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: 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: Books I Loved but Never Reviewed

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 Loved but Never Reviewed.

Between my blog and Goodreads, most of my more recent reads got at least a short review. So, for this topic, I mostly went back to books I read in my pre-blogging days… or books that I loved so much or that are so universally adored that there didn’t seem to be much point in writing a review (other than the old short stand-by: “I loved it!).

  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (yes, really– for all that I talk about this book on my blog, I’ve never written an actual review)
  2. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  3. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  4. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
  5. March trilogy by John Lewis
  6. Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
  7. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
  8. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
  9. The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
  10. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

What books are on your TTT this week? Please share your links!

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Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Opening Lines

Once again, I’m joining in with the Top 5 Tuesday meme this week! Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Bionic Bookworm, who posts the month’s topics at the start of each month. Today’s topic is Top 5 Opening Lines. 

This is such a great topic! So many to choose from… but here are the five that come to mind for me:

1. Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

2. There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

3. I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife’s grave. Then I joined the army.
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

4. Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked in to the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead and pulled the trigger.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman

5. People disappear all the time.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

And one extra, because how can I leave out this classic?

6. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way […]
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

What are your favorite opening lines? Let me know, and please share your Top 5 link if you have one!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I’d Follow On Social Media

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 Follow On Social Media. That’s a tough one! But sure, I’ll play along. Here are a bunch of fictional characters who I’d bet would be oodles of fun on social media.

1. Claire Fraser (Outlander): No better source for handy medical tips and instructions on how to grow your own penicillin.

2. Verity Price (InCryptid series by Seanan McGuire): For super impressive free running videos, plus maybe some tango lessons too.

3. Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen): You just know she’d be an awesome book blogger, right? Or actually, fan fiction would probably be perfect for Catherine, especially if there are vampires and haunted houses involved.

4. Emma Woodhouse (Emma by Jane Austen): For all the gossip, of course!

5. Geralt of Rivia (Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski): Okay, granted, Geralt himself is pretty anti-social… but I could see Jaskier setting up a fan site and getting tons of followers while he creates memes about Geralt’s latest battles.

6. Emma Sheridan (Finding Fraser by KC Dyer): This one might be almost too obvious. In the book, Emma goes off to Scotland to find her very own Jamie Fraser, and blogs about it. So why not follow along?

7. Lara Jean Covey (Lara Jean books by Jenny Han): She’s so adorable! You know her posts would be the highlight of your day.

8. Prudence Maccon Akeldama (Custard Protocol series): Prudence is snarky and funny, goes on mad adventures, and has the BEST social connections.

9. Evelyn Hugo (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid): All the glamour! All the Hollywood scandals!

10. Paul Sheldon (Misery by Stephen King): Because I’m his biggest fan.

And hey, if you really want to see fictional characters having fun with technology, check out this amazing book:

What characters would you want to follow on social media?

Please share your thoughts, and if you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books that gave me severe book hangovers

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 The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover.

Instead of the most recent 10, I thought I’d go with a mix of older and newer books that gave me HUGE book hangovers.

 

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Of course. This is a world I entered and never wanted to leave. And maybe that accounts for how many times I’ve reread the series!

2. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: Another I’ve reread multiple times. And no matter how many times I read it, it still packs a punch.

3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: Don’t laugh!! It makes me cringe now, but thinking back to the early days of Twilight mania, as soon as I finished this book, I started it over again from the beginning, because I was on a trip, didn’t have New Moon with me, and couldn’t even think about reading anything else but this book, over and over again!

4. The Newsflesh series by Mira Grant: Honestly, I just could not get these books out of my mind. Once I started, I couldn’t stop until I’d read all the books and stories. Amazing!

5. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: Another one that I had to start over from the beginning as soon as I finished reading it.

6. A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers: This book hasn’t even been released yet! It’s coming soon (early March — don’t miss out!), and I hope it’s a big success. I have not been able to get the story out of my head since finishing it. (Check out my review, if you’re interested!)

7. Our War by Craig DiLouie: Ooh boy, this book was devastating and disturbing, and with everything going on in our country these days, it’s no wonder that I find myself flashing back to scenes from this book.

8. The Pact by Jodi Picoult: This was the first book I ever read by Jodi Picoult, and it just about killed me. I couldn’t not shake this book off for a long, long time.

9. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: Man, this book made me ugly cry so hard. I’m still not over it.

10. All the Winters After by Seré Prince Halverson: I loved the characters, the setting, and the plot itself, and just wanted more and more when it was done.

What books have left you with book hangovers?

Please share your thoughts, and if you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

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Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2019

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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 Discoveries I Made In 2019. For this week’s list, I thought I’d use a favorite annual topic, focusing on new-to-me authors I had the pleasure of “discovering” during the past year.

Here are some of the great books I read in 2019 that are by authors I’d never read before:

1) John Boyne — Now that I’ve read The Heart’s Invisible Furies, I must read more of his work.

2) Craig DiLouie — I loved the two powerful and disturbing novels by this author that I read in 2019: One of Us and Our War.

3) L. M. Montgomery – I finally read the Anne of Green Gables series — all eight books! In this new year, I hope to read some of her other works as well.

4) Christina Henry – I loved The Girl in Red and The Mermaid. Now I need to read everything else she’s written.

5) Leigh Bardugo — I really enjoyed the complicated, creepy Ninth House. I’m not sure that I’m interested in reading her YA books, but I certainly want a sequel to Ninth House!

6) Theodora GossThe Thorn and the Blossom was beautiful, and I got a huge kick out of The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. I’ll be continuing that series shortly, I hope.

7) Kelli EstesToday We Go Home is a powerful dual-timeline narrative focusing on women at war. Now that I’ve read it, I need to read her earlier novel which I missed when it was one of my book group’s picks. Talented writer!

8) T. KingfisherThe Twisted Ones was perfectly creepy (and has great humor and a great dog). I’ll be wanting to read more by this author too!

9) Alix E. Harrow — Her debut novel The Ten Thousand Doors of January was brilliant. Can’t wait to see what she does next!

10) Lindy West — I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I’m so glad I made time for Shrill. This author has a lot to say, and knows how to say it.

Are you a fan of any of these new-to-me authors? Are there any of their works that you’d particularly recommend?

What bookish discoveries did you make in 2019? Please share your TTT links!

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2019: My year in books

Another reading year has come and gone! Here’s a look back at the highlights of my year in books:

Thank you, Goodreads, for letting me know that I’m probably good at other things besides reading! Funny, last year, I read 202 out of 170 books… so I’m slowly increasing? Or probably just throwing in a lot more shorter works into my reading mix.  

Goodreads stats as of 12/31/2019:

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the most popular book I read this year? Color me shocked! Who would have thought that a book from 1890 would have close to a million readers in 2019?

According to my average rating, I’ve been pretty successful this year when it comes to choosing book that appeal to me. Kind of crazy, but for the second year in a row, my average rating was 4.1 stars.

Star rating used most often: 4 stars (87 total)
Star rating used least often: 2 stars (6 total — and I didn’t give any books only 1-star. I think if I thought that little of a book, I just DNFd.)
DNFs: 4 – Between not getting into a book or just not being the right book at the right time, I officially put aside 4 books that I’d started… although I know there are several more that I put down within a page or two, and just didn’t even count.

Highest rated on Goodreads:

Apparently everyone loved this book!

First and Last:

Neither my first nor my last reviews of the year were for books I’d consider favorites… but then again, I didn’t get around (yet) to writing up reviews for the two books I just finished… so I guess they’ll have to just wait to be the first for 2020!

Reading highlights:

Complete series: I read three series start-to-finish this year:

  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (8 books)
  • Beka Cooper by Tamora Pierce (3 books)
  • The Beauty graphic novels by Jeremy Haun (5 books)

New sequels or books in ongoing (or finished) series:

So many great new additions to stories I love! Including…

Stellar historical fiction:

Enthralling re-reads: Books that stand up superbly to a 2nd (or 3rd…) reading:

Great graphic novels:

Fun and light contemporary fiction:

Weird, creepy, disturbing, otherworldly:

Fantastic fantasy:

Story/essay collections:

A quartet of classics:

Aaaaaaand… I’m stopping now before I end up including every single book I read in 2019!

Eye-candy covers:

Let me just take a minute to appreciate some of the most beautiful and/or eye-catching covers from my reading this year… because who doesn’t love a great looking book?

 

Goodbye, 2019!

It’s been a blast… and now it’s time to look forward to all the wonderful books I’ve yet to read.

Wishing everyone a very happy 2020, full of good cheer, good health, and great reading!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I Read In 2019

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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 Favorite Books I Read In 2019.

According to my Goodreads records for 2019, I gave a five-star rating to 63 books in 2019! So how am I supposed to narrow my list down to just ten?

Quick answer: I can’t. So, for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, I’m sharing my 15 favorite books for 2019! (Review links are included where available — click through if you want to know more about any of these EXCELLENT books…)

  1. Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Reid Jenkins (review)
  2. Circe by Madeline Miller (review)
  3. A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher (review)
  4. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (review)
  5. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal — a re-read, but I loved it all over again, so it belongs on this list! (review)
  6. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (review)
  7. Our War by Craig DiLouie (review)
  8. The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (review)
  9. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne — my final 5-star read of the year! No review yet, but I loved this book!!
  10. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (review)
  11. Today We Go Home by Kelli Estes (review)
  12. The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman (review)
  13. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig (review)
  14. Recursion by Blake Crouch (review)
  15. The Beka Cooper trilogy by Tamora Pierce (review)

And wait, there’s more! After posting, I realized that I left off another book that was definitely a favorite book of 2019, and I just couldn’t let it go!

16. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow (review) — I’m not sure how I missed this amazing book when I put my list together! Whew, I feel better now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What were your favorite books of 2019? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: My super-special special editions

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, meaning we all choose our own themes. My topic this week is Special Editions… which means, fancy/extravagant/nice-to-have books that I gave myself as gifts. Because if I don’t treat myself to the nice things in life (BOOKS!), who will?

Here are ten books that I’ve treated myself to over the years — they make me happy whenever I see them!

1. Anne of Green Gables: I made it through decades of life deprived of the joys of Anne, but I suffer no more! I’m working my way through the series (on book #6 right now), and couldn’t resist this adorable hardcover edition.

2. Firefly: A Celebration: Browncoats, unite! Firefly’s TV life was cut short, but it lives on in the hearts of its fans. This big picture book includes complete scripts, amazing photos, and more. I needed it in my life!

3. Soulless: As a devoted fan of the Parasol Protectorate series, I really needed these pretty editions.

4. The World of Ice and Fire: Not only is this book SO gorgeous to look at, it’s really an amazing reference guide. So helpful when trying to keep your Targaryens, Starks, and Baratheons straight.

5. Y: The Last Man: I loved these graphic novels, and when I found a hardcover set of the full series on EBay, I had to have them.

6. Wonderstruck and The Marvels: I really love Brian Selznick’s approach in these books, using words and images to tell a complete story.

7. Harry Potter illustrated editions: I mean, obviously. I’ve been buying them as they’ve been released. Can’t wait for #4 this fall!

8. The Outlander Kitchen: If you knew me, you’d think it’s hilarious that I own this book. I do not cook. Really, at all. Yet I had to have this Outlander-themed cookbook, because Outlander. (And it’s really fun to look through, even if I will never, ever try any recipes.)

9. The Tales of Beedle the Bard: This one is a pretty recent edition to my shelves. I have a version of this book from when it first came out — but then I heard that there was an edition available with illustrations by Chris Riddell, and I was sold.

10: Hamilton: The Revolution: I bought a copy of this book as a gift for my daughter, back before I’d ever seen the show. But then I became a Hamil-fan, and needed one for myself. And yes, I’ve read it cover to cover, and loved it.

 

 

Do you ever treat yourself to special editions? What’s the best book present you ever gave yourself?

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

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