Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Books I Meant to Read in 2023

I have quite a few books I wanted to read last year. Unfortunately, life happened and I didn’t get to very many. Here are my top ten books I meant to read in 2023 but didn’t get the chance:

What about you? Which books did you mean to read in 2023 but didn’t get the chance? Do we have any in common?

P.S. Please forgive me if I don’t return your comment until tomorrow or Thursday. Today and tomorrow are a little busy for me. Thanks!

My IRL book club met this past Wednesday to discuss January’s book, which was REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES by Shelby Van Pelt. There were 11 of us that met and only one person hadn’t read the book. Here are some highlights of our discussion:

  • Almost all of us loved it, each of us giving it a rating of 4 or 5 stars on Goodreads. The person who didn’t “love” it still rated it 4 stars.
    • She didn’t “love” it because she didn’t have all the feels like the rest of us.
    • She also thought Marcellus wasn’t necessary to the plot while the rest of us thought he was the best part of the story.
  • Most of us were a little leery about reading a book from an octopus’ POV, but Marcellus quickly won us over.
  • I commented that Marcellus reminded me a bit of Hank from FINDING DORY.
  • One person said she wanted more from the ending. View Spoiler »
  • Some of us compared REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES to something written by Fredrik Backman. Both authors can draw you right in to the story and characters, even the unlikeable ones.
  • View Spoiler »
  • A few of us mentioned that Shelby Van Pelt has a lot to live up to with her next book.
  • A couple of people recommended we watch MY OCTOPUS TEACHER on Netflix. It’s a documentary about a common octopus and her friendship with the videographer.

I love that REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES has a lot of meat to it. It garnered a great discussion. Even though we all rated it pretty high, there were other things to talk about.

Next month’s book is BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry. I’m very excited to read it. I’ve heard a lot of great things.

Have you read REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES? If so, what do you think about my book club’s discussion?

Sunday Post and Sunday Salon are blog news memes hosted at Caffeinated Reviewer and Reader Buzz, respectively. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and other things.
Feeling

I’m feeling excited. I signed up for a 15-week writing workshop that starts on Tuesday. I hope it’s a good one and I like the teacher and projects.

Blogging

Here’s what I posted on the blog this week:

Reading

I actually finished reading REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES by Shelby Van Pelt on Monday instead of Sunday. I started BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry yesterday.

I’ve had a lot of time to listen to THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES audiobook this week and I’ve made quite a bit of progress on it.

Listening

I’ve been listening to “I Want to Know What Love Is” this week, not by choice. Don’t get me wrong. I really like the song. It’s just been playing in my head on a non-stop loop. I can’t seem to shake it no matter what I do.

Watching

Corey and I started watching Hulu’s new DEATH AND OTHER DETAILS with Mandy Patinkin and Violett Beane. So far, we really like it. I can’t wait for a new episode tomorrow night.

I started watching the new season of Kids Baking Championship on Discovery+. It’s one of my yearly favorites. As of now, I don’t have a favorite kid.

Loving

I love my book club. We had a really great discussion surrounding REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES. I’ll be posting a spoiler-free recap of our discussion tomorrow.

Wanting

I want some Ghirardelli peppermint bark it’s seasonal and no longer available. #firstworldproblems

Needing

I need to go grocery shopping this week. It’s been a while and we’re running low on food. I don’t know why Corey and I wait so long between shopping runs, lol.

How was your week? Anything exciting happen?

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme that was originally created and hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books in March 2010. As of February 2013, it’s hosted by Billy at Coffee Addicted Writer.
Today’s Question(s) is …

Have you ever loved a book that everyone else hated or hated a book that everyone else loved?

My Answer(s) is …

Yes. I love Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, especially BREAKING DAWN. I know I’m not the only one but since it’s practically in fashion now to hate the series, I had to mention it.

I loathe ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell. I think it’s boring and I hate that he used animals. I also dislike satire in general. I also loathe THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by JD Salinger because there’s absolutely no point to the story. And, I despise both ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS by Lewis Carroll because the stories are discombobulated nonsense.

What about you? Have you ever loved or hated a book that everyone else hated or loved?

Review: Remarkably Bright CreaturesTitle: Remarkably Bright Creatures
Author: Shelby Van Pelt
Genre(s): Contemporary
Pages: 360
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
Sexual Content: 0.5 Flames

Goodreads Amazon

There's a trigger warning for this book. See Trigger Warning section at end of review for more details.
Goodreads Synopsis

After Tova Sullivan works the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up, as a way to cope with her husband's recent passing and the disappearance of her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, over thirty years ago. She becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors--until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.

My Thoughts

My IRL book club chose to read REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES for our January book. I’m so glad we chose it. Otherwise, I might never have read it and I absolutely adored this book.

As soon as I started reading REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES, I could tell it was going to suck me right in. I laughed, I cried, and I mostly smiled as I read this heart-warming story of love, loss, grief, and resilience.

“Not my fault I was dealt a shitty hand.”
“No, the deal is never anyone’s fault. But you control the way you play.”

REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES is mostly told in a third-person limited POV and a charming first-person POV from Marcellus, the octopus, the star of the book. Marcellus is smart, snarky, a little bit cranky, and a delightful narrator. I especially loved his friendship with Tova, the main human character. Their friendship reminds us, not in a preachy way, that animals know more than they let on and they each have feelings and deserve our kindness and respect.

Besides Marcellus, I loved the cast of characters in REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES. Tova is such a likable person despite being a bit closed off because of her grief. She reminded me a bit of my own grandmother whose family, like Tova’s, immigrated to the US while she was very young.

When I finished REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES, I promptly rated it 5 stars on Goodreads. I’m still in awe that this is Van Pelt’s debut and I think her next book has a lot to live up to. I’ll keep a look out for it, though, and make sure it goes straight to the top of my TBR.

Have you read REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES? If so, what did you think?

Trigger Warning

There is a trigger warning for loss of a parent, loss of a child, and loss of a spouse.