Category: Top Ten Tuesday

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

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

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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.

Fiction
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

Non-Fiction
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. 😀

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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]

Erotica

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]

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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?

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