On My Bookshelf: Contemporary

by | 29 September 2017 | Books | 24 comments

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. From a smol toddler, to the current me, I’ve devoured many, many books. I have a bookshelf with five decent sized shelves and each one absolutely packed and double layered to the bargain. So I thought it would be fun to grab a couple of those books off of the shelves and show them off for you all. I’m thinking that I could do this with other books/genres, so do pop me a comment and tell me whether you’d be interested to see this sort of post again.

Added onto the fact that books are epic, this post seemed like a good plan because we’re currently building a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf on one wall of our lounge room. The former bookshelves have been moved out into the hallways, the carpet has been cut out, the wall has been cleaned and repainted. A month from now and we should have a gorgeous new handmade bookshelf to fill. (I might just have some pictures of the process so far for you guys in my newsletter next Wednesday.)

Today I’ve picked five contemporary books that I absolutely loved. To be entirely fair, they’re not all ‘contemporary’ as such—some are leaning closer to fantasy or dystopian—but if I keep ‘contemporary’ as a very loose genre for now, I can still get away with it. 😛


1: Half Moon Investigations – Eoin Colfer

This is one of my favourite Eoin Colfer books (battling against Airman and The Supernaturalist). I read it in one day and as soon as I started, I was sucked into the story. I laughed way too many times, and I still quote one or two parts because they’re absolutely priceless. The characters and writing style were so fun and engaging.

Murt snagged an apple from the fruit bowl. ‘Look,’ he said. ‘Life is like an apple.’

I raised my head out of my hands to look at the apple. This should be good.

Murt stared at the apple for several moments, then ate it in half a dozen bites. ‘Ok, I can’t finish that simile. But give me some credit anyway.’


2: Ashtown Burials – N. D. Wilson

N. D. Wilson is more commonly known for his 100 Cupboards Trilogy (which I also really liked, so consider them unofficially on this list too 😛 ) but I actually liked the Ashtown Burials trilogy even better. It’s a mash of contemporary and fantastical epicness. Evil immortal villains, keys that can unlock any lock ever, three siblings, and—of course—a dragon’s tooth that everyone wants. Sibling relationships though, guys. The main characters are really good and I just still can’t get over these books.

“That wasn’t me. I’m not a morning person. There’s another person inside of me that does all the morning things.”
– The Dragon’s Tooth


3: Inkheart – Cornelia Funke

(I’m very disappointed in my editions of these books because in a collage like this the titles don’t line up, and it makes me sad. xD)

This one I read longer ago than the others that I’m mentioning, but I did enjoy it. Perhaps not as much as the others on this list, but it still needs noting. (Besides, I was trying to avoid falling back on the good old Rick Riordan and J. K. Rowling because we all know about them anyway.) It’s a story about a girl who reads books. How cool is that? It’s not the normal sort of story, and it has it’s own little charm. The world was really intriguing and the story line is quite unique.

“Writing stories is a kind of magic, too.”


4: The Rithmatist – Brandon Sanderson

To be entirely fair, this was actually on my sister’s bookshelf, but it was close enough. xD It’s very loosely ‘contemporary’ since it’s official genre is gearpunk, if I recall correctly. The majority of Brandon Sanderson’s works are hugely fat and I’m way too terrified to try them (although I do plan to at some point). The Rithmatist, however, is a managable length and I actually really enjoyed it. It’s about a boy called Joel who goes to a special academy. So ordinary…or not. When magic, kidnappings and Rithmatics are involved, it couldn’t possibly be ordinary. This book was like one big explosion of plot twists and epicness. AND there was a friendship between a boy and a girl with no romance. You have no idea how immensely that pleased me.

Plus, Sanderson is slowly getting closer to fiiinally writing the sequel to this so, THERE IS HOPE, MY FRIENDS. Now, read the book. 😛

“What! That’s a tragedy.”

“Melody, everything is a tragedy to you.”

“Not having ice cream,” she proclaimed, “is the culmination of all disasters!”


5: The New Recruit – Jill Williamson

Again, I’m sneaking in another that technically isn’t on my shelf, because we only have it as an ebook. That’s good enough for me though.

So far I’ve only read The New Recruit and Chokepoint out of the Mission League series, but I have high expectations for the rest of them as well. The New Recruit was an epic read that had me hooked right from the word go and never let me off (including the ending, because I’m still hanging in for book two to arrive in the mailbox). There were so many cool characters, and something I found really interesting was how some of them were almost like stereotypes. There was the girly girl, the strong I-need-no-one girl, the bully guy. At first glance, that would seem like “ugh not another cast of cardboard characters” but it wasn’t actually like that at all. On the outside, they looked like this, but inside they were so much different. They were dynamic and absolutely fully developed as characters. I really enjoyed seeing that.

I shifted in my seat. Forces of darkness? What was this, Jedi training? I bet they had an arsenal of plastic light sabers in those black cabinets. Maybe a few storm trooper masks…and a chess board or two.


So there you have a little snippet of some of the contemporary(ish) books on my shelf. I hugely recommend all these books, and if you’ve read any of them—we must flail over them! Or if you wanted to know more in-depth thoughts about these books, you can stalk me on goodreads, or ask me in the comments. I just want to talk books together!!


Would you like to see any other specific genres from my shelves in the future? Have you read any of these books? What are some favourite contemporary books from your bookshelf? Comment and chat with me!

Jane Maree

Jane Maree

Jane Maree is an Australian writer, adventurer at heart, beloved daughter of the King of Kings, and believer in at least six impossible things before breakfast. Raised on fairy tales, scraped knees, and makeshift swords, she has yet to outgrow any of them. In her day job, Jane teaches music and freelances as an editor, but by night she crafts daring stories of broken heroes overcoming extraordinary odds.


  1. J.A.Penrose

    Eeeeep! Books! Alllll of the books!
    Heheh, from what I have gathered those aren’t all overly contemporary, but still. I have heard them raved about, and are all, (Minus the ones I have read which are on my bookselves) on my reading list.
    AND ALL OF THE QUOTES! They all make me want to read them mooooore!

    • Jane Maree

      Truuue true. They aren’t terribly contemporary. The New Recruit and Half Moon Investigations are both completely contemporary but other than those… xD

      I had so much fun finding those quotes. 😛

  2. Clare Farrelly

    You should do more posts like this one, book post are good. I’m glad you mentioned that The Rithmatist was not on your shelf, its mine… mine.. my precious. And a really good book although quite different to Sanderson’s other works.

    • Jane Maree

      Yay I’m glad you liked it. 😀
      Hehe yes, it’s yours. I only borrowed it temporarily. xD I really must read some others of this books at some point.

  3. Katie Grace

    AHH THE RITHMATIST. *screams forever over that story* ughh it is such a beautiful book. so unique and fantastic AND WHERE’S THE SEQUEL? I mean, go Brandon for writing other books, but I want the Rithmatist sequel. xD

    • Jane Maree

      ACK YES. It was sooo cool. I loved the magic waaay too much. It was complex and yet simple at the same time?? And Joel was a super cool character too. WE MUST GET THE SEQUEL. I think he’s got it closer on his ‘to write’ list now because his son Joel is almost old enough to read the first book so he’ll want the second book too. SO MAYBE WE’LL GET IT. I’m hoping, anyway.

  4. Kendra Lynne

    The Rithmatist sounded really good! And so did Inkheart. I wonder if they have those books at my local library… 😉

    • Jane Maree

      You should definitely see if you can find them! I absolutely loved The Rithmatist particularly. 🙂

  5. Krystal

    Yay for book posts!!! I haven’t read any of these, but I plan to at some point. : D they all look so coooool. XD

    • Jane Maree

      Yaas! Books are the best. 😛 YOU MUST READ THEM. Read them allll. XD

  6. MiddleEarthMusician

    That’s awesome! I love big bookshelves. We have two in our great room. ;-D I should send you a picture… ;-D
    The Ashtown Burials are awesome. I actually live not to far from N.D. Wilson, and I REALLY want to ask him to sign my books once. 😀

    • Jane Maree

      YEET. Which ones have you read??

      Ack wow that’s so cool. You totally should. *nods*

      • MiddleEarthMusician

        Hm, Inkheart, and Ashtown Burials, but I have read books written by all the other authors. 😀

        • Jane Maree

          Oh cool! They’re all really good authors.

  7. Gray Marie

    BOOKS. Also, INKHEART! I haven’t read that since I was twelve I REALLY need to re-read!!!! XD

    • Jane Maree

      Allll the books. 😛 I haven’t read it for ages either actually. You’ll have to tell me if it’s as good on a re-read.

  8. Isabella Braga

    Inkheart is the best book ever!! I loved it so much, it inspired me to write the first story i ever finished.

    • Jane Maree

      Ooh that’s so cool that it inspired you like that! 🙂

  9. Quinley

    These books sound interesting, I will have to look into them.

    • Jane Maree

      Yess, I definitely recommend them. *nods*

  10. Cassandra Barthuly

    I need to look at N.D. Wilson’s books again…I’ve heard such good things about them!

    • Jane Maree

      Eee, yes you totally should. I really like his style. It’s super unique, and his characters are amazing. 🙂

  11. Ralraymee

    Sorry I’m a bit late! I haven’t read those books, but when I saw ‘100 cupboards’ I immediately started to think of a book that my Mum told me to read, because it was good and I had been ignoring it cos it sounded boring. It was the book ‘The Hundred Dresses’. Turns out it was glorious, had a really good message and it has a bit of a bittersweet ending, though I won’t spoil it for you 🙂

    (Sorry for the long comment :D)

    • Jane Maree

      Ooh ‘The Hundred Dresses’? I’ll have to check that one out–I haven’t heard of it before.

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