Tag Archives: goodreads

My 2017 Reading List

My Reading List for 2017

Can you feel it? The end of a year approaches. That means it’s time to revisit all the books I’ve read over the last year. As always most of this list correlates with my Goodreads reading challenge. (See my Goodreads Year in Books here.) It’s always a bit longer here because I can’t list any of the beta readings I do for friends.

I had no challenge this year. Which was great. There’s a lot of books on this list that I had been saving after the last few challenges. It was nice to be able to work through the proverbial nightstand pile. One minor note, there’s are a few books on here I’d consider novellas. Usually, they wouldn’t make the cut or they’d be shifted to another list, but I am keeping them this year. I read a few enormous tomes, so I feel they balance things out.

Since this list is always enormous, l forgo reviews. However, follow me on Goodreads where I do occasionally leave reviews. I call out some of my favorites of the year at the end of each list. As before, all links will go to Amazon as a default, but if one of these books sound interesting to you, then I encourage you to visit your local independent bookstore and purchase through them. It’s vital for your local economy to buy local whenever you’re able.


📚 Novels

  1. Yesterday’s Demons (The Verdant Revival Book 1)
    by Mike Ripplinger
  2. Red Rising
    by Pierce Brown
  3. Hard Magic
    by Larry Correia
  4. The Incorruptibles (The Incorruptibles #1)
    by John Hornor Jacobs
  5. Dawn (Xenogenesis #1)
    by Octavia E. Butler
  6. The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1)
    by Helene Wecker
  7. The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company #1)
    by Glen Cook
  8. The Last Days of New Paris
    by China Miéville
  9. Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence #2)
    by Max Gladstone
  10. Hammers on Bone (Persons Non Grata #1)
    by Cassandra Khaw
  11. The Girl with All the Gifts (The Girl With All The Gifts #1)
    by M.R. Carey
  12. The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1)
    by N.K. Jemisin
  13. The “Wonderful” Wizard of Futhermucking Oz (Futhermucking Classics Book 1)
    by Matt Youngmark
  14. Beta Reading
    by REDACTED
  15. Rocannon’s World (The Hainish Cycle #1) …again
    by Ursula K. Le Guin
  16. The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1)
    by John Scalzi
  17. Beta Reading
    by REDACTED
  18. River of Teeth
    by Sarah Gailey
  19. The Magicians
    by Lev Grossman
  20. The King in Yellow …again
    by Robert W. Chambers
  21. The Half-Made World (The Half-Made World #1)
    by Felix Gilman
  22. Engines of the Broken World
    by Jason Vanhee
  23. The Brotherhood of the Wheel
    by R. S. Belcher
  24. Alif the Unseen
    by G. Willow Wilson
  25. Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin #1)
    by Patrick O’Brian
  26. “I Give You My Body . . .”: How I Write Sex Scenes
    by Diana Gabaldon
  27. A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd
    by Patrick Ness
  28. The Rise of Ransom City (The Half-Made World #2)
    by Felix Gilman
  29. Devil’s Call
    by J. Danielle Dorn
  30. Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence #3)
    by Max Gladstone
  31. Lord Foul’s Bane (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever #1)
    by Stephen R. Donaldson
  32. A City Dreaming
    by Daniel Polansky
  33. The Stand
    by Stephen King
  34. This Dark Earth
    by John Hornor Jacobs
  35. Justice Calling (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress #1)
    by Annie Bellet
  36. Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1)
    by Fonda Lee
  37. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
    by Susanna Clarke
  38. The House on the Borderland
    by William Hope Hodgson
  39. Mortal Engines (Mortal Engines #1)
    by Philip Reeve
  40. All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)
    by Martha Wells

🏆 Favorite Novel of 2017:

The Golem and the JinniThe Golem and the Jinni
by Helene Wecker

I can understand why The Golem and the Jinni took so long to write. (Apparently, ten years.) It’s captivating. Wecker’s command of language is stunning. The story is a classic American tale exploring the immigrant experience through the eyes of two people who are both similar and yet unlike anyone else. A must read.

🏅 Favorite Novel Runners-up of 2017:

The Half-Made WorldThe Half-Made World
by Felix Gilman

This was recommended to me by a friend, and I am so glad I picked it up. The weird west is fast becoming one of my favorite genres. Its worldbuilding is superb and its characters fantastic. The conflict between the Line and the Gun is well realized. I was hooked and loved every moment I spent with its pages.

Jonathan Strange and Mr NorrellJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
by Susanna Clarke

It has magic and fairies and English gentlemen magicians. Its characters are fully realized, its plot more intricate than most novels, and all of this is handled with a deft hand. (Oh, Clarke’s use of language is divine.) A love letter to Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and England.

Picking this was difficult this year. There are so many others I could have named as runners-up but tradition dictates I only pick two. Sorry other books and authors of aforementioned other books, thems the rules.


💥 Graphic Novels:

  1. House of the Holy
    by Mike Carey (Author), Dave Kendall (Illustrator)
  2. Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery
    by Kurtis J. Wiebe (Author), Roc Upchurch (Illustrator), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
  3. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes …again
    by Neil Gaiman (Author), Sam Keith (Illustrator), Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator)
  4. Rat Queens Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth
    by: Kurtis J. Wiebe (Author), Stjepan Sejic (Artist)
  5. Triceratots
    by: Josh Montreuil (Author & Artist)
  6. Descender Vol. 1: Tin Stars
    by Jeff Lemire (Author), Dustin Nguyen (Artist)
  7. Injection Vol. 1
    by Warren Ellis (Author), Declan Shalvey (Illustrator), Jordie Bellaire (Illustrator), Fonografiks (Illustrator)
  8. House of Penance
    by Peter J. Tomasi (Author), Ian Bertram (Illustrator), Dave Stewart (Illustrator)

🏆 Favorite Graphic Novel of 2017:

Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass & SorceryRat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery
by Kurtis J. Wiebe (Author), Roc Upchurch, Fiona Staples (Illustrators)

Rat Queens is a traditional D&D fantasy-style book, but it’s not the setting that’s so engaging. It’s its characters. Every single one is delightful in their own particular way. Hannah, Violet (my fav), Betty, and Dee are complex, and that complexity makes this book shine.

🏅 Favorite Graphic Novel Runners-up of 2017:

House of PenanceHouse of Penance
by Peter J. Tomasi (Author), Ian Bertram, Dave Stewart (Illustrators)

A story of guilt, loss, and humanity. The Winchester House is a strange place. This book explores Sarah Winchester’s motives behind the building of the infamous house. The art is gorgeous, if not a bit difficult. Violence should never be easy to confront, and House of Penance refuses to glorify.

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & NocturnesThe Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
by Neil Gaiman (Author), Sam Keith, Mike Dringenberg (Illustrators)

So, this is a bit cheat, since Sandman has long been one of my favorite comic series of all time. But I needed to include it here. Gaiman’s book is still as delightful as it was when I first read it. Dream’s quest to regain his stolen possessions still serve as an excellent catalyst for a fantastic journey.


So there’s my list for 2017! I read a lot of amazing books and some really great graphic novels. (Sadly, no short stories this year.) I have no reading challenges in 2018. So, I plan on continuing with my escapism theme for the foreseeable future.

Are you looking for a good book? Want to see my reading lists from previous years? Check any of the links below and see what I was reading in the bygone halcyon days.

 2013 • 2014 • 2015 2016 •

Next year, why not join me? Goodreads does a reading challenge every year, and I am an active participant. First, follow me on Goodreads (leave me a review while you’re there), and once the New Year arrives, participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2018.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

You do the talking

You Do the Talking

Today marks the 2nd birthday of Red Litten World, the third book in The Bell Forging Cycle. I tend to talk a lot about my books. So to change things up, I figured it’d be fun to celebrate the anniversary of Red Litten World by letting you speak. Below is a collection of reviews written by readers. I pulled these today. All of the selected reviews are all public, and I’ll link to their location. Since it’s Red Litten World’s birthday, let’s work backward from there…

Red Litten World by K. M. AlexanderRed Litten World


“…weird fantasy fiction at its finest.”

— Review of Red Litten World on Amazon


“It is pretty rare that I like the third book in a series as well as the first, but I do. The third book in this series is just as well-paced, suspenseful and intriguing as the last.”

— Review of Red Litten World on Amazon


“Reasonably entertaining Lovecraftian trilogy.”

— Review of Red Litten World on Amazon


“Thank the sweet little baby lord above that I had Red Litten World to keep me company! And I finished it in one day! And it was glorious!”

— Review of Red Litten World on Goodreads


“Red Litten World is the best so far. Loved being back in all the rich texture and detail of Lovat.”

— Review of Red Litten World on iBooks


Red Litten World by K. M. AlexanderThose reviews sound interesting?

Buy Red Litten World, the third novel of the Bell Forging Cycle, in eBook or paperback today!

Learn More →
Buy Now →

Old Broken Road by K. M. AlexanderOld Broken Road


“…one of the few male written dark fantasies with some extremely well-written female characters.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Amazon


“K.M. Alexander knows how to craft an interesting story and I can’t wait to devour the rest of his works.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Amazon


“Well written and deftly plotted with great character development and plenty of thrills and action.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Amazon


“Wish I could rate this one at six stars.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Amazon


“A delightfully creepy journey into uncharted lands of imagination and dread.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Goodreads


“Actually a 3.5.”

— Review of Old Broken Road on Goodreads


“Amazing followup to The Stars were Right! Love the exploits of Wal and his crew!”

— Review of Old Broken Road on iBooks


Old Broken Road by K. M. AlexanderDare to travel the Broken Road?

Buy Old Broken Road, the second novel of the Bell Forging Cycle, in eBook or paperback today!
Learn More →
Buy Now →

The Stars Were Right by K. M. AlexanderThe Stars Were Right


“The book never lulls. It’s hard to put down. The characters are likable, and the plot is well written.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“One of the most imaginative action/suspense fantasy horror/thrillers I’ve ever read.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“A great new spin on Lovecraftian themes, and definitely worth a read!”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“This is like reading for a book by Jack Vance in his prime for the first time, a Jeffrey Thomas’ Punktown story, or one of Gene Wolfe’s New Sun novels.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“It is very rare to run across a Lovecraftian inspired tale that grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Amazon


“A gritty adventure through a city rich with life and death, in the style of a tale told over some cheap whiskey at a dusty dive bar on the outskirts of a bizarre Lovecraftian town.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Goodreads


“Alexander does a fantastic job evoking a tangled, towering city of hidden alleys, bustling markets, colorful inhabitants, and plenty of those hole-in-the-wall diners with the best local cuisine you’ve ever had.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Goodreads


“I fell in love with the protagonist Waldo from the start. Almost as much as I love the world in which he lives.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Goodreads


“The world is explained as needed by the main character and neither leaves us guessing about important story elements nor bores us with a world-history.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Powell’s


“If you are a hp Lovecraft fan then this book is for you. (Even if you arnt you should give it a read!) What a fantastic book!”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on iBooks


“This book changed the way I look at fantasy as a whole. It was also loaded with a ton of what I’d consider mystery as well. I read straight through the night and couldn’t put it down.”

— Review of The Stars Were Right on Barnes & Noble


The Stars Were Right by K. M. AlexanderThe Firsts are stirring…

Buy The Stars Were Right, the first novel of the Bell Forging Cycle, in eBook or paperback today!

Learn More →
Buy Now →


Huge thanks to everyone who has taken the time and left reviews on my books. Reviews (both positive and negative) are vital to the success of a novel and its future promotion. Without a minimum number, a lot of promotional houses won’t let someone like me submit special offers on their work. Likewise, new readers won’t know what to expect before they make a purchase. So if you like a book (or a series of books) be sure to leave a review.

I know a lot of readers get stressed about reviews, but they tend to overthink them. Reviews don’t need to be an extensive book report, and you’re not writing an article. (Unless you want to of course.) Just write up a few quick sentences saying why you liked or loathed a particular novel. It helps a lot.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Happy 4th Birthday to The Stars Were Right

October Begins: A Month of The Bell Forging Cycle

Hey! I’m back from the green hills of Scotland and look: it’s October 1st—the start of the best month. Here in Seattle that means the nights grow longer (more time for reading), summer is behind us (more time for jackets), and the days are getting cooler (more time for uh… coffee).

This October 1st also marks the fourth anniversary of the arrival of The Stars Were Right. For those who somehow found their way here without knowing the details, Stars is the first novel in my dark cyberpunk post-post-apocalyptic dystopian weird-western cosmic-horror urban-fantasy adventure series: The Bell Forging Cycle. (It’s hard to pin down, okay.) Since the launch, it has been my most successful book, and I’m still really proud of it. I’ve sold thousands of copies and garnered hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. (I could always use a few more if you’re feeling particularly generous.)

If you’re looking for a new book, you can pick up eBook copies for only $2.99! It’s the perfect companion to the cool fall evenings (or warm spring mornings for those in the Southern Hemisphere.) Links to purchase can be found right here.

For those who prefer reading paperbacks, all month long you can pick up a signed version of any of my books and receive free shipping from my store. (US only, sorry.) Just use the code: BFCMONTH on checkout. The code expires Halloween at midnight.

October is a big month for The Bell Forging Cycle series, and I’ll have more fun stuff to post throughout the month. So stick around there is more to come, and for the long-time roaders out there who are itching for more, I still suggest you: Look West.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Where to Find Me & How to Contact Me: A List

Where to Find Me & How to Contact Me: A List

“How do I contact you?”

I’ve been getting this question a lot over the last few weeks. I realize it can be daunting. There aren’t many places I don’t have a social media account. I keep an updated page listing all of my accounts and it is always growing. However, I tend to favor some more than the others. To combat that, I figured I’d write up a list focusing on my priorities when it comes to communication. After all, some places are better than the others. So, if you want to contact me, here’s where to start:

  1. Email
    I check my email daily, and I try to respond to everyone promptly. With other forms of communication, I don’t have notifications turned on. Email is the one exception.
  2. Blog
    This is where I share the most information. I also make sure to approve all legitimate comments and I try to respond to any direct questions.
  3. Twitter
    This is my primary social media platform. As “they” say: my DMs are open.
  4. Goodreads
    Yo, it’s Goodreads. I like talking about books, so I hang out there. Ask me a question.
  5. Instagram
    I’m not as active on Instagram as, Kari-Lise (nor as popular.) But I do occasionally post, and I try to respond to comments.
  6. Facebook
    Honestly, I hate this site so much. But it’s a necessary evil. So I am there, begrudgingly but rarely. Because of that reason, it can take me a few days to respond to messages, but I will eventually get around to them.
  7. Snail Mail
    I check my P.O. box once or twice a month. While I’m happy to mail you free swag, I don’t take the time to send a letter for every one I receive. I’m sorry. The address is on my Contact Page.
  8. Pinterest/Tumblr/Snapchat/Periscope/Etc.
    These are tools for me. Not useful forms of communication.
  9. LinkedIn
    LOL

This list is subject to change, and should that happen I will make another post. For those trying to get ahold of me, I hope this helps. Thanks to those who are reaching out. Writing can be a lonely profession, and it’s always encouraging to get a message from a reader. Y’all rule.

Happy Birthday, Red Litten World

It’s Red Litten World’s First Birthday

Today is the first birthday of Red Litten World, the third installment in my Lovecraftian urban fantasy series, The Bell Forging Cycle. It has been a fantastic launch, and I’ve loved hearing from readers who have enjoyed the book. I’m proud of it. Since it’s been a full year, I felt it was important to celebrate the occasion.

It’s Sale Time

For the next week, Red Litten World is available on eBook for only 99¢! So, if you haven’t read the most recent adventure of Waldo Bell, now is the most affordable time to check it out. Buy five copies! Give them to your family, share ’em with your friends. Hell, send them to your enemies. Hit any of the links below to grab a copy on the cheap.

KindleKoboiBooksNook • GooglePlay • My Store

The discounted sale price will only be available for a week. So, take advantage while you can.

Let’s Talk Reviews

As with most series, there was a significant drop-off in reviews of Red Litten World. Review fatigue is very common for books in a series, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. Reviews are not only helpful for other readers; they also allow authors to take advantage of mailing lists, promotional newsletters, and review sites. So if you haven’t had a chance to leave a review of Red Litten World, please, please, please take a few moments and drop one on Amazon and Goodreads. It’d help me out considerably.

Where Are We Going from Here

It’s October, which is usually the month when I release a new title. (Based on the emails I’ve had to answer, many of you were aware of this.) However, there isn’t a release this year. Last December, I wrote a post called The State of the Cycle, where I went into details about the future of Wal’s tale. I invite you to read it if you haven’t. Don’t worry; his story isn’t over yet. There’s plenty more to come; I’m just taking some time to collect myself before I dive back into the madness.

In Closing

Once again, I need to extend a big thank you to those who have supported me over the years. Thanks to those who have left reviews and told their friends. Thanks everyone who has reached out to me and helped me promote my work. It’s all of you that contribute to making books like Red Litten World possible.

So, today, join me in wishing a happy birthday to Red Litten World. What a gem.

Reading Recommendation: Join by Steve Toutonghi

Join by Steve Toutonghi

“Join is a searing, ballistic plunge into the mysteries of identity and mortality. Its ingenious core is revealed and amplified by high voltage suspense and murder. Delicious.”

Katherine Dunn, Geek Love

If that quote doesn’t make you want to read this book, you’re probably dead. I’m happy to say that today is the launch of Join by author Steve Toutonghi. Now before I continue, full disclosure: Steve is a friend of mine, a former co-worker (and boss), and I was lucky enough to be an early a beta reader of the manuscript that became Join.

Join is good, it’s real good, and you should buy and read it. As I mentioned in my review on Goodreads, Join reminds me of the work of Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, or, more recently, Jeff VanderMeer. A strange and cerebral tale that is both intimate and engaging. The story is set on a familiar near-future Earth that has been ravaged by extreme weather events. In this setting, we find ourselves confronted with the technology of Join: the merging of individual’s consciousnesses (and bodies) into a single person with the memories comprised of each former individual. The Join technology is the crux of the story, the partial cause of tragic events on a personal and, ultimately, global scale. Throughout the novel, Steve takes us on a journey into the ramifications of Join, masterfully weaving beautiful prose with his dark humor, while examining ideas of individualism, mortality, gender, and consciousness.

A great novel doesn’t have to provide answers, often all it needs to do to achieve greatness is asks the right questions. The thing I like—and this is something a lot of authors can glean from this book—is Steve’s use of restraint. This was something that was present even in early drafts. Steve goes just far enough, poking and prodding at ideas and asking difficult questions. Ultimately this tactic challenges us the reader to provide the final answers. As a result, the story left me dwelling on Join’s themes long after it had ended.

Join a beautiful first book, and one I am happy and excited to recommend. It arrives today from Soho Press, and you can purchase it pretty much everywhere: Amazon, Barnes & NobleIndieBound, and more. I’m sure you local library or independent bookstore can get it as well. Make sure to follow Steve on Twitter and check out his website at stevetoutonghi.com. When you’ve finished, make sure to leave a review on Goodreads.