You know, with a name so common and short as “Katie,” I really did trick myself into thinking this was going to be an easy one, but nope! My bookshelf is still waiting to be filled out, at least with physical books. Most of the books I’ve read throughout my bookish career, I borrowed from the library. Worse yet, I tend to use my Goodreads list of Read books to remind me of everything I’ve read, but there are so many not on there that I know should be. So in order to not feel the need to pull my own hair out, I just used books on my bookshelf, whether or not I absolutely loved them.
So here’s the game. You look to your bookshelf and find on it books that spell out your name BUT ALSO are books that you would highly recommend. I think there’s a lovely little variety to sink your teeth into. A side note: if my first name was difficult, spelling out my last name would be even more so. As a result, I spelled out my first name and last initial…. if only to make sure that a series near and dear to my heart got to make at least a brief appearance. 🙂
King of Scars
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Rating: 4 stars. It didn’t have quite the allure and charisma of Six of Crows, but King of Scars was still good work and I’ll probably still read the sequel when it comes out.
Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Author: Hank Green
Rating: 5 Stars. I loved this book. I think that any story that encourages us to be more open-minded and optimistic is one worth reading, and that is absolutely what this is.
The Carls just appeared.
Roaming through New York City at three AM, twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship—like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor—April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world—from Beijing to Buenos Aires—and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.
Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.
The Language of Thorns
Author: Leigh Bardugo, illustrator: Sara Kipin
Rating: 5 stars. I love short stories, especially these fairy tale types. In fact, they swept me away so much that I didn’t mind having Bardugo on this list twice, despite the fact that I have plenty of books that begin with the. There are a few weaker stories, I’ll admit, but they’re all still good.
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.
Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.
Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.
This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.
I‘m Not Dying With You Tonight
Authors: Kimberly Jones, Gilly Segal
Rating: 5 stars. It’s a short, intense read that literally had me on edge the entire time. It’s not fantasy, but, well, it’s good to step outside of the genre from time to time.
Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.
When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.
They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.
Author: Christopher Paolini
Rating: 4.5 stars. I’ll be honest. It’s been a long time since I’ve read the Inheritance Cycle. I know that, at this point in my reading career, I can acknowledge that there were a lot of things about the series that wasn’t original, that borrowed from existing stories, and not always in a subtle way. But I also know that it had a lot of success, that it was still well-crafted and that it was one of those series that hooked me so completely on the fantasy genre. And for that, I will always love the series.
A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.
Author: Kristin Cashore
Rating: 5 stars. I love Kristin Cashore. I’m not sure anything else needs said at this point.
Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.
But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck’s death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck’s reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea’s past has become shrouded in mystery, and it’s only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle – curious, disguised and alone – to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.
Whatever that past holds.
Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart…