Category Archives: 40 Series

40 Sub-Genres and Types of Dystopian Society

A dystopia is a community or society that is undesirable or frightening (Wikipedia.) An imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives (Merriam-Webster.) A dystopia is a fictional world where people live under a highly controlled totalitarian system. (Vocabulary.com)

There is a lot of discussion on what is or is not a dystopian society, and what fits into the genre. Today I’m throwing the net nice and wide. Seems like a good time to take a look at what’s out there in dystopian stories with all the COVID-19 craze (our state closed schools for the rest of the month.)

All of these stories (note: I’m including movies in this list) have societies that have frightening aspects, and they all have B-I-G dysfunctions. In my mind, that’s what defines a dystopia, it may look like a normal society or utopia, most of the people living there may be unaware of the dysfunctions, but when you get to the heart of it “things are rotten in the state of…”

Note: I’m only including titles I’ve read or watched. If your favorite dystopian story didn’t make the list leave me a comment!

  1. Blade Runner – Cyberpunk dystopian
  2. By the Feet of Men – Climate dystopia (see my review)
  3. Holes – Juvenile Detention dystopia
  4. Deus Irae – Post-apocalyptic dystopia
  5. Starship Troopers – Military dystopia
  6. Uglies – Beauty dystopia
  7. Numbers Game – Everybody has a score dystopia
  8. Logan’s Run – Society of Youth dystopia
  9. Firefly – Space Totalitarian dystopia
  10. The Matrix – Reality dystopia
  11. Partials – Near-extinction dystopia
  12. Hunger Games – Competition dystopia
  13. Divergent – Faction dystopia
  14. The Maze Runner – Puzzling dystopia
  15. Fury Road – Dystopia dystopia
  16. Unwind – teenagers aren’t real people dystopia
  17. Ender’s Game – Kids at war dystopia
  18. Fahrenheit 451 – Reading dystopia
  19. The Dark Tower – Wandering Gunslinger in a dystopia
  20. 1984 – Party line dystopia
  21. Powerless – Power = Privileged dystopia
  22. The Lunar Chronicles – Moon Mistress dystopia
  23. Mary Poppins – Gaslighting Nanny dystopia
  24. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said – You’re forgotten dystopia
  25. Venom and Vanilla – Mythical Monster Segregation dystopia
  26. City of Ember – Escaping dystopia
  27. The Running Man – Cash Grab dystopia
  28. A Series of Unfortunate Events – No one cares properly for children dystopia
  29. The Door in the Wall – Plague caused dystopia
  30. Seventh Tower – Sun-Starved dystopia
  31. Ready Player One – Real world dystopia/ Virtual world paradise
  32. The Lathe of Heaven – Dream to dystopia
  33. Titan A.E. – Post Earth dystopia
  34. Lord of the Flies – Children run this dystopia
  35. Fight Club – Making a dystopia
  36. Equilibrium – Feelings dystopia
  37. Gattaca – Genetic dystopia
  38. Snowpiercer – Dystopia on rails
  39. NeverSea – Flooded dystopia
  40. The Scourge – What you can’t see dystopia

Whew! What a list to put together. I know I’ve left of quiet a few. What’s your favorite dystopian story? How would you define a dystopia?

Are you stuck at home because of COVID-19, if so what are you reading? Leave me a note in the comments section to let me know. ☺

40 Children’s Picture Books I Love

Once when our goddaughter was 4, I told her that I had to go to work, to which she asked “Why?” I answered her “Cause I’m a grown-up and I have to.” With a full-bellied laugh she said, “You’re not a grown-up!”

Well, when it comes to books I certainly enjoy reading more than just adult books. Children’s book still have a special magic for me. Even as the now 9-year-old goddaughter is transitioning to mostly reading chapter books I continue to enjoy reading picture books and still request them from the LibraryThing early reviewers group. In fact, that’s where a lot of these books came from. I have quite a lot of good discoveries that way.

Again I’m going to try not to repeat too many entries from my other “40 Lists.” But you can check them out here. And I am leaving out Children’s series, those might get put on another list.

40 Children’s Picture Books I Love

  1. Miss Brooks Love Books (and I don’t)
  2. I Will Not Read This Book
  3. How to Code A Sandcastle
  4. Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War
  5. Grandpa’s Top Threes
  6. Invisible Lizard
  7. Sixteen Cows
  8. John Deere, That’s Who!
  9. Christmas Farm
  10. Phone Call with a Fish
  11. What Was I Scared Of?
  12. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  13. The Gruffalo
  14. The Pink Umbrella
  15. Mud Soup
  16. Barn Storm
  17. The Potty Book for Girls
  18. Elmer
  19. The Blue Jackal
  20. A Morning With Grandpa
  21. The Shy Little Kitten
  22. The Poky Little Puppy
  23. Wake Up, Sun!
  24. Corduroy
  25. Make Way for Ducklings
  26. Llama Llama Red Pajama
  27. Olivia
  28. If You Give A Pig A Pancake
  29. The Little Engine That Could
  30. Katy The Snowplow
  31. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
  32. Put Me in the Zoo
  33. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  34. The Tale of Three Trees
  35. Stone Soup
  36. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
  37. The Giving Tree
  38. The Butter Battle Book
  39. Brave As a Bunny Can Be
  40. The Mitten String

That’s my list, but really it could have been twice as long. Picking ONLY forty was pretty difficult. The field of pictures books is rich. I’d love to know if you have a favorite that I missed.

Kindle Clean Up: 40 Books I Need to Read

Continuing in my 40 Series of blog posts for my BIG 4-0 here is my list for Jan.(See the other posts here.) I’m planning on doing a Kindle Clean up in 2020. I have added a lot of great books to my Kindle in the years I’ve had it and haven’t gotten around to reading many of them.

I don’t know if I will be able to read them all this year, but I’m going to try. 😊

40 Kindle Books I Need to Read

Listed in the order they appear on my Kindle. (Also note I have 171 items 🤪 on my Kindle, these are only the top 40 I want to read.)

  1. NeverSea aka Reckless (Currently Reading)
  2. The Book on Rental Property Investing
  3. Dagger and Scythe
  4. Before the Broken Star
  5. Aerusia: Land Beyond the Sunset
  6. The Keeper: A Brilliant Darkness Story
  7. The Light Princess
  8. Fangs and Fennel
  9. Cress
  10. The Watchmaker’s Daughter
  11. Mirror X
  12. Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle
  13. A Darker Shade of Magic
  14. Underground
  15. Dividing Eden
  16. The Neverland Wars
  17. Lady of Sherwood
  18. Steamborn
  19. Warning Call
  20. The Narrowing Path
  21. Ruby’s Story: A Numbers Game Short
  22. Goddess of War
  23. Colorless
  24. City of Shadows
  25. The Sea Queen
  26. Chan’s Story: A Numbers Game Short
  27. Children of Avalon
  28. Muse: Tales of Silver Downs
  29. Coilhunter
  30. City of Skies
  31. The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian
  32. Salted
  33. Surviving the Fall
  34. Helen of Sparta
  35. A Bad Spell in Yurt
  36. Atomic Underworld
  37. Dance – Cinderella Retold
  38. The Call of Agon
  39. Everything, Everything
  40. A Princess of Mars

That it for today’s list. Have you read any of the books on my list? Which book do you think I should read next? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. Every blog comment between now and Valentines Day (Feb 14th) will get you one entry into a giveaway of a kindle copy of A Bad Breed by Kat Ross. A darkly magical reimagining of Beauty and the Beast. Giveaway is International, so long as you can receive a link to redeem a Kindle book from Amazon.

40 Best Books

Continuing in my 40 series with top 40 lists once a month for the whole year I am the big 4-0 I figured the next logical post was my 40 favorite books, also know as the best books I’ve read. This list is a little different than my 40 Books to Read Before You’re 40 list because in this list I can go full out genre-crazy. (Don’t forget to also check out my 40ish Book recommendations post.)

I held off on going too genre-crazy or niche because I wanted to list books with a broad appeal. On this list I can dive as deep as I want to into the world of genre fiction, namely Science Fiction and Fantasy, but also children’s, middle grade and young adult. I’m also going to skip any books I mentioned on the previous list. So you won’t find the Bible or Fahrenheit 451 on this list. (But I hope you will find a lot of interesting reads.)

40 of the Best Books I’ve Ever Read

Note: Listed in the order I thought of them.

  1. Dream Thief – Easily the book I’ve read the most times (not counting bed-time stories to children… then Farmer Mickey or Glow in the Dark: Stars, Moon and Clouds would be at the top. I have read those book so many times I can basically read them with my eyes shut now. 😉) I love the Dream Thief, from the settings to the action to the weird Mars mythology, but a Christian-Sci-Fi-Fantasy-Adventure story is not really for every one.
  2. Wuthering Heights – I love this haunting story, but I understand that it’s not the type of work everyone will love. I still get shivers when talking about this book.
  3. Rags and Ruins – Rags and Ruin took all of the fantasy troupe and turned them on their head in a very interesting way that was not satire, but rather in a fun adventurous way.  Read my full review.
  4. The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5) – Not your typical fantasy story, but a masterpiece nonetheless. I feel like this needs a pause… just a moment to take it in… how wonderful this story is… and how more fantasy should be this daring.
  5. Books of the Infinite – A Christian historical fantasy series. I know it’s a bit of a head scratcher when you just see the genre, but it works. Trust me. A very well done story about Ela Roeh of Parne who becomes a Prophet of the Infinite (the name of God in the fantasy world, which closely resembles Old Testament times.)
  6. Inkheart – I love books about reading and storytelling.
  7. The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread – IT IS SUCH A GOOD BOOK!!! The movie did not do it justice. Go read this book. 💖
  8. The Hunger Games – I know some people will feel this is a cheesy choice and that many people think the Hunger Games is over-rated. HOWEVER, I love dystopian YA, strong female leads and books with archers. It’s like The Hunger games was made for me.
  9. Taliesin, Merlin, Arthur (or nearly anything by Stephen R. Lawhead) – Yes he gets two spots on my list. This trilogy may be part of the wider Pendragon Cycle, but I prefer to think of these first 3 books as one story and the others as add-ons. These books were formative to my love of fantasy.
  10. The Pyrdian Chronicles – A wonderful fantasy classic. I love all the adventure and the characters and the Welsh influence setting.
  11. Deus Irae – This must be the book I’ve checked out of the library the most times. I really should get myself a copy. It’s about a crippled artist wondering in a post-war landscape trying to find their new god so he can paint his picture. It’s different and weird and then ending is very philosophical.
  12. The Lathe of Heaven – Dreams in stories and stories about dreams are some of my favorite troupes. Here Ursela K. LeGuin shows off her writing muscle and perfectly encants us in a story about a dream and his psychologist who attempts to change the world though the dream.
  13. Prometheus Bound – My favorite Greek Play.  Again I’ve read and re-read it many times. I only wish we had the two other Prometheus plays in their full forms today. Alas they didn’t survive the ages.
  14. Inferno (or nearly anything by Kat Ross) – This is my favorite book from Kat Ross, however it’s my favorite because it does an excellent job of wrapping up the thread and story lines from the previous 8 books. An excellent fantasy tale.  Read my full review
  15. Clod Makes a Friend – I have sung the delight of Clod many times. This is a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy… and cake! Read My Full Review (And yes I broke my rule on this one because it is on the first list. I just feel the need to mention Clod whenever I can.)
  16. Roar – A beautiful book with great character depth and an interesting twist to elemental magic. Read My Full Review
  17. Battlefield Earth – This book had everything… action, romance, spaceships. I don’t understand why it gets such a bad rap.
  18. Heart and Brain: An Awkward Yeti Collection – My favorite webcomic became a book and I cannot tell you how much I love that. 😍
  19. The Book of Atrus (Myst, Book 1) – The Myst games are far too mind boggling for me to play (or well I don’t like having to click around the screen just guessing at things.) But the mythology behind the games fascinated me which is why these books are so rich. Get a peak into the world and the culture of the D’ni.
  20. Nobody’s Princess  – A myth-lite book that does take a lot of liberties with Helen of Troy, but I found it an enjoyable read.
  21. Starship Troopers – An epic book! The movie seriously covers only about one chapter worth of the story told in this book. This is what sweeping science fiction should be.
  22. Sign of the Beaver – I enjoyed this book as a young adult and as an adult. It’s a story of courage and survival and is right up there with Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain.
  23. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle – I want to be like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Except not a widow and not living in an upside down house. But I love these silly stories of solving misbehavior in children.
  24. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – A great historical fiction, coming of age, fish out of water tale. The title may make it sound like fantasy, but it’s not. It’s set in colonial America at a time where neighbors eyed strange behavior as witchcraft.
  25. Island of the Blue Dolphins – A great story of survival. (I know there are several on this list.) This one really spoke to me when I was younger because it was about a GIRL surviving on her own, being smart and practical and self-sufficient.
  26. Ralph Mouse Books – The mouse and the motorcycle is a classic and really all the tales of Ralph are endearing and fun.
  27. The Serendipity Books – I loved this artwork as a child and now that I’m grown I’m working to collect all these book. However… some of the books and stories are dated and the message does’t play well nowadays. Still the artwork is amazing!
  28. I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! – My favorite Dr. Seuss book. I’ve actually read it enough times that I can **almost** read it with my eyes shut. Have I mention how much I love book that are about reading?
  29. Tales of the Wild West Series – A great series of short books with themes like Pioneers, Mountain Men, and Gunfighters. Based on true tales, tall tales, diaries and recollections.
  30. Antigone – Except it’s only this one translation that I found in a used book store that is on my mind. It was translated to English to be performed in occupied France during WWII. The anti-nazi undertones are delightful.
  31. Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don’t) – My FAVORITE kids book of all time! A book about finding the love of reading.
  32. I Will Not Read This Book – A gem I found by accident while shopping at a discount store. If you have reluctant reader I highly recommend this book.
  33. Brian’s Winter – Since I put Hatchet on my earlier list I’m putting Brian’s Winter here. Both books really need to be read together. When Miss S and I finished Hatchet she immediately said, “I almost wish he hadn’t have been saved. I want to read more.” And I was like BAM! 💥 “I have a book for that.” and pulled out Brian’s Winter.
  34. Chronicles of Narnia – I did put The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe on my first list, but really go ahead and read the series.
  35. 99 Days (Red Proxy #2) – It’s been hard for me to put into words, aka a review, what this book is to me. A very different fantasy story that left me thinking for long, long after I read it. If you want a book that really questions the value of a life through an epic fantasy quest then this is it.
  36. Half Magic (Tales of Magic, #1) – My parents read these books to us when I was little and they are filled with warmth and fun and important lessons.
  37. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly – I made the mistake of reading an excerpt of this book and ended up not being able to put it down. A suspense book that will leave you breathless.
  38. Original Nancy Drew – I’m not just talking about the Secret of the Old Clock, but Nancy Drew books in the editions before they were updated (and then updated again) if you haven’t read the originals you are missing out. Nancy is a kick in the teeth herione.
  39. Ticker – A fun steampunk adventure with a heroine name Penny Farthing, which alone should tell you something.
  40. Marvel 1602 – A great graphic novel, esp if you are like me and enjoy Marvel, Neil Gaiman and the Renaissance.

That’s my list… what’s the best book you’ve ever read. I’d really like to know so leave me a comment below. And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 🎉🎉🎉🍾