Reviews

Wyrd & Wonder TAG: Authors/Books/Series on my TBR that I have to read yet – #Wyrdandwonder

image by Svetlana Alyuk on 123RF.com

Talking about the road not taken – or rather the book(s) not yet read – is never easy for us book lovers, because we are all painfully aware of the sad differential between the huge number of books out there we want to read and the limited time we have at our disposal.

Here are some of the books that have been gathering virtual dust on my TBR for some time: I was drawn to most of them thanks to the reviews of my fellow bloggers, but other titles came along that got precedence, and these “poor darlings” ended up as… well, wallflowers, never called to the next dance because some dazzling passing beauty 😀 managed to distracted me.

At least I can make some amends by listing a number of the fantasy titles that have patiently waiting to be picked up – and renewing my promise to read them as soon as I can…

GIDEON THE NINTH

by Tamsin Muir – on my TBR since November 2020

DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST

by Juliet Marillier – on my TBR since March 2019

SIX OF CROWS

by Leigh Bardugo – on my TBR since October 2017 (and now that I have seen the first season of Shadow and Bone on Netflix, and enjoyed the segments focused on the Crows, this one must take precedence!)

THE EMBER BLADE

by Chris Wooding – on my TBR since January 2020

FARLANDER

by Col Buchanan – on my TBR since November 2018

THE SHADOW OF WHAT WAS LOST

by James Islington – on my TBR since December 2019

ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE

by Robin Hobb – on my TBR since November 2012 (I actually read this one but have totally forgotten it and will have to re-read it if I want to move forward with the series…)

TRAITOR’S BLADE

by Sebastien de Castell – on my TBR since August 2018

What about you, fellow bloggers and book lovers? What’s on your… Hall of Shame? 😉

Reviews

THE NEVER HAVE I EVER TAG

Thanks to fellow blogger Bookforager, who tagged me with this amusing list of question, here is a new bookish “challenge”, created by Madame Writer and lastly passed down the line by Bookforager: I encourage you to read her answers as well!

The rules for this tag require to link back to the original creator and to the person who tagged you, and to add one more prompt of your own devising. Also to tag five more people, but in this, as it’s my usual habit, I’d love to extend the invitation to anyone who would like to join the fun.

And now, let’s face the… dragon! 😀

Never have I ever… read a later book in a series before reading the first book.

Well, it happened with Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Warrior Apprentice, which was my introduction to her Vorkosigan Saga: thankfully enough, the author always gives some background to her stories, so I never felt truly lost in there. 

Never have I ever… burned a book.

Book burning carries such a bad vibe, not just for book lovers, but in a more general sense: in fiction it happens on stories like Fahrenheit 451 and in reality it happened in many historical instances, and in both cases it’s bad, just BAD.

Never have I ever… Read a book I knew I would hate.

Of course not! Life’s too short and there are too many books I know I would love, so why waste my time on one I would loathe?

Never have I ever… written fanfiction about my favorite books.

Not about books, no. But I have indulged, once upon a time, with a SF tv show I particularly enjoyed… 😉

Never have I ever… loved a book when I was young that I hated when I got older.

It would be next to impossible to go from passionate love for a story to outright hate: worst case scenario, I might not find the same depth of enjoyment I experienced way back when, but if a book left a mark on my heart, it stays there forever.

Never have I ever… dressed up as one of my favorite literary characters.

I’m far, far too old for that now, and when I was young enough to enjoy cosplay it was not a “thing” as it is now – and besides I was far too shy to even take it into consideration! 😀

Never have I ever… hated a book by an author I love.

If an author earned a special place in my reading preferences, it’s difficult – if not impossible – that they would write a book I might hate. Maybe I could end up slightly disappointed, but that’s all.

Never have I ever… gone into a bookstore to buy one book and come out with many more.

Come on! Be serious! What true book lover would come out of a bookstore with just ONE book? Books are gregarious creatures and they love company, so it’s a moral imperative to avoid making them feel lonely on your bookshelves… 😛

Never have I ever… read the end of a book before reading the beginning.

I passionately HATE spoilers, so no – of this at least I am not guilty!

Never have I ever… read a book without the dust cover.

Dust covers are useful, granted, but they are a real pain while you’re reading the book so no cover, thank you very much!

Never have I ever… skim-read nearly half a book.

More times than I care to remember! This is usually a bad sign because it means the book fails to keep my attention, and it usuallly means it’s going to end in the DNF pile. 

Never have I ever… pretended to have read a book I haven’t read.

I’m a bad liar. Enough said…

Never have I ever… watched the movie before reading the book.

Well, sometimes one discovers great stories thanks to their filmed version, so there’s no shame in that. My latest discovery have been the Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly: if I had not been captivated by the TV series, I might not have found out that Connelly writes very intriguing crime stories.

Never have I ever… had a book boyfriend.

What’s that, Preciousssss?

Never have I ever… read a history or anthropology book for fun.

Maybe not as far as those two subjects are concerned, but I still have very fond memories of my Greek myths encyclopedia from high school…

Never have I ever… picked up a book based on the cover alone.

Of course not! Who does? TSK!  😛

Never have I ever… bought multiple books in a series without having started it.

Hello, my name is Maddalena and I am a series hoarder…

(Also a book hoarder, but series come in bulk!)

Never have I ever… kept reading a series even though I didn’t love the first book.

This looks like a trick question connected to number 3, and the only answer is: why should I?

Never have I ever… read a book so quickly that I don’t remember what happened by the end.

All right, my memory might not be what it used to when I was younger, but I still have some working neurons, you know?

And my addition to this tag:

Never have I ever… “forgotten” to return a borrowed book.

That’s something I’m really proud of: I always return borrowed books – I just would be happier if other people behaved the same way… (((SIGH)))

So here we go: take the plunge and share your answers!

Reviews

CREATURES OF THE NIGHT BOOK TAG

Always in search of interesting bookish tags to explore, I found this one that’s part of a collection of very useful prompts: besides being intriguing, thanks to its focus on weird creatures, it has the added value of having been shared by fellow blogger Lisa at WayTooFantasy – be sure to visit her link for more book tag fun!

And now, let’s go with the critters! 😀

VAMPIRE

FIFTH HOUSE OF THE HEART by Ben Tripp: this is one of the best vampire books I ever read, where nasty, brutal bloodsuckers (no languorous sparklies here!) are pitted against a group of vampire hunters sponsored by no other than the Church. A blood chilling and breath stopping story, indeed.

WEREWOLF

THE SKIN TRADE by GRR Martin: a tense, dark novella from Martin’s collection Dreamsongs, and an interesting take on the myth of the werewolf, focused on the investigation of a weird chain of murders. Besides enjoying the written story, I had the pleasure of listening to its audio version read by amazing Claudia Black, which added great value to the tale.

ZOMBIE

FEED by Mira Grant: the first volume in her Newsflesh series, which takes a new approach to the zombie apocalypse, showing how the world deals with the roaming, flesh-eating undead once the worst of the horror has passed. Well, sort of… And there are bloggers as central figures, which made it even more interesting to me.

GHOST

THE SHINING by Stephen King: we are all familiar with this King classic, set in an isolated mountain hotel haunted by terrifying ghosts that can prey on the mind of the unwary. Among the less fearsome, but still scary, are the two little girls that keep appearing to young Danny…

WITCH/WARLOCK/SPELLCASTER

SNOWSPELLED by Stephanie Burgis: first story in the Harwood Spellbook series, a continuing saga about an alternate England in which men possess magical powers and the women deal with politics and the running of the country. That is, except for magically gifted Cassandra Harwood! The covers for these novellas are as delightful as the tales they tell 🙂

FAIRY/FAE

THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black: again a first volume in a saga, one where the fae are showed for the nasty, merciless, callous creatures they are, although there are some humans that can stand up to them and play at the same game with equal levels of ruthlessness.

DEMON

PENRIC’S DEMON by Lois McMaster Bujold: a fantasy tale from one of my favorite SF authors, and a series I still have to explore past this first offering. The demon in question is Desdemona, and she end up inhabiting young Penric’s body, gifting him with some special powers and changing his life forever. The usual Bujold humor applies delightfully here.

ANGEL

BLUE ANGEL by Phil Williams: there is no true angel here as we think of them, but the titular Blue Angel is a weird manifestation among the even weirder happenings in the city of Ordshaw, where magic and strangeness walk hand in hand with the more mundane aspects of life.

ALIEN

OUTPOST by W. Michael Gear: I can’t imagine anything more alien (and dangerous!) than the colony world of Donovan, where everything is out to maim, kill and/or devour the unwary humans that venture outside the fence of their main settlement. Lizard-like predators, flocks of killer birds, flesh-eating plants and so on: survival on Donovan is not exactly a given, but this world makes for a very thrilling exploration.

SUPERPOWERED HUMAN

JADE CITY by Fonda Lee: in this alternate Earth, and particularly on the far eastern island of Kekon, the wearing and wielding of jade confers great strength and resistance, and allows the wearer great physical and mental feats. The strife to amass as much jade as possible is at the center of this compelling story that sees warring families fight for supremacy in a beautiful and immersive background.

And what are your favorite beings that go bump in the night?

Reviews

BOOK BUYING HABITS TAG

Here we go again with another tag post: this one I saw some time time ago on the blog of fellow book lover Bookforager, to whom go my thanks for the inspiration. Reading the questions I realized that they are directed more toward a reader of physical books rather than a convinced used of e-readers as I am, but still I found the way to answer them all the same.

Where do you buy your books?

Online, of course: there is much to be said for the instant gratification of seeing a book I’m interested in, going to my usual online store, buying and downloading my choice, all in a matter of minutes.   I have to admit I sometimes miss the sheer joy of browsing the aisles of the bookstores I used to frequent way back when, and finding something delightfully unexpected, but on the other hand these days I have a list of “wanted” titles that goes from here to Alpha Centauri, so I hardly need to add the unexpected to that oh-so-long queue… 😉

Do you ever pre-order books? If so, do you do this in store or online?

I don’t pre-order but prefer to create alerts on my computer warning me of the publication date of books I’m interested in, particularly when it’s a matter of series I’m following. And on that day I visit the e-store and come away with my prize(s).

On average, how many books do you buy a month?

I’m much better off not knowing! 😱 Jokes aside, between the books I own and the e-ARCs I get from NetGalley (or much more rarely from Edelweiss) I often find myself with more books than I can deal with. And NetGalley’s ARCs tend to take precedence because they have an expiry date, so I tend to read them first.

Do you use your local library? If so, how many books can/do you borrow at a time?

I have not visited my local library in very long time, not since I was a teenager (dinosaurs still roamed the Earth…), but I have very fond memories of the “treasures” I found there. Back then, however, I did not read so much speculative fiction as I do now and I wonder if today’s library offerings would be suited to my changed tastes – probably not, since, as I remember, the library was stocked mostly with mainstream books.  If memory serves me, I could borrow up to three books at a time, but sometimes I took a few more using my mom’s card as well as mine.

What is your opinion on library books?

As I said, I remember my trips to the library with great affection: I can still see those rows of books, most of them bound with fake-leather covers in deep green or blue or red and gold lettering, and how I used to go for the bigger tomes…

How do you feel about second-hand books?

If they are kept in good condition I have nothing against them, but I still prefer new books. And given my years-long relationship with e-books the question has now become somewhat redundant.

Do you keep your read and to-read piles together/on the same bookshelf?

What physical books I own from the past have all been read – with the exception of C. J. Cherryh’s Cyteen, but where my e-books are concerned I have a folder for the unread ones on my computer, regularly backed-up on a pen drive, where I also save the read ones, in a separate folder. And in both cases I have sub-folders divided by author. Neat, isn’t it? 😉

Do you plan to read all the books you own?

In a perfect world, yes. But… is this a perfect world? Inquiring minds want to know…

What do you do with books you own that you feel you’ll never read/felt you didn’t enjoy?

I keep them all the same: they don’t take much space on that pen drive anyway, and I might change my mind one of these days, who knows?

Have you ever been on a book-buying ban?

More times than I care to remember. It didn’t work, though, not for long…

Do you feel that you buy too many books?

Is water wet?

Is summer hot?

Is chocolate delicious?

Ok, you get the meaning… 😀

If you enjoyed this tag, take the plunge and let us know more about your books buying habits!!

Reviews

READING HABITS BOOK TAG

Time for another tag! I have been delighted by the discovery of this blog post containing a list of 100 intriguing bookish tags, which I mean to explore in the coming months: there are many interesting topics and I encourage you to take a look. Many thanks to Book Reviews and More for this very comprehensive list!

So this time around it’s…. reading habits!

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading? 

Well, a comfortable couch is always the best option, even better with my feet propped up on an equally comfortable footrest, but I also do a good deal of my reading in bed, because I can’t go to sleep if I have not “consumed” a few chapters of my current book.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Since I turned digital the question has become moot: e-readers remember the place where you stopped reading, and also allow for specific bookmarks and even virtual, non-damaging earmarks, but when I pick up a physical book, a bookmark is the only way to go, because earmarking pages is anathema for me. Lacking anything better I can always use a random piece of paper, but I own a good number of bookmarks, either proper ones or cards advertising my favorite tv shows.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

In a perfect world I would try to stop at the end of any given chapter, but there are always things like phone calls or other interruptions that steal me away from a book, so it’s always a matter of good intentions meeting real life… 🙂

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

Both. A cup of tea while reading is always good company, but I have been known for reading while eating as well: while I was still working, the lunch break was the perfect opportunity to move forward with my current book if I was eating by myself instead of going out with co-workers. Now that I am retired, well, the sky’s the limit!

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Music yes, it can offer a good background while reading, provided that it’s just music and not songs with lyrics that tend to be distracting: classical music is just perfect for reading. No TV though: I either watch it or read a book.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

One at a time, indeed, even though there are times when I think that if I had two heads I could read double the number of books…

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

Any place is good for reading! I am in the habit of bringing my trusty e-reader with me when I know I might face some long wait like a doctor’s appointment or a queue in some public office. During last spring’s lockdown I used to bring the reader with me when going grocery shopping, to help pass the time while queueing outside the supermarket. Books can make time fly, indeed!

8. Reading out lout or silently in your head?

Silently of course. Can you imagine the utter madness if we all took up the habit of reading aloud?  😀

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages? 

No reading ahead, I don’t like spoilers, even self-inflicted ones, while I do sometimes skip pages when I encounter long descriptions of battles, for examples, (unless they are very well written), or when any given section fails to hold my attention and I want to get to the more interesting parts.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

Much as I try to treat my physical books with the care and respect they deserve, it might happen – particularly with well-loved and much-read books – that the spine gets marred with vertical creases (my copy of the LOTR being a case in point), but it’s more a matter of a book being handled often rather than mistreated…

11. Do you write in your books?

On physical books I do sometimes underline more significant sections with pencil (taking care not to press the pencil point too heavily on the page), while with e-books underlining is a risk- and harm-free option of course 😉

Now it’s your turn: what are your reading habits? Jump in and share them!

Reviews

THE CONFESSIONS TAG

As my first tag of the new year, I’ve chosen this one from the handful of topics I’ve collected over time from my fellow bloggers. And I’ll start with a momentous confession: yes, I’m addicted to books, I hoard them and gloat over them like Gollum over the Ring. So what? 😀

Ok, now to the real questions of the tag…

Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

I had high expectations for this SF story, but in the end it did not work for me as much as it did for the majority of my fellow bloggers who read it, so we had to part our ways a little past the halfway mark.

Which book is your guilty pleasure?

Guilty? Why should there be any kind of guilt attached to reading? Tsk! 😀

Which book do you love to hate?

It’s possible that the DIVERGENT fans here will in turn hate me for this, but this is one of the novels that started my uneasy relationship with YA and ended up giving the genre a bad name from my point of view. The world depicted here made little sense to me and I felt a strong antipathy for the main character, while the story felt too imbued with clichés to be enjoyable.

Which book would you throw into the sea?

No book deserves this fate, and the fact that I don’t like a book does not mean someone else could not enjoy it, so instead of committing a book I don’t like to the sea depths, I would prefer gifting it to someone who could appreciate it.

Which book have you read the most?

That would be either Tolkien’s LORD OF THE RINGS or Herbert’s DUNE: in the past (before book blogging compelled me to keep moving forward) I re-read both several times, always enjoying their different, but equally compelling, stories.

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

Mmmm… that’s a difficult one: people who would give me books as a present know my tastes, so it’s highly improbable that they would choose a book not in line with them. Putting hate aside, let’s say I would not be pleased to receive a book I already own.

Which book could you not live without?

All of them?

Which book made you the angriest?

I guess it would be A GAME OF THRONES: back when I started reading the series, in 2002, I knew nothing of GRR Martin’s penchant for killing off his characters with gleeful abandon, and a certain death by execution toward the end of the book left me angry, stunned and incredulous for quite some time. By now, I’ve learned not to grow too attached to characters…

Which book made you cry the most?

I don’t cry easily over stories, so I will have to mention instead one of the books that elicited the strongest emotional response in me, and I think it must be A BOY AND HIS DOG AT THE END OF THE WORLD, centered around the powerful bond between humans and these four-legged companions who “always walked closest” to us in the long ages of the world.

Which book cover do you hate the most?

Again, hate looks like too strong a word: if I must point the finger at a cover that doesn’t do justice to the contents, I have to mention a few illustration choices for Lois McMaster’s Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga, like the one below, where Miles Vorkosigan is made to look like a child wearing grown-up clothes…

As usual, I’m not tagging anyone but if you have some confessions to make, here is your chance 😀

Reviews

THE HALLOWEEN BOOK TAG

Thanks to Lisa at Way Too Fantasy I discovered this fun, Halloween-styled bookish tag, originally created by Naomi the Book Lover on YouTube. 

And now, let’s grab a few pumpkins and start with the questions!

1. Carving pumpkins – what book would you carve up and light on fire?

No matter how far from my tastes a book could be, I would never subject it to such a destructive treatment, so I will take the question as merely allegorical: no book need fear bodily harm from me!  One of the novels I deeply disliked was Veronica Roth’s Divergent: this was one of the books that fueled my distrust for YA, because it touches on all the tropes that give the genre a bad name – a sort of Mary Sue main character who fails to garner my sympathy; her instant attraction toward a mysterious, brooding guy; a world-building with some contradictions. Thanks, but no thanks…

2. Trick or treat – what character is a treat, what character is a trick? 

Speaking of treats, the first fictional name that comes to mind is that of Miles Vorkosigan, from the acclaimed Vor Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold, which I revisited for last year’s SciFi Month. I love the series and I greatly enjoy Ms. Bujold’s style, but Miles is a character whose mention never fails to bring a smile to my face.   As for the tricky character, I really love to hate Dan Wirth, the evil mastermind behind every dark deed in the Donovan series by W. Michael Gear: he’s a downright psychopath, but he’s also craftily intelligent, which makes him both dangerous and intriguing…

3. Candy corn – what book is always sweet?

That’s an easy one: Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories series never failed to deliver a delightful, immersive story where magic and and alternate version of Regency England mixed quite well with just that touch of romance that even a grumpy old crone like me 😀 cannot object to, since it’s handled unobtrusively and with skill into the main narrative.

4. Ghosts – what character would you love to visit you as a ghost?

I hope that does not mean a bona fide, bedsheet-covered and chain-rattling ghost!  That said, I would not mind having a good chat with Jean Tannen, from Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards series: I would offer him tea and cake (pumpkin cake, at that, since it’s Halloween!) and ask him about his adventures – especially those not featured in the books, because I’m sure there are many more that the author did not share with us…

Drawing by Kejablank (Camorr Wiki)

5. Dressing up in costume- what character would you want to be for a day?

No need to think about that: Chrisjen Avasarala, from the magnificent space opera series The Expanse, written by James S. A. Corey. Avasarala is a formidable lady, a shrewd politician and a veritable force of nature who can handle difficult situations with flair and cuss like a veteran dockworker. The latter side of her character has been downplayed a little in the TV series, but she nevertheless came across as the ass-kicking force of nature I admired from page one.

6. Wizards and witches – what is your favorite Harry Potter moment?

The descriptions of Hogwarths: they were always so vivid, so cinematic, that once they were translated into the big screen it felt as if the film-makers had been reading my mind for the creation of such a truly magical, atmosphere-rich place.

7. Blood and gore – what book was so creepy that you had to take a break from it for awhile?

Stephen King’s IT: I’ve always read horror and never had any… adverse effects from any situation portrayed in the books, no matter how ghastly, but the brand of horror displayed in this book, evil’s choice to visit it on children, the claustrophobic feeling of many passages, did leave a deep mark on my mind. As I’m fond of saying, since then I’ve never, ever, looked at a storm drain in the same way as before, or with the blessed lack of unease I had enjoyed until my encounter with King’s novel.

There is still time until Halloween! Pick this tag and share your pumpkin-flavored book musings!

Reviews

THE DREAMY BOOK COVER TAG

Time for another tag from the “supply” I’ve accumulated over the past weeks thanks to my fellow bloggers: I saw this one on Way Too Fantasy (thanks for the inspiration Lisa!) and it was too good to pass up. And of course it’s only fair to mention the original creator for the tag,  @The book raven 

And now for the questions…

No idea but in things: A book cover that perfectly expresses the novel inside of it

The Doors of Eden, by Adrian Tchaikowsky

Nothing says “portal” as the amazing image portrayed on this cover, and the novel is indeed a portal toward endless worlds and civilizations: if you’re looking for a good dose of sense of wonder, you need look no further.

Sugary sweet: A cover that is so sweet you want to give it a hug

Moontangled, by Stephanie Burgis

The covers for Stephanie Burgis’ novels are all amazing, but this one – from her latest book – wins the first prize: the colors, the flowing dresses, the total sense of magic come across delightfully loudly here.

The simple aesthetic: A book that stuns with the most minimalistic of designs

Artemis, by Andy Weir

The Moon is one of the starkest, more barren places I could think of, although it’s also a fascinating one, so the cover for this novel set on the Moon reflects perfectly that barrenness but at the same time the feel of mystery, adventure and danger at the core of the story.

Cover envy: A book cover you wish you had on your shelf but you don’t

Lack of space, among other reasons, compelled me to turn almost completely digital in my reading for the past few years, which means that the most beautiful covers of the books I own are visible only in black and white. One of the many amazing covers I would love to display on my bookshelf is this one:

The Tyrant’s Law, by Daniel Abraham

Travelling Abroad; A book cover that features a country outside of your own

Acadie, by Dave Hutchinson

Nothing portrays a country outside my own as the depths of space, and to represent that I’ve chosen this novella, whose cover shows an alien world, some ships orbiting it and what looks like space debris, or maybe a part of an asteroid field. Amazing, indeed…

Color wheel: A book that showcases one of your favorite colors

Half a War, by Joe Abercrombie

The red-gold-orange of flames over a dark background never fails to draw my attention, and this cover is one of the best examples of this combination. Very, very effective.

Switching gears: A cover change you absolutely adore

I tend to grow fond of the covers of the books I own, and yet there are some instances where a different cover ends up looking even better than the original one. The most recent case in point is the alternate cover for Bradley Beaulieu’s debut novel: the new image is infinitely more powerful and evocative than the one I’m used to.

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, by Bradley Beaulieu

‘Oldie but Goodie’: A favorite cover of your favorite classic

Unsurprisingly, my all-time favorite, the book that will always have my unreserved love, is JRR Tolkien’s masterpiece, and among the myriad covers designed for this timeless book, the one I think of when it’s mentioned is the one of the copy of own: I love the colors, I love the sense of motions it conveys and above all I love that Gandalf is there with his powerful presence.

The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien

And the winner is: Which cover above is your favorite?

Given what I just said above, should you really ask? 😉

If you enjoyed this tag, jump in and share your covers!

Reviews

THE EPIC READS TAG

And here we go with another tag post: I found this one on a search for interesting themes and my thanks go to Adventures of a Bookish Girl where this interesting tag was posted some time ago. And on with the questions!

If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters to lunch, who would you invite and what would you serve them?

In my opinion, lunch with an author should be a fun experience, so I cannot imagine a more delightful guest than John Scalzi, whose wit and brilliance come clearly across both from his fiction works and from his blog posts. And adding his character of Kiva Lagos, from his Interdependecy series, would certainly turn the occasion into something quite memorable, if a little four-letter-words-heavy :-D. 

The two of them might very well enjoy my time-tested bacon-wrapped chicken legs: family and friends assure me they are quite tasty!

What book do you wish the author would write a prequel for?

While reading Pierce Brown’s Red Rising, I often wondered how society evolved into such a rigid class scheme and which events sent Earth’s history on the path that we experience in this saga.

Which two characters (not from the same book) would make a good couple?

Since I’m not very romantically-inclined as far as my reading material goes, I choose to interpret the term ‘couple’ a little more loosely and rather focus on a partnership rather than a love affair, and so I believe that  Murderbot (from Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries) and Brittle from Robert Cargill’s Sea of Rust could share an interesting journey: the former, with its distrust of human feelings, and the latter, with its longing for human company, might go on an adventure of  mutual discovery and understanding, learning more about their flesh-and-blood creators. And maybe watch together some episodes of Sanctuary Moon while they’re at it… 😀

If you ran into your favorite author on the subway and only could say one sentence to them, who would they be and what would you tell them?

Oh my! That’s a difficult question for a number of reasons: first I don’t have just ONE favorite author, there are many whose books I would buy sight unseen, so mentioning just one for that oh-so-lucky subway encounter would be next to impossible. As for the one sentence I would be allowed to say well… knowing myself, I know that I would still be frantically ruminating on that, while I gather my courage, as the unnamed author left the car at the next station….

What book made you a reader and why?

Since I started reading at a very young age, and I’ve been told that even as a child it was far from unusual to find me with my nose in a book, it might be hard to name THE BOOK that turned me into a reader, but it would be a safe bet to name the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales, or Pinocchio… But memory does not help me very much on this one, sorry!

Your bookshelf just caught fire: show the book you’d save.

That’s an easy one: since I do practically all of my reading through e-books, there is no chance that my virtual bookshelf would be consumed by flames (and I have backup!!), but should that happen to the physical shelves where I store my paper books, I know I could grab, with a swift double move, both The Lord of the Rings and Dune. They have been with me for a long, long time, and I would hate to be parted from them.

Which dystopian world would you want to live in if you had to choose one? And why?

Dystopian worlds in general are not exactly pleasant places to live in, since they tend to represent a negative version of our future, so if I were forced to choose one I might set my sights on the world portrayed in the Daniel Blackland series by Greg Van Eekhout: in this version of future Earth power rests in the hands of wielders of bone magic, i.e. those who can extract magical powers from the bones of exotic and extinct creatures like dragons. Why would I choose it? Because it’s the kind of dystopian world where common citizens are relatively safe if they stay out of the power struggle, which – considering how things usually go in this kind of setting – is a considerable plus.

What is your most epic read of all time?

There are two, actually, and I’m still in the process of discovering them in their entirety: for a more classical approach to epic fantasy I would mention both John Gwynne’s series The Faithful and the Fallen and Of Blood and Bone; while for a touch (ok, more than just a touch…) of grim-darkness there is the First Law world created by Joe Abercrombie.

As usual, I’m not tagging anyone – no pressure! – but if you find this interesting, just jump in and share your point of view!  🙂

Reviews

THE BOOK PREDICTIONS TAG

 

Thanks to Way Too Fantasy here is another fun, book-oriented tag post, originally created by @bookprincessreviews 

What this tag needs is for me to dust off my crystal ball and share the predictions for my…

 

NEXT READ

This is an easy one: author Phil Williams – whose Sunken City novels I had the pleasure of reviewing – contacted me with the news of his next book, whose publication is slated for the second half of September.  Kept From Cages is, in Mr. Williams’ own words, a “fast-paced supernatural action-thriller” peopled with new characters but still tied to the Ordshaw world. My curiosity was quite piqued by his mention of “criminal jazz musicians” and I will start reading as soon as I finish my current book, which means in the next handful of days…

 

NEXT 5 STAR READ

Another easy prediction: I was overjoyed in receiving the bi-monthly Orbit newsletter and learning that the new Age of Madness book from Joe Abercrombie, The Trouble with Peace, is included in the September/October NetGalley releases. There is absolutely no doubt that this will turn into a 5-star read as have all the previous Abercrombie novels I have enjoyed in the past.

 

NEXT 1 STAR READ

Well… No one would pick a book with the foreknowledge that it will turn out into such a disappointing read – and picking up a book with so little promise, to say the least, would sound like an exercise in masochism, so I’m going to focus on my unwavering optimism and predict that there will be no such black marks on the next books I will pick up.

 

NEXT LOVE INTEREST OR CHARACTER THAT SEEMS REALLY COOL

I will go with “character that seems really cool” and name Circe, from the protagonist of Madeline Miller’s novel with the same title: the book promises to deliver an new and interesting angle on the mythical figure who, according to legend, imprisoned men transforming them into pigs. My love of mythology goes back to my school days, so it will certainly be a fascinating experience to revisit this story from a different point of view.

 

NEXT BOOK I WILL BE BUYING

To Be Taught, if Fortunate, by Becky Chambers: I have already acquire the first book from this author, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet thanks to the enthusiastic reviews from many of my fellow bloggers, but on a recent post I learned about this novella, that can be read on its own, and I decided to start the… experiment with a shorter work, so that my curiosity will be satisfied sooner.

 

It’s your turn now: wave your magic wands, peer into your enchanted mirrors, and let us know what your bookish future looks like!