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Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Books I Might Finally Read If I Was Stranded on a Deserted Island with Them

 

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 I’d Want With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island.  I’m pretty sure I’ve done that topic before though so I tweaked it a bit and decided to some books I might finally get around to reading if I’m stuck on an island alone with nothing but a stack of books for company.  In most cases these are books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf for years and for whatever reason, I just keep skipping over them.  Or I’ve started them but never finished.  I haven’t purged them because I really do want to read them.

10 Books I Might Finally Read If I Was Stranded on a Deserted Island with Them

 

 

1. HAMILTON by Ron Chernow – I started this book at the height of my obsession with Hamilton.  It’s interesting too but it’s also a brick of a book at 731 pages so I keep shoving it aside.

2.  FIRE & BLOOD by George R.R. Martin – Another monster book (719 pages) I started but keep setting aside in favor of shorter books and also because I’d rather be reading the next ASOIF novel, which Martin has yet to finish.

3.  THE HOLY BIBLE – I’ve been telling myself for years that I need to read/study the Bible, but have yet to to do it.

4.  REBEL OF THE SANDS by Alwyn Hamilton – Switching gears a bit, the is the fantasy novel that has been sitting on my TBR shelf the longest (5 years!).  It sounds amazing and I can’t even account for why I haven’t read it yet.

5. A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara – I’ve heard great things about this book but between its 720 page length and the fact that it looks to be a completely heart-wrenching read, I keep bypassing it on my shelf in favor of shorter, happier reads.

6. INK AND BONE by Rachel Caine – Another fantasy series I want to read that has inexplicably been sitting on my shelf for almost 5 years.

7.  GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – This was my very first BOTM pick and I was so excited to get it, yet it’s still sitting there waiting to be read.

8.  UPROOTED by Naomi Novik – This book has been sitting on my shelf for 4 years. I still really want to read it but have to admit that I’ve hesitated because I didn’t love Spinning Silver.

9. TO THE BRIGHT EDGE OF THE WORLD by Eowyn Ivey – Another book I’ve been inexplicably avoiding even though I loved her last book and have seen nothing but glowing reviews for this one.

10. EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire – I’ve been drawn to this series for years now but became reluctant to start it after not enjoying my first read from the author.

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Question:  Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Books I Read in One Sitting

 

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 10 Books I Read in One Sitting.  I tend to be a pretty fast reader anyway, but even so, it typically takes me at least 2 or 3 sittings to read most books.  That said, there have been a few standouts over the years that once I started reading, I just couldn’t put them down until I had finished.  Sometimes it’s a riveting thriller, sometimes it’s a heartwrenching drama, and other times it’s just an especially swoony romance.

10 Books I Read in One Sitting

 

1. RAZORBLADE TEARS by S.A. Cosby – a heart wrenching yet also suspenseful and action-packed drama about two fathers on a quest to find their sons’ killer. Couldn’t put it down.

2.  THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah – WWII historical fiction that tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each choosing their own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France.  Full of suspense and heartbreak, but also resilience and courage, this book left me a sobbing mess by the end.

3.  ILLUMINAE by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman – Illuminae has it all – it’s a thriller, an action-packed sci-fi adventure, and it’s even got a romance.  All of that, coupled with incredibly unique formatting made Illuminae a one-sitting read for me.

4.  PROJECT HAIL MARY by Andy Weir – There’s just something about Andy Weir’s brand of sci-fi with its lovable characters trying to survive in space that really appeals to me. His first book, The Martian, was also a book I devoured in one sitting.

5. THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS by Kristin Harmel – This story of a young woman helping Jewish refugees hide from the Nazis in the forests of Poland pushed Harmel into the auto-buy category for me.  Her storytelling, coupled with this being inspired by actual events, made for a read I could not put down.  Her previous book, The Book of Lost Names, was also one I read in one sitting.

6. DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid – An intensely realistic drama about the rise of an iconic rock band.  This book and its characters captivated me to the extent that I Googled them to see if they were a real band.

7.  UNSUB by Meg Gardiner – Super creepy thriller. Enough said.

8.  A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas – Rhysand’s sexiness, combined with the allure of the Night Court, made this a one-sitting read.

9. THE SIMPLE WILD by K.A. Tucker – The romance between Calla and Jonah is EVERYTHING.  I was actually annoyed at how fast I flew through this book because I really wanted to savor it, lol.

10. THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins – A riveting dystopian nightmare. Couldn’t put it down until I knew who would live and who would die.

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Question:  What books have you read in one sitting?  Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – Life’s a Beach: 10 of My Favorite Summery Book Covers

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 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 Book Titles That Are Questions, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  Honestly, I did peruse my shelves and Googled a bit but couldn’t find any books I had actually read aside from Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? and Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret?  Since that topic was obviously a bust for me, I decided to go rogue and share some of my recent favorite summery book covers.

10 of My Favorite Summery Book Covers

 

 

Books Featured:

1. PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry.

2.  THE BOOKSTORE ON THE BEACH by Brenda Novak.

3.  GOLDEN GIRL by Elin Hilderbrand.

4.  MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

5. YOU HAVE A MATCH by Emma Lord.

6. SHIPPED by Angie Hockman.

7.  UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY by Kristy Woodson Harvey.

8.  THAT SUMMER by Jennifer Weiner.

9. BEACH READ by Emily Henry. (I love both the hardcover and paperback covers).

10. WAIT FOR IT by Jenn McKinlay.

 

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Question:  Do you like summery book covers?

Top Ten Tuesday – Reasons Why I 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 Reasons Why I Love Reading.  I feel like I’ve done this topic before but couldn’t find a post for it anywhere on the blog.  Hopefully I’m not rehashing something I’ve already talked about, haha.

 

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via GIPHY

Reasons Why I Read

 

1. I read to escape from whatever is causing me stress. This became especially important during the pandemic when everyday became nothing but stress.

 

2. I read to satisfy my wanderlust.  I love to read novels set in my favorite travel destinations and to discover new ones.

 

3. I read to learn new things.  This is why I’m so drawn to historical fiction and why I have tried to read more nonfiction than usual this year.  I think it’s good to always be learning new things and reading is an enjoyable way to accomplish that.

 

4. I read to help me consider things from another perspective.  I like when books challenge my usual way of thinking about something.

 

5. I read for the nostalgia factor. I love to revisit old favorites from my childhood. I think this is why I’m so drawn to fairytale retellings.  It’s like revisiting an old friend but with a twist.

 

6. I read to avoid potentially awkward social interactions.

 

7. I read to live vicariously through fictional characters and have experiences I’ll probably never have in my own life.

 

8. I read to connect with my child.  I make a point to read whatever my son is reading for school so that we can talk about it together.

 

9. I read because it’s like exercise for my brain.  A book leaves me with food for thought in a way that most movies and TV shows just don’t.

 

10. I read to relax and wind down at night.  Nothing helps me fall asleep more consistently than reading.  (Well, unless I’m reading a book I can’t put down, haha!)

 

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Question:  Why do you read?

Top Ten Tuesday – My Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2021

 

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 Releases of the Second Half of 2021.  This is always an easy topic just because, of course, there are always so many books that I’m excited to get my hands on.  I don’t have ARCs for most of these so I’ll be waiting to read them when they’re actually out in the world, but I fully expect several of these to make my best of 2021 list. 🙂

My Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2021

  

   

 

1. HEARD IT IN A LOVE SONG by Tracey Garvis Graves  –  “From the bestselling author of The Girl He Used to Know comes a love song of a story about starting over and second chances.”

2.  ISN’T IT BROMANTIC? by Lyssa Kay Adams – I adore this series and I’m so excited that we’re finally getting a book with the Russian, who is my favorite character from the series.

3.  THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS by Ali Hazelwood – “When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.”

4.  THE BOOK OF MAGIC by Alice Hoffman – Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors so her books will always make my most anticipated lists, especially if it’s a new book in my favorites series. 🙂

5. THE HEART PRINCIPLE by Helen Hoang – This is another favorite series of mine and this time around we’re getting a book about Quan, who is a favorite character from earlier books.

6. ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART by Stephanie Garber – This is obviously a trend with my list but here is yet another new book that features a beloved character from a previous series, this time it’s Jacks from Caraval.

7.  WAIT FOR IT by Jenn McKinlay – “A woman looking for a new lease on life moves to Arizona where she rents a guest house on a gorgeous property with a mysterious owner–a man who teaches her about resilience, courage, and ultimately true love, in this funny, bighearted novel about hope and healing from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay.”

8.  THE EX HEX by Erin Sterling – “New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.”  I read somewhere that this is like Hocus Pocus but with sex, which sounds pretty irresistible to me.

9.  FERAL CREATURES by Kira Jane Buxton – “In this stunning follow-up to Hollow Kingdom, the animal kingdom’s “favorite apocalyptic hero”is back with a renewed sense of hope for humanity, ready to take on a world ravaged by a viral pandemic.” Hollow Kingdom turned out to be such a gem of a book that I can’t wait to revisit this world and see what S.T. is up to.

10. SURVIVE THE NIGHT by Riley Sager – “It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer…” I’ve had really good luck with Sager’s thrillers so far, so I’m pretty excited to get my hands on a copy of his latest.

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Question:  Are you planning to read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Wishes

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 Wishes (Jana’s birthday is today, so celebrate with her by granting the wishes of your friends! This is a popular thing to do on Twitter, but today we’re blog hopping. List the top 10 books you’d love to own and include a link to a wishlist so that people can grant your wish. Make sure you link your wishlist to your mailing address [here’s how to do it on Amazon] or include the email address associated with your ereader so people know how to get the book to you. After you post, jump around the Linky and grant a wish or two if you’d like. Don’t feel obligated to send anything!)

First of all, Happy Birthday to Jana!  Second, although I am sharing some items from my Amazon Book Wishlist, I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to purchase anything.  I’m thinking of this post more as a way to illustrate what kinds of books I actually put on my wishlist.  I do have a running wishlist that I keep on Amazon and that I send to certain folks in my life whenever it’s gift buying time.  They all say I’m hard to shop for so I figure by sharing some items they can’t go wrong with, I’m making their holiday/birthday, etc. shopping a little less painful, haha.

Here’s my full wishlist for anyone who’s interested in seeing it.  —–> Suzanne Bookish Wishlist

Bookish Wishes

 

So, what kind of books end up on my list?

 

  • In the case of books like Gemina and The Cruel Prince,  these are from series I’ve already read and loved so much that I started buying paper copies for my collection, but missed a book or two.

 

  • Books like Survive the Night by Riley Sager and Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber are preorders for upcoming releases by favorite authors.

 

  • Amelia Unabridged made my list due to glowing reviews from trusted bloggers, as did Meghan Quinn’s Getting Lucky series. I snagged the first book with some credits I had a while back so the rest of the books went on the list.

 

  • Maybe in Another Life and After I Do have landed on my wishlist because Taylor Jenkins Reid is a new favorite author of mine and I want to go back and read everything on her backlist.

 

  • The Cousins and The Ladies of the Secret Circus have fall into the category of “I really want to read these but I think I’m going to forget about them if I only have them marked on Goodreads.  My Goodreads Want-to-Read list is a hot mess and I forget about almost every book I add to it.

 

  • Another category that isn’t pictured here are books I read ARCs of and loved them so much that I want to have a physical copy for my collection.  Red, White & Blue and One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston fit into that category.

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Question:  Do you have an Amazon wishlist that you actually give out to people?  What kind of books are on your list?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books on My Summer 2021 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 Summer 2021 TBR.  I enjoy this topic because I’m always curious to see what my fellow book bloggers are planning to read next.  I am still on my quest to read more of the books I already own, so today I’m sharing 5 of the ARCs I’m planning to read this summer as well as 5 older books that are sitting on my shelf begging me to pay attention to them.

Books on My Summer 2021 TBR

 

 

1. DIAL A FOR AUNTIES by Jesse Q. Sutanto  –  “A hilariously quirky novel that is equal parts murder mystery, rom-com, and a celebration of mothers and daughters as well as a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture, by debut author Jesse Q. Sutanto.

1 (accidental) murder
2 thousand wedding guests
3 (maybe) cursed generations
4 meddling Asian aunties to the rescue!”

2. ISN’T IT BROMANTIC? by Lyssa Kay Adams – The Russian finally gets his own book! This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year.

3. WHILE WE WERE DATING by Jasmine Guillory – “Two people realize that it’s no longer an act when they veer off-script in this sizzling romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory.”

4. THE FOUR WINDS by Kristin Hannah  – ” From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.”

5. THE HEART PRINCIPLE by Helen Hoang  – ” A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this heartfelt new romance by USA Today bestselling author Helen Hoang.”

6. HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD by Sarah J. Maas  –  “With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.”

7. RULE OF WOLVES by Leigh Bardugo  –  “The wolves are circling and a young king will face his greatest challenge in the explosive finale of the instant #1 New York Times-bestselling King of Scars Duology.”

8. 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.”

9. TO SIR, WITH LOVE by Lauren Layne  –  “Love Is Blind meets You’ve Got Mail in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy following two thirty-somethings who meet on a blind dating app—only to realize that their online chemistry is nothing compared to their offline rivalry.”

10. WILD AT HEART by K.A. Tucker  –  “From the internationally best-selling author of The Simple Wild comes the continuation of a woman’s journey to Alaska and a life she never imagined for herself.”

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Question:  Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Loved That Made Me Want to Read More Books Like Them

 

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 that Made Me Want More Books Like Them.  I don’t think my terminology is correct, but I keep wanting to call the books I’m sharing this week gateway books since the ones I chose were my introduction to certain genres I hadn’t read before.

 

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Books I Loved That Made Me Want to Read More Books Like Them

 

 

 

1. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie  –  A book that made me want to read more locked door mysteries.

 

2. A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas – A book that made me want to read more fantasies that feature Fae.

 

3. A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V. E. Schwab – A book that made me want to read more adult fantasy novels and also more books that feature badass female pirates.

 

4. THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden  –  A book that made me want to read more fantasy novels that are inspired by and that feature folklore from around the world. (For those unfamiliar with the series, this one is inspired by Russian folklore).

 

5. CINDER by Marissa Meyer  –  A book that made me want to read more fairytale retellings.

 

6. JOSH & HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING by Christina Lauren  –  A book that made me want to read more rom-coms.

 

7. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir  –  A book that made me want to read more science fiction and survival stories.

 

8. THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah  –  A book that made me want to read more WWII historical fiction.

 

9. BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty  –  A book that made me want to read more domestic dramas.

 

10. SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA  by Becky Albertalli  –  A book that made me want to read more YA contemporary books.

 

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Question:  Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 More Books I’ve Read Recently But Haven’t Reviewed on the 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 a Freebie so I decided to revisit a topic I did not too long ago where I shared recent reads I didn’t plan to review on the blog.  I’m still trying to read more of the older books from my own shelves and I like being able to share a few quick thoughts about each of those reads without writing a full-fledged review.  This time around I’m also including my thoughts on three brand-new releases that are actually out in the world as of today, The Nature of Witches, Dead Dead Girls, and Our Woman in Moscow.  I ended up with way too many June 1 ARCs and just didn’t have enough time to review them all. You’ll notice I had more to say about these three than about the older books.

 

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10 More Books I’ve Read Recently But Haven’t Reviewed on the Blog

 

 

1. THE NATURE OF WITCHES by Rachel Griffin (4 STARS)

I’m always up for a good witchy read and this one was fantastic.  I loved the unique magical system that basically had witches maintaining the climate as they draw their power directly from the sun, with it being strongest during the season of their birth. They’re struggling to keep up with the changes to the climate brought about by humans, however, which has caused the atmosphere to become increasingly erratic.  Clara is their own hope of stabilizing the atmosphere, as she is the rarest of all witches, an Everwitch who draws her magic from the sun and from every season of the year.  I thought the author did a brilliant job of creating such a unique magical system and tying it to something like climate change, which is so relevant and something we can all relate to.  As fascinating as all of the magic and all of the action-packed scenes surrounding the witches and their attempts to stop climate change, what really captivated me about this story was Clara’s personal journey.  As the only living Everwitch, she is completely alone. People try to help her master her magic, but no one fully understands how it works and how to harness it to its fullest potential.  When we first meet Clara, she hates her magic and refuses to use it at all because it killed her parents and her best friend because she couldn’t control it.  My heart broke for Clara and I longed for her to realize it wasn’t her fault so that she would stop closing herself off from others who love and care about her.  The Nature of Witches is at times heartbreaking and terrifying, but yet also hopeful as Clara slowly comes to embrace her magic and how life changing it can be.  If you’re in the mood for a beautifully written standalone fantasy about the unlikely combination of witches and climate change, The Nature of Witches is a must-read for you. (4 STARS)

 

2. DEAD DEAD GIRLS by Nekesa Afia (4 STARS)

There’s so much I want to say about this book but since it’s a mystery, I feel like I should say as little as possible for fear of spoilers. I was honestly expecting more of a cozy mystery with that cover but this is a much darker and more intense story than a cozy, with young Black girls being brutally murdered in Harlem in 1926.  The protagonist, Louise Lloyd, also a young Black woman, unintentionally finds herself on the case after punching a white police officer in the face. Something about Louise intrigues the officer and he makes a deal with her:  if she can help him interview folks in Harlem who may have information about these murders, he won’t charge her with assault.  Louise reluctantly agrees and thus begins her unofficial career as an amateur detective.  I don’t want to give away anything about the murder investigation, so I’ll just say that I loved Louise.  She’s smart, sassy, and tenacious, and really does have a knack for detective work and for getting people to talk to her.  I also loved how the author perfectly brings 1920’s New York City to life, both the good and the bad.  She really captures both the beautiful and creative spirit of the Harlem Renaissance as well as the ugliness of the racism that still pervades society.  I’m excited that this is going to be a series and look forward to seeing Louise tackle even more mysteries.

 

3. OUR WOMAN IN MOSCOW by Beatriz Williams (3.5 STARS)

This book actually releases today and I have mixed feelings about it.  I was intrigued by the subject matter, particularly since it’s set during the Cold War and based on an actual Russian spy ring that was in England.  I was also intrigued by the way the story was presented from the perspectives of twin sisters, one of whom, Iris, is married to a spy and has defected with him to Moscow, while the other twin, Ruth, has decided she needs to rescue her sister from Moscow and bring her home.  There is also a unique third perspective, which is that of a female KGB officer.  The story unfolds in a multi-time line that shows how Iris met her spy husband and the troubled trajectory of their relationship, which alternates with chapters that show Ruth’s journey, with particular focus on how she comes to be involved in a mission to extract Iris and her family from Russia.  I was fascinated by the actual history presented in this book and I loved the twists and turns and constant sense of danger lurking around every corner because of the KGB, but at the same time, since I was so unfamiliar with the real life spy ring the story is based on, I just felt like I wanted more history and less focus on the personal and romantic relationships of the characters, etc.

 

4. THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING by Morgan Matson (4 STARS)

Lots of things to like in this delightful book. My favorites: the focus on friendships and how they evolve over time, the father-daughter relationship, the cute home-schooled boy who is now a famous fantasy author, and of course all of the dogs. 🙂

 

5. THE UNRAVELING OF CASSIDY HOLMES by Elissa R. Sloan (3.5 STARS)

An interesting look at the inner workings of an all-girl pop band. The story explores the relationships between the members of the band, encounters with stalkers, how the rise to the top can impact people. Some band members are also dealing with personal issues (racism, abuse, sexual assault, etc.) and the book explores how that darkness impacts them, in particular Cassidy Holmes who we learn has committed suicide when the novel opens. It is somewhat similar to Daisy Jones & the Six but I don’t know that the comparison has done this book any favors as Daisy Jones & the Six is in a league of its own.

 

6. DARKDAWN by Jay Kristoff (4 STARS)

One of my goals this year has been to finish up series that have been lingering on my TBR for years so I’m happy to say that I finally finished the last book in The Nevernight Chronicle.  I was sad to say goodbye to Mia Corvere, Mr. Kindly and the rest of these unforgettable characters, but I thought it was a very satisfying series finale, an action-packed emotional roller coaster.

 

7. A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow (3.5 STARS)

Even though this one has been sitting on my shelf for a year, I probably still read it sooner than I otherwise would have because I accidentally requested the second book in the series, not realizing it wasn’t a standalone book.  I was fascinated by the idea of sirens, gorgons and other characters from Greek Mythology hiding in plain sight in the human world and I thought the story took a very powerful and emotional turn when a siren murder, along with a popular celebrity revealing herself to be a siren and decides to lend her voice to a protest that is very reminiscent of a Black Lives Matter protest.  I also loved the sisterly bond between main characters Tavia, who is a teen  siren in hiding and her best friend, Effie.  I did, however, find the story somewhat confusing and hard to follow at times.  I was listening to the audio version and there was so little distinction between Effie and Tavia that it was hard to tell who was who sometimes.

 

8. A REAPER AT THE GATES by Sabaa Tahir (4 STARS)

This is another series that I’m looking to wrap up this year and chose not to write a review since it’s just hard to review the third book in a series. Since this came out in 2018, I’m so late to the party that I probably wouldn’t spoil anything for anyone. At the same time, however, I don’t think I have anything new to add to the discussion.  It’s a fantastic series with incredible worldbuilding, fascinating characters, and heart-stopping action and betrayals.  I love reading about Laia, Elias, and Helene the Blood Shrike and look forward to seeing how Sabaa Tahir brings their journeys to a conclusion in the final book.

 

9. READY PLAYER TWO by Ernest Cline (3 STARS)

After loving both the Ready Player One book and film, this was easily my most anticipated read of 2020 and good grief, what a letdown it ended up being.  I actually almost DNF’ed it because the beginning was just so ugh in every way.  It’s basically a long, drawn out info dump about everything Wade and the gang have been doing since we last saw them before it finally moves into a new mystery regarding the Oasis.  Once I finally got to the mystery, I was more invested and interested in seeing how things played out and that’s the part of the story that gets my 3 stars.  The first part of the book was easily a 1 or 2 star read for me, even with Wil Wheaton narrating.

 

10. CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS by Cassandra Clare (4 STARS)

I’m so weird when it comes to The Mortal Instruments series.  I’ve been slowly working my way through it for a couple of years now and although I devour a book once I start it, once I finish, I don’t feel a compelling urge to dive right into the next book even though I know I have at least two or three more books to go.  No clue why since I adore Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle and all of the other characters and I love the worldbuilding.  I especially enjoyed this book because there’s a lot more character development than in the first three books in the series. I really enjoyed getting to see more of Simon’s world as a vampire .  Plus, there’s lot of drama, which always makes for a fun read.

 

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Question:  Have you read any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – My Favorite Enemies-to-Lovers Quotes

 

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 Book Quotes that Fit X Theme (Pick any theme you want, i.e., motivational quotes, romantic dialogues, hunger-inducing quotes, quotes that fill you with hope, quotes on defeating adversity, quotes that present strong emotions, healing, etc. and then select quotes from books that fit that theme.)

This was such a wide open topic that I struggled a bit to even find a starting point.  Since I’ve read so much romances during the pandemic, I decided it would be fun to share some of my favorite quotes from those.  That was still a little too broad for me so I’ve narrowed it to my favorite quotes from one of my favorites tropes, enemies-to-lovers.  Gotta love that snarky banter!

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My Favorite Enemies-to-Lovers Quotes

 

1. “How do you tell the person you’ve spent four years trying to destroy that you have a crush on them?”

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

 

 

 

 

 

2. “The only coherent thought that comes to mind is how insulting it is that eyelashes like his were wasted on Satan’s Errand Boy.”
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

 

3. “Those of us who aren’t summoned by the Dark Mark consider honesty to be a virtue.”
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

 

 

 

4. “The moment you first called me a prick, my fate was sealed. O, fathers of my bloodline! O, ye kings of olde! Take this crown from me, bury me in my ancestral soil. If only you had known the mighty work of thine loins would be undone by a gay heir who likes it when American boys with chin dimples are mean to him.”

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

 

 

 

 

5. “He’s not like any other guy I’ve dated or crushed on. And while he’s capable of making my blood boil like no one else, I feel a magnetic pull toward him that I can’t explain.”

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

 

 

 

 

 

6. “It’s not natural for women to fight.”

“It’s not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall, and yet there you stand.”

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

 

 

 

 

7. “You look like you’re cycling through a lot of things right now.”
“Like what?”
“Like whether you should kiss me or punch me.”
“It’s a daily struggle.”

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

 

 

 

 

8. “To what do I owe this honor?”

“Let me in. I need to talk.”

“I don’t know.  Are you going to hurt me if I let you in?”

 

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

 

 

 

9. “I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations. Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are shredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you. Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game – and you have to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.”

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

 

 

 

10. “Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.”

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black