Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s the start of a new season and that means it’s time to take a look at the books I want to read most during the Spring months as they roll past. I’m trying really hard not to buy any new books for a little while until I manage to empty my Kindle of the 27 books it currently holds, so this list of ten is going to come from those books available to me that way. The top ten books for my Spring as determined by my Kindle if you will. Will these be the next ten books I read? Probably not, but they are the ones I’m most excited about reading that I have in my possession at the moment.

first-set

Dawn of Swords by David Dalglish and Robert J. Duperre
This is the newest book by David Dalglish and I’ve read all of his others and loved them. The world Dalglish has created through his entwined series fascinates me for a variety of reasons and this book takes the reader back to the dawn of that world to see how some of the history mentioned in other books came to be.

Unfettered by Shawn Speakman (Editor)
I’ve made it a goal to read a couple of anthologies this year and if I’m going to do that I definitely need to read this one because it features short fiction by some of not only the best fantasy authors in the world, but a majority of my favorites.

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
There are a lot of books on my list to read someday and Brent Weeks is one of those authors that it seems like everyone recommends at some point. I figure I’m going to have to read a book or two of his at some point just to see if everyone really knows what they are talking about or not.

second-set

The Seafort Saga by David Feintuch
(Fisherman’s Hope, Voices of Hope, Patriarch’s Hope, and Children of Hope)
I’ve read the first three books in this series and I want to see how everything ends. I’ve had the books on my Kindle for a long time now and I think I’ll feel pretty accomplished if I can get the entire series finished in the next few months. I really want to know what happens with Nicholas Seafort as he gets older and gains more experience with interpersonal relationships and with command. His character has real potential.

third-set

The Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch
(The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and The Republic of Thieves)
This is another trilogy that I’ve heard absolutely rave reviews about from every corner from friends, co-workers, and the authors and publishers I follow on social media. Apparently Scott Lynch has got something seriously good going for him with these books and so when they were on sale recently I grabbed the entire set.

Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Despite how many books I read year after year, there are always some that I never manage to find the time to pick up. I wish I could just read everything, all the time, and that someone would pay me lots and lots of money for that to be my job, but alas, that hasn’t happened for me yet, so I’m stuck reading as much as I can and letting the rest pile up into a mountain of “to be read” craziness.

I’ve had to do a bit of thinking about my list for this week because I don’t always remember all of the authors I haven’t read yet that other readers consider popular. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure all the authors on my list are popular, but I do know they are authors I’ve always wanted to read and so that makes them popular with me.

Here’s the list of the Top Ten “Popular” Authors I’ve Never Read, but would like to:

  • John Grisham
  • Tom Clancy
  • Jack Campbell
  • Elizabeth Moon
  • Jason M. Hough
  • Isaac Asimov
  • R.A. Salvatore
  • H.G. Wells
  • Jules Verne
  • Terry Pratchett

Taking a look at that list, you’ll see it’s a pretty widespread group. I’ve got some thriller/action authors on there, some old-school science fiction authors from way back in the day when science fiction was still a new concept, and some current popular authors of mainstream science fiction and fantasy. There are probably about fifteen or twenty more authors I could include on this list if I really started thinking about it, but if I did then I would start running into a list that seems far too long to ever tackle.

When it comes to John Grisham and Tom Clancy the reason they are on the list is because my father read books by Tom Clancy when I was a kid and I always thought the covers looked so cool, but he told me I had to wait until I was older to read them. John Grisham is on the list because I want to read some of the book versions of the films I’ve seen and see how they compare.

Jack Campbell, Elizabeth Moon, Jason M. Hough, and R.A. Salvatore are all very popular authors that have written many books and I’ve got a lot of those books on my huge list of books to read someday.

Terry Pratchett is a fixture in fantasy, and I’ve always felt I’m missing out because I haven’t read any of his work despite my love for the genre.

And as for H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, well the fact that I’ve never read any of their work over the years is simply a travesty that I need to fix. I don’t know how I can consider myself a true fan of science fiction and not have read things like War of the Worlds or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I’m a little ashamed actually.

Top 10 Tuesday: Authors on My Automatic Buy List

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Anyone who reads on a regular basis (even if it is only a handful of books each year) has inevitably found themselves with a mental list of some sort that contains the authors they will read no matter what. These authors are the ones who they’ve discovered they love the most regardless of what the critics or the general public say. These authors are the ones they will stick with no matter how silly their newest book might seem on the surface. These authors have the faith of the reader, no matter what.

I have a lot of these authors in my head.

Obviously I read. I read a lot. Probably more than is normal by any standard and so my list of “must buy” authors is pretty big. Today I’ll share with you ten of them that I think you should consider adding to your “must buy” list as well.

Timothy Zahn (Thrawn Trilogy, Blackcollar, Frank Compton Series)
As my favorite author since I was 12-years-old it only makes sense that Timothy Zahn is on this list. I still have yet to read some of his older works, but his works in the SWEU alone is enough to keep him here permanently. One of my favorite things about Zahn’s books are how the characters are always locked in some kind of chess match that simmers until just the right moment before the heat turns up and everything goes crazy. His work can also be counted on to have a few great plot twists as well, which I love.

Brandon Sanderson (Elantris, Mistborn, The Stormlight Archive, Wheel of Time)
I discovered Brandon Sanderson when I was still in school at BYU (where he teaches from time to time) and I found Elantris in the campus bookstore. It wasn’t long until I was plowing through Mistborn and eventually the first book of The Stormlight Archive. I make sure to pre-order everything that’s coming soon from Sanderson so I can read it immediately.

Mira Grant (Newsflesh Trilogy)
This author is new to me in just the past year but I’m really hoping she has some new work coming out in the near future. Mira Grant does a great job with her character development and her unique take on the zombie apocalypse was quite refreshing.

Michael A. Stackpole (Rogue Squadron, The Kerensky Trilogy)
All of my experience with Michael A. Stackpole is limited to his work inside of the Star Wars and Battletech universes, but that work is amazing. Some of the characters he wrote into the Rogue Squadron books are my favorite SWEU characters to this day and I loved his way of weaving politics and action together inside the very volatile Battletech universe. I haven’t read any of his more recent work simply because I haven’t had time, but I’ll get to it someday.

Terry Brooks (Shannara)
What else is there to say than if you haven’t read any of Terry Brooks Shannara books you are seriously crazy, especially if you are a fan of fantasy. Sometimes I wonder if he’s ever going to branch out into a new universe of some type, but every time I do he adds to the one he’s already got and I love it just the same.

David Dalglish (The Half-Orcs, The Paladins, Shadowdance, The Watcher’s Blade)
A lot of people have never heard of David Dalglish because all of his work is self-published. Don’t let that fool you though, I find his books to be great when I need something a little more fast-paced and full of action to cleanse my palate between the heavier books I favor from time to time. His writing gets stronger with each book he releases which is fun to witness and all of the different trilogies and series are tied together through different characters. If you haven’t tried Dalglish’s work before you might want to give it a try.

Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, Unholy Night)
I love this author simply because he takes already established lore and then turns it on its head. Whether it’s adding zombies to Jane Austen, creating an alter-ego for a beloved president, or adding some mystery and intrigue to biblical stories, Grahame-Smith finds very unique ways to tell his stories.

Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
He’s only got two books, with a third that is “taking as long as it takes” to finish. Rothfuss might be one of the most amazing storytellers I’ve read in a very, very long time.

John Scalzi (Old Man’s War, Redshirts, The God Engines)
The first Scalzi book I read was Redshirts, which is funny because it’s actually one of his most recent. However, immediately after finishing I went and devoured all the rest of his books that I could get my hands on and I’m not knee-deep in his serialized novel, The Human Division. It seems that Scalzi is hit or miss with a lot of people but his pacing is superb and I find myself having more fun reading his books than any others I’ve picked up. It’s often light-hearted with a touch of sarcasm and a healthy dose of downright fun.

Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Deception Point)
Obviously people either love or hate Dan Brown. I happen to be one of the people who really love his work. His books are always somewhat controversial given their subject matter, but the twists and turns of the plot always grip me until the very end. There is something about how he writes after doing so much research to make sure he’s got facts lined up just the right way to tell his story (whether the story is ultimately factual or not) that really gives me goosebumps when reading his work.

Open Road Media Pleased to Announce eBook Release of Several Timothy Zahn Novels!

I’ve been a huge fan of Timothy Zahn since I read his superb Thrawn Trilogy and wound up hooked on the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The thing is, Zahn has a plethora of work he’s done over the years not related to Star Wars at all. My favorite book of all time is one of his standalone novels, Icarus Hunt, and I’m a very big fan of his Frank Compton series as well. I’ve always known he had many other books to offer but finding them in a format that worked with my Kindle was always difficult. Not so anymore!

Open Road Media contacted me recently and asked if I’d be willing to pass along the great news that several of Zahn’s other works have finally been released in ebook format. I am very excited to oblige and help them get the word out about these books now available in electronic format. To go along with this great news, Open Road Media prepared a short film/documentary about the author himself:

Although best known for reviving the Star Wars Expanded Universe with his Thrawn Trilogy novels, Zahn’s excellent original works, including the Blackcollar Series, Spinneret, and A Coming of Age, have been release as ebooks this past week.

“You could say my work is like Star Wars played on a chess board.” –Timothy Zahn

Other novels include: Deadman Switch, The Backlash Mission, Triplet, and Warhorse. For more about these new releases and to see the brand new covers, visit Open Road Media’s dedicated Timothy Zahn page.

  • A Coming of Age is a tribute to what it means to come of age, face your fears, and even save the world. Reminiscent of other legendary coming of age literature, readers of Dune, A Wrinkle in Time, The Ender’s Game, and The Chronicles of Narnia will be delighted to discover another tale that records the difficult yet crucial passage into adulthood.
  • The Blackcollar Series is a military science fiction series about a group of superhuman combatants who may be the world’s last chance at survival.
  • Spinneret poses a scientific puzzle whose answer could threaten humanity’s salvation, or destruction.

As a reader and massive fan of Timothy Zahn I’m incredibly stoked for the chance to add all of these books to my collection at some point. If my past experience holds true, all of them will be great to read and I’ll probably be recommending them to people long into the future. If you haven’t read any of Timothy Zahn’s work before, or if you’ve only had the joy of experiencing his Star Wars work, do yourself a favor and pick one of these up, you won’t regret it in the least.

Unexpected New Releases from Brandon Sanderson in 2012

Brandon Sanderson is hard at work trying to get the finishing touches done on A Memory of Light, the final installment to the Wheel of Time. As a result, I really wasn’t expecting to get any new material of his to read until after it was released in January of next year. Imagine my surprise when he tweeted yesterday about a post he had written over on Fantasy Faction about the shorter works he is self-publishing this year. I’ve got a couple of his short stories and novellas on my Kindle, but it looks like there are three new ones coming out this year. I can only guess it’s a result of Sanderson wanting to do something for his fans after having to push the release of A Memory of Light back so far.

I’ve always been fond of how Sanderson seems to care very much about making sure his fans are not left hanging if he can do anything about it. It makes it easier for me to get over my frustration that certain books get pushed back (not due to any fault on the part of Sanderson, it’s just business I’m sure), and it gives me new insight into the type of things he wants to try as an author.

According to the forum post, there are three works being put out by Sanderson this year.

First up is a self-published book that is going to contain two short stories that were previously released: Firstborn and Defending Elysium. I actually already own Firstborn in ebook format on my Kindle, but for whatever reason I’ve never heard of, nor seen Defending Elysium. As it turns out, it is available to read on Sanderson’s website, so I can read it there. The release is going to be in print format and he’s going to take it to the various conventions he attends this year to sell. I’ll probably pick up a copy from his website when the convention season is over as he mentioned he intends to sell leftover copies there at some point.

Next up in late summer/early fall is a novella entitled Legion that will be published by Subterranean Press and is currently available for pre-order. According to Sanderson, Legion can be described as follows:

It is the story of a man with a very interesting brain.  He is a genius, and can master any topic of study in a very short time—however, the knowledge he gains manifests as a person only he can see, who acts as an adviser on that topic.  Someone invents a camera that can take pictures of the past, and our hero—along with his band of genius delusions—must recover it after it is stolen.

And, last but not least, there is a final novella towards the end of the year in November called The Emperor’s Soul, published by Tachyon Publications. Sanderson describes The Emperor’s Soul as well in his post:

The Emperor’s Soul is a fantasy story about Shai, a master forger.  The emperor barely survives assassination, and is left a vegetable.  His servants can heal his brain, but he just stares in front of himself blankly, as if his soul is gone.  Shai is hired (well, brought off of death row) and told she has three months to create a forgery of the emperor’s soul and imprint it onto his body with her magic, so that everyone can continue to act like the emperor is alive.

So, if you happen to be a Sanderson fan and were looking for a little something to tide you over until the January release of A Memory of Light, give these a try. If past experience is any indication, you’ll likely find that you enjoy them quite a bit.