Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Spring 2023 To-Read List

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

There is an opened hardback book. Four white tulips with pink streaks in their petals are lying on top of the book. The flowers have just begun to open and have not yet reached their full bloom. You can see their green stems and leaves on the bottom left hand side of the image. I know that not every Top Ten Tuesday participant lives in the Northern Hemisphere or in a part of the world that has similar seasons to Ontario, but some of us are inching closer to spring with every passing day.

I cannot wait for spring so I can go outside and enjoy some warmer and non-soggy nature time. (It can get pretty muddy here in March and April after the ice and snow begins to melt but the soil hasn’t absorbed all of that water yet).

Who else is counting down the days until the change of the seasons?

My answers to this week’s prompt are going to be the usual random assortment of topics. I love jumping around between nonfiction and fiction as well as zooming between all sorts of genres within the fiction label as well.

Let’s see what will hopefully be capturing my attention this spring.


Book cover for In the Lives of Puppets  by T.J. Klune. Image on the cover is a drawing of a little red cottage in a forest filled with wooden tree-like items that have no leaves and oddly smooth trunks. Maybe they’re made out of metal and only look like wood? The three “tree” structures closest to the red cabin have little houses of their own installed high up on their branches hundreds of feet up in the air. One little house is yellow and round. The second is comprised of metal and has a roof that slopes over the sides of the house so that the walls can’t even hardly be seen. It has a solar panel on top of it. The third house is clear and seems to be made of glass. There are thin wires connecting all three houses, possibly to share electricity.

In the Lives of Puppets  by T.J. Klune

Publication Date: April 25

Why I’m Interested: T.J. Klune is one of those authors I keep meaning to read but never quite get around to it. I love robot stories, though, so this one might convince me to take the plunge.



Book cover for The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise  by Colleen Oakley. Image on cover is a drawing of a senior citizen and a young dark-haired person driving off into the sunset in a green car that doesn’t have a top on it.

The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise  by Colleen Oakley

Publication Date: March 28

Why I’m Interested: I love stories about cross-generational friendships. It’s also nice to see more protagonists who are senior citizens.


Book cover for A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan. Image on cover shows a photograph of a small town street that has stores on the ground level and apartments on the second level. The sky is dark and ominously cloudy in places with blue skies at the very top of the cover. There are a few scattered cars on the street.

A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan

Publication Date: April 4

Why I’m Interested: I’d never heard of Madge Oberholtzer before, but she sounds like she was a courageous and incredible human being.



Book cover for Hey, Hun: Sales, Sisterhood, Supremacy, and the Other Lies Behind Multilevel Marketing by Emily Lynn Paulson. The title and author are written in a 1970s font that is various shades of pink and red. On top of the title there is a tube of lipstick that has been digitally superimposed on top o an eye that is in the centre of three triangles of various sizes with the smallest one being inside of a bigger one, and the bigger one being inside of the biggest one. The triangles and lipstick are also superimposed on a red circle that has three little stars around it in roughly even spacing from one another.

Hey, Hun: Sales, Sisterhood, Supremacy, and the Other Lies Behind Multilevel Marketing  by Emily Lynn Paulson

Publication Date: May 30

Why I’m Interested: It’s really sad to see people being taken advantage of by pyramid schemes and other “job” offers that promise wealth but often put one deeply into debt instead.


Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish People I’d Like To Meet

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Ten people standing on top of a hill just as the sun has slipped below the horizon and darkness covers three quarters of the land. You can see the silhouettes of their bodies as they all leap for joy with their knees bent and their arms outstretched above them. While I currently have no plans to meet any of these bookish people,  it would be cool if that changed someday.

My prediction is that a lot of answers will probably be of famous authors and such. While there will be a few of those authors on my list, most of my answers will be of non-famous people I know whose online personas are kind and intelligent.

Honestly, who wouldn’t want to spend time with someone like that? (I’m sure they’re just as wonderful in person, too!)

1. Top Ten Tuesday Bloggers

It would be fun to meet some of the friendly Top Ten Tuesday bloggers I chat with throughout the week.  I don’t want to put anyone on the spot or make anyone feel overlooked by mentioning specific names, but let me know in advance if you’re open to this and have plans to visit Toronto in the future. We could snack on Beaver Tails* or check out the free bookish museum at the Toronto Reference Library or something.

*This is a Canadian pastry that is large and flat like a beaver’s tale. They have several delicious vegan options, too, for plant-based friends.


2. Berthold Gambrel 

He’s a fellow author and book reviewer I met on Twitter (before it imploded, of course). This will be a pattern for my next several answers because I am a creature of habit, so assume someone is a writer friend and kindred spirit from social media until I say otherwise.

Berthold and I have remarkably similar tastes in science fiction and he has a great sense of humour.


3. Hebah Amin-Headley 

I’d love to talk about books and knitting with her among many other topics.


4. Richard Pastore

He’s the sort of person you can talk about anything with. I can be a little shy sometimes, but I never feel shy around him. He’s so warm and welcoming to everyone.


5. Shykia Bell 

She’s only online in spurts, but I love her creativity and calm personality. Those are both excellent character traits.


6. Patrick Prescott 

Here is where I break the Writer Friends of Twitter (TM)  streak. Yes, he’s a writer friend, but I met him through Berthold Gambrel.

Patrick has a deep and methodical love for books. I’ve enjoyed his recommendations  over the years and hearing stories about how he’s filling his time with all sorts of cool volunteer and writing projects now that he’s retired.


7. Rivers Solomon

I still think about her characters in “The Deep” and would love to ask her all about them.


8. Neil Gaiman 

He seems like a cool guy.


9. Andy Weir

I want to hear about what science fiction adventure he’ll be writing next!


10. <Insert People I’ve Missed Here>

Every time I make one of these lists, I worry about accidentally leaving folks out whom I would have happily otherwise included. Therefore, I will leave a space for them at the end of this post. You are included.



Top Ten Tuesday: Xenofiction I’ve Enjoyed

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The first layer on this picture is a computer screen where dozens of lines of code has been written. This code is overlaid on the face of a robot that looks like a caucasian woman with very short light brown hair. She is staring blankly ahead as if to wait for instructions from the viewer…or perhaps she is reading the code. Xenofiction is written from the perspective of a non-human protagonist.

The protagonist could be all sorts of different things: an animal, a mythological creature, an intelligent robot, an alien, a microbe, or some other living (or robotic but sentient) being.

The possibilities are endless.

I enjoyed all of these stories and would recommend any them to someone who wants to read something from a non-human perspective.


Book cover for Memoirs of a Snowflake by Joe Vasicek. The cover is a pretty light purple colour, and it has four large snowflakes, four medium sized snowflakes, and dozens of tiny little snowflakes falling down on what I presume is a night sky on it. It gives the feeling of standing outside and feeling the snow fall onto your face and hands during an early morning or sunset snowstorm.

1.  Memoirs of a Snowflake by Joe Vasicek  (My Review)

The protagonist is a: snowflake.



Book cover for Watership Down (Watership Down, #1) by Richard Adams. Image on cover is a sketch of a little brown bunny sitting in a field of wheat (or some similar ripe yellow grass) with his ears turned back as he solemnly surveys the landscape. You can see a forest in the distance.


2. Watership Down (Watership Down, #1) by Richard Adams

The protagonist is a: rabbit.


Book cover for A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1) by W. Bruce Cameron. Image on cover shows a black Labrador retriever looking up from the bottom of the cover as he stands against a light blue background. A thought bubble above his head includes the title of the book.

3. A Dog’s Purpose (A Dog’s Purpose, #1) by W. Bruce Cameron

The protagonist is a: dog.


Book cover for Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. Image on cover shows a drawing of Pinocchio after he’s lied. His nose is about two feet long and two little leaves have sprouted from the tip of it, one yellow and one orange.


4. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi


The protagonist is a: a wooden puppet who is magically brought to life.


Book cover for Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott. Image on cover shows a repeating pattern of yellow and black lines that fold in on each other at the centre of the cover as if they all originated from that point.


5. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott


The protagonist is a: a two-dimensional being who travels to three-dimensional, one-dimensional, and no-dimensional worlds and must try to make sense of them.


Book cover for Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker. Image on cover shows a raptor and her baby standing on top of a large flat stone where one spindly plant is growing. The setting sun behind the raptors and plant is casting deep shadows on everything, but the raptors appear to be watching the sunset together.

6. Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker

The protagonist is a: raptor.


If you’ve read xenofiction before, what are some of your favourite books from this genre?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Character Traits for Heroines

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m tweaking this week’s prompt a little bit so I can take a meta approach to the topic. Heroines come in all shapes and sizes, of course, but the reader’s expectations of how she should behave probably wouldn’t be the same in the historical romance genre as in a contemporary horror novel or a cozy mystery set on a lunar space station 500 years in the future.

With that being said, here are some character traits I love to see in heroines across many different genres and settings.


Black and white photo of a white woman wearing a black one-piece bathing suit. She’s crouching on a barren rock that’s surrounded by water and placing a black flag on the rock. The waves around her are gentle, and it appears to be a nice day outside although the sky is not visible. 1. Healthy Boundaries

Here in North America, girls and women tend to be socialized to be peacemakers and endlessly accommodating to other people’s needs and wishes.  This can encourage some of us to have trouble setting and recognizing appropriate boundaries, so I love seeing examples of characters who can both set boundaries and respect other people’s limits, too.

2. Meaningful Flaws 

No one is perfect. I like it when heroines have flaws that make a meaningful difference to the plot and to their daily lives. That is to say, I prefer realistic protagonists who procrastinate too much, or who have a bad temper, or who give too much unsolicited advice (or what have you) over ones whose biggest problem is that they’re a clumsy dancer but are otherwise pretty perfect.

3. Common Sense and Street Smarts

I  prefer heroines who remain aware of their surroundings and take reasonable precautions before rushing into an unknown situation. It’s one thing to be caught off guard after doing everything right but quite another for a heroine (or a hero) to ignore multiple red flags for the sake of plot development.


4. Frugal 

As much fun as it can be to read about characters with limitless budgets, I find it easier to relate to the ones who know that they only have so much money to last until the end of the month. There’s something comforting about seeing characters juggle bills and figure out how to afford what they need when the plot requires it.


5. Calm and Quiet

This is not to say I expect characters to behave this way all of the time, only that I think we need more characters who have easygoing personalities and aren’t the life of the party. Think of all of the interesting things that happen in the corners of a room and out of the attention range of the loudest and flashiest partygoers. There are so many folks hanging out quietly on the perimeter who are worth getting to know, and I’d love to have more stories about their lives.



Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Liked About Asexual Characters

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A photograph of 18 heart-shaped sugar cookies. They are frosted with various combinations of green, yellow, orange, purple, white, and blue frostings as well as thinner frostings that have written X’s and O’s on them or left romantic messages like “hugs and kisses” or “forever” on them. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone celebrating it!

For today’s Valentine’s Day freebie, I’ll be sharing a list of books I’ve read and enjoyed about asexual characters.

I’m actually on the asexual spectrum myself, so it’s been wonderful to see such an explosion of stories about people who are like me or similar to me.

This is a complex topic that could easily take up its own blog post, but go to this link if you’re curious about the wide variety of identities that exist within the asexual spectrum.

In the meantime, here’s my list.

Book cover for “Loveless” by Alice Oseman. It is a warm purple colour and has a black and white drawing of a slim person who has straight shoulder-length hair and is wearing jeans, a sweater, and a pair of sneakers. They are standing up but their neck and head are bent over as they look at a large heart they are holding in their hands. The heart is steadily releasing dozens of tiny little hearts into the air, and the little hearts are floating up and away from the person.

1. Loveless by Alice Oseman


Book cover for Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann. The image on the cover shows a radiant dark-skinned black woman with an Afro. She’s wearing a sleeveless white blouse with ruffles near her neck and his holding both arms up in a triumphant pose as she grins and closes her eyes.

2. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann


Book cover for Finding Your Feet (Toronto Connections, #2) by Cass Lennox. Image on the cover shows a background drawing of the famous outline of Toronto that includes the CN tower. In the foreground, you can see a drawing of two people’s legs as they dance together. One has light skin and appears to be Caucasian while the other has dark skin and appears to be African.

3. Finding Your Feet (Toronto Connections, #2) by Cass Lennox


The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz book cover. Image on cover shows a steaming cup of tea in a white mug that has fancy ridges and floral patterns on it.


4. The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz (My Review)


If you’ve read any other good books about asexual characters, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Confessions

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl For today’s freebie post I’m going to be sharing some bookish confessions. (The dog in the photo isn’t mine. I simply thought it was an amusing illustration for this prompt). 1. Reading graphic novels definitely counts as reading in general, but I personally don’t enjoy that form of storytelling.… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2023

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl I like to set (mostly) realistic goals at the beginning of each year. Let’s see how many of these I complete before 2024 sneaks up on us. 1. Read more classic novels this winter. It’s something I do every winter to expand my vocabulary and explore stories that generations… Read More