• Bookish Lists

    Favorite Underrated Authors and Their Books

    *When someone says the words “favorite authors” what springs to mind? Usually its the most popular author at the moment. Maybe Sarah J Maas or Rainbow Rowell. Whoever it is I’m sure a lot more than a few hundred people know who they are. If I asked you who your favorite underrated author was, what would you say? In this post I’m going to give you my favorite underrated authors and some of their books I’ve loved.

    David Clement-Davies

    Fire Bringer
    Genre: Fantasy
    This is the story of a deer born on the night his father was murdered. Some of the prevalent themes are prophecy, conspiracy, corrupt leadership and the battle between good and evil. The story follows the young deer through his journey to overcome evil and save his herd. It is entirely about deer, kind of like Watership Down is all about rabbits. I read this book when I was much younger and I loved it.

    The Sight
    Genre: Fantasy
    Much like Fire Bringer, The Sight is about animals. In this case, it follows a wolf pack as they fight for the survival of their most vulnerable members, a new litter of wolf pups. I loved this one just as much as Fire Bringer. There is also a sequel but I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Sight.

    Garth Nix

    The Abhorsen series
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Book one: Sabriel
    Sabriel’s father is a necromancer who takes care of dead things that don’t necessarily want to stay dead. But, since Sabriel has been attending a boarding school in a country where no one needs a necromancer, she knows almost nothing about how to be one. When her father suddenly goes missing it’s up to Sabriel to enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

    I loved this series so much when I read it. I’ve reread it a couple of times and I always love it. I can’t wait to do another reread of it soon.

    The Keys to the Kingdom
    Genre: Middle-Grade Science Fiction

    Book One: Mister Monday
    It’s been so long since I read these that I’m really not sure what to put here. You can always read the synopsis on Goodreads. Just click the title above! I remember loving these, even if they were a bit confusing. I think these would be great for younger kids to read. Probably the 10-13 age range.

    Libba Bray

    The Gemma Doyle trilogy
    Genre: YA Paranormal
    Book One: A Great and Terrible Beauty
    A Great and Terrible Beauty, the first book in the trilogy, is about a girl named Gemma who finds herself alone at a boarding school in England after her mother’s death. What ensues is a lot of paranormal and interdimensional travel. It’s very gothic and very YA. It’s also old so there are all of the normal issues that books from the early 2000s always had. That said, I really enjoyed the trilogy.

    Marissa Meyer

    The Lunar Chronicles
    Genre: YA Sci-fi

    Book One: Cinder
    Cinder is the first book in this four-book series. You follow a young cyborg named Cinder as she tries to navigate the sudden loss of her sister and come to grips with her shocking heritage that she had no knowledge of.

    I really enjoyed this series as a whole. Scarlet and Winter were my favorites of the group.

    Samantha Shannon

    The Bone Season
    Genre: Adult Dystopian
    Bone One: The Bone Season

    The Bone Season is one of my top favorite book series. It hasn’t been completed yet. Only the first three books have been released and I believe the fourth book is set to publish in 2020.

    The Bone Season follows Paige, a nineteen-year-old clairvoyant whose very existence breaks the law of the corrupt government who controls Scion London. Paige and her associates all have the ability to communicate with and use spirits of the dead.
    I feel that it’s one of the greatest underrated book series out there! It’s so good and most people I know have never read it. That makes me sad.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Skyward
    Genre: YA Sci-fi
    Skyward is all about a girl named Spensa who has been an outcast her entire life. After her father went AWOL she’s had to deal with the fall-out between her family and the government. She had to fight her way into cadet school so that she can follow in her father’s footsteps. It’s been her dream her entire life, but she isn’t exactly prepared for what secrets she will uncover on her way to fulfilling it.

    I know Brandon Sanderson is not really an underrated author, but I don’t think enough people are talking about this book! I read this just a few months ago and I loved it! It was so good! The sequel comes out in November 2019 and it’s one of my most anticipated books of the year.

    Christopher Paolini

    The Inheritance Cycle
    Genre: YA Fantasy
    Book One: Eragon

    It’s hard for me to try to describe this book. This is one of my most beloved stories of all time. I will never not like this series.

    It all begins when Eragon finds a blue stone in the middle of the forest. Soon after returning home with it he discovers that its not just a stone but a dragon egg. Can he and the new dragon survive in a world where dragon riders have all but vanished? Join Eragon, Saphira, and Brom on an epic journey across harsh terrain, battling enemies and learning magic as they go.

    That’s it for my underrated authors and their books. There are others, but for the sake of keeping this post short, I only included my absolute favorites. If you decide to check any of these out I’d love to know! I would also love to know your favorite underrated books and authors!

    Happy Reading,

    Alicen

  • Bookish Life

    The Minimalist Bookshelf 101

    *There’s a saying going around on Bookstagram that says, “It isn’t hoarding if it’s books”. And that is the worst advice I’ve ever heard about owning books. One of the most prominent topics discussed on bookstagram is how we will never get all of our unread books read before we die. The simple reason is that we buy too many books in the first place. We buy more books than we can possibly read in a month or a year. Read on for my tips to keep that tbr low and manageable.

    How many books can you really read in one year?

    A great way to control your tbr is to buy fewer books than you can read in a month or year. If you know you can only read around 4 books a month or 50 ish books a year then you buy less than that. I’m fairly certain my jaw dropped when I was told this. Like what? This would make my reading life soooooo much better. And save me a ton of money! Plus I would only be buying books I knew I was going to read right away.

    Are you going to read it soon?

    Another rule I’ve started living by is to only buy a book I know I’m going to read in the next 30-60 days. The reason we buy books in the first place is that we got excited about them and we want to experience what everyone else has experienced. It’s a good rule of thumb to read books soon after you purchase them. That way your enthusiasm for the book doesn’t die off and it doesn’t become that book that’s sat on your shelf for five years unread. Which I have never done. Ahem.

    Book box subscriptions.

    I love me a good book box, and there are so many out there! I was subscribed to Owlcrate and LitJoy Crate at one point. I’ve purchased several one-off boxes and I’ve enjoyed getting them. It was like Christmas every month. But I realized that most of the time I was not interested in the book. A lot of these companies don’t tell you outright what the book is so there’s a good chance you won’t like it. The other thing I didn’t like was getting a bunch of merch for fandoms I either didn’t know or didn’t like. It was a pain trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff I didn’t want. And it was a shame to get rid of all the special edition books that I just wasn’t interested in reading. I’ve since stopped any subscriptions and I only buy boxes for fandoms that I absolutely love.

    Book Outlet. The holy grail or not?

    I am a bit jaded now when it comes to the website bookoutlet.com I have gotten some pretty shoddy books from them. Once I paid $8 for a book that I was really excited about. When I got it I was less than impressed. It was not a scratch & dent copy so I was expecting a nice book. I got what looked like a library discard that someone had ripped the glued-on plastic cover off of. It was in terrible condition and I ended up throwing it away. I was so upset that I haven’t bought anything from them since.

    They also get you with the spend $35 get free shipping deal. You can get a lot of books for $35 from them. The unfortunate part is that I never read most of them. I would say that out of all the books I’ve purchased most of the ones I got rid of were from Book Outlet. That’s over 60 books that I’ve gotten rid of unread because I was just not interested in reading them. The only reason I bought them was because they were cheap. Which is not a good enough reason in the first place.

    Those are my top tips for keeping your tbr manageable. I know that number is different for everyone. You may be comfortable with 200 or even 500 unread books on your shelves. (Man, just thinking about that stresses me out.) I’m more comfortable with less than 50. I know some prefer one or two or zero. It’s all based on personal preference and I want you to do what you like. Don’t let me shame you because of your unread book count. All I ask is that you take a hard look at what books you do own and see where you could make small changes. All it takes is a first step.

    Ways to stay accountable.

    You may be wondering how to stay accountable when it comes to not buying books or keeping your physical tbr low. One of the best things you can do is join a community on Instagram that is dedicated to this. My favorite is The Unread Shelf Project. It’s all about reading books on our unread shelves and minimizing the new books we buy. Whitney, who pioneered the #unreadshelfproject also has a yearly challenge to help you check books off your tbr. I haven’t done the challenge but I think I will be joining it in 2020.

    Another great way is to share the tips in this blog post! By sharing with others you’ll get excited each and every time you get someone else excited about controlling their tbr. I know I get excited when I share with others.

    Making progress.

    I still have a pretty big unread shelf. I have around 74 books that I own and haven’t read yet. But that is a huge change from the 160 I had just a few months ago. Now I feel like I’m actually controlling my hobby and my hobby isn’t controlling me. One of the best things I did was to just stop buying so many books. This month I bought one book. (I know, I’m just as shocked as you are. Lol.) One of my big goals for 2020 is to really work on getting that number a lot lower. I would love to have a physical tbr of ten or less books. It’s hard to feel guilty about book purchases when you know you are going to read it sooner rather than never.

    I hope some of these tips have been helpful for you! If you have any other tips I would love to hear them!

    Happy reading friends,

    Alicen