Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

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

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Arial shot of waves gently lapping against a large sandy beach. Someone has scratched the world aloha into the sand. 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 for them? Let’s assume WiFi won’t be a problem either.

Is the temperature moderate enough to keep you fairly comfortable throughout the day and night?

Are there many dangerous animals, plants, or other features of the island?

If we were travelling together, I’d be the sort of person who had some spare sunscreen, shelf-stable food, medication, and first aid supplies to share if anyone needed them.

What can I say?

I enjoy life and vacations more if I’m prepared for the unexpected. Some of these answers are honestly pretty self-explanatory, but I will go into detail about the rest.

1. Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook: First Aid for Travelers, Backpackers and Adventurers by Spike Briggs, Campbell Mackenzie


2. Complete Guide to Fresh and Saltwater Fishing: Conventional Tackle. Fly Fishing. Spinning. Ice Fishing. Lures. Flies. Natural Baits. Knots. Filleting. Cooking. Game Fish Species. Boating by Vin T. Sparano



3. Edible Plants of the Hawaiian Islands and Tropical Regions by Tyler Harris

This wouldn’t cover every island or biome out there, of course, but at least it would give an idea of what to look for when seeking out edible wild plants in tropical climates which I’m quite unfamiliar with.



4. How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North

I suspect this would be mostly good for entertainment, but it might have some good advice for building things I needed on the island, too.


5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

There’s nothing about islands or survival in this story. I chose it because I enjoy rereading it every few years and it’s long enough not to get through too quickly.


Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir book cover. Image on cover shows an astronaut floating through space while tethered to their ship. There is a large sun or planet in the background.


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

I adored this daring adventure and rescue tale. It seems perfect to revisit it while on a deserted island.


7. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I DNF this book a few months ago. Maybe this would be the perfect time to try it again? So many people have loved it.


8. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson

9. The Collected Poems by Langston Hughes

10. Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver

My final three selections are all poets I really loved back when I was more into this genre. Sometimes I’d read their poetry when I didn’t have the attention span to read a full-length novel.

It seemed like a good idea to include short, easy options in this list. This is especially true since all three of these poets excel at writing things that can feel more meaningful when read out loud.

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 that my grandmother was dealing with some chronic, serious health issues, so mom would often bring us kids along on the visit. We might help out with the chores that were hard for grandma to do on her own or just sit around and shoot the breeze if she’d already gotten the help she needed that week. (Grandma recovered from that illness and is still doing well to this day).

In part due to this, I spent some blissful summer days reading entire novels or novellas in a single afternoon during these visits. It was the coolest and most enjoyable thing to do, especially when it grew very hot and humid in July and August.

Many of them were classics because I was a bookish kid who generally enjoyed those styles of writing quite a bit and because those were often the types of books my grandparents still have lying around on their many bookshelves.

I read many other genres and sorts of stories as well, of course, but these are the books that have stuck in my mind the best that fit this week’s prompt. Maybe it’s because I miss my grandparents?

1. Animal Farm by George Orwell

2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

4. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

5. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

6. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

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

8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

9. The Giver (The Giver, #1) by Lois Lowry

10. Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1) by Chinua Achebe

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That Are Questions

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I asked the Internet to give me stock photos related to the word question, and it delivered someone wearing a cardboard box over their head. They’re tapping the side of the box with one hand while making a quizzical gesture with their other arm.

I can’t stop giggling at this image and hope you all find it amusing as well. The internet really is full of surprises, isn’t it?

Let’s move on to the list.

1. What’s the Use of Walking If There’s a Freight Train Going Your Way?: Black Hoboes & Their Songs
by Paul Garon

2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

3. How Do Witches Fly?: A Practical Approach to Nocturnal Flights by Alexander Kuklin

4. What Killed Jane Austen?: And Other Medical Mysteries by George Biro

5. Where’s Waldo? The Fantastic Journey by Martin Handford

6. Who Is Santa Claus?: The True Story Behind a Living Legend by Robin Crichton

7. Who Do You Think You Are? by Alice Munro

8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, #1) by Philip K. Dick

9. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee

10. Did She Kill Him?: A Victorian Tale of Deception, Adultery and Arsenic by Kate Colquhoun


Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons Why I Love Reading

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl 

I could have written a list two or three times this length! What a fantastic topic.

An open book lying spine down and pages fanned out while letting on a metal table. 1. It’s a healthy form of escapism.

2. It has introduced me to historical eras and events I may not know much about. I have no doubt this will continue to happen in the future!

3. It has let me meet people, both real and imagined, that I would have otherwise never met.

4. It gives me a chance to visit places I haven’t seen in real life yet.

5. It lifts my spirits when I’m sad and gives me hope when I’m going through a rough time.

6. It shows me the beauty in our world.

7. It can be a wonderful way to learn about how others live. For example, you can read books about characters from cultures you didn’t grow up in or who are dealing with sensitive issues that generally aren’t considered polite to ask about in many societies unless you know someone quite well. (Even then, there are plenty of things I’d never bring up unless the person experiencing it mentions it first and says it’s okay to ask questions!)

8. It can help you come up with new strategies to handle your own medical issues, experiences with prejudice, conflicts, etc. For example, I love reading books about other folks who have migraines or chronic headaches because of everything we’d have in common related to that.

9. It’s hopeful. I love reading about how past generations solved their biggest problems or how characters tackle issues that seem insurmountable at first.

10. It’s a wonderful way to make new friends though the blogging community and by discussing books with fellow readers.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books of the Second Half of 2021

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Rabbit wearing glasses and sitting next to an opened book
This isn’t my rabbit, but I love this bookish picture.

There are so many amazing books being published throughout the rest of 2021!

Toronto’s public library system is pretty good at getting new releases, so my fingers are crossed that I’ll be able to request, and probably even read, all of these books by the end of the year.

If nothing else, I hope to be in a comfortable position in the waitlist for the really popular ones on this list before Christmas rolls around.


So Many Beginnings- A Little Women Remix  by Bethany C. Morrow book cover. Image on cover shows four smiling black sisters.

1. So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix  by Bethany C. Morrow

Release Date: September 7

Why I Want to Read It: This will be my first retelling of Little Women. I can’t wait.


The Lost Girls  by Sonia Hartl book cover. Image on cover shows vampire with blood coming out of the corner of her mouth .

2. The Lost Girls  by Sonia Hartl 

Release Date: September 14

Why I Want to Read It: It’s a queer vampire romance that playfully acknowledges the creepiness of a 100+ year old vampire dating a teenage girl. I do enjoy this sort of thing on occasion and am not making fun of it or anything. It’s just nice to see some nuance in the trope.


The Hill We Climb and Other Poems by Amanda Gorman book cover. Image on cover shows title in red except for "and other poems" which is written in white

3. The Hill We Climb and Other Poems by Amanda Gorman

Release Date: September 21

Why I Want to Read It: I loved the poem she wrote for President Biden’s inauguration and can’t wait to read more.


The $16 Taco: Contested Geographies of Food, Ethnicity, and Gentrification  by Pascale Joassart-Marcelli  book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of people waiting to get into a small ethnic restaurant.

4. The $16 Taco: Contested Geographies of Food, Ethnicity, and Gentrification  by Pascale Joassart-Marcelli  

Release Date: October 5

Why I Want to Read It: There are many restaurants here in Toronto that will take an inexpensive dish from one ethnic group, add a few unusual ingredients, and jack up the price so much that only wealthy (and generally white) folks can buy it. I’m curious to see what this author has discovered about this practice in general.


Cackle  by Rachel Harrison book cover. Image on cover shows a porcelain cup decorated with a spider and spider webs. Something is releasing steam from it.

5. Cackle  by Rachel Harrison

Release Date: October 5

Why I Want to Read It: Most books about witches are not at all scary these days. The blurb hints that this won’t be a traditional “witches are terrifying” tale either, though, so I look forward to seeing what angle it does take.


Gastro Obscura- A Food Adventurer's Guide  by Cecily Wong book cover. Image on cover is a mishmash of various travel and food images,from an airplane to strawberries.

6. Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide  by Cecily Wong

Release Date: October 12

Why I Want to Read It: I have some health conditions that limit my diet. I’m as adventurous as my body will allow, but I love reading about foods I can’t actually have just as much as I do the ones I can eat.


Bright Lights, Prarie Dust: A Memoir  by Karen Grassle 

7. Bright Lights, Prarie Dust: A Memoir  by Karen Grassle

Release Date: October 19

Why I Want to Read It: I grew up watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie and enjoy going back to that world.


Yummy- A History of Desserts  by Victoria Grace Elliott book cover. Image on cover is a drawing of a large ice cream sundae and three small characters adding more cookies to it.

8. Yummy: A History of Desserts  by Victoria Grace Elliott 

Release Date: October 19

Why I Want to Read It: As you’ve probably noticed, I love reading about food.


Noor by Nnedi Okorafor book cover. Image on cover shows african woman holding her head up high.

9. Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

Release Date: November 9

Why I Want to Read It:  Ms. Okorafor is on my shortlist of must-read authors.


Within These Wicked Walls  by Lauren Blackwood book cover. Imageon cover shows a woman's face superimposed over an imposing mansion

10. Within These Wicked Walls  by Lauren Blackwood   Jane Eyre retelling. Ethiopian 

Release Date: November 9

Why I Want to Read It: Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favourite classic novels. I can’t wait to read this retelling of it.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Wishes

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl The instructions for this week’s prompt said to list the top 10 books you’d love to own and include a link to a wishlist so that people can grant your wish. I’m tweaking it just a little because a) my TBR pile is already huge, and b) I don’t… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: LGBT+ Book Quotes

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl Pride month is just around the corner. Since all in-person events for Toronto’s Pride events have been cancelled again this year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, I decided to start the celebration a little early here instead. May it be safe for us to celebrate in person next year!… Read More