Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics
- November 2: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading
- November 9: Memorable Things Characters Have Said
- November 16: Books to Read If You Love… Children’s Adventure Books
- November 23: Characters I’d Love an Update On
- November 30: Bookish Memories
- December 7: Diversity in 2021
- December 14: Books on my Winter 2021 To-Read List
This week’s topic feels a little self-serving: all about what I want. It’s about me – me, me, me! And I am the sort of chap who genuinely prefers to give than to receive.
But also, I remember doing this in June and I hope the pleasure and delights people felt receiving my little offerings was as powerful as the joy I felt when unexpected gifts – and fabulous books – popped through my letter box! So this is my chance to play Secret Santa and to say thank you to everyone who has welcomed me into a lovely friendly and oh-so-bookish community.
So, whilst the best present of all is – of course – your company at this Yuletide time, my Amazon wishlist is linked here with neither expectation nor any obligation on anyone!
This time around I have included some books that I have adored electronically that I would love to have physically, either because they are just wonderful books, or they are beautiful covers, or they complete a set!
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey’s clerk, and later his successor.
I ‘read’ this first as an audiobook, then re-read it as a paperback, then electronically and I love it and the whole series! But I got Bring Up the Bodies and The Mirror and the Light in hardback, and I’d love my shelf to look even!
Piranesi, Susanna Clarke
In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides that thunder up staircases, the clouds that move in slow procession through the upper halls. On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend, the Other. At other times he brings tributes of food to the Dead. But mostly, he is alone.
It took a while to get into, but I ended up devouring and adoring this novel so much and was so pleased to see it getting so much attention and accolades.
The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern
When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.
Just an absolute gem of a novel, and a stunning cover!
House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
A young couple – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Will Navidson and his partner Karen Green – move into a small home on Ash Tree Lane.
But something is terribly wrong – their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
I do have this as an e-book… It does not work as an e-book! Not in my opinion anyway!
Beautiful World, Where Are You, Sally Rooney
Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young – but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They worry about sex and friendship and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?
Possibly one of the must-read books of the year. I read the opening chapter through NetGalley and loved it and so want to see where the characters go next.
The Illustrated Etymologicon, Mark Forsyth
What is the actual connection between disgruntled and gruntled? What links church organs to organised crime, California to the Caliphate, or brackets to codpieces?
Mark Forsyth’s riotous celebration of the idiosyncratic and sometimes absurd connections between words is a classic of its kind: a mine of fascinating information and a must-read for word-lovers everywhere.
I loved this book and devoured it in an evening – wit, wordplay and erudition… adding illustrations? What’s not to love?
Also, I have noticed that the cover on my Kindle is a little faded and stained and looks a little sorry for itself now, after a couple of years.
In addition to the books above, the following would be rather useful for keeping my habit of bullet journalling alive… and encouraging me to bullet journal even more! And maybe even put some effort into making it look pretty!
I have been using an A5 Leuchtturm 1917 as my go-to bullet journal, but I am finding the paper in it a little thin and A5 is perhaps a little small, so I am looking to branch out into other makes and styles and sizes… And you just cannot have enough journals!
And fountain pens… after my wife bought me my first Parker Urban, this has been a reliable go-to again for fountain pens. It writes nicely, is pretty durable and not so expensive that I’d weep if I lost it. And working in a school, I lose things very easily! I mean, I’d love a Caran d’Ache or a Waterman… but, however gorgeous those pens are, I cannot conceive who would spend that on a pen!
Finally, I think I threw up some comedy socks and cups too, because you need warm feet and a good cup of tea whilst reading, don’t you?
So there we have it, in the final days before Christmas – just a few of the things that I might like in my stocking. There is of course no obligation on any of you to do so, but in the spirit of the season, this is the link to my Amazon Wishlist.
Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes
- December 21: Books I Hope Santa Brings/Bookish Wishes
- December 28: Best Books I Read In 2021
- January 4: Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the First Half of 2022
- January 11: Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection
- January 18: 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To
- January 25: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021