Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want With Me While Stranded On a Deserted Island


Desert Island….hmmmm… no volleyball, no Ginger, Mary Ann, or the Professor. The professor would LOVE my Kindle–I could load it up and he could figure out a way to recharge it with coconut cream pies and sunshine. Guess I’ll need to stick to print books though.



The One

In the 1970s there was a version of the Bible–The Book–and it had a catchy, fast-pasted jingle about “come on America, discover The Book.” (See below). It had it all–“romance and mystery” etc. The ad was right. Weather you read it as literature or read it in faith The Bible has it all. I’d want this version because it has even more–it has maps, explanations, and commentary articles. While it might be nicer to have a side-by-side King James and NIV for the beautiful language of the King James Psalms, I’ll take this version, this translation.

The NIV Life Application Study Bible

Diaries and Letters

I would want a couple of good juicy diaries and letter collections. James Lees-Milne’s diaries in a one volume compilation would be perfect. Lots of juicy gossip. Pepys, too, for I’ve never finished reading his great diary. For letters someone interesting like, Queen Victoria or a Mitford sister or some other erudite person who led an interesting life. A fictional diary or letters collection would be fun–maybe another outing of the Provincial Lady would be a good fit.

Travel Books


Paul Therox always comes to mind, and there are a few of his I haven’t read, but political travel by John Gunther or Martha Gelhorn or Lorena Hickok’s WPA reports would also be good. I’ve got this one going–maybe I’d take it with me? The Grand Tour: Around the World With the Queen of Mystery. Agatha’s travels might just be the thing.


Although I don’t normally review them (because I don’t read them cover-to-cover) I enjoy dipping in and out of cookbooks for part of my reading pleasure. Stuck on Gilligan’s Island with only Mary Ann’s endless Coconut Cream Pies, I’m pretty sure I’d want a cookbook or two to savoir. Here are a couple that have recently caught my eye.

History and Nonfiction

While Prince Harry and his wife are doing their utmost to destroy any interest I have in my royal library (once so lovingly collected) I’d still need some history. Plutarch’s lives or Gibbons Decline and Fall would be ideal–something to really sink my teeth into. I’d likely want something from on the Civil War, WWI and WWII as well. A biography or two. Maybe some other type of nonfiction. And, of course, I’d want my favorite historical couples along, so Nicky and Alix would be there.

Music, Comedy, and Fun stuff


Books of Noel Coward’s plays and lyrics, songbooks of the Beatles, Doonesbury cartoons, Far Side cartoons and maybe one silly book like a Mad Libs. Maybe my Catmas Carols book or some cat poetry, too.

Some Beauty


,A book of photos of Jeremy Irons, George Clooney, Simon Williams and a few others to dine with. The Edwardian Lady’s books, would be a lovely thing to look at–to remind me of the seasons. An art book or two. a book of country house pictures, when my hut grows dreary. A nice book of horses, dogs, and cats would be perfect company just about any day.

A Box of Old Friends

Scarlett & Rhett, Ralph & Meggie,  Kerry & Missy, Auntie Mame, James Herriot and friends, Calin Becker, The Ladies of the Club, and so many others who would cheer me up when I got too lonely. My own characters, from my yet-to-be-published books would be my greatest comfort though.



I’d miss my series books–The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Chief Inspector Gamache most of all, but in addition to the favorites box, I’d need some fiction I’ve never read before, too. War and Peace would fill the bill well. Proust perhaps, too. So many great authors I haven’t gotten to yet–any of them could make the journey with me.

Would you pick any of these? Leave me a comment. Or give me the link to your TTT post.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read In One Sitting (or would have if I had the time)


I’ve been doing Top Ten Tuesday for so long this is my third time through this topic!

2017’s One Sitting post

2020’s One Sitting post

A few that got missed, or are new, or whatever!



This book has some special touches that resonated so much with me! Here is the  link to my review: Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck.

To find my review just search the title here on my blog. Sorry, I ran out of time to post links this week.


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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That are Questions


I’ve only read a few of these:

If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson and Ken Blanchard

Why Can’t Somebody Just Die Around Here? by Gerhard Maroscher

Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

I’ve read others by the great Aloise Buckley Heath, sister of William F. Buckley and aunt to Christopher Buckley. I’ve read a few of Christopher’s books, too, though not the one included in this post. I’ve read another book by David Lodge and several by Agatha Christie. I do need to give Dorothy Sayers a try.


Why not join the fun next week? You can read the rules here.


Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books Read the First Half of 2021


Since we just did a Top Ten Tuesday of Books on my Summer TBR you can click the linked text and read my list there. Today I’ve chosen to do a slightly different topic–the best books I’ve read so far this year. These are not presented in any ranked order. You can find the reviews here on my blog. Sorry, busy week–I did not have time to link to each review. Please use the search box this week.

So far this year, I have given an unprecedented 3 books a rating of 4.5. (5 is something I almost never give).

4.5 Star Reads




You can read here about the books I did not finish in the first half of 2021

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Wishes


This week’s topic, Bookish Wishes, involves giving a list of the 10 books you most want to own. For me, that is always a tough one. I am a librarian and a fanatical library user. But, I buy books on the subjects of my home library collection. That little library is mostly on the British royal family (with exceptions), the aristocracy or great families in countries without titles–mostly the Churchills and Roosevelts, but there are others, social history relating to the Edwardian and between the wars periods, books about great houses or estates, collections of letters, diaries, and other things along those lines. Here are 10 of my current “wants”–though not necessarily the 10 “most wanted.” Those out-of-print can require patience to find a decent copy at a reasonable price. I cannot afford to collect first editions. Mine are mostly ex-library copies.


Prince Philip’s Century 1921–2021 by Robert Jobson


Princess Mary: The First Modern Princess by Elizabeth Basford


Noble Ambitions: The Fall and Rise of the English Country House After World War II by Adrian Tinniswood


Churchill and Eden: Partners Through War and Peace by David Charlwood


In Tearing Haste: Letters Between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor


Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy by Douglas Smith


The Duff Cooper Diaries edited by John Julius Norwich


Snowdon: A Life in View


The Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age New York by Greg King


English Journeys, Some Country Houses and Their Owners by James Lees-Milne

And, just for fun…

My Most Recent Acquisition


The Letters of Ann Fleming (Mrs. Ian “James Bond” Fleming)

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer 2021 TBR


I’m on a stay-cation this week. So, reading will figure in my plans–but mostly finishing books that have been left hanging. Since the COVID crisis hit, I have endured many times now of just not reading. That’s very odd to me. Any way, here are the books I’m looking forward to this summer.

#1 Most Anticipated


#2 Most Anticipated


#3 Most Anticipated


#4 Most Anticipated


The Others

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Top Ten Tuesday: Springy and Summery Book Covers

This weeks topic is actually Book Quotes that Fit X Theme, but I wasn’t in the mood to dig through my Commonplace Book [i.e. book of quotes] that is woefully out of date due to so many audios and Kindle books. So, a cover post, to “cover-up” my laziness! Links to my reviews (I have not read all of these) are below.

Chasing the Sun by Judy Leight

The Last Girls by Lee Smith

Tony’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Berlin 1936 by Oliver Hilmes

When We Left Cuba by Chantel Cleeton

Old Girls Network by Judy Leigh

This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets

The Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall  This was a DNF.

Tigers in Red Weather by Lisa Klaussman Review from my old blog: “Keep waiting for something worthy of the hype. Nothing “wrong” with the story, just not that original or exciting either. Stupid names for characters always put me off, too, and a woman named “Nick” in the 1940s?? Oh please.”

Why not join the fun next week? You can read the rules here.


Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That Are Complete Sentences


These books mostly fall into what I call “the something-something life of somebody-somebody” genre.  I’ve read seven of these and enjoyed them all. The others I will probably get to at some point.

My Favorite Book With a Title that is a full sentence


This is the “young person’s” edition of the book Dove. I’ve read both versions and like this one better–plus there are way more photographs of this incredible voyage. Although sadly  out-of-print now, it is readily available used and normally for a reasonable price if you don’t mind an ex-library copy.

This Week’s List

Click the linked titles to go to my reviews:

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Britt Marie Was Here

The Truth According To Us

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

When We Were Young and Brave

Unlikely Resolutions of Oliver Clock

Links to Amazon [off which I make no money[

Evie Drake Starts Over

Get a Life Chloe Brown

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Nature on the Cover

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller review coming tomorrow!

The Garden in Every Sense and Season: A Year of Insights and Inspiration From My Garden by Tovah Martin (nonfiction)

The Seafarers: A Journey Among Birds by Stephen Rutt (nonfiction)

Bicycling With Butterflies: My 10,201 Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration by Sara Dykman (nonfiction)

Feasting Wild: In Search of the Last Untamed Food by Gina Rae La Cerva (nonfiction)

A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred Year History of America’s Hurricanes by Eric Jay Dolan (nonfiction) I’m currently listening to this one, so a review is coming soon!

Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkle (nonfiction)

Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer

Small Wonder: Essays by Barbara Kingsolver

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard


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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Recent Additions to My TBR

This week’s topic was “ My Ten Most Recent Reads (maybe share a one-sentence review to go with?)” but I review books all the time, so I changed to what I’ve recently added to my TBR.




Survivors: Children’s Lives After the Holocaust by Rebecca Clifford

No one can ever explain why books get retitled and recovered in different countries. This one is very interesting. The diver is facing the opposite direction on the cover and the title has been tweaked for the USA edition. Thank you to A Life In Books for the review that led me to add this one–click on the linked words to read the review.




The War Nurse: A Novel by Tracey Enerson Wood

The Ballerinas: A Novel by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

Two Women in Rome by Elizabeth Buchan [not out yet in the USA]




Survivors: Children’s Lives After the Holocaust by Rebecca Clifford

Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR by Lisa Napoli

Bicycling With Butterflies: My 10,201 Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration by Sara Dykman

Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine by Olivia Campbell

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