Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly get-together of bloggers posting book lists on a theme. You can join fun each week at the Broke and The Bookish blog.

This week it’s 10 things that make me instantly want to read (or listen to) a new book.

Number One and Number Two (random order)

Photo Credit Jeremy Irons Photo Credit Sean Connery

Having either of these two read an audio book means I not only will listen I might even BUY the audio book!



Edwardian racingKingsParty

Photo credit

The word “Edwardian” is used in the description of the story.



Photo credit

The terms “between the wars,” “country house,” or “aristocracy” are used in the description of the story.



The book was written by any of a dozen or more favorite authors.



The cover features a man looking like Jeremy Irons or Sean Connery.



Photo credit    Photo credit


The book has something to do with a royal, a Roosevelt or a Churchill.



One of my like-minded reader friends says I must read it and they are the friends who know what I really will like.




The book has amazing food in it.



The book just somehow attracts my notice for another reason.


What instantly makes me DROP a book and forgot it:

  1. Graphic sex
  2. Graphic violence
  3. Overuse of profanity
  4. Animal cruelty
  5. Historical inaccuracies
  6. Diversity rammed in just to have diversity
  7. Modern views in historical characters
  8. Sleazy covers
  9. The word “dystopian” used anywhere.
  10. The words “zombie” or “vampire” used anywhere.


Why not go to the Broke and the Bookish and enjoy other great Top Ten Tuesday lists from this week? Or, read the rules and post your own!


Top Ten Tuesday: The Authors I’d Most Like to Meet


Current Day Authors


Jamie Ford-

[Number 1 is because he’ll be in three cities near me so I MIGHT actually get to meet him!]

vinegar girl

Anne Tyler

Never a bad book.


Barbara Kingsolver

I’ve loved all but Lucuna. Plus she went to DePauw in Indaiana.


Zadie Smith

Powerful writer.


Louise Penny

Vive Gamache!


Lisa Scottoline

Honestly, every time I listen to a book by these two (mother/daughter) I feel like we’re on a road trip together!

Claire Cook

Her book, Never Too Late, got me working toward my own dreams of being published. I also love that she’s remaking her career as a self-published author–having left traditional publishing. She just plain inspires me!

I’d also love to have been able to know Sir Winston Churchill, all of the Brontes, Marquerite Henry, Gene Stratton Porter, Louisa May Alcott and many, many others–both dead and alive and kicking!

Join the fun of Top 10 Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Tuesday: Minor Characters I Love


1. Tristan Farnon

Whether its creating the image of a driver-less car, howling back at a Labrador coming out of anesthesia or magically waking up and shaking a bottle of something to prove he wasn’t sleeping, slacker little brother Tristan Farnon is my all-time favorite minor character. The haze of Woodbine smoke emanating from behind the newspaper, the delight in bell ringers’ and Licensed Victullars’ outings, to prank calls about Clancy “womatting” he is just plain fun. That he has an eye for the ladies and a greater taste for the bottle than for studying for parasitology is all to our luck.

2. Tofu and 3. Cyril


Tofu is little Bertie’s friend at the Steiner School whose mother may or may not have starved to death as a vegan. Tofu is streetwise and speaks his mind. I especially loved it when Tofu announced he was going to make lots of Tablet–a Scottish sweet like fudge and Bertie had, as always, to suffer with his mother’s version of what he should do for their class sale. Cyril is the artist Angus’ dog with the gold tooth. Cyril has his own adventures. Both are awesome minor characters.

4. Will Benteen



A cracker–they knew this as surely as they new the little military school cadet they buried had been a planter’s son, Will stays on at Tara where he landed with exhaustion at the end of the war. A peg leg doesn’t stop him. In the end, to stay at Tara, he marries the nasty O’Hara sister, Suellen (no mistake that you likely started to read this as “sullen”). He was cut out of the movie, but there is a scene of a peg legged soldier with Melanie’s baby, Beau, that is supposedly Will.  He has a much larger role in the book.

5. Charlie




Ever the apprentice, never the mechanic, Charlie eventually tries a new role. It’s his ongoing antagonism of M’Makutzi that keeps and his girl-chasing that always lands him in hot water. But under it all, Charlie has a heart of gold.

6. Miss Gooch



After Beau’s death, Mame decides to write her memoirs and hires a ghost writer, Brian, and a secretary, Miss Agnes Gooch. The very ordinary Miss Gooch lives in Kew Gardens with Mumsie and Edna, but finally loosens up on New Year’s Eve after Mame comes down with a deadly cold and sends her to a party in her stead. Unforgettable.




Of course we all know who my all-time favorite is…..


Downton’s Sir Anthony Strallan



Top Ten Tuesday is held at the blog The Broke and the Bookish.




Top 10 Tuesday: Ten Books I Liked More or Less Than Other People


Topic:Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would (recently or all time) — or you could do something like books I liked more/less than everyone else.

Books I Liked LESS


I do not understand the women who rave about this idiotic book. Heroin is cool? Sex with strangers? Honestly??? I threw it back and  won’t even link to it any more.


Too many modern characters. I threw it back.

italian wife.jpg

Not only does a man “unzip” his trousers before there were zippers in trousers, but we are then treated to a description of his erstwhile member. ICK. I loved Ann Hood until this dog. But I will give her next book a try.


Cause this cover just says “incest” to no one ever…… UGH.


Two evenings of my life I’ll never get back.  And a two-hour retreat discussion that didn’t even make it to my performance review!! I stayed awake. I contributed politely. That deserved a mention.


From my most popular Review: “ Gave up on this mess of a book–didn’t finish it. Chapter 1 reads like she watched the movie the “Right Stuff” and that’s about it. It is written in that trendy, annoying new, “sassy”/hip/disrespectful tone that is starting to ruin non-fiction reading. Like aging Valley Girl does Master’s thesis. …The women themselves ARE interesting, just the style of writing that grates. Astro-everything is really wearing me down. The story itself IS interesting. But it’s like Jr. High School history with a hip teacher who practices his stand-up routine. Enough with the glib-non-humor and just TELL THE DAMN STORY already. Sadly the tone continues and the “depth” is sadly lacking…



There were some parts of this one that I liked. I got tired of the fly-over mentality about the Midwest, the Southern accents in freakin’ IOWA, the constant screed against Christians and religion, the ridiculous idea of being shocked that people in IOWA, not Manhattan drive cars everywhere….oiy, I could go on and on. Another of my most popular reviews. But, I’d be very willing to give this author another try–there were good things in here. I gave it 2 stars.


I gave this turkey 3 stars because, let’s be honest, he can really write and deserves every award he’s one. I was just so not into this story. It was depressing. It was weird. It just wasn’t for me at all.

Books I Liked MORE


I found the crass, superior way in which Will walked away from the girl was just so typical of his true “type.” I liked it. No, it wasn’t Me Before You –that was too sweet and wonderful. But this was a good book.  After You.


I really, really liked this one. But then, I haven’t finished the Harry Potter books, don’t know which Hogwarts House I belong too and don’t have the Quiddich World Cup on my Bucket List (It’s fine if you do–I do love the early HP books, just couldn’t get thru the last ones). This shows that JK Rowling can think about something other than wizards and muggles. The movie was even “ok.” Book was better–of course. The Casual Vacancy

You can read about a  few more books I liked or disliked more than others here.

See all of this week’s lists at  Top Ten Tuesday.  Play along and post your ow nlist See the rules and topics at The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Wish Had (More/Less) X In Them


More of Their Home Life



What’s not to like about a man who almost always refers to his wife with respect as Madame Gamache? And, get this! She’s a librarian! More please of Madame and her husband. Their exchanges are glittering. Their home life so like I imagined mine would be long-ago when I thought of being married, before reality crept in. And, Monk! No spoilers for those who haven’t read these. But every stage of his home life is fascinating. More, please!

More of the Story–i.e. a Sequel



These are just three of the books I’d like sequels to–I wrote an entire Top Ten Tuesday post on this topic–click here to read it.

I so want Hilary McKay to write the “grown up” story of the Casson’s marriage. Darling Bill has such a fascinating life. Eve is so patient. I want to know this marriage from both sides! I want this so badly I’ve sent her a direct Twitter message to beg!


More Food–as in real recipes!



The food page for the Chief Inspector Gamache series is really sad. Gabri’s food is so amazing–as is Madame’s. I want to taste it. Where for instance is that cauliflower and Stilton soup with date and pear relish?? And that wedding cake in City Baker’s Guide! Bring it on, baby! I want real recipes!


Sorry, I couldn’t come up with the full 10 today!


Do you enjoy lists like this? Then join in Top Ten Tuesday each week at the Broke and the Bookish–where you can check out all of this week’s lists.


Top Ten Tuesday: Coffee Table Books I Want to Own


Over at The Broke and The Bookish, they slated “Visuals” for this week. Well, what can be more visual than a beautiful coffee table book full of lush photographs or beautiful works of art. Here are the twelve I’d most like to own. Yes, twelve–you get two bonus books. Like Ginzu knives on late-night tv ads only beautiful. Links are  below the whole collage of photos.



The Top Ten

Great Houses

Scotland Castles and Clans

Exuberant Calalog of Dreams

Curated House

Gentleman’s Farm

de Laszlo




Drawing Room

Two Bonus Books


Gilded New York


Why not post your own Top Ten today or next Tuesday? It’s simple. The topics are all listed at The Broke and The Bookish. You can see all of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday lists here.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Remember Noting About (but Have Read)



Today’s Top  Ten Tuesday is a Freebie Week! I’ve kept a reading log, on and off, for most of my adult life. I have several of these still, so I know I did actually read these titles! I just can’t tell you anything about them.



Some of these were read in desperation in the Peace Corps (1989–1991)–back before there was t.v. in the region and when a trip to the library took a bus or mini bus and miles of walking. Others were read before I was ready for them. Some were just read and, well, not memorable.



Do you enjoy this sort of book list? Join the fun of Top Ten Tuesday each week at the Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2016


Every year there are great-sounding books that just slip thru the cracks. No time. Not available at the library. Arrives at the library at the same time as too many others. Whatever. Here are a few of the titles I meant to read in 2016.

Short Stories



Since before there were Reading Challenges, I’ve tried to make myself read a wide variety of materials. Short stories are my nemisis. To me they’re either too long or too short. I prefer regular book length stories, aka novels. This is my next short story collection–whenever I get to it. A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin.









I’ve loved the other two books by Backman that I’ve read so I really intended to get to this one as well in 2016.

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman.









I actually had this in my hands, but didn’t get to listen to it in time–there are other people waiting on it. So, I slipped it in the book drop this morning. I request it again. I loved The Snow Child  [you can read my review here] so was very anxious to get to this one. I misread the due date or I’d have listened to it first thing.

To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey









This one I’m very excited about. I really want to make time for it. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.










I’ve read so much on the Royal Family that the new show the Crown was disappointing. I’m holding my breath on the new Victoria which is why I put off reading this.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin.







I’m not much for Christian novels, unless they are written by Jody Hedlund or Lynn Austin. This year Jody Hedlund released a novel about the author or the hymn “Amazing Grace.” I so want to read it as well as another of hers that I’ve not gotten to about Martin Luther–Luther and Katrina.





It’s too important to be informed. The international refugee crisis–that in Europe and elsewhere is screaming for our attention. I will be reading this one in 2017.

Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis.









I had this and started it, but I was too slow and there were people waiting. I’d like to get this in audio.

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.







Then there is the stack of books I bought in 2016 and haven’t even opened……..



See all of this week’s great Top Ten Tuesday lists at the Broke and the Bookish.






Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I’d Like Santa to Leave Me


Just a friendly reminder: I made no money if you click. The links are for your convenience only.





This one I just discussed (again) in a post last week. Defying the Nazis: The Sharp’s War






I found this one today in an excellent Book Riot post on small press books of the year. Can’t wait to read it. So much about this story appeals to me, not the least of which is the location: Mozambique. I lived “next door” in Malawi. The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Pauline Chizinane.





persiaI love cookbooks. I love to cook, love to read about food–especially food from other cultures. Before the internet and Pinterest, I loved to check out exotic cookbooks from the library and try interesting dishes–at least those for which I could find the ingredients. Now I have one of Cincinnati’s treasures, Jungle Jim’s, right on my way home. Each year I try a few new exotic dishes thanks to having this store so close by. I’ve read several memoirs and novels set in the cultures covered by this book as well, so it would be even more meaningful. Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid.




This morning’s look at the New York Times book reviews introduced me to a new crime series that sounds well worth it. Hopefully I can find it on audio for my commute. Series fiction is a Godsend for long commutes. Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae.








I also hope this one is out in audio. I love the sound of nearly all of it! The Bookseller’s Tale by Ann Swinfen







I usually read at least one nature or natural history book per year. This fits the bill perfectly. A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm by Dave Goulson.








This one has been on my t0-read list since it was published. Time to finally read it I think. The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de  Waal.






This one will be tricky–it isn’t out until February! Still, notice of pre-order would be a super gift! I was a Russian and East European Studies major. This year there are several new books out for the Russian Revolution’s Centenary. Lots of good history to re-enjoy. Caught in the Revolution by Helen Rappaport.





I recently read a book about expatriate life in Iceland, so Greenland is a natural next read.This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland by Gretel Ehlrich







Finally, I really would like to find a lovely, hardbound copy of Tolkein’s Letters From Father Christmas, which I reviewed late last week in this post.


Stop by The Broke and the Bookish and check out all of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday posts! Our, better yet, join in and post your own list!

Top Ten Tuesday: New To Me Authors in 2016


I was surprised at home many new authors I had read this year. Some are already going to be on-going favorites.


Julie Murphy

Book review


Emily Humphreys

Book review


Eowyn Ivey

Book review


Phaedra Patrick

Book review


Brittany Cavallaro

Book review


Jeffrey Archer

Book review


David Arnold

Book review


Heather W. Petty

Book review

Graeme Simsion

Book review one, Book review two

See all the Top Ten Tuesday lists at

The Broke and The Bookish