Tuesday, February 28, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY | Critters on Covers

The official Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is on a well deserved hiatus but unfortunately, I am addicted to making lists.  And lists of books is a whole special kind of fun. So I carry on despite having no direction. Egad!

I was trying to think of some way to highlight some random books I've read recently and I struck on the idea, completely original and new (Not!), to pick a cover element and just list the last ten books I read that contained that cover element.  And OF COURSE, my first thought was animals.  I like 'em.  They make me happy. I like when a book has one on the cover.

SO, here we go:

1) Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani

The critter on the cover is imaginary and its image is impressionistic but I say it counts.  Because I'd like to tell you what a great book this is!  The bird represented on the cover is a Phoenix and it does in fact play a role in this story.  This is the second book in the Sunbolt Chronicles which follows the adventures of a young magic-wielder, Hitomi as she rebels against an evil mage.  In this book she must rescue her mentor from his clutches.  This is a YA series and it's really really great!  I highly recommend.  Start with book 1 Sunbolt, which is a novella. 

2) Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs

This cover has a couple of howling iron wolves perched atop the coolest gate ever. I'd like to have this at the entrance to my homestead some day.  It just says "Welcome!" Ahem.  This was a nice start to what I am hoping will be a new favorite Urban Fantasy series.  My Review.

3) Appleseed Creek Mystery Series by Amanda Flower

This is a really enjoyable 4 book cozy mystery series set in Ohio's Amish Country.  The protagonist is a computer science professional from the city who moves to the sleepy town of Appleseed Creek to work at a small college.  She quickly finds herself making friends with the local Amish and also solving some murders.  The ubiquitous horse and Amish buggy are on all the covers. If you are looking for something light, with a likable protagonist and a nice romance subplot, you should check this series out!

4) Crime and Poetry (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #1) by Amanda Flower

Note that this is another cozy mystery by the same author as above.  I really like her writing and characters - fun cozies with a touch of romance.  She gets the blend just right.  This one is her newest book and is set in the charmingest of charming New England towns in a magical bookshop replete with its own tuxedo cat.  Who is not magical. Just cute.

5) H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

This is a non-fiction book that is in fact partially about the critter on its cover.  It's a memoir about the author dealing with the sudden death of her father.  Part of the way she does this is by training a Goshawk as a falconry bird.  It's a beautiful, gorgeous book! My Review.

6) Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory by George O'Connor

Hera's holding a little birdie!  Not really sure why....  I don't remember it playing a role in the story and the only bird I associate her with is the peacock because she turned hundred-eyed Argus into the very first one.  Anyhoo, this middle-grade/YA graphic novel series is pretty good to excellent with this third volume about Hera being when it becomes excellent.  My Review.

7) Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Nathan Hale and Dean Hale

Another horse, of course, because this middle-grade graphic novel re-telling of the Rapunzel story is set in a Wild West-esque type setting.  I really adored this ...well...adorable graphic novel and its sequel Calamity Jack.  Shannon Hale has made her name writing fairy tale re-tellings and this is the most inventive take I've read by her.

8) Enchanted, Inc. Series by Shanna Swendsen

This enchanted frog prince shows up on all the covers for this hybrid Urban Fantasy-Paranormal Romance-Chick Lit series.  There is an enchanted frog in book one and one of the executives of MSI, Inc. (Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc.) is, in fact, a frog but it's a very minor part.  This is a really fun and fluffy series that features a Texas girl that moves to the Big Apple and discovers that magic is real and she has the very rare ability of being immune to it.  This makes her an asset to MSI, Inc. and as soon as she starts her job with them, adventures ensure.

9) Guardians of the West (Mallorean #1) by David Eddings

Guardians of the West is the first book in the Mallorean, the follow-up series to David Eddings hugely popular Belgariad.  Garion and Belgarath can turn into wolves and in fact Belgarath's wife/Polgara's mother is a wolf so I guess that is why one is on this cover?  The Belgariad is awesome, I just re-read it last year and it held up and I loved it.  If you want a good old fashioned, sword and sorcery quest fantasy, the Belgariad has you covered in fine order.  I was so pleased with it, I happily jumped into the Mallorean and was bored to tears by this first book.  I haven't continued on yet and don't remember from childhood if it gets better but this first book is a total snooze.

10) The Palace Job (Rogues of the Republic #1) by Patrick Weekes

Unicorn!  The list is starting and ending with a mythological creature, how about that!  Ululenia, the unicorn, is actually a character in the book and can shift her shape to human, bird, whatever.  She specializes in befuddling people's minds and doing earth magic which makes her a valuable addition to this gang that is looking to steal a priceless artifact from the Palace.  This is a fun book and I'm currently reading book two in the trilogy.  It's got a nice diverse cast as well! My Review


That's the most recent ten books I've read that have had an animal on the cover, ordered from most recent to least recent.  I read The Palace Job in late September of 2016.  It seems that animals are quite popular to include on covers. Either that or I've got a type!  What about you?  What's the most recent book you've read with a critter on the cover?  Did that critter play an important part in the book?

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