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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The Monday Check-In ~ 7/26/2021

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

I have barely had time to read this week! We have family visiting, which is awesome, but also means that my usual “me time” has kind of disappeared. I’ve also spent most of the week working at my office rather than at home, and while it’s been fun to be back and see coworkers again, it’s a BIG adjustment in terms of lifestyle. (Whaaaaat??? I can’t wear pajama pants and slippers all day?)

What did I read during the last week?

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell: The 3rd and final book in the Simon Snow trilogy! I’m so sad to see it come to an end. I love these characters so much! My review is here.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix: Just as weird as you’d expect a new horror novel by this author to be! My review is here.

Bookish events:

This past weekend, my book group had a Zoom discussion with William Kent Krueger, the author of the beautiful This Tender Land. He was witty and engaging, very open to answering our questions, and so smart and kind. As if I had any doubt, I absolutely need to read more of his books! (I haven’t gotten around to writing an actual review of the book yet, but my two-word version is: Loved. It.)

Pop culture & TV:

I’ve been watching season 2 of Never Have I Ever on Netflix, and it’s just as good as season 1! I’d hoped to finish already, but well, life gets in the way.

Puzzle of the Week:

This week, I did my 4th and final puzzle in a series (The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady). This was a tough one — so much grass! Green, green, and more green. But I really liked it.

Fresh Catch:

Related to my recent puzzles, I only just learned that the puzzles are based on illustrations from a book — and once I knew that, I just had to have it. I bought myself a copy this week, and it’s beautiful:

I also treated myself to another book by William Kent Krueger, after our amazing book group discussion with him. Although I think the group may select this one as a monthly read for next year, so now my dilemma is — read now, or wait for the group?

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig: I loved Wanderers when I read it last year, and I’m really excited to be starting this new book.

Now playing via audiobook:

Mistletoe & Mr. Right (Moose Springs, #2) by Sarah Morgenthaler: I’ve listened to about half so far. It’s sweet and charming — definitely light entertainment, which is something I needed this week.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 61 – 65.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read In One Sitting (or would have if I had the 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 Read In One Sitting (or would have if I had the time). My list is a combination of both… here are my top ten:

The Blue Salt Road by Joanne M. Harris

This illustrated retelling of the selkie legend is slim but beautiful. At 215 pages, it was pretty easy to read it all in an afternoon.

Fables graphic novels by Bill Willingham

I loved the entire Fables series, and gobbled up each new volume as soon as it was released. It wouldn’t be possible to read the whole series in one setting, but each individual book is definitely doable!

The Duke & I (Bridgertons, #1) by Julia Quinn

The Bridgertons books have become my go-to reading material for plane trips. I read this one on a coast-to-coast 5-hour flight!

October Daye books by Seanan McGuire

These are more “I wish I could read in one sitting” type of books. As soon as a new one comes out, I have to drop everything and read it, but all in one sitting is typically more than I can manage.

Wayward Children books by Seanan McGuire

Speaking of Seanan McGuire… the novellas that make up the Wayward Children series tend to be under 200 pages, and keep me reading straight through from start to finish.

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

This is a short (60-page) book that I read with my book group. Given its length, it’s no wonder that I read it all in one sitting… but the story flows so well that I think it might lose a bit of its magic if read in smaller chunks.

The Long Walk by Stephen King

This book is so strange and creepy, and I was thoroughly hooked. Luckily, I was on a beach vacation when I started it, and spent the whole day on a beach chair reading this book!

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

It’s easy to look back at the Twilight craze now and sneer at the books… but remember when the first book came out, and how insane everyone was about it? Sure, I have tons of issues with the writing and the plot and the basic logic of it all… but at the time, I devoured this book.

Written In My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander, #8) by Diana Gabaldon

At 800+ pages, this is absolutely not a book that can be read in one sitting. But I really wish it were! When this book came out in 2014, I was on a family vacation… but basically ignored my family during every single moment of down time and stayed up ridiculously late until I finished the book.

I’m already expecting similar behavior when #9 comes out in November!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

I was so terrified of stumbling across spoilers when HP7 was released that I spent every waking hour reading, until I just couldn’t stay awake a moment longer… and ended up calling in sick to work the next day so I could finish!

What books have you read in one sitting… or do you wish you could read in one sitting? Please share your TTT links!

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The Monday Check-In ~ 7/19/2021

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

A busy workweek, but what else is new? The sun finally came out over the weekend, and I spent every second I could outside!

What did I read during the last week?

Flash Fire by TJ Klune: The 2nd book in The Extraordinaries trilogy. I just want to give this book a hug — I love it so much. My review is here.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger: Wonderful book. For once, I finished my book group book ahead of schedule! I haven’t had a chance to write up a review yet, but I’ll try to get to it this week.

Pop culture & TV:

I binged season 3 of Virgin River this week, and loved and was annoyed by just as much as with the first two season! I wrote up some thoughts here.

Puzzle of the Week:

This is the 3rd of a series of 4 puzzles (The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady). I finished Winter last week, and am almost done with Summer.

Fresh Catch:

I love The Extraordinaries books so much that I treated myself to hardcover editions of books 1 and 2. What can I say — I had Amazon credits burning a hole in my pocket!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell: The 3rd and final Simon Snow book! I only had time to read about half this week, but I’m loving it so far (and so sad this is the end of the saga!).

Now playing via audiobook:

Mistletoe & Mr. Right (Moose Springs, #2) by Sarah Morgenthaler: After a more serious audiobook this past week, I’m starting a light and fluffy romance. I don’t usually go for Christmas stories, but I liked the first book in this series, and what’s not to love about finding romance in Alaska?

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 56 – 60.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 7/12/2021

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

I ended up under the weather on Saturday, but at least I got to read and watch TV! Unfortunately, I missed out on spending the day at a park, but I guess it can wait until next weekend.

What did I read during the last week?

Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev: A terrific Sense and Sensibility retelling that works on its own as well. My review is here.

While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory: The 6th book in the loosely-connected The Wedding Date series is fun and romantic. My review is here.

Beth & Amy by Virginia Kantra: A really enjoyable follow-up to Meg & Jo. Definitely recommended for Little Women fans! My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

What impact did the pandemic have on my pop culture life? For one thing, I’d never seen a Fast & Furious movie before, and now I’ve seen them all! This past week, I ventured out to a movie theater to see the newest, F9, and it was just as dumb and just as much fun as I’d expected.

I mean, what are the laws of physics when you’ve got family?

Puzzle of the Week:

I actually wrote a whole post about why I love this Shakespeare puzzle so much! See it here.

Fresh Catch:

I continue to indulge… new books this week include a travel guide I’m excited to put into action and an illustrated version of a favorite:

The new Simon Snow book came out this week, and I couldn’t resist getting a copy of the 1st book in the series to match #2 (that I already owned) and #3 (that arrived this week). Look how awesome!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Flash Fire by TJ Klune: This is the sequel to last year’s The Extraordinaries, and it’s off to a great start. (I had intended to start the Simon Snow book next, but I’m trying really hard to not fall behind on my ARCs…)

Now playing via audiobook:

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger: My book group’s pick for July. I have two weeks to get it done!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 51 – 55.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 7/5/2021

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Happy 4th of July! I hope you all did something fun to celebrate! Picnic? Fireworks? Hiking? Whatever it was, I hope it was fun.

As for me, I’m just psyched to have a 3-day weekend. More time to read!!

What did I read during the last week?

The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison. A new story set in the world of The Goblin Emperor. My review is here.

Questland by Carrie Vaughn: A quest set on an island that uses technology to create fantasy worlds. A fun adventure – my review is here.

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell: I finished my audio re-read! I love these characters and the story so much. (If you’re interested, check out my review from when I first read this book, here.) Can’t wait for the 3rd and final book in the trilogy to arrive this week!

Pop culture & TV:

Continuing our MCU watching, my son and I started watching Loki on Disney+ this week. Four episodes are available so far, and it’s good! Although a bit weird to see Loki wearing a button down shirt and tie.

I also started watching Kevin Can F**k Himself (yes, that’s the actual title, asterisks and all). It’s so strange and completely absorbing, and Annie Murphy is awesome in it.

Puzzle of the Week:

I’m on a roll! Here’s this week’s puzzle:

Big surprise – I’m always drawn to bookstore-themed puzzles!

Fresh Catch:

Two new purchased books plus an ARC arrived this week:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev: These Austen retellings are so much fun!

Now playing via audiobook:

Beth & Amy by Victoria Kantra: I guess this is a good week for retellings! This contemporary retelling of Little Women is the author’s follow up to Meg & Jo, which I really enjoyed.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 46 – 50.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2021

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 Releases of the Second Half of 2021. I just recently did a top 10 list of my summer TBR, which included mostly new releases, so I’ll attempt not to repeat myself!

July

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell – the 3rd Simon Snow book! (July 6)

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig (July 20 )

August

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones (August 31)

September

When Sorrows Come by Seanan McGuire — the 15th October Daye book! (September 14)

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune (September 21)

October

The Vanished Days by Susanna Kearsley — I will ALWAYS read a new novel by this author! (October 5)

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow (October 5)

Well Matched by Jen DeLuca — the 3rd book in the series. These books are so cute! (October 19)

Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest (October 26)

November

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon — It’s the new Outlander book!! After a 7 year wait! (November 23)

What are your most anticipated new releases for the 2nd half of 2021? Do we have any in common?

Please share your links!

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The Monday Check-In ~ 6/28/2021

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Another busy workweek… with not a ton of reading time. Sigh.

What did I read during the last week?

The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien: Surprising and fascinating. My review is here.

Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie: Entertaining contemporary fiction — my review is here.

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier: My book group’s pick for June. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

My son and I finished our on-again, off-again rewatch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. We watched in chronological order — gotta say, it was quite fun to watch them all again, and I realized that I’d forgotten a ton of the details. Now I’m all ready for TV Loki and for the release of Black Widow next month!

Puzzle of the Week:

I actually finished two this week! (Hmm, maybe that’s why I didn’t have much reading time…)

This one was super fun:

And I really enjoyed this one too:

Fresh Catch:

I treated myself to a bunch of books this week — just couldn’t resist some of the Prime Day deals!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison: A short-ish novel set in the world of The Goblin Emperor. I haven’t gotten very far just yet, but I love being in this world.

Now playing via audiobook:

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell: The 3rd Simon Snow book comes out next week, which means it’s time for me to re-read #2! I just started this audiobook yesterday, and I’m already loving getting back to Simon and Baz.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 41 – 45.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/21/2021

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in our lives! Here at home, my husband was treated to a barbecue that he didn’t have to cook himself! Our (adult) boys planned and prepared a yummy dinner. I graciously offered to do the dishes.

I wish I’d been able to see my own father in person, but since we’re on opposite coasts, I had to settle for a FaceTime visit.

Meanwhile, I don’t know why, but once again it’s been a slow reading week. I feel like I’m always falling behind!

What did I read during the last week?

Rabbits by Terry Miles: Such a strange book. Great cover, though — right? My review is here.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison: I finished my audiobook re-read! I love this book so much, and listening to the audiobook is an amazing experience. There’s something so magical about hearing all the names and places and strange concepts spoken aloud. Highly recommended!

Pop culture & TV:

My first post-COVID movie theater outing! I went to see In the Heights — loved the movie, but it took a bit for it not to feel strange to be sitting in a theater with other people. (And I kind of missed the watching-from-my-couch experience, where I’m able to hit pause and go get snacks whenever I want…)

Puzzle of the Week:

I’m getting back to my puzzles! I even got myself a new table for puzzling on, just the right size. I’m working on a puzzle with the theme “Inspirational Women”. Fun!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien: Not what I expected, but it’s holding my interest! I thought I’d finish on Sunday, but ended up busy with family and didn’t read at all. I’m almost done — should have a review up in the next few days.

Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie: Just getting started!

Now playing via audiobook:

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier: My book group’s pick for June. I’m a little behind, but I’ll catch up to the group soon, I hope.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 36 – 40.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/14/2021

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Another busy workweek, but I managed to get outside a bit and enjoy the nice weather. And yet again, I somehow ended up with far less reading time than I expected.

What did I read during the last week?

The Ninth Metal by Benjamin Percy: Terrific science fiction! My review is here.

I Don’t Forgive You by Aggie Blum Thompson: Suburban thriller — could be a good beach read. My review is here

Pop culture & TV:

My son and I have been watching the MCU movies in release order, on and off, over the last couple of months. We got back into it this week, and watched Doctor Strange, Spider Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnorak. Good times!

I also started Sweet Tooth on Netflix, and I’m loving it! I think I have three episodes left.

Puzzle of the Week:

Once again, none. It’s been a busy week!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Rabbits by Terry Miles: I’ve read about 50% so far. All about a secret, underground game that seems to be altering reality. It’s weird, but oddly compelling.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison: This is taking me forever, which sucks, because I love this book! I just haven’t had much listening time.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 31 – 35.

As for my other ongoing book club read, I’ve decided to quit our classic, Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth. It just wasn’t catching my attention, and there are plenty of other books for me to read!

So many books, so little time…

boy1