Monday, May 16, 2016

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Whimsy and Anarchy

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme for bloggers who like books and lists. It's awesome and is graciously hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is about those books you just happen upon and pick up without hearing anything about them beforehand.
Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim (however you decide to interpret that (bought or read or something else) -- I know most people read based on recommendation but we want to know those books you picked up without really hearing about or knowing much about!)
Being led to books through recommendations is pretty reliable but while it may be more risky, picking up a book with no previous knowledge can be extra rewarding especially when the book turns out to be good!  I've actually discovered some of my favorite books this way.  Here are eight of the best books I picked up on a whim:


1) The Game of Kings (Lymond Chronicles #1) by Dorothy Dunnett

This is my most favorite historical fiction series of all time and I don't think it will ever be eclipsed.  I picked it up while browsing at a bookstore.  It had just been re-issued and I was drawn in by the beautiful new cover.  Yup, I totally judged this book by its cover and it worked!  

2) A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin

With these first two entries I'm wondering if I have some kind of weird fascination with games involving royalty?  As with book one above, I picked it up while browsing in a bookstore back in the heady days of the mid-1990s when this series debuted and before it became a phenomenon.  I don't think it could have been the cover that drew me in (though it's kind of nice) but I don't remember what made me grab it in the first place.  I read it and loved it and it blew my mind and now I have had almost 20 flipping,years of wearily hoping that Martin will actually finish the series.   It's been fun to see this series turn into such a sensation and really become an important contribution to the fantasy genre.

3) Crow in Stolen Colors by Marcia Simpson

I picked this mystery set in Alaska up on a whim at the library and completely loved it.  The bummer is there are only two books and the author has written nothing else :(.  

This is one of my very favorite mystery series!  It features Jane Austen as the detective.  I was lucky to have stumbled upon it!

5)  In the Shadow of Gotham (Simon Ziele #1) by Stefanie Pintoff
I think the awesome cover and the Edgar award made me pick this one up and it has become one of my favorite historical mystery series!

6) Mister Monday (Keys to the Kingdom #1) by Garth Nix

I picked this one up because of the Garth Nix name recognition so not completely whimsical but I had never heard of this series and hadn't read anything else by Nix except one short story.  I ended up loving the series, it turned me into a stalwart fan of Nix and sparked a still active interest in middle-grade fiction.  Pretty good for a whim read.

7) The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Again this one wasn't an entirely whimsical choice as it was on the recommendations shelves at the library where each of the librarians pick 10-15 books to display.  It's not like  I know the librarian and their taste so I had no reason to trust the recommendation.  It just looked interesting and had a fantastic cover.  And it was one of my favorite books in the year I read it.  The follow-up gets released next month!

8) The Foundling (Monster Blood Tattoo #1) by D.M. Cornish

This was one of my very favorite series from a couple of years ago and I discovered it just browsing at my library.  It's a unique middle-grade Dickenisan fantasy tale and I think the cover drew me in.


Looking at the list, I realize that I don't do whim very much anymore, especially with all the recommendations I get from bloggers I trust.  That's all well and good but I should do a little more browsing and picking especially when # 1 and 2 above are two of my favorite series of all time.

What's the last book you picked up on a whim?  Do you have any all time favorites that you just stumbled upon?

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