Top Ten Tuesday: Thankgiving gratitude

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a Thanksgiving Freebie, so I thought I’d put together a list of the top ten things I’m grateful for right now.

I’m so thankful for:

  1. The health and wellbeing of my family and friends, and my own health too
  2. The upcoming inauguration on January 20, 2021! So thankful that the US will finally have competent, honorable leadership.
  3. Related to #2, but it deserves its own recognition: Shattering the glass ceiling! Hurray for our first woman VP.
  4. Zoom and FaceTime — yes, I’m sick of Zoom work meetings, but I’m so grateful that I connect with family across the country.
  5. Having a job. Can’t take it for granted, when so many don’t. I’m grateful to have steady employment and benefits right now.
  6. A never-ending pile of good books to read!
  7. Being able to stream so much great entertainment.
  8. Living in a place with (mostly) year-round sun, so even if I’m always home, I can get outside to read in the sun or go for long walks.
  9. Medical professionals, teachers, supermarket staff, and all the other front-line workers performing essential services.
  10. All the responsible people who wear masks and practice social distancing.

And of course, I can’t forget to say THANK YOU to all the wonderful people in the blogging community. I love the support, connection, insights, and fun!

What are you thankful for this year?

If you wrote a TTT post, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten terrific fictional pets

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Characters I’d Name a Pet After, but I thought I’d switch it up a bit and focus instead on great doggos and kitties in fiction.

Who doesn’t love a good animal story? Here are some of the very good dogs and cats of my recent reading:

Favorite dogs:

1. Rollo (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
2. Mutt (Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow)
3. Mouse (Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
4. Jess (A Boy & His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher)
5 & 6. Little Ann & Old Dan (Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls)
7. Bongo (The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher)

TV Rollo

And a few cool cats too:

8. Adso (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)
9. Medea (Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs)
10 & 11. (because they’re a pair, and I can’t exclude either one!) Cagney & Lacey (Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire)

TV Adso (cutie pie)

What great dogs and cats of fiction can you think of?

If you wrote a TTT post, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Seanan McGuire Book Titles that Would Make Great Song Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Book Titles that Would Make Great Song Titles. As I was perusing my bookshelves for inspiration, I realized that I need look no further than one particular author…

It’s not exactly a secret that Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite authors. Besides the fact that her books are excellent, they also tend to have terrific titles. Here are ten (from books written as both Seanan McGuire and Mira Grant) that I can easily imagine as song titles too.

  1. Rolling in the Deep (what? there’s already a song with this title??? but is it about killer mermaids?)
  2. Into the Drowning Deep
  3. When Will You Rise?
  4. Down Among the Sticks and Bones
  5. Come Tumbling Down (no, not the John Cougar Mellancamp song — that one is actually “Crumblin’ Down”)
  6. Kingdom of Needle and Bone
  7. A Red-Rose Chain
  8. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day
  9. Midnight Blue-Light Special
  10. Sparrow Hill Road

What do you think of my choices? And what book titles can you imagine as great song titles?

If you wrote a TTT post, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-bookish hobbies

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is non-bookish hobbies. Wait, is there such a thing? You mean there’s something people do for fun that doesn’t include books???

Honestly, other than reading, there’s really not that much I’m doing for fun these days… so I thought I’d include my current hobbies and my pre- (and hopefully post-) COVID activities too.

Pre-COVID, some of my favorites hobbies and amusements:

  • Travel (Oh, I miss travel so much!)
  • Museums
  • Hiking, especially at state and national parks
  • LIve theater
  • SEEING FAMILY

And these days…

  • Long walks
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Phone/Zoom/FaceTime with distant friends and relatives
  • Binge-watching TV series

… and that’s all I can think of that doesn’t include books or reading!

As for today — Election Day — I’m grateful to have my job, blogging, and participating in TTT to distract me. This is going to be a LONG day.

What are your favorite non-bookish hobbies? What are you doing to entertain yourself during COVID?

If you wrote a TTT post, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten (OK, actually eleven) Witchy Books for Halloween!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a Halloween Freebie. I’m keeping it simple and featuring books about witches — mostly books I’ve read, plus three from my TBR list that I’m really looking forward to.

  1. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow — a 2020 favorite! (review)
  2. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  3. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs — part of the ongoing Mercy Thompson series, but this one has some very bad witches in it! (review)
  4. The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry — despite the title, this book has much more to do with witches than ghosts. Loved it. (review)
  5. A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers — another 2020 favorite (review)
  6. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare — not actual witches, but about witch hunts in the Colonial era. I think every kid who grew up in Connecticut (like me!) read this book at some point. (review)
  7. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (review)
  8. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
  9. Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian — new release coming in April 2021
  10. The Factory Witches of Lowell by C. S. Malerich — coming in November 2020, and I think it sounds amazing.
  11. The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson — haven’t read yet, but I intend to!

Yes, that actually makes eleven books. I realized I had an extra, but couldn’t decide which one to drop!

What are your favorite witchy books?

I’d love to hear about your Halloween topic, so please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me.

I could probably list hundreds, but here are the first 10 that come to mind… with a big THANK YOU to the amazing people who did the recommending! (With review links where available, in case you want to know more about the books…)

1. Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland: Recommended by my husband’s friend, whose book group read this over the summer. (review)

2. Finishing School series by Gail Carriger: Even though I loved the Parasol Protectorate series, I was under the impression that I wouldn’t care for these books — but my daughter kept insisting I needed to give them a try. She was right! So enjoyable. (review)

3. Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell: A captivating novel about Shakespeare and his players, which I probably never would have read except that my book group picked it for a group read. Loved it! (review)

4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid Jenkins: I’ve loved this author’s works, but for some reason didn’t get around to reading Evelyn Hugo despite owning a copy… until all the rave reviews from other book bloggers convinced me to finally read it. Thank you, all! Such an excellent book. (review)

5. The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler: I had never heard of Octavia Butler as of about 15 years ago, before a coworker (who’s also once of my best book buddies) urged me to read this. Truly a life-changing read.

6. Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow: I first heard of these books because they were recommended by another favorite author, Diana Gabaldon, on her “Methadone List“. The Kate books quickly became favorites, and I hope the author never stops writing them! (series overview)

7. If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser: My son, who is the most reluctant of readers, insisted that I read this book. And since he almost never reads willingly, I had to check it out to see what it was that made such an impression. (review)

8. The Blind Side by Michael Lewis: I am not a sports fan. At all. So why would I read a football book? Because one day while driving to work, I heard a review on NPR, and it was so highly recommended that I thought I’d give it a try. Glad I did!

9. All of Tamora Pierce’s books! I could list tons of books recommended by my daughter, but Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books were her favorites as a teen (and probably still are), and I finally got around to reading them over the past couple of years. And with minor exceptions, thought they were excellent!

10. I would be remiss if I didn’t include Letters from Thailand by Botan, which is the book that is at least partially responsible for me falling in love with my husband! If he hadn’t recommended it, we might never have started talking about books, and we all know how a booklover’s heart glows when you get on our favorite subject! If you want to know the backstory, you can check out my post here.

What books made your list this week? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Super Long Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Super Long Book Titles.

I did a similar topic several years ago, so I’m challenging myself to come up with a new list without repeats (even though some of the titles from my earlier post are true favorites). In any case… here are my top 10 books with awesome long titles!

1. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman: I haven’t actually read this one, but I’m usually a fan of his books, so I’ll need to get to this sooner or later. And hey, that’s a great title!

2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: I listened to this YA audiobook (narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda!!) and loved it.

3. If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name by Heather Lende: Charming non-fiction about life in small town Alaska. Added bonus: cute moose on the cover!

4. The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases edited by Jeff Vandermeer and Mark Roberts: A strange little guidebook to weird (fictional) illnesses — I picked up this book at a library sale a couple of years ago, and while I haven’t read the whole thing, it’s fun to open at random and read in small doses.

5. The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathmann: This was such a favorite picture book to read with my kids! I love the story, the rhymes, and the illustrations!

6. The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn’t by Gail Carriger: A delightful short story from a favorite author, finally revealing the backstory of a mysterious character. As always, lots of good fun.

7. How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days by Megan O’Russell: I’d never heard of this book until a few days ago when it popped up on one of my Amazon recommendation lists. I don’t know if I want to read the story, but I do love the title.

8. Alexander, Who Used To Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst: Since I included a different Alexander book the last time around, I thought this would be a good one to mention. Judith Viorst’s books are so funny and clever.

9. European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss: I’ve been a little obsessed with the Athena Club trilogy this year, and since I’ve already talked about the 1st in the series quite a bit, I thought I’d switch things up and include #2.

10. My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me edited by Kate Bernheimer: This is a repeat from my earlier post about book titles, but it’s just too good not to include! This is a terrific collection of new and retold fairy tales, and the title has always stuck with me.

And there you have it – a random assortment of all sorts of books with long book titles.

What books made your list this week? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers That Give Off Autumn Vibes (2020 edition!)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Book Covers with Fall Colors/Vibes.

I just did a similar post last fall, so I’ll try not to repeat any books! When I think of autumn, I think of browns and oranges and yellows — so here are a selection of books from my shelves with cover colors in a fall palette.

What books make you think of autumn? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite quotes about books and reading

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Favorite Book Quotes.

My focus this time around is quotes about reading. Here are some quotes I love:

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
– Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
– Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“… a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
– George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”
– Louisa May Alcott, Work: A Story of Experience

“A library is infinity under a roof.”
– Gail Carson Levine

“Despite his money and his looks and all the good-on-paper attributes he possessed, he was not a reader, and well, let’s just say that is the sort of nonsense up with which we will not put.”
– Eleanor Brown, The Weird Sisters

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
– Philip Pullman

“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”
– Diane Duane, So You Want to Be a Wizard

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
― C.S. Lewis

“Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw

 

What book quotes do you love? Please share your TTT link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 books on my TBR list for fall 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books On My Fall 2020 TBR.

So many books to look forward to! Most are upcoming new releases, but I’m including a couple of books from my shelves too.

(Click on any of the book cover images to see larger versions.)

  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
  • Dying With Her Cheer Pants On by Seanan McGuire. A collection of three new stories… and of course I’ll read anything she writes.
  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Serpentine by Philip Pullman: A new novella set in the world of His Dark Materials.
  • The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: It’s been almost a year since I bought a copy of this book! It’s about time to read it.
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
  • The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie
  • A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong
  • The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher
  • Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett — my next Discworld book

What books are you most excited to read this fall? Please share your TTT link!

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