This week’s TTT topic (brought to you courtesy of The Broke and Bookish ) is Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim (however you decide to interpret that (bought or read or something else) — I know most people read based on recommendation but we want to know those books you picked up without really hearing about or knowing much about!)
A LOT of my reading material is submitted by Independent Authors of Science Fiction and Horror, however, when it’s late at night and I don’t want to read seriously, or I’m at the local HPB, I tend to randomly grab things to read. Quite often, I’m pleasantly surprised. Here are:
My 9 Best and Worst Sci-Fi & Horror Blind Grabs
The Best Sci-Fi & Horror
The Martian by Andy Weir. One man’s epic battle to survive on Mars (with his sense of humor intact!)
Believe it or not, I went into this book almost completely blind. I bought it because 1.) I was reading an article and one of the Mythbusters recommended it and 2.) there was a sale on Amazon at the same time. Needless to say, this book definitely gets first place on my Sci-Fi & Horror Blind Grabs.
Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz. Obsession to Magic, Magic to Pain.
I don’t remember what turned me on to this book, but it was one of those cases where I skimmed the cover and synopsis and went “WANT!” and so I bought! lol. Didn’t regret it, either. While I may not have gotten around to reading the second book in the series, it is on my list.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman. She’s got to lead her children to a safe zone that’s miles away, and none of them dare open their eyes the whole way.
I was at the library, looking through the horror section, and I came across Bird Box. The Cover intrigued me, the synopsis hooked me, and once I sat down to read it, I couldn’t put it down. This is a fantastic book.
The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker. She’s spent her whole life ignoring the dead people around her, and now she needs their help to find her foster sister, and possibly just to survive.
This was a late night “I’m bored. Need something to read that I don’t have to think hard about” grab. It was seriously a lot more entertaining than it had any right to be, considering the sheer amount of YA cliches in it.
Carter & Lovecraft by Jonathan L. Howard. Lovecraft’s monsters were just products of a twisted imagination, right? HAH. You wish.
I spotted this one as soon as I walked into the library. It was in their new display section, and as soon as I saw that cover – You have seen the way I rate things on this site, right? – I was hooked!
The Worst Sci-Fi & Horror
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith . Spoiler alert: He’s a vampire hunter.
I enjoyed Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. All I knew about this book when I grabbed it was it written by the same dude. Oh, my god, this was bad. SO, SO bad. How did the same person who wrote Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies churn out this pile o’ crap?
Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston. The big boy’s version of Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
Yawn. I mean, I’m a huge fan of Crichton’s work, but this book did nothing for me. I struggled just to get through the pages. Honestly, I don’t even think I finished it. I finally gave up in despair because it sucked so bad.
Z-Minus bk 1 by Perrin Briar – You’ve been bitten and have 8 hours to live. What do you do?
Random late night grab again. Had never heard of it. Wish to Circe I still had never heard of it. This book was ridiculous, cliche, unimaginative, and maddeningly BAD. Gah.
The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. Don’t mess with genetics, man. It never works out well.
I got this book as part of a set that had a few H.G. Wells books on it (audio book). I’d listened to, and enjoyed, his other work, so I expected I would enjoy this one too. I knew what it was about only in the simplest of ways. Holy crap, this book took forever to get through. Forever. Just pales in comparisons to the enjoyable listening experience that was his other books.
LOVE The Martian! It wasn’t a blind grab for me (I read it after seeing the movie – *oops*), but it’s definitely one of my favorite sci-fi reads ever.
I tend not to pick up books on a whim; I like to know what I’m getting myself into before I read it. But the last read that kind of falls into that category was Kiera Cass’s The Siren. I haven’t read her Selection series (not planning to, either), but I was interested in this book because of its mermaid / siren angle. And it wasn’t too bad. The romance did very little for me, but the siren mythology and the friendships between the protagonist and her “siren sisters” made it worthwhile.
I feel like if I’ve heard a lot of hype about a book, it seems to always disappoint me, so I don’t really mind going into it blind.
Hm, I don’t know if I’ve heard of The Siren. But, eh, romance…
Yeah… Like I said, it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t convince me to read more of her work.
I’ve started ignoring the “hype machine,” to be honest. Most over-hyped books (especially in YA speculative fiction) disappoint me, too. So I stick to reviews from people I trust, like friends who or book bloggers who have similar reading tastes to mine.
LOVED The Martian, read Bird Box, and have Ghost Files in my TBR pile – have heard good things about Flex. I’m a Crichton fan, but always skeptical when someone else’s name was also on the book.
I’m learning to be wary of that myself. Especially that particular name.
I loooved Bird Box. So sad to see The Island of Dr. Moreau on the bad pile, I’ve been meaning to read that since it was mentioned in Orphan Black. I’ll give it a try one day anyway to see how it goes for me. And the Abraham Lincoln wasn’t really a surprise, since I saw the trailer for the movie I thought it was a terrible idea.
You might enjoy it. I’m very hit or miss with classics, so it might have just got me at the wrong time.
I totally get that. I’ll let you know if I ever read it 🙂
I wanted Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter to be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies so bad. I’m still bitter about that one. I usually have a hard time picking up books on a whim but almost always at least make a note of it and try to get it from the library later…usually if the cover is really unique or pretty that it just makes me want to read it. Great List!
Isn’t it amazing how one can be awesome, and the next can totally suck? *mumbles* Have you seen PP and Z movie yet?
No it’s still on my ever-growing list! Did u like it?
I haven’t seen it yet. My other half refuses to let me drag him to it, so I’m waiting for a time I can sneak off by myself.
I haven’t actually read any of the books on your list but I do own the Martian! So many people keep raving about it, I think I’m going to have to bump it up my TBR!
Read it. Read it. Read it. Read it. Read it.
I still haven’t read The Martian… and P&P&Zombies. Both books I really want to read, but I wouldn’t be going in exactly blind. 🙂
I can guarantee you whatever you’ve heard about the Martian hasn’t prepared you for how awesome Watney is. The movie doesn’t even come CLOSE!
The Martian is the only book I’ve read from your list but I’d say it was a worthwhile pick for me too! Just super funny and happy for a book about a man stranded on Mars, haha.
Even when he’s went through something that nearly killed him, his sarcasm still makes you snort. Gotta love it.
Absolutely! Did you like the movie as well? :p
*grumbles* It was an okay sci-fi movie. It was NOT an OK The Martian adaptation!!
I also picked up The Martian on a whim, but I couldn’t really get into it. :\