TTT: Top Ten Books I Picked Up on a Whim

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
I read a lot of books. I know, I know. The vast majority of my reads are either from authors I trust or rec'd by people I trust. It keeps my star ratings higher than average, but sometimes I worry it's keeping me from discovering new authors! So I do try to make use of my library system, Kindle cheapies, and used book stores to give books like these a fair shake:

1. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Homberg

I liked the cover.

I ended up requesting this from the publisher when the second book released because I love origami and paper and the magic system seemed interesting and it reminded me of Patricia Wrede and Tamora Pierce's 90s writing, but I only gave it a second glance because the cover was pretty.

2. The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

I had money left on a gift card.

Beauty and the Werewolf had just come out and kept showing up in my "recommended for you" list on Amazon. I had $5 and change left on a gift card from my mother in law, The Fairy Godmother was on sale, and fairy tale retellings are always my jam.

3. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

I want her dress.

I was making weekly library runs every Thursday, which meant I had pretty well cleaned out the Tudor and Victorian historical fiction sections. The Luxe came up in the search results for historical and I fell head over heels for the cover.

4. Clownfellas by Carlton Mellick III

I wanted it to be bad.

I needed an "out of my comfort zone" book for a reading challenge on the same day Clownfellas popped up on Netgalley. It seemed serendipitous and like a good, snarky review. Shame it's kind of...good?

5. Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin

The publisher claims I won a contest I didn't enter.

This book remains a mystery to me, because I did not request it. Unlike other unsolicited ARCs I've gotten, this was a finished copy and claimed I'd won a contest. Still, PT Barnum's always had a certain mystique, so I saw no reason to send it back.

6. Unlocked by Courtney Milan

It was free.

2012 was the year I really discovered the romance genre. It was also the year I discovered the romance genre gets damn expensive when you read 3 a week. Unlocked was the number one free Kindle romance. While I didn't love the story itself, something in it spoke to me enough to buy Unveiled and start my Milan obsession.

7. Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott

I thought it was a different book.

When I borrowed Shadows on the Moon from the library, I thought I was picking up Ash by Malinda Lo. Turns out that both are Cinderella retellings with LGBT diversity, though they really couldn't be more different in execution.

8. The Maid by Kimberly Cutter

I...have no idea.

This was again borrowed from the library during my historical fiction binge, but nothing about the book speaks to me in the usual way. The cover is relatively generic, it wasn't a new release, I detest overt Christianity in books. I'm not sorry I read it, but I absolutely don't remember why I did.

9. How To Date a Henchman by Mari Fee

The title made me laugh.

This one actually is that simple. I thought the title was delightful and I really like stories about the people around superheroes. Actually, I just got and read Heroine Complex for the same reason...

10. Of Noble Birth by Brenda Novak

It was free...again.


I didn't know the author was one of the most famous and prolific in the genre.


I thought it was new.


It was a boxset with Honor Bound, which I still haven't read after owning for four years.

So there we go, ten books I basically picked at random that turned out to be rather quite good! How do you select your next read? And stay tuned for BEA2016 round ups coming all this week!

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