Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves, Balticon & Recent Reads

Bookshelf Roundup is a feature I do every other weekend which fills the role of several blog memes, like Stacking the Shelves where I talk about the new books I’ve added to my library or received for review, as well as It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? where I round up what I’ve read since the last update and what I’m planning to read soon. Mostly it also serves as a recap post, so sometimes I’ll throw in stuff like reading challenge progress reports, book lists, and other random bookish thoughts or announcements.

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Received for Review

I can’t believe it’s June already! 2016 is flying by, and it feels like we never even got to have a real spring this year. Until a couple weeks ago, it was still rainy and cold as hell and we were still in sweaters and coats–not usual for our area. Anyway, I’m so glad that things are finally warming around here, and with that, activity in my mailbox has been heating up as well. While I’m not requesting books as much or as often as I used to, unsolicited arrivals will always keep me plenty busy, and this last fortnight some more incredible looking titles have shown up. My thanks to all the publishers for the review copies received! For more details and full descriptions of the books, be sure to click the links to their Goodreads pages!

June Book Haul 1

Any Other Name and All Is Fair by Emma Newman – What beats new books in the mail? When they also come with chocolate mint tea! My thanks to the awesome publicist at Diversion Books for offering these gorgeous review copies when she found out that our SFF Read-Along group was currently doing a group read of The Split Worlds series. We’ve just wrapped up our final week of the first book, so I’ve already started on Any Other Name (and drank the tea, which was as yummy as I expected!)

Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott – The sequel to Court of Fives, Kate Elliott’s first YA novel. It’s true I had some mixed feelings about book one, and I wasn’t sure that I was going to continue this series. But with the arrival of book two, I’m definitely open to giving it another shot. My thanks to Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

The Guns of Empire by Django Wexler The Shadow Campaigns is easily one of favorite fantasy series right now, so you can imagine my excitement when a package arrived last week and it turned out to be one of my most anticipated titles for the summer. This is already book number four, so if you haven’t caught up yet, well, what are you waiting for? Thank you, Penguin/Roc!

The Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman – From the kind folks at Penguin/Berkley, I also received a finished copy of Buehlman’s upcoming horror novel about killer vampires who hunt by causing deliberate crashes on roads and highways. Really looking forward to starting this one soon.

Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley – And speaking of finished copies, this gorgeous book also arrived last week courtesy of Little, Brown and Company. Now that I’ve actually read The Rook, I can finally start this sequel! I plan on doing that later this month, and I’m hoping it’ll be just as fun and entertaining as book one.

June Book Haul 2

Tor was like the book fairy this week, showering me with amazing review copies in the mail and only a couple were titles I requested.  The Kind Folk by Ramsey CampbellFaller by Will McIntosh, and Cloudbound by Fran Wilde were all surprise arrivals, but they’re also drool-worthy books I’ve had my eye on for a while so you can definitely expect reviews of all three closer to their release dates. I’m a huge fan of Will McIntosh so I’m especially looking forward to Faller, and Cloudbound is of course high on my list too because I really enjoyed book oneThe Kind Folk also sounds creepy as hell. Looks like it’s a horror novel featuring fairies–the scary kind.

After my excellent first taste of Pathfinder Tales, I also accepted a review copy of Liars’s Bargain by Tim Pratt. Most if not all of the PT novels are standalones, so I’m looking forward to diving right in. As well, I’m hosting an author feature for The Empty Ones by Robert Brockway later this summer; this is actually the follow-up to The Unnoticeables which has been on my TBR for a while, and nothing like a sequel on the horizon to get me moving! Finally, The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley was another surprise arrival this week, but seeing as I’m not really a big reader of essays or nonfiction in general, I’m not sure I’ll be able to get to this. If you’re in the US and would be interested in my copy, give me a holler and I’ll be happy to pass it on. Huge thanks to Tor Books!

City of the Lost audiobook Dark Run

Impersonations The Warren Cold-Forged Flame

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong – Audiobook, with thanks to Macmillan Audio. After Danya’s amazing review of this one at the Fine Print blog, I just knew I had to check it out. Plus, it was high time I finally tried something by Kelley Armstrong. Anyway, I was so eager to get started so I actually started listening to it right away and OMG I LOVED IT I LOVED IT I LOVED IT! I suppose I should save my raving for the review…

Dark Run by Mike Brooks – Audiobook, with thanks to Audible Studios. To my surprise, the audio version of this book was out already (and its sequel too), well ahead of its print release from Saga Press. Something tells me this will be a really good one to listen to, so I decided to give it a shot.

Impersonations by Walter Jon WilliamsThe Warren by Brian Evenson and Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan – is back to filling my inbox with their amazing novellas again, with some great looking fall titles. Really excited to read them all, especially Cold-Forged Flame because MARIE BRENNAN!

Balticon 50

The other exciting thing that happened last week was Balticon, the sci-fi convention in Baltimore which is the closest one to us. To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society changed venues to a huge place downtown and invited George R. R. Martin as Guest of Honor. It was insanity, of course. I knew that autographing with GRRM was going to be a ticketed event, so the first thing I wanted to do when I got there was quickly register, grab my badge, and hopefully be in time to be one of the few hundred to nab a ticket. I was thinking over my plans as my husband dropped me off in front of the hotel so he could go find parking, and was still busy worrying away in my head as I hauled ass to the convention floor, got off the elevator, turned the corner, took one step into the hall…and literally ran right into the man himself.

He wasn’t mobbed or surrounded by his people or anything, just strolling around the place, shaking hands, chatting with fans and taking pictures. I was so shocked I probably came off as a bumbling idiot, but Mr. Martin was so cool about it, agreeing to hug and a photo after asking my name and telling me to enjoy the con. Really nice guy. Anyway, I did end up getting an autograph ticket for the next day, so naturally I had to pick up a nice hardcover copy of A Game of Thrones for him to sign:

A Game of Thrones Bantam FullSizeRender (2)

The other guests included a lot of big names in SFF, since the Balticon folks also endeavored to bring back as many GoHs from past years to celebrate their big five-oh, authors like Jo Walton, Connie Willis, Harry Turtledove, Kim Stanley Robinson, Allen Steele, Larry Niven, Joe Haldeman, and tons more. I also wanted to attend autograph sessions of authors whose books I recently enjoyed, like Ada Palmer, Gail Z. Martin, David Walton and others, but unfortunately conflicting schedules and time spent in lines got in the way, so I didn’t manage to go to all their signings. However, I did get a chance to meet the awesome Fran Wilde, whose book Updraft won this year’s Compton Crook Award, presented by the BSFS. I got my copy autographed, so that made my day!


Here are my reviews since the last update, gathered together and listed here for your convenience and viewing pleasure. I only put up two reviews last week since that was all I had time for, but of course one of those was The Wheel of Osheim, which was an incredible book. If you haven’t started The Red Queen’s War trilogy, you need to do it now!

The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence (5 of 5 stars)
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (4.5 of 5 stars)

Company Town by Madeline Ashby (4 of 5 stars)
The Fireman by Joe Hill (4 of 5 stars)
The Tower of Swallows by Andrzej Sapkowski (3.5 of 5 stars)
Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor (3 of 5 stars)
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger (2 of 5 stars)

Roundup Highlights:

The Wheel of Osheim

What I’ve Read Since the Last Update

Our family took a little road trip out of town for the long weekend, and being busy with Balticon and everything on my plate, I probably didn’t read as much as normally would. Still, because I was winding down from a couple of longer reads like The Wheel of Osheim and The Fireman, I decided to take it a little easier with mostly audiobooks and lighter fare and managed to knock a bunch more books off Mount TBR. Mixing in shorter, beach read-type books has always helped me keep things rolling, which also suited my mood at the time for something fun. As you can imagine, MEG: Nightstalkers, The Invisible Library, and the thrilling City of of the Lost were all pretty ideal for that, and as a bonus I also got to complete the final quarter of Between Two Thorns which has been on my to-read list for years. Reviews are on the way!

(Looks like this week’s covers are more blue!)

The Fireman The Sudden Appearance of Hope Between Two Thorns The Invisible Library

City of the Lost Kelley Armstrong Ninefox Gambit meg nightstalkersCover final.indd The Wheel of Osheim Spear of light

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Have you heard of or read any of the books featured this week? What caught your eye? Any new discoveries? Nothing makes me happier than sharing my love for books, so let me know what you plan on checking out.  I hope you found something interesting for a future read! Until next time, see you next Roundup!:)

48 Comments on “Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves, Balticon & Recent Reads”

  1. Ooooh Marie Brennan has a new novella out? I’ll need to check into that one! I also have The Poisoned Blade. Not yet read the Court of Fives, so will need to get onto that!


  2. Yay!!! I’m glad to hear you loved City of the Lost. Armstrong is one of my favorite authors. I haven’t gotten around to reading that one yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to it.

    I have The Geek Feminist Revolution on my bookshelf as well. I don’t read too much non-fiction either, but I’m hoping to get around to reading that one eventually.


  3. OMG! Meeting George Martin – and in such an unexpected way! You had every reason to end up shocked and speechless! I hope you will post your picture with him… 🙂

    Ok, fangirl moment over… Back to the books!
    I’ve heard so much about Christopher Buehlman recently that I decided to buy one of his previous books (The Lesser Dead) while I wait for The Suicide Motor Club to come out, and now I’m wondering how I missed his name until now, because he promises to be an amazing writer.


    • I actually do have the picture posted, at the end of the first Balticon paragraph above, I linked it to my twitter feed. It’s my not-so-epic selfie with GRRM, lol! 😀

      And I hope you enjoy the Lesser Dead! I’ve read that one and Buehlman’s Between Two Fires, it was my great experience with both that led me to be interested in Suicide Motor Club 😀


  4. Balticon sounded like a bunch of fun, and so cool running into GRRM! You got some cool books from Tor that I’m dying to read, like Faller, Cloudbound and The Empty Ones:-D Enjoy!


    • Those all look very good, and I’m also going to have to catch up with The Unnoticeables to prepare for The Empty Ones. I remember from your review that you enjoyed that one, so I’m very excited 🙂


  5. I can’t believe I missed that! I had no clue there was an SF org in Baltimore or a conference. Glad I saw your post. Hopefully I can attend next time.. can’t believe I missed a chance to see GRRM.


    • Indeed! They hold Balticon during the Memorial Day weekend, and for many years they’ve had it in Hunt Valley, but this year they moved it downtown to the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace hotel and I think that’s where it’ll be next year as well. This was only my second Balticon, the first time I went the guest of honor was Brandon Sanderson, so both years I attended were pretty crazy. Generally though, I get the impression from the more experienced guests that it’s usually a smaller, cozier con and much more low key. Great for if you prefer more intimate and relaxed environment 🙂


      • Oh wow! Lucky you to go those times. I wish I’d known about it. I’d like to attend one of those cons if I can. I usually hear about big ones in California or NYC or others in Philly but I usually can’t travel to attend.


  6. Haha – I saw your pic on Twitter – awesome! I’m useless at meeting authors – I turn into a complete maniac unable to say anything at all!
    Look forward to your Brennan review.
    Like the sound of the Buehlman book – vampires!
    Lynn 😀


  7. A GRRM encounter! How exciting! He does seem like a very nice gentleman in the interviews I’ve seen with him. It looks like a very cool CON.

    So I am GREEN with jealousy about Stiletto! I can’t wait to get my hands on it as the Rook was one of my favorites a couple years ago. You also convinced me to immediately add City of the Lost to my Audible wish list without even looking at what it is about. If you and Danya loved it that much it must be worth a listen:0)!

    I think you’ve also convinced me to pick up The Red Queen’s War series sooner rather than later.


    • GRRM probably gets no shortage of gushing fans telling him how much they love his work so I couldn’t believe how nice he was. And YES! I’m so pleased to hear about City of the Lost, if you’re a Kelley Armstrong fan I think you’ll really enjoy it since I’ve heard others say they think it is one of her best. Can’t wait to hear what you make of it 🙂


  8. Awesome about meeting GRRM! He was super-nice when I met him during the Dance With Dragons book tour, so I’m glad to hear he was the same way with you. 🙂

    I can’t remember if I’ve gotten any new books since your last round-up… Though I did win a giveaway for a self-published fantasy novel called Rise of the Sparrows by a new author, Sarina Langar. Oh – and I’m reading City of Light finally! It’s really good so far, a pleasant surprise since I don’t typically read paranormal / urban fantasy. But I like the futuristic, post-apocalyptic elements and the mystery that Tiger’s trying to solve.


    • Oh, I’m really looking forward to hear what you’ll make of City of Light! I remember I wasn’t initially impressed, after being hit with a solid wall of info dump, but then it got so much better. I loved the setting and Tiger’s character 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • The autograph tickets were free actually (well, included in your membership, just have to show them your badge/proof of Balticon registration) but they were handed out on a first come first serve basis. Martin only signs around 300 autographs a session so they knew exactly how many they had to hand out, and I believe he only did two for the weekend!


  9. Yesssss City of the Lost! Welcome to the Kelley Armstrong fan club, haha. 😀 She has another older thriller series – the Nadia Stafford trilogy – that sounds like it’s in a similar vein so I need to read that one soon.

    Sounds like Balticon was a blast, I’m glad it was such a fun time!


    • Thanks to your review!

      And hooray, I’m so happy to be finally a part of the KA fan club; seriously, it’s been a long time coming 🙂

      Coincidentally enough, I just saw a review of a Nadia Stafford novella recently, and I did hear it’s a thriller in the same vein.


  10. I (kinda) met GRRM a few years ago at World Science Fiction Convention and I can totally agree, he’s such a nice man! I didn’t get a photo unfortunately, as I was busy taking photos for other people who wanted to pose with him :p Ah well, at least I got to meet him! The line for his signing ran all the way outside though and I really didn’t have the courage to wait hours for that. Lucky you for getting one of the autograph tickets!


    • That is so cool! And yeah, the lines for the signing were crazy, and it also wasn’t very organized. Not really Balticon’s fault though, the volunteer force was short-staffed and I think they were overwhelmed 🙂


  11. Even though I have yet to read GRRM, I KNOW what a big deal it is that you met him and that’s AWESOME! it couldn’t have happened more perfectly and I love that you also got to get an autograph out of him the next day! 😀 Man, bookish events are the best!

    Congrats on ALL the goodies you got this week though, as usual, you have lots of new titles that I need to look up but man, they all seem excellent! Happy reading my friend!


    • It was pretty funny because I was all worried that I wasn’t going to get a chance to see GRRM, and I wasn’t even there for 30 seconds and I ran right into him! I love the atmosphere of these conventions/book events, I wish I could go to more 🙂


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