Happy Saturday! Today is my monthly book haul post, and I’m putting myself on a buying ban!
The buying ban:
Exception to the ban: books for buddy reads. I can still get those
No new (or used) purchases otherwise until the ban is over
The ban will last through the end of April at least, maybe longer
I’m really hoping to get my physical tbr down during this time, but I do have a few buddy reads planned out, some of which I don’t own the book for yet. So I will still have monthly hauls, but they’ll just be much smaller and all will be for planned buddy reads. Wish me luck. I do a few month long ban every year, and every year I’ve been successful. I don’t see this year being any different.
Happy Tuesday! Last year I did an anticipated releases post, detailing books coming out in 2021 that I thought looked neato. Well as expected I didn’t get to all of them. Partly because of a reading slump, partly because of who I am as a person. Keep in mind I did buy all of these. I own them. But they are unread. :”D
These were the neato books I didn’t read:
The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson – Release Date: Jan 19th
Goodreads synopsis: On the never-ending, miles-high expanse of prairie grasses known as the Forever Sea, Kindred Greyreach, hearthfire keeper and sailor aboard harvesting vessel The Errant, is just beginning to fit in with the crew of her new ship when she receives devastating news. Her grandmother–The Marchess, legendary captain and hearthfire keeper–has stepped from her vessel and disappeared into the sea.
But the note she leaves Kindred suggests this was not an act of suicide. Something waits in the depths, and the Marchess has set out to find it.
To follow in her grandmother’s footsteps, Kindred must embroil herself in conflicts bigger than she could imagine: a water war simmering below the surface of two cultures; the politics of a mythic pirate city floating beyond the edges of safe seas; battles against beasts of the deep, driven to the brink of madness; and the elusive promise of a world below the waves.
Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo – Release date: March 30th
Goodreads synopsis: (Potential spoilers for King of Scars) The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm—and even the monster within—to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible.
The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.
The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.
King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.
Hail Mary by Andy Weir – Release date: May 4th
Goodreads synopsis: Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.
For the Wolf by Hanna Whitten – Release date: June 15th
Goodreads synopsis: The first daughter is for the Throne. The second daughter is for the Wolf.
As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.
Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.
But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.
And that’s it – only four! My original list had seven books on it, three of which I read. Which if I’m being honest is pretty good for me.
I’ve mentioned the ’12 recommendations’ books a couple times now in the last weeks, so this is the official post on it.
Basically there’s this meme going around in Instagram where you have 12 friends recommend you twelve books, and then you read one per month during 2022. So I’ve decided to do it! I posted the empty template on my IG and asked for recs, and these are the twelve I received:
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Lightning Struck Heart by T. J. Klune
Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly
86 by Motoki Yoshihara
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
Bitter Greens by Katy Forsyth
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowl
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Green Rider by Kristin Britain
The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller
So, a wide range of genres. Romance, fantasy, manga, historical, westerns, yada yada. My first read from this list is Lonesome Dove, recommended by my mother. So far I’m digging it. So I’m hoping to get through this list this year. Wish me luck!
Today’s topic is technically “Most Recent Additions to My Book Collection” but considering I do hauls monthly anyways that would be a bit repetitive. So I’m twisting it a bit and doing ten books that have recently caught my attention but I haven’t actually picked up yet.
I will preface this by saying that I have fallen into the bottomless pit of BookTok recently, so if you’re on that at all you’ll likely recognize a lot of these titles.
These are all the most recent books that sound neat to me!
What strikes me as interesting in these ten most recent additions (plus a lot of books I’ve read and picked up recently) is that I’m noticing my reading tastes are starting to shift.
Normally I like a lot of heavy fantasy and while I still do like that, I’ve found myself drawn to some new genres for me. Romance, for one. And “weird” books. Thrillery books. I can’t say I’ve read many of them before but lately that’s what I’ve been wanting. So I think that’s neat!
This is my first of twelve friend recommendation books, the post for which is coming next week. This one was recommended to me by my mother, and so far it’s interesting. It’s set after the civil war in south Texas and follows a couple of rangers as they herd a group of steer to I think Montana? I haven’t actually gotten to that point in the book yet so I’m not sure of their final destination.
This buddy read is with my friend irl. We also read the first one together and so far I’m unsure about this one. The first one was chaotic and a good time and this one is much slower moving. I’m not disliking it or anything, I’m just not sure where it’s going to go.
This buddy read is with Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff! So far I’m really enjoying this book. I loved Foundryside when we read it together and I’m liking this one just as much. The third book comes out in June and I am p u m p e d for it.
Hi it’s Tuesday, and the Top Ten Tuesday topic coincides perfectly with what I wanted to post anyways, so here we are.
I haven’t done too much research about books coming out this year, so I don’t have a super long list. Not yet, at least. And I do want to wait to talk about releases for the second have of the year until June or so, just so we have more accurate release dates. So these are books I’m pumped for coming out between now and June.
Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.
Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on Earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects—a pig—develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet.
In a world reeling from an unusual plague, monsters lurk in the streets while terrified survivors arm themselves and roam the countryside in packs. Or perhaps something very different is happening. When a disease affects how reality is perceived, it’s hard to be certain of anything…
Spence is one of the “cured” living at the Ironside rehabilitation facility. Haunted by guilt, he refuses to face the changed world until a new inmate challenges him to help her find her old crew. But if he can’t tell the truth from the lies, how will he know if he has earned the redemption he dreams of? How will he know he hasn’t just made things worse?
1944: As World War II rages on, the threat has come to the home front. In a remote corner of Idaho, Meiko Briggs and her daughter, Aiko, are desperate to return home. Following Meiko’s husband’s enlistment as an air force pilot in the Pacific months prior, Meiko and Aiko were taken from their home in Seattle and sent to one of the internment camps in the Midwest. It didn’t matter that Aiko was American-born: They were Japanese, and therefore considered a threat by the American government.
Mother and daughter attempt to hold on to elements of their old life in the camp when a mysterious disease begins to spread among those interned. What starts as a minor cold quickly becomes spontaneous fits of violence and aggression, even death. And when a disconcerting team of doctors arrive, nearly more threatening than the illness itself, Meiko and her daughter team up with a newspaper reporter and widowed missionary to investigate, and it becomes clear to them that something more sinister is afoot, a demon from the stories of Meiko’s childhood, hell-bent on infiltrating their already strange world.
Alone in the world, Asher Todd travels to the remote estate of Morwood Grange to become governess to three small children. Her sole possessions comprise a sea chest and a large carpet bag she hangs onto for dear life. She finds a fine old home, its inhabitants proud of their lineage and impeccable reputation, and a small village nearby. It seems an untroubled existence, yet there are portraits missing from the walls, locked rooms, and names excised from the family tree inscribed in the bible. In short order, the children adore her, she becomes indispensible to their father Luther in his laboratory, and her potions are able to restore the sight of granddame Leonora. Soon Asher fits in as if she’s always been there, but there are creatures that stalk the woods at night, spectres haunt the halls, and Asher is not as much a stranger to the Morwoods as it might at first appear.
Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.
But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.
Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.
To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.
And that’s it! Ideally I will pick all of these up and read them. I suppose I could always look and see if I did that come Blogmas 2022. Could be neat!
Well hi! It’s the last day of Blogmas and my favorite post of the year. My favorite books! I’ll also look back on my 2021 reading resolutions and check out some Goodreads stats.
Read 100 books – I set this goal pre-pregnancy. Well, that threw a wrench in things. I ended up adjusting the goal down to 80, which I’ve hit. So I’ll count this as a Success.
Reduce physical fiction tbr to 185 – I definitely hit this one. The purge really took a chunk out of it. My current physical TBR (not including Christmas presents) is 147. Success.
Reduce manga tbr to 50 – While I did read a lot of manga this year, not enough apparently. My current manga tbr is 139. Failure.
Maintain blog schedule – Lol. Failure
Finish my 10 in 2021 list – I was making good progress in this until the Great Reading Slump™. I managed to complete 5 out of 10. Failure.
So overall not great but considering I had a baby this year and fell into a huge reading slump, it could have been worse.
Top books of 2021:
These are all the new reads I rated 5 stars this year. They are in no particular order.
I buddy read Foundryside with Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff and both of us adored it. The tone is light and funny and serious and gritty at the same time. The characters are well developed and likeable, and the plot was well-paced and interesting.
Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims. Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them. To have a chance at surviving–and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way–Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.
The Fifth Seasonwas another buddy read, read with a friend irl. I ended up reading the entire trilogy this year but this first book was my favorite of the three. It was such a unique world and the characters, while not “likeable” persay, were interesting and I felt for them. The plot was also super neat.
This is the way the world ends. Again. Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
The illustrated story of a lonely alien sent to observe Earth, where he meets all sorts of creatures with all sorts of perspectives on life, love, and happiness, while learning to feel a little better about himself—based on the enormously popular Twitter account. Here is the unforgettable story of Jomny, an alien sent to study Earth. Always feeling apart, even among his species, Jomny feels at home for the first time among the earthlings he meets. There is a bear tired of other creatures running in fear, an egg struggling to decide what to hatch into, a turtle hiding itself by learning camouflage, a puppy struggling to express its true feelings, and many more.
I stepped a bit outside my usual genres and picked up a thriller, The Turn of the Key, and I loved it. It was eerie and isolating and exactly what I was hoping for.
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder. Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.
And finally, I read All the Murmuring Bones and was reminded of the whimsy of a Miyazaki movie, but darker. Gothic. The tone of this book is its best point. It’s so enthralling and it was wonderful.
Long ago Miren O’Malley’s family prospered due to a deal struck with the Mer: safety for their ships in return for a child of each generation. But for many years the family have been unable to keep their side of the bargain and have fallen into decline. Miren’s grandmother is determined to restore their glory, even at the price of Miren’s freedom. A spellbinding tale of dark family secrets, magic and witches, and creatures of myth and the sea; of strong women and the men who seek to control them.
And this is it. The end of Blogmas. I hope if you visited a post or two this month that you enjoyed them. If you visited more, I appreciate it. I do have another post coming out tomorrow, but it’s going to be the start of my “normal” posting schedule.
Blogging every day this month has reminded me why I made the blog in the first place. I had a lot of fun! I’m going to try to maintain it again, get back into it. I’m hoping it’ll also inspire me to read more, because I gotta tell ya, what little down time I get while the baby is sleeping, my brain tends to just want to scroll on tiktok. Reading is better for me though (and I enjoy it when I do it!) so wish me luck on that too.
So again if you’ve stuck around for the month, I do appreciate it. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate, a wonderful month otherwise, and a Happy New Year!
Blogmas is almost over and these are the worst books I read this year!
These are my three DNFs of the year.
The Moth Diaries for me was too slow-moving and I couldn’t get into it. Like the premise sounded interesting but I felt like I got fifty percent into it and the premise hadn’t even hinted at happening yet. Sooo.
Hood was another DNF. The main character drove me nuts and honestly I’m just not a fan of Robin Hood stories so this book wasn’t made for me in the first place. It’s not the book’s fault, it’s mine.
And Blood of Elves was probably my biggest disappointment of the year. I read the first two books of short stories so I could read this novel. I don’t like short story collections. I had a hard time getting through them and the only reason I did was I kept telling myself that I had a novel to look forward to, and that the novel would be great, and blah. Well, got to the novel, and DNF’d it about 30% of the way in. The writing was not great, the pacing was not great. I do love the tv show though so the storytelling is great. The book just didn’t mesh with me unfortunately and I’m really bummed about it.
These are books I actually finished.
The Book of the Dead Days was a disappointment. And I’m really bummed because it’s one of my friend’s favorite books and she recommended it and I feel bad that I didn’t like it.
Notre-Dame de Paris was…. a trip. It was a buddy read with Katy @Bookbinderway and I think she liked it more than I did. Honestly I kinda hated it and I have since gotten rid of it. It was dry and the art history tangents were entirely unnecessary. I have never recommended an abridged version of a book before but if you want to read this one, pick up the abridged one.
And finally, I really disliked The Return of the King. I buddy read this with a couple buddies, both of which I think liked it more than me as well. I do want to state that the movies are some of my favorites of all time, and I knew that the books were ‘harder’ to read. Honestly I didn’t find them hard to read, I just found them hella boring, particularly this last book. It was the worst out of the three.
And that is it. Six books out of the eighty I read I deem ‘the worst’ of the year. If you’ve read any of these, and particularly if you liked them, do let me know your thoughts. Happy reading!
This hobby blog is dedicated to movie nerdom, nostalgia, and the occasional escape. In the late 90s, I worked at Blockbuster Video where they let me take home two free movies a day. I caught up on the classics and wrote movie reviews for Denver 'burbs newspapers and magazines. Currently, I am enjoying my new life as a new dad, but when there's free time, movies are standard. Comments and dialogue are always encouraged. Happy Moviegoing!