Bookshelf Tour pt. 8: Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Two Shelves

We’re moving along to the next two shelves of my SFF bookcase. More of my favorite books reside on these shelves.




The toy mountain lion came from the gift shop at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. My friend J and I drove up there over a long weekend about ten years ago and spent a wonderful couple of days wandering around the park and watching out for bison. The park is literally in the middle of nowhere, but it was beautiful and there was hardly anyone there. Not as spectacular as Yellowstone or Yosemite, but way fewer crowds.

The photograph is of a sign from the fairy garden at the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in Bunratty, near Galway, Ireland. I’m a little surprised that I made it to this place, as I went there on the very first day I was in Ireland– just a few hours after my overnight flight landed. I was jetlagged and exhausted and I’d only had a short nap at the hotel. While I had to hide from a couple of downpours, I had a great time wandering around what was, honestly, a cute little tourist trap. The sign says “Tread carefully. Fairies sleep here”.


We’re almost at the end of the bookshelf tour. Just one more shelf, but it contains mass market paperbacks that are double shelved, so it will basically be the same shelf twice, but with two parts.

14 thoughts on “Bookshelf Tour pt. 8: Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Two Shelves

  1. Some of what’s here are my favorites, as well, like The Slow Regard of Silent Things, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Earthsea, Murderbot, and others. And there are quite a few here I’d love to read, some of which I already own. I think the ones highest on my list yet to be read might be A Memory Called Empire and The Grace of Kings, though I’m always shifting things around. I also want to start The Stormlight Archive, but that thing is so huge I’m not in any hurry. And sometimes those little tourist traps are so charming you can’t help but enjoy them.

  2. I’m looking forward to A Memory Called Empire and The Grace of Kings, too. Maybe next month! I’ve read the first two Stormlight Archive books, and while they have an amazing work and some great characters, I don’t know if I’ll continue the series or not. I bought Oathbringer used, so I don’t feel a major need to read it just because I bought it.

    Bunratty was super charming! It’s this big medieval tower overlooking a recreated Victorian village. Does it present an overly sunny view of Victorian Ireland? Sure, but I was willing to spend the afternoon with the illusion. The people I encountered there were wonderful.

  3. I’m of course adding some of these to my TBR.
    I tried my first Gaiman book last month, but it didn’t work out for me unfortunately. I DNF’d American Gods. I have Stardust on my shelves and am hoping for better luck with it.

  4. American Gods isn’t my favorite of his. That honor goes to Neverwhere. I do enjoy Stardust (especially the movie!), And Norse Mythology is high up there, too. And if you can find a recording of him reading his story, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, give it a shot. I think it’s fantastic.

  5. Thanks for these recs 😊
    I do like his voice. I decided to try American Gods on audio after struggling with the book. He narrates the Author’s Note part and, oh my, I could listen to him all day, lol.

  6. The stories about your shelf trinkets make me super happy. There are so many wonderful memories in them! Thank you for sharing.

    I have read a shockingly small number of these authors. I’ve read nothing by Valente, Ibañez, Rivera, Khan, Lee, or Herbert. You’ve recommended many of these books to me in the past. I will be suggesting Jade City for my next SFF book club read. Here’s hoping I’ll add a new author to my list now!

  7. I don’t usually keep trinkets unless they have a lot of meaning behind them. The cats will bat them off otherwise! But they don’t bother the stuffed animals, and the photo of the fairy sign has only been knocked off once or twice.

    Ibañez only has one book out right now- Woven in Moonlight- and it just came out last winter. Cat Valente has a bunch of books out, but they tend to be offbeat sorts of narratives. If you’re looking to try her books, give the fairyland books a shot. They’re meant for younger readers, but they have so much charm! The first one is called, I think, ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making’. I think you’ve gotten Rivera’s Their Bright Ascendancy trilogy recently, right? It’s gorgeously written. I really enjoyed Jade City, and I plan to read the second on in the trilogy soon. And then Dune… Dune is one of my favorites of all time, but it’s a weird narrative structure and the story isn’t told in a standard fashion, so I understand why current readers tackle it and then don’t like it.

    I haven’t read Khan’s fantasy books yet. I read the opener of her mystery series a year or two ago. It was fine, but I wasn’t all that chuffed about the main characters, which is what I read mystery series for. I’m planning to start The Khorasan Archive pretty soon. It sounds like it could be great.

  8. Haha– I didn’t expect you to recommend a book from each author. Just where to start. 😉 I DO have Their Bright Ascendancy. I look forward to starting them soon. I’m trying to finish at least one series before I start another, so I have to finish Jemisin’s Dreamblood duology first. That shouldn’t be *too* hard. Trying to read the books I own can be so difficult sometimes!

    My husband thinks the book Dune is absolute trash– which is one reason I desperately want to read it. We tend to enjoy very different books from each other. So I’ll probably love it. XD I didn’t realize that there were so many Dune books until you posted this, however! I thought it was just a trilogy.

  9. *lol* I can’t help but recommend books! I hope you love Their Bright Ascendency!

    He doesn’t love Dune???!!! We will spread his water upon the sand under the noonday sun!

    I have an extra copy of Dune. I can send it to you, if you want. It’s a mass-market paperback. There are six books in the main series that Frank Herbert wrote, and then his son Brian (along with Kevin J. Anderson) wrote a whole flock of sub-par books in the Dune universe.

  10. He loves the films, thinks the book is garbage. It’s a very confusing thing.

    Oh man. Yes, please! I’d love to read it finally.

    I know Kevin J Anderson! It’s a weird connection. He also wrote a bunch of Star Wars novels and two books in conjunction with Neal Peart. (RIP) Plus a bunch of other stuff… I don’t know how I missed he wrote the sequels with Brian Herbert. That man is far too prolific.

  11. The David Lynch film is incomprehensible. The SyFy film is better, especially when it comes to Children of Dune. The book is superior to the films, though I am looking forward to the Denis Villeneuve film this winter.

    Weird that you know Kevin J Anderson! He is definitely super prolific. I’ve never really liked his books. I think if he slowed down a bit, they’d be better…..

  12. Anderson’s writing isn’t the greatest, but he puts together a solid story. I’m mostly impressed that he can make a living only writing books. Not many people can do that! I’ve only chatted with him a handful of times, but he’s an interesting and down-to-earth guy who seems to understand he’s no Shakespeare. XD

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