As you can tell from the title of this post, I’ve discovered booktube and I’m hooked. I even went ahead and created a YouTube channel though I haven’t posted anything and probably never will because I am just that shy. But I’ve been watching many videos and commenting on them. I just love to see people excited about books and reading. It’s infectious!
Most of the books on this list are recommendations from booktubers. They were so excited about these reads that I got excited too and immediately added them to my list. I think I’m forgetting a few, though, because I sometimes get caught up in the video and forget to hop over to Goodreads to update my to-read list. Anyways, the books:
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch (October 14, 2014)
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior — and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics — and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
This one was discovered on Hailey’s channel, Hails Hearts Nyc. She did a spoiler-free review of it and I fell in love with the concept. I won’t say much; just watch the video below. I tried renting it from the library but oddly they didn’t have it in stock so now I have a reason to purchase it. 😀
The Pirate’s Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
In 1946, a storm-wrecked boat carrying Hollywood’s most famous swashbuckler shored up on the coast of Jamaica, and the glamorous world of 1940’s Hollywood converged with that of a small West Indian society. After a long and storied career on the silver screen, Errol Flynn spent much of the last years of his life on a small island off of Jamaica, throwing parties and sleeping with increasingly younger teenaged girls. Based on those years, The Pirate’s Daughter is the story of Ida, a local girl who has an affair with Flynn that produces a daughter, May, who meets her father but once.
Spanning two generations of women whose destinies become inextricably linked with the matinee idol’s, this lively novel tells the provocative history of a vanished era, of uncommon kinships, compelling attachments, betrayal and atonement in a paradisal, tropical setting. As adept with Jamaican vernacular as she is at revealing the internal machinations of a fading and bloated matinee idol, Margaret Cezair-Thompson weaves a saga of a mother and daughter finding their way in a nation struggling to rise to the challenge of independence.
I found this one in Angel’s April book haul. The title attracted me so I hopped over to Goodreads to learn more. Once I read the synopsis, I was sold, especially because it’s set in Jamaica and is by a Jamaican author!
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (March 1996)
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.
Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals — the old art known as the Wit — gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.
So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.
It was Samantha’s review video over at Novels and Nonsense that snagged my interest. At the time, I thought that was the first I’d heard of Robin Hobb but when I checked Goodreads, I found that it was not. Apparently I placed this book on my TBR list back in January 2012. Who knew? I sure didn’t! Well, it’s placement on my TBR list is now mentally noted and I hope to read it soon. Samantha’s enjoyment of the story got me excited and I almost bought it a few days ago but I couldn’t find the first in the series, though now I think I’ll just buy them all as a box set and keep my fingers crossed that I enjoy them.
Samantha’s review below is spoiler free but she has another on her channel that isn’t. That’s the one I watched. I don’t mind being spoiled and sometimes I prefer it.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (February 10, 2015)
Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.
To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.
So EVERYONE is talking about this and I’m curious.
I enjoyed reading Tiffani’s review of it over at The Book Venom. Check it out.
You by Caroline Kepnes (September 30, 2014)
When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight — the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way — even if it means murder.
I found this one while watching Lindsey Rey’s May Weekly Wrap Up video (see below). Her excitement infected me so I placed it on my TBR list. It’s a highly unsettling story. Lindsey advises interested readers to first read the first chapters on Amazon to see if they can hang with the story because it’s crude.
I can hang. I’m drawn to it because it is told in the second person, which heightens the readers reaction to it (Lindsey touches on this in her video). Though my instincts told me to leave this one alone as I listened to Lindsey summarize the story and recount her reaction to it, I couldn’t help being intrigued and wanting to experience the story for myself. I’m pretty sure I’ll be freaked out. If I do read You this year, I’ll do so in the summer months, when I’m happiest.
The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) by Kazu Kibuishi (January 1, 2008)
Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot — and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.
After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.
Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.
I saw this one at a comic bookstore called Fantom Comics that opened in Dupont Circle last year. I didn’t buy it, though, because I’d already acquired a pile of comics to purchase, which I knew would be pricey but saw as a necessary sacrifice as I am just introducing myself to the world of comics and graphic novels beyond Archie and Maus I and II (the only ones of the genre(?) I’ve ever read). Even now, five days later, I’m still pining over this book because I like the cover and the title and Kibuishi’s illustrations. I hope the story is good.
I don’t have a reference review for this one but check out an old post of mine where I compare all the Harry Potter book covers. Some of my favorites were by Kibuishi.
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson (March 31, 2015)
For the past three years, Jon Ronson has traveled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us, people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly or made a mistake at work. Once the transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know, they’re being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.
A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice, but what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people’s faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.
Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws and the very scary part we all play in it.
I think I first read about this book in a Biographile newsletter and thought it interesting, but it was Emily’s review of it over at Books, The Universe & Everything that convinced me to add it to my TBR list. She tells a bit more of what the book is about without spoiling it (Is it possible to spoil a nonfiction book?). Also I like the topic it tackles — public shaming on social media.
The Squire’s Tale by Gerald Morris (January 11, 2000)
Life for the young orphan Terence has been peaceful, living with Trevisant, the old Hermit in a quiet, isolated wood.
That is, until the day a strange green sprite leads him to Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew, who is on his way to Camelot hoping to be knighted. Trevisant can see the future and knows that Terence must leave to serve as Gawain’s squire. From that moment on, Terence’s life is filled with heart-stopping adventure as he helps damsels-in-distress, fights battles with devious men, and protects King Arthur from his many enemies.
Along the way, Terence is amazed at his skills and new-found magical abilities. Were these a gift from his unknown parents? As Gawain continues his quest for knighthood, Terence searches for answers to the riddles in his own past.
Yep, found this one in one of Samantha’s videos too. She does awesome videos. She loves stories centered on the Arthurian legend so she did a video recommending some. The Squire’s Tale sounds familiar to me so I think I probably read it back in middle school. I won’t know until I read it so I’m looking forward to the experience.
Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen (September 26, 2006)
An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the first World War. An eccentric little man called Bert tells them that they are now the caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica — an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and fairy tale. These lands, Bert claims, can be traveled to in his ship the Indigo Dragon, one of only seven vessels that is able to cross the Frontier between worlds into the Archipelago of Dreams.
Pursued by strange and terrifying creatures, the companions flee London aboard the Dragonship. Traveling to the very realm of the imagination itself, they must learn to overcome their fears and trust in one another if they are to defeat the dark forces that threaten the destiny of two worlds. And in the process, they will share a great adventure filled with clues that lead readers to the surprise revelation of the legendary storytellers these men will one day become.
An extraordinary journey of myth, magic, and mystery, Here, There Be Dragons introduces James A. Owen as a formidable new talent.
Now I know I first heard of this one in one of Samantha’s videos and a video by another booktuber but I can’t remember which of Sam’s videos it was or who the other booktuber is. However, I do recall getting excited because the book has some illustrations so on the TBR list it went.
So there you have it — my recent TBR additions. I don’t know when I’ll acquire these since I’m banning myself from the bookstore again for a month or two unless I get coupons….though I might try Amazon or Book Outlet. Hmm…
Well, what books do you plan to read?