ABC Book Recs from Gail Carriger (Miss Carriger Recommends)

This meme went around Tumblr a little while ago, Gentle Reader, and I decided to play along. So here is a book recommendation for every letter of the alphabet (well, almost every).

I’ve ignored the “The” and “A” in book titles otherwise, well, you know…

Gail Carriger ABC Book Suggestions

Acrobat by  Mary Calmes

Gay contemporary romance, May December. English professor gets accidentally involved with a hot young mob hit man, hijinks and happily ever afters ensue.  I just love everything about his author and her use of romance tropes. She’s a comfort read for me and this is one of my favorites. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Beauty by Robin McKinley

One of my favorite retellings of Beauty and the Beast. The family is loving and the prose beyond witty. If you love the Disney version, it owes a lot to this book.

Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis

Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis

Gaslight fantasy romantic novella, truly charming and a lot of fun. If you like my books this one will definitely satisfy. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Daughter of the Empire (The Empire Trilogy, #1) by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts

One of the best political epic fantasy books ever written. No, really. It is insanely good. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

 The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

A charming irreverent take on… well… everything from literature to history. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip (Author),‎ Gail Carriger (Preface)

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip

This is my favorite book of all time. If I had to pick a desert island book, it would be this one. (Read my full review on Goodreads.) Also, I was honored to be asked to write the forward.

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers

The series premise: three girls from different backgrounds are deemed daughters of death and taken in to a mysterious convent where they are trained as assassins. Start with this one, read them all, thank me later. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s lingers with me because of the humor, because of the perfectly executed twisting plot, because of the snapping dialogue. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2) by Tamora Pierce

I love all the Alanna books but this one is probably my favorite, you should, of course, read them in order. Then you can argue with me.

Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Lots of fun side characters, pithy remarks, witty banter, scenes full of action, and a nice thread of romance. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon

Lackey wrote urban fantasy before it was cool, and did it with her usual charm and aplomb. (Read my full review on Goodreads.) (no ebook edition)

The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune

Adorable snarky gay boy main character. Lots of awesome magic. Really fun fantasy setting. But honestly… It’s hilarious. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

I adored this book when I first read it at age 10, and still love it 30 years later. I cannot recommend it highly enough to young readers who have any interest at all in Ancient Egypt. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix

It’s similar in tone to Sorcery & Cecelia in that it has a nice light touch with a plucky heroine. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

This book was my first understanding that fantasy could combine with humor. And the names! The names!

Price of the stars Doyle Macdonald

The Price of the Stars by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald

One of the worlds best yet least known space operas. Honestly, it so good, full of political intrigue, sibling solidarity, and one bad ass crossdresser.

The Queen’s Daughter by Susan Coventry

The story Princess Joan for a YA audience, forgotten daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry II, sister to Richard the Lionhearted full of historical detail – clothing, food, and toys as well as politics and wars. (Read my review on Goodreads.)

Ridiculous by D.L. Carter

The funniest regency romance you will ever read. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

One of my all time favorite books, Sorcery and Cecelia started out as a letter game between two brilliant writers. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Taming the Forest King by Claudia J. Edwards

Military fantasy.  I cannot explain why I love this book so much, but I do. OP and hard to find. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I don’t consider fairy stories particularly my Thing, such as it is, but I still very much enjoyed this one. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Valor’s Choice (Confederation, #1) by Tanya Huff

Military Space Opera written by a woman who really knows what she’s writing about. Marvelous characters and alien races, extremely snappy dialogue, an endearing and tough heroine, and lots of fast action. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan

Fantasy romance. This is a culture-conflict comfort read for me. (Read my full review on Goodreads.)

X- I have absolutely nothing for x

You Never Know by Mary Calmes

Another gay contemporary for you, because I really love this author and it’s the only thing I have saved for “Y.”

A Zoo in My Luggage by Gerald Durrell

Because who else would I put under Z? One of the world’s greatest comic writers, very little read outside of the UK, but totally worth trying especially if you’re an animal lover.

Weekly Book Recs?

If you want weekly book recommendations from me (or to suggest books to me) I participate in #bookrecfriday on Twitter & Facebook.

If you want to know whenever I post a review, follow me on BookBub or Goodreads.

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail


Reticence: The forth and final Custard Protocol Book!


USA & Canada: Amazon print & digital & audiobook | Kobo | B & N | Apple | Audible | Other

UK digitalprint | Kobo | Apple UK coming soon I hope

Amazon Overseas DE | FR | AU

Kobo Overseas DE | FR | AU

Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series.



Your Moment of Parasol . . .

L'ancienne cour tumblr parasol photo children victorian 1880 hats

1880s L’ancienne cour tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

In Our Time podcast ep on The Time Machine is really fascinating. The panel delves into ideas and anxieties in late Victorian London, explored by HG Wells in his story of time travel, evolution and a planet unfit for humans.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

15 Things I Learned After Reading 100 Query Letters

Book News:

Meanwhile, I was interviewed by one of my most admired sexy positive feminist icons! 

Quote of the Day:

Gail: Sometimes the cat will sit just out of reach and stare at me.
AB: Trying to communicate telepathically, perhaps?
GC: What is she thinking?
AB: Just wondering what you taste like.

Your Moment of Gail


“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


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