top ten tuesday

Reasons I’ve DNFed a book

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is Petty Reasons You’ve DNF’d a Book.

I’m still learning to DNF books – I’ve always been a bit of a Magnus Magnusson “I’ve started, so I’ll finish” but over the last 18 months or so, I’ve started learning that it’s ok to stop reading a book I’m not enjoying for any reason. It doesn’t matter if I’m 5% or 65% of the way through – it’s not fair on the author, on the book, on me and life is too short/my TBR is too big to read a book I’m not enjoying.

Although I do find, especially with Libby and Borrowbox where I try more different variety of book than I otherwise would, that there’s a lot of books I stop reading somewhere in the first parag/first page and they don’t even get logged as started in order TO DNF – I basically class them as not started. But I will be including them here.

So, in no particular order – and I don’t know petty some of these are per se:

Layout/formatting issues or choices
If there’s no paragraph breaks and I’m facing just a huge wall of text, that’s an instant nope for me. The same goes for no speech marks when characters are talking – It just gives me the ick.

Lack of editing
I once DNFed a book because the tense had changed three times on one page and the guitarist was playing a ‘cord’. It’s a lack of care, and I’m not reading something that hasn’t had even the most basic of editing.

Short chapters
I HATE short chapters – when they’re just two or three pages long. It feels like I’m being constantly thrown out of the story, especially when the POV or scene changes every time. It feels like the author doesn’t know how to finish a scene so just… stops. I refuse to read James Patterson because of it.

I don’t like the narrative voice
Sometimes, you just don’t like the ‘sound’ (I don’t listen to audiobooks so I mean the written voice as it were) of the narrative – often for me it’s because it feels flat or boring and leaves me not caring. I also don’t have a huge amount of patience for an unreliable narrator.

Multiple perspectives/POV but they sound the same
Following on from that, when a book is being told from multiple characters’ perspectives, but the narrative voice doesn’t change and sounds exactly the same. I should be able to tell without your header telling me that this is a different person narrating this bit of the story because no two people sound the same.

Story/topic just doesn’t grab me
I have ADHD and all the related attention-span fun that comes along with that. If a book doesn’t grab my attention within the first couple of pages then chances are, I’ll put it down to do something else and never pick it back up again.

It started off well but lost my interest
Sometimes, a book will get past that initial attention-grab, I’ll keep reading it and it seems like everything’s going well. Only then I’ll realise I haven’t picked it up in 6 months, I don’t actually care about the characters or the story, I pass over it every time I’m picking what I’m going to finish/read next, and I just don’t want to read it. And so it gets DNFed.

Unlikable characters
I prefer plot-based stories to character-based ones, I like books where something happens but at the same, I have to care about the people that the plot is happening to. If I don’t care about them or the things happening to them, there’s no point in continuing to read.

Jumping the shark
When a story hits the point where its just throwing in random ideas out of completely nowhere that have nothing in common with anything else in the story, I end up just rolling my eyes and being completely DONE. There was one book I was reading last year that I DNFed at 46% because out of the blue the narrative just went ‘oh, BTW, main character’s secretly actually a hellhound’ and NOPE.

Hyperfixation over
This is more for non-fiction books but quite often I’ll have a hyperfixation on a particular topic and start reading All The Things. But then that hyperfixation can disappear as quickly as it starts and I have absolutely no interest in finishing, for example, the random chemistry/geology/astrophysics (to name a few examples from the last year or so) book that I started months ago.

What are some things that will make you DNF a book?

top ten tuesday

Books on my Spring 2024 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is Books on my Spring 2024 TBR and, honestly, it’s going to end up being more of ‘the next 10 books I want to finish’ because I’ve once against ended up with 19 books in progress again. Although I am working out that between 3 and 5 seems to be the best number of books to be actively reading so my next reading goal of is going to be to try and get it down to that number.


Steven Keogh – Murder Investigation Team: How Scotland Yard Really Catches Killers I’m 69% of the way through with just over 50 pages left so this will definitely get finished this week.
Britney Spears – The Woman in Me Another one I’m really close to finishing, I’ve got about 90 pages so that might get finished this week as well
Nicholas Carr – The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains This one is one of the handful I’m actively reading this week, I’m about 70% through and about 80 pages left so another one that shouldn’t take long to finish
Ben Aaronovitch – The October Man Again, one of the ones I’m actively reading, 62% finished with 70 or so pages left, another one I should finish relatively soon
Cathy Glass – A Long Way From Home The last one of the ones I’m actively reading, I’m about half way through and shall probably finish next week

Then on to the some that are on my currently-reading. They aren’t the ones I’m actively reading, but they’re the next up, and I’m hoping to finish by the end of March

Ronald Hutton – The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain
Juliet Ashton – The Sunday Lunch Club
Ed Gamble – Glutton: The Multi-Course Life of a Very Greedy Boy
Matthew Reilly – Scarecrow
Jeremy Clarkson – What Could Possibly Go Wrong…

What’s on your TBR this spring?

top ten tuesday

New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2023

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2023 and I’m picking ones that I read for the first time in 2023, not necessarily the ones I only heard of first – because I did a lot of ‘picking the popular thing up to see what the fuss was all about’, and they were books that had been around for a while.
I have 8 though, not 10 -I read more than 10 new authors, but these are the 8 that stuck with me, and i have something to say about.
That made more sense in my head – in my defence, I’m writing this under a heady cocktail of codeine, naproxen and not enough caffeine because today is A Bad Pain Day.

Matthew Reilly Definitely one of my top author discoveries of 2023. I picked up Temple because it was set in Peru and filled the ‘South America’ prompt on a Reading Around The World challenge and completely fell in love, proceeded to read 2 more of his books, just bought a 3rd, and have further 2 on my TBR.

Andrea Penrose I absolutely devoured the Wrexford & Sloane books last year, and read books 6 and 7 in January of this year. I am now very impatiently waiting for book 8 to come out in like Aug/Sept
Note to self – you should check out her other series too

Jeremy Clarkson Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t discover Jeremy Clarkson last year. I’ve known who he is for years, I live in the UK and I’ve watched Top Gear, Grand Tour, Clarkson’s Farm etc, but this was the first time I picked up one of his books. It won’t be the last
Note to self – do the library have any of his other books too?

Talia Hibbert Talia Hibbert is someone I first heard of a couple of years ago, and knew I wanted to read. How could I not want to read spicy diverse romance novels, with characters who are fat, or autistic…i.e. like me. And they were wonderful and I adore her!

Alix E Harrow The Once and Future Witches was one of my standout reads from last year, and Harrow’s beautiful writing style is one of the main reasons for that. I absolutely loved it and, yes, want to read more.

Meik Wiking I’d actually attended a bunch of webinars that Wiking has either led as part of The Happiness Institue, or been part of through places like Action For Happiness, but I’d never read one of his books. And then I devoured all the Hygge books he’d written because that all just

Raynor Winn I had been wanting to read The Salt Path for years and when I saw it sitting on the shelf in the library, I was overjoyed. Thankfully the book was every bit as amazing as I expected it to be, Winn’s writing style flows so easily and all three books were completely unputdownable

Stel Pavlou The one author on this list I don’t have the burning desire to read more by but Decipher was definitely one of my top books of 2023. Li recommended it to me and it was fucking batshit crazy, OTT, sci-fi action thriller and I LOVED IT. His other book/s, the precis don’t appeal to me, but he deserves to be on this list for my love of Decipher!

top ten tuesday

Books I Meant to Read in 2023 but Didn’t Get To

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is Books I Meant to Read in 2023 but Didn’t Get To and I am feeling VERY called out right now, because oh there are SO MANY


Ben Aaronovitch – Lies Sleeping (Rivers Of London #7)
Travis Baldree – Legends and Lattes
Becky Chambers – A Psalm for the Wild-Built
Bonnie Garmus – Lessons in Chemistry
Ali Hazelwood – The Love Hypothesis


Talia Hibbert – Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute
Emily Henry – Book Lovers
Sarah J Maas – A Court of Wings and Ruin
Emily St John Mandel – Station Eleven
Tamsyn Muir – Gideon The Ninth

top ten tuesday

Favourite Books of 2023

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is Favourite Books I read in 2023 and this is much easier than just being asked my single favourite for reasons of no LOL

If I ever wasn’t sure what an eclectic reader I can be we have non-fiction history, non-fiction farming, historical fantasy, sci-fi thriller, historical mystery, action adventure thriller, haunted house horror, urban fantasy cozy mystery, non-fiction lifestyle, and non-fiction travel memoir!

I wanted to take a moment and talk about why each of the books was one of my top reads, but I have the flu, feel completely rotten and honestly just sitting at the laptop to write this much is making my head pound and my back muscles ache, and y’all don’t want to know how many times I fucked up that HTML LMAO

top ten tuesday

Mainstream Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Firstly, I want to apologise for disappearing for another couple of weeks – I went back to work at the beginning of the month after having been off for the best part of 2 months with a slipped disk and a torn tendon in my hip. That adjustment to going back to work has been exhausting – combination of reducing painkillers so I’m capable of working and having to use my brain etc etc.  But the physio is finally starting to work, I’m getting some of my mobility back, I can now walk about a quarter of mile without needing to sit down and hopefully I should be going home at the end of the month! (I’ve been at my partners since July because of these issues!)

And now we move on to the regularly scheduled posting

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Mainstream Popular Authors that I Still Have Not Read
I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to who is or isn’t ‘mainstream’ or popular, but based on things that everyone seems to talk about, and last years Goodreads Choice Awards:

Colleen Hoover
Richard Osman
Sally Rooney

I’ve tried reading all three of these. I got about a page and a bit into one of their books, and promptly took them back to the library. Just not a writing style that worked for me

Emily Henry
Emily St John Mantel
RF Kuang

They’re on the TBR, I just haven’t quite to them yet, but I want to!

Rebecca Yarros
Brandon Sanderson

I’m just not that into fantasy and they don’t appeal to me

Travis Baldree
Tamsyn Muir

I’ve hyped Gideon The Ninth and Legends & Lattes up so much in my mind that I’m scared to start and not like them

How about you – are there mainstream/popular authors that you’re not reading?

top ten tuesday

Most Intimidating Books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic of ‘atmospheric books’ doesn’t appeal to me, so I’m picking one from the archives: Most Intimidating Books

I’ve actually only been able to come up with 79 (I thought of 2 more in the shower LOL) for this, all from my TBR – though I’m sure there are many more out there that I want to read but am intimidated by, I’m just completely blanking on them. If I think of any, I will update the post with them

Travis Baldree – Legends & Lattes The original cozy fantasy. I own it, I specifically went out and purchased it, almost a year ago, because I want to read it. It sounds amazing and I think I’m really going to love it… but I’ve hyped it up so much that I can’t quite bring myself to start because what if I don’t like it?
Michael Connelly – The Black Echo I know I’ve read it before, but the read date isn’t logged on Goodreads so that means it was well over a decade ago. I remember Mum and I reading it, along with some of the rest of the series, and we managed to pick up a lot of the books from charity shops. But there are so many books in the series that re-reading the first one becomes a huge commitment.
Marian Keyes – Rachel’s Holiday I loved Marian Keyes books when I was younger, but they were read so long ago, there’s no rating or read date on GoodReads, and that’s something I want to work on. I re-read Watermelon & Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married last year and it did not hold up to my nostalgia-tinted glasses of ‘OMG I LOVE MARIAN KEYES’, and her books have always featured in ‘favourite books’, so now I don’t know if I want to re-read the rest to have them logged properly. Plus, her books are quite chunky ones so that’s a thing in an of itself.
Stephen King – The Stand As above, I want to properly log all the books I own, and I fucking love Stephen King, especially his older stuff and The Stand has always been a favourite. I’ve always loved a good plague, y’know? But, in the wake of COVID-19 and all my anxieties stemming from the pandemic… I’m terrified to pick it back up
Tamsyn Muir – Gideon The Ninth Y’all have no idea how much I want to read this. It’s literally been sold to me as ‘lesbian necromancers in space’, and really how am I supposed to resist that? But, a bit like Legends & Lattes, the hype around it has me nervous to even pick it up, let alone start reading.

Anne Rice – Prince Lestat I’m actually a little embarrassed that I haven’t read the last three of the Vampire Chronicles books. I don’t even know if I can explain why I can’t bring myself to do it. I guess it’s another case of being scared not to like it, especially as Rice said the series was finished with Blood Canticle, and then she went and found God, wrote a bunch of Christian books, then lost God again and came back to the vampires and it makes me… wary for lack of a better word.
Samantha Shannon – The Priory Of The Orange Tree Have you seen the size of the damn book? It’s huge. This is one that Booktok has managed to pique my interest in, but the length of the book is intimidating, and I’m not the biggest fantasy fan so… I don’t know.
Oscar Wilde – The Picture Of Dorian Gray Another one that’s been sitting on my shelf, mocking me, for years. I know the general story, I like the general story but I don’t have the best experience reading classic literature and I’m scared of not liking it
Malala Yousafzai – I Am Malala I have had this one on my TBR for years, it’s sitting right there on the top of my smallest bookshelf (it’s too tall for the shelves, so it’s on the top). I want to read it, I think she’s an amazing young woman. But at the same time, it feels like it’s going to be so… much

top ten tuesday

Books With Weather-Related Titles

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic doesn’t appeal to me, so I’m picking one from a couple of weeks ago that I missed: Books with Weather Events/Words in the Title/on the Cover
(I’m picturing a list of titles with weather-related words in them like storm, rain, blizzard, flood, lightning, hail, snow, wind, etc. OR covers with lightning/storms in the picture.)


Matthew Reilly – Ice Station
Carlos Ruiz Zafón – The Shadow Of The Wind
Cecilia Ahern – Where Rainbows End
Stephen King – The Mist
Richard Castle – Heat Wave


Barbara Sophia Tammes – A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds
Guy de la Bédoyère – Gods with Thunderbolts
Sally Malcolm – Permafrost
Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief
Jaimie Admans – Snowflakes At The Little Christmas Tree Farm

That was legit a lot harder than I thought it would be. I figured I’d have read loads of books with storm, thunder, or lightning in the title but no! I did have fun scrolling through 13 years of GoodReads books read though!

top ten tuesday

Reading goals check-in

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic doesn’t appeal to me, so I’m picking one from a couple of weeks ago that I missed: Reading Goals I Still Want to Accomplish Before the End of the Year
We’ve just begun the last quarter of the year! What bookish goals would you still like to accomplish? If you participated in TTT’s Bookish Goals for 2023 topic this past January, update us on which goals you’ve achieved, which you’ve given up on, and which ones you’re still working on!

Clear one pile of the physical TBR
insert hysterical laughter here
Of course, it hasn’t helped that I’ve been stuck in Devon without access to my piles for a few months… but I’ve put together a wee ‘rota’ of all the ways I have access to books and I’m planning on using that.

Read 50 books
I actually adjusted this goal twice, and it’s currently at a goal of 80 – and I’ve read 70 books already this year. I’m wondering if this might be the year I hit 100 for the first time.

Blog 3x a week
I seem to go in fits and spurts, still working on it. Think it’s going to be a work-in-progress for a while longer… and I still need to figure out the social media side of things

Try to only read onebook at a time
That did not work as a realistic goal for me and my ADHD, but I do seem to have settled at 5 being a good number

Finish Bill Bryson bibliography
And so naturally, I’ve read… no Bryson books this year facepalm

Then, a quick look at the reading challenges I’ve picked up on storygraph:
Reading Rainbow 100% complete, 12 books read! 😀
2023 Genre challenge 100% complete, 10 books read! 😀
Storygraph genre challenge 90% complete, book selected for the last one
On the cover 88% complete, 14 books read< (and 1 in progress). You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to find a book with a mask on the cover LMAO
50 women 74% complete, 37 books by women read so far this year
Alphabet challenge 69% complete, 18 books read – just the awkward ones like E, I, J, K, U, V, X, Z to go and I’m probably going to grab random books from the library!
Storygraph onboarding 50%, 3 books read and books selected for the other 3
Around the world 40% complete, 4 books read, and 2 more in progress, with books picked for all prompts

I also need to update my reading journal so that might be plan for this afternoon.

All in all, I think I’m doing pretty well and I are pleased 🙂

top ten tuesday

Funny Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic doesn’t appeal to me, so I’m picking one from the archives of Funny Book Titles because I’m falling quickly into the cozy and/or paranormal mystery (and a little paranormal romance, lets be honest LOL) world and I am fucking loving some of the wonderful puns that these books have.


Chris Abernathy – Paw and Order
Sarah May Bird – Feline Deadly
Casey Blair – A Coup of Tea
Jessica Clare – What the Hex?
Jane Hinchley – Ghost Mortem


Erin Johnson – With Scream & Sugar
Kate Johnson – Hex Appeal
Maisy Marple – Burger & Dies
Chelsea Thomas – Murder on the Orient Espresso
Nancy Warren – Bakers Coven

Honestly, that was a LOT harder than I expected it to be. I usually find loads of really funny, punny, titles when I’m getting my ebook-deal emails, when I’m pootling around Amazon and Goodreads… but of course, because I was looking, I couldn’t find any. Always the way. Next time, I’ll start a list as I find them! LOL