Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10… Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Auto-Buy Authors

We all have our favourite authors, who we eagerly lap up every new release of or diligently hunt down their whole back-catalogue of books. With a slight twist, here are ten of the authors (listed alphabetically) that I either auto-buy or auto-request on NetGalley:

  1. M. C. Beaton – Being a fan of Beaton’s long-standing, cosy-crime series, Agatha Raisin, I am always on the look out for later books, so I continue reading the series in order.
  2. Linda Gillard – As one of my favourite authors, I want to read all of Gillard’s novels: new and old! Most recently, I read Cauldstane and I have The Trysting Tree lined-up to hopefully read soon.
  3. Joanne M. Harris – After loving The Gospel of Loki, Harris has become one of my auto-request authors. I just read more about Loki in Runemarks. and I have The Testament of Loki lined-up to read too.
  4. Susanna Kearsley – As one of my favourite authors, I want to read all of Kearsley novels: new and old! Recently, I read her newest novel, Bellewether and I have her older novel, The Firebird lined-up to read next.
  5. Laurie R. King – Being a fan of King’s nostalgic Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery series, I am always on the look out for later books, so I continue reading the series in order.
  6. Karen Maitland – Since being bewitched by Maitland’s writing in The Raven’s Head, I have requested more and added to my Amazon wish-list. Recently I read A Gathering of Ghosts.
  7. Daphne du Maurier – As one of my favourite authors, I want to read all of du Maurier’s novels! Last year, I read The House on the Strand and Frenchmen’s Creek. Now I have The Loving Spirit lined-up to read next.
  8. Anne O’Brien – As one of my go-to authors for my historical fix, I eagerly request every one of O’Brien’s new novels. Last I read was The Shadow Queen and I have three of her books on my Kindle to look forward too.
  9. Terry Pratchett – Being a big fan of Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld series, I am always on the look out for books either my dad or I don’t already have to complete our collection and keep us reading!
  10. Alison Weir – As another of my go-to authors for my historical fix, I eagerly buy/request every one of Weir’s new books, especially those in her brilliant Six Tudor Queens series.

Have you read any of my choices? What authors do you auto-buy? Also, please share your link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10… Books on My Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Books On My Summer 2019 TBR

There are many wonderful books awaiting me on my bookshelf and Kindle, however here are ten books, ordered alphabetically, I am looking forward to reading this summer, as part of my 10 Books of Summer challenge:

  1. Cold Fire by Dean Koontz – A mystery recommended by my dad that will be perfect for my What’s in a Name 2019 reading challenge.
  2. The Dragon’s Blade: The Last Guardian by Michael R. Miller – After reading Veiled Intentions, I look forward to finishing this fantasy trilogy.
  3. Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott – Looking forward to seeing how Aunt Jo and her boys progress from Alcott’s Little Men.
  4. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory – After loving The Red Queen, I look forward to continuing Gregory’s popular Cousins’ War series.
  5. The Moor by Laurie R. King – I think it is high time to read more from King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery series.
  6. Queen of the North by Anne O’Brien – Sadly I have fallen behind with O’Brien’s newest historical fiction, this is the next one up for me.
  7. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett – The next book I have, chronologically, from Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld series.
  8. River Rising by John A. Heldt – After finishing Heldt’s American Journey series, I look forward to this, the first book in his Carson Chronicles series.
  9. Runemarks by Joanne M. Harris – I am hoping for another refreshing, re-imagining of the Norse Gods and legends, like in The Gospel of Loki.
  10. Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans – A Christian non-fiction that was highly recommended to me by a fellow blogger.

Have you read any of my choices? What books are on your summer TBR? Also, please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10… Books on My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

There are many wonderful books awaiting me on my bookshelf and Kindle, however here are ten books, ordered alphabetically, I am looking forward to reading this spring:

  1. Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist by M. C. Beaton – The sixth book in Beaton’s long-running, cosy-crime series.
  2. By Sword and Storm by Margaret Skea – The eagerly anticipated conclusion to Skea’s brilliant, historical Munro Scottish trilogy.
  3. Cold Fire by Dean Koontz – A mystery recommended by my dad that will be perfect for my What’s in a Name 2019 reading challenge.
  4. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett – The next book I have, chronologically, from Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld series.
  5. Howards End by E. M. Forster – For some reason I think this turn-of-the-century classic could be a perfect spring read.
  6. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory – After loving The Red Queen, I look forward to continuing Gregory’s popular Cousins’ War series.
  7. Love Wins by Rob Bell – This controversial look at God’s love and judgement is an upcoming read for my church’s book club.
  8. River Rising by John A. Heldt – After finishing Heldt’s American Journey series, I look forward to this, the first book in his Carson Chronicles series.
  9. Runemarks by Joanne M. Harris – I am hoping for another refreshing, re-imagining of the Norse Gods and legends, like in The Gospel of Loki.
  10. The Tudor Crown by Joanna Hickson – After loving First of the Tudors, I also look forward to continuing Hickson’s new historical series.

Have you read any of my choices? What books are on your spring TBR? Also, please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10… New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

Last year, I was again blessed to read and enjoy many new-to-me authors, especially through my church’s book club. Here are the ten new-to-me authors I liked the most from the year:

  1. Anne Brontë – Anne’s beautifully written The Tenant of Wildfell Hall showed me that she is a worthy equal to her older, better known sisters.
  2. Nabeel Qureshi – My first read of the year for my church’s book club was his eye-opening, international bestseller, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.
  3. Brother Andrew – While my May read for my church’s book club was Andrew’s truly inspiring and thrilling memoir, God’s Smuggler.
  4. Snorri Kristjansson – Perfect for the darker, cooler days of autumn was Kristjansson’s excellent, debut Viking murder mystery, Kin.
  5. Peter Bartram – I loved escaping back into Bartram’s nostalgic mysteries, Headline Murder and Stop Press Murder set in 1960’s Brighton.
  6. Michael R. Miller – More fun, escapist reading came in The Reborn King and Veiled Intentions, from the epic fantasy series, The Dragon’s Blade.
  7. Mingmei Yip – While I travelled back in time to China of the 1900s, with Yip’s exotic, historical fiction, Peach Blossom Pavilion.
  8. Lee Strobel – My church’s book club read for February was Strobel’s The Case for Grace, a compelling collection of inspiring stories.
  9. Christopher Nicole – The first book in Nicole’s historical saga, Eleanor of Aquitaine was a gripping historical soap opera for the start of summer.
  10. John Bunyan – It might have been hard going at times, but Bunyan’s classic allegorical novel, The Pilgrim’s Progress was a rewarding read.

Have you read any of my choices? What new-to-you authors did you read in 2018? Also, please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

My Top 10 Adaptations 2018

As 2018 comes to an end, I continue my reflection back on another great year, with a round-up post of my favourite new-to-me adaptations. After a long, hard think here are my top ten adaptations (ordered alphabetically) I have watched this year:

~ 1 ~

A Very English Scandal (2018)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

A new British three-part drama, based on John Preston’s book, which dramatizes the 1970’s political scandal of Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), leader of the Liberal Democrats, being tried for conspiring to murder his former lover, Norman Scott (Ben Wishaw). With a gay love-affair, a bungled murder plot and a dead dog… this really has it all for a very funny yet chilling watch!

~ 2 ~

Endeavour (Series 5)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

This year saw ITV air the fifth series of nostalgic ITV crime drama, based on Colin Dexter’s characters and prequel to the Inspector Morse series. It is 1968 and young detective sergeant Endeavour Morse is investigating several new bloody investigations, as Cowley police station faces closure and race/gang tensions rise in Oxford. Another gloriously atmospheric and nostalgic series.

~ 3 ~

The City and the City (2018)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

A gripping, BBC four-part science-fiction/crime noir drama, based on China Miéville’s novel. Set in the fictional twin cities of Besźel and Ul Qoma, we follow Inspector Tyador Borlú (David Morrissey) as he investigates the murder of a young woman, who may have illegally ‘breached’ from one city into the other. You need your thinking-cap on for this one, but it is worth it.

~ 4 ~

Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (2013)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

I was thrilled to finally see the final episode of ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot series, starring the brilliant David Suchet as our favourite, little Belgian detective. Poirot and his old friend Hastings return to Styles Court, the site of his first ever murder, to solve what will be his final poignant case. An excellent cast, a twisting mystery, high-stakes, raw emotion and an ending I never saw coming!

~ 5 ~

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
Read     Film     Cinema

In this, the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), inspired by J K Rowling’s fictional textbook, we re-join Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his case of magical creatures in Paris, France; as he tries to trace the Obscurial, Creedence Barebone, before the dark wizard Grindelwald. Another wonderful, fantasy romp with a more adult edge. I didn’t love it as much as the first, but I still had a big grin on my face.

~ 6 ~

Killing Eve (2018)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

New BBC drama, based on Luke Jennings’ thriller novella series, introduces us to Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), a low-wrung officer for MI5, who gets the chance to hunt down the deadly female assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer). This had me gripped, scared and laughing in equal measure, as these two strong women become dangerously obsessed with each other.

~ 7 ~

Mr. Holmes (2015)
Not Read     Film     Television

I was thrilled to finally watch this alternative Holmes mystery, based on Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel. In 1947, the long-retired Holmes (Ian McKellan), aged 93, is desperately struggling to recall the details of his final case, as his mind slowly deteriorates. There are no huge thrills in this film, instead what you get is an emotionally charged, well-wrought and superbly acted drama.

~ 8 ~

North and South (2004)
Read     TV Series     Television

I was thrilled to finally watch this much-talked-about adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s 1855 novel, which sees the lovely Daniela Denby-Ashe and the dashing Richard Armitage beautifully portraying young Southerner, Margaret and Northern industrialist, Mr Thornton, and their uneasy, growing attraction. The costumes, setting and supporting cast were also excellent.

~ 9 ~

Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of the Four (2018)
Read     Play     Theatre

I was very lucky to see Blackeyed Theatre’s excellent stage adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novella. Which cleverly transported me back to smoggy Victorian London and warm, exotic India for a gripping mystery with the famous sleuth, Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr Watson. All of which was performed with drama, finesse and humour.

~ 10 ~

Shetland (Series 4)
Not Read     TV Series    Television

The fourth series of this atmospheric BBC crime drama, based on Ann Cleeve’s characters. A cold case of a murdered teenager is re-opened when the chief suspect returns to the island… only for another young woman to be murdered. Thus Jimmy Perez and his team are drawn into another gripping, dark and twisting case, all set against the beautiful, rugged, isolated backdrop of Shetland.


Honorary mentions must also go to: the pantomime, Cinderella (2018), BBC crime dramas, Ordeal by Innocence (2018) and And Then There Were None (2015), and the Marvel film Deadpool 2 (2018).

Did you watch any of these? What were your favourite adaptations you watched in 2018?

Yesterday, I started my reflection back on the year with My Top 10 Books of 2018 post. On New Year’s day, I will complete my reflection with some statistics and an overall round-up of my reading.

My Top 10 Books of 2018

As 2018 comes to an end, it is time to start reflecting back on another great year of reading. First up is my round-up of my favourite new-to-me books. After a long, hard think here are my top ten books (ordered alphabetically by author) I have read this year:

~ 1 ~

God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew (1968)

This classic of Christian literature was an inspiring and thrilling tale of one man’s truly awesome faith and mission, which also made for a wonderful discussion point at my church’s book club meeting.

~ 2 ~

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (1848)

A beautifully written classic from the third Brontë sister, with engaging characters, which cleverly explores the societal troubles, strifes and wrongs of its time.

~ 3 ~

Cauldstane by Linda Gillard (2014)

Another beautiful written tale, from one of my favourite authors, with all the things I love: mystery; romance; history; a big, old house and a touch of the paranormal.

~ 4 ~

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory (2010)

After The White Queen made my list last year, it was brilliant to discover that this was another well written and researched piece of historical fiction from Gregory, which gripped me from beginning to end this year!

~ 5 ~

Kin by Snorri Kristjansson (2018)

An excellent historical fiction, which is also a fast, gripping and twisting murder mystery, that shows a very different side to the raiding and pillaging Vikings.

~ 6 ~

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier (1969)

A superb, time-travelling horror, from the gothic queen, du Maurier, that had me gripped from beginning to end. A precursor/inspiration perhaps for those newer dual narrative novels that I enjoy so much.

~ 7 ~

Queen of Hearts, Volume 3: War of the Cards by Colleen Oakes (2017)

After Volume 1 and 2 made the list back in 2014, it is great that this fitting and very satisfying ending to this clever and refreshing re-imagining of Wonderland made it this year. It was worth the wait!

~ 8 ~

Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver (2016)

A great collection of new and traditional recipes for all the family with a super food twist. So far I have made Jamie’s Sag Aloo Korma, Veggie Bolognese and Four Seasons Minestrone (Summer & Autumn).

~ 9 ~

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi (2014)

This award winning, international bestseller was an eye-opening look at Islam and an inspiring tale of finding true peace in the love of Jesus.

~ 10 ~

Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir (2016)

The first book in Weir’s ambitious Six Tudor Queens series, is a powerful tale of a courageous woman, that completely immersed me into tumultuous Tudor England.


Honorary mentions must also go to fictions: Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier and Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir, and cookbooks: The Hairy Dieters (5) Go Veggie by Si King & Dave Myers and The Hairy Dieters (6) Make It Easy by Si King & Dave Myers. I also loved re-reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, and audiobook Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling & read by Stephen Fry.

Have you read any of these? What were your favourite books in 2018?

Tomorrow, I will continue my reflection on 2018 with a round-up of my favourite new-to-me adaptations I have watched, and then, on New Year’s day, I will finish with some reading statistics.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10… Books on My Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Winter 2018 TBR

There are many wonderful books awaiting me on my bookshelf and Kindle, however here are ten books, ordered alphabetically, I am most looking forward to reading this winter:

  1. Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley – Having loved all of her previous books, I am super excited about this, Kearsley newest dual-narrative novel.
  2. By Sword and Storm by Margaret Skea – The eagerly anticipated conclusion to Skea’s brilliant, historical Munro Scottish trilogy.
  3. Emma by Jane Austen – I am looking forward to re-reading this delightful classic, my result for The Classics Club‘s 19th Spin event.
  4. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier – I love du Maurier and this would also be perfect for my What’s in a Name 2018 challenge.
  5. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett – The next book I have, chronologically, from Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld series.
  6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – I look forward to completing my re-read of this thrilling YA trilogy.
  7. Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley – After enjoying the TV documentary it will be good to read the accompanying book.
  8. Lives of Notorious Cooks by Brendan Connell – This set of fictional biographies of famous chefs through the ages sounds fascinating.
  9. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory – After loving The Red Queen, I look forward to continuing Gregory’s popular Cousins’ War series.
  10. The Tudor Crown by Joanna Hickson – After loving First of the Tudors, I also look forward to continuing Hickson’s new historical series.

Have you read any of my choices? What books are on your winter TBR? Also, please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.