Sunday, December 4, 2016

SFF: The 5 Characters You Won't Soon Forget That You Read About in 2016

Sunday Fun Five #68:

#66: The 5 Times You Found the Right Book at the Right Time (Or Did It Find You?)
#67: The 5 New-To-You Authors of 2016 You Wish You'd Read Sooner
#68: The 5 Characters You Won't Soon Forget That You Read About in 2016
For the 22nd of December: #69: The 5 Books You're Excited to Read in 2017

A Countdown of

The 5 Characters You Won't Soon Forget That You Read About in 2016

5. Haviland Tuf of Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin
Haviland Tuf is a logical vegetarian who also loves cats, and though his travels seem a bit moot in the end, if there were more books about him I'd pick them up in a heartbeat.

4. Jodahs of
Imago (Xenogenesis #3) by Octavia E. Butler
Jodahs is the first of their kind- a third sex ooloi with human DNA, and their experiences are riveting. I won't say more for fear of spoiling this book, but definitely consider picking up the Xenogenesis series if you want something different from the usual science fiction offerings.

3. Wang the Taxi Driver of The Incarnations by Susan Barker
Wang has been on my mind a lot this year- something about this story simply sticks with me, but most of all I think of Wang and his experiences in this book.

2. Janie of
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Janie doesn't have an easy journey in Their Eyes Were Watching God, but it becomes more evident as the book progresses that she is a singular personality. There are some things in this book that made my eyebrows raise, but in the end I couldn't think of a thing I'd change about it, or Janie for that matter.

1. FitzChivalry Farseer of Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb
I am so glad I finally gave in and read these books this year. I'd been told Robin Hobb is great by multiple bloggers, but it was only this year I decided to put those claims to the test. Fitz wasn't originally one of my favorites of the series, but after reading the first trilogy featuring him as a main character, he has become one of my favorites, along with the Fool, Nighteyes, and the many other characters of this series.

Which characters made an impression on you this year?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fortnightly Update #24: Waiting on 2017

I spent last week with family in Montana, and though I do have a lot to be thankful for this year, I'm not loving 2016. Keisha, my Dorkie, hasn't felt like herself since she began coughing in early November. We took her to the vet thinking it was kennel cough, when actually she has congestive heart failure. In addition to that, she doesn't like to eat much (or even at all) sometimes, which makes me eager to take her back to the veterinarian in hopes of a miracle pill. I'm not that hopeful, given the fact that she doesn't eat, and my last dog who suffered that way (Tsuki) had to be euthanized, despite our attempts at stirring his appetite with steroids. I'm firmly in the camp of euthanasia for severely suffering animals, given my aunt who died of colon cancer told me the next time one of her dogs suffered the way she was (not being able to eat or participate in life) she would put them to sleep without hesitation.

I hate to open my post with such a downer, but that's my state of mind at the moment. I love Keisha- she's the happiest dog I've ever met, but lately she can barely muster a tail wag. One thing I hate about adopting older dogs is you never have enough time with them- but I felt exactly the same way with Jewels, a dog I raised from puppyhood. The most important scientific advance we need for pets is a longevity potion.

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:


the-invisible-pile Additions:

Parable of the Talents (Earthseed #2) by Octavia E. Butler
I have the Parable of the Sower, which is the first book in this series, so I picked this one up to complete the series. I'm honestly beginning to feel like there aren't enough Octavia E. Butler books out there for my liking.

Currently Reading:

I'm still working on this one- maybe I'll get it read by the end of the year. I'm just worried because the last book in the series didn't end in the happiest fashion, and an unhappy ending is not what I need right now.

Finished These Books:

Because I enjoyed her writing in Slave to Sensation I picked this one up when it was a freebie, even though I'd promised myself not to read any more contemporary romances because I rarely if ever like them. Long story short, I'm sticking to her paranormal books.

I enjoy Jeannie Lin's Tang Dynasty series, though I've never given them a full review on my blog. Any book in this series should appeal to historical romance addicts, because it isn't a stereotypical English setting, though some of the gender roles and restrictions are similar. This one is different from her other books in that the heroine and the hero wed first and fall in love later.

Bloodchild: And Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler
My favorite book from the past two weeks, and probably of this month (or even the past two months)- Bloodchild and Other Stories includes Octavia E. Butler's thoughts behind each of her short stories and what inspired them. It also includes some articles she wrote about being an African American woman writing science fiction. I had looked up her bio, but I learned a lot more about her through reading this collection.

This was a freebie I thought I'd try, despite it not being my usual choice of genre (I think this is a cozy mystery). I may have enjoyed it, but it has a lot of outdated, and even straight up offensive ideas. Beyond that, (slight spoiler) when Lucy's kids' cat dies suddenly, she barely bats an eyelash. Sure, her father died a few months ago, but for her to be so unaffected by it basically means I don't like her at all as a character. This book was published in 1991, and it shows its age.

In My Life:

Other than Keisha not feeling well, I naturally don't feel that up to par either. I'm looking forward to next year's appointment with the University of Utah, because although I do have some relief from what my doctors have given me, I feel like whatever I have is gradually worsening. My grandmother even noticed I walk a lot worse from when I visited her in July, which was when this all started.

One bright spot in all of this is that even though I've only read 90 books in 2016, I surpassed the page count I read in 2015 (when I read 100 books). I guess I've been reading longer books this year. If you keep track of your reading on Goodreads, you can look at your own stats to compare by going to your Goodreads profile and clicking the Stats button under your Bookshelves widget.

Are you on track for your yearly reading challenges?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

SFF: The 5 New-To-You Authors of 2016 You Wish You'd Read Sooner

Sunday Fun Five #66:

#66: The 5 Times You Found the Right Book at the Right Time (Or Did It Find You?)
#67: The 5 New-To-You Authors of 2016 You Wish You'd Read Sooner
For the 4th of December: #68: The 5 Characters You Won't Soon Forget That You Read About in 2016

A Countdown of

The 5 New-To-You Authors of 2016 You Wish You'd Read Sooner

I'm kind of glad I read these authors in 2016 because I've had a bit of a tough year. Between losing my ability to walk normally 20 days after my 24th birthday, the hot mess that was the elections in the States, and more recently having Keisha (the Dorkie) diagnosed with congestive heart failure, I've been disappointed with 2016 to say the least. But, I have read some really, really good books to balance it out somewhat, even if good books cannot bring health back into our household.

5. Zora Neale Hurston
I haven't reviewed Their Eyes Were Watching God, but it isn't for lack of trying- I have trouble coming up with accurate words to describe how much I loved it, despite it having some problematic relationships (which usually make me lower my ratings). Although I've only read one of her books, it has stuck with me through this entire year, which is more than I can say for the many other books I've read.

4. Tanya Huff
An author who can make fantasy fun with quirky, unconventional characters who make the pages fly by? If only I'd known about her sooner! I'm not the easiest person to please, but all of Tanya Huff's books I've read this year have been fantastic.

3. Intisar Khanani
I'd seen the standalone fairytale retelling Thorn recommended far and wide in the blogosphere, but it took me some time (and a sale) to finally pick it up. For whatever reason, I never finished the review, but I did review Sunbolt, which is the first in a series. Young Adult books usually just aren't for me, Intisar Khanani's books have unique elements that keep me reading.

2. Octavia E. Butler
Octavia E. Butler wrote the perfect sort of books for me- they make you think, but they aren't pretentiously difficult to read, unlike other books written by authors who attempt to impress you with their "intellect" tend to write. She wrote in a deceptively simple style about science fiction concepts I haven't seen fully explored by anyone else.

1. Robin Hobb
Robin Hobb made me believe in fantasy again. Last year, I hit a dry spell that made me feel like I would never find a new fantasy series I would enjoy again, but clearly the problem was with which books I was reading. To top it off, the ending of Assassin's Quest was just what I needed to read this year. Sometimes, you need books that don't exactly end with the perfect happily ever after.

Which new-to-you authors impressed you this year?

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