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2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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28 / 52 books. 54% done!

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28 / 165 books. 17% done!
Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: My Latest Book Acquisitions

Good morning! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was delightful, with lots of laughs, baby snuggles, good food, and quality time spent with family and friends. My kids' favorite gift was surprise tickets to see U2 perform at The Sphere in Las Vegas. A few months ago, my husband went to see the concert with a buddy, and he hasn't stopped talking about it, so we decided to road trip to Vegas in February with our two youngest and experience it together. 

Thank you for all of your good wishes for my daughter-in-law. She was discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon. Although she's still in a lot of pain, she and my son are thrilled to be back home. I'll be delivering their dog to them later today so their little family can all be reunited after a long week apart. My DIL still has a long recovery in front of her, so continued prayers/good vibes are very much welcome!

For those of you who have been dying to know what my son added to my Jesus collection this Christmas, wonder no more:

Buddy Christ makes me laugh. I'm not a dashboard figurine kind of person, so he'll be joining the other Jesuses on my desk.

Updated (12.28.23): My aunt thinks this Jesus giving tradition is sacrilegious. Since some of you might feel the same way, I better reiterate that I love and honor Jesus Christ as not just my loving elder brother (the son of my Heavenly Father) but also as my Savior. I do, however, have a sense of humor about being a "Jesus freak," and this tradition has been a way for my son and I to connect over the sometimes sticky issue of religion. So, even though it might seem a little irreverent, I love that we have this fun tradition. 

Anyway, today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is, not surprisingly, Top Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf. "Santa" hid a fun bookish goodie under my tree. I've also gone a little crazy with the book buying lately thanks to Christmas, my recent birthday, and Barnes & Noble's new rewards program. I'm also heading to my favorite indie this afternoon to take advantage of the discount I get during my birthday month. Bottom line: I have a *few* acquisitions to share with you today. Funnily enough, when I mentioned to my husband that I really needed to put myself on a book buying ban in 2024, he just said, "You don't have to do that." My bookshelves are stuffed to the gills with unread books, so I really DO need to do that. Ha ha. 

TTT is hosted, as always, by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. She's sick today, so click on over there and give her some extra love, won't you?

Top Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

1. Melanie Jacobson book box—Let's start with the cute bookish gift I found under my tree yesterday. When Melanie Jacobson—an author who writes sweet contemporary romances and was a very enthusiastic supporter of my own attempts to pen a novel years ago—announced that she was sponsoring a Christmas book box in conjunction with Hares and Hatters Bookshop (an indie in Pocatello, Idaho), I decided to order it for myself. It came with three hardcovers from her cozy Creekville series (Cocoa Kisses, Kiss the Girl, and Scrooge and the Girls Next Door), plus some cute surprises: an apron, a mug, hot cocoa mix, cookies, etc. Lots of fun!

2. Artifice by Sharon Cameron—Cameron is one of my favorite YA authors. I have enjoyed all of her books and I especially loved Bluebird, a World War II novel. I've been eyeing her newest, Artifice, ever since it came out. Since I was at Barnes & Noble anyway and I had rewards points to use, I went ahead and bought myself a copy.

3. Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson—Since my B&N point bank needs to be refilled, I sacrificed and bought a copy of this buzzy murder mystery.

4. Gull Island by Anna Porter—This thriller about a woman who travels to her family's cottage seeking answers about her missing father looked intriguing, so it came home with me as well. Huh. I just looked the book up on Barnes & Noble and Amazon to get a cover image and Gull Island does not get very good ratings/reviews. Oops. At least it was 50% off!

5. Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper—I love Johnson's murder mysteries. I've been wanting to read this one ever since it came out. My parents got me an Amazon gift card for my birthday, so I used it to purchase a copy. I'll be in a few quaint English villages this Spring and as much as I love researching my ancestors, I really don't want to die where they did. Thankfully, I've got this guide to keep me safe!

6. The Pact by Sharon Bolton—I love Bolton's Lacey Flint series and I haven't been able to find this newest installment in my local libraries. Amazon gift card to the rescue!

7. The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose—Earlier this year, I signed up for the Book of the Month club. After a few months, I decided it really wasn't worth the cost for me. This murder mystery, sequel to The Maid (which I loved), was my last request from BOTM before I cancelled my membership.

8. Women of the Post by Joshunda Sanders—I've been wanting to read this historical novel ever since it came out. It's based on the real story of a battalion of Black women who found purpose in serving with the Women's Army Corps during World War II. Their job was to sort the copious amounts of mail being sent to soldiers every day from their loved ones.

9. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van PeltDeanna has convinced me that I need to read this book, even though it doesn't necessarily sound like my kind of thing. When someone in my book club suggested we read it next year, it seemed like another sign from the universe. I listened and bought myself a copy.

10. The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan—Another World War II novel, this one is about a Malayan woman who made the desperate decision to become a spy for the Japanese government ten years ago. That action has brutal consequences in her present. When the woman's teenaged son disappears, she must risk everything to save her family.

There you go, the last ten (actually thirteen, but who's counting?) books that have found their way onto my already overcrowded bookshelves. Have you read any of them? Did Santa bring you any bookish goodies? Which titles have you acquired lately? I'd truly love to know. Leave a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. I also reply to comments left here (although I am a week or so behind).

Happy TTT!


  1. I'll be curious to see what you think of the new Nina Prose book. You certainly have a lot of great books to choose from on your shelves.

    1. I'm excited to read her newest one, but I do think I'm going to go back and re-read THE MAID first. I read it when it first came out; when we discussed it at book club a couple months ago, I didn't remember a lot of what happened. Curse my aging memory!

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

  2. Buddy Jesus is HILARIOUS! I love it. I hope you love Remarkably Bright Creatures.

    1. Who knew there were so many Jesus figurines for purchase on Amazon? Not me! LOL.

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

  3. I’m so glad your daughter in law is improving!

    That is a nice addition to your Jesus figurine collection. :)

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday post.


    1. Thanks, Lydia! She is improving day by day, although she's still in a lot of pain and needs help doing basic things like washing her hair. It will be a long recovery, but I think she's doing well overall, thank goodness.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

  4. Hope you'll love all of these! I'm also intrigued by the Mystery Guest as I loved The Maid. Also, Buddy Jesus is so funny!

  5. Looks like you had a nice Christmas! Great news about your DIL. Hope you enjoy your books.

    1. I did have a good Christmas. It was especially fun to watch my 2 month old granddaughter gape at the lights on our tree. She was mesmerized! LOL.

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

  6. YES! Thanks for updating us on your Jesus collection. Buddy looks like he knows how to party. I'm glad you had a good Christmas. :)

    1. Ha ha. He does. Usually Jesus is depicted as very serious; this one looks happy and approachable. I love it!

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

  7. Oh my goodness, where does he find the Jesus figurines, that is funny. Glad you all had a good Christmas! Love the gift box from Melanie Jacobson, so sweet and fun. Have a great week!

    1. He finds these gems on Amazon! That's the only place he really shops :)

      Isn't the book box cute? It was a little more than I would have regularly spent on such a thing, but I was happy to support Melanie and it was a fun gift to open on Christmas Day.

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

  8. I'm sorry to hear about your DIL. I hope she'll be okay and make it through her recovery fairly unscathed.

    That Jesus is hilarious. I've never thought of collecting Jesus figurines, but it sounds fun.

    Everyone in My Family has Killed Someone sounds like a lot of fun. I didn't realize The Maid was the start of a series. And, my book club is reading Remarkably Bright Creatures for January. I hope we both like it! :D

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Jenni! I'm so happy to hear from you. I've missed you.

      I never would have thought to collect Jesus figurines either. My son gave me the first one as a joke, but it made me laugh so hard that he decided to keep the tradition going. This is the fourth year that he's given me a Jesus figurine for Christmas.

      My book club isn't reading REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES until later in the year. I'm excited to see what I, and everyone else, thinks of it. I hope we both love it!

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

  9. I've been seeing Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village around a lot and it definitely looks really fun! Especially for those who read a lot of Agatha Christie and Father Brown, etc.

    (My TTT is here this week.)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. All these tv and book series about murders happening constantly in quaint little towns and villages just make me laugh. Who would want to live in such violent places? LOL.

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

  10. Looking forward to reading The Mystery Guest early in the year. Hope your daughter in law improves steadily.

    1. Same! It looks to be just as good as THE MAID.

      My DIL does seem to be feeling better day by day. She's been vertical and moving around (albeit slowly) most of the times I've visited over the last few days, so that's good.

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

  11. So many interesting books! I'm particularly interested in The Storm We Made because I'm Malaysian and I love supporting Malaysian authors, but I'm also really intrigued by Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone, and Remarkably Bright Creatures is totally on my radar now. I hope you enjoy them all!

    1. Oh, cool! I hope we both love THE STORM WE MADE. It sounds really intriguing to me.

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

  12. Ohhh that U2 concert will be AMAZING! I saw them a few years ago in Melbourne and it was phenomenal. I absolutely LOVE Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone - I hope you enjoy it. I also really want to read Remarkably Bright Creatures.

    1. U2 puts on a great show! I've seen them before here in Arizona and my husband has seen them four times now, I think. The Sphere has all kinds of special effects, so it should be QUITE the show. Can't wait.

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

  13. Wow, U2??? That sounds amazing. I loved Remarkably Bright Creatures -- hope you do too! These all look great. Enjoy!

    1. We're big U2 fans around here :) The Vegas show will be incredible. Can't wait.

      Everybody seems to love REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES. I'm excited to read it and see what I think!

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

  14. Sounds like you had an amazing Christmas! I've also got Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone on my TBR, and that bookish box looks amazing. It looks like you've got a great lineup of books to keep you busy, and a husband who is more than happy to keep enabling you to buy more books. Enjoy reading them!

    1. Right? He's bought a fair amount of books this year, too, so I guess he can't be too critical! Ha ha.

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

  15. I read a NG copy of The Women of the Post and enjoyed the insights into all that the post entailed during the war.

    1. I've honestly never really thought about how much military mail must have had to be processed during that time period, who performed that job, and how their effectiveness at it affected those in service. I love books that showcase unique aspects of war that have been overlooked in books.

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

  16. That cover for The Storm We Made is SO cool looking. Makes me want to learn more about the novel. Hope we both enjoy The Mystery Guest, too! And that you enjoy all of your fun new additions. Thanks a bunch for visiting my website today.

    1. I hadn't heard of THE STORM WE MADE until I saw it at the bookstore. It sounds so intriguing to me!

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

  17. Remarkably Bright Creatures is one of my favorites from this last year. I would love to read it again for the first time.

    1. That's great to hear! I've heard so many good things about REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES. I can't wait to see what I think of it.

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

  18. Remarkably Bright Creatures and The Mystery Guest are on my TBR. Good luck to your DIL and her recovery, and wow, the U2 concert is going to be epic!

    1. My husband LOVED seeing U2 in The Sphere. It was definitely epic for him! I'm worried I'll be a little overstimulated with all the special effects, but I'm willing to take the chance :) LOL.

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

  19. For the most part I enjoyed the historical premise of Women of the Post. The author takes some artistic liberties with a main character that concerned me. She addresses why she did it in comments. I had researched the real live character and drawing the character the way she did seems like a stretch. Carol @ ReadingLadies

    1. Oooohhh, now you have me very intrigued! I'm interested to see what I think of the book and the liberties you mention.

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

  20. OOh nice new reads and goodies! Hope you enjoy all of your lovely new additions!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

    1. I plan to :) LOL.

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

  21. I loved Remarkably Bright Creatures - I hope you do, too!

    1. I've heard nothing but good things about REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES. Even though its premise sounds a little strange, I'm going to give it a chance! So many readers can't be wrong, right??

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

  22. Some interesting sounding titles! I‘m tempted by Remarkably Bright Creatures as well.

    Here is mine:

    1. Its premise doesn't really appeal to me, honestly, but so many people have raved about the book that I feel like I need to give it a chance. I hope we both love it!

      Thanks for popping in, Cathy!

  23. Looks like a good stack to keep you busy for a few days, at least 😜 Road trip to the Sphere is definitely a cool gift!

    1. Ha ha. Right? I'm trying to finish up all my reading for a book awards program I'm helping to judge so I can move on to the books I've been putting on the back burner for way too long!

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

  24. "Your Guide" sounds fun! I'm always amused by those Netflix and Britbox series that have so many murders in little English villages...

    1. Same! They're so unrealistic. I grew up in a small town and there's never been a murder there. At least not that I know of...

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

  25. That Christmas book box is so adorable! What a fun way to support an author <3

    1. Agreed! I loved opening it on Christmas Day.

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

  26. These look like some great books! I've been curious about the Guide to Not Getting Murdered, too.

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)! (here's my post)

    1. It sounds fun, doesn't it? It should be here next week. I'm eager to check it out.

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

  27. Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone seems to have been pretty popular lately, I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Everybody seems to be enjoying it and I do love a good mystery, especially if there's some humor to it.

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

  28. The mug and wood bookmark are so cute, perfect reading companions

    1. I agree! I like to drink hot chocolate while I read in the winter, so the cocoa mix and mug will definitely come in handy. And the bookmark really is super cute.

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

  29. 'eyyyyyy, Jesus! High five.

    I'm so obsessed with book boxes; that one looks adorable. Perfect for a Christmas present. I hope you enjoy all of your new shelf residents.

    On a serious note, glad to hear your daughter in law is doing all right; I wish her a continued healthy recovery.

    p.s. fiddled with my Firefox privacy settings enough to finally log in again, whew.

    1. I've always wanted to do a book box, but they always seem overpriced, especially when you don't know EXACTLY what you're getting. I'm not someone who likes a bunch of extra things that I won't use or will just clutter up my house. BUT I wanted to support this author and the box was Christmas-themed, so I went for it. It really was a fun gift to myself :)

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

  30. least I HOPE that comment went through; I didn't get the usual delay/reload, it just disappeared.

  31. Women of the Post sounds fascinating!

    1. I think so too. I love that it features an all Black battalion and that it deals with a part of WWII that I know nothing about and hadn't even really considered before.

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

  32. I've gone on a bit of a book buying craze lately, too. There's just so many good sales going on right now. I can't pass them up. :D

    1. Right? I can't help myself, even though my bookshelves are already crammed full! Glad I'm not the only one :)

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

  33. Buddy Jesus is fantastic! I'm so glad your DIL is doing better and I hope recovery continues to go smoothly. I loved Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in an English Village and hope you enjoy it just as much!

    1. I just got YOUR GUIDE TO NOT GETTING MURDERED IN A QUAINT ENGLISH VILLAGE and it looks like such a fun little read! I can't wait.

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


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