Blogmas Day 20 – Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope Santa Brings This Year

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.

There are so many great books out there that I’d hope to get for Christmas, but I honestly get less books now than I used to – that’s not a bad thing, as I have so many on shelves and in boxes etc, scattered all around the house. But there’s always the possibility Santa does drop one down the chimney, so I can still live in hope. All the books listed below are on my Bookish Wishes Amazon wish list along with a few others.

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings This Year

Love in the Time of Serial Killers – Alicia Thompson

Turns out that reading nothing but true crime isn’t exactly conducive to modern dating—and one woman is going to have to learn how to give love a chance when she’s used to suspecting the worst.

PhD candidate Phoebe Walsh has always been obsessed with true crime. She’s even analyzing the genre in her dissertation—if she can manage to finish writing it. It’s hard to find the time while she spends the summer in Florida, cleaning out her childhood home, dealing with her obnoxiously good-natured younger brother, and grappling with the complicated feelings of mourning a father she hadn’t had a relationship with for years.

It doesn’t help that she’s low-key convinced that her new neighbor, Sam Dennings, is a serial killer (he may dress business casual by day, but at night he’s clearly up to something). It’s not long before Phoebe realizes that Sam might be something much scarier—a genuinely nice guy who can pierce her armor to reach her vulnerable heart.


Hex Appeal – Kate Johnson

Essie Winterscale lives in a huge and ever-changing house in the village of Good Winter, in deepest, darkest Essex. She lives with various witches of various ages, one of whom is still a bit salty about having been burned at the stake in 1635, one who keeps accidentally casting fertility spells, and one who knits things that create the future.

All Essie ever wanted was to have a normal life but in the end she found herself drawn back to Beldam House because she just can’t stop her witchiness (although the ability to instantly chill wine is pretty awesome, even she has to admit).

Into this coven of chaos stumbles gorgeous, clueless Josh, their new landlord – and he’s just discovered his tenants haven’t paid rent since the 1700s! As Josh is drawn further into the lives of the inhabitants of Beldam House, Essie is determined to keep him at broomstick’s length. That is, until a family secret, lying hidden for centuries, puts Josh firmly under her spell… 


A Princess in Theory – Alyssa Cole

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?


Blackout (Anthology)

Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teen love to this interlinked novel of charming, hilarious, and heartwarming stories that shine a bright light through the dark.

A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…

A first meeting. 

Long-time friends. 

Bitter exes. 

And maybe the beginning of something new.

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.

Beloved authors—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city.


Princess in Practice – Connie Glynn

As they return to Rosewood after the dramatic events of their first year, Lottie and Ellie are hoping for a peaceful term.

But strange things are happening at Rosewood. Pupils are being poisoned.

Is the threat of secret organisation Leviathan growing closer?

Lottie and Ellie are determined to find the culprit; but danger could be closer than they think…


The Celts – Alice Roberts

Alice Roberts goes in search of the Celts and their treasures in a narrative history to accompanying a new BBC series.

We know a lot about the Roman Empire. The Romans left monuments to their glories and written histories charting the exploits of their heroes. But there was another ancient people in Europe – feared warriors with chariots, iron swords, exquisite jewellery, swirling tattoos and strange rituals and beliefs. For hundreds of years Europe was theirs, not Rome’s. They were our ancestors, and yet the scale of their achievements has largely been forgotten. They were the Celts.

Unlike the Romans they did not write their history, so the stories of many heroic Celtic men and women have been lost. And yet we can discover their deeds. . . you just have to know where to look.

From Denmark to Italy; Portugal to Turkey Alice Roberts takes us on a journey across Europe, revealing the remarkable story of the Celts: their real origins, how they lived and thrived, and their enduring modern legacy
Using ground-breaking linguistic research, in addition to the latest archaeology and genetics, Alice Roberts will explore how this remarkable and advanced culture grew from the fringes of the continent and humiliated the might of Rome.


The Frighteners: Why We Love Monsters, Ghosts, Death & Gore – Peter Laws

The Frighteners follows the quest of Peter Laws, a Baptist minister with a penchant for the macabre, to understand why so many people love things that are spooky, morbid and downright repellent. He meets vampires, hunts werewolves in Hull, talks to a man who has slept on a mortuary slab to help him deal with a diagnosis, and is chased by a chainsaw-wielding maniac through a farmhouse full of hanging bodies.

Staring into the darkness of a Transylvanian night, he asks: What is it that makes millions of people seek to be disgusted and freaked out? And, in a world that worships rationality and points an accusing finger at violent video games and gruesome films, can an interest in horror culture actually give us safe ways to confront our mortality? Might it even have power to re-enchant our jaded world?

Grab your crucifixes, pack the silver bullets, and join the Sinister Minister on his romp into our morbid curiosities.


Hollow Places: An Unusual History of Land and Legend – Christopher Hadley

IN THE MIDDLE AGES, a remarkable tomb was carved to cover the bones of an English hero. For centuries, tales spread about dragons, giants and devils. How and why this happened is the subject of this book.

Do you wonder where dragons once lurked and where the local fairies baked their loaves? Or where wolves were trapped and suicides buried? Did people in the past really believe the marvellous stories they told and can those beliefs and those stories still teach us something about how to live in the world today?

These questions lie at the heart of Christopher Hadley’s Hollow Places as it searches through the centuries for the truth behind the legend of Piers Shonks, a giant from a village in Hertfordshire, who slew a dragon that once had its lair under ancient yew in a field called Great Pepsells.

Hadley’s quest takes us on a journey into the margins of history: to the margins of the Bayeux Tapestry where strange creatures gather, of ancient woodland where hollow trees hide secrets, of 18th century manuscripts where antiquaries scribbled clues to the identity of folk heroes.


Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale – Marina Warner

From wicked queens, beautiful princesses, elves, monsters, and goblins to giants, glass slippers, poisoned apples, magic keys, and mirrors, the characters and images of fairy tales have cast a spell over readers and audiences, both adults and children, for centuries. These fantastic stories have travelled across cultural borders, and been passed down from generation to generation, ever-changing, renewed with each re-telling. Few forms of literature have greater power to enchant us and rekindle our imagination than a fairy tale.

But what is a fairy tale? Where do they come from and what do they mean? What do they try and communicate to us about morality, sexuality, and society? The range of fairy tales stretches across great distances and time; their history is entangled with folklore and myth, and their inspiration draws on ideas about nature and the supernatural, imagination and fantasy, psychoanalysis, and feminism.

Marina Warner has loved fairy tales over her long writing career, and she explores here a multitude of tales through the ages, their different manifestations on the page, the stage, and the screen. From the phenomenal rise of Victorian and Edwardian literature to contemporary children’s stories, Warner unfolds a glittering array of examples, from classics such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty, the Grimm Brothers’ Hansel and Gretel, and Hans Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, to modern-day realizations including Walt Disney’s Snow White and gothic interpretations such as Pan’s Labyrinth.

In ten succinct chapters, Marina Warner digs into a rich collection of fairy tales in their brilliant and fantastical variations, in order to define a genre and evaluate a literary form that keeps shifting through time and history. She makes a persuasive case for fairy tale as a crucial repository of human understanding and culture.


You Say Potato: A Book About Accents – Ben Crystal, David Crystal

Some people say scohn, while others say schown.

He says bath, while she says bahth.

You say potayto. I say potahto

And-

-wait a second, no one says potahto. No one’s ever said potahto.

Have they?

From reconstructing Shakespeare’s accent to the rise and fall of Received Pronunciation, actor Ben Crystal and his linguist father David travel the world in search of the stories of spoken English.

Everyone has an accent, though many of us think we don’t. We all have our likes and dislikes about the way other people speak, and everyone has something to say about ‘correct’ pronunciation. But how did all these accents come about, and why do people feel so strongly about them? Are regional accents dying out as English becomes a global language? And most importantly of all: what went wrong in Birmingham?

Witty, authoritative and jam-packed full of fascinating facts, You Say Potato is a celebration of the myriad ways in which the English language is spoken – and how our accents, in so many ways, speak louder than words. 


What books are you hoping to get this year? Do loved ones still get you books despite full shelves, or have they kind of given up like mine?

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