Category Archives: Top 5 Wednesday

T5W: Five Books Featuring Witches

Happy October!  Top 5 Wednesday is about books featuring witches.  Do you have a favorite novel that features a witch or witches?  If so, what is it?  Please share!  Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group run by Lainey and Samantha.  Each week a topic is suggested and bloggers may post their picks.  If you are interested in checking it out, click here.

  1.  Nightbird by Alice Hoffman – A magical middle grade novel told from the perspective of 12 year old Twig.   A curse has been placed on Twig’s family generations ago by the ancestor (a witch) of the family who has just moved in next door.  My Review.
  2. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum – A classic story where Dorothy is transported by a tornado to a magical land.  She must find the wonderful wizard to help her return home to Kansas, but the Wicked Witch of the West has other plans for Dorothy.
  3. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe  by C.S. Lewis – Another classic where four children join forces with a lion and other magical creatures to defeat a wicked witch.
  4. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling – In this series, Harry Potter and other wizarding children are sent to Hogwarts for school and pursue many exciting and often dangerous adventures.
  5. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – This book features English magicians and a mysteriously disappearing source of magic, which has been attributed at least partially to fairies.  The women with magical powers are being taught to suppress them, at least until Zacharias, the new Sorcerer Royal, discovers that this is happening.  My Review.

T5W: Classes based on Books ~ A Back to School Special

  1.  Ultra Running: Why and How To:  Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
  2. Feminism  for Everyone:  We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
  3. Waitressing 101:  Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
  4. Preparing for Your After-Death  Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
  5. How to Avoid Being Social  at Your Child’s School:   Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Temple

Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group hosted by Lainey and Samantha.  If you are interested in learning more, click here.  This week, being back to school week, is themed as such.  All of the above are classes that could be based off the books to follow.  Would you want to take any of these classes?  Did you make a list today?  If so, please share!

T5W: 5 Novels Set Outside the Western World

  1.  A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – This epic novel spans three decades beginning in 1922 in Moscow, Russia.  Count Rostov is under house arrest in the Metropol Hotel.  He has a great many friends and acquaintances through whom the reader learns of what is happening outside the hotel walls.  My Review.
  2. The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Clinic – This is a travel/food/love memoir written by a woman who quit her corporate job to pursue her passion for cooking authentic dishes indigenous to various different regions.  She travels to Iran in hopes of working in various kitchens and learning the secrets to their special dishes.  My Review.
  3. Things We Lost in the Fire:  Stories by Mariana Enriquez – This is a collection of stories that take place in various different places within Argentina.  These horror stories highlight the brutalities from the Dirty War that lurk just beneath the surface of everyday life.  My Review.

4.  The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan – This novel is written from alternating perspectives.  Set in India, it shows the mindset and emotional condition of both the bombers (the terrorists) and the bombed (both surviving victims and the families of the deceased).  It shows the futility of these small bombs in effecting change.  It also shows the futility of the families in effecting any action against the bombers.  My Review.

5.  Born a Crime:  Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah  – This is Trevor Noah’s memoir written as a collection of essays about his experiences growing up in South Africa, son of a black woman and white man under Apartheid – a literal crime.   Full of humor, love and grit, it is an amazing book.  My Review.


This is my second T5W post.  If you are interested in learning more about this Goodreads group, click here.  This week’s topic was Books that are set outside of the Western World.  In choosing which books to post, I chose geographically diverse regions and limited myself to books I’ve read within the past year.  How does one define the Western World, you might ask.  The scope of the Western World varies greatly depending on what criteria one uses to define it.  It has been defined on the basis of politics, economics, culture, spiritual beliefs and history.  I decided to go with the following modern-day definition (by way of map).

T5W: Five Fabulous Female Protagonists in Children’s Picture Book Series

  1.  Olivia by Ian Falconer – Olivia is a girl (illustrated as an adorable pig) who is ready to try anything and everything.  She dreams big, wears others out and eventually wears herself out.  These stories are about family dynamics, joyful growing up years and wonderful adventures. The books are beautifully illustrated, whimsical, and witty.  Olivia is a character to love and read repeatedly.
  2. Eloise by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight – Ooooooooooooooo I absolutely love this book series so much!  It is written in the stream of consciousness style of a 6 year old girl talking without any  punctuation.  Eloise (the 6 year old girl)  lives in the Park Plaza Hotel and has many adventures within it.  Nanny is her mostly companion, but her turtle, Skipperdee, and dog, Weenie, join in on the fun as well.  These books contain much humor, engaging even & sometimes even more so,  the adult reading the book.  I recommend this series to young and old alike!
  3. Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser – Fancy Nancy is a character who loves accessories and glamorous ones at that.  She believes in dressing up and in educating her family on the importance of style.  She teaches the reader exciting  new vocabulary as she instructs her family.  She is an independent thinker with much creativity and spirit.  A delightfully fun read with outrageously imagined illustrations!
  4. Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis – Ladybug Girl (Lulu) and her sidekick Bingo go on many adventures together in this series.  Lulu is a courageous, imaginative girl.  When cloaked in her ladybug girl costume she feels capable of taking on new adventures and solving problems.  Beautifully written, sweet stories with charming illustrations to enjoy time and time again.  
  5. My Name is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry – This is a series about a girl who daydreams that she is famous women from history.  Her mother will speak to her and she will respond, “My name is not Isabella” and she will explain who she is at that moment in time & history as she sets about to do something in the spirit of that heroine.  This continues until bedtime when Isabella becomes the Mommy extolling all of Mommy’s virtues.  At last Isabella is herself,  and Mommy recounts all of Isabella’s virtues which are a compilation of the virtues of the heroines she has been imagining to be throughout the day.  It is an excellent book about strong female role models for young girls and a reminder of the part they played in history.  At the end there is a biography of all the heroines mentioned to delve further into their role in history.   This could be a great teaching tool and bonding book for mothers and daughters. There is a lot contained within this small book and it leaves plenty of room for discussion and further learning.


This is my first time participating in Top Five Wednesday (#T5W).  If you are interested in learning more about this Goodreads group, click here.   This week’s topic was children’s books which seemed too broad, so I chose my own niche within that.  What are your favorite fabulous female protagonists of children’s picture books?  Please share!