Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten “Older” books you don’t want people to forget

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list related to books and reading. This time the topic is Top Ten “Older” books you don’t want people to forget about – everything from real oldies to books that aren’t really old, just… not new anymore.

1. Elizabeth Moon: The Deed of Paksenarrion. This series is kind of cheating, since she, after a very, very long break, now has started to write another series that kind of continues where Deed of Paksenarrion left off. It’s one of the first fantasy series that I read, and it’s still one of my favourites.

2. Katharine Kerr: Deverry. This is an either-you-like-it-or-you-really-don’t type of series. The plot takes place in several different temporal levels, but for me it definitely worked. Back when I discovered fantasy, a Norwegian publishing house had a few years where they translated the big series into Norwegian. Over time it wasn’t as profitable as they wished, so they quit, but this was one of the series that made the cut.

3. David Eddings: The Belgariad. OK, it’s full of cliches. But the characters are compelling, and cliches weren’t really cliches when the books were written. It was perhaps one of the series that started the “innocent farm boy is really king/sorcerer/the saviour of the world” trope, but it’s also a wonderful comfort read and highly entertaining.

4. Peter V. Brett: The Painted Man. It’s a while since book 2 came out, and there’s no release date as of yet for book 3, but this book can’t really be mentioned too many times. It’s awesome. It’s original, well-written and proves that a medieval fantasy setting can be done in a fresh and completely new way.

5. Sergei Lukyanenko: Night Watch. Some years ago, when the Russian movie came out, this series was quite popular, I think – but now the attention seems to have died down. These books should not be forgotten. They are dark and gloomy but very, very good.

6. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: Good Omens. I think I’ve said it for every book on this list, but it’s awesome, hilarious and, well, very, very entertaining.

I couldn’t come up with more than 6. There are probably more, but those that I most of all don’t want people to forget aren’t really in any danger of being forgotten at all, so there’s no point in mentioning them.

What’s your list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Series I Have Yet To Finish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list related to books and reading.

This week the topic is Top Ten series I have yet to finish – which is an excellent topic. I read a lot of series. Since I read primarily fantasy there’s almost nothing but series, with a few exceptions.The list contains a good mix of series I hate and therefore have stopped on principle, and series I like or outright love, that I haven’t been able to afford yet.

1. Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time. This was one of the first fantasy series I read, and while I still plan on finishing it one day… it will not be now. Some years ago, when book 11 came out, I was reading the back of the book… then the first few pages… and the last few pages. Turns out nothing much really seemed to have changed from the previous book, so I decided that enough was enough. The past two or three books had bored me anyway.

2. Rob Thurman: The Cal Leandros series. I really like the series, it’s not that, it’s just I don’t like it enough to really make an effort to finish the series (that, and my wallet screams NOOOO every time I try to pick it up in the store). This one I will definitely pick up again soon.

3. Brent Weeks: The Night Angel trilogy. The books are good, really good, and in theory I should like them. But reading them has been incredibly slow. I almost gave up the first book twice, and now that I am reading the second book I just can’t find the motivation to finish the series. I own all the books and I like the writing, it’s just not the right thing for me right now.

4. George R. R. Martin: A Song of Ice and Fire. While we are talking about books I like in theory but which I struggle to get through. Well – I truly disliked book four, but that’s another matter. I just can’t accept the fact that those characters I root for most likely will die before the end. I WILL finish the series, and I’ve bought the last book, but… maybe not yet.

5. Janet Evanovich: The Stephanie Plum series. I used to really, really like this series, so much that I own and love the first 18 books and the in-between-numbers books up to that point. But there is only so many times you can read about her love life with the same two guys, or that you can laugh about her crazy grandmother, or Lula… There’s very little new in the series now, and I am thinking of giving the books up for good. The decline in quality has been both steady and steep, unfortunately. But I whole-heartedly recommend the first fourteen books (twelve is my favourite).

6. Kat Richardson: Greywalker. I love, love, love the books, I just haven’t gotten around to buying the last book yet. It will happen very soon…

7. Terry Pratchett: The Discworld books. I decided to balance the list out with books I really, really love. The only reason I haven’t finished it is because the series is so huge. I am working my way through it, four or five books a year…

8. China Miéville: Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council. Back when Iron Council came out there were a great number of positive reviews. What these failed to mention, and the book as well, was that Iron Council is part of a series. I bought the two previous books, but haven’t even finished the first book. It was a little annoying.

9. Clay and Susan Griffith: Vampire Empire. On principle I like books where vampires are portrayed as really bad guys, or monsters. I should like this series, then, but I got the feeling that it could have been done far better. I might finish it someday, but not yet.

10. Sarah Rees Brennan: Demon’s Lexicon. I loved the first book, I’m just not sure I loved it enough to continue the series just yet. But the plot was great and I could not predict the twists, so I most likely will.

What is your list?

Top Ten Tuesday (on a Thursday): Top Ten Books I wish I could read again for the first time

It’s Thursday (for half an hour more at least), but I was unable to write on Tuesday, so here comes the Top Ten Tuesday list for… well, I thought it was this week, but apparently it’s a topic from nearly a year ago. (But it’s a good topic, so I decided to make the list this week anyway. Since I’m not writing it on a Tuesday either.) Top Ten Tuesday is created by the people over at The Broke and The Bookish, where they present a new topic for a top ten list every week. This time the topic is Top Ten Books I wish I could read again for the first time.

I’m normally not very concerned whether or not I read books for the first or the umpteenth time. Actually, I love reading them for the second time – that’s when I notice all the little, nifty things, like how the super-surprising plot twist at the end was foreshadowed at that particular place, or the first time a character notices his or her love interest… But for some books, the first time is magical, and these are the ones I’ve included in the list.

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book was the very first fantasy book I ever read, if you discount some children’s books. It was the first book where I became aware that there was a whole genre of books like that, and it really felt like opening a portal to another world for me. Now that I’ve read a great deal more of the genre I’m not SO into it anymore (though I own it in three languages), but if I could revisit that first time I read it, I would totally do it.

2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This was one of the books where I discovered that fantasy did not have to be all knights and elves and dragons and mighty wars, courtly intrigue and a black-and-white world, and I also discovered fantasy set in something other than a medieval setting. Besides, the first time I read it I lost several hours – I literally looked down, thought I looked up at the watch again a moment later, and it was more than two hours later.

3. The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett. A truly original fantasy novel set in a medieval setting – that’s an achievement in and of itself. And he writes really well, too.

4. Empire in Black and Gold of Adrian Tchaikovsky. Another truly original setting that absolutely astounded me.

5. Anything by David Eddings – love at first sight with that series.

6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A little break from all the fantasy in this list, The Help captivated me from start to finish. It wasn’t only that it was well written, but it took me so much by surprise, because I believed I’d only like it at best, not completely love it.

7. Soulless by Gail Carriger. Steampunk/mannerpunk, and one of the most hysterically funny books I’ve read in a long time, mostly because it doesn’t look like the author tries very hard to be funny. It just is. It also has one thing that has become rarer these days: A heroine who has a semi-tragic past but who DEALS WITH IT.

8. Night train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier. I don’t think I’ll re-read it, but the language was so captivating, and it surprised me so much that I would like such a book – it’s not exactly plot-heavy. My brother gave it to me for Christmas, and while he and I don’t share the same taste in books, sometimes he strikes gold.

9. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. They are some of my best comfort books, and I’ve read them over and over and over again. But still, the first time was the most special, just because with all my expectations they ended up exceeding them.

10. The City & The City by China Miéville. Much of the magic in this book comes from wondering how the hell things fit together, and that feeling when you finally piece it together is priceless. It’s not really a difficult book, it’s just… You can’t expect to “get it” at once, and it takes you by surprise.

What’s your list?