Top 5 Tuesday | Books that were Blog Recs

Top Five

Happy Top 5 Tuesday! 

Joining the online reading community was hell on my wallet!  It’s nerve wracking to buy a book without some info first, but sometimes you’ll read that one review and just KNOW you have to have the book!

Below are the five that I knew had to be read by me!

Top 5 Tuesday was started by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm!


Shades of Magic by VE Schwab

Darker ShadeKell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

I try hard to not fall into the hype trap, but every time I saw a review for one of VE Schwab’s books I felt my resolve weaken.  All it took was one read, A Darker Shade of Magic, to make me a fan.


Winston Brothers by Penny Reid

truth-or-beardBeards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

It was more than one review that sold me on The Winston Brothers.
Everyone was raving about this series, and especially about Cletus.  Really, all I had to do was hear ‘Cletus’ and I was intrigued.  The fact that everyone was in love with him only added to the need.  Now it’s one of my favorite Contemporary romance series.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

EleanorOliphantNo one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

Eleanor Oliphant haunted me.
I read one glowing review of this book and knew I had to read it.  After, every single time I was at the bookstore my eyes would find it, my hands would grab it, and I held on.  Eventually I made owning it reality, and I finished it not too long ago.  It was wonderful.


The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Wall WinnipegVanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

The Wall of Winnipeg is another book that everyone was talking about.  I was hesitant to start it, because for a romance novel it’s really really long.  I rarely read a book as long as this one.  Thankfully everyone was right, and thankfully it read quickly.  I loved this book.


Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

Speak EasySix teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.

I can tell you exactly where I first heard of this book, because it was the only review I’d read of it before I bought it in hardcover.  It was this review, on Book Princess Reviews.  So, thanks Mandi!  You were right!  This was awesome!


About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

28 Responses

  1. Lovely list! The Shades of Magic series is everywhere! I still need to get to it. I almost started it a few months ago but had to put it aside for some reason. Need to get back to it!
    Thanks for participating – added you to the list 🙂


  2. I feel like I am all alone on this boat in terms of being the only one who failed to fully connect with Eleanor. I really appreciated the themes but for some reason did not have the emotional experience most seem to. The Shades of Magic series is one I am constantly recommended by others 😂 I need to take the plunge!


      1. Yes totally! I usually fall for characters like her and appreciate the contrast but overall something failed in the story with me. But thrilled to see it reach such a wide audience because I felt like the author was addressing some important issues 💕


  3. Taylor

    I keep seeing lots of the same books on people’s Top 5 Tuesday. I guess those are the books I need to check out. I haven’t read any of these books, but they all sound wonderful. Great post!


  4. I discovered A Darker Shade of Magic through blogging as well and I’m so thankful I did because it was amazing. I haven’t gotten around to the rest of the books in the series yet though but I’m really excited to!


  5. Oooh this was fun to read, Birdie! I love the premise of books that were blog recs, since blogging introduces you to so many books I would have skipped over but also…yeah, totally terrible on the wallet. A Darker Shade of Magic was definitely the same for me as well! And still s glad you enjoyed Speak Easy, Speak Love! Wonderful post, Birdie! ❤


  6. Michelle

    I have not yet read any of these five books on your list! Both A Darker Shade of Magic & Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is on my TBR. Everyone that I meet loves Schwab’s books and I cannot wait to eventually start reading some of her novels too ❤️


Tell me something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.