Top Ten Tuesday – My Most Anticipated Book Releases for the Second Half of 2020


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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Most Anticipated Book Releases for the Second Half of 2020.  As always, these are easy topics since I’m obsessed with those shiny new releases and love to share the ones I’m most excited about.  The hardest part for me is just sharing ten, haha!


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My Most Anticipated Book Releases for the Second Half of 2020

(in no particular order)





MAGIC LESSONS by Alice Hoffman






WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Katherine Center


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What upcoming releases are you most excited about?

Happy 10th Birthday to Top Ten Tuesday!


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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic Top Ten Tuesday Turns 10! Option 1: pick a past TTT topic you’ve done and re-do/update it (Perhaps you’d remove certain books you put on the list back when you first wrote it, or perhaps you have 10 MORE books you’d add to that list now. You could also re-visit TBR posts, whether seasonal or series you need to finish, etc., and tell us if you’ve read them yet or not. Any variation of this idea works. Feel free to be creative.) Option 2: pick a past TTT topic you wish you’d done, but didn’t get a chance to do.

I decided to revisit a recent topic where we had to share books with numbers in the title.  This time around, however, I tried to find ten covers that actually had the number 10 in it in homage to Top Ten Tuesday turning 10 years old this week.  This was a little more challenging than I thought it would be, to be honest, and you’ll notice I cheated with a couple of Ten Thousand titles, haha.

In all seriousness though, Happy Birthday to Top Ten Tuesday.  This has been my favorite bookish meme since I started blogging. The topics are always fun, and I love that so many members of the bookish community take part each week. It has been the greatest way to meet fellow book lovers, and I hope it will be around for many years to come.



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Books That Feature the Number 10 in their Titles

(in no particular order)


THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware



THE TENTH MUSE by Catherine Chung

TOP TEN by Katie Cotugno


10 BLIND DATES by Ashley Elston

THE TEN YEAR NAP by Meg Wolitzer

THE TENTH CIRCLE by Jodi Picoult

TEN BIG ONES by Janet Evanovich


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Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Plan to Read This Summer


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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Books I Plan to Read This Summer.  I’m a mood reader and, on top of that, I’m also ridiculously indecisive so putting together TBR lists is always challenging for me.  Needless to say, what I’m sharing is a tentative list and it’s more than ten because I just couldn’t narrow down to just ten I’m excited about.  I’m also still actively working on my backlist challenge so my list is a mix of ARCs and older books I’m planning to read.


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Books I Plan to Read This Summer


1. MEXICAN GOTHIC by Silvia Moreno-Garcia


An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic artistocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .

From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico—“fans of classic novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca are in for a suspenseful treat” (PopSugar).  After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. (Read more...)


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2. WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Katherine Center


From Katherine Center, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.

Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.


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3.  10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY by Sandhya Menon


The follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date—with disastrous and hilarious results.

Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.  Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.

Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they’ll never forget.


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It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died, and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her gap year. Inspired to retrace her steps–to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy–Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again.

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.



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A husband, a father, a son, a business owner…And the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi.

“Sensationally good—new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended.” —Lee Child

Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast. He thought he’d left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can’t-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver’s seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.

Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland…or die trying.

Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.


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6. WHEN WE LEFT CUBA by Chanel Cleeton


In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life–and heart–to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Beautiful. Daring. Deadly.

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez–her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.

As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future–but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything–not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…


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7. THE GIVER OF STARS by Jojo Moyes


From the author of Me Before You, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically. The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.



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In the spirit of A Man Called Ove and Good Grief–a poignant, funny, and utterly believable novel about life and loss. 

Give grief a chance . . .

Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years–ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed.

At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks–like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently, being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity.

After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles botanical garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover–with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners–is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not…


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9. WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo


With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.



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10. THE HAMILTON AFFAIR by Elizabeth Cobbs


Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of iconic characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending—his at a dueling ground on the shores of the Hudson River, hers more than half a century later after a brave, successful life.

Hamilton was a bastard son, raised on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. He went to America to pursue his education. Along the way he became one of the American Revolution’s most dashing—and unlikely—heroes. Adored by Washington, hated by Jefferson, Hamilton was a lightning rod: the most controversial leader of the American Revolution.

She was the well-to-do daughter of one of New York’s most exalted families—feisty, adventurous, and loyal to a fault. When she met Alexander, she fell head over heels. She pursued him despite his illegitimacy, and loved him despite his infidelity. In 1816 (two centuries ago), she shamed Congress into supporting his seven orphaned children. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton started New York’s first orphanage. The only “founding mother” to truly embrace public service, she raised 160 children in addition to her own.

With its flawless writing, brilliantly drawn characters, and epic scope, The Hamilton Affair will take its place among the greatest novels of American history.



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Question:  What are you planning to read this summer?  Are we planning to read any of the same books?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Don’t Even Remember Adding to My TBR


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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Books I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why.  This topic made me laugh because I do this a lot.  I’ll be scrolling through my TBR on Goodreads and will come across titles where I’m just like “Who added that? How did that get there?”  But then, as in the case with almost all of the titles I’m sharing this week, I’ll read the synopsis, think the book sounds good and will leave it on the TBR.  I’m guessing some of them were based on blogger reviews, some are maybe from when I entered a giveaway and adding it was a requirement. Some of the pre-blogging ones, I honestly have no clue.

Out of the titles below, the only one I actually deleted as I was working on this post was The Silent Waters. It sounds good, but it’s the third book in a series I’ve never read and I didn’t even have the first two books on my list. Go figure.  Anyway, I decided I need to focus on the umpteen series I’ve started and never finished, so off went The Silent Waters.


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Books I Don’t Even Remember Adding to My TBR


1. THE ONE by John Marrs

How far would you go to find The One?

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.  That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

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2. THE MUSE by Jessie Burton

A picture hides a thousand words . . .

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn’t know she had, she remains a mystery – no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences . . .

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3.  NOW IS EVERYTHING by Amy Giles

The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.

Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.

When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking.

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4. GOING PLACES by Kathryn Berla

Hudson Wheeler is a teen for whom everyone had high expectations, but since his father was killed when he was ten, he’s felt unmotivated to pursue much other than his art. During his senior year, he decides to home school, thinking he will get to relax and focus on his two lazy businesses. But instead, he experiences love and rejection for the first time; meets an athletic girl who shows him by example what it means to be a man; and solves the painful mystery of the WWII vet whose poignant plight forces Hudson out of the comfort zone of boyhood.

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With wry wit and boundless heart, Eva Woods delivers an unforgettable tale of celebrating triumphs great and small, seizing the day, and always remembering to live in the moment.

“It’s simple, really. You’re just meant to do one thing every day that makes you happy. Could be little things. Could be big. In fact, we’re doing one right now…”

Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she’d once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.

Bright, bubbly, intrusive Polly is everything Annie doesn’t want in a friend. But Polly is determined to finally wake Annie up to life. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it’s that your time is too short to waste a single day—which is why she wants Annie to join her on a mission…

One hundred days. One hundred new ways to be happy. Annie’s convinced it’s impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey that will force her to open herself to new experiences—and perhaps even new love with the unlikeliest of men—Annie will slowly begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, there’s still joy to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly’s about to need her new friend more than ever…and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking.

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6. TWO GIRLS DOWN by Louisa Luna

When two young sisters disappear from a strip mall parking lot in a small Pennsylvania town, their devastated mother hires an enigmatic bounty hunter, Alice Vega, to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched thin by budget cuts and the growing OxyContin and meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help to find the girls, and she will not be denied.

With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships to find the girls before time runs out, and they are gone forever.

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7. THE REFUGEES by Viet Thanh Nguyen

From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration.

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I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

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9. THE SILENT WATERS by Brittainy C. Cherry

Moments.  Our lives are a collection of moments. Some utterly painful and full of yesterday’s hurts. Some beautifully hopeful and full of tomorrow’s promises.

I’ve had many moments in my lifetime, moments that changed me, challenged me. Moments that scared me and engulfed me. However, the biggest ones—the most heartbreaking and breathtaking ones—all included him.

I was ten years old when I lost my voice. A piece of me was stolen away, and the only person who could truly hear my silence was Brooks Griffin. He was the light during my dark days, the promise of tomorrow, until tragedy found him. Tragedy that eventually drowned him in a sea of memories.

This is the story of a boy and girl who loved each other, but didn’t love themselves. A story of life and death. Of love and broken promises.  Of moments.

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10. WHAT LIES BETWEEN US by Nayomi Munaweera

In the idyllic hill country of Sri Lanka, a young girl grows up with her loving family; but even in the midst of this paradise, terror lurks in the shadows. When tragedy strikes, she and her mother must seek safety by immigrating to America. There the girl reinvents herself as an American teenager to survive, with the help of her cousin; but even as she assimilates and thrives, the secrets and scars of her past follow her into adulthood. In this new country of freedom, everything she has built begins to crumble around her, and her hold on reality becomes more and more tenuous. When the past and the present collide, she sees only one terrible choice.

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Question:  Have you read any of these? Do you ever add books to your TBR and later forget why you wanted to read them?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Tantalizing Opening Lines in Books


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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Opening Lines (Best, favorite, funny, unique, shocking, gripping, lines that grabbed you immediately, etc.).  I love this topic because I think opening lines are just so important, so much so that they can either make or break a book. I love opening lines that immediately grab my attention so that I’m off to the races to find out more about the story.  I love funny openers, openers that tease, and I also really enjoy atmospheric openers that really set the tone of the story right away.  Below are some of my favorites.


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10 Tantalizing Opening Lines in Books




1. “We must, by law, keep a record of the innocents we kill.”  Scythe, by Neal Shusterman

Talk about an opening line that makes you want to keep reading to find out what the heck is going on!





2. “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” The Night Circus, by Erin Morganstern

The mysterious and atmospheric quality of The Night Circus is why it’s one of my favorite books and I was hooked as soon as I read this opener about a circus that just appears out of nowhere.  I immediately wanted to know more about that circus.





3. “I’m pretty much f*cked. That’s my considered opinion. F*cked.”  The Martian, by Andy Weir

Well, that’s certainly not what you want to hear when you open up a book about a mission to Mars.  I love the ominous tone it sets from the start and I knew I was in for a wild and yet fun ride based on the humorous undertone of that line.





4.  “For the better part of my childhood, my professional aspirations were simple–I wanted to be an intergalactic princess.”  Seven Up by Janet Evanovich.  The Stephanie Plum series is always fun to read anyway, but my Star Wars- loving self really got into the idea of Stephanie Plum as Princess Leia.





5.  “Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.” – The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater.  This was definitely an attention-grabbing opening line because I immediately wanted to know how this person could possibly kill their true love and I also wanted to know under what circumstances she had been told this not even just once, but numerous times.





6.  “How does one describe Artemis Fowl? Various psychiatrists have tried and failed.” Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

This line immediately makes me want to meet this person who has managed to leave various psychiatrists befuddled. He sounds like an interesting fellow.





7.  “Kell wore a very peculiar coat.”  This line is just such a great teaser.  It’s so simple and yet it immediately got my wheels turning with curiosity about said peculiar coat. What was peculiar about it and what is so important about this coat to make the opening line of a brand new series?





8. “On the second Sabbat of the Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.”  Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor

I love this one because it starts off with an almost fairy tale-like quality and then bam! A girl falls from the sky. What the heck?!





9.  “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.” To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.

This one grabbed my attention because I wanted to know how in the world a child could have badly broken his elbow.  Was he in an accident?  Did someone hurt him? Was he abused? etc.





10.  “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone By J.K. Rowling

This opening line made me chuckle and immediately wonder why being perfectly normal was something worth bragging about in this couple’s mind.


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Do any of these opening lines resonate with you?

Top Ten Tuesday – Why I Love Reading Contemporary Fiction


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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Reasons Why I Love [insert your favorite book title, genre, author, etc. here].  Since I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary fiction lately, I decided to share some reasons why I’m enjoying reading it so much.  Many of the reasons I’m sharing of course also can be applied to other genres, but they just specifically add to the charm of contemporary fiction for me.




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Reasons Why I Love Reading Contemporary Fiction

(in no particular order)


  • I love the modern settings — places I recognize from having visited, or even places that I want to visit.  As much as I might enjoy reading about the same exact city in a historical fiction, there’s just something comforting and familiar for me reading about it in a contemporary. New York immediately comes to mind as I’m typing this.
  • I love the overall timely feel of a contemporary, especially in terms of its inclusion of modern technology, social media, current events, etc.  Those things that make it so relevant to right now.
  • Along similar lines, I love reading contemporary novels that are sprinkled with familiar pop culture references.  Whether it’s Star Wars, Harry Potter, or something else iconic, it’s just fun to actually “get” the references.
  • I’m a huge fan of fantasy and all of the magic that typically accompanies those kinds of stories, but another appeal of contemporary fiction for me is just seeing ordinary, everyday people (Muggles, lol) facing and overcoming difficulties without the assistance of any kind of special powers.  Anne from Books of My Heart commented on one of my reviews this week and she says she calls this “Life Fiction” and I I really liked the term.
  • Along the same lines, I also love contemporary fiction in that it often just gives us a snapshot of a character or characters’ everyday lives.  Sometimes I just think it’s fun to get a glimpse into a day in the life of someone else.
  • Another huge appeal of contemporary fiction for me is that it feeds my inner mood reader because there’s such a wide range of subject possibilities, not to mention that you can easily find either a light, fluffy read or an emotional one that will have you grabbing for the tissues.  There’s a book for every mood!
  • I can’t forget to talk about the diversity.  Contemporary fiction is doing such a wonderful job with representation these days.  I love that there’s so much representation out there for different races, cultures, religion, the LGBTQ community, mental illness, and so much more.
  • I also love contemporary fiction because it is in these kinds of stories that I most often see myself in the characters.  They are definitely more relatable to me than a fantasy character or even a character from historical fiction.
  • Romance is also a draw for me when it come to contemporary fiction, mainly because it seems to be the place where I find my favorite tropes and that snarky, witty banter that I love so much.
  • Last but not least, the covers!  I know I shouldn’t judge books by their covers but I totally do and I adore the covers for contemporary fiction reads, especially if they’re those cute illustrated covers that seem to be the trend now.



Question:  Do you read contemporary fiction?  What do you enjoy about it?


Top Ten Tuesday – The Last Ten Books I Abandoned

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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is The Last Ten Books I Abandoned (this could be books you DNFed, books you decided you were no longer interested in, etc.).  I used to struggle with DNFing books and would make myself finish them even if I wasn’t enjoying the experience at all.  I’ve been getting better about abandoning books that aren’t working for me, but I admit the temptation to keep going is always there.  Below are some of the most recent books I’ve given up on and why.


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The Last Ten Books I Abandoned


1. CURSED by Thomas Wheeler

I loved the idea of a King Arthur retelling that focuses on the Lady of the Lake, but just couldn’t get into the book at all. I didn’t feel any connection to the characters and thus didn’t feel invested in their story at all so I quit the book.  It’s supposed to be made into a Netflix series so I may give it a second look then. We’ll see.

(Find out what it’s about…)


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I thought I would enjoy this story of two outcasts who become friends, but I just couldn’t get into it at all. While I liked the two main characters, Billy and Lydia, Billy came across as way younger than Lydia and they felt sort of mismatched to me, so much so that it kept pulling me out of the story until I finally gave up on it.


(Find out what it’s about…)

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3.  PLEASE SEND HELP by Gaby Dunn

I don’t know that there was necessarily anything bad about this book but when I originally requested it from Netgalley, I had no idea that it was a sequel. I tried to read it anyway but wasn’t a fan of the text and email format.  Sometimes that works for me, but here it wasn’t, perhaps because I didn’t know enough about the two main characters not having read the first book.  I wasn’t invested enough to go back and get the first one, so I chose to DNF.


(Find out what it’s about…)

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4. LIFE AND LIMB by Jennifer Roberson

When I read the blurb for this, I thought it sounded like such an original premise:  “A biker and a cowboy must stop the apocalypse in the first book of the Blood and Bone modern western fantasy series.”  Actually, even reading that now, it still sounds amazing. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t settle into the story at all so I gave up. The only notes I made about it were “OMG, get on with it already.” and another scribble about the characters just saying the same thing over and over again.

(Find out what it’s about…)

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5. NAMELESS QUEEN by Rebecca McLaughlin

I didn’t connect with the main character at all in this one.  I went into the story hoping for an underdog I could really root for, but instead, Coin was one of those too good to be true protagonists, who just knows how to do everything and do it well, which I just found annoying.  I was also in the middle of a big fantasy slump so that probably didn’t help matters.

(Find out what it’s about…)

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6. THE DOLL FACTORY by Elizabeth Macneal

I knew going in that this was a dark tale of obsession, but I found it very slow moving at the beginning and dark and twisted in a way that made me very uncomfortable.  I was not a fan of the taxidermy angle at all, so I quit the book.

(Find out what it’s about…)

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7. SONG OF THE ABYSS by Makiia Lucier

I DNF’ed this one because I didn’t realize it was the second book in a series when I requested it from Netgalley and didn’t have time to go back and read the first. They both actually have quite high marks on Goodreads though so I’ll probably read this series at some point.

(Find out what it’s about…)

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8. THE VANISHED BIRDS by Simon Jimenez

I was unfortunately in the midst of a big fantasy slump when I tried to read this book.  It’s another that has high marks on Goodreads so I may actually revisit it at some point and give it a fair shake since I’m pretty sure the problem was me and not the book.

(Find out what it’s about…)

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9. AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman

I don’t know what it is about this book but I’ve tried to read it twice and DNF’ed both times.

I’ve loved many of his other titles but just can’t seem to get into this one at all.

(Find out what it’s about…)

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10. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

I think this book is probably amazing based on Murakami’s other books but I honestly just got lazy and decided I didn’t want to read a 925 page story of magical realism.  Maybe someday I’ll revisit it.

(Find out what it’s about…)

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Question:  Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Must-Haves For My Bookish Party

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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Things I’d Have at My Bookish Party (Choose 10 things: items, accessories, foods, people (real or fictional), decorations, activities, etc. You can also choose a party if you’d like: book launch, book club, book-themed wedding reception/birthday party/bridal or baby shower/Anniversary, book event, etc.).

Wow, this was such a hard topic for me. 1) I’m a major introvert and rarely even attend parties, much less host them, and 2) I tend to like cheesy, dorky things so even if I were to throw a party and people actually showed up, I think they’d probably take a look around and run for the nearest exit.

If I were to throw a bookish party though, it would be a one-time only thing. My introverted little heart couldn’t take the stress of it becoming a regular thing, lol. And because it would be a one-time only event, it would have to include a hodge podge of all of my bookish favorites, the dorkier the better.


10 Must-Haves For My Bookish Party



I would go all Martha Stewart, bookish style, when it came to decorating.  Here are just a couple of decorating ideas I saw while motoring around on Pinterest. Even though the first one is in a child’s room, I love the idea of hanging books overhead as decorations.  It’s budget-friendly too since I already own tons of books, lol.  I also love the whimsical signs on the right.  They reference so many of my favorite books.




Even though my decorations could possibly be considered childish, I promise this would be a party for adults and that there would be plenty of alcohol.  In keeping with my love of all things dorky, I’d definitely give them book-themed names like these.



I would make use of the many book-themed cookbooks out there to put together an assortment of appetizers based on books that hopefully everyone would recognize.  This Happy Potter book is more geared towards kids, but there were also some more “grown up” selections in there.



I’m all about feeding people so I would definitely have a full meal as well, also based on some favorite and/or popular books.  Comfort foods seemed to call to me as I was considering a menu. Perhaps my anxiety kicking up at the thought of having a party, haha!



It might be the lockdown/quarantine talking, but I think bookish board games would be a must-have as well.



And because I clearly haven’t stuffed my party guests enough, we would need bookish themed desserts as well.  Maybe a giant book-themed cake of my favorite books or some bookish themed cookies that are almost too cute to eat.




I keep thinking of The Last Bookstore in L.A. and the circle of books that people pose for pics in.

I think something like that or an arch would be fun for party pics.



I would probably cheat on this one and use movie soundtracks

but I think it would be fun to have playlists based on favorite books playing in the background.



If people have made it this far into my party, I think the least that should happen is they should walk away with some new books.  Book swap!



How fun are these?!



Question:  What would you consider a must-have if you were throwing a bookish party?


Top Ten Tuesday – Book Series I Wish Had Existed When I was a Kid


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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually Books I Wish I Had Read As a Child.  I tweaked it a bit because I honestly couldn’t think of many titles that I wish I had read as a child but didn’t get around to.  What I decided to share today instead are book series I wish had been around when I was growing up.  I know I’m totally dating myself with this list, but none of these gems had been written yet when I was a child.  The oldest on my list is the Magic Tree House series and I was already in college when that was first published.  Now that’s not to say I didn’t have many fabulous series to choose from when I was younger – The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, etc., but man, so many great series have come out since I started adulting.  I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to read them with my son, but I really wish I had had the opportunity to read them for the first time when I was his age.




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Book Series I Wish Had Existed When I was a Kid

(in no particular order)


HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling


THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi


HIS DARK MATERIALS by Philip Pullman

ARTEMIS FOWL by Erin Colfer


SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman


THE MAGIC TREE HOUSE by Mary Pope Osborne


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Do you have any series you wish had been around when you were growing up?

Top Ten Tuesday – Book Titles That Would Make Great Band Names


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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Titles That Would Make Good Band Names.  I thought this was a fun topic and what surprised me as I was looking at the titles on my shelves was just how well so many titles would work as names for bands.  My only struggle was just picking 10!  Fantasy titles seem to work especially well, in my head anyway, lol.  I’m imagining the titles I’ve chosen as either head-banging 80’s hair bands or something a little more modern, like alternative bands.

My son looked at me strangely when I added Turtles All the Way Down to my list, but I say if Bowling For Soup, the Barenaked Ladies, and Toad the Wet Sprocket can be band names, why not Turtles All the Way Down?




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Book Titles That Would Make Great Band Names

(in no particular order)













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Could you see any of these titles as band names?