Reading & Writing

Top Ten Tuesday

This is my very first link up!!  Today I’m linking up with The Broke and The Bookish to share 5 of My Most Recent Five Star Reads and 5 Books That I’m Still Trying to Finish!

Five Most Recent Five-Star Reads:

(1) The Cruellest Month by Hazel Holt

This was my first Hazel Holt novel.  The inspector is named Mrs. Malory – a very relatable middle aged woman that has found herself in the middle of a very odd mystery.  If you enjoy books that center around Bodleian Library and want something light yet fun, this might be one to check out!

(2) The Lake House by Kate Morton

Have you ever read a book by Kate Morton?  I am unabashedly obsessed with her novels.  If you’re looking for historical fiction, a mystery, well-written characters, and a dash of English charm – anything by Morton will satisfy you.  The Lake House is her most recent publish, and it doesn’t disappoint.

(3) A Secret History by Donna Tartt

Cozy college town, classical educations, and murder are my favorite themes.  This one has them all!  I’ve always wished that I majored in English Literature and novels that are set on college campuses make that desire even more intense; I want to enroll in school, buy lots of pens and notebooks, and start anew.  Oh, and it’s kind of creepy, which is a bonus!

(4) The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

I listened to this one audiotape while quilting and I was ridiculously freaked out.  Jennifer McMahon has always been able to capture my imagination.  Her novels tend to be set in the Northeast and describe the cold and difficult weather so realistically.  The Winter People describes a legend that will make your hair stand on end!

(5) I’ll Take You There by Joyce Carol Oates

Another set on a college campus (I am so predictable!).  The main character in this story is a college student in the 60s that experiences tremendous humiliation and upheaval while there.  I could relate.  We’ll leave it there for now!

Five Books that I am Still Trying to Finish:

(1) The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston

I read The Witch’s Daughter a few years ago and LOVED it!  I waited patiently for Brackston to publish more witchy stories, which she did!  I’m not sure why, but I haven’t been able to finish any of the other ones.  I started this one in January and really enjoyed it.  Then one day, I put down my Kindle and didn’t select this book again!  I wish I knew why…

(2) The Virgin in the Garden by AS Byatt

I really want to like AS Byatt.  Sadly,  I think that she is way too smart for me.  She writes beautifully, which requires concentration from me.  Concentration is one thing that I am lacking these days!

(3) A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin

I sped through the first three books of this series, and then hit a hard stop.  Totally burned out.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever finish reading this one!

(4)  The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Another one that I should love on principle – English manor, hauntings, family secrets – but have had a difficult time getting hooked!  I continue to try, because I think that I would love it if I could just get into it!

(5) The Birth House by Ami McKay

This one came highly recommended from a trusted friend and seems like it would be right up my alley: Nova Scotia, a wise woman in the form of a midwife, small village gossip.  Yet again, I couldn’t get hooked, but still want to!  I think I’ll have to try it when I’m in just the right mood to enjoy it.

** This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, which gives me a small payment from Amazon if you use these links and purchase a book listed on this page.  **

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18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday

    1. I hope you get to read The Winter People soon! It was exactly what I needed at the time: just creepy enough to make me jump at little sounds, but not too creepy that I couldn’t sleep at night. I haven’t heard about The Night Sister yet — I am adding it to my wishlist!! Thanks!

      Like

    1. I hope you get to read The Winter People soon! It was exactly what I needed at the time: just creepy enough to make me jump at little sounds, but not too creepy that I couldn’t sleep at night. I haven’t heard about The Night Sister yet — I am adding it to my wishlist!! Thanks!

      Like

    1. Ahhh!! If you loved The Secret History, then I think you’ll love the rest of Morton’s books. They are so fun and I just get swept up in the worlds that she creates. Thanks for commenting! I’m heading over to your blog to check out your list now!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, that’s a tough one!! I went back through my LibraryThing reviews to remind myself, and I think The Distant Hours might just be my favorite. Here’s my review on LibraryThing:

        “I think Kate Morton can see into my soul and know exactly what I’m looking for in a book because I haven’t been disappointed yet! I would describe this book as gothic because it has all of the makings: family secrets, a castle, the idea of ghosts, and tragedies. Edie is a young woman who works in the publishing company and is directly connected to Milderhurst castle, an old place owned by the three reclusive Sisters Blythe, although she has no idea. She discovers her connection when her mother receives a long-lost letter in the mail from Juniper Blythe, the youngest of the sisters. Her mother, Merry, reveals that as a child during WWII, she was evacuated from London into a local village. Juniper chose Merry to live at Milderhurst castle with the Sisters Blythe and their father, Raymond Blythe, the author of a children’s book that would go on to inspire Edie’s love of literature and her calling to the publishing industry. The origin of the story (The True History of the Mud Man) becomes a 75 year old mystery in the book-world, which Edie sets out to unravel.

        Emotionally, this book reminded me how connected we all are and how important people’s stories are. Unless you’re the first occupant of your home, someone has lived there before you. That person had a story, a life, and their own form of tragedy. This book reminded me that a little piece of that person lives on in that home and we brush up against it daily.

        Morton always does an excellent job of creating characters that have essences of the person that I want to be. She is skilled at jumping back and forth in time, but allowing the reader to easily follow and understand. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves books about castles, family secrets, WWII, and eccentric old women!”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh!! If you loved The Secret History, then I think you’ll love the rest of Morton’s books. They are so fun and I just get swept up in the worlds that she creates. Thanks for commenting! I’m heading over to your blog to check out your list now!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, that’s a tough one!! I went back through my LibraryThing reviews to remind myself, and I think The Distant Hours might just be my favorite. Here’s my review on LibraryThing:

        “I think Kate Morton can see into my soul and know exactly what I’m looking for in a book because I haven’t been disappointed yet! I would describe this book as gothic because it has all of the makings: family secrets, a castle, the idea of ghosts, and tragedies. Edie is a young woman who works in the publishing company and is directly connected to Milderhurst castle, an old place owned by the three reclusive Sisters Blythe, although she has no idea. She discovers her connection when her mother receives a long-lost letter in the mail from Juniper Blythe, the youngest of the sisters. Her mother, Merry, reveals that as a child during WWII, she was evacuated from London into a local village. Juniper chose Merry to live at Milderhurst castle with the Sisters Blythe and their father, Raymond Blythe, the author of a children’s book that would go on to inspire Edie’s love of literature and her calling to the publishing industry. The origin of the story (The True History of the Mud Man) becomes a 75 year old mystery in the book-world, which Edie sets out to unravel.

        Emotionally, this book reminded me how connected we all are and how important people’s stories are. Unless you’re the first occupant of your home, someone has lived there before you. That person had a story, a life, and their own form of tragedy. This book reminded me that a little piece of that person lives on in that home and we brush up against it daily.

        Morton always does an excellent job of creating characters that have essences of the person that I want to be. She is skilled at jumping back and forth in time, but allowing the reader to easily follow and understand. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves books about castles, family secrets, WWII, and eccentric old women!”

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A Feast for Crows is a hard one after the first three, I totally agree. Everything seems to slow down and get more convoluted, at least I thought. And A Secret History sounds really good, I saw another mention of it somewhere and it piqued my interest.

    Like

    1. Hi Greg! Thanks for the acknowledgment about A Feast for Crows. I tried to push through because my husband sped through the entire (published) series in a summer and insisted that I keep up. He’s really good about being able to dive into a world and not come up for air. Not me!

      If you try A Secret History, I hope you like it. I am in love with campus novels and this was no exception. Plus, the classical education that this group of students receive is what I always imagined college would be like… but absolutely nothing like my undergrad experience!

      Like

  2. A Feast for Crows is a hard one after the first three, I totally agree. Everything seems to slow down and get more convoluted, at least I thought. And A Secret History sounds really good, I saw another mention of it somewhere and it piqued my interest.

    Like

    1. Hi Greg! Thanks for the acknowledgment about A Feast for Crows. I tried to push through because my husband sped through the entire (published) series in a summer and insisted that I keep up. He’s really good about being able to dive into a world and not come up for air. Not me!

      If you try A Secret History, I hope you like it. I am in love with campus novels and this was no exception. Plus, the classical education that this group of students receive is what I always imagined college would be like… but absolutely nothing like my undergrad experience!

      Like

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