Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Wishes

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Based on the teetering numbers of books still on my TBR, I don’t need anyone to buy books for me. What I will do with this post is the same thing I did in 2021 and 2022: ask for book recommendations based on specific genres, themes, and types of stories that I currently can’t get enough of.

Please speak up if you can think of anything great to read in the following categories.

A white wooden heart with the word “wish” carved into it. The heart is tied to something out of range of the shot with a piece of twine. There is a blurry, out-of-focus forest behind the heart and green grass below it. Wish #1: Cozy Speculative Fiction 

For example, I adored The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz and Becky Chambers’ Monk and Robot series.

If you know of other cozy science fiction or fantasy stories, I want to read them!


Wish #2: Intelligent, Street Smart Characters

Earlier this year, I went through an unfortunate streak of DNF books featuring characters who did not make good life decisions.

For example, imagine a character who is vacationing somewhere new to them being warned not to visit a particular spot after dark by locals who know that area is haunted and dangerous and who tell the main character exactly why they should stay away. The protagonist metaphorically rubs two brain cells together and then decides that they will visit the dangerously haunted area anyways because they’re on vacation and it’s probably all a hoax to scare visitors.

(That’s not actually what happened in the books I decided to DNF, but it was about that level of exasperation for me as a reader).

So, yeah, I’m in the market for characters who make intelligent decisions and do not ignore bright red flags. Any genre other than erotica or inspirational is fine, and it’s okay if they get into serious trouble despite taking reasonable precautions. I just need to read about characters who have basic common sense!


Wish #3: Humorous Books

I think I’ve put this on every one of my wish lists so far, but there can never be too many humorous books.



Wish #4: Zombie Fiction

Here are some recent zombie stories and tv shows I’ve enjoyed:

The Last of Us

The Girl With All the Gifts

World War Z

Basically, I prefer zombie fiction that tries to give a scientific explanation for how it happened, spends as little time as possible showing humans harming each other, and tries to be realistic about what would really happen to humanity if, say, cordyceps evolved to infect humans instead of only infecting certain species of ants.


Wish #5: Science for Non-Scientists

Yes, I know that’s a broad category. I like to read about all sorts of scientific subjects, from the history of sheep to earthworms to the history of vaccines.

It’s amazing to see what scientists have discovered about our world and how long it can take certain breakthroughs to happen.



Wish #6: Books with Vivid Food Descriptions

Once again, I’ll dip into any genre other than the two I mentioned not being interested in earlier. I’m simply in the mood to read books that go to great pains to describe the food served in them in vivid detail.


Filed under Blog Hops

56 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Wishes

  1. Oh, I do like the category of Science for Nonscientists. I’ve read several nature-ish books lately I’d recommend including Birding without Borders; A Most Remarkable Creature; and I Contain Multitudes.

  2. For wish #4, if you are looking for zombie fiction, I definitely recommend Feed by Mira Grant. It takes place well after the zombies have arrived and I found the way that humans adapted to survive absolutely fascinating. It’s got zombies as an ever present threat, but it’s more of a political thriller than just a straight up horror story.

  3. For zombie fiction, I’d recommend Feed by Mira Grant/Seanan MacGuire. It felt really grounded to me.

  4. I recently read To Shape a Dragon’s Breath and I thought the main character made pretty smart choices compared to other school fantasies I’ve read.

  5. This was a really great twist on a wish list. I’m going to have to keep it in mind for the next time this topic comes up.

  6. Humorous–I will be listening probably next week: Helen Ellis’s new book Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge. She’s very funny, has been on NPR, and was a twitter star for a while @WhatIDoAllDay I’ve reviewed her other books.

  7. Great list! If you’re looking for humor, I can suggest (again) P.G. Wodehouse. He’s most known for his Jeeves and Wooster books about an affable but useless young man named Bertie Wooster who gets into all kinds of trouble avoiding work and marriage, and is frequently asked for help by his friends but invariably makes things worse. Fortunately his butler Jeeves is always there to save the day, and Wodehouse is hilarious general.

  8. A few of my favorite humorous books are written by Jenny Lawson! They are non-fiction but I listen to her audiobooks and they are so good!

  9. Ooh, I just discovered “cozy fantasy” and I love it! Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett is a good one and I enjoyed Castle Witch by Madeleine Elizabeth. If you like YA, Something Close to Magic by Emma Mills is great too.

    The only zombie book I’ve read (and enjoyed) is Dread Nation by Justina Ireland which is altered history with zombies.

  10. Books with vivid food descriptions always make me happy but hungry too. It’s both a win and loss.

    Also yes to more zombie books

    My TTT –

  11. For 1- Legends & Lattes fits the bill but also maybe The House in the Cerulean Sea might work for you,

  12. THIS IS FUN! Sadly I don’t have any right-off-the-top-of-my-head recs for you, but I agree about good humor and street smart characters. We love a character who has some common sense. 🙂

  13. I too would like to read about more intelligent characters.

  14. Jo

    I can’t think of any funny fiction I’ve read recently, I can think of a couple of humorous non-fiction books I’ve read recently but they’ve generally been memoirs so does rely on interest in the specific person!

  15. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard Jennifer Chow’s LA Night Market series has some mouth-watering food descriptions – Death By Bubble Tea and Hot Pot Murders. As for zombie fiction (and probably humorous as well), have you read Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies? Not sure if that’s what you’re looking for. I’ve only seen the movie, but it’s a book too. 🙂

  16. The Girl with All the Gifts is on the TBR pile or it will be soon. Great post!

  17. I highly recommend the LitenVerse series by Nino Cipri for cozy speculative fiction and The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal as well. For zombies, have you read or watched the movie adaptation of The Girl with all the gifts?

  18. If you haven’t read it already, I’d recommend Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree for cozy fantasy, and I always recommend David Lebovitz’s memoir The Sweet Life in Paris for humor and it has great food descriptions too. Happy reading!

  19. I wish I had some recommendations for you, but these aren’t really my genres. The first author I think of for science for non-scientists is Mary Roach. I’ve heard so many good things about her books, but I’ve yet to read one. I need to remedy that!

    Happy TTT!


  20. The Last Gifts of the Universe was a pretty good cozy SF. Sisters of the Vast Black is very Chambers- esque.

    I don’t know if you’ve read This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers but I thought it was excellent zombie fiction. I don’t think she really gets into the scientific whys though.

    One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke, about a hen party in Greece that goes VERY wrong, has amazing food descriptions.

  21. Humorous books to suggest to you include the Lady Janies Series – My Lady Jane (my favorite), My Plain Jane, and My Calamity Jane. My next top with these types by the same author is The Mary Series, so far she has My Contrary Mary and My Imaginary Mary. My Salty Mary is due out next year so I am trying to wait for that one to do all three at once.

  22. I love this twist to the topic! I think TJ Klune’s latest books (The House in the Cerulean Sea, Under the Whispering Door and In the Lives of Puppets) could fall under both the cozy fantasy and humorous criteria 🙂 Hope you’ll find some new favorite reads from the recommendations today!

  23. My towering TBR pile is one of the reasons I don’t follow the bookish wishes theme either.

    I won’t be helpful in recommending books for most of your categories, but Marilyn Meredith’s Tempe Crabtree series has a character who owns the local inn, so food descriptions are plenty. The author used to cook for large groups, so she also published a book on that.

    Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday.

  24. I love your take on this week’s topic! I read the memoirs of both Lauren Graham and Selma Blair recently, and while both were good and laugh out loud funny, they are so different and reflect the author’s personalities. I highly recommend Mean Baby by Selma Blair and I think the title of the Lauren Graham one is something like Have I Told You This Already?

  25. Oh, nice change up to this week’s topic! If you come across any more cozy sci-fis you enjoy, let us know! I’ve been wanting to get into sci-fi but find myself sort of uninterested in the typical ones. A cozy, calm one sounds like a good alternative. I’ll be looking into the ones you listed. As for a zombie recommendation I believe might fit what you’re looking for, maybe look into What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher. It’s sort of a retelling/reimagining of The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. It’s not apocalyptic at the scale of The Last of Us but it was very interesting to say the least. I loved it!

    • Thanks. 🙂

      And, yeah, I will for sure. If I can find enough of them, I’ll write a whole post on the topic.

      What Moves the Dead sounds interesting.

  26. vidya

    Love your take on this topic; I twisted it a bit as well ..:)
    As for book recommendations, I can’t recall any humorous fiction that i read recently, but enjoyed reading Mindy Kaling and David Sedaris’ nonfiction (definitely humor there)..
    My TTT is here:

  27. A cozy mystery series you may like that features a lot of food descriptions is the Baker Street Mystery series. The first book came out last year, and it is called Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder. I will admit that Maddy (the MC) can be a bit exasperating at times, though. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier this week.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  28. Great twist! I don’t have much to recommend since I mostly read romance and contemporary fiction, but I did read Lone Women by Victor LaValle. It was great!

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