Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes About Science


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A male Asian scientist wearing a face mask and peering through a microscope at something on a slide. Perhaps he is looking at a highly infectious disease?While all of my book reviews on this blog are about the speculative fiction genre, I read many other genres as well.

Nonfiction is a particular favourite of mine. It’s exciting to learn about everything from prehistory to astronomy to the latest medical breakthroughs in books.

Here are ten bookish quotes about science.

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”
Stephen Hawking

 

“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.”
Claude Levi-Strauss

 

“Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.”
Werner Heisenberg, Across the Frontiers

 

“Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question.”
Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

 

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”
Alan Turing, Computing machinery and intelligence

 

“I penetrated the outer cell membrane with a nanosyringe.”
“You poked it with a stick?”
“No!” I said. “Well. Yes. But it was a scientific poke with a very scientific stick.”
Andy Weir, Project Hail Mary

 

“In what terms should we think of these beings, nonhuman yet possessing so very many human-like characteristics? How should we treat them? Surely we should treat them with the same consideration and kindness as we show to other humans; and as we recognize human rights, so too should we recognize the rights of the great apes? Yes.”
Jane Goodall

 

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.

{Speech accepting the John Burroughs Medal}”
Rachel Carson

 

“It takes a fearless, unflinching love and deep humility to accept the universe as it is. The most effective way he knew to accomplish that, the most powerful tool at his disposal, was the scientific method, which over time winnows out deception. It can’t give you absolute truth because science is a permanent revolution, always subject to revision, but it can give you successive approximations of reality.”
Ann Druyan

 

If you’ve read any great books about any branch of science lately, I’d love to hear about them!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Dandelions


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

When I was a child, it used to irritate me when people tried to prevent dandelions from growing or said negative things about this flower. Dandelions were the perfect flower in my mind for three reasons:

Photo of dozens of pretty little dandelions growing in a grassy meadow. 1) They are hardy and strong. In many parts of North America you can find them growing everywhere without any intervention or pampering needed by humans: ditches, rock gardens, by the side of the highway, in neglected yards, and anywhere else that had the bare minimum amount of soil, sunshine, and water.

2) They are nutritious. You can eat them, turn them into beverages like dandelion wine, or use them as medicine.

3) They are beautiful. I loved every stage of their development, from  unobtrusive little green shoots in the spring soil to friendly specks of yellow in a sea of grass to irresistible white puffs of seeds that would be blown off by the wind if people didn’t do it first.

There is something wonderful about plants that thrive under a wide variety of conditions and that have so many uses.

Here are ten books about dandelions.

1. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

2. Dandelion and Quince: Exploring the Wide World of Unusual Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs by Michelle McKenzie

3. The Dandelion’s Tale by Kevin Sheehan

4.An Island in a Green Sea by Mabel Esther Allan

5. Andersen’s Fairy Tales / Johnny Crow’s Garden by Hans Christian Andersen

6. Dandelion, The Extraordinary Life of a Misfit by Sheelagh Mawe

7. Wicket and the Dandelion Warriors: An Ewok Adventure by Larry Weinberg

8. Ta by John Robert Russell

9. Little Dandelion Seeds the World by Julia Richardson

10. Barney Bipple’s Magic Dandelions by Carol Chapman

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Petty Reasons You’ve DNF’d a Book Or Reduced Its Rating


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The phrase Game Over is written in bright neon lights.

I will not be sharing the names of any authors or titles in this post as I don’t want to make anyone feel bad.

1. They didn’t know the difference between hay and straw. 

Straw is used for animal bedding while hay is used for animal feed. If an author tries to feed nothing but straw to their cows, the poor creatures will not receive the nutrients they need to survive and I will not continue reading that tale!

 

2. They introduced way too many characters in the first chapter. 

I get overwhelmed by these things. By all means have dozens of characters if needed, but give me some time to take note of who they are before bringing more folks into the fold.

 

3. There is a terribly judgemental protagonist.

Realistically flawed main characters are so much more interesting to read about than perfect ones, but I quickly lose interest in protagonists in most cases if their main flaw is harshly judging other people. This is true even if I happen to agree that X is generally a good thing to do or that Y is generally not a good thing to do.

I’d rather have more love and acceptance in the world and in fiction.

 

4. The plot includes a love triangle.

I’m completely burnt out on this trope.

 

5. Character names are difficult to pronounce due to inconsistent spelling or pronunciation rules

If their names have been spelled or pronounced in ways that do not make sense or vary a lot from one name to the next, that is not the book for me unless the author is doing it on purpose and clearly explains why there are no consistent rules about such things in that universe. This is something that happens most often in the fantasy genre in my experience. I wish it didn’t happen so often.

 

6. Driving or walking distances are wildly unrealistic

If your character plans to drive from one side of Toronto to the other in a couple of hours, especially during rush hour or a blizzard when traffic is painfully slow and driving time can be much, much longer than that, I will shake my head and decline to read any further. There is no world in which this happens unless you’re writing a Star Trek novel and there’s a transporter involved.

Toronto is huge and full of congestion and construction projects for most of the year. The rest of time, it is almost always snowing, sleeting, or raining heavily. Characters who wish to speedily reach their destination through my city should either travel at two in the morning in January when there is zero precipitation or avoid this part of the world altogether.

 

7.  Anyone other than an antagonist is rude to someone to the service industry.

There are plenty of other ways to show a character is having a bad day and not being themselves when necessary. Rudeness, especially to folks who are often treated unkindly in real life and who make far too little money for all of their hard work, is not something I want to read about.

 

8. The pet dies.

Fictional pets should be immortal if you ask me!

 

9. Too many sex scenes.

It’s totally fine to include them if they’re an integral part of the storyline.

I’d prefer to replace the rest of them with scenes that are funny, dramatic, or propel the plot forward. Alternatively, the book could also be just a little shorter and that would be perfectly okay.

 

10. Text talk.

Unless there’s an excellent reason for a character to write or speak this way, I’d prefer them to communicate in full sentences or something close to that. They can use as much slang as the author wishes (although that can make a book feel dated pretty fast if you’re not careful), I just want them to speak or write in a way that doesn’t substitute numbers for letters or shorten words for no logical reason.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Unread Books on My Shelves I Want to Read Soon


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Four shelves of library books that are stacked neatly but with their spines facing away from the viewer. The shelves are labelled from 3B at the top left all the way down to 7C to the bottom right, although I do not know what those numbers and letters signify. This is going to be one of those weeks when I give more than ten answers. It will help to make up for the weeks when I fall far short of that goal.

As I’ve mentioned here before, most of the books I read come from my local library for practical, environmental, and frugal reasons.

Depending on how many ebooks my library has ordered, this could mean that I might immediately be able to download a book from them, be one of the first people on the waitlist for the next available copy, or, in some cases, have a few weeks or months to go until one is available for me.

I don’t mind waiting for books. It increases my anticipation for my next great read and helps the librarians show just how popular certain titles are. They are often able to order more copies if the waitlists stretch out so long that the people at the bottom of them can expect to wait for several months to years at the current pace.

Usually, the most popular titles either already have plenty of copies of them circulating or will soon see a huge increase in how many of them are available to borrow that will reduce my wait time from several years to a few months or several months to a couple of weeks.

Here are the books on my hold shelf that have long waitlists.

Book cover for Antarctica by Claire Keegan. Image on cover shows a photograph a white woman with long, wavy hair wearing a light summer dress with spaghetti straps on it. She’s crouching down and touching the water below her gently. There is a blue filter on this photo that makes everything look cold and possibly even icy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Antarctica by Claire Keegan

Waiting Since: February 20

Why I’m Interested: She’s on my must-read list. I love her descriptive writing style and realistic storylines.

 

Book cover for The Spoon Stealer by Lesley Crewe. Image on cover shows a red sleeveless dress and two white sheets hanging to dry on an outdoor clothesline. There is a wicker clothes basket partially hidden by the dress and sheets, but with the wind blowing everything around we get a glimpse of it. The grass below is growing tall, and there is a thick forest behind this scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Spoon Stealer by Lesley Crewe

Waiting Since: March 5

Why I’m Interested: Canadian fiction often isn’t as well-advertised as all of the books published down south in the U.S., so I make a concerted effort to seek out non-American authors and stories as much as possible. This seems like a nice slice-of-life read.

 

Book cover for Slow Productivity: The Lost Art of Accomplishment Without Burnout by Cal Newport. Image on cover shows a painting of a pine forest with a river running through it. The land has been tinted pink by the setting sun filtering through the puffy white clouds in the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Slow Productivity: The Lost Art of Accomplishment Without Burnout by Cal Newport

Waiting Since: March 20

Why I’m Interested: This is something I struggle with and hope to improve within myself.

 

Book cover for The Lost Sounds by Chris Watson. Image on cover shows a drawing of a brown bird that has a white chest. Its head is lifted up as if it has begun or soon will begin to sing. You can see a full moon in the background against the night sky. Why aren’t you sleeping, little bird?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Lost Sounds by Chris Watson

Waiting Since: March 26

Why I’m Interested: Birds are such fascinating creatures. I’m waiting for the audiobook version of this book so I can hear all sorts of beautiful bird songs from the U.K. that (I’m assuming?) we probably don’t get to enjoy very often here in Canada.

 

Book cover for To Slip the Bonds of Earth by Amanda Flower. Image on cover shows a painting of a white woman wearing a 1900s-style white blouse and floor length green skirt. She is pushing a bicycle on a dusty country road as her brown satchel hangs from the handle bars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. To Slip the Bonds of Earth by Amanda Flower

Waiting Since: April 3

Why I’m Interested: Did you know that Orville and Wilbur Wright had a sister named Katherine? I did not, but now I’m curious to read this cozy mystery about her. Is it at all historically accurate? Will there be airplanes in it? I have no idea, but trying new things is worth it in my opinion.

 

Book cover for Lewis Carroll’s Guide for Insomniacs by Lewis Carroll. Image on cover shows a drawing of a rabbit wearing striped pyjamas and standing up with a puzzled expression on his face as he holds a pocket watch as far away from his legs as he possibly can. He appears to be the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Lewis Carroll’s Guide for Insomniacs by Lewis Carroll

Waiting Since: April 9

Why I’m Interested: I sometimes have trouble falling back asleep at night and I love Caroll’s work.

 

Book cover for The Wisdom of Nurses: Stories of Grit From the Front Lines by Amie Archibald-Varley, Sara Fung. Image on cover is a photo of a blue stethoscope lying on a white surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. The Wisdom of Nurses: Stories of Grit From the Front Lines by Amie Archibald-Varley, Sara Fung

Waiting Since: April 9

Why I’m Interested: Some of my relatives work in the healthcare field. I have a great deal of respect for anyone in that profession and love dipping into memoirs and similar sorts of books about their experiences.

 

Book cover for The Laundryman’s Boy: A Novel by Edward Y.C. Lee. Image on cover shows a drawing of a black shirt hanging on a clotheslines in front of a red sky filled with yellow stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.The Laundryman’s Boy: A Novel by Edward Y.C. Lee

Waiting Since: April 17

Why I’m Interested: Mr. Lee is another Canadian author I’ve added to my TBR. The writing in the short preview I read was gorgeous, and I’m quite curious to learn more about the protagonist, a young Chinese immigrant who dreams of leaving his exploitative job and continuing his education.

 

Book cover for The Minotaur at Calle Lanza by Zito Madu. Image on the cover is a drawing of a Minotaur on the left hand of the figure and a human head on the right. The human’s face is shown in silhoutte, but the Minotaur’s face looked like a maze instead of having any discernible features.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. The Minotaur at Calle Lanza by Zito Madu

Waiting Since: April 17

Why I’m Interested: This travel memoir set in Italy in 2020 sounds like such a poignant read.

 

Book cover for A Sweet Sting of Salt by Rose Sutherland. Image on cover shows a closeup of a person’s chest. The person has long, straight brown hair that is covering much of their chest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. A Sweet Sting of Salt by Rose Sutherland

Waiting Since: April 17

Why I’m Interested: This is a title I mentioned in the Spring 2024 TBR List post back in March. The Selkie Wife is a wonderful folk tale, so I’m thrilled that I’m a little closer to (finally!) being able to read this retelling of it now.

 

Book cover for Native Nations: A Millennium in North America by Kathleen DuVal. Image on cover is a drwaing of two Native people. One is holding a fan made from bird feathers and the other one has a bird feather in their hair and is pointing at the sun above them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Native Nations: A Millennium in North America by Kathleen DuVal

Waiting Since: April 17

Why I’m Interested: When I was in school, I learned very little about Native American history before the arrival of people from Europe and other continents. I’m hoping this book will help to change that and fill in some gaps in my historical knowledge.

 

Book cover for Health for All: A Doctor's Prescription for a Healthier Canada by Jane Philpott. Image on cover shows a drawing of hundreds of people who have been arranged into an image that looks like two hands that are about to shake each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Health for All: A Doctor’s Prescription for a Healthier Canada by Jane Philpott

Waiting Since: April 17

Why I’m Interested: Canada has Universal Health Care, but our system isn’t funded as much as it should be given our growing and aging population. I am so curious to read this doctor’s perspective on the best ways to ensure that everyone gets the healthcare they need and that healthcare workers are treated fairly and given the tools to succeed as well.

 

Book cover for Microskills: Small Actions, Big Imact by Adaira Landry, Resa E. Lewiss. There is no image on the cover. Microskills is in a large white font and the rest of the title is in a smaller yellow font. There is a blue background, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. MicroSkills: Small Actions, Big Impact by Adaira Landry, Resa E. Lewiss

Waiting Since: April 19

Why I’m Interested: I have seen some evidence of this working in my life with topics like setting fitness goals, but I want to learn more about it.

 

Wish me luck as I wait my turn for these titles! I’d love to hear your thoughts on them if you’ve already read them, too.

If you have a local library that you use, how long are the waitlists there for new and popular books?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Like to go on Vacation With


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A pair of sunglasses sitting on a sand dune. The sun is setting in the background.As I’ve mentioned here before, visiting Prince Edward Island is my dream vacation.

My ideal vacation companions are people – or, in this case, characters – who are friendly, flexible, independent, enjoy the simple things in life, and are introverted or introvert-friendly. I’d like to have some time each day for group hangouts, of course, but I’d also want everyone to feel free to take a few hours to do something alone or with just one or two other people whenever needed.

Other than books, of course, I love nature,  food, history, and visiting old cemeteries, so most of the activities I’d suggest would revolve around these topics. Depending on the weather, we might visit the beach, look for interesting epigraphs at the local cemetery, go for a nature walk or hike,  take a tour of a historical site, or ask the locals about their favourite local spots to hang out that tourists might not be aware of and then see if those suggestions were as fantastic as I hope they would be.

If the weather outside were frightful, I’d suggest visiting nearby museums, bookstores, coffee houses, ice cream shops, restaurants, and/or libraries to whomever wished to join me.

Here are some characters I think would enjoy this minimalistic and laid-back vacation style.

1. Frodo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy

2. Eleanor Oliphant from Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

3. Celie from Alice Walker’s The Color Purple 

4. Katniss from Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games 

5. Don from Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project 

6. Alice from Claire Kann’s Let’s Talk About Love

7. Murderbot from Martha Wells’ All Systems Red 

8. Richard from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere 

9. Matilda (as an adult) from Roald Dahl’s Matilda 

10. Binti from Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes for Spring


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Spring is my favourite season of the year. In honour of it, here are ten quotes about spring, from literal musings about it to jokes to the use of this time of year as a metaphor for much bigger topics..

 

A photo of a sweet little grey and white baby rabbit who is tucked into the bottom of someone’s grey sweater. The person is holding up the side of their sweater so the rabbit does not fall out. The person is standing outside, too, and you can see some melting snow on the ground. “…I hear the sounds of melting snow outside my window every night and with the first faint scent of spring, I remember life exists…”
John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

 

“The most beautiful springs are those that come after the most horrible winters!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

 

“Spring is the time of the year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade”
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

 

“Spring time in Florida is not a matter of peeping violets or bursting buds merely. It is a riot of color, in nature—glistening green leaves, pink, blue, purple, yellow blossoms that fairly stagger the visitor from the north. The miles of hyacinths are like an undulating carpet on the surface of the river and divide reluctantly when the slow-moving alligators push their way log-like across. The nights are white nights as the moon shines with dazzling splendor, or in the absence of that goddess, the soft darkness creeps down laden with innumerable scents. The heavy fragrance of magnolias mingled with the delicate sweetness of jasmine and wild roses.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance

 

A cute little Cape May Warbler is sitting on a branch and looking around at the world. This bird is black and yellow and about the size of a sparrow. “Every year, I’m shocked at the abundance of growth, life, and wholeness that seem to happen in a matter of weeks. Half the year we live in Eden, the other half on Mars.”
Myquillyn Smith, Welcome Home: A Cozy Minimalist Guide to Decorating and Hosting All Year Round

 

“Snow in April is an abomination.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams

 

”Winter has frozen
my heart.
I can’t wait to drink
a glass of spring
and get wild.”
Bhuwan Thapaliya

 

“I love the smell of rain and growing things.”
Serina Hernandez

 

A photo of a cherry tree in full blossom against a light blue sky. The pink petals are blooming everywhere on the branch. “Come with me into the woods where spring is
advancing, as it does, no matter what,
not being singular or particular, but one
of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.”
Mary Oliver, Dog Songs: Poems

 

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
Pablo Neruda

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Tornadoes


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A cartoon-style drawing of a white and grey tornado. Last year I used one of the spring themes to talk about thunderstorms in books. Spring is thunderstorm season in Ontario, and it is also tornado season!  This means that as much as I enjoy watching thunderstorms roll in on warm spring days, I am also always aware that some storms can create tornadoes.

That is to say, I always stay close to shelter on those days and regularly check for breaking news. Tornadoes are nothing to mess around with!

They can be fun and educational to read about, though, so here are some books featuring them.

1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1) by L. Frank Baum

2. Elephant Wind: A Tornado Safety Book by Heather L. Beal

3. Watches and Warnings by Ryan Wolf

4. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

5. Twister: The Original Screenplay by Michael Crichton

6. The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

7. Twister by Darleen Bailey Beard

8. The Mystery in Tornado Alley (Nancy Drew, #155) by Carolyn Keene

9.The Secret of the Invisible City by Dale Carlson

10. The Rainbow Tornado by Ian More

 

 

 

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Movies That Would Have Made Amazing Books


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A photo of about six rows of red empty seats in a theatre. There’s not a lot of light in this room which gives it an eerie sort of feeling even though all you can see are tidy, red seats everywhere you look. Thank you to Sabrina @ Notes From a Paper Plane Nomad for coming up with this topic!

This is one of those weeks when I will be giving a little more than the suggested ten answers.

What surprised me while doing research for this post was how common it is for many movies and tv shows that weren’t originally based on books to eventually have stories published about them anyway.

I wonder if there has ever been or will ever be a film based on a book that was originally based on another film?

At any rate, here are some films that would make great books. So far as the Internet tells me, no books have been written about any of them yet.

1. Us

2. Good Will Hunting

3. Inception

4. The Cabin in the Woods

5. Beetlejuice

6. Edward Scissorhands

7. Nope!

8. Europa Report

9. Labyrinth

10. Get Out

11. The Sixth Sense

I look forward to reading everyone else’s responses.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring 2024 TBR


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There are four stacks of books in the background of this image that have about 6-8 books in each stack. No spines, authors, or titles can be seen in these stacks. The three books in the foreground have been wrapped up multiple times with a rough, brown, thick string that might be twine. There is a large pink cloth flower on top of the books. On their spines the words “Happy Spring’ and a few tiny pink cloth flowers have been affixed to cover any signs of their authors or titles. So here’s the thing about spring and my reading habits:

I tend to dramatically slow down on my reading time once the weather warms up, April showers have ended, and spending ample time outdoors is pleasant again for the first time in about six months.

If Ontario happens to have an unusually cold or stormy spring in a given year, this obviously does not happen.

I try to plan for all sorts of possibilities since you never know what the weather might do as the seasons change.

Let’s see which new books coming out this spring have caught my eye. I hope to read them on stormy days when going outdoors is not such an appealing idea.

 

Book cover for The Exvangelicals: Loving, Living, and Leaving the White Evangelical Church by Sarah McCammon. There is no image on the cover really. It starts off as lime green at the top of the cover and gradually shift colour to a sea green at the bottom. The title and author are written in a white font whose style is reminiscent of chalk on a chalkboard.

1. The Exvangelicals: Loving, Living, and Leaving the White Evangelical Church by Sarah McCammon

Publication Date: Today!

Why I’m Interested: Not only am I part of this demographic group, I was also a preacher’s kid. I’m really curious to see what the author has to say about us and how much of her research matches my own experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez book cover. Image on cover shows a drawing of a very pale person who might be a statue lying down with their eyes closed. They are surrounded by flowers and greenery, including one green leaf that is touching their lips and some grass growing up by their pale, still body. The background is pitch black, possibly a reference to this being set very late on a cloudy night?

 

2.  The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez 

Publication Date: April 2

Why I’m Interested: As an author, I have my own little cemetery of abandoned stories that I feel guilty about and do hope to go back and finish one day. Personifying forgotten characters is such a creative idea. This could be an excellent read.

Book cover for A Sweet Sting of Salt by Rose Sutherland. Image on cover shows a closeup of a white person whose long, straight, brown hair is flowing over their bare chest, concealing their breasts. Their hands are holding their hair in exactly the right position to keep this image from becoming too racy.

 

 

3. A Sweet Sting of Salt by Rose Sutherland

Publication Date: April 9

Why I’m Interested: Romance isn’t a genre I visit very often as you all may remember, but I love the fact that this is a retelling of the classic folktale The Selkie Wife and am excited to see what the author does with it.

Book cover for https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/196834746-the-house-that-horror-built. Image on cover shows an eerie red glowing light that looks like an alien spaceship hanging low over the floor in an otherwise almost pitch black room. You can see two white lightbulbs above it and the dim outline of a large wooden door, but the rest of the room is shrouded in darkness.

 

4. The House That Horror Built by Christina Henry

Publication Date: May 14

Why I’m Interested: It’s much less common for me to read horror since the pandemic started, but I do find the occasional stories in this genre that aren’t too scary. Here’s hoping I can handle some paranormal horror as the protagonist sounds like a very interesting person who just so happens to work in what sounds like might be a haunted house.

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Worried I Might Not Love as Much the Second Time Around


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I’m going to tweak this prompt slightly so I can give more general answers to it as I have a long history of rereading books I loved X years ago only to discover that they no longer suit my tastes for a wide variety of reasons.

Drawing of dozens of red, green, black, or yellow circles that have been arranged in a chainmail pattern so that all of the circles are interlocked with several other circles to create an unbreakable bond between them. This means that if I’ve felt the urge to reread something, I’ve probably already done it.

Change is part of being human, and I don’t think it’s always reasonable to expect someone to feel the same way about a book 5, 10, or 50 years later.

Some people will always love certain books, of course, and that’s perfectly okay, too. But I believe that some books may work best if read at certain stages of life or under a specific range of personal circumstances for some of us.

This will be a short list this week.

1. The Classics

I’ve had some disappointing experiences rereading some of my favourite childhood classic novels only to discover things in them that I’d either forgotten or had not fully understood the first time I read them. This makes me not want to read reread anything else from this genre I have fond memories of.

See also: the weird and offensive things The Secret Garden had to say about how people should overcome their health problems. While I agree that spending time out in nature and trying to look on the bright side of life can be great coping mechanisms, they are not magical cures for anyone’s disabilities or illnesses.

 

2. Long Books

I used to see books that were 400+ pages long and relish the thought of diving into them. Now I strongly prefer works half that length at most unless the storyline is otherwise irresistible to me.

See also: The Pillars of the Earth series by Ken Follett. I remember loving how detailed the plot was about the lives of ordinary people who built those amazing cathedrals in Europe…but it’s also almost 1000 pages long which is far too verbose for me these days.

 

3. Unsatisfying Endings 

It’s disappointing to follow a series for years only to be let down by how it ends.

See also: The Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M. Auel. The first few books in it were wonderful, and then most of the conflicts that had been slowly building up tension in this series were either completely ignored or hand-waved away with tepid solutions in the final two books.

While I’ll always have a soft spot for these characters, I cannot convince myself to read those last two books again.

 

4. (Overly) Hyped Books

Obviously, not all books that are wildly popular upon their release are going to have this issue, but I’ve noticed that quite a few books that are hyped up a lot do not match my expectations of what I want to read. Their characters might feel flat when you look closely, or their plot twists have an over abundance of foreshadowing, or the issues they discuss are no longer so relevant a few years later.

I will not be providing an example of this one as I don’t want to make anyone feel bad for enjoying the hype surrounding hot, new books or having different preferences for character or plot development than I do. Reading tastes are such personal things.

It has simply been my experience that there is often – but certainly not always –  an inverse correlation between how much a new book is hyped up and how much I will personally enjoy it. So I will leave those heavily advertised books for other readers to enjoy and go browse in quieter sections of the reading community.

 

5. Fairy Tales

It pains me to admit this, but I have not enjoyed the majority of the fairy tales or fairy tale retellings I’ve read in the last five years. The genre doesn’t feel fresh to me anymore.

Hopefully this will change someday as I loved this sort of thing when I was a kid.

Once again, no examples are needed here.

 

6.  Amazing Plot Twists

Some stories work fabulously the first time around because you (probably) won’t see their plot twists coming in advance.

Once you know what those plot twists were, it can be hard to find the motivation to reread these tales even though I may have really enjoyed them the first time around.

See Also: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1) by Daniel Quinn, but I will not be giving any hints about what the twist was!

 

 

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