Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Opening Lines

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Books in assorted colours with blank spines. I could have easily made this list twice as long. What a great topic!  Please note that the final opening line references the death of a child.

1.“I am sixteen when my mother steps out of her skin one frozen January afternoon- pure self, atoms twinkling like microscopic diamond chips around her, perhaps the chiming of a clock, or a few bright flute notes in the distance- and disappears. No one sees her leave, but she is gone.”

Laura Kasischke, White Bird in a Blizzard

2. “Like most forms of corruption, it began with men in suits.”

Mick Herron, Real Tigers


3. “Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.”

Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Dark, ominious storm clouds swirling around in a sky4. “It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.”

Philip Reeve, Mortal Engines

5. “It was during Latin that the Austro-Hungarians arrived with their dogs and zombies to kill everyone at the Eden College for Young Ladies.”

David Wake, The Derring-Do Club and the Empire of the Dead

6. “Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead and pulled the trigger.

This is the story of how we got there.”

Fredrik Backman, Beartown

7. “Maybe punching her enemy right in the nose wasn’t the smartest way to get out of class, but it was definitely a much more entertaining way.”

Ophelia T. Starks, Nightfall Academy

8. “During the 1980s, in California, a large number of Cambodian women went to their doctors with the same complaint: they could not see.”

Sigrid Nunez, The Friend

A hot summer sun drying out a large patch of soil.9. “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”

Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

10. “The Lord gave, and the Lord took away, her grandmother said to her at the edge of the grave. But that wasn’t right, because the Lord had taken away much more than had been there to start with, and everything her child might have become was now lying there at the bottom of the pit, waiting to be covered up.”

Jenny Erpenbeck, Aller Tage Abend


Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons Why I Love First Contact Stories

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A caution sign with the outline of an alien giving a peace sign on it. Y’all have no idea how hard it was for me to narrow this reply down to only one topic.

I desperately wanted to write at least six different posts in response to this prompt because there are so many specific things I love reading about.

But I will follow the rules and only gush about one of them!

Aliens are something that always make my ears perk up when I see references to them in blurbs or excerpts, especially if they’re written as something other than an antagonist.

1.  They make the universe seem friendlier. Since life evolved on Earth, it makes sense that it would develop on other planets and moons, too!

2. They stretch our imaginations. Sentient, humanoid aliens are interesting, but I’m even more interested in the ones that don’t feel familiar at all.This summer I’ll be reviewing a film called Life here about this precise topic.

3. They are thought provoking. How would people really react to new life on Mars, Europa, or some other faraway place?

4. They make learning from history mandatory. To tie into #3, I think we’d need to do a lot of soul-searching as a species when it came to how we’ve treated people from other countries and continents if we were to have any hope of not repeating the many mistakes of the past.

5. They say more about us than they do real aliens. Too often, alien stories assume that beings from other planets would be violent and cruel. I see no reason to believe that assumption is correct.

6. They give me an excuse to use this gif.

Man saying "I'm not saying it was the aliens...but it was the aliens."

And what could possibly be better than that?

Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books I Abandoned

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Person reading a book. I’ve been abandoning books more regularly these past few months. Have any of you noticed the same thing about your reading habits

Here are ten books that I recently started reading but couldn’t finish for reasons I’ll explain below.

1. Nests, Eggs, Birds: An Illustrated Aviary by  Kelsey Oseid

Why I Stopped Reading: I originally thought it was written for adults, but it read like something intended for kids.

2. Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

Why I Stopped Reading: I couldn’t get into the writing style at all.

3. The Last Plague: Spanish Influenza and the Politics of Public Health in Canada
by Mark Osborne Humphries

Why I Stopped Reading: It felt like reading a dry textbook…and I’m one of those delightfully nerdy people who loves history and reads textbooks for fun.

4. Lake Erie Stories by Chad Fraser

Why I Stopped Reading: See also #3.

5. Ingredients: The Strange Chemistry of What We Put in Us and on Us by George Zaidan

Why I Stopped Reading: The author over-explained everything. If the page count has been cut back by 30-50%, I’d be raving about this book instead.

6. The Uninvited by Cat Winters

Why I Stopped Reading: See also #5. Presumably, there are ghosts somewhere in this tale, but I gave up on it before they so much as uttered a peep.

7. Epidemiology: A Very Short Introduction by Rodolfo Saracci

Why I Stopped Reading: This was a good read, but now is not the right time for me to be immersing myself in this particular topic. And I happened to DNF it right after The Last Plague, too.

8. The City We Became (Great Cities #1) by  N.K. Jemisin

Why I Stopped Reading: I loved the short story that spawned this novel, but I couldn’t get into the writing style of the book. This is something I may try reading again in the future.

9. Dracul by J.D. Barker

Why I Stopped Reading: It’s been far too long since I read Dracula. I had no idea what was happening or what any of the references were. My new plan is to reread Dracula and then give this another try.

10. Slammerkin by  Emma Donoghue

Why I Stopped Reading: I strongly disliked the main character. Reading about sexual abuse also isn’t something I’m in the right headspace for right now.

Top Ten Tuesday: Things I’d Have at My Bookish Party

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

charcuterie board filled with meat, cheese, and fresh vegetables. 1. Mainstream authors would be welcome, too, but I’d put a special focus on inviting indie authors so everyone could have the chance to discuss books they might never have otherwise heard of.

2. A dance floor and a DJ.

3. Charcuterie boards that have plenty of food and drink options for every diet out there.

4. A fog machine. See also: the dance floor and DJ.

5. A quiet room for people who need it for a moment to catch their breath or text someone.

6. Free t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, pens, and other swag with bookish quotes on them for anyone who wanted one.

7. An Instagram page where everyone can upload their photos of this event if they’re interested.

8. Reenactments of funny or memorable scenes from stories. They could be contests or done as people thought of something they wanted to share. I’d probably pick the scene in Harry Potter where he and Ron crashed a flying car into a Whomping Willow.

9. Mistletoe. Do you have to use it? Of course not! But everyone should have the option of getting a kiss in a fun way if their partner consents.

10.A bookish party app to help plan this event and make sure it runs smoothly. There would be an optional feature on it that would give partygoers a chance to give feedback on what they liked and what they’d hope to see done differently in the future.

Because I’d totally want to throw more of these parties in the future.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Had Read as a Child

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Child sitting on a roof and reading a bookMy list is a short one this week. One of the things my parents did marvellously when I was growing up was providing their kids with a wide range of reading material. I read just about everything I could get my hands on.

There are a few titles I wish I’d discovered as a child, though!

1.The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat

2. A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel Hawthorne

3. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

What they all share in common is a strong sense of magic and wonder about the world. Yes, I could read them as an adult – and may well do that one of these days – but I think I would have adored them when I was a child.

Here’s hoping today’s children enjoy these stories and many more of them.

Top Ten Tuesday: Should I Buy These Books?

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl Technically, this week’s prompt was “Books I Bought/Borrowed Because…”. I tweaked it to better fit my reading patterns since almost all of my reading material is borrowed from the library. I’ll share the titles and blurbs from some books I’m thinking about buying this spring while remaining in social… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Signs You’re a Book Lover

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl 1. If you visit a new city, you immediately look for the nearest bookstore or library. 2. If you’ve ever taken a cruise, packing enough reading material is more important than remembering that extra outfit or having room for a souvenir. 3.You quote your favourite books without necessarily mentioning… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: Short Ghost Stories Everyone Should Read

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl These freebie posts are so much fun! Today I’m going to be sharing ten short ghost stories from around the world that everyone should read. Click on their titles to read them for free. 1. “Hover” by Samantha Mabry  Sometimes ghosts are more annoying than they are frightening. 2.… Read More