May 17th

Top Ten Books We Picked Up on a Whim

Posted in Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Go check out their Top Ten and others on their site today!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is Ten Books I Picked Up On a Whim. This one was a little harder as most of the books we read are heavily recommended before we pick them up. As such, some of these books are going to be very old, but no less excellent in spite of their age.

Kate’s Whimful 5

The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I found The Queen of the Tearling while browsing for Kindle books right after my husband got me a Kindle for Christmas. I’m so very glad I did. Kelsea is such an awesome main character; flawed, strong, and independent. The book is one part high fantasy, one part dystopian and I love that mix! This is definitely a must read, just keep in mind that the world-building is a slow thing of beauty.

First Test

First Test by Tamora Pierce
I was 13 when this book was published. I picked it up at Borders during one of my family’s weekly trips. I was already a big fantasy lover but when I read this it quickly became my favorite series of all time, and fantasy became my favorite genre. It is a super important read for teenagers in my opinion, showing a strong girl who doesn’t let gender stereotypes stop her from doing what she wants. Pierce is my Queen, her world-building is incredible!

The Scorpion Rules

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
I had read the synopsis for The Scorpion Rules on Goodreads while surfing one day. I saw the kindle book on sale and decided to give it a chance. To be honest I had actually heard negative things before I picked this book up and I’m so glad I randomly decided to ignore those reviews. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! It was an incredibly emotional read for me and such an interesting premise. If you’ve been scared by negative reviews please give it a try anyway, not everyone likes the same things. The ending was one of the most perfect endings I have ever read.

Skinwalker

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
This is another book I stumbled upon while surfing Goodreads, avoiding doing actual work. I love urban fantasy series, especially when they combine many supernatural elements. This is one of my top 5! The main character is a person of color, and I feel it is a wonderful representation. I love the melding of werewolves, witches, vampires, fae legends, and Cherokee mythology. The action is excellent, the romance is realistic, and the dialogue is top notch; lots of snark here! If you love urban fantasy, or even paranormal romance, this should be on your TBR!

Written in Red

Written in Red by Anne Bishop
When I was younger I read Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy and absolutely adored it! When I saw the blurb for Written in Red I was a little skeptical. I hadn’t read any of her other series and really had no interest in them. The description of this book was just vague enough that I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. BOY WAS I WRONG! #1 favorite urban fantasy series of all time! I am not hyperbolizing at all; it’s that good. It has a super original plot and world even though it involves many of the supernatural creatures I’ve read heavily about. This depiction feels so much more real, the world a more honest look at how we would be living if supernatural creatures really did exist. On top of all of that—and her fabulous writing skills—the romance is so great! It’s slow, it’s sometimes awkward, and it feels so REAL!!!! Just read this book, seriously, you won’t regret it!

Oli’s 5 Whims

Shadowdance

Shadowdance by Robin Wayne Bailey
I picked Shadowdance out of a motley pile in an old and extremely disorganized used bookstore in the middle of nowhere. It turned out to be a great read–definitely very dark but with fascinating characters. This one has a hint of gay romance from the main character as well.

Wonders of the Invisible World

Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak
Wonders of the Invisible World was a recent read. I’m not sure how I came across it, but I know I ended up deciding to read it for both the gay main characters and the setting. It ended up taking place in a part of Ohio that I’m very familiar with and it was really interesting to see this place in fiction. This one was another fantastic read–definitely worth your time.

An Inheritance of Ashes

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet
An Inheritance of Ashes was a strange book, perhaps not something that everyone would enjoy. I think I saw it on a list of 2015 releases and something just drew me to it. The world-building is excellent. Leah Bobet created such a dark, atmospheric setting. The characters were fleshed out well and the relationship between the two sisters really struck a chord with me.

Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
I picked A Great and Terrible Beauty off the bookshelf of a Borders (remember when those were still around?) what must have been over ten years ago. Not even a teenager at that time, I didn’t know about book blogging and Twitter didn’t even exist. I just grabbed what I thought was interesting from a shelf! To this day, the Gemma Doyle trilogy is one of my favorite series and I love to revisit that world.

Ascension

Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi
I have no idea how I stumbled across Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi but I’m indescribably glad I did. It’s a soft sci fi space opera with fantastically diverse and well written characters. Alana Quick, the protagonist, is a chronically ill black lesbian who stows aboard a space ship. Adventures ensue! Ascension was such a breath of fresh air to read and I really hope Koyanagi publishes more full length novels in the future.

What do you think of our choices? What ten books did you pick up on a whim? Leave a comment and let us know!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Go check out their Top Ten and others on their site today!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is Ten Books I Picked Up On a Whim. This one was a little harder as most of the books we read are heavily recommended before we pick them up. As such, some of these books are going to be very old, but no less excellent in spite of their age.

Kate’s Whimful 5

The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I found The Queen of the Tearling while browsing for Kindle books right after my husband got me a Kindle for Christmas. I’m so very glad I did. Kelsea is such an awesome main character; flawed, strong, and independent. The book is one part high fantasy, one part dystopian and I love that mix! This is definitely a must read, just keep in mind that the world-building is a slow thing of beauty.

First Test

First Test by Tamora Pierce
I was 13 when this book was published. I picked it up at Borders during one of my family’s weekly trips. I was already a big fantasy lover but when I read this it quickly became my favorite series of all time, and fantasy became my favorite genre. It is a super important read for teenagers in my opinion, showing a strong girl who doesn’t let gender stereotypes stop her from doing what she wants. Pierce is my Queen, her world-building is incredible!

The Scorpion Rules

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
I had read the synopsis for The Scorpion Rules on Goodreads while surfing one day. I saw the kindle book on sale and decided to give it a chance. To be honest I had actually heard negative things before I picked this book up and I’m so glad I randomly decided to ignore those reviews. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! It was an incredibly emotional read for me and such an interesting premise. If you’ve been scared by negative reviews please give it a try anyway, not everyone likes the same things. The ending was one of the most perfect endings I have ever read.

Skinwalker

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
This is another book I stumbled upon while surfing Goodreads, avoiding doing actual work. I love urban fantasy series, especially when they combine many supernatural elements. This is one of my top 5! The main character is a person of color, and I feel it is a wonderful representation. I love the melding of werewolves, witches, vampires, fae legends, and Cherokee mythology. The action is excellent, the romance is realistic, and the dialogue is top notch; lots of snark here! If you love urban fantasy, or even paranormal romance, this should be on your TBR!

Written in Red

Written in Red by Anne Bishop
When I was younger I read Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy and absolutely adored it! When I saw the blurb for Written in Red I was a little skeptical. I hadn’t read any of her other series and really had no interest in them. The description of this book was just vague enough that I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. BOY WAS I WRONG! #1 favorite urban fantasy series of all time! I am not hyperbolizing at all; it’s that good. It has a super original plot and world even though it involves many of the supernatural creatures I’ve read heavily about. This depiction feels so much more real, the world a more honest look at how we would be living if supernatural creatures really did exist. On top of all of that—and her fabulous writing skills—the romance is so great! It’s slow, it’s sometimes awkward, and it feels so REAL!!!! Just read this book, seriously, you won’t regret it!

Oli’s 5 Whims

Shadowdance

Shadowdance by Robin Wayne Bailey
I picked Shadowdance out of a motley pile in an old and extremely disorganized used bookstore in the middle of nowhere. It turned out to be a great read–definitely very dark but with fascinating characters. This one has a hint of gay romance from the main character as well.

Wonders of the Invisible World

Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak
Wonders of the Invisible World was a recent read. I’m not sure how I came across it, but I know I ended up deciding to read it for both the gay main characters and the setting. It ended up taking place in a part of Ohio that I’m very familiar with and it was really interesting to see this place in fiction. This one was another fantastic read–definitely worth your time.

An Inheritance of Ashes

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet
An Inheritance of Ashes was a strange book, perhaps not something that everyone would enjoy. I think I saw it on a list of 2015 releases and something just drew me to it. The world-building is excellent. Leah Bobet created such a dark, atmospheric setting. The characters were fleshed out well and the relationship between the two sisters really struck a chord with me.

Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
I picked A Great and Terrible Beauty off the bookshelf of a Borders (remember when those were still around?) what must have been over ten years ago. Not even a teenager at that time, I didn’t know about book blogging and Twitter didn’t even exist. I just grabbed what I thought was interesting from a shelf! To this day, the Gemma Doyle trilogy is one of my favorite series and I love to revisit that world.

Ascension

Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi
I have no idea how I stumbled across Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi but I’m indescribably glad I did. It’s a soft sci fi space opera with fantastically diverse and well written characters. Alana Quick, the protagonist, is a chronically ill black lesbian who stows aboard a space ship. Adventures ensue! Ascension was such a breath of fresh air to read and I really hope Koyanagi publishes more full length novels in the future.

What do you think of our choices? What ten books did you pick up on a whim? Leave a comment and let us know!

By Kate Woods

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Top Ten Books We Picked Up on a Whim

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