Bedside Table

Need something to read on your next trans-Atlantic airship flight? Here are some recommendations from my ever-growing library.

Books By Category:

Steampunk

The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
This story about a machine’s life was compelling and beautiful, but bittersweet. I don’t want to spoil it folks, so I’ll leave it there. Worth your time if you enjoy sci-fi or steampunk. A character-driven story that is rare for those genera.

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
A YA steampunk adventure that I couldn’t put down. Cross kept my interest and the characters were unique.

Hunted (The Flash Gold Chronicles, #2) by Lindsay Buroker
This was a truly enjoyable quick read. A Steampunk author that I will continue to follow. Her characters were lovable and the story was fast-paced and fun. Very worth the download.

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Not only is the romance molten hot, this steampunk story has one of the most fascinating worlds I’ve encountered in the genera. Brook has done her homework and she casts a vivid spell.

Lady of Devices by by Shelley Adina
I’ll admit, I did not see where this plot was headed. She zigged where I thought she would zag. A fun read!

Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer
This collection of fun short stories by well-known authors working in this fun genera was a great impulse buy. I am fascinated by not only the range of what is considered Steampunk, but also by the creative ways each author approaches story in this well-composed volume. The VanderMeers know their stuff.

Gaslamp Fantasy & Traditional Fantasy

Firelight (Darkest London) by Kristen Callihan
Oh, this story had it all. Steamy romance, compelling characters, adventure, danger and a creepy villain. Loved it!

Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
Loved the story and I was even more impressed by this author’s meticulous use of only period-correct language for her Regency setting.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
I also read the follow-up book The Wise Man’s Fear. Rothfuss is one of my new favorite fantasy writers of all time. I can’t recommend these enough.

On the Craft of Writing

Bullies, Bastards and Bitches: How To Write The Bad Guys Of Fiction by Jessica Morrell
Highly recommended for anyone writing fiction! Wow, I am seeing my characters in a whole new light now. I had a chance to meet and talk with Jessica at a recent writers’ conference, and I am so glad I picked up a few of her how-to books. Now I know I’m writing “dark-heroes” and “bad boys.” Hmm…

Classics

The Arabian Nights: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night Translation by Richard Burton
Why? Because my WIP involves djinns. And really, you don’t need a reason to read this awesome collection of myths from the Islamic world. Highly recommended if you can get past the cultural references that today seem racist (much ado about this on Amazon). But the core of the story is a fascinating look into this ancient world full of enchanted princes, young lovers, talking animals and lost treasures.

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C. S. Lewis
If you only think of The Narnia Chronicles when you think of Lewis, you owe it to yourself to dig deeper. This retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche was breathtaking. The first person narrator was one of the most vivid and fully-realized personalities I’ve encountered in a novel in some time.

Generally Awesome (Miscellaneous)

After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Wow! This book is unlike anything I’ve read lately. Not only does Murakami use a true third-person omniscient narrator (very rare), he does it with magical prowess. This book had me spellbound from the imagery on page one. Writers like him make it look easy.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
Take a flashlight with you when you read this one, folks. King isn’t afraid to take you into the dark in this collection of short stories. Ditto his similar collection, Just After Sunset. And I love, love, love how he uses deep point of view in his writing.

Runaway by Alice Munro
I can get lost in short stories like this amazing collection. Her prose can evoke imagery that gives you goosebumps. If you haven’t discovered Munro yet, take my advice and check her out. (One of the few authors form my college required reading days that I still pick up for pure enjoyment.)

Seduction Creek by Avery Flynn
The story and characters have so much heart. Flynn has a gift for making her characters come to life on the page and her suspense is peppered with just the right amount of humor.

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