Tag: reading list

Series I’d Like to Start/Reread/Finish

Series I’d Like to Start/Reread/Finish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl is one that I really enjoyed, because I am notorious for starting a series and then taking for-ev-er to finish them. Let me know if you’ve read any of these or have a suggestion!

Pern – Anne McCaffrey

Reread

Anne McCaffrey has always been my favorite author, from when I was a child, to now. She writes strong female characters, and they’re everywhere. Her books are like comfort food for me, and I think rereading all the Pern books is a great exercise for me right now. And there are dragons.

The Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

Start

I have read 0 of these, but Shane has read all of them, and bought them on Kindle. It’s a classic series that I’ve heard great (and not-so-great) things about and I’m interested in seeing what the hype is about. I might put this off until I forget the tv show, though.

Riftwar Saga – Raymond E. Feist

Reread

I grew up reading Raymond E. Feist, and a few years back I decided I wanted to read through the whole thing again. I now own all 30+ of them, and have only re-read 10ish, so this is definitely at the top of my list of series to read. I won’t lie, some of them are….problematic, but overall, they’re classic Fantasy novels and bring back my childhood.

Smythe-Smith Quartet/Rokesbys/Lady Whistledown – Julia Quinn (Technically 3 series)

Start

I really enjoyed the Bridgerton books (and the show, to be fair), so I’m definitely interested in reading more of her books. I also just enjoy the time period. Technically, this encompasses 3 series, but none of them are terribly long, and they’re such quick reads, I combined them all. I really enjoy Regency romances, apparently. Who knew?

Countess of Harleigh Mystery – Dianne Freeman

Start

I also love historical mysteries with some romance, so when I saw this, I knew I wanted to read it. They’re cute and fun, the stakes are never terribly high and the romance is generally adorable, and it’s just comfortable. I guess going into the holiday season, I’m thinking of comfiness, and not hard hitting books that make me think.

Maisie Dobbs – Jacqueline Winspear

Start

Another historical mystery series! Apparently this one might be too cutesy, but I’m willing to find that out for myself. It’s also in my favorite time period – between 1910 and the beginning of WWII. A lot of people have recommended this series to me, so I’m looking forward to reading it.

Somershill Manor – S.D. Sykes

Start

Oh look! Another historical mystery series! A huge departure from the ones above, though. It’s set way earlier – 1300s – and with a much different protagonist – a monk turned Lord of the Manor. There’s also an added quirk is that the Plague has ravaged the land, so that’s fun. I haven’t read much in this time period, so I’m not sure how “true to life” it is – and I’m not sure I really care. I don’t read fiction as truth.

Krewe of Hunters – Heather Graham

Finish

Another series of over 30 books, of which I have read around 10. I don’t know why I love these books, but I sure do – paranormal mystery solving with romance? I’m in. I’m also curious as to how she finds all the people who fall in love.

First Colony – Ken Lozito

Start

Another deep love of mine is science fiction set in spaceships. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved to read about people voyaging across the stars and I’ve always been bummed that there aren’t that many in this genre, and those that are often poorly written. YA has some good ones, but adult fiction is lacking. This has been changing, and I’m hoping this one is one that I can start recommending.

Hell Divers – Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Finish

This is a wild ride, y’all. Seriously, this series is all over the place and I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s a dystopian military-ish found family, and there are cannibals. I’ve listened to 7 of the 9 currently published, with the 8th & 9th waiting for me in Audible. I won’t lie – part of the draw is that R.C. Bray is the narrator. I love R.C. Bray.

Ten Horror Books I Can’t Wait to Read

Ten Horror Books I Can’t Wait to Read

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time again! This week is a freebie, so I picked the horror novels that I can’t wait to read. To be honest, some of these have been on my TBR pile for quite awhile but I’m still excited to read them when I get around to it.

The House Across the Lake – Riley Sager

Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple who live in the house across the lake. (from Goodreads)

I love Riley Sager books – they’re always a good time. The House Across the Lake sounds like the most horrible conclusion to the very human inclination to watch the neighbors. It would never normally go to such extremes – but if you’ve never gossiped about the comings and goings of Betty Sue from down the street, I don’t believe you.

Survive the Night – Riley Sager

Behind the wheel is Josh Baxter, a stranger Charlie met by the college ride share board, who also has a good reason for leaving university in the middle of term. – from Goodreads

Serial killer road trip anyone? Another Riley Sager to add to the list of books I definitely can’t wait to read. I’m not sure that a serial killer would sign up for a ride share to get out of town, but I’ll reserve judgement.

The Ghost Tree – Christina Henry

When people go missing in the sleepy town of Smith’s Hollow, the only clue to their fate comes when a teenager starts having terrifying visions. – from Goodreads

This sounds like a good paranormal romp – the main character’s father was found without his heart and then a couple of girls go missing a year later. She starts having visions of a monster, and according to a review, there are “witchy powers” involved along with a standard-issue creepy horror child. I’m already a fan.

These Fleeting Shadows – Kate Alice Marshall

Helen Vaughan doesn’t know why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven’t spoken to their extended family since. – from Goodreads

I’m a huge fan of “inheritance from estranged family”, atmospheric novels with a dose of haunted house vibes so this one seems like it must be right up my alley. Add the fact that the house has haunted the girl’s dreams for years and I’m hooked.

Just Like Home – Sarah Gailey

In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories — she’s come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there. – from Goodreads

Another estranged family, this time a reunion and not an inheritance, with the added quirk of a serial killer dad. She’s come back to see her mom, who’s dying, and to make some kind of peace with the past. A review used all the best words to describe it (eerie, bizarre, claustrophobic) and promised a big twist in the third act.

The Sanatorium – Sarah Pearce

Half hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel. – from Goodreads

I’m almost positive that I’ve put this book on several lists over the years, but have somehow never picked it up. Every time I read the description I’m reminded that I really am interested in it and can’t wait to read it, but then it slips off my radar again. One day, book, one day.

The Room in the Attic – Louise Douglas

A child who does not know her name… Two motherless boys banished to boarding school… Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored… – from Goodreads

Two timelines mix in this one – a tragic story of a little girl staying in an asylum the first bit of the 1900s and then much later when that asylum had been turned into what sounds like a very depressing boarding school. A story full of ghosts, motherless children, and gothic atmosphere. I feel like it shouldn’t be missed.

Hide – Kiersten White

The challenge: spend a week hiding in an abandoned amusement park and don’t get caught.

The prize: enough money to change everything. – from Goodreads

Is there anything much creepier than an abandoned theme park? Is there any scarier game than hide and seek on a large scale? The answer to both is yes, but together, I think they could be an excellent set up for a particularly creepy story. Especially since one of the words used to describe it is “supernatural”.

The Big Dark Sky – Dean Koontz

A group of strangers bound by terrifying synchronicity becomes humankind’s hope of survival in an exhilarating, twist-filled novel by Dean Koontz. – from Goodreads

Dean Koontz is a masterful storyteller. I’ve read so many of his books, it’s a no brainer to read this one as well. It’s a fresh release, only a few months old, and I just found out about it as I was looking up books for this list. Shane is also a huge Dean Koontz fan, so it’s very probable this will end up in our library one way or another.

The Overnight Guest – Heather Gudenkauf

As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls—haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. – from Goodreads

Another creepy kid book! I think everyone who dreams of being a writer wants to retreat to an isolated farmhouse/seaside cottage in order to focus on writing, but this book might put you off on doing that – in winter, anyway.

There they are – 10 horror novels I can’t wait to read. I have no doubt that I’m going to enjoy each and every one of them. Luckily, I read horror all year long, so it won’t have to wait for a year to read these.

-S

Top 5 Reads in 2021

Top 5 Reads in 2021

I read a lot of filler in 2021, but I also read a few of what have become my favorite books of all time. I don’t like reading long book reviews – they seem to give too much away. So here are my top 5 reads of 2021 reviewed in 5 sentences (or less).

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

This is my favorite book of all time, hands down. I never really bought into the idea that a book could change my life, it always felt too simplistic, but this novel honestly did. My entire way of thinking has been undergoing a change since I read it, and I fully intend on reading it again this year.

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks

This book did not change my entire way of thinking, but it did get 5 stars from me. I think it’s my favorite cryptid-focus book of all time – it’s truly gripping and I was on the edge of my seat for much of it. I don’t understand how Max Brooks makes everything feel so real, but he did the same in World War Z, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. If you’re into Bigfoot, cryptids in general, or just a good horror story, this is quite probably something you’d enjoy. Now I want to read this again as well.

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

Apparently I was really into hotel-based horror novels, because this and the next book on the list are exactly that. I will say that it’s more atmospherically creepy and not outright horrifying, but the setting is so on point I couldn’t leave it out. I absolutely love suspenseful mysteries, so this is right up my alley. Family secrets, lies, death, mysteries, and a creepy hotel? Count me in.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Hotel horror part 2 – this time with the addition of paranormal shenanigans. Strangely, this novel also deals with a missing aunt, so it’s not surprising I get them confused periodically. Simone St. James is one of my favorite authors *of all time* – I’ve read every one of her books and have the next one on pre-order – so I was never not going to read this and I’m thrilled that it lived up to my expectations. She writes some of the best creepy, atmospheric, romantic ghost stories I’ve gotten my hands on. Excellent Halloween read for later in the year if you’re looking for one.

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem (A Lady’s Guide #1) by Manda Collins

This is just a super cute, fun, historical romance/mystery that I really enjoyed, and I’ve been looking forward to reading the second one in the series. Is it a completely historically accurate portrayal? Probably not. Do I care? No.

A Zombie Apocalypse Reading List

I’m reposting this 2018 Zombie related book list because I still stand by it. ~Sarah

I love reading about the zombie apocalypse! I don’t read nearly as many as I would like, but I truly enjoy the genre. I enjoy the apocalypse in general, though. Here’s a list of books I think should be on your Zombie Apocalypse Reading List. It’s a mix of books I’ve read and books I’d like to read. The list is barely scraping the surface, so add your favorite zombie books down below!

There are probably spoilers down below, buds. Just a warning.

I did manage to place the books in some loose groups. These three have something about zombies that I enjoy.

  • The Passage by Justin Cronin ~ Okay, okay, they’re vampires. But they’re controlled by an entity outside themselves, so I’m shoehorning them into the zombie category. It’s my blog, I do what I want. I loved reading about the vampire-zombies’ behavior and the suspected reasons behind the things they do. I highly recommend the entire series, I’ll probably end up reading them all again one day. Which is saying a lot, since they are all enormous.
  • The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey ~ Have you ever finished a book and been mad at the book so you give it a low rating but then you can’t stop thinking about the ending for weeks and then you boost the rating to 5 because if the book wasn’t as good as it is you wouldn’t be this upset at it? That was this book for me.
  • Extinction Horizon by Nicholas Sansbury Smith ~ I tend to avoid military apocalyptic fiction because I find a lot of it tries too hard to prove how manly the characters are. Which is not completely untrue with this series, but there’s enough going on otherwise to make it recommendable. There’s science-y type stuff and the zombies are pretty cool and there’s a lot of shooting. Try to spot the improbable but totally predictable love interest.

These are books with a little something different going on. Goodreads says I haven’t read the first two, but I have. Feed is on my TBR pile.

  • The Zombie Autopsies by Steven C. Schlozman, M.D. ~ I think I read this when it first came out – 2011 or 2012 – and I still clearly remember entire sections of this book. It’s a far more scientific zombie book than normal.
  • The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks ~ He wrote World War Z so you know it’s good. It’s also appropriately funny. If you want to read about zombies, laugh, and not be completely freaked out, get this book.
  • Feed by Mira Grant ~ This is apparently more of a political/journalism/freedom of speech book with zombies! It’s making the list because so many people have suggested it to me that it should be here.

These are books that have come highly recommended but I haven’t had a chance to read them, so I don’t have much to say about them.

  • The First Days by Rhiannon Frater ~ I read the first few pages of this while flipping through my friend’s copy. I remember it being pretty action packed, so why not check it out?
  • The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell ~ All I really know about this one is the Goodreads synopsis and that my friends really liked it.
  • Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry ~ The Goodreads description is pretty vague for this YA series, but Maberry is a really good author, so it makes the list.
My Fall Reading List

My Fall Reading List

This fall, I’m sticking with a “to-be-read” list of 5. Ten books seems like too many books for this year. Well, books that aren’t historical romances from Kindle Unlimited, anyway.

Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

I’ve read every other book by Simone St. James, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read Sun Down Motel. I actually started it in bed last night and was torn between being creeped out and telling myself “one more chapter”. I expect this to be another excellent entry by one of my favorite authors. A creepy read perfect for Spooky Season.

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

One of my favorite series is Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton series. A lot of her other books don’t seem like books I’d enjoy, but I do love her writing, so I’m going to try out this Cainsville series. Maybe it’ll be a stepping stone to some of her other works. A gateway series, if you will. The description also sounds like a perfect Halloween read.

Old Bones by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

I used to love Preston & Child books, but their Pendergast books lost me after awhile and my interest in their books (together & individually) kind of waned. BUT a lady archaeologist investigating the Donner Party? By authors I know can write super books? Yes, please. Sign me up.

Bellevue by David Oshinsky

I love history, medical/scientific history in particular, and I think this book is going to be so fascinating. The hospital has been around since the mid-1700s, so there can’t be a shortage of awesome, interesting stories. I really can’t wait to dig into it.

Good Morning, Monster by Catherine Gildiner

The workings of the human mind amaze me. I really love anything that breaks down what goes on in people’s minds, especially by people who are trained in psychology. I’ve read some reviews saying that it’s a pretty dark book at times, but overall has a hopeful message, so I’m looking forward to learning about these stories.

So that’s them – five books I’m really looking forward to this fall. I’ve been reading a lot of simple, easy, historical romances and while I’m still going to do that a good bit, it’ll be really nice to have a change of pace.

Summer Time Reading List

Summer starts on Saturday! I wasn’t going to post this until Friday, but I’m more interested in this than whatever else I was going to write this week.

I am a huge mood reader, so reading lists are generally not very useful for me. However, I love making them. Right now, I’m really into space fiction (I’m calling it that instead of sci-fi because I want it in space), the apocalypse, and fantasy so that’s what I’ve loaded this one up with. That’s no guarantee that I’ll still be into that next month though – I’ve been reading historical romance for most of this year.

Since I got a Kindle for Christmas, I’ve been reading a lot more ebooks than physical books, so I made sure I picked 5 physical books from my actual bookcase.

An Audiobook & What I’m Currently Reading

(Audiobook) SpecOps (Expeditionary Force #2) – Craig Alanson ~ I finished the first one in the series recently and seriously loved it. If you enjoy space-based fiction, aliens, alien invasions, physics that may or may not be real, and humor this is a series you should read.
Outbreak: A Post Apocalyptic Survival Thriller (Surviving the Virus Book 1) – Ryan Casey ~ Yes, I’m currently reading a book about an apocalypse caused by a virus during a pandemic. Don’t judge me.
A Year Without the Grocery Story – Karen Morris ~ Okay, not going to lie, the instability of the world has hit me. The Wendy’s down the road doesn’t even have hamburgers right now. While I think we’re good on food, I want to learn more so in the future

5 Physical Books

All The Weyrs of Pern – Anne McCaffrey (my favorite author OF ALL TIME) ~ I haven’t read Anne McCaffrey in so so long. My favorite series actually isn’t on Pern, it’s the Freedom series, but I want to reread all the books I used to love and this is on the list. It’s a definite comfort read.
Revenger (Revenger #1) – Alastair Reynolds ~ I’ve kind of put off reading his works since hard sci-fi has never been my favorite genre. I care that there’s artificial gravity, not how fast the habitat has to spin. I recently read a hard sci-fi book by Neal Stephenson (Seveneves) that I managed to really love even if I did have to re-read part of the book repeatedly to grasp the science, so I decided to try more hard sci-fi.
Altered Starscape & Darkness Falling (Andromedan Dark #1 & #2) – Ian Douglas ~ I’ve actually read Altered Starscape already, but it was long enough ago that only remember bits and pieces. It’s one of my favorite genres – a generation ship.
Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood – William J. Mann ~ I’m a huge true crime nerd, especially historical murders. William Desmond Taylor’s murder in the 1920s is generally regarded as unsolved and I think this book tries to lay out a solution, so I’m intrigued.

5 Ebooks

The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon ~ Did I already start this book and then stop for literally no reason? Yes. It’s supposed to be amazing, and the part I read was super good, so I’m stoked to pick it back up.
The Pioneer (The Pioneer #1) – Bridget Tyler ~ I love a good “humanity leaves Earth for the stars” novel, and I do enjoy a good YA book once in awhile, so this has made the list. I think this’ll be a good book to read while laying out in the backyard.
Children of Time (Children of Time #1) – Adrian Tchaikovsky ~ Another “humanity leaves Earth for the stars” story. Apparently when I decided I was back into sci-fi I went hard on those. In the description the phrase “mankind’s worst nightmare” so I’m even more into that.
Broken Lines – James Hunt ~ This is more of a novella, but I thought it would be fun to read a not-virus-related end of society story this summer. I don’t know much except for it’s about an EMP & the main character is separated from their family. These are incredibly hit or miss.
Spirit of the Bayonet (Ōkami Forward Trilogy, #1) – Ted Russ ~ This would be the military sci-fi entry for the summer. These are also hit or miss, because if the story skews too far military instead of science-fiction I stop being interested. Depending on the characters/character development though, I can take more of the military though, so we’ll see.

I’ll update at the end of the summer (if I remember, and if the world is still a thing) to let you know if I read any of these, and what else I read – if anything.

~Sarah

Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl.

There are SO many books I wanted to read last year and wasn’t able to. I may not even get to them this year because the books never stop being published.

  • Jackaby by William Ritter
    • I’m not sure why this book caught my eye, but it definitely has. I can’t wait to read it!
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
    • I love books with amnesia in them, but this one is even more interesting because my friends seem to either love this book or feel very ehhhh about it. The cover is super cool, too.
  • Florence & Giles by John Harding
    • In keeping with my newfound love of gothic horror novels, I had to add this one. It looks so creepy and good!
  • The Girl Without Skin by Mads Peder Nordbo
    • I mean, who doesn’t want to read a book called The Girl Without Skin? It has mummified Vikings, murders, and so forth. It looks super twisty and interesting.
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager
    • This looks like a great thriller that will be a really fun read.
  • No Exit by Taylor Adams
    • Another great thriller, with the added fun of being trapped in a rest stop with a kidnapper.
  • Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter
    • Just sign me up for any Karin Slaughter book ever. She’s an auto-buy author.
  • The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
    • Scalzi is hit or miss for me, but this looks like a book I could really enjoy.
  • The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
    • I legitimately don’t understand how I didn’t read this in 2018. It has such rave reviews, and I read the first few pages when I first got it which hooked me immediately. But I was reading a different book and it slipped off my radar.
  • Avalon by Mindee Arnett
    • I can’t wait for summer, because I think reading this on the balcony at night is going to be so much fun.

~Sarah~