It’s fall, y’all! That means it’s time for apple cider, comfy sweaters, and cozy blankets…if you live somewhere that isn’t Texas. We still do pumpkin patches and hayrides though!!!
I saw this book tag on Book Are 42 (I love that blog name) and she was tagged by someone else, but I couldn’t track down the originator of the tag. If anyone has the info, please let me know!
In fall, the air is crisp and clear | Name a book with a vivid setting!
The Ex Hex/ The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling
The world of Graves Glen is set in a whimsical small town full of colorful characters and I could not love this series more. Both books are excellent and the second story doesn’t suffer from the dreaded second book syndrome.
Nature is beautiful… but also dying | Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
This is a book about death. The story is about a man who dies and goes to “live” in a tea house in a small village with a reaper, a ferryman, and some ghosts, including a ghost dog!!! And yes, I cried, but in the best possible way.
Fall is back to school season | Share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.
The Player’s Handbook by Wizards of the Coast
So I know the prompt was probably looking for something a little less esoteric, but this, while about a fantasy world, is a non-fiction book as it is a technical manual for a role-playing game. And I learned a lot. It did take me two months to read it, because dense, but I still read it!!!
In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend time with the people we love | Name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.
In Death Series by J.D. Robb
For all that they are surrounded by mayhem and murder, the bonds of family and friendship are incredibly strong within Eve and Roarke’s group. What makes it even more special is that while Roarke and Eve are bazillionaire’s, that’s not the reason the people in the group are friends with them, they like these two on their own merits. I’d like to be friends with these people.
The colorfulleaves are piling up on the ground | Show us a pile of fall-colored spines!
Um…no? I just organized the shelf nearest to me a few days ago. I’m not messing that up…I’m picturing myself storming off like a petulant child who is being sent to their room. Baby Lauren would not be amused.
Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside | Share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.
Fairy Tale by Stephen King
So I’m not recommending this book as I’m still not sure how I feel about it (I’m not done with it yet) but it is told to you by the main character.
The nights are getting darker | Share a dark, creepy read.
A Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
This book very much creeped me out when I read it a few years ago. Just thinking about that scene with the rats…eww. But, it was very well written and made me want to read more by the author, which is saying a lot, as I don’t usually enjoy horror stories.
The days are getting colder | Name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.
Monk and Robot Series by Becky Chambers
I have heard this series referred to as hope punk, and I like it. I would also call it cozy sci-fi. It’s a series that isn’t afraid to ask tough questions, but it does so in a nice and gentle manner, you leave the stories not only questioning your life but wanting more in the series.
Fall returns every year | Name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.
The Last Dragonlord by Joanne Bertin
I loved the first two books set in this series, and am always up for a re-read. It’s the story of Liden, a dragonlord (a being who is also part dragon), and his journey through political intrigue and a murder mystery at a human court. It’s a fun read and I would have loved to see more in this world.
Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights | Share your favorite cozy reading accessories
A Cup of Tea
Does a cup of tea count? I can’t really read without one and during the cooler parts of the fall will go through several cups while I am reading. A particular fall favorite is by Harney and Sons, the Pumpkin Spice. It’s quite nice.
What a fun tag! I don’t ever tag anyone in these, because if you like a tag, you should give it a try! Let’s see what fun you can come up with!
And as I am not a beloved toy cowboy, let me never say that again.
So in the few months I was away, I accumulated quite a few books. As a result, I thought you should be aware of a few of the things I picked up.
Ledge by Stacy McEwan
If you’ve been on BookTok you may have seen Stacy McEwan at some point. The Australian author started out self publishing this book and ended up selling it to a publisher thanks to overwhelming demand, helped out by her TikTok account. I loved watching her try to turn her husband into romance novel’s leading man. Twas hilarious.
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
I’ve had this book on my want to buy list for a while now, and when I saw the paperback in my local bookstore, I had to snatch it up. It’s all about the parts of feminism that the movement tends to overlook. I’m hoping to learn a lot from this one.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and art by Wendy Xu
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this graphic novel about a witch and a werewolf. It also helps that it looks adorable. I also accidentally order the special edition…so that’s nice.
Babel by R.F. Kuang
Given my love for the Poppy War, a book series I have yet to finish, I had to pick this up. I have heard some mixed things about this book, which surprised me given all the early amazing buzz about the book. But that also means I’m probably going to like it.
The Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore
I’m not gonna lie, I picked this one up for the Hubs. He likes books to have a little humor to it and I had heard this one had it’s moments. He’s read it already and his opinion pretty much matches the blurb on the cover. But in a good way?
In the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu
This novella has some interesting ideas and, I’m just guessing here, a non-binary main character. The pronouns used in the description are very interesting. But it intrigued me and when I saw it at the used bookstore, I grabbed it up.
The Boy With the Bookstore by Sarah Echavarre Smith
I saw a TikTok about this book and knew immediately it was for me. A romance story about a bookshop owner and a baker? Yes please, I will take it. Here’s hoping it lives up to that TikTok. Also, I watch too much TikTok.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
What can I say, I bowed to peer pressure. No but seriously, I have two friends who spent days extolling this series’ virtues, so I figured I would at least give the first book a try.
Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter
Plus size rep and bingo playing. This rom com sounded so cute. I couldn’t resist it when I saw it in the store. Also, the cover is purple and purple is my favorite color…it was meant to be.
Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater
This is another one that was all over the internet, both BookTok and BookTube! It’s a regency fairy fantasy romance? Yeah, I think that’s it. I’ve also heard it’s on the cozy side, and I’m really enjoying the cozy books right now.
And that is just a small portion of the over 50+ books I’ve bough in the last several months. My TBR shelves overflow with the fruits of my many excursions. I should stop making excursions.
Also, can we take a moment to shout out the local used book store? I bought most of my recent acquisitions at Half Priced Books, and most of them were used copies. Thank you HPB!!!
October is my favorite month. Well, one of them, it’s tied with December if I’m honest.
I decided to do a bewitching TBR this month. I have collected quite a few witchy Rom Coms over the last few months, and this is the perfect month to read them! I also have one that is not a romance…spooky.
The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling
Gwyn Jones is perfectly happy with her life in Graves Glen. She, her mom, and her cousin have formed a new and powerful coven; she’s running a successful witchcraft shop, Something Wicked; and she’s started mentoring some of the younger witches in town. As Halloween approaches, there’s only one problem—Llewellyn “Wells” Penhallow.
Wells has come to Graves Glen to re-establish his family’s connection to the town they founded as well as to make a new life for himself after years of being the dutiful son in Wales. When he opens up a shop of his own, Penhallow’s, just across the street from Something Wicked, he quickly learns he’s gotten more than he bargained for in going up against Gwyn.
When their professional competition leads to a very personal—and very hot—kiss, both Wells and Gwyn are determined to stay away from each other, convinced the kiss was just a magical fluke. But when a mysterious new coven of witches come to town and Gwyn’s powers begin fading, she and Wells must work together to figure out just what these new witches want and how to restore Gwyn’s magic before it’s too late.
From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper
Wild child Isidora Avramov is a thrill chaser, adept demon summoner, and—despite the whole sexy-evil-sorceress vibe—also a cuddly animal lover. When she’s not designing costumes and new storylines for the Arcane Emporium’s haunted house, Issa’s nursing a secret, conflicted dream of ditching her family’s witchy business to become an indie fashion designer in her own right.
But when someone starts sabotaging the celebrations leading up to this year’s Beltane festival with dark, dangerous magic, a member of the rival Thorn family gets badly hurt—throwing immediate suspicion on the Avramovs. To clear the Avramov name and step up for her family when they need her the most, Issa agrees to serve as a co-investigator, helping none other than Rowan Thorn get to the bottom of things.
Rowan is the very definition of lawful good, so tragically noble and by-the-book he makes Issa’s teeth hurt. In accordance with their families’ complicated history, he and Issa have been archenemies for years and have grown to heartily loathe each other. But as the unlikely duo follow a perplexing trail of clues to a stunning conclusion, Issa and Rowan discover how little they really know each other… and stumble upon a maddening attraction that becomes harder to ignore by the day.
Not the Witch You Wed by April Asher
Magic-less witch Violet Maxwell wants nothing to do with alpha wolf shifter Lincoln Thorne―the man who broke her fragile, teenage heart. But when the two of them are forced by arcane Supernatural Laws to find mates, Violet and Lincoln agree to fake-date their way to a fake-mating in order to conjure themselves some time.
The joke’s on them. When old feelings make a reappearance―along with Violet’s magic―they both realize there’s nothing fake about their feelings. But there are old secrets and looming threats that could snatch away their happily ever after, again. One thing’s for sure: magic doesn’t make dating and love any easier.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos “pretending” to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when peril comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….
Small Town, Big Magic by Hazel Beck
Emerson Wilde has built the life of her dreams. Youngest Chamber of Commerce president in St. Cyprian history, successful indie bookstore owner, and lucky enough to have her best friends as found family? Done.
But when Emerson is attacked by creatures that shouldn’t be real, and kills them with what can only be called magic, Emerson finds that the past decade of her life has been…a lie. St. Cyprian isn’t your average Midwestern river town—it’s a haven for witches. When Emerson failed a power test years ago, she was stripped of her magical memories. Turns out, Emerson’s friends are all witches.
And so is she.
That’s not all, though: evil is lurking in the charming streets of St. Cyprian. Emerson will need to learn to control what’s inside of her, remember her magic, and deal with old, complicated feelings for her childhood friend–cranky-yet-gorgeous local farmer Jacob North—to defeat an enemy that hides in the rivers and shadows of everything she loves.
Even before she had magic, Emerson would have done anything for St. Cyprian, but now she’ll have to risk not just her livelihood…but her life.
The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais
Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby—one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years—will surely be their salvation.
But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.
The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book’s content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries.
Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valor and adventure, and Devon―like all other book eater women―is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairy tales and cautionary stories.
But real life doesn’t always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger―not for books, but for human minds.
And that is my TBR for the month. And yes, it is ambitious for me, but I have already read three of them so I’m hoping I’ll be okay. What does your TBR look like?
Basically, I was having a hard time maintaing a work/reading/blogging/life balance and something had to give before my mental health started to suffer.
It also doesn’t help that I had fallen into a reading slump (I only finished one book in July), and felt like I had nothing to offer the blogging space as a result.
So instead of giving an explination before I peaced out, I just disappeared. Which is rude. It’s the same as ghosting someone after a years long relationship. My sincerest apologies.
So I’m back. I’m not going to be posting 6 days a week like I was, at least for now. This means I’ll be posting at random, you’ll never know what to expect from me!
So what’s changing?
One thing I’m doing is getting rid of star ratings on my book reviews. I’ll still put them on Goodreads and The Story Graph (I think I don’t have to include them there), but I won’t use them here, as I have discovered I don’t really like them all that much. I just want to say that I loved a book, I liked a book, or I strongly disliked it. Easy peasy.
For the moment I’m not going to do weekly wrap ups. And if I do decide to pick them back up, I’m going to restructure them. Right now it’s a big old no from me though.
Posts like Top Ten Tuesday, WWW Wednesday, and First Lines Friday are probably going to be sporadic. While, for the most part, they are fun to do, I felt like I was struggling there for a while to produce good content based on those memes. I’m going to dip my toe in the water slowly on bring those back.
I’m hoping that by posting on my own time I don’t burn out, as the saying goes, again.
So yeah, I’m back. Hopefully for a good long while.
What I’m Reading Today: Fairy Tale by Stephen King
Well hello beautiful people! I don’t know about you, but I was busy yesterday avoiding the heat and reading. Today is going to be more of the same, as the high for the day is supposed to be 100 degrees. And it’s going to be 102 for the next 5 days. I’m going to be drinking so much water.
I’m looking forward to quite a few books in the latter half of this year. In fact, I’ve already pre-ordered all of these. Half of them are sequels. I’m going to have a hard time narrowing this list down to ten.
A Prayer for the Crown Shy by Becky Chambers-July 12th
This book is the follow-up to one of my favorite books from last year, A Psalm for the Wild Built. This story follows everyone’s favorite tea monk and robot duo as they journey amongst the human villages. The last book was amazing and I have no doubt that this one will be too.
Upgrade by Blake Crouch-July 19th
This book asks the question “what if we could hack the human genome to make mankind smarter, stronger, faster?”. After reading Recursion I am really looking forward to this stand-alone book.
Babel by R.F. Kuang-August 23rd
The story of a young man who enters Oxford to become a translator for the British Empire. I loved The Poppy War, and even though I haven’t finished that series yet, R.F. Kuang is an auto-buy author for me. I know, it makes no sense.
Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood-August 23rd
This is the follow-up to the sensational Love Hypothesis. This sounds like an enemies to lovers tale, and I do have an ARC for it, but I also have it on pre-order, because I have a problem.
The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas-September 6th
This story sounds fantastic, but I am cautiously optimistic. I loved Cemetary Boys but disliked Lost in the Never Woods. So I’m 50/50 on this book.
Desperation in Death by J.D. Robb-September 6th
This is going to be the 55th entry in the In Death series. I can’t believe the series has gone on this long! And there is already a book slated for release next year! This one sounds as gruesome as all the others, so as always, make sure you check trigger warnings before picking it up.
You Are Home by Catana Chetwynd-October 4th
I love Catana Comics on Instagram and have every book she has put out. She tells stories of her everyday life with her fiancee and it’s adorable and fills me with joy.
Bloodmarked by Tracey Deonn-November 8th
This is the much-anticipated sequel to Legendborne. I have been looking forward to this for a while and its release date has already been pushed back once.
The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson-November 15th
This is one of the Hubs most anticipated books of the year. It’s the 4th (and last) book in the Mistborn second era. I still haven’t finished Mistborn the first era. Sigh.
Witcha Gonna Do by Avery Flynn-December 6th
And here is another enemies to lovers story on the list. This time it’s all about witches. I like the witch romance stories. They are fun to read.
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 been a long week. I did finish my Starry Nights Lego set the other day. After not having worked on it for over two weeks, I’m considering that a win.
Today’s book is one I got for Christmas last year. The Hubs is a good one, I tell ya!
When I couldn’t fall sleep, I counted the parts of the body. I used the outdated numbers. What they taught me back in school when only the ultrarich upgraded. Two hundred and six bones. Seventy-eight organs.
The Body Scout by Lincoln Michel
In the future you can have any body you want—as long as you can afford it.
But in a New York ravaged by climate change and repeat pandemics, Kobo is barely scraping by. He scouts the latest in gene-edited talent for Big Pharma-owned baseball teams, but his own cybernetics are a decade out of date and twin sister loan sharks are banging down his door. Things couldn’t get much worse.
Then his brother—Monsanto Mets slugger J.J. Zunz—is murdered at home plate.
Determined to find the killer, Kobo plunges into a world of genetically modified CEOs, philosophical Neanderthals, and back-alley body modification, only to quickly find he’s in a game far bigger and more corrupt than he imagined. To keep himself together while the world is falling apart, he’ll have to navigate a time where both body and soul are sold to the highest bidder.
It’s giving me Repo: The Genetic Opera vibes and I like it!
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.
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?
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.