By: Manuela Soares
Hello once more, and welcome back to Functionally Fictional and a Tuesday Top 5. So, I’m packing to move, and one thing that this has had me doing is going through all my books and deciding which ones to keep and which to donate or junk. Now, even after donating nearly 100 books, I still have over 300 left (yes, I have a slight problem, and no, I have absolutely no intention of addressing it). It’s taken me 20 16x12x12 moving boxes from Lowes to pack 98% of the books I’m keeping. With as many books as I own, naturally, I don’t remember what all I have, so having to sort through them has had me rediscovering some gems in my collection.
Needless to say, I thought it would be fun to share my re-discoveries and see what books you guys have rediscovered when going through your own collections. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 books I rediscovered while packing.
1.) Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
I have absolutely no idea when I picked this up, it was on one of the bottom shelves in the back, but I do remember being excited to get it. Based on the bookmark that’s in my copy, I started it at some point and got about a third of the way through before setting it down. This is one that I’ll be picking up again soon.
“A vivid and compelling novel about a woman who becomes entangled in an affair with Edgar Allan Poe—at the same time she becomes the unwilling confidante of his much-younger wife.
It is 1845, and Frances Osgood is desperately trying to make a living as a writer in New York; not an easy task for a woman—especially one with two children and a philandering portrait painter as her husband. As Frances tries to sell her work, she finds that editors are only interested in writing similar to that of the new renegade literary sensation Edgar Allan Poe, whose poem, “The Raven” has struck a public nerve.
She meets the handsome and mysterious Poe at a literary party, and the two have an immediate connection. Poe wants Frances to meet with his wife since she claims to be an admirer of her poems, and Frances is curious to see the woman whom Edgar married.
As Frances spends more and more time with the intriguing couple, her intense attraction for Edgar brings her into dangerous territory. And Mrs. Poe, who acts like an innocent child, is actually more manipulative and threatening than she appears. As Frances and Edgar’s passionate affair escalates, Frances must decide whether she can walk away before it’s too late…
Set amidst the fascinating world of New York’s literati, this smart and sexy novel offers a unique view into the life of one of history’s most unforgettable literary figures.”
2.) Bones of Faerie series by Janni Lee Simner
Many years back, I read the first book in this trilogy, Bones of Faerie, thanks to my library, and I remember thoroughly loving it and its sequel. I did eventually pick up the full trilogy thanks to Thriftbooks, and after reading it fully, I naturally forgot that I owned them. Whoops. I haven’t read these in a long while, but I think I’ll pick them up again when I move and finish unpacking everything.
Goodreads summary of Bones of Faerie:
“The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told.
Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see into the past, into the future and she has no choice but to flee her town.
Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.”
3.) Fruits Basket series by Natsuki Takaya
Now, this is a manga series that I completely forgot I had (at least, I have the first 18 in the series; I’m missing 19-23), since it was on the back of a shelf behind another row of books. A friend of mine loaned me the first eight, I think, of this series my senior year of high school when I was recovering from surgery, and I absolutely loved them. Over the next few years, I slowly bought the series.
Goodreads summary of Book 1:
“A family with an ancient curse…
And the girl who will change their lives forever…
Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home. Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.”
4.) When the Wind Blows series by James Patterson
These two books were given to me sometime in my early twenties, and I absolutely loved them. It’s an intriguing storyline that captures a reader’s attention and keeps it throughout both books.
Goodreads summary of When the Wind Blows:
“Frannie O’Neill is a caring young veterinarian living in the Colorado Rockies, trying to erase the memory of her beloved husband’s mysterious murder. It is not long before another neighbor suddenly dies, and FBI agent Kit Harrison arrives at Frannie’s doorstep. Kit is hell-bent on solving the heinous case despite resounding protests from the FBI and the thrashing of his own internal demons.
Kit secretly pursues the investigation, yet witnesses keep turning up dead. Then Frannie stumbles upon an astonishing discovery in the nearby woods, and their lives are altered in ways they could never have imagined. Simply knowing the secret of Max — the terrified 11-year-old girl with an amazing gift — could mean death.
As more and more diabolical details are unearthed, the murderer’s bloody trail ultimately leads the trio to an underground lab network, known as “the School.” Here scientists conduct shockingly incomprehensible experiments involving children and genetic alteration.”
5.) Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
If I remember right, I found out about this book on social media either just before or just after it came out, and I remember it catching my attention. It’s been on my TBR shelf ever since, and I picked up a copy a few years back and promptly forgot about it once it was stacked with the rest of the books I didn’t have shelf space for. This is one that I’ll definitely be picking up once everything is settled and put away.
““Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”
Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity… before all of the children vanish one by one.
Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.”