Tuesday, May 26, 2015

30 Day Challenges Day 12 - Books I Can Gladly Re-Read

I've loved reading since I was a kid and used to wish I could stay in the library overnight to read all the books. I know, NERD ALERT! Now I'm happy if I have any time to read. Generally I stick to audio books since I can listen in the car and while I'm stitching. Here are a few of my favourite books that I've listened to or read. 

1. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King

I discovered this series by borrowing the 8th book in the series from the library. I had no issues following the story, so you don't need to start from the beginning, but I do feel this is one of the best books of the series. I've listened to it several times and the other books probably at least twice each. 

The story is told from the Mary Russell's perspective. She is an orphaned child living with a horrible aunt in Sussex. She happens upon Sherlock Holmes, retired detective and beekeeper, while out walking. This meeting changes her life as she becomes an amateur detective apprentice and learns from the master. There are 3 distinct mysteries in this story, first the theft of a ham and some cash from the village inn that Mary leads on her own, second Russell and Holmes team up to try and rescue a kidnapped child, and third, Holmes is under attack from an unknown adversary and Russell is caught up as collateral. I have yet to read any paper copy of this book, but the narrator Jenny Sterlin is fantastic as both Russell and Holmes. 

If you have any interest in mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, early feminism, and turn of the century (1920) England, this is a book you shouldn't miss. 

2. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

There's a very good chance I'll include more than one Brandon Sanderson book in this list because I really enjoy his writing style. This is one of his stand alone books that does exist in what he calls the Cosmere, a world that most of his fictional books exist within. 

Warbreaker tells the story of 2 princesses from one kingdom that journey to a neighbouring kingdom. One to marry the ruler and the other to rescue her sister. They both end up in various scrapes and part of a larger game someone else is playing. Various characters enter in to the story and you don't know who's good or bad until you're well into the story. 

The fantasy world built up in this book is completely different than anything I'd experienced before. The magic is on another plane compared with anything else I'd ever heard of and I was gripped by the story so much I read for several hours at the beach one day instead of you know, swimming. Both princesses are very strong female characters and really anchor the book well. There are many wonderful characters in the book and I'm looking forward to reading it or listening to it again. 

3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I realize this may seem like an obvious choice, but it is really a wonderful series. I'm reading it to DD before bed now and I'm hoping to get through the more serious books and shelve this for awhile before she understands many of the words. I don't think I can add much to what's been said about this series, so I'll leave this blurb short. 

4. Lisey's Story by Stephen King

This book blew me away when I first read it. The love story between Lisey and her now deceased husband Scott was wonderful to read. We join the story as Lisey is awakening to her life after Scott died 2 years ago. She has to go sort through their life and possessions and we get to learn a little more about their relationship from the early days until the end. Because this is a Stephen King story there is a darker side as well. Scott has the ability to travel to another world that has dangers for him and now for Lisey when she has to travel there to combat an adversary that is stalking her. 

I enjoyed this book more than any other Stephen King book I've ever read. I would gladly read it or listen to it again any time.

5. Folly by Laurie R. King

There, I've done it, I repeated authors within the first 5 books! I can't leave this book out though. I went through a difficult period a few years ago and listened to this book almost constantly when I went to bed for about 3 months. The stress level was so high I really could not sleep and this book helped me find a way out of the stress and into sleep. 

The story begins with Rae left alone on an island in the San Juans in the Pacific Ocean. This was her choice, to rebuild a house her great-uncle had built back in the 1920s. Rae has recently left a mental institution after losing her husband and youngest daughter in a tragic car accident, going through a terrible depression and being attacked. She is wealthy and her eldest daughter's husband constantly tries to manipulate her out of more money. Rae is on the island, Folly, to rebuild her life. 

She meets some of the interesting characters that make up life on the San Juans, the local sheriff, a park ranger that is irrepressible and a boat man that makes her deliveries has more tattoos than she's ever seen. 

It's a really great book and I still listen to it when I have trouble sleeping, when I'm feeling anxious and it always helps. 

6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I've always had a bit of an interest in mythology and this tale weaves myths and gods in and out of it very skillfully. Shadow is the main character and he travels through both the real world and that inbetween worlds as he tries to discover what to do now that he's out of prison. He had hoped to join his wife, but she was tragically killed in an accident just before he was let out of jail. Now he's at a loose end and this story tells of how gods deal with the USA and the loss of their faithful.  

7. The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

If you have any interest in fantasy novels you need to read this series. It's a long one at 15 books, but it is worth it. When I read the first book while still in high school (20+ years ago) I noticed a lot of J.R.R. Tolkien's influence, but that soon changed to a completely unique series. There is so much to tell in this series that I can't come close in a short blurb. Check out the link if you'd like to know a little more. 

The first book, The Eye of the World, tells of 4 youths that are forced to leave their hometown after it is attacked by horrible creatures. They get split up from their protectors and are forced to make their own way until eventually they find each other again. At that point one of the youths has killed, and another has been poisoned in his soul. This is only about halfway into the book, if that. The cast of characters goes on and on and it's such an amazing series! I have re-read it several times, usually before a new book was due to come out. The original author died before the series was completed and the last 3 books were finished by Brandon Sanderson. He did a wonderful job of revitalizing the series because I had some issues with the last couple books by Robert Jordan. 

As a whole, it's one of the greatest fantasy series I have ever read. 

8. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastards Book 1)

Another fantasy series, surprise! This one finally has the third book out. Scott Lynch is a great author, but unfortunately suffers from severe depression and doesn't get books out very fast. The fourth book may be coming out this September, so this is a great time to start the series. 

The first book follows Locke Lamora, one of the leaders of a gang of thieves in Camorr which seems vaguely old Italian to me. He and his followers have a few good cons planned, but are attacked by a new underworld lord trying to take over the entire Camorr underground. The story also weaves introductions to how Locke and his friend Jean became thieves, joined their current gang and about their old mentor. 

I've read this book at least 3 times now and have enjoyed every reading. It's long enough that after a year or two you forget some of the nuances and it's nice to re-read it to remember that quip you so enjoyed or how they managed to get out of some scrape, etc. 

9. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

This is the second book in another epic fantasy series, The Stormlight Archives. Brandon Sanderson turned fantasy on its head with this series. After I finished the first book I didn't think I could like the second book as much because the first book had so much info on world-building and storylines and great, full characters. However, the second book is even better! Perhaps with the world-building started Sanderson had more room to work on character development and plot. 

This book follows two characters that were part of The Way of Kings, book 1, but they're the main focus of this book. I can't really talk too much about this book without giving away things that happened in The Way of Kings, so again, if you enjoy fantasy at all, even if you don't, try this book and particularly this series. It has great discussions of battles, politics, court behaviour and this book has some particularly hilarious lines. I can't wait for Book 3. 

10. Wolf in Shadow by David Gemmell

This is a post-apocalyptic tale and tells a great story of Jon Shannow, a gunslinger that travels the world on a quest. He rights wrongs when he sees them and he gets pulled into batting a Satanic army to save what's left of the world. 

I've read these a few times and I'm having some trouble remembering the stories so it's time to read them again. I know I've always loved reading the series over again since it's release so many years ago. 

That's my list, I hope you enjoyed it!

Happy Stitching,



  1. I've only read one from this list - predictably the Harry Potter series as otherwise I am so not a fantasy genre person lol! My DH is though so I recognise them all :). I like the sound of the first one on the list, so I may give that one a go! Thanks for sharing Tiff!

    1. You may want to check out other Laurie R. King offerings too. She has a more modern detective series based in San Francisco that's also good and some other stand alone books. Folly is another one on the list that is very much real world if you haven't read that. It has a mystery element to it as well if you enjoy mysteries. :) Maybe my list can help you with gift ideas for DH?

  2. I know some of these authors, some are brand new. I will have to check out Laurie R. King at the library - I love mysteries! Fantasy comes a very close second though.

    1. Great! I'm glad to give you some new titles to try out and I hope you enjoy them.

  3. What a great list. I love Brandon Sanderson and adore Warbreaker, read the whole thing in one sitting. Haven't read words of radiance yet but really like way of kings. Lies of Locke Lamora is another great one, the second part of that series is on my to read list. Adore HP and to my shame have three different sets of the books with various covers. Have only read the first 4 of the Wheel of Time so far and have read a few of Gemmels but has been a while since I last read one of his. I have also read a few Stephen King but not the one you mentioned here Misery is my fav of his that I have read. The Assassins/Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb is also extremely good.

    1. Awesome! From the sound of it I will enjoy those as well. I have Farseer in my Audible list so I'll queue that one up after I finish the first Mistborn trilogy again. You will love Words of Radiance if you like Way of Kings.

  4. Also Skulduggery Pleasant is a great series, though I haven't read all of it. It is a Young Adults book but still great for adults too. It's by an Irish author Derek Landy.

    1. Thank you! I will check that series out as well. :)

  5. I love reading your lists. I always LOVED reading but with my addiction to stitching I can't put it down and pick up a book. I still have way too many laying around just in case the mood hits me haha.

    1. Stitching has really cut into my reading time. If it's not on audio book, then it sits and gathers dust unfortunately.

  6. I often re-read books (I wish I had a dime for everytime I re-read an Austen), but I have to be in the reading mood, which I'm not often in when I'm stitching.

    1. Stitching definitely takes precedence. Did you try Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? I thought the first one was well done since it kept Austen's original text with some additions. The prequels and sequels weren't that great though.


Thanks for any comments!

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