Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in Stores

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The holiday shopping season is well underway.

As we inch closer to December, stores become busier every single day with shoppers looking for gifts, decorations, seasonal food and beverages, and other items they need to make the holidays memorable.

My thoughts are with the sales associates, clerks, receivers, delivery drivers, merchandisers, and other workers who make all of this possible.

After all, there aren’t any elves out there (so far as we know 😉 ) who are  baking bread, decorating sugar cookies, delivering trucks filled with holiday items, unpacking boxes, displaying merchandise, mopping floors, dusting shelves,  running cash registers, and training new employees among countless other tasks.

People do all of that and so much more. If you’re one of them, I’m cheering you on and hoping every customer you have is a friendly one.

In recognition of all of the hard work happening behind the scenes right now, let’s talk about books that are set in stores.










1. Pawsitively Poisonous (Witch of Edgehill, #1) by Melissa Erin Jackson











2. Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix











3. Paddington Bear and the Christmas Surprise by Michael Bond









4. The Mist by Stephen King











5. A Scone to Die For by H.Y. Hanna










6. The Department Store Ghost by Bill Brown











7. Mallory’s Christmas Wish (The Baby-Sitters Club, #92) by Ann M. Martin











8. Secrets of the Shopping Mall by Richard Peck










9.  Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen (A Year-Round Christmas Mystery #1) by Vicki Delany











1o. Shaun of the Dead by Chris Ryall


Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons Why I’m Thankful for Books

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Happy early Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!  And even if you aren’t American, it never hurts to be thankful for all the wonderful things in your life, right?

This week’s topic is: Reasons Why I’m Thankful for Books.

Books have long been a big part of my life and I’m sure most of you can relate.  Some of the reasons why I’m thankful to have a wide assortment of books in my life.

  1. They keep me entertained.
  2. They help me learn more about subjects I didn’t know much about before.
  3. They help me understand the world around me and the people that inhabit it.
  4. They bring me peace from the stress and anxiety of day-to-day life.
  5. They give me a reason to cuddle with my cats. Not that I need one, but still.
  6. They give me a way to spend time with someone while they’re doing something I don’t necessarily enjoy. Example: my husband was a huge gamer. I’d read while he played his video games, and it was a way to spend time together.
  7. They help me connect with my kids. I can read about subjects they’re interested in or books they’ve read.
  8. Audiobooks help me get through boring chores like folding laundry.
  9. Cookbooks help me explore the world through food as well as switch up my menu plans.
  10. They help me expand my horizons by inviting me to new worlds or by taking a new look at a familiar one.

Top Ten Tuesday: Sweet Treats for Halloween

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Happy Halloween to everyone celebrating it! I love the assortment of sweets that are available at this time of year, so I’m going to be sharing some book covers that either feature candy on them or have references to treats in their titles.










1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) by Roald Dahl











2. Bubblegum by Sari Taurez











3. The Candy Cookbook: 40 Recipes for Sweet Success – to Celebrate National Candy Month by Christina Tosch











4. S is for Stranger by Louise Stone











5. Chocolat by Joanne Harris











6. The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars by Joël Glenn Brenner











7. The Art Of Choosing: The Decisions We Make Everyday of our Lives, What They Say About Us and How We Can Improve Them by Sheena Lyengar











8. Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure by Samira Kawash











9. Candy Cookbook by Gooseberry Patch











10. Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker




What’s your favorite type of Halloween candy?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Snowy Covers

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I love waking up and seeing a fresh blanket of snow over everything during the winter. Since we’re still a month or so away from that happening, looking at books with snowy covers is the next best thing.










1. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak











2. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs











3. Snow  by Orhan Pamuk











4. Mrs. Mike (Mrs. Mike, #1) by Benedict Freedman











5. Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell











6. Winter Study (Anna Pigeon, #14) by Nevada Barr











7. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey











8. Ice by Anna Kavan











9. Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan











10.Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata

Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Goals I Still Want to Accomplish Before the End of the Year

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Back in January, I shared my ten bookish goals for this year.

It’s one of my favorite topics in the Top Ten Tuesday calendar year, so I try to request it every year if the other members of the Long and Short Reviews blogging team are okay with that.

I will repost those goals in this post and group them by Accomplished, In the Works, and Not Yet Started.




  • Reread old favorites this winter
  • Discover some great new anthologies
  • Listen to more audiobooks
  • Visit the physical branch of my local library again


I have excelled at all of these this year! It felt so good to visit my local library again. There were some new staff members there that I look forward to getting to know, and I even saw a couple of other patrons who I recognized from previous library events.


In the Works

  • Encourage more people to sign up to become reviewers for Long and Short Reviews
  • Whittle down my TBR list
  • Find some literary or bookish games
  • Try some non-gory horror again


These are all works in progress. I’ve spent some time on them but would like to do a lot more if I can.

If you’d like to become a reviewer for Long and Short Reviews, all of the information about how to join can be found in the link above. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

If you have suggestions for the other three in the category, I’d love to hear them!


Not Yet Started

  • Play fewer games on my cellphone
  • Read a romance novel


I have so not been in the mood for romance so far this year. With all of the smoky days from forest fires we’ve had so far, cell phone games have kept me busy and calm. I’m hoping for a clear, cool, relatively dry autumn that will allow me to put down my electronics and enjoy nature more before winter arrives. Fingers crossed that will happen!

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

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Here are ten of the books I’m looking forward to checking out this autumn. The first two have already been released, but I’ll share release dates for the ones that aren’t out yet.









1. Holly by Stephen King

Why I’m Interested: I try to give everything Mr. King writes a shot.









2. Rez Ball by Byron Graves

Why I’m Interested: I recently reviewed Big Crow for Long and Short Reviews and am curious to make comparisons between that true-life account of a Native American teen who played basketball and this fictional take on a different Native American teen basketball player.










3. Land of Milk and Honey by C. Pam Zhang

Release Date: September 26

Why I’m Interested: With all of the difficult some farmers have been having this year with growing crops, a fictional account of a world too hot to rely on agriculture is intriguing.










4. The Museum of Failures by Thrity Umrigar

Release Date: September 26

Why I’m Interested: While there’s a lot of joy to be found in moving to another country, being an immigrant can also bring all sorts of complications to one’s life. I’m curious to see what this author has to say on the subject.










5. Out There Screaming by Jordan Peele

Release Date: October 3

Why I’m Interested: His films are fun to watch, so here’s hoping a book from him will also be amusing.










6. When Ghosts Call Us Home by Katya de Becerra

Release Date: October 3

Why I’m Interested: Honestly, the cover is what first pulled me in this direction. Isn’t it amazing? Paranormal horror is something I enjoy, too.










7. The Leftover Woman by Jean Kwok

Release Date: October 10

Why I’m Interested: Now that it’s much less common for people who aren’t from China to adopt children from China, I’m curious to see how this topic will be treated in fiction.










8. The Woman in Me by Britney Spears

Release Date: October 24

Why I’m Interested: Is it weird to read an autobiography of someone you weren’t a fan of? Now I wonder what might have been going on behind the scenes in her life to make her behave the way she did. Maybe this will help to explain it.










9. Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldreee

Release Date: November 7

Why I’m Interested: Maybe this will finally convince me to read Legends & Lattes? It’s been on my TBR for ages.










10. Same Bed, Different Dreams by Ed Park

Release Date: November 7

Why I’m Interested: Alternate histories can be such great stories. I hope this is as good as it sounds.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Character Relationships

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I love a good relationship in a novel, especially in a series.  It’s often what draws me back to an unfinished series.  They don’t have to be romantic relationships, either.  Sometimes, the best bonds are between friends.

  1. Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller (Harry Bosch/The Lincoln Lawyer) by Michael Connelly.

Harry and Mickey are half-brothers who only found each other later in life.  The thing that I love about their relationship is that Harry is an LAPD detective and Mickey is a defense lawyer, aka mortal enemies.  However, they learn to appreciate each other and form a strong, brotherly bond, often full of sharp barbs and fun banter.

  1. Geralt of Rivia and Julian Alfred Pankratz, Viscount de Lettenhove, aka Jaskier the Bard (The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski).

Their relationship is often a rough one, but even when they want to throw each other into the dragon’s den, they’re still there for each other.  I could include Yennefer of Vengerberg in this as well because she has a similar relationship with Jaskier.

  1. Sam and Amelia Rockwell (Rockwell Return Files by Jason Anspach).

From the very beginning, they have a great relationship.  She adores him, but keeps him in his place.  He loves her, and dotes on her, while respecting her.  This is huge considering the series is set in the 1950’s.

  1. Sloan McPherson and Scott Hughes (Underwater Investigation Unit by Andrew Mayne).

Sloan has a tendency to be a bit reckless and impulsive.  Scott, on the other hand, is former military and a dad, bringing a sense of balance to their partnership.  However, Scott can be a bit crazy, too, when the circumstances warrant it.  Which is probably why he and Sloan work so well together.

  1. Tempe Brennan and Andrew Ryan (Temperance Brennan by Kathy Reichs).

Tempe spends half the year working in Montreal for the police department identifying remains found.  This often leads to her working with her on and off again boyfriend, Detective Andrew Ryan.  Even when they’re not in a relationship, they work well together and always look after each other.  Plus, Ryan tends to be a smart aleck which I love.

  1. Lindsay Boxer and Rich Conklin (Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro).

I could go on for pages about Lindsay’s relationship with Claire, Yuki, and Cindy.  But I think her partnership and friendship with longtime partner Rich goes unnoticed.  They are great together, often coming close to anticipating the other’s ideas and needs.  And, in the end, each would give everything for the other.

  1. Crowley & Aziraphale (Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman)

These two are something else.  Anytime an angel and a demon make friends, I’m all in.  An unlikely friendship turns to partners in crime of sorts and all sorts of chaos follows in their wake.

  1. Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams).

What more can you want out of a friend – who is also an alien, by the way – than to have them guide you through the universe, steal a spaceship, and take you to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?  I mean, count me in.  Just keep the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters to yourself.  I have to work in the morning.

  1. Stephanie Plum and Lula (Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich).

Even after twenty-nine books, I’m still here for all the chaos that follows Steph and Lula.  Pass the TastyKakes and let the girls run wild because it’s sure to be an adventure.

  1. Mickey Haller and his entire crew (The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly).

Mickey is a great character and is honestly my favorite in the Bosch Universe.  He gets along with pretty much everyone.  An excellent example of this is him hiring his second ex-wife, Lorna, to be his office manager and her new boyfriend/husband as his investigator.  He and Cisco sometimes bump heads, but they always get to the bottom of the case.

What are some of your favorite relationships?


Top Ten Tuesday: Water-Themed Books and Films We’ve Reviewed

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

One of the coolest things about being part of a group of reviewers working together is the wide range of genres and perspectives we cover here.

I rarely read romance, for example, but I stay up-to-date on some of the newest titles out there thanks to my fellow reviewers who spend some to all of their reading time in that genre. Likewise, those of us who love horror give everyone else a chance to know what’s going on with the scary side of modern fiction as well.

Here are some of the books and films we’ve discussed over the past few months that have water references in their titles. If you pay close attention, you might notice a tiny bit of overlap between this list and last week’s list.

The genres they cover range from mystery to picture books to science fiction, so there’s a little something here for just about everyone. I think it’s cool to look for the similarities not only between books but between book reviewers as well!

Just like last week, I wrote this post in advance for scheduling purposes. It’s once again possible there might be another water-themed review or two on our front page by the time this is published.

1. On Duck Pond by Jane Yolen

Genre: Children’s


2. Saltwater Sorrows by Rhonda Parrish 

Genre: Science Fiction


3. Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby

Genre: Mystery


4. Fuddles and Puddles by Frans Vischer

Genre: Children’s


5. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Genre: Mainstream Fiction


6. Dragon Springs & Other Things by Raven Oak 

Genre: Science Fiction


7. Fresh Water for Flowers by Valerie Perri

Genre: Romance


8. Deep Tide by Laura Griffin

Genre: Mystery


9. Movie Review: Adam & the Water

Genre: Science Fiction


10. Salt Water by Eugenia Triantafyllou

Genre: Science Fiction


What books with watery themes or titles have you read lately?


Top Ten Tuesday: Picture Books We’ve Reviewed This Month

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Picture books aren’t just for kids! I especially enjoy reading them on days when I’m not feeling well or having trouble concentrating on longer works for whatever reason. They are often about cheerful topics, too, which is a refreshing change from the serious and sometimes scary stuff I typically choose.

Here are ten picture books that we’ve reviewed so far this month. I wrote this in advance for scheduling purposes, so there may be more a few great reviews from this genre on our site by the time this post goes live.

1. Mario and the Hole in the Sky – How a Chemist Saved Our Planet by Elizabeth Rusch

2. Thank You, Neighbor by Ruth Chan

3. Touch the Earth by Julian Lennon

4. My First Day by Phùng Nguyên Quang

5. Purplicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann

6. On Duck Pond by Jane Yolen

7. Dog’s Day by Jane Cabrera

8. Go for the Moon by Chris Gall

9. Cows to the Rescue by John Himmelman 

10. I Am Quiet – A Story for the Introvert in All Of Us by Andie Powers:

Top Ten Tuesday: One-Word Titles

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

We’ve reached the hot, humid portion of the year where I live. Along with eating ice cream and other cold foods, I spend a lot of free time reading and trying to stay cool.

Here are ten books that have one-word titles that could be good reads as the temperature soars.

1. Pawcasso by Remy Lai

2. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

3. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

4. Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu

5. Alaska by James A. Michener

6. Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

7. Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

8. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

9. Brass by Xhenet Aliu

10. Sadie by Courtney Summers