The Top Shelf is a new monthly feature in which different bloggers recommend to you their top reads – and if they’re on THE TOP SHELF, you know they’re worth reading. If you would like to be featured in next month’s THE TOP SHELF, please contact me.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER: Hi, I’m Terri! I’ve been rambling over at StarlightBookReviews for four years, where I talk about books and sometimes throw in a craft showcase just for fun. I read a lot of YA, a lot of fantasy, and I’m pretty sure it’s all Disney’s fault. When I’m not reading, I’m working on a craft project of some sort, whether it’s painting, quilting, or paper crafting.
TERRI’S TOP SHELF
HOW DO YOU DISCOVER NEW BOOKS TO READ? I don’t go to the bookstore much anymore because ebooks are my drug of choice! Most of the books on my to-read shelf have come from seeing reviews on GoodReads or chatter from other bloggers. Twitter is great for getting a quick “I need to read some _____, GO!” because there’s always someone on to throw a title at you! love how social media has allowed us to “scope out” books before buying them.
WHAT’S THE BEST RECOMMENDATION YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? I’ve just finished Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy, an adult fantasy series about assassins and dragons and magic. Someone recommended it as part of the 101 Fantasy Project and the series was amazing! Definitely one I’m glad someone “book pushed”!
1. PEGASUS BY ROBIN MCKINLEY
If you’ve never read anything by Robin McKinley, you are missing out on magic. Her prose is some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read. She’s wry but poignant, and her books have a very “sticky” quality – you kind of sink into them and forget that everything else exists. There is nothing more important than continuing to read. Pegasus is one of her new(ish) titles, and it made me cry from so many FEELS – although I have to throw out a massive cliffhanger/unfinished series warning! If that dissuades you, go for Chalice instead. 🙂
Who would enjoy it: Fantasy lovers, YA readers, anyone who is a sucker for beautiful prose and doesn’t mind heart break
Why you should read it:
1) Robin McKinley
2) pegasuses (pegasi? Whatever, there are a lot of them.)
3) pretty, pretty writing
2. ELANTRIS BY BRANDON SANDERSON
I read a good deal of “epic fantasy” but don’t blog about it as much. When I do blog about it, it’s usually because Brandon Sanderson wrote it. This guy is a genius in terms of creating unique magic systems. A lot of people are going to tell you to start with Mistborn or Steelheart, but I say go with Elantris. It was his debut novel, as well as my first experience with his writing style, and it is phenomenal. Sanderson is really good at isolating two or three viewpoints and weaving them all together, carrying them through the plot and then blowing your mind at the end. Elantris is a stand-alone, so you get all the intro to his style without committing to a series.
Who would enjoy it: Fantasy lovers, anyone who reads “adult” or “epic” fantasy of the non-YA variety, anyone who likes complex and original magic systems and the thrill of solving an ancient puzzle
Why you should read it: It’s an awesome intro to Sanderson’s style without committing to crazy long book or series.
3. THE SCORPIO RACES BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER Scorpio is another one of those “sticky” books, and it’s got some beautiful writing as well. I particularly loved the characters – quiet, a little grouchy, but very thoughtful. If the “Shiver” series has been your only exposure to Maggie Stiefvater’s writing, it’s not indicative of Scorpio or the Raven Cycle, so you should try both!
Who would enjoy it: Anyone who loves fantasy, characters of the “still waters run deep” variety, books about dangerous animals (if that’s a thing?)
Why you should read it: It’s a quiet, thoughtful story, beautiful writing, and these somewhat ambiguous, bloodthirsty water horses. This is not your average YA.
HEAD OVER TO STARLIGHT BOOK REVIEWS TO READ MORE FROM TERRI.