Tag Archive for: top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read


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 Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read.  In my head, I call this “The List of Shame.”  Those books I just had to have, couldn’t wait to get my hands on them, and then proceed to let them sit on my shelf for months or even years before I finally get around to reading them.  I did finally put a dent in the last list I made like this, but there are always more to share.  The biggest trend I see is that I’ve neglected my fantasy reading for a while now. During the pandemic I have craved pretty much exclusively romance so all of those fantasy novels I was dying to read got pushed aside.  I did finally read the entire Poppy Wars trilogy this year though so I’m hoping to start working my way through all of these series as well.  I think the book that has the “honor” of sitting on my shelf unread the longest is Uprooted.  I didn’t love Spinning Silver as much as I hoped to so I’ve kind of lost interest in Uprooted as a result.  Honestly the only reason I haven’t just gotten rid of it is that the cover is so stunning, lol.

10 Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read



1. EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE by Jay Kristoff

2. THE CITY OF BRASS by S.A. Chakraborty

3.  THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Bardugo

4.  UPROOTED by Naomi Novik

5. AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS by Margaret Rogerson

6. THE NEAR WITCH by V.E. Schwab

7.  THE DRY by Jane Harper

8.  THE COUSINS by Karen McManus

9. WHEN WE LEFT CUBA by Chanel Cleeton

10. THE FRIEND ZONE by Abby Jimenez

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Question:  Do you have books sitting around that you just had to have, but have still yet to read them?

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Bookish Characters I’ve Encountered in My Recent Reads


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 Bookish Characters.  I love books about books and bookish characters so I’ve already shared lists of my favorites over the years.  This time around, so as not to duplicate, I decided to share some more recent bookish characters I’ve come across in my readings.  There are definitely a few new favorites in these books. 🙂

Ten Bookish Characters I’ve Encountered in My Recent Reads



1. ISABELLE from BY THE BOOK by Jasmine Guillory

The story is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and the Belle character works in the publishing industry and is tasked with helping the Beast character write his memoir.



An enemies to lovers romance that features a take-no-prisoners literary agent and the guy she thinks is her nemesis, a handsome broody book editor.



Cussy Carter is a lonely young Appalachian woman who joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky. She befriends fellow Kentuckians and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.


4.  LANIE BLOOM from BY ANY OTHER NAME by Lauren Kate

Lanie Bloom became a romance book editor because she was inspired by her favorite romance author, Noa Calloway. When a once in a lifetime opportunity comes along for her to work directly with Noa, Lanie is in for an unexpected surprise that turns everything she thought she knew upside down.



Librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.


6. NORA HUGHES from MUST LOVE BOOKS by Shauna Robinson

When Nora landed an editorial assistant position at Parsons Press, it was her first step towards The Dream Job. Because, honestly, is there anything dreamier than making books for a living? But after five years of lunch orders, finicky authors, and per my last emails, Nora has come to one grand conclusion: Dream Jobs do not exist.

With her life spiraling and the Parsons staff sinking, Nora gets hit with even worse news. Parsons is cutting her already unlivable salary. Unable to afford her rent and without even the novels she once loved as a comfort, Nora decides to moonlight for a rival publisher to make ends meet…and maybe poach some Parsons’ authors along the way.

But when Andrew Santos, a bestselling Parsons author no one can afford to lose is thrown into the mix, Nora has to decide where her loyalties lie. Her new Dream Job, ever-optimistic Andrew, or…herself and her future.


7.  ODILE SOUCHET from THE PARIS LIBRARY by Janet Skeslien Charles

It’s 1939 and young and ambitious Odile Souchet has her dream job working at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.


8.  KATRINA FREELING and NATHAN VAN HUYSEN from THE ROUGHEST DRAFT by Emily Wibberly & Austin Siegemund-Broka

This story follows a pair of cowriters, Katrina and Nathan, who, after penning a best-selling novel together, had a major falling out and haven’t spoken to each other in three years. There’s major tension when they have to reuinite to write one more book to fulfill their contract.



Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love—albeit fictional. As a bestselling romance novelist and influential bookstagrammer, she’s fine with getting her happily-ever-after fix between the covers of a book.

But right now? Not only is Kara’s best friend getting married next week—which means big wedding stress—but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word. The last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love, Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear in the wedding party. But Ryan’s unexpected arrival sparks a creative awakening in Kara that inspires the steamy historical romance she desperately needs to deliver.


10. MARY PORTER-MALCOLM from BY THE BOOK by Amanda Sellet

As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.


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Question:  Are you familiar with any of these characters?

Top Ten Tuesday: One-Word Reviews for the Last 10 Books I Read But Didn’t Review 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 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 One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read.  I’ve already reviewed most of the last ten books I read on the blog, so I’ve decided to focus on the last ten books I read but didn’t already review on the blog. I also think this is a great topic since it challenges me to think of better words than amazing, wonderful, great, loved, etc.

One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read But Didn’t Review on My Blog



2.  ALWAYS JANE by Jenn Bennett  – CHAOTIC

3.  BLOOD SCION by Deborah Falaye  – BRUTAL

4.  THE DUKE AND I by Julia Quinn  –  DELECTABLE





9. VERITY by Colleen Hoover – JAW-DROPPING


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Question:  Have your read any of these?  How would you describe them in one word?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Feature Umbrellas on their 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 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 with [___] On the Cover (Pick a thing (a color, an item, a place, an animal, a scripty font, a sexy person, etc.) and share covers that have that thing on the cover).  I have no idea why, but the first thing that popped into my head when I saw this topic was UMBRELLAS (maybe it’s hearing the expression April showers bring May flowers so much lately, lol).  Whatever the reason, that’s what I’m sharing this week. 🙂

Books That Feature Umbrellas on their Covers



1. A HUNDRED SUMMERS by Beatriz Williams

2.  CUTTING FOR STONE by Abraham Verghese

3.  WEATHER GIRL by Rachel Lynn Solomon


5. HAPPY NEVER AFTER by Mary Kay Andrews

6. LADIES’ NIGHT by Mary Kay Andrews

7.  MARY POPPINS by P. L. Travers

8.  THE FAVORITE SISTER by Jessica Knoll

9. THE IDENTICALS by Elin Hilderbrand

10. THE NANNY DIARIES by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

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Question:  Can you think of any other books that feature umbrellas on their covers?

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own


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 Bookish Merchandise I’d Like to Own.  These kinds of topics are always fun because there’s so much great bookish merchandise out there, and I of course, want it all, lol.  Here’s my most recent list of bookish items I’ve had my eye on.  If you’re interested in purchasing any of these items, the pictures are all linked back to the shops that are selling them.


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Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own


1. Bookish Statement T-Shirt

I’ve had my eye on this “Ban bigots, not books” t shirt ever since two of my county’s school board members made the national news for advocating the burning of books they didn’t like.  It’s a super cute tee and the statement is very effective.



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2. Funny Bookish T-Shirt


I also love funny t-shirt and this shirt featuring someone drowning under their TBR pile cracked me up, haha.



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3. Bookish Tote Bags


I have an obsession with bookish tote bags and probably have a lifetime supply of them already, but I can’t resist adding to my collection whenever a cute one like this catches my eye.



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4. Bookish Mugs


I’m not sure which is worse, my bookish tote obsession or my bookish mug obsession. I literally have no more room for mugs in my cabinet and that’s the only thing that has stopped me from buying this fun one.



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5. Bookish Quote Postcards


These caught my eye, not because I actually mail postcards to anyone, but I thought the collection of them might be cute framed on a wall in my library/office.



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6. Bookish Embroidery


If work ever slows down to the point where I don’t spend most of my free time napping, I’d love to learn how to embroider and this cute bookish beginner kit caught my eye.



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7. Bookish Cross Stitch Kit


I may end up taking the lazy way out though since I at least do already know how to do cross stitch, so here’s another crafty kit I’ve been eyeing on Etsy.


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8. Enamel Pins


I collect enamel pins too.  I have a fabric covered decorative board in my office and I display my pins on that. I thought this one was really cute.


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9. Bookish Themed Candles


This romance-themed candle is scented with rosewood, lilac, and blackberry. Doesn’t that sound like it would smell incredible? I really need to get one of these.

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I still mostly use receipts for my actual bookmarks, but I do love to collect bookmarks.  I don’t have many author-specific ones, but my newfound love of Colleen Hoover’s books made me zero in on this fun one, which is a bookstack of all of her novels.



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Question:  Do you love bookish merchandise?  What kinds of bookish items would you love to own?

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Authors I Haven’t Read Yet, But Plan to in 2022


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 Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To.  This was a pretty easy topic for me since I almost always have an ongoing list of authors I want to try.  Today I’m sharing a list of mostly romance authors that I’m planning to try for the first time this year, as well as the actual book I’m planning to start with.  Since I drafted this post, I’ve actually started reading the Julia Quinn book.  After I binge watched season 2 of Bridgerton on Netflix a couple of weekends ago, I couldn’t resist diving into the book series that inspired the show.

Ten Authors I Haven’t Read Yet, But Plan to in 2022













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Question:  Have you read any of these authors?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year


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 a Freebie so I thought it would be fun to, since we’re at the end of the first quarter of 2022, to share my top ten favorite reads so far this year.  I’ll link them to either my reviews here if I reviewed them on the blog or to Goodreads if it was an amazing book that I had no words for or an older book since I’m mainly just reviewing ARCs on the blog these days.

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year



1. ALL YOUR PERFECTS by Colleen Hoover

2.  GALLANT by V.E. Schwab

3.  THE BOOK OF COLD CASES by Simone St. James


5. ONE NIGHT ON THE ISLAND by Josie Silver


7.  IT ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover

8.  THE WEDDING VEIL by Kristy Woodson Harvey

9. MR. WRONG NUMBER by Lynn Painter

10. BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE by Fredrik Backman


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Question:  Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – 21st Century Novels I Think Will Become Classics


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 21st Century Books I Think Will Become Classics.  When I think of classics, I immediately think of the books I had to read for high school and college, but what was it about those titles that made them classics?  According to masterclass.com, there are four key characteristics that novels deemed as classics tend to share:  1) a memorable protagonist, 2) they say something profound about the human condition, 3) every time you re-read a classic, you find more meaning in it, and 4) the story stands the test of time so that no matter when a reader is reading it, the story still resonates.

21st Century Novels I Think Will Become Classics



1. A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman

If having a memorable protagonist is part of the criteria for becoming a classic, it doesn’t get much more memorable than the loveable curmudgeon Ove.  The story is also beautifully written and contains themes that definitely stand the test of time – particularly those of love and loss, and letting people into your heart.



If there were ever a character to rival Ove in terms of being unforgettable, that character has to be the one and only Evelyn Hugo.  She’s an aging and reclusive Hollywood film star who has finally decided it’s time to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.  As she unapologetically lets her story unfold, we learn that Evelyn was in love with a woman at a time in history when it was socially unacceptable to do so. A major theme that I think would stand the test of time is one of her most memorable lines from the book:  “Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box. Don’t do that.”


3.  THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

My own list here is filled with books set around the time of WWII, but I think The Book Thief is one of the most unique and unforgettable WWII novels I’ve ever read, one) for its focus on books and fostering a love of reading, and two) because Death features as a character/narrator.


4.  THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah

This quote from Goodreads pretty well sums up why I think The Nightingale is destined to be a classic:  “The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.”



Another novel I think could easily become a classic based on these themes that resonate:  “In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps. The story asks how isolation influences the behavior of a young woman, who like all of us, has the genetic propensity to belong to a group. The clues to the mystery are brushed into the lush habitat and natural histories of its wild creatures.” (Goodreads)



I chose this TJ Klune novel because I think there should be more fantasy novels in what we consider to be classics and I think this one fits the bill. It features quirky, unforgettable characters with Wallace, Hugo, and Mei, a wonderful found family element, and it’s a beautifully written story about life, love, loss, and what it means to truly live.


7.  SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys

Honestly, I think any of Sepetys’ novels could easily become categorized as classics some day.  She has a real gift for storytelling and every book I’ve read of hers has packed an emotional punch.  I chose Salt to the Sea because of its focus on a maritime disaster that isn’t very well known – when, in 1945, a Soviet submarine sank a German cruise liner that was supposed to ferry wartime personnel and refugees to safety from the advancing Red Army.  Sepetys powerfully portrays the brutality of war as well as the strength of the human spirit as she unfolds this tragedy before us.  Such an incredibly powerful read, particularly as we are currently watching another brutal war in progress.


8.  THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller

I chose this book because as popular as retellings are these days, it seems like some of them ought to make it to the status of classic, and I feel like this gorgeous retelling of The Illiad with its main focus between Achilles’ relationship with Patroclus.  Again, we have unforgettable characters, this time taken from Greek mythology, as well as themes that will stand the test of time.  This book also packs a major emotional punch in a way that brings this story to life in a more accessible way than the original classic.



I know, I know, it’s yet another WWII historical fiction novel.  This one is about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.  I’m not even going to lie – I don’t remember much about this book myself except that I loved it so much I couldn’t put it into words.  My review on Goodreads is quite simply that this is “one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read.” I remember being so emotionally invested in the two main characters but not much else. I chose this one primarily because as of today, it has received 1,270,065 ratings on Goodreads, with an average rating of 4.32.  With numbers like that, it ought to have some staying power.

10. ONCE UPON A WARDROBE by Patti Callahan

I chose this book because I think it is a gem of a book that deserves so much more attention that it seems to be getting.  I loved the story’s focus on both a beloved author, C.S. Lewis, and his most beloved books, The Chronicles of Narnia.  I feel like that subject matter as well as its major theme of “the lengths we’ll go to for those we love” make this a timeless read.


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Question:  Have you read any of these?  Do you think any of them will eventually become classics?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books on My Spring To-Read List


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 supposed to be Books with an Adjective in the Title, but that one was just making me question my grammatical skills so I decided to go back and do the topic I missed last week while I was on a blogging break.  So this week I’ll be sharing ten books from my Spring TBR that I’m really excited about.

Top Ten Books on My Spring To-Read List



1. BOOK OF NIGHT by Holly Black

#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus.  In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.

Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.


2.  BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry

“Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.  Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away…But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor…If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.”


3.  FOUR AUNTIES AND A WEDDING by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The aunties are back, fiercer than ever and ready to handle any catastrophe–even the mafia–in this delightful and hilarious sequel by Jesse Q. Sutanto, author of Dial A for Aunties.

Meddy Chan has been to countless weddings, but she never imagined how her own would turn out. Now the day has arrived, and she can’t wait to marry her college sweetheart, Nathan. Instead of having Ma and the aunts cater to her wedding, Meddy wants them to enjoy the day as guests. As a compromise, they find the perfect wedding vendors: a Chinese-Indonesian family-run company just like theirs. Meddy is hesitant at first, but she hits it off right away with the wedding photographer, Staphanie, who reminds Meddy of herself, down to the unfortunately misspelled name. Meddy realizes that is where their similarities end, however, when she overhears Staphanie talking about taking out a target. Horrified, Meddy can’t believe Staphanie and her family aren’t just like her own, they are The Family–actual mafia, and they’re using Meddy’s wedding as a chance to conduct shady business. Her aunties and mother won’t let Meddy’s wedding ceremony become a murder scene–over their dead bodies–and will do whatever it takes to save her special day, even if it means taking on the mafia.



When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn’t expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren’t sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work for them.


5. BLOOD SCION by Deborah Falaye

This is what they deserve. They wanted me to be a monster. I will be the worst monster they ever created.

Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods. Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within. Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely, and becoming the very monster that she ahbors.

Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, this deeply felt and emotionally charged debut from Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and Daughter of Smoke and Bone that will utterly thrill and capture readers.


6. LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY by Bonnie Garmus

A delight for readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, this blockbuster debut set in 1960s California features the singular voice of Elizabeth Zott, a scientist whose career takes a detour when she becomes the star of a beloved TV cooking show.

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with–of all things–her mind. True chemistry results.  But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.


7.  THE NO-SHOW by Beth O-Leary

Three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they’re involved with the same man in this smart new rom-com by Beth O’Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare.  Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth. These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: They’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up–Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.

Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they let him back into their lives and are in serious danger of falling in love with a man who seems to have not just one or two but three women on the go…. Is there more to him than meets the eye? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?


8.  I KISSED SHARA WHEELER by Casey McQuiston

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop and Red, White & Royal Blue comes a debut YA romantic comedy about chasing down what you want, only to find what you need…

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.  But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square. Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.


9. THE WEDDING VEIL by Kristy Woodson Harvey

The New York Times bestselling author of Under the Southern Sky and the Peachtree Bluff series brings “her signature wit, charm, and heart” (Woman’s World) to this sweeping new novel following four women across generations, bound by a beautiful wedding veil and a connection to the famous Vanderbilt family.

Four women. One family heirloom. A secret connection that will change their lives—and history as they know it.

Present Day: Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head. Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago.

1914: Socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to manage the luxurious Biltmore Estate after the untimely death of her cherished husband. With 250 rooms to oversee and an entire village dependent on her family to stay afloat, Edith is determined to uphold the Vanderbilt legacy—and prepare her free-spirited daughter Cornelia to inherit it—in spite of her family’s deteriorating financial situation. But Cornelia has dreams of her own. Asheville, North Carolina has always been her safe haven away from the prying eyes of the press, but as she explores more of the rapidly changing world around her, she’s torn between upholding tradition and pursuing the exciting future that lies beyond Biltmore’s gilded gates.

In the vein of Therese Anne Fowler’s A Well-Behaved Woman and Jennifer Robson’s The GownThe Wedding Veil brings to vivid life a group of remarkable women forging their own paths—and explores the mystery of a national heirloom lost to time.


10. SOMETHING WILDER by Christina Lauren

Growing up the daughter of notorious treasure hunter and absentee father Duke Wilder left Lily without much patience for the profession…or much money in the bank. But Lily is nothing if not resourceful, and now uses Duke’s coveted hand-drawn maps to guide tourists on fake treasure hunts through the red rock canyons of Utah. It pays the bills but doesn’t leave enough to fulfill her dream of buying back the beloved ranch her father sold years ago, and definitely not enough to deal with the sight of the man she once loved walking back into her life with a motley crew of friends ready to hit the trails. Frankly, Lily would like to take him out into the wilderness—and leave him there.

Leo Grady knew mirages were a thing in the desert, but they’d barely left civilization when the silhouette of his greatest regret comes into focus in the flickering light of the campfire. Ready to leave the past behind him, Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily Wilder is all business, drawing a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen.

But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. There’s a chance to right the wrongs—of Duke’s past and their own—but only if Leo and Lily can confront their history and work together. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives and hearts on the adventure of a lifetime.


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Question:  Are you planning to read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – My Favorite Grumpy/Sunshine Romances


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 With Your Favorite Trope/Theme.  I have to admit that I’m pretty obsessed with grumpy/sunshine romances right now, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite romances that feature that trope. (All synopses taken from Goodreads)

My Favorite Grumpy/Sunshine Romances




1. THE SINGLES TABLE by Sara Desai

Opposites attract in this romantic comedy about a free-spirited lawyer who is determined to find the perfect match for the grumpy bachelor at her friend’s wedding.


2.  IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER by Tessa Bailey

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong. 


3.  ACT YOUR AGE, EVE BROWN by Talia Hibbert

In Act Your Age, Eve Brown the flightiest Brown sister crashes into the life of an uptight B&B owner and has him falling hard—literally.



On Goodreads, Hall describes this book as: “It’s a big gay regency romp about an overly dramatic beautiful rainbow sunshine unicorn and an overly dramatic demisexual grumpy duke, going on a cross-country chase.”


5. BATTLE ROYAL by Lucy Parker

Dominic is His Majesty the King’s favorite baker, the go-to for sweet-toothed A-List celebrities, and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that the irksome Sylvie will be joining him on the Operation Cake judging panel is enough to make the famously dour baker even more grim. Her fantastical baking is only slightly more troublesome than the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her pink-streaked hair and irrepressible dimple.  When Dominic and Sylvie learn they will be fighting for the once in a lifetime opportunity to bake a cake for the upcoming wedding of Princess Rose, the flour begins to fly as they’re both determined to come out on top.


6. THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood is quite possibly the sweetest, most adorable romance novel I’ve ever read. It checked so many boxes for me (a STEM heroine, the fake dating trope, grumpy/sunshine, hilarious banter, and so much more) and it just had me grinning from ear to ear pretty much the entire time I was reading.


7.  WELL MET by Jen DeLuca

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.  Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?


8.  THE SOULMATE EQUATION by Christina Lauren

The story follows Jess Davis, a freelance statistician.  Her passion is crunching numbers all day.  Jess has no time or interest in dating, but her curiosity about the data and the science behind a new DNA-based dating app called GeneticAlly leads her to actually submit a sample of her DNA to see if it actually works.  Even though she’s all about science and numbers, when she is found to be 98% compatible with another subject in the database, she is skeptical, especially because she has actually met the guy and can’t stand him! He’s gruff, arrogant, rude, and obnoxious, or is he?  As Jess starts to get to know him, she realizes she may have been a bit hasty and overly harsh in her initial assessment.


9. WRITTEN IN THE STARS by Alexandria Bellefleur

With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!


10. BEACH READ by Emily Henry

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.  Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They’re polar opposites. Until, one hazy evening, when one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel.


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Question:  Have you read any of these?