Novel Ideas #82: Stranger Things Have Happened

Novel Ideas #82: Stranger Things Have Happened

Wherein I get overly excited about new Stranger Things books, discuss our best selling books of the year thus far, gush about Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, and interview Lania Knight, author of the sci-fi novel Remnant.

Like our music? That’s “Brave” by Jonathan Coulton, off his newest album Solid State.


:00    Intro 

:51    Book Industry News

4:56  Booksticle: Tubby & Coo’s best selling books of 2018 thus far

12:35  Book of the Month: Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

17:25  Author Interview: Lania Knight, author of sci-fi novel Remnant

29:02  Wrap-Up and Coming next month

Book & Game Industry News

Stranger Things books are coming!

Amazon has picked up The Expanse for season 4

Authors of The Expanse series, James S.A. Corey, are writing a new space opera trilogy

Extras: I didn’t mention these bits on the podcast, but they’re good to know!

The Firefly crew returns in a new book series



Booksticle: Tubby & Coo’s Best Selling Books of 2018 Thus Far

In this list segment, I discuss the top 10 best selling books of 2018 thus far at Tubby & Coo’s:

10.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

9.  Unfathomable City by Rebecca Solnit & Rebecca Snedeker

8.  Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

7.  A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

6.  The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

5.  The Power by Naomi Alderman

4.  The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

3.  Midnight Arcade by Gabe Soria

2.  Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

  1. The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp



Book of the Month: Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

In this segment, I discuss our book of the month, Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. Trail of Lightning is Roanhorse’s debut novel, and it’s set on a post-apocalyptic Earth on what used to be the Navajo Reservation. Our main character, Maggie Hoskie, is a monster slayer with clan powers and a bad attitude. She’s gone into hiding after a run-in with her mentor, but she’s coaxed out when a little girl goes missing, and it’s suspected a monster is the reason. When Maggie catches the monster, she realizes that something is wrong, and she teams up with an unconventional fabulous medicine man to unravel the mystery of the monsters that plague Dinetah.

I loved the monster fighting and action of course, but what I liked the most about this book was how honest it was. Roanhorse tackles abuse realistically and well, and her main character isn’t overly perfect despite having clan powers. Every character in the group is indigenous, and the myths of indigenous people also come into play. I enjoyed learning about these characters, and the book gave me a perspective I haven’t personally seen a lot of.

If I have any complaint about the book, it’s the same complaint I usually have about books: parts of the romance element seemed unnecessary. In this case, I understood why it was there, but I also thought there were other ways the author could have achieved the same goal. But, it’s her story, not mine, and I respect the decision she made. I also thought one of the characters, Kai (the unconventional medicine man) was a tad overpowered.

But those complaints are nit picky and minor. I really enjoyed this book, the characters were endearing and I cared about what happened to them (even the secondary characters!), the plot kept me on my toes, and it did that thing that I really love in series books where the story wrapped up well, but there was *just* enough left hanging that I wanted to immediately read the next one. I highly recommend picking this one up!

Next month, I’ll be discussing The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. This book has gotten a lot of press lately, and Universal Pictures has snatched up the film rights. The young adult graphic novel is a sweet story about the friendship between a seamstress named Frances and a Prince named Sebastian, whose parents are looking for a bride for him. However, at night, the Prince transforms: he puts on a red wig and his friend Frances’ beautiful ballgowns and goes out in Paris as Lady Crystallia — the hottest fashion icon in the city where fashion reigns supreme.

If you decide to read it with me, please go to our Goodreads discussion group and let me know your thoughts in the thread. I may feature them on the podcast next month!

Remember that you can order any book discussed or mentioned on our podcast by filling out our Special Order form or by calling or stopping by the store.



Interview: Lania Knight

For this month’s interview segment, I welcome Lania KnightLania lives in Cheltenham, England, where she’s a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Gloucestershire. She has a PhD in Creative Writing/Fiction from University of Missouri. Her first book, Three Cubic Feet, was a 2012 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Debut Fiction. Her second book, Remnant, was released from Burlesque Press in March of this year.

Lania and I discuss the interesting premise of her book Remnant and the ways in which she considers her readers while writing.

You can find Lania through her website and on Twitter.

Join me again next month for more book industry news, my book of the month discussion of The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang, another edition of Tables & Fables where I pair a book with a board game, and interviews with the three authors on our docket to be published in August!

Remember that you can order any book discussed or mentioned on our podcast by filling out our Special Order form or by calling or stopping by the store.

You can also find the bookstore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @tubbyandcoos. And did I mention our new Goodreads discussion group, where you can find a list of all the books our book clubs are reading, this podcast’s book of the month, and more? Tell us what you’re reading, we’d love to discuss with you! 

Again, the music you heard in this podcast is “Brave” by Jonathan Coulton, off his newest album, Solid State.

Keep on reading!

Novel Ideas is a podcast in partnership with WRBH Reading Radio, 88.3 FM New Orleans. WRBH is the nation’s only full-time FM reading radio service and is one of only three such stations in the world.