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Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday: Everyone's Dying to Get In




Today's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl) prompt is a freebie, something I both love and loathe. I'm still tired from my 2-week vacay and my creative juices are just not flowing right now! However, this morning I started listening to a new audiobook, in which a teenager moves to Italy for the summer following her mother's death in order to live with her father, a man she's never met. When she arrives at his home, she's horrified to discover that he lives next to a cemetery, of which he is the caretaker. Unlike the main character in this book, I adore cemeteries. Not only do I find them endlessly fascinating, but they don't scare me in the least; in fact, they fill me with a sense of peace and calm. This got me thinking about other books I've read and those I would like to read that feature graveyards in one way or another. It's probably a topic better suited for Halloween time than Easter, but oh well. I'm going with it:

Top Ten Books On My TBR List That Feature Cemeteries in One Way or Another (Or At Least Sound Like They Might)


1. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch—This is my current listen. As I said above, it's about a teen girl who goes to Italy to fulfill her mother's dying wish that she get to know her father. The situation is all kinds of awkward, and all Lina wants to do is hightail it back to Seattle. Everything changes when she's given a journal her mother kept while living in Italy; reading it leads Lina to hidden wonders and a well-kept secret that changes everything she knows about her mother and herself.


2. The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez—After watching a friend and fellow novelist drive herself mad trying to finish a book, Alma Cruz vows not to let her own unfinished manuscripts chase her down the same path. When she inherits a piece of land in her native Dominican Republic, she turns it into a cemetery for her untold stories, burying incomplete drafts and abandoned revisions. Despite her determination to let them die, the tales take on lives of their own, the characters insisting on telling their own stories, refusing to be forgotten...


3. Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper—In this YA historical novel, a young woman in Victorian England who has just given birth to an illegitimate child who is born dead travels to a posh cemetery to bury her infant in the coffin of a wealthy woman. It's the only gift she can give her poor baby. In the graveyard, she meets two people who will impact her impoverished life greatly as she ekes out her meager existence. Sounds bleak, but interesting. 


4. 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die by Loren Rhoads—This travel guide, complete with stunning photography, showcases interesting cemeteries around the world that draw hordes of visitors eager to enjoy their beautiful scenery, hear about their unique histories, and visit their famous residents.


5. Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest—Leda is a Seattle travel agent and a sometimes psychic. When she reroutes a police detective from a doomed flight, the detective realizes her special gift could make her very useful to the police. Leda agrees to help him solve a cold case while at the same time investigating one of her own: her fiancé's murder.


6. Cemetery Road by Greg Iles—When Marshall McEwan returns to his small Mississippi hometown to care for his dying father, he realizes just how rundown Bienville has become. Its only hope for revitalization is an expensive new Chinese paper mill. When two murders happen in town, threatening the town's future even more, Marshall—an experienced journalist—decides to investigate. Will the secrets he uncovers be the nail in the coffin of the dying town? 


7. The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox—Like #1, this YA novel features a young woman whose father works as a caretaker for a cemetery. When a series of grave robberies hits Boston, she uses her special gift—her ability to communicate with the dead—to take on a gang known as the "Resurrection Men." Her involvement will either save the city's cemeteries or land her in one of them. Permanently.


8. Over My Dead Body: Unearthing the Hidden History of America's Cemeteries by Greg Melville—This non-fiction title examines the history of how Americans memorialize our dead and what it has meant in terms of history, politics, the environment, and more. Sounds fascinating!


9. The Grave Tender by Eliza Maxwell—Widowed and pregnant, Hadley Dixon returns to the east Texas town where she grew up. Members of her family are still whispered about there and those who remain refuse to talk about the disturbing rumors that float about. Hadley only wants a safe place for her children to grow up. If she starts digging into the past, what might she unleash on herself, her family, and her hometown?


10. The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen—Paranormal romance really isn't my thing, but this one sounds cute. Hart works as a marshal, keeping the magical land in which he lives under control. His job is not a popular one and he's got the crippling loneliness to show for it. Mercy is doing everything she can to keep her family's undertaking business afloat, including dealing with jerks like Hart. When the two enemies begin exchanging letters, pouring out their hearts to one another without knowing the other's identity, they get to know each other in ways they never could have before. What will happen when the new friends discover they are actually bitter enemies?

There you go, my somewhat macabre list. Do you love cemeteries like I do or do you avoid them like the plague? Are books set in or around graveyards as appealing to you as they are to me? Have you read any of the ones on my list? What did you think? What did you do for your freebie today? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog. Please note that I am a week behind on commenting, but I will catch up!

Happy TTT!

61 comments:

  1. I love this list! I don't love cemeteries but I do find them fascinating. I haven't read any of the books on your list - or many books that feature cemeteries. The only one that comes to mind is The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved THE GRAVEYARD BOOK when I read it. It's been a long time, so I can't actually remember what it was about, but I remember that I adored it :)

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

      Delete
  2. I love cemeteries, too. They’re such peaceful, beautiful, and historical places to visit.

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree. They're great places to ponder life, death, our place in the universe, and everything else.

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

      Delete
  3. Fab list! I'm sure I've got a copy of Love & Gelato somewhere on my kindle app, it sounds great!

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    Replies
    1. I bought a hardcover copy of LOVE & GELATO when it came out and it's been sitting on my shelf, unread, ever since! When I saw that it was available from my library as an audiobook, I figured that was a good way to get it read. It's cute so far.

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

      Delete
  4. Great list Susan! I have read a book called Over My Dead Body but it's a different book from the one on your list. Another book that would fit your theme would be Coffin Road by Peter May.

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    1. Great suggestion! I enjoyed COFFIN ROAD. I love May's Hebridean mysteries.

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

      Delete
  5. What a genius topic! The Orphan of Cemetery Hill has been on my TBR shelf for a while, ive really enjoyed some of Hester Fox's other books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same! I'm not sure why I haven't read it yet, honestly. *Sigh* So many books, so little time...

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

      Delete
  6. What a unique list! It caused me to think of Ove and Arthur Trulove who visited their wives often! ~ Carol @ ReadingLadies

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    Replies
    1. I didn't even think of OVE! It definitely fits this topic.

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

      Delete
  7. Jenna Evans Welch's stories are charming, love the family theme and the european (but not popular setting)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm enjoying LOVE & GELATO. It's pretty cute.

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

      Delete
  8. I hope you enjoy Hart and Mercy!! I loved it so much. I had the ARC and just purchased the physical because I want it for my shelf. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds so fun! I'm picking up a copy of it today from the library. I can't wait to read it.

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

      Delete
  9. What a unique topic!! I love it. I used to think I was afraid of cemeteries, until I walked through a really old one. It was so fascinating and some of the tombstones were so unique, like a music note. I always feel very somber and respectful in cemeteries, but they are fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! We walked through a really cool one in Glasgow, Scotland, called The Necropolis. It had all these big, fancy statues and headstones that were really interesting to check out.

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

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Ha ha. Not everyone's cup of tea, but that's okay :)

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

      Delete
  11. What an interesting topic for a top ten. I often visit cemeteries when I visit somewhere. I also find them fascinating, yet am always respectful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same. They are sacred places and should be treated as such. Although, I lived in the The Philippines for a year and there was at least one holiday that we spent having a get together in the cemetery to honor someone's loved one. I love that idea, too.

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

      Delete
  12. This is such a cool topic, I love cemeteries as well. The only one of these I've read is The Undertaking of Hart & Mercy, but it's perfect for your list:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently, everyone loves it! I'm excited to see what I think.

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

      Delete
  13. What a fun topic! I also find cemeteries fascinating. Love the art on some of the grave markers/stones and the inscriptions can be quite interesting. 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die sounds like a great reference book. I'll look into it. Love and Gelato sounds like a fantastic story, but I wouldn't have guessed it had anything to do with cemeteries or death from the cover. Great TTT, Susan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was surprised by the graveyard element in LOVE & GELATO, too. I think it mostly serves as a metaphor of the heroine's journey to accept the change that is happening in her life. In the beginning, she thinks the cemetery is creepy and off-putting. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book and now, she sees it's not so bad. We'll see how she feels about it by the end of the book :)

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

      Delete
  14. I would be curious about what graveyards are in the travel guide! Thanks so much for dropping by my post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same! I've been to tons of cemeteries, but only a couple famous ones.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  15. Ooo! Great topic idea! It made me think of Charlaine Harris's Grave Mercy series. I loved The Undertaking of Hart & Mercy. Have you read The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston? That's another good one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read any of these. THE DEAD ROMANTICS sounds fun. I'll add that to my TBR list. Thanks for the rec!

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

      Delete
  16. I've been wanting to read Love and Gelato for a while, hope you're enjoying it! I did read The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy and absolutely adored it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am enjoying LOVE & GELATO. It's a cute romance, but it's also got some substance having to do with family, identity, and what it really means to love someone.

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

      Delete
  17. Love & Gelato and Hart & Mercy were both great. I hope you get a chance to read them. I also loved Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo. All her books are great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SIX FEET OVER IT sounds really fun. I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for the rec!

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

      Delete
  18. Fallen Grace sounds really good. Women who had children out of marriage (as well as the children themselves) were treated horribly in the past. I’m glad that has changed so much in the past few generations.

    Thank you for stopping by Long and Short Reviews’ post earlier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I read a non-fiction book one time about unwed pregnant women being sent away during the 50s and 60s to have their babies in secret at birth homes. It was horrifying.

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

      Delete
  19. This is an interesting topic for Top Ten, I love it! Also the first book you listed, Love and Gelato, is one of my favorites!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! I'm enjoying LOVE & GELATO. I didn't realize it was the start of a series. I'll have to check out the other books when I finish it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, T.K.!

      Delete
  20. An interesting list. I once went to a cemetery that had big ornate statues and a tea shop 🤣

    Have a good week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A tea shop?? What? That's crazy! I went to the Necropolis in Glasgow a few weeks ago and it had some pretty ornate statuary and graves. It was fun to look around at them all.

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

      Delete
  21. I don't know if it was a cemetery exactly, but a grave does feature in the Easter story so I think this is appropriate now as well. ;-)

    I can only think of a couple of books I've read with cemeteries: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Fresh Water for Flowers by Valérie Perrin. Thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, I didn't even think of that, but you're right - a tomb definitely plays a big part in the Easter story. Thanks for the reminder!

      THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is a great one. I've never heard of the Perrin book. I'll have to look it up.

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

      Delete
  22. What a great idea for a list! Over My Dead Body is for sure going on my TBR pile.

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    Replies
    1. It sounds really interesting, doesn't it? I've never read anything like it, I don't think. I hope we both enjoy it!

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

      Delete
  23. I absolutely love your list! I had no idea I'd be so interested in reading about cemeteries until I saw your list. Adding so many of these to my TBR!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. I'm glad I piqued your interest!

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

      Delete
  24. ooo I recommend Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been wanting to try Wright's books. Thanks for the rec!

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

      Delete
  25. What an interesting topic! I love it 😍 Hart & Mercy is one of my favourite books and I have Cemetery Road and The Cemetery of Untold Stories on my TBR as well. I can't wait to read both! I hope you enjoy all of these too.

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    Replies
    1. Nice! Great minds think alike :)

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

      Delete
  26. I love anything by Greg Iles! Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I haven't read anything by him yet. I need to!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting, nfmgirl!

      Delete
  27. I love this topic! I'm a total cemetery nerd and love finding stories and getting a feel for the history of the place. I'm adding these to my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured you would enjoy this topic! I hope you enjoy the books you read off this list. Let me know which ones you try and which are/are not worth the read.

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

      Delete
  28. I think this is a very fun TTT topic...probably because I love cemeteries, too. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're kindred spirits in a lot of ways :)

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

      Delete
  29. I hope you had a great vacay! I just got back from one too, so I'm struggling to get back on track with everything lol. Love this prompt, though! The first that comes to mind is Stephen King's Pet Semetary

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    Replies
    1. Our vacay was wonderful! We had a very ambitious itinerary and we did almost everything on it. No wonder my husband and I are both exhausted still. Ha ha. It was worth it, though.

      PET SEMETARY definitely fits this topic. It scared the socks off me back in the day. I'm too wimpy to read Stephen King now. I'm getting soft in my old age :)

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

      Delete
  30. What a great topic choice! I've only read Love & Gelato, but I knew which book you were talking about right away. I loved all the books in that series. Hart & Mercy is on my tbr!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I really want to read Love and Gelato at some point. It's been on my bookshelf for way too long, but always sounds really fun. :) Thanks so much for visiting my website on this week.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love this topic! I also never found cemeteries to be scary either, and although I haven't read most of these, I enjoyed The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy. It's one of those books that is so sweet and pure that you can't help but love it! I also immediately thought of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which is another great book where the majority of the story takes place in a graveyard.

    ReplyDelete

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