March 14, 2023 · 2:22 pm
This week’s Top Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to look at which books will bloom on our spring to-be-read list. Here are the books I hope to read this spring:
- Storm Watch by C.J. Box
- Babel by R.F. Kuang
- Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – The High Country by John Jackson Miller
- The Curator by Owen King
- Happy Place by Emily Henry
- Doctor Who: The Time Monster by Terrance Dicks (audiobook)
- Episode 13 by Craig DiLouie
- Alone With You In the Ether by Olivie Blake
- Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini
- Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
March 7, 2023 · 9:33 am
Time again for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s literary writing prompt is the people associated with books you’d like to meet.
I’ve decided to break this down into authors I’d like to meet and writers I’ve met.
Authors/Literary People I’d Like to Meet:
- Terrance Dicks — He wrote a plethora of Doctor Who novels and script-edited one of the most consistent eras in the show’s history. He’s no longer with us, but I wish I’d met him to thank him for all enjoyment he’s brought to my world and to pick his brain a bit about his association with my favorite pop culture item.
- Robert Holmes — Another writer associated with Doctor Who who had a huge impact on the classic show. He only adapted one of his scripts for print, but whenever his name appears on-screen as a writer, you know it could be something special. I’d love to talk to him about some of his other scripts including the ones he wrote for Blake’s Seven.
- Stephen King — I’ve read just about everything he’s written and would love the chance to just hang out with him and talk about whatever crosses our minds.
- Elizabeth George — One of the authors that I will read just about anything she publishes. I’d love to hear more about the research process she undertakes for every new Lynley novel.
- Mark Twain — He’s still studied in literature classes and seems like he’d be an engaging conversationalist. I’d love to see what he’s like behind the public persona he crafted for himself.
- Kevin Smith — His scripts just connect with me. I think it’d be fun to hang out with him and shoot the breeze about pop culture.
- J.T. Ellison – She writes mysteries set in Nashville. I’d love to grab some hot chicken and hear about how she crafts her books.
Authors/Literary People I’ve Met:
- Peter David – It’s been a while, but he signed copies of some of my favorite Trek books at a convention. He was fascinating to speak with and I kind of wish I’d had time to talk to him longer and not be an annoying fanboy.
- Garrison Keillor – He signed my copy of Lake Wobegon Days, which is a favorite. I’ve encountered him twice and both times, he took the time to speak to myself and everyone meeting him beyond just pleasantries and small talk.
- Sally Kilpatrick — Probably cheating here, but I knew her way back before she was a published writer person. But I’ve met her.
- Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey — I love the Rick and Bubba show for so many reasons. They published a series of books a decade or so ago and went on book tours. I went to all the Nashville stops and enjoyed meeting them. I’ve also heard Rick’s testimony online and in person.
January 3, 2023 · 9:57 am
Happy New Year, everyone! Hope your 2023 is off to a great start.
Between reading and listening to audiobooks, I consumed 92 books last year (plus a smattering of collected comics). As 2023, begins the first Top Ten Tuesday of the new year (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks what were your favorite books from last year.
I’m breaking my list into two — my favorites and those books that disappointed me.
- Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
- Breaking Open by Jacob Armstrong
- The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
- Something to Hide by Elizabeth George
- The Not So Nice List by Sally Kilpatrick
- We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman
- Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
- Star Wars: Brotherhood by Michel Chen
- Book Lovers by Emily Henry
- Desert Star by Michael Connell
Top Disappointments of 2022
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
- Rated X by Maitland Ward
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
- Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton & James Patterson
- Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering
- Verity by Collen Hoover
- Daughter by Kate McLaughlin
- The Club by Ellery Lloyd
December 13, 2022 · 10:01 am
December 6, 2022 · 1:58 pm
No prompt this week for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the That Artsy Reader Girl). With Christmas coming up, I thought I’d share my top ten pop-culture celebrations of this special time of year.
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — The older I get, the more I understand what motivated Clark Griswold. He wants to give his family the “perfect” Christmas, only to see it all go completely sideways. The line “You have expectations no holiday could live up to” sums it all up perfectly. That’s why it hits me in the funny bone and the sentimental side.
- Happy Days, “Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas — Produced at the time the show was transitioning from a focus on the dynamic of Richie with his family and friends to Fonzie, this Christmas episode always makes my small heart grow three sizes. Fonzie has nowhere to go for Christmas, but is too proud to tell anyone. When Richie susses it all out, he’s invited to the Cunningham’s Christmas Eve celebration (though Howard isn’t as enthusiastic as everyone else). In the end, Fonzie even leads the family blessing by saying, “Hey God, thanks.” Gets me every single time.
- A Christmas Carol Book with the Disney Players LP. My dad gave me this when we started learning about tenses in elementary school. I still have it. Produced before the animated, it hits most of the same beats but it’s got better songs. You can hear it here if you’re interested. The lyric, “We don’t have everything we want, but we have all we need” really hits home.
- Doctor Who, A Christmas Carol. If Russell T. Davies established the Christmas special for my favorite show, Steven Moffatt took it to the next level with his first one. The Doctor plays the Ghost of Christmas past, present, and future via time travel in an episode that combines time travel with the Christmas spirit.
- Christmas lights timed to music. I know where multiple homes exist in my area and drive by them each year. I can lose hours on YouTube seeing them all across the world. Not ready for this at my house yet, but soon…
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas — Both the original animated special and book, please. The movie versions extend the story too much for this guy. But that half-hour special is just the right length.
- A Christmas Story — Christmas told through the eyes of a kid, with all the wonder it brings. The Mom is the real hero of this movie.
- Seinfeld, “The Strike.” A festivus for the rest of us! I may or may not quote this one liberally all December. May be Frank Costanza’s finest episode.
- Old Time Radio comedy Christmas episodes. Thank goodness these are all public domain and easily searchable these days. I love so many of the routines used ala Jack Benny or Burns and Allen. I find the comedies hit home a bit more than the dramatic shows.
- It’s A Wonderful Life — When George runs down the street, shouting hello to everything and everyone, I get a lump in my throat every darn time. A great movie.
Of course, I’m always looking for something new to add to my list. Any suggestions? Or do you have a cool YouTube video of Christmas lights to music? Let me know!
November 29, 2022 · 10:02 am
This week’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us which books are cozy reads for you. Here are a few that jumped to mind.
- Doctor Who Target novelizations as audiobooks. I read a metric ton of these in my teen years and I’ve still got my full run of seventh Doctor novels. Audio versions with an actor connected to the televised serial have been coming out for years now and while the range is slowly winding down, these are a great cozy listen. And there are two great podcasts about the range currently running: The Doctor Who Target Book Club and The History of Doctor Who Literature.
- Hamilton Duck by Arthur Getz. One of my favorite books from my earliest days as a reader. I’ve still got my well-read copy and shared it with my daughter.
- Star Trek novels. Back in the day, I consumed the Pocket tie-in novels for Star Trek, with one or two novels arriving each month. The release schedule has slowed in the last decade or so, as has my consumption. But I have collected a few old favorites via digital sales and used bookstores to visit again.
- The Sherlock Holmes canon by Arthur Conan Doyle. One of my favorite series of mysteries.
- Beverly Cleary books. I read and re-read these in my younger days and I’ve shared them with my niece and nephew and now my daughter. I listened to several audiobooks a few years ago and enjoyed the memories. Reading them again with my little girl has been fun.
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. The story of the Herdman family taking over the Christmas pageant never fails to amuse me. We saw it adapted for the stage last year and will be re-reading it together this Christmas season.
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. In case you haven’t picked up on it, I enjoy audiobooks. And every couple of years, a new performance of his classic story hits audio and I give it a try. Some are good, and some are great. But the story is timeless.
- Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon stories. I still love these stories of the small town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve.
November 8, 2022 · 10:26 am
The bookish meme Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks a reading-themed question each week. Today’s prompt is about which series you would like to start, continue, and/or finish. Here are my choices:
Series to Start:
- A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
- The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
- The Locked Tomb by Tasmin Muir
- Cassie Dewell novels by C.J. Box
- Star Trek: Coda trilogy
Series to Continue/Finish:
- Joe Pickett novels by C.J. Box
- The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
- DiscWorld novels by Terry Pratchett
- Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich
- Hercule Poirot novels/short story by Agatha Christie
- The Sandan by Neil Gaiman
October 11, 2022 · 10:48 am
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks about books we’ve read on vacation. Vacation time is one of my favorite times for enjoying a good book, so here are a few I’ve read over the years.
- Winterkill by C.J. Box
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- One Day by David Nicholls
- The Stand by Stephen King
- Star Trek: The Rift by Peter David
- The New Doctor Who Adventures: Happy Endings by Paul Cornell
- The Next Wife by Kaira Rouda
- Deeper Water by Robert Whitlow
- Swan Song by Robert McCammon
- Star Trek: The Ashes of Eden by William Shatner
September 27, 2022 · 9:50 am
Tuesday means it’s Top Ten Tuesday! Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, this week’s literary meme isn’t one that ignites my interest, so I am delving back into the archives for a topic. Here are ten favorite books I could (and will) read again and again.
- Hamilton Duck by Arthur Getz
- The Ramona books by Beverly Cleary
- The Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald J. Sobol
- The Fudge books by Judy Blume
- The Light in the Attic/Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- The Amazing Spider-Man: Issues 1-75 by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, John Romita.
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
- The Robot books by Issac Asimov
- The Sherlock Holmes stories/novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
September 20, 2022 · 9:46 am
Fall is almost here! And while I’m indulging in a lot of football, I still have a healthy TBR pile. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us which books are on our list to read as the leaves change colors.
- Fairy Tale by Stephen King
- The Joe Pickett novels by C.J. Box
- The Decomposition of Jack by Kristen O’Donnell Tubb
- The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson
- The Terminal List by Jack Carr
- Flight Risk by Cherie Priest
- Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks by John Peel (audiobook)
- Desert Star by Michael Connelly
- Battle Ground by Jim Butcher
- Something to Hide by Elizabeth George
Anything I should add to the list? What’s on your list for reading this fall?