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.
Hello everyone! It has been a difficult week for most people I think. We all need to support each other and when life gets too much books are one of the best ways we can escape and hopefully learn. I didn’t post a Top Ten Tuesday last week because I just wasn’t feeling up to it but I’m back this week with ten books I found whilst going through my ridiculously long TBR list that I don’t remember adding! However, this has been really great because it reminded me of a bunch of books I totally forgot about and it was fun being reminded of them because I still definitely want to read them!
1. The Confession by Jo Spain
Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. It looks like Harry’s many sins – corruption, greed, betrayal – have finally caught up with him.
An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled.
Has Carney’s surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game?
2. Shelter by Jung Yun
You never know what goes on behind closed doors.
Kyung Cho owns a house that he can’t afford. Despite his promising career as a tenure-track professor, he and his wife, Gillian, have always lived beyond their means. Now their bad decisions are catching up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future.
A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighbourhood. Growing up, they gave Kyung every possible advantage – expensive hobbies, private tutors – but they never showed him kindness. Kyung can hardly bear to see them now, much less ask for their help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and he decides to take them in. For the first time in years, the Chos find themselves under the same roof where tensions quickly mount and old resentments rise to the surface.
3. When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
When the sound of sirens cuts through a cool fall night, the small town of Worthy, Georgia, hurtles from triumph to tragedy. Just hours before, they’d watched the Wildcats score a winning touchdown. Now, they’re faced with the deaths of three cheerleaders—their promising lives cut short in a fatal crash. And the boy in the other car—the only one to survive—is believed to be at fault. As rumors begin to fly and accusations spin, allegiances form and long-kept secrets emerge.
At the center of the whirlwind are four women, each grappling with loss, regret, shame, and lies: Marglyn, a grieving mother; Darcy, whose son had been behind the wheel; Ava, a substitute teacher with a scandalous secret; and Leah, a cheerleader who should have been in the car with her friends, but wasn’t. If the truth comes out, will it bring redemption—or will it be their downfall?
4. Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….
5. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan and a list. After almost – but not quite – dying, she’s come up with a list of directives to help her ‘Get a Life’:
– Enjoy a drunken night out
– Ride a motorbike
– Go camping
– Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex
– Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage
– And . . . do something bad
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written out step-by-step guidelines. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job: Redford ‘Red’ Morgan.
With tattoos and a motorbike, Red is the perfect helper in her mission to rebel, but as they spend more time together, Chloe realises there’s much more to him than his tough exterior implies. Soon she’s left wanting more from him than she ever expected . . . maybe there’s more to life than her list ever imagined?
6. Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran
Lexie’s got the perfect life. And someone else wants it…
Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom.
But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…
Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.
Because Lexie isn’t losing it. She knows there’s someone out there watching her. And, deep down, she knows there’s nothing she can do to make them stop…
7. Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers by Sady Doyle
Funny, smart and encyclopaedic, nimbly addressing everyone from the biblical Lilith, to the movie Carrie, to Hae Min Lee (whose death was the focus of the first season of erial), this book is dedicated to exploring the female dark side, as represented in female monsters throughout pop culture. These monsters – who tend to follow a few very common forms – express taboo truths about female life, and femininity. They speak to urges women are encouraged to hide, or deny. They also speak to the viciousness with which a sexist society inflicts traditionally feminine roles upon us. This is a sympathetic – or, at least, curious – look at the women we fear and what they show us about how women navigate a dangerous and frightening world.
8. The Stopped Heart by Julie Myerson
Some memories are too powerful to live only in the past.
During a ferocious storm, a red-haired stranger appears in the garden of a small farming cottage. Eliza and her parents take him in. But very soon, it’s clear he has no intention of leaving.
A century later, Mary and Graham have experienced every parent’s worst nightmare. Now, escaping the memories and the headlines, they have found an idyllic new home in rural Suffolk. A cottage, a beautiful garden. The perfect place to forget. To move on. But life doesn’t always work that way.
9. Things We Said in the Dark by Kirsty Logan
So here we go, into the dark.
Some things can’t be spoken about in the light of day. But we can visit our fears at night, in the dark. We can turn them over and weigh them in our hands and maybe that will protect us from them. But maybe not.
The characters in this collection find their aspirations for happy homes, happy families and happy memories dissected and imbued with shimmering menace. Alone in a remote house in Iceland a woman is unnerved by her isolation; another can only find respite from the clinging ghost that follows her by submerging herself in an overgrown pool. Couples wrestle with a lack of connection to their children; a schoolgirl becomes obsessed with the female anatomical models in a museum; and a cheery account of child’s day out is undercut by chilling footnotes.
These dark tales explore women’s fears with electrifying honesty and invention and speak to one another about female bodies, domestic claustrophobia, desire and violence. From a talented writer who has been compared to Angela Carter, Things We Say in the Dark is a powerful contemporary collection of feminist stories, ranging from vicious fairy tales to disturbing horror and tender ghost stories.
10. Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan
When she found herself jobless and friendless, sitting in the familiar Jess-shaped crease on her sofa, she couldn’t help but wonder what life might have looked like if she had been a little more open to new experiences and new people, a little less attached to going home instead of going to the pub.
So, she made a vow: to push herself to live the life of an extrovert for a year. She wrote a list: improv, a solo holiday and… talking to strangers on the tube. She regretted it instantly.
Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come follows Jess’s hilarious and painful year of misadventures in extroverting, reporting back from the frontlines for all the introverts out there.
But is life actually better or easier for the extroverts? Or is it the nightmare Jess always thought it would be?
Well that’s it for today! I’m really glad this prompt came up because now i’m really keen to read all of these books again (honestly, I’m so delusional, I could live to 500 and still not read all the books on my never-ending TBR, but that isn’t going to stop me!). I really hope you enjoyed reading my list and I’d love to know your thoughts so please let’s chat in the comments! And I can’t wait to read all of your amazing lists!