WWW Wednesday: Jan 18, 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

  • False Value by Ben Aaronovitch: I started the eighth book of the Rivers of London series for an informal readalong and, y’all… I think this one might be my favorite in the series so far. I’m in the middle of Part Two, so it may be a little earlier to call it, but I am loving this addition to the world! It’s funny to think how much Peter has grown as a character since the first book. I think this one is showcasing it more than any of the previous installments. I’m eager to keep going!
  • The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies: I started reading this yesterday as The Write Reads blog tour for it is coming up soon. Everyone. Listen. This book has absolutely captured my imagination! It’s a complex world filled with gods and different societies that are equal but not. It started off with a bang and I am hooked! It makes me even more excited to do my tour post 😄
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The 12 Challenge: 12 months, 12 books, 12 friends

Hello, reader!

If you spend anytime in the online bookish community, you probably already know what this post is about. You probably saw a certain graphic floating around the internet at the beginning of 2022. If not, let me give you a peek at the beautiful template made by @shadowbooker over on Instagram!

Image

This graphic/challenge prompts you to read 12 books that have been recommended to you by 12 friends. It sounded like fun (and was literally everywhere), so I figured I would give it a shot! So, through a mix of both online and IRL friends and family, I cobbled together a TBR of twelve recommendations that I wish to read in 2022.


My 12 Challenge

First, I want to say “Thank you!” to everyone who gave me a recommendation! I made sure to ask for books beyond my usual SFF realm and y’all certainly delivered. I think I have a good mix of SFF, mystery/thriller, and romance going on here and that’s exactly what I asked for. I do love my fantasy and science fiction, but 2022 feels like a good year to try and branch out a little more. That being said, let’s take a look at the books that I ended up choosing from all your wonderful recommendations ❤

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Down the TBR Hole #21

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!

Time for the first Down the TBR Hole of the new year! Now, before I tell you the current state of my Want to Read shelf, I feel like I should give a disclaimer. I just went through all my owned TBR and scanned them into Goodreads. And more than I thought weren’t even on my Want to Read shelf, yet! So I ended my last round at 653 books and my shelf is currently sitting at… 723 books 😬

Look, this just means that this type of post is gonna be around for awhile, lol. It’s a good thing I enjoy writing! Hopefully you enjoy reading them, as well.

Alright, let’s kick off round 21!


Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

I have no idea how this book ended up on my TBR, lol. It’s apparently a classic? It is a book about a magical bookseller, so it does hit one of my favorite tropes. It sounds like it could be a fun read and it’s quite short. All that adds up to this book getting to stick around.

Verdict: Keep


Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

This is a TBR veteran that has been around for a minute. It’s a desert fantasy that definitely sounds intriguing. There’s a young girl fighting t get out of her town, a mysterious stranger that maybe be able to help her, and ✨magic✨ Mix that all together and you get a story I definitely want to read.

Verdict: Keep


Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca

Imma be honest. I remember adding this book but I thought it was a historical fiction. Turns out it’s a true crime concerning a woman who upstaged the entire NYPD back in 1917 by solving an infamous cold case. Which sounds way more interesting! I’m glad I read the synopsis cause this one almost got dumped 😂

Verdict: Keep

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Five Star Reads of 2021

Hello, reader!

Seeming as 2022 is literally right around the corner, it seemed like a good time to reflect on my reading in 2021. Now, last year, I made a top ten list for my top reads of the year, but I found that left out a lot of books that I truly loved. So we’re doing it a little different in 2021! This year, I’m going to include all my five star reads and I’m not ranking them. I read a lot of fantastic books and I honestly don’t think I could pick a clear winner out of the bunch if I tried.

So here, in no particular order, are my favorite reads of 2021!


Adult Fantasy lead the pack

If you’ve been around the blog any amount of time, you know how much I love fantasy. It is my top genre and I don’t see that changing any time soon. So it probably comes as no surprise that most of my five star reads this year were in fantasy. I was a little surprised that adult edged out YA, though I probably shouldn’t be. I am 39 years old, after all 😂

  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse was probably my most recommended book this year. Anyone who asked for an adult SFF recommendation had me shoving this book in their faces 😂 It was such a stunning read, I couldn’t help myself! It was vivid and lush, with masterful world-building and characters that immediately captured my interest. I read this book and instantly added Rebecca Roanhorse to my auto-buy author list, it was just that good! Also, give me more epic fantasy that isn’t Europe-centric, pleeeease.
  • Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe might be another little cheat. I’ve already read the entire Webtoon series (at least what is out so far), so I knew I loved it. But there is something about reading the physical bind up of the first few chapters that made me fall in love all over again! The art is gorgeous, the story is incredible, and I can’t wait to have the other chapters in my greedy, little hands.
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune was a book that I went into with a sprinkle of trepidation. It was just so hyped! Everyone was in love with this book. Well… almost everyone. There was some controversy about where the author got his inspiration for the orphanage featured in this story. As a non-indigenous reviewer, I highly suggest you seek out reviews from the affected community. All I can say is that this was one of the most heart-warming books I have ever read and it certainly made me want to read more of T.J. Klune’s work.
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo was another hyped book that I was a little scared to pick up. All the raving gave me high expectations! Thankfully, this book not only matched, but far exceeding them. For such a short book, it certainly packed a punch! I adored the writing, the story-telling, and the characters featured in this novella. I can’t wait to continue the series!
  • Stones of Light by Zack Argyle did what not a lot of sequels can do: it far surpassed the first book! It was such a fantastic sequel that leveled up everything I loved about Voice of War! The world-building was top notch. The writing was even better than the first. And the character growth was just *chef’s kiss* There was definitely no middle-book-syndrome here and I cannot wait to see how this series ends. You can bet that the last book is high on my 2022 TBR!
  • The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang was my first five star read of 2021. Talk about starting the year on an emotional rollercoaster! This book absolutely gutted me, which could explain why I’m so nervous to pick up the last book in this trilogy 😅 I certainly want to know how Rin’s story ends, but I know it’s gonna hurt so bad… Still, this was yet another sequel that was just as good, if not better than, the first book.
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#5OnMyTBR – Planned to Read in 2021

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

I’m baaaack! I’ve been MIA over the recent holidays as we were travelling down to spend time with my family over Christmas. We’re still down in Georgia, but I’m feeling much better now that I’ve spent the last couple of days doing basically nothing, lol. It’s been lovely and now I’m ready to get back to blogging. And what better way than to do this week’s 5 On My TBR!

This week’s topic is a good one for the end of the year. I’ll be talking about five books I had planned to read in 2021. Now, there are a lot more than just five books from my 2021 TBR that I never picked up because of who I am as a person 😅 But I’ve narrowed it down to the top five I really wanted to get to that will be high up on my 2022 “want to read” list. Let’s jump on in!


#1. The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

That’s right. I still haven’t finished The Poppy War series. Part of this is because I just don’t want it to end! It’s so well-written and compelling that I’ve become quite attached to the characters and the story. Rin is a disaster and I want to read about her forever! The other part is I know this book is gonna hurt… Still, I’m finishing this series in 2022, no matter what!

#2. Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

I read the first page of this book a couple months ago and instantly knew I wanted to read more. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a ton of other books at the time, so this was set aside and never revisited. That will change in 2022! This is a Jane Eyre retelling featuring a Black protagonist. It sounds incredible! I can’t wait to pick this one back up so I can lose myself in it.

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Down the TBR Hole #20

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!

We’re inching ever closer to Christmas and ya girl is feeling pretty good about it. Why? Because I actually finished Christmas shopping before the week before Christmas Eve 😂 I’m on the ball this year! Now to get back on the ball with blogging. I may have the presents purchased but I’m still feeling s t r e s s e d. And that has made me slow down on my blogging. So, in an effort to get my steam back, I figured it would be a good day for another Down the TBR Hole!

Let’s see… last round, I ended up with 652 books on my Want to Read shelf. I’m currently sitting at 656 books which isn’t bad! It may be what I started with last round, but let’s not talk about that. Alright, let’s get into it!


The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski

Look. I have SO. MANY. fantasy series on my TBR. Some I’ve started, some I want to start, and some I added because they were popular at the time. This book/series falls into that last category. Does it sound interesting? Kinda? But not enough for me to keep it around.

Verdict: Remove


Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Hahaha, I don’t even remember adding this book. And, after reading the synopsis and glancing at a few reviews, I’m not inclined to keep it around. Again… I already have so many fantasy series on my TBR. Why keep one around I’m not interested in?

Verdict: Remove


Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley

Here’s another one I have no memory of adding, lol. This is a book filled with horrific short stories which sounds delightful! It may not be spooky season anymore, but this one is definitely sticking around.

Verdict: Keep

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First Lines Friday #27

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?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • 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!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

Happy day after American Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or just plain Friday to you! I spent yesterday working, napping, and then stuffing myself with my yearly portion of turkey, among other things. It was a pretty awesome Thanksgiving spent with people I love and I know how lucky I am to have that ❤ But the eating is done, I gotta work today (yay, healthcare!), and it’s time for First Lines Friday!

I didn’t have a specific book in mind for today’s post, so I decided to pick at random for the many stacks that surround my computer desk. Let’s see if the first few lines can make me move it up my TBR.


The Line(s):

“The Hunduns were coming. A whole herd of them, rumbling across the wilds, stirring up a dark storm of dust through the night. Their rotund, faceless bodies, made of spirit metal, glinted under the silver half-moon and sky full of glittering stars.”


The Hints:

This is a recent YA science fiction release.

It features gundams (aka giant robots).

And a kickass female pilot bent on revenge.


The Reveal:

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#5OnMyTBR – R.I.P.

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

Happy November! We made it through another month of 2021 and we’re in the home-stretch. Which is honestly mind-boggling to me. How are we this close to 2022 already?! I feel like 2021 has zoomed by to make up for the slog that was 2020. But I’m getting off topic, aren’t I? We’re here for another 5 On My TBR post! The theme this week had me kind of mystified, I must say. It’s simply R.I.P.

There are a lot of ways I could interpret this, but I decided to be on the nose. I’m going to choose five books by authors who have passed away for this week’s post! Morbid? Yes. But there are a lot of books I really want to read that fit the category. So, without further ado, let’s jump in!


#1. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Okay, this one is kind of cheating as I have already read this book. That being said, I want to re-read it and all the other ones I read before I kind of fell out of love with the Wheel of Time series. I’ve always regretted not sticking with it until the end of the series and, now that the Prime series will be out soon, I’m kicking myself even more! So I want to get back into these books and hopefully finish this time.

#2. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

I’m a little embarrassed that I still haven’t read anything written by Octavia Butler. Black sci-fi written by a Black woman? Say less! She has always been on my radar (how could she not be?) but I’ve just never got around to picking up on of her books. This is definitely the one that captures my interest the most. Seems like a good place to start when it comes to her work, as well! I’m hoping to get to this sooner rather than later.

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Blog Tour: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss by London Shah

Hello, reader!

Today is my stop on yet another fabulous tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours! The book in question is the second book in a duology that I’m so glad I found: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss by London Shah. If you’re into YA science fiction that has a lot of action, a lot of beautiful imagery, and a lot of heart, you’re gonna love this one!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we get to my post, I want to thank the wonderful team at TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me a spot on this tour. Don’t forget that there are other incredible bloggers and bookstagrammers participating along the way! You can check out the full schedule HERE. I also want to thank the publisher, Little, Brown and Company, for not only sending me an ARC of this book, but a finished copy of the first book in this duology, The Light at the Bottom of the World, in exchange for my participation and my honest thoughts. It is always appreciated!

Now, I think it’s time we dive in 🐋


Book Details


  • Title: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss
  • Author: London Shah
  • Publication date: November 16th, 2021
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Animal cruelty, childhood trauma, racism, violence

Book Links

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

Synopsis


The sequel to London Shah’s thrilling futuristic mystery The Light at the Bottom of the World, perfect for fans of Illuminae and These Broken Stars

Leyla McQueen has finally reunited with her father after breaking him out of Broadmoor, the illegal government prison—but his freedom comes at a terrible cost. As Leyla celebrates his return, she must grapple with the pain of losing Ari. Now separated from the boy who has her heart and labeled the nation’s number one enemy, Leyla must risk illegal travel through unchartered waters in her quest for the truth behind her father’s arrest.

Across Britain, the fallout from Leyla’s actions has escalated tensions between Anthropoid and non-Anthropoid communities, bringing them to an all-time high. And, as Leyla and her friends fight to uncover the startling truths about their world, she discovers her own shocking past—and the horrifying secrets behind her father’s abduction and arrest. But as these long-buried truths finally begin to surface, so, too, do the authorities’ terrible future plans. And if the ever-pervasive fear prevents the people from taking a stand now, the abyss could stay in the dark forever.”

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#5OnMyTBR – Epistolary

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

It’s time for another 5 On My TBR! And today’s theme is something I don’t talk about nearly enough for how much I love them… epistolary books! What are epistolary books, you ask? According to Google, it is a work of fiction that is written in the form of letters or other documents. I do love a novel that is written in an unconventional format, so these books are right up my alley! Which means I had quite a few on my TBR to choose from, lol.

Let’s see who made the list!


#1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This book has been on my TBR for what feels like forever. I’ve even stuck it on a couple of readathon TBRs and, yet, it remains firmly unread. It’s told through a series of emails and all different types of documents, which is what originally caught my interest. The fact that everyone seems to love it has kept it around this long. I am going to read this, and hopefully soon!

#2. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

This is one of those books I’m embarrassed I haven’t read yet. I gotta be in the right headspace to read the journal of this young Jewish girl hiding in Holland during WWII. To think what she and her family must have endured… it’s a tragic but important story and I will read it one day. I even have a copy on one of these bookshelves, so I’ll hopefully be picking this one up sooner rather than later.

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