Top Ten Tuesday: Best new-to-me authors read in 2016 #TTT

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top Ten new-to-me authors in 2016!

I discovered so many great authors again this year, and finally got round to reading some of those that had been on my TBR for way too long.

Here are my top ten authors that I discovered or first read this year, (and the books of theirs I read). Links go to my reviews.

10. Holly Martin (Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky)

9. Liz Kessler (Haunt Me)

8. Leigh Bardugo (Shadow & Bone)

7. Natalie Haynes (The Amber Fury)

6. Nina LaCour (You Know Me Well – with David Levithan)

5. Janet B. Taylor (Into the Dim)

4. Danielle Vega (The Merciless)

3. Catherine Lowell (The Madwoman Upstairs)

2. Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)

1. Jason Arnopp (The Last Days of Jack Sparks)

Did you try any of these this year?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I want to borrow from the library I work in…

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: a freebie! As in we can pick our own.

As some of you might know by now, I started a new job last month – my first ever library job, and it’s in a prison library, challenging to say the least. The main difference to a public library is that as we have an adult male population, the books are more tailored to that demographic, and I feel like I need to read more of the kind of books they like to read so I can do a better job of recommending things.

So here are the top ten books I want to read from the library I work in:

1. Papillion ~ Henri Charriére
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Henri Charrière, called “Papillon,” for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: “escape.” After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil’s Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped . . . until Papillon. His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.

Charrière’s astonishing autobiography, “Papillon,” was published in France to instant acclaim in 1968, more than twenty years after his final escape. Since then, it has become a treasured classic — the gripping, shocking, ultimately uplifting odyssey of an innocent man who would not be defeated.

 

2. Shutter Island ~ Dennis Lehane
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The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new -partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades–with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.

 

3. Seventy-Seven: My Road to Wimbledon Glory ~ Andy Murray
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Andy Murray is one of Britain’s best loved athletes. On the 7th July 2013 he became the first British man to lift the Wimbledon trophy for 77 years. His new book, Andy Murray: Seventy-Seven, will take us on a personal journey through his career. Focusing on the last two dramatic years, he will share with us his thoughts on the pivotal moments of his playing career and allow us a glimpse into his world – his intense training regime, his close-knit team and his mental and physical battle to get to the very top. This beautiful and very personal book will be a stunning celebration of Andy’s career so far.

 

4. Tell No One Harlan Coben
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For Dr. David Beck, the loss was shattering. And every day for the past eight years, he has relived the horror of what happened. The gleaming lake. The pale moonlight. The piercing screams. The night his wife was taken. The last night he saw her alive.

Everyone tells him it’s time to move on, to forget the past once and for all. But for David Beck, there can be no closure. A message has appeared on his computer, a phrase only he and his dead wife know. Suddenly Beck is taunted with the impossible- that somewhere, somehow, Elizabeth is alive.

Beck has been warned to tell no one. And he doesn’t. Instead, he runs from the people he trusts the most, plunging headlong into a search for the shadowy figure whose messages hold out a desperate hope.

But already Beck is being hunted down. He’s headed straight into the heart of a dark and deadly secret- and someone intends to stop him before he gets there.

5. Odd Thomas ~ Dean Koontz
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“The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn.

Maybe he has a gift, maybe it’s a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd’s otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo’s sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it’s different.

A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world’s worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.

Today is August 14.

In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares, and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.

6. The Count of Monte Cristo ~ Alexandre Dumas
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Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialised in the 1840s.

Robin Buss’ lively translation is complete and unabridged, and remains faithful to the style of Dumas’ original. This edition includes an introduction, explanatory notes and suggestions for further reading.

 

7. Manga Shakespeare
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I really want to read all of these, and my library has most of them…win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. In the Woods ~ Tana French
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Dublin 1984 dusk, three children vanish in the woods. One, Rob Ryan, grips a tree trunk in terror, unable to recall any detail of previous hours. Twenty years later, the detective on the Dublin Murder Squad keeps his past a secret. But when a girl 12 is killed in the same woods, Rob and Detective Cassie Maddox — partner and best pal – investigate present and past.

 

 

9. The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel ~ Paulo Coelho
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Andalusian shepherd boy Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within.

 

10.The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success
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What is a good psychopath? And how can thinking like one help you to be the best that you can be?

Professor Kevin Dutton has spent a lifetime studying psychopaths. He first met SAS hero Andy McNab during a research project. What he found surprised him. McNab is a diagnosed psychopath but he is a GOOD PSYCHOPATH. Unlike a BAD PSYCHOPATH, he is able to dial up or down qualities such as ruthlessness, fearlessness, conscience and empathy to get the very best out of himself – and others – in a wide range of situations.

Drawing on the combination of Andy McNab’s wild and various experiences and Professor Kevin Dutton’s expertise in analysing them, together they have explored the ways in which a good psychopath thinks differently and what that could mean for you. What do you really want from life, and how can you develop and use qualities such as charm, coolness under pressure, self-confidence and courage to get it? The Good Psychopath Manifesto gives you a unique and entertaining road-map to self-fulfillment both in your personal life and your career.

Top 10 Books From My Childhood That I Would Love To Revisit

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: Top 10 books from my childhood (Or teen years) that I would love to revisit

A lot of the books I read as a child and going into my teens have stayed with me, and I revisit them often, so I found this week’s topic quite tough, but here goes…

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  1.  Naughty Amelia Jane ~ Enid Blyton : I’ve been looking for a nice copy of this series for ages, I remember loving it as a child and I’ve not read it since.
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  3. I Don’t Want To!~ Bel Mooney: This is another one that I remember vaguely from my childhood but haven’t been able to find a copy since.
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  5.  Green Eggs and Ham ~ Dr. Seuss: I’d like to read this again, I don’t know why I don’t own it.
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  7.   The Magic Faraway Tree ~ Enid Blyton: I have a couple of books in this series but haven’t read them for years. Need to get on that!
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  9.  Unknown unicorn book: When I was at junior school I always wanted books from the book people that came round every now and then, but usually I wasn’t allowed. However, on one occasion my mum gave in because I fell in love a beautiful picture book about a unicorn who gets lost in a forest. I remember the cover of that book to this day but I’ve never been able to find it as I can’t remember the title or author. It makes me sad every time I think about it. Any ideas? It must have been around 1990
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  11. The Chronicles of Narnia ~ C.S Lewis: So I read Narnia a lot, but I have a confession, I’ve never read the last book in the series, ever! I really should, but I’m scared that it’ll break me. I’ve also only read The Silver Chair once so I need to revisit that one too.
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  13. Point Horror ~ Various: These books were such a staple of my reading growing up. They are what made reading cool for me. Over the past couple of years I’ve been building up my collection again but I haven’t read most of them since I was about 12.
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  15. Knightmare: The Dragon’s Lair ~ Dave Morris: I wish I still had a copy of this. I loved those choose-your-own-adventure books. I’d like to revisit this one to see if it was as fun as I remember.
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  17. Robinson Crusoe ~ Daniel Defoe: This was one of the few books I was made to read at school that I actually enjoyed. I re-read it again at uni about ten years ago but after recently reading The Martian, I’d like to give it another whirl.
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  19. Secret Vampire ~ L.J Smith: I remember getting this free with a magazine when I was a young teen. It’s probably what set of my vampire obsession! I think I still have it somewhere, I must find it!

Top Ten Tuesday: I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Started These YA Series Yet…

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Books I can’t believe I haven’t read from X Genre…

I’m almost as bad at starting series than I am at finishing them. But the following books are ones that I do fully intend on starting…at some point…

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1. The Giver Quartet ~ Lois Lowry: I’ll be honest, I hadn’t even heard of this series before the movie came out and I can’t believe how long ago it was released. I’m very intrigued for that reason alone, so I’ve avoided the film thus far.

2. The Grisha ~ Leigh Bardugo: I’ve heard so many good things about this series and people have told me I’d love it.

3. Splintered ~ A.G Howard: I’ve enjoyed some re-imaginings of Wonderland before, and this one sounds great. Plus, the covers are awesome.

4. Percy Jackson ~ Rick Riordan: I love Greek mythology so I’m pretty sure I’ll love these books.

5. Matched ~ Ally Condie: I got the first book in this series from the YALC book swap last year, but I just haven’t got round to it yet.

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6. Young Elites ~ Marie Lu: I haven’t read any Marie Lu yet and this series sounds full of action.

7. The Magisterium ~ Cassandra Clare and Holly Black: I’m intrigued by this collaboration!

8. Snow Like Ashes ~ Sarah Raasch: The cover! That is enough of a reason to want this series.

9. The Children of Camelot ~ Donna Hosie: I love, love, love Arthurian lit, so a YA series based on that = slobber.

10. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: I’ve wanted this since it was released. Everything about it just screams awesome.

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated British Authors

toptentuesday Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in X genre

Woah, this is a tough one. It was taking me a really long time to even chose a genre, so I’m just going for underrated British Authors!

I feel like authors are mainly underrated because of the genres they write in. I like to read a lot of different genres as I’m sure most bloggers do, but I think the average reader is more set in their ways and tend to overlook certain authors for that reason.

That was the basis of my thinking for this list. If it’s not a genre you usually go for, give these authors a go.

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  • Scarlett Thomas – Contemporary with a Sci-Fi twist
  • Derek Landy – Children’s Fiction
  • Darren Shan – Horror; Children’s Fiction
  • Marcus Sedgwick – YA
  • Mark Haddon – Contemporary
  • Kate Morton – Historical/Women’s Fiction
  • Ann Cleaves – Crime Fiction
  • Trisha Ashley – Women’s Fiction
  • Malorie Blackman – YA
  • John Connolly – Known for his Crime series, but check out his YA

Top Ten Tuesday: Desert Island Companions

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Top Ten characters you would want to be stranded on a desert island with.

I was really excited about this topic when I first saw it, but then I totally hit a blank. The only ones I could come up with were ones that surely everyone will choose (Katniss, Tris etc – everyone who could do all the hard work so I could sit back and relax on the beach), but after some brainstorming I came up with the following. And I still had to include Katniss – it’s impossible not to, SOZ.

Katniss (The Hunger Games)

Let’s just get it out of the way. She’d do all the hunting and cooking, and I’d make her bracelets out of foliage. Or something.

Let’s Break it down: 80% Skillz & Protection; 15% in the hope that Gale would come and rescue us; 5% for company

Katsa & Po (Graceling)

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I think they’d both be pretty handy on a desert island, and even though they’re a couple, they wouldn’t make you sick with loveydovey nonsense because they’re all about getting things done. They’re both pretty hot, and kick-ass (despite becoming blind in Po’s case).

Let’s Break it down: 60% Skillz & Protection; 40 % Hotness & Company

Dimitri (Vampire Academy)

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He can be a bit of an idiot sometimes for sure, but I’m sure I could take his mind off Rose for a while. Let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t be frantically trying to make a raft out of my back hair if I was stuck on an island with him. Not that I have back hair, of course.

Let’s Break it down: 80% Hotness; 20% Skillz & Protection

Jeff (Dark Eden)

Jeff was the pretty much the only likeable character in Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden, and he’d be totally useful on a desert island. He’d make shoes out of leaves and find a bizarre species of animal to tame and breed. He’d probably figure out how to use a tree to catapult them home or something.

Let’s Break it down: 100 % Skillz & Intelligence

Captain Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles)

No doubt Captain Thorne would think he’d have all the answers but they probably wouldn’t quite work out so you’d be stuck there for a while. It wouldn’t really matter though, he’d keep you entertained.

Let’s Break it down: 100 % for the LOLZ & Company

Westley & Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride)

This is my current read and although I’m a huge fan of the film, it’s the first time I’ve read Goldman’s book – I love it. I think having both Westley (for the swoon) and Inigo (for protection and the lolz) stuck on an island with me would be swell. Both of them would be full of stories, and they know how to look after a lady. I can be that lady!

Let’s Break it down: 50% for the LOLZ & Company; 25% for the Skillz; 25% Hotness

Aslan (The Chronicles of Narnia)

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It’s usually pretty hard to pin Aslan down. He generally turns up just when you need him and disappears again straight after so you never get to ask all those burning questions for have for him. You’d definitely have time to do that on a deserted island. Plus, he could breathe on some fire wood to set it alight, or heal you if you chop your own hand off with a makeshift machete.

Let’s Break it down: 70% Company; 30% Skillz & Protection

Peter Pan

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He’s pretty cute and clever, and you know, he’s got that whole ‘never grow up’ thing going for him so when you’re getting old and can’t bend down to spear the fish anymore, he’ll be as spritely as the day you washed up on the beach. I would tell him stories and be his Wendy. Obviously.

Let’s Break it down: 50% Skillz; 50% Company