Friday, July 26, 2013

Throwing Down the Gauntlet with Flannery of The Readventurer

In the two years since Lisa and I started The Nocturnal Library, I've posted all kinds of things, wrote hundreds of reviews, organized a blog tour and helped put together a week-long blog hop/event, but I have never challenged a friend to read at my recommendation only. Of course, most people would never agree to do such a thing, but you shouldn't underestimate my powers of persuasion. I have honed the skill of transoceanic hypnosis to absolute perfection and I'm afraid my dear friend Flannery had no choice in the matter.

The ReadventurerThat's not to say it was all easy, though. After long and rather hostile negotiations (virtual punches may or may not have been thrown), we agreed on a list of 50 books, most of them adult Urban Fantasy, Steampunk and even Paranormal Romance. (I tried so hard for this last one, but you guys know it gives me allergies.) Some titles you'll all see coming, and some will probably surprise you, but I hope each of you will find something you'll like.

But first, have you guys met Flannery? All jokes aside, she's the best and kindest friend a girl could ever wish for, so if you don't know her yet, run over to The Readventurer and do some research.

And now, onto the list. (Be afraid, be very afraid!)

For some reason, I feel like starting with Steampunk. It's my new love, a genre I never saw coming, to be honest, but one that just keeps surprising me with creativity. Here are some of my favorites:

For Paranormal Romance, I have only one title, but it's one I really like, so I hope you guys will forgive me.

Totally embarassing, right? Right. I didn't want many adult post-apocalyptic, dystopian, futuristic titles, but these just snuck up on me somehow.

I think none of you will be particularly surprised to see that my Urban Fantasy list is by far the longest. All of these are first books of a series, and I love them all.

10. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
11. Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett
12. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
13. Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
14. The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay
15. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
16. Stormwalker by Allyson James
17. Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
18. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
19. Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland
20. Blood Rights by Kristen Painter
21. Right Hand Magic by Nancy A. Collins
22. Midnight Riot by Ben Aronovich
23. Touch the Dark by Karen Chance
24. Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
25. Sealed With a Curse by Cecy Robson 
26. Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson

The adult Sci-Fi list is also very short, but both are books I absolutely adore.

27. Perdition by Ann Aguirre
28. The Academy by Zachary Rawlins

Next is just a list of books I loved at some point in my life. There's a bit of everyhting in there, some classics, two Croatian titles, a few odd choices, but every one of them is a book that means a lot to me.

29. Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany
30. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
31. As If I Am Not There by Slavenka Drakulić
32. Meet Me Under the Ombu Tree by Santa Montefiore
33. Betty Blue by Philippe Djian
34. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
35. Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
36. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
37. Sarajevo Marlboro by Miljenko Jergovic (SS collection)
38. The Stranger by Albert Camus

And finally, because I just couldn't help myself, here are some of my favorite YA titles I wish Flann would read. She told me she doesn't read that much YA these days, so I don't expect her to pick any of them, but I had to include them anyway.

39. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
40. The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
41. All Fall Down by Sally Nichols
42. The Diviners by Libba Bray
43. Sanctum by Sarah Fine
44. Bruised by Sarah Skilton
45. In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
46. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
47. How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kristen Miller
48. Cornerstone by Misty Provencher
49. Boy Nobody by Alen Zadoff
50. Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff

You can go over to The Readventurer to check out Flann's post. She already finished two books from my list and she has plans for more.

What about you guys? Do you have any additional recommendations? Do you see something you'd like to read yourselves?



  1. I've already knocked out Kate Daniels #1 and Charley Davidson #1. I wonder how much time continuing those series will knock out of my attempts to read SO many of these books? Hmmm. I wrote an entire post about which ones I am most excited about but let me say one word right now: PERDITION. Thanks for all the recs, darling. Now I'm off to read! (well, to bed, then to wake up and READ!) <3

  2. Okay I have to say this sounds like the funnest challenge I have seen yet! I would totally do it with someone!!

    Some of these books and series are my absolute favorite. I just know Flannery will have a great time with them.

    1. I would totally do a challenge for you too, Ali! Or vice versa, whatever.

  3. LOL This sounds fun! It's a great thing when you have such a friend. I know how it is. I try to persuade my friends to read some books too but we're all busy with the books we have on our shelves. You've got this Maja! :)

  4. This is a brilliant list Maja, I definitely think by setting up this challenge with Flann you are likely to get loads of reading done! I'm glad to see Out of the Easy and The Diviners made it to your list, I really hope Flann enjoys them! :)

  5. I haven't seen many of those titles but the YA ones are familiar, there are many of my favs and top TBR's on there1

    Great list, Maja! <33

  6. Ohhhh Maja I could help you out with that paranormal romance list! I have a whole slew of suggestions because it's one of my very favorite genres. I always recommend Nalini Singh, J.R. Ward and Thea Harrison for starters. Any of their books are fantastic. I see you already have Jeaniene Frost up there, I was definitely going to recommend Cat and Bones. LOVE THEM! You have some of my favorite urban fantasy series listed as well, you really can't go wrong with any of them.

  7. NICE!! I love lists like this. I even have my own Fave UF/PNR tab on my blog, because my list was getting too long for me to remember off-hand. SOOOO many great books on your list and I definitely see a couple on the UF list that I'll have to check out. Plus, I totally agree with Jenny -- you've got to check out ALL those authors on her list because they're awesome.

  8. I love how nearly every one of these is already on my TBR thanks to your recommendations!(: I'm excited to see what Flann thinks of these and love that she's gotten a head-start too. Wonderful list, Maja!

  9. I haven't read many adult books yet, but now that i'm older I'm thinking about trying some. Ever since I read the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfield, I have been intrigued by steampunk. Thanks for many suggestions! Maybe this time- love the title!

  10. Wow! That is quite the list, Maja. I have read lots of them but your books that you loved some point in your life I have not read any of them. I am most curious to see how many Flannery gets done. I will have to let you challenge me next year but I am only going to let you give me a list of 20 or so... Too many to pick from!

  11. I so need to finish reading the Sirantha Jax series... I told myself I wouldn't read Perdition until I finished that series first. lol I know it's not a requirement to enjoy but I really should try and finish up some series reads. :) And OH Clan of the Cave Bear. My heart. *sigh* Totally adding a bunch of these though... :)

  12. You could move a few of the UF into PNR just because it has that element and I bet you could find them in the romance isle (no one said the book stores make sense). So that might help you feel better (or not! LOL). I remember Clan of the Cave Bear. Well, I remember my parents loving the book, but thought I might be too young for it. They wouldn't have kept it from me but said I probably wouldn't enjoy it until I was an adult. I really should try it one day. :)

  13. This sounds sooo much fun!!! I love all the books on the list. I can't wait to see what Flann thinks of Gameboard of the Gods! I've been meaning to read that since forever! :D Awesome picks, Maja! =)

    *New Follower*

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  14. Fun list, Maja!! I really need to read more of Urban Fantasy and totally agree with your inclusion of The Gameboard of the Gods :D

  15. You know I adored Kate Daniels and I loved the start of Mercy Thompson. I like that you put The Diviners on the list. That's one LONG book but I loved it. I'm wondering what Flann will think of Gameboard of the Gods. So many great books here! I need to read The Conspiracy of Alchemists. I have a copy but just haven't had a chance to pick it up. Too many books I want to read and not enough time! :)

  16. Ooh I love this idea! Having the power over someone's reading list sounds strangely appealing to me. I would NOT want to be in Flannery's position though. Is she allowed to read her own books in between? If not, I really couldn't do that! ;) Those look like some great recommendations though. I enjoyed Touch the Dark and The Diviners, and pretty much most of your YA list. I'm starting my first Megan Whalen Turner book soon actually, so I'm looking forward to that too.

    Good luck to Flann! :)

  17. Ooo, I love the sound of this challenge although I'm not sure how well I'd stick to it because I'm a moody reader and DNF like crazy. From this list, I'm excited about Flannery giving The Queen's Thief series a try. I love that series!

  18. Oh this looks like so much fun! Book challenges where you can hijack someone's TBR pile are the BEST. This is quite an extensive list here, and your YA and UF selections are (unsurprisingly) completely awesome. I've just added a ton of UF titles to my own TBR pile. Heading over to Flannery's site now to see how's she's faring! :-)

  19. Awesome list, and some of these are my favs. I would have added Dark Triumph, and you must read Taking on the Dead ooh and the Newflesh Trilogy.


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