Tag Archives: connie willis

TOP TEN TUESDAY – SCHOOL FREEBIE

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is a SCHOOL FREEBIE. I went with books that are set in or around schools, colleges or universities!

Of these, Well Met, The Raven Boys, and A Discovery of Witches are my favorites. Which one would you like to go to school in? I think I’d pick time-travel study from Oxford in To Say Nothing of the Dog, myself.

TOP TEN TUESDAY – IDK MAN, MY BRAIN IS BROKE.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is COMPLETED SERIES I WISH HAD MORE BOOKS, but uh, my brain is literally not working so I instead made you a very pretty rainbow of book covers. Enjoy.

I’ve read all of these BESIDES The Kiss Curse, which I am getting to next month! (I recommend all of these, too!) I’m blaming my lack of coordination and thought on the fact that Will woke up at 3, and would only try to sleep while I was singing to him. So I sang ‘This Old Man’ for an hour, and he finally fell asleep. ANYWAY, I’m brain dead, tired, and just want to go home. Have a post, my friends.

TOP TEN TUESDAY – BOOKS OVER 10 YEARS OLD

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is BOOKS I LOVE THAT WERE WRITTEN OVER 10 YEARS AGO. Pretty sure this one will be easy, but let’s see as I go through my FAVORITES folder on Goodreads.

I had no idea how old some of these were. The oldest of the bunch is Outlander, which was originally published in 1990. The newest is The Raven Boys, which was published in 2012. That one just squeaks into the prompt, so that’s going for me! What’s the oldest book that made your list this week?

TOP TEN TUESDAY – BOOKS WITH GREAT ENDINGS

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a freebie, and my brain is dead, so Pages Unbound helped me on Twitter. My topic this week is BOOKS WITH GREAT ENDINGS. I won’t spoil anything in my post — and PLEASE DO NOT in the comments, either. Vague statements are fine. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of these books!

Special shoutout to my favorite endings of this group – Mistborn era 1 (THAT SANDERLANCHE, people, THE SANDERLANCHE.), House of Sky and Breath, and Abhorsen. WHAT ENDINGS THESE BOOKS HAVE. How much is it killing me not to be to discuss them. Omg.

TOP TEN TUESDAY – BOOKS I WISH HAD AN EPILOGUE

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is BOOKS I WISH HAD AN EPILOGUE. I’m going to twist this a little bit, and really make this more…books I wish had shown the characters happy more often. Because that’s what epilogues are, right? A chance to show the characters after everything has gone down, after everything has settled.

Some of these totally have epilogues. Some of these are the very beginnings of series, and thus you do see more of the characters. But like I said — I wanted more with these characters! I wanted to watch them live their lives together happily. I would, without a doubt, read about most of these characters making dinner together, or doing the dishes, or going on a walk.. Slice of life stuff, you know?

What books do you wish had an epilogue?

MY TOP 5 TIME-TRAVEL BOOKS

Time-travel is one of those tropes that you either love or absolutely despise. Me, well, I can’t resist a time-travel plot. Seriously, it’s like catnip to me. I love learning about history. I majored in Art History in college, because 1. I love art, and 2. learning about why art was specifically made the way it was, where it was, and by who it was just fascinated me endlessly. So much history can be learned just by looking at the art of the time period. ANYWAY, seeing history through a character’s eyes firsthand just scratches many, many itches for me. Especially when the characters travel really far back in time.

Now this trope can be done awfully, so don’t get me wrong — there are definitely time-travel books out there that I cannot stand. However, I thought I’d put together a little list to show you the ones that I can’t get enough of! These are books where at least one character travels BACK in time, or is pulled FORWARD in time.

TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG by CONNIE WILLIS

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the book cover for To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Connie Willis’ Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Doomsday Book uses time travel for a serious look at how people connect with each other. In this Hugo-winning companion to that novel, she offers a completely different kind of time travel adventure: a delightful romantic comedy that pays hilarious homage to Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat.

When too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned’s holiday anything but restful – to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history. 

WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH?  The Doomsday Book
HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 4, technically, but two of them can be read as standalones. (Blackout and All Clear, however, are a duology and you must read them together!)
CW: Fire, war, animal cruelty, misogyny, classism
WHY DO I LOVE THIS BOOK? Many of Connie Willis’s books feel like they were written specifically for me. The world she sets up in the Oxford Time Travel series is huge, and every time she writes another entry into it, I hurry up and devour the book. I’ve never been disappointed by her time travel books. To Say Nothing of the Dog is the funniest entry into the bunch, and never takes itself seriously. If you like to laugh while you read, well, pick this one up as soon as you can!

JUST ONE DAMNED THING AFTER ANOTHER by JODI TAYLOR

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the book cover for Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

“History is just one damned thing after another.”

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power – especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake…. 

WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH?  Just One Damned Thing After Another
HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 13, plus numerous novellas and short stories set in the same world
CW: Sexual assault, death, miscarriage, animal cruelty
WHY DO I LOVE THIS BOOK? Jodi Taylor’s massive St. Mary’s series is a phenomenal piece of work. The world-building is insane, and the research that goes into the time-travel side of things must be ridiculous. The characters in these books go back to SO many different time-periods, and see SO many famous times in history, and every single time it feels like you’re right there next to them. Not to mention the characters themselves are fantastic. I do want to note that the first two books in this series are kind of rough (they’re also not that long), but once you hit the third book, it all starts to be smooth sailing!

THE SHADOW OF WHAT WAS LOST by JAMES ISLINGTON

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the book cover for Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them – the Gifted – are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion’s Four Tenets, vastly limiting their own powers.

As a young Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and his friends are despised beyond their school walls for the magical power they wield: a power that Davian, despite his best efforts, cannot seem to control. Worse, with his final test approaching and the consequences of failure severe, time to overcome his struggles is fast running out.

But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will change his life – and shake the entire world. 

WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH?  The Shadow of What Was Lost
HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3
CW: Death, blood, misogyny, sexism, suicidal thoughts
WHY DO I LOVE THIS BOOK? How do I sum up this series without giving anything away? It’s pretty much impossible, so let me just say this — if you like Wheel of Time, you’ll like this series. If you like series that go full-circle, you’ll like this series. If you like tightly-plotted, fantastic worlds, well, again, you’ll like this series. Basically, I need more people to read this one, okay?

11/22/63 by STEPHEN KING

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the book cover for Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force. Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment—a real life moment—when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk. Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH?  11/22/63
HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 1
CW: Murder, death, domestic abuse, sexual content, alcoholism, racism
WHY DO I LOVE THIS BOOK? This is my first (and only) Stephen King novel that I’ve ever read, and damn is it a chonky boi. This story is an insane one — a man discovers a wormhole back to the 60s, and does his best to prevent JFK from getting shot. I won’t spoil anything else, because you need to experience this one for yourself. It really explores the ramifications of time travel, and what it means to change history at all.

SHADOW OF NIGHT by DEBORAH HARKNESS

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the book cover for Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different—and vastly more dangerous—journey.

WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH?  A Discovery of Witches
HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3, and another novel set in the same universe
CW: Miscarriage, sexual content, blood, pregnancy, torture, antisemitism
WHY DO I LOVE THIS BOOK? This is one of my favorite series ever, so I had to include it in my list. It’s got a BUNCH of my favorite tropes: vampires, witches, mates, time-travel, etc. Eeeeeven if the time-travel really only happens in one book. Harkness is a historian in real life, and she uses her knowledge to write a fantastically detailed Elizabethan England. The romance is something else, too.

Those are my favorite books with one of my favorite tropes — time-travel! And as much as I hate to give her any more attention, I do have to shout out the OG reason why I love the trope so much, and that’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s always been my favorite HP book — the plot is a lot tighter than all the other books, and well, Voldemort isn’t in it! Do you have any recommendations for me for books that have time travel in them?

TOP TEN TUESDAY – QUOTES ABOUT LOVE

Morning. [grumbles] Can someone, anyone, tell my son that he can sleep right through three am without waking up wailing? Poor baby is waking up really whiney and won’t go back to sleep without a big bottle. He’s a year old! He shouldn’t need to eat at night anymore. 😦 ANYWAY, onto my sleep-deprived post…

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a QUOTE FREEBIE. Sooooo, because I have a million of these saved — I’m doing quotes about love.

the book cover for The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

“When the day shall come, that we do part,” he said softly, and turned to look at me, “if my last words are not ‘I love you’—ye’ll ken it was because I didna have time.” — THE FIERY CROSS by DIANA GABALDON

The book cover for Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.” — SONG OF ACHILLES by MADELINE MILLER

the book cover for Shadow of Night by Deborah harkness

“In every moment, for the rest of my life, I will be choosing you.” — SHADOW OF NIGHT by DEBORAH HARKNESS

The book cover for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“I have tried to let you go and I cannot. I cannot stop thinking of you. I cannot stop dreaming about you.” — THE NIGHT CIRCUS by ERIN MORGENSTERN

The book cover for Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

“The moment you first called me a prick, my fate was sealed. O, fathers of my bloodline! O, ye kings of olde! Take this crown from me, bury me in my ancestral soil. If only you had known the mighty work of thine loins would be undone by a gay heir who likes it when American boys with chin dimples are mean to him.” — RED, WHITE, AND ROYAL BLUE by CASEY MCQUISTON

the book cover for A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

“You look like a Turner painting and I want to learn your textures with my fingertips. You are the most fascinating thing in this beautiful house. I’d like to introduce my fists to whoever taught you to stop talking about the things that interest you.” — A MARVELLOUS LIGHT by FREYA MARSKE

the book cover for To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

“And kissed her for a hundred and sixty-nine years.” — TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG by CONNIE WILLIS

The book cover for His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

“I’ll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you…We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pin trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams…And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…” — HIS DARK MATERIALS by PHILIP PULLMAN

The book cover for A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

“I was his and he was mine, and we were the beginning and middle and end. We were a song that had been sung from the very first ember of light in the world.” — COURT OF MIST AND FURY by SARAH J. MAAS

the book cover for Brazen and the Beast by Sarah macLean

“It had been three days since she’d left him alone in his home, having destroyed it with the specter of her presence. He couldn’t do anything in the house—not eat or bathe or light a fucking candle—without thinking of her. Without reliving her, smelling like almond cakes and looking like sin. ……..So, he hadn’t gone home in three days.” — BRAZEN AND THE BEAST by SARAH MACLEAN

What are you favorite quotes about love? Share them below, I seriously want to read them.