Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021


I’m sure by now even its fans are tired of me going on and on about how great Dean Street Press’ Furrowed Middlebrow series is, but honestly? It’s that good. That is where I discovered the following authors: (And, no they do not pay me anything!)

My reviews are linked at the end of the post.

My lazy attention span and my need for light entertainment to take my mind off unemployment led me to some fun new women’s fiction writers

And, a few others cropped up this year as well.

My Reviews

Dear Hugo by Molly Clavering

A Chelsea Concerto by Frances Faviell

Miss Plum and Miss Penny  by Dorothy Evelyn Smith

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

Flora’s Traveling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin

The Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

We’ll Have a Wonderful Cornish Christmas by C.P. Ward

A Mackenzie Yuletide by Jennifer Ashley

The Mitford Vanishing by Jessica Fellowes

The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard


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Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To


Earlier, I posted about Books I Didn’t Get to Read in 2021 but Still Want to Read. Today I’m looking at books released in 2021 that I was interested in, but didn’t get to. I may still read them–making these lists I often forget a book I was interested in, so who knows?

One thing I noticed while looking back over the 2021 book releases is that there is very little diversity in book covers today. Now, I do not mean “diversity” in the racial or ethnic sense of people. I mean there are few cover designs out there today.

Another thing I noticed was that in addition to be wearing of female spies in World War II stories, I’m also just not that into psychological thrillers. I must be a heretic. I do not like to be frightened. I do not find it fun. I have enough stress in my own life without adding fictional stress.

Any way, here are my ten choices for this week.


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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection


Believe it or not, last year (when I was employed) I set the goal of buying more books–not only for the topics on which I collect, but to support fiction authors! I did buy a few more, mostly for Kindle and mostly from Dean Street Press (a total of 7 books). Here are some of my most recent purchases and one gift (which I requested).



My grown-up kids gave me this one–God bless the Amazon Wish List! One child hates to figure out gifts and demands a list. I was picky about the two books I put on that list and she chose this one. Great choice. Review coming soon.

These are some of the hardbacks I bought myself. I failed to buy any hardback fiction. I bought the UK edition of the Churchill book which is now out in the USA and titled The Churchill Sisters. The collection of Ann Fleming’s letters is due to my love of society letters. Ann was the wife of James Bond creator, Ian Fleming.  You can read my reviews of Survivors and Windsor Diaries by clicking on the linked titles.



I know next-to-nothing about Spain, so I bought this book to read during Spanish lit month over the next few years. It is enjoyable prose, but I am limiting myself to reading it at that time only. Roads to Santiago by Cees Nooteboom.


I have not yet read The Far Country, and I threw back The Sanatorium, but my reviews of the other two books are linked. Like many Kindle owners, I also purchased several bargains that will likely never be read.

Wintering by Katherine May

Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison



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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read In 2021


One of the joys of unemployment is never know what day it is. So…without further ado…here is LAST week’s TTT.

“Best” is a difficult word. “Best” writing? “Best” writing in its genre? “Best” fun? Hmmmm. Here are 10 books I enjoyed in 2021. It doesn’t matter why I enjoyed them (you can click to read my review for that). They are here because I simply enjoyed them.

Yes, ELEVEN, but one is a diary, so that’s not really the same–is it? I didn’t include the Christmas books–too different from my usual reading and I’ve very recently reviewed them. I doubt I’ll ever read or listen to that many of them again in one year! They were perfect for this year. I dithered over inch including another Dean Street Press/Furrowed Middle Brow book, but decided to let the one stand for all. I’ve loved them all. A few very popular titles “almost” made the cut, but in the end I enjoyed other books more.

You can find my reviews using the blog’s search feature.


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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope Santa Brings/Bookish Wishes


Usually the best I can hope for is that Santa will leave me a nice Amazon gift card!

The Two I Put on my Christmas List Given to My Adult Children

The Writer’s Cats by Muriel Barbery and Maria Guitart. Thank you to What Cathy Read Next for bringing this book to my attention.

The Cat Who Saved Books by  Sosuke Natsukawa I hope to read for Japanese Literature Challenge 15 (click the link to learn more about this Challenge).

Some of the Books I Might Buy With a Gift Card

A couple of off-beat titles–A Nature Poem For Every Night of the Year is an attempt both to do more nature reading and to try (for the millionth time) to enjoy poetry more). [FYI: There is also a Nature Poem for Every DAY of the Year]

Charlie Berens, in spite of his hatred of my Dad’s beloved Chicago Bears, is great! I love his You Tube videos (see the very bottom of this post for a video). “The davenport” and old fashioneds–what memories! (Except my grandparents made Illinois Old Fashioneds–no brandy, just WHISKEY, and we kids got the booze-soaked fruit, which I still love.) Just put on the Dean Martin show, please! The Ranch thing is my kids’ generation. No matter, Charlie’s a hoot. The Midwest Survival Guide by Charlie Berens. If Charlie looks familiar to you, he’s one of the Husbands of Target in that viral video.


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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Winter 2022 To-read List


So much is up in the air for me about 2022, that I’m not sure I can even do this post. I could have a job again, or maybe not. I may have to move–or not. Who knows? Here are ten books coming out in 2022 that interest me–how’s that?



I love Persephone Books of Bath (Formerly London). The reprint books of great merit that have fallen out of print. One of their newest reprints is The Rector’s Daughter by F.M. Mayor. I hope to get it soon.


I have also been LOVING the books I’ve read from Dean Street Press’ collection of Classic Women’s Fiction. I KNOW I will be reading more of their books in 2022.  A Winter Away is not their newest release, but it is a likely one for me. I’m considering continuing to read seasonally–at lease some titles, so it fits in well, plus I like the sound of it. And, it’s only $2.99 for Kindle.


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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Love an Update on


I often want to know more about a character when I’m reading or have finished a book. Today’s 250 to 300 page “limit” does not give authors much room to tell us the character’s backstory unless the book is in a series. My recent spate of Christmas novels have generated a few characters about which I’d even like a full sequel. Then there are other books I’ve read recently that I’d just like an update.

Those I’d Like a Sequel

Those I’d Like an Update


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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Random Unread Books on my Kindle


This week’s topic was supposed to be: Memorable Things Characters Have Said. But, my Commonplace Book rarely has quotes of things characters have said. Except for the world not realizing that Magaret Mitchell wrote Rhett Butler’s famous line as “My dear, I don’t give a damn” and not “Frankly my dear….” and except for Auntie Mame proclaiming “Life’s a banquet and most poor bastards are starving to death,” I can’t think of anything too memorable right now. So, once again, I’m going rouge! 10 Random Books on my Kindle–all acquired between 2011 and 2014 and still not read (and probably never will be, except maybe …).

Have you read any of these titles? Leave me a comment or a link to your review. Have you done a post like this? Leave me a link to the post–or just leave me a comment listing some of the books languishing on your Kindle.


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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading



My reading dislinking little girl LOVED these books, but they did not make her into a reader.

Junie B Jones books


My “I don’t read” twenty-something little girl devoured this book, but it did not make her into a reader.

Bond Girl: A Novel by Erin Duffy


My too active for reading little boy, who wanted a skateboard more than he wanted almost anything else, read this one more than once. Tony Hawk: The Autobiography.   (Note: This is a middle grades book.)


That same restless little boy brought this home from school and insisted that his Junie B Jones-obsessed sister read it. Findle by Andrew Clements


When my little boy became an angry teen this book as a Christmas presnent met with his full approval. Pages from it adorned his room for years. He read every word–too much for my liking aloud. The Way I Am by Eminem.


I do not like Sci-Fi, but I loved this book when I read it as an adult. Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

“I only read comics.”

“Libraries are boring–and I don’t read.”

“Fantasy? No way!”


“I only read Harry Potter.”

“Romances are ridiculous–they never have people like me.”


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Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Freebie–New to me Creepy Reads!


I’m linking at the bottom to my traditional TTT Halloween post, but meanwhile I’ve been collecting a few creepy-sounding books from blog posts I’ve read laterly to add to Halloween! There’s still time to download and read at least one of these this week!

Two Ghostly Journeys


Blogger Covered in Flour brought this one to my attention–she read it in one sitting. Please be nice and click the link and read her review, ok? Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

A hauntingly beautiful diptych of works inspired by Robert Macfarlane’s travels with celebrated collaborators to two eerie corners of England.

In Holloway, …writer Dan Richards travel to Dorset,…to explore a famed “hollowed way”―a path used by walkers and riders for so many centuries that it has become worn far down into the soft golden bedrock of the region. In Ness,… Macfarlane and Donwood create a modern myth about Orford Ness, the ten-mile-long shingle spit that lies off the coast of East Anglia, which the British government used for decades to conduct secret weapons tests.

Ghostways: Two Journeys into Unquiet places

The Persephone Victorian Gothic!


I LOVE Persephone Books, now in Bath instead of London (that’s London, UK, not London, Ohio!). This novella–under 100 pages, is not only perfect for Novellas in November, but would scare the Beejeebers out of me. Radhika’s Reading Retreat posted a superb review of it that you must click on and read! Here’s the gist: “a young married woman who lies down on a chaise-longue and wakes to find herself imprisoned in the body of her alter ego ninety years before. ” (From the Persephone website).

The Victorian Chaise-Lounge by Margarita Laski (whom I constantly mix-up with Margarita Liberaki)

(Does anyone else keep a list of the Persephone Books they’ve read? Is it just me?)

Kristin’s Spooky Books Post and Video

Kristin Kraves Books did a SUPER post and vlog on spooky books–the three above are all brand new! Most of these would give me nightmares, but I know many readers love the thrill of a scary book!

Fall TBR: Give Me All the Fantasy and Spooky Books by Kristin if you want to read the post after or instead of watching her video. Both are good.

For more spooky, creepy or scary books read last year’s Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Newer Halloween-Appropriate Books





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Here is my Top 10  Halloween memories from childhood post.