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Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Want to Gift



A new Tuesday, a new prompt for Top 10 Tuesday. This week the prompt is Books I Hope Santa Brings. We made a family group decision this year to do away with Christmas gifts and focus on spending time together. So, I won't be receiving any books this year. I'm going to switch it up and share books I would like to gift (and the recipient).


Thanks to Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl for hosting another week of Top Ten Tuesday. I enjoy participating each week for a couple reasons. I'm a compulsive list maker and love a good list. And, I love a connection with other readers as I wander their book blogs. Click on the book cover to go to Goodreads.


My eldest son studied and loves medieval history, particularly battles and wars:


Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

Published 1998; 526 pages


An epic novel of the Battle of Thermopylae: At Thermopylae, a rocky mountain pass in northern Greece, the feared and admired Spartan soldiers stood three hundred strong. Theirs was a suicide mission, to hold the pass against the invading millions of the mighty Persian army.


Day after bloody day they withstood the terrible onslaught, buying time for the Greeks to rally their forces.




My youngest son loves epic fantasy series - the challenge is to find one to engage him that he hasn't already read (I want this one too, ha):



The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Published 2018; 545 pages


A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic.







I have two nieces (both in their 30s with young children) with very different reading tastes:


Massachusetts niece enjoys mysteries/thrillers

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Published 2022; 352 pages


After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in Nana’s crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. Finally back together one last time, when the tide comes in, they will be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. And, murders occur!

Reviewed here




North Carolina niece enjoys a little fantasy and magical realism

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Published 2017; 386 pages


After trying and failing to have children, a couple decides to make a change and move to remote Alaska. The conditions are harsh and the marriage starts to show cracks. One winter day, they lightheartedly build a snow child and the next morning.....it's gone but they see a child running in the woods. An uplifting story with a touch of a fairytale about it.

Reviewed here




My sister is an avid reader and she's a tough one because it's hard to know what she's read. She loves mysteries, historical fiction, books set in India, and anything with animals in it. For her I choose:



The Dressmaker of Paris by Georgia Kaufmann

Published 2021; 398 pages


The life of a poor girl from Italy who survives the Nazi invasion, escapes to Switzerland, finds love and success in Paris.








A good friend who cooks like a master chef needs this book:


Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

Published 2021; 291 pages


A delightful memoir about a man who revels in a well prepared meal. He shares some of his favorite recipes and along the way you get a glimpse into his personal life.

Reviewed here







A friend who enjoys complex fantasy (I've recommended and he's enjoyed Jemisin) will get:



The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez

Published 2022; 544 pages


An epic, sweeping adventure about two young men trying to keep promises, save a god, and avoid the ire of the evil royal sons. It's about identity, legacy, and belonging told in a myth-like way.

Reviewed here






A good friend whose favorite books are historical nonfiction. That's a challenge since I don't read much nonfiction, so I'll take a guess and send:



Dead Wake: Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Published 2015; 430 pages


The Lusitania, an elegant, luxury ocean liner set out from NYC to Liverpool filled with passengers. Germany was determined to change the rules of war and planned an attack. Larson writes in a readable style what really happened in that tragedy.






And for any last minute gift giving I might need, I'll keep a copy of this book that will please any reader, wrapped and ready to gift:



Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Published 2022; 360 pages


Delightful. Insightful. An elderly woman works at a small aquarium in the Pacific Northwest and forms a bond with an octopus, Marcellus. It's a story of loss, connections, family.

Reviewed here







Is there a book on my gift list that you're hoping Santa will bring? I hope all your bookish dreams come true. I'm looking forward to seeing what you all want under your tree. Happy Holidays everyone!




Welcome to Bookshelf Journeys.

It's my goal to provide real reviews of the books I read without totally rehashing every plot. I'll never spoil a story by giving away a plot twist! Hopefully you'll find one or two of interest and will discover a new book or author to add to YOUR TBR list.  Take a moment to explore, read a couple reviews, and let me know what you think.

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