Top Ten Tuesday | Slump-busting


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

Welcome to my first TTT post on my new blog – woohoo!

This week’s theme is ‘Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump’ which, to be honest, I thought would be a difficult topic. Everyone’s reading tastes are different, so the kind of book that might pull me out of a reading slump wouldn’t necessarily work for someone else and all I can speak for are my own experiences.

So today I’m going to talk about books that I’ve read in one sitting, books I flew through or books that were a complete palette cleanser, because they’re the kind of books that help me when I’m feeling a bit slumpy. If I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction then sometimes I need an urban fantasy to refresh my brain (in fact urban fantasy in general is a genre that really works for me when I’m in a slump) or if I haven’t read anything in a while, I can kick-start my reading by finishing a book in one sitting.

On with my list!


Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: I think novellas are always a good call if you find yourself in a reading slump, I find them so easy to blast through. I love short stories and I love novels, but sometimes I need something between the two to snack on before I tackle something longer. It wouldn’t be one of my lists if something by Silvia Moreno-Garcia wasn’t on it, and I think this novella is wonderful.

The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark: Another novella and a story I easily read in one sitting because it was just so eerie that I needed to know what was going to happen next. This would be a great read around Halloween, but I recommend picking it up at any time of the year if you’re in the mood to be creeped out.

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough: This novel in verse is one of my favourite books of the year, it’s exquisite, and I was sitting on my bedroom floor when I opened – I didn’t move until I’d finished it. I haven’t seen this one getting as much love as it deserves, so please give it a read!

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀: I read this debut novel in one sitting one night after work last year, and I will read anything Adébáyọ̀ releases next. This novel is set in Nigeria, a setting I’ve discovered I adore in novels, and follows the ups and downs of a marriage when a second bride is introduced – but it’s so much more than that. It’s hard to gush about this book without spoiling it, all I can say is that it’s a piece of literary fiction with the pace and twists of a thriller and I loved it.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: This is another book that I opened and then inhaled in one sitting without moving. I don’t read a lot of contemporary, but if I’m feeling a bit slumpy it’s another genre I tend to turn to because I find it so easy and fun to read.


Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal: I’ve found that fantasy of manners is another great genre to turn to if I feel like I’m in a slump, and this book in particular is such a quick and easy read. I started reading this on a 40 minute train journey, and by the time I reached my destination I’d already read about a third of it.

Soulless by Gail Carriger: Carriger’s work is part fantasy of manners and part urban fantasy, making them the perfect books for me to reach for if I haven’t read anything in a while. I love her tongue-in-cheek sense of humour and the way her books don’t take themselves too seriously.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: Admittedly when I started this one I didn’t know if I was going to like it, even though the first chapter is important for setting the scene I didn’t really know what to make of it, but as soon as Kaz Brekker and co. appeared on the page I couldn’t put this book down and once I’d finished it I immediately picked up the second book. As someone who is notoriously bad at finishing series, that is a testament to how much I loved this book.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: This one is along the same lines as Shades of Milk and Honey and Soulless in that it almost has a fantasy of manners feel to it, but this book is much more historical than fantasy. It’s essentially a cheeky, saucy road trip novel and I so enjoyed reading it.

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland: I don’t like zombies. Zombies freak me out to the point where I can’t even watch Shaun of the Dead on my own, and yet this series is just so much fun. Yet more urban fantasy, this time set in Louisiana, I find these books so easy to read and the heroine, Angel, always makes me laugh. I think the audiobooks for this series would be great slump-busters, too!

Which books made your list this week?

24 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Slump-busting

  1. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight says:

    Oooh I like this list! Because you know, crossing a book off my list quickly IS a good way to get out of a slump- at the very least I feel accomplished! I adore Upside, and I want to read a bunch of these on your list. I hadn’t heard of Prime Meridian but wow now I really need it in my life- the premise is all kinds of awesome!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rissi says:

    I cannot wait to read “Six of Crows,” it just sounds really epic and cool! Also, Gail’s and Mary’s books have long been on my I’m-really-interested list of books to read… maybe soon-ish. 😀

    Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland, Jess – and congrats on the recent blog move!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Thanks, Rissi! 😀

      I hope you enjoy Six of Crows when you get to it, and Gail and Mary are both great authors to try if you’re in the mood for some fantasy of manners.


  3. Greg says:

    I agree about novellas and shorter reads, I think they’re great for breaking a slump, or just a change of pace. Six of Crows I had trouble with, but it might just be that I’m not a super big fan of heist books. I’m gonna retry it though at some point, so many people love it I feel like I’m missing something. 🙂

    The Rowland series looks fun too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      I think if you’re not a fan of heist books then it’s understandable that Six of Crows wasn’t for you! I definitely recommend the White Trash Zombie books if you’re looking for a quick, fun read. 🙂


  4. catherine neal says:

    My sister keeps trying to get me to read Six of Crows but I can’t get past all the weird names. At some point I’m going to sit down and make an effort with it though since she’s usually on the money with recommendations.


    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      It’s only this year I’ve really been able to throw myself back into fantasy and I’ve loved it. I think if you like the characters in Six of Crows then you’ll like the book because it’s such a character-driven novel, and I think they’re all written beautifully. I hope you enjoy if you get to it! 🙂


    1. jessticulates says:

      I hope you enjoy it! It can be really intimidating reading a book that so many people love, but don’t be nervous! If you don’t like it then that’s just as valid as if you love it, don’t let anyone else’s opinion make you think you should like something just because it’s popular. 🙂


    1. jessticulates says:

      Yes, they’re both so good! I know what you mean – if I’m feeling slumpy I can usually rely on YA contemporary and urban fantasy to kick start my reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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