Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2023

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

January 17: Bookish Goals for 2023

The Luminaries – Toward the end of 2022 I tried to read Elinor Catton’s The Luminaries. It was difficult going and I put it down, because I heard about an instagram read along of the book taking place in February and March of this year. I think having the support of a read along will be helpful for tackling this long, dense book.

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Rereads – I’m not usually much of a rereader because I tend to get distracted by all the new books out there. I’m also afraid of favorites not living up to my memory. But there are some books that I want to revisit, so I’m going to try to do that this year. Here’s a post about them.

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Unread books – Like many of us, I’ve got an accumulation of books I haven’t read yet sitting on my shelf. Some I’ve been procrastinating quite a while, either because I’m intimidated, or because I haven’t been in the mood for them. But I’m definitely going to try to reduce the quantity of unread books on my shelf.

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Finish drafting my WIP – This is related to writing, but since I’m writing a book (or what I hope will be one someday), I think this is relevant. I’ve described some of my struggles with the the book I’d been working on, so I put it down and started to work on something else. Well, really I picked up something I’d put down several years ago. After a struggle and an attempt to pre-plot that didn’t work out, I finally gave myself permission to pants, and feel reinvigorated. I want to finish at least one draft of this in 2023.

Read more indies – I follow some indie writers on social media that are really creative and inspiring. I want to read more of their work in 2023. I also want to read more from small press authors. Some on my TBR:

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Remember that goals are supposed to be fun and not the source of stress – Like most goals I have a tendency to put pressure on myself to meet reading goals. I always try to remind myself that reading goals are for fun and nothing else. My reading isn’t measured by how many books I read in a year, but by what I get out of them.

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Be open to surprises – Bookish goals and TBRs are fun, but I also want to be open to picking up a random book and discovering I love it. I want to leave room to let that happen, by sometimes breaking a book buying ban, or stopping in at the library when I mean to go straight home.


Top Ten Tuesday: What To Read Next Wishes

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

This week’s topic was:

June 21: Bookish Wishes (List the top 10 books you’d love to own and include a link to your wishlist so that people can grant your wish. Make sure you link your wishlist to your mailing address [here’s how to do it on Amazon] or include the email address associated with your ereader in the list description so people know how to get the book to you.)

But I’m on a book buying ban until I read some of what’s on my shelves (I’m not, however, on a book borrowing ban, so the library is fair game…) and I don’t really feel comfortable with this. So I decided to tweak it a little and make it the 10 books I hope to read next (time, life and work permitting) A lot of these are books I have, I just have to get to…

  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – I read this years ago, but my book club is doing it next month, so I’m going to try to give it a reread at some point soon.
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – I’ve had this on my TBR for years. When I was trying to think of things for my Future Classics list I did a bit of googling to get ideas, and I saw a number of lists with this on it, so I think it’s time for me to tackle it.
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – I’ve been meaning to read this for a while now. I’ve heard it’s best when you’re in the mood for something very atmospheric though, which I haven’t bee lately but hope to be soon.
  • A Spell of Rowans by Byrd Nash – I’ve been meaning to read more by indie authors, but as usual, so many books, so little time! I do hope to get to this soon though, because I’ve heard good things.
  • The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier– This was a long ago gift from my Aussie book buddy. Actually she got it for me last year, and got the sequel for me this year, but I still haven’t read this one (*hangs head in shame*) I love Marillier but I keep getting sidetracked!
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton – This is one of a few long (700+ pages) books that are taking up shelf space. I used to dive right into hefty tomes, but in my old age I’ve gotten more hesitant. I’ll reach for one and then think: “I’ll get to that later, this other book looks like something I’ll finish in a day or two…”

Top Ten Tuesday: Old Books I Want to Read in 2022

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

This week’s topic is:

January 4: Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the First Half of 2022

But I have a lot of old books sitting on my shelf that I haven’t read yet. So before I start making lists of new releases, I’m going to try to read some of these. Note, these are in addition to these:

Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier– My Aussie book buddy keeps me supplied with Juliet Marillier books. I have the first two books in the Warrior Bards trilogy, but I haven’t even read the first yet. I really want to, but there are sooo many books I want to read!

The Peacock Spring by Rumer Godden- I’m a fan of Godden and I haven’t read this one yet. I found a copy and a used bookshop over the summer, and I remembered hearing good things about it. So now it’s on my list (and my shelf).

The Flowering Thorn by Margery Sharp– I picked this up at the same time as the above. I haven’t heard much about it, but it looks good, and I look forward to reading it.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton- I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, but I’ve been putting it off because it’s long (864 pages). This year one of my goals is to read books that I’ve been procrastinating.

Thornyhold by Mary Stewart- I’ve liked Mary Stewart for a long time. For a while I thought I’d read all her books. Then I learned that she’d written a lot more books than I’d originally thought! So now I’m trying to ration the ones that I haven’t read.

Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie– This is sort of representative of several Christie books that are sitting on my shelf. At some point I’ll read my way through Christie’s body of work. It’ll just take a long time, she was nothing if not prolific!

The Visitors by Sally Beauman– I bought this at a library sale years ago. I keep meaning to pick it up, and getting sidetracked by other books. 2022 will be the year I’ll read it!

Crosstalk by Connie Willis– I’ve been meaning to read more of Willis’ work for years. I’m currently reading To Say Nothing of the Dog. but I also have a copy of this one sitting on my shelf waiting for me.

Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka– Someone in my book club recommended this in 2021. I saw there was a goodreads giveaway for it, so I entered and I just happened to win.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Winter TBR

For The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday:

This week’s topic is pretty self explanatory!

51lsmzwntfl-_ac_us218_1. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton– This has been on my TBR for a while. It’s about a young man who goes to New Zealand in 1866 to word in the goldfields, but he and his coworkers get caught up in a series of mysterious events. It definitely seems like the kind if thing to tackle over many a cold evening, curled up in my pajamas with a cup of tea!


51q2yi-diil-_ac_us218_2. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin– I like the premise of this one: if you knew the date of your death, how would that inform the choices that you make in life? This book is four siblings who learn when they’ll die. It follows them as they try to live the rest of their lives with that information.



61sxhqmwaql-_ac_us218_3. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman– This is a prequel to Practical Magic. Enough said! Actually I think of Practical Magic as a “fall” book but I can imagine reading this on a snowy day and getting a warm magical glow.




51wxqincjul-_ac_us218_4. The Revolution of Marina M by Janet Fitch-  This is another one I’ve really been looking forward too.  I loved Janet Fitch’s White Oleander, and I’m very curious to see how she does with historical fiction. Plus, the Russian setting seems very wintery to me.



51los6asx-l-_ac_us218_5. The Cage-maker by Nicole Seitz–  This novel is about a 21st century blogger who inherits an exquisitely detailed birdcage from an unknown relative. In a hidden compartment in the birdcage she finds letters, journal entries, and newspaper articles that tell the story of her family. It’s a bit love story, a bit gothic thriller, a bit historical fiction, and it definitely seems like the perfect read for a cold night.


61jrknqrsel-_ac_us218_6. A Column of Fire by Ken Follett– This is the third Kingsbridge book, and a follow up to Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. It’s set in  and around the same Cathedral in the sixteenth century. At 927 pages, this seems like a good book to take into hibernation.




51p5mwk1-hl-_ac_us218_7. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone  by Olivia Laing- I think more attention is being paid to being alone lately, which is good. In some ways it’s a new thing. I don’t mean feeling alone. That’s existed for about as long as people have! But more people are opting not to marry and have families, or putting that off for the future. That leads to more young people physically being alone. This book looks at loneliness through the lives of iconic artists. It also addresses how technology factors into all this. Does it allow us to connect to the outside world, or trap us behind our screens, and keep us from interacting? To me winter has the potential to be a lonely season. You’re indoors keeping warm, rather than in public space. So this seems like a great read to keep me company.

617j4awgzul-_ac_us218_8. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich– A friend of mine recommended this very highly. It’s told from multiple perspectives and is about a woman whose husband is losing his memory. As his mind fades, she becomes increasingly interested in finding out what happened to his first wife. In some ways I see winter as a season where things fade or are buried by snow. For that reasons it’s also a time when people don’t see things or only see parts of them. So it seems like this would be an appropriate book for a season where things are so uncertain.

51njfgrvqcl-_ac_us218_9. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden– This is a retelling of Vasilisa the Wise, a Russian fairy tale. It’s set in Russia in the 1300s, which I definitely picture as a sort of deep winter world, where people huddle together to stay warm. I imagine them telling stories to pass the time by the fire as they do that (I’m sure the real fourteenth century Russia was a lot less pleasant than I’m imagining it!). This would be one of the stories that they tell.  It’s the first in a trilogy called the “Wintersnight trilogy” so I think I’m on the right track here.

51dyrlatcxl-_ac_us218_10. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey– This series has been recommended to me over and over again. The initial trilogy (later books continue the story in another generation) is made up of three big books set in a vivid, complicated world. Perfect for a season when you’re trapped inside by a snow storm and want to escape somewhere else.