Top Ten Tuesday January 2: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

January 2: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2017

Some I really enjoyed their work and would read more of their stories. Others are a one and done. I’ll let you guess which based on my reviews.

1) Katherine Arden
2) Vic James
3) Susanna Kearsley
4) Ruth Reichl
5) Connie Willis
6) Matthew Reilly
7) Lesley Livingston
8) Alex Flinn
9) Shelley Sackier
10) Steven Laffoley

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Star Wars – From a Certain Point of View by 40 various authors

In celebration of Star Wars’ 40th anniversary, Del Rey is going to shine the spotlight on those unsung weirdos, heroes, and villains with a unique, new anthology. Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, coming October 2017, will bring together more than 40 authors for 40 stories. Each will be told from the perspective of background characters of A New Hope — from X-wing pilots who helped Luke destroy the Death Star to the stormtroopers who never quite could find the droids they were looking for.

This was a New York Comic Con 2017 special edition cover

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Experience Star Wars: A New Hope from a whole new point of view.

On May 25, 1977, the world was introduced to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and a galaxy full of possibilities. In honor of the 40th anniversary, more than 40 contributors lend their vision to this retelling of Star Wars. Each of the 40 short stories reimagines a moment from the original film, but through the eyes of a supporting character. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by best-selling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from the literary history of Star Wars:

Gary Whitta bridges the gap from Rogue One to A New Hope through the eyes of Captain Antilles.
Aunt Beru finds her voice in an intimate character study by Meg Cabot.
Nnedi Okorofor brings dignity and depth to a most unlikely character: the monster in the trash compactor.
Pablo Hidalgo provides a chilling glimpse inside the mind of Grand Moff Tarkin.
Pierce Brown chronicles Biggs Darklighter’s final flight during the Rebellion’s harrowing attack on the Death Star.
Wil Wheaton spins a poignant tale of the rebels left behind on Yavin.
Plus 34 more hilarious, heartbreaking, and astonishing tales from Ben Acker, Renée Ahdieh, Tom Angleberger, Ben Blacker, Jeffrey Brown, Rae Carson, Adam Christopher, Zoraida Córdova, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Paul Dini, Ian Doescher, Ashley Eckstein, Matt Fraction, Alexander Freed, Jason Fry, Kieron Gillen, Christie Golden, Claudia Gray, E. K. Johnston, Paul S. Kemp, Mur Lafferty, Ken Liu, Griffin McElroy, John Jackson Miller, Daniel José Older, Mallory Ortberg, Beth Revis, Madeleine Roux, Greg Rucka, Gary D. Schmidt, Cavan Scott, Charles Soule, Sabaa Tahir, Elizabeth Wein, Glen Weldon, Chuck Wendig

Narrated by a full cast, including:

Jonathan Davis
Ashley Eckstein
Janina Gavankar
Jon Hamm
Neil Patrick Harris
January LaVoy
Saskia Maarleveld
Carol Monda
Daniel José Older
Marc Thompson
All participating authors have generously forgone any compensation for their stories. Instead, their proceeds will be donated to First Book – a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need. To further celebrate the launch of this book and both companies’ longstanding relationships with First Book, Penguin Random House has donated $100,000 to First Book, and Disney/Lucasfilm has donated 100,000 children’s books – valued at $1 million – to support First Book and their mission of providing equal access to quality education. Over the past 16 years, Disney and Penguin Random House combined have donated more than 88 million books to First Book.

I bought the NYCC edition and read most of it, but mostly I listened to the audiobook. Sometimes I followed along as I listened.

I’m trying to decide how to write up this review. I loved the stories, so this is not a negative review. It’s just I feel like I have to talk about all 40 stories.

Overall, I enjoyed every one of the stories. Mostly the stories are told in chronological order of the movie, though some jump back and forth to set up a character or setting. You can feel the authors’ different personalities and styles. You can also tell the authors didn’t communicate because events in the stories of the same setting (e.g. the Cantina) contradict one another. However, this is just for fun. A chance to see A New Hope from other characters’ eyes and it’s a beautiful way for fans to relive that feeling of experiencing ANH for the very first time again.

5 out of 5 Galaxies.

Now for my thoughts for each story. All 40 of them.

“A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away.”

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Top Ten Tuesday December 26: Top Three Books I’m Looking Forward to In 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

December 26: Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to In 2018 (These could be new releases, or books you resolve to read, ten debuts we are looking forward to, etc.)

  1. Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga Book 4) by Pierce Brown.I am so anticipating this book. I’m a huge fan of the saga. I already have the hardcover and ebook pre-ordered. And after I read it I am getting the audiobook to read it again. All before the NYC signing at the end of January.292170272.
    THE WORLD OF ALL SOULS: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, SHADOW OF NIGHT, AND THE BOOK OF LIFE by Deborah Harkness 9780735220744_p0_v4_s600x595

In The World of All Souls, Harkness shares the rich sources of inspiration behind her bewitching novels. She draws together synopses, character bios, maps, recipes, and even the science behind creatures, magic, and alchemy–all with her signature historian’s touch.

Bursting with fascinating facts and original artwork, this is an essential handbook is a must-have for longtime fans and eager newcomers alike. The book will be released on 8 May 2018.

3) There is another book set in the All Souls world coming out in 2018 that is still untitled. It’s about Marcus and takes place a year or so after the event in The Book of Life. Here’s more about it in an announcement on Deborah’s Facebook.

This is a more recent post about what she has in store for 2018.

She also spoke about The Serpent’s Mirror being on hold, and only having written one sentence for a book about Gallowglass. But that was in another post I cannot find.

So yea, the Marcus book and the book tour. Yay!

I’m sure I’ll get more books in 2018 but these are two fandoms that I am already involved in and so they’re my top 3 most anticipated. If I hear other authors I like are coming out with new books I’ll get those too.

Movie review of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

This is going to be loooong! And filled with spoilers under the cut.

I’ll start by saying I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. When I walked out at the end I didn’t have that feeling like I did with the prequels (or the OT I had on VHS as a kid) that I want to watch it again immediately. It was more like “I have to think on this to analyze what I really liked and what I really can’t stand.”

So here are the ups and downs.

May the spoilers be with you:

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Top Ten Tuesday December 19: Top Ten Books with Winter Settings.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

December 19: Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings (If you celebrate a different Winter holiday, adapt this topic to fit it!)

The books I want for Christmas will be released in 2018, so that is next week’s list. Here are six books that will set the winter mood. Read them by a fire while drinking a hot beverage. Oh, and have tissues near by.

1) Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

2) Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

3) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

4) Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

5) The Blue Tattoo by Steven Laffoley

6) Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Top Ten Tuesday December 12: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

1) The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, 4 out of 5 witchy women.

2) The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, 5 out of 5 suns that are also stars.

3) Delicious! by Ruth Reichl, 4.5 out of 5 gingerbread cakes.

4) Thrawn by Timothy Zahn, Marc Thompson (Narrator), 4 out of 5 Glowing Red Eyes.

5) The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley, 4.5 out of 5 White Sails.

6) Nemesis by Brendan Reichs, 4 out of 5 Resets.

7) The Tournament by Matthew Reilly, 4 out of 5 chess pieces.

8) The Blue Tattoo by Steven Laffoley, 3.5 out of 5 Ships.

9) Gilded Gage by Vic James, 4 out of 5 Years of Servitude.

10) I am currently reading Star Wars: From A Certain Point of View and am loving it so far so I am going to say this is certainly favorite of 2017.

December 5: Ten Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

 

Places I want to visit again:
1) Oxford (All Souls Trilogy) and London, England (Shades of London, All Souls, Tunnel Vision). I loved these places. I can never tire of London and I am rereading the All Souls Trilogy so I want to go on a tour of Oxford with Deborah Harkness. I wish I was there when they were filming the TV show.

All Souls College in Oxford, Radcliffe Camera and the Bodleian Library.

2&3) Paris and Grasse, France (The Secret Ways of Perfume by Cristina Caboni)
Shopping spree!!!!!!!!!

4) Volterra, Italy (Twilight: New Moon)
I wore a green shirt and jeans like Bella did in the movie. It was such a quaint and beautiful town. I’d love to go back and spend more time there than just a few hours. They also had a beautiful alabaster shop. More shopping!

They had a Twilight section in the alabaster shop. I have always regretted not getting these alabaster white queen chess pieces.

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New places:
5) Naboo, which was really Lake Como, Italy.
I hear they have tours of the villa where they shot Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. I want to stand on the terrace where Anakin and Padmé were married.

6) NOLA (A Density of Souls, Out of the Easy)
Not during Marti Gras and not during hurricane season. But I would like to see the famous sites.

7) Hawaii (Everything, Everything)
Warm weather, heavenly beaches (and I am not a beach person), and volcanos. I want to go!

8) Salem, Mass. (The Crucible)
It’s my favorite play and the witch trials are a sad part of American history.

9) Scotland (Harry Potter, The Winter Sea)
I want to take a train there from London.

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10) Siracusa, Italy.
I have yet to read Siracusa by Delia Ephron but I won’t say no to Italy.