Thank Books for Small Favors: Ten Recent Reads I’ve Loved

This week is all about Thanksgiving in the U.S. While this year has many of us staring bewilderedly at the calendar, wondering what awful thing could possibly happen next, I do think I have plenty to be thankful for. My family. My friends. Their health as well my own. I’m also thankful for time—time spent with people I love, but also those blissful moments of peace when I can escape from the hubbub and sink into the pages of a great book. I’m fortunate to afford these and, in turn, to have experienced so many wonderful reads this year that get me genuinely excited to sneak away for a page or two here and there. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’m sharing just ten of these books that I’m thankful for. I hope you love them as much as I have.

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Can’t Wait for … Christmas Island by Natalie Normann

You know what I—and I’m sure many others—could use this year? An escape. While that’s not going to happen right now in the traditional sense, it does mean that my reading has gone in a very specific direction. I’m grabbing at bright stories, filled with a little adventure, a little romance, and a lot of fun. Honestly, at this point, just having a bright cover is enough to get me to look at a book. And, considering the time of year, if it’s set against a Christmas backdrop? That’s perfect. Sure, drama and tension are more than welcome, but there better be a happy ending for me to escape off to before I snap the cover shut.

Fortunately, this week, I stumbled across a brand new read that seems to tick off all those boxes. It’s being released at the end of the month. I can’t wait.

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Reading for Two: Five Book Pairings

I’m nothing if not consistent, which means I’m still running a little behind this month. It might be the third week of November, but I’m still stuck in the second week of Nonfiction November. As a refresher, 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 been reading. If you’d like to participate—there’s definitely still time!—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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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