Tag Archives: Alice Hoffman

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop! Win One of My Favorite Books of 2014

MidwinterI’m happy to be participating in the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop, hosted by Bookhounds & I Am a Reader! Don’t forget to check out all the other blogs on the hop below. For my giveaway, since it’s the end of the year and I’ve been sharing my “best of 2014″ lists with you, one international winner will get to select one of my favorite books of the year. You can choose from the six books below (three are adult and three are young adult):

Young Adult picks:

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Adult picks:

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

Do you like the way I chose books with covers that look beautiful together? Yes, I planned that! You can click on the titles if you’d like to read my reviews. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter, and don’t forget to HOP to the next blog for another chance to win something!

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Check out all the other blogs on the hop:

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Tammy’s Top Ten Adult Books of 2014

Top Ten Tuesday new 7-14 copy

It’s that time of year, time to make all sorts of “best of” lists! I love making lists anyway, but when I get to look back over a year’s worth of reading and rave about the books that really stood out for me, that’s got to be my favorite sort of list-making. This week I’m highlighting my top ten Adult books of the year, and next Tuesday I’ll be listing my top ten Young Adult books, so don’t forget to stop back next week. I really tried to cut one of these out, but in the end, I just couldn’t choose. So yes, I have eleven books on this Top Ten list:-) So, here they are, my Top Ten Eleven Adult Books of 2014! (in no particular order)

most beautifully written white

Station Eleven

1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I guess if I have to pick my absolute number 1 favorite book this year, I’d pick this one. Station Eleven was a gorgeous and emotional surprise, and I’m so glad to have read it. I’m dying to see what Emily St. John Mandel writes next, because she is on my auto-buy list for sure. Read my review here.

best storytelling

Broken Monsters

2. Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. I’m thrilled to have a new favorite author! I can’t wait to catch up on Beukes’ backlist, because she is so good. This thriller kept me on the edge of my seat, but better yet, the author delved deep into the lives of her characters. Highly recommended! Read my review here.

best new series

Red Rising

3. Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown. I read this nearly a year ago, but it still lingers in my memory. Brown’s kick-off to his series was kick-ass, full of bloody action, sex and bold world-building. The second in the series, Golden Son, comes out next month, and I can’t wait to read it. Read my review here.

scariest future 2014 copy

Annihilation

4. Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer. Here’s another great start to a series. I loved the eeriness of VanderMeer’s futuristic world, told through the clinical eyes of a biologist. I have the next two books close at hand, ready to read when I get the chance! Read my review here.

best characters 2014

The Girl with All the Gifts

5. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. This was a big surprise, since I tried not to pay attention to other reviews before I read it. If you think you’ve read all the zombie stories out there, you haven’t until you’ve read this one. Read my review here.

creative magic

California Bones

6. California Bones (Daniel Blackland #1) by Greg Van Eekhout. This was an unsolicited surprise from Tor Books, and boy am I glad I picked it up! I love urban fantasy anyway, but this book did new things with the genre and blew me away. Read my review here.

Best world building 2014

City of Stairs

7. City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett. Bloggers raved about this book, and with good reason. Bennett gives us a unique world, an exciting plot, and well-developed characters, all of which are ingredients for a truly successful story! Read my review here.

most entertaining

The Martian

8. The Martian by Andy Weir. It’s hard to find a story with only one main character that can keep you riveted for nearly 400 pages, but Weir manages to do just that. The Martian proves that science can be fun, in the form of a character who laughs in the face of danger. Read my review here.

best series ending 2014

Endsinger9. Endsinger (Lotus War #3) by Jay Kristoff. Jay’s Lotus War series was a bleak, dangerous, wonderful, joyous, and heartbreaking opus, and I was sad to see it end. But it went out with a bang. This is one series where each book is just as good as the next. (And yes, I consider these books adult, simply because of the way they are priced.) Read my review here.

best female characters

Full Fathom Five

10. Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence #3) by Max Gladstone. Max’s books keep getting better and better, and this time he goes all out with the grrrl power! Unique worlds, intricately drawn characters, and plenty of action, if you haven’t started this series, what are you waiting for? Read my review here.

best historical

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

11. The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. Hoffman sets her story in New York in the early twentieth century, uses actual historical events to frame it, and adds her characteristic magic realism and wonderfully unique characters to make it come to life. Read my review here.

And because it’s hard to stop at ten (or eleven), here are my honorable mentions, all books I adored as well: The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue; The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini; The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan; The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher; Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix; Through the Woods by Emily Carroll; The Line by J.D. Horn; and The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen.

So there they are… Let me know if you’ve read any of these, and link me up to your top ten post! I’ve linked up with The Broke and the Bookishso don’t forget to check out other bloggers’ top ten faves of the year:-)

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Tammy’s Top Ten Books So Far – 2014

Top Ten Tuesday 2014 copy

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done a TTT, but this is one week I couldn’t pass up. We’re nearly half-way through the year (can you believe it?) and already I’m having trouble narrowing down my favorite reads of the year up to this point. But these ten books really stand out, and so I give you my Top Ten favorite books so far this year (listed in no particular order):

The Falconer by Elizabeth May. Just yes. Please give me the next book NOW.

Unhinged by A.G. Howard. Um, yeah. These books are so awesome. I want Ensnared NOW too!

The Line by J.D. Horn. Book two is out now and I’ll be starting it soon (I’m a little behind schedule). Just awesome, folks.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Weird, gorgeous, shocking. Read it!

Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I have no words for just how in love with this book I am. (Well, I wrote a review, so I guess I do have some words…)

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. Full of rich history and gorgeous writing, another winner from Alice Hoffman.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen. Truly wonderful and I do need book two NOW. Somebody. Find it for me. (Oh, it’s not out yet? Damn.)

The Savages by Matt Whyman. I just read this and WOW. Love Matt’s writing and this was so much fun to read!

The Merciless by Danielle Vega. Terrifying, horrific, gruesome, unputdownable. Just go get a copy, people!

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen. This odd, strange and beautifully written book came from one of my favorite small publishers, Pushkin Press.

So there you have it. I am not looking forward to picking my top ten at the end of the year, because this was hard enough! I’d love to hear your top ten faves so far!

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Book Review Giveaway – Win One of the Books I Reviewed in February!

Book review giveaway button feb copy

February was a very slow month for me, and by slow, I mean I didn’t get through very many books! However, I had some amazing five-star reads, and I’m happy to give you the chance to win one of them—as well as one of the other books I read this past month. My favorites of the month? Red Rising and The Museum of Extraordinary Things. I also read the surprisingly well-developed novella Poison Dance, a prequel to the upcoming Midnight Thief. As a bonus, the winner will also receive an e-book of Poison Dance, in addition to your choice of one of the other books, provided you have an e-reader. 

This giveaway is international, as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. (please check if you’re not certain!) You can also spread the word about the giveaway and add the giveaway button to your sidebar:

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<div align="center"><a href="http://wp.me/p1GQyK-3lO" title="Books, Bones & Buffy" target="_blank"><img src="http://booksbonesbuffy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/book-review-giveaway-button-feb-225.jpg" alt="Books, Bones & Buffy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Here are the books I reviewed last month. I’d love to know if you’ve read these books! Giveaway will end on March 20th. Clicking on the titles will take you to my review of the book. Good luck!

Red Rising  The Museum of Extraordinary Things  Poison Dance

Hang Wire  Black Dog  Alienated

five stars Red Rising by Pierce Brown

five starsThe Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

five stars Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne

four stars Hang Wire by Adam Christopher

four stars Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier

 three starsAlienated by Melissa Landers

Ready to enter? Simply click on the Rafflecopter button below:

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History & Mystery: THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS by Alice Hoffman – Review

The Museum 3D

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: Scribner
Release date: February 18 2014
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
Pages: 384

five stars

The nitty-gritty: A magical history of Brooklyn, filled with mysteries and monsters, written in Alice Hoffman’s incomparable style.

It was hard to believe that the teeming streets of lower Manhattan were less than a day’s walk from what was still a sort of wilderness. The wild tulip trees were two hundred feet tall. There were said to be bear here, come down from the Palisades in the winter, crossing the Hudson when it froze, along with wild turkeys, fox, muskrats, and deer. I thought of the forests of the Ukraine, where cuckoos sung in the trees and owls glided through the dark. My father and I had stopped to make camp for several nights on our travels. I was only a small child, but it was there, listening to the voice of the forest, that I had lost the ability to sleep.

Alice Hoffman used to be one of my favorite authors before I started blogging. I’ve read many of her books (although not all—she’s written over thirty!), but as book bloggers know, once you start accepting books for review, many of your favorite authors fall by the wayside. But when this one came up on Edelweiss, I knew it was time to make time for Hoffman again. And I’m so glad I did. Reading The Museum of Extraordinary Things was like a balm on my soul. Hoffman’s familiar writing style is so comforting, and even though this book lacked the magic realism that she’s known for, I found myself loving every word.

The story takes place in Brooklyn, New York in the year 1911, but flashes back to the early lives of the two main characters, as we get to know more about their family histories. Coralie is eighteen and has been part of her father’s Museum of Extraordinary Things as a sideshow attraction for nearly half her life. She is the “human mermaid,” forced to wear a fake mermaid tale and swim in a tank of water for hours a day. At night, Coralie practices swimming in the freezing Hudson River in order to increase her lung capacity, while dreaming of an easier life that doesn’t include being exploited by her strict father.

Parallel to Coralie’s story we meet Eddie, a refugee from the Ukraine who has become adept at taking journalistic photographs of crime scenes. When Eddie is hired by a stranger to find a missing girl named Hannah, Eddie’s and Coralie’s lives become linked through a series of events. As Hoffman reveals bit by bit what happened to Hannah, the paths of Eddie and Coralie slowly come together, before the mystery is solved.

Hoffman has clearly done tons of research for her book. One of my favorite things about the story was the amount of historical detail she wove into the narrative. Clearly 1911 was a great year for story fodder, because a lot of horrific (but interesting!) things take place. Focusing her writer’s lens on Brooklyn, and in particular on Coney Island, the author includes such historic events as the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the opening (and closing!) of the ambitious amusement park Dreamland, and the battle of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union to secure safe working conditions for girls and women in factories. Let’s just say I learned a lot reading this book! You can tell that Hoffman loves New York and is passionate about the dangers young factory workers faced near the turn of the century. Some of her descriptions of the city are so detailed, it’s almost as if she herself had stepped back in time to take notes.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced book, however, you need to keep looking. And this is not a criticism by any means. One of Hoffman’s skills is her ability to develop her plot and characters slowly in such a way that the reader never gets bored, but instead savors each discovery, knowing that the mystery will eventually be revealed.

The story construction was hard to get used to at first, I’ll admit. Each chapter focuses on either Coralie or Eddie, and switches back and forth between the two. The first part of the chapter is told in first person, as the character tells us about his or her past, and the second part switches to third person and takes place in the present. This jumping around confused me at first, but once I understood what the author was doing, it all made sense.

Museum UK

Check out the cool UK cover!

Hoffman is brilliant at introducing small details, and then pulling them through the story. For example, when Eddie is a boy working as a tailor in a factory, he steals an expensive pocket watch from the factory owner’s son. This watch pops up again and again during Eddie’s story, as he struggles with the idea of whether or not to return it. Hoffman is such a seasoned writer (she’s been writing books for over forty years!) that it’s no surprise that nothing in this story is random. Every item, every detail, and every character is there for a reason.

As with most of Hoffman’s novels, romance eventually blooms between Coralie and Eddie, but it’s agonizingly slow (until they actually meet—then it almost feels like instalove!) and things don’t go quite the way you expect them to. The author often writes about love and how it can be found in the most unexpected of places, and this novel is no exception.

There are so many things to discover in this book, and I’ve barely scratched the surface with this review. Simply put, The Museum of Extraordinary Things was a treat to read. It made me happy—despite the unhappy moments—and I am anxiously awaiting Hoffman’s next book. Don’t miss this one!

And here are several other Alice Hoffman books I highly recommend:

Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. The above quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final book.

Don’t forget to stop back here in the beginning of March to enter my February Review Giveaway, where you will have a chance to win a copy of one of the books I reviewed this month, including this one!

Find The Museum of Extraordinary Things here:
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What’s On My Plate – February 2014

On My Plate

Happy February, everyone! Already the year feels as if it’s zooming by. I didn’t get to all the books I wanted to last month, which bums me out a bit. I’m trying to stay on schedule with my review pile as much as I can, but it looks like I’ll have some catch-up to do in February. BUT I did read my “Just For Me” book, Scarlet, which is one of my goals this year: to read a just-for-me book each month. Let’s see if I can keep it going all year! So here’s what’s on my plate this month:

For Review from NetGalley:

Red Rising

Carousel Sun by Sharon Lee. This is the second in a series, so I need to read book one first. I’m afraid this one may end up being pushed to next month, but we’ll see.

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier. I’m starting this today, and I’ve already got an interview scheduled with Rachel for this coming Tuesday (see blog tours below!) Rachel is the nicest person, and I’m looking forward to getting into her book.

Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen. Book two after Scarlet! I’m so excited to get back into her wonderful world and characters.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. Dying to read a new Alice Hoffman book! If you love subtle fantastical fiction, and you haven’t read anything by Hoffman, I’m begging you to pick something up. Ask me for a recommendation! (there are so many!)

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard. I was just approved for this, and I hadn’t realized how soon it was being published. So this wasn’t on my February radar. But I’ve read some good reviews and will definitely try to get it read this month.

The Book of the Crowman by Joseph D’Lacey. I really enjoyed the first book of this series, and I’ll be interviewing Joseph this month too!

Red Rising by Pierce Brown. This is out already, I believe, so I’m a little behind. But I have an extra ARC I’ll be giving away when I post my review, so stay tuned!

For review from Author/Publisher:

Poison Dance  Maze

Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne. This novella that precedes Midnight Thief was sent to me by the author. It’s out now, and I’m going to read it this month for sure, especially since it’s short.

Maze by J.M. McDermott. This is from Apex Publications, one of my favorite small publishers! It’s short, so I’m sure I can squeeze it in. I’ve heard it’s…strange.

Just For Me Book:

vampire empire

Vampire Empire Book One: The Greyfriar by Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith. I’ve been trying to read this book for two years! I’m finally going to do it. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this series. Let me know if you’ve read it!

Blog Tours/Author Interviews:

It’s a big month for author interviews! Rachel Neumeier, Adam Christopher and Joseph D’Lacey will all be making guest appearances, so make sure you’re subscribed to this blog so you don’t miss any of them!

Giveaways/Blog Hops:

The Share the Love Giveaway Hop is going on now! Click the link to see all the fabulous authors I’m highlighting, and the books you can choose from if you win!

Also, I interviewed debut author J.D. Horn, and he has offered two signed copies of The Line, his amazing book about witches in Savannah! And, the giveaway is international, so don’t forget to enter! It ends soon (Feb. 7th) so hurry!

I’ll also be starting my monthly Book Review Giveaway soon, hopefully tomorrow (I’m so behind schedule right now). I read some amazing books in January, so you won’t want to miss the chance to win one.

Well, I guess that’s enough to pile on this month, right? Have you read any of these? I’d love to know your thoughts so I can, um, prepare myself!

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Stacking the Shelves (45)

STS

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, and is a fun way to share your book haul with other readers and bloggers! This is my last Stacking the Shelves of 2013, how sad! I usually only do a book haul post once every two weeks, so anything I get from now until the end of the year will show up on my first Stacking the Shelves of 2014.

I (supposedly) won a copy of Starter House from Library Thing, but it hasn’t shown up yet. I hope I get it, because I’m super excited to dive into that one. It’s been a month since I got the email telling me I’d won a copy, so I’m hoping the holidays are slowing things down, and it will arrive any day! Meanwhile, I only received two e-ARCs, but I’m very excited about both of them:

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. Release date: February 18 2014 (Scribner). Alice Hoffman was one of my favorite authors before I started blogging. Up to that point, I had read all of her books, and she’s written a lot, over twenty-five or so. But blogging changed my reading habits, and so I’ll admit I haven’t read anything new of Hoffman’s since July 2011. Luckily, the publisher (via Edelweiss) approved me for her newest title, yay! If you love magic realism, beautiful prose and stories that twist and turn, you’ll love Alice Hoffman. Remember the movie Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman? That’s based on Hoffman’s book.

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick. Release date: April 22 2014 (Roaring Brook Press). I’m still trying to find time to read Midwinterblood (and I will!), so I was excited to see this book on NetGalley. Thank you Roaring Brook Press! This story doesn’t seem to have any fantastical elements in it, like Sedgwick’s other books, but who knows?

That’s it for me! I’d love to hear what’s on your shelves this week!

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Tammy’s Top Ten Winter 2013-14 Books I’m Excited About

Top Ten Tuesday New copy

It’s another fun Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week I’m specifically highlighting my most anticipated releases for winter, which for me means books releasing in December, January or February. I hate repeating myself, so this is a completely different list from last week, which was my Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2014. Books are listed in order of their release date, and clicking on the book cover will take you to the Goodreads page:

These Broken Stars

1. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner. Release date: December 10 2013 TODAY! (Disney Hyperion). I’m regretting my decision to not request this from NetGalley. All my blogging buddies have read and adored it, and I sort of feel left out! Maybe I’ll get a copy for Christmas!

Shadowplay-Cover

2. Shadowplay (Pantomime #2) by Laura Lam. Release date: January 2 2014 (Strange Chemistry). I loved the unique fantasy elements of Lam’s Pantomime, and I’m looking forward to more of them in this second book.

Unhinged

3. Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard. Release date: January 7 2014 (Amulet). I loved loved loved Splintered, and I snuck a peek at this book and I’m already falling in love with the characters, all over again! I’m going to read it soon.

The Line

4. The Line by J.D. Horn. Release date: January 7 2014 (47North). I’m so glad to have received a copy from the author for review. But boy, January is looking really busy for me!

The Unbound

5. The Unbound (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab. Release date: January 28 2014 (Hyperion). I recently read The Archived and loved it! I’m dying to dive back into Mackenzie’s and Wesley’s complicated stories.

Her Dark Curiosity

6. Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman’s Daughter #2) by Megan Shepherd. Release date: January 28 2014 (Balzer + Bray). Here’s another Book 2! 2014 is going to bring lots of follow-up books for 2013’s debut authors.

Cruel Beauty

7. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Release date: January 28 2014 (Balzer + Bray). This Beauty and the Beast retelling has me intrigued. Plus check out the amazing cover!

Cress

8. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer. Release date: February 4 2014 (Feiwel & Friends). Although I still haven’t had time to read Scarlet, I am dying to read Cress.

Alienated

9. Alienated by Melissa Landers. Release date: February 4 2014 (Disney Hyperion). I’ve heard great things about this book, and if it’s anywhere near as good as the cover, I’ll be happy!

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

10. The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. Release date: February 18 2014 (Scribner). It looks like this is the only adult book on my list. Not sure how I feel about that! I’m definitely going to need an adult book by the time I get to February, LOL! Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors, and this looks amazing.

That’s my list. Did any of these make your top ten list? Don’t forget to check out my giveaways on the sidebar!

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Tammy’s Top Ten Authors On My Auto-Buy List

Top Ten Tuesday New copy

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! It’s been a while since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday, but I couldn’t pass up this week’s theme. It was hard to narrow the list down to ten authors, because there are many more than that whose books I buy the minute they’re released. But these ten, except for a couple of relatively new writers, are authors I’ve loved for many years and I don’t even think twice before purchasing their books. If you read this blog on a regular basis, I don’t think the first one will surprise you…

1Stephen King.  My very first book purchase Stephen Kingwith my own money was The Stand, and after that I never looked back. I’ve been collecting Stephen King for…many years! And yes, he’s had some duds, but I still love the man despite his flaws. Hey, isn’t that what love’s all about? Even bookish love??

2Joe Hill. Like father, like son—sort of.Joe Hill Joe Hill definitely got the talent genes from his father, but he’s got his own unique brand of horror. So far I haven’t been disappointed by anything he’s written. Not only does he write fiction, but he writes a pretty amazing graphic novel called Locke & Key. His latest NOS4A2 comes out this year!

3Dan Simmons. Words cannot express how muchDan I adore his books. Some of my fondest reading memories involve Dan Simmons novels. He’s one of those writers who can write just about any genre he wants to, and he does each one so well. He also has a new book coming out soon, but it might not be until 2014.

4Ann Patchett. When I read Bel Canto, I knew that I had discovered a very special writer. Although some of her earlier novels didn’t affect me as much, she seems to get better and better with each book she writes. Her latest novel, State of Wonder, was pretty amazing. If you haven’t read Bel Canto yet—well honestly, why haven’t you??

5Donna Tartt. Tartt takes ten years orDonna Tartt more to write each book, so she’s only written two books so far (and her third has just been announced). Even though I didn’t love her second book, The Little Friend, I would put her on my auto-buy list based on The Secret History. Seriously, anyone reading this that hasn’t read that book needs to do so, immediately!

6Christopher Moore. Moore is another authorChristopher Moore I’ve been collecting for more than twenty years. Since his first hysterically funny novel, Practical Demonkeeping, he’s had me hooked with his off-beat brand of humor and crazy story lines. In fact he’s one of the few humorous writers that actually makes me laugh:) Ah, Fluke, my very favorite Moore!

7J. K. Rowling. I’ll admit I still haven’t got J.K. Rowling around to reading The Casual Vacancy, but I will soon. Rowling is another author that grows with each book, and I love the fact that she can write children’s books and then turn around and write an adult book that is the complete opposite of Harry Potter.

8China Miéville. OK, this choice may seem odd China Mieville, because Miéville’s written two books that I just couldn’t finish. But he’s also written some of my all-time favorites, and I can’t ignore the fact that he just might write another one! So because of Perdido Street Station and The Scar, he makes my list.

9Laini Taylor. You may know her for Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone and Days of Blood & Starlight, but Taylor has written other gorgeously written, carefully crafted novels as well. Her writing is what draws me in, and her characters are what keep me reading.

10Alice Hoffman. My first Alice Hoffman bookAlice Hoffman was Turtle Moon, and I was enchanted by her quirky characters and magical stories. I wanted my life to be like a Hoffman novel, and so I’ve read pretty much everything she’s written. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed.

Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear about your “auto-buy authors”!

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Tammy’s Top Ten Books of 2011 I Never Got to Read But Wanted To

It’s a sad truth: there is never enough time to read everything I want to.  But look!  You can see from the above photo that I own all ten books.  It’s not like I couldn’t find them at the library!   Kids, husband, dogs, life…they all try to pull me away from reading.  They want to be fed (kids).  They want their laundry done (husband).  They want to be walked and given duck treats (dogs).  Often when I finally lie down to read, I am interrupted.  Such is life, I guess. And so, like many readers, I end up with a very big “to be read” pile of books.

This post has been revamped for The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday, so my apologies if you’ve read this already.  This week’s “theme” is a Freebie, whatever top ten list you want to share!

These are the top ten that I really wanted to read this year but just didn’t get to:

1.  FLASHBACK by Dan Simmons. (Little, Brown & Company, 2011)  I love Dan Simmons. He’s written two of my favorite books of all time (Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion). Flashback is a set in a future America where most people are addicted to a drug called flashback, which allows the user to relive the best times of their lives.  It’s the story of a cop who is trying to solve a murder.  It’s long, but I will make time to read this book:)

2. THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler. (Razorbill, 2011)  This was one of my weekly recommendations.  It’s the story of two teens in 1996 who log onto AOL on their computer one day, only to see themselves on Facebook—15 years in the future.

3. THE TAKER by Alma Katsu. (Simon & Schuster/Gallery Press, 2011)  The plot sounds confusing, but this book has had some great reviews.  It’s a supernatural tale of unrequited love and redemption.  And has a character that appears to be immortal.

4. THE MARRIAGE PLOT by Jeffrey Eugenides. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)  Despite the really ugly cover (apologies to the book designer!), I’m betting this is great. I’ve read mixed reviews, but I’m a big Eugenides fan, so I’m looking forward to finally (someday) reading it.

5. THE DOVEKEEPERS by Alice Hoffman. (Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, 2011)  Enough said.

6.  THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME by Donald Ray Pollock. (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2011).  This book has had comparisons to Oliver Stone and Flannery O’Connor. Wow! It is set in rural West Virginia and is filled with odd, violent, and damaged characters. Sign me up!

7.  VAMPIRE EMPIRE: BOOK ONE: THE GREYFRIAR by Clay Griffith. (Pyr, 2010)  Book Two was published in 2011, so I’m really behind on this series. It’s received rave reviews and is a steampunk novel set in an alternate England in the year 2020.  A book with vampires and princesses, how can I resist?

8.  ROBOPOCALYPSE by Daniel H. Wilson. (Doubleday, 2011)  In a nutshell, robots take over the planet.  Humans vs. technology is always entertaining.

9.  SKIPPY DIES  by Paul Murray.  (Hamish Hamilton, 2010)  This book also came out in 2010 and has been languishing on my TBR pile for almost two years now. I believe it’s a sleeper and one of these days the movie will come out and everyone will be scrambling to read the book.

10.  DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth.  (Katherine Tegen Books, 2011)  This book is on almost everyone’s top ten list in the young adult category.  The second book in the series, Insurgent, comes out in May 2012. so I need to read this soon. It’s one of many dystopian novels that came out this year, but from what I’ve heard it’s better than most.

In case you missed it, here is my Top Ten list of my favorite books of 2011 that I actually read.

So, here’s to catching up…and here’s to 2012!  Happy New Year, everyone!

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