Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Whose Jobs I Wish I Had

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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 Characters Whose Jobs I Wish I Had.

My top 10 are:

  1. Alanna (Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce): She’s a knight! How cool is that?
  2. Alice Van Cleve (The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes): Pack horse librarian — I think it would be amazing to ride a horse through the mountains to deliver books.
  3. April Whittier (Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade): Secret fanfic writer by night, geologist by day… it’s actually the geologist part that really appeals to me, not because that’s what I’d want to be, but because I love seeing fab women in science take center stage.
  4. Emily Parker (Well Met by Jen DeLuca): Bookstore manager AND Ren Faire tavern wench!
  5. Veronica Speedwell (Veronica Speedwell mysteries by Deanna Raybourn): Intrepid lepidopterist and Victorian era sleuth. A girl can dream, right?
  6. Naomi Nagata (The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey): Because space adventuring would be awesome.
  7. Norma Kopp (Kopp Sisters series by Amy Stewart): She trains messenger pigeons! Again, not that I specifically want to do that, but I think it’s awesome that Norma does it.
  8. Meg Mackworth (Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn): A professional calligrapher, who actually makes money doing it. I wish I had the talent!
  9. Claire Fraser (Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon): OK, this is a stretch, but I had to find a way to sneak Claire in. No, I wouldn’t actually want to be stuck practicing medicine in the 18th century, but I do think it’s awesome that she finds a way to introduce modern medical practices like instrument sterilization and antibiotics to the time she’s in. She even grows her own penicillin!
  10. Mercy Thompson (Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs): I wouldn’t necessarily want to be a mechanic, but I love that Mercy is one! Again, it’s awesome to see a woman thriving in a traditionally male-dominated field. Go, Mercy!

What book characters’ jobs do you envy? Please share your link so I can check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

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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 Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud.

I know I did a similar post last year for a top 5 list, but here goes again!

(Okay, that’s more than ten… I couldn’t decide which ones to leave out!)

What books make you laugh out loud? Please share your link so I can check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: Happy Mardi Gras! Purple, Yellow & Green Book Covers

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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 Purple, Yellow, and/or Green Book Covers, in honor of Mardi Gras.

Photo by alleksana on Pexels.com

Fun and festive! And a great excuse to visit my bookshelves to find the right colors…

What green, purple, and yellow books are on your shelves?

Please share your link so I can check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: It’s all above LOVE… My ten favorite love stories from this past year of reading (new & improved for 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 Love Freebie, which means we all put our own spin on the topic of LOVE.

Just like I did for February 2020’s Love Freebie TTT, I’m going to keep it simple and highlight my ten favorite love stories that I read in the past year:

1. The Duke & I by Julia Quinn: Like just about everyone else, I have firmly jumped onto the Bridgerton bandwagon! I loved the Netflix show, and I’m finding the books pretty charming and fluffy too.

2. The Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal: This five-volume historical-fiction-with-magic series is EVERYTHING, and includes one of my very favorite fictional couples, Jane and Vincent, who embody what a truly loving partnership of equals can and should be. LOVE these books.

3. Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev: A spice-infused retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, set at a cooking competition show with sweet romance and great characters. Lots of fun.

4. Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black: I seem to take every opportunity to talk about these books! This is not a romance series, but there is a great love story mixed in with all the intrigue and scheming and magical goings-on.

5. Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald: I totally fell for the love story at the heart of this timey-wimey tale. Bonus points for taking place in Grand Central Station in New York, which is just an ultra-romantic setting, in my humble opinion.

6. Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade: Sweet and sizzling romance, plus fanfic and fandoms and body positivity… great read!

7. A Stitch In Time by Kelley Armstrong: More timey-wimey goodness! A timeslip romance that’s well-done, full of mystery and passion, with an awesome setting in a haunted house on the moors.

8. Well Met and Well Played by Jen DeLuca: What could be better than romance at a Ren Faire? How about two romances at two Ren Faires? Can’t wait for book #3 to come out later this year.

9. The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan: I always love this author’s books, but this one especially appealed to me, and I loved the love story at its heart, which is both a story about a couple falling in love, but also about a woman finding love for the children she’s hired to take care of. All around sweet and lovely.

10. Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston: The Once Upon a Con series is so much fun, and the mismatched pair at the heart of this geeky love story are really sweet.

What were the best love stories you read during the past year?

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

And PS – Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Kid-Lit Books Written Before I Was Born

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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 Books Written Before I Was Born.

Oh dear. Is this topic just an under-handed way to get me to disclose how old I am???? Because I’ll tell you, relative to the majority of the book bloggers I know, sometimes I feel like I’m ANCIENT. (OK, so I’m in my 50s, which isn’t completely over the hill just yet!)

Anyhoo… I thought I’d zoom in on children’s books, written before I was born, that stand the test of time! Almost all of these are books that I read myself as a child, and then shared with my own kids too.

  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White (1952)
  • All-of-a-Kind Family by Syndey Taylor (1951)
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1958)
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (1959)
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (1962)
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (1960)
  • Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss (1962)
  • Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager (1956)

Honorable mention: I’d include these books as well, but I didn’t read them until I was an adult! Still, they definitely belong on a list of favorite children’s books — and they were certainly written before I was born:

  • The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (1950)
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (1908)
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (1954)

Are any of these your favorites too?

What books written before you were born do you really love?

Please share your link so I can check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 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 New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020.

There were so many great authors whose works I got to experience for the first time in 2020! Here are 10 favorites (although I think I could come up with a lot more!)

  • Stephen Graham Jones
  • Constance Sayers
  • Emily M. Danforth
  • Paulette Jiles
  • Lisa Grunwald
  • Andrzej Sapkowski
  • TJ Klune
  • Veronica Roth
  • V. E. Schwab
  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia

What new-to-you authors did you discover in 2020? Any particular favorites? Do we have any in common?

Please share your link so I can check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant To Read in 2020 (but didn’t get to)

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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 Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To.

I recently did a similar post about the books I bought in 2020 but didn’t read. For this week’s prompt, I thought I’d look back at the quarterly TBR list Top Ten Tuesday posts from 2020, and see how well I did at reading the books I said I’d read.

Overall? Not too shabby!! Here are the books that are left, along with a note on whether I still plan to to read them. Starting with:

Winter 2020: Only two left unread:

  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir: Still plan to read? YES. High priority for 2021!
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik: Still plan to read? YES. Also high priority!

Spring 2020:

  • Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman: Still plan to read? YES
  • The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward: Still plan to read? Probably not — I seem to have lost interest.

Summer 2020 – I read all the books!

Fall 2020:

  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse: Still plan to read? I’m thinking no. Even though I was excited for this initially, after reading a bunch of reviews and synopses, it just doesn’t draw me in.
  • Dying with Her Cheer Pants On by Seanan McGuire: Still plan to read? YES. It’s Seanan McGuire, so the answer has to be YES.
  • The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: Still plan to read? YES for sure, but I just haven’t been feeling any urgency around this one. I do intend to read it eventually.

That’s seven, so I’ll also include unread books from my “most anticipated” posts from 2020:

  • When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey: Still plan to read? YES. I don’t know why I didn’t get to it when it came out, but I do own a copy and absolutely want to read it.
  • Malorie by Josh Malerman: Still plan to read? Probably. I liked Bird Box, so I’m curious to see what comes next… but it doesn’t feel all that important to read any time soon.
  • Parable of the Sower (graphic novel): Still plan to read? YES. The novel of Parable of the Sower is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. I’ve been waiting to read the graphic novel until it suits my mood, but I definitely do plan to get to it.

What books did you mean to get to in 2020, but didn’t? Have you read any of the books on my list? And if so, which do you think should be top priority?

Here’s hoping we all get to our 2020 books, plus all the great books ahead in 2021!

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions for 2021

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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 Resolutions/Hopes for 2021.

I’m not a big fan of making resolutions. I’ve been around enough years to know that most don’t stick. But I’m not opposed to setting a few goals, so…

Here are some low-key bookish goals for 2021:

Read whatever I feel like. Okay, I say this every year… and every year it’s worth repeating. It’s easy to get caught up in ARCs and reading schedules, and that’s fine — but I know what makes me happiest is to read whatever I want, whenever I want. And reading is for happiness, right?

Resist the urge to over-request. I’m looking at you, NetGalley request button! I love NetGalley, and I so appreciate how wonderful it is to have access to all these amazing early review copies! But I need to keep better perspective, and not allow myself to overwhelm my to-read plans with nothing but ARCs.

Organize my bookshelves — again! — and donate the never-gonna-read books and the read-’em-but-don’t-need-to-keep-’em books to the library (once their donation center reopens).

Stick to my series reading plans for 2021! Subject to change, of course, but I do want to get to the books and series that I set as my priorities.

Updated to add: After this post was already up and published, I realized I forgot one goal! So, my late addition is… Tackle one or two of the heftier non-fiction books on my shelves (mostly a variety of history books) by reading them in small bites, just a few chapters per week. Slow and steady, so I get to enjoy them without feeling like I’m missing out on reading fiction too.

And a couple of blogging goals too:

Update my Book Blog Meme Directory page. It’s been a while since I’ve gone through and checked all the links, made sure all the listed memes are still current, etc. It’s clean-up time!

Go through old posts to make sure that images and links still work. This is a big, tedious job, but if I do it in little bites over the course of the year, it should be okay.

What are your bookish, non-bookish, or blogging resolutions for this year? Whatever you’re resolving or hoping for, I’m wishing you all a happy and healthy year. It can only get better, right?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2021

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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 Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2021.

I highlighted some of the upcoming releases I’m most excited for in my winter TBR post from a couple of weeks ago — but it’s always fun to look ahead and make even more reading plans! So, here are ten MORE books releasing between now and the end of June that I’m super excited to read.

  1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (2/2)
  2. A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel (2/2)
  3. Later by Stephen King (3/2)
  4. An Unexpected Peril (Veronica Speedwell, #6) by Deanna Raybourn (3/2)
  5. Whisper Down the Lane by Clay McLeod Chapman (4/6)
  6. Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian (4/20)
  7. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (5/4)
  8. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (5/11)
  9. The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren (5/18)
  10. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (5/25)

What new releases are you most looking forward to in 2021? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: Home for the holidays

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 Holiday Freebie, where we each come up with our own holiday-themed top ten list.

I was drawing a blank, until I started thinking about holiday celebrations in books, and from there, I started thinking about great fictional families that I’d want to celebrate the holidays with.

So, ta-da! Here are ten fictional families who I wish would invite me over for some holiday cheer…

  1. The Weasleys (Harry Potter series): I mean, obvious, right? I love the entire Weasley brood, and I hope if I went the Burrow for the holidays, I’d get one of Molly’s traditional sweaters.
  2. The Bennets (Pride and Prejudice): Or really, one of several families in Jane Austen novels, mainly because I’d like to dress up and go to one of their balls.
  3. The family of All-of-a-Kind Family (All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor): I loved these books as a kid, and always wished I could celebrate Hanukkah or any of the Jewish holidays with them! Even living simple lives, they make everything seem like such fun.
  4. The children of Marsyas Island Orphanage (The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune): Let’s hear it for found families! I love this book, and love the way the children and their headmaster form such a warm and wonderful family. I think opening presents with this group would be all sorts of fun.
  5. The Columbia Basin Pack (Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: Here’s an entirely different sort of found family — the werewolves of the Mercy Thompson series. The pack house seems like such a fun place to be, even though it’s usually crowded, loud, and bit out of control. I can only imagine how wild Christmas morning must be. (I kind of hope it’s a tradition for all the big wolves to wear Christmas jammies too…)
  6. The Covey family (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han): I love Lara Jean’s family dynamic and how awesome her dad is, and you just know that the food will be amazing — especially if Lara Jean is doing the cookies!
  7. The March family (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott): Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents! But hanging out with Jo and Beth (my faves) and Marmee would be awesome anyway.
  8. All the characters in In a Holidaze (by Christina Lauren): To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m more interested in the people or in their Christmas cabin, but either way, I’d love to be there.
  9. The Murry family (A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle): Hanging out with Charles Wallace and Meg would be fun, and I bet their Christmas would be all science-y and also filled with witches.
  10. Emily & Simon and everyone else in Willow Creek (Well Met by Jen DeLuca): I know the Willow Creek Renaissance Faire is a summer event, but can you imagine how amazing it would be as a Christmas celebration? All those fabulous costumes and revelries in the snow?

That’s it! I wasn’t sure I could get to 10, but somehow I made it (mainly by including a couple of family-esque groups as well as more traditional families). I’d be happy to be invited to celebrate with all of these folks!

What was your holiday topic this week? If you wrote a TTT post, please share your link!