Category Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday #22

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 25, 2017Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

Choosing a book is as much about mood as it is about the topic, setting or genre of the book, but there are some books I just know I won’t be interested in.

Top 10 Topics that Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

  1. Vampires – I have never been into Vampires, especially when they are the “good guys.” The whole idea of them is revolting to me, especially since they are basically cannibals who trade their souls for immortality and then degrade themselves constantly. Just not interested.
  2. Romeo and Juliette – Or “star-crossed lovers” if it’s in a description of a book and that book has not been written by Shakespeare I’m not interested. I think people have vastly misunderstood the message of Romeo and Juliette. “Romeo and Juliet is not a love story. It’s a 3 day relationship between a 13 year old and a 17 year old that caused 6 deaths. Sincerely, everyone who actually read it.” – Anonymous
  3. Horror – I’m not into things that are gruesome. So much of horror seems to be gruesome from gruesome’s sake and shocking for shock sake. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why people enjoy dismemberment, or torture, or cruelty, or anything like that.
  4. Graphic Sex – For the most part it just doesn’t do anything for the story. Why do we need to have all the details when it’s so much classier to allude to it?
  5. Amish Fiction – I don’t know how this genre got to be such a big thing. I understand wanting to read about different cultures and unfamiliar settings, but it just seems like there are too many books in this category. The Amish lifestyle might be interesting, but it’s weird that we have commercialize their lifestyle in such a way.
  6. Urban Fantasy – I have tried to get into Urban Fantasy. I picked up the City of Bones because so many people raved about it, but through out most of the book I kept thinking, “Buffy did it better.” In a lot of Urban Fantasy it seems like I can’t stay in the story, the world building and the characters don’t work for me.
  7. Harlequin Romance – These books just seem to cheapen real romance. For me I’d rather experience the real thing than read about an unreal tpye of romance. Plus the way these books are published in bulk makes them formulatic.
  8. Rush Limbaugh – I have family members who think he’s great, so they occasionally give me one of his books. I have no interest in reading his inflammatory perspective. (Note: Just the other day my Grandmother tired to get me to read something by Rush.)
  9. Politics – In general I do not enjoy books on political subjects.
  10. Men without their shirts on – When I see this on the cover I just roll my eyes and pass it by. Beside they are always airbrushed abs anyway.

What kinds of things turn you off from choosing a book? Are there topics you just don’t find interesting? Leave me a comment and let me know.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #21

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 18, 2017: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book (topic originally done back in 2013 as top ten words/topics that will make me instantly want to read a book) — so yeah basically any topic or theme or ANYTHING (ie if X person recommends it) that will make you instantly want to pick up a book.

My reading habits have been called eclectic before, and that’s because I’m just as likely to have my nose in a Nancy Drew book as I am the Brothers Karamazov. My taste ranges from fantasy to science fiction, from Greek tragedy to modern poetry, and from Christian Fiction to YA Dystopian. That being said, yes there are somethings that will draw me to a book more that other things, and here is an un-ordered list of ten of those.

Top Ten Topics That Make Me Want to Read A Book

    1. Greek Mythology – I love Greek tragedy and try to fit at least 1 Greek play into my reading every year. But I also like to see Greek mythology remixed, retold, twisted or simply alluded to. It’s why I took a chance on Venom & Vanilla, even though I don’t normally like Urban Fantasy. One of my favorites in the category: Nobody’s Princess.

    1. Stephen R Lawhead – Lawhead is my favorite author. I have read every book by him, and own most of them. I especially like his Robin Hood and Arthurian retellings. My favorite book of all time is Dream Thief.

    1. Arthurian Retellings – If it has Merlin, Arthur, or the Knight of the Round Table in it I probably want to read it. I am an Arthur junkie. (Although I admit to not being able to get into the series Merlin, for some reason.) I already mentioned Lawhead’s retelling, an interesting one I read lately was Shadowland: A Tale From The Dark Ages.

    1. Dreams – I enjoy stories where the main character is drawn into their dreams, or lives another life in their dreams, or just where dreams play a major part in the real world. I’ve already mentioned how much I love Dream Thief, another one you may want to check out is Dreamlander

    1. Good Fantasy World Building – I don’t look for just any fantasy story, I want one I can loose myself in. Which is why The Lord of the Rings is awesome. Nothing takes me out of the story faster than a world in which the characters don’t seem to fit. But if I hear from other reviewers that the world building really drew them in, it’s a bet that the book is going into my TBR. Check out the The Midnight Sea(The Fourth Element, #1) for some great world building.

    1. Newbery – One of my major reading goals is to read through all the Newbery books. I fell really behind on this last year, but am hoping to get up to speed again this year. One of the best of the titles I’ve read so far is Holes.

    1. Archers – This one is especially true of comics, but two of my childhood heroes where Robin Hood and William Tell (thanks to two BBC series on PBS.) So when Lawhead came out with his Hood series I was tickled pink. And I also loved The Hunger Games.

    1. Philip K. Dick – Is another author I love and will read pretty much anything I can get my hands on. It’s crazy with the amount of books he’s written how hard it is to come across them second hand. Second Variety, is a short story of his that I am still thinking about (and creeped out by) years after reading it. My favorite novel of his is Deus Irae, which I’ve read at least twice.

    1. Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys 1st Edition – This one may sounds a little weird, but I look for and collect the original Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books, it’s doesn’t have to really be 1st edition just the original copyright before they were changed. That’s right, the stories have been updated several times to change jargon and make them more modern. I recently picked up the original The Secret of Red Gate Farm.

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By Source, Fair use, Link

    1. Finished Series – I kinda hate having to wait for the next book to come out. So if I stumbled on an already finished series that sparks my interest I’d much rather read that. And if I can pick up the whole thing for Kindle at a good price that helps too. It’s why I read the Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf, which was a total hoot. I also really enjoyed The Five Kingdoms series.

Runner up: Dystopian – I used to love dystopian fiction and this had been a reason to pick up a book, but now the market is SO flooded. It’s like everything has to have a dystopian setting.

Do you related to any of these? What is something make make you instantly want to pick up a book? Leave me a comment below.

Top Ten Tuesday #20

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 11, 2017: Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read Some variations: top ten unique sounding books on my TBR, top ten most unique books I’ve read in X genre, etc.

This is a pretty big category to wrap my head around. What makes a book unique? Is it the publisher, the rarity, the binding? Is it some gimmick, some limited edition thing? Is the the plot, the characters, the setting? Any of these things could be the right answer. There are a lot of ways books can be unique, and its one of the reason so many enjoy collecting them.

For this list I’m going to focus on books the look unique. This is mostly inspired by my local used book seller and his Instagram account, browsersbookstore.  I’m going to be using post from them and other Instagram book sellers / #bookstagram to complete this list.

Top Ten Unique Books

Why? Because little books are fun and also because it’s double history, the history of the Emancipation Proclamation in a book that is history itself.

Why? I freely admit to being a James Bond fan girl (As long as we leave Daniel Craig aka WORST BOND EVER, out of it.) I am working my way through the full collection of trade paper back my sister gave me, but there is something special about first editions.

First edition Mickey Mouse reading Gullivers Travels! #arthurrackham #rarebooks #mickeymouse #childrensbooks #illustrations

A post shared by Rare and Antique (@rareandantiquebooks) on

Why? The cover is beautiful enough on it’s own, but illustrations of Mickey Mouse reading Gullivers travels? Priceless!

Why? Exquisite! Plus I love all thing Arthurian and Art Nouveau, which this book combines.

Think you have everything Lord of the Rings? #fantasy #MiddleEarth

A post shared by Another Read Through (@another.read.through) on

Why? I thought I did, but I’ve never heard of this book before. (I even own The Fellowship in Mandarin Chinese, which I picked up while teaching English in China mind you.) We have a whole Tolkien shelf combing the multiple copies and different edition we have of the books. And of course my husband claims to be the ultimate Tolkien fan because he married Arwen. 😊

Some amazing #bindings bound by #Cedricchivers will be on display at the #newyorkantiquarianbookfair, visit our booth E10

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Why? Another beautiful Art Nouveau piece of work. You could just look at these book all day long.

This finely bound Book of Common Prayer is noteworthy because of its stunning bejewelled binding after a design by William Burges, with five brass-mounted semi-precious stones on each board together with two elaborate armorial brass clasps, again set with stones. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀William Burges was one of the pre-eminent figures of the Victorian mediaeval revival. This work was commissioned by Lord and Lady Ripon. Studley Royal and St. Mary's Churches were both built for the Ripons between 1871 and 1878. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Tragically the funds for these builds came from unspent ransom cash from a kidnap that went wrong and which ended in the death of a good friend of the family, Frederick Grantham Vyner. He had been apprehended by Greek bandits during an expedition to Marathon and was shot, along with three friends, in an ensuing gun battle with armed troops. Vyner's mother and her sister Lady Ripon then decided to dedicate the unused ransom money to this memorial project. #beautiful

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Why? The history behind this amazing looking book could be a book itself. The book is in great condition looking almost new.

Why? Because it made me laugh. Chicken scratch… from scratch…KGB Chicken… who comes up with this stuff?

Why? Again it’s a little book and tiny books are cool. And somehow this one has text find inside it in two languages.

Why? In case you didn’t know my day time job is as a freelance content manager and website developer. I’ve been doing a lot of code work lately so this one just stood out, even though it on morse code and not computer code.

Bonus:

These awesome bookends…

Lovely bookends my partner gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago:).

A post shared by @mouchbooks on

 

Top Ten Tuesday #19

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 4, 2017: Fandom Freebie — top ten fandoms I’m in, 10 reasons X fandom is the best, must have merchandise for x fandom, etc. etc.

How to pick just ten when Firefly is one of the most perfectly conceived and well made shows ever? (And it’s even a Sci-fi Western, yes they somehow pulled that off.) So instead I’m going to countdown my favorite characters from the show, and because Firefly is a needs to been seen, I’m going to do this post all clippy. I’ll also try my best not to use any spoilers, but be warned just in case I let one slip.

Firefly Character Countdown

  1. Simon – A handsome, well educated doctor from a wealthy family. A lot of girls would swoon, but not me. One of the main motivators from the larger plot arch of the series and the movie, he’s necessary but he’s not my favorite. However he does occasionally have a good line. And you gotta love his commitment to protecting his sister.

  1. Inara – A Companion, guild-certified high class prostitute, who rents a shuttle from Serenity to have a mobile business. Again necessary to the plot and as a love foil for the Captain, but I just don’t like her that much. She is smart and independent and professional and in control of her sexuality- everything a good feminist roll model should be. Maybe that’s why I don’t like her that much, it too overt, too obvious. I know Joss Weadon is a feminist and he really does a good job of creating strong feminine characters, but in Inara he goes over the top.

  1. Kaylee – The ships mechanic and sort of mascot, who is eternally optimistic and bright (both in her clothing and personality and intellegence.) I do like Kaylee, and the only reason she is further down on this list is that the other characters are just that much stronger. If the show had lasted longer we may have gotten to have more Kaylee episodes.

  1. River – The troubled younger sister of Simon, who seems to have some interesting talents. Talents the government wants, and they will do anything to get River back into their custody. The show and the crew wouldn’t be the same without her. She gives them all (except Jayne) a little sister to put up with, to defend, to unite around. Plus the mystery surrounding her keeps the plot jumping.

  1. Shepherd Book – A man of faith searching for his place in the ‘Verse, who stumbled across Serenity and who can’t seem to let go of the family he found there even if the Captain is hostile to his religion. Book has a mystery around his past, and is full of experience and wisdom for the crew. Without Book there would be no moral center at all, and I get the idea that this already drifting crew would really be lost.

  1. Serenity (The Ship) – I couldn’t do a character list without mentioning the ship herself. One of the great things about the show is how even the ship has a character arc, a history, a personality. And she is beautiful, I just love this ship. Serenity may not be the Enterprise, but she feel like some place I could call home.

  1. Wash – The spunky, hilarious, often childlike ship’s pilot. Nearly every line that Wash has in the show is funny, and in a way that feel totally natural. Sometimes a show will have a comic relief character who really feels forced, and who doesn’t really belong with the others. Wash is part of the Serenity family, he belongs, and his skill is necessary to get them out of a lot of sticky situations.

  1. Zoe – The strong and talented warrior woman who is second in command of Serenity. She has some seriously great lines like “Sir, I think you have a problem with your brain being missing,” and the famous tag line “Big Damn Heroes.” Zoe could be a really dark character, but she knows when to get down to business and when to take it easy. Still not someone who want to mess around with, she’s always half a second from violence.

  1. Mal – The Captain, the whole show kinda belong to him. While some of the others play supporting or motivating role it all revolves around Malcolm Reynolds whose strength of character keeps the whole thing together. There are times that literally things should not have worked out, when it was all going to pieces in a hurry, but it was Mal who willed them to happen. A lot of it is summed up in the “First Rule of Flying” that he gives River Tam at the end of Serenity, which I will include below.

  1. Jayne – He’s a true chaotic neutral, which makes him the kinda of gruff bad boy you always fall for in fiction. (And if that’s not your thing remember there’s plenty of other characters to swoon over.) Even the show knows how awesome Jayne is because they gave him his own hero song in the episode “Jaynestown.”

Top Ten Tuesday #18

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

Since I’ve started blogging more regularlly I’ve

February 28, 2017: Freebie Top Ten Books With X Setting (top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc.)

I’m much more of a genre reader than one who thinks much about where a book is set. (I did do an earlier Top Ten Tuesday post on Books Set Outside to USA.) But for today’s picks I’m choosing books with a Scandinavian or Russian setting. Quite frankly, there’s going to be a lot of Elizabeth Boyer in this list.

Top 10 Books Set in A Scandinavian or Russian Setting

In no particular order: (If I have reviewed the book the title will be linked to my Goodreads review, the images are linked to Amazon.)

    1. The Troll’s Grindstone
    2. Troll Fell
    3. Number the Stars
    4. White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors
    5. The Sword and the Satchel 
    6. The Thrall and the Dragon’s Heart
    7. The Crown and the Crucible
    8. The Curse of Slagfid
    9. A Doll’s House
    10. Crime and Punishment

Top Ten Tuesday #17

top-10-tbr-1

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

November 8: Ten Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately (inspired by my New to the Queue posts)

Since I’ve started blogging more regularlly I’ve added A LOT of books to my To-Be-Read or TBR shelf. I’ve been trying to keep track of them on Goodreads on a special shelf. This list is going to be of books I added to the list in 2016 that I am really looking forward to reading.

Top 10 TBR Books

  1. The Lost Eye of the Serpent – Back in August I participated in a Book Blitz for this book. I’m totally down for a female Sherlock Holmes twist.
  2. A Madness So Discreet – If the cover isn’t enough for you this madness/mystery/crime fighting story seems to have plenty more to offer.
  3. Winterspell – A re-telling of the Nutcracker as a dark late Victorian fairy tale sounds like a good winter’s day read.
  4. Tarnish and Brazen – I am a Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Impersonator, so these Tudor era novels are right up my alley.
  5. The Queen’s Poisoner – I keep hearing about this one on blog after blog. I think I got it as a Kindle First selection, so now it’s just sitting there waiting for me to have the time to read it. More of a historic book than a fantasy story, it keeps being compared to Richard III.
  6. Ticker – Steampunk Frankenstein, yeah I’ll read that.  Although it’s got crazy mixed reviews, with people who either love it or hate it and pretty much nothing inbetween.
  7. Air Awakens – This first line of the description was enough to capture my attention, “A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…”
  8. The Invisible Library – A sci-fi fantasy about alternate realities and libraries with secret societies well that sounds interesting.
  9. Everything, Everything – This books keeps popping up EVERYWHERE, with so many people raving about it. I’m not normally a drama/ teen love story type, but I found it on Kindle for only $1.99, so I’ll give it a shot.
  10. Room – This one is a little different for me as I’m not big on suspence books, though I occasionally will read a older Mary Higgins Clark novel. This one just sounds so intriguing.

What have you added to your TBR lately?

Top Ten Tuesday #16

top-10-villians

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

October 4:  All About The Villains : top ten favorite/most compelling villains in books, top ten of the most vile villains/bad guys in books, top ten villains I secretly (or not so secretly) love, favorite tv villains, favorite comic book villains, ten “villains” of contemporary lit.

Besides everything else I read I am a big comic book fan. My favorites being Fantastic Four and Sojourn (by defunct Crossgen Comics.) Besides my list you should check out Top 100 Marvel Villains.

Top 10 Comic Book Villains

(in order of my favorite)

10. Hyperstorm (Marvel/ Fantastic Four) – Who is he? Jonathan Richards, the son of Franklin Richards and Rachel Summers. Seriously powerful guy, who rules all the know space of his dimension and has his eye on earth dimension too.

jonathan_richards_earth-967

9. Lyja (Marvel/ Fantastic Four) – Who is she? Johnny Storms wife… sort of he thought he was married to Alicia Masters, but in a comic-book soap opera twist, he married a shape-shifting Skrull instead. Lyja comes and goes in the Fantastic Four story line, and is even thought dead for a while.693210-lyja

8. Malice (Marvel/ Fantastic Four) – Who is she? Sue Richards is turned into Malice by Mephisto (who nearly made the list himself.) Malice is the first time you really see all of what Sue is capable of. Seriously she is like Sue but 100% times more aggressive.

malice

 

7. Magneto (Marvel) – Who is he? Erik Lehnsherr a powerful mutant who can manipulate magnetic fields. One of the X-Mens main villains, he believes that mutants are superior to humans and is prove to disregard human governments.

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6. Sentinels (Marvel) – Who are they? A robot army created to round up mutants. Ever since the 1990s X-Men cartoon I’ve been fascinated by the idea of the Sentinels.

1779511-sentinels_ultimate_universe

5.  Titania (Marvel/ Fantastic Four) – Who is she? A minor villain in the Fantastic Four (with the strength to go toe-to-toe with the Thing) until she picks up a weapon of the worthy in Fear Itself. Then she becomes the Breaker of Men. This is one bad lady.

1799874-creel_titana_026

4. Charon (Crossgen /Negation) – Who is he? The “god” of the Negation side of the universe. Charon is what happens when you have near limitless power, you become mad with, corrupt beyond corrupt.

charon

 

3. Annihilus (Marvel/ Fantastic Four) – Who is he? Spoiler: The one who kills Johnny Storm. Annihilus is the ruler of the Negative Zone, an parallel dimension. He uses a weapon called the Cosmic Control Rod. Because he is often portrayed as childlike he can be pretty creepy as he is sending his massive waves of insect like beings to invade earth.

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2. Mordath (Crossgen / Sojourn) – Who is he? The once dead conqueror of the world Quin. He is marked with a sigil and awakes from death to take revenge on the world he once ruled. Having an undead, super powerful bader than bad guy vs. a human archer makes for a compelling series. Too bad Crossgen went bankrupt and was able to go more than 38 issues.

mordath

1. Dr. Doom –  Who is he? Seriously if you don’t know who Doom is go read a comic book. 😉

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Who is your favorite comic book villain?

 

Top Ten Tuesday #15

top-10-sci-fi-shows

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

September 20: All About Audio freebie —  aka top ten audiobooks you should listen to, 10 books I want to listen to on audio,10 bands you should check out, 10 podcasts you should be listening to, 10 of my all time favorite albums, 10 songs I love, really whatever you can come up with.

Yikes! I don’t really do audio books. I’ve tried many times and just can’t get into them. So instead I’m going to do this weeks post on a recent topic that I missed.

September 6:  In honor of Fall TV, do a TV-themed topic!

Ok, let’s be honest, I have a problem. I am somehow a sucker for sci-fi shows that are only 1 or 2 seasons long. If a show is destined to be cancelled too soon I will be a fan. (And I’m not just talking about Firefly, although that will be at the top of my list.) Show after show, I get into it and it gets cancelled (or I got into it without realizing how it ends.) Doctor Who fans should be glad I’ve never gotten into the Doctor, because it would probably get cancelled as soon as I did. (The ONLY exception to this rule so far has been Star Trek of which I have been a fan since I was a child.)

This time I have listed them in order.

Top Ten TV Shows That Ended Too Soon

  1. Firefly – What can I say? One of the greatest shows ever created and it’s only 14 episodes long. If you haven’t watched it yet quit reading this list and go watch it!
  2. Roughnecks – An animated story about the characters from Starship Troopers (closer to the book than the movie adaptation.) The character development is really deep for a cheesy action animated series. You will actually get invested in the characters, but it has one of the most jarring endings ever! Being honest, this is the series I would want to see get a second chance. Not because it’s better than Firefly, but because as an animated series it would be easier to finish/reboot. The actors from Firefly have moved on and aged and it just wouldn’t be the same at this point.
  3. Space Above and Beyond – Can I cry? The ending of this series makes me want to cry. The season ends on a cliff hanger, because you know they were expecting a second season and were hoping to pick up the story where it left off. But sadly it didn’t happen. This series follow a class of marine cadets through their training and out into the war zone as an alien encounter with settlers soon leads to full blown war. 
  4. Doll House – Another Joss Weadon gem. In this series Echo is a doll, someone whose mind can be reprogrammed in order to be your perfect date, or a hostage negotiator, or whoever else you might want her to be. Echo is not an average doll though, there is something unique about her mind. At least Joss got warning that there was going to be a third season and sort of got to wrap the series up. Although there was a lot more that he could have done with it.
  5. The Finder – A series that might have gone far if not for the untimely death of one of it’s stars. Walter Sherman has a gift for finding things and seeing connections that others don’t. A great light-hearted detective series that end all too soon. RIP Michael Clarke Duncan.
  6. Alphas – The best of the nuevo-mutant series, which includes Hero’s and The Tomorrow People. Alphas is a character drama about people who have extraordinary gifts. Abilities unlike anything the human race has seen so far. My favorite is Gary an autistic man who can see radio waves, cellphone signals and other broadcasts. Season two ends on a cliff hanger, and I don’t know why there wasn’t a third season.
  7. Star Hunter – Just when the cheesy-ness of this Y2K sci-fi show begins to pay off, it’s over. The graphics are bad, the sets are bad, the screen plays mediocre, but it grows on you. The story of a out-of-luck starship captain and his plucky crew is familiar. I’m not sure why I liked it so much maybe because it attempts to add some real physics and depth to its sci-fi story telling.
  8. Dark Angel – I am in the middle or re-watching the series for the first time since it went off air (so don’t spoil the ending for me.) Max is a super powered teenager, who is the result of a secret government program. She escaped and is living in secret in a near-future Seattle. An EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) erased all of the banking and credit card data and really everything online plunging the US into a new non-quite post- apocalyptic great depression. Max is a cat-bugler/street vigilante searching for clues to her past while trying to stay under the radar for government powers that want her back.
  9. Earth 2 – It’s been on my Netflix queue for a long time but I just can’t bring myself to watch it again. I guess I’m afraid that the effects will be really dated and it won’t live up to the test of time. This is about a desperate group of Earth colonists who crash land on a planet and attempt to start over.
  10. Ark – Technically a web series, not a TV series, but still I had to mention it because it had great production values and a great story. A woman wakes up on a mysterious ship deep in space, with no knowledge of where she is or how she got there, but it seems that she is not alone.ark-web-seriesSo that’s my list. Do you have a favorite show you think got canceled too soon? Have you watched any of the series that I mentioned? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Top Ten Tuesday #14

top-10-fantasy

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

September 13: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre

I’m running a little late on everything these days, while I am moving my office out to my grandparents farm. Worst of all the internet there has a data-cap and it gets throttled to almost dial-up speeds when you hit the limit, so I’ve been trying to find a better internet solution that reaches out to the rural area they live in.

So I am a day late, but I just couldn’t miss this one since I am a big genre reader. In fact, just choosing one genre is not easy. (And these are not in any particular order.) Also, I’ll try not to make the whole list about Stephen R. Lawhead. 😉

Top Ten Fantasy Books & Series…

  1. Books of the Infinite – Book two Judge was by book of the year in 2015. I had read Prophet a couple of years ago, but when I got Judge I decided to read through the whole series back-to-back and it blew me away. The Books of the Infinite are a Biblical/Historical/Fantasy series set in a fantasy realm. It’s hard to wrap your head around the whole idea of it, but the books are so well written you’ll forgive the genre criss-crossing right away.
  2. Lord of the Rings – Might as well just get it out of the way. The grand-daddy of fantasy series. Of course, I have a special affinity for the series I was named after. My parents read the books together when my mom was pregnant and yes they named me Arwen, it’s my real name.
  3. The Pendragon Cycle – This is where I would tell you to start with Stephen R Lawhead. The first three books of this series are absolutely fantastic. Taliesin begins with the fall of Atlantis, Merlin is the story of the young Merlin and his early life, and Arthur is about King Arthur (who else?). It’s the best Arthurian re-telling I’ve ever read.
  4. The Song of Albion Collection – Another Stephen R Lawhead series. This one is full of Celtic mythology and lore. The main character crosses over into an ancient other-world and in drawn into the fight between good and evil with both worlds at stake. For me these books are a great, quick read, the kind you can’t put down.
  5. Stardust – An absolutely fabulous book by Neil Gaiman. Weaving fantasy and fairy tales and history together in a unique story with a world all of it’s own. If you like Neil Gaiman and haven’t read this book yet add it to the top of your TBR.
  6. The Saga of the Trillium – I great collaboration between fantasy authors. Triplet princesses each have separate, yet connected destinies to fulfill in this series that weaves in and out of each of their stories.  The alien world they live on is full of mystery (and I still occasionally ponder over it years after I’ve finished the series.) It’s a world that once abounded in scientific marvels and in magic, but now much of the knowledge of both has been forgotten. The world building is excellent, and the characters strong. A great fantasy series!
  7. Myst: The Book of Atrus and other Myst books by Rand Miller – I don’t even know what to say about this book that wouldn’t be a spoiler. I feel like these books are one of the best kept secrets of fantasy. You’ve probably heard of the game Myst, and if you’re like me were completely baffled by it. But these books unpack the mysteries of the world and of the time leading up to the beginning of the game.
  8. The Seventh Tower Collection – World building is so important in fantasy stories, and Garth Nix does a fantastic job of creating a world unlike any other. It drew me in and I binge read all 6 books. The sun is blocked by a magical veil and the world split into two factions. The Icelcarls who have learned to eek out an existence in the harsh world of ice that the perpetual darkness has caused and the Chosen who live in a tower and have “tamed” the shadow creature who had at one time threaten their world.
  9. The Chronicles of Prydain – Mostly know for being the source for Disney’s “The Black Cauldron” these book tell the story of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his friends. This series is high fantasy and very deep thinking in a very approachable story.
  10. The Name of the Wind – It was so hard to pick a 10th book! I kept thinking of possibilities (this list could have been 25, not 10.) But I picked this one because it is sooo strong and because I am really looking forward to the next books (once I have time to read them.) This first person narrative is told in parts, building the biography of a wizard (who at the time of the telling is really more of a bartender.) But the mystery between who he was and who he is, is what it’s all about, and what has me interested in the next installments.

I know I left a lot of great fantasy off of my list. Tell me some of your favorites in the comments below.

Top Ten Tuesday #13 BONUS

Back to School 2

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.toptentuesday

August 30: Back To School Freebie — anything “back to school” related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, Required Reading For All Fantasy Fans, required reading for every college freshman, Books to Pair With Classics or Books To Complement A History Lesson, books that would be on my classroom shelf if I were a teacher.

This week topic was so good I had to come back to it. And reading all the other posts really was creativity fuel. So here is a bonus top ten back to school list.

Top Ten Book That Were Required Reading…

  1. The Odyssey – Because of a fluke I didn’t get the senior reading list until 2 weeks before the school year started. So I ended up having to read the Odyssey in 2 weeks because there was going to be a test on it the first day of senior AP English!
  2. The Heart of Darkness – I fully admit to being a fan of Joseph Conrad and the Heart of Darkness was only the tip of the iceberg. Due to the same fluke that caused me to get my reading list late I ended up taking 2 senior English classes and we covered this book in both.
  3. Hamlet – I ❤️ Hamlet. I’m so glad that we had to study this in high school. And I’m so glad that the Kenneth Branagh movie adaptation came out about the same time because it added another layer of depth to the my learning. (I also read Romeo and Juliette, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, and Macbeth in high school.)
  4. The Canterbury Tales – Okay so we didn’t read the whole things, just the prologue, the Knights Tale and the Wife’s Tale. But more importantly we had to memorize the first 14 lines in Old English which has served me well to this day as I often quote it to give kids a taste of Old English when I do classroom visits as Queen Anne.
  5. A Tale of Two Cities – The opening page of this book blew me away. The character and setting in the book are both really rich and real. It got me interested in a part of history I had never considered before.
  6. The Joy Luck Club – I have always had an interest in China but probably would have never picked up an Amy Tan novel if not for it being on our reading list. I am not always a fan of contemporary literature or chick-lit, but I really enjoyed this book and have read a couple of her other books as an adult.
  7. Medea – Enter a lifetime love of Greek plays in 5,4,3,2,1. While the Odyssey is great it doesn’t have the same feel of plays like Medea, Electra or Prometheus Bound (my personal favorite.) One thing you learn in these plays is that Greek women probably invented revenge, and if they didn’t invent it they perfected it. DO NOT CROSS a Greek Woman.
  8. Elizabeth Barrett Browning – Okay not really a book, but thanks to reading EBB during a poetry unit in high school I found my favorite poet. Also as I studied her for a college project I found out that her first published work was a translation of Prometheus Bound which is how I came to read what has become my favorite Greek Play.
  9. Sign of the Beaver / Hatchet – Going back to Middle School on these two. Again a these stories opened up my world to new genres to read. I thought that adventure books like these were probably just for boys (although I had already read the Hardy Boys books.) However I got a real interest in the YA survival adventure genre after reading these (and Island of the Blue Dolphins.)
  10. The Forgotten Door – Also going back to Middle School. I vividly remember this book. It’s strange that it was a school book because it’s kind of a mystery, sci-fi, fantasy story. But I enjoyed the book and it obviously made a mark.