Top Ten Tuesday is was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. I’m playing catch up this week as I don’t ‘do’ TV – and considering what books can best tempt me out of a reading slump.
The timing on this prompt is apposite, given how little reading I did in August (in spite of all my plans and intentions).
When I’m in a reading funk, it tends to be a mix of obligation (ARGH SO MANY BOOKS/ARCS, TOO MANY REVIEWS) and decision paralysis (WHERE DO I EVEN START) resulting in complete overwhelm (WOE HELP SEND COOKIES). Nothing is the right answer, so everything is the wrong one… unless it’s a reread.
Rereads are comforting, and I often don’t review at the end of them – so they’re a great way to keep reading without increasing my blogging to do list. Besides, I grew up on rereads, and it still feels like a good night out with old friends. This inevitably means some of the best ways to tempt me back into reading is by dangling an old favourite in front of me….
The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch
I know, I know, Locke Lamora probably gets more Top Ten Tuesday love from me than pretty much any other book. But there’s a reason for that. I adore the dialogue, love the relationships, and the opening chapters can literally make me giggle in the street. The only question is whether I stop at one book…
The Day of the Triffids / The Kraken Wakes / The Midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham
I love Wyndham. He’s a quick read, and I may never be able to pick between Triffids and Kraken for my favourite. I’m sure I shouldn’t find the end of the world comforting, but I have the advantage of knowing how it’s going to turn out.
The Tethered Mage – Melissa Caruso
Amalia and Zaira haven’t yet had the opportunity to tempt me out of a slump, but I’m absolutely certain they will in the future. I’ve rarely fallen so fast or so hard, but the characters in this book are irresistible – and their adventures are too much fun to resist.
A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin
Another life-long favourite – I can’t resist Le Guin’s prose, and even though young Ged is an asshat his journey is so compelling. But honestly, this is a stand-in for one of several books I’ve loved since childhood: it might also be The Weirdstone of Brisingamen or The Chronicles of Prydain (yes, probably all of them).
The Wayfarers books are a lingering hug from a good friend, all affection and good cheer and understanding. The emotional journeys, the banter, the reflection and growth – not to mention the casual galaxy-building – are as delightful and refreshing as a good cup of tea. And you can read either one without having to read the other. Although reading both isn’t a bad idea.
A Song for Arbonne / The Lions of Al-Rassan – Guy Gavriel Kay
I mean, almost anything by GGK isn’t a bad tempt, but these two are dearest to my heart (and as stand-alones, they have an added advantage). I will overlook a lot for his turn of phrase, but I genuinely enjoy his recasting of history and his evocation of romantic tension.
A Matter of Oaths – Helen S Wright
One-off space opera is always tempting, and while something like the Culture is too demanding when I’m struggling to engage with reading, something character-driven, queer and pacy like A Matter of Oaths or Melissa Scott’s Burning Bright will always get a second look.
A Natural History of Dragons – Marie Brennan
Yes, dragons will always be able to make reading appealing, as will headstrong young ladies who run after brigands in their nighties (the ladies, not the brigands). I’m fairly sure I’d struggle to resist an invitation from Lady Trent, no matter how out of sorts I was feeling.
Spellslinger – Sebastien de Castell
It was either this or A Darker Shade of Magic – something breezy and snarky, with darker undertones and larger than life characters. I loved Spellslinger and am attached to Kellen’s ongoing growing pains – they’re easy to dip in and out of, but surprisingly rewarding.
All that said, what am I tempted to read as I emerge from my current slump? Well, something new…
What books tempt you into reading when you’ve not been in the mood?