Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday 22.1

Happy Wednesday, Readers! We’re halfway through October, and the weather seems to be settling into a slow acceptance that Summer is gone. This week brought our first freeze, and I’ve enjoyed seeing pictures of snow flurries from folks farther north. The days are decidedly shorter. I’m not as thrilled about that. Waking up, and sometimes heading to work, before the sun is up is not my favorite thing, to say the least. Nothing to be done about it though, but make a pot of coffee and enjoy the cooler air.

Today I’m participating in a linkup that I’ve seen around for a while, mostly on Budget Tales Book Blog, called Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday. It’s hosted by a group of the same name on Goodreads, where a prompt is shared each week inviting participants to share their top 5 books that fit the prompt. This week’s prompt is “Dark Covers.” Now, I don’t consider myself a cover snob, per se, but I do greatly appreciate a good book cover! A handful of books instantly came to mind, and I’m excited to get to talk about them today.

Top 5 Dark Book Covers

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton Speculative Fiction

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ | Full review here

Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, in a research center in the Arctic, rumors of war arrive. The scientists are forced to evacuate, but Augustine stubbornly refuses to abandon his work. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone.

At the same time, Mission Specialist Sullivan is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. The astronauts are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and Sully has made peace with the sacrifices required of her: a daughter left behind, a marriage ended. So far the journey has been a success, but when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crew mates are forced to wonder if they will ever get home.

As Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future against forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion. In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives?

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes Historical Fiction

Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane Middle Grade Fictionalized Biography

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Full review here

Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery—Maud to her friends—has a dream: to go to college and, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott, become a writer. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman’s place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister’s stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren’t a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn’t sure she wants to settle down with a boy—her dreams of being a writer are much more important.

Life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother’s plans for her, which threaten Maud’s future—and her happiness—forever.

Live Without You by Sarah Grace Grzy Christian Fiction/New Adult Clean Romance

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Full review here

Piper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can’t help but blame herself for her brother’s tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her-not even the God who promised to be there for her but wasn’t. For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He’s had enough of it, and only by God’s grace is he able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic event brings Piper’s greatest fear and Ezra’s failures to light, can they use that event to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt?

The Comeback by E.L. Shen Middle-Grade Contemporary Fiction

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Mini review here

Twelve-year-old Maxine Chen is just trying to nail that perfect landing: on the ice, in middle school, and at home, where her parents worry that competitive skating is too much pressure for a budding tween. Maxine isn’t concerned, however–she’s determined to glide to victory. But then a bully at school starts teasing Maxine for her Chinese heritage, leaving her stunned and speechless. And at the rink, she finds herself up against a stellar new skater named Hollie, whose grace and skill threaten to edge Maxine out of the competition. With everything she knows on uneven ice, will Maxine crash under the pressure? Or can she power her way to a comeback?

Can you tell that I’m partial to covers with stars and night skies?

What books would you include in a list like this?

Until the next chapter,

Jana

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