Where the Wild Stories Are: Ten Books with Animals in the Title

Who doesn’t love a good animal story? Personally, I’m partial to cat tales, and I’ve picked up more than a few books just because they had a cute kitten on the cover. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, the theme is centered on characters I’d name a pet after. And as great of a topic as that is, I’m drawing a total blank. Gatsby? Tin Woodman? Whatever that fish’s name was from The Old Man and the Sea? So instead, I’d like to veer slightly off course and highlight ten books plucked from the jungle known as my bookshelf that feature animals in the title.

Continue reading “Where the Wild Stories Are: Ten Books with Animals in the Title”

Dropkicking This First Line Friday

Some first lines gently lull you into a story, gradually opening up this new and wonderous setting that you’re about to spend a few hundred pages in. For this First Line Friday, I’m highlighting a book that, in its first couple of paragraphs, uses a strong voice to lay out the bones of a strange problem taking place in a not-so-average place. These lines dropkick you into the world, and it works perfectly.

Continue reading “Dropkicking This First Line Friday”

Can’t Wait for … A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley

In terms of reading, there’s nothing more comforting than a good cozy mystery. I mean, you know, setting aside the whole murder thing, they’re a lot of fun. Great characters in a quirky set of circumstances. An engaging plot that leaves me guessing. Plus, they usually take place in communities so idyllic and tightknit that I’d almost want to live there … just without all the murder.

This week, I stumbled across the start of a new series that seems to have all the hallmarks of the cozy mysteries I love. The only trouble—besides the murder? It’s not out until next year. I can’t wait.

Continue reading “Can’t Wait for … A Glimmer of Death by Valerie Wilson Wesley”

We’ll Put on a Show: Ten More Books that Would Make Great Broadway Musicals

Earlier this year, I wrote about ten books I would love to see turned into Broadway musicals and, I knew this was something I’d want to revisit someday. Honestly, I think just about any book would be great adapted for the stage. Everything is heightened in musical—big, splashy romance practically needs to burst out into song, and the agony of loss or disappointment lands differently when watching it live on stage. So for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, dim the lights, raise the curtain, and enjoy ten more books that I think would make great Broadway musicals.

Continue reading “We’ll Put on a Show: Ten More Books that Would Make Great Broadway Musicals”

Politics, Food, and the Offbeat: My Nonfiction Year in Review

I’m running a little behind this month, but so long as it’s the eleventh month of the year, then it’s the perfect time to start talking about Nonfiction November. It’s a yearly feature hosted by Rennie at What’s Nonfiction?, Katie at Doing Dewey, Julie at Julz Reads, and Leann at Shelf Aware with the goal of celebrating all of those wonderful nonfiction books we’ve read since last year. If you’d like to participate, head on over to their sites, check out the topics for the month, and be sure to look at the weekly link-up to find other participants.

As I suggested above, this post technically should have been up last week. However, I couldn’t resist the chance to revisit my nonfiction choices from this past year. There were certainly a lot of them.

Continue reading “Politics, Food, and the Offbeat: My Nonfiction Year in Review”

A Totally Nonpolitical First Line Friday

I think most of us can agree that this week has been … something. In the U.S, with the presidential election finally coming to a close, for the first time since Tuesday, I finally feel like I don’t have to refresh my phone every five seconds. So while I’m putting the campaign to the back of my mind and looking forward to a different future, I thought it would be nice to settle down with a great romantic thriller. You know, something that’s totally away from politics. So for this week’s First Line Friday, I’m sharing the opening from Reckless by Selena Montgomery … the pseudonym of Stacey Abrams, former Democratic leader in the Georgia House of Representatives and current Chair of Fair Fight Action.

Continue reading “A Totally Nonpolitical First Line Friday”

Can’t Wait for … Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March

What a Wednesday. Like many people in the United States, I’m running off of little sleep, I’m probably not hydrated enough, and the only body parts I’ve exercised in the past twenty-four hours are the fingers I’m using to refresh election results. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now, so tonight I’m diving deep for comfort. No surprise: I’m looking for a good book, and I think I’ve found the perfect one.

An intriguing mystery. A historical Bombay backdrop. Danger and potential romance around every corner. The only trouble? It’s not out for a few more days. I can’t wait.

Continue reading “Can’t Wait for … Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March”

Knot Your Average Book: Ten Knitted Works of Fiction

Everyone needs a hobby. Those wonderful, destressing activities that bring us all so much joy … when we aren’t in the middle of a stressful political season. While reading is obviously the frontrunner in my list of hobbies, sometimes I also love just sitting down with a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn. While I’m not an expert by any stretch of the term, even knitting something as simple as a scarf can completely clear my mind for an a few moments here and there. It’s as simple as a couple of turns and, the next thing you know, you have a hat. So for today’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’d like to combine my love of both books and knitting and present ten books that feature knitters, their projects, and their problems.

Continue reading “Knot Your Average Book: Ten Knitted Works of Fiction”

A First Line Friday in a Haunted House

Halloween is mere hours away and my bookshelf is looking empty at the moment—it’s downright spooky. Honestly, it’s probably from having too many witches, bats, and tombstones on the brain. So with all the goblins and ghouls, ghosts and gravestones hanging around for at least one more day, I thought a solid Halloween-inspired read would get me back into the reading spirit while also celebrating the season. For this First Line Friday, I’m sharing the opening for my next read that features a description of a pretty perfect haunted house. How fitting!

Continue reading “A First Line Friday in a Haunted House”

They’re Creepy and They’re Kooky: Ten Spooky Middle Grade Books

Halloween is upon us, goblins and ghouls. While traditions for many of us might look a little different this year—especially due to a lack of gatherings—I’ll be spending my evening with my favorite annual treat: a Halloween read. I’m not quite sure exactly what book I’ll tuck into on Saturday night, but I’ve got a few recommendations that would make perfect matches for anyone else needing creepy, atmospheric, utterly unputdownable titles on this Top Ten Tuesday. So lock the doors, flip on a lamp, get comfy on your favorite reading spot, and enjoy one of these ten spooky middle grade reads.

And don’t forget the candy. It is Halloween, after all.

Continue reading “They’re Creepy and They’re Kooky: Ten Spooky Middle Grade Books”