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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: And, Yet, There They Sit...

I've been a little MIA here on the blog. I'm still reading (I never stop), but other things have been taking up my reviewing/posting/commenting time. A month ago, my husband surprised me by listing our house for sale about four weeks earlier than planned. Even though it had me stressing out *just* a tad, the timing worked perfectly. The second family to walk through our house fell madly in love and made us an offer almost immediately. They're super nice people and they gave us what we asked for (a smokin' deal, it must be said), with no fuss over some minor repairs that need to be done. Yay! We close on June 1 and have to be out by July 15. Shouldn't be a problem, although my old/new house currently looks like this throughout (actually worse since these photos are from a couple weeks ago—the kitchen tile is gone and there are more holes in the walls):

Our contractor's actually making lots of progress and I'm confident the place will be livable come mid-July, even if everything's not quite done. We're remodeling every room in the house to some degree, so,'s a lot. The process of choosing cabinets, flooring, lighting, paint, etc. is fun, but it's also becoming tedious and time-consuming. I'm excited, though, for how spiffy it will look when it all comes together. Our "old" house—it was built in 1994, we bought it in 2004 and lived in it from then until 2008—will feel like a new house, for sure.

In addition to packing up our current house and remodeling the new one, I'm also frantically studying for my upcoming genealogy accreditation test. It's only a few weeks away, so I'm freaking out a *wee* bit! The best way for me to study is by tackling real-life family history research questions, so if you have one that's based in the American Southwest (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, California, and Colorado, as defined by the accreditation board), I'd love to look into it for you. The question can be something simple like: My grandparents emigrated to California in the 1880s, but I don't know where they emigrated from or who their parents were. Can you find them for me? Or, my great-grandmother lived in Arizona all her life. I only know her married name. Can you find her maiden name? Who were her parents and siblings? That kind of thing. If you get it to me in the next couple weeks, I'll research it for free as practice. If you wait until I'm accredited, it will cost you :)

Real life, ugh. Let's get back to the books, shall we?

This week's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is all about those volumes we were so, so, so excited to have in our hot little hands and yet...there they sit, unread, unloved, gathering dust on our shelves. I seem to have an out of sight, out of mind mentality in this regard. As soon as I buy a book, ensuring that I can read it any ole time I want, I promptly forget I want to read it! Thus, it was easy to come up with this list. All I had to do was cast an eye on my bookshelves to find a plethora of choices (not as many as it would have been last month, though, as I've sorted through the majority of my books and donated several thousand to charitable causes). Since I'm better about getting to library books and ARCs, I'm going to focus my list on titles I actually purchased. These are just the first ten books/boxed series my eyes fell upon when I looked at the shelves closest to my desk.

If you want to ruminate on your shelves of shame, why not join in the TTT fun? You'll be in good company, I swear. Just pop on over to That Artsy Reader Girl to get all the details on this always enjoyable weekly event.

Top Ten Books I Was SO EXCITED To Get, But Still Haven't Read

1. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes—The hype made me by this one and yet, there it sits...

2. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker—Except for a short while when I was but an ignorant wee one, I've always loved to sleep. I've also long been fascinated by dreams, so this book is definitely up my alley. I did start reading it when I first bought it, but then I got distracted.  

3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens—Another the-hype-made-me-do-it buy. 

4. Tomorrow, When the War Began series by John Marsden (boxed set)—I really wanted to read this series five years ago or so, but I was having trouble finding all the books in my local libraries. I ordered the whole set from BookDepository, waited weeks for it to arrive, then devoured the first couple books. I took a break after that and...haven't returned to the story. I'm not sure I remember who's who or what's what now, so I may have to re-read the initial books before I continue on with the series.

5. Daughter of Moloka'i by Alan Brennert—I loved Moloka'i, so I was stoked for this sequel. I still am, even though I've yet to crack it open.

6. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune—Everyone loves this book, so of course, I had to buy it! Have I read it yet? Nope.

7. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer—The Lunar Chronicles is a great series. I really enjoyed it. For some reason, though, I still haven't read this collection of TLC short stories.

8. Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (boxed set)—I've mentioned before that I was a raving Little House fan as a kid. The books, the t.v. show, everything. Since my copies of the books somehow didn't survive my childhood, I bought a new set some years ago. I was SO excited to read the first book just wasn't the same! The disappointment was a real downer, so I haven't moved on with my re-read of the series.

9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith—Another nostalgia buy, I've been meaning to re-read this one for ages and just...haven't yet. No excuses, except that I know I don't have to hurry because the book's in my personal library and it's not going anywhere.

10. Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie—This is another book that has gotten rave reviews from my bookish friends, online and off. I'm going to read it one of these days, I swear!

There you go, ten books/series I was super excited to get, but still haven't read. Have you read any of these? What did you think? Which do I need to pick up first? What's on your shelf of shame? I'd truly love to know (really, it will make me feel better about my own neglected reads). Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!


  1. Moving!! It's so stressful no matter how small or large the move it. I'm wishing you wonderful moving vibes and hope it's not too stressful for you.

    1. Thank you!! I've been sorting and packing little by little, so it hasn't been too stressful yet. I also haven't even cleared out one room yet, so there's that...LOL.

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

  2. Good luck with your move and exam! It sounds like you’re going through a lot of exciting changes at the moment.

    I just finished listening to an audiobook of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It’s such a poignant and timely story even though it was set over a hundred years ago. I was amazing at how many parallels there were between Francine’s time and our own. Anyway, I hope you like it!

    My post:

    1. Right? We didn't plan for all these big things to happen at the same time, that's just how it's all coming to pass. Yikes!

      Oh, good, I'm glad you loved A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN. I read it in college and adored it, but nowadays I can't even remember what the story is about. I'm definitely overdue for a re-read. Maybe I should find it on audio...

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

  3. I don't envy you moving at all! We did our move/renovations of the new place back in 2020 right before the pandemic began. Talk about timing! I relate to this week's list so much. I can think of titles like The Silent Patient, Sea of Tranquility, and The Tiger's Wife to name a few.

    1. Oh, wow! That must have been a crazy time for moving and remodeling. I'm just glad we can do all our remodeling BEFORE we move in and not while we're living there. That would be a true nightmare.

      Yeah, I think all readers have books they were SO eager to get and then promptly ignored. You're not alone!

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

  4. Where The Crawdads Sing is so good! My heart still aches when I think about it!

    1. Everyone raves about what a good book it is. I really need to read it already!

      Thanks for stopping in!

  5. Great list, Susan. Yes, there they sit, or lie as in many cases in my house.

    I have read #s 3,8, and 9 and loved them all. You definitely will have to start "Where the Crawdads Sing" soon. It really is as great as everyone says.

    As to your move, I wish you all the best. We've done it several times and I know how much hard work it is to get a "new" house up to scratch. Good luck!

    Also with your genealogy accreditation. Sounds perfect. I think I would love such a job, as well. But I'm also more than fine with retirement. LOL

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week which contains some pretty old books.

    1. Moving IS a lot of work. Every time I do it, I swear I'm never going to do it again! LOL. I've already gone through most of the books in my house and I'm almost done with sorting through my daughter's room (it's basically been a storage room since she left for college), so I'm making slow progress on my packing.

      Glad to hear you enjoyed CRAWDADS. I always worry that much-hyped books will not live up to their rave reviews. Glad to hear this one does.

      I'm excited about the genealogy accreditation. COVID has made it a much longer process than it would have been otherwise, so I'm thrilled to FINALLY be able to do the testing. I don't know that I'll necessarily do it as a job, but I like the idea of having the accreditation just in case. It's also been a good way to learn and improve my skills.

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

    2. That's what happens to our childrens' rooms once they move away. Even though we moved in the meantime, there is a room we declare the "boys' room" and it has all their books and stuff they haven't taken, yet.

      I know what you mean, sometimes the hype is too big and you wonder how they ever got there. This one is great, though, you'll enjoy it.

      And yes, Covid has made everything a lot longer. We've been in our house more than two years now and still haven't done some things we would have done in the first year. Not finding handimen doesn't help.

      And it's always a great pleasure talking to you, Susan.

  6. Wow, you have been so busy, and with stressful things. I will be watching for the after pictures. It's too bad when you reread a book you loved from childhood, but as an adult, it just doesn't work. I loved Cerulean Sea, but I listened to it. Crawdads was also a winner. I hope you get to all of these sooner rather than later, Susan.

    1. I'm very excited for the "after" as well :) Right now, the house just looks like a construction zone. The contractor took out all the toilets last week, so the place really has been stripped! LOL.

      Yeah, you can never recapture the magic of reading a book or series for the first time. I think that's really what led to my disappointment. I wanted it to sweep me away like it did when I was a kid and that didn't happen. I'll probably continue with my re-read anyway, just with more realistic expectations.

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

  7. Skip Jojo's version (she plagiarized some from the book I'm recommending!) and read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson instead. There's a teeny-tiny nod to the scandal in the sequel, The Book Woman's Daughter (mention of an Englishwoman). You really do want to read the Little House books. Honestly, I only read them as an adult but they are worth it. I also recommend A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert a novel about daughter Rose writing them.

    1. I am not surrpised about your comment. I read another book by JoJo Moyes and had a strange feeling about it. Probably the same reason.

    2. The plagiarism accusation is one of the reasons I've been hesitating on THE GIVER OF STARS. I adore THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK. It's a great one. I haven't read the sequel yet, although I have it on my Kindle. I just need to actually read it. Ha ha.

      Like I commented to Carla, I think I just expected too much of Little House. I need to continue re-reading it with more realistic expectations. Of course, I'm not going to read it now in the same way I did as a kid. It's okay if it's lost a *little* of its magic :) A WILDER ROSE sounds great as well. I'll look for it.

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

  8. Posted too soon (I recommended Book Woman of Troublesome Creek & Little House Books. Where the Crawdad's Sing I gave 4.5 stars--an almost unprecedented rating from me! Lisa at Hopewell's Library of Life

    1. Good to know! CRAWDADS really does seem to be almost universally loved.

  9. WOW! I can't even imagine having to remodel a whole house, while packing the current. CONGRATS though!! It is all very exciting, even if it's overwhelming. I hope things go smoothly with closing! I hope we can both get to Crawdads. I loved House in the Cerulean Sea!!!

    1. I'm just really glad that we're not living in the house we're remodeling! I have a family member who's in the middle of a total kitchen remodel and they've been using a spare bathroom as their kitchen for over a MONTH. Crazy.

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

  10. I had no idea there was a sequel to Moloka'i! Guess what book is being added to my TBR right now... hopefully it won't be on a list like this at some point in the future. xD Good luck with the remodeling! I just did my entire house and I HATED it haha so hopefully it's going a little more nicely for you :)

    1. Ha ha. The sequel came out a couple years ago. I bought it as soon as it was published and...yeah.

      Do you mean you hated how the remodeling turned out or just the whole process of getting it done? Hopefully, the former! It's definitely getting to the tedious point, especially dealing with inefficient salespeople. Ugh. I keep reminding myself that it's all going to be worth it in the end when I have a beautiful "new" house.

      Thanks for popping by, Jennifer!

  11. You are so busy! Sounds exciting though. When we moved into our first house 5 years ago now it was all newly decorated so we have done nothing except move in...

    The House In The Cerulean Sea is an amazing book and one that I frequently recommend to people!

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

    1. Yeah, we've never done anything like this remodeling project before. We've never built or bought a brand new home and have always moved into homes that didn't need any major work, so this is new for us. It's fun in some ways, awful in others. Ha ha.

      I'm glad you loved CERULEAN SEA. I'm excited to read it...eventually :)

      Thanks for stopping in, Emily!

  12. That's an incredible amount of books to donate!! Best of luck with your renovations and moving, I know how stressful that can be--and with your test! You got this!

    1. Thanks so much! A lot of stressful things are happening at once, so I appreciate the encouragement and vote of confidence :)

      Thanks for popping by, Fangirl Flax!

  13. (Forgot to put my name on the good luck comment I just left! Doh.)

  14. Oh gosh, such a lot going on at the moment, no wonder you're stressed. You take care and good luck with the move and exam! Heh...we have two unread books in common, the Jojo Moyes and Crawdads. I'm sure we'll both get to them one day. Positive...

    1. I'm sure we will get to them...eventually! So little books, so little time...

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

  15. Selling houses, moving, and the like is so stressful and time consuming. We put our place up for sell on Monday. The past two weeks we've been trying to clean and declutter so we could take picture last Saturday. We got an offer last night and it's $20,000 over our asking price. We still need to go through the contract and make sure everything looks good. If it does, then we may be well on our way to a closing day. :D Good luck with your remodel! We now just need to find some place to live. We're going to rent for a while, though, so it's shouldn't be too hard.

    I want to read WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING this month and I'm not getting much reading done so I don't know if it's going to happen, lol.

    1. Wow! Congrats! We purposely undersold our house so we could sell it in "as is" condition. After it sold so quickly, my husband was like, "Oops! We should have asked for at least $20,000 more." Ha ha. We're satisfied, though, as we just wanted to get it sold without having to play any silly real estate games.

      I can't remember where in Utah you live, but I know how crazy the housing market is there. My son and his wife tried to find an apartment to rent in Provo/Orem in December and could find NOTHING that was available right away and in their price range. They are living in a nice, reasonably-priced place in Provo now, but that's only because it's my in-laws' basement. Ha ha. Good luck finding a new place!

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

  16. Fifty Words for Rain sounds interesting! I'll have to look that one up.

    Happy TTT on a Wednesday! (my post)

    1. It does sound good, doesn't it? I bought a copy because so many of my reader friends were raving about it and then...totally forgot about actually reading it. One of these days, I'll get to it.

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

  17. That's a shame Little House didn't hold up for you. I listen to one each year (to check off those midwestern states), and I have been appreciating them in a different way reading with an adult lens. Good luck with all the house stuff. Sounds exciting!

    1. Good point. I think I was expecting to experience LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE the same way I had as a child, despite reading through my adult lens. I need to re-read without that expectation. Listening to the books on audio is a good idea. I'll have to see if my library has them.

      The house stuff is exciting. I'm just impatient for it to be done. Ha ha.

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

  18. Moving is so hard. Glad your husband listing it early worked out well. I also have Where the Crawdads Sing on my TBR shelf, but I did not buy that one ;) So I am trying to get to it sooner than I would if I had bought it, LOL.

    1. It turned out to be very serendipitous timing because one of the couples who bought the house (it's a multi-generational family) just happened to be in town from another state the same weekend we listed the house. It was meant to be!

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

  19. There are some awesome books on this list! I have many books that fall into this category languishing on my TBR shelves. I am super excited about them, I get copies, they sit on my shelf. Sometimes for years. I think I get distracted by the next shiny object.

    1. Same! Once I own a book, I feel no rush to read it anymore, so it's easy to get my head turned by the shiny and new. Especially if they're library books that I have to get back by a certain time.

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

  20. The only Laura Ingalls book I ever read, was By the Shores of Silver Lake. I was in 5th grade and I was bored to tears. I don't know if i read it now if I would have a different impression? But should you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

    Congratulations on your new house! Idea-ist@GetLostInLit

    1. Really? Ha ha. I was SO into the Little House world as a kid. They made me want to be a pioneer (which sounds like absolute hell to me now). I've only re-read the first book in the series, but it's definitely a different experience reading it as an adult.

      Thanks for stopping in!

  21. Uh oh. I've been wanting to reread the Little House series...O.o
    I've owned Cinder for a few years and still have never started that series, but I'm hoping to get to it soon.

    1. I'll be interested to hear what your experience is if you do re-read the Little House series. It's definitely different reading books as an adult.

      CINDER is a fun read. I hesitated to read it to because I'm not much for sci-fi. I'm glad I did, though, because it's a good one. I enjoyed the whole series. I hope it's a winner for you, too!

      Thanks for popping by, Heather!

  22. I've read almost all of these. I know it's a minority opinion, but I wasn't crazy about Crawdads; parts of it just didn't ring true for me. I reread Tree Grows in Brooklyn a few years back and I thought it held up well.

    1. There's no shame in holding a minority opinion! Just makes me more interested in reading the book and seeing what I think.

      I'm glad A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN has held up well. I loved it when I first read it years ago. I'm definitely looking forward to a re-read soon(ish).

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

  23. Glad your house sold so easily! And I hope the renovations on your old/new house get done before you have to move in. :D Good luck with everything!

  24. It's so hard to reread a childhood favorite and realize that the experience is so vastly different as an adult. :(

  25. Good luck with the move and the accreditation (if it hasn't happened yet)! I'm an archivist so genealogy is a big request in the archives and a lot of fun!

  26. Happy moving! ('ll be nice when it's behind you!) I reread A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this last year and loved it all over again! It's a quick read! Enjoy!


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