Hello Readers! We’ve decided to immerse ourselves more in the book-blogging community, and to get our feet in the water, we’ve joined the Broke and The Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday!
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I’ve Read This Year
Bry: So far this year, I have read a great books! Book reviewing not only got me to renew my dedication to reading, the books I’ve been able to get my hands on continue to fuel my passion!
- The Red Lily Crown by Elizabeth Loupas
This book was an instant favourite for this Medici fan girl! Elizabeth Loupas brings the world of Medici Florence to life with mystery, intrigue, danger, and beautiful representations of some of my hands-down favourite people in history! An absolute must read, and likely my #1 review of the whole year.
- A Thing Done by Tinney Sue Heath
Another masterful Italian history success, focusing on the blood feud of 1216, that would eventually become the catalyst for the Guelphs and Ghibellines civil war. The tale is told by the Jester misfortune has marked to be at the unwitting center of this conflict, and unravels with great finesse. Full Review coming soon!
- The Palace by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Are you sensing a theme here? Back to Medici Florence for a read about another of my favourite Medicis, Lorenzo the Magnificent, and one of my not-so-favourite vampire archetypes, Saint-Germain! This faultless vampire finds himself at the inner social circles of Magnifico himself, and then with Savanarola at the Bonfire of the Vanities… cheesy, yes, but you can’t fault a historical fangirl.
- Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
This book came to me through recommendation from Fry, and since she has spot-on instincts with my taste, I take her recommendations seriously. She really came through with this one, because I loved it! Grave Mercy is the story of Ismae, a noviate at the convent of St. Mortain – the god of death. Thats right, we’re dealing with assassin nuns, dear readers. Enough said! Full Review coming soon!
- Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Right after I finished Grave Mercy, I was made aware there were two more books to follow about the assassins of Saint Mortain. The story continues with Sybella, the hardened, half mad handmaiden of death, who is more deeply entrenched in political crisis than her convent sisters, due to the ties of family. Another home run as a read, and I can’t wait for book 3! Full Review coming soon!
- The Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims by Toby Clements
Apparently there has been another theme in my reading this year, because this was also a book that follows the stories of a nun and a canon, who are forced out of religious life when they become entangled in the events of the Wars of the Roses. This book was nitty-gritty, uncomfortably explicit, and that is precisely how it should be for the context. Really hated the present-tense writing, liked everything else.
- The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney
A very fascinating look at the life of Hatshepsut, and how a woman was able to negotiate herself to the position of ultimate power in patriarchal Ancient Egypt. Certainly speculative, but what isn’t when it comes to the realm of Antiquity? Interesting read, and my full review will be coming soon!
- The Boleyn Bride by Brandy Purdy
The story of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn has been told a hundred times, in a hundred ways, in a hundred books. But this was something new! The Boleyn Bride is the story of Elizabeth Howard, wife of Thomas Boleyn, and mother to Anne. Elizabeth is a bitter, condescending, unfaithful, adulterous, hateful woman, and yet somehow, this makes her all the more likeable in the context. A recommended read!
- The Eagle by Jack Whyte
After 10 books and multiple generations, I finished the Dream of Eagles saga with this book at the very beginning of the year. I felt rather bittersweet after becoming so emotionally invested in these characters and Jack Whyte’s unique spin on Authurian legend, but this will always stand as a series I will recommend to elegant readers!
- Glass Dragons by Sean McMullen
This book just had to be included on this list because it is the most nonsensical, oddest, confusing book I’ve ever read. I didn’t even know comedic-fantasy was really a genre? Penis dragons. Thats all I can say. I don’t know if this book will be possible to review. Penis dragons. PENIS DRAGONS GUYS.
So far this year has been pretty hectic. I hadn’t had as much motivation to read as I would have liked. I had a pretty gnarly pregnancy complication that made me itch all over if I stopped to sit for awhile and then I was in the post-birth fog. Now, at six weeks post-partum, I’m just getting back into reading, but finding that I have a lot less free time. That, and I pretty much sat down and watched the entirety of Orange is the New Black the day it came out.
1) Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
There is a lot of info to slog through, and yes, it does sound like he created a world out of a wikipedia article. But, the story caught me and I became emotionally invested in the well being of the characters. Giving the steampunk genre a Asian slant by maintaining an overall Japanese culture with all the fantasy monsters that go with it, Jay Kristoff has set his book apart.
2) Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
The main theme of this book is trafficking. Jinni are being taken captive and forced to serve human masters until such a time as the human asks for three wishes. After that, the Jinni earns their freedom. Add to that several layers of political upheaval, a lost princess, a body devouring assassin and a few sexy love interests and you’ve got yourself one hell of a tale.
3) An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire
I’ve yet to read a book by this woman that hasn’t both stressed me out and given me emotional scars. It’s a rare gift for an author to have. Yet, I love to come back for more stress and I think An Artificial Night was by far one of the worst in terms of emotional upheaval. I yelled and shut the book more than once. There were a few moments there where I didn’t think it was going to be okay. I don’t know if I can handle another Toby book if this is the pile of whimpering goo that the third installment left me in. Still, these books are so good and I’m a glutton for punishment.
4) Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
This is the second book on this list that I had to attempt to read multiple times before making it all the way through (the first one being Stormdancer with it’s massive infodump). I’m glad I made it through. This is what a survivalist story should look like. Just the simple day to day struggles that can kill- accidents and starvation and gangs of lawless men.
5) Cress by Marissa Meyer
After reading a dissapointing Scarlet, I was still excited about Cress. And Cress came through for me. A much more solid installment than the previous book, yet still maintaining the flair of the original.
6) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
This book was so inventive and interesting, despite being a cliched battle between angels and demons. Yes, there’s some instant love but the writing is so musical and the plot and characters are unique and different.
Hah. I only made it to six. Unfortunately, the rest of the books I”ve read this year were just so-so. Here’s to discovering more awesome books as the year progresses!