My favorite books of 2019

In 2019 I read lots of books that made me happy I can read!

I’m finally getting my favorite books of the year completed. 2019 was a good reading year since I read many books I liked and many that filled me with joy. So I have lots of favorites this year!

I had set a goal for myself to read 95 books and only read 90, but that’s okay. I love to read. I think I’m reading a little slower these days. However, the important thing for me is that I’m still reading and that I enjoy most of the books I read.

I’ve added links to the books I reviewed (only three books). 😦

Mystery

Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger, Cork O’Connor #5

This series takes place in northern Minnesota’s lake country. I love the series which features wonderful descriptions of northern Minnesota and well-written mysteries. However, I need to read them a little quicker since there are already 17 books in the series!

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima, Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries #4

This is another series I love. I’m up-to-date with this series and have read these books since started being published a few years ago. I love reading about working dogs and Robo is a great example of a K-9 dog in a police department. He and Mattie are a wonderful team.

Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong, Rockton #4

This police procedural is set in one of the oddest towns I’ve read about in a mystery and there’s lots of suspense. Each book ratchets up the suspense a little more.

Fractured Truth by Susan Furlong, Bone Gap Travellers #2

Former Marines Brynn and her K-9 partner Wilco suffer from PTSD and both carry the scars from an IED explosion. Brynn tries to control the flashbacks with alcohol and pain pills–not a good combination especially since she’s now working for the McCreary County Sherrif’s Department. She’s also trying to straddle two worlds–that of the Irish Travellers (a nomadic group from Ireland who came to the U.S. during the Great Famine) and the settled townspeople (most of whom distrust the Travellers.) The mysteries are good in this series and the world of the Travellers is fascinating.

The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman, Leaphorn & Chee #13

I’ve read these mysteries since I was a teenager. My mom and I would talk about the books through the years since we both loved them. One of the best things about this series is that it’s set in the United States Southwest. For a while I stopped reading mysteries so now I’m catching up with this series. And I’m so happy that Tony Hillerman’s daughter Anne Hillerman has continued writing the series after he died.

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #8

The books in this series are so well written. Sometimes they’re difficult to read since heartbreaking things happen to characters I like. Things that happen in one book may have far-reaching impact several books later and then we see how skillfully Louise Penny has intertwined so much into her books.

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie, Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #18

I was so happy to read this book since it has been several years since Deborah Crombie had written a book in the series. When I read about Duncan and Gemma and their family it’s like having a chat with old friends. And the mysteries are good, too!

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths, Ruth Galloway #9

I’m always happy to return to Ruth’s world. She’s such an interesting character and I love the mysteries which always have something to do with her forensic archaeology work.

Science Fiction

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, The Murderbot Diaries #4

I’ve loved every single one of the Murderbot books. They are original, an adventure story and also thought-provoking.

Borderline by Janet Edwards, Hive Mind #4

I like everything I’ve read by Janet Edwards. This series is one I especially love. Ms. Edwards has a great way of writing exciting stories about characters I care about. And her world building is so good. It takes place in Earth’s future.

Mantivore Dreams by S.G. Higbee, Arcadian Chronicles #1

I like the way this book slowly unfolds so that it gives readers time to try to figure things out themselves. I also like that by the end of the book there are threads for future books, but that this book is a complete story. I need to get that next book read! The world building is especially good and I like the way Kyrillia grows and changes throughout the book.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher

I chose to read this book because it was about a dog! I love the bond between Griz and the dogs. However, the book is a post apocalyptic science fiction so the book is good, but also has an overall feeling of sadness.

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

I feel like a lot of science fiction really makes you think in a different way and that’s kind of what this book did for me. It’s also post apocalyptic, military science fiction and during parts of the book I wasn’t really sure what was happening! It went different directions than I thought it would.

Ascending by Meg Pechenick, The Vardeshi Saga #1

Margaret (Meg) Pechenick is a new author to me. (S.G. Higbee @ Brainfluff reviewed this book. I find out about so many good books from her.) I loved this science fiction about aliens visiting Earth and inviting a group of Earthlings to visit their part of space.

Doing Time by Jodi Taylor, The Time Police #1

This was book one of a new series–The Time Police–that came out in fall 2019. It’s a spin-off of The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. These are both time travel series and so much fun. I’m doing a happy dance that Jodi Taylor decided to start another series which comes at the time travel idea from a slightly different angle. Can’t wait for the next book!

Urban Fantasy

These are my favorite urban fantasies (which are about the only fantasies I read these days) and I’ve read every book as they’ve been published!

Wild Country by Anne Bishop, The World of the Others #2 (The Others #7)

The world building in these books is one of the most appealing parts of this series. It very different from other urban fantasy series I read.

Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs, Mercy Thompson #11

Mercy Thompson is such a great character. She doesn’t always do the smart thing, but she’s such a loyal friend and she tries to do what’s right for the people she’s responsible for. And I love the world Patricia Briggs has created.

Between Homes by W.R. Gingell, The City Between #5

This series is so unique and the last book has really ratcheted up the suspense. I hope another book comes soon in this world where Fae often come and go in the human world, but very few humans manage to survive a trip either Between or Behind. And most humans don’t even know they exist.

Fiction

Doggirl by Robin Brande

I loved this book! It’s young adult which I seldom like or read, but this book about a high school girl who wants to be an animal trainer for movies is just lovely. And the dogs are wonderful!

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

An out-of-work librarian, a bookstore on wheels and remote towns without libraries all come together in this wonderful book. There’s even some romance in it! And it’s set in Scotland!

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon

I loved all the dogs in this book plus the human characters are great fun to read about.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

At the end of the book I felt so happy I’d read this which is one of the reasons I love reading. It’s set in Maine which is one of my favorite places and Evvie Drake is a great character. She’s certainly not perfect, but she’s someone I’d love to talk to. Linda Holmes is also one of the hosts of the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast which I love to listen to.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

One of my most favorite books of 2019! So glad I read it. The language flows and the characters are so vivid–especially Kya (aka “Marsh Girl”). The book is heartbreaking at times, but ultimately a wonderful read. It’s historical fiction, almost a natural history of the North Carolina swamps and marshland and a mystery all set in swamps along the North Carolina Coast. It switches back and forth between Kya’s childhood in the 1950’s and a murder that happens in 1969. Cassandra Campbell narrated the audiobook and made my enjoyment of the book so vivid and immersive.

Memoir

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I don’t usually read memoirs or biographies, but I enjoyed this one a lot–especially since I listened to the audiobook narrated by Michelle Obama. By the end I felt like we had met! So interesting to hear about her childhood, her meeting and marriage to Barack Obama, and then her life as the First Lady in the White House. She’s such an inspirational person.

Have you read any of these books? What were some of your favorite books of the year?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs

A favorite series–werewolves, a coyote shifter, fae and other magical creatures

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Smoke Bitten

by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #12

Published by Ace

Publishing date: March 10, 2020

Genre: Urban Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman. My only “superpowers” are that I turn into a thirty-five pound coyote and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I’m going to need them.

Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill–until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.

Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything–even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.

It won’t, can’t, remain.

Not if I have anything to say about it.

………………………….

One of my favorite series! I’m caught up with this series and I eagerly wait each year for a book in the Mercy Thompson series or the Alpha & Omega series set in the same world.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

storm cursed by patricia briggsStorm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #11

Published by Ace

Publishing date: May 7

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter . . . And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it. 

……………………………

This is one of my very favorite urban fantasy series and one of my favorite authors. I’ve read this series since the first book came out.

And isn’t that an awesome cover?!!

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

I used to take part in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I’ve decided to begin participating again, but with Can’t-Wait Wednesday hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings since the Breaking the Spine blog is no longer active.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that aren’t released yet. I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I want to read . . .

. . . Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs because I love the two related series set in the same world that she writes–the Alpha & Omega series and the Mercy Thompson series.

burn-bright-by-patricia-briggsBurn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha & Omega #5

Published by Orbit

Publishing date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Urban Fantasy

384 pages

Synopsis: They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

……………..

Charles and Anna are great characters and I want to see what has happened with them since the last book. I like the direction Patricia Briggs has taken this series with humans finding out just how scary the fae are as well as humans finding out about more of the supernatural world. This book sounds like there will be more about damaged and dangerous werewolves as well as scary witches.

Favorite urban fantasies since 2015

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where a wide range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about our Favorite Urban Fantasies. I don’t read as many urban fantasies as I did a few years ago, but I still have a few I’m enjoying. Since I’ve written posts about urban fantasies in the past this time I’m talking about my favorites since 2015.

One Good Dragon Deserves Another

by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #2

This is a self-published series and shows that an author can self-publish quality books and I hope make some money doing it.

Such a fun series! I love the dragons that Ms. Aaron has created. There are so many little touches–such as Julius’ mother, Bethesda, naming each clutch of the Heartstriker dragons with the same letter of the alphabet beginning with “A” (Amelia), “B” (Bob), “C” (Chelsea) and so on. Julius is from Bethesda’s 10th clutch and even Julius’ family–especially Julius’ family–thinks he’s a weak dragon–mostly because he’s “nice” and “good” and thinks dragons should cooperate with each other.

The characters are so much fun to read about and so unique plus the world building is well done.

Dark Alchemy

by Laura Bickle

Series: Dark Alchemy #1

Set in Wyoming near Yellowstone National Park–a unique setting for a fantasy. There’s magic and alchemy involved and the main character is a geologist working for the federal government in Yellowstone. Yellowstone is the last area Petra had heard from her father many years ago so she wants to try to find out what happened to him. Strange things seem to happen in the Yellowstone area. Lots of interesting characters and an interesting premise.

I really like the western vibe in this book. And it has a great cover!

Tainted Blood

by M.L. Brennan

Series: Generation V #3

This series has four books in it and I would have loved for it have at least four more, but apparently the publisher decided the books didn’t earn enough.

I thought the books had a fresh take on vampires and were really fun to read. Fortitude (Fort) is a great main character as is his kitsune friend Suzume. Fort’s family is scary, but they’re his family and he’s part of them and has to deal with them. With each book we learn more about vampires and what they have to do to survive. A really good series.

And I feel like the kitsune could have their own series! I wish M.L. Brennan would write some more books.

Vision in Silver

by Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #3

I’ve read a number of Anne Bishop’s earlier fantasies and really liked them.

This series is totally different from those earlier fantasies. The world building and characters are great. The Others are scary creatures–some of whom can shapeshift to human form. However, they’re not human and they are in control of the world. Some humans don’t like that and try to change the world, but they don’t really understand what some of the Others are and what they can do.

In the first book Meg finds her way to one of the Others’ compounds and they protect her because they understand what she is–a cassandra sangue or blood prophet. She and other blood prophets are used by humans for prophecy even though the cuts and blood used for prophecy eventually kills the blood prophet. However, the greedy humans who use them and make money from the cassandra sangue don’t care about that. That creates a clash between the Others and humans.

Vision in Silver really moves the action forward toward an ending we see from hints and ideas in the first two books, but there are also unexpected consequences.

In 2018 a new book about new characters set in the same world will be published!

Silence Fallen

Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #10

I’ve read this series since these books were first published in 2006. I love them all, but this is one of my very favorites in the series. Things Mercy has come to trust and depend on fail her so she needs all her strength and cunning for what happens in this book.

Mercy is such a good character as is her husband Adam. I like that she’s a coyote shapeshifter and that Adam is a werewolf. She’s physically weaker than the werewolves, but just like coyotes she’s wily! And she’s smart and strong.

Foxglove Summer

by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Peter Grant/Rivers of London #5

I really like this series. It’s like a police procedural urban fantasy with magic set in London! More and more keeps happening as these books move forward. Peter slowly learns about magic and wizardry and the dangers of the supernatural world. I especially like the concept of the rivers and streams–that they’re living entities.

In Foxglove Summer, Peter travels outside London to Herfordshire with Beverley Brook (remember the Rivers of London?!) Strange things are happening in Herfordshire and Peter is sent to try to straighten them out. He’s far from London and all the things he knows.

Sweep in Peace

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2

I’ve read Ilona Andrews books for years and love the Kate Daniels series.

However, this series–the Innkeeper Chronicles–originally written as a free serial on the Ilona Andrews blog is so different. The concept is really fresh. The idea of inns and innkeepers with their brooms used by aliens to come to neutral Earth to stay without any earthlings knowing they’re visiting is great.

Of course, Dina DeMille and her inn have all sorts of problems she must solve. Plus she’s trying to figure out what happened to her parents who disappeared years ago from their own inn. With each book we find out a little more about Dina, the inns, the rest of the universe, aliens and a few hints about her parents.

The Black Wolves of Boston

by Wen Spencer

Series: Black Wolves of Boston

I’ve read a lot of Wen Spencer books and really enjoy them. One of the great things about her books besides the world building and unique ideas is the way she writes engaging characters. They make you want to read more and more about them!

This book was published this year and looks like it’s the first book in a new series. It’s a great beginning and I hope Ms. Spencer writes a new book soon!

Do you read urban fantasies? Do you have favorite urban fantasies?

Waiting on Wednesday: September 7

I am participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

………………………..

silence-fallenSilence Fallen

by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #10

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication date: March 7, 2017

Synopsis: Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

.…………………………

The reasons this book appeals to me:
  • This is a favorite series of mine. I’ve read each book as it comes out and love the series. Patricia Briggs writes really good books!
  • This book sounds very good.
  • Love the cover. It looks like a different artist did this cover. I like most of the other covers from the older books, too, but this is very nice.

Save

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

fire-touchedFire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #9
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Setting: Tri-cities area of Washington State
Published by Ace, 2016
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: March 8)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
352 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Initial impressions

  • A great addition to the Mercy Thompson series. This continues to be one of my favorite series. And this book is one of my favorites in the series.

The story

  • A troll on the bridge! Eating cars and people (I always knew I was right when I was afraid of trolls as a child!)
  • The werewolves come out to fight with Mercy joining in as well.
  • The story gets even more complex with the appearance of a human stolen by the fae a long time ago. He has some dangerous powers. And the fae want him back.
  • The story escalates from there!

Pluses

  • March is one of my favorite months of the year, because I can almost always count on a Patricia Briggs book. I love catching up with Mercy, Adam, the rest of the werewolf pack and other characters. I really like how characters grow and change in these books.
  • I love the relationship between Adam and Mercy. Ms. Briggs does a great job of showing their love and concern for each other.
  • The last Mercy Thompson book dealt with a volcano god and that has had lasting effects on the pack. Now they are dealing with fire again–and this will change their world even more.
  • I am glad to see Adam support Mercy so strongly.
  • This is a great story–lots of action and important plot twists.
  • I like the ongoing story arc with the fae and humans at odds. Lots of room for action on both sides. Is a war going to happen?
  • I’ve always liked that Mercy is a VW auto mechanic. That has always been a great job for her–shows her strengths and makes her more real. And throughout these books lots of action takes place at her garage. She’s doing repairs after the volcano god wrecked the garage.

Minuses

  • I’m ready for all the pack to finally fully support Mercy. There’s progress in this book, but I want to make sure that continues…lol. The pack isn’t a democracy after all.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I love the world Ms. Briggs has created and that she writes two different (sometimes intertwining) series set in this world.
  • I don’t like waiting for the next book, but I’m glad the quality of writing is so high. So take the time you need for this series, Ms. Briggs!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels. In 2006, Ace Books published Moon Called, the first book in her #1 New York Times bestselling—and signature series—about Mercy Thompson.
  • Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series, which are set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson novels. What began as the novella “Alpha and Omega” in an anthology called On the Prowl (2007), was then expanded into a full new series.

Reading Challenges

I own the most books from these authors…

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which I take part in occasionally. It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week we write about the ten authors I own the most books from. I have broken the authors down by e-books, audio books and paper books.

When I look at my list several things occur to me:

  • Of course, one of the reasons I have so many books by certain authors is that they’ve written a lot of books.
  • I used to read a lot of romances so the authors from whom I have the largest number of books are romances. I’ve kept the paper books by my favorite authors.
  • I used to get a lot of my books from the library, but now I read my books as digital editions now and the library has fewer digital editions.
  • The library tended to have more mystery and more science fiction/fantasy than romance.
  • Over the years I gave away or sold my books to used bookstores–in the past I read lots of sci-fi, fantasy and mysteries so I don’t have as many books from long-time favorite authors such as Dick Francis and Tony Hillerman and Anne McCaffrey.

Top Ten Authors

1. Jayne Ann Krentz — ever since I discovered her she’s been a favorite (obviously!) and a comfort read author–especially her older books which I spent a lot of time in used bookstores to find!

  • e-books – 4
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 53

–aka Amanda Quick — I love these historical romances…especially the older ones.

  • e-books – 0
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books – 17

–aka Jayne Castle — Jayne Ann Krentz uses this pseudonym for her futuristic romances. I haven’t liked these books as well.

  • e-books – 0
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 7

–Total — 82

2. Nora Roberts — I haven’t read any Nora Roberts books for a while, but I do like a number of her books.

  • e-books – 3
  • audiobooks – 2
  • paper books – 38

–aka J. D. Robb — I especially enjoy the In Death series though I haven’t read any for a couple years.

  • e-books – 9
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books -28

Total — 81

3. Mary Balogh — I still buy and read Mary Balogh’s books. I love the way she writes. I’ve searched for her out-of-print Signet regencies through the years and found them in used bookstores and even on Ebay!

  • e-books – 12
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books – 58

Total — 71

4. Jo Beverley – Another favorite historical romance author. Her older books are easier to find and I think I have almost all of them.

  • e-books – 7
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 34

Total — 41

5. Linda Howard — Another author whom I love to read and re-read especially her older books.

  • e-books – 3
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 40

Total — 43

6. Lois McMaster Bujold — I love the Miles Vorkosigan series though I haven’t read one for a while. I need to read some. I have some of her other books and need to read them, too.

  • e-books – 5
  • audiobooks – 2
  • paper books -27

Total — 34

7. Patricia Briggs — I’ve bought and read all of Ms. Briggs’ older books from before she started her Mercy Thompson series.

  • e-books – 4
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 16

Total — 20

8. Robert Heinlein — I used to own a lot more of Heinlein’s books, but I gave a few of them to my kids.

  • e-books – 1
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 17

Total — 18

9. Ilona Andrews — I love Ilona Andrews writing.

  • e-books – 12
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 5

Total — 17

10.  Dana Stabenow — I used to read all of Ms. Stabenow’s books until one book stopped me reading any for quite a while. I’ve bought a number of her digital releases and hope to start reading her newer books again.

  • e-books – 10
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books – 5

Total — 16

Honorable Mention

Archangel
Sharon Shinn–Archangel

Sharon Shinn – I love her writing, but her digital editions have tended to stay expensive plus some of her older books weren’t digitized. When I looked at her books this week I saw more books of her books digitzed and some of the books I’ve searched for are now available as e-books at lower prices. Yay!

  • e-books – 1
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 12

Total — 13

What about you? Which authors do you own the most number of books?

My favorite books so far this year…

toptentuesday2I haven’t participated in a Top Ten Tuesday meme for quite a while. Several weeks I’ve meant to, but things have always come up! Anyway, this topic–Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year–is one I’ve been thinking about because I’ve read a lot of good books already! The Broke and the Bookish blog hosts Top Ten Tuesday.

In no particular order…

Caszandra by Andrea K. Host (science fiction/fantasy, Grade: A)–this was the first book I read this year and is the last book in the Touchstone series. I like this series very much.

Pivot Point by Kasie West (young adult fantasy, Grade: B+)–this isn’t a perfect book (what is?!!), but it has stuck with me because of the premise of the book. The main character is able to look at two different futures to see which she wants to choose. I always wonder about the choices we make in our lives and what that does to change us.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (audiobook, historical mystery–WWWI flashbacks and 1920’s; Grade: A-)–a very powerful and emotional read for me because of the flashbacks to WWWI. The narration is excellent in this book.

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott (fantasy, Grade: A-)–This is a very good fantasy. Cat is such a strong character and the story is so good.

Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross (young adult contemporary, Grade: A-)–This book has stuck with me since I read it. How Karen learns to cope with the death of her parents is very powerful. Reading about the world of elite gymnastics is also fascinating.

Redshirts by John Scalzi (science fiction/space opera, Grade: B+)–A very funny and fun science fiction, but also made me think about what reality is. This is one of the reasons I like science fiction. I like the ideas and questions science fiction often presents.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (audiobook, historical/contemporary/fantasy, Grade: A)–Such a wonderful book. The language is lush, the story is poignant, the Scotland setting is wonderful and the narration–especially the Scots accent–is just excellent!

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy, Grade: B+)–I continue to love this series!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor –Not Yet Reviewed (audiobook, fantasy, Grade: B+)–The narration is wonderful and Karou is a great character.

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards–Not Yet Reviewed (YA science fiction, Grade: B+)–I just finished this book and I loved it. The main character is so much fun and so honest (even when she’s lying!) Plus the far future setting is fascinating.

Honorable Mention

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop–I love Meg Corbyn and the Others.

In for a Penny by Rose Lerner–This was a re-read for me and I loved it the second time around, too. The characters are what make this book memorable.

Generation V by M. L. Brennan–I love this new series. I just wish there was more about the kitsune,

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch–This series gets better and better.

 

What books are your favorites so far this year?

March books on my radar…

RadarEach month I write about the books I’ve noticed and think might be good. Sometimes they’re from favorite authors and other times I get excited by some new author I might try.

I don’t buy all the books (not during the month they’re released at least)–since I already have way too many books to read and sometimes these new books have high prices 😦

But the list I make each month helps me not forget books. The Goodreads links help me keep track of these books and I hope people reading my post may find some new books, too!

February 25

I didn’t love the first book in this series, but Nathan from Fantasy Review Barn reviewed the new book this week and convinced me to give the series another try…I’ve already bought the book!

honors-knightHonor’s Knight

by Rachel Bach

Series: Paradox #2

Published by Orbit

Genre: Science Fiction

384 pages

Synopsis: Devi Morris has a lot of problems. And not the fun, easy-to-shoot kind either.

After a mysterious attack left her short several memories and one partner, she’s determined to keep her head down, do her job, and get on with her life. But even though Devi’s not actually looking for it — trouble keeps finding her. She sees things no one else can, the black stain on her hands is growing, and she is entangled with the cook she’s supposed to hate.

But when a deadly crisis exposes far more of the truth than she bargained for, Devi discovers there’s worse fates than being shot, and sometimes the only people you can trust are the ones who want you dead.

I’ve liked a lot of what Deanna Raybourn writes. Plus I like this time period.

city-of-jasmineCity of Jasmine

by Deanna Raybourn

Series: City of Jasmine #1

Published by Harlequin Mira

Genre: Historical Mystery

354 pages

Synopsis: Set against the lush, exotic European colonial outposts of the 1920s, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn delivers the captivating tale of one woman who embarks upon a journey to see the world—and ends up finding intrigue, danger and a love beyond all reason.

Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke never expected to see her husband, adventurer Gabriel Starke, ever again. They had been a golden couple, enjoying a whirlwind courtship amid the backdrop of a glittering social set in prewar London until his sudden death with the sinking of the Lusitania. Five years later, beginning to embrace life again, Evie embarks upon a flight around the world, collecting fame and admirers along the way. In the midst of her triumphant tour, she is shocked to receive a mysterious—and recent—photograph of Gabriel, which brings her ambitious stunt to a screeching halt.

With her eccentric aunt Dove in tow, Evie tracks the source of the photo to the ancient City of Jasmine, Damascus. There she discovers that nothing is as it seems. Danger lurks at every turn, and at stake is a priceless relic, an artifact once lost to time and so valuable that criminals will stop at nothing to acquire it—even murder. Leaving the jewelled city behind, Evie sets off across the punishing sands of the desert to unearth the truth of Gabriel’s disappearance and retrieve a relic straight from the pages of history.

Along the way, Evie must come to terms with the deception that parted her from Gabriel and the passion that will change her destiny forever…

March 4

The first book in this series was one of my favorites of 2013.

murder-of-crowsMurder of Crows

by Anne Bishop

Series: A Novel of the Others #2

Published by Voyager

Genre: Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more. The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard – Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader – wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat. As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet-and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

This is another book I discovered at the Fantasy Review Barn blog. My husband likes Star Wars books so this is one I may buy for him (and then read myself!)

core__jkt_all_r1.inddHonor Among Thieves

by James S. A. Corey

Series: Empire and Rebellion #2

Published by LucasBooks

Genre: Science Fiction

288 pages

Synopsis: Nebula and Hugo Award nominees Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck—writing as James S. A. Corey—make their Star Wars debut in this brand-new epic adventure featuring Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia Organa. The action begins after the destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

When the Empire threatens the galaxy’s new hope, will Han, Luke, and Leia become its last chance?

When the mission is to extract a high-level rebel spy from the very heart of the Empire, Leia Organa knows the best man for the job is Han Solo—something the princess and the smuggler can finally agree on. After all, for a guy who broke into an Imperial cell block and helped destroy the Death Star, the assignment sounds simple enough.

But when Han locates the brash rebel agent, Scarlet Hark, she’s determined to stay behind enemy lines. A pirate plans to sell a cache of stolen secrets that the Empire would destroy entire worlds to protect—including the planet where Leia is currently meeting with rebel sympathizers. Scarlet wants to track down the thief and steal the bounty herself, and Han has no choice but to go along if he’s to keep everyone involved from getting themselves killed. From teeming city streets to a lethal jungle to a trap-filled alien temple, Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and their daring new comrade confront one ambush, double cross, and firestorm after another as they try to keep crucial intel out of Imperial hands.

But even with the crack support of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing squadron, the Alliance heroes may be hopelessly outgunned in their final battle for the highest of stakes: the power to liberate the galaxy from tyranny or ensure the Empire’s reign of darkness forever.

I haven’t read anything by Leah Cypress and this fantasy sounds interesting.

death-swornDeath Sworn

by Leah Cypress

Series: Death Sworn #1

Published by Greenwillow

Genre: Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

Sounds so interesting!

half-badHalf Bad

By Sally Green

Series: Half Life Trilogy #1

Published by Viking Juvenile

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

416 pages

Synopsis: In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.

Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite authors, but I haven’t read any this series yet though I do have the first book in the series.

half-off-ragnarokHalf-Off Ragnarok

by Seanan McGuire

Series: Incryptid #3

Published by DAW

Genre: Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn’t expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.

Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone…

The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.

Of course, so do the talking mice.

March 11

This is the other book I’m especially excited about this month. I will buy Night Broken and Murder of Crows when they come out!

night broken_front mech.inddNight Broken

by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #8

Published by Ace Hardcover

Genre: Urban Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right.

Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.

Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

March 18

Another new author. The cover is what first brought this book to my attention. After I read the synopsis I also thought it sounds interesting.

elusionElusion

by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Series: Unknown

Published by Katherine Tegan Books

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

400 pages

Synopsis: A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

I loved the first two books by Rose Lerner–In For a Penny and A Lily Among Thorns–and I’ve been waiting for more books by her. Very excited to see this new book and that her older books are being rereleased!

sweet-disorderSweet Disorder

by Rose Lerner

Series: Lively St. Lemeston #1

Published by Samhain Publishing

Genre: Historical Romance

321 pages

Synopsis: Nick Dymond enjoyed the rough-and-tumble military life until a bullet to the leg sent him home to his emotionally distant, politically obsessed family. For months, he’s lived alone with his depression, blockaded in his lodgings.

But with his younger brother desperate to win the local election, Nick has a new set of marching orders: dust off the legendary family charm and maneuver the beautiful Phoebe Sparks into a politically advantageous marriage.

One marriage was enough for Phoebe. Under her town’s by-laws, though, she owns a vote that only a husband can cast. Much as she would love to simply ignore the unappetizing matrimonial candidate pushed at her by the handsome earl’s son, she can’t. Her teenage sister is pregnant, and Phoebe’s last-ditch defense against her sister’s ruin is her vote—and her hand.

Nick and Phoebe soon realize the only match their hearts will accept is the one society will not allow. But as election intrigue turns dark, they’ll have to cast the cruelest vote of all: loyalty…or love.

Books I plan to buy this month:

Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner

What about you…what books are you looking forward to in March?