Monday, December 05, 2016

Where Is Your Bookmark? (& Top Ten New-To-Me-Series Authors Read So Far in 2016)

One of the books I am reading right now is Ninni Holmqvist's The Unit. I thought I would share a bit of it with you today.

Goodreads Summary: 
One day in early spring, Dorrit Weger is checked into the Second Reserve Bank Unit for biological material. She is promised a nicely furnished apartment inside the Unit, where she will make new friends, enjoy the state of the art recreation facilities, and live the few remaining days of her life in comfort with people who are just like her. Here, women over the age of fifty and men over sixty-single, childless, and without jobs in progressive industries--are sequestered for their final few years; they are considered outsiders.

In the Unit they are expected to contribute themselves for drug and psychological testing, and ultimately donate their organs, little by little, until the final donation. Despite the ruthless nature of this practice, the ethos of this near-future society and the Unit is to take care of others, and Dorrit finds herself living under very pleasant conditions: well-housed, well-fed, and well-attended. She is resigned to her fate and discovers her days there to be rather consoling and peaceful.

But when she meets a man inside the Unit and falls in love, the extraordinary becomes a reality and life suddenly turns unbearable. Dorrit is faced with compliance or escape, and...well, then what?


Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a book they are reading or thinking about reading soon. It is also where I share my first impressions about the book I am sharing.

It was more comfortable than I could have imagined. A room of my own with a bathroom, or rather an apartment of my own, because there were two rooms: a bedroom and a living room with a kitchenette. It was light and spacious, furnished in a modern style and tastefully decorated in muted colors. True, the tiniest nook or cranny was monitored by cameras, and I would soon realize there were hidden microphones there too. But the cameras weren't hidden. There was one in each corner of the ceiling--small but perfectly visible--and in every corner and every hallway that wasn't visible from the ceiling; inside the closets, for example, and behind doors and protruding cabinets. Even under the bed and under the sink in the kitchenette. Anywhere a person might crawl in or curl up, there was a camera. Sometimes as you moved through a room they followed you with their one-eyed state. A faint humming noise gave away the fact that at that particular moment someone on the surveillance team was paying close attention to what you were doing. Even the bathroom was monitored. There were no fewer than three cameras within that small space, two on the ceiling, and one underneath the washbasin.. This meticulous surveillance applied not only to the private apartments, but also to the communal areas. And of course nothing less was to be expected. It was not the intention of those who lived here should be able to take their own lives or harm themselves in some other way. Not once you were here. You should have sorted that out beforehand, if you were thinking along those lines. 

Every Tuesday, Jenn from Books And A Beat hosts Teaser Tuesdays at which time participants grab their current read, open to a random page, and share two (2) "teaser" sentences from that page while avoiding any spoilers.


Teaser from page 96 of The Unit:
This--this was when my legs finally gave way and I sank helplessly to the floor and just sat there, not moving with my back against the door, and, without being able to stop myself or even keep the noise down, I howled like a mortally wounded animal.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?  

The Unit is not a fast paced novel, but it has me hooked. There's a sadness to it. A helplessness. Our heroine is resigned to her fate in many ways, and yet she is still very much alive--and wants to be. 

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it anything you would recommend?



Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This week's  Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten New-To-Me-Series Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016. I had to throw in the series element, otherwise this list would look too much like my top ten list of books read this year--at least so far. Most of the books on this list have a magical element to them, but a few are straight mysteries or romance.

1. Genevieve Cogman ~ I read two of her books this year, The Invisible Library and The Masked City. It was love at first sight. Set in a world of multi-dimensions, this fantasy series is fast-paced and fun with a heroine after a reader's heart: a librarian spy.

2. Kirsten Weiss ~ I read the first in her new series, The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, and it is my absolute favorite cozy of the year.

3, Julia Buckley ~ I was quite taken with my first introduction to this author's work, the first in a new  cozy series, A Dark and Stormy Murder, featuring a crime fiction author and her assistant.

4. Susan Spann ~ I enjoy a good historical mystery, and have been wanting to try this author's Shinobi series, featuring a ninja and a Catholic Priest for quite some time. While I still haven't read the first book in the series, I had no problem getting lost in her most recent addition to the series, The Ninja's Daughter.

5. Danielle Monsch ~ This one was a gem of a paranormal romance novel I wasn't expecting to knock me off my feet. Stone Guardian was a lot of fun to read. Who thought a gargoyle could be a love interest?

6. Jaime Lee Moyer ~ I knew I would like the first in her series, Delia's Shadow, and it did not disappoint. Set in one of my favorite cities, San Fransciso, this historical mystery features a woman who can communicate with ghosts. It's dark and so good!

7. Rachel Hartman ~ I finally dived into Rachel Hartman's Seraphina books and what a world she's created! I read both Seraphina and Shadow Scale this year and am anxious to get back to that world, where dragons and humans walk among each other.

8. Elliott James ~ The Urban Fantasy novel Charming was everything it was advertised to be. High in action, funny, and full of interesting mythical characters. I haven't gotten to the other books in the series yet, but I did buy them.

9. Delores Fossen ~ Her Blame It On the Cowboy had the right amount of romance, mystery and action in it to make me fall head over heels for this  romance book. I definitely want to explore the other books in the series.

10. Robert Galbraith ~ I am cheating with this one, I know, but how could I leave it out? Maybe the title of this top ten list should be Top Ten Series I Started in 2016. I FINALLY got around to reading the P.I. mystery The Cuckoo's Calling this year and am hooked. J.K. Rowling is definitely not a One Series Wonder.




Have you read any of these authors before? What would make your list of top ten list of top ten authors you read for the first time this year? 


© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

52 comments:

  1. The Unit sounds fascinating. I'm curious about the protagonist's life in the setting described in the opening, and I'm wondering what made her howl in your Teaser. Sounds like an unforgettable story.
    My Tuesday post features a mystery: BETRAYED.

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    1. Sandra - It is so far. On the surface, the protagonist has her every need catered to just about, and yet one really has to question whether the cost is worth it. I do not think this is a book I will forget any time soon.

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  2. I'm fairly certain I have all the books you mentioned on my TBR pile and I'm hoping next year that I can get to them all. I'm glad each of these were so enjoyable for you.
    Here's my Top 10 Tuesday

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    1. Kimberly - I love discovering new authors (and series), much to the detriment of getting to the backlists of all those authors I have read and enjoyed already.

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  3. A great excerpt from The Unit, but despite being able to read endless murders the premise, and what I suspect happens in this book, really freaks me out!!

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    1. Cleo - Me too! I had a similar thought about. Something like this gives me chills more than many of the murder mysteries I read.

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  4. Out of your new authors I've only heard of Galbraith! (But not read him!)

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    1. Deborah - Galbraith is probably the most well known of the bunch. :-)

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  5. The Unit certainly caught my attention. I'm going to go see if my library has a copy. I also like your Top Ten. I don't mind if you sort of cheated on #10. I love that series. I hope she'll hurry up and get the next one done.

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    1. Margot - I hope you are able to find a copy of The Unit, Margot. It's not action packed, but it's riveting. I'm glad you don't mind my listing Galbraith. It was technically my first Galbraith book (even if not my first by J.K. Rowling), after all. ;-)

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  6. The Unit sounds so depressingly sad - not for me I'm afraid. It sounds similar to Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go', which horrified me.

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    1. Margaret - I haven't read Never Let Me Go, but I know the premise of The Unit isn't entirely unique, so it wouldn't surprise me. It is sad, so if that's not something you like in a book, then this one definitely wouldn't be for you.

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  7. I haven't heard of "The Unit" but it sounds scary and fascinating!

    Genevieve Cogman's on my list too -- I'm actually reading "The Masked City" right now! Other than that, I haven't read any of the books on your list but "Delia's Shadow" sounds intriguing! I love historical fiction, but I haven't read many books set in San Francisco.

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    1. Lindsay - The Unit doesn't paint a very pretty picture of society, that's for sure. It is fascinating though.

      I was glad to see Cogman on your list too. I adore her books so far. I do recommend Delia's Shadow if you get a chance to read it!

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  8. You've talked me into Invisible Library!

    https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2016/12/new-to-me-authors-i-read-for-first-time.html

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  9. I can't believe I enjoyed Rachel Hartman so much and still have not read Shadow Scale. I had to have it like ASAP and everything. lol

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    1. Kelly - Hartman took on a lot in Shadow Scale, but I think it's worth following up with if you can. I know some readers were disappointed, but I enjoyed it.

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  10. I still need to read The Cuckoo's Calling! Maybe I'll make that a 2017 goal. This is the second list I've seen Genevieve Cogman on. I need to check her books out.

    My Top Ten

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    1. Lori - I put off reading The Cuckoo's Calling for quite a while myself. I am glad I finally too a chance on it. I hope you enjoy it if you like it! Genevieve Cogman's books are definitely worth checking out. :-)

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  11. I like the sound of The Unit and I think I'd keep reading. It sounds compelling and scary.

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    1. Emma - It is scary to think about something like this being a reality. I am enjoying the book so far.

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  12. Genevieve Cogman made my list too. I loved the first two books and am eagerly awaiting The Burning Page. I really liked Delia's Shadow too but I haven't picked up the sequel yet. Same with Seraphina. Great list!

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    1. Christina - Yay for Cogman! I really enjoy her books so far. I haven't yet read the sequel to Delia's Shadow either. I want to though.

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  13. Wow The Unit sounds chilling- the premise of it, and all the surveillance. And I agree with Genevieve Cogman on your list- I liked The Invisible Library.

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    1. Greg - Can you imagine living like that? We almost do in a way, at least when we are out in some of the more public places.

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  14. Ha, I included Galbraith on my new to me authors too!

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  15. The Unit has been on my TBR list for a while, I've never gotten to it yet, it sounds really good. Hope u r enjoying it.

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    1. Diane - I hadn't heard of it before it arrived in the mail from my postal mail group. I'm enjoying it so far. I hope you like it when you get to it, Diane.

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  16. Some of your titles listed are books that I've really enjoyed. The Unit sounds both fascinating and creepy--especially with the way surveillance has already entered our lives without our paying much attention! The possibilities for abuse are endless, and we may be a little like the old adage of the frog and the water being brought to a boil so gradually that he doesn't even notice.

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    1. Jenclair - I had the same though--how easily surveillance has come into our own lives and how we barely notice anymore. And as you said, it's scary to think about. We just accept it.

      The adage you shared fits this book in more ways than one. It's how the unit came into being--a gradual change in society and the value placed on people . . .

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  17. The idea of constant surveillance creeps me out! And frightens me, as I wonder what led up to this situation. Thanks for sharing, and I do want to know more.

    Here's mine: “THE BAD THINGS”

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    1. Laurel-Rain - It does me too, especially to such an extent that it is used in The Unit.

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  18. I read Delia's Shadow last year and liked it, and read two Julia Buckley books this year, and preferred A Dark and Stormy Murder over The Big Chili title. I'm interested in Kirsten Weiss now that I read your review this week. The Unit sounds pretty intense.. but maybe up my alley. Thanks!

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    1. Rita - I need to read the next book in Jaime Lee Moyer's series. I need to read a lot of seconds in series I've started, but that's another post. I haven't yet read The Big Chili, but I'd like to give it a try. I would be interested to know what you think of Kirsten Weiss's book if you do read it. I have another of hers to read on my Kindle somewhere.

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  19. I haven't read any of your new authors, except J. K. Rowling, of course.

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    1. Kathy - J.K. Rowling should be read by everyone. LOL

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  20. Elliott James was new to me this year, too, but oh am I glad I found his Charming series...they've been very fun reads, and a new one is coming out this year! (Oh, and I read The Invisible Library, too, which I quite enjoyed. Thanks for the recommendation on that one!)

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    1. Lark - I am glad you are enjoying the Charming series. I need to get to the other books I have in the series. The first one was such fun. :-)

      I'm so glad you liked The Invisible Library too!

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  21. Great teaser! You get the clear feeling something has gone terribly wrong.

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    1. Alice - Thank you! It's quite an interesting book.

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  22. I read The Unit several years ago and still would consider it a great, great book. I was one of those books I wish I could have read in a book group so we could discuss it. I am curious now if the author has written anything else. Should look into that! Glad you it's got you hooked!

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    1. Iliana - I am glad you liked The Unit! You're the first person (outside my postal mail group) who I've heard from who has read it. I can see how it would make a good one for a book club.

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  23. I loved Seraphina. I'm going to have to check out The Invisible Library and The Masked City.

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    1. Amanda - Seraphina was as good as I hoped it would be. :-) I love stories about dragons. Definitely check out The Invisible Library series if you get a chance!

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  24. Great TTT list! I haven't read any of those but I do want to read Robert Galbraith's books. I've the first two books in my pile and I'm just waiting for the right mood to strike. :)

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    1. Melody - Thank you! I hope you get a chance to read Galbraith's series. I need to read the second one soon.

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  25. I have The Invisible Library and I cannot wait to read it!

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