Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Spring 2019 TBR

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Most of the new books I read come from the local library, so what I’m planning to read next at any given point all depends on  how long the wait lists are for titles and how close I am to the top of the lists for the really popular ones.

I hope to read all of these books eventually. Whether that happens this spring or later in the year is anyone’s guess at this point!

1. The Good Neighbor: The Life and Works of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

My family didn’t watch a lot of TV when I was a kid, but Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was always on the short list of approved shows. I’ve been waiting forever to read this biography of him. Hopefully, it will turn up soon.

2. Not One of Us by Neil Clark

All I know is that this is an anthology of stories about aliens and first encounters between us and them. That alone is enough to pique my interest!

3. Ask: Building Consent Culture by Kitty Stryker

I love hugging and cuddling with friends and relatives so much that sometimes I wonder if I were a Labrador Retriever in a previous lifetime. Ha!  Not everyone is a hugger like me, so I always get permission first before touching folks. I’ll usually wait until I get to know someone well before platonically snuggling up to them just to make sure they’re really okay with that sort of affection. This book is about why consent is so important and how we can build a world where people feel free to say no or yes to all sorts of experiences. I can’t wait to read it.

4. A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver

Sadly, Ms. Oliver died earlier this year. I’ve slowly been reading her poems ever since then. She had such a simple and accessible way of describing the world that her poems are often what I recommend to people who haven’t had any good experiences with this genre so far. What a wonderful writer she was.

5. Slayer by Kiersten White

Some of you Top Ten Tuesday bloggers have given this book rave reviews. You’re only making me more excited to read it! I might have to go rewatch all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer again while I’m waiting for the library to tell me that my copy of it is available now.

6. Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self-Esteem by Joseph Burgo

This spring I want to build my self-esteem and confidence by, among other things, taking risks and trying new things. I’m thinking this book might help, too. Have any of you read it?

7. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Yes, I know I’ve mentioned this book in previous Top Ten Tuesday posts. No exaggeration, there are almost 200 other people waiting ahead of me before I’ll get a chance to borrow it from the library. In the meantime, I’ll remain patient and hope the Toronto Pubilc Library orders more copies of it soon. It’s awesome that Angie Thomas is getting so much love from her fans, though! She deserves every ounce of it.

8. Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The Truth Behind Degas’ Masterpiece by Camille Laurens

As those of you who have followed this blog for a while already know, I love history and art. The thought of combining those two interests together into an exploration of the life of the real-life model for a famous painting fills my heart with joy. I can’t wait to find out who this little dancer was and what her life was like.

9. Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets and Honeybees, The Natural History of Where We Live by Robb Dunn.

I’m both fascinated by the number of species that share living spaces with humans and a little grossed out by it.

10. My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer

I feel like I might have blogged about this anthology before. It’s something I’ve been waiting a very long time to read, and I’m finally almost at the top of the library wait list for it. Is it time to start getting excited yet?

What are all of you looking forward to reading this spring? Were there any similarities between our lists this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Last year, I wrote a (non-Top-Ten-Tuesday) post about books that need prequels. Today, I’ll be talking about some standalone books that need sequels. This list is shorter than usual because of how many authors and publishers are eager to publish sequels to stories that do well. There simply aren’t a lot of books that I wish had sequels. Hopefully, some of you will have longer lists.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

While I loved the ending of this book, I couldn’t help but to hope we’d hear more from Starr again. The resolutions to her problems were incredibly realistic, but they also left a lot of room for speculating about how or if they might shift again in the future. What can I say? I wanted a happier ended than the one we got, and I’m still holding out home that it might happen someday. (The film is still on my to-be-watched list, so maybe it was different? Please don’t give me spoilers if they changed the ending!)

2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda, the main character, had been through something so awful she couldn’t even talk about it. I loved getting to know her sweet, creative personality and slowly uncovering the cause of her pain. She was a lovely person, and I sure would like to see what she was like a few years or decades after this terrible time in her life.

Skip the sentence below this paragraph if you want to avoid all spoilers. Keep reading if you prefer to know about potentially triggering subject matter ahead of time .

This book is about rape and the long-term traumatic effects of that crime. I was caught off-guard by that plot twist, so I feel obligated to let other potential readers know about it.

3. Bridge to Terabithia  by Katherine Paterson

The friendship between Jess (the main character) and his neighbour, Lesie is something I still think about to this day. While the ending to this tale was well done, I’d sure like to see what life was like for the characters decades later. There’s so much room for growth here.

4. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

Imagine what it would be like if your father tried to marry you off when you were fourteen! I was a kid when I read this book, so I knew very little about the cultural norms of the 1200s in Europe (or anywhere else for that matter). Birdy’s story is something that has stuck with me for years, and I’d love to find out what happened to her after the events of the final scenes.

5. 1984 by George Orwell

1984 was about a man living in a harsh, totalitarian society who tried to figure out a way to escape it. I had a lot of mixed feelings about the ending even though it fit the tone of this tale well. It would be so interesting to revisit this universe a few decades later to see what might have changed in it.

6. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

There were so many unanswered questions about the other flat Coraline discovered. How long has it existed? Why was it created? Will anyone else ever become endangered by it?

A sequel would be the perfect place to answer these questions.

What standalone books do you all wish would have sequels?

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Like to Switch Places With

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

My list this week is going to include several characters from TV shows. All of these shows have had books or graphic novels written about them, though, so they still fit the criteria for Top Ten Tuesday.

1. Biff from Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.

I love the offbeat humour of Monty Python and Douglas Adams. Christopher Moore was an author I discovered when I went hunting for other examples of tongue-in-cheek storytelling, and his irreverent character Biff was the perfect fit for what I was looking for. It would be pretty amusing to see the world through Biff’s eyes for a day.

2. Buffy from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home and other graphic novels

Buffy wasn’t the first female superhero I ever watched or read about, but she has remained one of my favourite ones over the years. Unlike a lot of other superheroes, she had tight-knit relationships with her family, biological and chosen. I also loved the fact that she regularly dealt with problems that couldn’t be solved by super strength or fast healing. I’d sure be interested in finding out what it would be like to have those kinds of powers.

3. The Thirteenth Doctor Who

It wasn’t until I saw Jodie Whittaker’s take on the Doctor that I finally became a fan of this show. I love the creativity and practicality of the Thirteenth Doctor. Without giving away spoilers for those of you who haven’t seen her beginning yet, I was impressed with how good she was at getting herself out of a tough situation when she lost her sonic screwdriver. Her choice of companions has been top-notch so far, too, and I’d love to go on an adventure with them.

There is a graphic novel scheduled to be released about Doctor Who in May. I’m quite curious to read it.

4. Watson from the original Sherlock Holmes series

While Sherlock was a brilliant detective, I always found Watson more relatable because of his high emotional intelligence. He had impeccable manners and a desire to genuinely get to know others that I think would make him a very interesting person to switch places with.

Though this image is subject to copyright, its use is covered by the U.S. fair use laws because the image is used as the primary means of visual identification of the article topic.

5. Michael Burnham from Star Trek: Discovery novel.

Drastic Measures is the name of the first Star Trek novel about this show. Let’s see what I can tell you about Michael without giving away spoilers to anyone who hasn’t started Discovery yet. She’s an intelligent, hard-working woman who is excellent at reading and responding to other people’s emotions. I also love the fact that she is so quick to stick up for the underdog.

Also, who wouldn’t want to visit the Star Trek universe? That would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

6. Jayne Cobb from the Firefly graphic novels

Firefly was another TV show that I was pretty sad to see end, but luckily it was given new life in the graphic novel format. This story followed a group of rag-tag space travellers as they visited various planets and tried to find enough paying customers to make their space flights at least somewhat profitable. Jayne was the mercenary of the group, but as we got to know him we discovered parts of his personality that you’d never expect to find in someone as tough and aggressive as he generally was.

I loved discovering the hidden parts of his life and think it would be quite interesting to see what else might be quietly going on with him.

7. The mysterious old woman from the traditional fairy tale, The Child Who Came from an Egg.

I’m guessing that a lot of you haven’t heard of this legend, so I included a link to a site where you can read it for free in the line above. The most interesting to me about the mysterious old woman is that we know nothing about her, including her name. She has powers that she uses for good, but where she came from and how she acquired those powers is a mystery. I’d love to be her long enough to figure out the answers to those questions.

(Someday I hope we’ll have a Top Ten Tuesday prompt that I can use to talk about nothing but fairy tales. I love this topic and will talk all of your ears off about it if Jana ever gives me the opportunity to do so. Ha!)

8. Yorick Brown from Y: The Last Man

The premise of Y: The Last Man is simple. After a worldwide plague kills off all of the men in the world except for a guy named Yorick, he must travel halfway across the world to make amends with his ex-girlfriend.

I’m fascinated by the thought of living in a world full of women, and I thought this series did a good job of showing how society might adapt to that sort of massive change.

9. Lyra Belacqua from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

Lyra was such an inquisitive girl. There’s no doubt in my mind that temporarily being her would bring a lot of adventure my way.

10. Michonne from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead graphic novels

Survivor is the first word I think of when I think of Michonne. She lived in an incredibly dangerous world, and yet she figured out ways to survive even the most dangerous situations without losing her humanity or will to survive. Without giving away spoilers, this is something that became pretty rare in this universe by the time I stopped reading the graphic novels.

I know that Rick Grimes is technically the main character of this story, but I’ve always felt like that honour should have been given to Michonne instead. She’s more than earned it.

What characters would you all like to switch places with?

Top Ten Tuesday: Places Mentioned in Books That I’d Like to Visit

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

One of the coolest things about this week’s prompt is how nicely it complements tomorrow’s prompt for the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge. Today I’m going to be talking about places mentioned in books that I would like to visit, and then tomorrow I’ll get to talk about fictional places I definitely would not want to visit.

I have a lot to say on this topic today. Oh, this is going to be fun!

1. Honeydukes, the sweets shop in Hogsmeade.

Honestly, what Harry Potter fan wouldn’t want to eat a chocolate frog or a sherbet lemon from that shop or one like it? Who knows what other magical treats have been introduced to the wizarding world in the last couple of decades.

Some of you might even be brave enough to try Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. I tried the muggle version of it one time, and now I know what grass tastes like.

2. Wonderland. 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland blew my mind when I was a kid. I loved all of the riddles she was given and how delightfully odd all of the creatures in that world were. This is a place I’d visit in a heartbeat, especially if I could bring a few snacks from Honeydukes with me.

3. Xavier’s Academy.

One of the things I like the most about the X-Men universe is how Xavier’s Academy is generally described in it. I get the impression it was a fairly casual and welcoming school where everyone was welcomed. I’d sure love to tour this facility.

4. The Hundred Acre Woods. 

I will never be too old to stop wishing that Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends were somehow real. Wouldn’t it be fun to go have an adventure with them for a day? Or, better yet, to take them on a tour of modern society?

5. Cair Paravel. 

If you want to see Narnia without being turned into a stone or otherwise vexed by certain antagonists, I’d argue that the best time to do so was when Cair Paravel was ruled by the Pevensie children. It would be incredible to have a conversation with the talking animals who lived back then and see what their world was like during those peaceful years.

6. Avonlea. 

I’m a lifelong fan of the Anne of Green Gables series. While I know it isn’t actually possible to meet the descendants of a fictional character, a small part of me would love to somehow be able to visit Avonlea. I’d hope to run into Anne Shirley’s descendants and hear what the younger generations have been up to since the last story was written about Anne and Gilbert’s lives in the early days of World War II.

7. Rivendell.

By far my favourite part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy were the numerous scenes that showed how the elves lived, especially since they spent so much of their lives doing things like eating delicious food and learning for the sheer joy of it. As much as I’d miss the Internet, I think being surrounded by the beauty and peace of an Elvish city would more than make up for it.

8. The Ingalls Homestead. 

Anyone reading this who has met me in real life is probably chuckling now. I both loved the Little House on the Prairie books and am arguably the least rugged person in Canada, if not all of North America. The thought of me living on a totally non-magical homestead that also obviously wouldn’t have any modern conveniences like air conditioning or wifi is, well, hilarious. I think I would last about half an hour there before trying to call an Uber to take me back to the comforts of city life and away from all of the mosquitoes and mud the Ingalls dealt with so often.

Still, though, I would enjoy that very short visit quite a bit. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood definitely was an interesting one!

9. Avalon. 

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with the various legends of King Arthur, Avalon is the magical island where King Arthur was taken to recuperate after he was wounded in battle.

There was a book called “The Mists of Avalon” that came out a couple of decades ago that retold this legend from the perspective of his half-sister that described this island as an oasis for women. Ever since then, I’ve wished I could visit it for real.

10. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. 

Have you all noticed the slightly sugary pattern in my answers yet? I’m trying to stick to a low-sugar diet in real life for health reasons, so maybe that’s part of the reason why I spend so much time dreaming about worlds where dietary restrictions aren’t a thing and where there are no negative consequences from eating sweets every day.

How many of these places would you also like to visit?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved with Fewer Than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

It took a lot of digging for me to come up with enough books for this week’s list. I read several these titles when I was in high school or middle school. Many of the other titles are pretty far back in my already-read queue, too. So I sadly don’t remember specific details about what I loved about these books anymore or if I’d feel the same way about them today. All I know is that at some point I thought they were the bee’s knees. Now I’m wondering if I should give some of these titles a reread!

Since I can’t rightfully gush about any of them like I normally would for a Top Ten Tuesday post, I’ll tell you how many ratings they have on Goodreads instead. The list-maker in me insists on sharing them in order from the biggest to the smallest number of ratings.

1. The Eye of the Heron by Ursula K. LeGuin 

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 1688

2. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Writings by Charlotte Perkins Gillman 

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 1520

3. The Margarets by Sheri S. Tepper. 

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 1512

4. Shame of Man (Geodyssey #2) by Piers Anthony

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 1057

5. The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-First Century by Anne Kingston

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 1018

6. Collected Sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay 

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 858

7. Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism by David Nickel

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 728

8. Hope of Earth (Geodyssey #3) by Piers Anthony

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 698

9. The Dark Beyond the Stars by Frank M. Robinson 

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 61

10. Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community by Andrea Weiss

# of ratings on Goodreads as of February 7: 10

It will be interesting to see how many of you, if anyone, will share your lists beginning with the title that had the biggest number of Goodreads ratings and ending with the smallest one.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Non-Fiction Releases for the First Half of 2019

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl When I’m not reading the science fiction and fantasy genres, non-fiction is something I love diving headfirst into. Thus far, it looks like 2019 is going to be an amazing year for all sorts of non-fiction titles, from biographies to sociology and so much more! 1. Influenza: The Quest… Read More