Ten Books I’d Take With Me To That Weird Beach That Ages People

While the prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is focused on the books I’d bring with me while stranded on a deserted island, all recent references to sand immediately result in me thinking about the new M. Night Shyamalan movie, Old. You know, the one about the beach that rapidly ages a group of tourists. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the trailer approximately seventy times while watching the Olympics. It’s a beach. It ages people. Get it? Spooky.

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?: Ten Titles Asking All the Questions

While books should provide plenty of answers, I find the best ones also leave me asking questions. All my favorite stories are ones I’ve spent hours turning over in my head long after I’ve closed their covers, often wondering why characters choose certain paths and just how an author weaved such an engrossing journey, among other things. Questions. Questions. Questions. My mind’s full of them, and so is this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. In honor of my constant need to quiz books, here are ten of them with questions built right into their titles.

Am I Blue?: Coming Out from the Silence
edited by Marion Dane Bauer

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Are You in the House Alone?: A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999
edited by Amanda Reyes

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Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?
by Anita Rau Badami

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Does My Head Look Big in This?
by Randa Abdel-Fattah

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Have You Seen Marie?
by Sandra Cisneros
illustrated by Ester Hernandez

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How Long ’til Black Future Month?
by N.K. Jemisin

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Krik? Krak!
by Edwidge Danticat

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They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
by Horace McCoy

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What Would Joey Do?
Joey Pigza #3
by Jack Gantos

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Who Put This Song On?
by Morgan Parker

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Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

Another Dark and Stormy Night: Ten Cozy Mysteries for the Last Half of 2021

It almost seems impossible, but we are on the cusp of finishing the first half of 2021. And while it’s had more ups and downs than the Elevador Lacerda, the onslaught of genuinely great book releases has remained constant. Perhaps no genre has had a better year than my beloved cozy mystery. Yes, the genre in which an idyllic community is plagued by a series of murders all while its denizens try to get on with their quirky annual shenanigans—like pickle festivals and knit-a-thon fundraisers—feels more popular than ever. So for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, click on the reading lamp, cozy up on the couch, and enjoy these ten upcoming cozies that should bring your through to 2022.

Be My Ghost
A Haunted Haven Mystery #1
by Carol J. Perry

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The Cider Shop Rules
A Cider Shop Mystery #3
by Julie Anne Lindsey

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Digging Up Trouble
Sweet Fiction Bookshop #1
by Kitt Crowe

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Killer Words
Mystery Bookshop #7
by V.M. Burns

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Mango, Mambo, and Murder
A Caribbean Kitchen Mystery #1
by Raquel V. Reyes

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The Moonshine Shack Murder
Southern Homebrew Mystery #1
by Diane Kelly

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Murder by the Bookend
Antique Bookshop Mystery #2
by Laura Gail Black

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Once Upon a Seaside Murder
Beach Reads Mystery #2
by Maggie Blackburn

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A Perfect Bind
Beloved Bookroom Mystery #2
by Dorothy St. James

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Slashing Through the Snow
Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #3
by Jacqueline Frost

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Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

Will Wonders Never Cease?: Ten Recent TBR Pile Additions

For anyone who reads books with any regularity, the concept of the to-be-read pile remains a massive joke. Oh sure, I talk about weeding my stacks, finally getting them down to a manageable size. However, deep down I know better, and the chance of me ever not surrounding myself with a massive amount of books is—well, a bigger fantasy than my 398 section. The second I make a dent in the piles, I discover a new bookshop or sale and pretty soon the dent’s been smoothed out and I’m shopping for more shelves. So for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’m giving a peak at these shelves and sharing my ten most recent TBR pile additions.

Will I ever get around to reading them?

Probably.

Eventually.

Alice
The Chronicles of Alice #1
by Christina Henry

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Almanac of the Dead
by Leslie Marmon Silko

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Aunt Résia and the Spirits and Other Stories
by Yanick Lahens
translated by Betty Wilson

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Fierce Bad Rabbits: The Tales Behind Children’s Picture Books
by Clare Pollard

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The Healer of the Water Monster
by Brian Young

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The Hearing Trumpet
by Leonora Carrington

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In the Night Garden
The Orphan’s Tale #1
by Catherynne M. Valente
illustrated by Michael Kaluta

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Letters, Dreams, and Other Writings
by Remedios Varo
translated by Margaret Carson

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Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
by Jeanette Winterson

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Samko Tále’s Cemetery Book
by Daniela Kapitáňová
translated by Julia Sherwood

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Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

In the Words of Ray Bradbury: Ten Quotes

When I was in high school, I used to keep a tiny notebook with me whenever I was reading a library book so that I could quickly jot down quotes I loved. Ray Bradbury broke me of this habit. I still remember the first time I was introduced to his work—the unsettling short piece “All Summer in a Day”. Every word was brilliant, and I quickly moved on to stories like “The Veldt”, “The Small Assassin”, and my favorite, “Homecoming”. Eventually I sought out his novels, but each book served me the same problem: they were so good, if I picked out my favorite quotes, I’d be copying them word for word.

Fortunately, I’ve just been waiting for today. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about sharing snippets, and I knew just the guy to turn to for inspiration. Here are ten of my favorite Ray Bradbury quotes.


Zen in the Art of Writing

I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.

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Fahrenheit 451

The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

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Dandelion Wine

A good night’s sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine.

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From the Dust Returned

In the attic where the rain touched the roof softly on spring days and where you could feel the mantle of snow outside, a few inches away, on December nights, A Thousand Times Great Grandmère existed. She did not live, nor was she eternally dead, she … existed.

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Death is a Lonely Business

Melt all the guns, I thought, break the knives, burn the guillotines—and the malicious will still write letters that kill.

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The Martian Chronicles

“We won’t ruin Mars,” said the captain. “It’s too big and too good.”

“You think not? We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.”

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Something Wicked This Way Comes

Is Death important? No. Everything that happens before death is what counts.

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A Graveyard for Lunatics

Once upon a time there were two cities within a city. One was light and one was dark. One moved restlessly all day while the other never stirred. One was warm and filled with ever-changing lights. One was cold and fixed in places by stones. And when the sun went down each afternoon on Maximus Films, the city of the living, it began to resemble Green Glades cemetery just across the way, which was the city of the dead.

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The Halloween Tree

The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats.

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Zen in the Art of Writing

But, you see, my stories have led me through my life. They shout, I follow. They run up and bite me on the leg—I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go, and runs off.

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Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

Wake Up and Smell the Books: Ten Floral Covers

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about nature, which is something I haven’t experienced a ton of lately—thank you so much rain, wind, and generally dreary weather! Things are getting so bad I’ve resorted to making flowers with cross stitch. Yeah. It’s been a long year. Anyway, in honor of my new hobby, here are ten books that feature flowery covers.

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener
by M.C. Beaton

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The Belles
by Dhonielle Clayton

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Bloom and Doom
by Beverly Allen

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A Constellation of Roses
by Miranda Asebedo

My Review | Goodreads


Felix Ever After
by Kacen Callender

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Peony in Love
by Lisa See

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Petals on the Wind
by V.C. Andrews

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Roots of Murder
by Janis Harrison

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This Time Will Be Different
by Misa Sugiura

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Wicked Like a Wildfire
by Lana Popović

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Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

I’m Almost Through My Bookshelf, and I’m Here: Ten Recent Reads

Don’t let the title of this post fool you: I’m nowhere near close to running out of reading material … No, in fact, I’m more stocked than ever thanks to a local book sale over the weekend. However, this week’s First Line Friday isn’t focused on all the books I’ll get around to (eventually). Instead, I’m writing about the last ten books I actually read. All of these come from the past couple of weeks, where apparently I was on a mission to tackle as many genres as possible.

It Must’ve Been Something I Ate: The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything
by Jeffrey Steingarten

Steingarten has long appeared as a judge on culinary cooking shows, where quick soundbites often paint him as a hardened, pompous gourmand. However, in this collection of essays, while his love of food can sometimes veer into snobby territory, he showcases immeasurable charm. This is a guy who knows his food, knows he knows his food, and can’t wait to let everyone else know.

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Gil’s All Fright Diner
by A. Lee Martinez

Although it’s not something I write a lot about, I really love horror novels. After years of having this book recommended to me, my only complaint is that it took me so long to get around to it. Part nightmare, part comedy—I was often left laughing and wincing all in the same sentence.

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The Grub-and-Stakers Move a Mountain
by Alisa Craig

I really enjoy cozies written in the 1980s and prior, mostly because the genre wasn’t as defined as it is now. For instance, here the main sleuth, Dittany Henbit, barely investigates the death of a man shot by an arrow practically in front of her. Still, it’s a genuinely fun book.

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Last Chapter and Worse
by Gary Larson

A recent question on Twitter prompted hundreds of responses about the best Far Side comics. Since I couldn’t settle on an answer myself, I thought I’d revisit one of Gary Larson’s collections for inspiration. Really, he’s created a bad one, though this might be my favorite … or this … or …

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Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business
by Lyla Lee
illustrated by Dung Ho

Childhood is hard enough, but toss in a new school and a small business run out of your lunchbox, and that’s another level of stress. This is a surprisingly touching chapter book that hits on a lot of big ideas while still being laugh-out-loud funny.

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The President is Missing
by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

The president spends several pages justifying the killing of seven children in a drone strike.

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Second Chance on Cypress Lane
by Reese Ryan

While Dakota’s struggle returning home in the middle of a scandal after years away is compelling—as is her meeting up with Dexter, her first love—it’s really the entire cast of characters in this beautiful island community that captured my attention. All around, a perfect read.

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Thornhill
by Pam Smy

I’ve been trying to read more graphic novels this year, and Thornhill reminded me why that was such a great idea. Dark and atmospheric, I had goosebumps as everything was drawn together at the end.

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Tiara’s Hat Parade
by Kelly Starling Lyons
illustrated by Nicole Tadgell

One of the sweetest picture books I’ve read in a long time. From gorgeous illustrations to a genuinely heartfelt story, I cannot recommend this one enough.

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The Whole Cat and Caboodle
by Sofie Ryan

Well, it’s not a list of my recent reads unless there’s more than one cozy mystery. This is a great start to a series with such a compelling investigation. Plus, it prominently features a cat, which is never a negative.

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Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

Red and Yellow and Green and On and On: Ten Colorful Titles

Who doesn’t love a good title? While it doesn’t make or break a book, a truly great one can make the difference between me picking it up or leaving it on the shelf. Granted, there are a lot of clunkers with clever names, but that’s a whole other Top Ten Tuesday … Speaking of which, this week’s prompt is all about book titles that could double as Crayola Crayon names. Originally, I thought this post was going to be difficult to curate, but scanning over some of their current selection—Inchworm, Purple Moutains’ Majesty, Jazzberry Jam, Permanent Geranium Lake—made me realize pretty much any book title could double as a color. Really, it was just about finding collections of words I’d love to see on the side of everyone’s favorite coloring utensil.

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Deep Love: Ten Upcoming Romance Novels I’d Drop to the Bottom of the Ocean to Read

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is supposed to be focused on books I’m not particularly fond of—those that “I’d gladly throw into the ocean.” And while there are a few that spring to mind, I’d rather focus on the positive right now. Instead, I’d like to feature ten future romance releases that I’d scale the highest mountain, travel to the farthest land, or even drop to the bottom of the ocean just to read them. Sure, that might seem a little exaggerated, but just check out some of these blurbs. They’re that good.

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Green Acres: Ten Books About Going Rural

Perhaps it’s because I did the opposite, but I am fascinated by individuals and families who decide to pack up and the leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind for a home in the rural world. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, here are ten books—true and fictional—about people who made new country lives for themselves.

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