Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Websites I Love That Aren’t About Books

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Ten Websites I Love That Aren’t About Books was the Top Ten Tuesday prompt for May 10, 2016, and I’ve decided to use it for today’s Rewind Freebie post.

I highly recommend all of these sites, and I will briefly explain why after each link below. Be prepared for a wide variety of topics as I like to dabble in a little of everything online. I also did my best to include plenty of sites that aren’t so well known to most people.

1. Black Outdoors 

This blog talks about the intersection between the author’s love of the outdoors and her identity as a black woman. She talks about all sorts of stuff: racism, going on winter bird counts (and dressing warmly for them!), how everyone can make the outdoors more inclusive, her favorite ferries, hiking, and more.


2. Nutrition Action: Center for Science in the Public Interest 

It can be difficult to find unbiased and evidence-based advice on food and health. This site shares the latest research on nutrition, dietary supplements, exercise, and more. They do not accept ads or sponsorships and vet everything carefully from what I’ve observed. (Of course, do talk to your family doctor if you have specific questions! But I have found this to be a good starting point if I have a question about certain type of food or workout).


3. Dr. Grumpy in the House

Dr. Grumpy shares all sorts of funny stories about his work here, from odd things patients have said to notes from medical charts that amused him.


4. The Chrysanthemum Connection 


It hasn’t been updated in several years, but the archives of this blog are filled with excellent advice on how to write fair, detailed, and helpful book reviews.

5. Budget Bytes 

With soaring food prices, I’ve relied on this blog more than ever for inexpensive and healthy recipe ideas. I also enjoy how much effort the author puts into sharing recipes that can be modified for all sorts of health issues from food allergies to diabetes and more.


6. LongReads 

Many of the links I’m sharing today contain posts or articles that can be read in a few minutes, but this is a great example of website to visit if you prefer to dive deeply into a subject. LongReads accepts essays on a wide variety of subjects.  I’ve read about everything from history to art to food to sports on there and learned so many things that you just can’t get by reading a short blog post or watching a one-minute video on the topic.


8. Incidental Comics 

These are heartwarming and sometimes funny comic strips about life as a writer. Many of the points the author makes can also apply to other creative folks, too.


9. Zooborns 


This is an entire website dedicated to updating readers on baby animals that have recently been born at zoos. They include everything from rhinos to monkeys to frogs, so the chances of your favorite animal being featured there is pretty high!


10. A Hundred Years Ago 

Originally, this blog was created into order to share diary entries written by the blog owner’s grandmother a hundred years ago. It was a fascinating peek at life in the 1910s, and I recommend checking out the archives if you love history. More recent posts have shared recipes, ads, letters, and other memorabilia from the 1910s and 1920s that provide a wonderful snapshot of what life was like back then for ordinary people.

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

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Here are ten books I’m looking forward to reading this spring. Many of them are Young Adult titles because, at least in my experience, that genre seems to announce their new titles faster than other genres do. I wonder why that is? If you have an answer, I’d like to hear about it.












Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Release Date: Today

Why I’m Interested: Most of my knowledge about the Vietnam War comes from reading about the experiences of American soldiers. It’s time to expand my knowledge and see how characters who live in Việt Nam would describe those years.











The London Séance Society  by Sarah Penner

Release Date: March 21

Why I’m Interested: Séances spook me out too much to do them in real life, but I like reading about them.











The Fake by Zoe Whittall

Release Date: March 21

Why I’m Interested: I think it’s important for everyone to be aware of common scams and how to avoid them. The fact that this is written as fiction might make it more appealing to some readers, too.











Chlorine by Jade Song

Release Date: March 28

Why I’m Interested: It looks deliciously scary!











Ander & Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa

Release Date: April 4

Why I’m Interested: Spring is the time of year when I’m most likely to read romance novels, and this sounds like a good one.









House of Cotton  by Monica Brashears

Release Date: April 4

Why I’m Interested: I have a soft spot for vulnerable people. My fingers are crossed that this protagonist realizes the man who offered to hire her was a shady guy and gets away from him before it’s too late.











Atalanta by Jennifer Saint

Release Date: April 13

Why I’m Interested: If you’ve read some of my previous seasonal TBR posts, you might have guessed this is Astilbe writing this post. It’s wonderful to see how many stories are coming out about ancient mythology, and I like to take note of as many of them as I can. I don’t actually know much about the original myth of Atalanta, but now I’m curious.











If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come  by Jen St. Jude

Release Date: May 9

Why I’m Interested: This covers a few different topics I like to read about: mental health, coming out, and the end of the world. I don’t think I’ve ever seen all three of them included in the same plot before.












Nigeria Jones  by Ibi Zoboi

Release Date: May 9

Why I’m Interested: I like coming of age stories, especially when characters discover things about the world their parents never told them.











The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry

Release Date: May 2

Why I’m Interested: Operation Pied Piper is one of those pieces of World War II history that I wish would be discussed more often. When English children were temporarily evacuated to the countryside (as well as Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States) to keep them safe, we obviously didn’t know as much about  attachment and child development as we do today. It’s so interesting to read about how they reacted to being separated from their loved ones for time periods that could be up to a couple of years and how those experiences were sometimes carried with them for the rest of their lives. I hope this book is a good representation of the many nuances to this project. Fingers crossed!




Top Ten Tuesday: Books We’ve Reviewed About Pets

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Yes, I’m stretching this week’s prompt a little bit. I’m doing it because I love seeing those displays in bookstores that group all sorts of books together based on something they have in common.

In this case, pets are featured in all of these stories which is something I love reading about. You can learn so much about someone by observing the way they treat the animals in their lives.

Here are ten books we’ve reviewed about characters who have one or more pets.











1. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

Genre: Middle Grade

Animal(s) Mentioned: Rabbits











2. Cold Feet River by Maureen Fisher

Genre: Romance, Mystery

Animal(s) Mentioned: A dog











3. Fishbowl by Bradley Somer

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Animal(s) Mentioned: A fish










4. Birdseye Chronicles by L.A. Goldsmith

Genre: Middle Grade

Animal(s) Mentioned: Dogs










5. An Inheritance for the Birds by Linda Banche

Genre: Historical Romance

Animal(s) Mentioned: Ducks











6. How Cats Survived the Apocalypse by Justin Allan Arnold

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Animal(s) Mentioned: Cats












7. Good Luck Chestnut: and Other Lucky Colors of the World by Linda Gruenberg

Genre: Children’s

Animal(s) Mentioned: A horse










8. A School of Daughters by Kate Rene MacKenzie

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Animal(s) Mentioned: A dog, a horse, a packrat, two owls, a chipmunk, a rattlesnake, and a grosbeak.














9. Luna’s Green Pet by Kirsten Pendreigh

Genre: Children’s

Animal(s) Mentioned: A plant (but it is treated like a pet!)









10. Cats Can’t Shoot by Clea Simon

Genre: Mystery

Animal(s) Mentioned: A cat


Top Ten Tuesday: Debut Books I’m Excited About

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


I hope all of these books will be wonderful reads!










1. Molly’s Tuxedo by Vicki Johnson

I’m interested because: I disliked wearing pantyhose and scratchy, lacy dresses when I was a girl. I would have jumped at the chance to try a suit and hopefully be more comfortable at formal events.











2. There Goes the Neighborhood by Jade Adia

I’m interested because: My neighborhood is having a similar issue with gentrification. It’s sad to see so many good people being pushed out of their homes and community.











3. No Child of Mine by Nichelle Giraldes

I’m interested because: Pregnancy horror is so frightening. I hope the storyline lives up to the promises in the blurb.










4. Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

I’m interested because: As much as I love visiting museums and learning about other cultures, it’s unsettling to see human remains included with inanimate objects like pottery or tools. I understand why the main character of this book wants to bring her ancestor back home to her tribe for reburial.










5. Arthur and Teddy Are Coming Out by Ryan Love

I’m interested because: Coming out stories are so much fun to read.











6. Mèo and Bé by Doan Phuong Nguyen

I’m interested because: Human trafficking is an important issue that I think everyone should educate themselves about.












7. Small Joys by Elvin James

I’m interested because: It appears to be a touching story about the power of friendship. I love books that explore platonic relationships and how they enrich everyone’s lives.











8. The Davenports by Krystal Marquis

I’m interested because: This sounds glamorous.










9. Unexpecting by Jen Bailey

I’m interested because: It’s rare to have a book about teenage pregnancy written from the perspective of the father.











10. Johanna Porter Is Not Sorry by Sara Read

I’m interested because: I love reading stories about people getting second chances in life.

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!