Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own

Hello beautiful people! It’s a beautiful day outside today in the Dallas area and I have been out running errands on this blue sky day. But it’s Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about bookish merch I would love to own…hence the title.

This T-Shirt from TeeTurtle

I think it accurately displays how we all feel after the end of a good book. We get the sads cause it’s over. Sometimes we get the sads becuase it really made us cry! You can find the shirt here.

This T-Shirt from Out of Print

This book sparked a love of Greek mythology that still lives inside of me. You can find the shirt here. Bonus points to Out of Print for using the sales of their shirts to fund literacy programs across the country.

This T-Shirt from Etsy

I really want this one, given where I now work. You can find it here.

This Book Sleeve

I found this one whilst scrolling the interwebs a while ago. I feel it rings true. You can find it here.

This Sticky Tab Set

I really want to try to annotate my books, especially those I want to review that aren’t on my Kindle. This seem like good tabs to use for that. Also, there is about 480 of them. You can find them here.

This Bookish Puzzle

This pretty puzzle looks as frustrating as it does fun. it would look great spread out on my coffee table. Until my cat knocks it over. You can pick it up here.

This Bookish Embroidery

Embroidery is one of those hobbies you can do while listening to an audiobook. I love it. And I want this kit. You can find it here.

This Car Decal

I just got a new car, so I’m a little hesitant about this one, but it looks like something I would have on my vehicle. It’s available here.

This Unique and Adorable Bookmark

I love the way this adorable little bookmark looks. And you get eight of them! You can pick them up here.

This Magnet

I want this for my TBR cart, not my fridge. But I love it so much! You can find it on ETSY here.

Is it cheating that three of my bookish things are t-shirts? I don’t think so, as I want them all. What’s really funny is there were a few things I went to go add and I realized I had already purchased them. Oh well.

Weekly Round-Up: Week of February 12, 2022

Well hello! And how was your week? Mine was good, if not a little bit chaotic. I got a new car a month ago, and it’s been interesting figuring out how some of the programs and features work. I spent all day a few days ago trying to figure out how to make my multitude of playlists work with android auto. Twas…interesting.

But on to the wrap-up!

What I Read This Week

I finished another three of the In Death series books. I started Neon Gods by Katee Robert (it’s good!) and got very close to finishing it last night, but alas, the need to sleep won out. I should have that finished today! Huzzah!

Instagram Posts

Y’all, I posted this before I finished the book. I’m not saying I have a problem, but I might have a problem.

Blog Posts

Monday saw the arrival of January’s book haul where I pledged to do better this month. Spoiler alert, I’m not.

Tuesday was my very first Top 5 Tuesday post. I really enjoyed doing it, so I don’t think it will be the last!

Wednesday brought with it WWW Wednesday. I always put in there what I plan on reading next, but it never actually happens!

Thursday was my Romantic TBR for February. I thought I picked some good books this month.

Friday happened to be the day of First Lines Friday. I’m really hoping I get to the book selected this year.

In Other News

This week the Hubs and I celebrated our 8th anniversary! We don’t usually exchange gifts, but this year was the exception. An idea that was had in the car on the way to dinner. We plan very well.

But the Hubs got me this Lego set:

I have coveted this set for a while. And it fits in perfectly in my front room with all my plants and books. And in case you are wondering, he too got Legos. We like Legos in this house. By the way, if you want this Lego set it is on backorder on the Lego website.

How did your week go?

WWW Wednesday: February 9, 2022

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

Well hello! And how are we doing today? After not having the spoons to deal with pretty much all of yesterday I am back and rearing to go. By the way, if you haven’t heard of spoon theory, check it out. It’s a great way for people with chronic illnesses to describe their health. I don’t have a chronic illness, but I am neurodivergent, and my mental health can take a toll on my physical health, so I do use spoon theory.

But today is all about the three W’s!

What are you currently reading?

Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb

I just started this today, so I’m only a few pages into it. It’s the story of Eve and Roarke’s first holiday together! Of course, there is also a murder, involving Santa of course, to solve. I forsee that I am going to love it, just like the rest of the series.

What did you recently finish reading?

Neon Gods by Katee Robert

A retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth with a dark and spicy twist. It was highly touted on the book side of TikTok (a very dangerous place!) and I thought I would give it a try. I was not disappointed, which surprised me.

Conspiracy in Death by J.D. Robb

The eighth book in the In Death series sees Eve pitted against a mysterious serial killer, and her job is on the line. From what I remember it will be a fun ride!

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Another book the internet made me buy. But honestly, how could I resist? A plus-sized protagonist and our main characters write fanfic. Yup, this book was meant for me.

Hmm, all my book covers seem to match this week. I did not do that on purpose, I swear.

First Lines Friday: February 4, 2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. 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 humans! It’s Friday! We survived the winter storm yesterday! It was very nice to sit and watch it snow, ice, and sleet. Yup, we got it all. I took the day to relax and read, which was a nice way to spend the day.

But today is First Lines Friday! I tried to keep with the theme of my TBR for this month (post coming next week!).

The Lines

Jessica Davis used to think it was an honest-to-God tragedy that only twenty-six percent of women believed in true love. Of course, that was nearly a decade ago, when she couldn’t imagine what it felt like to be anything but deeply and passionately obsessed with the man who would one day be her ex.

Intrigued?

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before her daughter was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers:This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get ‘to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

I had a fun time reading In A Holidaze (I gave it three stars) and it was enough to make me give the authors another chance. Also, a “science” based dating website? I’ll try that.

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week of January 29, 2022

Well hello beautiful people! We’ve come to the end of another week. I hope you’ve been kind to yourself and have been able to read a good book. I managed to carve out some time this week. Didn’t finish one of the books I started, but that’s okay. I’m not going to be mean to myself about it. Besides, I’m listening to the audio book while I play animal crossing, so it’s going to take a while.

What I Read This Week

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

This is the start of one of my all time favorite series and I cannot recommend it enough. That being said, this series does deal with some pretty heavy subject matter that may trigger some people, so I can’t recommend it to everyone. TW’s include rape, incest, child abuse, death of a child, and pedophilia. And that’s just this book! The whole series delves into the worst of humanity, and I love it. What does that say about me?

Glory in Death by J. D. Robb

The second book in the In Death series. As with all the books in this series, I love this one too. I love how complicated Eve makes things because she just doesn’t get how to be anything other than a cop.

Instagram Posts

Blog Posts

I’m back to posting five days a week. Hooray! Always exciting to be back on track!

I started the week off with a review of the Servant Mage by Kate Elliott. I found the book kind of blah. Read the review for my full thoughts.

TTT Tuesday was up next. This week it was new to me authors I discovered in 2021. This was hard, apparently I read a lot of authors I was familiar with last year. But don’t we all do that?

WWW Wednesday happened. I have not followed along with it so far. So that’s fun.

Then it was on to my most popular post of the week, a mini book review for A Letter to Three Witches. Apparently, when you dislike a book a lot, the review does better.

First Lines Friday was another dip into the annals of my TBR. I really need to read some of the older entries in my TBR.

In Other News

I finally sat down to watch Discovery of Witches the other day. Naturally, I started over from season one, because why not. I wasn’t able to concentrate enough while I was sick to actually watch so I’m very excited to be able to watch it now.

How did your week end up going?

TTT: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Hello beautiful people! How are we doing this fine Tuesday? Me, I’m fine. I seem to finally be over being sick, which is wonderful. The way things were going I thought I would be sick forever. Seriously. I’m still having some lingering COVID fog, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was when I was sick. Thank goodness. I can read again!

Speaking of reading, this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is all about authors you discovered in 2021. I read quite a few books by new to me authors, so I figured I could give this a shot!

Brendan P Bellacourt

This isn’t the author’s debut novel, as it’s a nom de plume and he normally writes under the name Bradley Beaulieu. I absolutely loved this book. And the more I think about it, the more I think this is one of my favorite books of last year. I loved the writing and the way he left me guessing all the way until the very end.

Hannah Whitten

This is a debut novel for this author, so I discovered her along with everyone else. She wrote a rich and wonderful world that was full of compelling characters. Yes, I have preordered the second book.

Gail Carriger

This new to me author was such a fun read. I enjoyed watching this world unfold. I haven’t finished the series yet, I got distracted by other books, it happens with me. But I have purchased this full series.

TJ Klune

I read two TJ Klune books this year and fell in love with his writing style. It made me curious to see if his other books are just as well done. I’m hoping to read more by him in the future.

Matt Haig

This book was a great read for me. The concept and the writing style felt really fresh. I really loved the character growth. It just spoke to me. Another book that makes me want to read more by the author.

Erin Sterling

This is author Rachel Hawkins’s pen name. I’ve never read anything else by her, but some of her books do sound interesting. Not sure if I will pick them up, but I did really enjoy the writing and the story of The Ex Hex.

Garth Nix

This colorful romp around London was exactly the book I needed at the time. It entranced me with its world-building and colorful characters.

Jenny Colgan

The Christmas Bookshop was a surprise hit for me last year. I had never heard of this author before, and I now hope to read more by her. Her characters were unexpectedly nuanced and complex. I loved the setting. And apparently, I’m a sucker for a Christmas book.

Lana Harper

Another pen name, this time for YA author Lana Popovic. I really enjoy the world and characters the author created. The plot was also pretty fantastic too. I might have pre-ordered the sequel already. Maybe.

Maggie Knox

Maggie Knox is the name of the writing duo Karma Brown and Marissa Stapley. This also happens to be their debut novel, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. It was a perfect holiday read and I can’t wait to see what they do next!

Turns out I read a lot of books by authors I already knew in 2021. I’m going to make an effort to read more new to me authors in 2022. I have quite a few of them that I want to pick up!

Did you pick up any of these authors for the first time this year?

TTT-2021 New Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and originally created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Well hello, beautiful peoples! I’m back from my quarantine! I have not fully recovered from my bout of illness, but we followed all of the doctor’s instructions and the Hubs never got sick! Huzzah!

Alas, I did have the COVID fog, so I wasn’t able to do much reading like I had hoped. That’s life, I guess.

But that does lead me to today’s Top Ten Tuesday! This is not only a list of books from last year, it’s also a list of books I’m hoping to get to this year.

The Mask Of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick- January 19, 2021

FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD. MAGIC FAVORS THE LIARS.

Ren is a liar and a thief, a pattern-reader and a daughter of no clan. Raised in the slums of Nadežra, she fled that world to save her sister. Now, she has returned with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house, securing her fortune and her sister’s future.

But in the city of dreams, her masquerade is just one of many. Enigmatic crime lord Derossi Vargo, stony captain of the guard Grey Serrado, dashing heir Leato Traementis, and the legendary vigilante known as the Rook all have secrets that could unravel her own.

And as corrupt nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the city of dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled—with Ren at their heart.

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell- February 2, 2021

Prince Kiem, a famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor’s least favorite grandchild, has been called upon to be useful for once. He’s commanded to fulfill an obligation of marriage to the representative of the Empire’s newest and most rebellious vassal planet. His future husband, Count Jainan, is a widower and murder suspect.

Neither wants to be wed, but with a conspiracy unfolding around them and the fate of the empire at stake they will have to navigate the thorns and barbs of court intrigue, the machinations of war, and the long shadows of Jainan’s past, and they’ll have to do it together.

So begins a legendary love story amid the stars.

The Guilded Ones by Namia Forna-February 9, 2021

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox-February 9, 2021

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.

Malice by Heather Walter-April 13, 2021

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.

Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa-May 11 2021

IN THIS WORLD, THERE IS NO DESTINY BUT THE ONE YOU MAKE. 

In the ancient city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—except he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.

But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.

Beyond by Mercedes Lackey-June 15, 2021

Within the Eastern Empire, Duke Kordas Valdemar rules a tiny, bucolic Duchy that focuses mostly on horse breeding. Anticipating the day when the Empire’s exploitative and militant leaders would not be content to leave them alone, Korda’s father set out to gather magicians in the hopes of one day finding a way to escape and protect the people of the Duchy from tyranny.
 
Kordas has lived his life looking over his shoulder. The signs in the Empire are increasingly dire. Under the direction of the Emperor, mages have begun to harness the power of dark magics, including blood magic, the powers of the Abyssal Planes, and the binding and “milking” of Elemental creatures
 
But then one of the Duchy’s mages has a breakthrough. There is a way to place a Gate at a distance so far from the Empire that it is unlikely the Emperor can find or follow them as they evacuate everyone that is willing to leave.
 
But time is running out, and Kordas has been summoned to the Emperor’s Court.
 
Can his reputation as a country bumpkin and his acting skills buy him and his people the time they need to flee?  Or will the Emperor lose patience, invade to strip Valdemar of everything of worth, and send its conscripted people into the front lines of the Imperial wars?

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian-July 6, 2021

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

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

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

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

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao- September 21, 2021

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.

Fanfiction by Brent Spiner-October 5, 2021

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 take 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.

I actually got each of these books with the full intention of reading them last year, but that didn’t happen. I’m hoping with my focus being put on my TBR backlog this year that I’ll be able to get to most, if not all of them. I do have a year, so I should be good. But I’m me, and TBR’s never go quite as planned.

Weekly Round-Up: Week of January 8, 2022

Well hello, beautiful people! I hope you had a wonderful week! Mine has been…interesting, to say the least. As a result, my reading slowed down considerably this week. I started off so strong! I started and finished a novella and then finished another book I had started in December. I also started a new book!

What I Read This Week!

Once More Upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi

Once More Upon A Time was a lighthearted fairy tale/adventure novella about finding love and overcoming toxic families. I found myself laughing at the antics in this book more than I thought, and I thoroughly enjoyed the character interactions. And the loves story was first-rate. If you have Audible and don’t want to pick up the book, this was an Audible original back in 2020 that made it to print.

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

This heartwarming tale is all about a woman who moves to a small town and finds a Santa suit in her new house. In the pockets, she finds a note and she sets out on a quest to find out who wrote the note. It’s such a sweet tale. I saw the ending coming a mile away, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of it at all. I’m just sorry it took me so long to finish it, as it was very much the perfect holiday read.

Instagram Posts

Most of my followers on Instagram are family (hi guys!), and they don’t often like my books posts. So go give my very sporadically posted account a try!

This last one got posted just this morning! I still don’t know what I’m doing on Bookstagram, but I have fun doing it.

Blog Posts

I posted five blog posts. Spoiler alert, that’s how many I usually post. I don’t have enough time to write more than that. And I need a day off for myself to practice self-care.

I started the week off with my Christmas Book Haul. I don’t know why, but of all the books I picked up (not the books I was given), I am most excited about The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki.

Tuesday saw me post the newest installment of Top Ten Tuesday. It was all about the most anticipated new releases in the first half of 2022. This was also my most liked post for the week!

WWW Wednesday was up next. That’s the meme where you talk all about what you are reading that week, among other things.

Thursday was all about the books I read in December.

Friday is all about First Lines Friday. This week’s selection is a book club pick!

In Other News

I’ve had an office since we moved into this house, but have very rarely used it, as I didn’t like the chair I had. I finally got a new desk chair.

This Captain Marvel gaming chair also came with lumbar support and headrest, but I don’t need those. You can find the chair here. They also make Deadpool, Captain American, Iron Man, Black Panther, and Spider-man chairs. And if you want something non-Marvel, they make other styles and colors too. It’s a very, very comfy chair, and I highly recommend it. Also yes, I am a big nerd.

A Discovery of Witches returns to Sundance Now today with a new episode every week for the next 7 weeks! I don’t watch a lot of TV, so I make an exception for this show. I’m so excited! More exclamation points! If you haven’t heard me rave about this book series in the past, I wrote a review on it here.

Well, I hope you’ve had fun with the new format. I’ll probably play around with it a little bit until I find something I’m super happy with. But I kind of like this one.

First Lines Friday-January 8, 2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

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

Well hello, beautiful people! It’s Friday! Huzzah! And I made new graphics because, quite frankly, I didn’t like the others I had made. That’s what happens when you are in a rush and don’t actually want to be creative.

What? It happens!

But today is First Lines Friday! It’s that day of the week when I pick some lines from a book and you try to guess what book they come from!

The Lines:

When the multiverse was confirmed, the spiritual and scientific communities both counted it as evidence of their validity.

The scientists said, Look, we told you there were parallel universes.

And the spiritual said, See, we’ve always known there was more than one life.

Intrigued?

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this dystopian Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now what once made her marginalized has finally become an unexpected source of power. She has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world but the entire multiverse.

This has been on my TBR forever, but one of my book clubs is reading it this month. I’m assuming I’ll get to it before the actual meeting. A friend of mine read it and said it was worth reading, so I have high hopes!

All the Books I Read-December 2021

Hello beautiful people! I hope you are having a wonderful day so far. I’m doing pretty well, except for the weather. It either wants to be 19 degrees or 55 degrees outside. It’s great. Really great. Love it. So much.

Speaking of cold, I read 4 books, for a total of 1,206 pages, in December. It’s a small amount compared to months past, but I read, and that’s all that matters.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

A scientist and gentleman inventor in industrialized Victorian England claims to have irrefutable proof that time is not simply a concept—it’s a whole other dimension. When he reveals the prototype of a time-traveling machine to his peers, he’s met with skepticism at first . . . until he returns one week later, disheveled, bloody, and with a fantastic story to tell.

It’s classic sci-fi and I can see it absolutely entrancing people at the time it was written. That being said, the only female character was of a simple-minded race of people and that didn’t really sit well with me, alas the book is a product of its time. For that, I had to give the book 3 stars.

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?

I wrote a whole review of this book. I really liked it. It was a nice cozy read that really warmed my heart. Although I did call who she was going to end up with when we first met him, I really do read too many books. I gave it 4 stars.

Absynthe by Brenden P. Bellacourt

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

I wrote a review for this book as well. I haven’t seen a lot of people talk about it, and it was so very, very good. It kept me guessing right up until the very end. This is no small feat, as I thought I had the twist figured out a few chapters in. I was wrong. I ended up giving this book 5 stars.

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell—both critical to her success as a show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a fun read, a little predictable, but still fun. If you are looking for a good holiday book for next year, this one will do. 4 stars!

And hey, look at that! Not a DNF in sight! It’s a rare month when that doesn’t happen. I’m pretty pleased with myself.

And now for my favorite part! The stats!

Mysterious, lighthearted, and adventurous all tied for first place with 2 books each!

It was a medium-paced month with one book being faster-paced.

When you read four books the pie charts come out so neat and orderly. Only one book is under 300 pages.

In an unusual twist, I read no fantasy this month! None, nada, zip zilch! It feels weird. But I’ll take it.

Does it seem odd to anyone else that I have no 1 star ratings this month? No? Just me? Okay then.

December was hectic. You can see when I had the most time to devote to reading, and it wasn’t as much as I would have hoped. It happens. We read when we can.

What did you read last month? Anything fabulous?