Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Wishes

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Five dandelion seeds floating through the air 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 have actual titles or authors for any of my wishes…yet?

Instead of asking any of you to buy books for me, I’m asking for recommendations instead if you know of any titles that might match up to my bookish wishes below.

Wish #1: Fiction about neanderthals. 

For example, I liked:

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

The Neanderthal Parallax trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer

The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron

These all happen to be loosely based in the speculative fiction genre, but I’m quite open to other genres. Neanderthals are cool no matter which genre they appear in or whether they’re a main or side character!


Wish #2: Cozy mysteries about main characters who are part of minority groups

I occasionally enjoy a good cozy mystery, but I haven’t read many about characters who are people of colour, LGBT+, disabled, etc.

It’s time to change that if any of you can help.


Wish #3: Non-romance stories about animals who do NOT die in the end.

A romantic subplot here or there is totally fine, but I’d prefer the main storyline to be about something else. Mysteries,  fantasy, science fiction, nonfiction, mainstream fiction, or any other genre works perfectly well for me. A sprinkling of horror is cool, too, so long as it’s not gory.

The important thing is that Fido or Fluffy lives happily ever after.


Wish #4: Alternate history 

For example, I liked:

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

I enjoy alternate history books based on specific historical events just as much as I do the ones that get creative with their world-changing events. See also: the aftermath of a zombie uprising.


Wish #5: Humorous short stories or novellas

They can be from any genre or era.

I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve spent the last eighteen months actively seeking out cheerful and uplifting things to read.

67 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Wishes

  1. I’ve been actively seeking out humor during the pandemic, too. Some short humorous novels I’ve enjoyed are The Uncommon Reader; the Jeeves books; the James Herriot books (animals in these, too); and Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck.

  2. I love your take on the prompt!

    Humor: Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean–the stories are a slice of life for a family. There are some touching ones, some sad ones, and some that are just hilarious. The first time I read one of his books, I was riding the bus and laughed out loud. To say the least, I got some strange looks.

    Alternate History: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin–I haven’t read it, but I heard it’s excellent!

    Here’s my post:

  3. Ooh, I like the way you approached this week! 🙂 Here are a few mysteries with POC that you might like:

    Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
    Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz

  4. Ditto on the alterate history! For my own part, I really wish there was more historic fiction set in the middle east. Think Hosseini or Amirrezvani, but much older — more of the sword and sandals period. I’d love to read novels about the Egyptians expanding across the crescent, or of Assyria, Persia, etc. Most of what I can find in this period is Greco-Roman, which is fine….but I loved learning about medieval Persian culture through Amirrezvani.

  5. I haven’t read either of them (yet!), but for alternate history stories I’ve seen a lot of people recommending Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, because that’s about what the world might be like if the Nazis won the war. Another book which I’ve heard a lot about but also haven’t read yet is Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh, which is set in prehistoric times.
    Hopefully those recommendations will help to fulfill your bookish wishes!

  6. Nice twist! I second the recommendation for the Noodle Shop Mystery series by Vivien Chien; it’s a cozy mystery series where (nearly) all the characters are Asian.

    The only Alternate History book I’ve read recently that I can think of is Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal. It’s set in a WW1 that seems to keep everything the same except that it adds ghosts and mediums. So part of the war effort is a debriefing of the ghosts after they die in order to get better intelligence about the front. Neat concept, and well-executed. (Though it doesn’t exactly fit the “cheerful and uplifting” part of wish #5…)

    My post this week

  7. Love the twist. The Shaped by Love series by Michelle Pennington is hilarious. The first one is called “A Man Worth Shaving For.” They are regular size novels so not sure if you are interested. I have also been reading a lot of humorous books.

  8. Love this take on the topic! I think I can grant your Wish #3: I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak is an adorable fiction adventure from the POV of a Golden Retriever. Cosmo’s an old boy, so if that sets off your tear ducts (it does mine) then brace yourself! But he absolutely DOES NOT die at the end, and it’s a lovely, heartwarming story. 🙂

  9. Well, I’d obviously suggest Arsenic and Adobo for your cozy mystery choice, even though I haven’t read it yet I’ve heard a TON of good things. That is why it is on my wish list. For your number one ideas, have you read Neanderthal by John Darnton? Maybe Dark Inheritance by W. Michael Gear? Hope you find some good reads!

  10. I could do with more alternate history too. Some of my favorites are the Parasol Protectorate from Gail Carriger, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, and Lady Astronaut by Mary Robinette Kowal.

  11. Fantastic twist. I’ve just been going through some of the suggestions from your other blogger friends and there are some great ones.

    I love alternate history. This is my absolute favourite book ever (of all the books written, not just this genre: The Children’s War by J.N. Stroyar. I must warn you, though, there are three books in the series by now, together about 2.700 pages. However, it is totally worth it.

    For humour, I cannot recommend Bill Bryson’s travel books often enough. He is the funniest author ever.

    I’m sure you’ll find some great books this way. I’ll have to check out some of them, as well. Thanks.

    And thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

    • Looks like I’ll have to check out “Wolf by Wolf” as it’s the same topic as “The Children’s War”. What would the world look like if the Nazis had won the war. Gosh, am I glad they didn’t.

  12. This is a great way to do the prompt this week!

    I haven’t read a ton of altered history, and the ones I have are YA, so if you don’t like YA, skip them, but Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin is fantastic and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld is interesting!

  13. I love the way you did this prompt! I totally agree with points 1 and 2. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story about neanderthals? And, as much as I love cozies, I’m always disappointed by how it underrepresents diversity.

  14. I love that you asked for recommendations in this post. It looks like you’ve gotten lots of them. I replied about cozies up above. As for dogs, it seems like books about working dogs are popular right now. I like the Jazz Ramsey series by Kylie Logan, which is a cozy-ish series about a woman who trains cadaver dogs. I could be wrong, but I think the dogs all come out alive in the series.

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!


  15. first of all, i want to thank you for visiting my top ten each week!!
    second, love your take on the theme and i now want to read books of each type as well so need to look at recommendations from others..
    i know i want to read more humor myself.. one of my old old (classic) favorites has been The Open Window by Saki (kind of humorous!)

  16. Love your twist on this prompt! I had never thought about it before, but more books about Neanderthals would be fun! I really want more cozy mysteries with minorities, too. It seems like that’s the one segment that’s been overlooked with the push to print more diverse books, unfortunately. I’ve seen a few but not many.

    • I’m glad you agree!

      I’ll let you know if I find more books in either of those categories other than what’s already been recommended here.

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