WWW Wednesday: March 23, 2022

Well hello! And how are you doing today? Have you remembered to take some time to decompress lately? It’s hard trying to find the time with our busy schedules and the media screaming at us, but take a minute to breath in, breath out, and focus on some me time.

Today’s self-care reminder has been brought to you by WWW Wednesday!  It’s 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?

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

It’s the follow-up to Get a Life, Chloe Brown, and I’m really enjoying the audiobook (narrated by Ione Butler). You can find the entire series on Scribd, if you are so inclined. I haven’t read a whole lot of romance yet, but fake dating seems to be a trope I am drawn to.

The Impossible Us by Sarah Lotz

So I just started this one as an ARC, even though it was released yesterday. I’m enjoying it, but I will say I wish the synopsis hadn’t spoiled the point of them…well. I’m not going to spoil it again. Suffice it to say the synopsis spoils a major plot point, and I would have like to have gone into that bit blind.

What did you recently finish reading?

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

I finished this last week and really enjoyed the audiobook. I enjoyed the mental health discussions and the disabled persons’ rep. And the two main characters being absolutely adorable doesn’t hurt.

Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

I finished this book just last night. I have a full review that is coming tomorrow. But, just as a sneak peek between friends, this book was great.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Portrait in Death by J.D. Robb

I haven’t been doing very well with my In Death re-read, but this will be book 16 to be read. I’m coming precious!

Today is also my first day at my job! I am super stoked and can’t wait to start! Wish me luck!

Well This Is Fun

Hello beautiful people! I hope you are all feeling well! Me? Well, I have COVID.

Well, we think it’s COVID. It could be a mild cold but we are taking precautions as if it’s COVID.

I am fully vaccinated, though I haven’t had my booster yet. And why is a long story that I won’t go into here.

My symptoms are mild and the Hubs is taking good care of me. I’m getting plenty of rest, the Hubs insists!

In the meantime, I’m taking a break from the blog to fully rest, which means no posts for the rest of the week. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with new content for you! 🤞

Absynthe-A Book Review

Well hello!  And how are we doing this fine Monday before Christmas?  Doing that last minute Christmas shopping?  I have one gift left to buy and it will just have to patiently wait on me to pick it up!

In the meantime, I read a book I think you should know about.  Absynthe by Brendan P. Bellecourt.

Liam Mulcahey, a reclusive, shell-shocked veteran, remembers little of the Great War. Ten years later, when he is caught in a brutal attack on a Chicago speakeasy, Liam is saved by Grace, an alluring heiress who’s able to cast illusions. Though the attack appears to have been committed by the hated Uprising, Grace believes it was orchestrated by Leland De Pere–Liam’s former commander and the current President of the United States.
 
Meeting Grace unearths long-buried memories. Liam’s former squad, the Devil’s Henchmen, was given a serum to allow telepathic communication, transforming them into a unified killing machine. With Grace’s help, Liam begins to regain his abilities, but when De Pere learns of it, he orders his militia to eliminate Liam at any cost.
 
But Liam’s abilities are expanding quickly. When Liam turns the tables and digs deeper into De Pere’s plans, he discovers a terrible secret. The same experiment that granted Liam’s abilities was bent toward darker purposes. Liam must navigate both his enemies and supposed allies to stop the President’s nefarious plans before they’re unleashed on the world. And Grace is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could prove every bit as dangerous as the President’s.

Let’s just get this out of the way.  I loved this book.  I had a lot of fun reading it.  It’s set in an alternate history 1920’s after World War 1.  A war in which The United States were the aggressors.  That made for a very interesting plot point, let me tell you.   Liam and his squad were given an experimental treatment that allowed them to use telepathy between them.  It made them extremely efficient.  But somewhere along the way, Liam lost his memory, and when Grace comes along to unlock it, well, that’s when the fun begins. 

I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this book.  Some of them I saw coming, and others I did not.  I thought I had the big twist figured out, but alas, I was wrong.  It was nice to be wrong…for a change. 

This book does take you on a bit of a journey through Liam’s history.  It will flash back to his time in the service for a chapter, sometimes two, to help move the plot along.  But it does it well.  Sure, there are some overly done expositiony bits, but I actually enjoyed those.  And that’s a testiment to how much I liked this book, because usually, I do not like those moments.

The characters were vibrant and engaging.  However, it does feel like Grace, who is an important character, doesn’t get enough page time.  Which is disappointing, but also makes sense given the scope of the story.  Liam is hopelessly lost at the start of the book, and it’s fascinating to watch him start to put his life back together as he searches for his kidnapped friend, Morgan.

The setting of an alternative America was fun to explore.  I loved getting to see prohibition era Chicago.  And it’s also kind of steampunk-esque, with its mechanized men and the hoppers they used to fight in the Great War.  To say anything else about the setting would give away plot points, so I’ll just avoid doing that for your reading enjoyment. 

I would say that you need to read this. It’s a very fun, twisty read that will leave you guessing until the very end. 5 stars!

Anything But Books Tag

I found this particular tag when BookTuber Merphy Napier did it a few months ago. Naturally, she found it through someone else, and I think I managed to track it to it’s original source…maybe. It’s from a BookTuber called TheBookHoarder.

I thought it would be fun to learn a little bit more about me…you know, that doesn’t have to do with books.

Name a cartoon that you love. Gargoyles. Hands down. Does anyone else remember this from the 90’s? I mean, not only are we dealing with incredible animation and storytelling, but the voice cast. Omg, the voice cast! Half of Star Trek: The Next Generation was on this show. And I’m not saying that I have all the Gargoyles Funko Pops, but that’s exactly what I’m saying.

What’s your favorite song right now? God Help the Outcasts from the Hunchback of Notre Dame musical soundtrack. Not the movie one, but the one that never made it to Broadway. That score is fire!

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading? Um…playing Animal Crossing? I also have a habit of falling down a YouTube rabbit hole of anything that catches my eye.

What is something you love to do that your followers might be surprised by? I love to watch Stargate SG-1. Although that may not be a surprise to some people. It’s been one of my favorite shows since it first started airing. It’s like the comfort food of TV that I watch when I’m feeling down or want to kill 160 hours of my time.

 What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about? I love learning about travelling. I love researching all of the things associated with travelling to places far away. And by far away, I mean at least an hour from my house.

What is something unusual that you know how to do? I have no idea. Not annoying my husband by making him go shopping with me? Is that a skill?

 Name something you made in the last year and show us if you can. I retooled my blog into a book blog. Take a look around if you are interested.

What is your most recent personal project? I’m going to be making my first quilt soon! My amazing mother in law is going to come down and teach me how! I’m so excited!

Tell us something that you think about often? Going back to the theater. I’m a musical theater lover and listening to the soundtracks makes me so happy. I’m excited to get back to my first show this year, which is Wicked, by the way. Masks on of course!

Give us something that is your favorite. Grandma’s Chicken and Dumplings. Full stop.

Say the first thing that pops into your head. Lobster. Cause apparently I want some.

As for who I tag to do this, as always, I tag you. Cause why not!

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!

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.

Spoiler Alert in the comments folks!

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 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 400 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.