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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
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- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

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0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

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6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

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33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

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35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: "Please, Sir, Can I Have Some More?"


Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is a little clunky, which maybe explains why it threw me at first.  Here's Jana's explanation of Books I Loved That Made Me Want More Like ThemThe wording is weird here, so if you have a better way to say this please let me know!  What I’m thinking is… you read a book and immediately wanted more just like it, perhaps in the same genre, about the same topic or theme, by the same author, etc. For example, I once read a medical romance and then went to find more because it was so good. The same thing happened to me with pirate historical romances and romantic suspense.  I've done at least one list about subjects I'm always interested in reading more about, but it's been a hot minute and I don't know if I've ever focused on specific books and authors.  So, I guess I'll be playing it straight this week, no going rogue for me!

If you want to join in the TTT fun (and you do!), click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl for all the details.

Top Ten Books I Loved That Made Me Want More Like Them 



The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton—I read this lush family saga, my first book by Morton, back in April of 2014.  The novel was so rich and absorbing that I immediately wanted to read more like it.  So, I did!  I read the rest of the books Morton had published at that point in rapid succession.  I adored them all and still get excited when she comes out with a new one.  Since that only happens every 2-3 years, I have to be very patient!


2.  Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee—I'm a big Lee fan and it all started with this YA western, her debut.  Not only does the book offer a unique setting (at least for a teen novel), it also features diverse characters and a well-balanced blend of action/adventure, suspense, romance, and humor.  Although I have found a few more that are similar-ish (Rae Carson's Gold Seer trilogy as well as Vengeance Road and Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman, for instance), I'm still on the lookout for more fun YA westerns.


3.  The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts—Back in the day, I read a fair amount of Christian fiction featuring the Amish people.  While these novels were warm and uplifting, they portrayed the Amish as pretty darn near perfect.  It wasn't until I encountered this novel by Younts—who was raised in the faith until her parents left it and remains connected to her Amish family—that I felt like I was reading about real Amish people with real problems.  I definitely want more of this!  I've enjoyed several of Younts' other novels, but this one remains my favorite of hers.


4.  A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn—The first installment in the Veronica Speedwell mystery series, this one is just pure fun.  It revolves around a smart, spunky Victorian amateur sleuth, her hunky sidekick, and a whole lot of hilarious misadventures.  I absolutely want more engaging, entertaining series like this.  A similar-ish one I enjoy is the Kat Halloway series by Jennifer Ashley.


5.  Murder at the Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell—If you can't tell, I'm always up for a compelling historical mystery.  I especially like those that are clean and feature interesting settings, quirky characters, and intriguing plots.  This Gilded Newport Mystery series fits the bill.  Even though I haven't finished the whole thing yet, I want more like it.  The Gilded Age is a fascinating time period.  Paired with a fun mystery?  Yes, please!  


6.  The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah—I've enjoyed Hannah's last few blockbuster novels, but this one, her newest, is especially evocative.  Although it's a tough read, it's so vivid and moving that it immediately made me want to read more books set during the Depression.  I'd especially like another absorbing family saga.  Recs, anyone?


7.  A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner—An interest in learning more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City led me to this novel, the first I ever read by Meissner.  Not only did it ignite (pardon the pun—I didn't even notice it until I re-read this post) my interest in other historical tragedies, but it made me crave more dual-timeline novels.  Many (all?) of Meissner's books follow this formula and, while I like some of hers better than others, I definitely recommend her if you also enjoy this type of book.


8.  Still Life by Louise Penny—Lots of people love the Inspector Gamache series and it's easy to see why.  The books are set in a quaint little town full of quirky people harboring intriguing secrets.  Inspector Gamache is a wise old policeman who solves mysteries in a quiet, unassuming manner.  Penny has a unique style that I can't quite describe.  Suffice it to say, it's inspired me to Google "authors like Louise Penny" many times.  Sadly, I've yet to find one that really compares.  


9.  Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs—This is the initial book in the Tempe Brennan mystery series, which I've talked about many times because it's a long-running one that I've enjoyed over the years.  It definitely piqued my interest in forensics, mostly because Reichs (who is a forensic anthropologist herself) explains the science in a way that is understandable to the average reader without talking down to them.  I also just love Tempe.  I haven't encountered a lot of other mystery series featuring forensics that I love as much as I do this one.


10.  Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko—The first in a middle-grade series, this one is about a group of kids who live on Alcatraz in the mid-1930s.  I had never given much thought to the fact that adults who worked at the prison had families who also lived on-site.  This series brings that little-known fact to life through a vivid setting, interesting characters, and a series of fun adventures.  I'd love more children's books that bring fascinating pieces of history to light through compelling, well-written stories.

There you are, ten books that left me wanting more, whether it was from a certain author, a particular genre, or a specific subject.  Have you read any of these?  Do you have any recommendations for books I should read that fit these categories?  Which books did you feature this week?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!  

47 comments:

  1. We must be histfic book Twins! I adore Meissner! Marigolds and Nature of Fragile Things and As Bright As Heaven are my favs! I love zlouise Penny and have read the entire Gamache series. I enjoy Kate Morton, too!

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    1. I didn't like AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN as much as her others, but I loved MARIGOLDS and FRAGILE THINGS. Since we love so many of the same authors, who are your other favorites? I'm always looking for new ones to love :)

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

      Delete
    2. I love Kate Quinn, Louise Penny, Fredrick Backman, Mitch Albom, Stephanie Dray/Laura Kamoie, etc!

      Delete
  2. I recently read Four Winds. Such a lovely, sad story. I would also love to know what ever happened to her kids. As far as family sagas go, the only book that comes to mind is One Hundred Years of Solitude but the writing is a little daunting.

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    Replies
    1. I felt the same way. The story has really stuck with me, it was so visceral. I've heard good things about SOLITUDE, but I don't know if I can handle "daunting" - ha ha.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  3. Oh yeah, Louise Penny now and forever and I did like Kathy Reichs early books, but lately? Hmmm…

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    Replies
    1. Louise Penny is pretty much unparalleled! I've heard other people say they've grown tired of the Tempe Brennan series, but I still love it. Some books are better than others, for sure. I just love the characters, so I'll stick with it to the end.

      Thanks for popping in, Alexandra!

      Delete
  4. So funny, A Curious Beginning is literally the very next book on my TBR.

    I recently read a children's book (just released today) that introduced me to a man I'd never heard of before who helped Jewish families during WWII. It was fascinating! If you're interested, the book is called Refugees on the Run.
    My TTT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How funny! A CURIOUS BEGINNING is a great book. I hope you love it. I'm reading the newest book in the series right now.

      I've never heard of REFUGEES ON THE RUN, but it definitely sounds like my kind of thing. Thanks for the rec!

      Thanks for stopping by, Kristi!

      Delete
  5. I really enjoyed Louise Penny's first novel, but haven't gotten around to reading any more of them even though I really want to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Inspector Gamache series is such a good one! I'm reading it slowly, so I'm a few books behind. I love it, though.

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

      Delete
  6. Regardless of how good you found The Forgotten Garden to be, that cover alone would make me pick it up. It's beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. It is, isn't it? That's one of the newer covers. They were re-done at some point and I definitely like the new ones better.

      Thanks for popping in, Cheri!

      Delete
  7. The Forgotten Garden is such a gorgeous book across the board. Just thinking about it makes me want to read more Kate Morton! I loved Al Capone Does My Shirts and had kind of forgotten about it. Great list!

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    1. Except for her newest, I've really loved all of Morton's books. I wish she published more because she really is one of my very favorite authors.

      The Al Capone series is a great, underrated one. I wish Choldenko would write another fun MG historical series.

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

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. I'm glad you think so. I enjoyed all of them!

      Thanks for stopping in, Leah!

      Delete
  9. Oh, I have several books in Kathy Reichs' other series (Virals) but haven't read any. Had no idea she was a forensic anthropologist! That makes me much more interested in her books. Also, Under a Painted Sky seems interesting. Even as an avid YA reader myself, I don't think I ever realized "YA western" existed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reichs really knows her stuff! One of my favorite things about her is her ability to explain complicated science in layman's terms without talking down to the reader. As for Virals, I haven't read that series. I should.

      YA westerns are very few and far between! There should be more of them. I love reading about that time period, whether the story is about pioneers, homesteading, the Gold Rush, whatever. It fascinates me.

      Thanks for popping by, Holliehocks!

      Delete
  10. I love the cover of A Curious Beginning, and it's a series that I'm really tempted to try, it sounds like something I would really enjoy.
    I'd not heard of Murder at the Breakers but that sounds really good as well. One for my TBR list I think :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely give the Veronica Speedwell series a go! It's delightful. I love the covers as well.

      I've only read the first three books in the Gilded Newport series, but I've enjoyed them. They're light and clean and entertaining. Just the thing for summer.

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  11. I love your titles, you always find a way to make me smile. I'm just boring old "take over the subject given to you by That Artsy Girl". LOL

    I have not read much by Kate Morton but I liked what I saw and I will definitely have to read more by her.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. Sometimes my mind just totally blanks on the TTT topics and I have to find my own spin. Other times, it clicks :)

      Morton is one of my very favorite authors. She writes broody family sagas that are lush and absorbing. My kind of thing exactly!

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

      Delete
    2. I remember you telling me when I read "The Clockmaker's Daughter". I still have to read more of her books but I did love that one.

      Delete
    3. To be fair, I probably wouldn't have been as disappointed in THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER if I hadn't read all of Morton's other books first. IMHO, THE CLOCKMAKER'S DAUGHTER just isn't her best work. Good news is, if you loved that one, you will surely REALLY love her other books :)

      Delete
    4. I had the same thought when I read the first line and I know you've told me that before. I'll have to get to a bigger town with a larger bookstore in order to find some more English books again, mind you the lockdown was good for my TBR pile. LOL

      Delete
  12. Love the Oliver GIF!! Great list. I still need to start the Gamache series -- I know it's supposed to be excellent! (One of the reasons I'm interested is that I've seen author Dana Stabenow praise it, and I adore her Kate Shugak series!). I love the Veronica Speedwell books too. So much fun! That series always remind me of Gail CArriger (except GC has supernatural stuff too).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I love Oliver! One of my favorite musicals.

      The Gamache series is excellent. A lot of people love it, so I'm not surprised Stabenow recommends it. Some of the books resound with me more than others, of course, but I've enjoyed all of them.

      I've never read Carriger. I need to!

      Thanks for stopping in, Lisa!

      Delete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. Now that's a really fabulous blogpost title! We, like Oliver Twist, must needs keep askin' for more. :) For Louise Penny readalikes, have you tried Sue Grafton's work? I did feel they have some similarities but it's been a while. And although I've seen the movie for Morton's Lake House, I've never read her books -- think I'll start with Forgotten Garden!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, we must! And, luckily, it's a lot easier for us to get some more than it was for poor Oliver :(

      I have not read anything by Grafton. I need to try her. Thanks for the rec.

      Thanks for coming by, Lex!

      Delete
  15. Great list! I wanted to love the Veronica Speedwell series, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way and I'm not sure what. I'll have to check out the Kat Halloway series you mentioned as a similar series, and see if that's more to my tastes!

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    Replies
    1. Really? Bummer. Well, different strokes for different folks and all that. The Kat Halloway series is sort of similar in that it's about a female amateur sleuth, but Kat is much more understated than Veronica. The writing isn't as fun, but it's a solid series that I've been enjoying. I hope you like it if you do try it.

      Thanks for stopping in, Nicole!

      Delete
  16. That alcatraz book sounds like a really fun concept! Solace of Water sounds interesting too
    (My TTT: https://basedonthebook.blogspot.com/2021/06/ttt-historical-adaptations-id-like-to.html?showComment=1623260587567#c5545774702410877778)

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    1. The Alcatraz series is fantastic. It's funny, unique, poignant, and interesting. I definitely recommend it.

      Thanks for coming by, Catherine!

      Delete
  17. The thing I've found about Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache books is how much they change in style over the life of the series. They get much darker...but, IMO, more interesting, as the series goes on. Gamache is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters now.

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    1. I'm only about halfway through the series, but I have noticed that they're getting darker as they go. I once heard the Gamache series described as "cozy" and I've been puzzled about that ever since. Even the lighter books have never struck me as cozy mysteries.

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

      Delete
  18. I have read several of these books, but not all of them. The Susan Meissner one was just recommended to me, so I will definitely add it to my TBR. I like your list Susan.

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    1. Thanks, Carla! I hope you enjoy the Meissner book.

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

      Delete
  19. My son is a big fan of that Al Capone series. Glad to hear you enjoyed the new Kristin Hannah. I'm hoping to read that one soon.

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    1. The Al Capone books are awesome! I'm glad he enjoys them. I hope you like the Hannah book when you get to it.

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

      Delete
  20. HAnds down to your creative title! Really really good. And love your collection, too. :) Read Hannah and she does write beautifully.

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    1. Ha ha. That was the first thing that came to mind when I saw today's topic! Food and books are the two things that I always want more of :)

      Thanks for popping in!

      Delete
  21. You've picked really interesting ones to think about this week -- I didn't even know staff lived on-site at Alcatraz, so that's doubly new information to me. I also don't know that I've ever seen a book with Amish characters that wasn't the inspirational romance you described (or the occasional YA novel about Rumspringa).

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    1. I had no idea about Alcatraz either, but there was a whole community of people there including children. Crazy!

      I really like Younts' novels. If you want non-cheesy Amish novels, check her out.

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

      Delete
  22. I really want to get into the Tempe Brennan series. I love forensics, and if I were better at the more sciency classes I'd either be a Marine biologist or work within the forensics field xD

    Wonderful list 🥰

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    Replies
    1. I was never good at science classes either! That's one of the reasons I like the Tempe Brennan series - Reichs makes the science interesting and approachable, even for those of us who didn't earn A's in science class!

      Thanks for stopping by, Aviaja!

      Delete

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