Top books of 2021 and a reading year in review | Blogmas Day 31

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.

Goodreads stats:

Reading Resolutions:

  • 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.

Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy, #1)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.

Goodreads synopsis:

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 Season (The Broken Earth, #1)The Fifth Season was 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.

Goodreads synopsis:

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.

Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn TooEveryone’s A Aliebn When Ur A Aliebn Too was a Christmas gift and a last minute favorite of the year. It was just so simple and pure and wonderful and I adored it.

Goodreads synopsis

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.

The Turn of the KeyI 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.

Goodreads synopsis:

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.

All the Murmuring BonesAnd 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.

Goodreads synopsis:

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!


Bottom books of 2021! | Blogmas Day 30

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!

10 in 2022 | Blogmas Day 29

Once again I’m making a list of books to read for the coming year. One of these years I’ll succeed in reading them all. :”D

  1. Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder
  2. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
  3. Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey
  4. The Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
  5. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
  6. Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente
  7. The Seventh Queen by Greta Kelly
  8. The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang
  9. The Burning White by Brent Weeks
  10. The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

This year I’m focusing mostly on sequels. I wanna get some series closed out, finally. Wish me luck!

Bookshelf Tour 2021! | Blogmas Day 28

Happy Day 28 of Blogmas! Just a few more days to go. Today I’m gonna show you my entire book collection.

Full disclosure: I didn’t tidy up my bookshelves at all for this. This is their “natural state”. Normally I would make them all nice and pretty but 1: I have a newborn and ain’t nobody got time for that; 2: the Christmas tree is still up and sitting in front of the shelves so I can’t get to half of them to tidy anyways; and 3: my TBR case is officially overflowing (as you’ll see) so no amount of tidying would help it.

So you get my messy, crazy, well-loved shelves in all their glory.

Also unlike last year, my books are no longer all in one room. When we set up the nursery, we moved my books out of there and had to divide the between the living room and the upstairs nook. So bear with me as this might be a bit disjointed:

Upstairs nook:


The books upstairs fall into three categories: nonfiction, comics, and manga. About half of the nonfiction is my husband’s, so if you see something that doesn’t seem like my taste, assume it’s his. Also everything in Japanese/about the Japanese language is his, as are the DC comics. The manga upstairs is a combination of ones that contain graphic content and just stuff that wouldn’t fit downstairs. No butt manga in the living room, don’t want people perusing and randomly flipping through it without giving them fair warning.

The shelves:

I wish I had a better place for these shelves, as you can’t really “display” anything on them with the space being so tight, but I don’t really have a choice.

We’re currently renting and when we get to the point where we can buy a house, I’m hoping we can get one with the space for all the booky wonder to be in one area.

The living room:


So as you can see, a bit chaotic. I’m hoping to make them “nicer” once all the Christmas decorations are put away.

The shelves in this room consist of manga, read and unread fiction, some comics, and board games.

The shelves:

And that is it! These are my books as of right now. If you spot any you really like, lemme know!

Christmas Book Haul! #50 | Blogmas Day 27

Happy Monday! Today’s post is all the books I got for Christmas and the month of December!

This is what I got:

The first three on the left there were gifts. One from my sister, one from my parents, one from my husband. The middle picture was also a gift from my husband and the right-most I bought myself before Christmas.

The nine above I bought using gift cards and cash I got for Christmas. Barnes and Noble was having a sale today where all hardbacks were 50% off, so I got all these puppies for a discount.

I mentioned in my post yesterday that my friend printed out the lyrics to the song that was playing for her when my baby was born, and this is it. She also got him a copy of Rothfuss’s books, so I’m going to keep them safe for him until he’s old enough to read them.

And that’s it! I believe I have two more friends to exchange gifts with, and I might end up getting books from them, so those will be in my January haul.

PS I’m not counting these (except the two I bought myself before Christmas) as part of my end-of-year physical TBR count, because getting a bunch of books as gifts throws off my goal dammit. I’ll tack them on so they’re included in the start of my January count though, don’t worry.

What we did for Christmas | Blogmas Day 26

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday I took the day off from blogging to celebrate and today I’m back at it until the end of the month to complete my blogmas posts.

Today’s is about what we did for Christmas. It was a bit of a hybrid between a “normal” Christmas and what we did last year during the plague. It was interesting.

Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve my parents and sister came over for lunch and to exchange gifts. We honestly just had Taco Bell for lunch and it was nice not having to prepare any big meal. The gift exchange went well too – my parents are first-time grandparents and they ended up getting my kid a onesie with pizzas on it, among other things. It was really cute.

After they left, a friend of mine stopped over to drop off some gifts. Normally my husband and I would go to her grandmother’s house for dinner Christmas Eve night but due to the plague and having a newborn, we passed on that, so she stopped here instead on her way there.

She ended up giving me some beer and some coffee stuff, but for my baby she pretty much made me cry. I’ve mentioned before that my favorite band is Nightwish. They have this song called ‘Edema Ruh’, which I believe was inspired by Rothfuss’s novels. Apparently my friend had been keeping track of what songs she was listening to while I was in labor, and that was the song that was playing the minute my kid was born. So she had the lyrics printed out and framed. She also gave me a copy of the books, which I will keep and give to my kid when he’s older. I have my own copies and these ones, now that they’re relevant to his birth, will be for him. The framed picture of the Nightwish lyrics really got to me though, I teared up a bit.

Christmas Day.

Christmas morning my husband and I exchanged gifts, and we also opened stockings. So we got a lot of chocolate on top of everything else. He got me a few really neat things, one of which is a book that will show up in my yearly wrap up at the end of the month.

My inlaws then came over for lunch. We made pizzas in the oven and it went rather well. We had decided this year not to do gifts for each other, just the kids, so they brought a bunch of things for my kid. Really, they spoiled him. There were literally two boxes of gifts. My mother in law was so excited hahaha. So he got lots of toys and clothes and stuff like that.

The evening was just spent with my husband and my baby. Nice and relaxed, it was wonderful.

Boxing Day.

Today I woke up early and made the traditional breakfast bake that my family makes for Christmas every year. I would usually make it Christmas morning but with my inlaws coming for lunch we figured we wouldn’t be hungry again in time, so I did it today instead. After, we ran up to my sister in law’s real quick to let her meet my kid from a distance and to drop off gifts for my nephews. Normally we would have all spent Christmas together – my inlaws and sister in law, but my SIL isn’t vaccinated which is one of our hard boundaries, so we didn’t do that. The gift drop off was quick and everyone kept their distance, so it was better than sharing a meal and a table for a few hours. It was nice that she finally got to meet him, even if it was just waving from across the room.

After, we came home and got on a video call with my cousin, who was at my mother’s side of the family’s Christmas lunch. We would normally go to that but didn’t do that either this year because of the plague and because more than one family member wasn’t vaccinated. Earlier in the week we had given our gifts to them to my mother, who took them there with her, and she brought the gifts from them to us. So we opened the stuff from each other while on call. Among some other things, I got a gift card to the bookstore. Guess where I’m goin’ tomorrow. :’D

And now, the festivities are done. I’m still on maternity leave until the end of January, and my husband took this coming week off up through the New Year, so aside from a visit from my cousin on Tuesday and my parents on Wednesday, our goal is just to vegetate and spend time with our baby.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. See ya tomorrow with another blogmas post.

Christmas Eve Book Tag! | Blogmas Day 24

Merry Christmas Eve! It’s here it’s here! 😀 Santa comes tonight!

1) Christmas Eve morning: what is a book you wake up excited to read? one you anticipate reading or one you read in the past that you want to get back into?

Klaus is my festive read for this year. It’s the first time in a while where my Christmas book hasn’t been a reread. I’m pretty pumped!



2) Christmas Eve breakfast: what are your favorite treats during the holiday season?

I’ve been eating so much damn chocolate this month. So much.

3) Family Time: What is a book that fills you with happiness and love? the warm fuzzies in general?

Oddball came out at the beginning of the month and it’s so nice and fuzzy (literally, the cover is fuzzy).



4) Christmas Carols: What are your favorite Christmas Carols or holiday songs?

Carol of the Bells 4eva.

5) Anticipation: What is a book release you are very much anticipating?

Honestly I haven’t been paying too much attention to release announcements, so I don’t have a list yet. One I do know though is Locklands, which is the third book in Bennett’s Founders Trilogy. It comes out I believe in June.



6) You hear sleigh bells on the roof and are so excited you can’t sleep!: What is a book that kept you up all night?

Most recently it was this book! It was just so readable!




7) It’s Christmas morning, and Santa has come!: What is a book on your wishlist that you hope to unwrap?

I made an entire post about this earlier this week! Books I hope Santa brings! Go check it out!


And that’s it peeps. See yinz on the 26th.

Christmas traditions I miss | Blogmas Day 23

Today’s post was supposed to be about baking cookies, which I was going to do today…. and I did, kind of. My life has changed a lot recently, both from the baby and from the pandemic, and it’s changed the way I did the holidays this year.

So I figured I’d talk about traditions I miss that have either changed or disappeared.

Keep in mind, the ones that have done so because of the baby are only temporary, and in no way am I saying I’d change anything about it, because I’d rather have the baby, so don’t take this as me griping about having a baby. Because it’s not.

We’ll start with the obvious:

Baking cookies

Usually I dedicate an entire Saturday to this, and before the pandemic, I’d invite a friend or two over to help me as well. And honestly being vaccinated I’m not against inviting a friend over to help, but my kid doesn’t have his two month vaccines yet. He’s not protected against whooping cough or polio or any of that. A few of my friends have gotten the whooping cough vaccine at my request in addition to the covid one to protect my kid, but today they were either working or sick, so.

I just miss spending the day baking cookies and drinking with my buddies. Once my newborn is not a newborn anymore – aka next year – I’m hoping I can do it again.

I did mention I baked cookies today and I did. I grabbed the premade, pre-portioned dough and baked a couple dozen of those in between changing diapers and making bottles. It took far longer to bake two dozen cookies today than it did to bake eight dozen normally. So… now you see why I didn’t have enough content to make a post about baking cookies, haha.

And speaking of baking and drinking…

Holiday beer

Normally I try to get a variety of holiday beers during the winter. I’m a dark beer fan so this is my season to be jolly. But obviously I wasn’t drinking due to pregnancy earlier and now I’m on a medication where I can’t drink either. The med won’t be permanent so I can again eventually, but the seasonal stuff will be long gone by then.

Getting a real Christmas tree

This one is not recent. I haven’t had a real tree since 2013. That’s because I moved out of my parents’ house in fall of 2014 and every place I’ve lived since then has either been too small for a tree or the lease said we couldn’t have a real one. That’s what the deal is at my current place. So I have a decent fake one, but it’s not the same. I miss going out, picking the one I want, chopping it down and tying it to the car. I miss the pine smell, hell I miss stepping on pine needles. It’s not Christmas until you get one of those suckers logged in your foot.

Friends’ parties

This one is the plague talking. Usually we’d have parties to build gingerbread houses or watch Christmas movies or something. None of that is happening this year or last year.

Christmas shopping with my husband

This is one that should be doable next year. This year though it was all online or just me going out. Our kid is too young to go into public. He’s not protected yet, so one of us stays home with him while the other goes out. He should be good by next year, assuming the plague isn’t even worse.

Christmas light hunting

This one we probably could have done had we the energy, as my kid can go in the carseat, but neither of us did. Sleeping in two hour chunks does that to a person. Next year!

Going to my extended family’s Christmas dinner

Last year it didn’t happen because of the plague, this year it’s happening but we’re not going because the cases are actually higher here this year than they were last year, and again, my kid isn’t vaccinated because he’s too young, and more than one of my family have refused to get the covid vax, let along the whooping cough one. So next year hopefully.

And that’s it. I didn’t mean for this post to come off as complainy, I’m just a bit bummed that none of the above could happen this year. All of them except the tree should be able to happen next year, so something to look forward to!

If there’s stuff you miss doing, do lemme know.



Books I hope Santa brings | Blogmas Day 21

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl

Four more days til Christmas! And it’s Top Ten Tuesday! Like all of us, I asked for books this year. These are the ones I hope Santa brings me!

Some classic backlists to start. Inda in particular I’ve been after for years.

Some sequels to series I’ve started and really enjoyed. (And the Inuyasha I’ve finished! Just collecting now).

And some more recent releases because they sound super great. 😀

And that’s it! I’ve been (mostly) good this year so wish me luck peeps!