Top 5 Tuesday #68: Top 5 New Authors of 2021

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.


This week’s topic:

Top 5 new authors of 2021

(Tell us all about your favourite new authors, either debut authors from 2021 or new-to-you this year.)

I met some great new-to-me authors this year who I’d love to read more from. Here are my top five.

Camilla Bruce

At the top is Camilla Bruce whose In the Garden of Spite I read earlier this year, thanks to Mogsy and Tammy. The novel is a historical thriller about a female serial killer in the late 1800s. It’s slow paced but such a riveting read. Both my aunt (who I made read it) and I want to read more from Bruce, and I need to get another copy of the book to let my mom read it too (I gave my copy to my aunt).

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Holiday Drinks Book Tag

Cue all the Christmas and winter-themed book tags I’ll post for the next two weeks because I found a bunch of such tags over the years and want to do them all! Ho! Ho! Ho!

I’ll kick things off with the Holiday Drinks Book Tag, which seems to have originated on the blog Browsing for Books, but that blog doesn’t seem to be active. However, I was lucky enough to find the tag over on Way Too Fantasy.


Hot Chocolate | Marshmallows and chocolate and whipped cream, oh my!
Recommend a book that’s sweet through and through.

Pandora by Victoria Turnbull

It’s a children’s picture book about a lonely fox who helps a bird heal and how the bird helps the fox feel less lonely. It’s a sweet read that I actually didn’t like much when I first read it, but I think I’d appreciate it more now if I should reread it.

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Top 5 Tuesday #67: Top 5 covers of 2021

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.


This week’s topic:

Top 5 covers of 2021

(What are some of your favourite covers that you have seen this year? Maybe these were reprints, redesigns or alternate covers that came out this year, or maybe they are brand new books.
Whatever they are, tell us all the pretties you have been coveting.)

I love a meme about book covers 😊 and I’ve been looking forward to one like this all year, lol! My favorite thing about December is looking back on all the things I read in the year and chatting about the best of the best.

Well, here are my favorite covers of books I read this year.

The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner

The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry is a gaslamp fantasy novel about a poor fire witch who lucks into the chance to make some money by serving as a bodyguard, along with other women, to protect a young lady from being assassinated before her wedding. I read this early in the year with Millie from Milliebot Reads and really enjoyed it. The protagonist is one of my favorites that I’ve encountered this year.

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“The Beautiful Ones” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The cover of this novel is beautiful. For that reason alone, I was happy to have it on my shelves, but I was curious about the story too. I read Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic last year and liked it, so I was eager to try something else by her, and The Beautiful Ones had been getting lots of praise. So, when my book club selected it as one of our reads, I wasted no time purchasing it.


Genre

Romance; Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2017; repubbed in 2021

From Goodreads

They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

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“The Gutter Prayer” by Gareth Hanrahan

Bear with me, y’all, as I catch up on posting about stuff I read since September. 😳 I learned about Hanrahan’s Gutter Prayer from one of Lashaan’s posts. Fantasy books about gods, religions, and beliefs intrigue me, so this one immediately sparked my interest and I started reading as soon as I could get my hands on it.


Genre

Fantasy

Series

Black Iron Legacy, book 1

Pubbed

2019

From Goodreads

A group of three young thieves are pulled into a centuries old magical war between ancient beings, mages, and humanity in this wildly original debut epic fantasy.

The city has always been. The city must finally end.

When three thieves—an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man—are betrayed by the master of the thieves guild, their quest for revenge uncovers dark truths about their city and exposes a dangerous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.

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Two Illustrated Books on Fantasy, Assumptions, and Imagination

I read two picture books a while ago: one about the imagination and another about a fantastic adventure. The first, Milo Imagines the World, is about a boy using his imagination to understand the world and how diverse and complicated it can be. It’s not easy, he realizes, to assume what a person’s life is like just by looking at them. The second book, Grand Isle, is about a pair of siblings who venture on a grand adventure at the beach. I enjoyed both.


Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson

Genre

Contemporary

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2021

From Goodreads

Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There’s the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There’s the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there’s the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo — walking the same path, going to the exact same place — Milo realizes that you can’t really know anyone just by looking at them. (Goodreads)

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“Before the Devil Breaks You” by Libba Bray

I really enjoy this series. I’ve even started to consider it a favorite. I own none of the books, but believe me, I will get myself the boxed set, if there’s one, soon.

I also want to read more books by Libba Bray. Does she only write YA novels? I’m not big on YA, but I’ll read whatever she has written because the Diviners books are SO good and I need more.

I have one more book to go in this series, which I’ve been buddy-reading with Rachel at Life of a Female Bibliophile and which we’ve both been enjoying and having loads of great discussions about. Things have built up to such a height in this book that I wonder how we’ll get down from it. How will things be resolved? I’m a little anxious that I won’t like the last book, but… I’m trusting Bray on this. Trying to stay positive here, and I NEED to get my own copy of these books!!


Genre

Historical Fiction; Paranormal

Series

Diviners, book 3

Pubbed

2017

Quick summary

The sleeping sickness has stopped, but all is not back to rights. Ghosts are roaming the city, some of them malicious, and the Diviner crew is even more curious about their abilities, how they got them and to what extent can they use them.

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“The Blade Itself” by Joe Abercrombie

I buddy-read this with Emily at Embuhleeliest back in June. We were trying it out to see if it’ll serve as a nice chunky series for us to jump in and get hooked on like we did with Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings. And, so far I’d say Abercrombie’s series has potential.


Genre

Fantasy

Series

First Law, book 1

Pubbed

2006

From Goodreads

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian — leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

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“Grave Mercy” by Robin LaFevers

I read this back in May for a book club I have going with some friends. A mutual friend who read and loved the series highly recommended it to us, so we went in with high hopes expecting an exhilarating story about assassin nuns. But unfortunately, this one didn’t work out and was a total bore for us.


Genre

YA Historical; Fantasy

Series

His Fair Assassin, book 1

Pubbed

2012

From Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

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Comics Roundup #61: Conspiracy of Ravens

It’s the cover that got me. I was tempted to purchase a copy at first, but instead I did the financially responsible thing and borrowed it from my library. So, yes, I’m quite proud of myself at the moment.


Conspiracy of Ravens by Leah Moore & John Reppion, illus. by Sally Jane Thompson

Genre

YA Fantasy

Series

n/a

Pubbed

2018

From Goodreads

Teen schoolgirl Anne unexpectedly inherits a mysterious locket and a crumbing English mansion estate from her long-lost aunt. She unearths the family secret that she’s part of a magical legacy that gives her fantastic abilities, and she isn’t the only girl whose family is involved. But not all the girls are so willing to use their new powers for good…

From the writers of Albion and Wild Girl and the artist of Atomic Sheep comes this original graphic novel perfect for tween, teen, and adult fans of fantasy and superheroes alike! (Goodreads)

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