Posted in Challenges

15 Books of Summer 2023!

Hey y’all! I’m super excited that this year I remembered to plan for the 20 Books of Summer challenge hosted by 746 Books *BEFORE* it actually starts on June 1st! Although that said — I probably won’t be reading much for the first few days due to prior plans, but still, at least I’ll know what I’ve got. 😂

The Challenge

The general idea is to choose 10, 15 or 20 books to read and review between June 1 and September 1.

Last year, I chose 15 book prompts instead of specific books, which allowed me some flexibility in what books I actually chose. I’m going to do the same this year because I really enjoyed that and I think it worked out pretty well. I’m still going to stick with 15 even though I’m sure that will end up being low, because this way I don’t build it into something that will pressure and stress me. Reading is FUN! 😁

If you want to join too, you can check out the signup post here at 745 Books or click the image below to get to the same page.

15 Books of Summer

The list

My list of categories and an idea or two for books to fulfill it are below. The book choices may change a bit, but the categories shouldn’t! For my rules on this challenge, I’m also counting books that I DNF as long as I still write a review. The overall goal for me is to clear out shelf space, and if I try a book and don’t like it, that’s an answer too!

  • #1-3: What is this book again? x3 — A book that’s been on my shelves so long I forget what it’s about
    • Inland by Tea Obreeht
    • The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama
    • Snow by Orhan Pamuk
  • #4-5: A book I bought and haven’t read x2
    • Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
    • Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yaros
  • #6: An Aardvark Book Club book
    • Liar, Dreamer, Thief by Maria Dong
    • The Perfect Ones by Nicole Hackett
  • #7: A Book of the Month Club book
    • As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh
  • #8: A book over 500 pages
    • Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
  • #9: A World of Warcraft book (because I’ve been craving it!)
    • War of the Ancients Archive by Richard A Knaak
  • #10: One of the furthest back added books on my TBR (in 10 oldest, ideally)
    • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  • #11: One of the most recently added books on my TBR (at time of writing)
    • Chasing Chaos by Jessica Alexander
  • #12: A book published during this challenge (June 1 – Sep 1)
    • If You Still Recognize Me by Cynthia So
  • #13: A memoir
    • How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair
  • #14: A book by an author I’ve enjoyed before
    • A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova
  • #15: A book I really wanted to read, and yet still haven’t
    • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Yo, I’ll be honest, writing out this list has gotten me super excited for some of these books and now I don’t want to wait until June 1st to start them. It’s entirely possible I’ll just read some of these now and finish them before this challenge even starts. xD Oh well, I have plenty of options!

If you’re signed up for the challenge too, add a link to your post in the comments so I can check out what books you’ve included for ideas of my own! 😊

Posted in Book Talk

May 2023 TBR: tough topics but still excited!

Hey y’all! I’ve got a plan for this month for what I’m going to read, and I’m really excited about it! I feel like there are a lot of books I have available right now that I’ve been anticipating reading for a while. They cover a bit of a spectrum of genres which I like to get a bit of variety, but that also means there’s not much that ties them together besides “I want to read them.” xD

Outside factors to read these!

As I’ve mentioned probably several times now, I’ve got Addie LaRue finally on my list. I’m giving Schwab this one more chance… and then I’ll just stop bothering. 😅 But in this case, I’m doing a buddy read with Nicole at BookWyrm Knits, so even if I hate the book I’ll have the fun of collaborating with someone else during it. 🙂

Continue reading “May 2023 TBR: tough topics but still excited!”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli (5/2/23)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is
Expected Release:

Why wait on this one?

  • Queer romance! Especially when set in college, I love stories that are a more positive view on queer coming out, romance, and life in general as a nice break from some of the other bleaker realities that can come along with it. This sounds like it’ll be wholesome and sweet and just make me smile a lot 😊
  • I’ve read a few other books by Becky Albertalli, and have a few others on my TBR. I think it’s safe to say that I generally enjoy her style and approach to various topics.
  • And, okay, I admit I’m already a little swoony at the base plotline of the “totally straight” girl coming into her own awareness of a friend who starts to seem like maybe more. I admit the element of Lilli telling people she and Imogen used to date seems weird, but I’m assuming it’ll be easier to get behind and suspend my disbelief when I actually start reading it.


With humor and insight, #1 New York Times bestseller Becky Albertalli explores the nuances of sexuality, identity, and friendship.

Imogen Scott may be hopelessly heterosexual, but she’s got the World’s Greatest Ally title locked down.

She’s never missed a Pride Alliance meeting. She knows more about queer media discourse than her very queer little sister. She even has two queer best friends. There’s Gretchen, a fellow high school senior, who helps keep Imogen’s biases in check. And then there’s Lili—newly out and newly thriving with a cool new squad of queer college friends.

Imogen’s thrilled for Lili. Any ally would be. And now that she’s finally visiting Lili on campus, she’s bringing her ally A game. Any support Lili needs, Imogen’s all in.

Even if that means bending the truth, just a little.

Like when Lili drops a tiny queer bombshell: she’s told all her college friends that Imogen and Lili used to date. And none of them know that Imogen is a raging hetero—not even Lili’s best friend, Tessa.

Of course, the more time Imogen spends with chaotic, freckle-faced Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if her truth was ever all that straight to begin with. . .

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Zora Books Her Happy Ever After by Taj McCoy (4/25/23)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Zora Books Her Happy Ever After by Taj McCoy!
Expected Release: April 25, 2023

Why wait on this one?

  • What avid reader can help being drawn to books about book people?? Zora created and runs her own bookstore, and in a nice turn of the usual cliche, it’s thriving instead of struggling. Reading a story with a MC who loves books gives an instant way to relate to them for me.
  • While it would probably be terrible in reality, reading a dual-love-interest story can be so fun! Especially since in this book, the two guys are good friends and seem like they’re both thoroughly decent people. I get the sense that this is more of a question for Zora to determine what she wants and needs in her life and who might be a good partner, rather than having one character be villainized to force her with the other. And maybe she ends up with neither — who knows!
  • It seems there might be a bit of the sunshine / grump trope here too, since one interest (Reid) is the snarky, standoffish guy. But of course we know he must have a heart of gold and has been hurt before but desperately wants love, right?? 😄


Zora has committed every inch of her life to establishing her thriving DC bookstore, making it into a pillar of the community, and she just hasn’t had time for romance. But when a mystery author she’s been crushing on for years agrees to have an event at her store, she starts to rethink her priorities. Lawrence is every bit as charming as she imagined, even if his understanding of his own books seems just a bit shallow. When he asks her out after his reading, she’s almost elated enough to forget about the grumpy guy who sat next to her making snide comments all evening. Apparently the grouch is Lawrence’s best friend, Reid, but she can’t imagine what kind of friendship that must be. They couldn’t be more different.

But as she starts seeing Lawrence, and spending more and more time with Reid, Zora finds first impressions can be deceiving. Reid is smart and thoughtful—he’s also interested. After years of avoiding dating, she suddenly has two handsome men competing for her affection. But even as she struggles to choose between them, she can’t shake the feeling that they’re both hiding something—a mystery she’s determined to solve before she can find her HEA.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher by E.M. Anderson (4/21/23)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher by E.M. Anderson!
Expected Release: April 21, 2023

Why wait on this one?

  • I’ve been really excited about the fiction coming out lately with more elderly protagonists, and this is a fantasy with on! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before, but I hope this fledgling trend continues!
  • This also sounds like it’s going to be a story that plays with the common genre tropes in a fun, silly way. The teenage girl who everyone thought would be the chosen one being upset about Edna and out to get her is such a delightful setup for hijinks and humor.
  • Plus it seems to be hinting at a twist where the “villain” is actually a good guy? And/or the “good guys” are not quite as shiny as their Knight status would imply? Ooooh I’m all about it! Anti-heroes and characters learning more about each other can be such fun in a fantasy world!


When you’re a geriatric armed with nothing but gumption and knitting needles, stopping a sorcerer from wiping out an entire dragon-fighting organization is a tall order. No one understands why 83-year-old Edna Fisher is the Chosen One, destined to save the Knights from a dragon-riding sorcerer bent on their destruction. After all, Edna has never handled a magical weapon, faced down a dragon, or cast a spell. And everyone knows the Council of Wizards always chooses a teenager—like the vengeful girl ready to snatch Edna’s destiny from under her nose.

Still, Edna leaps at the chance to leave the nursing home. With her son long dead in the Knights’ service, she’s determined to save dragon-fighters like him and to ensure other mothers don’t suffer the same loss she did. But as Edna learns about the abuse in the ranks and the sorcerer’s history as a Knight, she questions if it’s really the sorcerer that needs stopping—or the Knights she’s trying to save.

Posted in Challenges

Kindle Spring 2023 Reading Challenge Guide (11 badges unlocked update)

Hey y’all! With the start of spring comes the end of the Kindle New Year Kindle Challenge! You can see all the achievements and badges for that here, and start preparing to move on to the new challenge: the Spring challenge! This new challenge runs from April 1, 2023 to June 31, 2023 with 15 possible achievements.

Below is a guide to the Kindle Spring Challenge for 2023. It’s following the same format as the previous challenges (you can see an FAQ here including links to past and current challenges). Prior to the reveal of the criteria for each mystery badge, the hint will be shown below. As the mystery achievements are revealed, I’ll update this page to show the criteria for each, and then the badge itself once the challenge is completed!

Kindle Spring Reading Challenge Achievements

This one runs from April 1 to June 31, 2023. There are 15 possible achievements.

Days Read

  • Bronze Reader: read on any 15 days during the challenge
  • Silver Reader: read on any 40 days during the challenge
  • Gold Reader: read on any 75 days during the challenge

Books Completed

  • Bookish: read one book
  • Bookworm: read two books
  • Bibliophile: read three books


  • Head Start: read one day
  • Perfect Week: read 7 days in a row (Sunday through Saturday)
  • Perfect Month: read every day for a calendar month (ex. every day in April)


  • Overachiever: Unlock this achievement when you complete 8 books between now and June 30. This would place you in the top 25% of readers!
  • Voyager: Unlock this achievement when you read on World Book Day, April 23
  • Escapist: Unlock this achievement when you complete one of our can’t-miss picks for Sci-Fi and Fantasy (list here and linked in badge achievement)
  • Page to Screen: Unlock this achievement when you complete a book from our literary adaptation collection. (list here and linked in the badge achievement)
  • Hint 6/1: Best way to spend a weekend
  • Hint 6/15: Viral reads
Continue reading “Kindle Spring 2023 Reading Challenge Guide (11 badges unlocked update)”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: A Door in the Dark 3/28/23

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is A Door In The Dark by Scott Reintgen!
Expected Release: March 28, 2023

Why wait on this one?

  • MAGIC. Especially a kind of dark, deadly magic. This sounds like it’s rife with violent, dangerous magic. And given that it’s wielded by young adults means they probably make all kinds of stupid emotional decisions with it. What could go wrong?! 😄
  • Lord of the Flies – ish style story? Sounds like there’s some class issues (rich v regular) as well as probably some academic / skill competitiveness. Plus there’s the whole issue with them being dropped in some random deadly forest by a magic portal and arriving with one of the group dead. Uh oh…
  • I think this is a bit of the opposite of normal reading diversity goals, but I don’t read much by men, so I’m hoping this one will break the mold. Typical issues I run into with books written by men — especially when they write a woman’s perspective — are numerous. I’m desperately hoping he will avoid those issues and I can enjoy this one.


Ren Monroe has spent four years proving she’s one of the best wizards in her generation. But top marks at Balmerick University will mean nothing if she fails to get recruited into one of the major houses. Enter Theo Brood. If being rich were a sin, he’d already be halfway to hell. After a failed and disastrous party trick, fate has the two of them crossing paths at the public waxway portal the day before holidays—Theo’s punishment is to travel home with the scholarship kids. Which doesn’t sit well with any of them.

A fight breaks out. In the chaos, the portal spell malfunctions. All six students are snatched from the safety of the school’s campus and set down in the middle of nowhere. And one of them is dead on arrival.

If anyone can get them through the punishing wilderness with limited magical reserves it’s Ren. She’s been in survival mode her entire life. But no magic could prepare her for the tangled secrets the rest of the group is harboring, or for what’s following them through the dark woods…

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q Sutanto (3/14/23)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q Sutanto!
Expected Release: March 14, 2023

Why wait on this one?

  • Y’all, I like reading about old people. And I don’t mean that like “50s” or, god forbid, “30s” as being old. I mean actually elderly. Like septuagenarian and beyond. 75+ ideally! I love glimpses into life at a point I hope to reach someday, and also the wealth of experiences that older people have. Throw that in a novel and it’s ready to go!
  • Okay also.. I kind of relate to older people now, as compared to The Youth. I’m not even thirty yet, but goddamn if I have a clue what the trends and slang are right now. I definitely am at a point where I have to be googling words because I don’t know what they mean from the latest social media platform or trend. (I think it’s currently still TikTok?)
  • It sounds sassy AF y’all. I love that she’s using her observational superpowers to try and take someone down, and I suspect there will be a strong sense of community being formed (a la found family) that I love so much. Take me away!!!


Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady–ah, lady of a certain age–who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her Gen-Z son is up to.

Then one morning, Vera trudges downstairs to find a curious thing–a dead man in the middle of her tea shop. In his outstretched hand, a flash drive. Vera doesn’t know what comes over her, but after calling the cops like any good citizen would, she sort of . . . swipes the flash drive from the body and tucks it safely into the pocket of her apron. Why? Because Vera is sure she would do a better job than the police possibly could, because nobody sniffs out a wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands. Vera knows the killer will be back for the flash drive; all she has to do is watch the increasing number of customers at her shop and figure out which one among them is the killer.

What Vera does not expect is to form friendships with her customers and start to care for each and every one of them. As a protective mother hen, will she end up having to give one of her newfound chicks to the police?

Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Book people I’d be okay with meeting 3/7/23

Hey y’all! Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish question idea that was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! The idea is to make a list of ten books or bookish things on different topics each week. Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊 You can also see all the posts from other bloggers linked on each weekly post on their main site.

This week’s prompt is about characters or otherwise book-related people we want to meet in real life (if possible!) and to be honest that’s kind of a tough one for me. Usually the characters in books I read are extremely larger than life and intimidating (ie universe-ending magic users and shit) or otherwise are generally normal people but whom I might not particularly crave meeting. 🤷‍♀️

So I’ve got a mix of authors of nonfiction novels that I think it would be neat to talk with, and a few books with characters I’d be willing to meet I suppose.

The Books

The Reasons

Meet the authors

The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie

I’d ask about: principles of Buddhism, his relationship to Buddhism, the process of narrating from a cat, how he determines what the Dalai Lama would do and say, the sources and/or accuracy of his depictions of the setting

The Puma Years by Laura Coleman

I’d ask about: if she’s had anything else grow inside of her like she did the jungle worm in her leg, what places she’d recommend for volunteering (if other than the one she was at), if this is still the most life-defining thing she’s done or if anything else has joined (or surpassed) the list

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Book people I’d be okay with meeting 3/7/23”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Chloe and the Kaishao Boys by Mae Coyiuto (3/7/23)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Chloe and the Kaishao Boys by Mae Coyiuto!
Expected Release: March 7, 2023

Why wait on this one?

  • The premise of Chloe being set up on arranged dates by her parents kind of reminds me of the book 10 Blind Dates which wasn’t anything that blew me away, but it was really sweet and fun and if this is similar at all I’ll probably also enjoy this one. And lighthearted fun is often a thing I want. ^.^
  • And add in the idea of Chloe actually liking one of the guys? OOOH ROMANCE YES PLEASE! Plus now there’s the subtle mystery of which of those fellas on the cover is the one that actually holds her attention??
  • But of course, there has to be some tension. And in this case — can an arranged date really last if you’re both leaving at the end of the summer for your planned futures (ie college probably)? Is it worth it? Or is it just a fling?


Chloe is officially off the waitlist at USC, and thus one step closer to realizing her dream of becoming an animator in the United States. But before she leaves home, her auntie insists on planning a traditional debut for Chloe’s eighteenth birthday (think sweet sixteen meets debutante ball). To make matters worse, her father, intent on finding Chloe the perfect escort for the party, keeps setting her up on one awkward kaishao—or arranged date—after another. But . . . why does her dad suddenly care so much about her love life? And what happens when she actually starts to fall for one of the guys, only to have to leave at the end of the summer?