Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall 2021 To-Read List

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A red pair of glasses sitting on top of an opened book. The book has a red cover and is sitting on a pile of moss and autumn leaves. Here are the books I’m looking forward to reading this autumn.

My TBR is always much longer than my actual reading time, so I’ll remain flexible as always as I wait to see what strikes my fancy and which titles have the shortest wait lists at the Toronto Public Library.

I try to schedule things so I always have at least a few books waiting to be read and some more that will soon be available.

There’s an art and a science to requesting library books in the right order to keep this steady stream of reading material flowing all year long.

Maybe someday I’ll write a full post about how I do that. Ha!

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson book cover. Image on cover shows a young black girl with a gorgeous Afro that is surrounded by purple and white smoke.

1. White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Why: Ms. Jackson is on the list of authors I always check out when they release new books. The paranormal elements of this storyline only make me more excited for it.


What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie book cover. Image on cover is a painting of a kid standing in front of a two-story picture window at night. There are yelllow-eyed creatures standing outside leering at her.

2. What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie 

Why: This is exactly the type of playfully scary story I would have loved as a kid!


Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach book cover. Image on cover shows a patch of a national park ranger’s uniform that has bears, trees, and other nature stuff on it.

3. Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach

Why: I had no idea that wild animals were charged for their “crimes” a few hundred years ago in certain jurisdictions! This is the sort of unusual history book that I love reading. You’d never find this sort of stuff in a traditional history class.


The Insiders by Mark Oshiro book cover. image on cover is a drawing of various middle school aged kids sneaking into and out of various rooms.

4. The Insiders  by Mark Oshiro 

Publication Date: Today

Why: I always dreamed of finding a hidden room when I was a kid.

The Days of Afrekete by Asali Solomon book cover. Image on cover is two african women standing facing apart. Their hair has been styles to resemble the continent of Africa.

5. The Days of Afrekete: A Novel  by Asali Solomon

Publication Date: October 19

Why: The comparison to Mrs. Dalloway intrigued me. I couldn’t get into it when I tried to read it as a teenager, but I’m hoping I’ll be old enough to enjoy both The Days of Afrekete and Mrs. Dalloway now that I’m an adult.


The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu book cover. Image on cover shows a young opposite sex couple sitting on top of a large pink donut.

6 .The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu

Publication Date: November 2

Why: The blurb mentions that this is similar to Kim’s Convenience, one of my favourite sitcoms. Romance novels are usually out of character for my reading habits, but I’m totally happy to make exceptions to that general rule of thumb when something catches my fancy like this.


Everything else I’m looking forward to was already mentioned in the Most Anticipated Books of the Second Half of 2021 prompt back in June. I don’t know about all of you, but I like to leave plenty of space for last-minute additions and mood reading when I’m thinking about what to read in any given season. May we all have a wonderful autumn filled with books that are perfect for us.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Numbers In the Title

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

All of these books share three things in common: they have numbers in their titles, I’ve read them, and I’d recommend them to anyone who finds their blurbs interesting.

1. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. 1984 by George Orwell

3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

4. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

6. The First Four Years (Little House, #9) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

7. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

8. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

9. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

10. Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival by Velma Wallis

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Guaranteed to Put a Smile On Your Face

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Jolly Jammers (biscuits) lying on a white surface. This week’s prompt was a little ambiguous.

Should I be mentioning lighthearted stories in general even if they touch on sad topics at times?

What about collections of true humorous stories?

Will some people share joke books?

How will everyone else interpret it?

Will Canada ever sell Jolly Jammers and, if so, would they be dairy-free and would I like them? I didn’t even know such a thing existed until I went searching for stock photos of happy faces. These cookies definitely do have happy little faces for sure.

I wish we could all have a quick meeting to see what everyone’s responses would be like. Since that isn’t possible, I went with a mixture of books that I found uplifting and amusing.

1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

2. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

3. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

4. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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

6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

7.Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)  by Mindy Kaling

8. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

9. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

10. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

I will be blogging a review of The Canterville Ghost in January for Vintage Science Fiction Month, so stay tuned!

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes About Crushes

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The original theme for this was was “Fictional Crushes.” Since I’ve never developed a crush on a fictional character, I tweaked it a little to be quotes on the topic of crushes instead.


“It’s just that I don’t want to be somebody’s crush. If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don’t want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it too.”
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower


“It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone… but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.”
Kahlil Gibran


“Do you know what it’s like to like someone so much you can’t stand it and know that they’ll never feel the same way?”
Jenny Han, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before


“Luke used to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant pterodactyls.”
Katie McGarry, Pushing the Limits


“It’s like I’m thirteen again and he’s my crush. All I’m aware of in this entire roomful of people is him. Where he is, what he’s doing, who he’s talking to.”
Sophie Kinsella, Remember Me?



“She definitely has a crush on you. It’s about the size of Jupiter.”
Marissa Meyer, Winter


“You’re falling now. You’re swimming. This is not
harmless. You are not
Richard Siken, Crush


“I wondered if this was the way old crushes died, with a whimper, slowly, and then, just like that—gone.”
Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty


“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. It’s almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.”
Becky Albertalli, The Upside of Unrequited


“She blushed and so did he. She greeted him in a faltering voice, and he spoke to her without knowing what he was saying.”
Candide, Candide

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Woman standing on a beach at sunset reading a book. There is a beautiful pink sky behind her.

No, that isn’t me in the photo, but it does evoke all sorts of beautiful memories of reading outside on warm summer days.

This is one of those topics I could talk about all day. My list is a wonderful mishmash of genres and eras. I couldn’t be confined to just one small slice of the bookish world today.

Some stories are so amazing that I wish I could experience them again for the first time.

There’s nothing like the thrill of getting to know a well-rounded, beloved character or being delightfully surprised by a plot twist.

Rereading is lovely, but it’s never quite the same as experiencing those moments the first time.

1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Why: The ending was spectacular. I spent years pondering it before the sequel was released and the television show explored what happened to Offred after that pivotal moment.


2. Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Why: There are so many parallels between this futuristic version of Earth that was written in the 1990s and what we’re actually experiencing with climate change and political unrest today. It would have been fascinating to experience it for the first time as versions of so many of her predictions came true.


3. Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer

Why: The author’s depictions of aliens was astounding. They were nothing at all like any sentient creature found on Earth. That’s difficult for any writer to do, and I adored “meeting” characters who felt so otherworldly.


4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Why: It’s my favourite classic novel. It’s filled with the sort of sturdy hope that can withstand the hardest times. I’ve returned to it through some of the most difficult portions of my own life, and it’s given me the courage to keep going when I need emotional support and encouragement.


Shot of blue and white umbrella against a blue and white sky. 5. The Deep by Rivers Solomon (My review)

Why: This is one of my favourite books of the twenty-first century so far. I know I discuss it regularly here, but it’s one of those stories that only becomes more meaningful over time. I keep going back to beautiful little details from the storyline that tied all of the plot twists together in ways I didn’t necessarily think twice about at the time.


6. The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence

Why: Hagar was a fiercely unlikeable protagonist. If I were to meet her in real life, I’d be unflappably kind and polite to her while also feeling utter relief when she was no longer in my presence. With that being said, her character development was so excellent that she felt like a real person to me. There were good reasons for her cruel, vindictive, and emotionally abusive behaviour that I’ll leave for other readers to discover for themselves. That isn’t to excuse any form of abuse for any reason, only to say that sometimes people take their pain and fear out on others.  I think it’s a sign of amazing writing when one genuinely wants to learn more about someone as awful as this character.


7.  The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Why: While the last few books in this series weren’t really my cup of tea, the first instalment had fabulous character and plot development. I’ve literally had dreams about living 30,000 years ago and doing all of the hunting, gathering, and other tasks necessary for survival that were explained in such exquisite detail here.


8.  Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (My review)

Why: The ending couldn’t have been better or more satisfying. I pictured every incredible moment of it in my mind as I was reading. It would be delightful to experience it again while we wait for the film version that is currently in the works.


9. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Why: It was written for an adult audience who sympathized with Valancy as she endured emotional abuse and mistreatment with little hope for rescue when we first meet her. As much as I loved Montgomery’s lighter works that were written for children like Anne of Green Gables, her stories for adults were where she truly shined. She didn’t sugarcoat Valancy’s predicament in the least, and yet she still found a multitude of ways to show her audience how to survive when it seems like one’s difficult circumstances have no hope of improvement.


10. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (My review)

Why: The ending was incredible. It left me yearning for more, and I still wonder what might have happened to the main character as she became an adult. I will continue hoping for a sequel that explores her world in greater depth.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Places to Read

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl This was one of those prompts that I was able to rapidly answer. There are so many incredible places to read in this world! Here are my favourite spots to do so. 1. At home in bed and right before bedtime. It’s a nice way to unwind and get… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want With Me While Stranded on a Deserted Island

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl I’m taking a fairly practical approach to this week’s topic because we don’t know what kind of deserted island this is! Are all of the necessities of life somehow provided there? Will our cellphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices work if we remember to pack solar recharging units… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read in One Sitting

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl   My grandparents have a homemade air conditioning unit called a swamp cooler that cools things down a bit but still leaves their house feeling warmer and more humid than many other places in the Midwestern United States. There were a few years there when I was growing up… Read More