Oh hello, Friday! Where did you come from? I’ve had a short work week, so my days are all thrown off. Today feels like my Wednesday, but also, holy heck am I glad it’s Friday because it has been a Week ™. But I am here today to talk to you about my favorite classic books. Well, my FAVORITE classic book. Singular. Because I’m about to hit you with a hugely underrated classic book and it’s not one written by an Austen or Brontë.Read More
Hello all! If the space/time continuum is to be believed, it is Friday! I’m not sure quite how we got here, but here we are. I’ve been suffering a blogging slump lately but I’m actually really excited for this post because I’m about to talk about one of my favorite moments from my reading life.Read More
Last week we talked about favorite books to recommend to people but this weeks its all about the books that were recommended to you that became favorites. Reading books that were recommended to you can always be a hit or miss thing. I’m a Hufflepuff, so it physically hurts me when I end up not liking a recommend book that a friend has loved. I’ve been really lucky with liking most of the books that friends have recommended and here are a few of the hardcore favorites that I’ve had of the last few years.Read More
Oh heck, it is Friday! This day totally snuck up on me. I’ve been hosting this Friday Favorites thing since the beginning of the year, so you’d think I’d be prepared every Friday. *narrator voice* But she never was.
But enough about my status as a hot mess book blogger, let’s talk about this week’s FF topic: books to recommend. Recommending books is always SO HARD for me. Books I love are a part of my soul and recommending a book is giving a piece of that soul over to someone for their judgement. I very vividly remember loaning a copy of A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab to a friend, and as they walked away I turned to my other friend and said “OMG, he isn’t gonna like the book and I’m gonna cry.” But really, that’s how I feel every time I recommend a book. I am very protective of my favorite books.
Since recommendations are pretty specific to the genre or style the person is looking for, I’ve broken the recs down in that style.
Classic Novel: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – Look, I love me some Jane Austen, but North and South has my heart. And part of that may be because I watched the BBC Miniseries before I read it and was therefore blessed with Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton. I always get bored while reading classic novels and N&S never got boring for me.
Violent, but really damn good science fiction: tie between Red Rising by Pierce Brown and Old Man’s War by John Scalzi – These books are both so brutal, but so very damn good. Old Man’s War explores some really interesting issues while having some of the most spectacularly violent deaths. Red Rising is just a freaking masterpiece of world building and brutal plot twists, set against a revolutionary landscape.
YA Fantasy that isn’t really YA because it gets smutty, y’all: Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas – I’m gonna start this by saying ToG is always my first rec over ACOTAR, which I’ve fallen out of love with. But that aside, these series are crazy addictive. You know they aren’t great, but you JUST CAN’T STOP. As I read them I saw all the cracks in the writing style and plotting, but I didn’t care. I was too wrapped up in the characters and story and sometimes that’s just what we need from a book.
Epic world building, the likes of which have never been seen before: Any book by Brandon Sanderson – That man can build a damn world. The Way of Kings (book 1 of the Stormlight Archive) was the first epic high fantasy book I can remember reading and enjoying! Sanderson somehow made a 1000+ page book seem like a smooth, easy read. Don’t even get me started on his Mistborn series. Seriously, don’t I’ll talk about my deep love for those books for days. *whispers* go read Mistborn!
Cheesy, old school YA paranormal: All the books by L.J. Smith – Y’all, L.J. Smith is my JAM! I read these books as an actual teen at least 10+ times each. I just couldn’t stop myself. I wanted to keep revisiting these stories over and over. I’ve gone back and read them as an adult and they mostly stand up, though the style of YA was very different back in the 90s. I think in autumn of this year I’m going to do a massive reread because they are very autumn-ish books to me.
Audiobook: The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, narrated by a full cast – One day I’ll finally get my full list of all the voice actors for this series and write a proper review for these audiobooks because they deserve all the recognition in the world. I’ve been a huge audiobook listener for the last 5+ years and a fan of Illuminae for the last year or so. You put those two together, and holy heck my mind was blown. I cannot begin to describe how amazing these audiobooks are. They add a whole extra layer of depth to this already unique book series. My plan is to listen to the audio and read the physical book at the same time for my next reread. Honestly, even though I just finished a reread a few month ago, I’m already wanting to jump back into the books.
What are some of your favorite books to recommend?
Friday Favorites posts from around the bookish community:
Well, April was certainly a month. All I can think about is Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame. But, in between my love affairs with those pop culture behemoths, I read a few books. And I liked…most of them.
- DEV1AT3 (LIFEL1K3 #2) by Jay Kristoff – 5 stars – This is my one true 5 star of the month. I’ll have a review posted soon, but for now, y’all need to go pre-order this book.
- Scythe by Neal Shusterman – 4.5 stars – Holy heck, I loved this book so much! It had been sitting on my shelves for aaaaaaaages until one of my #booksta besties convinced me to buddy read it with her (it was a reread for her). The world in this one is super interesting to me because I am fascinated with immortality/extended life. Full review is here.
- Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – 4.5 stars – Look, I’m just as surprised as everyone else that I didn’t give AR a 5 star. It really boils down to GIVE ME MORE ZILA! You can read my full review here.
- Skyward by Brandon Sanderson – 4.5 stars – I’m writing my review for this on Thursday and I hope I can articulate my thoughts on it by then. For now, I’ll just say that M-Bot is a blessing to my reading life.
- The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien (reread) – 4 stars – I’m just taking the rating from when I originally read this one. I didn’t enjoy it as much this time around, though that may be because I was on a reading schedule and had to read it quickly. You don’t read Tolkien quickly. Though, listening to the audiobook narrator sing the song a 2x speed was particularly amusing.
The Not So Good
- Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst – 3 stars – So, 3 stars isn’t necessarily bad, but I just felt weird putting this one up in “The Good”. I’m writing my review for this one later this week, so I can explain myself then. But this is basically a contemporary book that happens to have were-dragons (or wyverns. I forget the explanation about the difference or lack thereof…).
- The Crown’s Fate (The Crown’s Game #2) by Evelyn Skye – 2.75 stars – This was such a disappointment for me. It lacked the spark that I loved so much in The Crown’s Game. You can read my full review of both books here.
- Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy – 2.5 stars – *sigh* I wanted to like this one so much more than I did. It’s hard for me to summarize my feelings on this book here so I recommend checking out my review because it explains it so much better. You can read my full review here.
- The Fever King by Victoria Lee – DNF – This one wasn’t a DNF because it was bad. It’s a DNF because I simply identified that I was in the wrong mood for it and if I forced myself to keep reading I’d hate it. I am giving this book another shot later in the year because it just sounds way too cool to not read eventually.
So, I’m terrible at sticking to planned TBRs but I have a few books that are definites because I’m reading them with reading groups.
- Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber – This is the one book that is carrying over from April into May. I’m in the middle of a buddy read for it right now and I plan to have it done before May 7th. I am lucky enough to live in the same city as Stephanie Garber, so I’ll be going to the Launch Party.
- The Alloy of Law (Mistborn Era 2) by Brandon Sanderson – My Sanderson reading group has been suffering through me chanting “ERA 2 ERA 2 ERA 2” every time the topic comes up in our chat since we formed last year. To say I am excited to jump back into Era 2 would be a VAST understatement. This’ll be the 3 time I’ve read them. I can’t wait to be back with Wax and Wayne and Steris and Marasi!
- Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – This is a Sanderson that I’m reading outside of my Sanderson group, but with someone from my Sanderson group…that’s too much Sanderson in one sentence.
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – STOP JUDGING ME! A group of my booksta peoples decided to reread this, and I couldn’t say no. I need the cheesy vampire romance.
I’m also really, really hoping to get to the following books in May:
- Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
- The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
- Beyond the Black Door by A. M. Strickland
- The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
How was your reading this month? What books are you hoping to read in May?