Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for the End (of the Year)


It's December 1st.  Can you believe it?  Even though 2020 seems to be lasting for eons, there are only 31 days left in the year.  Inconceivable!  I don't know about you, but I'm scrambling to figure out how I'm going to finish everything I need to do before 2020 disappears forever.  My house is only half decorated for the holidays, I've got Christmas cards to address and mail (I did print them early, so at least that part's done), there are presents to buy, a house to clean, preparations to make for my son's wedding on January 2, a mountain of laundry to tackle, etc.  Despite my never-ending to-do list, what's really on my mind is how I'm going to finish out my reading year.  Priorities, amirite?  My goal was to read 200 books in 2020 and I'm only 30 away.  I read over 30 books in October, so reaching my goal is doable, if not probable.  We'll see.  

What would I like to read in December?  Good question.  I've still got a list of middle grade novels to read for my Cybils judging gig as well as a number I need in order to finish up a few reading challenges.  Then, of course, there are a bunch I'd like to get to just for fun.  *Sigh*  So many books, so little time ...  

Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Books I'd Like to Re-read.  Since I'm not much of a re-reader and I actually posted about this topic in September, I'm going to be rebellious today and focus instead on the Top Ten Books I Want to Read Before 2020 Ends.  If you want to join in the TTT fun, hop on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the info.

Top Ten Books I Want to Read Before 2020 Ends  


1.  The Loop by Ben Oliver—I don't read much sci-fi, but I need a book featuring robots or AI characters for the PopSugar Reading Challenge.  This YA novel, about a teen boy incarcerated in a futuristic prison run by robot guards, sounds compelling.


2.  Beauty and the Baron by Joanna Barker—I enjoyed Barker's 2018 debut novel and have been meaning to pick up another by her ever since.  Beauty and the Baron, the first installment in her new fairy tale retellings series, sounds like a light, fun read to enjoy in December.  It will also fill the "Retelling" prompt for the Nerd Daily Reading Challenge.


3.  Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham—Earlier this year, I read The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman, a MG novel about two young girls whose lives change forever after the explosion at Chernobyl.  The setting was intriguing, making me want to learn more about this historical event.  Midnight in Chernobyl gets good reviews and fulfills the "Genre You Don't Usually Read" prompt for the Booklist Queen Reading Challenge.


4.  The Woman Who Spoke to Spirits by Alys Clare—This Victorian mystery novel just sounds fun!


5.  Christmas Day in the Morning adapted by David Warner from the original story by Pearl S. Buck—I received a copy of this book from the publisher a month ago.  It's a slim holiday story about a man looking back on the gift that brought Christmas joy back into his life.  


6.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens—Speaking of re-reads, this is the only book I revisit every year.  It's a quick read but one that always moves me and gets me into the Christmas spirit.


7.  Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Mid-Life Crisis by Ada Calhoun—I've been fascinated by sleeping and dreaming ever since I was a nap-resistant child.  These days, I can barely make it through the day without a midday snooze, although I often have trouble sleeping at night.  I'm interested to see what Calhoun has to say on the matter.


8.  The Power of Ritual: How to Create Meaning and Connection in Everything You Do by Casper ter Kuile—I was looking for a good motivational book to pump me up for the new year and I came across this one.  Not only does it sound inspirational, but it will work nicely to fulfill the "Self-Improvement Book" prompt for the Booklist Queen Reading Challenge.


9.  Lockdown by Peter May—I enjoy May's books, so I definitely want to make time for this one, which was published 15 years ago but just re-released.  It's a murder mystery set against a familiar background: a city in quarantine because of a deadly virus that's creating a worldwide pandemic.  Even though I'm tired of living in a pandemic, I still find them fascinating to read about.


10.  The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim—I've heard good things about this novel, which features a woman who visits her mother in L.A.'s Koreatown only to find her mom dead in a suspicious manner.  In her shock and sorrow, the daughter begins looking into her mother's death, which leads her on a journey of discovery into her mother's past as a Korean War orphan trying to make her way in California.  I'm definitely intrigued!   

There you go, ten books I want to read this month.  What are you planning to read in December?  How are you doing with your 2020 reading goals?  What do you think of my choices?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!

55 comments:

  1. I reread A Christmas Carol every year, too! :)

    My post.

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    1. It's such a great tradition! I'm glad we both do it. So fun.

      Thanks for coming by, Lydia!

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  2. I hope you can get them all in. I couldn't, that's for sure. Enjoy!

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    1. Ha ha. This time of year is so busy, we'll see if I can even get 10 read, let alone 30! Wish me luck.

      Thanks for stopping by, Davida!

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  3. Dang, just sat here scribbling some of these down to check out as they look like cracking reads.

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    1. Yay! I'm glad you found some titles to pique your interest. Discovering new-to-me books is my favorite thing about reading book blogs.

      Thanks for coming by, Alexandra!

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  4. I can't believe it is December either!! Nor can I believe what an odd year 2020 has been with the pandemic and all!

    I like your theme this week. Good luck on finishing all of the books in your post by the end of the year!

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    1. Right? It's been the strangest year! I'm not sad to see it go. I'll need luck to finish all the books I want to before the end of the year :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Great TTT! I need to read A Christmas Carol! Maybe I can squeeze it in before the end of the year as well🥰

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    1. A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a really fast read, so you definitely have time to squeeze it in. Enjoy!

      Thanks for coming by, Maya!

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  6. Good luck with your goal! I hope you'll get to all of these in December and hit your goal of 200 books :)

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    1. I'll definitely need luck to hit 200! We'll see how it goes.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lindsey!

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  7. Midnight in Chernobyl is one of those books I have heard about and wanted to read. It's supposed to be very good. I might have to look up that one you listed with it about the two girls.

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    1. MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL gets really good reviews, so I'm excited to read it. THE BLACKBIRD GIRLS is a great historical middle-grade novel. I enjoyed it. I hope you like it if you read it.

      Thanks for coming by, Deanna!

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  8. I absolutely loved Beauty and the Baron. I hope you enjoy it too. I'm a sucker for fairytale retellings and that was a great one. :)

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    1. I'm not usually big on fairy tale retellings, but I love Beauty and the Beast and I've been eager to read another Barker novel, so BEAUTY AND THE BARON seems like a perfect fit. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

      Thanks for stopping by, Ashley!

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  9. Beauty and the Baron sounds like a fabulous read! I'm going to want to read that soon, too!

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    1. It sounds light and fun, exactly what I need right now! I hope we both enjoy it :)

      Thanks for coming by, Christine!

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  10. Christmas in the Morning is going onto my reading list for this Holiday Season. Thanks.I rarely reread books so this was a hard list for me to create. My TTT Books I want to read again list

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    1. Yeah, I didn't even try to come up with ten books I wanted to re-read! Too tough for someone who really doesn't like re-reading.

      CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING sounds good, doesn't it? I hope we both enjoy it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Anne!

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  11. I don't know how I ended up thinking our prompt for today was about favorite quotes of the year! Oh well, I enjoyed writing it anyway.

    And I love your alternative theme for today. I think Midnight in Chernobyl and the Christmas books all sound great for December.

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    1. You're not the only one who did quotes today. Maybe it was the original prompt for today and got changed or something? Who knows? Quotes are always fun, though!

      Thanks for coming by, Deb!

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  12. I hope you enjoy all of these!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/12/01/top-ten-tuesday-292/

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    1. Thanks! Me, too :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. You are super busy! Good luck getting everything done. Lockdown and Midnight in Chernobyl are two from your list that I want to read. And Beauty and the Baron looks cute and fun. But I probably won't get to any of them this year. Too many other books on my list. :)

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    1. This is my favorite time of year, but it's always crazy, no matter how hard I try to be on top of things. I'll definitely need some luck to get it all done :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

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  14. I hope you get to read all of these and complete your reading goal. Good luck with the wedding too. What a wonderful way to start the new year.

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    1. Thanks! I hope I make it to 200, too, although I'm not holding my breath. We'll see.

      I am excited to start 2021 with a wedding. My son is marrying a really sweet girl whom we all love, so it will be a joy to have her in the family officially.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

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  15. Ooh, my mom's got a copy of Midnight in Chernobyl on her shelf. She thought it was really good. And your tradition of reading A Christmas Carol sounds so pleasant

    I think your December might be even busier than mine looks, and I'm nervous I won't finish the *nine* I need to hit my goal! Good luck with everything. I'm sure it will all be worth it! (and on January 3rd, I bet you'll be wondering what to do with all your sudden free time)

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    1. Oh, good, I'm glad your mom enjoyed MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL. I just reserved a copy from my library - I'm excited to read it.

      This time of year is always so busy. Add in a wedding and it's busy times 100! The bride's family is doing most of the work, but still ...

      Thanks for stopping!

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  16. Ooh nice topic! This would be too daunting for myself to do! Lol! There would be ones I want to read before the end of the year but I can't guarantee that I will get up to 10 before 1/1/21! Lol!


    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

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    1. I'm pretty sure I can get ten read before January 1st, but I'm not sure about 20, let alone 30. I do have a number of MG books to read as well as a couple of novellas, so we'll see how it all shakes out.

      Thanks for coming by, Jessica!

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  17. I hope that you get your books finished by the end of the year. I'm in a similar situation and need to finish 7 to complete three challenges. Not sure it will happen but I'm going to try! haha. I read the Last Story of Mina Lee.. loved Mina's side but I had trouble with Margot's side. I hope you like it!

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    1. I'm on the waitlist at my library for MINA LEE. We'll see if I get it before the year ends. I'm interested to see what I think of it.

      Good luck with finishing your challenges! I'm so close on mine, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to complete them all - especially the 52 prompt one that I started in the middle of the year. Oops!

      Thanks for stopping in, Leslie!

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  18. I want to read Lockdown by Peter May also. I don't know that I will get to it before the end of the year but soon, I hope.

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    1. I probably won't get to it this year either, to be honest. It's one I definitely want to get to soon(ish), though. I love Peter May!

      Thanks for coming by, Tracy!

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  19. That sleep book looks interesting. Not that I have trouble doing so but my husband does. Also Lockdown looks good. December is always a tricky reading month for me, I never seem to read the books I hope to, for obvious reasons. So instead I tend to make 'next year' plans and have already sorted out a 2021 shelf. LOL

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    1. Most of my sleep issues have to do with having frozen shoulder. I'm a side sleeper and the condition makes it really hard to get comfortable. Even though I ice it and take ibuprofen before bed, there's still a lot of pain.

      I'm impressed that you already have a 2021 shelf going! Good for you. I haven't even thought much about what I'm going to read after January 1. I can't wait to see what you've got in store.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cath!

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  20. I have several to read for Popsugar and A to Z so will try to fit some of them in. I also need the AI, robot prompt. Enjoy and good luck.

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    1. The AI/robot has been a hard one for me since I don't read much sci-fi and when I do, it's not usually the kind that has robots and such. I just checked out THE LOOP, so hopefully I can knock that one off my list for PopSugar. Good luck to both of us on finishing our 2020 challenges!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

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  21. I'm with you on 2020 flying by...November in particular went by really quickly for me! I haven't read any of the books on your list yet, but there are some good ones on there! Here is my TTT post if you want to take a look: https://www.howdidthatbookend.com/top-ten-tuesdays-books-i-want-to-read-again/

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    1. November seriously FLEW by. I'm still not quite sure where it went! I hope December moves a little slower - I've still got so much to do before the year ends. Yikes!

      Thanks for stopping by, Caroline!

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  22. I'm not much of a re-reader, either! I may never reread any of the books on my list! I hope you meet your challenge quota for December; maybe you'd better do some on audio! I listen to A Christmas Carol on audio every year; I try to find different versions, but I like the Patrick Stewart narration best, I think.

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    1. I'm actually in the middle of an audiobook, but I keep forgetting to listen to it. I need to finish it so I can add it to my yearly total!

      I should listen to A CHRISTMAS CAROL on audio. Patrick Stewart would be a great narrator. I also just learned that Tim Curry narrates it as well. So fun!

      Thanks for coming by, Laurie!

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  23. Wow, 30 books in a month, that's AMAZING! I'm 1 book behind in my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I've got a manga to read after A Sky Beyond the Storm, so that will help. Looks like a couple books on your list could help me catch up too!

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    1. Most of the 30 I read in October were MG novels, many of which I read in a day because they were short, easy reads. Good luck reaching your GR goal!

      Thanks for stopping in, Brooke!

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  24. The Last Story of Mina Lee sounds really good.

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    1. I think so, too. I just read a MG novel about the Korean War, but that's about all I've read on the subject. I'd definitely like to know more and I'm always intrigued by stories about children learning about their parents' hidden pasts. I'm headed to my local indie bookstore today, so I'm going to see if they have a copy of it. There are lots of holds on it at my library, unfortunately.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

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  25. Great twist of the topic and there are definitely some books I'd like to read, like the one about Chernobyl. I must admit, it is a genre I read a lot but haven't heard of this one. So, thanks for that.

    And thanks for visiting my TTT earlier. I hope you found something among my Authors That Deserve More Recognition.

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    1. I'm not a big non-fiction reader as I prefer to read about historical events in novel format. However, sometimes you just want the facts, you know? And the Chernobyl book is getting really good reviews. I think it's going to be an absolutely fascinating read.

      I definitely did find some new authors to try from your list! Great topic.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

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    2. Totally understandable. You can learn a lot from historical novels, I do that, as well.

      I'm glad you found some books on my list. Looking forward to seeing how you like them.

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  26. Nice list! "A Christmas Carol" is definitely a keeper. And "Beauty and the Baron" sounds like something I might enjoy.

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  27. Hope you manage to read some of these before the end of the year. A Christmas Carol is a great choice for the festive season :)

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  28. Unfortunately, I totally know what you mean! I feel like I'm so behind with the end of the year coming up. At this point, I figure it's coming whether I'm ready or not, so I might as well put myself together as best I can.

    That noted, I'll definitely also be rereading A Christmas Carol this year. I just love that book. And it's interesting that Christmas Day in the Morning is getting a new adaptation. I love the original story.

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