Top 5


The changing of the seasons has begun, and with it many who are looking forward to Halloween and its spooky fun! To celebrate spring giving way to fall, let’s talk about supernatural reads! Could be favorite supernatural creatures, supernatural settings, or a combination of both!

I read a lot of fantasy so many of them have supernatural creatures. Here are some of my favorite vampire books:

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

We are officially almost in the second-to-last quarter of the year, which means we still have time to catch up on reading those books we kept saying we would read earlier this year! What are some books you plan to read before the month or year ends?

I’ve read all the books I’ve put in my TBR blog posts. Next, I plan to read:

1, Dan Koboldt: Silver Queendom

A fun fantasy heist. I love reading heists and there aren’t enough of them in fantasy books.

2, Phillip L Wray: The Pointcourt Murders

A musketeer adventure I’m looking forward to.

3, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith: Colliding Worlds volume 1

I love Rusch’s short fiction and this one has been on my virtual TBR shelf for almost a year.

4, Marty Windgate: the Bodies in the Library

A murder mystery where the victim is a mystery fan fiction writer.

5, Blake Crouch: Dark Matter

It’s the book of the month in the Action/Adventure GoodReads group.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week.

Probably one of the most recognized tropes in fiction is the chosen one trope. While it might not be as popular in fiction, especially YA, as it was a few years ago, there are still books being written with this love-or-hate trope. In honor of these “chosen ones,” what are some books you have read or seen that have this trope?

I don’t read much YA so I haven’t seen it as much in books as in TV and movies. But here goes

1, Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

The Belgariad was hugely popular when I started reading fantasy. Garion is a humble orphan farm boy who finds out that he’s born for greater things.

2, Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett was, of course, playing around with this trope. When we first meet the two-meter-tall Carrot it’s obvious that he’s the Chosen One. However, it seems that Carrot himself doesn’t know it.

3, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

4, The Riddle-Master of Hed by Patricia McKillip

The main character of the Riddle Master Trilogy has stars on his forehead.

5, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The identity of the Hero of Ages isn’t revealed until the final book in the Mistborn trilogy.

We’ve all seen those covers where we might cringe or think it’s not “our thing,” but we pick it up anyway because the blurb sounded cool. Sometimes to our surprise, those reads become some of our new favorites! What are some books you’ve picked up and thought you wouldn’t like because of the cover but loved the story?

This was a fun topic! I think Bujold and Cherryh have had more than their fair share of bad covers that don’t represent the books in any way.

1, Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

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It’s the UK edition and I have no idea who that person is. The story follows a woman who has lived under a curse for decades and is finally free of it.

2, Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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The Venus books aren’t as good as the Barsoom or Tarzan books but still, this cover looks pretty amateurish.

3, The Forty Thousand in Ghenna by C. J. Cherryh

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The book is anthropological SF. A human colony is set on an alien planet called Gehenna. The story follows their struggles.

4, Cuckoo’s Egg by C. J. Cherryh

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The book is about a human who is raised by aliens, but I’m not sure this is a very appealing cover…

5, Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Again I have no idea who these characters are. I guess the man in the chair could be the main character Miles.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week.

There are characters we know can hold their own and kick some butt, but then there are characters who are simply deadly in their skill set and seem almost undefeatable. For today’s prompt, let’s focus on characters who we consider skilled fighters and do more than just “hold their ground.”

The choice was again pretty difficult because there are just so many fighters in fiction. But here are my current favorites:

1, Benedict by Roger Zelazny

In Zelazny’s Amber books, the rulers of Amber are all immortal and so have many skills. Dominic is the master tactician and fighter.

2, Drizzt Do’Urden by R. A. Salavatore

Drizzt is a drow (a dark elf) in the Forgotten Realms books. He’s extremely good with two swords.

3, Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin by Peter of O’Donnell

Modesty and her best friend Willie are extremely good at all forms of combat. Even if they are beaten, they will come back and kick your ass.

4, Batman by DC Comics

A master tactician and hand-to-hand combatant.

5, Xena the Warrior Princess

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week.

School is about to be back in session for many, and with it, new beginnings! Whether it’s the start of a new grade or a new adventure in a fantasy world, let’s share about stories with the theme of new beginnings! (This could even be a second chance at new beginnings too!)

Quite a few series starts with a new beginning for the main character(s), so it was difficult to choose just five but here goes:

1, Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

Penric is a young man who is going to get married because his family wants him to. Instead, he meets a dying woman on the road and his life chances.

2, The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

Nahri is a thief and a conwoman. When she performs a mock-summoning, something very strange happens: she summons a powerful spirit. That act also brings strange and strong enemies who can even summon the dead.

3, Of Mages and Murders by Nikki Haverstock

When Ella’s father died, she inherits his building in Rambler, Nevada and moves there. She also finds out that she’s a witch. And get a big black cat as a familiar.

4, Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

Amelia Peabody’s father died and left her a small fortune. She’s always been interested in Egypt but has never had the money to travel. Now, she can travel and so she heads to Egypt. Little does she know that she’ll meet a certain fiery tempered Egyptologist who will change her whole life.

 5, A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

John Carter sees Mars in the black sky and the planet beckons to him. The next moment, he stands naked on the red plains of Barsoom.

For every reader, books are so much more than just words on a page, but instead are words that help make our lives better and spark happiness from the very characters we read about. Since August is recognized as Happiness Happens month and yesterday was National Book Lovers Day, for today’s prompt let’s talk about books that make us happy and bring joy to our hearts!

When I find a setting and/or characters I enjoy, I love reading more about them. However, I don’t reread much. So, most of the time, bookish happiness for me is getting a new book in the series.

Book series:

1, Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

I love Librarian/spy Irene Winters and the rest of the cast. I have just one more book to read but I don’t want the series to end.

2, Discworld by Terry Pratchett

The various Discworld books flit around the Discworld and characters. I particularly love the Witches books and I’m happy to see Granny Weatherwax or Nanny Ogg visit in a book.

3, Swordheart by T. Kingfisher

I don’t usually read romance but this fantasy romance was delightful even if it does use some romance tropes. I enjoy the rest of the World of the White Rat fantasy romances, too.

4, Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

The delightful Phryne Fisher mystery series is set in 1920s Australia. I love both Phryne and her circle of close friends.

5, The Long way to the Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
While I enjoy the exciting, explosive science fiction a lot, sometimes I just want people to get along, even in (especially) SF settings. Chamber’s books are perfect for that. This book is more of a series of vignettes starring the different characters of the spaceship Wayfarer.

Comics:

I reread comics a lot more than books. Here are my favorites:

1, Excalibur by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis

Rachel Summers (Phoenix), Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat), Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler), Meggan, and Brian Braddock (Captain Britain) are Britain’s new superteam. When this comic first came out in 1998, many of the other superheroes were grim. Excalibur combined humor with exciting superheroics across the world and various universes.

2, Avengers by Kurt Busiek and George Perez

Busiek’s Avengers’ run starting in 1998 was a love letter to the characters and the whole genre.

3, Elfquest by Wendy and Richard Pini

Elfquest was the first fantasy comic I read. I fell in love with these ferocious, short elves with their fierce wolves.

4, Fantastic Four by John Byrne

Byrne’s FF are not just superheroes, although they do their fair share of that, too. But they’re first explorers and adventurers. They travel through space, time, and alternate universes.

5, X-Men by Chris Claremont and various artists

My first love among superheroes! It could be sheer nostalgia on my part, but his run gave us the Dark Phoenix Saga and the Days of the Future Past. He also introduced us to many classic conflicts and characters.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week.

More and more in fiction, we are seeing a stronger emphasis on female characters who are no damsels-in-distress. They take charge of situations and step in to do what needs to be done, regardless if it’s their duty or the heroes. Who are some of your favorite strong female characters in fiction that you have read about?

I have quite a few of them so it was hard to choose just five but here goes:

1, Irene Winters by Genevieve Cogman

Irene is a spy and a librarian. She works for the Invisible Library stealing acquiring books and trying to keep the balance between the fae who represent chaos and the dragons who represent order. First book: “The Invisible Library”

2, Cordelia Naismith by Lois McMaster Bujold

Granted, she’s the main character in only three books. The rest of the Vorkosigan series stars her son, Miles. But Cordelia is a huge influence. She’s an explorer and a scientist. When she marries into a patriarchal society, she isn’t afraid to work inside to slowly change things. Books: “Shards of Honor” and “Barrayar” (gathered together in “Cordelia’s Honor”), and the final book in the series: “Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen”.

3, Mira by Jocelynn Drake

Mira is a 600-year-old vampire. She’s the master in her city and is responsible for keeping the secrets of the vampires and the other supernatural races from humans. The other supernatural people are the werewolves who are, naturally, hostile to the vampires. So, Mira is a diplomat and a warrior. First book: “Nightwalker”

4, Esmeralda “Granny” Weatherwax by Terry Pratchett

Granny Weatherwax is one of the three witches in the tiny kingdom of Lancre. She’s one of the most experienced witches alive and “most highly regarded of the leaders, of [whom the witches] don’t have”. She’s grouchy and doesn’t have any family. She’s also very powerful but prefers to use headology rather than magic. She doesn’t approve of much. Her best friend Nanny Ogg is the matriarch of a large family and almost the polar opposite of Granny.

She’s in quite a few Discworld books but I recommend “Wyrd Sisters” and “Witches Abroad”.

5, “The Boss” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

We don’t find out the Boss’ real name. She dives spaceships that are thousands of years old and that can be very dangerous. That’s why she prefers to work alone on her ship “Nobody’s Business”. But sometimes she needs help. First book: “Diving into the Wreck”

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

In the book community, we often talk about characters we love or hate, but what about characters we would love to be related to? I know it’s something I haven’t really considered before, but what a fun idea to think about having some characters as our siblings! What are some characters you think would be cool or fun to have as a sibling?

There are quite a few characters I enjoy reading about and would like them to be my sibling. It was hard to narrow them down to just five. But here goes:

1, Nightcrawler from the X-Men

Any of the X-Men, really, but Kurt Wagner with his wit and swashbuckling skills would be a great brother.

2, Irene Winters from Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library

As a spy and the agent of the library, Irene would be a great older sister/mentor.

3, Shadow from Anne Logston’s Shadow and the sequels

Shadow is an elf thief with a sunny smile and a great sense of humor. No doubt she would drag me to a lot of trouble, but also to some great parties.

4, Phryne Fisher from Kerry Greenwood’s Cocaine Blues and the rest of the series

Phryne would be an excellent sister, teaching me about style, wines, and also how to shoot.

5, Amelia Peabody-Emerson from Elizabeth Peters’ Crocodile on the Sandbank and the rest of the series

I’d be happy to follow her to Egypt and help with the digs and solving mysteries.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week.

It’s always nice to have a nice, calm “slice-of-life” story, but then other times we might pick up a book to get us on the edge of our seat and make us feel like we can’t stop reading for any reason. Let’s share some reads that got our hearts pumping and had us on edge! It could be from the excitement, fear, a combination, or something different altogether!

I read a lot of adventure books and these are my most recent ones:

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Theodora Goss: The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl

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Jason M. Hough: Zero World

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S. K. Dunstall: Stars Uncharted

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Alexis Hall: The Affair of the Mysterious Letter

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Genvieve Cogman: The Dark Archive

All of these books are fast-paced and kept me reading or listening long after I should have gone to bed.

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