Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022

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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 New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022.

I actually have a very long list for 2022 — but I’ll narrow it down to the the 10 I enjoyed the most. So hard to choose!

  • Darcie Little Badger
  • Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows (yes, these are three people, but they co-authored the book I read!)
  • Jennifer Thorne
  • Sara Novic
  • Julia Whelan (I’ve listened to her narrate audiobooks before, but this was my first encounter with a book she wrote herself)
  • Judy Leigh
  • Malinda Lo
  • Zoje Stage
  • Alexis Hall
  • A. G. Slatter

If you’ve read any other books by these authors, please let me know which you’d recommend!

What new-to-you authors did you discover in 2022? Any particular favorites? Do we have any in common?

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2023

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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 Bookish Goals for 2023.

At the risk of being totally repetitive, I’m basically repurposing the version of this topic that I did in 2021 (apparently, I didn’t bother writing one in 2022!). Year after year, certain basic goals, resolutions, concepts remain true.

I really don’t believe in making resolutions, but I do have some general ideas about how I want to focus my reading in 2023, so here we go:

Read whatever I feel like. Okay, I say this every year… and every year it’s worth repeating! Other than book group reading commitments, I’m going to mostly be sticking to reading without a plan. It’s a wonderful feeling!

Keep ARCS to a minimum. I feel like I’ve been getting better at this. It can be hard to resist requesting every shiny new book that comes up on NetGalley, but I know I’m happiest when I’m not overloaded with obligation books.

Read at least a few of the books/series I highlighted in my series-to-read post for this year.

Tackle at least a few books outside my comfort zone or that will take a bit of extra effort. The main one I have in mind is The Silmarillion (but don’t hold me to it — plans may change!)

For the sake of keeping bad habits in check, don’t hit the Buy Now button for Kindle books just because they’re a price break! I have more books in my Kindle library than I know what to do with. I’m trying to get better at only buying e-books when I’m ready to read them. (This already seems like it’ll be tough to stick with… but it’s worth making the effort.)

And one ongoing task — I should probably reorganize my bookshelves (yet again) and put together a new stack of books to donate. One of these rainy days, I’ll get around to this one!

That’s about it for me. I hope to have a year full of fun, enjoyable reading with very few requirements about when I finish a certain book or what to read in any given moment.

What are your bookish goals for 2023? Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy year… with plenty of great books to read!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2023

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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 Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2023.

There are plenty to choose from — but here are ten I’m really excited for:

  1. Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie (1/24)
  2. Lessons at the School by the Sea by Jenny Colgan (3/7)
  3. Backpacking Through Bedlam (Incryptids, #12) by Seanan McGuire (3/7)
  4. A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher (3/28)
  5. The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth (4/4)
  6. Said No One Ever by Stephanie Eding (4/4)
  7. Not the Ones Dead (Kate Shugak, #23) by Dana Stabenow (4/13)
  8. In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune (4/25)
  9. Happy Place by Emily Henry (4/25)
  10. Late Bloomers by Deepa Varadarajan (5/2)

What new releases are you most looking forward to over the next six months? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top ten books on my TBR list for winter 2022/2023

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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 about our winter reading plans.

So many books to choose from! This time around, my list includes a mix of upcoming new releases and books already on my shelves. My top 10 priorities to read this winter will be:

New releases:

1) Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie: I’ve loved every book I’ve read by this author so far, even though they’re always super disturbing. (release date 1/24/2023)

2) The Magician’s Daughter by H. G. Parry: I don’t know much about this one, but it looks good! (2/21/2023)

3) Lost in the Moment and Found (Wayward Children, #8) by Seanan McGuire: If it’s January, it must be time for another Wayward Children book! (1/12/2023)

4) The Stolen Heir by Holly Black: I’m beyond thrilled that there’s a new book in the world of Folk of the Air on the way! (1/5/2023)

5) Backpacking Through Bedlam (Incryptids, #12) by Seanan McGuire: Another series by Seanan McGuire that I love! Of course I’ll read the new book as soon as possible. (3/7/2023)

6) A Sinister Revenge (Veronica Speedwell, #8): This series continues to be so much fun. (3/7/2023)

And books I already own:

7) Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir: Although I didn’t completely love Gideon the Ninth, I’m interested enough to want to keep going.

8) A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers: On the other hand, I did love the first book in this series, so #2 is a must!

9) The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal: I bought this right when it came out, and I love everything I’ve read by this author… and I’ve ended up saving this book to read when I can savor it (which hasn’t happened yet).

10) Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor: I really enjoyed the audiobook of the first two in this series, so if my library has this one available via audio, I’ll probably go that route… but otherwise, the paperback will do just fine.

What books will be keeping you warm this winter? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: [FREEBIE TOPIC] Books my book group will be reading in 2023

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 freebie — we all choose our own topics!

I haven’t done a TTT post in a while and my brain cells are not feeling up for anything too challenging… so I’m keeping it simple. My book group picks our monthly discussion books for an entire calendar year ahead of time, and we’ve just finalized our selections for 2023!

So yes, that makes this a top 12 list — but I couldn’t decide which two to leave out, so I’m going for it.

Here’s what we’ll be reading in 2023:

  1. January – Miss Austen by Gil Hornby
  2. February – An Easy Death (Gunnie Rose, #1) by Charlaine Harris
  3. March – The Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger
  4. April – Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
  5. May – Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein
  6. June – The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Loigman Cohen
  7. July – The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray
  8. August – Cotillion by Georgette Heyer
  9. September – The Measure by Nikki Erlick
  10. October – Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
  11. November – Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
  12. December – Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

As you can see, we aim for a mix of genres as well as a mix of newer and older books. I have to say, I think we’ve done a great job planning for next year! I’ve already read our March and November books, but I’m happy to read them again, and I’m excited for all the new books I’ll be reading and discussing with my amazing group.

Have you read any of these? What do you think of our choices?

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I might (but probably won’t) finish

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 Series I’d Like to Start/Catch up on/Finish.

I feel like I’ve done variations on this topic several times and don’t particularly want to repeat myself… but I’ll give it my best shot anyway. The following are series that I’ve started, but which I think I’ll probably never go back to.

(I only came up with eight… but that’s plenty!)

1) Poldark series by Winston Graham: I’ve read 7 of the 12 books in the series, and the 7th takes the story up to the point where the TV adaptation wraps up. And you know what? I think I’m good. As far as I understand, the next books start shifting the focus to a younger generation, and I’m just not as interested. Will I ever continue this series? Unlikely.

2) The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski: I’ve read 4, and have 4 more left. I like the books, but didn’t want to get too far out in front of the Netflix storylines. Will I ever continue this series? I’d say it’s about a 50/50 chance.

3) Miss Peregrine series by Ransom Riggs: I read the first 3 books, when they were described as a trilogy, but lo and behold, the author continued the series! I felt like the story wrapped up pretty well with the 3rd book, so… Will I ever continue this series? Nope.

4) Discworld by Terry Pratchett: I had big plans to read all the Discworld books, in publication order, one per month. My ambitious goal lasted me for four books, and then I decided I’d had enough and needed a break. I know that publication order is NOT the way most people recommend approaching Discworld, so I haven’t written off the possibility of returning to the series and trying specific story threads. Will I ever continue this series? I want to say yes… but let’s leave this as probably, if I’m being realistic.

5) Murderbot by Martha Wells: I read the first four novellas, then stalled out when it came to book 5, which is a full-length novel. I didn’t stop for any particular reason, other than just not being in the mood at the right moment. Now I’m afraid that it would be hard to restart, without going all the way back to the beginning for a reread first. Will I ever continue this series? Probably yes. I liked what I read, so there’s no reason not to want to read more.

6) Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear: I read the first two books in this historical mystery series, and thought they were okay. There are 17 books out so far! Will I ever continue this series? Probably not. I didn’t love the first two enough to want to keep going.

7) Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo: I read the first trilogy (Shadow and Bone), then read the first book in the next duology, but honestly, that felt like enough. Will I ever continue this series? I don’t think so (but I will keep watching the Netflix adaptation).

8) Cormoran Strike books by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling): I read the first three books, didn’t quite get around to the 4th, and around the time I was considering reading it, JKR became a person I no longer wanted to support. Will I ever continue this series? Nope.

Are there any on my list that you think I should reconsider?

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

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Top Ten Tuesday: Unlikable Characters You Can’t Help but Love 

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 Unlikable Characters You Can’t Help but Love .

I almost skipped this one because I really couldn’t come up with a full ten… but what the heck, might as well share the ones I did think of!

My FIVE are:

  1. Severus Snape (Harry Potter series): I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of Snape today. And yes, he’s problematic, but somewhere deep inside he did love Lily (even though he was awful to her son year in and year out…)
  2. Prince Cardan (Folk of the Air series by Holly Black): A total mean jerk when we meet him, but eventually, he’s redeemed by love.
  3. Tybalt, King of Dreaming Cats (October Daye series by Seanan McGuire): I mean, I never actually hated Tybalt, but Toby does at the beginning of the series! Fortunately, their hate/hate relationship morphs into something completely different.
  4. Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice): When we meet Lestat in Interview with the Vampire, we see him through Louis’s eyes, and let’s just say, it’s not a favorable impression. But as of The Vampire Lestat, we get to see him as he sees himself, and he’s just so much fun!!
  5. Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith): Well, to be totally honest, I don’t remember much about book Damon (or the books in general), but I loved Damon on the TV series, so I say that counts!

That’s it! Those are the only loveable baddies I could think of!

Can’t wait to see everyone else’s lists… so please share your links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite words discovered while 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 Words. That felt a little broad to me, so I thought I’d try to come up with a list of words I learned, discovered, or just enjoyed through my reading.

My top 10 are:

  1. Absquatulation: Departing in a hurry; absconding (encountered in the Outlander series)
  2. Castrametation: the making or laying out of a military camp (also from the Outlander series)
  3. Ligneous: made, consisting of, or resembling wood; woody (from Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin)
  4. Ludic: showing spontaneous and undirected playfulness (also from T&T&T)
  5. Seneshal: the steward or major-domo of a medieval great house (from the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire)
  6. Symbiont: an organism living in symbiosis with another. (from the Parasitology series by Mira Grant and from Fledgling by Octavia Butler)
  7. Taradiddle ~ A fib, or falsity (from the Finishing School series by Gail Carriger)
  8. Widdershins: in a direction contrary to the sun’s course, considered as unlucky; counterclockwise. (from Discworld books by Terry Pratchett)
  9. Oubliette: a secret dungeon with access only through a trapdoor in its ceiling. (from A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness)
  10. Barouche-landau: A barouche-landau was an expensive four-wheeled carriage drawn by two horses, with two collapsible hoods – one for the front-facing passengers and one for the rear-facing passengers.  (from Emma by Jane Austen)

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Do you have any favorite words that you’ve picked up from your reading?

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read On Vacation

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 On Vacation. Picking books to take with me when I travel is one of my most important tasks! I think I spend more time planning my vacation reading than what clothes to pack.

In any case…

I always read when I travel, and usually, I associate the books I’ve read with the places I read them. So, here’s a look at ten favorites:

1) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: What’s a top 10 list without an Outlander mention? I first read Outlander about12 years ago or so, on a family trip to Yosemite. I distinctly remember sitting on a big rock out behind our cabin, looking out at the gorgeous morning, while drinking coffee and opening my paperback to chapter one.

2) The Shining by Stephen King: The cover above is the edition (very old, falling apart paperback) I had with me on a trip to Alaska about 10 years ago. (Sadly, the entire book had come loose from the binding by the time I was done, and it was not salvageable — but I did make it through the entire book before it fell to pieces). And as an added note… I’ve brought Stephen King books with me on so many vacations! There’s something really delicious about reading a terrifying book while sitting in bright sunshine on a beach chair.

3) Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto: So silly, such a perfect choice for a vacation read! I just read it last month while visiting my daughter in Colorado.

4) My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me edited by Kate Bernheimer: I read this collection of retold fairy tales while on a beach vacation — I needed a paperback I could get sandy and damp, since otherwise I’d only brought my Kindle with me.

5) Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery: Such a delight! I read this book while visiting family to attend a funeral, so not exactly a vacation, but it was a great choice for quieter moments when I needed a little joy and lightness to break up the mood.

6) Sourdough by Robin Sloan: Such a weird book, but it was a great travel read! I bought this on a whim at an airport bookshop (and as a rule, I never buy books at the airport). I read it on the plane and finished it within my first day in New York.

7) The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone: This was actually a pre-vacation read, but I associate it so strongly with travel that I’m including it anyway! Back in college during my junior year abroad, I took a trip to Italy with a group of friends during our spring break. We all decided to read this biographical novel about Michelangelo in preparation for our trip, and it added so much to our experiences!

8 & 9) Retellings! These are just two examples from the past couple of years, but there’s nothing like a good retelling of a favorite classic (in these cases, Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet) for a great diversion on vacation.

10) Book Lovers by Emily Henry: I’ve brought Emily Henry books with me on several vacations, and this is the most recent! I had Book Lovers with me for a road trip this year — like in all her books, there’s a sweetness balanced by emotion and humor that make for great vacation reading.

What are the best books you’ve read on vacation?

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

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookstores are my weakness… and I’m not sorry!

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 Bookstores OR Bookstores I’d Love to Visit. Having just returned from a one-week vacation during which I visited about five different bookstores, I feel like this topic is just perfect for me!

Some of my favorites are:

1. Borderlands Books (San Francisco, CA): An awesome independent bookstore that’s been around for 20+ years, specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I’ve attended some truly great events here — and fun fact: This bookstore is featured in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. How cool is that?

2. Green Apple Books (San Francisco, CA): A huge used book store that’s a San Francisco institution!

3. The Strand (New York, NY) — I don’t get to New York nearly as often as I’d like, but when I do go, a visit to The Strand is a must!

4. Title Wave Books (Anchorage, AK): I’ve managed to visit Title Wave Books (and how awesome is that name?) on two different trips to Anchorage. It’s a big, sprawling used book store — so much to look at and explore.

5. Book Worm (Boulder, CO): Another used book store that I’ve now been to twice. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it’s an absolute maze of shelving and great books and weird, unusual finds. I could (and have) spent hours there!

6. Russell Books (Victoria, BC): Another terrific used book store that I stumbled upon once during a vacation. Are we detecting a theme yet? Hint: I can’t resist a great used book store!!

7. Sefer Ve Sefel (Jerusalem, Israel): I’m just amazed to discover that this bookstore still exists! I remember going there to stock up on American paperbacks while studying abroad in Israel many, many (MANY!) years ago.

And bookstores I’d love to visit are:

8. Powell’s Books (Portland, OR): I mean, Powell’s is just legendary! I’ve never been to Portland, but I’d very much like to get there someday… and if I do, this store will be a must-see.

9. Shakespeare and Company (Paris): Dreaming big here! A trip to Paris + books??? What could be better?

10. Poisoned Pen (Phoenix, AZ): I’ve been to an author event sponsored by this store, but have never actually been inside. Poisoned Pen is the local bookstore for a few favorite authors, including Diana Gabaldon, and is an amazing source for signed editions of new releases.

Have you been to any of my favorites? What do you love most about your favorite bookstores?

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

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