One of the most challenging parts of book blogging, and really to having any friendships with bookish people is managing your to-be-read pile. There are quite literally thousands of books I hope to read in my lifetime and the list gets longer every day after discussions with friends, coworkers, reading reviews, seeing tweets, and reading blog posts. Maja
from The Nocturnal Library
has been a great friend of mine for a few years now and she has recommended so many books to me, but have I read most of them yet? No. She is certainly not the only friend who probably wants to shake some sense into me but she IS the only I am attempting to appease at the moment. How? Well, I had her compile a list of 50 books she would like me to give a go and we'll see how many I finish in the next few weeks. My personal goal is at least 5 but I am being kind of beastly in how fast I am plowing through audios lately so we'll see if I can do more. Maja is posting her list at the same time as this post so you can read her challenge post here.
She has broken down her recommendations into genres with an emphasis on urban fantasy because I asked her to include a lot of them since I am woefully under-read in that area and she is an expert. She has no idea what my plan of attack is, but she does know that I got a head start.
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There are several series that many of my blogger and reader buddies are obsessed with, and the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews and the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones are definitely high up on the list. I had heard good things about the audio format for both so I picked them both up at the library and guess what? I finished both book ones already this past week. KA-POW! I am already at 2 out of 50. In case you didn't go read Maja's post but are curious about her list, you can also find all her picks on a Goodreads shelf
. Other UF series I am definitely going to try are Downside Ghosts and Arcadia Bell, and I am planning to keep going with both Kate and Charley...though I am
a bit sad that future installments won't count towards my 50 books.
One of Maja's favorite authors is Ann Aguirre and I get embarrassed every time we have a conversation about Aguirre and I have to pretend I know what is going on, since I have only ever read Grimspace
, the first in her Sirantha Jax series. I want to finish that series but they aren't on my list, so I am keen to read both Bronze Gods (which the lovely Maja sent me a copy of) and Perdition
, which sounds AMAZING. Seriously, go read the blurb. Actually, here it is: WELCOME TO HELL
The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.
Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.
Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…I know, right?
Obviously I am not sure what I will actually get through, but I have to admit that I am most curious about the books that Maja gave 5 stars to. I am notoriously stingy with my 5-star ratings and I am always peeking through people's shelves to see what they've deemed worthy of that top spot. What did they see as basically flawless or have such an emotional attachment to as to rate it so highly? Maja 5-starred 12 of her 50 recommendations, but the ones I am most interested in checking out are The Reapers are the Angels
by Alden Bell, Disgrace
by J.M. Coetzee, As If I Am Not There
by Slavenka Drakulić, Meet Me Under the Ombu Tree by Santo Montefiore, and Betty Blue by Philippe Djian. A few of these are on her "made-me-cry" shelf and I am morbidly always interested in books that made people cry since it is such a rare occurrence for me. Will I have the same reaction?
All this could change, but for now, this is where my brain thinks I am going to go. Did you go check out Maja's list
? What do you think I should go with? Even just the two I've already knocked out already make me feel better about our friendship. I want
to read everything my friends think is amazing and/or that they think I might like. It makes me happy that Maja took the time to compile a group of recommendations so I could read a bunch of them and then pat myself on the back. Hooray for bookish friendships and the amazing book recommendations that result from them!