Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme by The Broke and the Bookish where fellow book bloggers, and anyone who wants, can contribute to a themed top ten list. Today we are to pick Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015.


Unfortunately, I do not have ten new-to-me authors that I can favorite. I have four. I read several new authors because I was trying out new series or got free books via Amazon Kindle, but most of the authors I would not go back to or read the next book in the series.

The Lost Gate: Mithermages, Book 118053542

Orson Scott Card was a new-to-me author this year, and I’m sure those who have read him will understand why he is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine. His writing is excellent, his prose wonderful, and his world building amazing. Check out my review of The Lost Gate and The Gate Thief.

Floors, Patrick Carman

Patrick Carmen is a new-to-me favorite author from this year because I thought his book Floors was quite imaginative. I haven’t gone on to read more in the series, but that is because I got burnt out on really young protagonist this summer. I will definitely get back to this series after I’ve read some different aged protagonist and some different genres.

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 1 | [Michael Scott]

Michael Scott wrote the series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, which I’ve had a couple of friends tell me I would probably enjoy. I finally picked up a copy of the first book, The Alchemyst, and was duly impressed. I have the second book in the series sitting on my bookshelf on my growing tbr pile.

graveyard shift

Angela Roquet was a new-to-me author this year and her writing stood out to me in the Graveyard Shift because her women had actual female agency. It was a refreshing change after all the other romance/urban fantasy romance/historical romance books I had read that did not. I’ve been meaning to get back to her series and I’m glad this posting helped me remember that.


Weapon of Mass Instruction

Found this gem on my Facebook page. It’s a tank mobile book give away vehicle from an artist in Argentina, Raul Lemesoff.  He gives away the books for free as long as people agree to read them. Honestly, he looks a little crazy, but also like he’s having the time of his life. [via Bored Panda]


Go to this link to watch a video about the making of the book machine and a little more about the artist himself. Unfortunately I can’t embed the video, but go to the link, you wont be sorry!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme by The Broke and the Bookish where fellow book bloggers and anyone who wants can contribute to a themed top ten list. This weeks discussion centers around Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds (love reading, are writers, work at a bookstore, etc.). If you want to add to your tbr pile here is a list of books for book nerds on FlavorWire and a long list of books about bookstores on GoodReads.

In no particular order here are a few characters that meet this weeks discussion criteria:

1. Quentin from The Magicians. Quentin’s love of a book series is the whole catalyst to his adventures with magic. You can read my review of it here.


2. Hermoine Granger from The Harry Potter series. Of course I have to include Hermoine, she loved books and studying and her book smarts helped Harry a lot! Hermoine is a great book loving heroine.

Emma Watson as Hermoine Granger

3. Danny from The Lost Gate. Danny is a book smart nerd surrounded by cousins who have magical abilities and make fun of Danny for not being able to produce a clant.  Danny loves to read up on history in order to show a way in which he is smarter than his cousins, but I think he still counts. 😉

The Lost Gate (Mither Mages, #1)

4. Jericho Barrons from Faefever. Not only is Jericho the owner of a bookstore that sounds like a place I could go to and curl up in for hours, but he is obsessed with tracking down one in particular. This series revolves around that one book. Plus, it is one of my all time favorite series! Don’t be fooled by the dime a dozen romance scifi cover. This series has read depth.

Faefever (Fever, #3)

5. Anne from Anne of Green of Gables. Talk about a book nerd! She spent one afternoon drifting down a river in a leaky boat reciting poetry to herself. I just love this character.

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)

6. Cassia from Matched. Part of Cassia’s quest to discover the truth is also to discover all the banned literature and art that she is not allowed to read or consume. Her love of the written word is what led to her starting a movement. You can read my review of Matched here.

Matched (Matched, #1)

7. Dr. Watson from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Less we forget the only reason any of us know about the adventures of Sherlock is because Dr. Watson wrote about him. Watson’s insight into Holmes is what gave us a character that has spawned dozens of books, movies, and television series.

Lucy Liu as Joan Watson

8. Jo from Little Women. Jo was also a writer and a subplot of the book revolved around her trying to get her works published. And this was a time before there were computers and save buttons. Poor Jo.


9. Jane Austen from Jane Bites Back. In this book Jane is a vampire who runs a book store and is trying to get her second novel published in her spare time. Book nerd alert for sure! While his writing cant be compared to Austen’s herself, Michael Thomas Ford’s contemporary novel is a fun read. Read my review here.

10. Narrator from The Historian. This was a book about books and writings and letters and all things book nerdery. It is rather difficult to explain, but you can check out my attempt over here where I wrote a review.

Book Discussions, Cover Wars, Memes, and Libraries in Trees

Read or join the discussion over on io9 on what readers think will become classic books to future generations. Some people took the discussion seriously . . . and some people did not. Just like usual over here on the internets.

If you haven’t been to their blog, check out The Book Wars. I just love The Cover Wars that take place between the writers of the blog. I almost always judge a book by its cover, I wont even lie about it.

I always enjoy the various postings where bloggers join in the Top Ten Tuesday weekly meme from The Broke and the Bookish. I always mean to join, and I never remember until I’m going through my Reader list of blogs I follow. At the bottom of their posting for the week other book bloggers join in with their own links on that weeks discussion. A great way to connect with other book bloggers!

Next weeks assignment: July 28: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds (love reading, are writers, work at a bookstore, etc.) (inspired by my Top Ten Characters Who Love Words).

Another weekly meme that spotlights upcoming anticipated book releases and that is constantly popping up in my Reader feed, one that gets me to stop my scrolling through my never ending list of blog posts I need to read, is Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. A fun way to find out about new upcoming books. Head on over there today for a new discussion and links to more great finds.

Public libraries in trees! This is not a joke. What a great encasement for a book sharing spot. I love it!

In fact, I recently came across a Little Free Library in a tree trunk myself. It looks like people are taking books more than they are adding to the collection. But hopefully that will change as more people in the area discover it.

tree library

eAudiobook Review: The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series

After two years of not being able to borrow eaudiobooks from the library, I now have gained access to the libraries free titles of wonderful books read to me as I’m driving my horrible commute every morning and evening. I’ve always wanted to read The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott and when I saw it was available, I jumped at the chance to check out the first book in the series, The Alchemyst as read by Denis O’Hare

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 1 | [Michael Scott]

Summary from Audible:

He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest alchemist of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects, the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true.

And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

When I started this book I didn’t realize it would be so focused on Sophie and Josh. It was a bit more young than adult, young adult. But overall a very enjoyable read.

Some of the plot points were predictable, I did, however, enjoy the author’s tweeting of history based on the knowledge that magic and alchemy exist in this universe. I also enjoyed the magical world of spells and auras and hidden shadow realms.

Denis O’Hare was a decent voice actor. He had several accents, pitches,and character voices. It was slightly difficult to tell the voices of Sophie and Josh apart, but other than that, a really fun story to listen to.

I do want to read a few more books in the series because I have found most authors improve with time and the parts I found a little young may disappear as the kids age and the series grows. At the moment, though, it’s a bit hard to think of pushing forward with a series I found a tad young and predictable.

Book Quotes I Love

Clicking on the second and third pictures will take you to posts that have even more pictures of book quotes.


wilson quote

Beautiful Books on Pinterest

Sometimes I go onto Pinterest just to pine over other people’s rooms full of beautiful books, shelves, and reading nooks. It is both soul fulfilling and soul longing to do so, as I want such rooms, shelves, and nooks, and do not have them nor the room for them. Nor do I really want to give up much of my home space to items I will generally use once. What I need is a holiday in such a place where I can sit in the reading nooks for a week or so, by a fire of course, reading to my heart’s content. In the mean time, I stare at these images longingly and pin them to my Beautiful Books board.

A reading alcove

reading alcove

The Floating Bookshop @ Foxton Locks by Marble Giant on Flickr

the floating bookshop

Stairway bookshelves

stairway book shelves

How books work

how books work

One of the best book places to be (check out 29 more)

best book place to be

My own shelves of books (and other media)

my book shelves

Best Books of 2014 (AKA A Very Short List Because I Was Mostly Reading Law Books)

It was very disheartening to have Goodreads taunt me with the fact that I didn’t read very much this last year. I mean, I was reading, but it was boring law stuff about oil rights in Texas. I guess that didn’t count toward my Goodreads goal. Which was a measly thirty books. I thought for sure I would at least do better than last year’s count of 32, but noooo. Apparently planning a wedding and taking the bar consumed a huge chunk of my time.

My Favorite Read: Ever After by Kim Harrison.

ever after

I didn’t do a review of the book because it is the 11th in her The Hallows series, and it is seriously hard to review a book that far into the series without some minor if not major spoilers. But it was by far the best written book I read last year.

While the series starts out light and humorous, as the main character Rachel finds herself in the middle of different escapades with werewolves, elves, demons, witches, pixies, and more, the series takes a darker and darker turn. Rachel must grow up, or suffer some very real consequences, and in some cases, even when she tries her hardest to do the right thing, there are still some very real consequences for the ones that she loves. However, she never gives up, she never stops growing as a person, and she is an incredible character. In Ever After, Rachel really comes into her own and she stops being the whiny Rachel of previous books and uses her head and heart to do whatever it takes to mount a rescue. It was a great book, about a great character, and the knowledge that the author is going to wrap up the series soon, breaks my heart more than a little.

Most Surprising Find on AmazonKindleWitch Hunt by S.M. Reine

witch hunt

I liked this book so much that when I was finished with it, I bought the second ebook in the series and started reading it immediately. Reine’s writing is good and she knows how to keep pace while giving enough exposition to engage the reader in the universe. If you like the Dresden Files series and urban fantasy in general check out this paranormal mystery. You can read my full review here.

Best Continuing Series: The Raven Boys Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

the raven boys cycle

I continued to read the Raven Boys series with  in The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue. I’m enamored with this series and couldn’t pick my favorite of the two. This is one of my favorite series because I just love the interweaving of magic, mythology, and small southern town living. Each book is just as strong as the next in terms of plot, character development, and brilliancy. Stiefvater is a wonderful writer and I’ve enjoyed all of her books, but this series is has that special je ne sais quoi that caught at my mind and soul and captured them both. You can read my review of The Dream Thieves here and Blue Lily, Lily Blue here.

Day in Dallas District Bishop Arts

This weekend Chris and I did some exploring of other Dallas neighborhoods. We decided to walk around the Bishop Arts District to see what we could see.

bishop street sign

There were a lot of cool signs and interesting architecture.

bishop street

Also there was this guy with his feet completely turned out. Like you do.

street performance

One of my favorite stops of the day was the antique mall, full of some amazing finds. It was full, really full and kind of amazing.


The top left hand corner is an advertisement for how wonderful the kitchen space was in the new mobile homes. I’ve lived in mobile homes, space is not how I would describe any of them. The top right hand corner is of a rickshaw that had a fan and umbrella attached to it. The middle picture is of the front of a pinball machine. And yes, that is a picture of an old condom dispenser.

nerd antiques

These are my nerd finds. I loved the little book table (upper left hand corner), but it was kind of ridiculously expensive. The Star Wars movie poster was from 1980, and so awesome. And yes that is a signed photo of Brent Spiner. If I had a bigger place I would find some way to decorate with those old wooden filing cabinets. Such beautiful wood. Most interestingly I found a file drawer in another cabinet with an interesting label.


It was full of naked or half naked women. Most interestingly, they were definitely not photoshopped into perfection which I thought was cool. And yes, I giggled a lot I was not expecting to find such a drawer at an antique mall.

Audio Book Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

One of my favorite series I’ve read in the last few years is the Raven Boys Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. The most recent of these is Blue Lily, Lily Blue. When it finally finally was available to read I knew that I wouldn’t get it from my library for several months, so I used a credit on Audible and got to read it a whole lot quicker. I’ve read some of Stiefvater’s books via eaudible versions and I really liked her Shiver Trilogy that way. While I really enjoyed the continuing adventures of the Raven Boys and Blue, since I read the first two books in hardcover I had the voices of the characters already set in my head and so the voices that the narrator, Will Patton, used were not my own and that threw me. I reconciled most of them except for his version of Blue which was really different than my own.

blue lily lily blue

Summary from Amazon:

The third installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, number one New York Times best-selling author Maggie Stiefvater.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.

Mothers can disappear.

Visions can mislead.

Certainties can unravel.

I really enjoy the otherness of and strange mystical adventures in The Raven Cycle Series. Interestingly, while each book has sections from the perspective of all of the characters, I felt that The Raven Boys had a slight focus on Gansey, The Dream Thieves centered around Ronan’s abilities, and in Blue Lily, Lily Blue the core of the story revolved around Blue and her interactions with The Raven Boys as she falls madly in love with all of them. After being accused of being crazy for being in love with them all.

Orla wasn’t wrong, of course. But what she didn’t realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.

What makes this book stand out from other Young Adult fiction is this all encompassing love for each other that the characters feel and live even as their lives are turned around and around with the mythical search Gansey is determined to solve and conquer and understand. Since they want that for him, that want it for themselves as well, and the unit stands firm against grey men and assassination attempts.

I also always enjoy the narrative based on the town of Henrietta, I can picture it perfectly because I can see the bits and pieces from the author’s home town, where I coincidentally also grew up, emerge on the scene and it is just a delight. For me, it gives the series a grounding that I haven’t felt in any other series, not even the ones about Chicago (which aren’t always accurate). But by making up a town while using parts from a real one, Stiefvater gives solid footing to an otherwise otherworldly story.

My favorite quote from the book, because it at once reminded me of where I grew up, made me laugh at its accuracy, and sad all at once for its truth was:

Blue had discovered that there were two distinct stereotypes for the rural population of her part of Virginia: the neighbors who loaned one another cups of sugar and knew everything about everyone, and the rednecks who stood on their porches with shotguns and shouted racist things when they got drunk. Because she grew up so thoroughly entrenched in the first group, she hadn’t believed in the second group until well into her teens. School had taught her that the two kinds were almost never born into the same litter.

The third installment of The Raven Boys Cycle continues to intrigue and mystify. While Stiefvater weaves a tale that is its own throughout the book, more mysteries are created than solved and pathways are taken that I never expected. I love this series for its characters, its setting, and its mythology. The interwoven roads are leading somewhere spectacular and I can’t wait to discover what the journey brings.

Some day I’m going to turn to some self righteous prick trying to talk above me and say, “Don’t you Richard Gansey the Third me.” And they will have no idea what I’m say, but I’ll just laugh to myself and enjoy my little inside joke.

Check out some really good fan art by shardsofmyheart on DeviantArt.