Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Top Ten Want-to-read-at-the-moment: Print edition

I’m sure you don’t imagine that just because I have a lot of books on my Kindle, that my print TBR pile is shrinking? No!

Some books I buy in paper even if that is significantly more expensive because I have others in the series already and don’t want to switch formats (like Deb Coates’ STRANGE COUNTRY).

Others I buy in paper because the price is not too different and I love the cover, such as with Jensen’s STOLEN SONGBIRD. One thing where the Kindle really falls down: cover art. Black and white images, phooey. Plus I turn some books face-out on my shelves because I really like to look at them.

Every now and then I buy books from the SFBC and of course those are paper.

Library sales! Paper.

And so on. So, yes, my TBR shelves are overflowing again. There are books stacked on the floor. Again. When I start reading, I will probably start with paper books because I would like to whittle the numbers down there in order to clear off the floor.

Here are ten print books that are physically in my library that I would love to read:

1. Tropic of Serpents, by Brennen. I enjoyed the first book very much.

2. Vessel, by Durst. A lovely cover. This review at the Book Smugglers was not the only great review I’ve seen.

3. Stolen Songbird, by Jensen. Another lovely cover, and that crystalline rose! It’s apparently got that beauty-and-the-beast thing going, which I almost always love. I’ve heard good things about this one, especially this review at Books Without Any Pictures.

4. Strange Country, by Coates. I have read the other two, but I would need to re-read the second book before reading this one, which means it’s a tiny bit more of a commitment of time than I would prefer.

5. Crown of Embers, by Carson. Even more of a commitment of time, because I have the whole trilogy now, but would need to read the first book again before going on. Which I would not object to, I loved the first book! But these are not short books. Plus, I’m a little nervous about where Carson might have taken certain aspects of the plot, which makes me a tiny bit reluctant to pick it up. But I still would like to get to this trilogy this year. Or, shoot, at least sometime next year.

6. Railsea, by Mieville. Mieville is a bit intimidating, I don’t expect to be able to just read one of his books without paying much attention to it, but I loved The City and The City. I have Un Lun Dun on my shelves, too. Not sure which one I’ll wind up reading first.

7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Taylor. I’ve heard lots about how beautiful this book is.

8. The Thousand Names, by Wexler. This one hits a lot of tropes that appeal to me — military fantasy, woman-disguised-as-man. I hear it’s good, but without checking I believe it’s the first of a series, so not sure I’ll get too it very soon.

9. The Demon King, by Chima. I’ve had this on my shelves for waaay too long.

10. This is Shyness, by Hall. A YA that I picked up quite a long time ago because of Ana’s review at The Book Smugglers, which made it sound seriously intriguing. “It is hard to describe This is Shyness because parts of it are so surreal, it would be like describing a Dali painting to someone who has never seen one. … It is like walking into a dream that belongs to someone else, someone you never met and whose subconscious works in completely different ways than yours.” Hmm, I said, really? And it’s been on my shelves ever since.

I believe I have about fifty or sixty books on my physical TBR shelves (and the floor). That’s after whittling it down last year. I am actually MOST likely to try some of the titles I am LEAST interested in first and see if I can sock them onto the DNF/Giveaway pile and clear some room. (These are mostly the ones from library sales and such, which I pick up because why not. Sometimes I find a real gem that way, though, and get unexpectedly distracted from things I ought to be doing, so it’s a risk to open one and read the first page.)

I bet some of you have read some of these titles already. Any I should definitely move to the no-kidding-you-must-get-to-it-this-year shelf?

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7 Comments Top Ten Want-to-read-at-the-moment: Print edition

  1. Brandy

    I really loved THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS but I LOVED CROWN OF EMBERS and THE BITTER KINGDOM. I want to do a reread but…yeah long books no time.

  2. Emma

    I read the trilogy by Carson and I really enjoyed the books, easy reading even if I missed something in the plot, they were a bit predictable, but still well worth a read.
    And Daughter of smoke and Bone, I started it, but after the first 50 pages I gave up. I have read other books by the same author and while they are readable they are just not that good. But maybe I should give this book a new chance.
    But if you like the Carson books, read Shadow and Bone by Bardugo because they are really, really good.

  3. Rachel

    Brandy, I hope I agree with you about the other two books in Carson’s trilogy!

    Emma, I did think the first book had some predictable elements, but I definitely enjoyed how the story was handled. I always try not to have really high expectations, so hopefully hearing your comment about SMOKE AND BONE will help with that — but I hope I like it more than you!

  4. Rachel

    Brandy, I hope I agree with you about the other two books in Carson’s trilogy!

    Emma, I did think the first book had some predictable elements, but I definitely enjoyed how the story was handled. I always try not to have really high expectations, so hopefully hearing your comment about SMOKE AND BONE will help with that — but I hope I like it more than you! I’ll have to look at the Bardugo, not familiar with that.

  5. Elaine+T

    The only one I’ve already read is the Coates, STRANGE COUNTRY. I thought she pulled off a follow up to stopping the end of the world very nicely. Not a lot of her Dad, but I liked what we did get, and Ole (the sherrif) too. New characters as well.

    I started TROPIC OF SERPENTS but it wasn’t what I wanted at the time, so I put it down for later.

    I confuse DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE with SHADOW & BONE – which ever one has the Grisha I was thankful for the sample going as far as it did, because it had been looking promising, then very definitively for me was not promising at all. So I saved money & time, and Yay samples.

  6. SarahZ

    Thanks for new books & authors to check out! Some of these sound like fun.

    Daughter of Smoke and Bone is wonderfully written, and while it tells a complete story it ends in a very uncertain place. The good thing about reading it now, though, is that the whole trilogy is finished, so no pesky waiting for books to come out. I thought the world & characters were original & compelling. (And, it’s not the Grisha series Elaine mentioned – I’m a bit ambivalent about that one).

    I really liked Un Lun Dun, but I’ve never been able to get into any other books of Mieville’s. I want to like them, because they’re books I should like, based on what they’re about & what they get compared to, but he just doesn’t click for me. It’s very frustrating. I think it has to do with his characterization. I get frustrated when characters do things because they need to for the plot to happen, not because that’s what those people would do.

  7. Rachel

    Hi, Sarah — Mieville is an interesting experience for me. I don’t ever “fall into” his books or get lost in them or anything — for me, they’re almost more an intellectual challenge than a normal reading experience. I really enjoyed The City and The City, because I loved the main character, but even there it wasn’t the same as, say, loving the Vorkosigan books because I love *that* main character.

    I’m sure Mieville would not want people to find his books easy to fall into, I’m sure he enjoys being thought of as a difficult, intellectual writer, but yeah, it’s a very different reading experience. On the other hand, I have liked them enough to have two others on my TBR shelves right now, but I have to be in the right mood to pick them up!

    Yes, I often hang onto the first book of a trilogy, or the first and second, and just wait for the third to come out before I try the trilogy at all. I hate waiting!

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