Top Ten Tuesday: My Favourite Couples in Books

(I wrote this yesterday and then got distracted and forgot all about it. I’m backdating it.)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is ‘Couples in Books’ I can do this.

  1. Jane Drew and Bran Davies in Silver on the Tree

They aren’t a couple, but I’m willing them to be, in the life they’ll have after the series. However, Bran is the son of King Arthur so I don’t know if he’ll be allowed to just live his life without interference from the Old Ones.

2. Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth  in Persuasion

‘Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.’


Persuasion is my favourite love story because it so nearly didn’t end well. Anne and Frederick are given a second chance. We should all be so lucky.

3. Jo March and Laurie Lawrence in the Little Women books by Louisa May Alcott

They do not end up together in Alcott’s books, but in an alternate universe somewhere, they are together and bickering happily.

4. Mildred Lathbury and Everard Bone in Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Not a typical or obvious romance. In fact, is there any romance at all? You might say that Mr Bone only wants someone to type up his notes for him, but I can imagine a practical and peaceful pairing, and the couple quite happy and satisfied.

5. Charles Ryder and Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Charles thinks he saw Julia in Sebastian, but perhaps it’s Sebastian he sees and desires in Julia. Their friendship in the early days (in Oxford, Brideshead Castle, London and Rome), is the most beautifully described romance I’ve ever read.

6. Christina Russell and Will Russell

It’s pretty funny how practically every male in Christina’s life falls in love with her. Must be the way she has with horses. She marries three (men, not horses) in pretty quick succession, but Will is the best. Because of his way with flying machines.

7. Maree Mallory and Rupert Venables in Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones

I love how unlikely a couple they are. I love how Rupert sounds like he’s way prettier than Maree.

8. Sophie Hatter and Howl

Isn’t it wonderful how Howl fell in love with Sophie when she was an old crone?

9. Ann Stavely and Mordion Agenos in Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones

Another unlikely pairing. Yes, I know I’ve chosen three couples from DWJ books, but she writes them so well and they are interesting because their relationship (the romantic one, that is) is never the point of the stories.

10. Laura Lynton and Scott Kennedy in Linda Blake’s Laura books

I have a huge crush on Scott Kennedy and I think Laura is the one for him. They dance together and their stage partnership is as electrifying as Nuryev and Fonteyn’s. Off stage, they fight a lot and find it impossible to commit to one another. I am so wicked.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Reads 2018

I am no longer clued in enough about book publishing dates to take on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt: Upcoming Releases I’m on the Fence About. I have a vague idea of some books that are coming out this year, but nothing definite. These days, unlike when I was writing book reviews and managing the books pages of a newspaper, if I do know a book’s release date,  it’s because I’ve heard it on a podcast, read it somewhere, or someone more knowledgeable has told me. It’s more likely I hear about ‘new’ books after they’ve been published — via an interview with the author, a review or recommendation.

Anyway, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl‘, but today I am posting my ten favourite reads from 2018. Late, I know, but then it’s never too late to read these books.

My ten favourite books, in no particular order:

Top Ten

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

The Nakano Thrift Store by Hiromi Kawakami

Manazuru by Hiromi Kawakami

Provenance by Ann Leckie

The Magicians of Madh by Aditi Krishnakumar

Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx

Murder While You Work by Susan Scarlett (Noel Streatfeild)

The Tale of the Bidadari by Stephani Soejono

Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

And if I had to narrow it down to my favourite five …

Top Five

The Nakano Thrift Store by Hiromi Kawakami

Provenance by Ann Leckie

The Magicians of Madh by Aditi Krishnakumar

Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx

Murder While You Work by Susan Scarlett (Noel Streatfeild)



Top Ten Tuesday: No Words

I wasn’t feeling the prompt for this week’s Top Ten (book merchandise — 10 different kinds of Moomin merch would be rather boring, no?) so I’m doing my favourite wordless /nearly wordless picture books.

I’ve cheated and listed eleven books, but with Sunshine and Moonlight by Jan Omerod, you really can’t have one without the other.






Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl.

Top Ten Tuesday: Creepy Reads

As it’s the eve of All Saints Day tomorrow (OK, OK, Halloween), here are ten books that I find super creepy in that quietly disturbing way that’s so much more frightening (to me) than anything bloody and violent.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.



Hardboiled & Hard Luck by BananaYoshimoto

Manazuru by Hiromi Kawakami

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Dracula by Bram Stoker

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Ring by Koji Suzuki

Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Most Recently Uploaded To My Kindle

It’s a freebie for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m listing the ten books most recently uploaded to my Kindle. I have read The Exorcist and I was sent Not So Stories for review. As for the rest, just like paper-and-ink books, Kindle editions are acquired simply because you need to have these books (now!), never mind when you’re actually going to read them.

Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers

In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

Counternarratives by John Keene

Edinburgh by Alexander Chee

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore

Where I’m Reading From by Tim Parks

Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers by Janet Malcolm

An English Murder by Cyril Hare

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty