My Favorite Authors Part One – Literary Fiction.

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I intend to make a series of posts on my favorite authors here in the blog.
This blog post series will be divided into Literary Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Graphic Novels, Young Adult and Children’s books. I hope with this to call attention to authors outside the media hyped and most talked about, although some hyped authors will also be listed.

I will also include Brazilian authors and other non-English speaking authors who are sometimes translated and sometimes, unfortunately, not available in English. Perhaps someone will in the future see my message in a bottle and consider translating them. I’m sure their books would be a contribution to the world and deserve to be read not only in Portuguese or their original language but in many other languages. So, regardless of their nationality or language, authors who impressed me with their writing style and awesome stories will be listed here.

I also didn’t list the authors here with a ranking. I like all authors in different ways, and would be hardly pressed to choose among them as my most/least favorite author.

So, without further considerations, here are my favorite authors on

Literary Fiction

1 and 2. Emily Brontë and Jane Austen

If you ask me to name one the two books: Wuthering Heights or Pride and Prejudice, as the best, I would be as paralized as a robot ordered to break one of the laws of robotics. Both books are masterpieces, even if very different from each other. Wuthering Heights has passion and tragedy. Pride and Prejudice has wit, female wisdom and feminism, written in a time probably no one though of it. Both books are must reads. I repeat: Must. Reads.

3. And 4. Charlotte and Anne Brontë

I wished I had three daughters and they would be as talented and leave such legacy to the world as the three Brontë sisters. Probably this would be too much to ask of girls or boys in any case.
Jane Eyre is Gothic and it shows the true importance of female grit in an oppressive society. Let’s reinforce this, Jane Eyre’s bravery and strength of character is a lesson to every girl/woman out there.
The other books of Charlotte and Anne Brontë are also classics, talking about female issues in a time women had no voice. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë for example, talks about a disastrous marriage and all the problems a woman had to go through at that time when she choose to leave her husband. This makes this book important.

5. And 6. Machado de Assis and Gabriel García Marquez

The Goodreads description of Machado de Assis says he is “widely regarded as the most important writer of Brazilian literature” and “the supreme black literary artist to date”. With plenty of reason, I would say. My favorite book from him, Dom Casmurro, was the first one that impressed me first due to its outstanding writing style. In the same way, the writing style of Gabriel García Marquez is so immersive it can transport you into a daydreaming state while reading it. My favorite book from him is Love in the Time of Cholera.

7. And 8. Federico Garcia Lorca and Victor Hugo

My favorite poet and my favorite French author have a theme in common in my favorite books by them: Gypsies. The Romancero gitano and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame are masterpieces with, as Lorca says, a lot of “Duende”.

The theory of “Duende” is in any case interesting . I understand it as the search for that quintessential wild magic capable ot turning artistic work into an immortal masterpiece, like the Opera Carmen, for example.

So here they are, my favorite literary authors. I’m sure I’ve left a lot of awesome authors out of this post, a commented list with 100 or more being too long to be manageable. Besides, I haven’t read everything out there yet even if I did read my share of classic and adult books.

My next posts will continue with my most favorite authors in other genres.

And you? Which are your favorite authors, those you would recommend anyone without blinking?

Let me know in the comments.

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2018 r/Fantasy Book Bingo Reading Challenge

Another Interesting Reading Challenge

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A few of you have probably noticed me talking about book bingo a few times around here and were wondering what exactly I was going on about. Well, now that it’s April 1st (the start of the new bingo period) I thought I’d do a post about it.

r/Fantasy Book Bingo is something I initially started on kind of a whim. Several years ago, after I’d been skulking about reddit’s r/fantasy community for a bit, I found myself engaged in thread about book challenges. In the discussion I mentioned having done a book bingo before and then said ‘I should make a fantasy one for the subreddit’ and a couple of people were like ‘yeah, you totally should’ and thus r/Fantasy Book Bingo was born.

So, what is r/Fantasy Book Bingo? It’s a year long reading challenge with the aim of getting readers to branch out, look at books they…

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The one Readathon to rule them all – TBR #theonereadathon

 

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I’m hyped for this Readathon, created by  Don’t Have a Degree in Reading

So I put together a TBR list for between April 29 – and May 12, 2018!!! 

I won’t dwell on explaining the Readathon rules or challenges since this was already done so well by the booktubers involved. Take a look at the Readathon hosts links at the bottom of this post for more information. 

I also found great book recommendation links on this Youtube video: 

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I confess that I’m in doubt whether I will manage to complete all those challenges with my daily life limited time and preparations for a trip to Brazil, and it could also happen that I change one of my TBR choices. There is nothing I like so much as jumping out of a planned TBR ;-). All considerations aside, here are my choices for each challenge:

 

1. Read a fantasy book written by a POC Author

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova

 

2. Read a fantasy book w/ a POC MC

The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1) by  Helene Wecker. I know, this one has been a benchwarmer for a long time, but I hope to be able to finally read it.

 

3. Read a fantasy book under 300 pages

Less than 300 pages is usually too short for me. I often get a feeling that the story was undevelopped and rushed, but The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton could be interesting.

 

4. Read a fantasy book 1,000+ pages 

Since I already read all GOT series, I consider a challenge to find another fantasy book with 1000 pages that I would like to read at the moment. Perhaps I’ll read a series adding to 1000 pages instead?

Another idea would be to read The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss, but this will only happen if I have time to read the first book of this series and decide to go on with the series.

In any case, I’ll probably read 1000 pages during the Readathon.

5. Read a fantasy book that is a stand alone

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is a stand alone as far as I know.  And I’m planning to read more from this author since I liked The Cruel Prince.

 

6. Read a fantasy book written by a non-English speaking author

The Last Wish (Saga o Wiedźminie #1) by Andrzej Sapkowski, Danusia Stok (Translator). A lot of people seem to be crazy about The Witcher and there is even a game inspired on this series. So it’s time I check it out.

 

7. Read a fantasy book set in a non-European location

The Killing Moon  by N.K. Jemisin. I heard the world is based on Egypt and the plot has something like ‘dream magic’. I also hear all the time about this author, so I’ll check one of her books..

 

8. Read a fantasy book w/ LGBTQIA+ rep 

China Mountain Zhang by von Maureen F. McHugh. This is classic sci-fi that won a lot of prizes. It seems interesting.

 

And you? Any Readathons you are participating in? If you will participate in this one or another leave a link to your blog/youtube channel on the comments.

 

 

 

Readathon Hosts: 

Don’t Have a Degree in Reading: https://bit.ly/2n0D854

Beck’s Books: https://bit.ly/2uGhpVg

Ally Evans: https://bit.ly/2qQ4KeT

Chris Bookish Cauldron: https://bit.ly/2mSgITj

Read and Find Out: https://bit.ly/2F3BTJx

thatbookishgamer: https://bit.ly/2JdPlwG 

James Chatham: https://bit.ly/22EbOpf

 

Winter Writing/Reading Wrap Up

Now it’s Easter, time for my Winter Writing/Reading Wrap Up!
I’ve terribly neglected this blog the last three months, writing short stories instead. On the plus side I am going forward with my short story anthology, which has now 32k of well revised words. I’ll publish my anthology this year, unless I pick some of the short stories to turn into novellas or even novels. I’ve been thinking on listening to my awesome and inspiring beta-readers who often ask me for 50k words in the world and characters of the short story I sent them, so I’m still considering my options carefully.
Now that I talked about my writing, let’s move to the best books I’ve read in winter.

1. Winter Theme: Faeries

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I must confess to being into books with a new paranormal creature this year: Faeries. Because Shapeshifters were so last year. (Only joking, I still like Shapeshifters).

So far I have found only a couple of five star series reads and a couple of somehow meh, 3 star reads from series I’m not going to pursue further. It’s been a challenge to find books with Faeries, the Political Intrigue and less clichéd romance that I prefer, so I would appreciate any Faerie book recommendation on the comments.I won’t dwell in the 3 star books I read, but praise the 5 star ones, which were:

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

I’ll be looking for more Holly Black books in the future. When it comes to this book the hype is deserved, I loved the world building and the ‘cruel prince’ is a very interesting character. It remains to be seen how this story will develop in the next books. I am, in any case, on board.

A Court of Thorns and Roses series (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1 – #3) by Sarah J. Maas

This series turned into a favorite of mine from book 2 onwards. I even reread #1 and #2 after reading #3 to be able come back to the its awesome Faerie World while I wait for the next book in the series.

2. Winter Theme: Dystopia

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I’ve been reading loads of Dystopia lately. I don’t have a reasonable explanation for it, it’s one of those things that just happen, you reading series after series of pessimistic future scenarios to a point where the series blur.
In the sea of Dystopia most books qualify as four stars for me. They are entertaining, and so quick to read I can binge read the whole series in one or two weeks. From the series I’ve been reading I would give honorable mention to:

Shatter Me series (Shatter Me #1 – #5) by Tahereh Mafi 

This series improved with every new book, with very interesting character arcs, and

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid

A very special book. I was listening it as an audiobook that managed to be my favorite so far in 2018; Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot, in my case I could not stop hearing the audiobook until the last sentence of this story. This was my first book by this author but I’ll surely take a look at her other books and go on following this series. I found the reading performance of Candace Thaxton in the Audiobook quite awesome too. This book is also interesting if you want an entryway from YA Dystopia into Space Opera, another awesome sub-genre of Science Fiction.

I also read the next book in this series The Empress (The Diabolic #2) and was surprised at all the twists. I have no idea about how the next book in this series will be, but taking from another great series from Kincaid (Insignia #1 -#3) which was awesome I can only think that it will be equally original and outstanding, so naturally I can’t wait until Fall to read The Diabolic #3.

Have you read these books and liked them too? I am looking for more Faerie themed or Space Opera books recommendations so feel free to suggest any you liked.

My 5 favourite books of 2017

So, I’m a bit late, but I got a cold between Christmas and New Year, so I just had time to wrap up the last reading year now. So here are my conclusions:

  • I was reading a lot in 2017. — 153 books — although…

Half of these were comics or graphic novels that I usually read much faster than a normal book.

  • 60 were science fiction, fantasy, or a combination of young adult and other genres.

I rarely read outside my favourite genres, only one contemporary thriller and a couple of historical fictions. I know people advise you to do that, but “je ne regrette rien” 😉

  • My favourite books of 2017 are mostly quite well known.
  • 6 were non-fiction books, all about writing techniques. I started many books on writing but finished few of them, I take a long time to read non-fiction because I don’t only read them, but mostly study them.

In this year it often happened that a hyped book had the right reasons to be loved by all Booktubers, although there were also cases where they would fail to impress me in the same manner.

I discovered new favourite authors and a few “never-to-read-again” and “how-can-people-actually-like-this?” books. Let me know if you would like me to go all ranty here on the blog.

But overall it was a very nice reading year.

So, here are my (kind of) 5 favourites of 2017!

1) The Saga series (Single Issues #1 – #43)
I read all single issues of this amazing series, I just couldn’t stop. It was amazing! Brian K. Vaughan now appears as number one in my Goodreads list of most read authors due to all the Saga single issues I read. I consider him now an auto-buy and read asap author.

2) The Grisha Verse Trilogy
Leigh Bardugo is a queen! (as I heard on booktube). I really liked this trilogy, and can’t wait to read “The language of Thorns” by the same author, now one of my favourites too.

3) The Night Circus.
Magical, awesome, and special. I was looking for more books from Erin Morgenstern and couldn’t find it. I guess I have to break my rule of no-rereading while the TBR tsunami isn’t tamed and reread this book.

4) Artemis
Andy Weir’s books make you laugh (a lot), while you visit extremely well-built and possible, on-the-near-future corner of (thankfully) not-dystopian sci-fi worlds. I like dystopia, but I read this book on my cell phone while my Kindle was recharging. This is saying something about how great I found this book.

5) The Illuminae Files (#1 and #2)
I’m absolutely spoiled for boring sci-fi after this series. These books were page-turners, full of action, great characters (my favourite is AIDAN), and all the graphic elements, for this reason, I would recommend the books even if people liked the Audiobooks too. All the hype around these books is well deserved, I can totally understand why people freak about these books, lol.

17 Book Prompts from my Reading Challenge 2017

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This year was a blast for me when it comes to reading. Since I started tracking what I read with Goodreads I never read so much, the number was 152 ‘books’ although I must confess that around the half of them were comics or graphic novels, in single issues or collected editions. This was the year I read (and loved) the whole Saga, Monstress, and East of West series and these graphic novels were page-turner-addicting reads. Besides them, I also read more of fantasy, young adult and sci-fiction. I also read around six non-fiction books on writing, a number smaller than I wanted to read this year, and a couple of books outside my favourite genres, thrillers or historical fiction, since I consider retellings another branch of fantasy. I discovered new favourite authors (Brian K. Vaughan, Leigh Bardugo, Victoria Aveyard, Collen Oakes, Brandon Sanderson, Erin Morgenstern) and gave up on others too. So now, without further ado, here are the challenge categories I managed to fulfil this busy year:

1. A book written by a member of The Dragon’s Rocketship:
P.A.W.S. (P.A.W.S. #1) by Debbie Manber Kupfer. (Rating: 4 Stars)
What a cute shapeshifter story, I could not put this book down. I’ll also quite curious to see what will happen to all the characters, so I’ll go on reading this series.

2. The next book in a series you still didn’t finish: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas. (Rating: 4 Stars)
** spoiler alert ** I liked this book more than the third in the series. Manon is a very interesting character and I’m curious about how she’ll develop in the next book. I was disappointed on how Chaol lost space in the story, but perhaps that was the right thing for the plot. Also disappointed on the extremely rushed-up resolution with the two main villains, not enough was said or developed so it was a well-rounded resolution, and the main character didn’t play the central role in both climaxes, perhaps for emotional reasons(?) For this reason, I rate this book 4 and not 5 stars even though this is a very interesting series and I’ll probably read the next book.

3. A book you can read in one sitting: How to Be Perfectly Unhappy by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal. (Rating: 5 Stars)
What a lovely and poetic short graphic novel! I can totally relate to the questions and answers in this book. After all, what means to be happy nowadays? Is happiness or a pretence of happiness the ultimate goal? Or is it fine to be “busy, interested, fascinated” and “perfectly unhappy”?

4.A graphic novel: Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (Manga Classics) by Stacy King (Author) (Adapted by), Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia-Nitouhei (Art “The Tell-Tale Heart”), Chagen (Art “The Cask of Amontillado”), Uka Nagao (Art “The Masque… Read Death”), pikomaro (Art “The Raven”), Linus Liu (Art “Fall of the House of Usher”), Man Yiu (Art “Fall of the House of Usher”). (Rating: 5 Stars)
Gothic, eerie, and beautiful. I liked this Manga version of Poe’s classics a lot. I haven’t read all these stories in their original version but the dark atmosphere from them seems to have been well translated into this format. The art was overall well done and the classic stories dark and eerie depth strengthened it. My favourite stories were The Cask of Amontillado, The Raven and The Mask of the Red Death.

5.A book with a LGBT Character: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. (Rating: 4 Stars)
I liked the underlying theme, but the hype it’s kind of exaggerated. Still, an entertaining comic.

6. A trilogy: The Grishaverse #1- #3 by Leigh Bardugo. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This was the year of trilogies for me, besides this, I read three others and liked them almost as much, but my favourite was “The Grishaverse”. I liked this trilogy so much, I might get the paperback or hardcover box set of it, even if I already read it on my eReader. There are books that you must have on your shelf for a reread.

7. A book in a genre you don’t normally read: You (You #1) by Caroline Kepnes. (Rating: 4 Stars)
The writer’s voice makes this thriller an engaging and page-turning read, while quite original due to the unreliable narrator. And it is indeed a warning on the excessive use of social media.

8.A dystopian: Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie. (Rating: 4 Stars)
** spoiler alert ** This book is slower paced than the most science-fiction dystopia books usually are, but this perhaps due to the characters relationships being in the foreground. This slower pace, in my opinion, also created a better world description and story development, so it was all right for me. I liked the way the story was told even if the book finishes with a hook. And the touching role the Dylan Thomas poem played in the story was so beautiful, that it alone won my good opinion on this book. I’ll probably finish this series later.

9. A book with magic: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. (Rating: 5 Stars)

Magical. It deserves the hype.

10.A book over 500 pages: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This book was as fun as Illuminae, and Illuminae was already a lot of fun. I’m totally spoiled for badly written and boring sci-fi after this series.

11.A book that makes you laugh: Date Night on Union Station (EarthCent Ambassador #1) by E.M. Foner (Rating: 4 Stars)
This book was quite funny and has an interesting story. It’s not exactly a complex and serious sci-fi saga but something light for an entertaining afternoon.

12. A book that makes you laugh literally out loud: Adulthood Is a Myth (Sarah’s Scribbles #1) by Sarah Andersen. (Rating: 5 Stars)
This is quite funny. My only complaint: It’s too short! I could read one thousand pages of this, lol

13. A high fantasy: Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson.(Rating: 5 Stars)
This book is so good you will take your time reading it, so it lasts longer. And so far I can remember, it’s one of the best epic fantasies I’ve read.

14. A book with a war: Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1) by John Scalzi. (Rating: 5 Stars)
The author’s voice gives this sci-fi war story a light and humorous (real ROFL like moments) touch.

15.A young adult book (trilogy): Red Queen (Red Queen #1-3) by Victoria Aveyard
(Rating: 3,4,4 Stars for each book)
I found the story with silver and red people quite interesting, so why 3 to 4 stars? Mostly, and this is a pet peeve I usually have with YA, I think that romance took over other, more interesting, plot components.
I would gladly hear more about how silver appeared and came to power. When did that happen? Was it radiation, selective breeding, genetic techniques that brought the silver their special powers? The mentor figure of Julian was quite wasted as he didn’t provide any information, writers nowadays are so extremely scared of boring readers with backstory they just hint at it most times. I would have liked to know how this world came to be, this exploration of a future scenario being more interesting to me than another love triangle. Even though, I still like the characters and plot so I went on reading this series up to the third book “King’s Cage”. I still feel that the science fiction side of the story is mostly left to the side as no background explanations are given to the story world. Instead, the reader gets a lot of action and really long battle scenes, perhaps this was done so the target audience wouldn’t consider the book boring? I don’t know the reason for the lack of depth of the story world but even though missed it. Well, let’s see how the series will go on.

16. A standalone book: Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid
(Rating: 5 Stars)
A fresh and modern retelling of a classic. Now, can someone please tell me where can I find the Hebridean Harpies series? 😉

17a.) A book that was later made into a movie, play or tv show: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) by Richelle Mead
(Rating: 4 Stars)
I liked this book and its vampire/high school drama mixture. I may go on reading this series, I’m just not intrigued enough at the moment to do that right now.

17b.) Watch the movie you read a book based on
Vampire Academy – I can’t really recommend doing that…