Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2018

Happy Christmas to those of you who celebrate!  And to the rest of you, we’re almost done with 2018!

Today I want to share the top ten books that I’ve read this year, most of them didn’t actually release in 2018, but I’ve been doing a lot of backlog reading, which is great!  These are the ones that really got to me by evoking deep feels or wonderful imagination, vivid images that I made (or will make) into fanart, or just made life a little easier to live.

In no particular order, here are my top ten favorite reads of 2018!

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Top 10 Movie/TV Characters I Want a Funko Pop for

I’ve decided to do something a bit different with this post.  It’s actually the first of two three posts (while writing this I discovered there are some fandoms that don’t fit these 2 categories) where I explain why I want Funko Pops of certain characters.  (Spoilers: It’s to feed my Funko addiction collection!)  This post will focus on Movies and TV shows that don’t already have Funkos in existence or announced (that I’m aware of).  These are easier to find photo references for and are more likely to be made someday.  Then the second post will feature favorite book characters that would be auto-buys if Funko ever did make them.  That list is harder to dream about because of the lack of photos, but I’ll talk about that more in that post.  The third will feature whichever ones I’m craving that don’t fit those first two categories.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Go To Recommendations

After realizing I hadn’t made a Top Ten list in some time, I decided to make one featuring my 10 favorite go-to recommendations for books/series/authors.  You’ll see why I couldn’t just settle on one category once you read the list, but these seem to be my favorite recommendation pile for whenever a friend, family member, or random internet person asks for cool new stuff to read.  It does change over time as new books and authors get released and I read backlog titles, but I tend to shout about these the most right now.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Visual Elements

This week’s Top 10 focuses on visuals!  Which is awesome because there are so many fun books that I’ve collected and read based on artwork.  See where the meme started here!

This is just a brief listing of some of my absolute favorite art accompanied stories 🙂

Princess Ai: Ultimate Edition

A manga that featured an art style that embraced music, pop rock, girly pretty things, and gothic lolita fashions.

Kitty & Dino

Not only is this a cute picture book about a cat that finds itself sharing a home with a newborn dino, but the art is gorgeous enough to frame.

Gotham City Sirens #1

My favorite trio of characters from the Batman universe presented in a lovely art style.

Stardust

There’s a lovely illustrated novel of Stardust that features the art of Charles Vess.

Flora and the Peacocks

Another picture book, this one tells the tale of newly formed friendships without using words.

MeruPuri, Vol. 1 (MeruPuri, #1)

I fell in love with author/artist’s art back in high school, and I still re-read this manga series occasionally.

The Tiger (Love, #1)

This graphic novel tells the everyday life stories of various animals without using words.  It focuses on the main animal but shows the environment and other animals in the area as well.

Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery

Here’s a graphic novel series that’s basically Dungeons and Dragons with an all-female, butt-kicking cast!

Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening (Collected Editions)

The art is actually what drew me to this graphic novel, and now I can’t wait for volume 2.

Return to Labyrinth, Vol. 1

If you love the Labyrinth movie, then you’ll love this sequel manga series.

Sailor Moon, Vol. 01 (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #1)

So no visual favorites list would be complete without a Sailor Moon reference, so here’s one of my oldest, favorite manga of all time.

 

What books drew you in based on the artwork?  Share your lists below!

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Covers from Favorite Authors

We all know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  And, we all know that we do the exact opposite all the time.  And part of this is because we are visual creatures, but another aspect is targeted marketing because, to be honest, covers are made to sell.  There’s been a lot of talk lately about covers, but today I want to focus on my favorite covers from some favorite authors.  Some of them are older publications, some foreign editions, and some are just the original cover I remember reading!

Magic Study (Study, #2)

I found the original covers from Luna Books to be much more visually appealing than any of the newer ones.  There was so much to look at and it gave more emphasis to the fantasy aspect.

Cinder (Cronache Lunari, #1)

I can’t remember which language this is, but I love the swirliness and intrigue portrayed.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

While not my favorite cover as it doesn’t do the story justice, I admit I picked this book up because of the cover.  And was so glad I did as Laini is now one of my top favorite authors.

Image result for japanese green rider coverImage result for green rider covers

I love almost all of the covers for the Green Rider series.  The artwork is amazing and fits that story so well.  And the foreign editions hold up nicely.

In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)

After finding Tamora Pierce, I started collecting all the Tortall books and this is one of the covers I found at my favorite second hand bookstore.

Acorna's Rebels (Acorna, #6)

Acorna was one of earliest favorite series and this was my favorite book of the series and also my favorite cover.

The Black Swan (Fairy Tales, #2)

I LOVE this cover!  And it’s my favorite book by Lackey!

Wolf Captured (Firekeeper Saga, #4)

This cover features everything I loved about the Firekeeper Saga: wolves, big cats, and talking to animals.

The Fire Opal (Lost Continent, #4)

I love all the covers that were painted by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law,  but this one in particular was very appealing.

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)

This is probably my favorite of the Mercy Thompson covers, but they’re all pretty amazing.

That’s all for this week, next week the planned theme focuses on art in graphic novels and picture books.  To see all the chosen themes, check out the site that originated the meme.  I hope you’ll share your lists as well.

 

Top 10 Best Book Covers of 2016

Today’s Top 10 in 2016 topic is best book covers! “Best Book Covers of 2016 (MUST be a book released in 2016. Would be best if it’s a book you’ve READ in 2016, but it’s not required).”

Since yesterday’s post wasn’t a true top 10, today’s should make up for that 🙂  Here’s my favorite 2016 release book covers, most of which I was able to get read already!

The Transference Engine

I haven’t read this one yet, but look at that hummingbird!Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

So, I really like the covers for the whole Throne of Glass series, but I was at the reveal for this one, which makes it a little more special.A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1)

I actually like Breath of Fire‘s cover better, but it’s a 2017 release and this one is also really good.Heartless

The Owlcrate exclusive cover is simple yet has good composition.A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1)

I love the colors in this fiery rose!Shadow Magic  (Shadow Magic #1)

This cover gives such a fantastic intro to the actual story, plus who doesn’t love a giant bat.Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

I haven’t read this one yet, but the cover is very alluring.The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #2)

I haven’t had a chance yet to read this one, but the cover is just as amazing as The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, which was a great read.Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)

I love every cover in the Mercy Thompson series, but this one was incredibly powerful and really stuck with me this year.Heroine Complex (Heroine Complex, #1)

I found this book because of the cover artist and everything about this cover is awesome, which makes it my ultimate favorite 2016 cover!  Look at those demon cupcakes!!

Top Ten Things I Don’t Like About Covers

As promised, here’s the counterpart to last week’s Top 10.  Here I have some examples of covers that I don’t like with explanations about what upsets me.  These are definitely all personal taste/artistic reasons so feel free to disagree (without being nasty please) in the comments below.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

 

Last week, I shared how much I liked the new cover for Throne of Glass.  Well, here’s the original.  Even though I liked the synopsis, this cover really threw me off.  It’s such an awkward pose, and the knife on her arm isn’t doing anything.  I’m really glad this cover went away.

 

 

 

 

 

The Elite (The Selection, #2)

 

 

As much as I liked the cover for The Selection, I hated this cover.  This red dress looks horrible and almost looks like someone photoshopped in on a computer instead of a real person wearing a real dress.  The color is great, but that dress…

 

 

 

 

Sunshine

 

 

One of several covers for this title, the close up of a single eye isn’t that intriguing to me.  I like the color, glimmer, and swirlies, but the eye almost screams horror, which doesn’t match all the things I just listed as liking.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2)

 

 

I would like this cover better if I didn’t know a better one existed.  The hardcover’s original cover featured tree branches that curved in such a clever way as to make a sinister face.  I like when covers are clever, so this key is a big let down.

 

 

 

 

 

Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum, #14)

 

 

One of my pet peeves about adult book covers is that the author’s name takes up so much space.  The second one is that adults can have awesome covers too.  We still choose books based on covers, and something like this just looks like a high schooler made it in Word for a computer class.

 

 

 

 

Whirligig

 

 

 

This cover makes me extremely uncomfortable, and I’m not sure why.  It matches the book and the title really well, but something just makes me feel weird.

 

 

 

 

 

The Peripheral

 

 

Maybe this cover matches the actual book, but I can’t make that connection as I haven’t read it.  This is just boring.  I wonder if it has a secondary cover with die cut words; however, there needs to be more cut outs to grab my attention.

 

 

 

 

Poison Study (Study, #1)

 

 

One more alternate cover, then I’ll stop 🙂

I mentioned yesterday that Poison Study underwent several cover iterations.  This one was for the YA specific release, and while I like the vines, they don’t share anything about the story or characters they’re covering.

 

 

 

 

The Night Dance: A Retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (Once Upon a Time)

 

 

I understand why publisher aren’t showing full people on covers, and I understand showing partial faces.  What I don’t understand is why they decide to focus on the front torso of young women.  Have you noticed it’s mostly busty/hourglass girls?  And when a male is shown, he’s topless?  At least this one has another image on the bottom.

 

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

 

 

This is an eye-catching cover, and I love the blue.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t speak much to the story.  It could be a metaphor for the characters, who all seem to be hiding something.  But you really have to dig deep for this cover to tell you about the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lotus and Thorn

 

 

Here’s a bonus cover:  I actually really like this cover.  The colors, the image, the font all work together and give an impression of the actual book.  However, and this is nitpicky, the main character has six fingers on each hand.  It doesn’t appear that the model was altered to show that fact though, and it would have been pretty easy for a big publisher like Penguin.  I guess I was just disappointed by this oversight.