The first book in a series

Series are all the rage now, in movies and books. Usually in the form of trilogies, although one of my favorite authors likes to do duologies.

Wicked Autumn
by G.M. Malliet
Series: Max Tudor
Ah, the cozy British mystery, where entire sleepy villages are massacred over the course of a series. At least both Miss Marple and Mrs. Fletcher started traveling around to get around the whole decimating the countryside issue.

Possible Other Categories
A book with a two word title
A book by a female author with a masculine-passing pseudonym
A book featuring a profession you are unfamiliar with

The Sword of Summer
by Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
This guy again. Right. Although, I have to say, why the hell does a teenager in 2015ish make special note of the brief 90s fashion of wearing a chain on your jeans? Do teens today have that much awareness of 90s fashion?

Possible Other Categories
A book involving a mythical creature
A book set in the city

The Queen’s Poisoner
by Jeff Wheeler
Series: Kingfountain
This is closer to middle grade than YA. Anyway, if I want to read about a small child dragged into a royal court and making friends with poison masters, I’ll read Robin Hobb’s Assassin & Fool series. Even if Fitz is frequently a complete little shit.

Possible Other Categories
A book set in the city

The Maze Runnerhttps://openlibrary.org/works/OL6027236W/The_Maze_Runner
by James Dashner
Series: Maze Runner
We’ve had all the sequels before now, so we’ve finally come round to the original book. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good book.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first

The Final Empire
by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn Chronicles
Here’s a thing I am still baffled by: I have a militantly atheist friend whose favorite authors are all devoted Christians and whose works are frequently extended allegories of Christian thought. No, seriously. Loves A Wrinkle in Time. Stans for Narnia. Absolutely batty about Wheel of Time. And unsurprisingly, super into Brandon Sanderson. I think they even like Orson Scott Card. Are the metaphors just flying right past them? Are they completely oblivious to the religious stances of these authors, stances they won’t tolerate in anyone else? Do they really think you can teach at Brigham Young and not be Mormon? Do they know how Mormon pop culture even works?!

Possible Other Categories
A book set in the city
A book involving a heist or theft

The Butterfly Garden
by Dot Hutchinson
Series: The Collector
Oh right, this gross book.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an animal in the title
A book about a difficult topic

Terrier
by Tamora Pierce
Series: Legends of Tortall, Beka Cooper
Is… is this a Tortall YA without a romance? Be still my heart! I like the Tortall setting, but I’ve never liked the romances, and quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind the original Lioness books getting a rewrite because they are so incredibly uneven. This might be as close as we get to that.

Possible Other Categories
A book set in the city
A book with an animal in the title
A book involving a mythical creature

Storm Front
by Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files
Confession: I only like the Dresden books when read by James Marsters. I don’t read them with my eyes at all, they just don’t hold up. For gods’ sakes, Mister drinks caffeinated soda and yet is supposedly not magical.

Possible Other Categories
A book involving a mythical creature
A book set in the city (although Butcher’s geography needed work…)
A book involving a fire
A book with a two word title
A book with a weather element in the title (it is the title)

Still Life
by Louise Penny
Series: Three Pines / Chief Inspector Armand Gamache
Ah, the literary debut of Louise Penny. Penny, an anglophone from Ontario, has become something of an adopted daughter of Quebec, even though her mysteries are very much in the British style and in English. She’s oddly brought a lot of tourism to the Eastern Townships, because it is surprisingly easy to run into her in her village there, and people want to see the inspiration for the novels.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book with a two word title

Sin City: The Hard Goodbye
by Frank Miller
Series: Sin City
Ah, Frank Miller. Deeply problematic, including this work of his. On the other hand, artistically brilliant (well, maybe not in how he draws women…). He’s one of the giants of American comics we get to blame for the grim-dark look and feel we have now. On the other hand, he also gave us (and took away…) Elektra, who is awesome. But not in the Netflix show.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book with pictures
A book set in the city
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book about a villain or anti-hero
A book with a subtitle
A book with a two word title

Red Rising
by Pierce Brown
Series: Red Rising
YA Dystopian fiction. Ya’ll know what that means.

Possible Other Categories
A book set on a different planet (Mars)
A book with a two word title
A book with your favorite color in the title
A book set in the city

New Beginnings
by Victoria Schwab
Series: Everyday Angel
Note that this is a middle grade not YA title from Schwab. Even if you don’t read it (it may be waaaaaaaaaay too saccharine for many), you can tell just by the 3 paragraph reviews which feature detailed but odd summaries of the book followed by an “I think” paragraph.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book involving a mythical creature
A book about or involving a sport
A book with a two word title

Nenne drei Nadelbäume (Name Three Conifers)
by Lena Greiner
Series: Funny Student Answers
This is the German book equivalent to all those BoredPanda listicles of ridiculous student answers to exam and homework questions. No translation available, and given the full title, probably not really possible (”upper jaw” would never be a possible answer to that question in English…).

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book with a subtitle
A book by two authors

Nauczycielka z Villette
by Ingrid Hedström
Series: Martine Poirot
You know the running gag about me not speaking German? Guess what? I also don’t speak Swedish. This author’s wikipedia entry hasn’t even been translated to a language I can sort of squint at hard enough to understand. All I really know is that her author photo is very Diana Rigg hosting Mystery!.

Possible Other Categories
I have absolutely not a clue.

Into the Wild
by Erin Hunter
Series: Warriors
Erin Hunter does not exist. Erin Hunter is composed of 5 people, like a medieval Indian mystical animal (Thanks to the Chester Beatty Library for that stunning weirdness). So yes, this book is written by committee. Or a bored Indian scribe, take your pick.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days
by Kerrelyn Sparks
Series: The Embraced
Finally! This week’s bodice ripper. And don’t tell me no bodices are ripped and it’s supposed to be cute and sweet, because that is not what the cover is selling. Then again, the dude has his face on the cover, and the usual for romance novels is torso only, so it must be a little tamer, right? Is this how cover signaling works?

Possible Other Categories
A book with characters who are twins

Harley Quinn vol 1
by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin, Stephane Roux, Alex Sinclair, & Paul Mounts
Series: Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn got a solo title in New 52. Which I realize is jibberish to everyone not already into DC comics. For them, note that there really ought to be trigger warnings on it as a debut of a new title, particularly for sexual violence. It’s not graphic or really depicted on-page, but it’s referred to rather a lot.

Possible Other Categories
A book with a character’s name in the title
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day
A book set in the city
A book about a villain or anti-hero
A book with a two word title

Giant Days Volume 1
by John Allison
Series: Giant Days
You can tell this series isn’t American simply because it was published in 2015 and set in the first year of college and everyone is so carefree and apparently scrambling to pay for the classes you might be flunking is not a constant looming downer on the whole thing. Also, as far as I can tell, none of them have jobs. I wish I hadn’t had to have had a job in college. And yes that last sentence was both atrocious and grammatically sound. Enjoy.

Possible Other Categories
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day
A book with a yellow spine
A book with a two word title

The Fellowship of the Ring
by JRR Tolkien
Series: Lord of the Rings
This is not a series! It’s a single book in more than one volume! It’s like an encyclopedia. People remember those, right??

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book mentioned in a movie or tv show
An allegorical book
A book involving a mythical creature
A book involving a fire

Dune
by Frank Herbert
Series: Dune
The original book is such a massive, sprawling, classic hero’s journey. And the David Lynch film just… isn’t. Although the concept art is pretty spectacular.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book set on a different planet
An allegorical book
A book recommended by someone else in the guild (maybe)

Dorothy Must Die
by Danielle Page
Series: Dorothy Must Die
A YA dystopic retelling of Wizard of Oz, which CW toyed with developing a while back. What’s with YA and dystopias? I know being a teenager can suck, but melodramatic much, authors?

Possible Other Categories
A book involving a mythical creature
A book with a character’s name in the title
A book set on a different planet (Oz is a portal fantasy, after all)

Deadly Curiosities
by Gail Z. Martin
Series: Deadly Curiosities
Is Cozy Urban Fantasy a genre? I feel like that’s a best fit here. It’s too easy-going to be straight urban fantasy, lacking that obsessive grimness so many of them have. And it’s not really much in the way of a mystery for the cozy mystery genre, aiming more for a thriller plot. And there’s no romance, so we can’t just dump it into the vast graveyard of Paranormal Romance.

Possible Other Categories
A book set in the city
A book with a two word title
A book involving a mythical creature
A book involving a heist or theft

The Dead End
by Mimi McCoy
Series: Poison Apple
There are many books with the title as written, which was just “Dead End”, but only one book that starts a series, and it has a “the”. Anyway, this is a middle grade mystery about a supposedly haunted house. So, nothing new under the sun here.

Possible Other Categories
A book involving a mythical creature
A book you can read in a day

Chew: Taster’s Choice 
by John Layman
Series: Chew
First thought when I saw the name? Man, that is terrible coffee, why would you make a comic about it? But no, this is more like a little bit of iZombie, and a little bit of Sniffer, put together into maximum weird.

Possible Other Categories
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day
A book set in the city
A book with a subtitle

All Systems Red
by Martha Wells
Series: Murderbot Diaries
The next time you consider judging someone for binge-watching, remember that Space Netflix kept Murderbot from living up to their self-given name.

Possible Other Categories
A book with your favorite color in the title
A book you can read in a day
A book set on a different planet
A book with a queer/quiltbag/lgbt+ protagonist (Murderbot is gender neutral, so I’m counting it in the club)

Across the Nightingale Floor
by Lian Hearn
Series: Tales of the Otori
This is probably a fun little Japanese-flavored book for anyone who knows nothing about Japan. For those of us who do, it’s a painful exercise in Orientalism. Hearn is not Japanese, and has no training in Japanese anything. Nor any special ties to Japan, the first piece of negative evidence being there are no Japanese wiki entries relating to her or her “merely inspired by Japan” books. She’s no Guy Gavriel Kay.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an animal in the title

A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle
Series: Time Quintet
Oh right, this came up earlier in the post. Surprise! Here it is. This book and A Wind in the Door almost got me to be really into quantum whatsit, but as that doesn’t actually involve centaurs and such, I quickly lost interest.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book with or about time travel
A book set on a different planet
A book with characters who are twins
A book mentioned in a movie or tv show
A childhood classic you’ve never read
A book involving real scientific knowledge
A book you can read in a day
An allegorical book
A book featuring a profession you are unfamiliar with
A book about a difficult topic
A book involving a mythical creature

A Darker Shade of Magic
by V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic
This is more like one expects of Schwab, who also wrote the Touched By An Angel wannabe up-post. Note, that while she also writes YA, the “VE” version of her name is supposed to be reserved for adult titles. It got a 4 star review from Robin Hobb, which is pretty damn good. Otherwise, you know, inter-dimensional pub crawl anyone?

Possible Other Categories
A book by a female author with a masculine-passing pseudonym
A book set in the city
A book recommended by someone else in the guild
A book involving a heist or theft (or smuggling, whatever)

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