Top 5

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 Books to Give _____ as Gifts

— Create a recommendations guide for a person. Be creative with this. It can be simple such as “books for parents”, more elaborate like “books for Ravenclaws”, or expert level like “books for -insert your favorite fictional character here-“. You can even take out the category completely and have all 5 be suggestions for different types of people!

I chose books to give to a dragon lover as gifts

It’s, of course, possible that a dragon lover will already know these book but hopefully at least one will be new. 4 and 5 are for younger readers but I’m sure older reader can enjoy them, too.

1, Temeraire by Naomi Novik
The first book is His Majesty’s Dragon. Will Laurence is the captain of a sailing ship when he accidentally encounters a dragon egg. The egg hatches and the little dragon imprints on Laurence. The series takes place in alternative history during the Napoleonic wars. Napoleon has lots of dragons and so do the British. The dragons here are huge, carrying platoons of soldiers in their backs. In addition to young Temeraire, we get to know a lot of other dragons.

2, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
The Dragonriders of Pern is labled as science fiction because it’s set on another planet and the dragons are supposedly genetically engineered animals. But who cares when you can ride along a dragon who is mentally bonded to his or her rider.

3, Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambley
When a vicious dragon threatens his country, a young prince asks for help from John who is the only still living Dragonsbane. However, he’s older and his method of slaying a dragon wasn’t quite what the prince, and the court, imagined it it was. John’s common law wife, Jenny, is witch. She and the prince must help John against the dragon.

4, The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Princess Aerin is outcast from her father’s court. She’s the Dragon-Killer but since the only dragons still left are small animals, more annoying than dangerous, that’s really a taunting nickname. However, when last of the great dragons start marauding, she must confront it.

5, Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
For younger readers, this is a delightful series with very independent and intelligent dragons. Cimorene is a princess but also a headstrong tomboy. When her parents start to a arrange a marriage for her, she runs away and volunteers to be a dragon’s “captive”.
I’m thinking of rereading the series next year.


Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 Book Wish List
— If you celebrate a gift-giving holiday this time of year, or even if you don’t, talk about the books or bookish items you have on your wish list!

Everything! (Just kidding.) (No, I’m not.) I have a really long want to read -list on GoodReads and on my computer. But narrowing it down to five books was really hard.

1, J. Y. Yang: The Red Threads of Fortune
The twin novella to The Black Tides of Heaven.
2, The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal
The first book in the new SF alternate history duology. And the next book, The Fated Sky, of course.
3, The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
I loved her Aztec fantasy books and this sounds great: alternate history fantasy with demons.
4, Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
I loved his Divine City trilogy and I’m very excited to read his newest book.
5, Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I love her Temeraire series but haven’t yet tried her other work.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 books you want to read before 2019

So many! So many books, so little time. However, right now I’m thinking of finishing the series I’m in the middle of so:

1, Juliet Marillier: the Den of Wolves
I loved the first two books in this fantasy series.

2, Seanan McGuire: Night and Silence
The new Toby Daye book! Of course, things looked quite bleak for our heroine at the end of the previous book, I’m a bit worried about reading the next.

3, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Searching for the Fleet
Rusch’s Diving universe continues!

4, Some more Star Trek: TNG books
I’m thinking of diving into the Genesis Wave trilogy.

5, James S. A. Corey: Caliban’s War
The second book in the Expanse series. I really enjoyed the first one and I enjoyed the TV-show.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is
Favorite Books Featuring [Paranormal Creature of Your Choice]
— This is a repeat topic from last year, but as it’s a good one AND interchangeable so it can be different each year, it’s back again.

This time I’m going to choose the Fae/Faeries/elves because I love them and I love how different they can be. Of course, I love different versions of them so it was very hard to choose just five.

1, Elfquest by Wendy and Richard Pini
When I first got my hands on Elfquest comic, the Wolfriders and the other Pini elves were very different from the other elves I read at the time, which I think were just Tolkien elves and roleplaying world elves, specifically the Forgotten Realms elves, including the dark elves. The Pini elves are unashamedly primal and intense. They’re also sexual. At the time, the independence of the female elves and the sheer variety of them really impressed me. Yes, Elfquest has the gentle healer Leetah but also fierce and loyal hunter Nightfall, the young hunter Dewshine, and Moonshadow who is a quiet cloth maker but also a hunter. Not to mention Kahvi the fierce and stubborn chieftess of the Go Backs. And they were just as important characters as the male elves and their storylines didn’t revolve around secret pregnancy and competing who gets a specific man.

2, J. R. R. Tolkien’s elves
The regal and ethereal Tolkien elves are pretty much the standard against which all other elves are compared.

3, Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire
McGuire has several different faerie races who have different abilities and attitudes depending on their race, the sea elves most prominently. They have dukes and duchesses who rule over their own Knowles. Mentally, they’re very human-like.

4, Robin Goodfellow or Puck by William Shakepeare
He’s a mischievous elf who plays pranks on people. Sometimes, he’s depicted as a much nastier person.

5, The Seelie and the Unseelie Courts
These are from old Scottish myths about the Fair Folk. Typically, one court is favorable towards us mere mortals while the other is either very mischievous or down right malevolent. Marie Brennan uses them in her historical fantasy series the Onyx court and Elizabeth Bear uses them in her Promethean Age books

Top 5 Wednesday is a GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Favorite Monsters

A lot of people love monsters and so do I. Also, different writers have all sorts of different takes them. For me, a monster is something which is either the equivalent of an animal or at least not alive like human.
Off the top of my head the top five:

1, Dragons
Intelligent, very powerful and, very, very dangerous dragons are my favorite monsters or mythical creatures. An example would be Smaug from the Hobbit. Of course, dragons can be good guys, as well. In Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series some dragons are allied with Napoleon (the main bad guy) and some work for the good governments.

2, Dinosaurs
Velociraptors and the Tyrannosaur Rex!

3, Vampires
Soulless, intelligent vampires are challenging foes. One of the best known examples is Dracula.

4, Zombies
Slowly moving, mindless zombies are most menacing in big hordes, as seen most recently in the Walking Dead tv-show.

5, Medusa
I’ve always been fascinated by the Medusa. She can turn people to stone just by looking at them.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Favorite Villains.
— It looks like we last did this topic in 2016, so I encourage you to pick new villains if this is not your first time covering this topic! (also, as before, try not to just use HP characters…)
I have a lot of these, too, so it’s hard to choose just five but here an attempt:

1, Magneto
He started out as world-conquering villain who wants to make the world safe for mutants and what better way than to set up mutants are rulers? Later, he mellowed out and started working with the X-Men and even teaching the New Mutants.
An example of “grey” villain who could redeem or whose motives we can understand or maybe even agree with but whose methods are despicable. In a different world he would have been a hero. Comics have lot of characters like these, such as Catwoman, the Black Cat, and Mystique.

2, Dracula by Bram Stoker
Soulless, intelligent, powerful, and manipulative, with lots of minions. The opposite of Magneto, these types of villains really make me cheer for the heroes.

3, Amandine by Seanan McGuire
Nothing gets to you like your family. Toby Daye’s mother has been absent for long but when she gets back, she’s not happy. And she knows just how to hurt Toby the most.

4, The Borg from Star Trek: TNG/Voyager
Specifically, before the addition of the Borg Queen, the Borg were a faceless enemy, a hivemind that had a singular purpose and it was very hard to reason with, although not impossible as we see in Voyager’s double episode the Scorpion where Janeway was able to negotiate a temporary truce.

5, Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy has many great villains which I adore. Spike and Dru were definitely the villainous stars of the second season. Spike was dedicated to his love Dru and tried to heal her madness. He had already killed one Slayer so his confidence in getting Buffy, too, was justified.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Favorite Magic Systems.

I like a lot of settings and their magic systems. It’s very, very hard to choose just five but here goes:

1, Libriomancy
In Jim C. Hines’ Magic Ex Libris series, magicians can pull items from books and use them. However, they must be small enough to fit through the covers. Still, that means that the libriomancer use disruptors (from Star Trek), fast penta (truth drug from Bujold’s books), and healing potions (from Narnia).

2, Superpowers
Many, many worlds have these sorts of magical powers. For example, some elves in the Elfquest comic are born with a power, such as healing or rock shaping. They can all also “send” or use telepathy. In Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye books, the fae have different magic according to their race. Also, in Jocelynn Drake’s Dark Days series, the main character Mira was born with the ability to create fire (she was made into a vampire later).

I’m also including mutants because, lets face it, having a “genetic mutation” which allows you to control weather or turn into steel is basically magic, no matter what sort of pseudo-scientific explanation you want to give it. 😉 Similarly, getting powers from gamma radiation or being hit by lighting looks a lot like magic to me.

3, Allomancy by Brandon Sanderson
The magic system in the Mistborn books is awesome. The magic-user ingests a metal and can use powers according to what metal or metals he or she can use. I think this was also an ability the character is born with.

4, Necromancy
The raising of the dead bodies is an awesome power. Sometimes necromancy can also include talking with dead spirits. Often, it’s used by the bad guys so that the heroes can battle lots of zombies. However, in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, the main character is a necromancer. Also, in Max Gladstone’s Three Parts Dead, Tara can raise the dead and she works for a necromantic law firm.

5, Magical music
I love this idea and I love bards (I even play them in RPGs). I haven’t come across this type of magic very often. The first time I think I found it was in Forgotten Realms books, particularly Elaine Cunningham’s Songs & Swords series (or part of the Harpers series when I was first reading them). She has a bard/wizard character Danilo Thann. Another example is Tanya Huff’s Sing the Four Quarters book where magic is done by asking from the nature spirits by singing to them.

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