Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From{Top Ten Tuesday}

Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From{Top Ten Tuesday}

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, which features (you guessed it!) top ten lists on a given topic each week. This week’s topic is. . . .Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From. Now, I have books stored in two locations–here, in my lovely but small one bedroom apartment, and back at my Dad’s house, in my spacious room, which makes counting a little difficult. That being said, these are all just estimates, really.

JK RowlingCS LewisJRR TolkienPatrick nessKasie WestMadeleine L EngleSusan CooperStephen KingLibba BrayMaggie Stiefvater

1. JK Rowling

I own two copies of the entire Harry Potter series, plus a paperback of The Casual Vacancy, which means I own an impressive 21 books from JK Rowling.

2. C.S. Lewis

I own the entire Narnia series in paperback and in e-book, which is 14 books right there. Add in three of his nonfiction books, a book from his Space Trilogy, and the Screwtape Letters, I own 19 books by C.S. Lewis.

3. J.R.R. Tolkien

Hey, one should never split up best friends. I have The Lord of the Rings + The Silmarillion + The Hobbit + basically the rest of his books I’m too lazy to look up. These are at my dad’s house, so I can’t actually count, but I’d guess I own at least 10 books by J.R.R. Tolkien.

4. Patrick Ness

Ebooks of The Chaos Walking trilogy(3) + ebook of More than This + hardback of A Monster Calls=5 books.

5. Kasie West

2 copies of The Distance Between Us + Pivot Point + Split Second + On the Fence=5 books.

6. Madeleine L’Engle

The Time Quintet + Two non fiction books=6 books.

7. Susan Cooper

The Dark is Rising series=5 books.

8. Stephen King

The first 4 books in the Dark Tower series + On Writing=5 books.

9. Libba Bray

the Gemma Doyle trilogy(which I have yet to read) + Beauty Queens=4 books.

10. Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver + The Raven Boys + The Dream Thieves + The Scorpio Races=4 books.

 

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Book Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Book Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Dangerous Boys

 by Abigail Haas

Dangerous Boys

 Expected Publication Date: August 14, 2014
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Self-published

Obtained Via: I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way and this in no way affects my opinion of the work.
Standalone(Note: this is not a sequel to Dangerous Girls–it’s just a book in a similar vein!)
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Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?
Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

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Dangerous Girls has been called a YA Gone Girl before, a description I find fairly apt. Well, if Dangerous Girls was like a YA Gone Girl, then Dangerous Boys is like a YA Dark Places. It’s a little less of a straightforward mystery and more of a complex and psychological look into the dark side of humanity, all while keeping up the thriller pacing. Much like Dangerous Girls, it’s worthwhile to go into Dangerous Boys fairly blind, though the focus of Dangerous Boys is less on the outcome and more on how these characters ended up where they did.

In fact, Dangerous Boys opens at almost the end of the story, with a stand-off and a transcript of a 9-1-1 call. From there, the book delves into the lives of the characters and their twisted relationships. There’s some narrative time-jumping, but the bulk of the story plays out linearly.

At the beginning of Dangerous Girls, main character Chloe has everything. She’s getting ready to leave for college, she’s caught the eye of the cute newcomer in town, and her life feels ready to begin. The only thing stopping her is her mother, who had a nervous breakdown after her dad walked out on the family. It becomes apparent that her mom’s breakdown is not a quick phase, which causes her to lose to her job and Chloe, at eighteen, gets stuck with the task of paying the bills and taking care of her mom.

She starts dating Ethan, gets a full time job filing paperwork and answering phones at the police department, and signs up for a few night classes at the local community college. It’s not the life she imagined, but Chloe tries make it work, while secretly hating the path her life took. In time, she meets Ethan’s brother Oliver, who recently dropped out of college, and suddenly Chloe finds her life venturing wildly off path. It all unravels towards that night in the abandon house with the two brothers that starts the story.

The heart of Dangerous Boys lies in the twisted relationships Chloe finds herself in and the willingness to explore the dark potential of humanity. That ability towards evil and darkness is something often hinted at in books, but never is it embraced so completely as it is in Dangerous Boys. It’s both fascinating and terrifying. Dangerous Boys keeps up a thriller pace, but there’s a quiet, subtle story playing out underneath–the story of two brothers and the war in the human mind of someone who’s seemed to have lost it all and desperately wants to take back control of her life.

Our lives are made up of choices. Big ones, small ones, strung together by the thin air of good intentions, a line of dominos, ready to fall.

It is those choices that Chloe wrestles with for the bulk of Dangerous Boys. Ethan is a sweet, good-meaning boy, but he expects more of Chloe in terms of goodness than she thinks she’s able to give. He constantly affirms her, all while making her wonder if she’s really the person she’s pretending to be. He’s kind and steady. Oliver, on the other hand, is as dangerous at the title of the book suggests, but compelling charismatic and someone Chloe thinks might actually understand her, all while he begins to attempt to groom her to be the person he wants her to be. This tug-of-war is at the crux of Dangerous Boys, and the winner determines who walks out of that fire and who is left inside.

You don’t know what’s behind that smile. You can’t imagine who someone will turn out to be. We assume the sun will rise every morning just because it has done every other day, but what happens when you wake up to darkness? When you open your eyes and find, today is the one different day?

Dangerous Boys is thrilling, yes, but more so, it is a compelling look at the dark places of humanity. It’s terrifying in the quietest of ways, and I know it will stick with me for a long time, just as Dangerous Girls did–and perhaps for even longer.

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Dark PlacesComplicit

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Dangerous Boys is an excellent look at the psychology of someone who has lost it all and wonders who they are in the end, torn between two paths, both vying for attention. It’s both terrifying and compelling, a book I know I’ll revisit more than once. If you’re a fan of thrillers, especially those that fall more on the psychological thriller side than outright mysteries, I highly recommend giving Dangerous Boys a chance. If you’re a fan of Dangerous Girls, I think you’ll like this one too, but they’re different enough to escape most comparison. 5/5 cupcakes.

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The Sunday Wrap-Up{68}

The Sunday Wrap-Up{68}

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My Week

 Well, since my job ended last week I’ve been working on sending out applications and such, but it’s more complicated than the normal job hunt because I’m also trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. Okay, not the rest of my life, but at least the rest of my life the next few years as far as location and potential graduate school is concerned. This week included a lot of soul-searching, a lot of staring up at the ceiling trying to figure things out, and a lot of pained journal writing.

When I haven’t been trying to figure everything out, I’ve been taking care of all those things that seem to slip by when working most of the day–mainly picking up my apartment, making all those pesky appointments like the eye doctor that I’ve been putting off, and organizing things. I’ve also been writing quite a bit. There’s something calming about being able to slip into the worlds my characters inhabit and control THEIR lives when I’m struggling to control my own.

On Book Blog Bake

Monday I shared another installment of O.W.L. mini-reviews.
Wednesday I reviewed The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, which was delightful.
Thursday I participated in What’s Next? and ask you to help me pick my next read.
Friday I reviewed Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, which has shaped up to be my favorite book read so far this year.

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 The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

Favorite 5

The S-Word @ Cuddlebuggery

Both this post & several of the comments are worth reading and thinking about.

Bookish Life: Do You Really Know Me? @ Oh, the Books!

Asti talks about online friendship & I basically want to just applaud everything she’s said.

Shout or Secret? @ So Obsessed With

I love this post about books we want to “shout” about and books we want to keep “secret”. I know I have a few books that feel so personal to me that the desire to keep them “secret” is strong.

Discussion: Being a Diversifying Reading or Being a Diverse Reader @ The Book Addict’s Guide

Brittany talks about being a diverse reader in terms of genre, category, etc. and reading outside your comfort zone.

 Question of the Week:

I’ve decided to add this to my weekly wrap-ups because it’s fun(from what I’ve seen in other places around the blogosphere) and it makes me feel slightly less self-indulgent. So this week’s question is. . .

What’s your dream job?

Clearly, the job/work search is on my mind. My “dream job” has always been a writer of some sort–a hybrid author/technical writer maybe? But there are so many things that interest me! I’d like to work in a library or museum. . . I have multiple dream jobs, and they tend to shift every few months.

 

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Beautiful People: Paul

Beautiful People: Paul

beautiful people

I’ve decided to participate in Beautiful People, a monthly meme for writers hosted by Further Up & Further In and The Notebook Sisters.How this meme works is that every month, the host provide ten questions, and then writers answer the questions about a character of their choosing.

I don’t tend to talk much about writing on this blog, for multiple reasons. I often think no one would be interested in the behind the scenes of my writing, and I always feel a bit superstitious about sharing too much about my writing, but since Beautiful People is only hosted once a month, I figured it would be worthwhile to try it out a few times, and I have been toying with the idea of incorporating more writing-related posts on the blog.

Today I’m taking a break from revisions(the revisions that will not end, I tell you) to answer these questions about Paul, who is the main character in a story I call Our Lost Kingdoms(bonus points for whoever recognizes where that phrase is from!). At the height of WWI, something more sinister and supernatural than the war breaks out in England–the children start dying, and no one can figure out why. After Paul becomes convinces his younger brother is the next to die mysteriously, he finds himself venturing into a world of shadows and wraiths in hope of saving his brother.

1) What’s their favourite food? (Bonus: favourite flavour of chocolate!)

Paul’s favorite food is orange scones, a trait he shares with his author.  He’s not big on chocolate. He likes it fine, mostly because it’s such a luxury, but he would always go for the scone first.

2) What do they absolutely hate?

Being left in the dark and feeling useless(he is the middle child, after all!). Also not a big fan of the cold, which is unfortunate. He also gets annoyed with people who talk about things that seem meaningless to him. He’s a very serious character, unless he’s around his brothers(and even then he’s often the most serious of the three of them).

3) What do they enjoy learning about?

Paul really enjoys learning about science, particularly things of a more mechanical nature. He’s also really fascinated by history.

4) Who is the most influential person in their life?

His older brother. Paul’s always looked up to him.

5) What is their childhood fear?

His childhood fear was being left behind by his family–worrying that they would pack up and move and not take him, or leave him behind at a train station on accident, etc.

6) What is something they have always secretly dreamed of doing, but thought impossible?

Growing up, really. Paul’s lost his father to the war and his older brother came back from the war permanently injured. As sad as it is, Paul’s to the point where he can’t really see past that. Our Lost Kingdoms takes place towards the end of the war, but Paul doesn’t know that. He’s sure that if venturing into this supernatural wraith-infested kingdom doesn’t kill him, the war probably will.

7) What is something he is impractically afraid of?

Paul’s pretty rational(until it comes to his family). He doesn’t really have impractical fears–only practical ones about losing his brothers, his family not able to support themselves anymore, etc.

8) Are they a night owl or morning person?

Night owl, definitely. Which is good for him because I’d say at least 70% of Our Lost Kingdoms takes place at night(the children always die in their sleep).
9) Do they say everything that pops into their head, or leave a lot unsaid?

9) Do they say everything that pops into their head, or leave a lot unsaid?

Paul leaves a LOT unsaid, but he thinks he says more than he actually does. He’s impulsive when he’s angry though–those are the times that things come blurting out. The rest of the time, however? He’s mulling. That’s not how he sees himself, though. Paul has several admirable traits, but he’s not very self-aware. His evaluation of himself is inaccurate quite often(which I completely love writing).

10) What are their nervous habits?

Paul’s first instinct when he’s nervous is to bolt and go anywhere else, which started when he learned his father was going off to war. His instinct is just to run, run, run and hide as quick as possible. As he’s gotten older, he’s narrowed that impulse down some, but it normally manifests itself in other ways. If he’s nervous, he’ll start tapping his foot or drumming his hands on the table–things that signify movement.

Well, that was fun, indulging the writing side a bit on the blog here. If for some reason you’re interested, I have a pinterest board dedicated to this story.

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Book Review: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Book Review: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

 by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Good Omens

 Original Publication Date: 1990
Length: 400 pages
Publisher: William Morrow

Obtained Via: Bought
Standalone
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the story morning glory

There is a distinct hint of Armageddon in the air. According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (recorded, thankfully, in 1655, before she blew up her entire village and all its inhabitants, who had gathered to watch her burn), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are revving up their mighty hogs and hitting the road, and the world’s last two remaining witch-finders are getting ready to fight the good fight, armed with awkwardly antiquated instructions and stick pins. Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. . . . Right. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan.

Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon — each of whom has lived among Earth’s mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle — are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they’ve got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he’s a really nice kid). There’s just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him. . . .

howwasit

If I round up a few of my favorite writers, pumped them with tons of food and drink, and then proceeded to tell them my life story, favorites, personal taste, and then asked them to write a book specifically to appeal to me, I think the final product would vaguely resemble Good Omens. I absolutely loved this book. I’ve read almost 100 books in 2014 so far, many of which gained that elusive five-stars, but Good Omens is my favorite. It’s hilarious, insightful, and more than anything–such a good story, the kind that I’ve been longing for. That doesn’t surprise me, since Neil Gaiman co-wrote this–I’ve always thought his biggest strength was as a storyteller. I’ve never read a book by Terry Pratchett before, but now I’m curious.

Good Omens is the story of how Armageddon was set to happen, and then some things took a most interesting turn in preparation for the day of judgement. Those “interesting” turns being that Crowley, a demon(or, as the book calls him, “An Angel who did not so much Fall as saunter vaguely downwards”), and Aziraphale(“An angel, and part-time rare book dealer”) realize that they actually like the earth pretty much as-is(and have some sort of grudging appreciation of each other, having more in common with each other than their respective bosses above and below). Oh, and then there’s that whole “misplaced Anti-Christ” thing.

Good Omens is simply charming. Despite the fact that so much of this book is situated around Armageddon and religious situations, the humor never turns means or offensive towards religion, all while remaining fun. I read a good chunk of the middle of this book in a coffee shop and I got a few looks when I laughed out loud at my book more than once. It’s dry and witty, and it works even better than it should:

Firstly, angels simply don’t dance. It’s one of the distinguishing characteristics that mark and angel. They may listen appreciatively to the music of the Spheres, but they don’t feel the urge to get down and boogie to it. So, none.

At least nearly none. Aziraphale had learned to gavotte in a discreet gentlemen’s club in Portland Place, in the late 1880s, and while he had initially taken to it like a duck to merchant banking, after awhile he had become quite good at it, and was quite put out when, some decades later, the gavotte went out of style for good.

And then there’s the characters. Crowley the demon, who though is described quite differently, I can’t help but to picture like this:

hello boys

Either way, Crowley is fantastic. I think the part that sealed it was when the book described Crowley tending to his house plants and putting the “fear of Crowley” in them–by masquerading dead plants in front of them. Aziraphale the angel(and part time rare-book dealer) is a great contrast as well–they may be from different sides of the battle but in the end they’re not that different.

Which brings us to Adam, the anti-Christ. Since that unfortunate mix-up, Adam’s grown up as a regular boy–well, except for the things he can do. But he hasn’t been groomed for evil. So what does he turn out like, in the end? It’s played up for humor but also has this over-arching theme of what it really means to be human and to have free will.

It’s like you said the other day,” said Adam. “You grow up reading about pirates and cowboys and spacemen and stuff, and jus’ when you think the world’s all full of amazin’ things, they tell you it’s really all dead whales and chopped-down forests and nuclear waste hangin’ about for millions of years. ‘Snot worth growin’ up for, if you ask my opinion.”

Then there’s a whole host of other characters–the Satanic nun, the “Them”(Adam’s friends), the Horsemen of the Apocalypse(reimagined as motorcycle riders), the descendant of Agnes Nutter, who wrote the only accurate prophecies, and others. It’s a large cast to handle, and I did find myself at times wanting to spend time with other characters than the characters currently on the page. However, I never wanted that because any of the characters bored me–they were all so well imagined.

Good Omens starts with Adam’s birth, and then jumps forward to the almost end of the world. From there, we see how all the characters interact and play against each other to try and force the world to end–or in most of their cases, stop it from happening. I could never summarize exactly what happens here as there are just so many characters, but I thought the way they interacted and affected each other intriguing and kept the book from being too confusing.

Of course, between all the humor and adventure were the Big Questions about humanity, particularly when Crowley or Aziraphale were on the page:

It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.

Hilarity and humanity–what more could you want from a story?

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I really loved the witty humor and look at humanity in Good Omens, but what really sealed the deal for me putting this one in the “favorites” box was that it was just such a good story. It played on some standard ideas about the end of the world and then injected a new story that managed to be funny, a little irreverent, but never felt mean or harsh. Indeed, at times–when it wasn’t making me laugh–it was making some insightful points. 5/5 cupcakes.

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