sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 30, 2024


ten reasons i’ll bail on or give one star to a book
posted by soe 1:49 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to share the (petty) reasons we’ve lowered the rating or just failed to finish a book.

I will be honest. I start and fail to finish books all the time. The first few chapters aren’t great. (I rarely bother to enter those into Goodreads at all.) It’s in a bag I don’t pick up for three months. The book is overdue to the library. It’s just not the right fit for my mood, but is otherwise perfectly fine. Goodreads lists my currently reading total as 50 (and my “on-hiatus” tally as nearly 100) for these reasons and more. Probably maybe I’ll get back around to them.

These are not the books I’m talking about today. Today we’re talking about the books that lure me past page 50. That trick me into finishing them or that are so bad that I want people to know I could not bring myself to finish them.

Let’s look at why that might be:

  1. It didn’t seem like it would have a sad ending and then it had a sad ending. Number one reason something gets one star from me on Goodreads. (Spoiler alert.)
  2. I hate the main character. Number one reason I won’t finish a book after investing actual time in it.
  3. Appallingly bad writing, but an interesting enough story idea that I wanted to know what happens (but then didn’t think the ending was done well).
  4. A mystery where I know who does it before I even know what’s been done. (Sometimes, stories are told where you get the narrative from the perpetrator’s point of view as well as the detective. I don’t usually love those, but they are not my complaints here.)
  5. Ridiculously conventional gender roles. (See, often, romances.)
  6. There is no mystery in a mystery novel. (Like, what is this even?)
  7. The author doesn’t know how to end the book.
  8. A mystery where my solution is better than the author’s.
  9. Nonfiction where the author is a pompous ass. (On rare occasion, also true in fiction.)
  10. A romance where I don’t care if the couple ends up together or not.

How about you? What drives you bat-shit crazy about a book?

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April 2, 2024


top ten rainy books
posted by soe 5:39 pm

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is “April Showers” and I figured I’d share some drizzly titles from my TBR list:

  1. Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison
  3. Billy Collins’ The Rain in Portugal
  4. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
  5. Oh There You Are I Can’t See You Is it Raining? by Laura Broadbent
  6. Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain
  7. When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head
  8. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell
  9. Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
  10. Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve

Do you have any rainy titles to add to my list? Or would you recommend I quickly hop on any of these titles because they’re just too good to continue to wait?

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March 26, 2024


ten shows/movies that would’ve made amazing books
posted by soe 2:23 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to share movies and/or tv shows that would have been great books (and, in many of my examples, series):

  1. The Librarians — A crew of really smart folks bopping magically around the world in an effort to keep magic out of the hands of the public? Yes, please!
  2. Chuck — Young guy languishing in an electronics superstore with his slacker BFF gets sent a computer program that puts national secrets in his brain. Rather than just taking him out, the CIA and NSA agree to have handlers to utilize him for spy missions. It has Janet Evanovich-like vibes all over it.
  3. Almost Paradise — An ex-undercover-DEA agent moves to the Philippines, intending to run a hotel gift shop while collecting his medical disability payouts in paradise. But almost immediately, he gets caught up in an international drug smuggling incident and befriends a couple of local detectives. He helps with their cases; they give him rides places and a sense of purpose.
  4. Ted Lasso — This feel-good comedy is just begging to be a novel, or maybe an interconnected series, à la Jasmine Guillory, that focuses on each of the main characters.
  5. Abbott Elementary — I think this one would be a standalone romance novel, but I do wonder if it would lose some of the charm of the entourage.
  6. Parks and Recreation — Interestingly, I feel like this one could solidly hold its own as a standalone comedic work, despite the stable cast of regulars.
  7. New Girl — Begging to have started as a modern Millennial romance.
  8. This Beautiful Fantastic — This charming, underseen romance would be delightful as a book.
  9. Miss Scarlet and the Duke — In a mystery book series, a titular character would have to be written out because an actor wanted more out of his career.
  10. Sports Night — This could have been a standalone novel.

How about you? Are there shows or movies you wish had been books first?

Category: books. There is/are 3 Comments.

March 19, 2024


ten books on my spring ’24 tbr list
posted by soe 1:39 pm

Happy Spring! It’s the quarterly Top Ten Tuesday week at That Artsy Reader Girl, where we share what’s on our TBR lists for the upcoming season. Here’s what’s on mine:

  1. A Grave Robbery by Deanna Raybourn
  2. The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers by Samuel Burr
  3. Breanne Randall’s The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic
  4. The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
  5. An Unfinished Love Story by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  6. The Stargazers by Harriet Evans
  7. T.J. Klune’s Bookshops & Bonedust
  8. Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle
  9. The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo
  10. Leslye Penelope’s The Monsters We Defy

How about you? What’s on your to be read list for this spring?

Category: books. There is/are 1 Comment.

February 16, 2024


grass in winter, early spring, and daunt
posted by soe 5:45 am

Daunt Books

Three beautiful things from my 50th-birthday week:

1. The weather in D.C. is lovely for February, so my pal Mario invites a small group out to play volleyball all afternoon.

2. Spring flowers are in full bloom in London, where I’m spending this week.

Crocuses in London

3. Friends of a friend of Rudi’s recommend we visit the Marylebone location of Daunt Books. I’d like to move in.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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February 13, 2024


top ten books with ‘love’ in the title
posted by soe 1:12 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post from That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to share our favorite reads that contain “love” in the title. Here are mine:

  1. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
  2. Love Is a Mix Tape by Rob Shefffield
  3. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  4. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
  5. My True Love Gave to Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins
  6. Book Love by Debbie Tung
  7. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  8. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
  9. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  10. Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love by Jared Reck

The History of Love was a five-star read, and the others all earned four. I recommend them all.

How about you? What “Love”-entitled books do you love?

Category: books. There is/are 4 Comments.