Tag: survey

Top 10 Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need A Sequel

Posted March 12, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 10 Tuesday / 2 Comments

As it turns out, we both have a pretty firm belief that books written as standalones should stay that way. Neither one of us was able to come up with even five books to fit this prompt, so we decided to tweak it a bit.

There are SO MANY great standalone books out there, and many of them live in our TBR piles. So, without further ado…

Top Ten Standalone Books We’d Love To Read Next

Paige

Tomorrow by Damian Dibben

“A wise old dog travels through the courts and battlefields of Europe and through the centuries in search of the master who granted him immortality.”

IMMORTAL. DOG. There is nothing more on this planet that I would want than to be able to give my dog, Max, eternal youth.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

This is quite fitting, as today is the day that Queen V’s debut novel is being rereleased! It’s one of the last books of hers that I haven’t read, and I’m truly excited to dive in and read her first novel and marvel over how far she’s come.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Do I even really need to elaborate much here? I LOVE HER SO MUCH.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

This is CURRENTLY a standalone, although I’ve heard whispers that it might be getting expanded. Who knows? I’ve only read one Sanderson book, but I’m constantly itching for more.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I’ve technically already started this, but I haven’t gotten very far, and I put it on hold to participate in Beauty and the Beast-Athon this week, so I’m going to count it anyway! Dragons. Queens. Dragons. Female/female romance. Dragons. What else do you want?

A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

This is by the author of The Light Between Worlds, which I did a review for last year, and I am so excited for it! All I know is that there is going to be some sort of creepy manor house, and that’s all I’m allowing myself to learn. I am so ready.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Speaking of books with “thorn” in the title that are coming from authors for whom I did a review of their debut novel…yeah ok that’s really specific. This is another one where I don’t know a ton, but like…there’s a magical library guys. GIMME.

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

“Once, a witch made a pact with a devil. The legend says they loved each other, but can the story be trusted at all?”

I’ve seen so many people rave about this book, and I am chomping at the bit to get a copy and read it myself.

The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

This is supposed to be a paranormal fantasy with some romance, and the main character is a guardian of a portal to the mysterious and dangerous Otherworld. Another main character would very, very much like to go to this Otherworld. Chaos ensues. I love some chaos.

To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

This is another one that isn’t out yet, but the synopsis is just so intriguing. Elite boys-only school infiltrated by two girls. A mysterious disease. Female friendship. A SCARY MAZE. I’m excited for it to come out.

Kate

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexander Christo

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. I think I got it in a box last spring? Maybe? Anyway, I keep putting it off in the names of shiny new series, so it’s about time I pull it down off the shelf.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

I tried to read Winterspell, and I just couldn’t get into it. From what I’ve read of Sawkill Girls, though, it seems like it’s much more my thing. Horror, thriller, etc. aren’t usually my genres of choice, but whenever Sam likes something, I figure I should probably give it a shot.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

This book was brought to my attention when I started looking up Beauty and the Beast retellings for #BATBathon. It sounds great. Plus, there’s a companion novella, which I have decided doesn’t make it any less a standalone.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Everyone and their mother seems to be in love with this graphic novel. I scored and found it at Half Price Books last fall. I love the art. I love the synopsis. It’s probably time I figure out if I love the content, not that I’m concerned.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I haven’t read anything by Holly Black other than The Cruel Prince, and I love it. Logic would dictate I read some of her other fae creations. I’m holding out for the gorgeous bind up of Modern Faerie Tales this summer, so The Darkest Part of the Forest it is!

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

I grabbed this last fall, and I intended to read it right away. Paige did, and she has been speaking about its value ever since. I don’t know why I seem to be a bit afraid to pick it up, but here I am. It’s on my must read list for the year, and I hope I hold myself to that.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

I knew nothing of this book until Paige showed up at my house with a copy. From the synopsis (and Paige’s review), it seems to have some Secret History vibes, and I’m all about that.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

I’m a sucker for a book about books. Plus, it’s GORGEOUS. I was in the UK when it was released, and I didn’t get a copy in the name of frugality and saving luggage space, forgetting that it doesn’t come out in the US to April. Mistakes were made, and I regret it deeply. I’m foaming at the mouth to get my hands on this one.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

SHE’S FINALLY RELEASING ANOTHER BOOK HOORAY

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I think this might be the only orange thing I’ve ever loved. I’m afraid to start it, because of its length in comparison to the rest of my TBR pile, but it’s taunting me from my Kindle screen. Its time is coming.

We hope you enjoyed the alternate topic this week! Let us know what some of your choices are – for either version!

See you next week, lovely humans 💜💛

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2018 End of the Year Survey

Posted January 17, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Miscellaneous Tags, Monthly Wrap Ups / 0 Comments

This end of year survey comes from The Perpetual Page Turner, and we had so much fun filling it out. Our only regret is that it took two weeks to post! You can find her original version here if you’d like to fill it out for yourself!

**2018 READING STATS**

1. Number Of Books You Read

Paige: 213

Kate: 89

2. Number of Re-Reads

Paige: 27

Kate: 26

3. Genre You Read The Most From

Paige: YA Fantasy (shocking no one)

Kate: Same. Obviously.

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2018 release vs. backlist)

Paige:

Favorite adult novel – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Favorite YA novel – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I don’t need to elaborate on these. I have Mr. Kindly inked into my skin, and I will never shut up about Laini Taylor.

Kate:

Favorite Adult Novel: Also Nevernight. Shocking, I know.

Favorite YA Novel: Six of Crows, probably.

Favorite Re-Read: A Court of Mist and Fury

Choosing my favorite YA was hard, but the other two were easy. Nevernight was a slow burn for me, but when I fell for it, I fell HARD, and I think my feelings on ACOMAF have been made very clear at this point. Six of Crows was the book I put off reading that I wish I could have spent years cherishing.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Paige:

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I LOVE The Lunar Chronicles. I love Heartless. I expected to love a superhero book by Marissa Meyer and I was just left feeling…nothing about this book. Which is almost worse than hating it.

Kate:

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Based on everything I heard about this book, I was excited. Paige and I buddy read it, and I just did not care. I couldn’t get invested, and, gun to my head, I couldn’t tell you a single thing about it. It was almost a non-entity to me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Paige:

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

This was suggested to me by a friend, and I was definitely intimidated. I don’t read a lot of adult fantasy, I don’t read a lot of male authors, and this seemed very gun and war heavy. BUT IT WAS SO COOL AND GOOD. Thanks Mike ❤️

Kate:

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

I was positive I was going to LOVEEEEEEE this series. I was wrong. Samesies.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Paige:

I made Kate read Laini Taylor. She’s welcome. Thank you!!!

Kate:

Accurate. And in return, I bullied her into committing to Throne of Glass. She’s welcome, too ❤️ THANK YOU

5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Paige:
WOW JUST COME AT ME LIKE THAT. Okay. I read the entirety of Throne of Glass this year. I read both Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares this year. I started the Ember Quartet by Sabaa Tahir. I read a lot of fantasy, so this question is just kinda rude, okay?

Kate:

…Nevernight, Reaper at the Gates, and Kingdom of Ash. But only because you made me choose. This question was mean.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Paige:

In an effort to not sound like a broken record, I’m going to go with Elana K. Arnold, who wrote Damsel. This short book packed a huge punch, and I think everyone should read it. Bar none. I cannot wait to see if she writes anything else and where she takes her talents.

Kate:

Jay Kristoff, both his writing and his social media presence. A+ human being. His creations scare the living shit out of me, but that’s what makes them good. IT’S TRICKAAAAAY

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Paige:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I really don’t read a ton of contemporary/romance books, but this one has been all over bookish social media, so I decided to take it on. I ADORED it. The smut was good, the romance made me tingly, and I had a great time devouring it.

Kate:

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I don’t read a ton of non-fiction. Most that I do is self-help adjacent, but it’s certainly not common enough to claim it as typical. That being said, I NEEDED a wake up call, and this was a great book to end my year on. Just read it, okay?

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Paige:

Again, I read a lot of really excellent series and sequels this year. Kingdom of Ash? Muse of Nightmares? A Reaper at the Gates? Crooked Kingdom?

Kate:

Sky in the Deep. I sat down to read a chapter or two before bed, and all of a sudden it was 2AM, and I’d finished it.

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Paige:

I am almost assuredly going to reread both Nevernight and Godsgrave before Darkdawn comes out next September.

Kate:

Aside from the obvious (yes, I’m talking about ACOTAR again), I’ll also be re-reading Godsgrave. I’ll also re-read Strange the Dreamer before I take on Muse, because I still haven’t read it. Whoops.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

Paige:

*throws Strange the Dreamer at your face*

Kate:

Godsgrave, specifically the US version. Ermahgerd.

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Paige:

Sevro from the Red Rising series. Bro is fucking WEIRD and is clearly Pierce’s favorite character to write, and I’m here for it.

Kate:

Jude from The Cruel Prince. She’s a stone cold bitch, and I love it. {RETWEET} Since writing this, I’ve finished The Wicked King. It’s basically twice as true now.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

Paige:

Have…have you heard of our Lady and Savior Laini Taylor? In addition, I would say The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth.

Kate:

Strange the Dreamer. It was just PERFECT.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

Paige:

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold. This book is going to stick with me for a really, really long time. It is a short, dark fantasy novel that I highly encourage anyone and everyone to pick up.

Kate:

I’m going to recycle Girl Wash Your Face here. It was the right book at the right time for a kick in the pants. Usually, it’s fiction that does that for me, but not this time.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?

Paige:

I did it. I read The Way of Kings. Insert 1200 pages worth of cheering here.

Kate:

Six of Crows. Clearly I should have read it immediately upon its release. Oh my gosh.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

Paige:

It might be a little cheap to go for this one since it was a 2018 reread, but also Kate and I both got it tattooed into our wrists this year, so who cares?

Anoshe was a word for strangers in the street, and lovers between meetings, for parents and children, friends and family. It softened the blow of leaving. Eased the strain of parting. A careful nod to the certainty of today, the mystery of tomorrow. When a friend left, with little chance of seeing home again, they said anoshe. When a loved one was dying, they said anoshe. When corpses were burned, bodies given back to the earth and souls to the stream, those left grieving said anoshe.

Which is from A Conjuring of Light. I teared up while typing it. You’re welcome.

Kate:

Here’s the thing – I LOVE quotes, but I also struggle coming up with favorites. So I started scrolling through Goodreads and looking through some of my favorite books from last year, and this one from ACOMAF popped up. I know, you’re floored. But really, it’s everything I think about life summed up in a few short words, plus Rhys said it, and it made me cry. Win/Win/Win.

There are different kinds of darkness. There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful. There is the darkness of lovers and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be, needs it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

Paige:

The shortest book was Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, and the longest was definitely The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

Kate:

Yumi/Okami by Renee Ahdieh at about 10 pages each, and the longest was Kingdom of Ash.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.

Paige:

I gotta say it – Kingdom of Ash. There’s a certain part near the end (the big one, not the one after it) that just wrecked me. It hurt. I’m not over it. Then why are you talking about it?! *sniffles*

Kate:

Same. After all the ACOWAR hail Mary’s, I thought this was going to go the same way. I was wrong.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar

Paige:

Again, I read the entirety of Throne of Glass this year…so yeah. Rowaelin for life. But also honorable mention to Dalinar and Navani from The Way of Kings. I ship it so hard.

Kate:

I have many, but Asha and Torwin from The Last Namsara popped into my head first, so I’ll go with them. The next ones were Elaine/Azriel (YEP – fight me), Akiva/Karou, and of course, Rowaelin.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Paige:

Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell from The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth. Give me some strong and soft sisters that love each other and I will cry like a baby.

Kate:

You guys read my blog post about the Inner Circle, right? Yeah? I’ll just back away from this question slowly.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Paige:

It was Muse of Nightmares. No contest.

Kate:

This one is tricky. I read a lot that I liked, but I’ll probably have to go with Tower of Dawn. I wanted to hate it so badly, but SJM got me. She got me good.

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Paige:

I have so many. Kate got me into Throne of Glass, our friend Mike got me to read Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan and The Way of Kings, and the general hype train got me into SO many authors. I truly can’t choose.

Kate:

As Paige has established, Laini Taylor. I just love her so much.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Paige:

Cartier from The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross. We love a good scholarly love interest.

Kate:

Dax from The Caged Queen, not so much from The Last Namsara.

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

Paige:

This is a two-way tie between The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth and Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. I adored both SO MUCH and cannot believe they were first novels.

Kate:

Sky in the Deep, hands down. I loved it. I can’t wait for the companion novel set to come out. It’s going to be GREAT.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Paige:

Are…are you tired of me talking about Laini Taylor’s books? Because I read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy (again) AND the Strange the Dreamer duology this year. Laini wins forever.

Kate:

The Last Namsara. I was blown away by the layers in that story. The world and society and the way characters are forced to interact with it all were crafted so beautifully.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Paige:

I re-read An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson this year by listening to the audio version, and I still get the giggles over a certain drunken utterance about a teapot. I really adored this book.

Kate:

This is going to be weird, but it was probably Nevernight. Dry, gruesome, crass humor really works for me.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

Paige:

Kingdom of Ash, Muse of Nightmares, Damsel, The Snow Child, The Way of Kings, ETC.

Kate:

AHAHAHAHA I cry at everything. Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Reaper at the Gates, and Kingdom of Ash were the roughest.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Paige:

I tend to read a lot of hyped stuff, but I had no idea how much I was going to adore Sourdough by Robin Sloane. I see plenty of people talk about his book Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, but I never see anyone talk about this one.

Kate:

The Life Siphon by Kathryn Sommerlot. This is an Amazon self-published book, and I loved the concept. Both The Life Siphon and its sequel, The Mage Heir, will be re-released this year.

She’s written a lot, and you should definitely check out her website to see some of her other writing.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Paige:

Besides the ones that made me cry, let’s also tack on some The Reaper at the Gates action, because Sabaa Tahir lives to crush souls.

Kate:

Same. I literally can’t talk about it.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

Paige:

Definitely Illuminae. I read the print version and the audio version in rapid succession, and I really loved the formatting. It gave the book such an immersive, cinematic quality that made it a page-turned despite being SO MASSIVE.

Kate:

I don’t really do unique – A Face Like Glass definitely had the most interesting plot, even though I didn’t really enjoy it all that much.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Paige:

The previously mentioned Damsel made me angry in a righteous way, and I loved the book. And then we have The Magician King by Lev Grossman. There is a rape scene that disgusted me so much near the end of the book that I immediately turned off the audiobook and returned it AND the following book in the series. Note to authors – please don’t even kind of imply that a female character is enjoying being brutally raped. THANKS.

Kate:

I don’t have a good reason for this like Paige does, but The Caged Queen was downright painful to listen to. There was no reason for Roa to be that unbelievably STUPID. I noticed reading the print version, but it got worse when I was doing an audio re-read in the car on the way to Thanksgiving. If I had a dollar for every time my husband jumped in with some version of, “What a f***ing idiot!”, I’d be a very rich woman. I wish I had been there.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

Paige:

So uh…apparently I’m reading the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Wish me luck!

Kate:

Oh gosh. There was a lot I didn’t get to. I would have to say that either Muse of Nightmares or Vengeful would have the top spot for me, but Illuminae and Every Heart a Doorway are close seconds (or thirds and fourths).

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

Paige:

*insert video of me sweating while looking between The Wicked King, Darkdawn, and The Starless Sea frantically without being able to commit*

Kate:

Darkdawn. It was always going to be Darkdawn.

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Paige:

I don’t have a ton of debuts on my radar, but I’ll go with Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte.

Kate:

I’m going to copy her, because I’m not good at paying attention to such things, and I’m pumped for that release.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

Paige:

EMBER IN THE ASHES BOOK FOUR BY SABAA TAHIR.

Kate:

…still Darkdawn.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

Paige:

I want to get back into reviewing. I really like my month wrap-up style review posts, but I really want to dedicate some time to longer, fleshed-out reviews for books I feel strongly about.

Kate:

I’d like to do more reviews, and I would like to start highlighting more of the events and borderline crazy things we do. We’ve driven 4+ hours one way on a work night on more than one occasion to go to an author signing, for example.

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Paige:

N/A, sadly. I have a couple of future releases on my Kindle, but I haven’t gotten to them yet.

Kate:

I’ve now read The Wicked King, but that’s cheating, because I didn’t have it before the first of the year. That’s all I’ve got, but you should DEFINITELY still read it.

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