What to Read, What to Read…

I love the excited rush that comes when I’m able to recommend a new series I know a friend will enjoy. It’s almost as good as discovering a new book myself! There are inevitably great conversations and debates about characters and plot twists, and then our little group eagerly awaits the next nail-biting, up-all-night installment.

Book recommendations form wonderful connections that keep expanding: I tell one friend, she tells her sister, who tells another friend, and before we know it, close to a dozen people are following the same series we are. Not to mention, word of mouth is still the most important way to boost an author’s sales.

So, on the off chance that you’re wandering around muttering, “What to read? Oh, if only I knew of a good, as-yet unread book. Woe!” I want to share a few of my favorite recommendations. I’ve tried to pick one book in each genre you might not already be familiar with (otherwise this list would go on forever!). Some of these are relatively new releases and some haven’t been in print in decades. Hope you enjoy!

King’s Dragon, Kate Elliott
Dragon Prince, Melanie Rawn
Inda, Sherwood Smith
(You guys knew I couldn’t hold myself to one recommendation in this category, right?)

Demon’s Lexicon, Sarah Rees Brennan

Middle Grade
The Seventh Tower, Garth Nix

Historical Fiction
The Far Pavilions, M.M. Kaye

SF/Space Opera
In Conquest Born, C.S. Friedman
(P.S. If you manage to get the 15th anniversary edition of this one, author C.S. Friedman has an excellent introduction talking about her journey as a writer. It’s a must-read!)

I don’t read as much in the crime, mystery or literary realms, so if you guys have recommendations of amazing books in those areas, please share them! Also, I am, of course, always eager to hear of more fantasy-related books, so keep those recommendations coming too. Let’s see how long we can make this list.


  1. I <3 Garth Nix. Did you read The Old Kingdom trilogy?

  2. More books added to my TBR pile... thanks for the list!

    "So, on the off chance that you’re wandering around muttering, “What to read?..."

    Always. :)

  3. Just as it happens, most of the stuff I read is in the realm of "literary fiction." If you're looking for something that's funny and thought-provoking, check out Yann Martel's LIFE OF PI. If you're looking for something more serious and a slower read, check out Margaret Atwood's THE BLIND ASSASSIN (which is really historical fiction and sci-fi all jam-packed into one) and Michael Ondaatje's THE ENGLISH PATIENT (this one is definitely not a light read - read it bits at a time).

  4. Miss Cole: I haven't read that trilogy yet, but have heard excellent things! Better add it to my list. :)

    Hektor: Of course! Me, too.

    GK: Ooh, thanks for those recommendations. I'll have to check them out for sure!

  5. hi, i just wanted to say i read your review of "The Demon's Surrender" over at betterworldbooks and i really appreciated it and thought it was a great review.

    i completely agree with all of it. sara rees brennan is a really entertaining writer with original ideas, but it was just disappointing that after building up such a fantastic brothers/siblings plot, it was just kind of abandoned or left unresolved.

    Nick learning to be human and finally being able to express his love for Alan would have been a satisfying enough read for many fans. instead, we got changes in POV that left gaping holes in the story. disappointing.

    also, i liked your comment about ideological angling. i totally agree.

  6. Thanks Anon! Despite my quibbles with how the series ended, I definitely have a soft spot for the Ryves brothers. :)