I am not lost…

Recommended Reading

Here are just a few of the books that I have really enjoyed over the years. Many of them will be more mainstream fiction, and others will be new or self-published authors that I’ve found in my own research and would love to see garner more attention.

  • Dearly, Departed and Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
    Lia’s work is fabulous, and I can’t stress how much I love her narrative enough. Her characters are quirky and believable, and it is so easy to lose yourself in the romance and intrigue of the world she has so clearly carefully crafted – and this is coming from someone that doesn’t care much for zombies…about a zombie book! (I also have the great honor of knowing Miss Habel personally!) Unfortunately, due to a series of regrettable events, the third book in the series is been indefinitely postponed. I still recommend picking these two up, however — and watch Lia’s website for more of her projects as they come!
  • the Addergoole series by Lyn Thorne-Alder (Year 5, complete; Year 9, complete, new projects in the works)
    Lyn is another author I have the pleasure of knowing quite well, and Addergoole in specific is a project near and dear to my heart, as I do a bit of freelance editing for her. If you like the darker side of coming-of-age, a side where not everything comes out shiny on the other side, you may want to check out the project. Do be forewarned: it is not for the faint of heart. (Also, a note: Year 5 was written with a co-writer that is no longer part of the project; if you want a feel for the series and Lyn’s writing, feel free to start with Year 9, and continue to Year 5 later. They do not need to be read in chronological order – though you may find it helps.)
  • Anything by M.C.A. Hogarth
    MCAH has such a captivating storytelling voice, it’s difficult to put her work down. I’ve spent a lot of time reading and reviewing her work, primarily in the Pelted universe, but her book A Rosary of Stones and Thorns caught me first, so if you’re interested in a quirky way of looking at Christianity and angels, feel free to check it out. Otherwise, there’s lots of space cavorting in the Her Instruments books, and in the Mindhealers duology, in Even the Wingless and Spots the Space Marine. Seriously. Just go find a book she’s written and read it. It will be worth your time.
  • The Looking Glass Wars trilogy by Frank Beddor
    I cannot describe how easily I fell into these books. A particularly bright young girl who I knew offered me the first book in this series, thinking that I might find it interesting. I’m always a little hesitant about YA fiction, simply because some of it can be really good…and some of it can be exceptionally bad. Luckily, LGW took me utterly by surprise – and in all the best ways. A more modern sort-of-retelling of Alice in Wonderland, it takes you deep into a completely different version of all the characters you came to know and love. I read the first two books in the series (The Looking Glass Wars and Seeing Redd) and eagerly am looking forward to reading my copy of the last book, Archenemy.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    One might think that the classics should go unmentioned, and that everyone’s read this book in high school. But the fact of the matter is that TKAM is too good to let go unmentioned. A classic that was one of the first books I truly enjoyed reading in school – and characters that have inspired me enough to make me name future children after them. (I am dead-set on my first son’s middle name being Atticus.) If you haven’t read this, or haven’t read it in a while, this is a must-read.
  • The Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop
    Quite possibly one of my all-time favorite set of novels. Bishop’s writing is a little hard to break into, but after a few chapters, it is all too easy to wrap yourself up in the characters and refuse to let go. Daemon and Lucivar are heart-wrenchingly complex people, and words cannot even begin to describe the depth to which Jaenelle is constructed. They are the first books I’ve ever read where I got to the end and immediately wished I could start them all over again.
  • Emily, Alone by Stewart O’Nan
    This is an odd book to put on the list, but I honestly think it won’t get as much credit as it’s due. It’s not action-filled, it’s not incredibly plot-driven…some might even think it’s boring. It’s a book about a probably-70-year-old woman living by herself in Pittsburgh and coming into her twilight years…and having to deal with that. But for me, it’s a story about a woman like my late grandmother. It’s a story about coming-of-age–from the other end of the spectrum. It’s a story about reconciliation and loss and moving on. It’s a story about hope. If you have connections to Pittsburgh, or the Chautauqua Institution, or just want a nice soothing story about a quiet life, check this one out.
  • Male of the Species by Alex Mindt
    I cannot say enough about Alex Mindt. I could write forever about how much I adore this man, as a writer and a speaker and a person. He’s phenomenally gifted and I genuinely can’t stress the fact that you should all read this book enough. It’s a series of short stories, all about how different men have dealt with their masculinity, and the way their surroundings dictate they should view it…and how those two overlap. (Or don’t, as is often the case.) Don’t let that dissuade you, if you’re not a guy though! It is still incredibly open for interpretation, and can be a good view into the minds of the masses, as it were. His storytelling is flawless; his voice clear. Love love love this book.

More to come as I read/think of them!

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