Did You Like the Ending? #toptentuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

July 13, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Did You Like the Ending?

Did You Like the Ending? white text over a background stack of hardback books on a blue wooden table

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl. The prompt for today is “Book Titles That Ask Questions.” Hummmm…..I looked through my list and I’ve got nothing! Since I don’t enjoy creating posts with randomly chosen covers or titles, I’m SPINNING this topic into my own question: “Did You Like the Ending?” (Jumping off a previous discussion post: What is a Good Ending?)

I’m also taking this opportunity to link up with the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

Do you love or loathe ambiguous endings?
Which books have you read that leave you wanting more?

I’m Ok with open-ended stories as long as the author leaves some breadcrumbs or inferences upon which I can draw my own conclusion. I loved ALL the following stories, but I wanted more from the endings in each case.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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10 Reasons Why I Love Reading #toptentuesday

July 6, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading (Image: white text over a tall stack on hard back book on a blue painted table)

Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons Why I Love Reading.

Why do YOU love to read?

The most simple reason I love reading is that I’m a lifelong reader and have always loved the world of words. I’m the kid who read the cereal box with my breakfast in the morning.

People who love reading and are lifelong readers, usually love it for several of the same reasons. I suppose that many readers could make a similar list. I’m joining in with other TTT list makers today to celebrate the love of reading. Which reason would top your list? Do you have other reasons why you love reading?

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Summer 2021 TBR #toptentuesday

June 15, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Summer 2021 TBR

Summer TBR #TopTenTuesday

Image Source: Canva

top ten tuesday

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Summer 2020 TBR.

With all the books that are on my radar on a given day, it’s nice to pick out a few for an official TBR. Ten still leaves room for library holds that come in, occasional ARCs, or some mood reading.

One question you may ask is “Are these beach reads?” Many readers have differing opinions of what comprises a beach read: some want light and fluffy, some look for thrillers/suspense/mysteries, some seek out escapist reads, while others like to tackle large tomes or serious content during the summer when they have more time. It’s my opinion that any book you read at the beach is a beach read (just like a body at the beach is a beach body). For my summer reads, I look for the types of books I look for all year: memorable, thought-provoking, and unputdownable.

Keep in mind that I’m not yet recommending the books on this list…..check back often though because I will provide updates and links to reviews as I read them. For now, these are the reads that are on my summer 2021 reading radar.

I hope this summer is enabling you to reclaim your normal lives and that lockdowns are easing and COVID numbers are decreasing. Here in California, life is gradually getting back to normal….I’m cautiously optimistic.

Because I suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), I’ve already read a couple of books that I had on my brainstorming TBR list…..including Project Hail Mary. If you haven’t read it yet, put it (the audio version if at all possible!) on your TBR before the movie comes out! Review coming soon.

And….Happy Winter reading to my friends and followers in the Southern Hemisphere!

*Titles are Amazon affiliate links.

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More Books Like These Please! #TopTenTuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

June 8, 2021

More Books Like These 5 Star Reads Please!

More Books Like These Please (a tall stack of hardback books)

Image Source: Canva

Which books or tropes do you wish there were more of?
Do we share any favorites?
Which book would top your own list?

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

2021 discussion challenge graphic (a blue bird and red fox and wall clock and stack of books graphic)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: More Books Like These. and the 2021 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

 

For this post, I had to go with my first 10 or I could be here listing books forever! The following titles are representative of books that give me book hangovers and I think about for years to come! All of them are 5 Star reads! (in no particular order) Which book of yours would top your own list?



More like these please:



Smart, thoughtful, beautifully crafted, and complex contemporary fiction…

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (cover) Image: a man and woman stand against a railing with backs to the camera


Poignant, relatable, and memorable complicated family drama

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)


Unputdownable Histfic With Compelling Issues and Memorable Characters

Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

invention of wings


Honoring brave girls around the world

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (cover)


Complicated Marriages and Friendships

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (cover)

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10 Books Set In Or Near New York City #TopTenTuesday

June 1, 2021

10 Books Set In Or Near New York City #TopTenTuesday

Books Set in New York City (Image: black text over a background of New York City)

Image Source: Canva

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

What is the last book you read set in New York City?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: June Freebie. When I recently read Social Graces, it occurred to me that I’ve read a few books set in New York City. When I saw the TTT “freebie” option, I decided this was my chance to make a list of books set in New York City. Do you appreciate a good book list?! Can you help me add to this list?

I have read all of the books on this list and can recommend them. Most are new releases with a couple of classics sprinkled in (links to my reviews provided if available).

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
**Titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links.


The Social Graces by Renée Rosen

Historical Fiction (late 1800s), New York High Society

The Social Graces by Renee Rosen (cover) Image: four women in old fashioned dresses and large brimmed hats stand with their backs to the came looking at an arch in the distance


The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio

Historical Fiction (early 1900s), Penn Station

the way of beauty


The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

Historical Fiction (1913), New York City Public Library

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis (cover) Image: a woman in a yellow dress stands with an open book inside a large museum type room


A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

Historical Fiction, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory (1911) and the Twin Towers

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Neissner (cover) White test on a blue background vordered on three corners with marigolds


Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Young Adult contemporary fiction, free verse, Harlem, slam poet

The Poet X

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10 Books Set Near Water #TopTenTuesday

April 6, 2021

10 Books Set Near Water #TopTenTuesday

Books Set Near Water (white text over a background of a father walking with his young daughter in the surf)

Image Source: Canva

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

What is the last book you read set near water?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Gladly Throw Into the Ocean. I had decided to skip this week’s topic, but then when I was reading other blogs today, I was inspired by What Cathy Read Next to SPIN it!

My reason for spinning the topic is 1) I don’t enjoy revisiting/promoting books that I haven’t enjoyed 2) I wouldn’t throw a book in the ocean or any water no matter how much I disliked it 3) What I dislike you might love and 4) I fear hurting an author’s feelings by calling her/him out on a dislike list.

So, ALL of these books set near water I enthusiastically recommend!

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Castle of Water by Duane Hucklebridge

Castaways meets Romance.

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge (cover)


Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

Living off the grid.

Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (cover) Image: a quiet lagoon


Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Reflections on sea shells and life.

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (cover) black text over a blue and pink background (a seashell above the title)


The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Historical Fiction.

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Spring 2021 TBR #TopTenTuesday

March 16, 2021

Spring Reading Season TBR (2021)

Spring Reading TBR

Image Source: Canva

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

For spring, these are the ten books prioritized on my TBR Mountain. Three are carry overs from my Winter TBR.…for various reasons including distraction, too many ARCs, and availability from the library. Four are ARC (advanced reader copy) commitments. three are from my general TBR list.  They are a mix of genres, and I’m hoping for some winners here. Have you read any of these or is one on your TBR?

I never plan more than ten titles for my quarterly TBR lists because I need to leave time for mood reading and review commitments. These ten books (in no particular order) are a priority on a much longer general TBR.

What is your most anticipated read this spring?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2021 To Be Read List.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)


Spring 2021 TBR


First three books are carry overs from my Winter TBR:

Narrow Boat Summer by Anne Youngson

The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson (cover) Image: a small boat floats down a lazy river in the countryside

Genre: Women’s Fiction
(author of Meet Me at the Museum)
***UPDATE: This is a DNF for me (22%)…..beautifully written but meh

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10 Books That Made Me Smile #TopTenTuesday

February 23, 2021

10 Books That Made Me Smile #TopTenTuesday

10 Books That Made Me Smile (image: a woman seated with her hand at her chin looking up and laughing)

Image Source: Canva

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

What is the last book that made you smile?

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud. (Except that I haven’t read any that actually made me laugh out loud, so I’m tweaking this for books that made me smile!)

It’s posts like these that cause me to realize that the majority of my reading is really intense! I do love Quirky Characters, so mostly quirky characters provide the levity in my reading life.

These are the first ten books that I came across in my Goodreads list that brought a smile to my face. While none are hilarious or laugh out loud funny, each one has some funny or heartwarming moments that make my reading heart light and happy. Obviously, my list is heavily quirky character-driven! (Looking at you Backman!)

See my similar post (with a few different titles) published on July 14, 2020.

 *This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


How to Raise An Elephant, by Alexander McCall Smith

Kind, gracious, and wise Mma Precious Ramotswe and a cast of quirky supporting characters and the culture of Botswana bring many smiles to my face. This recent release of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency had one laugh out loud moment as the guys attempt to transport a baby elephant in Mma Ramotswe’s van. If you are looking for easy-reading, gentle, comfort reads with likable characters and uplifting themes, this series might be a good option.

How to Raise an Elephant by Alexander McCall Smith (cover) Image: a baby elephant and parent elephant walking with trunks linked


The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Smart, snappy, and humorous writing with a likable and quirky character will bring a smile to your face. (skip Ch 5 if you are would rather not read crude humor)

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill


Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman

If you have children in your life, Backman’s essays on parenthood will bring a smile to your face. My review of Things My Son Needs to Know here.

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman (cover)


This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagán

Some snappy writing, a quirky character, and an enemies to lovers trope will bring a smile to your face. My review of This Won’t End Well here.

This Won't End Well (cover) ....a young woman peeking through some bushes

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New-To-Me Authors in 2020 #TopTenTuesday

January 26, 2021

New-To-Me Authors in 2020

New-To-Me Authors in 2020 (image: an open laptop, a cup of coffee, and a potted plant with pink flowers)

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors in 2020.

Most of these are not debut authors, but they are authors I have read for the first time in 2020.

1.

William Kent Kreuger

Kreuger is the author of the popular and well-loved Cork O’Connor mystery series (I have not read any books in this series). In 2020 I read This Tender Land. After I read it, many readers commented and asked whether I had read Ordinary Grace. I had not, so I read that, too. I think I liked it even more than This Tender Land. Have you read any of Kreuger’s work? If not, I suggest starting with Ordinary Grace.

2.

Meg Waite Clayton

In 2020, I read my first Meg Waite Clayton book, The Last Train to London. It was one of my favorite reads of the year, so I would be thrilled to read more work by this author! Have you read it?

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite CLayton (cover)

3.

Jenny Lecoate

In 2020, I read an ARC of The Girl From the Channel Islands by debut novelist Jenny Lecoate (review coming 2.2.2021). I enjoyed it, and I look forward to her next book.

The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat (cover) Image: a young woman stands next to a bicycle in a field overlooking a small village as airplanes fly overhead

4.

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is a popular author, but I’ve never read her books. In 2020, I suffered from pandemic brain and craved lighter reads. When I came across reviews for Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow, I knew I should give it a try. Soon after that, I requested an ARC of her next book, New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow. Redland offers thoughtful themes in the chick-lit/”uplit”/romance genres. I’m eager to read the next in the Hedgehog Hollow series this year.

5.

Sheila Roberts

Sheila Roberts is a prolific author of light women’s fiction (romance, chick-lit), but I’ve never read one of her books (I didn’t realize she has written so many!). Still suffering from pandemic brain (as noted above), I craved lighter reads. I came across a review for #4 in her Moonlight Harbor series, Beachside Beginnings. After I read it, I knew I wanted to read #1-#3 in the series, too. I’m looking forward to continuing the series now that I know the characters. Because she writes in the romance genre I don’t typically read, I don’t think I’ll read her backlist. However, some predictable, HEA, chick-lit is appealing to me during the pandemic.

Welcome to Moonlight Harbor by Sheila Roberts (image: wooden steps lead down to a beach)

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Bookish Confessions #TopTenTuesday

January 19, 2021

Bookish Confessions

My Bookish Confessions (white text over a background of book shelves)

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I couldn’t find my motivation for the Top Ten Tuesday topic today because I’ve already made a Winter TBR, so I’m going rogue with my own Top Ten Tuesday post (and I’m sure it’s been a topic in the past that I haven’t addressed….so a “make up” post?).

In three and one half years, I’ve never written a Bookish Confessions post. I’ve enjoyed many similar posts, so I think this week is the time to offer mine to the bookish blogging community!

1.

I’ve Never Read Harry Potter!

I guess I need to list this one first and get it over with: I’ve never read Harry Potter!

2.

I’m a picky reader.

I’ve developed into a picky reader…or I guess I should say I KNOW what I like and this has led to a rewarding and rich reading life! I like realistic fiction, historical fiction, brave characters, thoughtful and substantial themes, inspirational biographies/memoirs, sweet middle-grade reads, novels in verse, thoughtful women’s fiction (not chick lit), and complicated family drama. If I stick with these genres and categories, I usually do not have an unsatisfactory reading experience.

3.

I’ve Become a Shameless DNFer!

The main reasons for DNFing include

* excessive profanity or graphic violence
* slow to engage me
* paranormal or occult content
* boring
* feelings of dread rather than joy (upon picking up the book)
* poorly written

“So many books, so little time.” ~Frank Zappa

“Reading good books, ruins you for enjoying bad ones.” ~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

See my related post here: My Love/Hate Relationship With DNF

4.

Sometimes I Peek at the Last Chapter!

I know some readers who would NEVER peek at the last chapter. EVER.

Yet, at times (especially if the book is too stressful and my anxiety interferes with my enjoyment) I will skim the last chapter (mainly, to see if my beloved main character lives!). Sometimes if I am contemplating a DNF, I will read the last chapter before I abandon it to see if anything in that chapter engages me enough to return to reading.  Usually if I do DNF a book, I will still read the last chapter for closure.

5.

I Don’t Enjoy Chick Lit!

I prefer thoughtful, substantial themes. I have found that Elin Hilderbrand rarely offers what I prefer in chick lit. Whereas, I’ve been engaged with Katherine Center’s work. I’m not exactly adverse to chick lit (evidence=I read more chick lit in 2020 under lockdown than ever before), but I enjoy chick lit that has some snappy writing and meaningful themes. It’s always tricky to note what I don’t enjoy because it may be your absolute favorite! Reading is a personal experience, and I think each person should find what suits her or him. There’s no judgement here! I want you to find what’s most enjoyable for you!

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