Tag Archives: Dan Simmons

Mind Meld @ SF Signal: All About That Backlist!

Mind Meld

Hey, thanks to Andrea @ The Little Red Reviewer, I was asked to participate in Mind Meld on SF Signal today! It was a lot of fun, as we all got to talk about our favorite authors’ backlists. Check it out here! I listed some of my favorite Dan Simmons books, and a bunch of other bloggers and authors participated as well. Lots of fun!

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Tammy’s Top Ten Favorite Sci-Fi Books – BEFORE I Started Blogging


Top Ten Sci Fi

I own copies of all these books, but I can’t believe I found them all!

Welcome to Sci-Fi November, hosted by Oh, The Books! and Rinn Reads! A couple of weeks ago, I gave you my Top Ten Sci-Fi Books Written by Women – Since I Started Blogging, and today I’m listing my Top Ten Sci-Fi books before I began blogging. Most of the books on this list aren’t your typical science fiction classics, and those of you who are die-hard fans of SF will probably wonder why so many big name SF authors are missing. But I was never one to follow the crowd and read the popular books, as you might be able to tell. In any case, I love each one of these and I recommend them without hesitation. (This list is in no particular order.)

Evolution’s Shore by Ian McDonald. (1995) This was the first McDonald book I read, and it’s definitely my favorite. I don’t remember very many of the details, because it’s probably been almost twenty years since I’ve read it, but this would be one of the first on my list to re-read, I remember it being THAT good.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. (1968) Most people have seen the movie this book is based on (Blade Runner) but haven’t read the book. It’s really a heartbreaking story, and one of my favorite PKD books.

Vurt by Jeff Noon. (1993) I discovered Jeff Noon during a trip to London in 1994, and immediately fell in love with his drug-fueled storytelling. Vurt and it’s follow-up, Pollen, are still two of my all-time favorite books. If you haven’t read them, PLEASE make time to do so.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons. (1989) This book, you guys. THIS BOOK. Please read it, I beg you. The story is told in the style of The Canterbury Tales, and it brilliantly sets the scene for the second book in the series, which is:

The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons. (1990) Here’s where the story really gets going, and it was even better than Hyperion. Two more books followed this one, but I didn’t enjoy them nearly as much.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. (1996) This was a very difficult book to read. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it. It’s a terribly sad, but beautifully written story of first contact with an alien race. Russell wrote a sequel called Children of God, but I don’t think I was ready to go back into her world, so I never read it.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. (1990) You’ve seen the movie, but have you read the book? The book was amazingly readable, with fantastic pacing and lots of terrifying moments.  Definitely worth a read, especially if you haven’t seen the movie in a while.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. (1985) Say what you will about the controversial Mr. Card, but this book was the bomb, and it was also the first book I remember reading that had an amazing twist at the end.

The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman. (1989) Before the Wizard of Oz retelling Wicked came along, Ryman wrote a little book called Was, which also told a twisted sort of Wizard of Oz tale. But The Child Garden was the first Ryman I read, and I nearly didn’t finish it. It’s terribly sad and beautiful (I’m sensing a trend of “sad” and “beautiful” stories on this list…) and depressing, but I was so glad that I made it to the end. Well worth the pain.

Emergence by David R. Palmer. (1984) This book is long out of print, unfortunately. I bought my copy at a used bookstore, probably eighteen or so years ago, after a good friend told me I HAD to read it. He wasn’t wrong. You can still find used copies (I just checked on Amazon, and someone is selling a paperback for over $400!), but it’s a shame it isn’t readily available. It’s a post apocalyptic story about a scary smart little girl and her psychic parrot.

So there you go. Wow, writing this post has made me so nostalgic! I want to re-read each one…Have you read any of these? Which (older) science fiction books would you put on your top ten list?


Filed under Sci-Fi November, Top Ten

October New Release Giveaway Hop!


Welcome to my stop on the October New Release Giveaway Hop! One international winner will get to choose a book from the ten books shown below, all of them new releases this month. Since I have both adult and young adult followers, I’ve got five books in each age group to choose from. This hop is hosted by Book Twirps and Refracted Light Reviews.

The hop runs until the end of the month, and as long as the Book Depository ships to your country, you can enter (please check here before you enter) or you may choose the e-book version instead. I’ve tried to select a variety so there is something for everyone. These are all books I’m dying to read!  Clicking on the title of the book will take you to the Goodreads page for a synopsis.

Young Adult Choices:

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

Made of Stars by Kelley York

The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney

Adult Choices:

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane

Parasite by Mira Grant

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Abominable by Dan Simmons

Ready to enter? Simply click the Rafflecopter button below:

Raffle button

And don’t forget to check out the other stops on this hop:

Click here to see the other participating blogs!


Filed under Giveaway Hop, Giveaways

Tammy’s Top Ten Fall 2013 Releases

Top Ten Tuesday New copy

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s is one of my favorites. I love highlighting the season’s upcoming releases that I’m most excited about, although it’s very hard to narrow it down to only ten books. (But hey, I’m a rule follower, so I do!) I define “Fall” as the months of September, October and November, so all my choices will release during those months. Here is my list of Fall 2013 releases that I’m most excited about, in order of their release date (click on the covers to go to Goodreads):

Scorched1Scorched by Mari Mancusi. Released September 3 2013 (Sourcebooks Fire).  I fell in love with this awesome cover as soon as I saw it, and then fell in love with the story idea. Plus I’ve read some great reviews, which makes me more anxious than ever to read it. A girl, two boys, and a dragon. This is one love triangle I’m not afraid of… I have Scorched in my Amazon cart, and I’m just waiting for payday to push the “Buy now” button!


Kinslayer2Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff. Release date: September 17 2013 (Thomas Dunne Books). I adored Stormdancer, and now the second book in The Lotus War series is finally out…I was fortunate enough to win an ARC in a Library Thing giveaway, but I’ve also got a pre-order copy on the way from Amazon. I’ve been warned that Kinslayer is dark, maybe even darker than Stormdancer, but that’s OK.  In case you haven’t been reading this blog, I kinda like dark…


Vicious3Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Release date: September 24 2013 (Tor). Oh you guys…I just finished Vicious yesterday, and I’m still recovering. I was lucky enough to join an ARC tour that Victoria is hosting, and I read it as fast as I could (in the midst of my daughter’s thirteenth birthday weekend and lots of other stuff) so I could pass it along to the next person on the list. This is definitely on my top ten list for the year, no doubt. My review will be up later this week. You are going to love Vicious!


Dr. Sleep4Dr. Sleep by Stephen King. Release date: September 24 2013 (Scribner). A sequel to The Shining, you say? Of course I want to read it! In case you’ve been hiding under a rock (or maybe you just aren’t a Stephen King fan), Dr. Sleep releases next week. I don’t know when I’ll be able to read it, but I’m aiming for October sometime. This is a slim book by King standards at only 544 pages, so I have no excuse…


NotaDroptoDrink_final_15Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis. Release date: September 24 2013 (Katherine Tegen Books). I’m so excited that I have an e-ARC of this book, and it’s next on my list to read. I’ve been reading glowing reviews from other bloggers, who are also praising it because it’s a dystopian novel without any supernatural elements. Plus look at the gorgeousness of the cover!


The Abominable26The Abominable by Dan Simmons. Release date: October 22 2013 (Little, Brown & Company). I am a huge Dan Simmons fan, and I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by him. I did, however, just read a negative review of his latest from a trusted source. It made me hesitate a bit, but I’m still going to read it for myself. I believe the reviewer was disappointed in the lack of supernatural elements, but Simmons is still a great story-teller, so I’ll give it a try.


The Goldfinch7The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Release date: October 22 2013. (Little, Brown & Company). This was a recent Waiting on Wednesday pick. I know I’m repeating myself, but Tartt’s first book The Secret History is one of my all-time favorite books. I find it refreshing for an author to actually take her time writing each book. Especially in the current young adult market, when authors are expected to crank out a book every year (or more!), The Goldfinch will be published ten years after Tartt’s last book, The Little Friend. Makes you think every word will be just right.


8Two Serpants RiseTwo Serpents Rise
by Max Gladstone. Release date: October 29 2013 (Tor). I was lucky enough to meet Max at San Diego Comic Con and get a signed ARC of this book. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to read the next installment in this series. Although Max did tell me that my two favorite characters don’t make an appearance this time, they will be back for book three. If you love urban fantasy and gorgeous writing, you need to read these books. Start with  Three Parts Dead.


The Deaths of Tao9The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu. Release date: October 29 2013 (Angry Robot Books). I absolutely loved The Lives of Tao, which is about a guy who just happens to have an alien life form sharing space in his body, who talks to him in his head and gives him advice based on a thousand years of life experiences. Chu is hysterically funny and manages to combine humor, emotional angst, and a history lesson all in the same story. I’m looking forward to more of Tao’s adventures.


The Wicked Game10This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink. Release date: November 14 2013 (Dial).  I was initially drawn to this beautifully done cover, but after I read that this book is about voodoo, I knew I had to read it. I’ve never read this author before, but she seems to be getting lots of really good reviews. Honestly, I want a big poster of this book cover to hang in my office!

So, do you have any of these titles on your top ten?


Filed under Top Ten Tuesday

Waiting on Wednesday (51) THE ABOMINABLE by Dan Simmons

Waiting on Wednesday copyWaiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and is a fun way to share the books we’re excited about with other bloggers and readers! I’m beyond excited about my pick for this week. Dan Simmons is one of my all-time fave writers, and has been for many years. He tends to write…well, very long books. But it doesn’t seem as if you’re reading a very long book, because the pages literally fly by in no time at all. Here’s his newest book that will be coming out this fall:

The Abominable2

The Abominable by Dan Simmons. Release date: October 22 2013 (Little, Brown & Company). OK, first off, love the cover. I can tell this story will terrify me simply because it takes place in the snow, and I absolutely hate to be cold! Not too sure about the title, it’s hard to say the word “abominable” and even harder to type it, LOL! Here’s the description from Goodreads:

A thrilling tale of supernatural adventure, set on the snowy peaks of Mount Everest from the bestselling author of The Terror.

It’s 1926, and the desire to summit the world’s highest mountain has reached a fever-pitch among adventurers. Three young friends, eager to take their shot at the top, accept funding from a grieving mother whose son fell to his death on Mt. Everest two years earlier. But she refuses to believe he’s dead, and wants them to bring him back alive.

As they set off toward Everest, the men encounter other hikers who are seeking the boy’s body for their own mysterious reasons. What valuable item could he have been carrying? What is the truth behind the many disappearances on the mountain? As they journey to the top of the world, the three friends face abominable choices, actions–and possibly creatures. A bone-chilling, pulse-pounding story of supernatural suspense, THE ABOMINABLE is Dan Simmons at his best.


The TerrorThe story seems to echo the mood of The Terror, his wonderful book that takes place in the Arctic Circle and is truly one of the best horror stories I’ve ever read. So, peeps, what are you waiting on this week?


Filed under Waiting on Wednesday

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 Most Vivid Worlds in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and every week they come up with a new Top Ten theme. This week’s theme is pretty cool! To come up with list, I simply thought back to the books I’ve read that gave me a tingly feeling that I only get when I’ve been transported to someplace extraordinary.  For the most part, the books mentioned are fantasy or science fiction, and the settings are invented. But they all have one thing in common: I remember exactly where I was when I read them. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Hogwarts (and all the other locations in the books) from the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. This was the first thing that popped into my head when I was thinking of vivid worlds. Rowling created literal magic with her seven Harry Potter books, and I can’t imagine a top ten list without mentioning Hogwarts!

2. Lyra’s Oxford from His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass are three of my all-time favorite books. They mostly take place in Oxford, England, and alternate between the real Oxford and a magical version of the city.

3. The desert world of The Dark Tower  series by Stephen King. Yes, here it is again on this blog. The Dark Tower. Best series ever! King’s desolate wasteland of a desert is so beautifully drawn and is the perfect setting for this complicated and epic story. The setting changes throughout the series, and each location is as vivid as the last.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana in Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice. Rice’s seminal vampire tale set the standard for the romantic vampire stories of today, and her descriptions of the French Quarter in the 1800’s are perfectly suited to the story and characters. You can practically smell the air of New Orleans in this book!

5. The world of Hyperion in Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Here is another series I keep going back to on this blog. I can’t help it, the best books keep resurfacing. If I mention them often enough perhaps I can get more people to read them! Hyperion is science fiction at its best. Simmons is amazing, and his take on The Canterbury Tales will leave you speechless. Seriously.

6. New Crobuzon from Perdido Street Station and The Scar by China Miéville. Miéville is a true poet, and this fantastic world comes alive in the pages of these books. I have to admit some of Miéville’s work has left me cold, but these two stories rank among my favorite books of all time. Please read them!

7. Great Britain from The Eyre Affair (and other Thursday Next books) by Jasper Fforde. This fun series from Fforde takes place in an alternate 1980’s England, where characters from literature exist inside and outside of the pages of their books. In this first book of the series, Literary Detective Thursday Next must track down Jane Eyre when she is kidnapped from the pages of her book.

8. Manchester, England from Vurt and Pollen by Jeff Noon. Another science fiction series I love, the strange and drug-infested world that Noon has created is unlike anything I’ve read before. Vurt is a drug, feathers that you put on your tongue. The different colored feathers give you different types of highs and lows, and some of them are extremely dangerous. I felt like I was on drugs the whole time I was reading these books. What better example of a vivid world could there be?

9. Hell in Mortality Bridge by Steven R. Boyett. I’ve never read anything like Boyett’s ghastly descriptions of Hell and what one man experiences when he takes an extremely long trek there and back to save his wife.  Based on the story of Orpheus and other legends, Boyett forces you to watch all the torments of Hell, and I guarantee you won’t be able to look away.

10. Wisconsin from The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. It may seem like a strange choice, but this book had such a strong impact on me that I had to include it. Edgar Sawtelle is my only mainstream fiction title, but the lonely farmland in Wroblewski’s first novel plays a big part in the story, and this strange and sad retelling of Hamlet is one of my favorite books ever. And I mean that!

Please let me know your Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds! I’d love to see what you’ve picked.


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Tammy’s Top Ten Books to Read in a Day

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week we are asked to pick ten books that we would read in one day. I interpret this as books that are so engaging that I can’t stop reading! If only I still had time to read a book in a day…I think those days are well behind me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think of ten books that would fit the bill if I had absolutely nothing else to do for a whole day! So here we go…

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  OK, all you Twi-haters, this may come as a shock to you, but before it became fashionable to hate the Twilight series, this book was actually given good reviews by the publishing industry. I am happy to say that I read Twilight long before it became popular, and I was so taken with it, that I emailed everyone I knew and told them to drop everything and go get it!  Stephenie Meyer may be the brunt of sparkly vampire jokes now, but she was able to pull off something rare: she created an amazing chemistry between two characters that compelled you to keep reading.  In fact, this is the only time I’ve ever finished a book, then immediately turned back to page one and read it a second time. No, she’s not the best prose writer out there, but let’s give credit where it’s due: this book created a sensation. I dare anyone out there to prove me wrong.

2. Harry Potter (any or all of them) by J. K. Rowling. This selection should be on everyone’s list this week, I think.  Rowling is a master story-teller, and she deserves every bit of fame she’s struggled for.  The Harry Potter books are extremely readable and hard to put down once you’ve started.  I love the way they evolved over the years, as Rowling herself matured as a writer.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone may have been written for kids, but The Deathly Hallows that ended the series had a different audience in mind.

3. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.  This unique story kept me turning pages as fast as I could.  The main characters are separated throughout most of the story, which made the tension palpable. Finn is a prisoner in Incarceron, and Claudia is the daughter of the prison warden, who doesn’t even know Incarceron exists, until she discovers a secret.  Her follow-up to Incarceron, Sapphique, was not as engaging for me, but the writing and world-building in both are top rate. Fisher really knows her stuff, and if you haven’t read the books, I suggest you add them to your list.

4. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman.  Another unique concept, The Golden Compass and the two books that follow it, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, ought to be as widely read as the Harry Potter books, but their controversial anti-church theme has kept them from reaching a wider audience. The characters are amazing, and Pullman’s idea of each person having their soul embodied by an animal struck me as genius. Forget the movie, read the books. You won’t regret it.

5. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.  Lots of hype about this book pre-publication did not detract from its greatness. The story of a girl who uses wishes to do things like make her hair blue was so original and readable that it was over before I knew it.  Although some of the elements feel familiar, like the fact that Karou is a girl trying to find out who she really is, mostly the book is loaded with originality. Laini’s other books are just as good, and her buoyant writing style just makes you happy! Plus, this cover is gorgeous, I love its simplicity. I can’t wait for her next book…

6. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt.  My book club just read this, and yes, it was my pick, I’m happy to say.  This western set in Oregon and California during the 1850’s gold rush was compelling for many reasons, but mostly for the first person narrative of Eli, one of the brothers in the title.  Charlie and Eli Sisters are hired guns, and they have been recruited to kill a man in California.  The tale of how they attempt to do this is strange, violent, and at times, tender-hearted.  This funny and irreverent tale should not be missed.

7. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  I’ve mentioned this book before, but it definitely falls in the category of books that are hard to put down.  I’ve noticed a pattern to all my picks, and that is that they all have unique worlds and compelling characters.  With so many over-used plots out there, it’s nice to find writers that work hard to go against the grain.  Ready Player One is set in a horrible future where people escape into a virtual computer world rather than face real life.  It’s a mind-bending concept and I found myself literally forgetting which world I was in.  Plus, a futuristic novel that glorifies the 80’s? How can you not want to read that!

8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  Cinder is still fresh in my mind, so I immediately thought of it when compiling this list. Again, it’s got a special and clever idea that borrows from something recognizable (the fairy tale of Cinderella) and drops it into an unfamiliar framework (science fiction). This combination, especially in the hands of a talented writer, is unbeatable.  Knowing there are three future books in the Lunar Chronicles is gratifying, but having to wait a year for the second installment is going to be torture.  Read it and you’ll see what I mean.

9. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. It’s hard to keep track of all the different series Cassandra Clare has going on, but it all started with this book, by far my favorite.  Great characters, romance, special powers, and a story that will keep you reading long past your bedtime, City of Bones has it all for me.  The narrative moves fast, and it has that element we’re all looking for in a story: it makes us want to know what happens next.  Not only would I read this in a day, but I would go back and re-read it if I had time.

10. Hyperion by Dan Simmons.  Simmons is a rock star, no matter what genre he writes in, but I have to say his Hyperion books are still my favorite.  This one and The Fall of Hyperion are classics, and I don’t mean because they were written twenty years ago.  Simmons’ imagination is unsurpassed in my book, and even though Hyperion is a bit lengthy, you will not want to stop reading once you have started.


Filed under Top Ten, Uncategorized

Tammy’s Top Ten Horror Books (They Aren’t What You Think)

It’s Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week we get to pick any genre or sub-genre we want, so I’m selecting some of my favorite horror stories, beginning with the book that started the vampire craze:

1. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice.  I read this a long time ago, lost my copy at my aunt’s house, then found it years later when I was staying with her, and read it again.  Rice’s first and best, in my opinion.  And to think she wrote the first draft in two weeks…

2. Watchers by Dean Koontz.  OK, I know Koontz is often blasted with bad reviews, but Watchers was unlike anything I’d ever read, and it made an impression on me.  I loved the concept of a super-intelligent dog, and I love Dean Koontz for being such a dog-lover. I don’t care what anyone says, Watchers is not only scary as hell, but a well-told story.

3. Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub. Black House is a sequel to King’s and Straub’s The Talisman, with Jack Sawyer now grown up.  I love the way these two write together, and Black House was creepier and scarier than The Talisman.

4. Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.  A truly original vampire tale told as only a Swedish writer can tell it.  It was also made into two really good movies, one in Swedish and one in English. Despite the horrific actions of a young girl vampire, the budding love between the two young characters is sweet and unexpected.

5. The Ruins by Scott Smith. This book terrified me, but I could not put it down. It was later made into an awful movie, but the story of a group of college kids held prisoner in the Mexican jungle as they are killed off one by one by the evil jungle vines surrounding them (OK, sounds lame, I know) still makes me shudder.

6. Horns by Joe Hill.  Everyone probably knows that Hill is the son of Stephen King, but that’s not why I like him.  He’s got his own distinct writing style and I believe he can hold his own against his dad.  Horns is his second novel, a story about a guy named Ig who wakes up one morning to discover horns growing out of his head.

7. The Terror by Dan Simmons.  Simmons has written everything from science fiction to historical fiction to horror, and he does each brilliantly.  The Terror is long, but the pages fly by in this terrifying story that takes place in 1845 in the Arctic Circle, as the men aboard a stranded steam ship fight for survival.  Not only are they starving to death, but something out on the ice is hunting them down. One of the best horror stories I’ve ever read.

8. Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this unconventional werewolf story, considering it is told in verse. Not my favorite writing style, but the gritty, yet elegant descriptions of a man caught between two worlds held my attention to the end, and I’m curious to see what Barlow comes up with next.

9.  The Passage by Justin Cronin.  Part vampire novel, part post-apocalyptic nightmare, The Passage begins a trilogy about a six-year-old girl named Amy who seems to be the key to the downfall of humanity.  The second book in the series The Twelve comes out this year.

10. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan.  I loved this book and reviewed it here on Books, Bones & Buffy.  The writing is exquisite, raw and sexy as we follow Jake, said werewolf, as he dodges various factions who are trying to kill him.  Get ready to love Jake as much as I did.


Filed under Top Ten

Tammy’s Top Ten Books I’d Save if My House Were Abducted By Aliens

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and today’s very frustrating theme is the Top Ten Books you’d save if (insert calamity here).  I say frustrating because I do love all my books, and since I’m not the kind of book collector who spends loads of money on first edition The Catcher In the Ryes and Moby Dicks, I don’t have ten obvious choices.  So my list this week is mostly based on feelings of nostalgia, and leans heavily on the side of horror, which is really my first love, and the very first kind of books I started buying when I was able to afford them.  So here they are, pretty much in the order I acquired them:

1. The Stand by Stephen King (Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1978). As I’ve mentioned before in my other Stephen King-centric post, The Stand was my very first hardcover purchase.  I bought it when I was sixteen from my small home town’s one and only book store (I think it was actually called The Book Store!) for $12.95, a brand new hardcover.  Today it’s worth a few hundred dollars, but for me the price is irrelevant.  It’s still the best thing I own.

2. Swan Song by Robert McCammon (Dark Harvest, 1989). Dark Harvest published beautiful editions of horror novels back in the 80s, and it was during that time that I began voraciously stocking up on every Dark Harvest title I could find.  Swan Song is one of those books, and mine just happens to be signed by the wonderful Robert McCammon, whom I’ve met several times.  It is a grand, terrifying and magical tale of good versus evil, and it is still one of my favorite McCammons to this day.

3. Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Dark Harvest, 1989).  Another beautiful example of my Dark Harvest collection, Carrion Comfort is another stellar horror story by another master of the genre. These Dark Harvest books are over-sized and have beautiful dust jackets (Swan Song is illustrated by Charles Lang, and Carrion Comfort is illustrated by Kathleen McNeil Sherman and Dan Simmons.) These tiny thumbnail photos just don’t do them justice. Carrion Comfort is also signed by the author, and I am proud to be the owner of this beautiful edition.

4. – 10. The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King (Donald M. Grant Publishers, 1982-2004).  I won’t repeat myself too much, since I’ve done a whole post on these books, but the truth is, they are an important part of my library and they would definitely be part of my Top Ten rescued books. I feel lucky that I was able to purchase all these books for the original list price when they were released, and not pay inflated collectors prices.

OK, I guess that wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. As long as I don’t keep thinking about the rest of my library and everything I’ve left off this list…

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