Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 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 New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021.

There were way more than 10, and it’s so hard to choose favorites… but I’ll go with these ten, whose books I really enjoyed:

  • Julia Quinn (I read ALL the Bridgerton books!)
  • Rosie Danan
  • Sarah Morgenthaler
  • Crystal Maldonado
  • Kristen O’Neal
  • C. Robert Cargill
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • William Kent Krueger
  • Everina Maxwell
  • Emiko Jean

What new-to-you authors did you discover in 2021? Any particular favorites? Do we have any in common?

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

Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read 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 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To. So, so many of these!

Here are 10 that fit the topic — all of which I still really want to read!

Have you read any of these? Which ones should I tackle first?

If you posted a TTT list this week, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection

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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 Recent Additions to My Book Collection. I did buy a LOT of books at the end of 2021 — but I think I’ve share most of those already.

Usually, I build these posts around my physical books purchases, but to switch things up, here are my 10 most recent additions to my Kindle library:

Have you read any of these? Which ones do you think should be my priorities to read?

If you posted a TTT list this week, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the First Half of 2022

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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 Books Releasing In the First Half of 2022. While one of my goals this year is to read the books I already own, I can’t help feeling excited about a bunch of new releases that will be coming my way too!

My 10 most anticipated new releases for the first half of 2022 are:

  1. Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children, #7) by Seanan McGuire (1/4 — my copy arrives today!)
  2. An Impossible Imposter (Veronica Speedwell, #7) by Deanna Raybourn (2/14)
  3. One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle (3/1)
  4. Spelunking Through Hell (Incryptids, #11) by Seanan McGuire (3/1)
  5. The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi (3/15)
  6. Reputation by Lex Croucher (4/5)
  7. The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth (4/5)
  8. To Marry and to Meddle (The Regency Vows, #3) by Martha Waters (4/5)
  9. Book of Night by Holly Black (5/3)
  10. Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean (5/31)

What new releases are you most looking forward to in 2022? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

Top Ten Tuesday: The long & the short of it

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 — so we all come up with whatever topic we feel like writing about.

My topic this week is the long & the short of it — the longest and shortest books I’ve read in the past year. Keeping it simple!

My five longest books were:

1. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander, #9) by Diana Gabaldon: 960 pages. Just finished this week!

2. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: 940 pages. My book group’s classic read — took us about a year, but we made it.

3. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander, #8) by Diana Gabaldon: 825 pages. This was a re-read, but so necessary in preparation for book #9.

4. Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow, #3) by Rainbow Rowell: 579 pages. I really wish this wasn’t the end of the story — I want more!

5. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley: 544 pages. Another re-read, but it had been many years since the first time I read it, and I loved it all over again.

And the shortest:

1. The Wickeds (Faraway Collection) by Gayle Forman: 32 pages. This is really just a short story, but I’m including it anyway! This collection of fairy tales was fun, and I liked this one best of all.

2. A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen: 122 pages. Another book group classic read, with such great discussions.

3. A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow: 128 pages. Wonderful fairy tale novella.

4. Rizzio by Denise Mina: 128 pages. Another novella, historical fiction this time, telling the story of a real-life murder in the court of Mary, Queen of Scots.

5. One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky: 144 pages. Great sci-fi novella.

What were your longest and shortest reads this year?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Memories

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 Bookish Memories — described by the meme host as share stories of your reading life as a child, events you’ve gone to, books that made an impression on you, noteworthy experiences with books, authors you’ve met, etc. Reminisce with me!

In no particular order, here are ten random bookish memories that have stayed with me:

1 Traveling to Phoenix, Arizona in 2014 to attend a book event with Diana Gabaldon for the release of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, the 8th book in the Outlander series. I had consistently been unable to attend every one of her events in my own town, so I made the decision to travel for this one, and it was so worth it!

2. Reading with my kids! Highlights include cracking up while listening to my 3-year-old trying to recite along with Richard Scarry’s A-Z book of cars. Hilarious! Also, reading the entire Harry Potter series out loud with my son, and starting him off early (as an infant) by reading poems to him from A. A. Milne’s books.

3. My favorite childhood reading spot — I grew up in an observant Jewish household, which meant no TV or other forms of entertainment on Saturday afternoons. We had a big armchair in the living room, and I would spend hours on those afternoons curled up in it with a book.

(via Pinterest)

4. Meeting Amber Benson (Tara from Buffy!!) at a small book event at a local bookstore. She was doing a reading from a book she’d written (Death’s Daughter), and my daughter and I arrived early to browse… and met Amber while she was also browsing. We chatted, and she was so nice! (And clearly a book lover…)

5. Attending summer camp as a young teen and having copies of Our Bodies, Ourselves passed around the bunk. Between that and certain Judy Blume books, it was an eye-opening summer for a lot of us!

6. Going to a silent reading party — and enjoying silent reading in a room full of 60+ other booklovers.

7. Going to a midnight release party for Breaking Dawn and winning a trivia contest! Yes, I won a Twilight trivia contest, and I’m not (too) embarrassed about it.

8. Reading and sharing with my book group, who are just a fantastic group of readers (and are truly fantastic people in all ways).

9. Reading everywhere I go, including on some beautiful beaches and in gorgeous national parks.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

10. Sharing books, book ideas, and long, long visits to bookstores with my wonderful daughter, as a child and as an adult.

What bookish memories do you cherish?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Love An Update On

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 Love An Update On (Where are they now that the book is over?). I did a version of this topic ages ago (here), and I’m happy to come up with a fresh list of characters whose lives I’d want to check in on!

  1. Simon & Baz (Simon Snow trilogy by Rainbow Rowell): The trilogy just ended with the 3rd book’s release this past July, but these two characters are young adults with their whole lives ahead of them, and I’d love to know what happens next for them!
  2. Jude (Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black): Jude gets a happy ending, but surely being a queen of faerie as a mortal woman can’t be easy? I’d love to see how it’s going in another few years, just to make sure she’s happy.
  3. Lara Jean Covey (To All the Boys trilogy by Jenny Han): She gets a happy ending, but I want to know how she and Peter’s relationship really works during college and beyond.
  4. Rowan (Arc of a Scythe trilogy by Neal Shusterman): Such an unexpected turn of events in the final book! I’d love to know how it all worked out for the characters.
  5. Scarlett & Rhett (Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell): I know Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley was supposed to be the sequel, but I kind of hated it and pretend like it never happened… so I’d like to know how Scarlett and Rhett’s lives REALLY turned out. Did they go back to Tara? Did they get back together? Was tomorrow really another day?
  6. Elma and Nathaniel York (Lady Astronaut series by Mary Robinette Kowal): This is one where we will find out more, eventually. We left these characters newly arrived on Mars in the book that was released in 2018. Book #4 in the series is supposed to be released in 2022, and it should be picking back up with these two characters’ stories… can’t wait!
  7. Maia Drazhar (The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison): I love The Goblin Emperor so much, and would absolutely spend any amount of time reading about the years of Maia’s reign as Emperor. He’s such a fabulous character, and I want to follow the rest of his life and see how things turned out for him.
  8. Maggie Hoskie (The Sixth World books by Rebecca Roanhorse): I really liked the two books in this series and assumed there would be more… but I didn’t see anything specific online about when or if a next book would be forthcoming. In any case, I’d love to read more about Maggie, and hope we’ll get additional books eventually.
  9. Edward & Bella (Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer): Haha, I know… but I actually included these two on my previous version of this list, and the same questions hold true: How’s eternal life working out? How is it being married to someone you know you’ll be with FOREVER? How’s parenthood treating them?
  10. Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen): Sure, there are tons of retellings and imagined sequels, but none by Jane Austen, so it’s not like they’re official! How did Elizabeth adjust to life at Pemberley? I’d love to know.

What characters would you most like to keep up with? Whose lives are you wondering about?

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

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Outlander fans

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 to Read If You Love/Loved X (X can be a genre, specific book, author, movie/TV show, etc.). I’m in the midst of an Outlander obsession at the moment, with the long-awaited book #9 coming out NEXT WEEK… so you’ll excuse me if this series is pretty much all that’s on my mind right now.

Here are 10 books I think Outlander fans should check out:

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

What’s the connection?

Set in Scotland, historical fiction, Jacobite uprising, time-slip romance (and really, can’t go wrong with any of this author’s books!)


Clanlands by Sam Heughan & Graham McTavish

What’s the connection?

Outlander stars (!!), fun facts about Scotland, lots of references to the creation and filming of the Outlander TV series


A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong

What’s the connection?

A romance across time, time travel, lovers from different eras


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

What’s the connection:

Strong female lead character, male lead who seems too good to be true, time travel (in book #2), epic romance


Finding Fraser by KC Dyer

What’s the connection?

You literally could not be more connected to Outlander! A romantic adventure in which the main character heads to Scotland to find her very own Jamie Fraser.


Poldark series by Winston Graham

What’s the connection?

Historical fiction, time period overlaps somewhat with Outlander, gorgeous settings, heroic male lead, epic romance


The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

What’s the connection?

Set in the Scottish Highlands (and just a really enjoyable read)


On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon by Kaye Gibbons

What’s the connection?

Historical fiction, wartime medicine, women in medicine


Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow

What’s the connection:

Ongoing series with a remarkable, memorable woman as the lead character. Also, recommended by Diana Gabaldon via her Methadone List.


In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl

What’s the connection?

Women in medicine, wartime medicine, World War (although this is WWI, not Claire’s WWII)


Have you read any of these? Are there other books you’d recommend for people who love Outlander?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Lines Worth Remembering — a selection of great passages from my recently read 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 Memorable Things Characters Have Said (quotes from book characters that have stuck with you). I think I’ve done posts on characters’ quotes before, so this time around, I thought I’d share a random bunch of passages that I highlighted*, for one reason or another, in books that I’ve read recently. (In general, these will be lines that made me laugh, or at the very least, smirk).

*And don’t worry — I’m referring to using the highlight functions on my Kindle, not an actual neon yellow highlighter on an actual physical book! I would never!

What did one say when a gentleman confessed to a shortcoming? She couldn’t recall ever hearing one do so before, but surely, sometime in the course of history, some gentleman had. And someone would have had to make a reply.

On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons, #8) by Julia Quinn

If he were furniture, he’d be a really nice-looking shag carpet.

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Taking his clothes off tonight would test his ability to open not just his pants but his heart for Clara.

The Roommate by Rosie Danan

“We didn’t see them until they got there! The foe has sneakily snucked a sneak attack behind our lines, like a sneaky sneak!”

Battle Ground (Dresden Files, #17) by Jim Butcher

“How did you get here, little girl?” she said, in a voice that suggested gingerbread cottages and the slamming of big stove doors.

Equal Rites (Discworld, #3) by Terry Pratchett

To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage,

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Another voice, dry as tinder, hissed, “You would do well to remember where you are.” It should be impossible to hiss a sentence with no sibilants in it, but the voice made a very good attempt.

The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2) by Terry Pratchett

“Why didn’t you bring me a milkshake?” is not an inquiry befitting a Prince of Cats.

The Unkindest Tide (October Daye, #13) by Seanan McGuire

If I was forty years younger, of a different sexual orientation and my son wasn’t married to you, I’d be after you in a heartbeat.”

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

A werewolf was lower than a Californian, all things considered – rough rural hillbillies with too much hair. And open shirt collars. And no table manners.

How To Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

I probably could have filled up my whole list with Bridgerton or Discworld quotes… but it’s fun to mix things up a bit.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like 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 Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading.

What a challenging topic! I do have people like this in my life (and yes, I tolerate them), but it would be hard to just make a blanket statement about what books to recommend without knowing anything about their overall interests. So, here is a somewhat scattered and arbitrary list of books I might give to non-readers — but realizing that this is a total crapshoot and none of these might work at all!

  1. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi: For someone who enjoys science fiction and humor, I can’t think of a better place to start! This book has it all, and is very accessible.
  2. The Martian by Andy Weir: More science fiction, but since I’m assuming most people have at least a passing familiarity with the movie version, it could be fun for someone who enjoyed the plot to read the original book.
  3. Emma by Jane Austen: For someone who says they can’t get into classics, I typically push Emma. It’s just so funny! The audiobook makes it even more “user-friendly”, and is a great entry for someone who doesn’t typically read non-contemporary books.
  4. The Salt Path by Raynor Wynn: If the person who doesn’t read says that they don’t like made-up stories, then I’d go with a memoir that feels compelling and presents an unusual life… and I just loved this one.
  5. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal: And even more science fiction! This is one of my all-time favorites, and it really is superb for so many reasons — great science fiction, very human characters, strong feminist messaging, and an interesting look at at a historical period and what it could have been in different circumstances.
  6. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling: This one needs no explanation, and again, most people have probably already seen the movies or think they know enough about Harry Potter… but experiencing the books for the first time is such a special experience, and I could easily see someone who doesn’t usually enjoy books really getting immersed in this series.
  7. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery: Anne is such a sweet and optimistic character, and her world is so lovely. I challenge anyone to read this book and not be charmed!
  8. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne: Another one that I found so immersive, in terms of historical setting and characters, that I can’t imagine anyone not being captivated.
  9. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende: Such a beautifully written book, and great on so many levels! I’ve given this book to a lot of people over the years, both avid readers and people who don’t read a lot, and have always gotten a positive response.
  10. Good Talk by Mira Jacob: This book got passed around my entire extended family over the past year. A graphic memoir, it’s easy to read yet also provides some great food for thought and discussion.

What books would you recommend to people who say they don’t like reading?

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