When I was making this list, I realized the majority of the authors I read were new to me, at least for novels. All the manga I read pretty much weren’t. So I have nine authors that I found and think are pretty neat today, in no particular order:
Joe Abercrombie I found because of my buddy reads with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks. I really like his gritty, dark style of writing that combines wry humor and sense of utter bleakness.
Jonny Sun I found to have a really nice cute style, though to be fair I’ve only read what is basically a picture book from him. I’d be interested in more.
Grant Morrison and Dan Mora – the author and illustrator respectively I presume – I found last minute in 2021 when I picked this book up as my annual Christmasy read. I really enjoyed this graphic novel and plan on getting the next volume around Christmas next year.
Jennifer L. Armentrout I know has been around for a while, but I’d never read anything by her until this year as part of a buddy read. And I gotta tell ya, it’s wild. I was so entertained.
N. K. Jemisin I was really late on the bandwagon for. I know she’s won multiple awards at this point and after reading her Broken Earth trilogy I can see why.
Ruth Ware is one of my first dives into thriller, and I think I picked a good place to start. I really enjoyed her writing and buzzed right through her book.
A. G. Slatter I think is a relatively new author. All the Murmuring Bones was her debut, and with it she’s become an auto-buy author for me. She has a new book coming out this year that I plan on picking up after my ban is over.
Greta Kelly is another debut author that I ended up really liking. I have the second book to her duology already and plan on reading it soon!
Robert Jackson Bennett is not a debut author by any means, so I’m late to the bandwagon on him, but his Founders books have made me wanna read basically everything else he’s written. I’m very pumped about it.
And that’s it! If you’ve read any of these authors, lemme know! Peace!
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
And that is it! These are my books as of right now. If you spot any you really like, lemme know!
Like I mentioned yesterday, a lot of my year was spent on my butt. So I watched a decent bit of TV. These were some of my favorites:
Shadow and Bone
I really like all of the creative decisions made with this show and I think it turned out wonderfully.
I realize this is probably an unpopular opinion but I really enjoyed this adaption! I mean it had its faults but overall I found it entertaining. I’m bummed that it was cancelled.
This show was really good. The first couple episodes I was just confused as hell in the best way. It’s this neat sci-fi thriller action thing and it was great!
I think this is one of my top anime of the year if not the top. The story is neat and the animation style is so pretty.
Kaguya Sama Love is War
This was the funniest anime I watched this year. It’s a… romance? Kind of? But definitely a comedy, about these two people who definitely fall for each other but refuse to admit it, so they are both set on making the other admit their feelings first. The narrator of the series just makes it too. He does play-by-plays like it’s a boxing match and it’s hilarious.
I really love this manga and when they started to remake the anime back in 2019 I was super pumped. This time it stuck to the manga plot the whole way through, and season 3 – the final one – debuted this year. And my heart was exploded.
Hunter x Hunter
This is a weird trailer yet the best I could find so bear with me. Hunter x Hunter I fell in love with this year. It was so entertaining and I ended up thinking about it for a long time after I finished it. If you decide to check it out, give it a handful of episodes. Episode 1 really feels like a little kids show but uh… no. So give it time.
And that’s it! My baby has started crying so time for a bottle I think. Until tomorrow!
I keep telling myself every time I make one of these posts that it’ll be the last time I need to because next year I’ll actually read all the books I want to read. I’ve been doing this for seven years now and it still hasn’t happened. Sigh. Here are the books I wanted to read but didn’t.
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor I ended up picking up right after it released because I loved the first book so much and then I proceeded to not read it. Sigh. A Wrinkle in TimeI’ve had for forever and I feel like it’s one of those books that everyone has read. So I’m a bit bummed that I didn’t. And me not reading Caliban’s War is probably the biggest disappointment, because I’ve been about two-thirds through this book for over a year now. I keep meaning to finish it and then I don’t. Sigh. I do love it though – honestly it’ll probably get a four or five stars from me. I just need to actually read the damn thing.
Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer series is one of my favorite series and I haven’t finished it because I’m lame. Same with Seth Dickinson’s Masqueradeseries. I did start a reread of it this year in prep for this third book, but I haven’t reread the second book yet so I don’t wanna start this one until I can do that. And the fact that I haven’t read Naomi Novik’s Scholomanceseries yet is such a fail on my part considering she’s one of my favorite authors. Sigh.
One of these days I’ll read all these books.
If you’ve read any of the above, lemme know! Til tomorrow!
Happy Tuesday! Today’s post is about all the books I’d like to get to before the end of 2021. I have seven books to go on my Goodreads goal, so I’m hoping to finish at least that, but any additional ones would be great too.
So here’s my list of potentials:
My three current buddy reads, which have all picked back up, albeit slowly on my end, now that I’ve birthed and gotten my life somewhat organized again. I don’t know if any of these will be finished by the end of the year, but I’m definitely going to be reading them at least.
Nightbitch is my current solo read, though I admit it’s taken a back seat to my buddy reads. I don’t read my solo books unless I’m caught up on my buddy books and I’m fearfully behind at the moment so… I’m hoping to get to this one in between of the above ones.
And these are all the manga I want to hop into in between the books. I could read multiple volumes of them so that would put me up past the seven I need, hopefully.
And that is it. Buddy reads and manga for me from now til the end of the year! See ya tomorrow!
It’s that time of year, peeps. After a year of low activity for me on this blog, I’m going to attempt Blogmas to get back into the swing of things. I’ve done this every year since I think 2015, and I didn’t want to skip this year just because I’ve been a bum. So this is my tentative posting schedule for this blogmas:
1: This post!
2: Christmas bucket list
3: November wrap up
4: Fall book haul
5: December currently reading
6: Birth story
7: Fantasy bingo update
8: Top 5 Wednesday
9: Christmas decorations set up
10: Fall/winter favorites
11: Must have and not worth it items as a new mom
12: Daily routine with a newborn
13: Bookish Christmas Book Tag
14: Top Ten Tuesday – End of year TBR
15: All I Want for Christmas Book Tag
16: Best books to read by the fireplace
17: Books I wanted to read but didn’t get to
18: Favorite video games of 2021
19: Favorite TV Shows of 2021
20: 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag
21: Top Ten Tuesday – Books I hope Santa brings
22: Top 5 Wednesday – Prettiest covers
23: Baking cookies
24: Christmas Eve Book Tag
25: Nothing! I get a break today
26: What we did for Christmas
27: December book haul
28: Bookshelf tour 2021
29: 10 in 2022
30: Bottom books of 2021
31: Top books of 2021/ a year in review
And that’s it! It’s shorter than my typical Blogmas (week of Thanksgiving through Jan 8th or so) but I’m also trying to go easy on myself. We’ll see if I can manage this, and if it inspires me to post regularly again. We’ll see, wish me luck! If you’re doing Blogmas this year, do let me know!
It’s second-to-last-day-of-Blogmas! Today’s post is my updated book collection!
Overview of book room:
I’m pretty happy with how it is. The nonfiction has been moved to the hallway, and honestly most of it is my husband’s, so I’m not gonna bother going over it. For the two piles shown in the last picture, the left two are books that have been purged. I’ll be dropping them off at my sister in law’s free little library. The two piles on the right are books I’ve borrowed from friends and family.
Manga and graphic novels
You can see my 10 in 2021 books on top in that last pic there. In addition to the manga shown, I have quite a few lent out. Not shown are: Ten Count 6, Rave Master 1-10, Demon Diary 1-7, Delicious in Dungeon 1-4, Inuyasha 1-5, The Way of the House Husband 1-2, Pandora Hearts 1, Trigun 1-2, Trigun Maximum 1-4, and Tokyo Ghoul 1-4 (though Tokyo Ghoul isn’t mine – it’s my husband’s).
Right now, my shelves are ordered by read and unread, followed by author (more or less). The last pic is what I’m currently reading and a couple books on the back-burner. Like the manga, I also have a lot of fiction lent out. Not shown: Uprooted, The Bear and the Nightingale, House of Leaves, Assassin’s Apprentice, Assassin’s Quest, Senlin Ascends, The Traitor Baru Cormorant, The Poppy War, Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars, Throne of Glass, and Isle of Blood.
And that’s it! Those are my books as of today. Tomorrow is Blogmas day Last!
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 reviewed theatrical releases for Denver 'burbs newspapers and magazines. Stay tuned to my ongoing Top 50 Reely Bernie Faves list. Comments and dialogue encouraged!
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