TOP TEN TUESDAY: Bookish Valentine’s Day

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point, ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here. 

Even though romance is quite low on the list of themes I enjoy in my books, I wanted to find a way to follow the parameters of this week’s Love Freebie in honor of Valentine’s Day, and after some thought I decided that listing the book series that are closer to my reader’s heart would be a more than acceptable compromise.

So I picked up 5 each among my favorite Fantasy and Science Fiction series, to balance out the mix. For Fantasy the winners are:

Powder Mage – Brian McClellan

The Wounded Kingdom – RJ Barker

Blackthorn and Grim – Juliet Marillier

The First Law – Joe Abercrombie

Of Blood and Bone – John Gwynne

On the whole these are all quite… energetic series, with a good share of battles, duels and recklessly spilled blood, which might not look very fitting for a Valentine’s Day celebration, but they all managed to transport me in another time and place and made me care for their characters, which is reason enough to sustain my deep affection for these stories.

Moving over to Science Fiction, my choice fell on these:

The Expanse – James S.A. Corey

Donovan – W. Michael Gear

The Murderbot Diaries – Martha Wells

Embers of War – Gareth Powell

Vorkosigan Saga – Lois McMaster Bujold

There is a little more lightness here, mostly thanks to the tongue-in-cheek humor coming from Murderbot and to Miles Vorkosigan’s happy recklessness, but these series still delight me for their wonderful combination of drama and humor and I know they will always be at the top of my lists.

And now it’s your turn: where did you lose your bookish hearts? 😉

19 thoughts on “TOP TEN TUESDAY: Bookish Valentine’s Day

  1. The only ones of these I’ve read are some of the Murderbot Diaries, which I absolutely love. Many of the others are ones I want to try, though. For myself, I’ll go back to my first loves, those series that got me started in fantasy and have a special place in my heart: The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, The original Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks, Master of the Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy, and The Belgariad by David Eddings. I would still place LotR at the top, but the others I’ve not reread so I would be curious what I’d think of them now. One day I hope to reread them and find out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Lord of the Ring holds – and will forever hold – the central place in my reader’s heart, and it needs not “compete” with other books 😉 It’s been a few years since my last re-read and I hope to be able to do that soon, because a tour of Middle Earth always does wonders for my soul…


  2. Definitely agree with you on the Donovan series! (Of which I hope there will be more books!) You’ve reminded me I need to start The Expanse, and I hope to dip into John Gwynn this year too😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always recommend The Expanse to everyone who would listen: as I’ve often said, for me this is one of the best (if not the best, indeed) space opera series I ever read. The last book should come out next October, so you will have all the books at your disposal once the series is completed 🙂


  3. I am so ashamed to say that I own that John Gwynn ‘s book for two years now and still unread! It was a cover buy whil in London 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my, how many amazing titles!! I love Abercrombie series, and I am just so glad to see Promise of Blood here (it is true that I have read only the first book, but I loved it!). And I am a new Barrayar fan, too! I have to try out the others titles (Murderbot aside, because I love that series too!) and I really hope to read them all soon!
    On my list I would put The First Law too, and then every series with Fitz and the Fool as MCs, those books broke my heart but I love them to pieces, Discworld (the City Watch sub series) and Black Friars by Virginia de Winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many amazing books (and series!) that I would love to read and sometimes I feel my head spinning just contemplating all the books out there that I would like to add to my TBR! Well, I would also need a 48-hours day, for starters, and the means to forgo sleep… Ok, we can dream, can’t we? 😉

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  5. Oh what a lovely list:)). I completely agree with the Miles Vorkosigan series – and I’d also add Bujold’s latest Penric and the Demon series, too. The Strange series by Marilyn Messik and the Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews, the Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin, the Thessaly series by Jo Walton, and the Planetfall series by Emma Newman. Be still my beating heart!

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    1. The Penric & Desdemona series is at the top of my “want to read” list, and so far I’ve read only the first one, but I intend to move forward because it shows the same kind of adventurous fun that I so enjoyed with the Vorkosigan series. And Jemisin’s Broken Earth is another saga I badly need to read. One of these days… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I highly recommend the rest of the Penric & Desdemona series – and yes… I love Penric’s steady growth of confidence and maturity – and some of the very tight spots he’s been in. Apart from anything else, they are excellent value for money! And yes… the Broken Earth series is one of those that is seared on my mind as one of the most significant reading experiences of the decade… BUT I fully accept that it’s a question of TIME – we really need that reading clone!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s a very good twist on this week’s theme! 😀
    I liked The First Law Trilogy quite a bit and I think I’m due for a re-read! And Murderbot is great, it’s not one of my favorite science fiction series but every time I need a quick funny story about a moody robot, I know I need some more Murderbot in my life! 😉
    I lost my bookish heart reading The Dispossessed by Le Guin, The Machineries of Empire by Yoon Ha Lee, Terra Ignota by Ada Palmer, Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson and The Fifth Season trilogy by N.K. Jemisin! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Machineries of Empire is one of the series I want to read: I tried the first book some time ago but lacked the concentration necessary to stay with the story, and I always felt I was missing on a good one, so I kept it in the top places of my TBR waiting for the right frame of mind to start it again. One of these days…. 🙂


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