Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early


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.

This is such a fun topic and these are all either books that I have known about for a while and simply cannot wait for or books that I have heard about recently that I’m incredibly intrigued by. I hope you can get a couple of ideas for your ‘to be read’ list! The publication dates are for the UK so may be different in other countries!

1. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak


Publication Date: 11 Oct 2018

Summary: from Amazon

Here is a story told inside out and back to front:
The five Dunbar brothers are living – fighting, learning, loving – in the perfect chaos of a house without grown-ups. Today, the father who walked out on them long ago is about to walk right back in.
And so the life of Clay, the quiet one with a harrowing secret, is set to change for ever.
From a grandfather who sought answers in the words of the Ancient Greeks, to a mother and father who fell in love over a lost piano, to five sons who come of age in a house with no rules: this is a tale of a family held together only by stories – a family at whose heart lies one boy’s epic quest for atonement.
At once an emotional mystery and an existential riddle, BRIDGE OF CLAY sees Markus Zusak at his dramatic best.

My Thoughts:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is my favourite book of all time, I’ve yet to find a novel that matches it’s beauty and scope. That is why I am eagerly anticipating any new work from this author. I always find stories about siblings fascinating and this one sounds especially interesting. I would be very surprised if I do not love this book, I’ve got it pre-ordered already even though it’s not out till October!

2. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman


Publication Date: 14 Jun 2018

Summary: from Amazon

Can a broken town survive a second tragedy? The follow-up to the international bestseller Beartown.
A small, broken town sits on the edge of a frozen lake surrounded by a forest, its wounds still raw from a tragedy that tore its fragile community in two.
Beartown has lost its way. Now the cold and dark that surround the snowbound town creep in, and so do new conflicts and tensions. What was once a friendly rivalry with the neighbouring town is beginning to turn sinister and Beartown braces itself for another tragic blow.
How far will the people of Beartown go to preserve their reputations for a second, deadly time?
Us Against You is a spell-binding exposition of small-town life in all its flawed complexity.

My Thoughts:

Backman is another author who, for me, is an instant purchase. I adored A Man Called One especially and did not think it could be surpassed. However, The Scandal (published as Beartown in the US) which came out last year definitely gave Ove a run for it’s money. It was darker in many ways that Backman’s previous work but it retained the incredibe heart that his books always contain. I cannot wait to return to Beartown and see what state the characters are in after the events of the first book.

3. Florida by Lauren Groff


Publication Date: 5 Jun 2018

Summary: from Amazon

In her vigorous and moving new book, Lauren Groff brings her electric storytelling and intelligence to a world in which storms, snakes and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional and psychological nature. Among those navigating it all are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple; a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring character a steely and conflicted wife and mother.

The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida – its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind – becomes its gravitational centre: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury – the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.

My Thoughts:

I’m not quite sure why I am anticipating this book so much because I haven’t read any of Groff’s previous work but for some reason I am seeing it everywhere! There seems to be a fair amount of hype surrounding Florida’s release so I am keen to give it a shot. It seems like a really intriguing collection of short stories which is a genre I am trying to read more of.

4. Sex and the City and Us by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong


Publication Date: 5 Jun 2018

Summary: from Amazon

When Candace Bushnell started writing her “Sex and the City” column for the New York Observer, she didn’t think anyone beyond the Upper East Side would care about her adventures among the Hamptons-hopping media elite. But her struggles with singlehood struck a chord, making her a citywide—and soon nationwide—sensation.

Beverly Hills, 90210 creator Darren Star brought Bushnell’s vision to an even wider audience when he adapted the column for an HBO series. His four main characters: Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha, forever branded the actresses that took on the roles, redefined women’s relationship to sex, and elevated the perception of singlehood. With their fashion-forward lifestyle, they launched a barrage of trends, from fabric flower accessories to Manolo Blahnik shoes to Cosmopolitan cocktails.

Sex and the City and Us is the story of how a columnist, two gay men—Darren Star and fellow executive producer Michael Patrick King—and a writers’ room full of women used their own poignant, hilarious, and humiliating stories to launch a cultural phenomenon, pushing the boundaries of television and ignited a national conversation about single women and sex in the process. While the show’s feminist merits continue to fuel debate, it taught viewers—male and female, gay and straight—about sex, and demonstrated that single women could support each other through life’s tribulations, even as men came and went.

Featuring exclusive new interviews with the cast and writers, including star Sarah Jessica Parker, creator Darren Star, executive producer Michael Patrick King, and author Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City and Us brings us behind-the-scenes for a nostalgic look at a TV series that changed the way women everywhere see themselves.

My Thoughts:

I started watching Sex and the City after the series was over as I was definitely too young for it when it aired, but I watched all six seasons obsessively and it still felt important and resonant even years later. I have rewatched it many times since and no one can really deny it’s cultural impact. So I’m really interested to read an analysis of this impact and hear from the people involved in it.

5. The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg


Publication Date: 4 Oct 2018

Summary: from Amazon

A collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.
Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently alarming, emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves and each other as we tuck ourselves in for the night.
Bed time will never be the same.

My Thoughts:

I love fairy tale retellings in all their forms and I especially enjoy when authors delve into the darkness and complexity hidden within stories ostensibly for children. This book looks like it will be a really fun and engaging investigation into the intricacies of these tales. Plus – how gorgeous is that cover?!

6. Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt


Publication Date: 12 Jul 2018

Summary: from Amazon

A seductive, sensual and sinister love triangle set in 1930s America and inspired by the infamous Nabokov marriage
Zoya Andropova, a young Russian refugee, finds herself in an elite New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, her home and her sense of purpose, Zoya struggles to belong, a task made more difficult by her new country’s paranoia about Soviet spies.
When she meets charismatic fellow Russian émigré Leo Orlov – whose books Zoya has obsessed over for years – everything seems to change. But she soon discovers that Leo is bound by the sinister orchestrations of his brilliant wife, Vera, and that their relationship is far more complex than Zoya could ever have imagined.

My Thoughts:

This book came onto my radar quite recently and it sounds like it could be brilliant. I like when a book’s plot has any kind of basis in real life so the fact that this is based on the Nabokov marriage really appeals to me. The story sounds intricate and dangerous and hopefully the book will live up to it’s promise. Also, a stunning cover design.

7. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning


Publication Date: 31 Jul 2018

Summary: from Amazon

The story of the Sea Witch, the villainess from Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale The Little Mermaid, told from the viewpoint of the Sea Witch when she was a twelve-year-old girl…
Evie has been wracked with guilt ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned. So when a girl appears on shore with an uncanny resemblance to Anna, Evie befriends her in an effort to make amends. And as the two girls catch the eyes – and hearts – of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at happy ever after. But is Evie’s new friend really who she says she is?
A gripping story of friendship, betrayal and the power of hope…

My Thoughts:

I am obsessed with all things Disney, I grew up obsessively watching films like The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Mulan, Sleeping Beauty and of course The Little Mermaid. So anything that is in any way connected to these stories will attract me instantly. I also love the original Hans Christian Andersen tale. I like when an author twists perceptions and tells the story from the villain’s perspective. I’ve also recently been really loving anything involving the ocean after reading the brilliant ‘The Wicked Deep’ by Shea Ernshaw. I cannot wait to read this book basically!

8. Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter


Publication Date: 9 Aug 2018

Summary: from Amazon

You’ve known her your whole life…
Andrea Oliver knows everything about her mother Laura. She knows she’s always lived in the small town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life.
but she’s hiding something…
Then one day, a trip to the mall explodes into a shocking act of violence and Andy suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura.
and it could destroy you both…
Hours later, Laura is in hospital, her face splashed over the newspapers. But the danger has only just begun. Now, Andy must go on a desperate race to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past. If she can’t, there may be no future for either of them…

My Thoughts:

I started reading Karin Slaughter’s books last year. I have read all of her stand-alones and have almost finished her Grant County series after which I will move onto her other Will Trent series. I have loved every singe book from her so far and I doubt this one will be any exception. She is another automatic buy author for me and one of the best crime writers around in my opinion.

9. The Incendiaries by R. O. Kwon


Publication Date: 31 Jul 2018

Summary: from Amazon

Phoebe and Will meet their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who blames herself for her mother’s death. Will is a misfit who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by in secret. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe. Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened and if she could have been responsible.

My Thoughts:

This one just sounds like a really interesting plot to me, plus it has been receiving a lot of praise from authors whose work I love. I think books set at University are always intriguing because it is such an insular community. The Incendiaries looks like it will be a pretty emotional read with so many serious themes and I will be getting my hands on a copy as soon as I possibly can.

10. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker


Publication Date: 30 Aug 2018

Summary: from Amazon

When her city falls to the Greeks, Briseis’s old life is shattered. She is transformed from queen to captive, from free woman to slave, awarded to the god-like warrior Achilles as a prize of war. And she’s not alone. On the same day, and on many others in the course of a long and bitter war, innumerable women have been wrested from their homes and flung to the fighters.
The Trojan War is known as a man’s story: a quarrel between men over a woman, stolen from her home and spirited across the sea. But what of the other women in this story, silenced by history? What words did they speak when alone with each other, in the laundry, at the loom, when laying out the dead?
In this magnificent historical novel, Pat Barker charts one woman’s journey through the chaos of the most famous war in history, as she struggles to free herself and to become the author of her own story.

My Thoughts:

I have always been fascinated by Greek Mythology and particualarly The Trojan War but as the book’s summary states, it is almost always a story about the men involved. I am so excited to read about the perspective of a woman during such an infamous episode and about the other ordinary women who are not written about in poems and history books but who were as present as the warriors and royalty involved. I really cannot wait to read this book!


I very much hope you enjoyed reading about the books I would slay a lion to get early! I hope it’s given you a few books to add to your TBR’s. Please let me know in the comments which books you can’t wait to read this year!




14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early

  1. Hannah says:

    Great list! I am nearly done with Florida and I do think it is terribly well written. I love the way Groff constructs her sentences (Fates and Furies was on my favourite reads a few years ago).
    I am super intrigued by Invitation to a Bonfire but am currently awaiting a few more reviews before I decide whether it’s a book for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithallthebooks says:

      Thank you! That’s good to hear about Florida- I will definitely have to buy it! I’m so intrigued by Invitation to a Bonfire too but I know what you mean, it’s sometimes best to wait and read some reviews first, because occasionally a book’s premise sounds great but the book doesn’t live up to it! 😊💛

      Liked by 1 person

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