Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books We Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To


Usually, when I get to year’s end without reading something it comes down to two things:

  1. Time to do print reading (actual books or e-books)
  2. The title isn’t available thru my vast library system on some version of audio

With that said, here then are the ten books I was looking forward to but never managed to read or listen to in 2017.



What books do you regret not getting to in 2017? You can see what others have listed by checking out all of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday lists at the Broke and the Bookish.




Top Ten Tuesday: 10 of my Favorite Books in 2017–Fiction


Every year I choose a “Must Read Book” to recommend to everyone for the coming year. It’s my favorite book from the current year. I’m not revealing that ONE book here, but here are ten of my favorites. Today’s list has 10 novels.



Do you enjoy book lists or book memes? Why not join the fun with Top Ten Tuesday each week?  Here’s a link to the rules. You can read all of this week’s great lists here. Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting it each week.


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR


Here are a few of the books I’m anxiously awaiting between now and the start of Spring.  This list is nearly all historical fiction. I haven’t found a good list of all genres so these will suffice for today. Can you guess the two I’m most looking forward to?


Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish each week. You can read more about it here. Or, you can read this week’s lists here.

Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders


  1. Mila!


Like Moses parting the waters, it took only one word from super-toddler Mila to quiet an entire preschool! Move over Eloise! This girl is the real deal.


2. Flora Poste



2. Flora Poste  from Cold Comfort Farm–if she can sort out that mess, she could deal with Congress! Now if she could just find out what the nasty thing was that happened in the woodshed. My review.





3. Crumpet



3.  Crumpet the Elf in Santa Land by David Sedaris. This is the piece that MADE David Sedaris. I remember howling with laughter in my office the morning it was originally braodcast. It’s a Christmas Classic at my house! Here’s the link to the ORIGINAL broadcast.




4. Morticia


She’d never hog the spotlight–she prefers the dark. She’s got the wardrobe nailed. And, her husband adores her! Perfect next POTUS.






5. Mummy-Ji



Chubby, middle-aged Vish Puri solves crimes without realizing that his beloved Mummy-Ji helps lead him to the solutions.  She is brilliant. Vish Puri by Tarquin Hall.





6. Ruth Zardo




The Grumpy Cat of Three Pines, poet Ruth Zardo, whose best friend is a duck is profane, annoying, insane and loveable. She’d be an awesome leader–like the dictator in a dystopian series!




7. Bernadette



Bernadette is spot on in her “take” a Seattle’s upper-upper class parents–and on life today.  This lady is a “cut-the-crap” Queen who could take charge and put people in their place.






8. Miss Clavel




Anyone who can get 12 little girls to march around in two straight lines has to be a leader! Yes, yes, then there  is Madeline….ok.. 11 little girls. Still….. There’s always a loose canon, right?  Miss Clavel from Madeline




9. and 10. Grace and Frankie





If these two oversaw the White House and the Senate we’d get things done! Not done to please everyone, but DONE. And their ex-husbands are adorable. I love this show! Grace and Frankie.




Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish each week.  You can read more about it here. Or, you can read this week’s lists here.



Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Unique Book Titles


This week’s topic: Top Ten Unique Book Titles.


1. A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka. This book is a fun account of an older man falling for a much younger immigrant woman who is searching for wealth in Britain. It is hilarious in places and funny throughout.

2. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl For some reason I did not review it either here or on Goodreads,  but gave it 4 stars in my reading log.

3. In the Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda. Here’s my review from my old blog:

In the Sea There are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda I didn’t know what to think of this, but ended up marveling at this boy’s survival instinct. Makes me cringe when I think of the silly stuff we American parents “worry” about happening to our kids–like bad grades, not being picked for the team or having to eat nutrition-free school lunches. This young man, even though this is a fictionalized account of his life, is a ROLE MODEL. And his mother DID know what she was doing–she gave him LIFE for ever, not for the short selfish term.

4. All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg. Here’s my review from my old blog:

If you grew up in the late 60s and early 70s likely you remember Fannie Flagg trading wise cracks with Gene Rayburn, Brett Summers and Charles Nelson Riley on the The Match Game. Well, today, she’s the author of a great slew of novels. The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion tells the story of the SPARS–women who ferried planes to US Army Air Corps bases during World War II. It’s also the story of identity and what it means to be “me” and “us.” This little gem is interesting, fun and well worth your time in every way. And, please, somebody play me the “Aw Jeese, You Bet Polka.” The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg.

5. Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stranger-Ross. Here’s my review from my old blog:

I’ve long been fascinated by all types of fundamentalism, regardless of the political or religious creed the espouse. Sima’s Undergarments for Women is set in a mostly Orthodox and Hassidic Jewish neighborhood in New York. As the title indicates, Sima sells lingerie–the real stuff that real women wear daily. She fits bras perfectly–altering them when necessary. [Yes, I learned a lot!] The story intermingles her struggle to have children with that of the young woman she takes under her wing as a sort of surrogate daughter. Her stale marriage, a friend’s glorious marriage, all get worked into the story. Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross.

6. Gonzales and Daughter Trucking Company by Maria Amparo Escandon. Read my review.

7. Why Can’t Somebody Just Die Around Here? by Gerhard Marocher Read my review.

8. Dark Ferret Society and Rise of the Narcoleptic Turtles by Emily Humphreys. Read my review. YA Fans, check out this great series!

9.  Ginger, You’re Barmy by David Lodge. Read this one years ago in the Peace Corps.

10. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. Read my review.


If you’d like to play along and post your own Top Ten Tuesday list, join the link-up at The Broke and The Bookish each week. Here are the rules. You can read all of this week’s great lists here.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Yummy Foods Mentioned in Books



This week’s topic: Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books. I’m taking this to mean books that aren’t foodie non-fiction.  And, I’m not even counting how many such “foods” I mention!

Two of my favorite book series for sheer food delight are Jan Karon’s Mitford and Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series.  Probably because I am currently listening to the newest book, the food of Mitford is on my mind! And, there’s an actual published cookbook of all the great Mitford food.

The OMC–the Orange Marmalade Cake. This is the one that nearly kills Father Tim–it’s that sweet! But boy does it sound fabulous!   Puny’s Cornbread and her Macaroni and Cheese!n the newest books, Dooley’s Deep Dish Pizza, always makes me want someThose Vanilla Muffins from the cookbook–I copied the recipe years ago from the library’s copy of the cookbook. We LOVE them.  While the OMC, Puny’s Cornbread and, who could forget it? liver mush are about the most mentioned, food plays a big role in this series as people gather together or live out ordinary lives or drop something off to comfort a neighbor. And it is all great-sounding Southern American food although they’ve eased up on the deep frying.


Scrambled eggs with brie. I don’t even really enjoy scrambled eggs but I bet brie would help the flavor a lot! Duck, Brie, and Fig Confit Sandwich –my mouth waters every time this is mentioned! Parsnip and Apple Soup with a Drizzle of Walnut-Infused Oil YUM!!!  Admit it, they had you, too, at the “drizzle,” right? Then there’s the chocolate-covered blueberries from The Beautiful Mystery.… swoon. Heck, I’d even take a Tim Horton’s doughnut!

Although it does not offer ALL the recipes, The Nature of the Feast can be downloaded here to help you enjoy Gabri’s wonderful meals.


Just about anything in the City Baker’s Guide to Country Living–including even the crock of Boston Baked Beans served with Brown Bread “spackled’ with real butter!


That subscription required, one-off dinner. All of it. Everything! Kitchens of the Great Midwest.

Top Ten Tuesday is held weekly at The Broke and the Bookish. Here is the link to the rules. 

You can read all of this week’s lists here.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Autumnal Covers


This week’s topic: Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes (If the cover screams fall to you, or the books give off a feeling of being Fall-ish)



Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost The cover just says “Fall in New England,” right? Love his work.

Keeping a Nature Journal In the fall I love to be outside and see the changing colors, feel the crisp cool air and, above all, rake leaves. I’ve never had so many trees that it was a burden, though, so don’t call me insane for that! So many happy memories raking leaves with my late Keeshund beside me. I also have great memories of “drawing” hikes with my kids inspired by this book. We’d take sketch books and colored pencils and go to a park and hike. Finally we’d decide on a place to sit and draw. That their drawings were much better than mine was always a confidence booster for them–and I wasn’t faking my no talent!

Freckles A Hoosier (Indiana) classic, by early-20th Century best-selling author, Gene Stratton Porter, this book is one of her Limberlost tales.

Headmaster’s Wife Here is my review from my old blog:
 “‘Do you have children?….Now imagine if, just to spite you, they do the exact opposite with their lives from what you hope they will.‘” (p. 107). 

Usually a story told in  non-linear fashion gets annoying to me–not so this time. There IS a method to the madness and it is to tell a very griping story. This books was MESMERIZING. I had to ration it–it had that great a hold on me.  In the last part f#-! became his go-to word and it cheapened the book unnecessarily, even if it was meant to convey the changing times or something else . That’s a very minor detraction though, from what is truly a work of art. The author is a gifted storyteller. I hope to read many more books by him.[NOTE: without spoilers I will say there is an event that, when taken out of context, may upset some readers.] 

October Sky (aka Rocket Boys)  My son and I both enjoy this book–and the wonderful movie adaptation, in spite of a crucial change. in the movie

Cold Sassy Tree There is so much to “love’ in this book about when Miss Love Simpson comes to town! Look out Will Tweedy! The movie is equally delightful.

Mayflower Thanksgiving is pretty darned Autumnal and this book’s cover has the look of an eerie late Fall day.

At Home in Mitford

Mitford is one of my favorite fiction series. Father Tim, Cynthia, and all the rest of the town are marvelous. Plus there are two adoption stories in here to warm my adoptive-Mom’s heart.

A Separate Peace

This was my favorite assigned reading in high school. I loved it even more than the Rocking Hhorse Winner (D.H. Lawrence). I think it may be the reason some older parents named boys Phin/Finn in the 1990’s and early 2000’s (I imagine there’s something newer that explains the rest of the name’s popularity).

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

How could we have Fall or Halloween without this one? Not possible for those of us in it’s first generation of fans.

Visit the Broke and the Bookish for all of this week’s posts!

And now, enjoy a seasonal classic…..





Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on my Fall To Read List


Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List




Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford. I simply LOVE his books and can’t wait for this one!

To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon. I’ve loved all of the Mitford books and I’m sure I will enjoy this one just as much.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles. First of all, thanks to The Last Word Book Review blog for alerting me to this book. American readers please note–this is a UK release. It is not yet available in the USA. The link is to Amazon’s UK site, hence the UK spelling of traveling.

The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper. This just arrived. I’ll be starting it soon and, if I finish it, I’ll review it.

George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl. I love Nancy Pearl. She’s the only librarian with her own action figure! I just got this one so I’ll be reviewing it soon if I finish it.

Caroline: Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller. Little House–enough said.

The Address by Fiona Davis. A novel about New York’s famed Dakota? Sure!

Christmas in London. Because…well.. London!


Gilded Suffragists: The New York Socialites Who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote by Johanna Newman

Last of the Tsars: Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution by Robert Service. I read nearly everything that comes out on the Romanovs.


Top Ten Tuesday is held each week at The Broke and The Bookish. You can check out the details here. Or, you can read this week’s posts here.

Top Ten Tuesday: Throwback Freebie: 10 Books I Loved From the Early 20th Century


This week’s topic is: Throwback Freebie: Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog, Favorite Books Published 5 or 10 or 15 Years Ago, Ten Older Books I Forgot How Much I Loved, etc. etc. Tweak however you want!



1900    Alice of Old Vincennes by Maurice Thompson

1905    Diary from Dixie by Mary Chestnut

1906    The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

1908    Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

1909 Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter

1910    Twenty Years at Hull House by Jane Addams

1911    Peter Pan (And Wendy) by J.M.Barrie

1912  Yosemite by John Muir

1913  Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

1916    Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher



You can read the complete list of my Books Read by Year from the 20th Century here.


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted weekly at the Broke and the Bookish. You can read all about it here. Check out all of this week’s great posts here.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I Struggled With


Ten Books I Struggled to Get Into But Ended Up Loving or Ten Books That Were A Chore To Get Through or Ten Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down (the theme is…books you had a hard time with…tweak it how ever you need).

The Ones I Kept at and Ended up Glad I Did



Several times on Twitter I’ve read comments about giving up on Beartown. I gave it a little thought, but I’m very, very glad I stayed with it. Here’s the post on why I loved it.





I ended up liking this book in spite of a few difficult moments. You can read my full review here.






The Ones I Wished I’d Tossed Back, But Didn’t




I’m a fan of Lisa See’s, but this one….. My review.







No matter what the critics said, it just wasn’t for me. My review.







I so wish I’d listened to my inner-reader’s voice and tossed this back. I tried it in both print and audio and DID finish it. Here’s my review.

The Ones I Gave up on and Didn’t Look Back


I gave this one a SECOND chance! But SPOILER!! When a victim of incest has to make her own “organic” condom and justifies enduring the abuse to pay for her education…..AND that wasn’t even a NAZI atrocity (the book is about Nazi treatment of non-Jews the Third Reich didn’t want)…. I threw it back. I wanted to hurl it out the window and keep driving, but it was a library copy.  Who decides that stuff like this “adds” to a story?

I had a variety of reasons for throwing these three back. You can read my post on “why” here.




The adults whining got too much for me. I didn’t bother with a review. I’ll give her work another try though. It just wasn’t the right story for me at that moment.





Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by the Broke and the Bookish. Why not join in the fun?