Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Surprising Reads of 2019

“He was asleep, but woke at the sound of the key turning in the lock.”

First line in The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Hi, readers and welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday, which is so wonderfully hosted by Shanah from Bionic Bookworm. Head over to her blog to see the rest of the topics for December.

Today, we’re talking about our surprising reads of 2019. I’m notsome who reads books I expect to hate but there are still those books I taka chance knowing they might not be for me. This is a list of the books that proved that stepping out of my comfort zones can be the best decision.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

I saw this book at the bookstore and, honestly, I just bought it because it was pretty. Luckily, the story inside turned out to be just as beautiful. It’s set in an alternate 19th century England where people can get rid of their memories by binding them to books. The writing is atmospheric and the characters are easy to latch onto.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

The second book in the adult historical fantasy series Winternight Trilogy was probably the biggest surprise of the year. I like the first alright, but it was only a 3-star book for me so I actually waited quite a long time before I picked up The Girl in the Tower. When I’d read it I would have given it more than 5 stars on Goodreads if only I could. That’s how much I loved it.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

It’s been a minute since this one has made an apperance on my blog. If you’re new then I need to tell you that this is my favorite book of the year. That’s surprising because the book is literary fiction… which I don’t read. However, A Little Life grabbed hold of my heart and wouldn’t let go. It still hasn’t even though I read it 10 months ago.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Even though I only gave this one 4 stars, it was still a pleasant surprise to me. I expected to feel more indifferent about this as I has been a while since I loved a book in this universe. I ended up flying through its almost 1,000 pages in less than a week. I didn’t care about the main characters but all the side characters gave me life. I really want more of those.

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Again, we have a sequel where I didn’t love the first book in the series. Lucky that I’m so stubborn and refuse to quit series. The Queen of Attolia greatly expands the world in series of The Queen’s Thief. I also got even more of one of my all-time favorite characters, Eugenides, and I’m overall so greatful for this series.

This was very fun to put together. Some of these I’d completely forgotten that I read in 2019. I’d love to know some of your surprising reads of the year and why you were surprised by them. Have a great day!

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Authors I Need To Read

“We should start back,” Gared urged as the wood began to grow dark around them.”

First line in A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Hi to you, you lovely people. Here’s another Top 5 Tuesday post and the topic for today is authors I need to read. There are still quite a few popular authors I haven’t read anything from yet, and so this is a perfect opportunity to remind myself to get to them at some point.

Top 5 Tuesday is as always hosted by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm, so head over there if you’re interested in knowing the remaining topics for November.

Becky Chambers

I didn’t hear the name Becky Chambers until a few months ago, but since then she seems to pop up everywhere. Her Wayfarers series is on my TBR, and I’m very intrigued to see what all the fuss is about.

Francesca Zappia

Not an author who’s written that many books, but it seems like so many people has read at least one of her books. I’m definitely also planning on picking up Eliza and Her Monsters.

Christina Lauren

No, I’ve never read a single Christina Lauren book. In my defense however, I will point out that they only write contemporaries, which I don’t read much of. I really want to try out one of their books to see if they’re for me. I plan on reading Autoboyography.

Robin Hobb

I’m slowly working my way through some of the most popular fantasy authors and Hobb is definitely one of them. I’ve heard that her books are a little hard to get into so that might be why I’ve been putting them off. However, Assassin’s Apprentice is still of my TBR.

Mary E. Pearson

The Remnant Chronicles by her has been sitting on my TBR for almost 2 years now. I really want to read it, but at the same time I’m afraid I’m not going to like it. It seems like a very romance-heavy fantasy which is very much a hit or miss for me. I’m still going to read it because so many people love it so much.

Apparently I’m only going to be reading female authors in the future. That was a complete coincidence, but I’m looking forward to trying these authors out. Are these some of your favorite authors or are they also someone who want to read from?

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Books I’m Excited to Read

“I had arrived early for my own assassination.”

First line in The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

It’s Tuesday!! I haven’t done a Top 5 or Top Ten Tuesday for a couple of weeks now, but today I’m getting back on the horse. The topic for Top 5 Tuesday this week is actually perfect: top 5 books on my TBR I’m most excited to read. I mean, have you seen how many potentially great books that are released today? If you haven’t, don’t worry. I’m going to feature some of them on this list.

First I of course have to give a shout out to Shanah from Bionic Book Worm for hosting this meme and for coming up with these great topics. Head over to her blog and check out the rest of the topics for November.

Let’s talk about books. Here are 5 books I’m dying to read.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

I finished The Way of Kings a little over a week ago, and since then I’ve been constantly checking my library app to see when I get to read this second book in The Stormlight Archive. I want more of this world!

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

I expect to see this particular book on many lists today because who hasn’t been dying to read this? And it’s one the books that’s out today! I read Thunderhead in June but I still feel like I’ve been waiting for this for forever because of that ending. I need The Toll now.

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Another book that is out today! I still can’t believe we’re getting an entire trilogy about my two favorite characters from The Raven Cycle, Ronan and Adam. However, I think that what I look forward to the most is to enjoy Stiefvater’s writing style again. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s absolutely perfect.

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith

An adult fantasy series about a library and characters escaping from their books? Seems like Hackwith knows exactly how to get my attention. It’s a pretty new release, but the reviews I’ve seen so far are all great, so I need to get my hands on this one soon.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

I’ve only read one book from Sepetys before (Salt to the Sea) and I really loved it. I’m even more excited about this one because of the setting. It takes place in Madrid in 1957. So many historical fiction novels take place during World War II, so I’m always way more excited about the books that will show me some other part of history.

I’m hoping to read these books very, very soon and I’m expecting to love them. Tell me about some of the books you just can’t wait to read.

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Favorite Booktube Channels

“Stealing a spaceship shouldn’t be this easy.”

First line in Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Hi guys. I just love the topic for this week’s Top 5 Tuesday! It’s favorite Booktube channels and I’ve been meaning to do a post about those for a while now because I watch a LOT of Booktube. I’ll admit that it was a challenge to choose only 5 so maybe I’ll make a follow-up post at some point. Top 5 Tuesday is as always hosted by the lovely Shanah over at Bionic Book Worm so go and check out her blog for the rest of the topics for October.

Merphy Napier

Subscribers: 64K

Genres: Fantasy, classics, thriller – she reads a little bit of everything but I think those are the main ones.

Merphy is just a great Booktuber to follow if you’re into fantasy. She’s currently reading some of the big and popular fantasy series such as The Wheel of Time and Lightbringer, because she only started reading fantasy a couple of years ago. You can find really old videos of hers in which she says that her least favorite genre is fantasy. I was so confused when I found those.

My favorite kind of video from her is her weekly reading vlogs. I rarely watch other Booktuber’s vlogs because they are often an hour long and just show them doing random things not relating to books. I like that Merphy’s vlog are about the books she reading and what she thinks of them. She keeps them fairly short and only includes a couple of minutes of video of her very cute son.

She’s also very good at connecting with her followers and always expresses how much she loves interacting with them. She does buddy reads on several platforms and often ask her followers what they think she should read (and she will actually read what people suggest).

Holly Hearts Books

Subscribers: 10K

Genre: Fantasy and horror

I only recently started watching Holly but I ended up binge-watching so many of her videos when I found her. She’s a huge fantasy reader, and she loves Joe Abercrombie more than anything. I personally haven’t read any of his books, but she actually also talks about other fantasy books once in a while. I like that she reads some more underrated books. A lot of the books I see on her channel, I don’t see anywhere else. So even though I don’t completely share her taste in books, I often find books that I want to check out some more.

Paperbackdreams (Kat)

Subscribers: 119K

Genres: Fantasy, horror and contemporary

I’m slightly obsessed with Kat’s channel. Even a really bad day can become a good day if there’s a new Paperbackdreams video when I open YouTube.

I will say that I probably mostly follow her because of her personality. She’s so relatable and funny, but I don’t actually add very many books to my TBR from watching her videos. She also specializes in rant-reviews to that might be the reason. Those aren’t my favorite videos but she’s very articulate and reasonable in those. However, she also makes the more classics booktube-videos such as wrap ups and vlogs but she somehow makes them really unique for her. I mean she once made a TBR video about her socks. Whatever was on the sock she picked (blindfolded) would decide a book she would read that month. How do you come up with that? But, really, I love her and you should go check her out.

Book Roast

Subscribers: 63K

Genres: Fantasy and Sci-Fi

This is also one of my more recent discoveries but I already love watching her videos. If you love Harry Potter, you need to follow her. She’s such a massive fan of the series and it’s just delightful to watch. She’s the creator of the Magical Readathon where you can get your O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s which is such a brilliant idea and she is very passionate about hosting it.

She does a lot of unboxings on her channel and honestly, a lot of them are Harry Potter related. However, she does also talk about other books. We have a similar taste in books so I’m always looking forward to her wrap up each month.

Elliot Brooks

Subscribers: 28K

Genres: Fantasy and manga (not a genre but you know what I mean)

First of all, she has a sweet, sweet dog that often appear in her vlogs (the most important content of course lol). Besides her dog, Elliot loves fantasy! Some of her favorite books include The Witcher, Stormlight Archive and Fullmetal Alchemist. She says that she prefers writing styles that focus more on characters and their emotions instead of surroundings and what everything looks like. I agree with her very much on that so I always take her recommendations seriously.

She makes a lot of different kinds of videos (she also uploads a lot!) including book reviews, TBRs, hauls and pure recommendation videos. Once in a while she also makes these discussion videos and I really love those. She’s very intelligent and her ideas are always well thought out so I often learn a lot from her. The only downside is that she doesn’t like Harry Potter. Not everyone is perfect, I guess (joking of course. Read what you want).

I loved making this. Let me know if you also watch these Booktubers or if there’s someone else you think I should check out.

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Funniest Characters

“It was a sad moment in Magnus Bane’s life when he was banned from Peru by the High Council of Peruvian warlocks.”

First line in The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Hi guys and welcome to my post Top 5 Tuesday which is hosted by Shannah from the Bionic Book Worm. I couldn’t not do this week’s topic because the funny characters are often my favorite ones.

I’ve found 5 characters that always crack me up. For each character, I’ve added a quote from them so you can experience the comedy for yourself.

Wayne from Mistborn: The Alloy Era

“I need you to stay behind as we go into those slums,” Wayne said, determined to impress solemnity into his voice. “It’s not that I don’t want your help. I do. It’s just going to be too dangerous for you. You need to stay where I know you’re safe. No arguments. I’m sorry.”
“Wayne,” Wax said, walking past. “Stop talking to your hat and get over here.”

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Magnus Bane from The Shadowhunter Chronicles

Malachi scowled. “I don’t remember the Clave inviting you into the Glass City, Magnus Bane.”
“They didn’t,” Magnus said. “Your wards are down.”
“Really?” the Consul’s voice dripped sarcasm. “I hadn’t noticed.”
Magnus looked concerned. “That’s terrible. Someone should have told you.” He glanced at Luke. “Tell him the wards are down.”

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Eugenides from The Queen’s Thief

“They’re going to leave me. All I wanted to do was lie in the dry prickly grass with my feet in a ditch forever. I could be a convenient sort of milemarker, I thought. Get to the thief and you know you are halfway to Methana. Where ever Methana might be.”

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Nikolai from The Grisha Verse

I took a breath. “Your highness—”
“Nikolai,” he corrected. “But I’ve also been known to answer to ‘sweetheart’ or ‘handsome.”

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Locke Lamora from Gentleman Bastard

“I thought you specialised in dishonest finesse?”
“I also do a brisk trade in putting knives to peoples’ throats and shouting at them,” said Locke

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

This was fun to do but I’m sure that I’ve forgotten about some characters. Who makes you laugh when reading about them?

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Books I Don’t Talk About Enough

“On the morning we are to leave for our Grand Tour of the Continent, I wake in bed beside Percy.”

First line in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Hi, readers. I’m back again with another Top 5 Tuesday which is created by Shanah over at the Bionic Bookworm. I skipped the topic last week, but this week I’m talking about 5 books that I really love but don’t get to mention enough on this blog. A lovely topic because it a great opportunity to show some love for the books that aren’t my absolute favorites but that I still love. Enjoy!

The Binding by Bridget Collins

I only read The Binding a couple of months ago, but I still want to include it here because I haven’t mentioned it since despite how much I liked it. I would classify it as a romance set in a historical fantasy setting. And it’s about books! There’s just something special about books within books. It’s a beautiful story with even more beautiful writing. It’s a very flowery writing style with a lot of time spent inside the character’s head describing their emotions and thoughts meaning the story can feel kind of slow. I adore that kind of writing but I know that’s not for everyone so just be aware. I have a full review for this if you’re interested in more of my thoughts.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Another historical fiction although this one is slightly more popular, I guess. This is a very fun and light story about a group of young people traveling across Europe but then find themselves in trouble. Totally by accident of course. It’s not the most groundbreaking of stories and also uses the trope of “Europe is only the big and famous cities”. I mean, they literally call it a Grand Tour of Europe but only visit places in western and southern Europe. Where everybody else also goes in these kinds of stories. I still enjoyed the book despite of this but it just annoys a European like me a little bit.

Half Bad by Sally Green

I was obsessed with this series around the time it was published. I couldn’t the sequels fast enough. My fixation has dwindled a bit since then but I still think this series is very good and kind of unique. It very much deals with the topic of whether someone is born evil/bad or if it’s something we learn to be. It’s fantasy so there are witches (although not your typical kind) and magic that’s really cool. If you continue past the first book there’s also a ship-worthy relationship that is still one of my absolute favorites.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is a must-read if you’re into very beautiful and colorful writing. In my opinion, this is not a book you read for the plot because that’s almost nonexistent. You read it for the imaginative and dreamlike way this circus and its characters are described.

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

This is one of the few nonfiction books I’ve read but I don’t regret picking it up. Most people know Ellen DeGeneres so as you may have guessed, this book is hilarious. And that was exactly what I wanted it to be when I decided to read it. She tells about her life but in a very light and comedic way so don’t go into it expecting it will be very serious and lifechanging. That’s really not the point of it. It’s the book to pick up if you want a laugh.  

It was really fun picking out these books and I was so excited to share them with you. Chat with me in the comments if you also think these books deserve more recognition.

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Books Under 300 Pages

“The monster showed up just after midnight.”

First line in A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

It’s already Tuesday again? Oh well, this week’s topic for Top 5 Tuesday is books under 300 pages. I thought this would be very difficult for me because of my love for the fantasy genre. As you know, that genre tend to have some very, very long books but I actually managed to find 5 books pretty easily. There are even a couple of fantasy books in there.

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Shanah from Bionic Book Worm and if you’re interested in participating you can find the topics for August right here. Let’s get onto the books.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

This very short book follows Conor whose mother is ill and don’t seem to be getting better. One night, Conor gets a visit from a monster who tells him stories. Sounds alright but the monster wants something from Conor in return. The truth.

This is one of my favorite books of all time because I’ve never cried like that over a book. I was for real ugly crying over this. I’m never reading it again because it was too painful and made me remember some personal things I want to forget.

Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda

This is technically a series and not a single book but all of the books in this series are less than 150 pages. It’s a middle grade fantasy series and we follow Lief and his friends as they hunt for the lost gems of the Belt of Deltora. There are monsters and adventure in every book, so you’re guaranteed a very exciting read every time.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

I was so surprised to find out that this is only 293 pages long. I don’t remember it as a super short book when I read it a last year. I still think this is my favorite book by Adam Silvera. In a world where you can get a procedure to make you forget certain things, we follow Aaron who’s just experienced a family tragedy.  

I liked this book for dealing with some heavy topics and because it managed to surprise me with it’s ending.

The Queen’s Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Again, we have an entire series and not just a book. The books in The Queen’s Thief are all very short and then it’s fantasy which just seems so rare. You’d think they might feel too short but in my opinion they’re exactly the length they need to be. I love this series so much for its originality, so if you’re tired of seeing the same YA fantasy story over and over again, I’ll recommend you give this a try.

Release by Patrick Ness

Another one by Patrick Ness. A contemporary with a pinch of paranormal about a single day in the life of Adam Thorn. Let’s just say it’s not easiest day for him as he needs to have many important conversations with the people closest to him.

I really enjoyed this obviously as Patrick Ness is one of my favorite authors. I like Adam as a character and found his struggles quite interesting to follow. I also feel it worked really well that the story takes place during a single day. It could easily have been unnecessarily meandering otherwise.

I hope you found this enjoyable. I didn’t have much time to do this post because of a week-long visit from a friend but feel free to discuss these books with me in the comments if you like.