Top Ten Tuesday ~ Best of 2017

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday!


Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

These are my favorites of the books I’ve read in 2017. I didn’t include any re-reads in this list. (The ones with asterisks are audio book versions.)

  1. The Girl Who Drank the Moon ~ Kelly Barnhill
  2. NPCs ~ Drew Hayes
  3. Down Among the Sticks and Bones ~ Seanan McGuire
  4. The Princess Diarist ~ Carrie Fisher *
  5. Beware the Wrath of Bunny Hopper ~ Lazette Gifford
  6. Bellwether ~ Connie Willis
  7. Going Rogue ~ Drew Hayes
  8. Norse Mythology ~ Neil Gaiman *
  9. Beauty ~ Robin McKinley *
  10. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson *

Have you read any of these books? What was your favorite read of 2017?


Top Ten Tuesday ~ Book Vacation

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday!


Ten Bookish Settings I’d Love to Visit

Well, some of these will be on most (if not all) of the Top Ten Tuesday lists this week. I’ll try to make at least a few of them original, though.

  1. Rivendell from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
  2. Hogwarts Castle from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
  3. Inside Charles Wallace in Madeline L’Engle’s A Wind in the Door (mostly because I want to meet the mouse-like farandolae)
  4. The Bog from Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon, but only if I have Glerk to guide me
  5. Benden Weyr from Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series (or really anyplace there where the dragons are)
  6. Elfhome from the Wen Spencer series of the same name, though it would take some extra safety measures since it seems everything native to there wants to kill you
  7. The titular Secret Garden from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book. I didn’t like the story much, but the garden sounds lovely.
  8. The 100 Acre Wood from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh
  9. Another planet (or moon) from pretty much any book set in space. Because space.
  10. The Dawn Treader from C.S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I have recently discovered that I like cruising, and that would be an amazing ship to cruise on.

Where would you go if you could vacation somewhere literary?


Top Ten Tuesday ~ Welcome Winter

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday!


Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

Now, as I see it, Winter starts at the beginning of December and runs through February. (I’m in California. Our winters give way to spring comparatively early, in my eyes. Sometimes January is even a “mini spring” stuck in the middle of winter.)

This means that “winter” encompasses both my 2017 and my 2018 Reading Challenges. That doesn’t really mean anything to anyone but me, but it’s true nonetheless. I’ll make a note of approximately when I intend to read it, if I know, or at least which year it should be read in.

  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ I plan to read this one in 2018, but whenever, really.
  2. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis ~ this one should be read in 2017 in order to fit the challenge criteria.
  3. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis ~ I want to read this one early in 2018. I know, it’s technically #1 in the series where To Say Nothing of the Dog is book #2, but there you have it. I want to read them out of order and I’ve been told it’s okay by people who have read both.
  4. Rest in Pieces by Rita Mae Brown ~ I need to finish this one in 2017 for my cat mystery challenge.
  5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ~ this one should be read around Christmas for maximum timeliness. But really, any time is fine.
  6. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid ~ this one doesn’t fit my 2018 Reading Challenge, so I want to read it (or at least get a good start on it) before the year is out.
  7. Dracula by Bram Stoker ~ it has been a long time since I’ve read this book, and I think it’s time for a re-read. I know Halloween is a traditional time to read vampire stories, but I think winter is a good time for them, too. The nights are long, and even the days are dark… vampire books work really well. If I don’t read this one this winter, I think I’ll save it for next fall.
  8. whichever the next Girl Genius graphic novel is by Phil & Kaja Foglio ~ I don’t remember where I am in this series, but I have the next book on my shelf ready to read. I’d like to get to it before the end of the year.
  9. a play by William Shakespeare ~ on my list for my 2018 Reading Challenge are all of Shakespeare’s plays. I think I still have my Complete Works volume, and (assuming I do) I intend to start at the beginning and read the entire volume. I don’t know what order they are in, but I’ll read them in the order printed. (The only exception is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I’m skipping since I just re-read that one.) There will be pauses between works, and I might not be reading Shakespeare exclusively when I am reading it. And I may change my mind. But that’s the plan.
  10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams ~ Mr. Wyrm and I started watching the short BBC series based around this, and it’s been ages since I read the book. I probably won’t get to this until 2018, but that’s okay because it fits in either Reading Challenge.

What will you be reading this winter?

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Thankful

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week the prompt is pretty self-explanatory.


Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For (Happy Thanksgiving week in the USA!)

  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ this one was such a huge part of my youth that I can’t ignore it. Plus, it is why we have amazing LOTR movies.
  2. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ~ I can’t even say how much I love this book. Or how many ways it influenced my school years. I re-read it probably once every 5-10 years… and every time the impact is huge.
  3. Eragon by Christopher Paolini ~ I only ever read a very small portion of this book. However, what I read (“the elf moved with inhuman speed” sticks in my mind) proved to me that I can write as well as some published authors. This is the book that inspired me to continue writing fiction despite the difficulties.
  4. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling ~ this was a fresh breath of air when I needed one. I’d been getting into more “adult” books and away from “children’s” books, because I thought I was outgrowing kids’ books. Then I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I remembered that sometimes books aimed at kids can still be fun for adults.
  5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens ~ I hated reading this book. If I never read this book again it will be too soon. But… this book helped teach me the value of discussion and compromise. My 9th grade teacher, who had assigned the book, let us compromise with her. (We were an AP class, with a small student count, and none of us liked reading it.) We came to the agreement that the students would take turns reading chapters and giving mini book reports to the rest of the class. That way none of us had to read the entire thing, but we all still learned the content. It was a great look into the power of discussion. (How powerful? It’s still a fond memory now, a quarter of a century later.)
  6. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie ~ this book freaked me out when I read it the first time. I got all the way to the end, just before the Big Reveal, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I put the book on time-out until my parents convinced me to finish it. And you know what? I’m glad. I’m glad it scared me so much, I’m glad I finished reading it, and I’m glad I re-read it years later. This one taught me about follow-through on something you’re scared to do. Sometimes it can be worth it.
  7. the encyclopedia ~ I don’t remember if we had the Encyclopedia Britannica, or a different version, but I remember loving them when I was a kid. I remember that they helped with so many projects, and I think we always took them a little for granted. (The way we currently take Google for granted.)
  8. Joy of Signing by Lottie L. Riekehof ~ (I think this is the copy I had… not positive now, though.) It helped foster my love for languages. I’m not doing anything with it now, but I did use it at one point.
  9. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong ~ this is a good book, don’t get me wrong. But the reason I am thankful for it is because it is what led me to an online writing group that got me started in my fiction writing.
  10. Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne ~ this is another case where the contents of the book aren’t the reason I’m thankful for it. This book is what comes to mind when I think of books my parents read with me when I was young. It was my dad who read this one to us (me and Sister Wyrm) and we loved it. (Except for the very last story. That one always made us cry, so we usually pretended it didn’t exist.)

This is interesting. I didn’t expect to be thankful for books that aren’t necessarily on my favorites list. However, there it is. I guess it makes sense, when you think about it, but I’d never thought about it.

Are there any books you’re particularly thankful for?

If you’re in the US and celebrate, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Following the Leader

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is a little open-ended, but I am going to go pretty generic with this one.

Ten Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders (Leaders of what? That’s your decision. Who could lead a country, an army, a book club, a classroom, etc. Or maybe characters that would be trendsetters?)

I’m going to use my favorite 10 characters who are leaders in their books. Any kind of leader. If needed, I’ll explain more as we get there.

Ten Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders

  1. Faramir in the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ He might not be most people’s first choice of leaders from LOTR, but he is my favorite. And the men he leads seem to agree with me (especially in the books, at least if memory serves – it’s been too long since I’ve read these, which is why they are on the TBR list for next year).
  2. Hermione in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling ~ Again, she might not be who you think of first as a leader. But she’s often “the power behind the throne”, as it were. If it weren’t for Hermione, especially in the middle books, nothing would get done. Yes, Harry was the official head of Dumbeldore’s Army, but Hermione was the whole reason it existed in the first place. If Harry was the commander, Hermione was his chief general.
  3. Peter in Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie ~ I have always loved this story (whether it be the book, the Disney animated movie, the musical, the Peter Pan 360 show, “Hook” Peter and the Starcatchers… you get the idea) and Peter leads the Lost Boys well. Major charisma there.
  4. Jeremy Danvers in the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong ~ While he does pass over leadership of the Pack toward the end of the series, I liked how Jeremy was portrayed as Pack Leader best. Probably because what we see in the books (not always the short stories) is Jeremy as an established Pack Leader. We don’t see the transition period much.
  5. Thistle in NPCs by Drew Hayes ~ He still is mostly the leader of the party in the later books in the series, but the others have started to come into their own by then. In this first book of the series, he is the most experienced adventurer and so he is the leader. I loved the first three books (all that have been released so far) and it’s fun watching how realistic Thistle is as a leader of a D&D party.
  6. Tinker in the Elfhome series by Wen Spencer ~ She probably doesn’t see herself as a leader, but face it: people follow her. And she does her best to keep them all safe. That’s the definition of a good leader to me.
  7. Henry in Indexing by Seanan McGuire ~ I think she really does a good job of leading her team, even if they take some rather big risks and unconventional paths as a result. Management might not like her leading style, but the readers should.
  8. Torin Kerr in the early books of the Confederation series by Tanya Huff ~ I haven’t read the later books (4 & 5) of the series, because I’m afraid they are going to turn in a direction I really don’t like. However, I enjoyed Torin in the first books (especially the first two) and thought she led her team well. It’s always hard to imagine leading a team that consists of human and alien races, for me. There are so many different things to consider. But Torin does a good job of it.
  9. Sherlock Holmes in the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ~ Here’s an atypical leader. However, he does try to lead Watson through the investigative process (most of the time). He might be trying to be a teacher, but he isn’t (in my opinion) anything like a good teacher. He does lead others to try to be better detectives, though, so I count him.
  10. Four in Divergent by Victoria Roth ~ I liked this first book of the trilogy. And I liked Four, I thought he was a great and charismatic character. I hope nobody minds if I pretend the rest of the series doesn’t exist.

Have a great week, and thanks for stopping by!

Top Ten Tuesday ~ This Is Halloween

I think we could all have guessed the Top Ten Tuesday prompt for today…

Halloween Freebie! (Happy Halloween! Let your creativity run wild with a themed post to celebrate!)

I think I will be a bit random for this post, and still Halloween-y.

Top Ten Books With Halloween Elements

  1. Mousekin’s Golden House by Edna Miller ~ my absolute favorite Halloween book. It might not say “Halloween” to most people, but come on. The cute little mouse lives inside a jack-o-lantern.
  2. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling ~ there are Halloween parties, floating jack-o-lanterns, and ghosts. How could this not make me think of Halloween?
  3. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder ~ they dress up in Egyptian costumes for Halloween. This is probably the reason I wanted to dress up as an Egyptian when I was younger. (I probably did Cleopatra because it was easier than some of the more elaborate headdresses.)
  4. Black Cat Crossing by Kay Finch ~ there are lots of books with black cats in them, but this is the one I read the most recently.
  5. Edgar Allen Poe’s complete works ~ there are so many things which can be seen as Halloween elements in his stories! (Including some that weren’t before the stories, but certainly are now…)
  6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman ~ graveyard! That counts! (When I read this one, I listened to Neil himself read the audio book. So cool.)
  7. The Witches by Roald Dahl ~ many other books have witches in them, but one thing I like about Dahl’s witches is they are evil. That, to me is the Halloween witch.
  8. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! by Charles Schultz ~ because who doesn’t love the Great Pumpkin?
  9. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving ~ the Headless Horseman is one of my favorite Halloween-themed characters. Love it.
  10. Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff ~ this has a haunted house and ghosts. Plus, it’s the only book on this particular list which truly freaked me out.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Unique Book Titles

This should be a fun Top Ten Tuesday! (Well, they’ve all been fun so far. But this one is specific and yet leaves things up to my imagination.) As far as what makes up “unique”… that’s all up to what I feel like at the moment. I don’t think I’m going to explain the list this time. I’m not sure I can.

Top Ten Unique Book Titles

  1. Beware the Wrath of Bunny Hopper by Lazette Gifford
  2. Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
  3. The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett
  4. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
  5. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones
  6. Still Life with Shape-Shifter by Sharon Shinn
  7. Squirrel Terror by Lilith Saintcrow
  8. Mouse Guard by David Petersen
  9. Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
  10. The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Have a great day!