A Christmas Book Haul

Well hello, beautiful peoples! And how are we doing today? I started the new year off right by watching the full extended edition of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It’s an annual tradition for me and I can quote that movie line by line. So can the Hubs. Being nerds together is fun.

I thought I’d go over what books I got for Christmas. And given that I did this post, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. But seriously, if you want to see what Santa (Santa is the Hubs, the Hubs is Santa) brought me, check out that list. I got everything on it.

I did, however, go to the Barnes & Noble 50% off Hardcover sale after Christmas and picked up a few books. Not as many as I normally would have because they were sold out of so many of the things I wanted. I did get a few gems though.

The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox

Taryn Cornick believes that the past – her sister’s violent death, and her own ill-conceived revenge – is behind her, and she can get on with her life. She has written a successful book about the things that threaten libraries: insects, damp, light, fire, carelessness, and uncaring…but not all of the attention it brings her is good.

A policeman, Jacob Berger, questions her about a cold case. Then there are questions about a fire in the library at her grandparents’ house and an ancient scroll box known as the Firestarter, as well as threatening phone calls and a mysterious illness. Finally, a shadowy young man named Shift appears, forcing Taryn and Jacob toward a reckoning felt in more than one world.

I’ve wanted this book for months and just kept forgetting to pick it up. When I saw it in the store I snatched it up. I didn’t realize it was such a thick book, coming in at 640 pages. Wowzer.

The Apollo Muders by Chris Hadfield

1973: a final, top-secret mission to the Moon. Three astronauts in a tiny spaceship, a quarter million miles from home. A quarter million miles from help.

NASA is about to launch Apollo 18. While the mission has been billed as a scientific one, flight controller Kazimieras “Kaz” Zemeckis knows there is a darker objective. Intelligence has discovered a secret Soviet space station spying on America, and Apollo 18 may be the only chance to stop it.

But even as Kaz races to keep the NASA crew one step ahead of their Russian rivals, a deadly accident reveals that not everyone involved is quite who they were thought to be. With political stakes stretched to the breaking point, the White House and the Kremlin can only watch as their astronauts collide on the lunar surface, far beyond the reach of law or rescue.

This book isn’t my usual cup of tea, but I had to pick it up because Chris Hadfield wrote a book! If you don’t remember him, he was the astronaut who did this:

Yeah, him. Naturally, I had to buy the book.

Sistersong by Lucy Holland

In the kingdom of Dumnonia, there is old magic to be found in the whisper of the wind, the roots of the trees, and the curl of the grass. King Cador knew this once, but now the land has turned from him, calling instead to his three children. Riva can cure others, but can’t seem to heal her own deep scars. Keyne battles to be accepted for who he truly is—the king’s son. And Sinne dreams of seeing the world, of finding adventure.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold, their people’s last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. However, change comes on the day ash falls from the sky. It brings with it Myrdhin, meddler and magician. And Tristan, a warrior who is not what he seems.

Riva, Keyne and Sinne—three siblings entangled in a web of betrayal and heartbreak, who must fight to forge their own paths. 

Their story will shape the destiny of Britain.

This book’s premise gripped me from the moment I heard it, but I was content to wait for it to come out in paperback. Naturally, when I saw it was part of the sale, I snatched it up. Go me.

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house—a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother, Annabelle, develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
 
At first, Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world. He falls in love with a mesmerizing street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
 
And he meets his very own Book—a talking thing—who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

This book screams magical realism, but I found it in the literary fiction section of the store. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of this book until I saw the cover, and then I had to know what it was about. It intrigued me, and that’s always a good thing.

Malice by Heather Walter

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily ever after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though a power like mine was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps together we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain.

With a premise like that, why wouldn’t I want to read this sapphic retelling of sleeping beauty from the villans perspective? This is part one of the Malice Duology, and it just sounds so good! I’ve heard very good things about it.

I got a total of 15 books during the Christmas season. I have already started on them, with Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia being the first one. I’ve heard good things.

What did you get for Christmas?

Black Friday Book Haul-November 2021

Well. This was originally going to be a very short book haul for you. By the end of the month I had only purchased three books. And then Black Friday happened. The Kindle books went on sale I was forced to buy some. And by forced I mean the prices were so good I couldn’t resist. Stupid Black Friday sales.

So on to the haul!

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

Laid off from her department store job, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. The prospect of spending Christmas with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered yuppie life does not appeal.

Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want her prickly sister Carmen there either. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs help revitalizing his shabby old bookshop. So Carmen moves in and takes the job.

Thrown rather suddenly into the inner workings of Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the picturesque streets of historic Edinburgh, Carmen is intrigued despite herself. The store is dusty and disorganized but undeniably charming. Can she breathe some new life into it in time for Christmas shopping? What will happen when a famous and charismatic author takes a sudden interest in the bookshop—and Carmen? And will the Christmas spirit be enough to help heal her fractured family?

If this book sounds good to you, the only places you can really get are Barnes & Noble or Book Depository. It’s sold out almost everywhere else. Even Amazon! Including Target! That’s crazy! I’m glad I picked this up when I did last month because I did manage to get a physical copy of it in time for the holidays!

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

This novella sounded so cute, so I snatched it up when I saw it at Target earlier in the month. I’m all for cute-sounding holiday books!

The Keeper of the Night by Kylie Lee Baker

Death is her destiny.

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.

When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death…only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task—find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons—and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.

This was my Book of the Month pick. It sounds like an anime. I had to pick it up.

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

So yeah, I bought this. It better live up to its stellar reputation. Cause yeah. I was completely suckered in by its price point of $3.99.

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him.

But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina — and himself—that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins.

I’ve had my eye on this title for a while, so when it went on sale for $2.99 I snatched it up.

Throne Of Glass E-Book Bundle by Sarah J. Mass

When magic has gone from the world and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She is a prisoner, but if she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the king’s champion and earn her freedom. But the evil she encounters in the castle goes deep, and as dark forces gather on the horizon – forces which threaten to destroy her entire world – the assassin must take her place in a fight greater than she could ever have imagined.

I’ve heard mixed things about this series, and I was hesitant to pick it up, so when I saw it was available for $5.99 I had to do it. I just had to. I may never read it, but at least now I can.

The Guinivere Deception by Kiersten White

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

I love it when books you want go on sale. This one was $1.99! How could I pass that up? Plus, it’s a King Arthur story. My weakness!

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

As destiny calls, a journey begins.

It has been twenty years since the godlike Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them — the Gifted — are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion’s Four Tenets, vastly limiting their powers.

As a Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and others like him are despised. But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he and his friends Wirr and Asha set into motion a chain of events that will change everything.

To the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian’s wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is. . .

And in the far north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir.

I’m not gonna lie, this $1.99 pick-up was a complete cover buy. I had no idea what this book was about until I read the synopsis for the blog. Yeah. I’m special. I hope it’s good.

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

She answered the Emperor’s call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

In victory, her world has turned to ash.

After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman’s shoulders.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor’s Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?

I’m sorry, $2.99 for the sequel to a book I’m pretty sure I also only paid $2.99 for? Yes, please.

I am apparently easily manipulated by Kindle deal pricing. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, whoosh, I buy all the things. That’s a lot of books for under $20.

Did you pick up any books on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Update! The Christmas Bookshop is available for purchase at Amazon and Target again! I love it when a book gets restocked, don’t you?

Biggest Book Haul Ever?-October 2021

The beginning of October is when I celebrate my birthday! Huzzah! This year I was wisely presented with gift cards and books as birthday offerings. It was great. I may have gone overboard.

Maybe.

Definitely.

I tried to stick with books that I have wanted for a while so I was able to stretch those gift cards out a little bit farther. It worked…as you will be able to see.

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.
 
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​
 
To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

This was an actual gift from the Hubs. I legit squealed when I got it. Still haven’t read it yet. Gotta fix that.

Quicksilver Court by Melissa Caruso

Ryxander, the Warden of Gloamingard, has failed. Unsealed by her blood, the Door hidden within the black tower has opened. Now, for the first time since the age of the Graces, demons walk the world.

As tensions grow between nations, all eyes—and daggers—are set on Morgrain, which has fallen under the Demon of Discord’s control. When an artifact with the power to wipe out all life in a domain is stolen, Ryx will do whatever it takes to save her home from destruction. But success may demand a larger sacrifice from Ryx than she could have imagined.

Is it bad that I bought the sequel when I haven’t even read the first one yet? I love the authors writing and am very happy to add this one to the collection!

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.

This was an option for voting for one of my book clubs a few months ago, and while it didn’t win, I have been intrigued by the premise ever since I saw it.

The Ruthless Ladies Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner

Dellaria Wells, petty con artist, occasional thief, and partly educated fire witch, is behind on her rent in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees the “wanted” sign, seeking Female Persons, of Martial or Magical ability, to guard a Lady of some Importance, prior to the celebration of her Marriage. Delly fast-talks her way into the job and joins a team of highly peculiar women tasked with protecting their wealthy charge from unknown assassins.
 
Delly quickly sets her sights on one of her companions, the confident and well-bred Winn Cynallum. The job looks like nothing but romance and easy money until things take a deadly (and undead) turn. With the help of a bird-loving necromancer, a shapeshifting schoolgirl, and an ill-tempered reanimated mouse named Buttons, Delly and Winn are determined to get the best of an adversary who wields a twisted magic and has friends in the highest of places.

This one has been on my to-buy list since January. I am so looking forward to reading this. This means I probably won’t get to it until 2023.

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Elatsoe—Ellie for short—lives in an alternate contemporary America shaped by the ancestral magics and knowledge of its Indigenous and immigrant groups. She can raise the spirits of dead animals—most importantly, her ghost dog Kirby. When her beloved cousin dies, all signs point to a car crash, but his ghost tells her otherwise: He was murdered.

Who killed him and how did he die? With the help of her family, her best friend Jay, and the memory great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother, Elatsoe, must track down the killer and unravel the mystery of this creepy town and its dark past. But will the nefarious townsfolk and a mysterious Doctor stop her before she gets started?

Yes. All of this. and the cover under the jacket is so pretty. That’s not why I bought it, I promise. It was totally the story.

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back: From a Certain Point of View by Various

On May 21, 1980, Star Wars became a true saga with the release of The Empire Strikes Back. In honor of the fortieth anniversary, forty storytellers re-create an iconic scene from The Empire Strikes Back through the eyes of a supporting character, from heroes and villains, to droids and creatures. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by bestselling authors and trendsetting artists:

• Austin Walker explores the unlikely partnership of bounty hunters Dengar and IG-88 as they pursue Han Solo.
• Hank Green chronicles the life of a naturalist caring for tauntauns on the frozen world of Hoth.
• Tracy Deonn delves into the dark heart of the Dagobah cave where Luke confronts a terrifying vision.
• Martha Wells reveals the world of the Ugnaught clans who dwell in the depths of Cloud City.
• Mark Oshiro recounts the wampa’s tragic tale of loss and survival.
• Seth Dickinson interrogates the cost of serving a ruthless empire aboard the bridge of a doomed Imperial starship.

Plus more hilarious, heartbreaking, and astonishing tales from:
Tom Angleberger, Sarwat Chadda, S.A. Chakraborty, Mike Chen, Adam Christopher, Katie Cook, Zoraida Córdova, Delilah S.
Dawson, Alexander Freed, Jason Fry, Christie Golden, Rob Hart, Lydia Kang, Michael Kogge, R. F. Kuang, C. B. Lee, Mackenzi Lee, John Jackson Miller, Michael Moreci, Daniel José Older, Amy Ratcliffe, Beth Revis, Lilliam Rivera, Cavan Scott, Emily Skrutskie, Karen Strong, Anne Toole, Catherynne M. Valente, Django Wexler, Kiersten White, Gary Whitta, Brittany N. Williams, Charles Yu, Jim Zub

All participating authors have generously forgone any compensation for their stories. Instead, their proceeds will be donated to First Book—a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need. To further celebrate the launch of this book and both companies’ longstanding relationships with First Book, Penguin Random House will donate $100,000 to First Book and Disney/Lucasfilm will donate 100,000 children’s books—valued at $1,000,000—to support First Book and their mission of providing equal access to quality education.

So I loved the A New Hope volume in this series. I love that this is a book where the publisher is giving back to charity. Especially to a charity that works with children in need.

The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind by Jackson Ford

Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she’s got telekinetic powers — a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she’s normal for once.
But then a body turns up at the site of her last job — murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She’s got 24 hours to clear her name – and it’s not just her life at stake. If she can’t unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that’s on the brink of exploding . . .

Telekentic powers? Mysterious murders? Strong Female Protagionist? Sign me up!

Monstress Vol One by Majorie Lui, art by Sana Takada

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steampunk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

I’m not gonna lie, I bought this Trade Paperback for the cover art alone. When I got it I flipped through it and the art is just incredible. I hope the story is just as good.

A Natural History of Dragons (a Novel by Lady Trent) by Marie Brennan

You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

I saw this one on YouTube and was like “yes, I need that” because dragons!

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation. Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications. When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will. Most of them.

I bought this one because of BookTok. It’s been making the rounds. Which is impressive for a self-published book. It’s done so well it got picked up by Tor. I actually hope to read it soon, because if I like it, I will pre-order the Tor version. Gotta support those who self-pub.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her newfound schoolmates to get to the heart of things.

No matter the cost.

Another one I bought because of BookTube. I watch too much YouTube. Also, it sounds good. Plus it’s short, so it should be a quick read.

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn’t get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin.

Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (one of the fighting ones), who with the right-handed booksellers (the intellectual ones), are an extended family of magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops.

Susan’s search for her father begins with her mother’s possibly misremembered or misspelt surnames, a reading room ticket, and a silver cigarette case engraved with something that might be a coat of arms.

Merlin has a quest of his own, to find the Old World entity who used ordinary criminals to kill his mother. As he and his sister, the right-handed bookseller Vivien, tread in the path of a botched or covered-up police investigation from years past, they find this quest strangely overlaps with Susan’s. Who or what was her father? Susan, Merlin, and Vivien must find out, as the Old World erupts dangerously into the New.

I loved this book back when I read it in July. But that was a library copy and I wanted a copy of my very own to love! I did give it 4 stars, btw’s. It kept me entertained the whole time I read it!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark

An epic clash between the forces of light and dark, between the Galactic Republic and the Separatists, between brave heroes and brilliant villains, the fate of the galaxy is at stake in the Emmy Award-winning animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In this exciting anthology, eleven authors who are also fans of the series bring stories from their favorite show to life. Gathered here are memorable moments and stunning adventures, from attempted assassinations to stolen bounties, from lessons learned to loves lost. All of your favorite characters from The Clone Wars are here: Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, Darth Maul, Count Dooku and more!

Can you tell I like the Star Wars anthologies? Because I do. I really need to read the 5 million other books in the Star Wars canon (not the legacy books, I’d be here for years, although, Mara Jade.)

The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso

“They called me the Bitch Queen, the she-wolf, because I murdered a man and exiled my king the night before they crowned me.”

Born under the crumbling towers of her kingdom, Queen Talyien was the shining jewel and legacy of the bloody War of the Wolves. It nearly tore her nation apart. But her arranged marriage to the son of a rival clan heralds peace.

However, he suddenly disappears before their reign can begin, and the kingdom is fractured beyond repair.

Years later, he sends a mysterious invitation to meet. Talyien journeys across the sea in hopes of reconciling their past. An assassination attempt quickly dashes those dreams. Stranded in a land she doesn’t know, with no idea whom she can trust, Talyien will have to embrace her namesake.

So, I already own the Kindle version of this one. Didn’t know that until I looked today. I bought the physical copy on Amazon, but you know how you type something into the search bar and it gives you the option of kindle, audiobook, or paperback? Well, I picked paperback and never saw that I had already purchased this. Oh well. Now I have two copies.

Revenger Trilogy by Alastair Reynolds

Revenger is a rocket-fueled tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism. . . and of vengeance. . .

Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest crew members of the legendary Captain Rackamore’s ship, using their mysterious powers as Bone Readers to find clues about their next score. But there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen, in particular.

The galaxy is filled with treasures. . . if you have the courage to find them.

This is a set I picked up at the used book store near us. I don’t know if it’s good or bad that the whole series was there, but we got them. But the Hubs was interested, and I was interested, so score!

Fan Fiction by Brent Spiner

Set in 1991, just as Star Trek: The Next Generation has rocketed the cast to global fame, the young and impressionable actor Brent Spiner receives a mysterious package and a series of disturbing letters, that takes him on a terrifying and bizarre journey that enlists Paramount Security, the LAPD, and even the FBI in putting a stop to the danger that has his life and career hanging in the balance.

Featuring a cast of characters from Patrick Stewart to Levar Burton to Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, to some completely imagined, this is the fictional autobiography that takes readers into the life of Brent Spiner and tells an amazing tale about the trappings of celebrity and the fear he has carried with him his entire life.

When I saw that Brent Spiner had written a book, I knew I had to buy it, so I did. It was a birthday present to me from me!

The Awakening by Nora Roberts

In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword—representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own…

When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.

This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…

I was wandering through Costco, as one does, when I stumbled across this one. Will it be good? No idea, But I’m going to find out. Eventually.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Picked this one up for one of my book clubs last month and I was disappointed. Sorry Book! I had to DNF you!

Vampires Never Get Old edited by Zoraida Cordova & Natalie C. Parker

In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out—and going out for their first kill—and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.

Welcome to the evolution of the vampire—and a revolution on the page.

Vampires Never Get Old includes stories by authors both bestselling and acclaimed, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley.

I read this YA short story compilation and thought it was good. I gave it four stars because it had one bad story but the rest were pretty good! Also, I picked it up on Bookshop.org for $0.50 more than it was on Amazon. That’s not always the case, but it’s worth checking out.

Anywho, there is my massive book haul for the month. I think I’ll be okay with only buying the books I need for the book clubs next month. Maybe one more. Maybe. Let’s see if I can actually do a book buying ban for the month of November, shall we?

Book Haul- September 2021

Well after August’s book buying extravaganza, you would think that I had no room for more books in my budget.

But books, much like life, find a way.

Mind you, I didn’t buy near as many books as I did in August. Praise be to Simon the god of hairdos.

On to the books!

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

What if Dr. Jekyll had a daughter? Oh, and Mr. Hyde too? And they teamed up with Watson and Holmes to solve some murders? That’s what this book is about, among other things. I picked it up for a book club pick.

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

I’m pretty sure this book about a woman whose family was murdered by colonizers is going to be great. Also, it was on sale for like, $2.99 on Kindle. Gotta love those sales.

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

This audiobook, about Dream, who was imprisioned by a cult for decades, is free with an Audible membership until October 22, 2021. It features James McAvoy as the titular Dream, and a world class cast of other actors in these colorful roles. Get it now while you can!

Forever Young: A Memoir by Hayley Mills

I picked up this book with my audible credit. I love listening to memoirs, especially when the author reads them. They always inject little things into them that aren’t in the book.

How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn

Using the true story of 1647 Puritanical England as it’s backdrop, this story tells how, well, Mrs. Claus saved Christmas. This is the sequel to the much loved (at least by me) The Autobiography of Santa Claus. I saw this on Thriftbooks for $3.00 and had to pick it up.

The Great Santa Search by Jeff Guinn

So this one is about Santa Claus getting fed up with all the fake Santas until he finally can’t take it anymore and enters a reality tv show to find the “real” Santa. I might be gearing up for my holiday reads. Can you tell? Also, this was on Thriftbooks for 4 bucks. I love when they have decent copies for cheap.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The authors story of her childhood and coming of age in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. I’ve wanted to read it for a while, and when I saw it on the list of banned books for my banned books week post, I knew I had to have it.

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Vivienne Jones cursed her ex. She knows she shouldn’t have, but she used a scented candle so it shouldn’t take, right? Of course, when Rhys comes back to town everything starts to go wrong for him. I honestly forgot I pre-ordered this one until I got the shipping notification. I have issues. Also, I laughed when I saw it on Book of the Month’s list for October reads and I had already purchased it!

Well, that wasn’t too bad. 8 books. Several of which I had gotten at discounts! Or for free! Huzzah!

All the Books I Bought in August 2021

Well.

I seem to have bought a few books last month.

Oops.

The Humans by Matt Haig

An Alien comes to Earth to stop a scientist after he solves a math equation and steps into his life. This was a book club pick that, due to a hectic month, I wasn’t able to read. I am determined to read this one this year.

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

Just like his father, who built a park around them, Noah sees monsters. But unlike the rest of his family, Noah opens the door and lets them in. This book has been on my radar since it came out last year and when I saw it at my used book store I snatched it up!

Falling & Uprising by Natalie Cammaratta

Serenity never questioned her island’s boasting as the last dry land on Earth, but soon she begins to question everything. This was written by one of the members of one of my books clubs! Huzzah!

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

This is basically John Green reviewing the current geological age. He reviews geese y’all. Geese. I bought it for that alone. Also, if you want to pick it up, every first edition is signed by the author.

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Vern is seven months pregnant and fleeing the only life she has ever known for the safety of the woods. But even in the woods, Vern is hunted. I picked this up in the B&N book haul sale, where books were 50% off.

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Starr lives in two worlds, her prep school, and her home life. But when her childhood best friend is killed by police, it upends her communities. And only Starr knows the truth of what really happened that night. This book feels like a very relevant and important read. So glad I found it at my local used book store.

The Walking Land by Callie Bates

When Elanna is accused of the murder of the king who raised her, she must flee back to the land where she was born, and the birth father she despises. I picked this one up from my favorite used book store in Knoxville, TN, McKay’s!

Provenance by Anne Leckie

Ingray wants nothing more than to take her place in her mother’s kingdom as her rightful heir. So she hatches a plan to free a thief and steal an artifact. Sounded fun and the author has a great reputation. Another McKay’s find!

The World Gives Way by Marissa Levien

Myrra is a contract worker with the Carlyles family, with fifty years left on her contract. But when they die, she must go on the run with their baby, and their terrible secret. Also there is a spaceship. So yeah, another Barnes and Noble book haul find.

The Inheritance of Orquidea Davina by Zoraida Cordova

Orquidea Divina lives a strange life. her pantry never runs dry and she never leaves her land. Ever. So when she summons her family to her side, they expect answers, that they don’t get. Now it’s seven years later and her family has received several powers, but an unknown enemy is determined to destroy them. Um, yes. I got this through Book of the Month. Sounds so good.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi has a house. It has infinite corridors. Oh, and an ocean in it. I picked this one up through Book of the Month as well. So excited to read it.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

Jess had given up on love, until she heard about a dating service that uses DNA based matching. But surprisingly, she is matched, at 98%, to the companies founder. I’m still not sold on this whole modern romance thing, but I didn’t hate In a Holidaze (I gave it 3 stars) so I thought I’d give another book by these authors a try.

Supernova Era by Cixin Liu

A star has died and it will shower the earth in deadly radiation. It’ll take a year, but everyone over the age of thirteen will die. What a concept.

Axiom’s End by Lindsey Ellis

Cora’s father may or may not be the whistle blower that told the world the truth about extra terrestrials. But Cora wants nothing to do with her father, or the press that seems to be following her around. A story about aliens? I’ll take it. A good used book store find.

And there you have it. My book store finds this month. It’s a bit of a long list, so I think I’m not going to buy very many books this month. I’m hoping I can get away with just the book club picks. And one of those I already own!

Every Book I Bought-July 2021

Well, I didn’t do as bad this month as I did last month.

Improvement is always a welcome thing.

Also, I bought quite a few newer releases, and that ate up my budget. And the cookbook. I can’t forget the cookbook.

A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

Robots up and walked out into the wilderness one day in what humanity calls The Great Awakening. Now, years later, a traveling monk happens to meet a robot who has come to find out how humanity has done, and it asks the question, what does humanity need?

Soulless by Gail Carriger

This book was chosen by one of my book clubs for the month of July, and was described as Buffy meets Jane Austin. I like Buffy, so I picked it up.

The Unbroken by C.L Clark

This book had me at the tagline: “Every Empire Demands Revolution”. The description also mentions assassinations and massacres. So naturally, when Orbit books emailed about it being on sale, I snapped it up.

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

A collection of essays, notes, and stories the author wrote to himself to remind his future self that things aren’t always that bad. I loved the way he wrote the Midnight Library, so I snatched this up.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

A group of “final girls” form a support group to help each other deal with what they have been through. But someone starts picking off the girls one by one, it’s up to them to figure it out and save themselves. I loved The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, so I thought I’d give this one a try. I’m hoping it works out, especially since I’m not a big horror person. This could end badly.

Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Danso is on the verge of achieving greatness. There is just one small problem, he doesn’t want it. I love that concept. And when I saw this book in the store, I may have snatched it up super quick. Like, embarrassingly quick.

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Prince Kiem has long been a family disappointment, and he is commanded to marry Count Jainan, widower and murder suspect. I’ve been intrigued since I heard about this earlier this year, so I bought whilst in the bookstore. I should just avoid those at all costs.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Complete and Annotated by Luke Dempsey

This is pretty much what it says on the cover. The whole of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, complete with annotations. I bought it as a gift for the hubs, as he loves Monty Python. Picked it up for ten bucks! It’s on Amazon for fifty.

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winters

After those he loves are brutally murdered, Tau wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to achieve it. Also, there is magic, which Tau does not posses. This book has been all over the bookish community for a while now, so I thought I’d pick it up. I also thought the hubs might like it to read while I was out of town for two weeks.

Marvel Eat the Universe: the Offical Cookbook by Justin Warner

TikTok is a terrible place where people can learn all about interesting books. Take this cookbook that I turned around and bought two seconds after learning that it existed. There be nerds up in here.

The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger

This series is about Alxia Tarabotti, a preturnatural, one who is born without a soul. It was described on the Amazon listing as Buffy meets Jane Austin, and yes, I did buy all 5. The first one was a book club pick for the month, so I picked it up. Stay tuned for a review!

And that’s it, that’s all the books I bought last month. A smaller list compared to the two previous months. I’m going to try to buy fewer books next month, but that may not work out so well.

We shall see.

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 Bought-May 2021

So, I have a confession. See, I went to a really good Half Priced Books with a friend and they had all the things and I didn’t even buy all the things it was more like some of the things.

The ones you leave behind count as a win, right?

No? Darn.

Well, at this point I should just give up on the book buying ban. My TBR cart doth overflowith.

On to the books!

Ariande by Jennifer Saint

This is the story of Ariande, sister to the famous Minotaur of Crete, and what happens when the hero Theseus comes to town. I’ve loved Greek mythology since I was a child, so it’s no surprise that I would gravitate towards this one. This was a BOTM pick, by the by. Mind, I still haven’t read the other retellings I have, so I should probably do that too.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

The story of an Ojibwe woman who has to take care of her mother after a family tragedy. Until she witnesses a murder. I’m not gonna lie, mysteries aren’t the types of book I normally go for, but this one was getting such rave reviews that I had to give it a shot. Plus, it was available as a Book of the Month add on pick, so I nabbed it.

Golden in Death by J.D. Robb

A deadly poisoner is on the move in this, the 50th book in the In Death series. I already have this on my Kindle, but my bookshelves have demanded their own copy, and who am I to deny my bookshelves?

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

The story of a group of Moms who get together one evening at a bar and then the unthinkable happens, one of their babies is kidnapped. This was my book club’s pick for May.

Exiles: The Ruins of Ambrai by Melanie Rawn

The story of three sisters who lives are torn apart by war and magic. I love this book. In fact, I already own this book. But it’s falling apart, and I need a new copy that isn’t held together by packing tape. You know, so I can read it again.

Anxious People by Fredrik Bachman

A would-be bank robber takes an apartment full of people hostage. This isn’t my usual cup of tea, but I’ve heard such good things about the author I thought I would give it a try.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

This book involve spies, libraries, alternate worlds, stolen books, and fights to the death! I also already own this, but I found the physical copy and somehow it ended up in my shopping cart. I’m still not sure how that happened.

The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman

The sequel to The Invisible Library, I didn’t look to see what this one was about, as I want to read the first one, well first.

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

This is basically a feminist take on the “what if Jesus had a wife” trope. I had been debating this one since it came out to the point where I would put it in my shopping cart at Target and walk around the store with it for a while before putting it back every time I saw it. Every time!

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Tracker is a famous hunter. He has been hired to find a young boy who disappeared three years ago. Tracker must now work with a cast of colorful characters to find this boy, who maybe doesn’t want to be found. It’s sounds so interesting.

The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick

The story of Ren, a thief and con artist who is surround by the corrupt on all sides, including corrupt magic. I’ve had this on my list for a while, and was happy to see it available for $5 through the Kindle store. Naturally, I snatched it up.

The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman

This particular book features a land ravaged by Goblin wars! Goblin wars! I picked up my copy at Scarborough Faire here in Dallas (cause why not) and it’s signed!

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

During a ceremony, Deka’s blood runs gold and she is condemned to a life on the outskirts of her village. Until a mysterious woman offers a chance at a new life. This YA fantasy sounds really good.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Cinderella meets Prince Charming in this modern take on the fairy tale. I love the story of Cinderella, so I picked this up when I saw it in the used book store.

Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

This one has all the tropes: Evil dark lord, the chosen one, and magical artifact only the chosen one can wield.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Now these I saved for last because they are special. I found these pristine copies in a damaged box for $15 a HPB. But what makes them special is that my mom used to own copies of this same set. In fact, I still have her copies of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. They even have her name in them. These copies don’t have anyone’s name in them, but I now have a complete set of something my mother once owned. Makes me smile a little bit.

So yeah, at this point it’s like what book buying ban?

Every Book I Bought-April 2021

Well, how did I do on my book buying ban this month?

I bought books, that’s how I did.

Welp. Here is the damage.

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

Just the first couple of lines of the description had me sold on this book. That’s not the full description mind you. I do fully expect this book to wreck me.

The Black Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey

The story of Skandranon, the titular black gryphon, and his human best friend Amberdrake. Did I mention the Mage War? I already own this book, but I had read it so much it was falling apart, so I picked up a new copy at my local used book store. It’s in pretty good condition too!

The Return of Nightfall by Mickey Zucker Reichert

The story of the Nightfall continues. I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure what this is all about, but I bought it, because I have the first on, which I haven’t read yet. But I needed the second one before I could read the first one. That makes sense, right?

This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman

A powerful guild has control over space travel, and the rest of the planets want to topple them. I love C.S. Friedman’s books. Well, the three I have read anyway. The Coldfire trilogy was amazing, so I have high hopes for this one.

Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson

Jenny Lawson writes about mental illness amazingly and I have never felt so seen. This is her newest autobiography and I can’t wait to read it. In fact, I may start it to today!

So It’s not’s so bad. Could be worse. I say as I made it worse during May. You’ll see.

Book Haul March 2021

Well, I may not have read anything in March, but I did buy some books! Cause I’m me and that’s how I roll.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

An eighteenth century apothecary who makes poisons to help women with the men in their lives and a modern woman who stumbles across a mysterious bottle that unlocks the mystery of said apothecary. This was my Book of the Month pick in March.

Once & Future by Cori McCarthy and Ami Rose Capetta

Ari crash lands on old Earth and pulls an old sword from it’s resting place. This reveals her to be the newest reincarnation of the legendary king, Arthur. Y’all know I love my King Arthur retellings, so I had to pick this one up.

A Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer

Jonathan looks to inherit his grandfathers sprawling estate, once he and his friends catalog all of the curiosities that lie within. They soon discover it holds the way to an alt earth were a once deceased villain now lives. I’ve had this in my Amazon cart for months, so when I found it on Book Outlet I had to snatch it up.

The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn

This heartwarming story is exactly what it says on the cover, the story of Santa. I reviewed it last year and absolutely loved it. Of course, I already own an e-book version of this, but when I saw the paperback was only $4 on Book Outlet I snatched it up.

30 Second Mythology by Robert A. Segal

This little book contains 50 of the most interesting Greek and Roman myths told in very short snip-its. I love the 30-Second series and am always excited to add new titles to my collection.

The Sign of Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts

In the town of Hawkins Hollow, it’s called The Seven. Every seven years, on the seventh day of the seventh month, strange things happen. It began when three young boys—Caleb, Fox, and Gage—went on a camping trip to The Pagan Stone…

I love the books Nora Roberts writes as J.D. Robb, so i thought I would give some of her fantasy novels a chance. I have heard good things!

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

This modern day retelling of the Peter Pan story sounded very interesting. Also, I loved Cemetery Boys, so I had to pick this one up!

Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs

An entire town has disappeared, and it’s up to werewolves Charles and Anna to uncover what happened. This is book six set in this universe and what a great universe it is.

Also, I know I said I wasn’t going to buy more than three books, but I was weak. It happens. I mean, 10 isn’t a lot, is it?