Top Ten Tuesday: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A person who is all wrapped up in a a warm winter coat and a red and black headscarf is sitting on a snowy bench in a park reading a book. You can see evergreen trees covered in a thick layer of snow in front of them, too. I was originally thinking about discussing library books this week, but December is such a busy month for me that I needed to finish this post well in advance and therefore would probably have already read (or DNF) any library books I had on my radar when I wrote it by the time this goes live.

Therefore, I’m going to be discussing books I’ve bought or downloaded for free but have not read yet (with two exceptions) instead.

Every Thursday, I share a list of free speculative fiction books on Mastodon. Everything but the first book on this list came from those toots, but they may or may not still be free by the time this post goes live.

Here are my answers and why I’m excited about them.


Book cover for The Long Arms by Michael Kanaly. Image on cover shows a fire burning brightly. There is a rock in front of the fire that has a few deer or cows painted on it in a prehistoric style.


1. The Long Arms by Michael Kanaly

Why I’m Interested: As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m fascinated by Neanderthals and read everything I can find – both fiction and nonfiction – about them. This looks like it could be a great story.


Book cover for Magic, Mistletoe, & Murder by Ruby Blaylock. Image on cover shows a witch flying on her broom in front of a full moon. On the city street below two black cats sit together and peer up at her. The cats are surrounded by a red gift wrapped in a white bow, a witch’s hat, some Christmas lights, and a bat flying low to the ground.

2. Magic, Mistletoe, & Murder by Ruby Blaylock

Why I’m Interested: It’s a cozy mystery set at Christmas. I love reading gentle stories like this sometimes.


Book cover for Neuro Noir by Al Hess. Image on cover shows a drawing of about a dozen different eyes that all have black irises and sclera. the one in the centre is red instead!

3. Neuro Noir by Al Hess

Why I’m Interested: I actually have a review of this book scheduled for January 11, so stay tuned.  Artificial intelligence always makes for such interesting protagonists.


Book cover for Devil's Night - A Halloween Short Story by Richard Chizmar. Image on cover is a drawing of three jack-o-lanterns leering at the viewer as they sit in a field under the light of a full moon at night.

4. Devil’s Night – A Halloween Short Story by Richard Chizmar

Why I’m Interested: Halloween is my favourite holiday, so I read a lot books set then so long as they’re not gory.


(No cover photo)

5. Hologram Kebab by Phillip Kebar

Why I’m Interested: The title was what first grabbed my attention. Isn’t it creative? My review of this book is scheduled for January 4.


Book cover for Don’t Look Back - Short Halloween Stories by Jason Thomas. Image on cover shows small, black-and- white drawings of a scythe with blood dripping from it, a gravestone, a stake, and a mushroom that has a little dirt on it.


6. Don’t Look Back – Short Halloween Stories by Jason Thomas

Why I’m Interested: See #4. There are never enough non-gory Halloween stories for my tastes.


Book cover for The Ballad of Mary-Anne by Kody Boye. Image on cover shows a starry evening sky that is partially lit up with a beautiful pink and purple light shining up from the bottom of the page. It may be from a sunset?

7. The Ballad of Mary-Anne by Kody Boye

Why I’m Interested: One word – aliens. I think they’re such fascinating things to read about.


Book cover for Free Will by Lisa Shea. Image on cover shows a human skull that has some gears drawn onto it. I’m sorry, but I have no idea what that symbolizes either! I guess we’ll both have to read the book to find out. :)

8. Free Will by Lisa Shea

Why I’m Interested: Here’s a fun, quick little story for you. My spouse is adamant that free will doesn’t exist. This is not a topic I honestly think about very much, but sometimes I like to tease my spouse a little by picking rabbits or other random creatures and saying those animals have free will but no one else in the universe does. (Yes, we are a little geeky sometimes. Hehe).  So I want to read this book mostly because it reminds me of this silly memory.


Book cover for Life on the Other Side by Daniel Powell,. Image on cover shows a peaceful little cottage covered in several feet of snow. It’s surrounded by gigantic fir trees that are also covered in snow, and there is a friendly little light emanating from a window in the cottage. It is overall a peaceful and happy scene.

9. Life on the Other Side by Daniel Powell

Why I’m Interested: The cover looks rather peaceful, while the blurb promises a lot of conflict. I think it’s cool when there’s a little conflict between a blurb and a cover. Which one will win, I wonder?


Book cover for The Fall Of Denver - A Tribute Story to the Original War Of The Worlds By H.G. Wells’ by Richard Paolinelli. Image on cover is a black and white drawing of an alien spaceship that looks like it’s beginning to crash onto a large pile of rubble on Earth. Everything is so messily drawn that it’s hard to tell where the rubble ends and the alien vessel begins. This feels like an intentional choice on the part of the illustrator and makes me wonder what other parallels might be drawn between the two.

10. The Fall Of Denver – A Tribute Story to the Original War Of The Worlds By H.G. Wells’ by Richard Paolinelli

Why I’m Interested: I adored War of the Worlds and am so curious to see what a contemporary author does with those ideas.


Filed under Blog Hops, Science Fiction and Fantasy

64 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

  1. Theres something about cozy mysteries that just really works set at Christmas.

  2. I hope you enjoy all of the books on this list that you haven’t read yet, Lydia!

  3. I love that you’ve made me interested in each of these books just by sharing what made you interested in them. Looking forward to reading your reviews in Jan!

  4. Ooo! A cozy Christmas mystery? Those can be fun. I always enjoy the Christmas specials from favorite British TV shows, so anytime I see a Christmas mystery, I often think of that type of storytelling. 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting my website today!

  5. It looks like you’ve added some fun reads!

  6. Hope you’ll love all the ones you haven’t read yet!

  7. Definitely going to keep an eye on Neuro Noir. AI both fascinates and repulses me.

  8. Nice list. Christmas cozies are fun. Hope you enjoy reading these.

  9. I love Neanderthals too! I need to find more books about them.

  10. So many looks-good on this list!

    Neuro Noir by Al Hess and The Ballad of Mary-Anne by Kody Boye will be added to my TBR.

  11. A War of the Worlds tribute sounds AWESOME. And Neanderthals- and everything related to them- is so interesting. I like a cozy murder mystery set at holiday times too.

  12. What an unusual collection! I hope you enjoy them 🙂

  13. I hope you enjoy each one of them when you get an opportunity to read them. Have a great week!

  14. Free Will sounds interesting. I know there are a lot of people, including your spouse, who don’t think Free Will exists. I think it does, but I am interested in why others feel the way they do. Free Will seems like it might explore some of that. I hope you enjoy it and the rest of these.

  15. These all sound interesting. I can see why you picked these books up. I hope you enjoy them.

  16. How awesome that there are so many free books to read out there. I hope you enjoy all these!

    Happy TTT!


  17. This is an interesting collection of books! Happy 2024 reading!

  18. Lydia, you always have the most intriguing collections – I love visiting your page and seeing your Tuesday lists! The variety of genres always ensures that there’s something to add to my TBR, and I love that you included a cozy mystery. Sometimes we all need a light, fluffy read between our heavier and more thought-provoking books. I hope you enjoy all of them!

  19. I’d be interested in hearing about the Richard Chizmar book. I’ve read the trilogy he collaborated on with Stephen King, and I’d eventually like to read more of his work!

  20. Enjoy reading them and you certainly have the motivation to do so.

  21. Neuro Noir looks good, I really enjoyed the last book I read by Al Hess😁

  22. Joanne

    So interesting to read about what interests you about each book.

  23. Interesting list. I am going to check some of these out, especially the one that pays tribute to HG Wells. I also like War of the Worlds.

  24. Have you read The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter? It‘s his take on War of the Worlds. I was hugely interested in what he would do with it, but it sadly didn‘t work for me.

  25. These look great! I really need to read more Christmas-themed cozy mysteries.

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)! (here’s my post)

  26. All of those look interesting, hope you can read a few more this season

  27. These are all new to me authors! I hope you enjoy them when you get to read them.

  28. It’s fun to find books that are available free!

  29. RS

    What a good twist on the post. I love the cover of Devil’s Night — if I were still on Livejournal or if I changed my avatar on a regular basis, I would 100% be cropping the image of those Jack O’Lanterns into one for October. Still might…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *