Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Mermaid Covers

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A photorealistic painting of a mermaid swimming in the ocean. The shot is set from a perspective on the ocean floor where the viewers is looking up at the bright sun overhead and a mermaid that is mostly blocking out it’s rays as it swims close to the surface of the water. The mermaid has a large, thick fin and several small, thin, and partially see-through fins on its hips and arms that are helping it to navigate through the water. The original topic for this week was “Books or Covers that Feel/Look Like Summer.” I followed the prompt exactly last year, so this time I’m going to be a little creative with it.

There may not be any real mermaids in Lake Ontario, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, or any other large bodies of water, but it’s always fun to stare out at those endless waves and imagine what might be swimming around happily just out of sight on a warm summer day.

Being an adult doesn’t mean you have to stop imagining beautiful things after all, and now is a great time to do it.

Here are ten books with mermaids or mermen on their covers.

If Greg @ Book Haven happens to read this post, answer #7 reminds me of the kind of stuff you blog about. I included it specifically to amuse you.

Book cover for Nen and the Lonely Fisherman by Ian Eagleton. Image on cover shows a brown mermaid with a yellow tail sitting on a rock as the ocean crashes against the rock. She is looking at a fisherman wearing a yellow jacket who is in a red boat far away from her.

1. Nen and the Lonely Fisherman by Ian Eagleton


Book cover for The Mermaid in the Millpond by Lucy Strange. Image on cover is a drawing of an all-white mermaid swimming in a pond filled with algae and seaweed next to an old stone house and a tree that doesn’t have any leaves on it. The mermaid is staring at the tree and you cannot see her face.


2. The Mermaid in the Millpond by Lucy Strange


Book cover for The Merman by Dick King-Smith. Image on cover shows a merman with olive skin and white hair swimming in the ocean with his tail flipped out of the weather. He’s looking at a girl who is wearing a red dress. She is sitting on top of a large rock and looking down at him as seagulls fly by.

3. The Merman by Dick King-Smith


Book cover for Tides by Betsy Cornwell . Image on cover shows an Asian mermaid who has just plunged deeply into the ocean. You can see a plume of water and air rising up to the surface behind her as she joyfully begins to turn away from a manatee at the bottom of the shallow ocean flor and swim upwards again.

4. Tides by Betsy Cornwell


Book cover for l Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids, #1)  by Helene Boudreau. Image on cover shows a young white mermaid touching their own hands as the back of one hands gently touches their green and blue tail.

5. Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids, #1)  by Helene Boudreau


Book cover for The Deep by Rivers Solomon. Image on cover shows a black mermaid swimming up to the light and air as a gigantic whale swims by her.

6. The Deep by Rivers Solomon


Book cover for Merciless Mermaids (Agent 0008, #11) by Clyde Allison. Image on cover shows a vintage, pulpy, 1940s style drawing of a mermaid who has red hair and a gigantic octopus wrapping it’s tentacles around her body.


7. The Merciless Mermaids (Agent 0008, #11) by Clyde Allison


Book cover for The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen. Image on cover shows a Vietnamese kid with short hair and glasses who is wearing a patched jacket and reading a book. There is a faint drawing of a mermaid swimming on the green background behind him.

8. The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen


Book cover for The Little Mermaid by Deborah Hautzig and Hans Christian Andersen. Image on cover shows a brunette Caucasian mermaid sitting on a large rock in the ocean next to a white castle in the distance on the land. Her long, wavy hair is covering her otherwise bare torso.

9. The Little Mermaid by Deborah Hautzig and Hans Christian Andersen


Book cover for The Call of the Deep (The Matchless Deep, #1) by Tracy Lane. Image on cover shows the tail of a mermaid or merman as t they dive deeply into the ocean where there is very little light at all.

10. The Call of the Deep (The Matchless Deep, #1) by Tracy Lane



Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Instantly NOT Want to Read a Book

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The word no has been written into wet sand on a beach. Another wave is coming in and will soon begin to erase the word. Yes, I used a very similar stock photo last week. It amuses me and makes me want to go write my own messages in the sand at my local beach.

On a more serious note, here are some things that will make me instantly not want to read a book.

Please note that my first answer briefly mentions sexual abuse and my seventh answer mentions World War II trauma, so feel free to skip past them if necessary.

1. Sexual abuse

It’s an important and worthwhile topic, but I personally cannot read about it.


2. Characters who don’t have common sense.

Not every character I read about needs to be intelligent by any means, but I cannot read about people who repeatedly make ridiculous decisions for no reason at all. They should at the very least have basic street smarts and make choices that are reasonable for the average person of their age and background.

3. Inspirational stories

No offence is intended to fans of this genre in any way. I am simply not a religious person and am therefore so not the target audience for these types of tales.


4. Historical tales that feel modern.

That is to say, the good guys all have twenty-first century political/social views and/or use modern English.

I give historical writers a lot of leeway, but it’s really strange to me to meet characters from 100+ years ago whose speech and views so perfectly mimic how the average person in 2023 behaves. Honestly, I’d rather meet a protagonist whose speech is a little too formal and who has some views that were acceptable for their era but would be considered horribly old-fashioned at best today.


5. Tiny little (metaphorical) boxes

It bothers me to read books that heavily stereotype their characters, and I stop reading them as soon as I notice it happening.

There’s nothing wrong with a character liking things that are “typical” interests of someone their age, sex, class, race, etc., of course, but it strikes me as odd when most or even all characters in a book fit the stereotypes that have been associated with people like them.

That’s not how folks behave in real life.  I’d much rather read about characters who have been given more time to develop into hopefully well-rounded individuals who resemble the wonderfully complex and sometimes delightfully surprising people I know in real life.


6. 99.99% of self-help books 

I like the idea of personal improvement in book form, but I can think of maybe one or two titles from this genre I’ve ever read that were actually helpful. Many of them are so vague or filled with common sense that I don’t find them useful at all. The ones that deal with serious problems are often talking about subjects that are much easier to tackle with the help of a therapist or support group.


7. 99.99% of World War II stories

Yes, of course it’s important to remember what happened and try to keep something similar from ever happening again, but I have a relative who fought for the Allies in World War II and was traumatized by what he saw in Germany for the rest of his life.

When I see World War II stories being advertised, especially if they’re romances, I think about his struggle with those awful memories and how his pain shaped his life as well as the lives of his descendants (to a lesser extent, of course).

It’s totally fine if other people want to read dozens of fluffy World War II romances if that’s their thing. I simply view that era in a grim light due to how many innocent lives it destroyed and how many people were permanently physically and/or mentally scarred by it.



Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Instantly Want to Read a Book

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The word yes is written into sand on a beach. A wave is just beginning to reach the top of the letter y in yes and erase it. Here are some of the things that make me instantly want to read a book.

1. It’s written by one of my favourite authors.

This doesn’t mean I’ll automatically love a book, but it certainly raises the odds of that happening!


2. Someone in my inner circle recommended it.

Once again, this isn’t a guarantee I’ll like it, but it is a good sign for sure.


3. It’s about prehistory, hunter-gatherers, and/or Neanderthals 

There aren’t enough stories about those topics if you ask them.


4. The narrator breaks the fourth wall.

When done well, there’s nothing like a narrator or protagonist speaking directly to the audience as if they’ve known all along we’ve been following on with them on their journey. I get a thrill every time this happens.


5. It is hard science fiction. 

I am in awe of science fiction writers who are able to write this sort of thing. Someday I’d like to join their ranks.


6. There are biographical elements to the story. 

Autobiographies and biographies are some of my favorite types of nonfiction to read because of how much you can learn about a person and the era they lived in by following someone’s life from beginning to end. I also enjoy fictional stories that are anywhere from loosely to heavily based on the lives of real people.


7. It is a banned book. 

There’s something about banning books that makes me want to read them. Maybe it’s part of human nature?


8. The plot includes humorous moments.

I read a lot of heavy stuff, so I’m always on the lookout for lighter fare to balance out my literary diet.


9. It includes happy pet rabbits who do not die at the end!

Those disclaimers are needed due to how many books about pets have a tendency to end with the pet’s death.

When I see a happy little rabbit featured on a cover or mentioned in a title or blurb, the chances of me wanting to read that book skyrocket even if it’s in a genre I don’t usually pick up like romance or World War II fiction.

I adore rabbits, but they don’t show up very often in cheerful scenes in adult literature.  (Luckily, children’s books do not have that problem, so I still have plenty of rabbit fiction in general when I want it. 🙂 )


Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Things Getting in the Way of Reading

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Now is one of those times of the year when my bookish side takes a break and my other interests get a chance to flourish. Here are some of the things that I’ve been doing (or trying to do) instead of reading this spring.

A magnolia tree in bloom. It is covered in hundreds of large pink and white flowers that are open and framed against a light blue sky. Sunlight streams into the photo from the left. 1. Beautiful Weather

I’m saying this affectionally, but Toronto only has a few months of gorgeous weather per year. Most months are too hot, cold, or stormy to spend more time outside than is strictly necessary.

When we finally get long stretches of dry, mild, pleasant weather in the spring and autumn, you’d better believe I’m out there soaking up as much of it as I can.

2. Nature 

Anyone who reads my posts regularly already knows I’m a nature lover. Along with enjoying pleasant weather when it comes, I also like to admire the spring flowers and whatever else is in season.

3. A Reading Slump

They seem to be more common for me in spring and autumn. It might be because I generally spend so much time reading over the winter when it’s too cold and snowy (and over the summer when it’s too hot and humid) to visit some of my favourite places.


4. TV Shows

My spouse loves watching TV with me, so that reduces my reading time as well.


5. In-Person Socialization

Like everyone else, I’ve been a real homebody these past few years (and, honestly, I was a homebody way before that, too), so I’m trying to stretch myself and spend more time socializing in person when I find Covid-safe ways to do so.


6. Fire Alarms 

No, this isn’t a joke. My apartment building keeps having the fire alarm set off by people who do things like smoke in the stairwell, smoke in the hallway, or accidentally burn some food, open their front door to air out their apartment, and inadvertently set off the building-wide smoke alarm instead of only the one in their apartment.

While I am grateful for smoke alarms and how seriously management takes everyone’s safety, I sure wish the fire alarms wouldn’t be set off so often when there’s no actual danger.



Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Recently Recommended to Others

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Drawing of two hedgehogs standing on their hand legs. One of them is holding one red, one green, and one blue balloon with it’s right paw as both hedgehogs look at the balloons with content expressions on their faces.This week’s prompt was “Books I Recommend to Others the Most.”

As I don’t recommend books to other people very often, this is going to be a pretty short list.

I would normally pick a typical stock photo of a stack of books for this sort of topic, but this drawing of two hedgehogs admiring some balloons made me smile.

A great book recommendation is a gift that you can enjoy over and over again.

Yes, I’ve blogged about some of these books before on my site. Like I said earlier, I really don’t recommend books very often, so there were bound to be repeats here today.



Book cover for Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. Image on cover shows a drawing of a little town that is getting blanketed in a heavy snowstorm. The background of the cover is green and the town and snow can be seen because they are all white.

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

Why I recommended it: What a beautiful novella this was, especially considering the ugly subjects it dealt with like the terrible stigma single mothers faced in Ireland in previous generations. Some of my favourite scenes were the ones that explored how certain characters pushed back against the assumption that women who had babies out of wedlock were damaged goods or that their children were inferior to children whose parents were married.


Book cover for The Mysteries by Bill Watterson. Image on cover is a black and white drawing of a person wearing a cloak as they stand outside of a cottage in a dark winter forest. The person has a frightened expression on their face.

The Mysteries by Bill Watterson

Why I recommended it: This book doesn’t come out until October. While I haven’t read it yet,  I know so many people who loved the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that I’ve been telling them all about Mr. Watterson’ new project so they can decide whether they want to read it.


Book cover for The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction by Pat Shipman. Image o cover shows two people walking on a grassy plane next to two wolf dogs. The people are carrying wooden spears, dressed in heavy animal fur cloaks, and have long, shaggy brown hair and pale skin.

The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction by Pat Shipman

Why I recommended it: I can’t say for sure if Ms. Shipman’s theory is correct, but I liked hearing all of her evidence for a much earlier domestication of dogs and how that may have affected both Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.

The Story of Tutankhamun: An intimate Life of the Boy Who Became King by Garry J. Shaw

Why I recommended it: I wasn’t aware of how many new details about King Tut’s life have recently been uncovered. The writing style was plain-spoken and engaging, too, so I felt comfortable recommending this to the people in my life who would have run screaming from anything that even remotely resembled a textbook or other scholarly work.


Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: The First 10 Books I Randomly Grabbed from My Shelf

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Black and white photo of a hardcover book that is opening. All of it’s white pages are gently fanning out as the cover slowly moves down towards the the surface the book is lying on. Here is an assortment of library books I’ve borrowed recently and what I thought of them.

This list is random in the sense that I tried to pick a wide variety of genres and topics from the usual assortment of books that I borrow from my local library.

I also included tales that spanned the range from DNF to things I genuinely liked and would recommend to likeminded readers.



Book cover for The Boy on the Bridge (The Girl With All the Gifts, #2) by M.R. Carey. Image on cover shows a drawing of the back side of a teenage boy who is wearing baggy pants and a hoodie. He is slightly slouched over and has his back turned to the audience.

1. The Boy on the Bridge (The Girl With All the Gifts, #2) by M.R. Carey

Genre: Science Fiction, Horror (It was a cordyceps zombie story, to be specific)

What I Thought Of It: What a wild ride!  It was especially interesting to see how the various crew members got along while on their dangerous mission since there was quite the clash of personalities sometimes. This is a series that needs to be read in order, by the way, unless you enjoy being totally confused by everything that’s going on. Hehe.


Book cover for Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser. Image on cover is a painting of a dingy white 1800s train travelling down a lonely stretch of train tracks on the prairie as a large fire burns in the background.

2. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

Genre: Nonfiction

What I Thought Of It: This was a well-written deep-dive into Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life. It included sometimes tragic stories about her childhood that she left out of the Little House books for a variety of reasons. I’d recommend it to hardcore fans of the Little House books who want to know more about this era. The writing was a little dense and academic at times, but it was worth it if you fit into this niche.


Book cover for Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah. image on cover shows a painting of five little black birds sitting on telephone pole wires on a sunny day. There are only a few puffy white clouds in the otherwise blue sky.

3. Small Joys by Elvin James Mensah

Genre: Literary Fiction

What I Thought Of It: I was looking forward to this one, but sadly couldn’t get into the writing style or the slow pacing. It was a DNF for me.


Book cover for The Secret Midwife by Katy Weitz. Image on cover shows a photograph of a young white woman wearing scrubs. She is standing away from the audience. We cannot see her face, but she seems to be in the hallway of a busy hospital, and there is another white woman in scrubs getting something off of a shelf in front of her.

4. The Secret Midwife by Katy Weitz

Genre: Memoir

What I Thought Of It: The stories themselves were quite interesting, but I was disturbed by the paternalism and sexism in the labour and delivery ward. For example, pregnant women were denied pain medicine even after asking for it repeatedly because the midwives didn’t think they really needed it. Shouldn’t the person giving birth be the one making that call? This was another DNF for me.


Book cover for The Power by Naomi Alderman. Image on cover shows a drawing of a red handprint that has grey nerve endings drawing on top of all five fingers and around the palm.

5. The Power by Naomi Alderman

Genre: Science Fiction

What I Thought Of It: I was not a fan of the writing style or character development. While I’m enjoying the show based on it, this was a DNF for me.


Book cover for he Last Cold Place: a Field Season Studying Penguins in Antarctica Naira de Gracia. Image on cover shows three penguins walking close to the viewer on a snowy Antarctic day. The sky above is cloudy with small blue patches of sky visible above the clouds. There are hundreds of other penguins in the distance behind the ones we can see up close on the ground.

6. The Last Cold Place: a Field Season Studying Penguins in Antarctica Naira de Gracia

Genre: Science (Zoology)

What I Thought Of It: What a delightful read. It felt like having a conversation with the author in the best possible sense of that metaphor. Penguins are such interesting animals, and her passion for studying them shone through perfectly.

Book cover for Destination Prairie by Cathie Bartlett. Image on cover shows an oil painting of an olive-skinned, black-haired woman wearing a flowing purple dress. She has her hands on her hips and is holding her dress up so a small portion of it touches the dappled sunlight. She’s standing on top of a hill covered in dead yellow grass and a few hardy trees looking down on the acres of dead grass and a slow, meandering river below her in the valley.

7. Destination Prairie by Cathie Bartlett

Genre: Literary Fiction, Romance

What I Thought Of It: The main character was a sensible, kind woman who worked hard and dreamed of better days. If she were real and lived in 2023, I would happily be her friend. I only wish the author had made this a longer work so that we could dive more deeply into all of the interesting plot twists as they sometimes felt rushed to me.


Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Audiobook Narrators I’d Love to Listen To

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A white pair of headphones that have had their two ear pieces placed on either side of a blue hardback book. The plug in the headphones has been tucked between the book’s pages as if to magically absorb their words and turn them into an audiobook. It made me chuckle. I can’t say that I think about audiobook narrators too much when I’m listening to stories. So long as I can understand what they’re saying and they inflect appropriate emotions into a scene, I can adjust to just about any reading style.

It’s sort of like listening to someone tell a story. The way they tell it might be a little (or even very) different from how I’d do it, but that’s a good thing.

These discussions are often better when people do have strong opinions on the matter, so my fingers are crossed that some of you are much more opinionated on the matter.

Here are a few audiobook narrators I think it would be cool to listen to.

1) The Author Themself 

They know exactly how that scene unfolded in their mind, so that might give the author an advantage when it comes to reading the audiobook and emphasizing (or not emphasizing) certain words.


2) Morgan Freeman 

He has such a distinctive and recognizable voice!


3) Robin Williams (may he Rest in Peace)

What a great narrator he would have been for a children’s picture book or a comedic story.


4) Bilingual or Multilingual People

People who can speak two or more languages can sometimes have such memorable insight into the idiosyncrasies of a language. I love listening to their thoughts on  idioms or how best to translate something when the literal translation doesn’t quite work for whatever reason.


5) Patrick Stewart

I could listen to him speak for hours.


6) James Earl Jones 

I find his voice so soothing.


I wasn’t expecting this list to have so many men on it. Who are your favourite famous women out there who have amazing speaking voices?


Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite Things

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I look forward to getting to know all of you a little better and seeing what we may have in common! Here are ten of my favourite things.

Sunlight streaming through the trees in a forest that is lightly covered in green leaves. It looks like early to mid spring there, and the ground is still covered in brown leaves or dead grass from last year. 1. Nature

There’s nothing like taking a long, peaceful walk through the woods. I’d do it every day if the weather cooperated and if it were always safe for women to go tromping through the woods alone. (Some urban forests here are perfectly safe, of course, but others can be a little sketchy at certain times of the day or year when few people use them).


2. Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate

I don’t see it very often here in Toronto, so I buy it whenever I find a brand that’s safe for me. Luckily, a relative recently surprised me with a lot of dairy-free hot chocolate that will probably last a very long time.


3. Time Alone

I am deeply introverted. My spouse and I live in a small apartment and both work from home, so getting enough alone time has been a bit of a struggle since 2020. I relish all of the alone time I manage to get.


4. Rabbits

While I can’t have a rabbit of my own due to allergies, I love looking at photos, gifs, and videos of them online.


Four busts in a museum. Three are men and one is a woman. Three have curly hair and the woman has her straight hair in a pony tail. Each bust is facing a different way, so only the faces of one man and one woman can be seen. 5. Museums

Whether it’s about science, history, or art, I love learning new things at all of them.


6. The Anonymity of City Life

I was a preacher’s kid who lived in a small town when I was growing up. There are benefits to both of those things, of course, but the combination of small town culture, church culture, and my quiet, reserved personality made it a relief for me to move away somewhere and no longer be the centre of attention so often. Ha!


7. Food Festivals

One of the other cool things about living in a big city is how many food festivals exist here. I’ve had a lot of luck finding delicious food that’s safe for my milk allergy at certain ones.


8. Small Groups

My favourite type of socialization happens in small groups. There’s something magical about getting together with a few other people and going out to dinner or something. I like being able to hear everything that’s said and have a chance to jump into the conversation, too.


A closeup of a dumbbell sitting on a grey flat floor. Sunlight is streaming into the room and just barely reaching the end of the dumbbell. 9. Weightlifting 

It makes me feel so strong and capable!


10. Love Songs

This might come as a little bit of a surprise since I don’t read or watch many romances, but I adore the optimism and joy that comes from songs about love. Any genre is cool, although I do tend to gravitate towards R&B and Adult Contemporary since it’s easier to find songs about this topic there.



Filed under Blog Hops, Personal Life

Top Ten Tuesday: Titles with Aquatic Animals In Them

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


IDozens of orange, black, and black and white tropical fish swimming next to a coral reef. decided to narrow down this week’s prompt to aquatic animals.

They don’t seem to be featured in titles and book covers as often as cats or dogs are, so I thought this would provide an interesting spin to the topic.

I also love seeing how aquatic animals interact with their environments. Whether you’re looking at a goldfish, a shark, or something in-between them in size, they’re all fascinating if you ask me!

Oh, and I’m still having trouble leaving comments on Blogger sites. Here’s hoping it will work better today.




Book cover for Capyboppy by Bill Peet. Image on cover shows a drawing of a capybara sitting on an inner tube on a patch of grass.

1. Capyboppy by Bill Peet


Book cover for Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey. Image on cover shows a trilobite swimming against a blue background.


2. Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution by Richard Fortey


Book cover for Liō: Happiness is a Squishy Cephalopod by Mark Tatulli. Image on cover shows a drawing of a purple cephalopod looking at a mirror as a child peeks in the window in their room to see what they’re doing.

3. Liō: Happiness is a Squishy Cephalopod by Mark Tatulli


Book cover for  The White Seal by Rudyard Kipling. Image on the cover is a drwaing of a black seal cradling a baby h white seal on his or her back as they lie on a grey beach next to a grassy field.

4.  The White Seal by Rudyard Kipling


Book cover for Dolphin in the Deep by Lucy Daniels and Ben M. Baglio. Image on cover is a photorealistic painting of a dolphin poking it’s head out of the ocean.

5. Dolphin in the Deep by Lucy Daniels and Ben M. Baglio



Book cover for Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart. Image on cover shows a drawing of Plato next to a drawing of a platypus. The rest of the cover has a green binding and a dark orange front.

6. Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart


Book cover for Turtle Tears: A Play in Two Acts by J. Suthern Hicks. Image on cover shows a naked and very pale white adult curled in a fetal position and holding their head while they sit in a small round mirror. Four blue butterflies fly around the mirror.

7. Turtle Tears: A Play in Two Acts by J. Suthern Hicks


Book cover for One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. Image on cover shows two green fish, one red fish, and one yellow fish swimming against a yellow background. All fish have been drawn in an exaggerated and whimsical style.

8. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss


book cover for So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4) by Douglas Adams. Image on cover shows a drawing of a children’s dollhouse from the perspective of a set of binoculars. Each piece of the binocular shows about half of the image, but they don’t intersect and there does appear to be a little piece missing in the centre of the house.

9. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #4) by Douglas Adams


Book cover for The Salmon of Doubt (Dirk Gently, #3) by Douglas Adams. Image on cover shows a salmon swimming through outer space by the Milky Way.


10. The Salmon of Doubt (Dirk Gently, #3) by Douglas Adams





Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Self-Published Books I Will Be Reviewing

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A closeup of a black ballpoint pen that has just finished writing the phrase “once upon a time” in black ink on a white unlined piece of paper. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the majority of the books I review are self-published because I believe in supporting other indie/self-published authors as much as I possibly can.

Writing is hard work, and I am always respectful of the effort other authors put into what they publish.

All eight of these reviews have already been written and scheduled. If they’re marked as tentative, that means that there is a possibility that particular review might be pushed back if another book fits better into that slot. When that happens, the original review will be published a few week to a month later on average instead.

I only have the time, energy, and space to review about four or five books each month here, and it can be hard for me to write effectively if a migraine flairs up unexpectedly. Therefore I like to have about a month of posts ready to go while leaving space to rearrange the order of things if, say, I find an excellent book about an upcoming holiday like Mother’s Day that I want to publish that week instead.

At the moment, I’ve surpassed that goal by quite a bit.  Planning ahead makes life so much easier when you can do it!

I’d love to hear how far in advance all of you write your posts and reviews on average. Do you prefer to have a cushion of work to fall back on or do you write everything right before it’s due to be published?


Book cover for MARiiMO by Tyrel Pinnegar. Image on cover shows a drawing of a grey robot with blobby arms and legs and a white head. The bottom portion of the head is filled with a blue liquid, an the rest of the head is white and blank.

MARiiMO by Tyrel Pinnegar

My Review Publication Date: April 6

Blurb: This is the journal of Tammy Maheswaran, a reclusive roboticist living with undiagnosed autism. It documents the creation of Mariimo, a developmental robotics platform through which Tammy subconsciously externalizes her issues with isolation, anxiety, and touch. Upon the machine’s activation, Tammy gradually begins to realize that in the act of constructing Mariimo, she’s been unknowingly deconstructing herself.


Book cover for The Sword and the Kestrel by Shawna Reppert. Image on cover is a photograph of a Kestrel being held by the gloved hand of their handler out in a forest where the leaves on the trees and bushes are just beginning to grow in spring.

The Sword and the Kestral by Shawna Reppert

My Review Publication Date: April 13

Blurb: Can a Renn-Faire falconer break an ancient family curse and make peace with the Lord of Forests?


Book cover for The Trip to Nowhere by Stephanie Shaw. Image on cover is a photograph of someone walking alone down an incredibly foggy road lined with trees at either dusk or dawn. Only weak light can filter through the dense fog, and everything looks blurry and out of focus because of how much fog there is. Even the trees are just bare outlines of trees due to it.


The Trip to Nowhere by Stephanie Shaw

My Review Publication Date: April 20

Blurb: A broken marriage,
A lost love,
And nothing to lose.
When his wife confesses that she’s pregnant for Cole’s business rival, the news throws him into a downward spiral. Unable to face his life, he decides to go on a road trip alone. In the process, he uncovers the truth about a missing woman, an unborn child and a shocking family secret. He realizes too late that sometimes the past needs to be left in the past.


Book cover for The Old Mountain Biker by Robert Adamson. Image on cover shows a bike rider sitting on their bike on the edge of a cliff at sunset. They are looking over the edge of the cliff at the ground far below them. There is a pine forest in the distance.

My Review Publication Date: April 27

Blurb: In this SciFi short story, an old mountain biker encounters aliens from another planet that rescue him after a fall. They cure his injuries but also restore his youth.Then they offer a similar gift to the entire planet, but with conditions.



Book cover for Building Beauty by Rachel Eliason. Image on cover shows a closeup of a human face carved out of wood. The eye of the statue is bright purple.

Building Beauty by Rachel Eliason

My Review Publication Date: May 4 (tentatively)

Blurb: In the waning days of World War One, Alejandro Faidosky is sent to serve the Tsar in a distant corner of the Russian Empire. In the industrial center of Chelyabinsk, deep in southern Siberia Alejandro discovers a factory producing “automatons”, clockwork robots. His job is to sculpt a robotic prostitute for the common soldier. “Of all the men in Mother Russia I must be the most ill equipped for this assignment” Alejandro moans to himself, but he must not let Major Dmitri know, and he must somehow build beauty.

Building Beauty is a coming out story set in Tsarist Russia and tinged with elements of science fiction. It is typical of Rachel Eliason’s writing; an evocative and imaginative blend of reality and fiction.

Book cover for Come in the Weater by K.C. Hastings. image on cover shows the sun setting over a lake. There is a pool of water on the beach and a portion of the sand that shows marks from something heavy being dragged into the water. In the distance, you can see something tentacle-like poking out of the water.

Come in the Water by K.C. Hastings

My Review Publication Date: May 11 (tentatively)

Blurb: There’s something in the lake, and I don’t mean the giant catfish.


Book cover for The Life and Lies of Danny Diaz by Andy Paine. Image on cover shows the title written in a font that’s orange on the left and gradually fades to yellow as you move further to the right of the page. This was all written against a black background.

The Life and Lies of Danny Diaz by Andy Paine

My Review Publication Date: May 18 (tentatively)

Blurb: An ageing rocker, a journalist, and a small, seemingly inconsequential object. This is the tale of the greatest musical theft in history.

Such a small, seemingly inconsequential object. Yet for ageing rocker Danny Diaz, journalist Henry Lapthorne, and indeed the entire population, it is an object that has aided in the greatest musical theft in history, forever altering the historical landscape of music as we know it.

After years of wilful deceit, Danny’s life has come full circle as he reaches out to the one man who forever doubted him, intent on telling his story, and finding peace with his past. For Henry, it is the story of a lifetime, an unbelievable tale of addiction, regret, and redemption. But can it possibly be true? Or is it just another ruse? Is this tale the fulfilment of Henry’s career, or yet another deception in the decades long animosity between two men who know each other so well, and yet not at all.

Book cover for Take Care of Your Body by Elton Gahr. Image on cover shows two mostly-leafless trees that have been trimmed to look like two faces looking at each other. A few leaves are flowing from one tree to the next against a cloudy winter sky.


Take Care of Your Body by Elton Gahr

My Review Publication Date: May 25 (tentatively)

Blurb: Frank is a new kind of personal trainer. The kind that switches bodies with the ultra rich so they can get the benefits of working out without the effort. But his new client has done the unthinkable, escaping with Frank’s body while leaving Frank to answer for his crimes.
Now Frank has to track down his own body and force his client to return it before the FBI can catch him.




Filed under Blog Hops