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.
Favorite Couples & Favorite Dynamic Duos and Trios

This week’s prompt is dynamic duos. Um … If I were a comic book reader, this prompt would be so easy. Unfortunately, I’m not so I’m changing the prompt a little bit. Instead of just dynamic duos, I’m listing my favorite couples and my favorite dynamic duos and trios. Here are my top ten:

Harry, Ron, and Hermione: I can’t help it. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are my favorite trio. I love them and I love all that they do and accomplish in the seven books. I love how they help each other and I love who ends up with who. It’s perfect and no changes nor Cursed Child are necessary.

Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee: I could probably list all the duos in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but Frodo and Sam are my favorite. In fact, Dumbledore, Atticus Finch, and Sam are my three favorite literary characters of all-time. I think Sam is the real hero of The Lord of the Rings, but I love his friendship with Frodo and how much he helps Frodo deliver the ring to Mordor.

Liesel and Rudy: I loved THE BOOK THIEF. I loved its message. I loved the way it was told. So many feels. Markus Zusak is a master of words. The moment Liesel and Rudy meet, they’re perfect together.

Lyra and Pantalaimon: I love the concept of dæmons in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I love Lyra and Pan’s bond. I cried for them for what they had to go through in THE AMBER SPYGLASS. I can’t imagine what it would be like to do what they did, even though they’re fictional characters.

Jace and Clary: Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series is one of my favorite series. I love all the mythology, theology, adventure, and romance thrown into these stories. I love her characters so much. She has such a talent for writing stories that grab you from the first page.

Will, Jem, and Tessa: Clare’s The Infernal Devices trilogy is also one of my favorite series. I love the historical fiction element of this trilogy. This is one of only two trilogies in which I think the love triangle is done right and make sense. The other one is The Hunger Games.

Anna Oliphant and Étienne St. Clair: ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is my favorite contemporary romance. I love Anna and Étienne. Stephanie Perkins knows how to write swoony romance. The sexual tension between these two is palpable and it’s so fun to read. What I love more than their sexual tension is their friendship. They’re just good together in every way.

Henry and Kate: A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that EDENBROOKE by Julianne Donaldson has my favorite kiss in all of bookdom. Her other book, BLACKMOORE has my favorite friends-to-lovers story (if you don’t count ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, which I don’t since they weren’t friends as kids like Henry and Kate were). I love Henry and Kate. Their friendship is awesome and watching them fall in love, or realizing that they love each other, is a lot of fun to read.

Vasya and Morozko: If you’ve read The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden, then you know why Vasya and Morozko are on my list. The books are a wonderful mingling of fiction with 14th-century Russian history. I adored the medieval Russian setting at the time when pagan beliefs and Christianity clashed, not knowing which would overtake the other, rather than both trying to coexist together peaceably.

Charlotte and Wilbur: If you know me IRL, then you know I hate spiders. HATE them. I have severe arachnophobia. I had to read CHARLOTTE’S WEB by covering all the pictures of Charlotte, and the ending with all her babies flying through the air was enough to give me nightmares. Still is. But, I love her friendship with Wilbur. I love what she did for him. And, yes, the ending (other than the flying baby spiders ) made me cry.

What about you? Who are your favorite couples and/or friends? Did you do dynamic duos or did you change the prompt like I did?

I’ve been learning in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

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 too Good to Review Properly

This week’s prompt is hard! There are books I’ve read where I felt like I didn’t have the words to review them properly. Or, to review them, you’d have to litter the review with spoilers, which most people don’t want. Hmmm. Here are my top ten 12 books that are too good to review properly:

Most of the reason I chose these books is because I can’t properly convey how much I love them without giving too much away. For example, when I first read TWILIGHT, I knew nothing about it. Nothing. I also didn’t read the dust jacket or the back cover, so I didn’t know anything about Edward Cullen. Let that sink in for a minute. If I could introduce TWILIGHT to a newbie, it would be the same way I read it, completely unsuspecting anything. Of course, that’s hard to do now unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 16.5 years.

I don’t think I ever do the book justice. I’ve decided that my reason for reviewing a book isn’t to recommend or not recommend a book to someone else. It’s simply to state if I liked it or not. Based on that, others can decided if they want to read the book as well.

What about you? Which books do you think are too good to review properly? Do we have any in common?

I’ve been learning in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

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 with the Best Kisses

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is a freebie, preferably something to do with love. If you know me IRL, then you know I’m all about the kissing. The more kissing the better. Perfect topic for this week! Here are my top ten books with the best kisses in them:

I know I said the more kissing the better and normally that’s true. EDENBROOKE, however, has my favorite kiss in all of bookdom:

“He crossed the room to me and grabbed me by the shoulders. In three steps, he had me backed up against a bookcase. Before I could do more than catch my breath, he took my face in his hands and kissed me.

“I had never really been kissed before. But I did not need experience to know that Philip’s kiss was, in a word, devastating. His lips were firm and insistent, gentle and caressing. His fingers threaded in my hair, holding my head exactly how he wanted it while he kissed me one way, then another, until I trembled in his arms.”

It keeps going, but you get the idea. Julianne Donaldson knows what she’s doing when it comes to writing swoony romance. Why is this my favorite? I love the imagery of Philip crossing the room and backing Marianne up against a bookcase. And, if I put Tom Hiddleston in the place of Philip, it makes it that much better. (If you don’t like Tom Hiddleston, insert your favorite Brit in his place.)

What about you? Which books with the best kisses would be on your list?

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 with Names in the Title

I’m not going to lie. This prompt stumped me a little bit. It’s obvious it means books like Harry Potter. The only problem is have I read any books recently with names in the title or are they all 15+ years old? Here are my top ten books with names in the title:

I think the most recent book on my list is MY LADY JANE as I still haven’t read the other two in the companion series. I also haven’t read any of the other books in The Lunar Chronicles yet.

What about you? Which books with names in the title are on your list? Do we have any in common?

I’ve been learning in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

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.
New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021

I only read 12 books last year and four of them were rereads. That means, at the most, I could’ve only discovered eight new-to-me authors in 2021, which I did. However, I didn’t like all of the new-to-me books/authors I read. Here are my top five and one honorable mention new-to-me authors I discovered in 2021:

Beth O’Leary: THE FLATSHARE was my favorite book of 2021. I absolutely adored it. I loved Tiffy and her eccentricity and Leon and his quiet, sweet personality. The notes they wrote each other were the best. I laughed and smiled all throughout this book. Their romance was heartwarming and a treat to read. I also enjoyed the heavier themed aspects of THE FLATSHARE, especially what Tiffy dealt with. It felt very real and plausible.

Leigh Bardugo: I really enjoyed reading NINTH HOUSE. I’ve always been interested in secret societies like Skull and Bones at Yale. When I heard about NINTH HOUSE, I knew I had to read it. I loved this gritty tale of magic and murder among college students. I really like Alex and I have high hopes about her and a certain someone in the rest of the series. I was blown away at what Bardugo accomplished with the story and where it leads for the next book.

George Takei: Reading about George Takei and his family’s experience in THEY CALLED US ENEMY was very eye opening and heart wrenching. Even with what I was “taught” or read about in school about the Japanese internment during WWII, I didn’t know most of what Japanese Americans went through in these camps. It’s so disheartening that humans are capable of treating other humans like this simply because of their race and nationality.

Emmanuel Acho: I read UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A BLACK MAN. Acho doesn’t pull any punches as he discusses race, Black culture, and racism in a very open and sometimes uncomfortable conversation with his readers. I thought Acho’s words were eye opening and they gave me a lot to think about. If more white people were willing to sit down and read his words, maybe we could actually learn from our mistakes and end racism and bias once and for all.

Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD: I’m glad I read BIASED via audio book as Dr. Eberhardt reads her own book and was a fantastic reader. She was very engaging to listen to. She came across as genuine as she had experienced some of the discrimination she wrote about herself. I thought the information on implicit bias was very interesting. I think the information in BIASED is important for people (read white people) to learn, especially in today’s political climate.

Honorable Mention (sort of)
  • Rachel Hawkins: I also read THE WIFE UPSTAIRS. I didn’t like it very much. I only gave it two stars. However, I’m willing to give her another shot as I haven’t read her Hex Hall series yet and I really want to.

What about you? Which new-to-you authors did you discover in 2021? Do we have any in common?