Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m constantly branching out and finding new authors to read.  2022 wasn’t any exception.

1. Deanna Raybourn. Her book Killers of a Certain Age was such a fun read. Plus, you’ve got to love a book about four 60-year-old female assassins, right?

2. Sangu Maandanna. I borrowed The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches from the library on a whim. Such a cute book.

3. Markus Sakey. I’d had his book Afterlife on my TBR for a couple of years. I finally gave in and read it last year and his take on what happens after we die was fantastic.

4. Helen Monks Takhar. Such a Good Mother is a great story about motherhood and all the trials that come with it. Some mothers will honestly do anything for their children.

5. Ali Hazelwood. She’s become extremely popular over the last couple of years, so I indulged in Love on the Brain. Loved the mix of humor and science.

6. Isabel Cañas. The Hacienda had been presented as horror but ended up being more gothic suspense in the end. Either way, it was a very atmospheric and creepy novel.

7. Mindy Quigley. I snatched up the ARC for Six Feet Deep Dish because I a) love cozies and b) have a thing for pizza. Turns out it was a good choice. I’m eagerly awaiting the next in this cute series.

8. Jessie Q. Sutanto. I’d seen Dial A for Aunties on so many Top Ten Tuesday posts that I had to read it for myself. Tons of fun even if I did feel like I was about to have a panic attack at times – too many close calls, aunties!

9. Misha Popp. as I said in #7, I’m a big fan of cozy mysteries, especially when they’re food themed. I picked up the ARC for Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies around the same time I grabbed Six Feet Deep Dish. Yeah, I probably was hungry at the time, why do you ask? I really enjoyed the bit of magic that Misha Popp wove into Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies. Can’t wait to see where the series goes.

10. S. A. Cosby. Razorblade Tears was probably the toughest book I read in 2022. It’s both violent, angry, and heartbreaking at the same time. But it was absolutely worth it.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2023


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

 

1. Encourage more people to sign up to become reviewers for Long and Short Reviews. I’ve convinced a few friends join, and they’ve all had a wonderful time discovering new authors and sharpening their writing skills. If you’d like to help me reach this goal, all of the details on how to join can be found on the Become a Reviewer page. Tell them that Astilbe sent you.

2. Whittle down my TBR list. As a lot of you, I’d guess, I have so many books on there that I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t quite gotten around to picking up yet.

3. Reread old favorites this winter. There’s something comforting about knowing exactly what will happen next and spending time with beloved characters.

4. Discover some great new anthologies, especially if they’re in the mystery or speculative fiction genres.

5. Listen to more audiobooks. They’re especially helpful when you’re doing mundane, repetitive tasks like shoveling snow or doing household chores that require the use of your body but not necessarily your mind.

6. Play fewer games on my cellphone. There’s nothing wrong with gaming, of course, but I find it’s cutting into my reading time and would like to readjust my priorities.

7. Alternatively, maybe I could find some literary or bookish games to play on my phone?

8. Read a romance novel. I rarely venture into that genre, but I have found a few titles in it that I truly enjoyed.

9. Try some non-gory horror again. This pandemic has squelched most of my interest in the genre, but maybe now I’ll be ready to give it a shot as long as it isn’t related to disease in any way.

10. Visit the physical branch of my local library again. I miss making friendly small talk with the nice librarians there.

 

If you have any book or game suggestions for me based on these goals, I’d sure like to hear them.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2023


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

All of these books sound like they’ll be good reads this winter and spring.

 

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries (Emily Wilde, #1) by Heather Fawcett

Why I’m Curious About It: Faeries are eternally interesting, especially when contemporary characters seek them out.

 

 

The Black Queen  by Jumata Emill

Release Date: January 31

Why I’m Curious About It: Stuff like homecoming and prom were unappealing to me when in high school, but I am fascinated by people who are into these things.

 

 

Central Places by Delia Cai

Release Date: January 31

Why I’m Curious About It: There can be all sorts of long-term effects, both positive and negative, of moving far away from the small town one grew up in and not following the life script that those who stayed behind stuck with. I love the fact this is being addressed here.

 

 

She Is a Haunting  by Trang Thanh Tran

Release Date: February 28

Why I’m Curious About It: What’s better than a haunted house story at the end of winter when everything feels kind of dead and spooky anyway?

 

 

The Crane Husband  by Kelly Barnhill

Release Date: February 28

Why I’m Curious About It: The Crane Wife is one of those fairy tales just obscure enough that I haven’t seen any other retellings of it. Here’s hoping this one encourages others to rewrite it, too.

 

 

Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury

Release Date: February 28

Why I’m Curious About It: As you’ve noticed, I love haunted house stories. It’s hard to say no to just one more of them.

 

 

Lies We Sing to the Sea  by Sarah Underwood

Release Date: March 7

Why I’m Curious About It: The Odyssey is one of those classics I’ve never read. Maybe this retelling of a small part of it will encourage me to finally read the original?

 

 

Flowerheart by Catherine Bakewell

Release Date:  March 14

Why I’m Curious About It: I like the cottagecore aesthetic but have yet to see a contemporary book based on it.

 

 

The Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores

Release Date: March 21

Why I’m Curious About It: I’ve talked about my love of retellings in previous Top Ten Tuesday posts, so this queer Rapunzel retelling was at the top of my list for this post.

 

 

Spin  by Rebecca Caprara

Release Date: March 28

Why I’m Curious About It: For the same reason I’d like to read Lies We Sing to the Sea. The myth of Arachne isn’t something I know a lot about either.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Winter 2022-2023 To-Read List


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Here are ten books scheduled to be released this winter that I’d like to read.

The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim

Publication Date: January 3

Why It Interests Me: It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

 

Organizing for the Rest of Us by Dana K. White

Publication Date: January 11

Why It Interests Me: I love the idea of having an organized house, but the actual process of figuring out how to organize things makes me feel anxious and overwhelmed. Maybe this book can help?

 

This Is Not a Personal Statement by Tracy Badua

Publication Date: January 17

Why It Interests Me: Dreams don’t always come true…or at least not in the way one thinks they will. My ears perked up when the blurb mentioned this begins after the main character’s application to attend her dream college was rejected. it will be interesting to see what adventures she has as she figures out what to do instead.

 

Someone Else’s Life by Lyn Liao Butler

Publication Date: January 17

Why It Interests Me: Stalking is such an interesting (albeit disturbing) topic. I hope this will be a good exploration of what encourages someone to behave that way.

 

Transitional: How to Live Your Authentic Life by Munroe Bergdorf

Publication Date: February 1

Why It Interests Me:  It’s interesting to read the perspectives of people who have experience gender dysphoria and who have transitioned. I’ve never really had to think about many of the topics they’ve needed to figure out, and I hope to learn all sorts of helpful stuff in this memoir.

 

Cold People by Tom Rob Smith

Publication Date: February 7

Why It Interests Me: Antarctica is a harsh environment. It would be extremely difficult for people to survive there longterm without regular replenishment of their supplies from the outside world, so I’m curious to see if these characters will figure out how to do it.

 

The Friendship Breakup by Annie Cathryn

Publication Date: February 7

Why It Interests Me: Losing a friendship can be just as painful as losing a romantic partner, and yet there are very few books that talk about what happens when friends are no longer part of each other’s lives. This looks like a great read.

 

Venco by Cherie Dimaline

Publication Date: February 7

Why It Interests Me: The thought of a magical spoon makes me giggle. Isn’t it marvellous when authors come up with creative stuff like this?

 

The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

Publication Date: February 21

Why It Interests Me: Some paranormal horror stories rely on honestly rather flimsy reasons for characters to want to remain in a home that turns out to be haunted, but I can see how the promise of a large cash prize and a a quiet place to write would be enticing for a lot of people!

 

My Dear Henry – a Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalyan Bayron

Publication Date: March 7

Why It Interests Me: I’ve never actually read the original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. Maybe this will convince me to give it a try so I can compare and contrast these books?

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes About Presents


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Since this week’s topic is a freebie post and the holiday season is rapidly approaching, I decided to use it to share some quotes about presents. This is an inclusive topic that can be applied to many different solstice and winter celebrations that are currently happening or will soon be happening.

Literal presents are mentioned in this list, but there are also quotes about the gifts we all sometimes receive in life that can’t be wrapped up or bought in any store.

 

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” 

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

 

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” 

― Charles Dickens

 

“Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill.” 

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” 

― Pablo Picasso

 

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” 

― Eleanor Roosevelt

 

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” 

― Émile Zola

 

“A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return” 

― Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita

 

“If you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence” 

― Thich Nhat Hanh

 

“Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.” 

― Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby

 

“Time, as far as my father was concerned, was a gift you gave to other people.” 

― Michelle Obama, Becoming

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Pie


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Thanksgiving isn’t a big holiday in my family, but we sure do love pie. My favorite flavors of it are lemon meringue, pumpkin, and cherry, but I don’t think I’ve ever met a pie I didn’t like.

Here are ten books about pie (among other topics, of course) that make me crave that dessert even more.

1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1) by Alan Bradley

2. How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

3. Love, Lies and Lemon Pies by Katy Cannon

4. Pie: A Global History by Janet Clarkson

5. Pies and Prejudice (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery, #1) by Ellery Adams

6. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #4) by Joanne Fluke

7. Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky: A Modern Baker’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts by Karlynn Johnston

8. Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet Savory Slab Pies by Cathy Barrow

9. Pie Is for Sharing by Stephanie Ledyard

10. How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie by Gina Henning

 

What types of pie or other desserts do you like? If you celebrate this holiday, do you stick with Thanksgiving classics like sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie, or do you branch out to other sweets?

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Long and Short Reviews!

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’d Like to Start


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

All of these series have been on my TBR for ages. Someday I do plan to read them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan

 

 

2. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) by Stieg Larsson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1) by Anne Rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Dune (Dune #1) by Frank Herbert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Foundation (Foundation, #1) by Isaac Asimov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, #1) by Alexander McCall Smith

 

If you’ve read any of these series, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Films Based on Books


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Happy Halloween from everyone at Long and Short Reviews!

Go pop some popcorn and grab some of your favorite Halloween candy, because today we’re talking about Halloween films based on books and other bookish things.

The first five entries on this list are family friendly. The last five are more appropriate for teens and adults.

Most of these films are not gory because I prefer psychological horror to other types of frights.

1. The Witches

Based on The Witches by Roald Dahl

 

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events 

Based on A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

 

3. Coraline

Based on Coraline by by Neil Gaiman

 

4. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Based on the Charlie Brown comic strip by Charles Schultz

 

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Based on the poem “The Nightmare Before Christmas” by Tim Burton

 

6. Sleepy Hollow

Based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

 

7. I Am Legend

Based on I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

 

8. Frankenstein

Based on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

 

9. It

Based on It by Stephen King

 

10. The Woman in Black

Based on The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

 

What are your favorite Halloween films based on books? Which books do you think would make fantastic films for the spooky season in 2023 and beyond?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Words


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Here are ten of my favorite words. I like the way they roll off my tongue.

1. Aurora

2. Idyllic

3. Moiety

4. Scintilla

5. Coalesce

6. Jovial

7. Onomatopoeia

8. Lagoon

9. Dulcet

10.  Zephyr

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2022 To-Read List


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Here are ten books that I’m looking forward to reading this fall. If there isn’t a release date included, that title was already published earlier this month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas

Why It Interests Me: It’s been a long time since I’ve read any high fantasy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore

Why It Interests Me: I was not a fan of The Great Gastby when I read it back in high school. Maybe I’ll like it more as a retelling? People’s tastes can change over time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Sweet and Sour by Debbie Michiko Florence

Why It Interests Me: The friendship between the two main characters looks so sweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Gathering Dark: An Anthology of Folk Horror edited by Tori Bovalino

Why It Interests Me: Can you believe that Halloween is less than six weeks away? I need to start thinking about what spooky stuff I should read for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man – A Novel by

Release Date: Today

Why It Interests Me: There’s nothing like cleansing your palette with a fluffy romance novel after reading something really scary if you ask me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Soulmates by Susan Lee

Release Date: Today

Why It Interests Me: Don’t laugh, but I love puns in titles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson

Release Date: September 27

Why It Interests Me: This is the perfect time of year to read about vampires. I mean, would Halloween really be Halloween without them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Anne of Greenville by Mariko

Release Date: October 4

Why It Interests Me: As the editors of Long and Short Reviews have already noticed, I love new finding Anne of Green Gables retellings. Who knows? Maybe I’ll review this one for them after it comes out, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. The Age of Goodbyes by Li Zi Shu, Y.Z. Chin (translator)

Release Date: November 8

Why It Interests Me: The blurb makes this sounds like a dense but ultimately rewarding read. It also reminded me of some stories from my ancestors that sometimes conflict with each other or with what the history records officially say. The truth can be rewritten so easily that it can be hard to tell what really happened in certain cases!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

Release Date: November 29

Why It Interests Me: Every single subplot in this book sounds intriguing to me, from the stress of switching schools to dealing with prejudice to having a seriously ill relative. Some of it reminds me of what I had to juggle alongside my studies when I was a teenager.  You never know what other people are quietly struggling with in life or what you might share in common with a stranger.