Top 5 Tuesday #72: Weddings & Births

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

So my intention with this post was to play catch up and make it a list of 10 things, but it turns out that I haven’t read many things that include the topics below — or my memory isn’t serving me well at the moment — so to come up with a list of 5, I’ve combined the selections for last week and this week’s topics into one list.

This week’s and last week’s topic combo:

Top 5 books about weddings & births

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn

Of course a Bridgerton book would contain a wedding. The Duke & I is the first in this Regency romance series about the extensive Bridgerton family whose matriarch seeks to secure happy, love-filled marriages for her children. I enjoyed the first book as much as I did its TV show adaptation on Netflix. As for the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me, I enjoyed the TV show more than I did the book.

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Top 5 Tuesday #71: Scavenger Hunt!

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic:

Well… the theme for this month’s topic is scavenger hunt, so every week participants had to find books that contain the week’s object on the cover or in the title. I… didn’t participate because life, so I’ve decided to do all the month’s topics in this post.

I’ll start with the topic for this week.

Find a…

…book with a book on the cover

Book Love by Debbie Tung (illus.)

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Thoughts on the MinaLima Editions of the First Two Harry Potter Books

And finally, I’m discussing the last books I read last year — the MinaLima illustrated editions of the first and second Harry Potter books.

The Harry Potter series is catnip for me. If a new edition is published, I’ll most likely get it, so yea, I’m looking forward to the upcoming Jim Dale illustrated version of the fifth book, which I think is coming out this year in October, and am hoping MinaLima will do illustrated versions of all the books and that a third one is forthcoming.

Since the Harry Potter books are so popular and I’ve discussed the story several times on here, this won’t be a typical review because I won’t discuss the story — plot, characters, and all that. Instead, I’ll just focus on the illustrations and structure of the physical book and how those things affected my reading experience.

My thoughts

The short of it — I LOVE the MinaLima editions of the Harry Potter series. They are exactly what I expect when I see “illustrated edition” tagged to a title. The illustrations are bright, colorful, quirky, and interactive, and I think they fit the playful tone of the story, especially for the first books.

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Last Couple Books Read in 2021

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review, and whenever this happens, I feel as if I’ve forgotten how to write them. That’s how I feel now. It’s partly due to not having written one in a while and also having forgotten some details about the books I read. But, since my plan with this blog is to chat about every book I read, I’d like to post something about the books I read during the last months of 2021.

Those last months were a very busy, very stressful time for me, which is why I’ve delayed chatting about the books until now. Things got so overwhelming that I didn’t blog as much as I usually did and had a bout of reading slumpiness that lasted until… a few weeks ago. It was probably my longest reading slump. But now that I really feel back to my old self, I’d like to catch up on the MANY blogging and reading things I wanted to do since the slump hit — starting with these reviews.

I read all of these back in September last year, so I’ve forgotten much.

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger


MG Fantasy


Keeper of the Lost Cities, book 1



Quick summary

In this middle grade fantasy, we meet Sophie Foster, a 12-year-old, telepathic girl who is often treated as an outcast — even by her own family. However, one day she sees a boy with very interesting blue eyes at the museum and he helps her to realize that she does not belong in the human world. He tells her that she’s an elf and must leave her family to protect them.

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Top 5 Tuesday #70: Series I Haven’t Finished

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic:

Top 5 series I haven’t finished

(What series haven’t you finished yet (or caught up to date on if it’s ongoing) that you meant to?)

There are MANY series I need to finish. Actually, I think I need to do one of those series-read projects I see people doing where you list the many series you’re in the middle of and read to complete or catch up on them. But, for now, here are 5 I’d like to complete.

First Law series by Joe Abercrombie

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Top 5 Tuesday #69: These Have Been Around Awhile

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic:

Top 5 books that have been on my TBR since forever

(What other books are you hiding on your TBR? And which ones have been there the longest?)

I’m sure we all have books on our TBRs that we’ve been meaning to read for years now but have yet to get to. I recently rediscovered a few while moving. Here are some of them.

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Top 5 Tuesday #68: Top 5 New Authors of 2021

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic:

Top 5 new authors of 2021

(Tell us all about your favourite new authors, either debut authors from 2021 or new-to-you this year.)

I met some great new-to-me authors this year who I’d love to read more from. Here are my top five.

Camilla Bruce

At the top is Camilla Bruce whose In the Garden of Spite I read earlier this year, thanks to Mogsy and Tammy. The novel is a historical thriller about a female serial killer in the late 1800s. It’s slow paced but such a riveting read. Both my aunt (who I made read it) and I want to read more from Bruce, and I need to get another copy of the book to let my mom read it too (I gave my copy to my aunt).

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Holiday Drinks Book Tag

Cue all the Christmas and winter-themed book tags I’ll post for the next two weeks because I found a bunch of such tags over the years and want to do them all! Ho! Ho! Ho!

I’ll kick things off with the Holiday Drinks Book Tag, which seems to have originated on the blog Browsing for Books, but that blog doesn’t seem to be active. However, I was lucky enough to find the tag over on Way Too Fantasy.

Hot Chocolate | Marshmallows and chocolate and whipped cream, oh my!
Recommend a book that’s sweet through and through.

Pandora by Victoria Turnbull

It’s a children’s picture book about a lonely fox who helps a bird heal and how the bird helps the fox feel less lonely. It’s a sweet read that I actually didn’t like much when I first read it, but I think I’d appreciate it more now if I should reread it.

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Top 5 Tuesday #67: Top 5 covers of 2021

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic:

Top 5 covers of 2021

(What are some of your favourite covers that you have seen this year? Maybe these were reprints, redesigns or alternate covers that came out this year, or maybe they are brand new books.
Whatever they are, tell us all the pretties you have been coveting.)

I love a meme about book covers 😊 and I’ve been looking forward to one like this all year, lol! My favorite thing about December is looking back on all the things I read in the year and chatting about the best of the best.

Well, here are my favorite covers of books I read this year.

The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner

The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry is a gaslamp fantasy novel about a poor fire witch who lucks into the chance to make some money by serving as a bodyguard, along with other women, to protect a young lady from being assassinated before her wedding. I read this early in the year with Millie from Milliebot Reads and really enjoyed it. The protagonist is one of my favorites that I’ve encountered this year.

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“The Beautiful Ones” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The cover of this novel is beautiful. For that reason alone, I was happy to have it on my shelves, but I was curious about the story too. I read Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic last year and liked it, so I was eager to try something else by her, and The Beautiful Ones had been getting lots of praise. So, when my book club selected it as one of our reads, I wasted no time purchasing it.


Romance; Fantasy




2017; repubbed in 2021

From Goodreads

They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

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