Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

January 2021 TBR: probably starting off slow

Hey y’all! I do recognize that it’s already almost halfway through the month, but nonetheless here is my TBR! In reality I probably wouldn’t have stuck to it anyway, so it doesn’t matter if I post it early in the month or not. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Here are some of the books I’d had in mind to start off the year. ๐Ÿ™‚

BOTM Delayed

Well in December I got two books from Book of the Month, Memorial and The Office of Historical Corrections. I didn’t read either of them in December because I was going all-in on challenge books and newer releases, so they’re on the list for January! Which works out, actually, because I’m not interested in any of this month’s BOTM selections.

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

The last 11 days of 2020: the plan!

So! I officially finished my last “obligated” read this morning (one to finish a challenge I was working on this year). So what that means for me is the excitement of eleven days to fill with… something… some kind of… books to read?

LUCKILY, I’ve been doing this thing all year where every Friday I post about a book I’m excited to read (Fast Forward Fridays!). Today I spent some time running through all the ones I’ve posted this year and seeing what I haven’t read yet. Libraries are the absolutely best and mine had my back yet again. My new year-ending tbr is full of books released this year that I was excited about — and I still am!

Top 3 for goals:

  • Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena, because oooooh I adore her and can’t wait to see what she does with fantasy and magic!!
  • Arctic Fury by ?? because it just came out and I’m able to get a copy to read with no wait. We just got a big dump of snow, so an arctic adventure will perfectly suit!
  • When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo is a sequel to an earlier release this year that was mystical and beautiful and everything a good read should be. I’m so excited to return to the world!
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Part About the Dragon Was (Mostly) True, 12/15

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 (well… yesterday’s, if I hadn’t forgotten what day it was) is The Part About the Dragon Was (Mostly) True by Sean Gibson. If you like parodies and epic adventures, this may be for you too!
Expected Release: December 15, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • Right off the bat, this story style draws me in. The blurb gives a sense of camaraderie, like I’m being spoken to directly by Heloise the Bard (of renowned storytelling fame). If the writing style in the rest of the book is anything like that, I’m all about it.
  • An epic adventure! Tolkien set the bar, and I love seeing new takes on familiar stories and plots by new authors. Any book with dragons is going to catch my attention, but include some wayward motley crew of travelers, joined only by one common purpose to save the land despite their humble origins? SOLD.
  • The only way to improve upon the aforementioned theme, personally, is to throw a whole lot of tongue-in-cheek twists of the usual formula into the story. I absolutely adored the whole Champions of the Dragon series which was like a spoof on The Lord of the Rings. I get the sense that The Part About the Dragon was Mostly True will have a very similar flavor of humour and drama to it. Bucking expectations while also sticking to a familiar formula to create something (somewhat paradoxically) pretty original. And at the very least, entirely delightful.

Summary

Sure, you think you know the story of the fearsome red dragon, Dragonia. How it terrorized the village of Skendrick until a brave band of heroes answered the noble villagers’ call for aid. How nothing could stop those courageous souls from facing down the dragon. How they emerged victorious and laden with treasure.

But, even in a world filled with epic adventures and tales of derring-do, where dragons, goblins, and unlicensed prestidigitators run amok, legendary heroes don’t always know what they’re doing. Sometimes they’re clueless. Sometimes beleaguered townsfolk are more hapless than helpless. And orcs? They’re not always assholes, and sometimes they don’t actually want to eat your children.

Heloise the Bard, Erithea’s most renowned storyteller (at least, to hear her tell it), is here to set the record straight. See, it turns out adventuring isn’t easy, and true heroism is as rare as an articulate villager.

Having spent decades propagating this particular myth (which, incidentally, she wrote), she’s finally able to tell the real storyโ€”for which she just so happened to have a front-row seat.

Welcome to Erithea. I hope you brought a change of undergarmentsโ€”things are going to get messy.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

December TBR: ending the year however tf I want!

Hey y’all

This month’s theme I would like to call “doing whatever I want.” Although that said… there are a few books I’m reading as giveaways, and challenges, and books of the month… ๐Ÿ˜‚ But still — it’s what I want to read! ^.^

I’m not really sure how my reading time will look this month, with a full time job again and holidays and possibly closing on my house and all. But if current status is any indication, it might go okay?

Giveaways

Remember forever ago when I accidentally found out I had won a giveaway for Skyhunter? It finally showed up. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So I guess I’ll finally read that one now! I also just finished Cuttle which was pretty dang good once I reset my expectations. (Why did I think it was nonfic? No idea. But it was a tough adjustment. xD)

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

November 2020 TBR: obligations and explorations

Hey y’all!

I’ve got a plan again this month for what I’ll read. These plans are sometimes a bit silly though, because by the time I write this post to share it, I’ve usually already finished a few of them. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Today is no different, but I’ll include the books here anyway as I’m excited about them! It’s a tidy planned set of nine this month. ๐Ÿ˜Š

The best obligations

These books are each ones I’m reading for A Reason Not Only My Own. I mean, to be real, I’m still the one deciding and benefiting here, but they’re in the list for more than just “I wanted to” reasons!

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson is one that I already finished because I couldn’t resist plowing through it once I had started. I went in somehwat blind from a recommendation from my friend Elise (thanks again!), and WOW was this a fabulous recommendation! I really love it, as you can see in my review. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

In Progress with ORESTIN’S OWN

Progress: page 230/404 (57%)

WELL WHAT A FANTASTIC FIND!!

Why did I start reading it?

Lucky little me got an offer from the author to read and review this gem, and wow is it absolutely blowing me away! It’s been so exciting right from the start, and I feel like there’s never a good place to put it down because there’s always a crisis happening! I absolutely love it so far. The world and the characters are meeting perfectly. I can feel the cold and the relentless wind of the Wastes, and I’m looking over my shoulder for the bone children in pursuit. LOVING THIS.

Words I’ve Learned:

this one also then taught me “antipyretic” — two for one!

Lines that linger

In Karth-Aemon’s armor even ugly men looked beautiful.

“Are you ready to die?”

“Always. Remember that, Knight, if you remember nothing else of me.”

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

The perfect dark and lyrical read: FOUL IS FAIR!

So I had put together my spooky TBR list for October, and debated hard about including Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin or not. I decided not to, just because I had so many books I’ve not read at all yet that I wanted to get to.

And yet… today I pulled this book up to read for a few minutes while I had a quick lunch, and who knows how long later my S.O. came out to ask what I was doing. I got so sucked in!

There’s never going to be a day when I don’t love this Macbeth-y witchy vengeance story. The writing is so poetic and lyrical that reading every line is sheer pleasure just for the way the words dance and the images they bring. What emotion packed into this!

So, okay, yes… I’m probably pushing another book off the list so I can indulge my dual loves of Hannah Capin and William Shakespeare. ๐Ÿฅฐ

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

October TBR: spookin’ it up!

Hey y’all!

I actually have a planned reading list for this month, and I actually think I’ll stick pretty closely to it. The reason? Well, I’m excited for all the books!! Simple as that. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’m going for a spooky theme for October. Of course that includes a few thrillers and mysteries (though I’ve finished one or two already being a few days into October). I have a few spillover books that I was in progress with that I’m wrapping up as well, but those are left off this list because I really want to highlight all the themed books that I’m excited about!

psycho/killer

Ah, finally I will read Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon!! I wrote about it for a Fast Forward Friday feature ages ago and then recently found the book on Hoopla. But I saved my excitement because I wanted it to be part of my spooky reads in October! FINALLY!! ๐Ÿ˜ And I actually read and finished this one right away! It was quite good, and WELL I DID NOT CALL THE TWIST, let’s just put it that way!!!

Another one I’ve been waiting to read forever is The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. And also another gift copy from Elise because she spoils me with bookmail. โค I’m about a hundred pages in so far, and it seems to be a murder mystery / ghost story with nannying. I’m not big on children, but I can get into ghosts. Plus Scotland. The descriptions of the landscape alone would probably make this worth reading. ๐Ÿ˜

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Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Smash It!, 9/22

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 one that I think people will probably have heard of before now because it’s getting a good amount of attention. if you haven’t had the pleasure yet, let me introduce you to Smash it! by Francina Simone.
Expected Release: September 22, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • This is pitched as a story concept that is pretty familiar, but one I never get tired of hearing. When someone — particularly a young woman — stops being quiet and meek and starts standing up for herself and doing what she wants without unwarranted fear or societal shame? That is like my favorite read ever.
  • I think this will be one of those books that makes you cheer for the main character and get a burst of pure community and support for another person. It also makes you want to take life by the horns and just do all the things you’ve ever been nervous to do. Quit your job! Move to Korea! Ask out your cute coworker! These may or may not be personal examples. Let’s move on.
  • Honestly, the cover and description and tagline and title — they did a great job marketing this!!! Zoom in on that cover. The detail is incredible and you can really see it on her fingers and hair and face. The tagline is “mistakes were made” and I’ll be damned if that doesn’t make me grin and smile indulgently and want to know for all the life of me what mistakes were made. And come on, a title with an exclamation point? I am all about it. We do not have enough of those. Marketing team: seriously, well done, because this is a perfect example of how to do it right.

Olivia “Liv” James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does…

After Liv shows up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts–why, God, why?–she decides to set aside her wack AF ways. She makes a list–a F*ck-It list.

1. Be bold–do the thing that scares me.

2. Learn to take a compliment.

3. Stand out instead of back.

She kicks it off by trying out for the school musical, saying yes to a date and making new friends. Life is great when you stop punking yourself! However, with change comes a lot of missteps, and being bold means following her heart. So what happens when Liv’s heart is interested in three different guys–and two of them are her best friends? What is she supposed to do when she gets dumped by a guy she’s not even dating? How does one Smash It! after the humiliation of being friend-zoned?

In Liv’s own words, “F*ck it. What’s the worst that can happen?”

A lot, apparently.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

September TBR: whatever comes my way!

Hey y’all!

My September tbr is kind of all over the place, and largely structured by chance. I’ve just been taking whatever shows up at my door and planning on reading that this month. It’s sort of a pleasant month with only gentle obligations that I’m more than happy to fulfill.

So if I had to give a theme for this month, it would be “it dropped into my lap.” ๐Ÿ˜

The plan

My friend & book buddy Elise sent me a generous package of books, that I’ve already been digging into! Of these we have: BRILLIANT x5 because I’m not writing that out five times every time by Joel Golby; and THE TURN OF THE KEY by Ruth Ware that I’ve been wanting to read since way before it came out and then it finally came out and I had moved on to pining for other books and so never actually read it — until now. Thank Elise!! More from her are in next month’s batch. ๐Ÿฅฐ


DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OK is from the Kellogg’s feeding reading program, which I adore (both the book and the program!). This book showed up on my doorstep right when I needed it on a sad day, and I promptly devoured it. Then a day later I got an email that the book had shipped. ๐Ÿ˜…

I snagged a copy of I’M NOT DYING WITH YOU TONIGHT from the library, so of course I have to read it while I can. Some books just show up and you’re like, “Oh, right, I forgot I requested that” because it took for-ev-er to be available and get checked out. But now I’m excited all over again.

And, as always, my trusty journey through the stars, courtesy of Bookishfirst ๐Ÿ’™ I don’t want it to be over, because TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS is so good! (Pub on sep 15!!)

And these ones are a little more scheduled, but still just loose and floated into my TBR this month. Like GIRL, SERPENT, THORN that I featured in a Fast Forward Friday and then — again — did not immediately read. But now one of my book clubs is reading it this month, and so I shall too!

Plus I always need to sneek some nonfiction into my palate, and lately that’s been turning a lot towards travel reading. Probably no surprise considering I usually go to a few new countries a year and this year I got one in (Mexico) before the world shut down. So I’m heading to Australia with trusty Bill Bryson as my guide in DOWN UNDER, which I snagged at my favorite ever used book shop, More Than Words.

I’m almost complete on my goal to read the alphabet, and this month I’m tackling V with VERITY by Colleen Hoover. This is a weird book, where every time I read what it’s about or hear someone mention it, I’m interested, but then I immediately forget what it was about. So this time I’m just going to stop reading the caption and trust that I’ll like it; and it’s on my list for the month.

And then, finally, a possibly little gem of a request from an author: MARILIA, THE WARLORD by Morgan Cole. I can always use some more epic fantasy / badass females in my reading!


Also, I did not plan it this way, but I just realized that the amount of pictures in this post is structured to be 2, then 3, then 4. And that quite pleases me. ๐Ÿ˜