Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Christmas 2016 Gift Guide: Books

Hello all my friends, I have been wanting to put together some gift guides for a while now (read several years) but I never seem to get them done, but this year I was determined! So I am spending the next couple of days listing out some great gift ideas for the book lovers out there. Please feel free to add to my list in the comments and to send this to those who may be shopping for you this holiday season.
Today I have a gift guide for book recommendations. I will be limiting this list to book genres that I read and books that I have read or have interest in reading, I do this because I can't really say what someone who reads say true crime might enjoy, or even what a great book recommendation might be. So I will be listing a few books for each genre that I think someone else may enjoy.  I will be including some older releases and some brand new ones as well.
Graphic Novels (Non-Super Hero)
So as you may know, I discovered graphic novels a few years ago and have really enjoyed a wide variety. I have found it difficult to really get into super hero ones but I do have some great recommendations for non-super hero ones.
The New York Four was published in 2008, it is a great coming of age/new adult graphic novel set in New York City.
Dogs of War was published more recently in 2013, it contains 3 stories of military dogs and their handlers in different wars throughout US history. This one is appropriate for ages young teens on up.
The Olympians is a graphic novel series that started in 2010 and is up to 8 volumes with the 9th expected out in January. This is a perfect series for anyone who is a fan of Mythology or even those who might be having difficulty following the myths. Each volume features a different Greek god or goddess and the myths and legends connected to them.  These are great for young teens on up.
Korgi is a unique and fun graphic novel series that started back in 2007, this series currently contains 4 volumes with the most recent being released back in October. These graphic novels are fantasy and consist of a brief introduction and then the rest of each one is wordless and consists of only images. These are appropriate for all ages.
Monstress was just released this year in July and it kicks off an epic fantasy/steampunk series. This one is a little dark so may not be appropriate for everyone but it is certainly an exciting beginning to this series.
Fantasy (YA)
I am splitting this genre up a little because this is my favorite so I have a lot of recommendations that I want to mention.  I will be keeping my recommendations to more recent books and series that have releases just out this year or coming up next year.  If you want more recommendations in this genre please do not hesitate to ask!
The Ember in the Ashes series has been among my favorite reads of this year, I read the audio books which was beautifully done with a cast of narrators. This is a high fantasy series with two more books expected out in the future, but the next book isn't expected until 2018.
The Selection series was a rather unexpected joy to read for me. This fantasy series consists of 5 books (and several novellas) with the final one being released back in May. This series isn't a fantastic work but it is relatable and thoroughly enjoyable.
The Chronicles of Ixia is a fantasy series that I have been following for some time, it consists of 9 novels and several novellas and actually encompasses 3 different interconnected series, The Study Series, The Glass Series and the Soulfinders Series. This is an epic fantasy that really draws you in.  I am mentioning this series not only because I love it but that the final book in this series will be released in January. I will add that this series does mature, by the Soulfinder series it is more of an adult fantasy.
The Grisha Trilogy consists of 3 novels and 5 novellas.  Now I have not read this series yet, but it is high on my wish list.  It is my understanding that the Six of Crows Duology is a branch off of this original Grisha series and it is helpful to read these books before the super popular recent releases.
Now I said I was going to keep this to relatively recent releases but I can't really leave the Graceling Trilogy off any list. Fire is by far one of my all time favorite books and this is a fantastic high fantasy that is beautifully written.
Fantasy Romance
I am adding this little sub-genre because I am really finding it to be my favorite little corner of the book universe and I have discovered some truly amazing books in fantasy romance this year. Just as a warning these are all adult fantasy romances and could contain heavy violence, language and explicit sex scenes.
The Warlands Chronicles are a little older, spanning from 2007 to 2011 release dates, but this series was kind of my introduction to the genre and were fantastic. They were set in a fantasy world but consisted of elements that correlate to historical events in our world so it was an easy transition.
Pages of the Mind is the first book in a branch off series, the original series is The Twelve Kingdoms.  I have not read the original series, but it is on my wish list this year.  Pages of the mind was a fantastic book that really speaks to the reader in all of us and give us value, it was also one of my top books this year. The nice thing is that you really didn't have to read the original books to follow the characters and events.
A Promise of Fire is Amanda Bouchet's debut book and the first book in a new high fantasy romance series. I must say this is definitely one of my top books of the year and I have already pre-ordered the next book due out in January. This series combines just about all the elements of an epic fantasy, along with mythology and of course a conflicted but beautiful romance.
Other Recommendations
This is a list of some other books I would like to recommend but I didn't have enough in a genre to really make individual lists.
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is the first book in the historical romance series Mackenzie and McBrides series, it was published back in 2009 and one I just had the opportunity to read. This is not only a historical romance but also a really surprising and beautiful representation of a character with Asperger's Syndrome.
The Rose Harbor series consists of 5 novels and 3 novellas. I mention this one because the final book in the series was just released this year, it is a series that is short enough to really enjoy start to finish. I have thoroughly loved this contemporary romance series with all of its emotional ups and downs.
The Compass Girls series is a 4 book After Dark (erotic) contemporary romance that is written by 2 authors. This short series has a little bit of everything for everyone, it is definitely a steamy series too. This is also a branch off series to another set called Compass Brothers by the same two authors. These books offer a great storyline and characters so it isn't all about the explicit scenes.
There Was a Fire is by a local author and has elements of paranormal and romance. It is by far my favorite book of the year with all of its emotions, bittersweet moments and depth of characters.
Other Book Gift Ideas
~ If you know a favorite book, maybe find an old edition or a new one if theirs is wearing out, or even better get a signed copy!
~ Support your local authors, us readers love to support our authors, especially ones we can connect with in person.
~ Of course if you don't know just the right book, gift cards and certificates are always good or . . .
Stop by tomorrow for a list of non-book gifts for book lovers!  I will also have on Friday a list of book and gift ideas for the young readers (up to middle grade).

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