Co-Founder | Freelance Editor
Why I read: I read fiction to escape my own world; so, I don’t want to read about “real” things. I read non-fiction to learn and be inspired.
Favorite Genres: For the last several years, I’ve read mostly Urban Fantasy and other things supernatural. I also love Historical Fiction and Historical Fantasy. As opposed to Nervous Nellie, I’m not a big fan of the romance genre, even if it’s paranormal. I don’t mind romance or even sex in my books, within reason; but, if that’s the only focus of the book, I won’t stay interested. I’m not much interested in erotica or chick lit. I’ve mostly avoided Young Adult and New Adult as well, reasoning that I have enough on my TBR pile now without starting on those. In my books, I want mystery, adventure, challenge, some humor, a lot of karmic smack-down, and the occasional bloody justice.
Reading Style: I love books that go deep into characters and worlds. I really want to know the characters, to be able to invest emotionally in them and their challenges. I like learning about cultures, so understanding the world is important to me as well. I think this is why I love long series and the first person perspective so much. Books that focus mostly on the action without getting deeper into the character or world leave me feeling unsatisfied, even if the story is good. Reading a book, especially rereading a book, should feel like visiting with beloved old friends.
Audiobooks: I also love audiobooks when the narrators are good. I think reading a book and listening to it are two very different experiences and work on different areas of the brain. Some narrators do such an amazing job (e.g. Jim Dale with the Harry Potter series, Emily Grey with the Parasol Protectorate series, Lorelei King with the Charley Davidson series) that the experience just shouldn’t be missed.
Reviews: My book reviews aren’t based on literary merit or skillful use of language. My reviews are based on my own thoughts and feelings about a book, what I like in a story, and how much I feel invested in the characters and the world. You might agree with me or you might not; that’s okay. Everybody is looking for something different when they read.
Amazon: I am an Amazon whore. I’ve sold my soul to convenience, so most of my links will go to Amazon, Audible or Goodreads. I’m not so much promoting them as linking to where I find my books. Find your books anywhere you like.
Ivana’s Reading List – stories I like.
Urban, Dark, or Contemporary Fantasy
- Aaronovitch, Ben. PC Peter Grant, particularly in audio.
- Anthony, Piers. Incarnations of Immortality. Older series, but the first five books are great.
- Armstrong, Kelley. Women of the Otherworld.
- Bateman, Sonya. Gavyn Donatti.
- Bickle, Laura. Anya Kalinczyk | Dark Alchemy.
- Birmingham, John. Dave vs. the Monsters (David Hooper).
- Bishop, Anne. The Others, particularly in audio.
- Black, Jenna. Morgan Kingsley.
- Blackmoore, Stephen. Eric Carter.
- Braun, Amy. The Cursed Series.
- Briggs, Patricia. Mercy Thompson | Alpha & Omega.
- Butcher, Jim. The Dresden Files.
- Caine, Rachel. Weather Warden | Outcast Season.
- Carey, Mike. Felix Castor.
- Carr, Viola. The Electric Empire series.
- Carriger, Gail. The Parasol Protectorate, particularly in audio.
- Charish, Kristi. The Adventures of Owl | Kincade Strange.
- Chastain, Rebecca. Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer | Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles.
- Drake, Jocelynn. Dark Days | Asylum Tales.
- Estep, Jennifer. Elemental Assassin.
- Farnsworth, Christopher. Nathaniel Cade.
- Del Franco, Mark. Connor Grey | Laura Blackstone.
- Garey, Terri. Nicki Styx.
- Handeland, Lori. Phoenix Chronicles.
- Harris, Charlaine. Sookie Stackhouse, particularly in audio | Harper Connelly.
- Harrison, Kim. The Hollows.
- Hearne, Kevin. The Iron Druid Chronicles, particularly in audio.
- Hudson, eden. Redneck Apocalypse.
- Huff, Tanya. Victoria Nelson | Tony Foster.
- Hunter, Faith. Jane Yellowrock.
- Hunter, James A. Yancy Lazarus.
- Jacka, Benedict. Alex Verus.
- Jones, Darynda. Charley Davidson, particularly in audio.
- Kenner, Julie. Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom.
- Kurtz, Katherine and Harris, Deborah Turner. Adept series. Older. Probably my first intro to urban fantasy.
- Maggert, Terry. Halfway Witchy.
- Marmell, Ari. Mick Oberon.
- McGuire, Seanan. October Daye.
- Mears, Emmie. Ayala Storme.
- Monk, Devon. Allie Beckstrom | Broken Magic | House Immortal | Ordinary Magic.
- Olson, Melissa F. Scarlet Bernard | Boundary Magic.
- Priest, Cherie. The Borden Dispatches.
- Rice, Anne. Vampire Chronicles (first three) | The Witching Hour | The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned.
- Rowland, Diana. White Trash Zombie, particularly in audio.
- Saboviec, S.L. Fallen Redemption.
- Shearin, Lisa. SPI Files.
- Sniegoski, Thomas E. Remy Chandler.
- Stark, Jenn. Immortal Vegas.
- Stein, Jeanne. Anna Strong Chronicles.
- Thurman, Rob. Cal Leandros | Trickster.
- Tuck, James R. Deacon Chalk, Occult Bounty Hunter, particularly in audio.
- Vaughn, Carrie. Kitty Norville.
- Vincent, Rachel. Shifters.
- Wilks, Eileen. World of the Lupi.
- Auel, Jean M. Earth’s Children.
- Gabaldon, Diana. Outlander.
- George, Margaret. The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers |Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles.
- Golden, Arthur. Memoirs of a Geisha.
- Kaye, M.M. The Far Pavilions.
- Miles, Rosalind. I, Elizabeth.
- Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With The Wind.
- Penman, Sharon Kay. Welsh Princes | Plantagenets.
- Stewart, Mary. Legacy: Arthurian Saga.
- Whyte, Jack. Camulod Chronicles.
- Herbert, Frank. The Dune Chronicles, original six.
- Hughes, Alex. Mindspace Investigations.
- L’Engle, Madeline. A Wrinkle In Time Quintet.
- McCaffrey, Anne. The Tower and the Hive | Catteni.
- Anthony, Piers. Apprentice Adept. Older series, first three are good.
- Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Fall of Atlantis; The Firebrand; The Mists of Avalon.
- Feist, Raymond E. The Riftwar Saga | The Empire Trilogy (with Janny Wurtz).
- Hieber, Leanna Renee. Strangely Beautiful.
- Kay, Guy Gavriel. A Song for Arbonne |Tigana.
- Lawhead, Stephen. The Pendragon Cycle.
- McCaffrey, Anne. Chronicles of Pern.
- Roberson, Jennifer. Lady of the Forest.
- Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter, particularly in audio.
- Silverberg, Robert. Lord Valentine.