TTT: 10 Authors I’d Like to Try

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Like most of you readers, I’m always looking for new authors to try. I get caught up on a series and then I’m just waiting for something new, so I need a new author to obsess over. Here are 10 on my radar and the book I’ll probably start with.

  1. Elana K. Arnold, Red Hood.
  2. Austin Aslan, The Islands at the End of the World
  3. Darcie Little Badger, Elatsoe
  4. James Baldwin, Go Tell It on the Mountain
  5. Ashley Audrain, The Push
  6. Robert Jackson Bennett, Foundryside
  7. Benjamin A. Blacker, Hex Wives
  8. Shalini Boland, The Secret Mother
  9. Angeline Boulley, The Firekeeper’s Daughter
  10. Karma Brown, The Life Lucy Knew

I already own the Baldwin book and Foundryside. I think I can get others from the library. I need to get moving on this! I’ve been super focused on my reading challenges, but I’m almost finished with a couple. Yay! What is on your list? Let me know and tell me if you’ve read any of these and what you thought. Happy reading!

Happy Monday! What are you reading?

Hey fellow readers! Hope you had a great weekend. Ours was pretty chill. We watched Death on the Nile with Kenneth Branaugh and Gal Gadot and did a little gardening. I took my son and daughter-in-law out for dinner.

In other news, I’m working super hard at getting my diabetes under control. I’ve lost 40 pounds, but the blood sugar thing is still tricky. I’m hoping to avoid having to be put on insulin, but we’ll find out for sure next month! Prayers requested.

I’ve been reading a lot though, and my goal for the year is 200 books. So far I’m a little ahead of schedule. Here’s what I’m reading now.

Audiobook:

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. This is a reread for the Pioneer Book challenge and I’m loving it. I know some people find it slow, and it is, but that’s part of the beauty for me.

Physical Book:

The Garden of Evil by Erik Larson. I took a little break from this one as it’s kind of depressing, but I picked it back up again.

Poseidon’s Gold by Lindsey Davis. Also a reread, since I got my own copy from the UBS. Falco is trying to sort out his late brother’s business affairs and not get killed.

And that’s all for me. I know, I usually have like 5 books going at once, but I finished a couple and don’t have the inspiration to start any new ones. I’m getting down to the harder books for the challenge, and I’m not super excited to pick up a 500+ page book.

What about you? What are you reading? Let me know in the comments.

Top 10 Children’s Books with Adjectives in the Title

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s prompt seems a little odd to me, but I thought maybe I could give it a spin by only using children’s books. See what you think.

  1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I think it’s time for a reread of this one.
  2. The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer – love some Artemis Fowl
  3. The High King by Lloyd Alexander – great series
  4. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  5. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle – because I identify so hard
  6. The Empty Pot by Demi – beautiful illustrations
  7. The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater
  8. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka – several adjectives in this title
  9. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett – you didn’t think I’d make a list without him, did you?
  10. The All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

I hope I gave you some new ideas to read. All of these are fun to read with kids or on your own. Happy reading!

Challenge Book: The Bronze Bow

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

Book Description

He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. –from the Song of David (2 Samuel 22:35)

The Bronze Bow, written by Elizabeth George Speare (author of The Witch of Blackbird Pond) won the Newbery Medal in 1962. This gripping, action-packed novel tells the story of eighteen-year-old Daniel bar Jamin—a fierce, hotheaded young man bent on revenging his father’s death by forcing the Romans from his land of Israel. Daniel’s palpable hatred for Romans wanes only when he starts to hear the gentle lessons of the traveling carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. A fast-paced, suspenseful, vividly wrought tale of friendship, loyalty, the idea of home, community . . . and ultimately, as Jesus says to Daniel on page 224: “Can’t you see, Daniel, it is hate that is the enemy? Not men. Hate does not die with killing. It only springs up a hundredfold. The only thing stronger than hate is love.” A powerful, relevant read in turbulent times.

My Thoughts

I’d heard of this book, but never knew what it was about. I liked reading more about Galilee in Jesus’s time, but Daniel was a very unlikeable character for most of the book. In fact, I got so tired of his self-pity (his father was executed by the Romans and he is now supposed to be responsible for his elderly grandmother and neurodivergent sister), that I skipped around in the story. He’s enamored of this bandit gang that he’s convinced will fight the Romans. He makes some city friends who read scriptures about the Messiah with him.

The other problem was that the story was kind of slow until the end when everything wrapped up too quickly. It takes forever for David to have any character growth, then within an instant, he’s completely changed. It just didn’t work for me.

I wouldn’t recommend this one, but it’s won awards and many people seem to love it. I guess YMMV so it’s up to you.

TBR Book Tag

Hey readers! It’s time for another book tag. This one came from  @rachelrexds account. The tag was also created by @aperfectioncalledbooks I’m not going to tag anyone myself, but if you feel like writing this post consider yourself tagged!

How do you keep track of your TBR book pile?

I use GoodReads. I have a specific shelf for book I own that are TBR; the rest are just ones that I want to keep track of. I have 1500+ books on my virtual TBR and 115 on my owned-TBR shelf.

Is your TBR mostly print or eBook?

Mostly print, although I am buying most of my books for Kindle nowadays. My bookshelves are groaning!

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Right now I’m trying to read books for my 2022 reading challenges, so I’m mostly sticking with those. In general, however, I am a mood reader and I like to mix things up. Like I just finished a romance so I decided to read a non-fiction about World War II Berlin, In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson.

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. It’s been on my list since 2008! But since I recently found it, I plan to read it this spring.

A book you recently added to your TBR?

Our newest book club pick, The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. I’m super excited to read it. I even found a copy at Pioneer Book. It sounds like a good and creepy story.

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

Nope. I like pretty covers, but that’s not why I buy a book.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

Another nope. I unhaul regularly and don’t keep anything I won’t read.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

Four Aunties and a Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto. Mostly though, I read backlist books. I’ll add a new one to my TBR, but I seldom get to a brand new book.

A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you?

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. It seemed like everyone was reading this last year. It made a lot of best of/most surprising/etc lists for 2021.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I got this one for my birthday last year too, so I am planning to read it this year.

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. This one is a reread, but it’s for the Pioneer Book Challenge and I’m so excited to read it again.

And that’s it for this tag! Tell me about your TBR list! How many do you have on there? Let me know and happy reading!

10 Books Featuring Found Family

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


Tropes! I definitely have some favorites. This week’s Top 10 is all about your favorite trope. My very fave is the unreliable narrator, but since that is by definition a spoiler, I chose my 2nd favorite, which is found family. Here you go!

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Nation by Terry Pratchett
  3. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  4. The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson
  5. The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan
  6. The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker
  7. The Palace Job (Rogues of the Republic #1) by Patrick Weekes
  8. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  9. The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co #1) by Jonathan Stroud
  10. Angel Mage by Garth Nix

I tried to include some lesser known books/series on here, as well as some favorites. This was hard, because I could have gone on for another 10 books! So these are the first ones that came to mind. I noticed that most of them are YA and/or fantasy. I’m not sure why that is. What’s your favorite trope? Let me know in the comments.

2 New Books!

The Sight of You

I have 2 new books to talk about! The first one is our book club pick for next month. It’s called The Sight of You by Holly Miller.

Book description:

Joel has sworn off falling in love. But when he meets Callie, he can’t help being drawn to her. In Callie, he sees a second chance at life. And in Joel, Callie discovers the kind of love she’d always hoped was real. They challenge one another to take chances, to laugh, and to trust that no matter how hard each falls, the other will be there to catch them.

But Joel has a secret. He dreams about the people he loves, and these dreams always come true. One night, Joel has the dream of Callie he’s feared the most, and each must decide: Can Callie stay, knowing her fate? And if her days must be numbered, is there a life she is meant to live?

Told in Joel and Callie’s voices, The Sight of You is a sweeping, romantic, and unforgettable American debut, about the bravery it takes to love, especially when we think we know how the story will end.


We’ll see what I think. I just started today. The other book is Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World by Simon Winchester. I got it at Sam Weller’s bookshop in Salt Lake when we were on our anniversary trip. (I might share pictures later.) I didn’t know Winchester had a new book out, but this was published just last year.

Land

This is a little different from my normal read, but I really like the author so I’m willing to give it a try. It’s the sort of book I didn’t know I wanted until I saw it.

Anyway, those are my 2 new books. What have you bought lately? Let me know in the comments. Happy reading!

8 Books I Enjoyed, but haven’t Mentioned on my Blog

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic sounded hard at first, but then I realized that I haven’t been blogging as much, so I’m sure to have 10 books I haven’t mentioned on here. Hope you enjoy!

  • The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth – very fun domestic thriller that kept me reading
  • On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Read – Perfect for Black History Month, short & sharp*
  • Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier – YA adventure full of fae and menace*
  • The List by Gregg Hurwitz – novella in Orphan X world featuring Joey kicking ass
  • Toucan Keep a Secret by Donna Andrews – more fun with Meg Langslowe & family*
  • The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds – one of my favorite art picture books
  • A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce – unique retelling of Rumpelstiltskin
  • A Day Like This by Kelley McNeil – parallel worlds and heartbreaking choices

*challenge books

All right, that’s only 8, but that what I’ve got. I tried! What have you been reading? Let me know!

Burned and Banned Book Tag!

Today I thought it would be fun to do a book tag, and when I found this one, I knew I had some answers. Feel free to join in!

Questions:

1. Which books have you read that have been historically burned or banned. 

OK, probably a lot of books, but the first ones that came to mind were the Harry Potter books. I’m not so into the series as I was, but I still think it’s a bit much to ban books because of witchcraft.

2. What books do you want to read that have historically been banned or burned?

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin is on my TBR for this year. I was hoping to finish it for Black History Month, but it doesn’t look like that will happen.

3. What’s your favorite book that the Nazis burned? 

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque was definitely a book that stood out to me. Short but powerful, and very much anti-war.

4. What’s your favorite novel about book burnings/censorship?

I can’t think of one, but I love that scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

5. What was the most recent book burning you heard/read about?

The whole mess with Maus by Art Speigelman. I’m glad so many people have spoken up.

6. Have you (or someone you know) ever had any of your personal books stolen, confiscated and/or destroyed by bad faith actors to make a point?

No, thank goodness. That would really piss me off.

7. Is there any book offensive enough for you to burn?

Nope. Plenty that I find offensive – full of hate or fearmongering, misinformation or outright lies – but I wouldn’t burn them. Unless I was freezing in the wilderness or something.

8. Do you believe there is a problem with “digital book burning” in our Information Age?

Hmm, not that I can think of, but I’m probably missing something.

9. What book did you think would cause a lot of controversy, but didn’t?

Surprised more people didn’t come for 50 Shades of Gray.

10. If the authorities were coming for your books, what would you do to hide/preserve them?

I would stash them in with my craft stuff or something. As a Mormon, having religious books taken and burned is part of my faith’s history, so I would definitely fight to protect my sacred books or those of another faith.

So let me know what you think. It’s shocking to me that there’s still so much censorship in countries that are supposed to have free press. I mean, if you boycott an author, that’s not censorship. But so many of these stories in the news this year are just examples of fear and ignorance.

Let me know if you decide to do this tag. I got it from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfek6WQW49IbFpp_zLLJG1Q if you want to see her answers. She’s a lot more eloquent and thoughtful than I was!

Book Review: Ashes to Ashes

I reread this one recently and thought I’d share my review. Enjoy.

Book description

The St. Bernadette’s Parents League was formed to save the old, bankrupt parochial school from being replaced by a twenty-story apartment house. The irate protesters had sentiment and Francis P. Omara on their side, Unger Realty had John Putnam Thatcher of Sloan Guaranty Trust, four million dollars, and the Archdiocese of New York behind them. Francis P. Omara was a powerful spokesman for his cause – but so was an unknown killer with a butcher’s mallet who was determined to have the last word…. And so John Putnam Thatcher, the Sloan’s urbane V.P., finds himself out of Wall Street, in the heart of Queens, and smack in the middle of unholy murder!

My thoughts

The cardinal has made the decision to close St. Bernadette’s Parochial School. They can’t find enough teachers, enrollment is down, and costs are up. They have an offer to purchase from a real estate developer, and the church can’t afford to turn it down.

However, the parents in the neighborhood are not ready to let the school close its doors without a fight. They organize a Parents League and file a lawsuit. Negotiations begin, but neither side is willing to give in. The Sloan Guarantee Trust is handling the multimillion mortgage, so John Putnam Thatcher is stuck in the discussions. Things are at a stalemate, when the president in the league – and the accusing party in the lawsuit – is found murdered in the church.

Soon things are really out of control. Protesters flock to the little neighborhood, tempers flare, and the violence mounts. Thatcher better figure out what’s going on before riots start breaking out.

I was so excited to find this one at the used bookstore. I totally love this series, and even though there are lots of little ways in which this books gives away its age (references to the Dow Jones losing a whopping 30 points in one day!), the conflicts are still real. And although each book opens with a few paragraphs about Wall Street, it doesn’t take an economist to appreciate these little gems. Definitely worth reading, but extremely hard to find!