Top Ten Tuesday

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Favourite Bookshops

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week, as it was National Bookshop Day on 1 October here in the UK, the theme is your favourite bookshops or bookshops you’d love to visit. I’m doing a bit of both with five bookshops I love and five I’d love to visit and have linked to the bookshop’s websites/social media accounts if they have them.

Words on the Water

First are five I love:

Words on the Water, London, UK
A bookshop on a boat! It’s in a lovely spot near King’s Cross and they have a dog – what more can you want? Plus it has a really interesting mix of second-hand books too.

Waterstones, UK
Just about every major town/city in the UK has a Waterstones and this, after WHSmith and a Methvens (RIP), is where I grew up browsing bookshelves. I naturally have a soft spot for the one where I currently live but I will visit any Waterstones and probably be happy.

Daunt Books, Marylebone, UK
This bookshop was honestly a life savour when it came to my Read the World Project as a good chunk of its shelves are divided by country. It’s also a really beautiful bookshop which is always a plus.

Cărturești Carusel Bookstore

Housmans, London, UK
Another bookshop really close to King’s Cross and one that has a great mix of stuff including second hand books and new and it’s a radical bookshop, specialising is all books of radical interest and progressive politics.

Cărturești Carusel Bookstore, Bucharest, Romania
Yes, when I went to Bucharest with friends the only thing, I wanted us to do was to go to this bookstore. Luckily those friends were also readers and it was great exploring a new bookstore with them. It was so bright and airy and had such pretty staircases. I even bought a book – The Fox was Ever the Hunter by Herta Müller.

Five bookshops I’d love to visit:

The Strand, New York City, USA
Can’t believe I went to New York (10 years ago now) and never stepped foot in the flagship store. Would love to spend hours in that humongous bookshop.

Hay-on-Wyre, Wales, UK
OK this is a town but it’s a town famous for its bookshops! There are over twenty of them and there’s speciality bookshops and I’d just love to visit the town and spend a long weekend going to cake shops and visiting all the bookshops.

Selexyz Dominicanen, Maastricht, The Netherlands
A bookshop in a gothic church! It looks absolutely beautiful and this was indeed a place where after I heard of it, I immediately looked how easily I could visit it. Side note: looks like I could get the Eurostar to Amsterdam and then do a day trip to Maastricht during my hypothetical holiday.

Foyles, Charring Cross Road, UK
I have been to the flagship Foyles bookstore once but that was years ago and I’d love to properly revisits and take my time exploring all the floors and probably buying too many books.

La Biblioteca de Babel, Mallorca, Spain
I went to the island Menorca a lot as a child as it was my mum’s favourite place but I’ve never been to the neighbouring island Mallorca. When I heard about this bookstore, that’s almost a hidden bookstore as out front it has tables and chairs like a café, I think I’ll have to try and make the trip sometime. Wine and books – what’s not to like?!

Have you visited any of these bookshops? What are some of your favourite bookshops and ones you’d love to visit?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Autumn 2022 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. I’m actually really excited about this TBR as this is the first one in years where I don’t have any books for my Read the World Project as I’ve completed it! I still have a couple of reviews to post and am planning to do a wrap-up post as well talking about the project but that book-related chapter of my life is done! I still have two books for the 12 Books from 12 Friends challenge but besides from that I have no more compulsory reads. It’s going to be feel very weird to be a proper mood reader with no restrictions and to read books that feel seasonal and everything.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
This 12 Challenge book is one I don’t think I’d even heard of before it was recommended to me which is half the fun of the challenge. It looks to be a contemporary YA about a teen who’s struggling with his cultural identity and mental health. I don’t read contemporary YA that often so I’m looking forward to seeing what I make of it.

John Dies at the End by David Wong
This 12 Challenge book I had heard of before – I think it’s also a film? – but besides from the title presumably giving away the ending I have no idea what it’s going to be like.

Babel by R.F. Kuang
I have a hunch that this is going to be on a lot of people’s TBRs. I got a very pretty copy from FairyLoot and while I’ve yet to read The Poppy War trilogy (I do have the first book) I’m interested to see what I make of Babel. I also want to read it sooner rather than later as it is so hyped/popular and it’d be nice to be a part of those conversations while they’re at their peak rather than being late to the party as I usually am. Plus, though I’ve heard that generally everyone loves Babel, I know little about the plot so hopefully the general excitement won’t cloud my own judgement much.

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
I got this book a year ago and I still haven’t read it! I don’t tend to read middle grade at all (probably the last time I read a middle grade book was when I was a child) but I liked the sound of this one especially as it is kind of spooky but I think it’s also about grief.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
I think the sequel is released soon and this is a book I’ve heard a lot of good things about – it’s even my pal Brin’s favourite book of the year. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten properly into a YA fantasy series so maybe this will be the one.

She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
I love films about investigative journalism but I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about it before. She Said is a non-fiction book by the two New York Times investigative reporters who exposed Harvey Weinstein’s history of abuse and sexual misconduct against women. This’ll no doubt be a tough and uncomfortable read at times but I’m interested to see how these reporters put everything together and got people to trust them enough to go on the record.

Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
October is Black History Month here in the UK so that’s extra motivation to read this. Over the years I’ve learnt more about Britain and its racism and though I think what I learnt in my history classes wasn’t whitewashed, there’s probably a lot I don’t know. Also, so much news or information on racial injustice that I hear about day to day via social media seems to come from America but there’s still a lot of issues here in the UK that I should be more educated on.

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
Another book I got via FairyLoot and this one I hadn’t heard before which is always fun. I think it might be a romcom with the undead? Or at least there’s bones on the cover which clashes with the cutesy colour scheme on the cover so that should be interesting.

The Sisters Grimm by Meena van Praag
Pretty sure this has been on a TBR before but now might just be the time I get to it. It’s set where I live and seems to have spooky/autumnal vibes so if perfect for this time of year.

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden
I have heard nothing but good things about this book and the entire trilogy. I have The Bear and The Nightingale in paperback and the other two on my kindle as I got them super cheap, like for 99p each or something and it’d have been stupid not to get them even though I hadn’t read the first book and didn’t know if I liked the story or not. Hopefully I do and then I have the whole trilogy to read.

What books are on your TBR for the end of the year?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books with Geographical Terms in the Title

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This is one of those themes that I thought would be pretty easy but when I actually took a look at the books on my TBR or the ones I’ve already read I found it was a bit more difficult than I thought. I do have ten books with ten different geographical terms in their titles though. I’ve also included the definition for each term (as they appear on the glossary of geographical terms Wikipedia page) as while some are obvious, some aren’t so common terms. I’ve read all these books and have linked to my review if there is one.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Mountain – A large landform that rises prominently above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a rocky peak with great vertical relief; a mountain is generally considered steeper than a hill.

Red Seas, Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Sea – Any large body of salt water surrounded in whole or in part by land/any large subdivision of the World Ocean.

City of Clowns by Daniel Alarcón and Sheila Alvarado
City – A large human settlement, generally with extensive systems constructed for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, and communication.

The Desert and the Drum by Mbarek Ould Beyrouk
Desert – An arid, barren area of land where little precipitation occurs and living conditions are consequently unfavorable for most plant and animal life.

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
Lagoon – A small area of water connected to the ocean but otherwise blockaded by one or more islands.

Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune – A hill of loose sand built by the movements and erosional and depositional processes of wind or water, often occurring in deserts and coastal areas.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Forest – Any extensive area dominated by communities of trees.

Shadows on the Tundra by Dalia Grinkevičiūtė
Tundra – A treeless plain characteristic of the Arctic and subarctic regions.

The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell
Drift – the name for all material of glacial origin found anywhere on land or at sea, including sediment and large rocks.

The Silent Steppe: The Story of a Kazakh Nomad under Stalin by Mukhamet Shayakhmetov
Steppe – An ecoregion characterized by expansive grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes,

Have you read any of these? What are the geographical terms you found most common? I’ve definitely read more books with “city” in the title than any other.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Book covers that feel like Summer

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week it’s time to show off some book covers, more specifically the ones that have summery colours, imagery or just general summer vibes. For me, a summery book cover tends to be ones that has bright colours, if there’s blue skies, a beach or any body of water that’s definitely summery, or just smiley, happy people feels summery to me.

I’ve read all these books over the past five years or so and have linked to all of the reviews.

Secret Son by Laila Lalami
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
40 Years by Ritah

One Would Think The Deep by Claire Zorn
Frangipani by Célestine Hitiura Vaite
Dreams of My Heart by Aminath Neena
Crime Wave by Rose Pressey
Emancipated by M.G. Reyes

Have you read any of these books? And what makes a summery book cover for you?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Summer 2022 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. I love setting a seasonal TBR even though my picks are hardly ever summery, wintery etc. My main focus at the moment is my Read the World Project as my self-imposed deadline is the end of September. I have 11 countries/books still to read so they are my priority. I have eight books on my TBR for my Read the World Project and two for the 12 Books from 12 Friends challenge. If you happen to know of any writers (whether their novelists, non-fiction writers, poets, or playwrights) from Monaco, Liechtenstein, or Tuvalu please let me know – they’re the last countries I need to find some sort of book for.

The Golden Horse: A Novel About Triumph and Tragedy Building the Panama Railroad by Juan David Morgan
My read for Panama is a saga of the events that transpired as a result of the rivalry between New York shipping magnates, William Aspinwall and Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the enormous personal cost that was borne by the people involved in the construction of the Panama Railroad built during the California Gold Rush.

A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovska
My read for North Macedonia is set in 1984 and follows twins who are conjoined at the head, their life as they grow up considered freaks by even their family, and how they struggle to decide if they want to be surgically separated from one another. I have tried to read this once and couldn’t really get into it at the time because it’s more of a literary fiction style which I don’t read so often but hopefully second time’s a charm.

Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo
My read for Madagascar is the first novel from Madagascar to ever be translated into English and it’s set in the nineteenth century and it’s about the relationship between a slave and his master’s daughter.

Ali and Nino by Kurban Said
My read for Azerbaijan is a novel about a romance between a Muslim Azerbaijani boy and Christian Georgian girl in Baku in the years 1918–1920. Had this one on my kindle for a while and I think a historical star-crossed romance will be a pretty quick read.

Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Balakian
My read for Armenia is memoir about Grigoris Balakian’s eyewitness account of the Armenian Genocide which happened from 1915-1918. I have started this, as in I’ve read the introduction and background info as it is a chunky book about a heavy topic, and I think when I do read it properly I’ll read it in parts so I don’t get too overwhelmed by it.

I, the Supreme by Augusto Roa Bastos
My read for Paraguay is a fictionalised account of the nineteenth-century Paraguayan dictator José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. Out of all the Read the World Project books I have left to read this is the one I know the least about.

Weeding the Flowerbeds by Sarah Mkhonza
My read for Eswatini is a memoir about Mkhonza’s childhood at a boarding school in the seventies where there’s a lot of strict rules. Another one I did start for a readathon but couldn’t get into at the time. It is a short book at less than 200 pages so if I just sat down and read it I could probably read it in a day.

The Fury and Cries of Women by Angèle Rawiri
My read for Gambon follows Emilienne’s life through her university studies, marriage, children, work, and how she tries to search for what feminism means to her while dealing with cultural expectations and the taboos of sex and motherhood.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
This 12 Challenge book is one I don’t think I’d even heard of before it was recommended to me which is half the fun of the challenge. It looks to be a contemporary YA about a teen who’s struggling with his cultural identity and mental health. I don’t read contemporary YA that often so I’m looking forward to seeing what I make of it.

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos
One of the 12 Challenge books. This is one I’d definitely seen people talk about online. I know it’s the first book in a fantasy series translated from French and that’s about it to be honest. I don’t really have the time to start new series’ but I’ll give this a go and see if I want to continue with it.

What are you hoping to read over the next few months?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books with a Unit of Time in the Title

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme, as the title suggests, is book titles with a unit of time in them. This can be seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, eternity, however you might mark the pass of time.

I’ve read all but the last book in this list, though it is on my TBR for June so I hope to get to it soon. I’ve linked to any reviews if I have them, and some of these I read so long ago I’m not sure if they’d still hold up for me today but I did tend to like all these books when I read them.

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
The Punisher Vol. 3: Last Days by Nathan Edmondson, Mitch Gerads, Moritat and Brent Schoonover
Black Widow Vol. 3: Last Days by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto
Thirteen Months of Sunrise by Rania Mamoun

Three Summers by Margarita Liberaki
40 Years: For my 40th Birthday I pause to share 40 poems then I shall be on my way by Ritah
Thirty Days by Annelies Verbeke
Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam edited by Linh Dinh
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Have you read any of these? What books came to mind with this prompt?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Spring 2022 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I love doing these seasonal TBR posts even though I hardly ever read more than three of the books featured in the post before the next seasonal TBR come around. In May I’ve booked myself a short holiday in a cottage where all I plan to do is relax and read so some of these books will definitely be part of my reading plans then.

Watch Us Rise by Ellen Hagan and Renee Watson
One of my favourite subgenres of contemporary YA is the teen feminist YA. It makes me feel good and they’re often very quick reads for me. I especially like them as I just like the thought of teen girls (and boys) reading these books and getting inspired and exposed to ideas that I very rarely read about myself when I was that age.

Dangerous Remedy and Monstrous Design by Kat Dunn
Recently I learnt the third and final book of this trilogy is being released in June so I thought I should probably read these two for the first time. I’m so bad at reading series nowadays that I only tend to start them when all books are out or the final books is set to be released imminently. My copies are two very pretty Illumicrate editions so I hope I like the actual story.

The Desert and the Drum by Mbarek Ould Beyrouk
My read for Mauritania for my Read the World Project. This is another book where I think I read the first chapter but wasn’t in the right mindset to continue. I did like the writing style and think it’ll be the kind of book that’s very readable.

QuixotiQ by Ali Al Saeed
This is for Bahrain for my Read the World Project and I started reading it last year and found it a bit of a weird story as the way it was written made me unsure if what characters were experiencing was real or almost some sort of simulation. It’s not a particularly long book so if I just knuckled down, I could probably get my head around it and read it quickly.

The Fury and Cries of Women by Angèle Rawiri
My read for Gabon. I believe The Fury and Cries of Women follows Emilienne’s life through her university studies, marriage, children, work, and how she tries to search for what feminism means to her while dealing with cultural expectations and the taboos of sex and motherhood. I have a fair few ebooks for my Read the World Project that I just haven’t been reading as they’re almost easy to forget about as I don’t have a physical copy. This year I’ve been using my kindle a lot more so I hope to get to this one soon.

City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai by Paul French
This is one of my books for the 12 books recommended by 12 friends thing I’m doing this year – I’m pleasantly surprised by how well I’m doing with that challenge as I’ve already read three of them. This is a true crime book about 1930s Shanghai and the two men who built their own criminal empire there before it came tumbling down.

Jade City by Fonda Lee
As I said, I’m not good with series but now all the books are out and I have the option to binge read the series if I do love it. I think I’m finally ready to give this much-loved series a try. I went to Waterstones on World Book Day and finally picked up a copy, there was a double points offer on so it’d be rude not to.

Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo
This is the first novel from Madagascar to ever be translated into English and it’s set in the nineteenth century and it’s about the relationship between a slave and his master’s daughter. It’s another ebook that I hope to read soon.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
I’ve heard nothing bit great things about Legendborn and as the sequel is out later this year, now feels like a great time to finally read it. Plus, the TV show Merlin was one of my favourite things when I was a teenager so I’m always down for an Arthurian retelling/twist.

What books are you hoping to get to soon?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books with Character Names in the Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is, as the title suggests, books with character names in the title. This did take a bit of thinking on my part but eventually I thought of ten books I’ve read and enjoyed which had a name in the title. It’s been a while since I’ve read some of these so I don’t know if I’d like them as much now, but the first two books are still some of my all-time favourites.

Sabriel by Garth Nix
Lirael by Garth Nix
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Sirius by Jonathan Crown

Zorro by Isabel Allende
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Lala by Jacek Dehnel
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Have you read any of these?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books on my Winter 2021 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is what books we’d like to read over the next few months. I love setting a vague TBR and then seeing whether or not I actually get to them any time soon. I really haven’t been reading much these last few months and I’ve come to terms with the fact I won’t be hitting my Goodreads goal but I’d still like to get some of these books read soon-ish.

The Purple Violet of Oshaantu by Neshani Andreas
This is a pretty short book and I’ve already read the first few pages to get a feel of it and I like the writing style a lot so think it should be a quick read.

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
This is a book a got in a subscription box this summer I think and ever since I’ve heard nothing but good things. I think my “fear” with a lot of fantasy books is that they are the first in the series and sometimes I don’t have the commitment for that kind of thing. So, does anyone know if this is a standalone or not? I like to know going in whether or not a book will end on a cliffhanger or not.

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown
My friends got me a three-month subscription to How Novel for my birthday and this is one of the books that I got. It seems to be a thriller set in a mansion in the mountains during winter so seems like the perfect time of year to read it.

Milena & Other Social Reforms by Olja Knežević
A young woman becomes the interpreter for the President of Montenegro but soon gets tangled up in the politics, greed, and corruption.

The Fortunes of Wangrin by Amadou Hampâté Bâ
Wangrin is hustling both the colonial French and his own people. It seems like it’ll be a funny and maybe even outrageous story as while it is a novel, it’s also supposed to be an oral history of a figure who may have been real.

Making Peace & Nurturing Life: A Memoir of an African Woman about a Journey of Struggle and Hope by Julia Aker Duany
A memoir about life growing up in South Sudan during Civil War.

Clariel and Goldenhand by Garth Nix
I reread the original Old Kingdom trilogy a few months ago and I want to reread these two before reading the newest book, Terciel and Elinor. I love these books and their world and I know when I do pick them up, I’ll read them very quickly.

The Dark Child by Camara Laye
This is an autobiographical novel and would be my read for Guinea in my Read the World Project.

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen
I hadn’t heard of this book until I got it in a subscription box and the edition is so pretty that that’s what’s made me want to read it more than anything. Though this is another book where I’d like to know if it’s a standalone or not before going into it.

What do you hope to read over the next few months?

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books with Numbers in the Title

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a freebie so we can do whatever we’d like; make up our own top ten list or go back and do one we missed. I had actually pretty much written my Top Ten Tuesday post of Books with Numbers in the Title but didn’t get it finished and posted in time so I thought now was the perfect time to share it as I’d already done most of the work.

I’ve read and enjoyed all these books to varying degrees, though some I read so long ago that I remember little of them now and am not sure if they’d hold up if I read them today. If I have a review of any of them I’ve linked to it.

One of Us: The Story of a Massacre and its Aftermath by Åsne Seierstad
One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
The Three by Sarah Lotz
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

The Twelve by Justin Cronin
Thirty Days by Annelies Verbeke
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews
Metro 2033 by Dimitry Glukhovsky

Have you read any of these? What are some of your favourite book titles that have numbers in them?