The Books I Recommend to Friends

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme sponsored each week by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week I’m listing the ten books I recommend the most. I’ve sorted them by genre. I had difficulty keeping this to just ten books! I love so many different books and authors and want to share the love!

In a series with an ongoing story arc in which we slowly find out more about the characters as they grow and change I usually recommend the first book and that they be read in order. Other books in a series are more standalone and it doesn’t matter as much the order they are read.

Urban Fantasy 

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs is the first book in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is an auto mechanic who can change into a coyote because of her Native American heritage. She grew up with werewolves and in Spokane where the stories usually takes place there are a variety of other supernatural beings. There is adventure, mystery and wonderful characters. The characters grow and change during the course of the books–sometimes in surprising ways.

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews is also the first book in a series–the Kate Daniels series. The books are set in an Atlanta where magic is leaking back into the world and defeating the technological world (causing skyscrapers to tumble down, plants to take over in places and other strange events). Again lots of adventure, mystery, romance and great characters.

Science Fiction

Agent of Change by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller is a space opera written in the Liad Universe created by the authors. All the Liad Universe books are full of adventure, romance, characters you care about and are just fun books to read. This is the one I recommend my friends start with though the books are not a linear series about the same characters. However, there are a few books with the same characters. The authors give several suggestions about reading order!

Archangel by Sharon Shinn is part of the Samaria series. This book and this series by Sharon Shinn are ones I recommend over and over to friends. Sharon Shinn is one of my favorite authors. This is my favorite of her series. This book is also her best selling book. The series features angels who sing to change the weather on their planet. The worldbuilding is incredible, characters aren’t infallible and don’t always act for the greater good, different characters see the events and settings differently and events aren’t always what they seem. This is also a series set on the same world, but with different main characters over a great many years. A great series.

Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon is the first book in the Vatta’s War series. Ky Vatta is expelled from Spaceforce Academy after making a mistake. Her family is a powerful trading family and give her a wreak of a spaceship and a remote trading route, but Ky finds adventure anyway! This is a great series. I like military science fiction and Elizabeth Moon has several good series.

 

Mysteries

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming is the first book of the Claire Fergusson/ Russ Van Alstyne series. These are very good mysteries, but it’s also the relationship between the two main characters which grows and changes throughout these books that I look forward to in each book. The characters act in very human ways. Sometimes they are difficult books to read because the characters are human and not infallible.

Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman features both Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee of the Navaho Tribal Police. I’m fascinated by the way they each look at their Navajo heritage and interact with their world. Some of Tony Hillerman’s books feature Leaphorn and some Chee and some both. The characters age and things change for better or worse in their personal lives through the years. I’ve recommended Tony Hillerman’s books to many people. He evokes the Southwest setting and the Navaho so well.

Mandarin Plaid by S. J. Rozan is part of a mystery series which features Lydia Chin and Bill Smith who are private detectives. The books generally take place in New York City and every other book is written from either Lydia’s or Bill’s point of view . Also the mysteries feature either the Chinatown Chinese American community or the Caucasian world. Very good mysteries, great settings and complex characters.

Historical Mystery

And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander is the first book in the Lady Emily series. The mystery, the setting, the characters all create an atmosphere which makes this a book and series many people will enjoy.

 
Contemporary Romance
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie is a great book to offer to people who don’t think they like to read romances. Jennifer Crusie always creates such fun romances with quirky characters. Her books make me happy. I love so many of her books, but this is the one I come back to again and again and recommend. This is a book I re-read every couple years.

What about you? Do you recommend books? Which ones and why?

I Had to Buy the Book…But Why Haven’t I Read It?

The Broke and the Bookish sponsors this weekly Meme.

I love books and have more books than I’ll ever have time to read. When I started looking through my books I realized I’ve got a lot of books I really want to read, but some of them have sat for years waiting for me.Why is that?

I’ve thought about that and I think one reason is that I like to savor things. I nibble and save things instead of gobbling them up and I do this with books, too. But I think it’s time to enjoy my books.

1. Killing Rocks by DD Barant–I read the first book in this series–Dying Bites–and thought it was great. Then I bought Killing Rocks in 2011 thinking it was book 2 when it was book 3! Now there are six books in the series!

2. Trial By Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes–I read the first book Raised by Wolves and really liked it; bought Trial By Fire in 2011 when it was published. It’s a trilogy and the final book and a short story have been published! Time to start reading.

3. The Girl with the Cat Tattoo by Teresa Weir–I bought this book in June 2012 (on sale) after I read a great review of it. It was on several bloggers best of 2012 lists, but still haven’t even started it. I love the cover, too.

4. I searched and searched in used bookstores over the years and found some of Robin McKinley‘s older books (Deerskin, Dragonhaven, The Blue Sword, The Door in the Hedge, The Hero and the Crown, and The Outlaws of Sherwood, for example), but still haven’t read them.

5. Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti. Bought in 2008, great cover, exciting premise…still unread.

6. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett. I bought this book several years ago. I’ve read so many great things about Terry Pratchett’s books and I haven’t read any of them.

7. Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold–I love the Miles Vorkosigan books (and still have more of them to read much to my delight). I’m sure I’ll love the Sharing Knife series, too, and even bought all the books, but haven’t started them yet.

8. Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong–I bought, read and loved Bitten when it first came out in 2001. I think it might have been my first werewolf book! Then I bought five more books in the series, but I haven’t read any of them. I’ve stopped buying this series until I read what I already have.

9. Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily Mysteries, Book 4) by Tasha Alexander. I love the first three books in this series and now there are seven books in the series. Time to start again, I think.

10. Curtain by Agatha Christie. I read almost all of Agatha Christie’s books when I was a teenager. Hercule Poirot was always my favorite character. This is the last book published by Agatha Christie during her lifetime…tells of Hercule Poirot’s last case and his death. I just haven’t ever been able to read it. She actually wrote it during WWII and kept in a vault until she realized she couldn’t write anymore. It was published in 1975. She died on January 12, 1976 at the age of 85 and I have had this book for years and not read it. I don’t like endings.

What about you? Do you have books you had to buy, but you haven’t read them? Or maybe you don’t have exciting unread books…maybe you read your books when you buy them…tell me about that, too!