10 Best Books of 2008

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 was the Top 10 Books you’ve read that someone else recommended to you. But I don’t really keep track of that, so I’m going waaaaaay off track.

Top 10 Books I Read in 2008

(because I started keeping track of what I read in 2008)

Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones

Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews

The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett

Reaper Man also by Terry Pratchett

Leaven of Malice by Robertson Davies

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

As I Have Loved You by Kitty DeRuyter

3 Audiobook Reviews

3 books from Audible

I’ve had a lot of time to read or listen to books lately, so here are three that I’ve tried from Audible.

Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi by John Scalzi

I mostly love John Scalzi’s writing. Redshirts is my all-time favorite, although I also loved Lock In and The Dispatcher. This collection was offered as a free listen to Audible Prime members and it was not a new favorite, but overall it was quite good. It includes many of his works I’d never heard of before, even a not very good poem at the very end. My favorites were the science fiction related stories, many involving daily life with alien races. I even listened to my favorite stories more than once. Scalzi himself narrates on of the stories, a brief look at a high school for at risk troubled adolescents of various races. He even reads the lunch menu for the day, which includes options for the “obligate carnivores” and more.

Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon

This was a complete gamble. Audible thought I would enjoy it, and based on the book description, it sounded like my kind of thing. It’s about a humble farm girl who joins the army and becomes chosen by a god to save the world. Sure, it’s a cliché, but it’s one I like. But along with a really, really long section describing every minute aspect of her military training, there’s an entirely gratuitous sexual assault, which comes up over and over again. Lots of victim blaming and entirely too many recurring references to rape. I couldn’t finish it, and I’m taking this series off my list.

The Dressmaker’s Gift by Fiona Valpy

This was a last minute substitute for our book club and I’ll admit, I was not too keen. Although it got some good reviews, it also had some bad ones, and I’m a little tired of more World War II books about women being strong. This was a dual timeline book set in Nazi-occupied and modern France, both involving French fashion. I was really close to giving up on the book, but when I switched to the audio, I found the narration made the character come alive enough that I wanted to continue. It was still full of coincidences and average writing, but I did finish it and we wound up having a pretty good discussion. I don’t think I’ll try anything else by this author though.


So that’s it for me today. What have you been listening to? Are you enjoying it? Let me know! I just finished my audio and I need a new one. Happy reading!

TTT: 10 or 11 Super Long Book Titles (or subtitles!)

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.

11 Super Long Book Titles/Subtitles

These titles are almost as long as the books! Most of these are books I’ve read because it’s more fun that way.

She Was Nice To Mice: The Other Side of Elizabeth I’s Character Never Before Revealed by Previous Historians by Alexandra Elizabeth Sheedy

I read this when I was a kid and I loved it.

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist—the Facts of Daily Life in 19th-Century England by Daniel Pool

Just a general knowledge book about Victorian England. Quite informative and really good for writers.

Dickens’ Fur Coat and Charlotte’s Unanswered Letters: The Rows and Romances of England’s Great Victorian Novelists also by Daniel Pool

I haven’t read this one, but now that I know about it, I really want to.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

I love this one. Hilarious drawings & Kenny Loggins.

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel

Quite interesting if you’re into history, seafaring, or exploration books.

How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain’s Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate by Wendy Moore

I haven’t read this one, but it’s on my TBR!

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek

The most interesting part about this book was about 9/11, but if you’re a fan of the show Bones, you should read this book.

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

Interesting facts and stories about chemistry. I really liked the disappearing spoon!

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba

Inspirational true story, and now it’s a series or movie on Netflix.

If It Weren’t for Benjamin I’d Always Get to Lick the Icing Spoon by Barbara Shook Hazen

OK, I haven’t read this, but I don’t like Benjamin.

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d (Flavia de Luce #8) by Alan Bradley

This title isn’t really THAT long, unless you count the series signifier, but it is one of the weirder ones on this list.

Fall Bucket List Book Tag

I found this book tag over on Read by Tiffany and decided to play along. I haven’t explored her site much, but it looks like a fun place! Check it out. All my books are ones I read or reread in 2020.

Light a Scented Candle – a book that is lighthearted

I actually had a hard time with this prompt! I guess I don’t read very many lighthearted books. The closest I could get was a fantasy series book that has lots of banter and sexual tension and made me smile. Eye of Truth is the first one in the Agents of the Crown series by Lindsay Buroker. Zev Darrow is our dashing aristocratic captain and Zenia Cham is a serious investigator for the temple, but they have an attraction they can’t escape!

Drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes – a book that has a lot of hype

( I’m not a coffee drinker, I’m more of a spiced apple cider gal. But spice is spice.)

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey. Set in a boarding school for magic, this one had people hoping for a replacement to Hogwarts. The vibe is totally different though, and it’s more of a mystery than a children’s fantasy. I really enjoyed it and now I want to read more by the author.

Go Apple Picking – a book that has fun friendships

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy 2 Furious! by Shannon and Dean Hale. Doreen Green is such a fun character and I love this novelization of the comics. Doreen has an awesome best friend, Ana Sofia, but Squirrel Girl also has great friends in the Avengers! I love the texts between everyone, but especially between Doreen and Tony Stark.

Wear a Cozy Sweater – a book that warms your heart

Nothing says cozy to me like rereading one of my favorite romances by Georgette Heyer. This year I bought an audio version of The Nonesuch. This is one of her wonderful Regency romances about a handsome and wealthy bachelor who inherits a decrepit estate in the country. He takes his charming nephew and goes to check it out. While there he meets a young and astoundingly beautiful heiress and her lovely governess. Sure, it’s predictable but the journey is worth revisiting. Love it!

Bake Cinnamon Rolls – a character who’s a talented chef

This one had me torn. I keep mentioning the City Between series by W R Gingell, but Pet is always cooking for her trio and will make them anything they want. It’s pretty impressive. But Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer has 3 talented short order cooks, so I’m going with that one. Plus it was fun to read it again after so long. It made me hungry while I read it, but I still don’t really understand why you would want a pork chop sandwich. What do you do with the bones?

Jump into a Pile of Leaves – a book that made you jump for joy

I couldn’t find a book for this, but I did read one that made me laugh out loud several times when reading it – although there are some serious parts, don’t get me wrong! But Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood was just so funny in parts, mostly because he was such a troublemaker! If you enjoy his show, you should definitely read the book.


Right, that’s my list for today. I love doing tags because it’s hard to come up with new stuff all the time! So feel free to tag me anytime! Have a great weekend and happy reading.

Hocus Pocus Results!

Hello witches and ghosties and fellow Team Trick or Treat! I’m checking back in with you all today to let you know that

**I finished my Hocus Pocus challenge**

For those of you who haven’t heard of this challenge, the readathon is hosted by Pages and Ink and Tiffy E over on You Tube. Here’s a couple of links explaining the concepts and this year’s prompts. It’s not too late to join in or to follow what everyone else is reading.

Introducing the challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebv8QtjJA7c&ab_channel=PagesAndInk

This year’s prompts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRXce3c7C4Y&t=56s&ab_channel=TiffyE

The prompts were as follows:

Group book: The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (15pt).

This was a MG fantasy about a miserable little town who must sacrifice a child each year to a witch. But it turns out the witch isn’t evil at all and the children are safe. The real evil is within…

I loved many things about this book. It’s definitely a heartwarming tale about love and kindness. But the books switches POV so much that I had a hard time connecting with Luna, the MC, and kept reading a few pages and putting it down. Overall, I guess I would recommend this to those who enjoy light fantasy or for young readers.

Max: Dress up as a character while you read a book (10pt) Replaced this with another task.

Emily: Read a book about ghosts or paranormal (10pt).

I went for a darker book since the rest are children’s or YA books to read Hellhound on my Trail by D J Butler. It’s the first in a series about a cursed rock band. It features ghosts and demons and mythology. However, I didn’t realize it was super short too. It was like 120 pages. It also wasn’t really my think. There was a lot of angel/fallen angel/demon stuff in there and I have never been interested in that. I thought the ghost of the dead brother would be a bigger thing. This was a little bit of everything thrown in there, including witches and unicorns and I don’t know what all. A little bit of a hot mess. I did learn a bunch of new Spanish swear words.

Dani: Read a book about siblings (10pt) .

I read The Stepsister’s Tale by Tracy Barrett, because I love a good fairy tale twist. I think I found this one because of a GR giveaway I entered. It’s from the POV of one of Cinderella’s stepsisters, and the cover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the story. Isabelle/Ella is like 13. This reminded me of All the Ever Afters: The Untold story of Cinderella’s Stepmother by Danielle Teller. I think if you enjoyed this one, you would like that one, although this is YA and the Teller one is not. I’m not sure this book fit the Halloween aspect, but the sibling relationship was really well done.

Allison: Defeat the Sanderson witches, read a book about witches (10pt).

I picked a children’s classic, Greenwitch by Susan Cooper. This is book 3 in a series and I read the first two quite a while ago, but it wound up being OK. In fact, the book was just kind of OK. It’s set in Cornwall at the end of spring, with a sort of fertility festival held in the local village. They make an image out of hawthorn twigs and throw it into the ocean. There’s a lot of nature magic in it, which is where the title comes from. But the main focus is on the battle between Light and Dark, Good and Evil, and preventing the end of the world. It was not bad, but a little heavy handed and predictable for me.

Overall thoughts

I enjoyed the challenge, but I feel like my books were kind of disappointing. I didn’t hate any of them, but there were certainly no five star reads and I’m not sure there were even any 4 star reads. Maybe I could have pushed for some more intense reads, but I’m still kind of having a hard time with that. So I kept it light, and that didn’t work either. Well, there’s always next year.

TTT: 10 Fall Book Covers

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.

Photo by Jake Colvin on Pexels.com

Time for some Cover Love

Hey folks! I mentioned last week that fall is definitely here in the Rocky Mountains. I love it! The cooler weather and the gorgeous colors on the trees, apples and pumpkins, it’s my favorite time of year. Here are a few books covers from my TBR that remind me, for whatever reason, of fall.

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

The October Country by Ray Bradbury

The City of Brass by S A Chakraborty

The Miller’s Girl by Nina Clare

Night of the Living Deed by E J Copperman

The Grey King by Susan Cooper

At Risk by Kit Ehrman

A Fortunate Life by A B Facey

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford


So what do you think? It’s a pretty nice set! Any books on here you’ve read? Let me know in the comments and happy reading!

Happy Monday! What are you reading?

Hope you had a good weekend. The weather is turning colder her and people are starting to decorate for Halloween. I have a little under 2 weeks to get my cast off – hurray! We’re also making slow progress on fixing up the family room so it will be ready for sure by Thanksgiving.

I’ve been working on my Hocus Pocus readathon. I did get the group read from the library, as well as Hellhound on my Trail. I started that one first. I’m still finishing Dread Nation by Justina Ireland on audio. I think I’m about 80% done with that one. And I just finished Dragon Tear by Lindsay Buroker. I think it’s my second favorite series by her – no one can top The Emperor’s Edge.

Here’s a nice picture. Happy reading!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Happy Hocus Pocus!

Welcome to October! Are you ready for spooks, goblins, witches, demons, and ghosts? Because here they come!

Today is October 1st which means I get to start my HP readathon. Not that HP – Hocus Pocus, as in the movie starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimi. The readathon is hosted by Pages and Ink and Tiffy E over on You Tube. Here’s a couple of links explaining the concepts and this year’s prompts. It’s not to late to join in or to follow what everyone else is reading.

Introducing the challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebv8QtjJA7c&ab_channel=PagesAndInk

This year’s prompts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRXce3c7C4Y&t=56s&ab_channel=TiffyE

I am on Team Trick or Treaters, and here are the prompts and the books I’ve chosen for this year.

Team Trick or Treaters! Prompts

Group book: The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (15pt). I’m excited about this, because I’ve had this book on the TBR for while and it sounds good.

Max: Dress up as a character while you read a book (10pt) More about this challenge below.

Dani: Read a book about siblings (10pt) . I’ve chosen The Stepsister’s Tale by Tracy Barrett, because I love a good fairy tale twist. This one has also been on TBR too long, and it sound like exactly what I’m in the mood for.

Allison: Defeat the Sanderson witches, read a book about witches (10pt). I’m going with a children’s classic which I haven’t read, Greenwitch by Susan Cooper. This is book 3 in a series and I read the first two so long ago I don’t remember much about them, but I’ve heard they are not strictly related, so I think I’ll be all right.

Team Trick or Treaters! Strength: You deserve something sweet! You may trade a prompt with another team’s prompt of your choice! I’m trading the dress up as a character challenge with this one – Emily: Read a book about ghosts or paranormal (10pt). This time I’m going with a slightly darker book since the rest are children’s or YA books to read Hellhound on my Trail by D J Butler. It’s the first in a series about a cursed rock band. It features ghosts and demons and mythology.

Weakness: Hurry! You have to rush back home for curfew. You must read one book only during the day time. Since I have some shorter books on here I think that will be fine.

That’s my list and I’m kind of excited about it. I think it will be fun. Have you read any of these books? What would you choose for the prompts? Let me know in the comments and happy reading!

Hocus Pocus Readathon

Halloween is coming and fall is pretty much here. Sounds like a good time for a good read! I’ve been hearing about this one and it sounds like fun! I have to admit I’m not a big fan of the movie. But I want to join in anyway!

I’ve decided to join the Trick or Treaters team, so here are my prompts.

Group book: The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (15pt)

Max: Dress up as a character while you read a book (10pt)

Dani: Read a book about siblings (10pt)

Allison: Defeat the Sanderson witches, read a book about witches (10pt)

Strength: You deserve something sweet! You may trade a prompt with another team’s prompt of your choice!

Weakness: Hurry! You have to rush back home for curfew. You must read one book only during the day time.

I’m not sure what books to read yet, but th challenge doesn’t start until October 1st. I’d love some suggestions!

Here is a link to the original Twitter page. https://mobile.twitter.com/hpocusreadathon