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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books So Far in 2013

the broke and the bookish

Good morning ya’ll! It’s Tuesdayyyy, so time for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Since June is ALMOST OVER, the topic today is Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2013. Holy crap on a cracker, I can’t believe we’re halfway through this year… Anyways, I love this topic because I’ve read 59 books so far this year and I have SO many good ones to fangirl about!

TTT try 3

1. Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay #1) by Chris Wooding – This is WITHOUT A DOUBT the best book/series I’ve read so far this year. Awesome, fantastic book about the crew of the airship Ketty Jay, with some steampunk elements. There’s adventure, piracy, gun fights, daemonism, golems, and a fun interesting cast of characters. Totally gave me book hangover because I wanted to read the second book ASAP. It’s funny, action-packed, and reminds me just a little bit of Firefly. LOVE IT.

2. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray – I read Vanity Fair with a readalong group and it was a good time. Definitely one of my favorite classic reads of the year, as I really enjoyed watching the cruel and calculating Becky Sharp try to make her way through high society. I STILL hear “Ladykiller” by Maroon 5 play in my head whenever I think about this book.

3. My Beloved Brontosaurus by Brian Switek - Honestly, I wanted to put almost ALL the non-fiction I’ve read this year on this list but I narrowed it down to this and one other. I was so pleasantly surprised that this book about dinosaurs was as interesting, funny, and engaging as it was. Did you know that evidence points to most dinosaurs having feathers? And that scientists are still debating about just how exactly giant dinosaurs like T-Rexes managed to get their groove on? Yeah, you should read this.

4. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan - I read this book alllll the way back in January and it was SUCH a delight! Whimsical, nerdy, full of mystery and at the core a celebration of books and book lovers.

5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell – If you haven’t read anything by Rowell yet, you need to get on that immediately. The unlikely romance between chubby, outcast Eleanor and quiet, nerdy Park set against the backdrop of high school in the 80′s was tenderly sweet, heart-wrenching, and just SO GOOD. Read it in one day.

6. The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu - You might have seen my review for this one recently, but let me say it again – this book was so full of awesome! Overweight, middle-aged Roen’s life is going nowhere… until he wakes up one day hearing the voice of ancient alien Tao in his head. Tao needs Roen to get in shape and learn to be a secret agent in order to save humanity and help Tao’s race find a way back to their own planet. WIN.

7. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – A book about a zombie and a human falling in love might seem silly, but Marion executes this perfectly. R is a zombie, and he’s lonely - he doesn’t remember who he used to be, and he can’t communicate with the other zombies because none of them can really talk. But when R sets his eyes on Julie something awakens inside of him that changes him and leads to changes among the entire zombie population. The writing was absolutely beautiful at times, and I’m already looking forward to re-reading this in the future.

8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier - This is another classic that I’ve read this year and it was so great! Gloomy, mysterious, and wonderfully written. The author is a MASTER at setting up the scene, and I can see the estate of Manderley so vividly in my mind. I flew through reading this one.

9. Space Chronicles by Neil deGrasse Tyson - This is my other non-fiction pick. Astrophysicist Tyson puts together his interviews, articles, essays, and even poems about space and why continued human exploration of it is so important. With wit, facts, and insight he puts together an impassioned plea to give NASA the funding it so desperately needs, and it was just a fantastic read.

10. George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy and Stephen Hawking – This is DEFINITELY the best kid’s book I’ve read in a long time. George has new next-door neighbors – Annie, and her scientist dad Eric. They have a special computer that can show George the wonders of the universe – in person. I’m so surprised by how much I enjoyed this – the story was fun and interesting and the book is sprinkled with factoids about space and full-color images of planets, asteroids, and more. My 8-year old nephew is reading it with his mom now and I hear he’s really enjoying it so far :)

 

BOOM! There we have it. I am just so excited to see what great reads the rest of this year has in store for me.

Any of these that you’re familiar with? What were some of your favorite reads of this year so far?

~Sarah

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I Read Before I Blogged

the broke and the bookish

Whoa whoa whoa… Books I read before I blogged? There was life before blogging? Oh yeah. Well I’ve been blogging since sometime in 2009, which a long freaking time to try to remember stuff, but since The Broke and The Bookish’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday today is Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was a Blogger, I’ll try.

Also, this post is in a bit of a rush today cause I’ve got lots to do, so no pretty book pictures to go along with my picks :(

1. Don’t Die, My Love by Lurlene McDaniel - This was probably one of my first favorite books ever, because I read it when I was pretty darn young. It’s about a high school couple who are totally in love and so sweet, but the boy gets some sort of cancer and dies. (This is hardly a spoiler, come on, it’s Lurlene McDaniel…)  I STILL have a copy of this on my bookshelves.

2. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan – I actually read and loved this book so much I went on to read all of Amy Tan’s other novels, and I still have most of them. I haven’t read them in FOREVER, so I have no idea if I would still enjoy them or not. Part of me doesn’t want to re-read them because I have fond memories of liking them, and what if I read them now and found them lacking?

3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – (Thanks Katie for making me remember this!) Do you guys remember when this book came out and it was all the hype? Maybe people had better standards of what was hype-worthy back in the day, because this book about an autistic 15-year old boy was really, really good and I should read it again soon.

4. Eragon by Christopher Paolini – I was working at Waldenbooks when I discovered this series. The books were pretty popular and had gorgeous covers, and I signed a copy out to read it (yeah we were allowed to do that, it was awesome) and I immediately bought all of the books out at the time in hardcover. They were probably my first intro to fantasy, and so they hold a special place in my heart still.

5. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant  – I used to read a LOT more historical fiction than I do now. This was suggested to me by one of my sister’s co-workers at the time, and it was super good. I wasn’t expecting to like it cause you know, eww religion, but I remember liking it a lot.

6. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb – Isn’t it awesome how memories just come flooding back when you think about a certain book? I remember that I was with my mom and siblings, we were in Barnes and Noble (which was rare, because I’m the only reader in the family), and I remember buying this book because it looked interesting, it was a paperback, and it had Oprah’s seal of approval on it. I want to re-read it to see if I still like it, but it’s a hefty one and just haven’t had the motivation to do so yet.

7. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd – This author gets a lot more praise for The Secret Life of Bees, but I liked this novel by her a lot better. It’s basically about a woman trying to rediscover herself after being a wife and mother for so long, and I enjoyed it a lot.

8. Helen of Troy by Margaret George – AGAIN with the historical fiction! And this sucker is huge, but it was a really, really great story about Helen. Margaret George does historical fiction really well.

9. Kindred by Octavia Butler – I don’t remember how I heard about Kindred or why I wanted to read it, but I remember seeking it out and thinking that it was a special kind of awesome. Once again I really should re-read it soon, but until then check out Alley’s fab review.

10. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - I had put off reading this book for years, and then I finally read it, and I really dug it cause come on, it’s about books and mystery and dark beautiful intrigue and it was just great. Unfortunately, I wasn’t into blogging yet so I need to re-read it.

Okay so basically this is just a giant list of books I should probably re-read at some point so that I can blab about them to you! Also, check out this similar TTT list from last year: Books I Loved But Haven’t Reviewed. I didn’t repeat any! Amazing.

What have you read and loved but not blogged about?

~Sarah

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Shove in People’s Faces Until They Read Them

the broke and the bookish

Good morning fellow bookworms! It’s Tuesday AKA time for Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most. Should be easy! These are the books that I buy spare copies of when I find them used and cheap, just so I can give them out to people to read. They’re all amazing.

Diana Gabaldon

1. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon – Are you surprised? Of course not! I’ve been beating ya’ll over the head about how awesome this series is for years! READ IT. You’ll thank me for giving you Jamie & Claire.

 

Chris Wooding

2. Tales of the Ketty Jay series by Chris Wooding – This has been my newest favorite series to gush about. PLEASE SOMEONE READ THE FIRST BOOK (Retribution Falls) AND CHAT WITH ME!!!

 

Christopher Moore

3. Lamb by Christopher Moore – This is probably the book I’ve been most successful at getting other people to read – I talked my friend, my honeyman, and my sister all into reading it and they all enjoyed it. Cause it’s full of hilariousness and awesome. Sadly, I haven’t read it in several years which means I’ve never reviewed it on here. I’m hoping to correct that this year.

book cover

 

4. He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt – This is probably one of the only “self-help” type of books that I own, but I’m constantly recommending it to female friends and family members who are hung up on a guy that is CLEARLY not worth their time. I also highly recommend It’s Called a Break-Up Because It’s Broken for girls just getting out of relationships. These books are funny and make you feel awesome and sassy!

bet me jennifer crusie

 

5. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie – My favorite romance recommendtion, because it’s the best one ever! I <3 Min & Cal.

Mira Grant

 

6. Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant – This is probably my favorite zombie recommendation. It’s SO. GOOD. Apparently there are also a few Newsflesh novellas out too, but they’re only available as stupid e-books, so I’m hoping a collection of them in print-form comes out sometime.

paullina simons

 

7. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons – This is one of my favorite historical fiction suggestions. You will laugh and cry (mostly cry) for Tatiana and Alexander, but seriously the pages just fly by.

Beauty Queens

 

8. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – OMG the laughs! This book brings the humor, satire, and girl-power at full force. I totally recommend it to young teen girls, but it’s fun for everyone.

The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

 

9. The Autobiography of Malcolx X by Malcolm X & Alex Haley - This is probably my favorite autobiography, and I like to encourage people to read it. It’s fascinating and eye-opening, and Malcolm X does not get nearly as much attention as MLK Jr. when it comes to talking about the Civil Rights movement.

Patrick Rothfuss

 

10. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – This is my FAVORITE epic fantasy to suggest to people. I’ve only convinced one person to read it so far- a friend of the honeyman’s, who really enjoyed it. For real, do yourself a favor and read it. It’s beautiful.

Yup, those are definitely some of the books that I’m CONSTANTLY trying to get people to read.

Alrighty, now it’s time for you to suggest some of your favorite recommendations to me! Leave me a comment and tell me what some of your favorite books to recommend are!

~Sarah

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An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

So many pretty covers... except for the green slime one.

So many pretty covers… except for the green slime one.

 

REMEMBER, THIS IS THE 7TH BOOK! IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST 6 THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. YOU KNOW, YOU SHOULD REALLY GO READ THE REST OF THE SERIES AND THEN COME BACK HERE, KAY?

 

Alright, I’m finally done re-reading the Outlander series! Since I spread it out over the last 2 years, I feel like it was a nice and relaxing. Now all I have to do is wait for the 8th book to come out, hopefully sometime next fall!

I’ve only read An Echo in the Bone once before (I’ve read all of the others in the series like 3 or 4 times at least), so I was really excited to see if my opinion of it has changed. And it has! But in case you’re interested, here’s the link to the review from the last time I read it, about 3 years ago. I was actually kind of nice in that review, because I remember being pretty angry about it. I was actually tempted to THROW the book at one point – but I didn’t of course, because it was a big beautiful hardcover.

ANYWAYS. A Breath of Snow and Ashes ended with Jamie & Claire’s house on Fraser’s Ridge burning down, them planning on going to Scotland to get Jamie’s printing press, and Brianna, Roger, and their kids head back to the present. Lots of upheaval, and right on the brink of the Revolutionary War.

A whole lot of stuff happens in this book, because there are four storylines. This really irritated me back when I first read the book. I love these books because I love Jamie and Claire, and it sucked that there was so much time dedicated to Roger/Brianna, Young Ian, and William/Lord John. Having re-read it, and at a much more leisurely pace than last time, it didn’t bug me quite as much. I think maybe I could have done without so many William/Lord John chapters, but I have a better appreciation for them now and their role in the overall story.

So, stuff that happens… well, Young Ian is finally healing after the disaster of his marriage to Emily, and that made me happy. He’s SUCH an awesome character, I really wish that Diana Gabaldon would write a whole series just for him. Or at least a novella. Jamie and Claire go through hell trying to make it across the sea to Scotland, including two major Revolutionary War battles (Ticonderoga and Saratoga). William is getting his first taste of being a soldier, and Lord John is of course working on some kind of political mystery that involves Fergus.

I liked this book a lot better than last time. I took time to appreciate the writing and just enjoy being with the characters again. These are the only books in which I actually MISS the characters when I’m not reading the books. They’re just so real. I’m already looking forward to my next big re-read in another year or two.

That being said, I have two main issues with this book:

1. That it ends on SO many cliffhangers. Diana doesn’t usually do that - all of the other books end on a solid note, with you looking forward to the next book but things more or less wrapped up for the moment. This one literally ends in the middle of a ton of action, confusion, and a ton of stuff happening. It feels… sloppy.

2. This is a big spoiler, but it’s the thing I dislike most in this book. Highlight if you want to read it… Claire heads back to America from Scotland, and Jamie follows later. Except Claire hears that the ship he was on went down and there were no survivors, so she thinks he’s dead. Soooo… she marries Lord John to protect herself and Fergus and his family, which I can understand. But… then her and Lord John sleep together, out of grief or whatever. WHAT. THE. FUCK. This whole situation makes no sense – Claire’s not stupid, she knows that in this day and age plans change and that even though that the ship he was SUPPOSED to be on, it doesn’t mean that he actually was on it. I guess it just bothers me that she so blindly accepts that he died, and she doesn’t even attempt to find out for sure. And then to go and sleep with Lord John, one of his good friends… just what the hell. This was totally unnecessary. UGH.

 

So yeah. I still have some complaints, but overall this book wasn’t as bad as I remember it being. With the exception of how rushed the ending was and that other thing that happens, I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait for Written in My Own Heart’s Blood to come out! I’m sure it’ll be the highlight of 2013.

 

Sarah Says: 4 stars

 

 

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Filed under 4-star, Historical Fiction, Outlander series, Re-Read, Romance, Sci-Fi

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

Even though I own 3 copies of this book, I don’t have that pretty UK cover yet… sigh.

 

Yayyyy, another Outlander review! REMEMBER, THIS IS THE 6TH BOOK! IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST 5 THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. AND REALLY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? GO READ THESE BOOKS!

And, in case you’re interested here are my reviews for the first five books:

Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross

 

So. At the end of The Fiery Cross, stuff was happening. The Frasers were settling down on the Ridge, and there was basically a lot of set-up waiting for the American Revolution to get closer. A Breath of Snow and Ashes starts off pretty much the same, with about 3 years to go until the start of the American Revolution. There are worrisome murders happening throughout the countryside… houses burned down and families being hung. Roger and Brianna have decided to stay, even though they know war is coming. Roger finally decides what he wants to do, as a calling or career. Brianna keeps making and building stuff, usually at the risk of something blowing up. We learn what happened to Young Ian when he was away and why he came back. Claire and Jamie have a really rough time of things in this book – not relationship troubles, but tragedy definitely strikes. There’s plots, intrigue, murder, deception, romance, and action abound in this one.

I flew through this in about a week. Of course, it’s a re-read, but still. That’s impressive for a 950-ish page trade paperback. I forgot how much I like this one. SO much good stuff happens. It rarely gets dull – there’s always something happening. And there are a couple big mysteries in this one, and happily I forgot how they ended up so when I re-read it, it was a surprise :-) Also, I like Brianna a lot more in this book than in the others. She’s so inventive, and the times she did get a little rage-y it was understandable.

And of course, I just love love love Jamie and Claire. I teared up at a couple parts. And, (not that this really spoils anything) the book ends with basically the start of the war. I think that makes me treasure this book a little more… I like seeing the Frasers at home and whatnot, and knowing that they’re about to be thrown into the chaos of war and battles makes me appreciate the more domestic scenes in this book.

I really want to go ahead and re-read #7, An Echo in the Bone now. I’m trying to make myself wait until November, because the 8th book won’t be out until early 2013 (I HOPE) and I want it to stay fresh in my mind before the new release. But since I’ve only read AEITB once before, I’m really, really looking forward to the re-read – even if I remember it being my least favorite.

 

Sarah Says: 5 stars :-)

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I’ve Read Since the Birth of My Blog

So, it’s Tuesday again. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and this week’s topic is Top Ten Favorite Books You’ve Read During the Lifespan on Your Blog. THIS is one of the things that makes me glad I have that master list of reviews page. I review pretty much everything I read, so I don’t have to go through my blog archives month by month to look. Genius! Anyways, yes I’m so smart, let’s get on with it. (By the way, I’m not counting re-reads, like Outlander or Bet Me or Harry Potter or The Name of the Wind.)

1. The Postmortal by Drew Magary – Such a good book! It’s a story about what would happen to the world if people stopped aging, told through the eyes of a pretty regular guy. It was fascinating.

2. Practical Jean by Trevor Cole – Dark, twisted humor is awesome. Jean is a lady in her 40′s, who after watching her mother die slowly from cancer, decides that the best possible thing she can do for her friends is to kill them so they never have to suffer the indignities of old age. (Notice a pattern? Old age terrifies me. Although I don’t want someone to kill me to escape it.)

3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – Much, much more light-hearted than the books I just mentioned. A sweet Southern boy falls in love with a woman by reading her emails with her friend. Trust me, it’s not as creepy as it sounds.

4. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – This book was EPIC in it’s massiveness and story-telling. I kind of want to re-read it right now.

5. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – Because it’s HILARIOUS and satirical and sarcastic and just the bestest. Plus it addresses a ton of issues young girls face, like self-image, sexuality, race, consumerism, etc.

6. In Search of the Multiverse by John Gribbin – This was my first real step into sciencey books about physics and whatnot, and the fact that it was so well-written made me feel brave enough to read other books on the topic.

7. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – Katsa is awesome. So is Po. This is one of the best fantasy YA books I’ve read.

8. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – SO original and fun and enthralling. That’s right, ENTHRALLING.

9. Wicked by Gregory Maguire – Ohhh Elphie & Fiyero. I know the author kind of took Oz and turned it on its head, but I love it. The politics and drama and stuff.

10. Feed by Mira Grant – ZOMBIESSSSS. But like, zombies 20-years after they first show up. The world is crazy different, the author has a great imagination and attention to detail.

Aaaaannnd…. honorable mentions to Ender’s Game,  A Discovery of Witches, Sandman Slim, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Einstein’s Dreams, The Bronze Horseman, Christopher Moore’s books, the Thursday Next books, and like ALL the Jane Austen. Come on, it’s too hard to pick just 10 books out of over two years of blogging.

OK, so what are some of your favorite reads since blogging? Were you able to keep your list to ten?

~Sarah

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes!

top ten tuesday

Gooooooood morning! It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and this week’s topic is Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes. Onward, shall we? I got lots to do today.

1. From Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon:

“And when my body shall cease, my soul will still be yours. Claire—I swear by my hope of heaven, I will not be parted from you.”

Awwwww. Jamie.

 

2. From A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore:

“Don’t be ridiculous, Charlie, people love the parents who beat their kids in department stores. It’s the ones who just let their kids wreak havoc that everybody hates.”

Take note parents – THIS IS TRUE.

 

3. From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran:

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”

Probably the first Gibran quote I ever fell in love with, though there are lots now.

 

4. From Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie:

“Your cat just got cat hair on me.” “It’s only fair,” Min said. “Your suit just got expensive suit lint on him.”

Again, lots of great quotes from this book. But this one is the perfect about of snarky funny, plus I feel more entitled to post it now that I have a kitty :)

 

5. From The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss:

“I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.”

SERIOUSLY, READ THIS BOOK.

 

6. From Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Ahh Emily Bronte. Ever the crazy romantic.

 

7. From Graceling by Kristin Cashore:

“I’m not going to wear a red dress,” she said.
“It would look stunning, My Lady,” she called.
She spoke to the bubbles gathered on the surface of the water. “If there’s anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I’ll hit him in the face.”

LOL. Katsa.

 

8. From You Suck by Christopher Moore:

“She knew it should bother her more, being evil and all, but after she put on a little mascara and some lipstick and poured herself another cup of blood-laced coffee, she found that she was okay with it.”

Seriously, I could make this ENTIRE post a “Top Ten Favorite Christopher Moore Quotes” post. But I’m trying hard not to.

 

8. From Wicked by Gregory Maguire:

“But she woke up just then, and in the moonlight covered herself with a blanket. She smiled at him drowsily and called him “Yero, my hero,” and that melted his heart.”

Awww. Elphie & Fiyero :-)

 

9. From Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen:

“Give each other a compliment every day. Even when the undead attack, its nice to feel pretty. Or badass.”

Can’t wait for zombie apocalypse. I have a feeling the honeyman and I will do quite well together.

 

10. From Emma by Jane Austen:

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.”

Emma is really underrated. And more women should think like this.

 

OK so those are some of my favorite quotes! I could go on for pages and pages. Also, I really wanted to put a quote from Beauty Queens by Libba Bray in here but I couldn’t pick just one. There’s too many great ones.

 

So what are some of your favorite quotes from books?

~Sarah

 

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The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

The Fiery Cross covers

Hey guys! So I’ve been very slowly re-reading the Outlander series since 2011, and now it’s time to review book #5, The Fiery Cross. SO REMEMBER THIS WILL BE ALL SPOILER-Y IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST FOUR BOOKS. IF YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT THAT SORT OF THING THEN PLEASE, READ ON.

Also, here are my reviews for the first four books:

Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn

At the end of Drums of Autumn, everything was pretty hunky-dory. The Frasers are happily setting up their settlement known as Fraser’s Ridge. Brianna had the baby (Jemmy) and Roger gets rescued and decides to stay in the past, even though the baby might not be his, and they agree to get married. Jamie and Claire know that the American Revolution is coming and that they’re likely going to get swept up in it. The book ends with them all at The Gathering, that annual get-together of just about every Scot in the New World.

The Fiery Cross is probably the slowest-paced of all of the books, and it’s the first one in the series that doesn’t make me tear up at some point. That being said, it’s still a great book – you get to see a lot of Jamie and Claire being all domestic and that makes me happy. Also, there’s still a lot of action. There’s both attempted and actual murder, there’s battle, there’s tragedy, there’s romance, etc. Brianna and Roger are trying to get used to married life and get over the scars that Stephen Bonnett left. Roger has to deal with a serious injury that makes him question his purpose. Jamie and Claire are getting new tenants to settle down and are preparing for the revolution coming, only about 3 years away. There’s weddings, gold, snake bites, bears, ghosts, and a favorite character makes a welcome return.

Also, this book has one of my favorite quotes in the series:

“When the day shall come, that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’ – ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.”

Awww. So even though the plot is a little slower than the other books, this is still a fantastic book and a great addition to the series. It also sets up a lot of important events to come in book #6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

 

Sarah Says: 5 stars

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Sci-Fi Novels

 

Good morning ya’ll! Time for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Today’s topic is kind of a freebie, where we get to pick our favorite books of any genre. I chose sci-fi because it seems like an under-appreciated genre, so today’s topic here is Top Ten Favorite Sci-Fi Novels.

 

Neanderthal Parallax #1

1. The Neanderthal Parallax trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer – This series was so, so, so good. It’s about the idea of a parallel universe in which Neanderthals are the dominant species and we had died out, and how travel between the two universes becomes possible. It really piqued my interest and has led me to search out more about the multi-universe theory and quantam mechanics.

 

2. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Trust me, this book is a classic for a reason. Ender is a sympathetic and likable character, in a messed up world where the military searches out kid geniuses to train for the war against the aliens. SUCH an awesome book.

 

3. The Postmortal by Drew Magary – What would happen if scientists developed a “Cure” for aging? No more death from old age, for starters. This is absolutely fascinating novel that explores what it would really mean for us individually and as a society if people really could live forever.

 

4. Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde – Set in a weird parallel world in which time travel is possible, extinct animals are cloned for pets, and where literature is taken VERY seriously, these books are quirky and fun while also encouraging you to imagine the possibilities if this really were our version of the world. I need to read book #4 soon.

 

5. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov – Seeing the move just won’t cut it. Asimov’s book does a super-awesome job at exploring the world of robotics and how it could affect us is robots really were that common and super-sophisticated. And since it seems like we’re kind of on our way there, this is a great eye-opener.

 

6. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula le Guin – One dude has dreams, and his dreams become reality. But what happens when an ambitious dream therapist with a god complex finds out and starts experimenting with it? Read it and find out.

 

7. Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne – Fantastic book about a small group of people who literally try to get to the center of the Earth and see what’s going on in there. I can see why Verne was such a popular author, especially with young boys. I’m looking forward to reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by him this year.

 

8. The Gate to Woman’s Country by Sheri S. Tepper - After a major apocalyse due to nuclear war, women band together and form a country where THEY are the rulers, and are intent on never letting such a horrible thing happen again. Definitely recommended if you want a nice batch of feminism and sci-fi.

 

9. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula le Guin – You can tell how awesome le Guin is just by the fact that I have her on here twice. In this novel she tackles the idea of gender by creating and envisioning a race on another planet where gender doesn’t exist. Fun thought to try to wrap your head around, and a really good book.

 

10. Serenity comics by Joss Whedon and …. – Just because if you’re a Firefly fan, these comics help a bit. They’re beautifully illustrated and give you a nice quick Firefly-fix if you’re missing it too much.

 

SO, those are my ten! Just coming with this list though makes me realize how much more sci-fi I want to read… I need to work on that. So do you have any favorite sci-fi novels?

~Sarah

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Want More From

Goooood morning! So TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and this week’s topic is Top Ten Authors I Wish Would Write Another Book. So let’s jump right in, shall we?

 

1. Emily & Anne Bronte – They both died so young, and I wish that we had more novels from them. I want to see what else Emily could come up with after the wonderful craziness that is Wuthering Heights. The Bronte that wrote the most novels was Charlotte, but she sucks.

2. Jane Austen – Duh.

3. Jennifer Crusie – I feel like it’s been for-ev-er since Crusie, one of my favorite romance authors, has come out with a new book. She’s been working on some Liz Danger series that I think it’s going to be kinda mystery-ish… and yeah. Still waiting. I really just want another romance novel as good as Bet Me. But that’s probably never gonna happen, cause Bet Me is the ULTIMATE romance novel.

4. Matthew Norman – He wrote the super hilarious and oddly charming book Domestic Violets, and I really want to see what else he can come up with.

5. J.K. Rowling – This is probably as big of a “duh” as Austen, but still. I just want to see what else she can do, even if it’s not Harry Potter themed.

6. Jesse Petersen – Well this one is kind of specific. She writes some awesome zombie fiction, which includes the Living With the Dead series which is about married couple Sarah and David surviving in zombie apocolypse world. I WANT MORE SARAH AND DAVID BOOKS! I know she’s working on other stuff and that’s cool, but dude, the third book ended in such a big, cliffhang-y way and I need more!

7. Mercedes Lackey – Also specific – I want more Tales of the 500 Kingdoms books. I know Lackey is a big awesome fantasy writer and she writes like a bajillion different series, but I want more of this one!

8. Rainbow Rowell – She wrote the super-awesome-cute book Attachments, which I read last year and loved. She has finished another novel as well (Eleanor & Park), but it’s coming out in the UK first and it won’t be out in the US until like 2013. So I’m hoping she’s working on a THIRD book that maybeifwe’resuperlucky will come out sooner.

9. Diana Gabaldon – This is silly, cause she’s already working on a new Outlander book. And she keeps writing short novellas and releasing those. But I will NEVER stop wanting more Gabaldon. She’s the best thing ever. And I know she has a ton of ideas for other novels / novellas, like prequels and side-stories and stuff to Outlander, and I’m just an impatient thing and can’t wait to read them all!

10. Christopher Moore – I know he has a new book coming out in April, but again, I want more Moore.

Also…. N.K. Jemisin, Hazel M. Larsen, Kristin Cashore, Christopher Paolini, Carolyn Turgeon, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and more…

So that’s my top 10+! What are some of yours?

~Sarah

 

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