Tag Archives: J. K. Rowling

A to Z Bookish Survey

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As I was catching up on emails this morning, I ran across this fun A to Z Survey from Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner! I’ve decided to participate by creating my own A to Z post since I need something light-hearted and stress-free today. You can visit Jamie’s blog and see how other bloggers answered this survey, and you can even participate and create your own post, or simply leave your answers in the comments section. And you might learn a little more about me too:) So here are my A to Z answers:

AUTHOR you’ve read the most books from:

I’m just guessing here, because I have not entered my entire life’s reading history into Goodreads. But as most of you know, I’m a huge Stephen King fan, and since he’s written over 40 books and I’ve read all of them, my answer is clearly going to be Stephen King!

BEST Sequel Ever:

Fire by Kristin Cashore. I adored Graceling, but there was something about Fire that spoke to me even more. What an awesome writer and series this is!

CURRENTLY reading:

Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard. Wow, this book is making me crazy! It’s a combination of a whacked-out road trip  story and a mystery…and I still have no idea what’s going on (I’m about 100 pages in). It’s one of those stories that you just can’t stop turning pages because you NEED to find out what’s happening.

DRINK of choice while reading:

It depends on the time of day. When I read in the morning, of course it’s going to be coffee. I’m a coffee person all the way (with Hershey’s Kisses with Almonds on the side, please!) But other times during the day, I either drink iced tea, or nothing at all.

E-READER or physical book?

Well, my heart says “physical book” and always will. I’ve amassed a huge library over the years, since I started collecting books, and I love to turn pages, real pages. However, I’ve discovered that when reading review books, it’s much easier to read on my Kindle and highlight and take notes, rather than trying to keep a notebook and pen handy. Both have their positives, I guess!

FICTIONAL character you actually probably would have dated in high school:

Edward! No, just kidding:) I wanted to see if you were paying attention!

GLAD you gave this book a chance:

The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman. That book was sooo depressing and I nearly gave up on it. But I forced myself to read the whole book, and of course by the end I was so glad I had. It was an amazing story told by an amazing writer (but yes, depressing…)

HIDDEN gem book:

I’m going to have to say Sea Change by S. M. Wheeler. One of the most unusual books I’ve ever read, and one that needs more attention, I think! She’s a brilliant writer.

IMPORTANT moment in your reading life:

Starting this blog! I can’t imagine my life without blogging, and I’m so glad I took the leap, even though I had no idea what I was doing.

JUST finished:

Geddy’s Moon by John Mulhall

KINDS of books you won’t read:

Contemporary romance. I just feel for the most part this genre is mostly fluff (and I know that’s not true, but it’s my general impression). I like some darkness in the books I read, so I do love romance, but it needs to be of the urban fantasy, horror or science fiction variety.

LONGEST book you’ve read:

Again, I’m kind of guessing for this question, since I don’t have any way of looking this up on Goodreads. It’s probably Under the Dome by Stephen King, which comes in at a whopping 1,072 pages and can be used as a weapon.

MAJOR book hangover because of:

I’m going to pick a recent read for this question. Absolutely it’s got to be Three by Jay Posey. Damn he threw a curve ball at me with a certain plot twist, and I’m still recovering. Thanks a lot, Jay!

NUMBER of bookcases you own.

OK, I actually have to leave my desk and go count. I’ll be right back. Technically I have eleven, but I have just as many stacks of books hanging around in almost every room of my house that don’t have a home.

ONE  book you have read multiple times:

I’m going to get some hate for this answer, but it’s true. I’ve read Twilight about six times. And let me explain that this was before all the Twilight blogger hate that exploded, especially after the release of the last two books. When I first read Twilight, no one even knew what it was. I literally finished it and flipped back to the first page and started it again. Sorry, but it’s true.

PREFERRED place to read:

In bed! Under the covers! With my two dogs next to me!

QUOTE that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

Oh, there are so many! I tend to like quotes that aren’t really touchy-feely. I don’t really get into inspirational crap so much, so I’m choosing a quote that I love for the beauty of the writing and the utter simplicity of conjuring a feeling. This is from The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig:

It’s like being in a ship that’s just starting to capsize. Listing on an unforgiving ocean. Then: a wind of wet heat on his forehead – a hot breath – and at the edges of his vision the ripple of blue flame like a puddle of vodka lit with a Zippo, a ripple that fades fast, taking with it the scales that cover the eyes, that protect the mind, that hide the happy dumb people from the truth of what lies beneath.

READING regret:

Wow, this is a hard one. I think I’m going to have to steal from Jamie on this one (sorry Jamie!), except mine’s a bit different from hers. I regret not finding out about Harry Potter until book four was about to come out. (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). Being a collector, I really regret not having first printings of books one through three. That kills me!!

SERIES you started and need to finish (all books are out in the series):

I’m cheating on this one. This is a series that I haven’t even started! I can’t believe I haven’t read Beth Revis’ Across the Universe series. I know they’re amazing and they’re my kinds of books, but blogging duties have gotten in the way of reading them.

THREE of your all-time favorite books:

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, The Secret History by Donna Tartt and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

UNAPOLOGETIC fan girl for:

Another tough question! The first thing that comes to mind is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Although I don’t think I need to apologize for that! There are seven books in the series and I think every one is amazing. Stephen King at his best, don’t miss them!

VERY excited for this release more than all the others:

This one is easy: Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff. I’m literally DYING to read it.

WORST bookish habit:

Not reading everything I buy. There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

X marks the spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Which shelf? OK, I’ll pick the closest one.  The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff.

YOUR latest book purchase:

Ink by Amanda Sun.

ZZZ-snatcher book (the last book that kept you up WAY late):

This one’s tough for me, because I generally don’t stay up late reading. But I do remember reading Bruised by Sarah Skilton and not being able to put it down, so that counts, right?

Wow, that was tons of fun! Thanks for checking out my A to Z Bookish Survey! Let me know in the comments if you agree/disagree with any of my answers.

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

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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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Link Salad (5)

Link Salad button copyIt’s Friday once again (funny how it keeps coming around!) and time for another Link Salad. In my reading this week I stumbled upon a couple of things that I recognized from the world of Harry Potter—in other books—which made me curious. For example, in the novella Asher’s Dilemma (review coming soon) one of the characters talks about Nicholas Flamel, an alchemist who was famous for his search for the Philosopher’s Stone. (Ring any bells?) And I’m currently reading She Returns From War, which mentions a large dog-like creature with glowing eyes, sometimes called “Padfoot.” I knew that J. K. Rowling took many of her ideas from mythology and has even admitted to being influenced by fantasy novels like The Lord of the Rings, but I didn’t realize how much speculation is out there about this subject. I started googling and ran across this article from io9. Yes, it’s a couple of years old, but I found it fascinating. Some of the similarities are staggering!

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Harry Potter2Did Harry Potter Really Steal All These Story Ideas? looks at various books that have similar plot lines, characters, and ideas. The list is long, and the author of this article presents the material in an unbiased way, leaving the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. This article doesn’t address the “padfoot” and “philosopher stone” puzzle that first had me googling, but when I ran across it, I found it interesting to say the least.

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Little Free LibraryLittle Free Libraries began four years ago and has since grown to more than 50,000 registered libraries around the world. These pint-sized houses allow people to borrow, return or donate books for others to enjoy. I love the idea that most people are honest at heart, and I really want to start one of these myself! According to the Publishers Weekly article, you can purchase the materials to build your own library for $250-$600. You can also build your own from scratch and register it with the company for $25. Learn more about this wonderful project from Publishers Weekly, and visit the Little Free Libraries website here for even more information.

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typewriterFrom Mental Floss (via Shelf Awareness) comes this wonderful Brief History of the Typewriter. Most of us (well, me at least!) grew up learning how to type on one of these, so this could be a trip down memory lane for you! There’s even a typewriter style I’ve never seen before that looks like it came right out of a steampunk novel! You can read the article here.

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YALSAEvery year, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) complies a list of the Best Fiction for Young Adults. This year’s list has just been revealed, and consists of 102 books, most of them released in 2012. I’m sure those of you who read YA fiction will recognize and approve of many of the titles. You can see the list here.

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These Broken StarsIt wouldn’t be Link Salad if I didn’t throw in a contest or two, so today I’m going to send you over to The Midnight Garden to enter for a chance to win an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. You can also read about how they chose the title for the book. And for a very funny post with the two authors, head over to Cuddlebuggery to hear Meg and Amie chat about how the cover came to be, and enter their contest for an ARC as well! Good luck!

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astronautLet’s end this post with something completely random: this cool duvet cover that turns the sleeper into an astronaut! (Via The Fire Wire) From the company Snurk, you can now pre-order this duvet. Doesn’t it look three-dimensional??  They have a bunch of other duvets that are pretty awesome as well. For more info click here.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of the internet today! Did you miss last week’s Link Salad? Click here to read now.

And don’t forget to enter the two giveaways I have going on right now. Check the top right-hand sidebar for details!

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Tammy’s Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday2Happy 2013, everyone! I hope you have a wonderful year full of marvelous reading! As happens every year, I am not quite able to squeeze in all the reading I want to, so I’ve compiled my list of the Top Ten Books I was never able to get to, but I’m going to try my darnedest to read in 2013. Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting Top Ten Tuesday!

Here’s my list, in no particular order:

1. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor. It’s unbelievable that I haven’t read this yet! I will not let it get away this time…

2. The Diviners by Libba Bray. I’ve read so many rave reviews and seen this book on so many top ten lists, and I’m so excited to find the time to see if everything I’ve read is true!

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I don’t think this book is for everyone, because some readers that I really trust say they didn’t like it at all, but I still want to see what all the fuss is about.

4. The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling. Here’s another book that’s had its share of mixed reviews, but I love J. K. and I’m curious to see her in a different light.

5. Talullah Rising by Glen Duncan. I rated the first book of this series, The Last Werewolf, in my top ten for 2011, and so I was really looking forward to the next story.

6. Origin by Jessica Khoury. I was really looking forward to this book months before its release, but by the time it came out, I was buried under my TBR pile…

7. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Maggie has written two of my all-time faves (Lament and Ballad) and I certainly don’t want to pass this one by.

8. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. I saw this pop up on some top ten lists, and I’m disappointed that I didn’t have the chance to put it on my list this year.

9. Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen. Not to be confused with the other Scarlet that comes out this year, I saw this book on at least four or five top ten lists, and now I’m resolved to read it this year!

10. Team Human by Justine Larbalestier. This humorous vampire spoof never made it to the top of my pile, but I plan to remedy that!

How about you? What books are you resolving to read this year?

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Stacking the Shelves #9

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is a way to share the books you’ve acquired over the past week with other bloggers. This week I received a mixed bag of goodies: a couple of indie books to review next month, two purchases, and an approval from NetGalley that I’m very excited about:

For Review:

Broken by A. E. Rought. Release date: January 8 2013 (Strange Chemistry). This retelling of Shelley’s Frankenstein sounds so creepy! I’ve been wanting to read a Strange Chemistry title for a while now, and I’m excited to start with this one.

The Collected by Brett Battles. Now available. Brett’s Jonathan Quinn series is my very favorite of all his many self-published books, and this is the sixth of Quinn’s stories.

Royal Flush by Scott Bartlett. Now available. OK, to be honest, I would normally say “no” to a book with a toilet on the cover. Eew. However, when Scott asked me to review his self-published book about a King looking for romance, I decided to take a chance. Other reviewers are calling this book “hilarious,” “unexpected,” “bizarre,” and “corny.” At only 200 pages, I’m going to risk ridicule and review a book with a punny title. (sorry!)

Purchased:

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling. My mom is reading this right now, and even though our tastes in reading material don’t always match up, she said she can’t put this book down. I admire the way J. K. Rowling has written something completely different for adults and isn’t afraid to try something new.

Your House Is On Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye. This short book is compared to Stephen King’s Children of the Corn and is a coming-of-age tale set in a village with a dark secret. I don’t know a lot about this author, but I love the spooky-looking kid on the cover, plus there is a hidden message that can only be seen if you hold the book in your hands and tilt it!

What goodies did you get this week?

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What’s On My Plate – October

I can’t believe it’s October already! I feel like I was just here, talking about my plate full o’ books for September. I managed to complete just about everything I set out to do last month, and here’s what’s happening on Books, Bones & Buffy this month:

For Review:

Edge of Oblivion by J. T. Geissinger. This book is out tomorrow, and I’m hoping to finish reading it today so I can get my review up by then. I am LOVING it. That’s all I’m going to say right now…

Violet Midnight by Lynn Rush. I am participating in a release day event on October 16, and I will be giving away a print copy of Violet Midnight! Stay tuned…

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone. This book is also out tomorrow, and my review will be a little late since I had so many things to read last month.

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher. This book comes out on October 30, and I’m going to be participating in a blog tour in November. And there might be a giveaway involved…

The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins. This comes out November 1st, so I plan to review it before then.

Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss. This book will also be released on November 1st. I’ve had this for a few months, and it’s finally time to read it!

For Book Club:

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. I’ve read amazing reviews about this one, but it’s never been on my radar because it’s about SPORTS. But Book Club is all about reading things that you wouldn’t normally read, so now I’m looking forward to it.

If I Have Time:

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling. Yes, it’s been getting quite the range of reviews, both good and bad and in between. It seems everyone is thrown off by the fact that J. K. Rowling can actually write something other than children’s fantasy. But I wouldn’t consider myself a true reader unless I read it for myself.

That’s it for October! Happy reading, everyone!

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Tammy’s Top Ten Books On My Fall Reading List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they come up with a different Top Ten list so bloggers can share with each other. This week is SO hard for me! I started out with twenty-three books for a list with only ten spots, and I had to really narrow it down. Fall is typically one of the biggest seasons for new book releases, so it doesn’t surprise me that there are so many choices! But I did manage to slash my list down to ten, so here are the Top Ten books I can’t wait to read this fall, in order of release date:

Origin by Jessica Khoury. Release date: Today! I’ve had this book on my TBR for a long time, and it finally hits stores today. I can’t wait to read this story that takes place in the jungle, and from what I understand, involves jaguars and other jungle animals. And there’s romance too!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Release date: September 18. I love love love Maggie Stiefvater! This book’s been getting some good reviews, and the story sounds good too: ghosts, a private boys’ school, true love…what a great mix. I can’t wait!

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. Release date: September 18. I’ve been reading Jay’s blog for a few months now, and this guy is crazy funny. I mean, he really doesn’t take himself seriously at all. Which is good. And his book’s been getting all sorts of amazing reviews, so I’m looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the hype.

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling. Release date: September 27. OK, seriously now, how can you not be curious about this book? OK, the cover leaves a lot to be desired, but I’m sure half the people on the planet are dying to see what her follow-up to Harry Potter is going to be like.

Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch. Release date: October 1. The reviews on this one are a bit mixed, but I’m still excited to read what’s under the gorgeous cover. A fence that holds back monsters and a father with a secret project? Sounds right up my alley.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Release date: October 2. A book about a bookstore! What could be better? This sounds amazing. It takes place in a very unusual San Francisco bookstore. Goodreads says “…it evokes the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami.” Wow!

Velveteen by Daniel Marks. Release date: October 9. I came across this book months ago, and forgot about it until I was trying to narrow down the books for this Top Ten. Velveteen is dead and in purgatory, and she wants to haunt the man who killed her. Awesome…

The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Release date: October 16. I’ve been dreaming and talking about this follow-up to The Passage for a long time, and it’s right around the corner. I’ll definitely have to make time in October to read this.

Rebel Heart by Moira Young. Release date: October 30. I’m a bit confused by the title of this book, the follow-up to Blood Red Road. It looks like the title is “Dust Lands” but I think that’s the name of the series. Anyway, I’m hoping it’s good. I loved Blood Red Road.

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor. Release date: November 6. Drum roll please…words cannot tell you how excited I am to read this book! I’m trying to get an ARC, but so far no luck. I hope it lives up to Daughter of Smoke & Bone!

I’d love to see your top ten books for fall!

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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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BIG NEWS! New Books by Some Old Favorites

If you haven’t been on the internet lately, you may be one of the three people on the planet who haven’t heard  about J. K. Rowling’s latest.  The Casual Vacancy, her first novel for adults, will be published by Rowling’s new publisher Little, Brown on September 27, 2012. Obviously the cover design has not yet been revealed, but Little, Brown gives us a preview of the plot below:

Plot details and pricing were also included in Little, Brown’s release about the novel, which it described as “blackly comic.” The book is set in a small English town called Pagford, which comes undone after one of its denizens, a man in his early 40s named Barry Fairweather, unexpectedly dies. The event shakes the town and reveals the rampant unrest bubbling under the surface in the deceptively perfect hamlet. LB elaborated: “Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…. Pagford is not what it first seems.”

The publisher also reveals that the list price will be $35.  This tells me it’s going to be a long book, I’m guessing somewhere in the 700-800 page range, if not more.  I’m looking forward to seeing where Rowling goes post-Harry with her imagination…

In other Big News, Stephen King has two new books on the horizon. He’s working on a novel called Joyland, which takes place in an amusement park and features murderous clowns. Joyland is in the editing stage and does not yet have a release date…and get ready for a King’s sequel to The Shining entitled Dr. Sleep, in which a grown-up Danny Torrance is a hospice worker who encounters a clan of psychic vampires.  Wow! Dr. Sleep is due for publication sometime next year.

And finally, one of my favorite YA authors has a new series coming out later this year. Maggie Stiefvater, author of the bestselling Shiver trilogy, kicks off her latest series of four books with The Raven Boys. Here’s the description from Goodreads:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

You can read the first two chapters of The Raven Boys here!

The Raven Boys comes out September 18, 2012.

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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.

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