Bookish T-Shirts

So I stumbled down a rabbit hole on the internet recently. It was inspired by the t-shirt I’m wearing now.

It’s by teeturtle and I love it so much. It’s comfy and soft and oh so cute. But I got it a few years ago and I was just curious to see if they still had it.

Because of reasons.

That totally make sense.

If you’re me.

Truth.

Anyway, that inspired me to write this post. My favorite bookish t-shirts. Because we all could use something comfy to wear.

I love this design, found on the Teeturtle website. We both have purple hair! Yes, I will be buying this next month.

I don’t know why, but I feel personally attacked by this one. I found it on ETSY.

This is true. I mean, my mom used to just drop me off at the library and was not at all surprised to find me with a giant stack of books that I wanted to check out. I was always a reader. Maybe I should pick this shirt up too. It’s from Out of Print.

But why is it true though? The hubs will be sound asleep and here I am at 4 in the morning reading something on my tablet. This one is from Society 6.

I love a good Doctor Who quote. This just happens to be one of my favorites. This shirt is from Tee Fury.

Does anybody else remember Book It? When I was a kid I loved that program! Good news! They brought it back this year and are enrolling now! Also, you can find this shirt here, on Amazon.

And there are a few of the dozens of amazing book related t-shirts I found!

Somewhere New

Well that’s fun isn’t it. A nice, random phone call with turned into a trip.

Where is this trip going to be going?

I’ll give you a hint.

The guest list has been finalized.

And we know just about when.

Suffice it to say, I’ve gone full research mode, because that’s what I do. And yes, I am having fun with the research. I always have fun with the research these days.

Squee! It’s gonna be so much fun!

Project Hail Mary – A Book Review

Today I bring to you the joyous news of a review for a book that I did, indeed, finish!

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir!

I’m going to be honest and say I’m a big Andy Weir fan. I loved The Martian and I really enjoyed Artemis (even though it wasn’t as good as The Martian) and I knew I was going to be picking this book up. I just wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to be waiting for it to come out as a paperback. Barnes & Nobel’s 50% sale on Prime Day made up my mind for me.

I’m a girl who likes a sale.

I also happen to be a girl who likes sci-fi.

This book is about Ryland Grace, who wakes up on a space ship, with no memory and two dead crewmen. Oh, he also happens to be humanities only hope of solving an extinction level event having to do with the sun.

So why beat around the bush, I loved this book. I read it in two days. Would have been one but I got distracted by The Golden Girls.

I know, I got side tracked by a thirty year old tv show. Go me.

You’re moved back in forth through time as Ryland regains his memories. This happens slowly over the course of the book. And it’s great to see how that pays off. And the memories themselves are full of colorful characters. Although Andy Weir still can’t write women very well (this was a problem in Artemis, which has a female main character) he has improved, so he gets points for that.

I enjoyed Ryland’s time in the Hail Mary. I loved the ship, how they traveled, how they got artificial gravity, the lab, all of it. The author writes complicated science jargon in a way that makes it easy for everyone to understand, it’s part of the reason I enjoyed the the time ship so much.

There is a lot in this book to love. From the character interactions to the actual puzzle of why the sun was dimming. As is typical of the authors books, I did laugh, a lot. Andy Weir like to remind you that even stressful situations can have humorous moments. It works.

Basically, pick this one up if you love great sci-fi! I gave it 5 stars.

Two Week Trip TBR

If you are reading this, I am on a two and a half week trip with my mom, my niece, and my nephew. We are going to be spending a lot of the time in the car. And while yes, I have brought my Switch with me, it’s battery only lasts a few hours, and even I can only play Animal Crossing for so long.

So I also brought my Kindle with me. I’ve already made the case for the Kindle, or really e-readers in general, so I’m not going to do that here.

I have quite a few books that I haven’t read on my Kindle, and since Amazon lets you share your Kindle library with those in your Amazon Prime household, I also have all of my husband books to choose from as well.

Let’s be honest, I’ve purchased so may books over the last few months that I’m just going to go with what I have!

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

Red is a second born daughter and she is going to be sacrificed to the wolf in the woods. I pre-ordered this back in June and I am really looking forward to reading this one, especially at 403 pages.

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn by Tyler Whitesides

When Ardor Benn is hired by a priest to steal from the most powerful king the realm has ever seen, he must put together a group of thieves to achieve his goals. This is a long one, clocking in at a little over 750 pages. It should keep me busy.

The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick

The story of thieves and con artists and royal court life. This is another whopper, coming in at 615 pages.

Bow-Legged Buccaneers From Outer Space by David Owain Hughes

Space pirates. That was all I needed to know when my friend told me about this book. It’s short, so I feel it help with one of the shorter trips we are taking, at 147 pages.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

A royal sent into a political marriage. A young girl sold into servitude. This sounds great! And at 124 pages should be a quick read!

Now, do I expect to read every single one of these books while I am on this trip? Nope, but these are the ones I am hoping to at least touch. Especially given that there are kids involved in this road trip. But a girl can hope! Wish me luck!

Every New Release I Want-July 2021

I’m not gonna lie, I love digging through the internet to find these books. I always find books I’m wanting to purchase. My poor Amazon list just keeps growing ever so much bigger. It would help if I stayed off Book Outlet so I could buy some of the new releases that I wanted.

She Who Became The Sun by Shelly Parker-Chan-July 20th

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.

I’m sorry, did you read that description? I feel like I’m gonna enjoy the hell out of this book.

Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers-July 13th

It’s been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.

They’re going to need to ask it a lot.

Becky Chambers’s new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

I loved To Be Taught if Fortunate. So much so that I’m willing to purchase anything the author writes. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian-July 6th

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change destiny–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

This was a Book of the Month early release last month so I picked it up already! And y’all know I can’t pass up an Arthurian retelling.

Song of the Forever Rains by E.J. Mellow-July 1st

The Thief Kingdom is a place hidden within the world of Aadilor. Many whisper of its existence, but few have found this place, where magic and pleasure abound. There, the mysterious Thief King reigns supreme with the help of the Mousai, a trio of revered and feared sorceresses.

Larkyra Bassette may be the youngest of the Mousai, but when she sings her voice has the power to slay monsters. When it’s discovered the Duke of Lachlan is siphoning a poisonous drug from the Thief Kingdom and using it to abuse his tenants, Larkyra is offered her first solo mission to stop the duke. Eager to prove herself, Larkyra accepts by posing as the duke’s potential bride. But her plans grow complicated when she finds herself drawn to Lord Darius Mekenna, Lachlan’s rightful heir. Soon she suspects Darius has his own motivations for ridding Lachlan of the corrupt duke. Larkyra and Darius must learn to trust each other if there is to be any hope of saving the people of Lachlan―and themselves.

Welcome to the world of Aadilor, where lords and ladies can be murderers and thieves, and the most alluring notes are often the deadliest. Dare to listen?

This was a Prime First read for June. If you have Amazon, Prime first reads happen at the beginning of every month. You get one (sometimes two) new title every month for free! I love it.

The Empire’s Ruin by Brian Staveley-July 6th

The Annurian Empire is disintegrating. The advantages it used for millennia have fallen to ruin. The ranks of the Kettral have been decimated from within, and the kenta gates, granting instantaneous travel across the vast lands of the empire, can no longer be used.

In order to save the empire, one of the surviving Kettral must voyage beyond the edge of the known world through a land that warps and poisons all living things to find the nesting ground of the giant war hawks. Meanwhile, a monk turned con-artist may hold the secret to the kenta gates.

But time is running out. Deep within the southern reaches of the empire and ancient god-like race has begun to stir.

What they discover will change them and the Annurian Empire forever. If they can survive.

This sounds intriguing.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim-July 6th

Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to forswear–no matter what the cost.

This reminds me a lot of Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest. And I loved that book.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix-July 13th

Lynette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre. For more than a decade, she’s been meeting with five other final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, working to put their lives back together. Then one woman misses a meeting, and their worst fears are realized—someone knows about the group and is determined to rip their lives apart again, piece by piece.
 
But the thing about final girls is that no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.

I loved The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by this author, so I’m hoping I’ll love this one too.

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

THE COMFORT BOOK is Haig’s life raft: it’s a collection of notes, lists, and stories written over a span of several years that originally served as gentle reminders to Haig’s future self that things are not always as dark as they may seem. Incorporating a diverse array of sources from across the world, history, science, and his own experiences, Haig offers warmth and reassurance, reminding us to slow down and appreciate the beauty and unpredictability of existence.

I loved the Midnight Library, so I thought I would give his newest release a try. That’s why I pre-ordered it.

I have to stop adding books to this list because I keep finding new books to add every time I turn around! July is shaping up to be a great month!

Every Book I Bought-June 2021

Yeah, I totally threw that book buying ban right out the window, didn’t I? May was a lot. June was a little better, but just barely.

The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t really read the description of this one when I bought it, but it’s all about physics and it uses superheroes to teach it. I couldn’t decided if this one was going to be a gift for the Hubs or for me!

Mythic Journeys Edited by Paula Guran

Myths and stories from all walks of life. Sign me up! Did I mention Neil Gaiman?

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

This is a modern day look at the significance that gingerbread has in fairytales. It almost sounds like a modern day retelling of Hansel and Gretel, but not quite. I know, that doesn’t really make any sense.

Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

This book seems to have it all. Spies, war, queens, mystery, possibly an enemies to lovers romance. Sounds intriguing.

What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

A collection of short stories. One of them involves a woman who is so desperate for a child she weaves one out of hair. Yes please.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Tom is just trying to make a living and keep a roof over his and his fathers head, but when he delivers a tome to a reclusive sorceress, it opens doors to magic best left closed. I didn’t know this one was horror when I bought it. Oops. I own it now.

Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark

I love the description of this book. The film Birth of a Nation swells the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan. 3 black women rise to stop them. Oh, did I mention that some of the clansmen are demons?

That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

This is the final book in a trilogy, so I won’t go into the description, but it is science fiction. I own the other two parts, and was just waiting to pick this one up before I started reading the series. I don’t know why I’m like that.

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

Red, as the first second born daughter in centuries, is sacrificed to the Wolf in the woods. But he is not a wolf, he is a man. I pre-ordered this one cause it sounded so good.

The Thousand Death’s of Ardor Benn by Tyler Whitesides

Ardor Benn is a very good thief, but when a priest hires him to steal from the most power king the world has ever known, his skills will be tested. This one went on sale for $2 on Kindle, so I snatched it up.

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

A king Arthur retelling, we all know I love those, from the perspective of Elaine of Shallot, who can see the future of Camelot. This was an early release through Book of the Month.

We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

Jamie wakes up with no memory, but he does have the ability to read thoughts…and erase them. So he robs banks and steals coffee. His archrival, Zoe, has super strength and speed and delivers pizza. This sounds great! I picked this one up through Book of the Month too.

Infinite Dusk: Cowboy Necromancer Book One by Harmon Cooper

Sterling is a necromancer that just wants to farm his peppers in peace, but Godwalkers threaten to destroy his crops and bandits keep trying to impose a pepper tax. This sounds like it could have some humor involved in it. Also, I got it for free on Kindle! Gotta love a free book.

“The Postman Always Rings Twice’ By James M. Cann

This classic noir piece of literature was purchased due to my book club. I was surprised to discover that it was so short! I love a quick read.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Um, Dinosaurs. Enough said. No but seriously, I have a 25 year old copy (it’s the movie cover!) of this book that is held together by packing tape. It was time to get a replacement.

How Y’all Doing? by Leslie Jordan

Leslie went viral during lockdown by doing Instgram videos. They are great! This is the story of his life. I got this as a audio book because I love a memoir read by the author.

Song of the Forever Rains by E.J. Mellow

There is a Thief Kingdom versus a, well, regular kingdom! I was hooked by this premise. I picked this one up as part of Amazon’s Prime First Reads for free. If you don’t know what that is, you should google it.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Greek gods forced to walk the Earth as mortals all while being hunted. Lore walked from that life, but now she is being drawn back in. This went on sale at Barnes & Noble for 50% off, I had to snatch it up!

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Two sisters have been separated and both are desperate to find each other. This is a YA dystopian with a little sci-fi thrown in, or so I hear. Another one I picked up in the B&N 50% off sale.

Bestiary by K-Ming Chang

When her mother tells her a story about a woman with a tiger spirit, daughter doesn’t expect it will apply to her, especially when she wakes up with a tigers tail. Another B&N sale pick.

The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett

The story of two black sisters who grow up in the segregated south, and what they do to survive. I own this book on Kindle already and I loved this book so much I had to pick up a physical copy! That happens to me every so often. Yet again, a B&N sale pick.

Wings of Ebony by J. Elle

They had me at half mortal, half god. That was all I needed to know when I picked this book up in the B&N sale. Cause yeah, I’m not gonna lie, this book hadn’t even been on my radar before now.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

All I needed to know about this book was that Andy Weir had written it. It’s been on my list for a while now, so I had to pick it up in the B&N sale. Also, the hubs read it in like, a day, and I gave it 5 stars. Stay tuned for a more complete review coming soon!

Okay, so that’s a lot of books. Gotta love Book Outlet, Kindle sales, and that Barnes and Noble sale. Zeesh. I love those.

What books did you pick up in June?

Every Book I Read June 2021

Last month I decided to do a TBR list. How did I do, you may be asking? Well, lets find out! First up, the four books not on my TBR!

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

This was a book club pick! The story of an adulterous relationship and murder! This story was written in the 1930’s and had a few, well, let’s just say problems, by todays standards. I gave it 3.5 stars. And I feel like that was maybe to high.

Low Vol 1: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender, Art by Greg Tocchini

The sun is dying and to survive the radiation, humanity has gone underwater, all the while still holding out hope for communication from missions to find livable worlds to inhabit. I didn’t really enjoy this particular trade paperback. I found the art a little jarring, which took me out of the story. I DNF’d it.

Of Sea and Shadow by Will Wight

Another book club pick! The story of Calder, a ships captain who must help install a new emperor on the thrown. But the Consultants guild wants the same thing. Who will succeed. This book is very unique in that it has a companion novel, Of Shadow and Sea, that was published at the same time. It’s basically pirates versus ninjas. And I loved it. 4 stars.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Ryland Grace wakes up alone on a space craft far from home with no memories of who is is or what he’s doing. What he doesn’t know is that he is humanities last hope for survival. I absolutely loved this book. A 5 star must read from me.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

Wendy and her brothers went missing in the woods when they were children, but only Wendy returned. This story is a Peter Pan follow up? Retelling? Fan fiction? Long story short, I reviewed it. I also DNF’d it.

How Y’all Doing? by Leslie Jordan

The life story of Instagram sensation (and much lauded actor) Leslie Jordan. I listened to the audio book, which is narrated by the author. I loved learning about his life, especially his work during the AIDS crises. What a guy. I gave this 4 stars.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Gideon just wants to escape her life, alas, she cannot. Also necromancers in space. And lesbians. What’s not to love? I really like the way this book kept me guessing, although I did figure out a plot twist or two, I didn’t see everything coming, which I appreciated. 4 stars.

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

When Csowre is set to be sacrificed to her God in it’s temple, a stranger gives her another chance at life and she takes it. I figured out the main twist to this book about 80 pages in and that made the rest of the book hard to get through because I knew what was coming. It took me an entire month to read this. 3 stars.

Stats time! I love looking at my stats! If you haven’t discovered The StoryGraph yet, here’s your chance!

Mood

My book moods for the last month seem pretty on point with 5 adventurous books. But 3 dark books? That’s a weird stat.

Pace

5 medium paced books seem about right. All I ever seem to read are medium paced books. Or is that it is all authors seem to write?

Page Numbers

The page number slices make sense. I definitely read several 4 page books this month.

Fiction/Nonfiction

I read a non fiction book! Go me! I really ne to try and read one a month. She says every month.

Genres

I don’t usually read so much Sci-Fi in a given month. Maybe this is indicative of a positive change?

Star Ratings

Only 1 five star book this month? Compared to previous months that’s positively terrible. Or, am I just getting more critical?

I managed to accomplish my TBR! Whoo hoo! Go me! It’s been so long since I finished a TBR. To be fair, it’s been a long time since I did a TBR, because mood reading.

Monthly Wrap Up-June 2021

It’s the end of the month, which means it’s monthly wrap up time! I love having all the posts I’ve done wrapped up in one place. It’s nice to look back at the work I’ve done.

On to the posts!

Every Book I Read-May 2021: This is the monthly post that goes over every book I read in the previous month. It also includes my reading stats for the month. I love looking at my reading stats. I get them from The Storygraph and I absolutely love that website.

Every Book I Bought-May 2021: This particular monthly post was a doosey. I bought a few books during the month of May. And by a few I mean a lot of books. A lot of books.

Every New Release I Want-June 2021: I do this post every month too. I love plumbing the depths of the internet (*coughs* Amazon *coughs*) to find the newest releases I am most excited about.

A Small TBR: I had stopped doing TBR’s for a while because I am a mood reader. In June I decided to do an LGBTQ+ books TBR for myself. You’ll have to stay tuned to see how I did.

Tips For Planning A Trip to Disney: I decided to share the tips, and the places I learned those tips, in planning my trip to Disney this past April.

Lost in the Never Woods-A Book Review: I read a book! Was it good? Was it bad? Go check out the review for my full thoughts.

My Top 5 So Far in 2021: I decided to do a list of my top five books of the year so far. It’s a good list, if I do say so myself.

And that’s my monthly wrap up! With Bonus Instagram pics!

My Top 5 So Far in 2021

So given that it’s the middle of the year, I thought I would share with you my top 5 favorite books so far. Because why not?

Now, I haven’t read as much as I would like this year, but I’m working on it. I do have a few five star reads that I can choose from, however. So here they are, in no particular order. Because I’m cool like that.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

The story of Linus, who gets sent to investigate whether or not a group of magical children, who are extraordinarily unique, are being appropriately taken care of. This heartwarming found family story is like that feeling you get when you are wrapped in a warm blanket sipping on some hot cocoa. People have compared it to being wrapped in a warm hug, they aren’t wrong. It’s amazing. Truly.

This Place: 150 Years Retold by Various, art by Various

Indigenous persons of Canada tell their history of Canadian colonization in this graphic novel. It was painful and beautiful to read. I legitimately cried at some points. I was angry at some points. This book moved me. And I loved it so much.

Broken (in the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson

Broken is Jenny Lawson’s newest memoir, and it’s wonderful. The way she talks about mental health, I only wish I was that open about mine. I loved this book. It made me laugh so much!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Nora takes her own life and ends up in the Midnight Library, a place between life and death. From here, she’s able to live her life as if she made different decisions. I am still thinking about this book a month later.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

It’s the sequel to A Discovery of Witches, and I love that book (it was a five star read too), but this is my favorite book in the series. Probably because of the time travel. No, yeah, it’s definitely because of the time travel.

Don’t ask me to pick a favorite. That’s basically like asking me to pick a favorite child. Except I don’t have children, but I do have siblings and I know that parents always have a favorite. Sigh. If I had to pick a favorite, House in the Cerulean Sea and Broken (in the best possible way) are in the top spots I guess.

Lost in the Never Woods-A Book Review

Well. How do I put this. I really wanted to like this book, and yet, alas, I did not.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas is a contemporary Peter Pan retelling. In the authors own words, it’s more like a fanfic. This one just happens to be a not so great fanfic.

Here’s the thing, the premise sounds great. Wendy and her brothers, John and Michael, disappear in the woods one day and only young Wendy returns. Fast-forward several years later and Wendy is freshly eighteen and two more children have gone missing in the woods. Wendy wants no part of any of it, until a she almost hits a boy, claiming to be Peter Pan, with her truck.

Just to reiterate, I wanted to like this book. I really did. I loved the author’s first novel, Cemetery Boys, and was hoping this book would live up to that promise and it just didn’t.

What was wrong with the book, you may ask? I just found it, well, boring. The first real action scene in the book and I wasn’t enthralled by it. This book just seemed to leave me wanting more, so much more, at every turn.

And that’s why, at 150 pages, I gave up. I was tired of wanting more from the characters, the world, the mythology, the world the author was building.

Am I still going to pick up their next book? Absolutely. But I had to give this one 1 star.