Top 5 Wednesday: Most Disappointing Reads of 2018



The Ones I Did Not Finish


# 1 The Summer Wives: A Novel by Beatriz Williams



I can’t recall why I threw it back–sorry! It was just a disappointment probably.


#2 Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax



I really looked forward to this. It talked about the major influence of my Grandmother’s parenting generation. It just wasn’t compelling enough. I had the print version.


#3 Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey




Even NPR loved this! But the reader on the audio was just wrong. She was too modern-American in tone. The story was a bit far-fected in a few ways, but nothing too much for a mystery series. I may actually give this a try in print.


#4 Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver




This author should not read her own audio bool. She put me to sleep. I WILL try it in print–I’ve loved every novel of hers except Lacuna.


The One I Should Have Thrown Back, But Didn’t


#5 The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen



UGH! As I said in my review this was on par with Scooby-Doo mystery. Just UGH!!


These are five of the 15 or so that I dnf (or wish I had dnf-ed) for 2018. I’ve never been one who HAD to finish reading a book I’ve started. Life is way too short for bad or even just disappointing books. A bad audio reader/performer doesn’t mean it is a bad book. Just that the performance didn’t merit further attention from me. I have sometimes gone back and enjoyed the print version–or vice-versa.

Join the Top 5 Wednesday group at Goodreads.com and then make a video or post a blog entry with your top 5 each week. It’s fun!




Top 5 Wednesday: Books to Give Future Professionals as Gifts


December 12: Books to Give _____ as Gifts
— Create a recommendations guide for a person. Be creative with this. It can be simple such as “books for parents”, more elaborate like “books for Ravenclaws”, or expert level like “books for -insert your favorite fictional character here-“. You can even take out the category completely and have all 5 be suggestions for different types of people!


Future Lawyer



Big Law: A Novel by Lindsay Cameron. My review.

For other suggestions, both fiction and nonfiction, please read this post.


Future Financial Hotshot


Arbirtage? Heh!

Bond Girl by Erin Duffy

(I have not reviewed this book).

Future Feminist Icon



Female Persuasion: A Novel by Meg Wolitzer  My review.



Future Oligarch



A Terrible Country: A Novel by Keith Gessen. My review.


Future Celebrity  Humanitarian


Swing Time by Zadie Smith. My review.



Join the fun each week and do a video or blog post with your list! Join the Top 5 Wednesday group on Goodreads to learn the topics and post your entry.


Top 5 Wednesday: Book Wish List


I rarely get books for Christmas. No one is ever sure what I already own! So I occasionally receive an Amazon gift card or two. I love that. Some of the books I want to own are..well… let’s say ‘esoteric’. Meaning expensive [to me] or hard to find.



The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings goes with my interest in C.S. Lewis. I find the life he led, especially, pre-Joy Davidman, to be very intetresting. I’m not a fan of Tolkein’s books, but he was an amazing writer, just not of a genre I enjoy. So that part will interst me as well.


A Vicar’s Wife in Oxford occurring contemporanesouly with some of The Fellowship, I want it because I love reading stories of everyday, real life.


The Past is Myself & The Road Ahead are the memoirs of an English woman, married in the early 1930’s to a German attorney. She lives thru the war in Germany.


The Three Graces of Val-kill is the story of Eleanor Roosevelt’s most interesting personal relationship–the other two women of the threesome she made a home with mostly before the White House. The owned a home, a school, a facotry and triple monogrammed china together.  Two recent novels on Eleanor’s love affair with journalist Lorena Hickock, haven’t done much with this era of her life. This also adds to my Roosevelt collection.


Memoirs of a Russian Lady just looks and sounds fascinating!


A Bonus Book



Paul J. Sachs and the Mueum Course at Harvard. Pretty much my idea of an interesting book. I’d rather it was on the Columbia Rare Books Program, but I learned a lot about that from a graduate who was in my Peace Corps group. This is all new material for me!


But, what about fiction?

I’ll cover the novels I’m looking forward to in another post.


Top 5 Wednesday: The Longest Books On My To Read List



Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads.com that posts lists on fun bookish topics each week. You may do a blog post or a vlog- (video) post. Join the group, then join the fun!


This week’s topic was really hard! Both the distruction of attention spans by social media and the cost to publishers vs ROI means so few books are over 300 pages these days! So, I had included both new titles and some that have been on my list for ages–mostly due to not being able to get them on audio thru my library system or state regional libraries. (I did not include Les Miserables because I am reading it slowly, taking my time, but it is huge.)

The New Titles



Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty 464 pages.




Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver 480 pages

I tried listening to this book, but did not like the author’s way of reading it, so I will be reading it in print instead. 480 pages.

The Lingering Titles



The Bostonians by Henry James–this version claims 480 pages.




This year is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I (aka “The Great War”)–maybe I should get with it and read this one.  I’ve included this one since I’m doing Nonfiction November–another Goodreads.com group you can join. 544 pages make this the longest book on today’s list.

1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War by Charles Emmerson, 544 pages.




I’ve been meaning to read this since high school in the 1970s!  South Riding by Winifred Holtby, this version claims 502 pages.



Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You’d Cosplay or wear as a Halloween Costume


Since I’m short and round and over 50 that leaves me with the Golden Girls as my most likely cosplay folks! Never mind, we can all dream, right?


#1 Literary Cosplay: Carol Burnett’s Scarlett O’Hara


One of the funniest takes on literature ever done! In the book, of course, the dress is made out of the drapes the Yankees somehow forgot to steal. In the sketch, Scarlett wears the drapes, rod and all, to comic effect!


# 3 Royal Cosplay


Well, ok, I couldn’t resist–that’s Carol Burnett again, famously playing Queen Elizabeth with the ridiculous hat and voice back in the 1970’s.


Both Carol and the real Queen Elizabeth have aged since then! But give me a coat dress, a hat, a white hairdoo and a good brooch and I’d be the queen!


Camilla–well, Tracey Ullman’s Camilla! For years on my old blog and for a while here on this blog, I wrote a spoof diary of ‘Milla. You can read those here. I was pleased the Tracey saw her the same way I do.


#4 Political Cosplay


I used to have the Hilary pantsuits and we have the same body-type though she manages her weight very well by comparison with me. Same lank, do-nothing hair too. Tracey Ullman also does a greet Angela Merkle. I can pull her off too–same dumpy body and short hair.


You can participate in Top 5 Wednesday by joining the group on Goodreads.com and then doing a video or blog post. It’s fun!


Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Villains


This is a difficult topic for me. I don’t enjoy being scared. I’m not a fan of baddies who hurt people. I don’t read books that feature them, nor do I watch tv or movies with them. It can upset me too much. Yes, I’m a snowflake. Also, I’ve done variations on this topic before and don’t like to just keep posting the same old, same old. So, the HP villains, Satan of the Screwtape Letters, The Pig Who Is More Equal in Animal Farm, etc., are in posts linked at the bottom.

#1 Cathy Ames in  East of Eden


I should have known when Oprah picked this for her book club that nothing good was going to happen! I know there are and have always been people as vile as Cathy, but I don’t want to know them–not even in fiction. Reading about Cathy led me to actual nightmares, queasiness and a feeling of discomfort so bad that I’m feeling stressed just copying the book cover and including it here. I could not finish the book though all of those feelings ARE a true endorsement of what a great writer John Steinbeck was! East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

The movie featured the legendary James Dean as Caleb. I won’t be watching it! There was also a tv mini-series of the book as well.

#2 Scar in the Lion King


Jeremy Irons is one of my all-time great celebratie crushes. I love cats and that includes lions. And, let’s face it, it IS annoying when your cute-as-a-button nephew gets to inherit the entire kingdom. (Just ask Prince Harry).  The Lion King.

#3 IT in A Wrinkle in Time


How dare IT try to ruin a happy, quirky, high-achieving family!! A Wrinkle in Time.

#4 Hurricane Katrina in Five Days at Memorial

(Katrina stands proxy for every hurricane or natural disaster)


No one should have to make the decisions these brave nurses, doctors and others had to make during that storm. Five Days At Memorial.

#5 The Sharks and the U.S. Navy


Not to be confused with the great John Wayne war movie of the same name, this book tells of what happened to the commander of the U.S.S. Indianapolis when the ship went down and he and others survived on the open sea in the face of shark attacks. For years the survivor’s fought to clear their commanders name and eventually won.  In Harm’s Way.

Similar Posts

Protagonists You Hate to Like  The one with the Harry Potter guy.

Top 10 Bad Guys and Gals The one with many of the usual suspects

Favorite Holiday Villains


You are welcome to join the Top 5 Wednesday group at Goodreads.com and play along each week by doing a blog post of video.


Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Covers



I have very definite opinions on cover art. A lot of titles I love have new covers this year or last year. I’ve hated most! That said, here are a new book covers–either new publications or new covers on older books–that I like right now, but of course when a topic like this comes up I can never remember any titles!


One Random Book I Know Nothing About


But I love the cover!


The One in Several Collections of Great Covers


Love it!


A Favorite Cover of a Favorite Book


My favorite Du Maurier book.


The Series To Swoon Over



If I had the money, I’d have these! Read more about these special covers here.


Other Cover Posts




Here is a link to last May’s version of this post–5 other new covers.




Here is my Copy Cat Cover’s post for The After Party





Tigers in Red Weather Copy Cat Covers Post.





Red, White and Blue Covers post.

Books With Autumnal Covers post.

Books Covers I’d Live In post [Top 5 Wednesday]

Inaccurate Book Covers post [Top 5 Wednesday]


You can take part in Top 5 Wednesday–just join the group at Goodreads.com and do a blog post or video post. The topics are in the group as are the links to each week’s posts. It’s fun!



Top 5 Wednesday: Classics I Wish Had Modern Adaptations


I must add that I see this topic as: Classics I Wish Had Modern Adaptations That Follow My Ideas–a little mash-up, a little interpretation, a little improving on the original.



First of all, this image is from the University of Central Florida’s Quidditch Club/Team Facebook page.

This would be a Harry Potter version–with Quidditch instead of jousting.

Too Kill A Mockingbird


Re-done with an African American Evangelical Atticus representing a framed Muslim refugee.

Tom Brown’s School Days

51+qDE-j4jL._SY346_Retold as  the story of a boy from a sink estate (housing project) attending a famous British public (private) school on a government scholarship. Since most are now co-ed, he’d fall for a Princess or Duke’s daughter or something and would be denied the captaincy of the rugby 1st XV in favor of a legacy.

Black Beauty and War Horse

This one would tell the story of a rescue horse now happily living out her days doing a Riding for the Disabled sort of program. She is permantly loved by a little boy named Simon with Down’s Syndrome and lives happily ever after. She also gets a merchandising deal worth millions. She would be in a relationship with Joey, a horse rescued from the war zone in Afghanistan and brought home to live out his days happily grazing.

Two That Have Already Been Done to My Satisfaction

Timon of Athens


I saw this play done with Timon being on the cover of big magazines and buzzed in popular culture–sort of a Bill Gates of Howard Hughes sort of rich recluse.

Grapes of Wrath

Tortilla Curtain tells the story of undocumented immigrants (aka illegal aliens) in Southern California. Great recreation of the pathos of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.

Join in! Join the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group and post a video or blog post on the week’s topic. You can read all the posts at the group, too.


Top 5 Wednesday: Books For My Younger Self



This week’s topic: Books For My Younger Self …..Books that you wish your younger self would have read to learn a life lesson, get more self confidence, open your eyes to a new perspective, etc.


Perks of Being a Wallflower



First it would had to have been written 20 years earlier for me to have read it as a teenager. You can see how it affected me when I read it as an adult past 50 HERE.


Julie Murphy’s Books

I’m currently listening to , and loving (as I expected) Puddin’. I don’t want to do the math on how many years earlier these would have had to be written for me to have read them in the 70s. Lest you think a YA label means no one over 18 can read them, my 81 year old mother also loved Puddin’. I will be reviewing it next week, but you can read my reviews of Ramona Blue and Dumplin’ now if you’d like.


Most of the Books on This List



The Books I Wish My Kids Would Read Except for Auntie Mame and the 2000 Year Old Man, I had to grow up to find these books. I’d probably have ignored them, too, if someone had given them to me at that age, but here’s hoping I’d have at least picked one I could stand and learn from.


You can be part of Top 5 Wednesday by joining the group on Goodreads.com. There you will find the weekly topics. Write a blog post or shoot a video and post it. That’s all! Then check back with the group to read other great Top 5 lists each week.



Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Friend Groups



Favorite Friend Groups–here’s what the announcement says: “… let’s discuss our favorite ensemble friend groups!” Ok, then! Here are my picks:




Circle of Friends may have been my introduction to Maeve Binchy–I can’t remember now. I read not long after it came out–I was about 30 so I could still feel a bond with the 20-something friends Benny and Jack and Eve and the others. I even loved the movie–rare for me.




College for women was still more of a great privilidge than a rite of passage in 1933, the year these ladies graduated from Vasser. This book shocked in its day, but still holds up well. The idea of a young woman obtaining an illegal (or newly legal–I can’t remember which) birth control device to enjoy life to the fullest–well, that was immoral! The book held my attention completely even though I was over 40 when I first read it. The Group is a classic of friends’ literature.




Class Reunion is one of the first “adult” (as in grown-up) novels my Mom and shared that was a new best-seller at the time. I devoured it. I loved it all. This was the first time I’d encountered gay characters who weren’t merely femininized men, but real men living (yes, and hiding) their sexuality. Alexander’s room left me fascinated more than shocked. I was blessed to have parents who answered ANYY question honestly on subjects such as this, so I felt a lot for Alexander. I still love this book! There is a sequel, After The Reunion, which was fun as well.




The Brotherhood of War series by W.E.B. Griffith. Wow! This series is a blast. I happened to love military men, so when I found this series in my twenties, I hung on for dear life. I admit I lost interest after the original series–the author went on and on with new characters, Marines, police, etc. But I still LOVE Craig Lowell who reminded me of one of my college boyfriends. What can you say about a guy who is that rich and that manly and gets to do what he loves–be a soldier! The rest of the guys also great. Don’t expect much in the way of women though. The author actually changed one “gal’s” name mid-book! It’s that kind of series. I love it though.


All my series favorites


I couldn’t decide which of these groups of friends I like more. So, I’ll just put them all!


Ok,  ok, I’ll include them–as a Bonus




I haven’t read the last few books, but I still ADORE Harry, Hermoine, Ron and all the others.  Harry Potter series.


You can do your own Top 5 Wednesday post or video! Just join the group on Goodreads to get the topics, then post your link to the group. It’s fun.