Friday, August 26, 2022

Surprisingly Excellent Reads

Full disclosure: I almost canceled my blog post this week. I'm tired, I have novel writing to do, all the ideas I came up with were either dependent on my reading particular books this week (that I didn't read) or just weren't right for this particular moment in time, and did I mention that I'm really storming tired? (This is about 75% my own fault because I've been going to bed really late, but the reasons why are not fully under my control, so.) But! I didn't feel right canceling twice in a month, and so HERE WE ARE with a topic that I came up with at approximately 4:00 yesterday afternoon. That being: reads that have surprised me in a good way with how much I liked them. There don't tend to be many of these — which isn't a bad thing, because I don't tend to read books I don't think I'll enjoy, which means I'm more frequently disappointed than unexpectedly delighted. But! That is not always the case; sometimes I read things expecting them to be eh and instead discover that they're marvelous. These are those books.


Surprisingly Excellent Reads

  1. Lady of Dreams by W.R. Gingell. It is entirely possible that W.R. Gingell is some sort of magical being based solely on my feelings about this book. It should not be possible for a magical realism character drama that's more or less a blend of an Austen novel and a K-drama to entrance me this much. And yet. It is absolutely in my top five favorite Gingell novels, which means it's beating out the majority of City Between books. It's just so lovely. (I should reread it, honestly.)
  2. Stolen Mayfly Bride by Sarah K.L. Wilson. When I initially read through the list of books in this series, this was one of the ones I had the lowest expectations for. It just sounded weird, you know? But it was written by an author who had blown me away with another of her books (Heart of Shadow, if you want to know), so I gave it a try . . . and it's just lovely. Wilson knows how to write fae well, she knows how to write clever characters, and she knows how to craft a truly excellent arc.
  3. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. I procrastinated on this book for multiple years before I read it. Not even kidding. The plot sounded just enough like a particular trope that I can't stand that it turned me off, even though there's usually not a lot that can put me off a Vimes story. But I had to read it in order to progress in the series . . . and, as it turns out, it's arguably one of the best of the Discworld series. It's not quite as fun as some of the others, but it's very good.
  4. Ten Blind Dates by Ashley Elston. I'm not one for contemporary or rom-com, but as y'all know, I've been trying to expand my horizons these last couple years, and a friend recommended this to me as a Christmas read. I expected it to be ok, but it turned out to be quite delightful — focused as much on family and friendship as it is on romance, surprisingly fun, and not horrendously angsty. I actually liked it enough that I said I was going to reread it in my review. I haven't gotten around to that yet . . . but maybe this winter? We'll see.
  5. Space Boy by Stephen McCranie. This is cheating a little because I read it as a webcomic, not a book, but it does have print edition, so . . . it counts? Right? Anyway. I actually gave up on the comic the first time I tried it; I didn't love the vertical format, and the story didn't catch me. I tried it again a couple years later . . . and proceeded to binge read all the episodes published up to that date in a matter of a few days. It's a lovely, hopeful story, part slice of life and part intrigue/mystery/action (more the latter at this point, but more the former for the first hundred episodes), and I'm glad I gave it a second chance.

What books have surprised you with how much you enjoyed them? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed Space Boy. That's a good one.
    I should read Night Watch sometime, as I have been meaning to read more Discworld.

    1. Yeah, you should definitely read it! Though I recommend making sure that you've read the prior City Watch Discworld books first (which are also excellent, for the record).


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