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Top Ten Tuesday – Books On My Fall 2020 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 on My Fall 2020 TBR.  Normally I would just share 10 ARCs that I’m planning to read, but since one of my major goals for this year is to read at least 50 books I already own (I’m almost finished with number 40 now), I’ve decided to share 5 ARCs and 5 books from my bookshelf that I’m really hoping to get to this fall.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2020 TBR

ARCS:

 

CHASING LUCKY by Jenn Bennett

Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…

 

THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES by Alix E. Harrow

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

 

MAGIC LESSONS by Alice Hoffman

In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.

 

INVISIBLE GIRL by Lisa Jewell

The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.  In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read”

 

CRAZY STUPID BROMANCE by Lyssa Kay Adams

A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance.

Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.

Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush.

Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.

 

Older Books I Own:

 

SUMMER OF ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century! It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer with their grandmother in Nantucket: but this year Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, a nursing student, is caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests, a passion which takes her to Martha’s Vineyard with her best friend, Mary Jo Kopechne. Only son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother who is hiding some secrets of her own. As the summer heats up, Teddy Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, a man flies to the moon, and Jessie experiences some sinking and flying herself, as she grows into her own body and mind.

 

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.

 

GODSGRAVE by Jay Kristoff

Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia’s suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.

 

THE TOLL by Neal Shusterman

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

 

A HEART SO FIERCE AND BROKEN by Brigid Kemmerer

Honestly, I would have loved to have all of Becky Albertalli’s books in my life growing up, just because they always leave me with a smile on my face.  This one just really stands out to me since the main character is specifically dealing with anxiety and fears of rejection. I identified strongly with Molly reading this book as an adult and it think it would have been an even more powerful read for me as a teen.

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What books are you planning to read this fall?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books for My Younger Self

 

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 for My Younger Self (These could be books you wish you had read as a child, books younger you could have really learned something from, books that meshed with your hobbies/interests, books that could have helped you go through events/changes in your life, etc.).

I decided to go the “books that could have helped you go through events/changes in your life” route because when I thought about the topic, it immediately started making me think back to some tough times I went through when I was growing up.  I’ve been an introvert all my life, but when I was growing up, I was also just flat out painfully shy and it was hard to make friends.  I also went through a period, right around the time my parents were fighting and ultimately divorced, where I was terrified of being abandoned.  I used to have nightmares about it and ended up seeing a counselor about it for a while.  I was always afraid, stressed out, and anxious about the state of my life.  Thankfully I moved past that stage pretty quickly, but to this day, I’m still shy and struggle to open up and make friends.  The books I’ve listed below are books I think could have helped me better deal with certain stresses in my earlier life, or at least know that I wasn’t alone in my struggles, and also just escape from the stress of it all.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday:  Books for My Younger Self

(in no particular order)

 

FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

I think Fangirl would have helped me know I wasn’t alone when it comes to social anxiety. Plus it shows a huge positive in that even if you move away to go to college and leave all of your friends behind, it is possible to find a new friend group and fit in just fine.  That message would have helped me tremendously.

 

ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS by Francesca Zappia

Similar to Fangirl, I think this book would have helped me know I wasn’t alone in what I was going through.

 

DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy

I wish this book had been around when I was growing up because I think Willowdean is such a great role model for girls. I think she would have given me a much needed boost of confidence.

 

THE HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K. Rowling

I wish this series had been around when I was growing up 1) because of Hermione. I think seeing that a total brainiac could also be a badass would have done wonders for me, 2) again another positive example about how you can go away to school and become almost a “found family” with your schoolmates, and finally 3), what an amazing escape from reality this series would have been for me.  As much as I adored it as an adult, I can only imagine how much more it would have blown away my younger self.

 

THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS SERIES by Cassandra Clare

I would have loved this series both for Clary as a strong female heroine and for the ultimate escape from reality.  As you can tell, I was obviously lacking YA fantasy series growing up.  Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia were pretty much all I had.

 

THRONE OF GLASS SERIES by Sarah J. Maas

Another fantastic escape from reality with a totally badass heroine who also loves to read.  Celeana’s ability to make it through anything would have been a great motivator for me when I was struggling.

 

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU by Laura Silverman

One of the subplots of this YA contemporary is that the main character’s parents are fighting and seem to be on the verge of divorce. I think a book like this would have been so helpful for me to know I wasn’t alone in the sense of being caught in the middle and not knowing what to do.

 

SIX OF CROWS DUOLOGY by Leigh Bardugo

There’s lots to love about this series but it makes my list today because of Kaz and his team and that “found family” vibe they have, especially the further into the series we go.  I love the idea that no matter how mismatched a group of people may seem, they can still bond and look out for each other.  I would have loved that reassurance when I was leaving home for college for the first time.

 

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky

I don’t think this book would have cheered me up or provided me with an escape when I was growing up, but I do think it would help me to understand some of what I was experiencing and that I wasn’t alone in feeling the way I did.

 

THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED by Becky Albertalli

Honestly, I would have loved to have all of Becky Albertalli’s books in my life growing up, just because they always leave me with a smile on my face.  This one just really stands out to me since the main character is specifically dealing with anxiety and fears of rejection. I identified strongly with Molly reading this book as an adult and it think it would have been an even more powerful read for me as a teen.

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Have you read any of these? What books would have helped you if they had been around when you were growing up?

Top Ten Tuesday – I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

 

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 that Make Me Hungry (They could have food items on the cover, foods in the title, be about foodies or have food as a main plot point… they could be cookbooks or memoirs, etc.).  Even though my son has gone back to school, it is technically still summer. Temps are still hovering the 90s and ice cream has been on my mind so I thought it be fun to share some covers that feature ice cream on them.

 

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Books with Ice Cream on their Cover

(in no particular order)

 

LOVE& GELATO by Jenna Evans Welch

THE UNLIKELIES by Carrie Firestone

LOVE A LA MODE by Stephanie Kate Strohm

FULL SCOOP by Janet Evanovich & Charlotte Hughes

SUPERFUDGE by Judy Blume

STAY SWEET by Siobhan Vivian

THE ICE CREAM QUEEN OF ORCHARD STREET by Susan Jane Gilman

REVENGE, ICE CREAM, AND OTHER THINGS SERVED COLD by Katie Finn

SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE by Morgan Matson

THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING by Morgan Matson

 

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Have you read any of these? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Mine is ALL the flavors. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – Questions I Would Ask My Favorite Authors

 

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 Questions I Would Ask My Favorite Authors.  This is a fun topic, mainly just because I loved even imagining the possibility of interviewing any of my favorite authors.  Assuming that I wouldn’t just turn into a blubbering fangirl mess at the idea of actually talking to them, these are some questions I’d love to know the answers to.  I made one list of questions, but the authors I’d most love to ask them to are Victoria Schwab, Leigh Bardugo, Kristin Hannah, Alice Hoffman, Judy Blume, Marie Lu, Rick Riordan, and Becky Albertalli.

 

 

via GIPHY

 

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Questions I Would Ask My Favorite Authors

 

  • If you had to pick a favorite characters from all of the books you’ve written, who would you choose and why?
  • Which of your books are you most proud of and why?
  • What do you find to be the easiest part of the writing process?  The hardest?
  • Do you miss any of the characters from your books?  If so and you could write an epilogue for them, what do you see them doing now?
  • Do you have any interesting writing quirks or rituals you would like to share?
  • Have you always wanted to be a writer?  If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing for a living instead?
  • What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
  • What is your all time favorite book?  Tell me why it’s so special to you.
  • If you could give an aspiring author one single piece of advice, what would you tell them?
  • And a silly one just to wrap up – what’s your favorite food to snack on while you’re writing?

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Question:  Who’s an author you would love to interview?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’d Love to See Adapted for Netflix or Hulu

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 that Should be Adapted into Netflix Shows/Movies.  I’m really feeling this topic because I recently watched the Hulu adaptation of Love, Victor, which ties into Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.  They did such a great job with the series that it has really had my wheels turning about what other books I love would make great movies or TV series.  I have confined my topic to Netflix and Hulu mainly just because those are the two streaming services I have and I’m honestly not willing to go out and subscribe to every single service there is out there.  So yeah, I want to see these bad boys show up on something I’m already paying for.

 

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Books I’d Love to See Adapted for Netflix or Hulu

 

1. SHADES OF MAGIC by VICTORIA (V.E.) SCHWAB

 

 

My favorite fantasy series is of course at the top of my list of books I’d love to see brought to life onscreen.

It makes me giddy even thinking about actually seeing Kell, Lila, Rhys, and the Four Londons.

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2. THE LUNAR CHRONICLES by MARISSA MEYER

 

Next on my list is my favorite fairy tale retelling, the futuristic Lunar Chronicles.

I think it would just be such much fun to actually watch these

characters in action and see all of the shout outs to the original fairy tales.

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3.  CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber

 

Although I’ll admit that the purple prose in these books occasionally felt a little much,

I think translating that same prose into an actual visual would make for a glorious series or movie.

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4. THE BROWN SISTERS by Talia Hibbert

 

 

I adore Chloe and Dani Brown (and also can’t wait to meet their sister Eve in the upcoming third book).

I think their stories would just make for the cutest, sexiest rom-coms.

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5. ONCE UPON A CON by ASHLEY POSTON

 

   

This is another fairytale retelling that I think would make a fun movie or series.

I’d love to get to actually attend the cool conferences we read about in these books.

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6. LOVE FROM A TO Z by S.K. ALI

 

Adam and Zayneb were just so precious and I think it would make for a great Netflix film.

It has the perfect balance of super cute romance, with more serious topics covered as well.

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After watching the film Love, Simon and the Hulu series Love, Victor,

I’m convinced that any of Becky Albertalli’s contemporary novels would be great on-screen.

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8. ANYTHING by SANDHYA MENON

 

   

I’ve adored every contemporary novel I’ve read by Sandhya Menon and think they would be so cute as a Netflix series.

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9. STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by KERRI MANISCALCO

 

 

I also like to watch darker shows like Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,

so I think something like the Stalking Jack the Ripper series would be fantastic as either a limited series or film.

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10. ANYTHING by KAREN MCMANUS

 

Edited to add that I just learned that One of Us is Lying actually is being made into a series for the Peacock streaming service.

Bummer that it’s not on Netflix or Hulu, but hopefully I’ll figure out a way to watch it.

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Question:  Would you watch any of these if they were adapted for Netflix or Hulu?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

 

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 Loved But Never Reviewed. There was a time, back when I first started blogging, that I thought I would go back and review all of my favorite pre-blogging reads.  And then I discovered ARCs and that idea went straight out the window, lol.  If I were ever to revisit that idea, most of the titles on my list this week, especially books like The Night Circus and The Nightingale, would be beloved reads I would finally write a proper review for.  Other titles on my list, like Crazy Rich Asians, Little Fires Everywhere, and Beartown, are books I’ve read and loved since I started blogging but just didn’t feel like I had enough to say about them to warrant reviewing them on the blog.

 

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Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

 

(in no particular order)

 

THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein

THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini

THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morganstern

CRAZY RICH ASIANS by Kevin Kwan

BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng

KINDRED by Octavia Butler

THE LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel

GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn

 

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Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – Catch the Rainbow: Books on My TBR That Have Colors in the Titles

 

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 COLORS IN THE TITLES. I decided to peruse my TBR for this week’s topics and was pleased to find that I actually have ten books sitting on my TBR that fit this topic.

 

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Books with Colors in the Titles

 

(in no particular order)

 

RAMONA BLUE by Julie Murphy

RED AT THE BONE by Jacqueline Woodson

BLACK SUN by Rebecca Roanhorse

GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

DARLING ROSE GOLD by Stephanie Wrobel

PURPLE HIBISCUS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

HALF OF A YELLOW SUN by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon

THE SILVER WITCH by Paula Brackston

THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE by Michel Faber

 

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Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – Upcoming Book Sequels I’m Excited About

 

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 a freebie so I thought it would be fun to share some upcoming sequels I’m excited about.  I had said I was planning to read more standalones and less series this year, but that hasn’t quite gone according to plan.  I just can’t resist a good series even when I struggle to actually keep up with them.  Anyway, several of the series I’ve been reading have their next installments coming up either later this year or early next year.  The ones I’m sharing are the ones I’m most anticipating, even if it takes me 84 years to actually get around to reading them.

 

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Upcoming Book Sequels I’m Excited About

 

(in no particular order)

 

DEAR JUSTYCE by Nic Stone

In the stunning and hard-hitting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American prison system.

Shortly after teenager Quan enters a not guilty plea for the shooting death of a police officer, he is placed in a holding cell to await trial. Through a series of flashbacks and letters to Justyce, the protagonist of Dear Martin, Quan’s story unravels.

From a troubled childhood and bad timing to a coerced confession and prejudiced police work, Nic Stone’s newest novel takes an unflinching look at the flawed practices and ideologies that discriminate against African American boys and minorities in the American justice system.

 

CRAZY STUPID BROMANCE by Lyssa Kay Adams

A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance.

Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.

Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush. Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.

 

A SKY BEYOND THE STORM by Sabaa Tahir

Prepare for the jaw-dropping finale of Sabaa Tahir’s beloved New York Times bestselling An Ember in the Ashes fantasy series, and discover: Who will survive the storm?

Picking up just a few months after A Reaper at the Gates left off…The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.  At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.

Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.

And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.

 

WELL PLAYED by Jen DeLuca

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

 

A ROGUE OF ONE’S OWN by Evie Dunmore

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution – but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.  As Lucie tries to out-maneuver Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…

 

MAJESTY by Katharine McGee

Is America ready for its first queen?

Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we’re looking at you Daphne Deighton.

As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her “party princess” persona…and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace–and Prince Jefferson–at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne’s carefully laid “marry Prince Jefferson” plans.

A new reign has begun….

 

WAYWARD WITCH by Zoraida Cordova

Rose Mortiz has always been a fixer, but lately she’s been feeling lost. She has brand-new powers she doesn’t understand, and her family is still trying to figure out how to function in the wake of her amnesiac father’s return home. Then, on the night of her Deathday party, Rose discovers her father’s memory loss has been a lie.

As she rushes to his side, the two are ambushed and pulled through a portal to the land of Adas, a fairy realm hidden in the Caribbean Sea. There, Rose is forced to work with a group of others to save Adas. Soon, she begins to discover the scope of her powers, the troubling truth about her father’s past, and the sacrifices he made to save her sisters.

But if Rose wants to return home so she can repair her broken family, she must figure out how to heal Adas first.

 

READY PLAYER TWO by Ernest Cline

Ready Player Two, novelist Ernest Cline’s sequel to his Ready Player One, will be published by Penguin Random House imprint Ballantine Books on Nov. 24, 2020 in North America.   (I haven’t really been able to locate a synopsis of any kind but I LOVED Ready Player One so can’t wait to see what comes next in this series).

 

 

 

 

RAVAGE THE DARK by Tara Sim

For seven long years, while she was imprisoned on a debtor’s ship, Amaya Chandra had one plan: to survive. But now, survival is not enough. She has people counting on her; counting on her for protection, for leadership, for vengeance. And after escaping Moray by the skin of her teeth, she’s determined to track down the man who betrayed her and her friends: Boon.

Cayo Mercado has lost everything: his money, his father, his reputation. Everything except his beloved sister. But he’s well on his way to losing her, too, with no way to afford the treatment for her deadly illness. In a foreign empire also being consumed by ash fever, Cayo has no choice but to join Amaya in uncovering the mystery of the counterfeit currency, the fever, and how his father was involved in their creation. But Cayo still hasn’t forgiven Amaya for her earlier deception, and their complicated feelings for each other are getting harder and harder to ignore.

Through glittering galas, dazzling trickery, and thrilling heists, Cayo and Amaya will learn that the corruption in Moray goes far deeper than they know, and in the end the only people they can trust are each other 

 

LOVE & OLIVES by Jenna Evans Welch

From the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato comes a Mamma Mia–inspired tale about a teen girl finding romance while trying to connect with her absent father in beautiful Santorini, Greece.

Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight. What Liv does remember, though, is their shared love for Greek myths and the lost city of Atlantis. So when Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father explaining that National Geographic is funding a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and will she fly out to Greece and help?—Liv jumps at the opportunity.

But when she arrives to gorgeous Santorini, things are a little…awkward. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. And yet Liv doesn’t want their past to get in the way of a possible reconciliation. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo—her father’s charismatic so-called “protégé”—to witness her struggle.

And that means diving into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, and the delicious cuisine. But not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important.

 

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Are you excited about any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Finally Read in 2020 That Have Been on my TBR for Ages

 

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 Book Events/Festivals I’d Love to Go to Someday.  As much as I’d like to go to a bookish event, I just wasn’t feeling this topic so I decided to go rogue and share a topic I have been feeling lately.  What has me excited lately is that I’ve managed to knock quite a few older books off my TBR in 2020.  I’ve taken part in backlist challenges for the past three years but even with those challenges, I still only manage to knock about 30-35 books that I already own off my TBR each year.

I’m guessing it’s because of the pandemic and just having so much more time to read, but whatever the case, I’ve already managed to knock 31 older books off my TBR and am over halfway through my 32nd.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with that pace since I haven’t cut back on ARCs like I had originally planned to, but I had bumped up my goal to 50 backlist books for 2020 and I think/hope I’m going to crush that goal!

While I’ve been reading the older books, I really haven’t been reviewing them, especially since some of them have been on my TBR for 5 years or more.  I did one backlist recap earlier in the year, so with this post, I’m covering everything I’ve read since then. I don’t have much to say about them, but I’ll share a few words and my rating for each.

 

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Books I Finally Read in 2020 That Have Been on my TBR for Ages

 

The first two books are science fiction titles that have each been sitting on my TBR for several years now and I’ve had Martha Wells and Becky Chambers on my list of authors I need to try for a couple of years as well. I finally made it happen this year and loved both books.  The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a fun space opera that features the most delightful “found family”, while All Systems Red features a self-aware security droid who calls itself “Murderbot”, doesn’t like humans, and has hacked its own regulating module.  Murderbot fascinated me because, without that regulator in place, it could have easily turned on the humans and killed them all, but instead Murderbot chooses to help them.  Murderbot also loves to watch TV shows, which just cracked me up. Such fun reads and I gave them both 4 stars.

Hollow Kingdom is a surprisingly hilarious read about a crow named Shit Turd (S. T. for short) and a dog named Dennis who are trying to stop a zombie apocalypse and save the world.  Ten Thousand Doors of January is just a gorgeous and unique read.  The worldbuilding is incredible (kind of Narnia-esque with its use of the doors, which I just loved!) and the characters and their relationships and connections are just so wonderfully complicated. The story is filled adventure and danger, history and secret societies, family and love. You name it, this book has it. There’s even a dog named Bad who’s the best boy ever.  I rated each of these books 4.5 STARS.

 

I’ve also breezed through numerous contemporary reads this year.  The Royal We and American Royals fed my need for need for all things royal.  The Royal We explores the misadventures of what happens when the future King of England falls in love with an American, while American Royals reimagines American History and gives us a monarchy instead of a Presidency.  Both were fun reads and I gave them each 3.5 stars.  I just finished Love & Luck earlier this week and thought it was a such a fun read. I loved the road trip through Ireland aspect as well as the sibling dynamic between Addie and Ian.  Opposite of Always was another great read with a unique storyline. I was a big fan of the time travel element that has Jack in a loop where he keeps going back in time to see if there’s anything he can change in order to save Kate, the girl he loves.  Is there choice he can make that ends with her not dying?  Stories like that fascinate me since it makes us examine the choices we make in life.  I rated both of these 4 stars.

 

How to Walk Away was my second read by Katherine Center and just like with the first, it was a 5 star, emotional roller coaster of a read for me.  I also squeezed in an older Christina Lauren book, Dating You Hating You, and thought it was delightful, everything I enjoy in an enemies to lovers story.  I loved the tension between the two rival coworkers and found myself chuckling most of the way through the book.  I rated this one 4 stars.  The Husband’s Secret was next and while not my favorite Liane Moriarty novel, it was still a compelling read that follows the fallout after a woman opens a letter from her husband that she wasn’t meant to open until after his death.  Those kinds of domestic dramas are always entertaining and this book earned 3.5 stars from me.  I read The Hamilton Affair after I watched Hamilton on Disney Plus.  I thought this historical fiction was a very nice companion piece to the musical and it fills in some gaps in Eliza’s narrative that I found very interesting.  I rated this one 3.5 stars as well.

 

This group of titles were all anticipated reads for me during the year they were released but that I then set aside in favor of newer, shinier releases.  I just loved the way Madeline Miller brought so many well known mythological figures to life in Circe, while I gave myself a huge pat on the back for finally making my way through another George R.R. Martin book.  A Dance with Dragons was everything I wanted the previous book in the series to be and I’m now back to twiddling my thumbs and impatiently waiting for Martin to finish writing book 6.  Both of these reads were 4.5 stars for me.   The Starless Sea and Ninth House were also excellent reads. I loved the worldbuilding in each, and while they weren’t my favorite novels by either author, I was still very pleased with them both and rated them 4 stars each.

 

This last group is a bit of a hodge-podge.  The Fountains of Silence is an excellent work of historical fiction by Ruta Sepetys that follows what life was life living under the rule of a Spanish dictator.  It featured a time period I hadn’t read much about before and it held my interest from beginning to end and gave me characters I could easily root for.  Before I Fall is similar in story to Opposite of Always in the sense that the protagonist keeps reliving the last day of her life over and over again, each time making different choices to see if the outcome would be different.  Again, that kind of story fascinates me so I was hooked from beginning to end.  The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a work of historical fiction that focuses on the life of a Kentucky woman who works as a Pack Horse Librarian. She loads library books onto her mule, Junia, and takes them out to residents who live in the hills of Kentucky.  Without her, those folks would have no access to books, newspapers, etc.  This fascinated me because I had no idea there were ever librarians who worked in this manner.  Like Her Husband’s Secret above, Never Have I Ever is a domestic drama that starts with a book club night gone wrong and is filled with secrets, lies, and lots of twists and turns.  Last but not least is Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’.  I read this one and watched the Netflix adaptation and just loved everything about Willowdean Dickson and her larger than life personality and her love of all things Dolly Parton.  All of these books were 4 star reads for me.

 

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And there you have it, until the next time I feel motivated to share what older books I’ve been reading.

How are you doing with reading books you already own this year?  Have you read any of these yet?

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Make Me Smile

 

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 THAT MAKE ME SMILE. I did a similar list earlier this year, but during this pandemic, I think we can all use as many feel-good books as we can get so I’ve updated my list with some recent reads that left me with a smile on my face. All of these are contemporary romance, and I’ve included a mix of YA and adult novels.  If you’re looking for a mood-lifting read, any of these would be great choices.

 

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Books That Make Me Smile

 

(in no particular order)

 

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL by Abbi Waxman

SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli

TAKE A HINT, DANI BROWN by Talia Hibbert

PARTY OF TWO by Jasmine Guillory

JOSH & HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING by Christina Lauren

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon

THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB by Lyssa Kay Adams

WHAT IF IT’S US by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

SERIOUS MOONLIGHT by Jenn Bennett

TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han

 

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What are some books that make you smile?