Wednesday, February 17, 2016

BBAW Day Three: Blogger Recs

Square banner for Book Blogger Appreciation Week. A blue border sprinkled with stylized snowflakes surrounds a white circle featuring a stylized illustration of some books on a shelf, with the words 'Book Blogger Appreciation Week February 15-19' in the middle of the image.

Day Three of Book Blogger Appreciation Week is all about the books we’ve read because of bloggers. I’ve sought out (and loved) heaps books because bloggers either reviewed them widely or couldn’t stop talking about them on Twitter, but to keep things fairly succinct I’d like to focus in on three series recced to me by three beloved bloggers:

Cover of In the Garden of Iden, featuring a white spaceship zipping directly at the viewer through a blurred green background. An indistinct, white-clad figure sits at the small cockpit's controls. A blurred orange face hovers above the ship. Cover of Sky Coyote, featuring a brown-skinned, bearded man dressed in a robe. He holds a book and stands between two carved stone pillars. Above him hovers a clear, golden face.
Jenny of Reading the End and the Company Series

Ages and ages ago, when I was still getting to know her, Jenny read and wrote about Kage Baker’s Company series. She made it sound like my thing to a tee, what with the time travel and the historicality and the possibly evil corporation hovering over everyone, so I made a point of reading through the whole thing as quickly as my shiny new Auckland library could provide it.

This was an excellent, excellent choice. Some of the books are grippier than others, as is only to be expected with a long series, but they’re all gloriously interconnected and rife with great characters. Kage Baker ranks among the the Queens of Voice, too, adopting a new syntax and worldview for each of her cyborg narrators. The series is on my list of Stuff I Should Reread Fairly Soon.

(I actually did reread IN THE GARDEN OF IDEN last year, since it’s available on audio. It was much cooler with the whole series under my belt, so I’m sure I’m in for a good time with the rest of the books, too.)

I'm so, so glad Jenny blogged about this time travelly goodness, even if it did throw me into contact with the horrid Edward Alton Bell-Fuckfax (not his real name). I hate that guy so much he appears on my Itty Bitty List of Least Favourite Literary Characters twice.

Cover of the Raven Boys, featuring a raven in flight, its claws positioned to catch something. A red glow burns at its core. Cover of The Dream Thieves, featuring a young man with a shaved head. Ravens surround him, and he, too, has a burning red ember in his chest.
Lu of Regular Rumination and the Raven Cycle

I’ve been lucky enough to hang out with Lu a few times in and around Book Expo America. During our first meeting, we naturally discussed the books we most hoped to get during the BEA galley drops.

Lu’s must-have-oh-god-oh-god title was THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater because she’d recently listened to THE RAVEN BOYS and fallen in love with both the audio narrator and the wider story. She wanted the sequel soooooo much, even though it was probably set to drop while she was working.

Luck was on both our sides. Lu was working, yeah, but by pure happenstance I passed the Scholastic booth just as they were handing out THE DREAM THIEVES. I grabbed a copy for her; and later that summer, when Sync offered THE RAVEN BOYS as a free audio download, I leaped on it.

Now I’m painfully in love with the thing, and Ronan Lynch has joined my Highly Exclusive List of Favourite Literary Characters, and I'm seventeen kinds of worried about everyone as we wait for the final book to drop this April. I strongly suspect I’ll be adding the Raven Cycle to my Equally Exclusive List of Absolute Favourite Series once the finale comes out in April, and I'm super grateful to Lu for putting me onto it.

Cover of Hawkeye omnibus, featuring stark black and white illustration of a white man firing an arrow while perched on a roof. Circles in various shades of purple surround him. Cover of Hawkeye Volume 3: L.A. Woman, featuring an orange and yellow honeycomb montage with a young white woman wearing sunglasses at its heart. She's flanked by another woman wearing a mask and a white man wearing a trenchcoat. Rare black notes accent the image here and there.
Anastasia of Here There Be Books and Hawkeye

I hadn't had Marvel Unlimited for three days before Anastasia popped into my mentions to say I had to read Matt Fraction and David Aja’s HAWKEYE, I just had to.

Okay, then. I finished off my current comics project and dove in.

At first, HAWKEYE was this cool, stylish, slightly confusing story that happened all out of order. Then it was everything.

Kate Bishop is the light in my heart and the breath in my lungs. I’ve literally fought people over Clint Barton. (Word-fights, not fisticuffs.) I can’t make a recs list without at least trying to slip HAWKEYE onto it, because the people need to know, they need to.

Thanks, Anastasia!


  1. Welp, my TBR pile just got a heck of a lot longer. I've not read ANY of these, and they all sound great. I keep hearing about Stiefvater, but never really focused on The Raven Cycle much, so thanks for the push!

    1. Before Lu and I had that talk, I'd mostly heard about Stiefvater's werewolf books, and mostly in love-it-or-hate-it terms. I had no idea she was so awesome.

  2. I didn't know about Jenny's love for The Company until I mentioned recently that I had listened to Iden. Now I own the next three books thanks to her loving words for the series and I plan to rush through them soon and on through the rest! I will keep an eye out for Bell-Fuckfax. ;)

    1. You'll meet him in MENDOZA IN HOLLYWOOD. He's the woooooooooooooooooooooooooooorst.

  3. I tried to read IN THE GARDEN OF IDEN and just couldn't get into it. I should give it another try!

    1. You totally should! I highly recommend the audio as an easy way in. The narrator delivers a fabulous performance that really captures the divide between Mendoza-as-highly-educated-immortal and Mendoza-as-hormonal-teenager. And she really gets the humour.