Thursday, March 6, 2014

Feature & Friday (2)

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

This week we were asked to recommend some of our favorite back-list books - books that are at least a few years old (5-10 years old rather than classics).  This is TOTALLY my jam!  ...seriously, my original list was like 30 books long which is ridiculous.  So I've limited myself to books between 5 and 10 years old, written by an author who is famous for other books. (I know.  I'm crazy.  But I got myself down to 7 books!)  So with no further ado, here's some books you should totally check out!



Abarat by Clive Barker

Abarat (Abarat, #1)

Some of you might know Clive Barker of Hellraiser fame, but really you might know him from anything - he not only writes novels (primarily adult, but also YA), but he's also an artist (each Abarat book contains around 200 of his own art work), works on video games, movies, and even comics.  He's done everything.  Abarat, is my favourite of all his works (although admittedly as not much of a horror fan I haven't read many of his adult books), and is really one of my favourite works EVER.  Sadly, not many people seem to know about this series, and I am here to tell you you need to.  I won't go on because I've talked about these books many, many times on the blog, so feel free to search :)



Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale 

Book of a Thousand Days

Many of you know Shannon Hale from The Goose Girl, the first in her Books of Bayern series, or from her Princess Academy series, or even from her tons of adult works.  She writes in so many different genres, and so far I've loved everything I've come across!  This book most resembles The Books of Bayern series, and if you loved The Goose Girl, you are very likely to love Book of a Thousand Days.



Cat Street by Kamio Youko

Kamio Youko is the author of one of the most famous shoujo mangas of all time - Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers).  It was started back in the 90s, and it became so popular that not only is there an anime version, but there's also a live drama Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese (I believe version).  I've even heard they're doing an American adaption soon!  Not many people know of her other manga, Cat Street.  I personally had a lot of problems with the storyline in Hana Yori Dango (bullying/abusive relationship in particular), so I actually prefer everything about this series.  The characters feel more realistic, the relationships are better, the artwork is understandably more modern - if you like manga, this series is definitely worth checking out.  Unfortunately, it's not published in English so it's scanlations only for us poor non-Japanese readers.



The Double Bind - Chris Bohjalian

The Double Bind

The Double Bind was my very first Bohjalian novel and I was absolutely stunned after reading it.  I seriously didn't even know how to process the world again.  Most people know Bohjalian from his book Midwives, which also had a movie adaption.   This book feels unlike anything I've ever read before, and I don't want to say much because knowing things about it will spoil the book.  It's also in a very different style than Midwives.  I find that Bohjalian writes two types of books generally - historical fiction, and books that explore the grey areas of morality.  This is unlike either of those.  The story, the suspense...you just need to read it to understand how insanely awesome it is!



Hoshi wa Utau (aka Twinkle Stars in English I think?) - Takaya Natsuki

Takaya Natsuki is the author of another insanely popular shoujo manga - Fruits Basket.  Again, anyone who's read any shoujo manga has likely read Fruits Basket.  Hoshi wa Utau is much more recent, and still ongoing to my knowledge.  It is being published in English, yay!  It's a lot more reflective than Fruits Basket, and the art is just gorgeous.  It's definitely one of my favourite current mangas!



The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

The Ice Queen

Alice Hoffman is probably best known for her novel Practical Magic (which is one of the very few I haven't read).  She also wrote The River King (which was my first Hoffman novel) which was adapted into a movie...which I haven't seen.  Any of you know if it's any good?  Oops, getting sidetracked.  Alice Hoffman is definitely one of my absolute favourite authors.  At this point I've read over half of her novels (and she has many), and I've loved every single one of them.  The Ice Queen is probably my favourite out of all the ones I've read so far, but any of her novels are definitely worth checking out.  They all (or almost all) have varying degrees of magical realism which is my favourite genre, so I'm a bit biased.  She's got beautiful prose, real characters....they're great.  Basically.



Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

Peeps (Peeps, #1)

I'm sure almost all of you have heard of Westerfeld's Uglies series or if you haven't you might have heard of Leviathan or his Midnighters series.  But some of you might not have heard of Peeps, which happens to be my favourite take on vampires.  Vampires are actually caused by a parasite and REASONS (too complicated to go into, but really cool and backed up by scientific world building stuff).  Every other chapter has information about real world parasites which is...creepy...but also super interesting.  But vampires!  And science!  It's so cool!!!

And that's it for my very specific range of recommended back list books!  What books did you recommend?  Leave me a link (really, without a link I Disqus doesn't take me to your blog)!

36 comments:

  1. Haven't read any of those, but they all look intriguing. I especially would like to read something by Alice Hoffman! Great list! Happy Friday! :D Old follower, here.
    My FF

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  2. I'm about to read Westerfield's The Uglies series, so it's good to hear he has other works out there in case I get addicted!

    Old follower. My FF.

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  3. Hopping through. i love Fruits Basket. I will have to look for the English translation of this new series.

    My FF

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  4. She's definitely a good way to go, you really can't go wrong with any of her works (well I wouldn't maybe recommend Here on Earth as your first shot at her)

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  5. Oooh I hope you like them! If you do, Peeps is definitely more like Uglies than Leviathan, on the off chance you've read that.

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  6. Fruits Basket was great but I haven't read anything else by Natsuki Takaya. That's not to say I don't want to... but I don't speak Japanese, let alone read it. Haha. If Hoshi wa Utau is being published in English I'll definitely check it out! :D

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  7. I'm rereading Fruits Basket again because it's just that good! And this manga is definitely worth checking out...I really hope they publish the whole series in English I'll be really sad if they stop halfway through :(

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  8. She's also got a series called Tsubasa that I'm pretty sure is translated, although I haven't read that one (but really, can she do anything wrong? I doubt it!)

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  9. Jess @ Jess Time To ReadMarch 7, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    These ones are new to me. Peeps sounds like a good read. I'll have to check that one out. Thank you for stopping by and following. :)
    Followed you back GFC

    Jess @ Jess Time To Read

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  10. KristineandterriMarch 7, 2014 at 6:05 AM

    Thanks for stopping by earlier. Great list!
    Old follower :)

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  11. It's definitely worth checking out!

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  12. Thanks for stopping by my post.


    Great list! I still need to read something by Alice Hoffman.


    New GFC/Bloglovin' follower :)

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  13. Michelle {Book Hangovers}March 7, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Wooo hooo! Abarat is on my list too! Love that book! Oh and I'm actually reading a Alice Hoffman book right now! It's my first by her and certainly will not be my last. I'm reading her newest masterpiece, The Museum of Extraordinary Things and it is AMAZING!!!! It will be on my favorite's list. I have SHannon Hale's Goose Girl but haven't read it and for the other authors, I am not familiar with them. Thank you for sharing! This is a kick ass list!

    check out mine @ Book Hangovers Blabs Books

    New follower via bloglovin ♥ BIG hugs

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  14. I read Abarat a LONG time ago and wasn't a huge fan. Thanks for dropping by Second Run Reviews.

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  15. I love Abarat, fab books and I have mine signed by Clive Barker too....squeeeeee!

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's
    Book Shelf

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  16. Manga is not my genre, but The Ice Queen and Peeps are right up my street.
    I'm a new follower :)
    My FF post is here

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  17. Okay, I'm not going to lie but I think this is the best list I've come across too today. Shh Don't tell anyone. haha I've been meaning to get into manga, but I just don't know where to start. But I think those two mangas you've recommended are the best place to start. Also, the other books you've recommended sound really good too and definitely out of my preferred genre so that'll be nice to have a change for once. :)


    New GFC follower. :D

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  18. Whaaaat I didn't even know she had a new book out! I haven't heard of The Museum of Extraordinary Things (WHY HAVEN'T I HEARD ABOUT THIS?!) I'm so excited now I need to get to the library and find this book immediately. And as you have seen on your blog, I am so incredibly excited that someone else out there even knows about Abarat, let alone loves it! I couldn't recommend The Goose Girl more, although I will say it reads slightly more MG than YA, which might be a turn off depending on what you like. Ahh I'm so excited! Yay book buddies!

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  19. Ah well, I guess it's not for everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. Oh my god I am SO JEALOUS!! Like I can't even express the level of jealousy I am feeling right now hahah

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  21. I love your picks for this week. Predictably, I have read both of the more well-known mangas that you mentioned. Didn't really enjoy Boys over Flowers as like you said, bullying relationship doesn't sit well with me either but I loved Fruits Basket. I haven't given her new series a try so maybe I should sometime in the future. Great list!
    New bloglovin & GFC follower :)


    My FF


    Witless Fool @ Obsessive Compulsive Reader

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  22. I couldn't recommend them more!

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  23. Thank you haha! Actually if you're looking at starting manga for the first time, I'd recommend MY first manga (and it's still my favourite of the lot) Skip Beat. It's amazing for so many reasons that would make this comment really long, but the characters are some of the best developed I've seen in a manga. And mangas have a lot of...quirks in them, and I think most of said quirks and tropes are dealt with in a way that makes fun of them so it's a little easier to deal with instead of going...wtf...haha. If you do get into manga, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about because certain oddly specific things pop up in almost all of them haha

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  24. It's crazy because I DIDN'T like Boys over Flowers...but I read the manga, watched the anime (in my defense Rui's theme was Mahler's Adagietto so I was hooked by the music haha), AND I saw both live dramas! I mean that's totally crazy, right? I DIDN'T LIKE ANY OF THEM. There's something clearly wrong with me. And Cat Street is definitely a completely different feel. I'd definitely recommend both mangas on this list (well..clearly. I mean I put them there haha)

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  25. I nominated you for the Leibster Award. :)
    Jess Time To Read

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  26. Thank you so much! I was actually JUST nominated last week though. Thanks anyway!

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  27. Love that you offered up some Manga. I read my first Manga this week... though I am not sure if it is really hardcore Manga. It's called Chi's Home Sweet Home about a cat. It was pretty cute I thought.

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  28. Chi's Home Sweet Home is SO cute! There's a webtoon (or maybe it's a manhwa, I get a little fuzzy on which one it was) called Papi Nyang that's also about a cat...I had meant to read Chi, but clicked on that one instead...it's cute, but it's also pretty dark and not at all fluffy and bright like Chi haha!

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  29. This is a great mix you have here!

    Jessi @ The Book Cove

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  30. Ooh I think those are all new books to me. I'll have to look some of them up. Great range there :) Thanks for stopping by. I'm following you back. Have a great one.

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  31. So happy you enjoyed The Ice Queen! I loved it, too!

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  32. It's definitely one of my favourite Alice Hoffman books!

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  33. I figured most people would have at least one book on here that would interest them!

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