Purging My TBR: Part Two

Well hello beautiful people! It’s a beautiful day outside today and I have decided to do another TBR purge! I was inspired by Kerri McBookNerd to do this, so go check out her most recent TBR post. I currently have 255 books on my TBR according to Goodreads. I’m pretty sure that’s off by one or two books, but I’m not going to be too picky about it.

Since books on my TBR are books that I actually own, I will also be un-hauling these books as well.

On with the purge!

The Girls With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

This book is classified as a dystopian thriller and I dislike the dystopian genre. So much. I’ve tried to read this a couple of times since I bought this years ago, and never really made it past the first chapter so I’m going to purge it.

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

This is one of those books I’m not entirely sure about. I like books about space, but I haven’t even tried to read this since I got it. I bought it on a whim (the story of my book buying life) at a thrift store, and I wasn’t really sure of it when I bought it. So yeah, purge.

The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin

So when I bought this I thought it was the Broken Earth trilogy. I made an error. Not to say I wasn’t going to read it, but I never read it, and I’ve had it for a few years. The Hubs tried to read it and wasn’t able to get through the first book. And for some reason, this wasn’t included in my Goodreads TBR, so, yeah. Purge.

The Storied Life of A.J. Frikry by Gabrielle Zavin

I also picked this one up at a thrift story and was on the fence about it. I’ve heard mixed reviews about it and haven’t been sure about it for a while, so purge.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This is the book that made me decide to do the purge today. I’ve been debating getting rid of it for a while because the plot just doesn’t interest me. I bought it on Book Outlet because they were having a sale, and I’m no longer going to be doing that…I say as she know I am totally going to do that again. But yeah, purge.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

This story has everything I would want, but after reading the first chapter of this the other day, I decided the writing style was just wasn’t for me. So I am going to go ahead and purge this.

So here is where I leave you with this purge. You’ll see another purge post soon, as I removed way more than this from my TBR pile. Woosh.

What books would you remove from your TBR list?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: June 29, 2022

Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted on Wishful Endings, actually originated as Waiting On Wednesday on Breaking the Spine. It’s a great opportunity to focus, for a day at least, on an upcoming new release.

Well hello beautiful people! I decided to do something new today and try Can’t Wait Wednesday. Mostly because I haven’t finished a book since A Mirror Mended, and I already wrote a review about that. So Can’t Wait Wednesday it is!

This book is something I have already pre-ordered and I am so excited to get it. It’s a sequel, to a book I loved last year. It’s also a novella so it should be a quick and easy read. It should also make me think about my life, but in a kind and gentle way.

A Prayer For The Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.

They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.

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

What do you think? Will you pick up this sequel?

Top Five Books of 2022…So Far

Well hello beautiful people! I don’t know about you, but I have been in my feels the last couple of days. Alas today I have chores to do, like looking for a place to buy flooring from. I see many visit from contractors in my future to get estimates.

But it’s Top 5 Tuesday! Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now hosted at Meeghan Reads. You can find the list of topics for April thru June here! Today’s topic is the top five books of the year…so far.

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

I’ve written about this book, a lot, and I’m probably not going to stop writing about this book. The story of a celebrity on a popular fantasy show who asks out a plus sized cosplayer on twitter only to discover she is his anonymous fanfiction writing friend. This romance is great and I loved it. Olivia Dade is an auto buy author for me now, and I’ve already pre-ordered the third book in this series.

So This Is Ever After by F. T. Lukens

This fantasy romance about a chosen one who takes up the crown after beheading the king, only to find out he has to get married by his eighteenth birthday or he dies was fantastic. I loved the way the miscommunication trope was played out here. It was a lot of fun to read and I bought a copy after borrowing it from the library originally.

Origin In Death by J.D. Robb

This is one of the best of the In Death series. It also has ramifications that are felt in future books, which doesn’t usually happen in this series. In this book Eve is called on to investigate the death of high profile plastic surgeon Wilfred B. Icove and what she discovers about him is…horrific.

Spear by Nicola Griffith

This queer retelling of King Arthur was quite excellent. For a novella, it packed quite a lot of character development into it, as well as giving us a great glimpse into the world in which the book takes place. If you like King Arthur stories, this one is for you.

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

I loved the story of Chloe and Red. Chloe almost gets hits by a car and decides to strike out on her own. She also makes a list of everything she wants to do in order to have a life. Red just so happens to be the handyman who oversees the apartment building she moves into. I had a lot of fun listening to this story and the audiobook narrator was great.

What are your top five books?

Weekly Round-Up: June 25, 2022

Well hello beautiful humans. How is your Saturday going? Mine is going pretty well. I’m trying to finish a book from the stack that is sitting next to me on the couch. There are about six of them there. I’m not saying I have a problem…but yeah, it’s a problem.

It is time for the weekly round-up though, so let’s get to it!

What I Read This Week:

The Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf by Kimberly Lemming

Um, yeah. Thanks TikTok. This story is about exactly what it says on the cover. This was a romance novel set very much in a fantasy world, but it was filled with subtle pop culture references. Plus, dragons. It’s a shorty, but be forewarned, there are some…tentacles. I skipped that part.

Faking with Benefits by Lily Gold

So this was my first reverse harem romance book. First of all, it was all spice, so this kind of book just really wasn’t for me. But I kept reading for some reason. It did have an interesting plot, a woman’s love life is terrible and her neighbors decide they are going to fake date her to teach her how to achieve a relationship. I’m reading another book by this author because it was free on Kindle Unlimited, but I’m not enjoying it and am probably going to DNF it. Reverse Harems just aren’t my jam.

A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow

The continuing story of Zinnia Gray from A Spindle Splintered. This one involves a Evil Queen. I enjoyed this story and had a lot of fun reading this Novella. Be warned, it’s only around 130 pages, and some of those are taken up by art, which shortens it even more. I like the art though, it doesn’t detract from the story. I did write a review on this which you will be able to see linked down below.

Instagram Posts:

I had one that I forgot to actually post, so that doesn’t count. It will go up tomorrow…I hope.

Blog Posts:

On Monday I explained why I was choosing to say goodbye to NetGalley. It’s going to be interesting.

Tuesday was an unexpected post as I got locked out of my blog…sorta. I could still get into it on my mobile device, thankfully. That has now been resolved.

Wednesday was a WWW Wednesday. As usual I went over what I was planning on reading. Eh. It never works out the way I plan.

Thursday was the review for A Mirror Mended. Spoiler alert, I liked this book.

In Other News:

On top of everything else I’m reading I picked up this short title:

I have been asked to DM an all women gathering of Dungeons and Dragons. Luckily my husband has what is basically the DM starter pack so we can play in person. I’m very excited. I’m either going to do really well, or suck so hard. Oh well, its everyone’s first campaign, so we will have a good time either way. And if I need tips, I can always watch Critical Role to feel completely inadequate.

How was your week?

A Mirror Mended-A Mini Review

Well hello beautiful people. It’s been over two months since I have done a book review. I think it’s time I rectified that, don’t you? Today I am reviewing A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow, which is a follow up to the first book in the series, A Spindle Splintered. Also, if you haven’t read A Spindle Splintered but plan to, avoid this review as I include the synopsis, which has spoilers for that book. You have been warned!

Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty is over rescuing snoring princesses. Once you’ve rescued a dozen damsels and burned fifty spindles, once you’ve gotten drunk with twenty good fairies and made out with one too many members of the royal family, you start to wish some of these girls would just get a grip and try solving their own narrative issues.

Just when Zinnia’s beginning to think she can’t handle one more princess, she glances into a mirror and sees another face looking back at her: the shockingly gorgeous face of evil, asking for her help. Because there’s more than one person trapped in a story they didn’t choose. Snow White’s Evil Queen has found out how her story ends and she’s desperate for a better ending. She wants Zinnia to help her before it’s too late for everyone.

Will Zinnia accept the Queen’s poisonous request, and save them both from the hot iron shoes that wait for them, or will she try another path?

This follow up to 2021’s A Spidle Splintered was a delight to read. We follow up with Zinnia as she is on her 48th (49th if you count her best friend’s) happily ever after. She’s grown a little weary of her life rescuing sleeping beauties until one day she looks into a mirror and the face she sees there isn’t her own, but that of an Evil Queen. Will Zinnia be able to help her make her own fate as she has for so many others?

Novellas aren’t usually my favorite, but this is the second one I have read this month that has impressed me. How the author packed so much complex character development into such a short story, I’ll never know, but she managed to do it. The Evil Queen fascinated me. She just wants to escape the fate that the story holds for her. Like so many fairy tales, it’s quite gruesome and she doesn’t want to meet her end that way. I mean, if you knew your ending was going to be something you could potentially change, wouldn’t you try?

Zinnia, our protagonist, is fed up with the way she lives, but knows if she stops, her life may be over as well, and she’s not ready for that. But she isn’t your typical protagonist, she does the rescuing, or helps others rescue themselves. She is complex and nuanced for existing in a book so short.

The world building is great, for all that you don’t spend a lot of time in just one world. This seems to be the year of the multiversal type properties and I don’t hate it (looking at you Everything Everywhere All At Once). One of the things I loved is that the set up for the way of traveling between worlds is described in such a way that seems wholly unique to me. I’ve never heard it’s like before, and I can appreciate that.

The ending was satisfying, and it did leave me wanting more, but in the good way. I definitely left the story feeling fulfilled.

That being said, this book wasn’t perfect. It had some problems with pacing, which I can almost understand given how short the story is.

At the end of the day I gave this tale a strong four out of five stars.

WWW Wednesday: June 22, 2022

Well hello beautiful people! I’m back, and wasn’t that quick! The help desk contacted me after I had gone to bed last night with a bunch of helpful instructions, but I decided to try accessing the website one more time this morning before doing them, and behold, I am here! I’m so excited!

In celebration let’s do WWW Wednesday! WWW Wednesday is the day when we answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? It’s hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words but was previously hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm.

What are you currently reading?

Beach Read by Emily Henry

I started this a few days ago and haven’t gotten very far into it. To be fair, It’s not the book’s fault, I have been very busy. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far, and I’m excited to get back into it.

What did you recently finish reading?

That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf by Kimberly Lemming

This is the second book in the Mead Mishaps series and I saw the first one on TikTok and I couldn’t resist. They are…um…different. They don’t take themselves seriously and have so many pop culture references for books set in a fantasy world. This book is a romantic comedy novella and is available on Kindle Unlimited.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m torn between reading a few books. I recently picked up the classic Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall and have been wanting to read that for a while, but I also have Chef’s Kiss by TJ Alexander. I also just got A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow. Mood reading is not for the faint of heart my friends.

What are you reading?

A Little Bit Of Trouble

Well hello beautiful people! This was not the post I was expecting to write today. It seems that I am unable to access my blog on my computer.

I’ve already contacted the help desk/customer support, but since I have to go through the app, it’s going to take a while. How long, well, the bot tells me they should get back to me any time between 48-96 hours.

So yeah. It’s going to be a minute.

So I apologize in advance for my lack of content and will do my best to keep you updated on this as I am able. In the meantime, read some good books!

Saying Goodbye to NetGalley

Well hello beautiful people. As you might have guessed from the title, this post is going to be a little different from my others. Because yes, I am saying goodbye to Netgalley and all the lovely ARCs…for now.

But why am I doing this? The reasons are simple.

Reason one: I have discovered that I don’t really read well with a deadline. Anytime I pick up a book with the singular thought that I am going to review it by such and such date, I get hit by some pretty fun anxiety and that makes me not want to read the book. I think it also colors my review of the book because a lot of the NetGalley books fill me with dread, and I don’t want that.

Reason two: My TBR takes up an entire bookcase. I need to whittle it down a little bit (doesn’t help that I keep adding to it) and reading a bunch of ARCs won’t help with that.

That being said, I still have two ARCs left on my NetGalley list that are up for review, so I’m hoping to get those done soon, and then I will be finished for a while. I’m not giving up entirely, this is just a for-now type of situation. I hope to return to NetGalley with renewed vigor and a new strategy on how to handle book reviews that don’t fill me with dread.

But yeah, so long for now NetGalley.

First Lines Friday: June 17, 2022

First Lines Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words, or, as her blog is going by now, Emma IRL. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Well hello beautiful people! It’s Friday and what a pretty one it is. That being said, it is extremely hot outside, so make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and staying cool if you are able!

The Lines:

I like a good happily ever after as much as the next girl, but after sitting through forty-eight different iterations of the same one- forty-nine if you count my (former) best friend’s wedding- I have to say the shine is wearing off a little.

Intrigued?

The Book:

A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow

Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty is over rescuing snoring princesses. Once you’ve rescued a dozen damsels and burned fifty spindles, once you’ve gotten drunk with twenty good fairies and made out with one too many members of the royal family, you start to wish some of these girls would just get a grip and try solving their own narrative issues.

Just when Zinnia’s beginning to think she can’t handle one more princess, she glances into a mirror and sees another face looking back at her: the shockingly gorgeous face of evil, asking for her help. Because there’s more than one person trapped in a story they didn’t choose. Snow White’s Evil Queen has found out how her story ends and she’s desperate for a better ending. She wants Zinnia to help her before it’s too late for everyone.

Will Zinnia accept the Queen’s poisonous request, and save them both from the hot iron shoes that wait for them, or will she try another path?

This is a sequel to A Spindle Splintered, and I am very much looking forward to reading this one.

But what do you think, will you add this to your TBR?

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Well hello beautiful people! And how are we doing this fine Thursday? I thought I would try this tag out that I have seen all over booktube. I promise they won’t all be from the In Death series…I hope.

I’ve managed to track down the original creator! It’s by Earl Grey Books. Off we go!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far?

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

I wrote a full review on this back in February, but I loved it. I loved the plus-sized representation. I also loved the fact that fanfiction plays such a huge role in the story. Because I am both plus-sized and a nerd who reads fanfiction. The character dynamics were great and I loved the way the side characters got their own book! Huzzah! And yes, I have pre-ordered the third book in the series!

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far?

All The Feels by Olivia Dade

This sequel to Spoiler Alert dealt with more plus-sized rep but also had ADHD rep. Again, things I am! These books just speak to me in a way I wasn’t expecting from a rom-com and I am very happy to have read them. They will be re-reads for sure.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To?

When Women Where Dragons by Kelly Barnhill

The story of the aftermath of the day that hundreds of thousands of women turned into dragons and left a path of destruction in their wake. Yes, I do believe I am going to try and read this before the end of the year. I also love the cover of this book. It is very pleasing to the eye.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year?

Babel by R.F. Kuang

This story sounds so interesting. A section of Oxford (the school) that is utilized entirely for magically translating texts. And then Britain turns around and uses that information to colonize the world. Given what a huge fan of The Poppy War I was, I have pre-ordered this book.

Biggest Disappointment?

The Impossible Us by Sarah Lotz

This one disappointed me because one of the best plot points was spoiled by the synopsis. I disliked that enough that it made me DNF the book. It was well written though.

Biggest Suprise?

Spear by Nicola Griffith

I loved this book, and that surprised me, as this isn’t a writing style I usually go for. But it was so well written and the characters were rich and dynamic. The author packed a lot in there for a novella. I was really impressed.

New Favorite Author?

Olivia Dade

Olivia Dade, Picture from her website.

Since I loved both the books I read by her so much, it stands to reason that she would be a new favorite author for me. I’m so excited to dig into her backlog and also to see what she does next!

Newest Fictional Crush?

I haven’t really crushed on anyone fictional this year. I mean, the Hubs seems too good to be real sometimes. Is that how you get brownie points?

Newest Favorite Character?

Basically all the men in this series. I’ve only read two books so far, but the men seem really genuine and kind. They want to be the best possible versions of themselves for their significant others so they read romance books and that brings me so much joy.

Book That Made You Cry?

Nothing has made me cry this year, and that is a failing on the part of, well, me. I keep reading murder books and romance books!

Book That Made You Happy?

So This is Ever After by F T Lukens

It’s about a chosen one who takes up the crown after he and his friends defeat the evil king. The only catch is he has to get married by his 18th birthday or he dies. This book is filled with heart. I loved how it used the miscommunication trope. Bonus points, there is magic!

Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation That You Have Seen So Far?

Sorry folks. I haven’t really watched anything. My life consists of Marvel movies, book-tube, and books.

Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

This book was wonderful, and I don’t think my review did it justice. But here it is if you would like to peruse it.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?

The Starless Crown by James Rollins

I love the way the colors were used and how the lone figure is just standing there. I know it doesn’t seem like the most beautiful cover to some, but I love it.

What Books Do You Really Need to Read By the End of the Year?

The rest of the In Death Series by J.D. Robb

You know I had to get an In Death book in here somehow. But in all seriousness, these books are the only ones I am looking to get to by the end of the year. Anything else would just be a TBR that I will eventually not do.

Favorite Community Member?

I’m sorry, I just don’t have a favorite. I love you all!

But that’s the tag! As far as tagging people, I would challenge you to try it for yourself. It’s harder than you think!