Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic is Ten Books I Recently Added To My To-Be-Read List. A lot of these books haven't even come out yet. Some of these newbies have absolutely gorgeous covers. There are also a few older books (including one from 1939!) that I thought looked interesting, so I added them to my to-read list. (All of these books are from my Goodreads list. There were a couple of others, but neither had covers, and one didn't even have a title... so I chose not to include them.)
Ten Books I Recently Added To My To-Be-Read List:
The Book of Flying
by Keith Miller
This book looks similar in feel to one of my favourites, Antonia Michaelis's Tiger Moon, which also features a magical quest with a colourful cast of characters. The Book of Flying was published in 2004, but I've only come across it recently. I thought it looked like something I might enjoy.
In Keith Miller's debut novel, our hero is Pico, a poet and librarian who is forbidden to pursue the girl of his dreams—for she has wings, and Pico does not. When he discovers an ancient letter in his library telling of the mythical Morning Town where the flightless may gain their wings, he sets off on a quest. It's a magical journey and coming-of-age story in which he meets a robber queen, a lonely minotaur, a cannibal, an immortal beauty, and a dream seller. Each has a story, and a lesson, for Pico—about learning to love, to persevere, and, of course, to fly. A gorgeously poetic tale of fantasy for adults, The Book of Flying is a beautiful modern fable and daring new take on the quest narrative.
Denton Little's Deathdate
by Lance Rubin
I have to admit that the "fans of John Green" part in the blurb scares me a little; I certainly hope that the characters in this book aren't as annoying as Green's unrealistic teenagers. The premise of this one looks so good, though. A world where everyone knows the date they're going to die? The implications of that little bit of knowledge would be fascinating!
Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.
Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that's tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. Though he's not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.
Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.
by Lindsay Smith
Dreams are so interesting. I like books that take the concept of a dream world and work it into the plot. This one incorporates espionage, too... which sounds amazing.
A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.
Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighborhing kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.
A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
by Wendy Mass
I liked Mass's Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall, and I do find a lot to enjoy in the middle grade category, so I think I might like this book. I'm always up for a good quest novel!
In one month Jeremy Fink will turn thirteen. But does he have what it takes to be a teenager? He collects mutant candy, he won't venture more than four blocks from his apartment if he can help it, and he definitely doesn't like surprises. On the other hand, his best friend, Lizzy, isn't afraid of anything, even if that might get her into trouble now and then.
Jeremy's summer takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious wooden box arrives in the mail. According to the writing on the box, it holds the meaning of life! Jeremy is supposed to open it on his thirteenth birthday. The problem is, the keys are missing, and the box is made so that only the keys will open it without destroying what's inside. Jeremy and Lizzy set off to find the keys, but when one of their efforts goes very wrong, Jeremy starts to lose hope that he'll ever be able to open the box. But he soon discovers that when you're meeting people named Oswald Oswald and using a private limo to deliver unusual objects to strangers all over the city, there might be other ways of finding out the meaning of life.
Lively characters, surprising twists, and thought-provoking ideas make Wendy Mass's latest novel an unforgettable read.
Johnny Got His Gun
by Dalton Trumbo
This looks like one of those books that high school teachers pick out for their students to read. I hadn't heard of it until recently, though. It sounds harrowing... but I often end up liking older classics like this (plus, the reviews are really good). It will be interesting to see a war novel written from this perspective (it was set in World War I but written in 1939, just before the horrors of the next war had really started).
This was no ordinary war. This was a war to make the world safe for democracy. And if democracy was made safe, then nothing else mattered—not the millions of dead bodies, nor the thousands of ruined lives... This is no ordinary novel. This is a novel that never takes the easy way out: it is shocking, violent, terrifying, horrible, uncompromising, brutal, remorseless and gruesome... but so is war.
Some Quiet Place
by Kelsey Sutton
Characters that have different ways of perceiving the world are fascinating. The main character in this one almost sounds like she has a really weird form of synesthesia. Looks good!
I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I've grown talented at pretending.
Elizabeth Caldwell doesn't feel emotions... she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They've all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?
They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.
by Betsy Schow
I know I swore off fairytale retellings for a little while, but I've actually got a couple on this list! I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz years ago, while I was on a classics kick, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I haven't really read many retellings of this story (other than Return to Oz... which was just weird), so this one has me intrigued.
Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.
Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.
Talk about unhappily ever after.
Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.
A Thousand Nights
by E. K. Johnston
Here's the second fairytale retelling on my list this week. This one looks really interesting... partly because it looks like it might have a complex villain.
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.
And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.
Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.
Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.
by Sarah Rees Brennan
Imaginary friends who suddenly appear in real life? Yes, please! I know this book has been out for a while, but I only just added it to my to-read list. I hope it's as good as it sounds!
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met... a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.
But all that changes when the Lynburns return.
The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?
Walk on Earth a Stranger
by Rae Carson
First of all, that cover is gorgeous. Second, a historical setting with touches of magic? This sounds awesome. I can't wait to read this book!
The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.
Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.
What books have you added to your to-be-read list lately?