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My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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My Progress:

23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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16 / 50 books. 32% done!

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Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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25 / 40 books. 63% done!

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9 / 25 books. 36% done!

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6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

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22 / 100 books. 22% done!

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58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

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60 / 165 books. 36% done!
Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Atmospheric Books

I missed my favorite weekly meme last week for the very best reason in the world: my first grandbaby was born last Tuesday! My daughter-in-law has a heart condition that put her in the ICU for post-partum observation until today, so this little cutie was discharged from the hospital before her mommy. Because of that, the two of us have gotten to spend lots of time together this week (especially late at night). She's a sweet, calm baby, and we're all smitten with her.

My son and daughter-in-law don't want pictures of their precious newborn's face on the Internet, so you're just going to have to trust me when I say that she is the most beautiful granddaughter ever born! (Although my red, squinty eyes make me look demonic in this picture, they're just the result of me crying lots of joyful tears.) 

Today's TTT topic is a fun one: Top Ten Atmospheric Books. I love a story that immerses me in a rich, evocative setting that makes me feel like I've stepped right into another world. If a book is described as "atmospheric," I will 100% take a closer look at it. It's maybe not so surprising then that the word I tend to most overuse in my reviews is "atmospheric." My memory isn't the greatest (I am old enough to be a grandma, after all) so I don't remember all the details that made these books stand out to me, but I described them all with my favorite review word. 

Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. She has COVID, so give her some extra love today.

Top Ten Atmospheric Books

1. Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman—This YA novel is about a drought in California that makes people so desperate for water that they create a dystopian situation for themselves. The story is so vividly told that my throat felt parched the entire time I was reading it. I've never guzzled as much water while reading before!

2. Anything by Kate Morton—Morton is one of my all-time favorite authors because her books are always soaked in atmosphere. They feature old homes, buried secrets, and evocative settings.

3. Bluebird by Sharon Cameron—This YA historical is one of my favorite novels about World War II. It's stunning for a number of reasons, one of which is its immersive setting.

4. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James—Haunted house stories are often eerie and atmospheric. This one, set in an abandoned school for troubled girls, certainly is. Even though it creeped me out big time and ultimately gave me nightmares, I couldn't stop reading it. That's how gripping it is.

5. I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys—Almost everything about this historical teen novel feels heavy and oppressive. This is done on purpose so that the reader can feel deeply what it must have been like to live in Communist Romania under the rule of a cruel, power-hungry tyrant.

6. The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian—Set in the 1920s in a squalid Mississippi swamp community, the setting comes very much alive in this novel about two girls living bleak, hardscrabble lives who come together to cover up a murder.

7. Eventide by Sarah Goodman—I read this spooky teen novel while doing the overnight shift with my grandbaby. It's got a "don't go into the woods" plot that had me jumping a little every time I heard a noise that wasn't a sweet baby coo.

8. The Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny—These are my favorite mystery books, in part because the author makes the little town of Three Pines come alive in such a brilliant way. Yes, it's a quaint, cozy village, but its residents are complex individuals with abundant quirks, faults, and secrets. This causes the hamlet to come alive in a way that makes me want to move there immediately, warts and all.

9. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly—It's been years since I read this YA mystery set in Gilded Age New York City, but I remember loving it. A page-turner for lots of reasons, it boasts a vivid setting. 

10. The Dry by Jane Harper—Like #1, this contemporary Australian mystery novel is set in a parched, drought-stricken land. The author creates such a dynamic backdrop that I could taste the dust in the air.

There you go, ten atmospheric books I enjoyed reading. Have you read any of them? Which titles did you choose for your list today? 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!

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