Category: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Back to Basics

Posted July 28, 2020 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 14 Comments

Well, 2020 has really been something, eh guys? I have been having the absolute hardest time with reading this year (it’s almost August and I’ve only read 24 books 😫). Fortunately, I’m finally starting to feel like I’m in a better place to get back to it so I’ve decided it’s best to start with the basics. I’ve picked a few books from some of my go-to genres that should hopefully be a great starting off point. All the fingers and toes crossed.

Urban Fantasy

The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold
Kill the Dead (Sandman Slim #2) by Richard Kadrey


If It Bleeds by Stephen King
The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan


The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy
The Down Days by Ilze Hugo

True Crime

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn
The Library Book by Susan Orlean


The Guest List by Lucy Foley
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly



Top Ten Tuesday | Literary Metal Band Names

Posted April 21, 2020 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 4 Comments

The day has finally come where I’ve found a way to combine my love of books and metal. 😂

Metal GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I found a surprising amount of book titles that would fully suffice as a proper hardcore band name, but these are the ten I settled on:



Top Ten Tuesday | Books Without Mention

Posted April 14, 2020 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 3 Comments

It’s safe to say, this has been a rough year. Understatement of the century, amirite? I’ve found myself struggling to focus on reading and continued the struggle from this past year to find my voice again on this blog. But despite my lack of posting, I’ve still discovered an odd assortment of stories that are definitely worthy of praise.

The King of Crows (The Diviners #4) by Libba Bray
I’ve been a huge fan of this series for years and while this final installment seemed far longer than necessary at times, it provided some solid closure. Do yourself a favor and pick up the audiobook: January LaVoy is spectacular.

True Grit by Charles Portis
This was one of the first books I picked up in 2020 and damn, it was a winner. I was upset to hear of his passing in February but I’m grateful to have a few more from his backlist to still enjoy.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays by Joan Didion
I was always a bit intimidated by Didion’s renowned memoir The Year of Magical Thinking so I opted to delve into some of her essays first just to get a feel for her writing style. Suffice it to say,

Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation by Paul Holes, Jim Clemente, Peter McDonnell
It has to be said, this isn’t exactly a novel, more like an extremely long podcast episode. Honestly, though I don’t even care. This story was intense, thrilling, and thoroughly compelling. Much like anyone even mildly into true crime, I followed the case of the Golden State Killer closely after he was finally captured after 40 years but this “Untold Story” really shed some light on how his capture came to fruition.

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan
I took the title of this graphic novel series a bit too literal and went into it with certain expectations and basically had my mind blown by the end of the first installment. Let’s just say, it’s far more science fiction and far less a group of girls riding around delivering newspapers.

This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life by David Foster Wallace
I may have stalled out permanently in Infinite Jest, but this accessible reprint of a speech Wallace did in 2005 at Kenyon College is something that has the power to touch people in a multitude of ways.

It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort
I’m not sure what actually possessed me to pick this up but I was intrigued by the author’s ability to turn a tragedy into something transformative and uplifting. It was a powerful and admirable tale. Nora narrates her own audiobook and did an amazing job. I’m not sure if I would’ve found her story in print nearly as compelling.

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
Christina Henry is certainly the Queen of FairyTale retellings and in The Girl in Red she transforms the tale of Little Red Riding Hood into an apocalyptic story that is as gruesome as it is entertaining.

Plan B: A Novel by Jonathan Tropper
I’ve been an avid Tropper fan since I picked up This Is Where I Leave You at random, not expecting to love it nearly as much as I did. Plan B isn’t Tropper’s greatest, it is his debut, however, it was the last remaining book I had left from his backlist so it’s still special to me and still definitely worth reading if you enjoy his type of storytelling.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
I always say that romance stories aren’t my standard fare (give me a psychological thriller or gothic horror any day) but every once in a while you need to mix things up in your reading life and honestly, sometimes I just need a little fluff in my life. This one was a winner.



Top Ten Tuesday – Only Because of Homeland

Posted April 7, 2020 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 8 Comments

I’m obsessed with Homeland. I’m usually always late to the party when it comes to shows, but I’ve watched Homeland since it first aired back in 2011 and I’m so very sad to be in the middle of the last season.

Claire Danes Homeland GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Because of how much I love the politics, the characters, and the dynamics, I’ve had a massive influx of TBR additions (and a couple of shows too) that can hopefully satisfy the void I’m fully anticipating.

The Terminal List (James Reece #1) by Jack Carr
At Risk (Liz Carlyle #1) by Stella Rimington
American Tabloid (Underworld USA #1) by James Ellroy
Gorky Park (Arkady Renko #1) by Martin Cruz Smith
The Miernik Dossier (Paul Christopher #1) by Charles McCarty

The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World’s Most Notorious Terrorists by Tracy Walder & Jessica Anya Blau
The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan & Bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll

TV Shows
Prisoners of War (Hulu)
False Flag (Hulu)

I’m happily accepting any additional recommendations as well. 😀



Top Ten Tuesday – Romance 101

Posted February 11, 2020 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 4 Comments

Romance is far from my go-to genre, but I do partake occasionally. And when I actually look at my shelves, I’ve read far more than I realize. But typically, I’m more like:

But, of course, this is the week that everyone wants to talk about romance. The following is my list of romances (and all its sub genres) that are ones that I recommend most and would be a great starting point for those looking to branch out into a new genre.

Contemporary Romance

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Historical Romance

Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1) by Julia Quinn [Purchase]
Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After #1) by Tessa Dare [Purchase]
Some Like It Wild (Kincaid Highland #2) by Teresa Medeiros [Purchase]
The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) by Courtney Milan [Purchase]
Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon [Purchase]

Paranormal Romance

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews [Purchase]
First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones [Purchase]
Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning [Purchase]
Veiled by Karina Halle [Purchase]
Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell #1) by Jenn Bennett [Purchase]

Fantasy Romance

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas [Purchase]
Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven [Purchase]
The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral #1) by C.L. Wilson [Purchase]
The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland #2) by Kristen Ashley [Purchase]
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness [Purchase]

Sci-Fi Romance

Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel Bach [Purchase]
Nightchaser (Endeavor #1) by Amanda Bouchet [Purchase]
Grimspace (Sirantha Jax #1) by Ann Aguirre [Purchase]
Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan [Purchase]
Shades of Treason (Anomaly #1) by Sandy Williams [Purchase]


The Boss (The Boss #1) by Abigail Barnette [Purchase]
Wicked Ties (Wicked Lovers #1) by Shayla Black [Purchase]
Asking for It (Asking for It #1) by Lilah Pace [Purchase]
Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness #1) by Laura Kaye [Purchase]
Unteachable by Leah Raeder [Purchase]



Top Ten Tuesday | Most Anticipated of 2020 (First-Half)

Posted January 7, 2020 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 7 Comments

I have been staying on top of the 2020 releases a bit more closely than I typically do, and as such, my not-released shelf is out of control. And there’s SO much good stuff! I had so many I honestly thought I’d be able to break down my most anticipated for the year into quarters, but I restrained myself. It’s just when you pair that with the other various bookish resolutions I tend to make that involve tackling my entire backlist, it just doesn’t seem reasonable that I’m going to be able to read everything. Trying to find the balance between staying on top of the new releases and continuing to chip away at a backlist tbr that you’ll never have enough time to complete is rough. But here are ten being released in the first half of this year that I’m extra excited for.

Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus | Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver | Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Ballantine Books
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle | Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Atria Books
The Return by Rachel Harrison | Expected publication: March 24th 2020 by Berkley
Shorefall (Founders #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett | Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Del Rey

Hard Cash Valley by Brian Panowich | Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Minotaur Books
The Down Days: A Novel by Ilze Hugo | Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Skybound Books
Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha | Expected publication: May 12th 2020 by Tor Books
Kingdom of Shadow and Light (Fever #11) by Karen Marie Moning | Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Delacorte Press
Dragon Unleashed (Fallen Empire #2) by Grace Draven | Expected publication: June 9th 2020 by Ace

What are you looking forward to most in the next few months?



Top Ten Tuesday | Best of 2019

Posted December 31, 2019 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 12 Comments

I always wait until the last possible minute to compile my best-of lists because I’m always holding out hope that I’ll read something truly amazing, possibly on the last day of the year. I’ve still got a handful of books that I hope to complete before the clock strikes midnight but these are the ten I came up with for now. I picked these a little differently this time. Instead of filtering for the highest-rated I chose instead to scroll through my full list and pick the ones that caused immediate remembrance of their brilliance. It’s kind of interesting how a few of these didn’t garner the highest of ratings after completion but still left a major impression on me. In no particular order…

One Day in December by Josie Silver
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
Phoenix Falling (Wildlands #5) by Laura Bickle
Like Lions (Bull Mountain #2) by Brian Panowich
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Small Spaces (Small Spaces #1) by Katherine Arden
Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation by Paul Holes
It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort

What are your favorite reads of the year?

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Top Ten Tuesday | Winter TBR

Posted December 17, 2019 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 5 Comments

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are but it’s definitely a bundle up on the couch with a good book weather here!

book, gif, and cat image

In the last few weeks of the year/decade, I’ve been trying to finally get around to at least a few of those 2019 releases before I become completely inundated with the 2020 books that are already rolling in. Here are a few that I’d still like to finish and a few early 2020 releases I’d like to get a head start on

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan
To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

Protect the Prince (Crown of Shards #2) by Jennifer Estep
Twenty-one Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen | Expected publication: January 14th 2020 by MIRA
Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford | Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Scribner

What are you planning on reading this season?



Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated of 2019 (Last-Half)

Posted June 18, 2019 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 4 Comments

Today’s topic is about all the upcoming goodness being released in the second half of the year. Yes, we’ve already reached the halfway point, people. Crazy talk, I know. I for one am looking forward to quite a lot of releases and had a bit of a struggle narrowing it down to 10, but that’s far from the worst problem to have. What are you anxiously awaiting the release of this year?

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig | Expected publication: July 2nd 2019 by Del Rey Books
The Saturday Night Ghost Club: A Novel by Craig Davidson | Expected publication: July 9th 2019 by Penguin Books
The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon | Expected publication: August 20th 2019 by 47North
Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) by Ilona Andrews | Expected publication: August 27th 2019 by Avon
Missing Person by Sarah Lotz | Expected publication: September 3rd 2019 by Mulholland Books

The Unkindest Tide (October Daye #13) by Seanan McGuire | Expected publication: September 3rd 2019 by DAW Books
The Library of the Unwritten (A Novel from Hell’s Library #1) by A.J. Hackwith | Expected publication: October 1st 2019 by Ace Books
Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren | Expected publication: October 22nd 2019 by Gallery Books
Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy #1) by Maggie Stiefvater | Expected publication: November 5th 2019 by Scholastic Press
The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman | Expected publication: November 5th 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers



Top Ten Tuesday – Police Procedural Favorites

Posted June 4, 2019 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 4 Comments

When I was a teenager, I read a lot of police procedural novels. This segued into a love of mysteries in general, but police procedurals were my jam because I harbored dreams of one day being an FBI agent or a forensic scientist… I would have even settled for a private investigator. Basically, just your average badass that puts bad guys away. While my life has not gone as planned, and I don’t read nearly as many mysteries as I used to, I still have a deep love for police procedurals and really oughta incorporate them more into my reading. These are some of my favorites from over the years.

The Coffin Dancer (Lincoln Rhyme #2) by Jeffery Deaver
The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman #1) by Ben H. Winters
The Dry (Aaron Falk #1) by Jane Harper
The Face Of Deception (Eve Duncan #1) by Iris Johansen
Mayhem (Dr. Thomas Bond #1) by Sarah Pinborough

Blindsighted (Grant County #1) by Karin Slaughter
The Child Finder (Naomi Cottle #1) by Rene Denfeld
The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
The House of Silk (Sherlock Holmes #1) by Anthony Horowitz
The Power of the Dog (Power of the Dog #1) by Don Winslow