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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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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)
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- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
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- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire
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- New York (4)
- North Carolina (4)
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- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania (1)
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- 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)
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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

24 / 50 books. 48% 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:

65 / 104 books. 63% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

44 / 52 books. 85% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

71 / 165 books. 43% done!
Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Top Ten Random Reading Recs From Goodreads

Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt is one I feel like I've done a million times: Top Ten Books You Recommend to Others Most Often. Basically, I most recommend the books and authors I most love. I talk about these gems here on the blog so much that anyone who stops by BBB regularly could probably make a list of the ten books I recommend most for me! In looking for a way to twist the topic into something fresh, I decided to utilize a function of Goodreads that I've never really played with before. Under the "Browse" heading, there is an option to get reading recommendations based on the books you've recorded as read on Goodreads or that appear in your lists on the site. I'm constantly adding data about my reading to Goodreads, so it should know me pretty well by now. We'll see how the recommendation generator did in just a sec...

Before we do that, be sure to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our hardworking host, Jana, some love. You can find all the details about TTT on her blog. It's a great weekly meme. You should definitely join in the fun!

Top Ten Books Goodreads Recommended to Me

I have a lot of reading lists on Goodreads. A bunch of books were suggested for each one, so I just used the first book on the first ten lists to make today's TTT list. 

Based on my TBR Shelf:

Yesterday's Tides
by Roseanna M. White
—This is a dual-timeline novel that spans both World War I and World War II. It's set on Ocracoke Island, a small community where life is quiet and simple—until German U-boats start causing trouble. When an injured special agent washes ashore, he comes under the care of Evie Farrow, who runs the local inn. As the two get to know each other, they discover their growing relationship echoes another that occurred in the same inn 30 years before. As past secrets come to light, the couple can't help but wonder what it will mean for their own futures.

Verdict: Well done, Goodreads! This historical novel sounds right up my alley. I've never read anything by White, but I like the sound of this one. Plus, I need a book with "tide" in the title for a reading challenge. Score.

Based on my Adult Mystery/Thriller TBR Shelf:

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver—Inspired by Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, Kingsolver explores the effects of poverty on a man born into a penniless environment in Appalachia. Blessed with only his good looks and a mop of eye-catchingly copper hair, he plows through a lifetime of struggles.

Verdict: Another hit! This book is one I've been eyeing, although I apparently haven't actually added it to my TBR list yet. Although the plot summary gives little away in terms of what actually happens in the story, the publisher promises that the novel has "a plot that never pauses for breath." I'm in.

Based on my YA Historical Fiction TBR Shelf:

The Hidden Prince by Tessa Afshar—With a Biblical setting, this Christian (adult?) novel features Keren, the daughter of Jewish captives in Babylon. She is sold into the household of Daniel, where she soon becomes his most trusted scribe. After a horrible accident disrupts her ordered life, she is sent to a foreign country and given an odd job: teach a shepherd boy to become a lord. Why has she been tasked with this strange mission? Who exactly is this shepherd?

Verdict: Hmm, I'm not sure on this one. I usually avoid historical fiction set before the mid-18th Century and Bible-inspired fiction isn't something I've ever really enjoyed. The Hidden Prince gets high marks from Goodreads reviewers, though, so maybe I should give it a go? I probably won't, but you never know...

Based on my Middle Grade Mystery/Thriller TBR Shelf:

A Super Scary Narwhalloween by Ben Clanton—The 8th installment in Clanton's Narwhal and Jelly graphic novel series, this outing celebrates the spookiest night of the year. Narwhal is totally into dressing up and enjoying the holiday. Jelly? Not so much. He finds it way too scary. When Narwhal gets swallowed up by a terrifying sea monster, Jelly must face his fears in order to save his friend.

Verdict: I laughed out loud when I saw this suggestion. This series sounds cute, but it's really not the kind of thing I read.

Based on my Adult General TBR Shelf: 

A Silken Thread by Brenda Jackson—Erica Sanders and Brian Lawson are the perfect couple. Everyone agrees about that. Well, everyone except Erica's mother, Karen (naturally), who will do whatever it takes to keep the couple apart. When she hires a private detective to suss out the Brian's most intimate secrets, what she finds will devastate the families of both Erica and Brian. Though hurt, Erica can't deny her feelings for Brian. She doesn't want to give him up, even though everyone is now telling her to stay away from him. Do Erica and Brian have any chance of finding their once-guaranteed happily ever after? Or will the mistakes of the past ruin any hope they have for a future together?

Verdict: Yeah, no. Way too much drama here for me. I'll give A Silken Thread a hard pass, Goodreads.

Based on my Young Adult Mystery/Thriller TBR Shelf:

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber—This is the first installment in a YA fantasy series about a young woman who is heartbroken when she discovers that the love of her life plans to marry someone else. Desperate, she makes a dangerous deal with the cunning Prince of Hearts. It's not long before she realizes just how foolish it is to bargain with an immortal...

Verdict: I know Garber is a popular author, but nothing about this book appeals to me. Nice try, Goodreads, but nope.

Based on my Adult Historical Fiction TBR Shelf:

Laurel's Dream
by Pepper Basham
—This book is the last (most recent?) installment in a 13-volume series penned by a variety of popular Christian writers. Laurel's Dream takes place in the Blue Ridge Mountains in 1918. It features Laurel McAdams, a young woman whose life's ambition is to become a teacher and bring education to her impoverished community. When a disgraced British man comes to the area as a missionary, he finds hope in an unexpected friendship with Laurel that is quickly becoming more. Can the couple find a way to be together despite the challenges that threaten to tear them apart?

Verdict: While I like historical fiction and Appalachian settings, this one might be too romance-y for me. I won't dismiss it outright, but it also doesn't sound all that appealing to me.

Based on my Middle Grade General TBR Shelf:

Worst-Case Collin by Rebecca Caprara—Ever since his mom died in a car accident, 12-year-old Collin has had trouble controlling his anxiety. The only thing that calms him is planning for every possible kind of emergency, from a deadly riptide to embarrassing halitosis. Meanwhile, his dad is growing more distant and has turned to hoarding as a way to soothe his own anxieties. How desperate will Collin's situation get before he's finally able to ask for the help he needs to cope?

Verdict: I've never heard of this verse novel before, but it sounds like one I would like. Thanks for the heads-up, Goodreads!

Based on my Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian TBR Shelf:

Blue Exorcist by Kazue Kato—In this first installment of the Blue Exorcist manga series, a boy discovers that the blood of Satan runs through his veins. Desperate to keep this disturbing information to himself while he figures out how to defeat the devil, he starts training as an exorcist at the mysterious True Cross Academy. Can he find enough power within himself to banish demons, especially those lurking inside himself?

Verdict: My 14-year-old daughter might go for this one, but I have no clue why Goodreads chose it for me! I have no interest in manga, for one, and this plot sounds super weird, for two. No thanks, Goodreads.

Based on my Middle Grade Historical Fiction TBR Shelf:

Running While Black: Finding Freedom in a Sport That Wasn't Built For Us
by Alison Mariella Désir
—When Désir hit rock bottom, she found solace in running. Training for a marathon helped her improve both her physical and mental health. As she got more into the sport, she started investigating its history, which she found disturbingly white. Désir advocates for change and offers ideas for creating a more inclusive running community.

Verdict: This book seems like a super weird choice for this category, doesn't it? I'm the adoptive mother of a bi-racial child, so I'm interested in racial issues, but running really isn't a topic I care about. I'll skip this one.

Goodreads made a couple of useful suggestions for me, but I don't think I'll be relying on it for future recs! Ha ha. It was a fun exercise, though. What do you think of Goodreads' choices for me? Have you read any of them? What books do you recommend most often? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. I also reply to comments here.

Happy TTT!

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