Category: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday | One-Word Reviews

Posted May 3, 2022 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 3 Comments

Words are powerful things and if you find the right one, sometimes you don’t need whole paragraphs to convey the meaning behind a book.

Birds of California by Katie Cotugno | captivating | five-stars
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston | magical | four-stars
Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter | light-hearted | three-half-stars
Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens | contrived | three-stars
Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane | evocative | four-stars

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi | entertaining | four-stars
Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher | imaginative | three-half-stars
No One Will Miss Her by Kat Rosenfield | formulaic | three-stars
The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller | bizarre | dnf
Four Aunties and a Wedding (Aunties #2) by Jesse Q. Sutanto | inane | two-stars

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Top Ten Tuesday | Author’s I Want To Read More Of

Posted April 12, 2022 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 9 Comments

assorted books in shallow focus photography

There’s nothing better than finding a new author to love and realizing that you have a whole backlist of books to work on. The following are a whole slew of authors I’ve (mostly) only read a single book from and I’m determined to get the rest of their works.

T. Kingfisher
Loved: The Hollow Places
To Read: The Twisted Ones, A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking

Charles Portis
Loved: True Grit
To Read: Norwood, Gringos

Ray Bradbury
Loved: Fahrenheit 451
To Read: The Martian Chronicles, From the Dust Returned

Tessa Dare
Loved: Romancing the Duke
To Read: A Night to Surrender, The Duchess Deal

Grace Draven
Loved: Phoenix Unbound
To Read: Dragon Unleashed, Radiance

John Fowles
Loved: The Collector
To Read: The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Magus

William Boyle
Loved: A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself
To Read: Gravesend, Shoot the Moonlight Out

Sarah Water
Loved: Tipping the Velvet
To Read: Fingersmith, The Little Stranger

Kate Morton
Loved: The Secret Keeper
To Read: The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours

C.L. Wilson
Loved: The Winter King
To Read: The Sea King, Lord of the Fading Land

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Top Ten Tuesday | Spring TBR

Posted March 15, 2022 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 4 Comments

I’m a total list gal, however, when it comes to making book lists (especially planned TBR reads) I tend to stumble. I’m such a mood reader that it’s near impossible to plan what I’m going to be in the mood for. I make these lists in hopes that I’ll get to them all, but know that it’s not super likely, but just in case… there’s a little bit of all the genres!

Upcoming Releases I’m Excited For

Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Flying Solo by Linda Holmes
Book of Night by Holly Black
Four Aunties and a Wedding (Aunties #2) by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Backlist Books

Six Stories (Six Stories #1) by Matt Wesolowski
The Perfect Find by Tia Williams
Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka
Elantris (Elantris #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Crownchasers (Crownchasers #1) by Rebecca Coffindaffer

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Enjoyed In My Absence

Posted March 1, 2022 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 6 Comments

The time I’ve spent blogging has fluctuated over the past few years and while I still enjoy it, it more often than not feels like a chore. I’ve decided to participate in more “fun” posts and give blogging a final whirl to determine whether I’m going to keep at it or not. And since I haven’t been consistently reviewing, there’s a good chunk of books that I thoroughly enjoyed which I never got around to mentioning on here.

The Final Reconciliation by Todd Keisling | This one paired well with my love of the movie American Satan and the follow-up show Paradise City. I’d also highly recommend it to fans of We Sold our Souls.

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher | You know those books that leave you positively mind-blown, desperate to read anything and everything by that author? This was one of those for me. This one felt a lot like House of Leaves but rather than becoming straight-up confusing and possibly scary, The Hollow Places was downright scary. I loved it.

In the Shadows of Men by Robert Jackson Bennett | RJB has quickly become one of my go-to authors (for both horror and fantasy) and this creepy novella really packs a punch.

City of Margins by William Boyle | City of Margins is only my second read by Boyle but I’m learning quickly how skilled he is at taking an enormous cast of characters and weaving them into stories that never fail to entertain.

The Last Smile in Sunder City (The Fetch Phillips Archives #1) by Luke Arnold | If the name Luke Arnold sounds familiar, then you were probably a raging fan of Black Sails just like me. This is an interesting debut fantasy (that feels more urban fantasy at times — very Downside Ghosts but not nearly as dark). Also, the audiobook is a must-listen because Arnold himself narrates.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou | I had managed to remain completely in the dark regarding Theranos and its CEO Elizabeth Holmes until her recent time in court. This was an enthralling piece of writing that I oftentimes forgot this was Non-Fiction.

Love & Saffron by Kim Fay | I’m a sucker for foodie fiction but to hear this compared as a foodie version of one of my favorites, 84, Charing Cross Road, was a surefire guarantee to get me to read. It was just about a perfect read. My only complaint? I wanted more letters and more stories shared between these two wonderful women.

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane | This was my first read by McFarlane and it certainly won’t be my last. She has such a fantastic, witty sense of humor and you can’t help but fall in love with her endearing characters.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver | It’s obvious by the summary that this one is a heartbreaking read but it was still written in such a pure and heartwarming sort of way. Just so happens to by the second book of Silver’s I’ve given 5 stars to.

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry | Beach Read was my first EH read and I actually wasn’t sure I would read any more of her work. My bestie raved about People though so I knew I had to at least try and I’m so glad I did. 5 solid stars.

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Top Ten Tuesday | Dynamic Duo(logies)

Posted February 22, 2022 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 13 Comments

Instead of dynamic duos, I decided to chat about dynamic duo(logies) today. Duologies: perfect for the commitment-phobe reader that wants more than a standalone but can’t commit to a full-on series. Here’s a handful of ones that I loved and another handful of duologies I hope to enjoy someday soon.

Five I Read and Loved

Lock In Duology by John Scazi
Dreams & Shadows Duology by C. Robert Cargill
The Chronicles of Alice Duology by Christina Henry
Aaron Falk Duology by Jane Harper
Veronica Mars Duology by Rob Thomas

Five I Want to Read

Forgotten Gods Duology by Marie Rutkoski
Crownchasers Duology by Rebecca Coffindaffer
The Talisman Duology by Stephen King and Peter Straub
Clocktaur War Duology by T. Kingfisher
District Ballet Company Series by Katherine Locke

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Top Ten Tuesday | Ten Mini (Review) Reads + A Ton of DNFs

Posted May 4, 2021 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized / 5 Comments

Of This River by Noah Davis | Published August 1st 2020 by Wheelbarrow Books
four-stars

Of This River is an impressive debut collection of poetry with a distinct Appalachian theme. Noah Davis is one to watch.

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens | Published December 1st 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
four-stars

An adorable story of missed chances that is full of convenient coincidences but will still manage to melt even the hardest of hearts.

Highway Blue by Ailsa McFarlane | Expected publication: May 18th 2021 by Hogarth Press
two-stars

This book lacked a pulse. The plot seemed to meander despite the intriguing blurb, the characters were one-dimensional, and the ending only gave the guise of a resolution.

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella | Published October 27th 2020 by Dial Press
dnf

I think I quit this book faster than the main character’s date did after she started talking about butternut squash soup having a soul on their first date.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) by David Levithan | Published February 2nd 2021 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
dnf

While I’m clearly not the targeted reader for this novel, I love the occasional Middle Grade and I’m always up for anything by Levithan. This story felt like an ode to The Chronicles of Narnia but one that never really went anywhere and I just wanted more from this fun concept of a story.

Broken (In the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson | Published April 6th 2021 by Henry Holt and Co.
dnf

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened remains one of my favorite books of all time, however, Broken was a massive disappointment. I’m not sure if Lawson’s sense of humor changed (or mine) but I found her antics to be far more preposterous than entertaining.

Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford | Published April 6th 2021 by Atria Books
dnf

This was recommended for fans of Fleabag and this couldn’t be further off base. I personally loved Fleabag because of the realness and how darkly comedic it is and honestly, this book didn’t possess a single funny bone in its pages. It was dreary and pretentious and none of the characters left any semblance of an impression on me.

The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories by Kevin Brockmeier | Published March 9th 2021 by Pantheon Books
dnf

I’ve developed a taste for short stories only recently, but flash fiction is something different entirely. There simply wasn’t enough substance in any of these snippets to keep me invested.

 

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy | Published August 4th 2020 by Flatiron Books
two-stars

Migrations is definitely your standard literary fare full of fanciful descriptions and an oftentimes hard-to-follow storyline that likes to bounce between the present day and flashbacks. I don’t think I was in the right mood to try this one (or if I honestly even possess a mood that is “right” for reading literary fiction.)

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper | Published November 10th 2020 by Grand Central Publishing
two-stars

I got major I’ll Be Gone in the Dark vibes from this true crime tale, but I’m not sure I mean that as a compliment. There’s an exceptional amount of information regarding the investigation within these pages, however, once I discovered that this case was actually solved in 2018 it made me wonder why the story seemed to have been written as if this wasn’t knowledge the author possessed. I’m unclear when the author started writing this story, but I felt like at the very least an addendum could have been added prior to publication.

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Top Ten Tuesday | Most Anticipated of 2021 (First-Half)

Posted January 5, 2021 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 5 Comments

Happy New Year clipart

Happy New Year, everyone! There really are far too many books I’m excited about releasing in 2021 but I managed to narrow it down to releases from authors that I already know and love.

Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 12th 2021 by NYLA

Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 14th 2021 by William Heinemann

The Survivors by Jane Harper [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 2nd 2021 by Flatiron Books

A History of What Comes Next (A History of What Comes Next #1) by Sylvain Neuvel [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 2nd 2021 by Tor.com

The Project by Courtney Summers [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 2nd 2021 by Wednesday Books

Kingdom of Shadow and Light (Fever #11) by Karen Marie Moning [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 23rd 2021 by Delacorte Press

Forget Me Not by Alexandra Oliva [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 2nd 2021 by Ballantine Books

The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert [Purchase]
Expected publication: April 20th 2021 by Berkley

Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by William Morrow Paperbacks

Girl One: A Novel by Sara Flannery Murphy [Purchase]
Expected publication: June 1st 2021 by MCD

What are you looking forward to releasing this year?

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Top Ten Tuesday | Winter TBR

Posted December 15, 2020 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 8 Comments

Snowing Winter GIF - Snowing Snow Winter - Discover & Share GIFs

I feel like I’ve been struggling to find a nice rhythm in reading this entire year but that I may be finally getting a handle on it. What ended up helping?

  1. I stopped giving myself such a hard time if I didn’t read every single day. Some days are hard, some days are busy, and some days reading doesn’t happen. Better luck the next day, or the day after that.
  2. I stopped imposing deadlines on myself. Yes, I understand that as a blogger, accepting a review book means the goal is to promote the title prior to the publication date but sometimes this doesn’t happen and that’s okay. We’re all doing the best we can. This means I stopped accepting quite as many review books and that’s okay too.
  3. I realized that my current taste in books has changed, whether this is temporary or permanent remains to be seen. I’m a huge fan of mysteries and horror but lately, I’ve been gravitating towards contemporary romances instead. Bottom line: reading is reading regardless of what you’re reading.

I’ve decided to try to participate in the PopSugar Reading Challenge in 2021 to try to keep things fun. I also recently stumbled upon a book club called Hygge and Whodunit w/ @linesiunderline where each month there will be a new book with cozy mystery vibes. The first up is an Agatha Christie that I’ve been meaning to read for ages.

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (For book club )
The Duke’s Perfect Wife (Mackenzies & McBrides #4) by Jennifer Ashley (So I can hopefully squeeze in the novella A Mackenzie Family Christmas!)
Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera
All About Us by Tom Ellen
This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Voodoo Shanghai (Kincaid Strange #3) by Kristi Charish
The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone #1) by Abby Jimenez
Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams
Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2) by Talia Hibbert
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

What are you planning on reading this season?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Autumn TBR + Watchlist

Posted September 22, 2020 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 6 Comments

It’s my favorite time of year! The season of horror!

5 Tips for Surviving HallOUween – Scripps PRSSA

My bestie always loves to question why I don’t just read horror literally any other time of the year since I love it so much and sure, I read the occasional horror, but I don’t dive headfirst into it like I do this time of year. I think a part of me worries if I overread it (or any other favorite genre, really) that I’ll stop loving it as much. I haven’t had the easiest time with reading this year so I’m really hoping that my Ominous October event will help me get back into the swing of things! 💀 Anddddd… I’m adding in 5 horror movies I’m planning on squeezing in at some point.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager [Purchase]
Full Throttle by Joe Hill [Purchase]
Books of Blood: Volume One by Clive Barker [Purchase]
We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper [Purchase]
Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King [Purchase]

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Midsommar
The Invisible Man
American Horror Story: Freak Show
#Alive

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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

Horror

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

Dystopian/Post-Apoc

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

Mystery

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

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