Top Ten Tuesday (December 11) – 2012 New-to-Me Authors

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic is easy, because nearly every single book I read in 2012 was a new-to-me author. I branched out a lot. It was splendid.

Here are the ones who stood out (and yes, some of them I only read one of their books, or they only have one book…but that one book was really good).

Also, some are on here because I did read their book in 2012, and they are new to me, but mostly because I met them and I think they’re just fabulously awesome people. If you get a chance to meet them, you should.

Disclaimer: There are a lot of Nashville/Southern authors on here. If you live near me, so do many of these ladies! Read their books! Go to their events! You’ll be glad you did!

Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012 (in no particular order, because that is way too hard)

Ruta Sepetys

First book I read in 2012: Between Shades of Gray

Why she’s awesome: Everyone told me to read Between Shades of Gray for MONTHS before I did, and they were totally right. Her writing is beautiful and moving, the story she told was incredible. Seriously. Everyone should read it. But aside from that, Ruta is one of the sweetest, most genuine people I’ve had the privilege to meet this year. She’s even lovelier than her writing. If such a thing is possible. Rest assured, her personal awesomeness combined with how much I loved her debut means I won’t be putting off reading any of her books in the future.

Myra McEntire

First book I read in 2012: Hourglass

Why she’s awesome: Myra was at the very first author event I went to, and I’ve been to several more of hers since then, because she is delightful. Not only are Hourglass and Timepiece amazing books, which I tend to shove into people’s hands to force them to read, and then they yell at me because I didn’t bother to tell them that the series isn’t finished and the next book isn’t out yet (P.S. Everyone loves them anyway), but Myra is hilarious and fun and is responsible for my decision to start watching Doctor Who, for which I am eternally grateful. She’ll be one of my favorites forever.

Lauren Oliver

First book I read in 2012: Delirium

Why she’s awesome: I haven’t actually met Lauren (YET), but Delirium was one of the first books I read after finishing The Hunger Games, and it made me realize there’s a whole genre of fiction out there that I want to discover. Also, her writing is gorgeous, which was also evidenced in Before I Fall, a novel that was just enough of a contemporary for me to realize maybe I wanted to read contemporary too. Requiem is one of my most anticipated reads for next year, and I hope to one day be able to tell Lauren how much I enjoy her books.

Veronica Roth

First book I read in 2012: Divergent

Why she’s awesome: Another author I haven’t met yet, which will hopefully be remedied someday. Not only are Divergent and Insurgent great fun (can’t wait for the third one!), but Veronica’s blog is one of my favorites. She chronicled her journey to publication and her life as a writer in terms I really understand. I think our brains work similarly. Which I mean as a good thing.

C.J. Redwine

First book I read in 2012: Defiance

Why she’s awesome: First off, Defiance is amazing. It’s a great mishmash of genres, full of action and adventure and romance and intrigue. I am ready for #2 ASAP. Also, I’ve had the opportunity to meet C.J. several times, and she is hilarious and my kind of people. Also, she’s the one who yelled at me to read Anna and the French Kiss, for which I am eternally grateful. I’m eternally grateful to many people for many things.

Rae Carson

First book I read in 2012: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Why she’s awesome: I love that I discovered several new fantasy series this year, and Rae’s series is one of the best. She writes amazing characters (Hector is one of my favorites) and intricate worlds. I am on the edge of my seat for The Bitter Kingdom. Again, haven’t met her yet, but hoping to remedy this someday.

Sarah Maas

First book I read in 2012: Throne of Glass 

Why she’s awesome: I actually met Sarah before I read her book, and realized pretty quick that her epic love of all things geeky also makes her my kind of people. One thing I never realized before I started book blogging was how many authors like the same sorts of nerdy things I do. It’s fabulous. After getting to spend some time with Sarah, I read Throne of Glass, and it was incredible. I know she has big plans for the series, and I can’t wait to read all of them.

Stephanie Perkins

First book I read in 2012: Anna and the French Kiss

Why she’s awesome: I dragged my feet on reading Anna because I just don’t think of myself as a contemporary romance kinda gal. But once I finally got around to reading it, I loved it. I met Stephanie once at a multi-author event, and she is delightful. I’ve definitely got it on my agenda to read more of her books next year.

Kat Zhang

First book I read in 2012: What’s Left of Me

Why she’s awesome: What’s Left of Me is unique and thoughtful and intriguing, and I loved the fascinating world Kat created. I’ve also gotten to spend time with her on several occasions, and she is a genuinely sweet person. I always am happy when I see her at an event, and I’m really curious about how she resolves Eva and Addie’s dilemma in her books.

Sharon Cameron

First book I read in 2012: The Dark Unwinding

Why she’s awesome: Sharon is another author who I met before reading her book, and at the risk of sounding creepy, I just love her. She’s down-to-earth and funny and easy to talk to, and — yet again — my kind of people. As happened with several authors on this list, I liked her so much, I bumped her book up my list of to-be-read titles, and I loved it. Her writing is gorgeous, her story is fascinating, and I adored the way everything unfolded. I can’t wait for the next one.

Well, now that I’ve gushed (possibly too much) about my favorite author discoveries from 2012, I hope you acquaint yourself with some of these lovely ladies (or at least their writing). Who are some of your favorites?

Top Ten Tuesday (December 4): Christmas Wish List

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

So today I had the following conversation with my husband via Gchat:

Hubs:  Jon’s [Christmas] party is Friday
me:  Yes
Hubs:  THIS Friday.
me:  yes
Hubs: since when is Christmas sooooo close?
me: I KNOW

And that pretty much sums up my feelings on Christmas this year. I realize it’s not ever a surprise that Christmas comes at the end of December every year, and yet, somehow, it kind of is. You know?

(Also, see how that conversation drew subtle attention to the fact that, occasionally, I have something resembling a social life and do not, in fact, spend all my time on my computer/shouting at fictional characters/being introverted and awkward? People invite us to things! There’s hope for us to join the world of normal humans! Except that I just pointed it out, so maybe not after all.)

Fortunately, now that we live in the world of Amazon Wish Lists (or at least…that’s where my family lives), it’s okay to procrastinate on Christmas shopping until the week before. So let me just skedaddle over to mine so I can tell you the…

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me
(in no particular order)

1. The Demon King (The Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima.
You’re going to notice a theme with some of this list, and that theme is FANTASY. There’s several fantasy series/authors I’ve heard awesome things about, and I think it’s high time I became acquainted with them.

2. Finnikin of the Rock (The Lumatere Chronicles #1) by Melina Marchetta
I haven’t read…any…Melina Marchetta. [ducks flying rotten vegetables]

3. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
I do not own nearly enough books about dragons.

4. On Writing by Stephen King
I’ve been told numerous times by numerous people that this is a must-read, and I’ve put it off long enough!

5. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I loved Anna and the French Kiss so much.

6. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
I’ll admit, I had mixed feelings on Graceling, but I really liked Fire, and I want to see how it ends. Plus, Kristin Cashore’s writing is SO PRETTY.

7. Girl of Fire and Thorns and Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
I’ve read and loved both of these, but I checked out the first one from the library and received the second as an ARC. I really need to just own them.

8. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Yet another fantasy! I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one.

9. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I keep reading Maggie Stiefvater books and loving her writing, but not the actual story, and I think the problem is that I keep reading books that other people tell me are good, and not the kinds of books that would actually draw me in in the bookstore based solely on the jacket summary. This book, on the other hand, is one would pick up without other people having to tell me to.

10. The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa
Yet another book where I know I like the author, but haven’t read the series that actually seems more “me” yet.

So there you go. Santa? Do you have Internet up in the North Pole?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated 2013 Releases

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I didn’t participate last week because we were on vacation, and I’m not nearly on top of things enough to have planned posts in advance. Nor did I have enough energy to write posts while on vacation, because the theme parks killed me dead. Yup.

I hope you all (or at least those of you in the U.S.) had a fabulous Thanksgiving and stuffed yourselves full of turkey or whatever food you decided to eat in lieu of that glorious tryptophan-filled bird. And for those of you outside the U.S., I hope you had a good week too.

Here’s the topic for this week:

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013

This post is going to be visually dull, as most of my anticipated books don’t even have cover art yet. Sorry.

Also, these are all sequels, just FYI. So if you haven’t read the first book(s) in some of these series…get on that.

1. Infinityglass (Hourglass #3) by Myra McEntire

2. Defiance #2 by C.J. Redwine (I…think…this is a 2013 release, but I’m not 100% sure, as it has no Amazon or Goodreads page yet).

3. The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2) by Jennifer Nielsen.

4. Throne of Glass #2 by Sarah Maas

5. The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson

6. The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

7. Requiem (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

8. Divergent #3 (working title: Detergent) by Veronica Roth

9. The Eternity Cure  (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa (and I’m pretty sure the Amazon description is wrong, and the Goodreads description is correct)

10. Dare to You (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

Honorable mentions go to The Archived by Victoria Schwab and Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, but they didn’t make the list because I have ARCs of them (and yes, I did do a happy dance at my mailbox when they arrived) and I plan to read them in 2012. Which means that by the time 2013 hits, I won’t be anticipating their releases quite as eagerly as the books I haven’t read yet.

Consider this post my very first New Year’s Resolution. Hopefully I won’t have any trouble fulfilling it.

Top Ten Tuesday (November 13) – Desert Island Books

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

Today’s topic is haaaaaard. I’m just going to get that out there.

Top Ten Books  I’d Want On A Deserted Island

Okay, first let’s talk about this Deserted Island. Is it a tropical island? Do I want to be there? Am I there all by myself, and am I there temporarily or forever? These are important qualifiers.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume I am by myself, on a tropical yet deserted island (with trees so I can make fires and don’t have to choose the biggest books just so they will burn longer), involuntarily, forever. Yes, all of this matters. (Also, it’s possible I over-think things.)

Here we go.

1. The Bible. Because I’d need it.

2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (let’s just assume they’ll release a single-volume version someday so they can all count as one book). They’re the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read, and I don’t ever get tired of re-reading them. Which is an important consideration on a deserted island forever.

3-5. The Farseer, Liveshipand Tawny Man trilogies by Robin Hobb. I know I’m cheating by counting each trilogy as one, but at least I didn’t count the entire trilogy of trilogies as one. Cut me some slack here. If I had to count them individually, my Top 10 list would already be full. And boring, because there’d only be three things on it.

6. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. So I could still laugh.

7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. So I could always keep my situation in perspective. There are worse places to be than a deserted island. Siberia, for instance.

8. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. For kind of the same reason, but also because that book is incredibly uplifting in spite of the atrocities that go on in its pages. And I could probably use something uplifting on a deserted island.

9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. For the warm fuzzies.

10. Whatever book I happen to be in the middle of whenever I get stranded on this island. Because whatever it is, it will drive me crazy to know I will never know how it ends.

Now, if we’re talking short-term beach vacation…my selections may be different.

Top Ten Tuesday (November 6) – ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE Edition

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

It’s another freebie week, which are my favorite things ever, but the problem this week is that I’m super-sick with The Crud That Would Not Die, and therefore my creative juices are dried up and caked with grossness around the edges (sorry, was that too much)? Seriously, I’ve coughed so much today that my teeth hurt. I didn’t even know that was a thing.

SO. I’m not so motivated to spend a long time seeking out an awesomely creative topic like last time. Instead, you get a top ten topic that doesn’t require much thought on my part, because that’s all I’m capable of. So without further ado, I give you:

The Top Ten Book Characters I’d Want on My Team in the Zombie Apocalypse

1. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) – Sorry Harry, but I think that when fighting zombies, Hermione would be infinitely more useful than you. We could all camp out in her giant tent while she saves the world by inventing a zombie decapitation spell, and then she’d probably transfigure their headless corpses into a delightful feast. Mmmm, zombieflesh.

2. Molly Weasley (Harry Potter) – On this team full of people who can defend me from zombies, I need at least one person who can keep me alive by feeding me, and Molly is that person. But, if it comes down to it and she finds herself face to face with the undead, I think we all know Molly’s no slouch.

3. Cato (The Hunger Games) – Yes, I know he’s kind of a sociopath, but remember that the stipulation here is that he’d be on my side. And while Katniss is pretty handy with a bow and arrow, I’m thinking Cato’s sword would be a bit more zombie-appropriate. Plus, he’d probably think zombie-hunting was fun.

4. Logan McEntire (Defiance) – He’s an inventor, but also good in a fight. I’m thinking it would be a good idea to have someone around who could MacGyver his way out of a tight spot.

5. Hector (Crown of Embers) – Both good with a sword and well versed at military tactics and commanding troops. He’d probably be in charge of our little ragtag group.

6. Pia (Origin) – I haven’t finished reading this book yet, but I’m thinking a girl who can’t die and can run really fast would be a good teammate, yes?

7. Zeke (The Immortal Rules) – He’s basically already lived through a vampire apocalypse, so a zombie apocalypse shouldn’t be that big of a deal, right?

8. Aragorn (The Lord of the Rings) – Again with the sword and battle knowledge, but also dude’s got mad survival skills. If he could keep four hobbits alive, surely he could keep me alive.

9. Aslan (The Chronicles of Narnia) – LION VS. ZOMBIE. Also, he’s an all-powerful magical lion, so he probably wouldn’t even break a lionsweat.

10. Robert Muldoon (Jurassic Park) – He’s awesome enough to survive rampaging dinosaurs, so I’d trust him to survive zombies as well.

THERE YOU GO. Admit it, my team rocks. Although there’s still a lot of good picks out there in book world, so many of you could pick them and probably also survive. Good luck.

Now, if you need me, I’ll be on the floor over here, trying to locate my lung.