Category: Top Ten Tuesday

My Top Ten 2019 Bookish Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today is a freebie for Top Ten Tuesday, so I thought I’d revisit one of my favorites (on another blog) – Ten Book-related Resolutions.

  1. I always do a Goodreads Challenge – mine for 2019 will be the same as 2018: 60 books.
  2. I’d like to (finally) complete a Popsugar Reading Challenge and/or a Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I think I’ll bend the rules a little bit and let a book count for 2 categories on each list (if it can).
  3. Cut my ‘owned-and-unread’ list down a bit. I have way too many books to read that are already on my shelf.
  4. To go with that, I don’t want to buy any books in 2019. The exceptions are if I’m buying them for someone else, a book for book club, or if it’s a book by one of my ‘must buy’ authors (Karin Slaughter and Simone St. James). 
    • Note: Shane says this is impossible, and he’s usually right about these things, but I’ll be happy if the book buying is cut waaaay down.
  5. Get my Goodreads shelves figured out. I deleted 90% of my shelves awhile ago and it’s getting on my nerves.
  6. Along those lines, I need to go through my TBR pile on Goodreads and get rid of whatever I don’t want to read anymore.
  7. Read difficult books – I read a lot of mindless novels, but I’d like to learn something or have challenges to the way I think….or even just the hard sci-fi Shane reads that seems interesting but daunting.
  8. I want to get back to science fiction, fantasy, post-apocalyptic fiction, etc. Not that I’ve stopped reading it entirely but I tend to reach for something murder-y or romance-y.
  9. Read some non-technical technology nonfiction. I’m not sure what to call it – the philosophy of technology? I know what I mean, anyway.
  10. Read some non-fiction that will help me improve. 

Top Ten Cozy Winter Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by That Arsty Reader Girl.

Little House in the Big Woods | Anne of Green Gables | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The first three of this Top Ten were easy to come up with: the first three books of my three most treasured childhood series. I can’t think of a better way to pass snowy (or more likely in my area – icy) day than revisiting old childhood favorites. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society | The Midwife | The Maid’s Tale | Life in a Medieval Castle
Another thing that’s nice to do is escape to another time or place. Two memoirs by women of the past, a guide to medieval life, and a novel of post-war England certainly do that. I really can’t wait to curl up with some of these this winter.

The City Who Fought | The Dragonriders of Pern | The Name of the Wind
Speaking of ‘another time or place’ – a great sci-fi or fantasy book is just as good at taking you away. Anne McCaffrey is my all-time favorite author, and honestly a big part of why I want to write books. Her Brainship books are some of the first science fiction I ever read and her Pern novels are the first blending of sci-fi/fantasy that I ever really got into. Patrick Rothfuss has created a masterpiece as well, and sitting in a cozy chair reading any of these books would be an amazing thing to do on a cold winter day.

-Sarah-

10 Horror Novels I Can’t Wait to Read

10 Horror Novels I Can’t Wait to Read

I don’t really go for very horrific horror novels, if you haven’t been able to tell from my review choices this October. I love creepy books, though. When the suspense and eerie feelings ratchet up to a crescendo, that’s when I’m most intrigued. There’s a list on Goodreads called Space Horror that I keep meaning to go though and add to my TBR mountain, because I love two kinds of horror more than any others – gothic creepiness in Victorian mansions and terror in space where there can be no escape. That said, I don’t read as much horror as I’d like, so for my Halloween Top Ten Tuesday topic, here are some horror(ish) books I’d like to check out.

On to the list!

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon ~ It’s got so much I adore in a novel! Complicated family relationships, generational curses (even if not actually cursed), abandoned motels, missing people, etc. I picked this up a library book sale and I’m pretty sure it’s a quarter well spent. 

The Desolation of Solitude by Sean-Paul Thomas (also called Alone, apparently) ~ Here’s that space horror I enjoy, but in a novella (150 pages is a novella, right?). It’s got similarities with the movie Passengers from what I can tell, but has the creepiness raised a ton. No memories, waking up alone in space, lady companion also awakes, dark thoughts, ghostly visions. You can download it for free, so why wouldn’t I?

This House is Haunted by John Boyne ~ This has a governess in the mid 1800s who rolls up to her new employment but there are only children and no adults. Oh, and ghosts. It also has awesome cover art, and I won’t deny that helps.

Snowblind by Christopher Golden ~ Ghostly happenings in a blizzard? Yes please! This is definitely a book I’m looking forward to – snow is something I see *maybe* once a year or so and the thought of a full-on blizzard is kind of terrifying. Add ghosts/demons/the supernatural and it’s a definite fear inducer. 

No Doors. No Windows. by Joe Schreiber ~ I enjoy novels that play tricks on with your mind – is he insane or haunted? This seems to meet that criteria, and seems generally spooky, so I’m looking forward to it!

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay ~ This is a home invasion story that’s not really my style but the description on Goodreads hooked me. I have to know more about what the men are up to. 

Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey ~ I love Carey’s previous novels and I’m so excited to read another one! The reviews look excellent & I’m not surprised.

The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish ~ I honestly don’t know anything about this book beyond the Goodreads blurb, but that was enough to add it to the list. I’m intrigued!

The Waiting Room by F. G. Cottam ~ An abandoned war-time train station waiting room with ghosts sounds like an amazing rainy day read. I also love the ‘ghost hunter isn’t really a ghost hunter, but is now a believer’ trope, so I’m in.

The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring ~ I love the time period between the world wars, especially in the UK, so that in addition to the aforementioned trope in a creepy old rectory makes this book a must-read.

~S~

Books By My Favorite Authors…That I Still Haven’t Read

Books By My Favorite Authors…That I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This one is tough, since I generally read everything an author has written as soon as I figure out I love that author. Please see Karin Slaughter & Simone St. James. However, I have plenty of ‘guilty pleasure’ authors & a couple of non-fiction authors that I read more sporadically. 

My Guilty Pleasure Authors:

  • A Deeper Darkness by JT Ellison – I loved her Taylor Jackson series (I apparently missed one of those as well, but I’m not changing my list!), so I can’t wait to get started on the Dr. Samantha Owens series!
  • Find Her by Lisa Gardner – I’ve read all but 7 of Gardner’s books (not counting .5s or her romance novels) and I can’t get enough of them. This is the 8th in the D.D. Warren series & I’d like to catch up before the 10th comes out next year. 
  • Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag – I rediscovered Tami Hoag this year and I’m a big fan. I’ve heard this is the weakest in her Oak Knoll series, but I’d like to find out for myself. Her weakest book is still stronger than most.
  • I’ll Walk Alone by Mary Higgins Clark – Mary Higgins Clark is such a classic – I know what I’m getting into and that I’m going to enjoy to enjoy myself. Plus, a woman is on video kidnapping her own kid but she didn’t do it, I’m in.

The Non-Fiction:

  • The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston – I like Preston’s fiction works too, but this one has all the things I love. A lost city, mysterious illness, adventure, history, etc. 
  • Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh – I connect with Allie Brosh’s illustrations and stories on a soul-level. I don’t know how I haven’t read this.
  • Hell’s Princess by Harold Schecter – I have quite a few of his books waiting on the shelves, but I’m very very interested in his take on Belle Gunness.

The Current ‘Favorite’:

I’m currently reading all the Charles Todd books I can. Well, I will be once I get done with all the books I need to read. I’ve been turning to British cozy mystery tv shows, so it’s no surprise that I’m drawn to (what I consider) British cozy mystery books. It may be a bit cheating to have 3 books from the same author, but I don’t care. 

Books on my Fall TBR Pile

Books on my Fall TBR Pile

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m really excited for this fall’s to-be-read pile, so even though I’m still unpacking from the evacuation, I wanted to be sure I did this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (more than 10, though!). Usually I’d write a blurb about why I want to read the books, but I have so much unpacking/laundry/etc to do I’m just sticking to titles & links.

eARCs (all from NetGalley):

1. House of Ashes by Loretta Marion
2. Street Freaks by Terry Brooks
3. The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston
4. When You Find Me by P.J. Vernon

Everything Else:

5. The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine
6. I Remember You: A Ghost Story by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
7. The Darkling Bride by Laura Anderson
8. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

9. All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
10. Snowblind by Christopher Golden
11. The Fireman by Joe Hill
12. Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

13. Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds
14. No Doors. No Windows. by Joe Schreiber
15. The Ripper’s Shadow by Laura Joh Rowland
16. A Mortal Likeness by Laura Joh Rowland

I doubt I’ll read half of these, but they’re what I *want* to read. I’m clearly on a horror kick at the moment. If you know of a good horror book I should add to the list, let me know!

-S-

Ten Bingeable TV Shows

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Top Ten Tuesday is a feature currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl.

There are so so so many amazing shows to watch, this list barely even brushes the surface. I’ve broken it into two parts – the first 5 are shows I’ve binged (more than once in some cases), and the second are shows I’m planning on watching. I kept it to shows that have more than 1 season & had a great time choosing just 10. I know a few of them are over suggested (GoT, I’m looking at you!), but sometimes that’s for a reason.

Shows I Watched & Loved:

  1. Father Brown
    • This is by far the odd man out in the list – I don’t generally go for shows that have anything to do with ‘saving souls’, but I really enjoy this one. It’s your basic 1950s British cozy murder mystery show (my favorite) but the main character is a priest who does a bit of moralizing at least once in every episode. I will say, Father Brown is chill regarding things that the Catholic church is decidedly not-chill about. I wouldn’t be able to watch the show if it wasn’t modernized a bit. Also, Sid Carter is my favorite character in all of television.
  2. Bob’s Burgers
    • I once got incredibly sick and spent days in bed watching tv. This show was my constant companion and to this day I have a soft spot for it. It’s cute, quirky, slightly dumb, but also smart and I love rewatching episodes on bad days.
  3. The X-Files
    • Shane and I watched the first set of seasons together on a computer monitor while in college, so maybe it just has a warm and fuzzy place in my heart because of that. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I love it.
  4. Grimm
    • This is Shane’s favorite show, and I think we’re due a rewatch pretty soon. It’s a retelling of a ton of Grimm’s fairy tales, and can be a pretty dark watch. It gets pretty bananas at some points.
  5. Death in Paradise
    • Another British cozy murder mystery show. Do not go to Saint Marie on vacation, because you will straight up be murdered. It’s present-day, surprisingly non-violent for the most part, and the bad guy is always caught. Can’t ask for more.

Shows I’ve Been Told to Watch & Love:

  1. Game of Thrones
    • I’m currently watching this one! I’m only on episode 5 of season 1 though. I know a lot of what happens over the series (so far) because I spend a lot of time on the internet and I’m pretty excited to see where things go.
  2. The Great British Bake Off
    • This is my next feel-good watch. I’ve heard so many good things about this show I’m excited to see if it’s a good lazy winter day watch.
  3. Vikings
    • This show just looks badass. I can’t wait to watch it obsessively over the course of several weeks.
  4. Downton Abbey
    • I’m legitimately baffled as to how I’ve gone this long without watching Downton Abbey. It covers my (current) favorite period of English history, so it’s definitely on my list!
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale
    • I know why I haven’t watched this one – I read the book at a very charged time in my life and I have lots of feelings about it. I know the show is amazing, and is similar yet wildly different from the book so I’m absolutely up to watching it. I just needed some time before I did.

Enjoy!

10 Non-Fiction Books I Can’t Wait to Read

TTT-NEWTop Ten Tuesday is a feature that is currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today’s topic is a back to school freebie, so I picked 10 non-fiction books I can’t wait to read! This week’s post is going to be a little shorter than usual (I got sunburnt and was super slow to get around to everything I needed to do this weekend) – back to normal next week!

1. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
I grew up reading Laura Ingalls Wilder and I really want to read what life was really like at that time. I have ideas from other sources, but this will be the first read that specifically addresses her life.

2. American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent J. Cannato
Everyone should know a little bit about the history of Ellis Island and the country. My paternal forefathers came through Charleston, SC but the stories from Ellis Island are so fascinating.

3. Life in a Medieval Castle by Joseph & Frances Gies
I just really like history, especially the history of every day life.

4. Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession by Craig Childs
Archaeology and all its attendant tales are super intriguing to me – it’s what I wanted to do with my life and I’m still endlessly interested.

5. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer
Who doesn’t like an Indiana Jones-style (less the paranormal) rescue of precious knowledge?

6. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale
Since this is a list by me, there has to be a true crime book!

7. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
I didn’t know much about Carrie Fisher until she passed away, but the flood of stories about her after her death makes me want to read about her in her own words.

8. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
I’m headed to Maine again in Oct 2019 & will probably be in Bangor for a bit and have never actually read a Stephen King book sooooo I’m picking this one!

9.  How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White
I’m not what you’d call a good housekeeper and neither is Shane, so a little help would be appreciated.

10. The Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku
I love history, but I love technology and futurism so this should be a perfect read to satisfy that interest.

10 Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

10 Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

TTT-NEW
Top Ten Tuesday is a feature that is currently run by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This is a topic that’s super close to my heart! I’ve been in a reading slump for literal years. In 2015 I read 75 books, in 2016 that number dropped to 30 and then climbed all the way up to 35 last year. This year I’m already at 33, so I’m going to list the books that have helped me get out of the slump. Series will be lumped together, though, so it’ll actually be a fairly short list.

1-3. City of the Lost, A Darkness Absolute, and This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong
We moved earlier this year and I had to go back to the old apartment to clean and pack the last bits that were left. I devoured these books switching between audiobooks and ebooks. The main character moves to a town where everyone is running from something and then ALL THE CRIME happens. Also, there’s a romance that is believable except when it’s not. I’m really excited for the next 2 in the series – though book 4 isn’t coming out until 2019 at the soonest, so there’s that.

4. A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachman
I literally don’t even know how to describe this book. It’s bananas. Here’s the Goodreads blurb (which really doesn’t do the insanity justice):

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she’s been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .

5. Deeper Than The Dead by Tami Hoag
I’ve read a lot of Tami Hoag books this year, but this one stands out for me. I really liked Anne Navarre and her romance, the 80s setting was great, the complex bad guys were interesting, and it’s just a great suspenseful book.

6. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Simone St. James is an auto-read author for me and I always turn to her other books when I’m in a true rut. She usually writes historical (early 1900s) paranormal romance/suspense novels, and this is more of a gothic thriller with only a wee bit of paranormal. Though parts of it are in 1950. To be honest, I’m not a big paranormal reader, but there’s something about this author that makes me want to read more.

7. The Dry by Jane Harper
This is the book that kicked off my intense suspense/mystery kick of this year. It’s a much more serious and complicated book than others on my list and also reassured me that small towns are the same all over. I haven’t read Force of Nature yet, but it’s pretty high on the TBR list.

8-10. The Queen’s Poisoner, The Thief’s Daughter, and The King’s Traitor by Jeff Wheeler
These comprise the first trilogy of the Kingfountain Series by Jeff Wheeler. I’ve always loved fantasy, but have dropped off lately. On Prime Day I got 3 months of Kindle Unlimited for 99 cents, and these were the first books I borrowed. They all came with an audiobook version, so I mostly read these via long drives back and forth from the old place to the new place and to a conference 6 hours away. I don’t usually go in for strategy-type plots, but Owen Kiskaddon’s story caught my interest. One thing that bugged me was that the author uses common pronunciations but ‘fantasy’ spellings, so starting with the audiobook was a bit crazy, I had preconceptions about the spellings of things that were super wrong.