Down the TBR Hole #44


It’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This is where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf and do a bit of cleaning up. If you want to see the full description of what this post is all about, check out my first round HERE.


Hello, reader!

After a busy day of pre-best-friend’s-wedding stuff, I figured it was time for some bookish stuff. So now I’m bringing you another round of Down the TBR Hole! I have somehow managed to maintain the amount of books on my ‘Want to Read’ shelf at 690 books since completing the last round. I’m honestly impressed because I’ve been hearing more and more about books coming out in 2023. The urge to add is very high, haha.

For now, let’s see if I can make more room on the TBR!


#1. The Tea Dragon Festival by Kay O’Neill

Yeah, there’s no way this is coming off my TBR 😂 This is the second graphic novel in the Tea Dragon series and I absolutely loved the first one. It was so cute and heartwarming! Not to mention the fact that the art is just gorgeous. I love all the little tea dragons, the story, and the inclusiveness of the story. I’m eager to jump back into this world!

Verdict: Keep


#2. Spellslinger by Sebastian de Castell

So forever ago, I read the first book in the Greatcoats series by this author and loved it! And I haven’t picked up a book of his since 😅 I have no good reasons, no excuses… I just kind of forgot about him a little bit. That being said, I’ve heard some great things about the Spellslinger series, so that’s how it ended up on my TBR. The fact that I know that I enjoy his writing, as well, means that I’m keeping it around for now.

Verdict: Keep

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September 2022 Wrap Up


Hello, reader!

Now that we’re firmly into October, I figured it was time to wrap up my reading from last month. After a particularly epic amount of books that I read in August, my September reading was noticeably less epic. I feel like my poor brain was recovering! It didn’t help that I contracted a head cold that put me into a fog for a good portion of the month. And that was before I contracted Covid 😅 It was a fun month with ups (I turned 40!) and downs (aforementioned head cold…) and it flew by way too fast.

Now, let’s wrap up what I managed to read in my favorite month of the year!


Books Read


  • Spy x Family Vol 5 by Tatsuya Endo: I started the month continuing my Spy x Family obsession. This volume of the manga was a lot of fun, as always, though Yor’s brother creeps me out 😂 He is way too obsessed with his sister… Still, I loved seeing more of the Forger family and the art, as always, was a delight. This did just remind me that I need to catch up with the anime now that the second season is out! ★★★★
  • Spy x Family Vol 6 by Tatsuya Endo: This was most definitely my favorite volume of the manga so far! We got to go along with Loid on one of his missions, there were so many cute moments between him and Yor, and Anya was, as ever, adorable. There was something about this volume that made me love the series even more. It was also the last one my library had so I’ve been in withdrawal ever since, haha. ★★★★★
  • With Fire In Their Blood by Kat Delacorte: I read this book for a tour hosted by The Write Reads. This YA dark fantasy was a wild ride that was incredibly gripping, I loved the strange town of Castello and all the horrifying religious overtones that flow throughout the book were certainly eerie. The atmosphere and tone were expertly done and were probably my favorite part of the story. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
  • Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine: Y’all. I’ve been a fan of Rachel Caine’s for a long time, ever since I picked up the Great Library series. So, when I picked up the first book in her thriller series, I was expecting to enjoy it. I was not, however, expecting to become so completely ensnared in the story that I wanted to abandon all my other reading goals for the month so I could binge the entire series! This book was so good! It was dark and tense and frightening, with several moments that had me on the edge of my seat. I want to fight the world for Gwen, our main character, and her kids. Rachel Caine has always been good at writing compelling characters and she definitely brought that skill into this book, as well. ★★★★★
  • Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez: Ahhhhhh, this was so stinkin’ CUTE! I had heard Dini @ Dini Panda Reads talk about how much she enjoyed this graphic novel, which is what originally piqued my interest. Then, I spotted it at my local library and figured, why not? I borrowed it, sat down to read, and immediately became smitten. The art style! The characters! The FOOD! This story about a young college graduate just trying to find his true passion in this life (and maybe another kind of passion…) was so beautifully told and beautifully drawn that I was invested in his story from beginning to end. Add to that all the inclusiveness littered throughout this tale and I was hooked! ★★★★
  • It Looks Like Us by Alison Ames: Talk about a perfect read for spooky season! Though a bit predictable, this novel was a thrill ride from beginning to end. If you enjoyed the movie The Thing and aren’t easily grossed out, I would definitely suggest giving this one a go! I read it for a TBR & Beyond Tours book tour and I’m so glad that I did. It was intense and messy and I enjoyed my time sunk within its pages. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
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Encanto Book Tag


Hello, reader!

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a book tag, hasn’t it? Let me remedy that real quick and do one that speaks to my Disney-loving soul! The Encanto Book Tag is exactly what it sounds like… a tag focused on the songs of the incredible Disney movie, Encanto. How many times have I seen it? Probably too many. How many times have I cried while watching it? Pretty much every time 😂 It’s a beautiful movie and the songs are absolute perfection, so this was an easy choice when looking for a tag to do today!

Before I jump in, I want to thank Danni @ _ForBooksSake for tagging me! You should definitely check out her blog if you’re a fan of thrillers. Even if you aren’t, Danni’s blog is a great, bookish spot on the internet! This tag was originally created by Passport To Eden.

With that said, let’s get to it!


The Family Madrigal

Name a book that explores multiple family generations

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

This is a book I don’t talk about often, but one I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a contemporary novel about a group of sisters who return home after their parents are arrested. There’s drama, there’s heart-wrenching emotion, and there’s a lot to unpack. It’s all told in such a tender way, though, that you can’t help but love it.


Waiting On A Miracle

What Is A Book You Enjoyed But Took Longer Than Expected To Finish

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

I ended up giving this book five stars because it was absolutely incredible. And yet it took me months to read it! Sure, most of those months I wasn’t actively trying to read it. I got distracted by blog tours and review copies. Once I buckled down and devoted my attention to this book, though, I knew it was something special. Definitely worth a read!


Surface Pressure

Name A Character Who Has To Do It All

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Gwen Proctor is probably one of the more badass characters I’ve read recently! I suppose, in the end, she doesn’t do everything by herself, but for most of the book she is struggling to keep herself and her kids hidden and safe all on her own. It’s freakin’ intense! I think Gwen would relate to this song on a deep, personal level, haha.

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WWW Wednesday: Sep 14, 2022


It’s time for another WWW Wednesday! This is a bookish meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where bloggers answer the 3 Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

If you’d like to learn more about any of these books, click on the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page.


Current Reads

  • It Looks Like Us by Alison Ames: Holy $#^!, this book is freaky! And it dumps you right into the frights, too! I’m loving how intense and strange this story is, so far, and I may have stayed up way too late last night because I needed to know what happened next. This is a young adult horror that is set in Antarctica where a group of teens are tasked with helping collect ice samples. Of course, that all goes horribly wrong when a monster finds its way to them. The setting and the monster combine in a way that makes it truly spooky and this author knows how to write a creepy scene. I can’t wait to continue!
  • Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim: I’m finally finishing the Blood of the Stars duology! I read Spin the Dawn forever ago and truly enjoyed it. Now it’s time to complete the series by finishing this one. So far, the writing is just as good as the first book. I’m excited to pick up Maia’s story where it left off and it certainly starts off in an exciting, if dangerous, way! Looking forward to finishing this one up this week.
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August 2022 Wrap Up


Hello, reader!

I’ve managed to get to my reading wrap up for the previous month before it is almost the end of this month! We’re making progress 😂 In my defense, I read a lot of books (for me) last month. I somehow managed to get through 20 books! The task of rounding them all up and talking about them has been daunting, to say the least.

I have to blame the two readathons I participated in last month, the Trope-ical Readathon and the Magical Readathon. They were both a ton of fun and had me tearing through books. I managed to complete my character’s classes for the Magical Readathon, though I did… less great with my Trope-ical TBR 😅 I am but one, slow reader and there was no way I was getting through all those books! Still, I had a blast with both readathons and I can’t wait until the next round for each.

Alright, now let’s jump in so I can talk about all the books I managed to read in August!


Books Read


  • Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood: This was such a thrilling read! It’s an Ethiopian-inspired retelling of Jane Eyre which is one of my favorite classic novels. I was already primed to love this and it did not disappoint! I loved the world, the characters, and their messy, wonderful relationships. It also brought the creepy factor and I loved that! This would be a great read for spooky season. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones: Stephen Graham Jones has a way of writing horror that makes it feel like a contemporary. This book was no different and, somehow, it totally works! I enjoyed how this was really a character study of Jade, our main character, who is obsessed with slashers and hates pretty much everything else. It was intriguing following her as she tries to convince people that a slasher has arrived at their small town. Don’t get me wrong, though… there are definitely some pretty horrific things in this book, especially near the end! It all wraps up into a weird, wonderful story that was both spine-tingling and introspective. ★★★★
  • Spy x Family Vol 1 by Tatsuya Endo: And here we see the beginning of my obsession with the Forger family, lol. I read this manga after hearing about it all over the bookish community. It sounded cute and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Immediately after finishing this volume, I binged the first season of the anime and put a hold on all the volumes available at my library 😂 It’s just so sweet! It follows a spy who needs a fake family to complete his latest mission. The people he manages to get into his fake family, however, are 1) an assassin (Yor is the BEST) and 2) a telepath (I ADORE Anya). It’s a lot of fun and I need mooooore. ★★★★
  • These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall: I read this book as part of a book tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours. I signed up for the tour because this sounded like a gothic horror that would be right up my alley! I had a great time with this dark, brooding story. The atmosphere was on point and I loved that we got some good rep throughout the story. There’s even a sapphic love story mixed in with all the horror. This book certainly made me interested in reading more of Kate Alice Marshall’s work! You can read my full review here. ★★★★
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Down the TBR Hole #39


It’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This is where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf and do a bit of cleaning up. If you want to see the full description of what this post is all about, check out my first round HERE.


Hello, reader!

It’s been a hell of a Monday here in the McBookNerd house. I ended up working a double shift and just now getting a chance to sit and write my post for the day! Yet another reason that I need to work on developing an actual schedule so I won’t have to worry about it, heh. One day… when I finally manage to organize my life outside of work.

Late hour aside, I’m still eager to bring you another round of Down the TBR Hole! I’ve somehow managed to keep my ‘Want to Read’ shelf at the exact same number I left it last round: 703 books. Perhaps one day I’ll get back into the 600s. Although we’re getting to that time of year where I start looking forward to next year’s new releases… so I only see this number going up, haha. Still, at least as I go through each round of this meme, I know that I’m curating my TBR to reflect books I’m actually still interested in reading.

That said, let’s jump in!


V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

I’m actually kind of shocked that this book is still on my TBR, to be honest. I’ve wanted to read this since watching (and loving!) the movie version. That was a looong time ago and still it sits on my TBR. I’m such a slacker 😂 In my defense, for awhile after seeing the movie, I had no idea it was based on this graphic novel. All that said, I’m still very much interested in picking this up.

Verdict: Keep


House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Come ooooon, it’s a spooky book set near water AND it’s a fairytale retelling. There’s no way I’m kicking this one off my TBR! I’ve heard so many good things about this book and it seems like something that would be right up my alley. It sounds dark and atmospheric and just completely my vibe. I suppose we’ll find out once I finally pick it up, heh. Here’s hoping this dark retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses doesn’t let me down.

Verdict: Keep

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March 2022 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

We made it through another month of 2022! I feel like March went by super fast which was not at all what I wanted, haha. I feel like I got nothing done because the month just slipped through my fingers! At the same time, I’ve been unusually stressed with nothing added to my daily routine that would explain all the stress. It was a weird month, y’all. Here’s hoping April will be a bit more chill.

In the reading department, I read quite a few books but not nearly the amount I was hoping to achieve. I only read a few books from my Magical Readathon and WomenInMyth-Athon TBRs, but I still had a lot of fun participating in both! I suppose I shouldn’t be too hard on myself because I still managed to read nine books. Nine books in one month would have made me from a few years ago die of shock! And the quality of those books what top tier. I had three five star reads last month! I gotta remind myself of these things when I’m being too down on myself for how much I read. After all, it’s quality not quantity that counts.

Anyways, let’s get into all the books I read in the month of March!


Books Read


Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

Book: Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir/illustrated by Myisha Haynes

Rating: ★★★★

Thoughts: This was such a cute, fun graphic novel! It’s a retelling of Anne of Green Gables, which I haven’t read. Still, I know a bit about the character of Anne and I think this duo captured her spirit to a T! The art is beautiful, the story was touching, and I had a blast reading it. You can read my full review here.


Book: The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Rating: ★★★★

Thoughts: Well, this was quite a thrill to read! From the very beginning, I was invested in Priya and Malini’s stories. They are incredibly well-written and compelling characters that made me want to keep reading. Beyond them, the lush world-building and the intriguing politics had me absolutely captivated. I’m excited for the next book in this series!


Book: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

Rating: ★★★★★

Thoughts: This book took me by surprise! I got it in my Book of the Month box and signed up for a blog tour simply because I liked the cover. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the tour, it probably would have languished on my shelves for awhile. I’m so glad it didn’t, though, because it absolutely blew me away! You can read my full review here.

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Blog Tour: Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir/Illustrated by Myisha Haynes

Hello, reader!

Today is my stop on the TBR & Beyond Tours book tour for a middle grade graphic novel that absolutely captured my heart: Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir (author) and Myisha Haynes (illustrator)! This book is a graphic retelling of Anne of Green Gables set in modern day West Philly and it is an absolute delight.

Before I start gushing about this book, though, I want to thank some folks. First, I want to thank the team at TBR & Beyond Tours for letting me be a part of this tour. Second, I want to thank the publisher, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, for sending me a free copy of the book in exchange for my participation and an honest review. It is very much appreciated! One last thing; mine is just one stop on this magical mystery tour, so make sure you check out the other fabulous bloggers and bookstagrammers that will be celebrating this beautiful book! You can find the full schedule here.

Alright, let’s get to the post!


Book Details


  • Title: Anne of West Philly
  • Author: Ivy Noelle Weir
  • Illustrator: Myisha Haynes
  • Publication date: March 1st, 2022
  • Genre: Contemporary Graphic Novel
  • Age group: Middle Grade

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Indigo::
Amazon::Goodreads

Synopsis


Anne of Green Gables with a twist: in this follow-up to Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and The Secret Garden on 81st Street, this full-color graphic novel moves Anne Shirley to modern-day West Philadelphia, where where she finds new friends, new rivals, and a new family.

When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert decide to foster a teenage girl for the first time, their lives are changed forever. Their redheaded foster daughter, Anne Shirley, is in search of an exciting life and has decided that West Philly is where she’s going to find it. Armed with a big personality and unstoppable creativity, Anne takes her new home by storm as she joins the robotics club, makes new friends in Diana and Gilbert, experiences first love, and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. But as Anne starts to get comfortable, she discovers one thing she wasn’t looking for: a family.

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WWW Wednesday: Feb 23, 2022

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday! This is a bookish meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where bloggers answer the 3 Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

If you’d like to learn more about any of these books, click on the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page.


Current Reads

  • Blood of the Lost Kingdom by Kristin Ward: I’m reading this for a blog tour run by The Write Reads. I read the first book in this series, The Girl of Dorcha Woods, for a Write Reads blog tour, as well. I enjoyed it so much that I jumped on the chance to be on the tour for the second book! So far, I’m loving this one just as much, if not a tad bit more than the first book. Perhaps because our main character, Fiadh, is really coming into her own. I can’t wait to see where it goes.
  • Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn: I’m reading this for another The Write Reads blog tour, haha. This one I quite literally just started (as in, I’m on page 5 or something like that), so I can’t really say if I’m liking it or not. The synopsis is promising me a world of politics and badass princesses, though, so I am ready to absolutely love it!
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November 2021 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

We’ve made it to the last month of 2021, which means it’s time to wrap up my reading in November. It was a weird one, I’ll tell ya that! I found myself in a strange, slumpy mood which means I didn’t read nearly as much as I usually do. Still, I’m happy about the books I did read because I enjoyed all of them. Seriously, I didn’t read anything under four stars.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? Let’s get to the post!


Books Read


Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

Book: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Rating: ★★★★

Thoughts: This was such an interesting read. It was my first time reading a graphic memoir and I really enjoyed it. It was heartbreaking and incredibly moving at times. I also enjoyed the art style. I definitely want to continue the author’s story!


Book: Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

Rating: ★★★★

Thoughts: I read this book for a blog tour run by TBR & Beyond Tours. I absolutely loved this Black mermaid tale! It had a bit of a slow start, but it certainly gripped me by the end. And the world-building was great! You can read my full review here.


Book: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

Rating: ★★★★

Thoughts: This was such an intense, short read that completely gripped me from beginning to end. I loved the writing style, the characters, and the concept. And it packed quite the emotional punch. It definitely made me want to read more from this author!

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