Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: What I’m (Hopefully) Reading This Winter

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re talking about what I’m (hopefully) reading this winter. I’m so bad at following seasonal TBRs! I’m sure a few of these books have been on past season’s must-read lists. I still haven’t read them. Will I read them this season? No idea. The odds are not good.

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What I’m Reading This Winter

1. Son (The Giver #4) by Lois Lowry

They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

2. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Bridge of Clay is about a boy who is caught in the current—of destroying everything he has, to become all he needs to be. He's a boy in search of greatness, as a cure for memory and tragedy. He builds a bridge to save his family, but also to save himself.

3. Best-Loved Folktales Of The World by Joanna Cole

A collection of over 200 folk and fairy tales from all over the world, this is the only edition that encompasses all cultures.

4. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

5. The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss

Adam is a stay-at-home dad who is also working on a history of the bombing and rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral. He is a good man and he is happy. But one day, he receives a call from his daughter's school to inform him that, for no apparent reason, fifteen-year-old Miriam has collapsed and stopped breathing. In that moment, he is plunged into a world of waiting, agonizing, not knowing.

6. Wolf Winter (Svartåsen #1) by Cecilia Ekbäck

Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. Above them looms Blackåsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow.

While herding the family's goats on the mountain, Frederika happens upon the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson. The death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbors' strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson's widow, Maija is drawn into the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Blackåsen. Young Frederika finds herself pulled towards the mountain as well, feeling something none of the adults around her seem to notice.

As the seasons change, and the "wolf winter," the harshest winter in memory, descends upon the settlers, Paavo travels to find work, and Maija finds herself struggling for her family's survival in this land of winter-long darkness. As the snow gathers, the settlers' secrets are increasingly laid bare. Scarce resources and the never-ending darkness force them to come together, but Maija, not knowing who to trust and who may betray her, is determined to find the answers for herself. Soon, Maija discovers the true cost of survival under the mountain, and what it will take to make it to spring.

7. Almost Midnight: Two Festive Short Stories by Rainbow Rowell

“Midnights” is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year's Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time.

“Kindred Spirits” is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

8. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The complete collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales, both long and short, compiled together for the first time.

9. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail—for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he's released, he's greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

10. Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

In the north of England, far from the intrusions of cities but not far from civilization, Silvie and her family are living as if they are ancient Britons, surviving by the tools and knowledge of the Iron Age.

For two weeks, the length of her father's vacation, they join an anthropology course set to reenact life in simpler times. They are surrounded by forests of birch and rowan; they make stew from foraged roots and hunted rabbit. The students are fulfilling their coursework; Silvie's father is fulfilling his lifelong obsession. He has raised her on stories of early man, taken her to witness rare artifacts, recounted time and again their rituals and beliefs—particularly their sacrifices to the bog. Mixing with the students, Silvie begins to see, hear, and imagine another kind of life, one that might include going to university, traveling beyond England, choosing her own clothes and food, speaking her mind.

The ancient Britons built ghost walls to ward off enemy invaders, rude barricades of stakes topped with ancestral skulls. When the group builds one of their own, they find a spiritual connection to the past. What comes next but human sacrifice?

What are you planning to read this winter?


  1. From your list I've only read AMERICANAH so far. That was a few years ago so I don't remember much about it beyond that I really liked the author's style and added several more of her books to my TBR.

  2. I really want to read more Sherlock Holmes! I've read one novel and quite a few of the short stories.


  3. I'm always good at planning these lists but not as great at always sticking to them! I just have so many that I need to read!

  4. Bridge of Clay is one I've been interested in for years. I definitely do want to read it - the size is just intimidating!

  5. Good luck getting to all of these! I think you can do it!

    My TTT.

  6. I have If We Were Villains and need to make time for it. I've heard some rave reviews. Wolf Winter sounds kind of interesting as well. Good luck!

  7. Great list! Ghost Wall is brilliant - I hope you enjoy it! - and The Tidal Zone, Americanah and If We Were Villains are all on my TBR. Happy reading!

  8. I hope you finally get to read some of these this year! Best-Loved Folktales looks delightful and I really love the cover for it. The Tidal Zone and Wolf Winter are two that sound really interesting, as well. If We Were Villains is the only one I've read and it was really good! Have a great time reading!

  9. I enjoyed reading Son. It's fun how the book brings back familiar faces and gives us insight into the past.

  10. I read Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell when it was included in an anthology a couple years ago. I think it was called My True Love Gave to Me (maybe?). It was my favorite of the whole anthology; hopefully you'll enjoy it, too. I haven't read Kindred Spirits yet but it sounds super cute.

  11. I read Almost Midnight, when it was in some anthology. I was amazed at how complete the story felt considering how short it was, and it was also quite wonderful.

  12. I have Almost Midnight checked out from the library right now! I adore the story "Midnights" and can't wait to read the other one.

  13. I loved th short story Midnights!

  14. If We Were Villains was awesome. I hope you enjoy it!

  15. I wonder what you'll think of The Bridge of Clay AJ as many give it mixed reviews...

  16. I've heard awesome things about IF WE WERE VILLAINS BY M.L. RIO, hope you get to enjoy these

  17. Yay for Holmes and I am curious about Ghost Walls.

  18. Ghost Wall and Wolf Winter both sound AMAZING. I liked Son, in part because I liked having things tied up from The Giver, and Americanah is amazing. I listened to it on audio.

  19. I love the variety in your picks!

  20. I'm curious if there would be a story from The Netherlands in BEST-LOVED FOLKTALES.
    I love Rainbow Rowell so I hope you'll like her book!

  21. I hope you like Son better than I did. It was a bit of a let down for me after loving the other books. 😕

    I have read A Christmas Carol every year for the past three years and plan on doing it this year. 🎄