top ten tuesday

Books that defied my expectations

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 That Defied My Expectations and I’ve got five books that exceeded my expectations, and five that failed to live up to them.

Starting with some books that disappointed

Paul Cartledge – Ancient Greece: A Very Short Introduction. It takes… a certain amount of skill to take a subject as exciting as Ancient Greek history and make it as dull as dishwater to read. Cartledge has that skill in bucketloads!
Olivie Blake – The Atlas Six. Booktok raved about this book for months. It was queer, it was dark academia, it was beautifully written. It had magic and mystery… yeah no. I found it boring, nothing happened, I couldn’t tell the characters apart, didn’t touch it for months because I Did Not Want to pick it up.
Kerry O. Ferris & Scott R. Harris – Stargazing: Celebrity, Fame, and Social Interaction. There was nothing wrong with it, it was very interesting but it all felt a little surface level on how fans interact with celebrities, and nowhere near enough of the sociology/psychology/social anthropology (not sure which is the right ology LOL) behind it. I wanted… more.
Tabitha Carvan – This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch. Considering the tagline is ‘the joy of loving something like your life depended on it’, there was a decided lack of joy in Carvan’s fannishness and far too much angst about it instead. It could have been so good but, sadly, didn’t quite work for me.
Kaleb Cooper – The World According To Kaleb. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t know what the point of the book was, other than to make money. He has no life/world experience, the whole book fell flat – except for the few times he talked about farming.

And now we move on to 5 books that exceeded my expectations.

Sarah J Maas – A Court Of Thorns and Roses. I started coming out of a huge mental health breakdown/reading slump at the end of 2020, which is also when I discovered the online book community. I was feeling a little floundery, didn’t know what I wanted to read so picked it up to see what the fuss was about. And fucking loved it!
Jeremy Clarkson – Diddly Squat: A Year On The Farm. I knew I was going to like it. I did not expect that I would find it completely unputdownable and finish it in one afternoon!
Juliet Ashton – The Fall and Rise of Sadie McQueen. I was expecting chick-lit, and based on that assumption, I thought I knew how the story would go. I was wrong on both accounts. It was so much more filled with mystery and surprise and heartbreak and family and found family and was just amazing
Matt Haig – Notes On A Nervous Planet. I read this in the midst of going through therapy for agoraphobia, and it turned out to be just the thing I needed to read, exactly when I needed to read it. It wasn’t preachy, and Haig didn’t try to ‘fix’ me, he just understood, and felt very soothing and calming.
Nancy Warren – The Vampire Knitting Club. I had no idea that paranormal cozy mysteries were a thing. I’d been trying to get into cozy mysteries for a while but having no luck. I found this on my Kindle, having checked it out on KindleUnlimted at some point and completely fell in love, read it in one afternoon and introduced me to a whole new subgenre which I LOVE!

top ten tuesday

Water

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 Water so we’re going with books that either have a body of water on the cover, or in the name. Which gives us:


Isabel Allende – City of the Beasts
Mandy Baggot – Truly, Madly, Greekly
Trevor Baxendale – Something In The Water
Terry Goodkind – Wizard’s First Rule
John Grisham – The Pelican Brief


Belinda Jones – I Love Capri
CS Lewis – The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader
Stephen King – Skeleton Crew
Sally Malcolm – Stargate: Atlantis – Rising
Ali McNamara – The Little Flower Shop by the Sea

This didn’t quite go where I expected it to go when I started poking through my books on Goodreads for things connected to water. I fully thought it would be another bright, colourful, summery, chick-lit selection, making up for the fact it’s grey, windy and wet out there. But then the first two I found were Stephen King and John Grisham!

top ten tuesday

Greek Mythology retellings I want to read

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 is a genre freebie so I’m going with Mythology Retellings I Want To Read

Margaret Atwood – The Penelopiad
Pat Barker – The Silence of the Girls
Susanna Clarke – Piranesi
Stephen Fry – Mythos
Natalie Haynes – Pandora’s Jar


Claire Heywood – The Shadow Of Perseus
Luna McNamara – Psyche & Eros
Madeline Miller – Circe
Jennifer Saint – Ariadne
Scarlett St. Claire – A Touch Of Darkness

top ten tuesday

Desert Island 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 isn’t inspiring me (I’m a no-crossovers kinda fandom llama), so I’m picking one from the archives: Books I’d Want On a Desert Island

I figured I’d want a good combination of books I know I’ll enjoy, long-ass books, and books I’ve been meaning to get around to reading but for some reason never have. And so this gives us:

Jean M Auel – Clan Of The Cave Bear
Marion Zimmer Bradley – The Mists of Avalon
Susanna Clarke – Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Ken Follet – The Pillars Of The Earth
Belinda Jones – On The Road To Mr Right


Stephen King – The Stand
Sharon Kay Penman – The Sunne in Splendour
Anne Rice – The Lives Of the Mayfair Witches
Anne Rice – Queen Of The Damned
Samantha Shannon – Priory Of The Orange Tree

(I’m also assuming that the shipping container with the rest of the books in series’ have been wrecked with me on my desert island)

What books would you take on a desert island?

top ten tuesday

Books or covers that look/feel like summer

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.

I’m picking one from a few weeks ago that I missed Books or covers that look/feel like summer

Emily Henry – Book Lovers
Holly Martin – Summer at Buttercup Beach
Jaimie Admans – The Wishing Tree Beside the Shore
Mandy Baggot – Desperately Seeking Summer
Ali McNamara – Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay


Christie Barlow – Kitty’s Countryside Dream
Alexandria Bellefleur – Hang The Moon
Talia Hibber – Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute
Taylor Jenkins Reid – Malibu Rising
Kiley Dunbar – The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday

This might just be the least eclectic collection I’ve ever posted LMAO

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Books Everyone Else Isn’t Reading

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 Forgotten Backlist Titles which Jana carries on to say is about thinking outside the shiny, new, trendy titles and think about ones that aren’t talked about anymore. She says that she often gets caught up in all the new releases and finds herself reading the same books everyone else is, that there’s no variety in the bookish community, and social media is full of pictures and reviews of the same handful of books

I do agree with her – every now and again I get fed up to the back teeth of seeing the same books – but luckily, what I tend to read are not the books everyone else is. So this is going to be 10 books I’ve read recently that I haven’t seen other people reading


Alix E Harrow – The Once And Future Witches
Mandy Baggot – Staying Out For The Summer
Colin Elford – A Year in the Woods: The Diary of a Forest Ranger
AJ Aalto – Touched
Christie Barlow – Love Heart Lane


Jessica Bruder – Nomadland
Susan Cooper – Over Sea, Under Stone
Alexis Caught – Queer Up
Peter Ackroyd – History Of England: Foundation
Neil Gaiman – The Ocean At the End Of the Lane

Do you tend to read the same books as everyone else? What have you read lately that other people haven’t been reading?

top ten tuesday

top ten books with one-word 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 is ‘Books With One-Word Titles which actually turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, once I started poking my shelves!

Peter Ackroyd – Tudors
Kelley Armstrong – Bitten
Louise Bagshawe – Sparkles
Gail Carriger – Soulless
Mira Grant – Feed


Matthew Reilly – Temple
Jennifer Saint – Ariadne
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein
Bram Stoker – Dracula
Xanthe Walter – Ricochet

top ten tuesday

Books beginning with S

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 a freebie, so I’m randomly doing Books beginning with S

Dani Atkins – A Sky Full Of Stars
Nancy Warren – Stitches & Witches
Maggie Alderson – The Scent Of You
Mandy Baggot – Staying Out For The Summer
Nicholas Carr – The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains


Kirsty Loehr – A Short History Of Queer Women
Amy Jeffs – Storyland: A New Mythology of Britain
Elenav Armas – The Spanish Love Deception
Holly Martin – Spring at Blueberry Bay
Kelley Armstrong – The Summoning

top ten tuesday

top ten red, white, & blue book covers

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 ‘Book Covers In the Colors of My Country’s Flag and since I’m in the UK, the colours of the Union Jack are red, white and blue A quick look through my TBR gives us:


Lin Anderson – The Case Of the Black Pearl
Keri Arthur – Beneath A Rising Moon
Juliet Ashton – The Sunday Lunch Club
Mandy Baggot – Staying Out For The Summer
L.A. Banks – Minion


Jeremy Blachman – Anonymous Lawyer
Natalie J Case – Thanátou
Toby Clements – Winter Pilgrims
Giovanna Fletcher – You’re The One That I Want
Milly Johnson – The Teashop On The Corner

I always love how these show the variety and electic nature of my reading grins

top ten tuesday

Things Getting in the Way of Reading (and also blogging!)

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.

I’m picking up a prompt from a couple of weeks ago, that seems quite timely since I’ve not blogged in like 6 weeks again. Things Getting in the Way of Reading (and also blogging!)

  1. University I am doing a part-time distance-learning Classical Studies degree, I have just finished my 4th module (out of 7 – I started with an access module or foundation year). I study about 25 hours a week and my final assignment of the year was submitted a couple of weeks ago. I am actually taking the next academic year off for mental health reasons/to avoid burnout

  2. Work They insist on taking up 40 hours of my time every single week, which honestly is incredibly rude of them. But then they do give me the money every month which lets me pay rent, buy food and acquire all the books so I suppose it’s a good transaction. Shame they don’t pay me to read books! 

  3. Video Games I have a couple of games I play daily on my phone – Bermuda Adventures, Star Trek: Timelines and some solitaire games – but also absolutely adore cozy games on my Switch. I love Animal Crossing, Cozy Grove, Harvest Moon, Spiritfarer, Stardew Valley, Story Of Seasons… it eats up a decent amount of time and there’s no complaints, to be honest! 

  4. Housework Admittedly, I’m not the best at keeping on top of keeping my flat in order. Between work, school and ADHD I blink and there’s suddenly a ridiculous amount of laundry and dishes to do and all my floors need vacuuming and ARGH! 

  5. Spending time with Li We’re in a long-distance relationship, I probably only see her for about 10 days every couple of months so when we are together, we like to do things together. Although, there is also a lot of parallel play taking place so there are definitely times when I’m reading! 

  6. Watching TV One of my biggest hobbies, other than reading, is watching TV. I watch a ridiculous amount of shows, will try the 1×01 of pretty much anything. And as a result, am never up-to-date on anything. Well, I used to be until the pandemic but then all my shows had COVID-19 storylines and my escape stopped being safe. Right now, I’m mostly watching old old old episodes of ER – I’m most of the way through S4

  7. Blogging I haven’t had as much time as I would like for blogging and for bookstagram, but I do throughly enjoy doing it. I love talking about books about as much as I enjoy reading them. My plan for over the summer is to pick it up more again.  

  8. Cooking I love to cook, and on an average week I will cook from scratch probably 5 nights. It’s mostly pasta and rice dishes, and I keep forgetting that I have a slow cooker so that’s something I want to remember to utilise more often. I have a lil pile of cookbooks, plus there’s the whole internet and I tend to steal recipes from HelloFresh! 

  9. Spoons I live with chronic pain, along with having anxiety and depression, so there are some days when I am fatigued, stressed, having a bad mental health day and don’t have the energy to do anything, even sitting and reading can be too much on days when I’ve used all my spoons on just getting through the day
    If you don’t know about the Spoon Theory, click here to learn more

  10. My TBR Honestly, there are days when the sheer number of books on my TBR, books that I want to read… even the number books that I’ve started and haven’t finished/still have in progress, just becomes overwhelming and I have a little panic.