Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved So Much I Had to Get a Copy for My Personal Library

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 So Much I Had to Get a Copy for My Personal Library.

This does happen for me quite a bit! Sometimes it’ll be an audiobook I’ve listened to that I need to own in print, or maybe I’ll have read either an ARC or e-book or library book and fallen for it so hard that I needed my own copy!

Here are my top ten:

1 . The Emily Starr trilogy by L. M. Montgomery

2. The Good Neighbors (graphic novel trilogy) by Holly Black

3. If It Bleeds by Stephen King

4. Newsflesh trilogy (boxed set) by Mira Grant

5. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

6. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

7. Wonderstruck, The Marvels, and The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

8. Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour

9. Plain Bad Heroines by emily m. danforth

10. Mythos by Stephen Fry


What books made your list this week?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Completed Series I Wish Had More 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 Completed Series I Wish Had More Books.

So… last week, my topic was first books in favorite series that were published over 10 years ago, and I definitely did not look ahead to see what this week’s topic would be. As a result, there’s going to be a lot of books/series in common between last week’s and this week’s lists, but that’s okay!

These are all books and series that I love, and I never mind featuring them in a post.

Ten series that are already done, but which I wish had more books:


The Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal

This five-book series has been described as “Jane Austen but magic”, which is okay at a basic level, but just doesn’t convey how absolutely wonderful the characters and world are.


The Expanse by James S. A. Corey

My heart hurt by the time I read the (amazing) conclusion to this 9-book series. Yes, the story is done… but really, I’d happily read more about any of the characters or the worlds of this series.


Newsflesh by Mira Grant

The Newsflesh trilogy blew me away! Who knew zombie books could make me cry? There’s a 4th book that retells certain events from other characters’ perspectives, plus a bunch of spin-off stories, but really and truly, I just want to read more novels about the main characters!


The Parasol Protectorate (and the Parasol-verse at large) by Gail Carriger

I don’t know if it’s really true to say that this series is complete, because the lovely author continues to publish related stories and novellas… but after the five books of the original series, the four books of the Finishing School series, and the four Custard Protocol books, I am highly attached to these characters and would LOVE to see more full-length novels (or another series??) set in this world.


Codex Alera by Jim Butcher

This was such a good series! Six books, great world-building, great story progression — I’d definitely read more!


The Kopp Sisters by Amy Stewart

The seven volumes of this terrific historical fiction series showcase the real-life Kopp sisters as they solve crimes and go off to war in the early 1900s. The author has said that she’s not writing any more Kopp Sisters books any time soon… which could mean never, but since she doesn’t actually say never, I’ll continue to hope for more!


The Mure series by Jenny Colgan

The 5th book in this charming series just came out in June, and comments by the author seem to suggest that the series is now done… but wait! I still have questions! Yes, most characters got a beautifully happy ending, but there are still some loose threads and (I’m sure) plenty more stories to tell. Please, Jenny Colgan????


The Rajes by Sonali Dev

This series of interconnected stories about a large Indian-American family consists of four books retelling Jane Austen classics… But – there are six Jane Austen novels! I’ve read that the Rajes series is now done, but I think I’ll feel incomplete until there are Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey volumes too!


The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

This sweet, huggable YA superheroes love story trilogy has everything, and it had a very definitive ending — but can I help it if I love these characters so much that I want to see the rest of their lives too?


Bridgertons by Julia Quinn

I mean, yes, the Netflix version will keep me busy for years to come (I hope), and there are always other Julia Quinn books to read — but I felt a bit misty when I finished the books in the series and had to say good-bye to this incredibly entertaining family!


What series do you wish had more books? Do we have any in common?

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 favorite series starters from over 10 years ago

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 Love That Were Written Over Ten Years Ago.

I know I have a tendency to mention the same favorite books over and over and over again (*cough* Outlander *cough*), so I thought I’d narrow the focus a bit this time around. My list this week highlights books published 10 or more years ago that are the first books in series that I love. Some of these series are still ongoing, some are done — all are amazing!

Note: I’m listing here whether the series are complete, and how many books they include. For some, there are other published works (such as short stories) that fit within the larger stories, but to keep things simple, I’m just listing the number of primary works (novels) per series.

Without further ado, my top ten are:

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Series: The Glamourist Histories
Published: 2010

Completed series – 5 books


Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Series: Old Man’s War
Published: 2005

Completed series – 6 books


Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Series: The Expanse
Published: 2011

Completed series – 9 books


Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

Series: Jane True
Published: 2009

Completed series – 6 books


Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye
Published: 2009

Ongoing series – 15 currently available; #16 to be released September 2022


A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow

Series: Kate Shugak
Published: 1992

Ongoing series – 22 currently available; #23 to be released April 2023


Feed by Mira Grant

Series: Newsflesh
Published: 2010

Completed series – 4 books


The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Series: Slains / The Scottish Series
Published: 2008

Not exactly a series — 3 interconnected books; all work as stand-alones as well


Kin by Holly Black

Series: The Good Neighbors
Published: 2008

Completed series – 3 graphic novels


The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Series: His Dark Materials
Published: 1995

Completed series – 3 books


Do you have any favorite series, either completed or ongoing, that started more than 10 years ago? And back to the official TTT prompt, what are your favorite books from before 2012?

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Top Ten Tuesday (Freebie): My favorite books from the past 10 Julys

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, where we each pick our own topic. I guess I was feeling nostalgic — I decided to write about the best books I read in July of each of the past 10 years.

In some cases, it was hard to pick just one — but I whittled down my choices by looking for books I’d rated 5 stars, and where there was more than one, just went with the one I have the best memories of!

Here are my favorite books read in July, 2012 – 2021:

2021: Flash Fire by TJ Klune


2020: Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald


2019: Ellie and the Harp Maker by Hazel Prior


2018: Scythe by Neal Shusterman


2017: Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris


2016: Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi


2015: Alex + Ada (3 volumes) by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn


2014: The Curiosity by Stephen P. Kiernan


2013: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel


2012: Fables (volumes 1 – 10) by Bill Willingham

Looks like my July reading is really all over the place, although I notice that for two of these years, I was immersed in graphic novels over the summer (and really, that could have been three — there was one year where I read tons of Walking Dead volumes in July, but had other books that ranked higher for me).

Putting together a retrospective of the last 10 years was actually quite fun. Do you have any stand-out July books in your reading past?

If you wrote a TTT post this week, please let me know your freebie topic and share your link!

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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?

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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?

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