Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

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 Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time.

My top 10 are:

  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Of course! While I’ve read it many times since, there’s nothing quite like the first time reading about Jamie and Claire.
  2. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: I know that I gasped out loud several times over the twists and turns of this amazing book. I’d love to read it again someday to delve back into the story, but there’s nothing to compare to the shocks of reading it for the first time.
  3. Replay by Ken Grimwood: I read this many years ago, but I was so captivated by this book! Just when I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to time travel, Replay fell into my lap with a whole new approach.
  4. Eagle in the Sky by Wilbur Smith: I read this in my youth and was swept away by the romanticism of the entire plot and the characters. I think a lot of my reaction had to do with where I was in my life at that time… so even though I could read it again, I don’t think it would be the same reading experience.
  5. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison: My first time was just last year, and I’ve re-read it since, and will probably re-read it again — but the first time was such an immersive experience that was truly unique and memorable.
  6. Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager: I read this book as a child, and spent years as an adult trying to figure out what that amazing book with all the knights was called! I finally found it again — but I think nothing can compare to reading this as a child and feeling so full of wonder and possibility.
  7. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: Along those lines, even though I was an adult when I read Harry Potter, my first time reading the books was alongside my daughter, and experiencing it fresh and new together was amazing.
  8. The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi: This audiobook made me laugh so hard. I wonder if I’d find it as funny if I weren’t constantly being surprised by all the weirdness?
  9. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal: I’ve read this book more than once, but the first time was a remarkable experience, where I was absolutely on the edge of my seat for so much of the story.
  10. Soulless by Gail Carriger: This introduction to the world of the Parasol Protectorate drew me right in to its world of supernatural beings in Victorian England. Reading it for the first time was so special!

What books do you wish you could read again for the first time? Please share your links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island

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’d Want With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island. I love this! This topic is really making me think… or over-think? If I was stranded… which means reading the same 10 books over and over again… potentially forever…

Hmmm, what to pick, what to pick? Here are my ten:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Not a surprise for anyone who knows me… I’ve already read this book (and series) multiple times, but if I’m going to be stuck on a deserted island indefinitely, I think I need Jamie and Claire for company.

The Lord of the Rings (one-volume edition) by J. R. R. Tolkien

Is it cheating to pick an all-in-one edition of three books? I’m declaring that this counts! I’ve been wanting to go back and reread LOTR, and with endless reading time to fill, it seems like a perfect opportunity to really dig in and enjoy.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’m tempted to just fill my list with all-in-one editions of all my favorite authors, such as a complete-works-of-Jane-Austen volume, if I had one… but I’ll hold back and stick to actual individual books…

In which case, I’d have to pick just one Jane Austen, although it’s a tough choice and I might want to swap for Persuasion. But really, can’t go wrong with any Jane Austen books!

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

I’ve been obsessed with this book since reading it last year and then re-reading it this year. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of re-reading it!

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

I’ve read this book several times already, but each time, it affects me in new and different ways.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

I still have my edition of The Riverside Shakespeare from my college days, and it’s not exactly a light, portable volume. Still, if I were stranded on a deserted island, at least I’d finally have time to get to all the plays I haven’t read yet! (I know I said I wouldn’t do any more all-in-one books, but I had to make an exception for Shakespeare.)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I think this is a book that I haven’t spent enough time with yet in my life. I’ve read it only once, and I’ve always meant to go back to it again, at least once. And if not while stranded, then when?

The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye

Yet another book that I’ve sworn to re-read at some point. Since it’s over 900 pages, this will last a good long while!

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Such a beautifully written book! I listened to the audiobook my first time around, and I think lying on the beach of my deserted island with this book in hand would give me a whole new opportunity to enjoy it all over again.

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

This just seems like a really practical choice for a deserted island situation. Although if I were truly being practical, then this list should include a medical book, something on identifying edible plants, and perhaps a book on sending smoke signals?

What books would you want along on a deserted island? Please share your TTT links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Give me more! Authors whose entire works I NEEDED after reading just one of their books…

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 that Made Me Want More Books Like Them — which can be interpreted a bunch of different ways.

For my purposes, I thought I’d focus on authors whose works I feel in love with after just one book. For all of the authors below, once I read my first book by them, I immediately needed to read ALL (or, okay, A LOT) of their books!

My top ten are:

  1. Diana Gabaldon: Once I read Outlander, I was a goner!
  2. Jojo Moyes: I think my first book of her was The Ship of Brides, but I’ve made it my business to read as many of her books as I could get my hands on. I think there are a still a few earlier books that I haven’t gotten to yet, but I’ve now read 10 of her books!
  3. C. Robert Cargill: This is a recent addition for me, but now that I’ve read Day Zero, I need to read everything else he’s written. (Fun fact: He’s also a screenwriter — for movies including Marvel’s Doctor Strange, which I just watched last night and hadn’t realized he’d written!)
  4. John Scalzi: My first book by this author was Redshirts, and it was a case of insta-love for me. I’ve now read everything of his except a book of essays, I believe.
  5. TJ Klune: I adored The House on the Cerulean Sea, and absolutely want to read more.
  6. Octavia Butler: Kindred felt like a life-changing read for me, and I immediately picked up copies of Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents, and Fledgling as soon as I finished. I still have a big chunk of her oeuvre yet to read.
  7. Georgette Heyer: My book group picked a GH book for a discussion a few years ago, and it made me want to read more and more and more of her works! I’ve made a point since then of looking for her books whenever I’m in a used book store, and have quite a collection so far.
  8. Jenny Colgan: My first Jenny Colgan books was The Bookshop on the Corner, and I was totally smitten with her rosy-eyed view of quirky village life. I’ve read a whole slew of her books since then, and still have more to go!
  9. Mary Robinette Kowal: The Calculating Stars blew me away, and I’ve since read the next two books in that series, plus her Glamourist Histories books (loved them!) and a collection of short stories. More, please!
  10. Seanan McGuire: I don’t even remember which book of hers came first for me, but once I started, I was totally hooked. And considering she publishes about four books per year, that’s a lot to keep up with!

Have you ever read a single book by a new-to-you author, then turned around and read ALL the books? Bookworm problems, amirite?

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

Top Ten Tuesday: My daughter’s favorite reads from the past 12 months

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week is a Freebie week, so we all come up with our own topics. Since my wonderful, amazing, book-loving daughter is home this week, I thought I’d make her the star, and have her pick her top 10 reads from the past year.

Here are the books she’s loved recently:

(She couldn’t quite narrow it down to 10, so here are the 11 top books!)

  1. Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
  2. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  3. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
  4. Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz
  5. Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant
  6. Umami by Laia Jufresa
  7. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  8. The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air trilogy) by Holly Black
  9. Good Talk by Mira Jacobs
  10. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  11. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think? (I’ve read 5 of her 11, and clearly need to read at least a few of the others!)

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2020

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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 of 2020.

2020 was a dismal year in so many ways, but on the bright side, being stuck at home most of the year meant lots of time for reading! I read so many great books this past year — here is a selection of my favorites. (Some of these are 2020 releases, and some are older — but all are books I read in 2020).

  1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  2. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  3. Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald
  4. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  5. Hearts of Oak by Eddie Robson
  6. Plan Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
  7. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab
  8. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
  9. The Glamourist Histories (series) by Mary Robinette Kowal
  10. The Folk of the Air (series) by Holly Black

 

What were your favorite books of 2020?

Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

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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