Top 5 Tuesday #79: History With a Twist

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 set in an alternate universe


So, instead of an alternate universe, I’ve decided to focus on books set in this universe but with a historical twist, I guess. The following are all fantasy books set in this world in the past… or seem to be set in this world in the past.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

The majority of this YA novel takes place shortly after the Civil War — when the dead began to rise. Because of this predicament, Black and Native American teens are trained to protect wealthy White people from zombie attacks. I enjoyed this story, mostly because of the plucky protagonist, but also because of the zombies.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

This novella takes place either during the slave trade or shortly after. It’s about what became of the slaves lost during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade — those who took their lives by jumping overboard the ships. It was an interesting read, but I didn’t like the execution much. I only liked the lore it gives us about what happened to slaves who went into the sea and its exploration of the trauma of slavery and how it affects people generations later.

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

This is Glover’s debut fantasy novel. The majority of it is set shortly after slavery was abolished in the U.S. The protagonist, Hetty, is a former slave who helped others escape slavery via the Underground Railroad. But now that slavery is abolished, she works with her partner, Benjy, to solve crimes that occur in Philadelphia’s Black communities. In this alternative past, there are two types of magic systems, Celestial magic, which Black people use, and Sorcery, which White people use. It’s a great premise, but some parts of the story worked for me while others didn’t.

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

I don’t know history so well to tell the equivalent of the historical period this story takes place in, but I assume the country that is the focus of the story is France. Kushiel’s Dart is the first book, and it’s fantasy about a courtesan trained as a spy who uses her skills to save her kingdom many times. I really enjoyed these books and loved how they are written. Although it took me a while to work through the third book in the trilogy, I enjoyed it because we get to see even more countries in this world, such as the equivalent of Egypt, Greece, and Ethiopia.

Rasputin, Vol. 1: The Road to the Winter Place by Alex Grecian

This comic book takes us to Russia. It’s a fantasy comic that gives us an alternative background to Rasputin, the monk who served as a healer and adviser to the Romanovs during Nicholas II’s monarchy. It’s an origin story that mixes in some folklore, and it’s very intriguing. But it’s been a while since I’ve read it, so I wonder if I’ll like it still if I should reread it today.


LET ME KNOW IF YOU’VE READ ANY OF THESE.

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Top 5 Tuesday #78: Books Set in the Future

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 set in the future


I read even fewer books that are set in the future than I do those set in present. I think this is because I think most books set in the future are sci-fi novels, and I don’t often read those.

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

This short sci-fi classic is about an alien race visiting earth to help usher the human race toward higher evolution, I guess. The aliens help humans to better themselves and live longer, but the ultimate goal for that betterment is not what people expect. The premise sounds interesting, but I didn’t like the story because it seemed more like an exploration of ideas rather than an entertaining narrative, which is what I wanted.

Boy-1, #1 by H.S. Tak, illus. by Amancay Nahuelpan

I haven’t thought about this comic book since I read it back in 2016. It’s sci-fi set in the future about a dude who’s heir to his father’s genetic-research company that has developed a genome that improves the physical and mental states of chimps. The company wants to progress to testing the genome on humans, but the protagonist, Jadas, isn’t sure if that should happen. I found the story interesting, especially the mystery surrounding Jadas’s father, but not enough for me to continue with it.

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Top 5 Tuesday #77: Books Set in the Present

Top 5 Tuesday — on Wednesday! This 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 set in the present


Contemporary really isn’t my thing. Compared to the other genres, I read it the least. I guess I just prefer to either get stuck in the past or in some fantastical land than having to deal with the present. But somehow I managed to come up with books for this theme.

Virtually Yours by Jeremy Holt, illus. by Elizabeth Beals

It’s a standalone contemporary-romance graphic novel about a guy and girl who connect on a dating app called Virtually Yours.

The Journey by Francesca Sanna (illus.)

It’s a children’s picture book about the refugee crisis. It focuses on a family, a mother and her two children, trying to migrate to a new land because their country is ravaged by war.

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Top 5 Tuesday #76: Books Set in the Past

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 set in the past

(How far back in the past is completely up to you.)


A couple months ago, I did a tag thing that made me realize that historical fiction is one of my most read genres, and apparently one of my favorites too, so there were many books I wanted to mention for this post. Instead, I chose to focus on five I haven’t chatted about in a while.

Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliott

I consider this a short story because of how short it is. It’s a mermaid story that’s set during the Atlantic slave trade, and it’s about a young girl who is abducted from her village and sold into slavery. The majority of the story takes place during her journey across the Atlantic, and it also includes an appearance by a Yoruba deity named Yemoja (or Yemaya in the Americas), which is a water spirit. It was an interesting story, but I wish it was longer.

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

I enjoy reading Cruz’s books. Dominicana mostly takes place in New York City during the mid-1960s. It’s about a young woman named Ana who marries a man twice her age when she was just 15 years old to get the opportunity to immigrant to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic to better support her family. It was an engrossing read.

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Top 5 Tuesday #75: Comics Set at School

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 set at a school

Here are five comic books that take place at a school of some kind or involves characters attending such institutions.

Archie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid, illus. by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Veronica Fish

This is the first volume in the reboot of the classic comic book series staring the all-American teen, Archie, who attends Riverdale High with his friends Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. This first volume mostly introduces us to the characters. I remember not being very impressed by it, so I didn’t continue with the series.

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Top 5 Tuesday #74: These Ones Give Summer Vibes

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 remind you of a season

I’m supposed to list books that remind me of the four seasons, but (luckily for Meeghan — HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!) I can only think of books that remind me of summer, lol! So here are five books that give me strong summer vibes.

To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer

This one falls toward the older end of middle grade, bordering on YA. It’s a contemporary novel about two girls whose single dads are dating and want their daughters to meet and get along. It’s an epistolary novel, as the story is relayed via emails and texts the girls use to communicate. And it gives me summer vibes because it takes place in the summer while the girls are at camp and because it reminds me of the movie Parent Trap. The story is light, fun, and sweet.

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Top 5 Tuesday #73: Death

Here’s a Top 5 Tuesday post on a Wednesday because I forgot that yesterday was going to be Tuesday. 😩

You might think that’s odd of me, and you’d be right. My internal clock is a bit skewed at the moment, and I’m even more off schedule than I’ve been since this year started because now I’m very sick. 😷

Hopefully things will get back to some sort of normal around here soon.

Btw, 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 about a death


Well… I didn’t realize until after drafting the post that the topic is “about a death” rather that “about death” as a theme, hence my limited selections below. 

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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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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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