Top Ten Tuesday: geographic titles

Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week we’re sharing books with geographic terms in the titles. Let me sea…

Why yes, I had a little moment wondering how encompassing geographical really is. Does that include weather? Celestial objects? I decided no, and decided to focus on my TBR to constrain the list a bit further.

Let’s start with a historical novel that is burning a hole on my shelves with its combination of setting (London), period (post-Roman) and characters (sisters ignoring social strictures to study magic and smithing). Pure catnip to me, and it says a lot about what 2022 has been that I haven’t actually read it yet.

Book cover: Dark Earth - Rebecca Stott
Book cover: Unholy Land - Lavie Tidhar two figures silhouetted walking down a lamplit colonnade

A former Subjective Chaos Kind Of Nominee, Unholy Land is a time-travelling murder mystery and a series of alternate histories (some of which must be averted). Lavie Tidhar has been on my list of authors to read for ages, and this sounds fascinating and – with its themes of walls and border control – entirely on point.

Red Country is a Western-style revenge thriller, which makes it about as far from my wheelhouse as I can get these days. Although I own a copy from my Joe Abercrombie phase, I suspect it will continue to be a book that makes other people happy (and that I will now be happier for leaving unread).

Book cover: Red Country - Joe Abercrombie
Book cover: When The Tiger Came Down The Mountain - Nghi Vo

I loved The Empress of Salt and Fortune, and having been saving up When The Tiger Came Down The Mountain for no particularly good reason, I should just read it! What’s not to love about a cleric telling stories to tigers to prevent themselves being eaten in another study of the distinctions between truth, history and damn good stories.

On my list of modern classics, I’ve got China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F McHugh. In a future dominated by US decline and Chinese ascendance, a young gay man must find his place in society. From the cyberpunk Eastern seaboard to the bleak Arctic and a farming community on Mars, this promises to deliver all sorts of intriguing ideas and settings.

Book cover: China Mountain Zhang - Maureen F McHugh (a futuristic cityscape)
Book cover: A River Called Time - Courttia Newland

Courttia Newland’s A River Called Time is on my NetGalley conscience, a dystopian tale in an intriguing alternate that sounded intriguing but has been out long enough for me to have seen negative reviews from a number of trusted sources with similar tastes.

I’m way more excited to tackle This Dreaming Isle, an anthology of horror and dark fantasy inspired by the British landscape. With stories by Jeannette Ng and Catriona Ward, I’m all in; plus I’ll get to read a heap of new-to-me authors as a bonus. I’ll be tackling this next month as part of my 2022 anthology project.

Book cover: This Dreaming Isle - a figure walks along a shore
Book cover: The Starless Sea - Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgernstern is back with The Starless Sea, a love story to storytelling that promises an array of fantastical settings and characters that sound irresistible. That said, it took literally the entirety of The Night Circus to win me over – I loathed the romance element – but I want to sail The Starless Sea.

It’s difficult being an orphan with scales and tentacles, so it seems like a miracle when Jackson is offered a home at Macquarie’s, a place as unusual as he is. The Kraken Sea by E Catherine Tobler is a dark fantasy of finding a place and finding one self that has been on my shelf for far too long!

Book cover: The Kraken Sea - E Catharine Tobler (painting of a person with their head in stormclouds, all menacing greys and pink lightning)
Book cover: Always North - Vicki Jarrett

An arctic mystery thriller during the climate apocalypse? I’m always here for it. Vicki Jarrett’s Always North has a crew set sail on an illegal oil exploration mission only to find themselves confronting the harshness of the environment and inescapable truths. And a dedicated polar bear. Go get ‘em, bear.

What geographical titles are on your TBR?