 episodes long and has a pretty intense storyline.

3, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

This is a more traditional Marvel superheroic show than WandaVision. If you’re a fan of the MCU, it’s definitely worth watching.

4, Legends of Tomorrow

One of the most fun of the superhero series.

5: Star Trek: Discovery

Each season has a distinctive storyline.

6, Love, Death, and Robots

This animated series is episodic. But the episodes are so short that it’s easy to binge.

7, Stargirl

I recently watched the first season and while the main characters are teenagers, it’s not as much a teen show as I feared. I enjoyed it a lot.

8, His Dark Materials

Based on Philip Pullman’s trilogy, this series has several storylines going at the same time.

9, Cloak and Dagger

This is a great adaptation of the Marvel comic book series, although the main characters are again teenagers.

10, the Expanse

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Top Ten Favorite Book Settings.

I have lots of favorite settings, it was hard to choose just ten.

1, Libraries
Libraries actually aren’t very common, outside of mysteries. Two of my favorite libraries are Dream’s Library in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book and the Invisible Library which exists between alternate realities in Genevieve Cogman’s fantasy series. Dream’s Library contains not just every book written but also the ones dreamed about while the Invisible Library has almost all books from dozens of alternate worlds.

2, Space
I love space opera. Lots and lots of books and series are set in space ships, not the least the various Star Trek and Star Wars books. Also, Becky Chamber’s Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is set on a spaceship, the Wayfarer. Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Diving into the Wreck has a main character who dives old spaceships.

3, Magical cities
Lots of urban fantasy feature real-life cities with magic or magical creatures, but lots of books also have purely imagined cities, such as Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs and Roger Zelazny’s Amber series.

4, Historical London
Another city which is used quite a lot in books. I love Marie Brennan’s Onyx Court series which starts with Midnight Never Come. In this series, there’s a faerie court underneath London.

5, Alternate worlds
Another very broad subject. My favorites include Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos series, where elves (called Dragaerans) rule the world and humans are second-class subjects, and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

6, Mars
No matter if the setting is fictional, a far future, or near-future Mars I’ve always been fascinated with it. I love Edgar Rice Burroughs’ planetary romance Barsoom and also Andy Weir’s the Martian.

7, Parallel Worlds
I love parallel worlds stories in SF shows but they’re far rarer in books. Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library books has alternate versions of worlds but not so much characters. V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic has four parallel worlds which are quite different from each other.

8, Alien Planets
Another setting that covers a lot of books and depending on the planet, the reading experience is quite different. Martha Wells’ All Systems Red is set on a rather hostile planet.

9, Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt has fascinated me since I was a child. One of my favorite murder mystery series in Egypt is Lynda S. Robinson’s Lord Meren series which starts with Murder at the Place of Anubis.

10, Time travel
Not really a setting but I love time travel stories, even when they’re cheesy. Connie Wills’ To Say Nothing of the Dog or How We Found the Bishop’s Bird Stump At Last is one of my favorite comedies and mostly set in Victorian England. On the other hand, Forever War by Joe Haldeman has some profound things to say about war and human nature.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Books Guaranteed to Put a Smile On Your Face

This could be nothing but Terry Pratchett books, but there are other very funny writers, too. Also, humor is tricky. One person’s laugh-out-loud books will have another frowning. So here are some of mine.

1, Terry Pratchett: Wyrd Sisters

If you like quirky older women as the main characters and have even a passing knowledge of MacBeth, this book will most likely make you laugh out loud. Several times.

2, T. Kingfisher: “The Clockwork Boys” and the second part “The Wonder Engine”

A forger, a fallen paladin, a young cleric, and an assassin are forced on a quest to save their land. Hilarity ensues.

3, Jasper Fforde: The Eyre Affair

Thursday Next is a literary detective. If you like the idea of people able to climb into a book, do yourself a favor and read it. It’s great fun.

4, Steven Brust: Jhereg

Vlad Taltos and his sarcastic familiar Loiosh banter throughout the series. Vlad lives in a world where the elves, called Dragaerans, rule the world and humans are second-class citizens, at best. Vlad is an assassin, but he grows a lot during the series.

5, Genevieve Cogman: the Invisible Library

Irene is a junior Librarian, spy, and secret agent for the Library between parallel worlds. Her mission is to save books from various worlds. To do that, she often has to use cover identities and get into places where she shouldn’t be.

6, Connie Willis: To say nothing of the dog or how we found the Bishop’s Birdstump at last

Ned Henry is an Oxford historian who has done too many time jumps between the 1940s and the current day searching for a bishop’s bird stump from the ruins of Coventry Cathedral. Because of the too many jumps, he’s suffering from a severe time lag which causes among other things “tendency to maudlin sentimentality, like an Irishman in his cups or a Victorian poet cold-sober”, dizziness, difficulty in distinguishing sounds, and blurry vision. The cure is two weeks of bed rest. Unfortunately, it does not look likely that Ned will get that.

7, Andy Weir: The Martian

Mark Watney was left accidentally behind on Mars. What might save him are potatoes and his sense of humor.

8, A Lee Martinez: Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain

Mollusk’s hobbies include inventing new technology and conquering worlds. He conquered Terra with mind control but ended up tinkering with their problems until he realized that his presence brought more harm than good to the poor planet. Then, he stepped down as the Warlord of Terra but the mind controlled Terrans still practically worship him. Naturally, he has a lot of enemies outside of Terra.

9, John Scalzi: Redshirts

If you’re familiar with Star Trek, this book that stars the junior members of a rather strange starship, might very funny to you.

10, Elizabeth Peters: Crocodile on the Sandbank

The Amelia Peabody series is set in Victorian times. Amelia and her family are Egyptologists and amateur detectives. The books are fast-paced and fun.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Secondary/Minor Characters Who Deserve More Love.

I tend to love secondary characters, so it was hard to name just ten. Some writers also write such interesting characters that I had to name just one character per writer. Otherwise, the list would be just full of Bujold, Brust, and McGuire’s characters. Of course, many of the series I read have multiple POV characters. I feel that in those series most of the interesting characters have their POVs. But not all, of course.

I’ve also included characters from myths and legends. Especially women characters have starred in their own books in recent years. For example, there are several series from the POV of Guinevere, Morgan Le Fay, and Maid Marion/Marian. But some minor characters, whom I’ve enjoyed a lot, haven’t been reimagined much or at all.

1, Sethra Lavode by Steven Brust

In the Vlad Taltos series, the Dragaerans live a long time but Sethra is an immortal vampire so she has witness most of the Dragaeran Empire’s history. Yes, there is a book named ”Sethra Lavode” but she wasn’t the main character. (And now I want to reread the series…)

2, Learned Hallana from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Hallowed Hunt

Bujold has many interesting minor and secondary characters. Miles’ cousin Ivan already has his own book and so has Ista who as a minor character in Curse of Chalion and then the main character in Paladin of Souls. Hallana seems anothere fascinating character. She’s a physician, a sorceress, and a divine. She’s also happily married and has three children.

3, Luidaeg, the Sea With by Seanan McGuire

McGuire is another writer who creates fascinating minor characters. I’d love to read about Tybalt the Cat King (who actually has a short story) or about Toby’s ”twin sister” May and what it was like to be a night-haunt. But the character who I really want to read about is the Sea Witch. Another immortal character who has witnessed a lot of history. She must have fascinating tales to tell.

4, Catherine Harcourt by Naomi Novik in the Temeraire series

One of the few female captains who command giant fighting dragons, Harcourt was promoted to admiral and the old boys’ club didn’t know how to deal with that. No doubt her life hasn’t been easy but I’d love to read more about her.

5, Paloma by Kristine Kathryn Rusch in the Retrieval Artist science fiction -series

This series has multiple POV characters. But I wanted a POV from Paloma, the Retrieval Artist who trained the main character Miles Flint. She an elderly woman and a sort of private detective.

6, A fae character in Genevive Cogman’s Invisible Library series

In this series, dragons are creatures of order while the fae are creatures of chaos and each fae is an impersonation of an archtype. I think it would be fascianting to see the world through the eyes of a fae.

7, Lord Vetinari by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett was also very good at giving interesting side characters their own books. But Ankh-Morpokh’s Patrican Vetinari remained on the sidelines. I supposed his own story would have involved lots of sighing and headshaking while the other characters were messing things up.

8, Circe by Homer in the Odyssey

She’s not described kindly, as is usual for the times. She’s a minor goddess and a sorceress. She was also independent in a time when women were supposed to be under the rule of her father or husband so so many writers use her as an example of the bad things that happen when women are given power. Madeleine Miller has written a book about her but I haven’t read it yet. I enjoyed Miller’s Song of Achilles, so I’m hoping to get my hands on ”Circe”.

9, Little John in the Robin Hood mythos

Robin, Marian, and Will Scarlet have starred in several books in recent years. But I haven’t seen any story from the POV of Robin’s loyal second hand man.

10, Inspector Lestrade by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It would have been very interesting to see the great detective from the POV of the police.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, the topic is Top Ten Books in my summer TBR list.

Of course, I want to read and listen all books in my TBR so it’s a bit difficult to choose among them. But right now I really want to read:

1, Steven Brust: the Good Guys

I just started listening this one. It’s urban fantasy but so far hasn’t the humor that Brust’s Vlad Taltos books have.

2, William Goldman: the Princess Bride

Of course, I love the movie and I’ve wanted to read the book for a while now.

3, Lois McMaster Bujold: Masquerade at Lodi

I’m shamefully behind reading the delightful Penric and Desdemona novellas and I need to correct that.

4, Leigh Brackett ed.: The Best of Planet stories

This short story collection has been in my shelves for years so it’s finally time to tackle it.

5, Scott Lynch: the Lies of Locke Lamora

Another book which I’ve owned for a long time. I’ve heard so much good things about this whole series, but on the other hand, it’s apparently still not finished.

6, Age of X-Man comics

These seem like a fun alternate reality so I really want to more of them.

7, Michael White: Equinox

Another long-time TBR book. It seems like a Dan Brown type of thriller but set in Oxford.

8, Daniel H. Wilson: The Clockwork Dynasty

I bought this a while back from Audible sale and it sounds like a very interesting steampunk book.

9, Mur Lafferty: Six Wakes

The other book from the Audible sale and I really want to listen to this SF book, too.

10, Zara Altair: the Grain Merchant

Her historical mystery stories, the Argolicus series, are set in Middle Ages when the Ostrogoth ruled Rome. The newest book sounds very interesting!

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