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My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa
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- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
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- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (10)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: 2020 Author Discoveries

I often put my own twist on the Top Ten Tuesday topic du jour, but when it comes to freebies, I draw a blank.  Should I resurrect an old topic?  Create my own?  Forget about TTT for the week?  Seriously, the pressure can be paralyzing!  After discarding a few ideas, I finally decided on this one:  Top Ten Authors I've Discovered in 2020 (So Far).  Not super exciting, but hopefully it will be a fun way to highlight some new-to-me authors that I've found and enjoyed in this crazy year that is somehow more than half over.

First, though, I want to encourage you to join in the TTT fun.  You won't regret it, I promise!  All you have to do is head on over to That Artsy Reader Girl, check out a few quick instructions, make your own list, and then spend some happy hours spreading some love around the book blogosphere.  It's a guaranteed good time!

Top Ten Authors I've Discovered in 2020 (So Far):

1.  Diane Chamberlain (historical/women's fiction)—This is a little bit of a cheat since I actually first read Chamberlain back in 2012.  Apparently, I wasn't overly impressed with The Good Father then, so I didn't grab another of Chamberlain's books until this year.  I loved her newest, Big Lies in a Small Town, which led me to check out Necessary Lies, another one I very much enjoyed.  I've got two of her backlist books out from the library right now, which should give you a clue to how much I'm enjoying her.

2.  Tea Cooper (historical/family sagas/Australian settings)—Although I'd marked several of Tea Cooper's historical novels as "want-to-read" on Goodreads, I hadn't actually read her until this year.  I adored The Woman in the Green Dress and am looking forward to checking out more of Cooper's books.  And, yes, I already have a couple of them downloaded on my Kindle.

3.  Riley Sager (mystery/suspense/psychological thrillers/supernatural)—I'd heard of this buzzy author prior to this year, of course, but until now I hadn't picked up one of his books.  This year, I read Lock Every Door and The Last Time I Lied, both of which I enjoyed.  I'm definitely planning to get to Sager's other two books soon.

4.  Kim Michele Richardson (historical/U.S. South settings)The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is one of my favorite reads so far this year.  I will absolutely be exploring this author's small backlist.  Can't wait!

5.  Janae Marks (contemporary MG/Black characters/race issues)—Marks' debut book came out this year, so I'm all caught up with her.  Phew!  I very much enjoyed From the Desk of Zoe Washington and am excited to see what Marks does next.

6.  Emma Lord (contemporary YA/rom-com)—Lord's debut, Tweet Cute, made a big splash earlier this year.  I loved it, just like everyone else.  Lord's 2021 offering, You Have a Match, sounds like another fun romance.  I'll for sure read it when it comes out in January.

7.  Amy Meyerson (family saga/historical/mystery)—I'm in the middle of The Imperfects, Meyerson's newest, and I'm loving it.  She has one other book out that I'll be reading ASAP.

8.  Amy Harmon (historical/romance)Where the Lost Wander is another one of my favorite reads from 2020.  It's the only book I've read of Harmon's so far, but it certainly won't be the last.

9.  Isla Morley (historical/women's fiction/contemporary adult fiction)—After loving The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, I wanted to know more about the Blue people of Kentucky.  Morley's newest, The Last Blue, is a beautifully-written novel on the subject.  She has two other books that I'm anxious to read sometime soon.

10.  Amanda Flower (cozy mysteries/Amish themes)—Someone (Carla?) recommended this author's Amish Candy Shop mystery series and I've been really enjoying it.  I've read the first two installments so far.  The third is waiting for me on Kindle.  It's a clean, entertaining series that makes for perfect light, fluffy reading.

There you have it, ten authors I've discovered (and re-discovered) this year.  Have you read any of them?  What do you think?  Which authors are you excited to have found this year?  I'd love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I will return the favor on yours.

Happy TTT!   
Monday, July 27, 2020

Tempe Brennan is Back and Better Than Ever (Cliché But True)

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for A Conspiracy of Bones, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Tempe Brennan mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

Forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is one of my favorite crime fiction heroines, so I'm always excited when her newest adventure is published.  Because the latest installment in the series, A Conspiracy of Bones, was delayed due to Kathy Reichs' ill health, I was especially pumped when it finally came out in March.  My elation was well-merited, too, as Tempe is not just back but also better than ever.

Despite still being in recovery from surgery for a brain aneurysm, Tempe is anxious to continue her forensic work.  If only her new boss didn't carry an old grudge that makes her reluctant to look Tempe in the eye, let alone ask for her help.  When Tempe gets a gruesome heads-up about a corpse that's missing its hands and face, she's more than ready to get to work on the case.  Unfairly shut out by her boss, Tempe refuses to give up.  With the help of a few old colleagues, including the always amusing Erskine "Skinny" Slidell and the ever sexy Andrew Ryan, she vows to get to the truth she knows is hidden in the bones of the dead.  Of course, these things are never straightforward.  Soon, Tempe is once again smack dab in the middle of an intriguing mystery that could very well get her killed ...

While some of Reichs' books are better than others, I always love Tempe.  She's a smart, funny, determined heroine who I'm willing to follow anywhere.  Reichs' side characters are just as entertaining.  True, A Conspiracy of Bones is a bit lacking in the Ryan department.  Still, the novel offers plenty of twists to keep readers turning pages.  As always, I especially enjoy the way Reichs explains forensic science—she uses simple explanations that everyone can understand without talking down to the reader.  All of these features combine to make the Tempe Brennan series one of my favorites.  The newest installment is Reichs at her best.  Not surprisingly, I loved it.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books in the Tempe Brennan series, including First Bones [novella]; Deja Dead; Death Du Jour; Deadly Decisions, Fatal Voyage; Grave Secrets; Bare Bones; Monday Mourning; Cross Bones; Break No Bones; Bones to Ashes; Devil Bones; 206 Bones; Spider Bones; Flash and Bones; Bones Are Forever; Bones in Her Pocket [novella]; Bones of the Lost; Swamp Bones [novella]; Bones Never Lie; Bones on Ice; and Speaking in Bones)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, violence, disturbing subject matter, and blood/gore

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of A Conspiracy of Bones from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Splishy-Splashy Top Ten Tuesday List

Top Ten Tuesday is my hands-down favorite meme and the only one I really participate in.  However, some weeks I'm just not feeling the topic.  I usually find a way to twist it to suit me better, but today's has me stumped.  The topic du jour is:  Top Ten Book Events/Festivals I'd Love to Go To Someday (real or fictional).  As much as I love to read, I don't love crowds so I usually avoid these kinds of shindigs.  So, I went totally rogue today and came up with my own topic.  

Another thing I try to avoid is the heat.  I live in Arizona (not by choice), so it's not easy!  Luckily, I have a backyard pool to cool off in.  All the pool time my family and I have been enjoying lately makes me think of book covers featuring swimming pools.  So, my topic of choice today has to do with that.

Before we get to my list, though, I need to give a shout-out to our lovely Top Ten Tuesday host.  Be sure and check Jana out at That Artsy Reader Girl.  All the TTT deets are on her blog.  

Top Ten Books I Want to Read That Feature Swimming Pools on Their Covers

1.  Penny From Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm—This MG Newberry Honor book revolves around a young Italian-American girl living in New York City.  Set right after World War II, it deals with prejudice against Italians, fear of polio, and the coming-of-age of our heroine.

2.  The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson—I've loved several of Jackson's novels, but I haven't read this one yet.  This Southern family drama concerns a woman who is visited by the ghost of her 13-year-old neighbor.  The apparition leads her to a dead body and a mystery that will reveal shocking truths about her family's past.

3.  The Safe Place by Anna Downes—This thriller concerns a young woman who's in desperate need of a lucky break.  When a wealthy couple offers her a lucrative housekeeping job at their remote French estate, she jumps at the chance.  All is not perfect in paradise, however, as she soon finds out ...

4.  The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish—Another thriller, this one is about Natalie, a woman whose routine wife/mother/teacher life is shaken up when she meets wealthy, charismatic Lara who pulls her into a lavish lifestyle unlike any she's ever known.  Who is Lara, really?  And what is Natalie getting herself into?

5.  Summer Darlings by Brooke Lea Foster—Like The Safe Place, this novel is about a down-on-her-luck young woman who takes a glamorous job in Martha's Vineyard as a nanny for a wealthy couple.  As she tries to fit in with the upper crust, she discovers that nothing in that glittering world is quite what it seems ...

6.  The Vacation by T.M. Logan—The teaser says it all:  Seven Days.  Three Families.  One Killer.

7.  The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis—The plot summary on this one doesn't reveal a ton.  Apparently, it involves two frenemies who need to let go of the past in order to secure a happy, successful future. 

8.  Swimming Between Worlds by Elaine Neil Orr—This historical concerns three very different people whose lives converge in tumultuous North Carolina during the Civil Rights Movement.

9.  Up For Air by Laurie Morrison—This MG novel stars Annabelle Wilner, a 13-year-old who excels at swimming.  When she's invited to join the high school swim team, she becomes desperate to impress an older boy who's paying her a surprising amount of attention.  Her ploys, however, might just cost her everything that means anything to her, including friendships, family relationships, and a swimming scholarship.  Is her crush really worth it?

10.  For the Best by Vanessa Lillie (available September 8, 2020)—When her wallet is found next to a freshly-killed corpse, Jules Worthington-Smith becomes the chief suspect in the man's murder.  Despite the fact that she was drunk out of her mind on the night of the murder, Jules is sure she had nothing to do with it.  Now, she just has to prove her innocence ...

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a dip in the pool!  What do you think of my "splashy" list?  Can you think of any other books with swimming pools on the cover?  What's on your TTT list today?

Happy TTT!
Monday, July 20, 2020

The Last Time I Lied Another Engrossing Thriller from Sager

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

With its lush Adirondacks setting and its sparkling lake, Camp Nightingale was once an exclusive summer camp attended by Manhattan's wealthiest young women.  Then, three campers disappeared, never to be seen again.  Its reputation in ruins, the place closed, remaining shuttered for 15 years.  Now, it's reopening.

A first-time camper, Emma Davis was roommates with the missing girls.  She saw them sneak out of their cabin that night.  If only she had followed, maybe she could have stopped whatever tragedy befell them.  A decade and a half later, Emma is still wracked by guilt and grief.  An up-and-coming artist, she has painted the vanished girls obsessively.  Until six months ago, when her muses abandoned her just like they did 15 years ago.  Desperate to paint again and to find out what happened to the girls, Emma accepts a job as an art counselor at Camp Nightingale. 

Just as its man-made lake hides a flooded town, the camp is covering up its own secrets.  As Emma looks into the place's past and present, she discovers some unsettling truths about Camp Nightingale.  The more she digs, the more she realizes just how much danger she's really in.  Someone doesn't want her what really happened 15 years ago.  Emma escaped the camp with her life once—can she do it again?  Or will Emma become Nightingale's next missing woman?

I'm always drawn to a premise involving people returning to familiar places to confront secrets from the past.  Something about that particular setup just seems to guarantee drama, tension, and suspense.  The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager definitely makes good on that promise, offering a tense, twisty story set against a creepy, atmospheric backdrop.  Drama, tension, and suspense absolutely ensue, making for another thrilling page-turner from Sager.  I can't say I liked the characters in this one much, though.  The plot, while exciting, also left some unanswered questions.  For these two reasons and more, I enjoyed my previous read by Sager—Lock Every Door—more than this one.  Still, The Last Time I Lied kept me burning through its pages, eager to find out what was going to happen next.  While I didn't end up loving it, the novel did keep me engrossed and entertained.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of books by Carol Goodman, especially The Lake of Dead Languages, and of I'll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, violence, mild sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
Saturday, July 18, 2020

My First Sager Thriller Won't Be My Last

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After being let go at work and being let down in a relationship she thought was really going somewhere, Jules Larsen is at loose ends.  With no family to turn to and few friends, the 25-year-old could use a break.  That's just what she gets when she answers a Help Wanted ad for an apartment sitter.  Suddenly, she finds herself living in a luxurious suite at one of Manhattan's most exclusive addresses.  Other than some light housekeeping, Jules barely has to lift a finger to earn her $4000 a month paycheck.  It feels like she's won the lottery.  Sure, the job comes with some strange rules—no one is allowed to visit the apartment, Jules can't mention her new home on social media, and she's forbidden from speaking to any of the building's residents—but it's a small price to pay for such a large amount of money.

It's not long before Jules starts to realize something's not quite right at the Bartholomew.  Not only does she hear strange sounds in the night, but the one person she's befriended in the building—another apartment sitter—has vanished without a trace.  As Jules starts digging into the disappearance, she begins to uncover the Bartholomew's many secrets.  And that's when things go from strange to downright sinister ...

I don't want to say too much about Lock Every Door by Riley Sager for fear of spoiling the story.  It's a twisty tale, one that went in a totally unexpected direction for me.  The setting is atmospheric and creepy, the plot is propulsive and engrossing, and the characters are complex and interesting.  When it comes to unputdownable thrillers, Sager is a well-loved star.  Now I know why.  This definitely won't be the last time I read him.

(Readalikes:  Um, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Fourth Ruth Galloway Mystery Offers Another Entertaining Foray Into Forensic Archaeology

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for A Room Full of Bones, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Ruth Galloway mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

When Dr. Ruth Galloway—head of the Forensic Archaeology Department at the University of North Norfolk—is invited to supervise the opening of a medieval coffin, the last thing she expects to find is a dead body.  A fresh one, anyway.  But that's exactly what she discovers when she arrives at the Smith Museum for the unveiling.  The corpse of the curator, Neil Topham, is on the floor with no visible cause of death.  What caused his untimely demise?

Another mysterious death related to the museum makes it obvious that something strange is going on.  DCI Harry Nelson takes the case, calling on Ruth to help with the investigation.  Their digging leads them down strange paths that only create more questions.  As single Ruth and the very-married Harry race to solve the case, they also must deal with their awkward personal connection—their toddler.

I always enjoy my forays with the understated, but always entertaining Ruth Galloway.  A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths, the fourth book in the series, is no exception.  It features an intriguing mystery, a cast of interesting characters, and a plot that kept me turning pages. The mystery didn't go where I thought it was going to, which is always a nice surprise.  Overall, then, this is another entertaining installment in a mystery series I enjoy.  

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Ruth Galloway series, including The Crossing Places; The Janus Stone; The House at Sea's End; A Dying Fall; The Outcast Dead; The Ghost Fields; The Woman in Blue; The Chalk Pit; The Dark Angel; The Stone Circle; The Lantern Men; and The Night Hawk)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a few F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Tea Cooper's Newest My Favorite Kind of Hist Fic

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Fleur Richards barely has time to be a wife before she becomes a widow.  After a whirlwind courtship and a hasty, secret wedding to a handsome Australian soldier, she's shocked to hear that Hugh's been killed in the war.  Shaken by grief, she's even more stunned to learn that her humble husband was a wealthy man.  With no other family, Hugh's fortune goes to Fleur.  It hardly seems fair that she should inherit all Hugh's money when, really, she hardly knew him.  With nothing to keep her in England, Fleur decides to take the advice of her husband's solicitor and make her way to Australia.  Intent on passing the inheritance to someone more deserving, she determines to find Hugh's kin.

Part of Hugh's property is an abandoned curiosity shop in Sydney that unwittingly captures Fleur's imagination and heart.  As she studies its history, she's surprised to discover the place has a dark and mysterious past.  Before she can stop herself, Fleur finds herself caught up in its fascinating story.  It's a tale of romance, treasure, treachery, and intrigue ... and Fleur won't stop digging until she finds all the answers to the decades-old secret of a captivating, missing gem.

The Woman in the Green Dress by Australian author Tea Cooper is my favorite kind of historical fiction—clean, atmospheric, mysterious, and entertaining.  The setting is colorful and exotic, the characters likable (especially the irrepressible Bert) and interesting, the mystery compelling and engrossing.  True, I saw most of the plot twists coming.  Also true, I didn't care as I just found this novel absorbing and enjoyable.  The Woman in the Green Dress is my first book by Cooper, but it will definitely not be my last.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Woman in the Green Dress from the generous folks at Thomas Nelson via those at TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


Want more opinions on The Woman in the Green Dress?  Follow along on the book's blog tour by visiting the stops below:

Tuesday, June 16th: She Just Loves Books and @shejustlovesbooks
Wednesday, June 17th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, June 18th: @meetmeinthestacks
Friday, June 19th: Reading Reality
Monday, June 22nd: Into the Hall of Books
Monday, June 22nd: Run Wright
Tuesday, June 23rd: Blooming With Books
Wednesday, June 24th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife
Thursday, June 25th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 29th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Tuesday, June 30th: Beauty in the Binding and @beautyinthebinding
Wednesday, July 1st: Girl Who Reads
Thursday, July 2nd: Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Friday, July 3rd: @rendezvous_with_reading
Monday, July 6th: Buried Under Books
Thursday, July 9th: Pacific Northwest Bookworm and @pnwbookworm
Friday, July 10th: Read Eat Repeat and @readeatrepeat1
Friday, July 10th: @booktimistic
Monday, July 13th: @babygotbooks13
Tuesday, July 14th: Running Through the Storms
Wednesday, July 15th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Wednesday, July 15th: Sincerely Karen Jo
Thursday, July 16th: @lostinastack
Friday, July 17th: Wellreadtraveler and @wellreadtraveler
Friday, July 24th: Books Cooks Looks
Friday, July 24th: @bibliolau19
TBD: Monday, June 15th: Hallie Reads
TBD: Monday, July 6th: Drink. Read. Repeat and
TBD: Tuesday, July 7th: Careyloves and @careylovestobook
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things to Turn Your Frown Upside-Down

In general, I'm an upbeat, positive person, even when times are rough like they are right now.  However, today's TTT topic du jour—Top Ten Books That Make Me Smile—made me realize I don't read a lot of books that reflect that.  I tend to shy away from funny reads.  Why?  Not sure.  My tastes just naturally skew toward the moody, broody.  The mysteries, thrillers, family sagas, and hist fic that I read most tend to be darker and heavier than your basic rom-com or contemporary story.  As you can see, I'll never come up with ten books to fit the prompt, so instead, I'm going to go rogue and change up the topic a little bit and go with Top Ten Bookish Things That Make Me Smile.

As you probably know already, Top Ten Tuesday makes me smile, so join in, wontcha?  It's fun and easy.  Just click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

Top Ten Bookish Things That Make Me Smile  

1.  Mom—The first one isn't a thing, it's a person.  My mom and her identical twin sister turned 78 today and they both make me smile.  They're both retired teachers who love to read.  My mom taught me to love books by example (she was always reading—even when she had to do it in a locked bathroom to get some privacy), by reading me bedtime stories, by driving me to the library and letting me check out as many books as I could carry, by encouraging me to enjoy said books (even when I stayed up way too late), and by being one of the very first followers of this blog.  She's also taught me to love family history, to find joy in the journey of life (even when it's tough), to be strong through my trials, to be patient, and to have faith in a loving God.  She's pretty great, I have to say.  Happy birthday, Mom!  P.S. I think my mom's the one making the goofy face, but I'm not totally sure ...

2.  Strong, endearing leading ladies—I do have some favorites who make me smile:  Jacky Faber, Veronica Speedwell, Hermione Granger, Scout Finch, Jo March, Anne Shirley, etc.

3.  Punny book titles—I've come to appreciate cozy mysteries a lot more in the past few years than I ever have before.  They're clean, they're upbeat, they're fun, and oh my goodness, the titles!  A Tale of Two Biddies, Assaulted Caramel, Penne Dreadful, Dachsund Through the Snow, etc.  Even when they're totally silly, they make me smile.

4.  Book Memes—You gotta love a good nerdy meme that makes you feel seen and understood in your crazy bookwormish ways.

5.  Bookish apparel—There are so many fun shirts, socks, hats, etc. that promote a love of reading.  I love seeing them in the wild :)

6.  Bookish Accessories—Posters, mugs, jewelry, totes, bookmarks, etc. are fun, too.

7.  Knife Blocks Made out of Books—Who knew these were a thing?  They make me grin and, not gonna lie, I kind of want to make one.

8.  Bookish Cross-Stitch Patterns—COVID boredom has reawakened my interest in cross-stitching.  I haven't made anything book-y yet, but I've purchased some fun patterns that I can't wait to work on.  The one above will probably be my next stitching project.

9.  Book Mail—This has been a regular thing for me since I started my blog way back in 2006, but guess what?  I still smile every time I get a book in the mail, especially one I'm really excited about!

10.  BBB Readers and Their Comments—Truly, hearing your thoughts on books never gets old.  I smile every time I check my comments.  They always make my day.  Also, Napoleon Dynamite makes me smile.

So, there you go, ten bookish things (okay, nine things and one person) that make me smile.  Which books and/or bookish things make you smile?  I'd love to know.  Leave a comment on this post (see #10) and I'll gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT! 

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: My Most Read Authors

All of us have favorite auto-buy (or at least auto-read) authors.  Some of them publish dozens of books, all of which we clamor to consume.  This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic—Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most Books By—made me think about the writers I've loved over my 44 years of life and how many of their books I've read.  Using Goodreads, Fantastic Fiction, and my not-very-reliable memory, I managed to come up with a list that's fairly accurate (I think). 

Before we get to that, though, I want to encourage you to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our host, Jana, a little love.  If you want to join in the TTT fun, her blog has all the deets.

Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most Books By

1.  Mary Higgins Clark (20+ books read)I've mentioned this grand dame of mystery many times on my blog.  My dad is a big MHC fan; he's the one who introduced me to her.  As a junior high/high schooler I inhaled her engrossing suspense novels (many times late at night, long after I was supposed to be asleep).  I haven't been as impressed by her more recent offerings and haven't actually read her for a number of years.  Still, the recent passing of this mystery maven made me sad.

2.  Jodi Picoult (21 books read)—Picoult's books rarely fail to engage me, so it's no wonder I've read almost everything she's ever written.   

3.  Kathy Reichs (19 books read)—I love Reichs' forensic mysteries starring Temperance Brennan and have read every book in the series.  As of yet, I haven't tried her YA series, Virals, which she pens with her son, Brendan.

4.  Maeve Binchy (15+ books read)—Binchy's recent-ish death is another I was saddened by.  She was a wonderful Irish writer whose novels I've enjoyed greatly over the years.

5.  Judy Blume (12+ books read)—Like many girls of my generation, I grew up reading books like Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret; Super Fudge; Deenie; and Blubber.  Although I haven't read a Blume book in decades, I zoomed through a whole bunch of them as a kid.

6.  Adriana Trigiani (13 books read)—It's been a little while since I've read anything by this Italian-American author, but I've enjoyed a number of her books.  Her Big Stone Gap series is my favorite.

7.  Sharon Bolton (12 books read)—Although her British crime novels can be super dark and disturbing, I can't resist Bolton.

8.  Jane Casey (12 books read)—Ditto this Irish author of crime fiction.  I'm especially enamored of her Maeve Kerrigan series.

9.  Stephen King (11 books read)—Reading wasn't considered very cool when I was a teen, so I generally hid my bookwormish tendencies from anyone who wasn't family.  If I did risk being seen reading in public, I made sure it was with a socially acceptable author, of which King was definitely one. I'm a lot wimpier now than I used to be, so I haven't read anything from the "Master of Horror" in a decade or so.  Still.

10.  Christopher Pike (10+ books read)—Pike is another author I loved as a teen.  His YA thrillers kept me up way past my bedtime on many a night.

There you go, the top ten authors whose books I've read most throughout my life.  What do you think?  Do we have any in common?  Whose works have you consumed most?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I'll return the favor on yours.

Happy TTT! 
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Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

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