22 October 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Sleepy Kitty

Hedwig snoozing on the window seat. She loves her fuzzy gray cushion, all squishy and good.

21 October 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: New Series

This week, for Top Ten Tuesday, we're talking about the new series we want to start. I'm not really a series reader and, when I am, I tend to glom onto series everyone else is done with. But here are five new series I do want to read:

  • The Silo Saga by Hugh Howey. There are three books in the series (Wool, Shift, Dust) and they're all out so none of that pesky forgetting-about-the-series-while-waiting-for-the-next-book-to-come-out.

In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo's rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

  • The Last Policeman series by Ben Winters. All three books (The Last Policeman, Countdown City, World of Trouble) are out.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He's investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

  • Worldbreaker Saga by Kameron Hurley. Only the first book, The Mirror Empire, is already out.

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past... while a world goes to war with itself.

  • Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown. The second book, Golden Son, is due out in January 2015.

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

  • After the End by Amy Plum. The second book, Until the Beginning, is due out in May 2015.

Juneau grew up fearing the outside world. The elders told her that beyond the borders of their land in the Alaskan wilderness, nuclear war had destroyed everything. But when Juneau returns from a hunting trip one day and discovers her people have been abducted, she sets off to find them. And leaving the boundaries for the very first time, she learns the horrifying truth: World War III never happened. Nothing was destroyed. Everything she'd ever been taught was a lie.

15 October 2014

14 October 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: Places Books Make Me Want To Visit

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, we're talking about all the places books have made us itch to visit.

  • Ankh-Morpork, Discworld. Peer over the wall at Unseen University, eat something suspicious onna stick, and visit with the ladies of the Seamstresses' Guild!
  • Australia. Because of Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country (and, maybe, Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent)
  • Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. I didn't even know Avonlea was fictional until I composed this list!
  • Deep Valley, Minnesota. Home of Betsy and Tacy of Betsy-Tacy fame. I know it's actually Mankato, but I have no interest in the real, contemporary town. No, I want to visit the fictional town in 1905 when Betsy is in high school, so someone find me a time machine that can also visit fictional worlds.
  • Devon, England. Many of Agatha Christie's novels are set in Devon and I want to see if that bucolic countryside is as murderous as it seems. (Austen's Sense and Sensibility is also set in Devon and, supposedly, many of the locations mentioned in the novel are identifiable today).
  • The fictional Greece portrayed in those terrible, tawdry Harlequin-type romances I read in middle school with their beautiful Mediterranean climate, feisty women, and handsome tycoons/millionaires/playboys.
  • Iceland. Blame it on Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth and the HBO series Game of Thrones. (Keep meaning to read Quentin Bate's Officer Gunnhilder series which is set in contemporary Iceland).
  • Mars. It's never going to happen, but wouldn't it be splendid? Blame Mars on Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy as well Mary Robinette Kowal's novelette "The Lady Astronaut of Mars."
  • Sweden. So many crime novels and thrillers coming out of Sweden! Rather like with Devon, I want to see if Sweden is a murderous as it seems. Also, it just sounds beautiful.
  • Yorkshire, England. I blame the Brontes, Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, all those James Herriot books.