Monday, December 19, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten (or twelve, who is counting?) Books Books I Hope Santa Brings This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl.

My Top Ten Tuesday topic is the Top Ten Twelve Books I Hope Santa Brings This Year. This list was fun to compile and is taking a lot of will power not to run out and get right now. I have quite a few books on my wish list, but these are the current top ten. I don't know if any will find their way under my Christmas tree this year, but what a nice surprise even one of them does! Of course, any book would be a welcome gift! 

Finding Me: A Memoir
 by Viola Davis
In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever.

This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me.

As I wrote
Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. We are forced to reinvent them to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental world. So I wrote this for anyone running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be . . . you.

Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you. [Goodreads Summary]

Not the Witch You Wed
 by April Asher 
A fake relationship between a magic-less witch and a wolf shifter turns to more in the start of a bewitching new paranormal rom-com series.

Magic-less witch Violet Maxwell wants nothing to do with alpha wolf shifter Lincoln Thorne—the man who broke her fragile, teenage heart. But when the two of them are forced by arcane Supernatural Laws to find mates, Violet and Lincoln agree to fake-date their way to a fake-mating in order to conjure themselves some time.

The joke’s on them. When old feelings make a reappearance—along with Violet’s magic—they both realize there’s nothing fake about their feelings. But there are old secrets and looming threats that could snatch away their happily ever after, again. One thing’s for sure: magic doesn’t make dating and love any easier.

In Not the Witch You Wed, April Asher brings all the hilarity and sweet, sexy moments you love in a romantic-comedy—plus a fun dose of magic—to this spell-binding new series about being sexy, single, and supernatural in New York City. [Goodreads Summary]

Our Missing Hearts
by Celeste Ng
From the #1 bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere, comes one of the most highly anticipated books of the year – the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve “American culture” in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic—including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.

Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.

Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can ignore the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact. [Goodreads Summary]


Under a Veiled Moon
 (Inspector Corravan #2) by Karen Odden

In the tradition of C. S. Harris and Anne Perry, a fatal disaster on the Thames and a roiling political conflict set the stage for Karen Odden’s second Inspector Corravan historical mystery.

September 1878. One night, as the pleasure boat the Princess Alice makes her daily trip up the Thames, she collides with the Bywell Castle, a huge iron-hulled collier. The Princess Alice shears apart, throwing all 600 passengers into the river; only 130 survive. It is the worst maritime disaster London has ever seen, and early clues point to sabotage by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, who believe violence is the path to restoring Irish Home Rule.

For Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan, born in Ireland and adopted by the Irish Doyle family, the case presents a challenge. Accused by the Home Office of willfully disregarding the obvious conclusion, and berated by his Irish friends for bowing to prejudice, Corravan doggedly pursues the truth, knowing that if the Princess Alice disaster is pinned on the IRB, hopes for Home Rule could be dashed forever.

Corrovan’s dilemma is compounded by Colin, the youngest Doyle, who has joined James McCabe’s Irish gang. As violence in Whitechapel rises, Corravan strikes a deal with McCabe to get Colin out of harm’s way. But unbeknownst to Corravan, Colin bears longstanding resentments against his adopted brother and scorns his help.

As the newspapers link the IRB to further accidents, London threatens to devolve into terror and chaos. With the help of his young colleague, the loyal Mr. Stiles, and his friend Belinda Gale, Corravan uncovers the harrowing truth—one that will shake his faith in his countrymen, the law, and himself. [Goodreads Summary]


When We Were Birds
 by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
A mythic love story set in Trinidad and Tobago, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo's radiant debut introduces two unforgettable outsiders brought together by their connection with the dead.

You were never the smartest child, but even you should know that when a dead woman offers you a cigarette, the polite thing to do would be to take it. Especially when that dead woman is your mother.

The St. Bernard women have lived in Morne Marie, the house on top of a hill outside Port Angeles, for generations. Built from the ashes of a plantation that enslaved their ancestors, it has come to shelter a lineage that is bonded by much more than blood. One woman in each generation of St. Bernards is responsible for the passage of the city's souls into the afterlife. But Yejide's relationship with her mother, Petronella, has always been contorted by anger and neglect, which Petronella stubbornly carries to her death bed, leaving Yejide unprepared to fulfill her destiny.

Raised in the countryside by a devout Rastafarian mother, Darwin has always abided by the religious commandment not to interact with death. He has never been to a funeral, much less seen a dead body. But when his ailing mother can no longer work and the only job he can find is grave digging, he must betray the life she built for him in order to provide for them both. Newly shorn of his dreadlocks and his past and determined to prove himself, Darwin finds himself adrift in a city electric with possibility and danger.

Yejide and Darwin will meet inside the gates of Fidelis, Port Angeles's largest and oldest cemetery, where the dead lie uneasy in their graves and a reckoning with fate beckons them both. A masterwork of lush imagination and immersive lyricism, When We Were Birds is a spellbinding novel about inheritance, loss, and love's seismic power to heal. [Goodreads Summary]

The Fervor
 by Alma Katsu
A psychological and supernatural twist on the horrors of the Japanese American internment camps in World War II.

1944: As World War II rages on, the threat has come to the home front. In a remote corner of Idaho, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, are desperate to return home. Following Meiko's husband's enlistment as an air force pilot in the Pacific months prior, Meiko and Aiko were taken from their home in Seattle and sent to one of the internment camps in the West. It didn’t matter that Aiko was American-born: They were Japanese, and therefore considered a threat by the American government.

Mother and daughter attempt to hold on to elements of their old life in the camp when a mysterious disease begins to spread among those interned. What starts as a minor cold quickly becomes spontaneous fits of violence and aggression, even death. And when a disconcerting team of doctors arrive, nearly more threatening than the illness itself, Meiko and her daughter team up with a newspaper reporter and widowed missionary to investigate, and it becomes clear to them that something more sinister is afoot, a demon from the stories of Meiko’s childhood, hell-bent on infiltrating their already strange world.

Inspired by the Japanese yokai and the jorogumo spider demon, The Fervor explores a supernatural threat beyond what anyone saw coming; the danger of demonization, a mysterious contagion, and the search to stop its spread before it’s too late. [Goodreads Summary]

The Verifiers (#1) by Jane Pek
Introducing a sharp-witted heroine for the 21st century: a new amateur sleuth exploring the landscape—both physical and virtual—of New York in a debut novel about love, technology, and murder.

Claudia Lin is used to disregarding her fractious family’s model-minority expectations: she has no interest in finding either a conventional career or a nice Chinese boy. She’s also used to keeping secrets from them, such as that she prefers girls—and that she's just been stealth-recruited by Veracity, a referrals-only online-dating detective agency.

A lifelong mystery reader who wrote her senior thesis on Jane Austen, Claudia believes she's landed her ideal job. But when a client goes missing, Claudia breaks protocol to investigate—and uncovers a maelstrom of personal and corporate deceit. Part literary mystery, part family story,
The Verifiers is a clever and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and the nature of romantic love in the digital age. [Goodreads Summary]

Rebel With A Clause: Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian
by Ellen Jovin
For fans of Mary Norris and Benjamin Dreyer, an unconventional guide to the English language drawn from the cross-country adventures of an itinerant grammarian.

When Ellen Jovin first walked outside her Manhattan apartment and set up a folding table with a sign reading “Grammar Table,” it took about 30 seconds to get her first visitor. EVERYONE had a question for her. Grammar Table was such a hit—attracting the attention of the New York Times, NPR, and CBS National News—that Ellen soon hit the road, traveling across the U.S. to answer questions from students, retired editors, bickering couples, and anyone else who uses words in this world.

In Rebel with a Clause she tackles what is most on people’s minds, grammatically speaking—from the Oxford comma to things you were never told about dictionaries, the ubiquity of like, common errors in online dating profiles, the likely lifespan of whom, semicolonphobia, and much, much more!

Punctuated with linguistic debates from tiny towns to sprawling state capitals, this is a treasure trove for anyone wishing to shore up their prose or delight in our age-old and universal fascination with language.
[Goodreads Summary]

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries
 by Kory Stamper
Brimming with intelligence and personality, a vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made a must read for word mavens.

While most of us might take dictionaries for granted, the process of writing them is in fact as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography--from the agonizing decisions about what and how to define, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why small words are the most difficult to define (have you ever tried to define is ?), how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence. Throughout, Stamper brings to life the hallowed halls (and highly idiosyncratic cubicles) of Merriam-Webster, a world inhabited by quirky, erudite individuals who quietly shape the way we communicate. A sure delight for all lovers of words,
Word by Word might also quietly improve readers grasp and use of the English language. [Goodreads Summary]

 by Madeline Miller
An enchanting short story from Madeline Miller that boldly reimagines the myth of Galatea and Pygmalion, now in hardcover for the first time.

In ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece--the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen--the gift of life. After marrying her, he expects Galatea to please him, to be obedience and humility personified. But she has desires of her own and yearns for independence.

In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, Galatea is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost . . . [Goodreads Summary]

Monstress, Vol. 5
 by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda (and volumes 6 and 7, but let's not get ahead of ourselves)
There's no turning back from the long dreaded war between the Federation and Arcanics - a massive human army gathers, ready to destroy the frontier city of Ravenna and enslave its inhabitants. Maika must decide whether to finally embrace her destructive power in the hopes that it can protect her friends - but what will be the consequences of no longer fighting her hunger? Will the repercussions be too much to bear?[Goodreads Summary]

A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year
edited by Jane McMorland Hunter

A calming collection of nature poems to help you relax and unwind at the end of every day.

Now more than ever we’re all in need of a daily fix of the natural world, to comfort and distract us from the cares of everyday life. Keep this beautiful book by your bedside and enjoy a dreamy stroll through nature every evening, just before you go to sleep. All the great, time-honoured poets are here – William Wordsworth, John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Robert Bridges – along with some newer and less-well known poetic voices. The poems reflect and celebrate the changing seasons: read Emily Brontë on bluebells in spring and Edward Thomas’s evocative ‘Adlestrop’ in summer, then experience golden autumn with Hartley Coleridge and William Blake's 'To Winter'. Beautifully illustrated with scenes from each season, this wonderful book deserves a place on your bedside table for years to come.

Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think? What books would you like Santa to bring you this year? 

© 2022, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I’m curious about Finding Me, too.

    My post:

    1. Lydia - I do not read a lot of memoirs, but this one is really calling to me. Thank you for visiting!

  2. What an interesting collection of books, Wendy. I am intrigued by The Fervor, it sounds really good. I hope you get at least a couple of these from Santa.

    1. Carla - I think it sounds The Fervor sounds good too. :-) Thank you for stopping by!

  3. I hope you find all these books under the tree! Our Missing Hearts and The Fervor are on my Christmas list too.

    1. AJ - That would be nice. Thank you! I hope you find some books under your tree this year! Thank you for visiting.

  4. I've got a couple of these on my Kindle, but they are unread as yet. Hope you find some surprises under your tree. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Wendy!

    1. Kay - Any books would be nice. :-) I hope you have a Merry Christmas too. Thank you for stopping by!

  5. I hope Santa is good to you this year! Merry Christmas, have a great week!

  6. I hope you get all of these books. I really enjoyed Finding Me. What an inspirational book

    1. Wendy - I look forward to reading it someday! Thank you for stopping by!

  7. I really enjoyed Galatea and I'm looking forward to reading Viola Davis' memoir as well. I hope you find these books under your tree this year and enjoy them all! Happy reading :)

    1. Dini - I am glad to hear you enjoyed Galatea! Thank you for visiting!

  8. Replies
    1. Deanna - Wouldn't that be nice? Thank you for stopping by!

  9. What a wonderful list - eclectic and broad in scope, and each book sounds fascinating! I'm putting several of them on my want-to-read list, particularly the nature poetry collection. Merry Christmas, and I hope you find at least a few of these under the tree!

    My list isn't quite as wide-ranging, but like yours, it covers several genres.

    1. Lark (Bookwyrm) - Doesn't that poetry collection sound good? It's recommended by another blogger. I hope you have a Merry Christmas too! Thank you for visiting!

  10. Ooh...The Fervor looks really good. I want to read that one. Hope you get all of these and more for Christmas. :D

    1. Lark - I like the sound of The Fervor too. I hope we both get a chance to read it! Thank you for stopping by!

  11. I have Not the Witch You Wed on my TBR. I hope to get to it in the new year.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

    1. Pam - I have been really wanting to read that one. I hope you enjoy it when you read it! Thank you for visiting!

  12. I have not read any of those but I hope you get a few of them.

    1. Mary - Thank you! I would be happy with almost any book, I think. :-) Thank you for visiting!

  13. I loved Circe and think Galatea is one I'd enjoy!

  14. Les - I loved Circe too. Thank you for stopping by!

  15. The Fervor sounds fascinating! You've got a great list here. I hope you see at least some of them under your tree!

    1. Lisa - Thank you! I hope so too. :-) Thank you for visiting!

  16. I have Word by Word on my library TBR and am really looking forward to it. Now it sounds like I need to add Rebel Without a Clause to my list. I hope you love these books!

    1. Katherine - Author Benjamin Dryer recommended Word by Word and Rebel Without a Cause and they both sound so good to me. I still need to read his book, but that's another story. LOL Thank you for stopping by!

  17. I haven't heard of the Nature Poems book. I want it now, too!

    1. Anne - I just learned about it recently too from a fellow blogger. It would be a nice way to start or close out each day! Thank you for visiting!

  18. Oh my, I haven't read any of these books, but they all look good. I hope someone gets you at least one or two of these!

  19. So many of these sound good! I just added a couple to my own wishlist. I hope you get all of them. Merry Christmas! :)

  20. I hope you got all these fun sounding books. Monstress is so great.


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