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 with Geographical Terms in the Title

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 with Geographical Terms in the Title.

This was a fun one, and I had plenty to choose from!

Here’s my list:

  1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes
  3. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
  4. Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
  5. Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
  6. The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore
  7. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  8. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
  9. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  10. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George


What books made your list this week?

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

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books connected to schools… somehow

TTT back to school

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 School Freebie — and lacking the brain power at the moment to come up with a coherent theme, I thought I’d go for a more random post.

All of these books, one way or another, remind me of school or learning — so I’ll just go ahead and share my list and then explain why I chose these books.

1) Educated by Tara Westover: There’s the title, for starters, plus what’s more iconic when thinking about school than a big old pencil?

2) The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland: I just finished this book, and it absolutely took me back to the days of high school yearbooks, extracurriculars, and cafeteria table groupings.

3) A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik: I did say this was going to be rather random. This is an example of a school that I would never, ever want to attend. It’s terrifying and potentially lethal.

4) The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune: As opposed to this one, which is more of a home for magical children than a formal school, but education happens, so it counts! And it’s so lovable that I’m always happy to include it in a TTT post!

5) The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger: Now here’s another school I’d be happy to visit! I mean, it’s set on a dirigible! ‘Nuff said.

6) The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder: I will always be scared by the scenes of the children trying to get home from the schoolhouse in a blizzard. Brrrrrrr.

7) The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare: This book doesn’t have much to do with a school, although the main character does teach others to read. I associate it with my own school days, since I think it was pretty much required reading for every schoolkid in Connecticut, at least back when I lived there.

8) The Lottery by Shirley Jackson: Does this still get taught in high school? I read this for an English class, and this was long enough ago that “dystopian” wasn’t an entire genre yet. It felt so startling at the time!

9) The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan : And now, a weird detour into my more recent reading! This is all about a remedial school for parents deemed negligent in some way, and it’s very disturbing.

10) True Biz by Sara Novic: Wrapping things up with one more school-based book — this one takes place at a boarding school for the Deaf, and it’s amazing.

So… was your school freebie more organized than mine? What theme did you go with? Please share your TTT links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books With a Unit of Time In the Title

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 With a Unit of Time In the Title (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, eternity, etc.) . Fun… and not too much work to put together — always a plus!

My 10 books:

  1. My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki — the author’s first novel; so powerful!
  2. Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders — I haven’t read this one yet, but I like the author, so I do want to get to it.
  3. A Journey to the End of the Millennium by A. B. Yehoshua — one of my favorite Israeli authors, but I haven’t read this particular book (yet)
  4. Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis — read last year! (review)
  5. The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder — so many happy memories of reading this series with my daughter
  6. Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti — loved this book! (review)
  7. How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin — on my TBR (but I really don’t tend to read short story collections)
  8. 180 Seconds by Jessica Park — I think this is a very under-the-radar book, but I enjoyed it. (review)
  9. 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill — I read one story in this collection, and it terrified me so much that I never read the rest. Maybe someday, when I’m feeling exceptionally brave…
  10. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez — I have tried this book at least twice, and neither time have made it past the midpoint. Someone convince me to give it another try!

What books are on your list this week?

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read

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 Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read. I have plenty of these! (Don’t we all?)

To keep it simple, I went back through my preorder spreadsheet (yes, I keep track of my book orders via an Excel spreadsheet!), and discovered plenty of books that I ordered well in advance of the release date… and still haven’t gotten around to reading. Sigh…

I only went back through my last 4 – 5 years of book buying — I’m sure I have plenty of older books that would fit this list too!

My top 10 books (and the year each was purchased) are:

  1. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (2018)
  2. Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness (2018)
  3. Someday by David Levithan (2018
  4. Death of an Eye by Dana Stabenow (2018)
  5. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders (2019)
  6. The Five by Hallie Rubenhold (2020)
  7. When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey (2020)
  8. Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister (2020)
  9. Ambush or Adore by Gail Carriger (2021)
  10. The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi (2022)

What books made your list this week? Are there any on my list that you think I should read ASAP?

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Two-word word association for the last 10 books I’ve read

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 One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read. I tried, but I couldn’t think about how to do this — my list would have been basically: scary! funny! sweet! etc… not very enlightening.

So, I thought I’d do a bit of word association. Remember playing word association games? Say the first word that comes to mind…

In this case, I decided to do the two words that come to mind when I think about the most recent books I’ve read. Here goes!

Hollywood & Hyenas


Narwhals & Cheese


Mule & Pajama Party


Lawyers & Scones


ASL & Anarchy


Bonedog & Dustwife


Doll-children & Surveillance


Tudors & Shapeshifters


Cake & Kissing


Dating & Demons

How did you do with this week’s TTT prompt? Did you have better luck than I did writing one-word reviews?

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with BOOKS on the cover

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 with [___] On the Cover (Pick a thing (a color, an item, a place, an animal, a scripty font, a sexy person, etc.) and share covers that have that thing on the cover.). I took what seemed like an easy-ish approach and went with books!

I love books about books and readers — how about you? Do you have a favorite?

What was your TTT theme this week? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!