I never and I truly mean never thought I would be writing a post like this. BookTok is a thing that has taken over my life. I have over a dozen books in my Amazon cart because of it and it’s because there was one line on the internet that hooked me in. It’s a problem, I didn’t used to buy books at the rate I am currently buying books and that is really a problem for me!
I have bought a lot of books this year and most of them were because of TikTok, the others were because of Book of the Month, but BookTok has a hold on me. There are books that I claimed for a long time that I wouldn’t read, like ACOTAR (which I love!) but then the internet got ahold of me and I have discovered something that is highly addictive.
So, this is just going to be a list, more or less, there will be some blurbs with books that I have already read but I am only going to talk about the ones that are currently in my collection, not in my Amazon cart Save for Later section because it would be a much longer list then.
Everyone knows how much I loved The Love Hypothesis, that was one of the first BookTok books that I actually bought and that was in December, that’s right, December. The other one that I bought because of BookTok was A Fate of Wrath and Flame, that book was amazing and I am really excited for the second one that comes out in June I think, I have no idea where it’s going to go, but I always hope for a happy ending.
I could say that BookTok also convinced me to buy Kingdom of The Wicked and Kingdom of The Cursed because I saw it there for a while, but I would have bought them either way because I read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series last year as well and I love her writing. She’s one of those authors that I will pick up her books knowing nothing about them.
Next was A Court of Thorns and Roses, I devoured that book and I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury. That book broke me and I have something like 20 books until I read the next one, I am so excited for the next one. I am waiting until A Court of Silver Flames comes out in paperback before I grab that one, which is in September. September is going to be a big month for all the books that I am waiting for.
Then I fell down a hole, and I do mean a hole, I found my wait onto another section of BookTok and well, none of those books I can take to work, let’s just put it that way. Is it a weird side of TikTok? Yes, but man do I have a lot of books in my Amazon cart because of it.
So, what have a bought this year alone that really belong on the BookTok made me do it list? I have to consult the Book Bullet Journal for that because there are several and most of them were read in February where I read 15 books, which for me is a record.
Also, a lot of these authors are on TikTok and that’s usually where I find their books so it’s been fun to see what people are out there writing. Hot Vampire Next Door is a lot, it’s good, but so much and the first two are out in paperback, the third will come out eventually and I know that. I could read it on Kindle Unlimited, but that would not be a good idea and I really like physical books.
The Twisted series by Ana Huang is amazing and I have only read the first one, I have the other two that are out and I am waiting for the fourth one because I love the idea of intertwining standalones because that’s so fun.
Deal with the Elf King was one I saw there as well and I don’t remember what made me add it to my Amazon cart but I did and it was sweet, it was a lot but really cute. The second in the series is also sitting in my Amazon cart as well because why not, just need a little hit of serotonin that books have been giving me lately.
The Fine Print was the last one that I read because of BookTok, it was…a lot and the sequel to that is also in my Amazon cart because I have a problem, I straight up have a problem and here we are, not regretting any little bit of it.
I hope y’all can sense a theme here, hence why I cannot read them in public, or ar work, or with other people around, they are all a lot.
Those are the ones I have read so far so I am going to do a quick fire of the other ones that I have in my TBR as extras because I needed to have some actual choice books in my list that I didn’t mick from my shelves. Book Boyfriend I will start here today and hopefully by the time that this post comes out I will be done with it, long done with it. Also, there is Twisted Games which is the second in the Twisted series which I am looking forward to. Twisted Hate is later in the TBR pile, but it’s up there and I am looking forward to it, it’s a thick book. A Not So Meet Cute which I have heard good things about. Hooked which I have heard is dark, I don’t know how I am going to feel about that one, but here we are. It Happened One Summer because the internet told me to and I loved Schitt’s Creek which was an inspiration for this one. Not the Witch You Wed which is a paranormal, again, here we are. A Winter’s Promise which I know a little bit about because of the internet but I don’t know a lot about it and that’s always fun, I think that one is YA so I don’t expect it to be risqué at all and that’s the hope here.
Like I said I have about a dozen in my Amazon cart and that means that this list will grow, I joke that I could be doing drugs or other things, instead I buy books. I am looking forward to a lot of the books on my BookTok list and I know that there will be other books that join this list even if I never make another post like this, I probably will when I actually buy and read more. I don’t need to buy more books though so I am going to try and keep myself from buying any more books at least this month.
Well, there you have it, if you are interested in seeing what I have actually read this year, you totally can with January, February, and March. If you want to see how I track my books, that’s cool too with my Book Bullet Journal for January and February. I will be back later in the week with another post so until then I hope that everyone has a great time until then, I also hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.
I don’t know how we got here. I really don’t, it’s March, somehow. I read 15 books in February, only 14 made it to the last blog post because I finished the other one after the post came out, so I read it in February but it’s on this post. There is just too much some days.
I have literally a dozen books in my Amazon save for later cart because I am on a book buying ban until the end of April (I made it to the tail end of March, my bad), I’ve bought 14 books this year and it’s March. That’s a lot of books, I love books though and I am such a mood reader and BookTok doesn’t help. It doesn’t help one little bit.
I am starting this month off with a book that is not on my TBR, it was an extra add-on I got with Book of the Month. I am learning that I need to mix in extra books that I want to read in with my TBR books so I don’t hit the dreaded reading slump because no one needs that.
Well Met by Jen DeLuca (4.3/5)
I couldn’t put it down. I love a good rom-com and enemies to lovers; it’s a really good trope and I loved this book. It was super cute and super real. I read like 230 pages in one night because I couldn’t put it down and the rest of the series so far is in my Amazon cart because I want to read the rest of it! I loved the family angle and the Ren Faire angle so much, the handfasting bit was so fun and I love Emily and Simon, this book for sure gave me New Girl vibes and I was here for it! It was super cute and had me laughing out loud several times alone in my apartment. It’s a rom-com so it’s a little spicy, but tame compared to some of the books I read last month.
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (4/5)
This book came out in the 1970’s. I want to preface it with that, who doesn’t love an Arthurian legend though? I love Arthurian legend and this is a telling of Merlin growing up and it was really good. It was a lot to read but totally worth it. The next one is already on my TBR for next year, do I think I will complete the whole series? I am going to try. I pictured only the characters from BBC’s Merlin the whole time I was reading it because why not. There is so much in the legend and the canon of Arthur and his round table. I have The Once and Future King in my collection as well, I should have read that in high school, I didn’t, it was a mistake to not read it then but I didn’t want to. I’ll loop back around to it eventually. It was interesting seeing the origins of Merlin who is such an intragyral character in fantasy, the idea of him spans much further than the legends themselves.
Teacher Misery by Jane Morris (4.3/5)
I am a teacher, this book was hilarious, it hurt so much at some points though because it is so true that it’s pathetic and it came out before the pandemic! Like I cannot imagine what could be added if the pandemic was included. There were so many things that had me laughing but also nodding and shaking my head because apparently it is not uncommon for things that I have seen or heard that happen in schools happen in more than one place and that seems a little ridiculous. TeacherTok is a real place that I have found myself in and we are all going through it y’all. This book was hilarious, real, and I wish I could say shocking, but it wasn’t. It was a reflection of the current state of our education system and while I love teaching, I love my kids, and my school family, but some days you just want to sit at your desk and cry because it’s overwhelming at all times anymore. Please check in on your teacher friends, we are not okay.
Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma (4.4/5)
This was my March Book of the Month so this one has its whole own dedicated post. I am going to brief overview it here, but if you want to know my more in-depth feelings on it you can check that post out when it does, I will link it here so you can read it if you want. It was cute and I enjoyed it a lot, it had a lot of interesting topics and fun moments. A little spicer than I am used to when it comes to more of the romantic comedy genre. It was a really fun book though and if you are looking for a cute enemies to lovers and fake dating rom-com, this one is for sure something that you might want to look into.
Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz (2.5/5)
I didn’t like it, actually there were no redeeming qualities for me when I read this book. I bought it when the movie came out because I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. I never saw the movie and this book has been in my collection since like 2013. Maybe I would have liked it more then, but now, it gave me all the icky feelings. Like it was boring, the drama was predictable and annoying, and the ending was terrible. Like I didn’t like the main character at all, I feel like I should, I feel like I should have felt bad for her and everything she went through, I don’t. I am angry about this book, like this is the closest I have gotten to DNFing a book since like 2016. I put off starting this book for almost a week and read another book instead. It wasn’t good. I normally say that not every book is for everybody and I do still think that. A lot of people liked this book, I was not one of them. Normally I can find qualities in a book that I like, this one had none for me. The relationships and friendships felt forced and unnatural, the plot lines were a lot and not in a good way, and I found myself skimming sections because I didn’t care to read them. Most of the time I at least kind of recommend the books that I read; I don’t recommend this one. This is one that will be leaving my collection at the end of the year and I won’t be sad to see it go.
It Devours! By Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (4/5)
I have been an avid listener of the podcast Welcome To night Vale for a long time, I actually need to catch up on it because I loved the series and then I stopped listening to podcasts. I forget them, sorry, my bad. This is the second novel from that universe and this one was a little weird; in Night Vale though that is 100% par for the course. This focused-on Carlos and his band of scientists trying to figure out why pieces of the town are being devoured. The Joyful Congregation of the Smiling God makes a large appearance, that was fun. I was not a huge fan of the ending to be completely honest, I liked the rest of it, it was a lot of fun. Violent, but a lot of fun. Just the end made it a little less cohesive, also I like happy endings and it really wasn’t 100% that. It was fun though and I will eventually read the third novel, I just have to get to it.
Sword of Destiny by Andjez Sapkowski (4/5)
I mean, I like The Witcher Netflix series, it’s fun. I started reading it because my best friend was obsessed with the game, at the time she had played something like 1,300 hours and that to me is insane, more power to her. I have played something like 500+ on Animal Crossing so I understand that better now. It was good collection of stories, some that were in the series already and a few that I would like to see in the series in the future. The one with the mermaids was fascinating, I will say this, they are different than the series for sure. Some are closer to what you see on screen and some are vastly different. I am excited to read the actual series and I will probably read it later in the year when I am done with my TBR.
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero (4/5)
This took me days to read. It was good, Scooby Doo meets Supernatural. It was weird, I am going to put it that way, it was just weird, but it was fun. I enjoyed reading it, I am on vacation so I didn’t read it like I should have. There were a lot of comments on Kerri’s hair, which was really weird. The whole book was really weird, it was a good weird though. Like I wanted to go back and re-read things but I didn’t, it was interesting though and I did enjoy it. It was written a little strangely which was okay, again, the book is strange. I feel like I want to say more about it and I really don’t know what to say about it though, I enjoyed the book, that’s the bottom line, it was just a little odd and I can’t think of any more synonyms for it.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (5/5)
I couldn’t put it down and it’s like 600 something pages. I get why the internet gives one of the characters a not so nice nickname, I completely understand I swore at him a lot throughout reading it. I want to go to the Night Court; I want to be there and I loved all of those characters that I have been seeing on the internet. The imagery is stunning and I cannot wait to read the next one. The end, it broke me a little, actually it broke me a lot, there was swearing, almost tears, and just heart break; absolute heartbreak even though we all know there are more books in the series. If I was reading these when they came out, I think that the waiting for the third one would have killed me. I love Rhys, that should shock no one I always go for that type in books, he’s a lot, but in the best way.
Well there you have it, I only read nine books in March, there is one that isn’t on here because it was for One School One Book and we read Frindle.
I for sure wanted to read more in March and I expected to because I was off for a week with Spring Break but we traveled and it was like 2000 something miles in the car and I can’t read in the car. So, I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to.
My goal in April is 10 books, I think, I had a much more ambitious goal but I don’t see that happening because I didn’t read all the ones I wanted to read in the month of March. That’s okay though, reading 15 in February was an unsustainable.
If you are curious what else I have read this year, you totally can and see what I read in January and February. This list will grow and grow as the year goes on and I am looking forward to it.
I hope everyone has a great day and I will be back soon with another post! So, until then stay safe, happy, and healthy.
Let’s Keep Track Shall We?:
General Fiction: 3/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission,)
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 4/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny)
Historical: 4/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, )
Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)
Free Choice: 5/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, )
Memoirs/Autobiographies: 1/2 (Buffering and )
General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)
Book of The Month: 3/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, )
Extras: 8/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, )
Here we are with another Book of the Month review and this one was over 400 pages, that is such a long book, but I enjoyed it so much. It was really interesting and this will probably contain spoilers because I read like 200 pages in a day and that’s just where I am at the moment. I wasn’t going to write this post tonight but here I am; I was also not planning on finishing the book tonight, but again, here I am.
This book had an amazing story spun throughout with the almost Highland feeling with all of the spirits and the warring clans on the same island. I feel like I just read something similar with warring clans and I have read ten books so far this month and it’s only the 16th so I don’t actively remember at the moment because my brain is falling asleep and I am the sleepy tired.
I loved the magic system in this book, using the spirits and the enchantments through tangible objects was so interesting to use as a mechanic. I love legends and myths and this weaved those elements into it so well. I also loved that all of the magic and enchantments seemed to be through skills and careers and that is again so cool.
It is part of a series and according to Goodreads the next one comes out in December so I will hopefully be reading it in December because the cliffhanger had me wanting to throw this book across my office. I am in pain and I don’t like books that leave me at a cliffhanger and leave me in pain.
This book did take a while for me to get into it, it was for sure a slow build. The first hundred pages or so had me wondering if I was even going to enjoy it and then it got good. It flipped between perspectives and it was done so well. I just read another book that shifted perspectives and it didn’t feel necessary. This made the story, this one multi-dimensional and I enjoyed it so much.
The dynamics of the characters and their lives was so cool, I loved all of the family elements in this and I am wondering how the ending of this book will affect all of those relationships into the next book.
I really liked the characters and all of the threads woven together where their lives overlap. I thought it was all going to be told through Jack’s perspective but I was glad that it wasn’t.
Brief summary of the plot, Jack a Bard is called home by the Laird of his island of Cadence because little girls are going missing. He finds out that the Laird wasn’t the one who called him, it was the Laird’s daughter who was Jack’s nemesis when they were children before he was sent to the mainland for school. Let’s be honest they are enemies to lovers and that’s fun. They are considering trade with the West of the island who they don’t get along with and the Heiress wants that trade to begin but the Heir of the West is…I don’t want to compare him to a piece of anatomy, but he is (that makes sense when you read the book). Jack has the ability to call the spirits for the earth, water, and wind and they have to because those spirits have the answers they seek about the missing girls.
There are so many plot lines that snake together and it was so interesting and compelling after you get passed that first chunk of the book. Some people might be hooked from page one, I was not, I was hooked from about page 100 or so.
If you like fantasy, the power of music, and the Scottish Highlands aesthetic; this one is for sure something that might be for you.
If you want to see the other books I have gotten this year and my feelings on them, you for sure can because I love linking things to things, January was an adventure.
I will see everyone later in the week with another post, so until then, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.
Here we are again with another month and another set of books that I have read, again, I am doing this monthly so there will be less books on these than my posts of last year. There were so many in some of them last year and it was too much. If you want to read about the 9 books I read in January, you totally can.
I am hoping to shrink my TBR pile even more this month and read a few more books that BookTok made me order. I mean I am easily swayed when it comes to reading, so I bought six books in January because of BookTok…It’s a lot.
A Fate of Wrath and Flame by K.A. Tucker (5/5)
The second one comes out in July and I will be preordering it soon, like really soon. This was the first book that BookTok made me buy and it was because of one exchange. I bought the book for like four lines of dialogue. It was so good; I loved the spinning of the worlds and it was such a fun read. I laughed, I questioned my very existence, and I read 300 pages in one day. One day! I loved the story and the characters and it was just a touch spicy and it is for sure enemies to lovers and who doesn’t love that trope? I mean I really do and here we are. It was totally worth the 492 pages; it was so good I could not put it down. I cannot wait to read the next one because this one left off at a cliffhanger and I want a happy ending because I like books with happy endings and this was for sure only my second five-star book of the year. I saw people reviewing it that they didn’t like the politics in it, I didn’t really think that I thought that it added a layer of realism and intrigue to it, and the twist was something I kind of figured but it’s fine. I cannot wait to read the next one and see how this story concludes, or keeps going I am not sure if it’s a duology or a series, we’ll find out I guess.
Hot Vampire Next Door (Season 1) by Nikki St. Crowe (4.3/5)
It is rare for me to buy a book and read it in the same week, this was a novella and it is a serial on Kindle. I saw it on TikTok and it is spicy, a lot spicier than I usually read. It was really funny though and I didn’t really mean to read it but it was only 132 pages and I did, while finishing the book that is right above this one. I laughed a lot, I cannot wait to see where it goes in Season 2, which I will buy when it comes out in paperback because I don’t read e-books. I really should have a “TikTok made me buy it/or at least add it to my Amazon cart” post. Maybe down the road I will. It was a really fun little paranormal romance with so much going on. It was fun, it was sexy, and overall amazing.
And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander (3.8/5)
Three out of the last five books I have read have been historical mysteries and this is was my favorite of the three. I have had this book in my collection for probably nearly a decade, maybe not that long but who knows. I bought the 8thbook on clearance and bought this one after. I have not read any of them until this one, the second is on my TBR for next year and I might read it sooner than that but who knows. I loved the intrigue of this one, I hated Emily’s mother but that is modern sensibility as opposed to the Victorian morals. The story had me guessing until we actually find out who is guilty. It’s not a murder mystery! Which is super cool because I loved the fact that it was about stolen antiquities and I hated the person who was actually behind all of it from the beginning. I wrote in my book bullet journal in my thoughts section that I wanted to punch him. I am really excited to read the series. (Even though there are 15 published and the 16th comes out later this year.) I cannot wait to see what happens next in Emily’s life.
Twisted Love by Ana Huang (4.3/5)
Well, this is another book that BookTok made me want and I read it in one day and I read 100 pages in another book. It was really good and I could not put it down. I mean my reading tastes have for sure changed since last summer. I am going to be honest about that one, I don’t know why. It was hilarious at parts and absolutely broke me at others. It was so much, like so much and I could not put it down. Mind you it is currently February 5th and I already have four books on this post! That’s so many! I cannot wait to read the rest in this series since they are intertwined standalones. So excited for them, I cannot order any of them at the moment though (spoiler alert, I did order them…oops) because I promised myself that I would whittle down my physical TBR before I bought anymore and I bought 6 books because of BookTok in January and that is so many. Y’all, BookTok is a wild place, a really wild place and I have never had more fun reading.
Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight (3.8/5)
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this one. I really enjoyed it, I saw some mixed reviews and I need to stop looking at reviews. It was really cute and I have had it in my collection for a long time. This is one for sure that I don’t think I would have liked when I bought it but I read it in two days. This was the book that I read 100 pages in when I was reading Twisted Love, I read two books this weekend. It’s the 6th… I mean really. I need to stop devouring books this fast. It was a really cute story and so much. There were parts where I had to put the book down and laugh because I love a good rom-com. I was a teenager and into college at the height of the rom-com movie phase. There is a lot of talk about death in this one but it was good and showed that dealing with grief is not a linear and straightforward thing, it can take a long time to get over. It was a powerful story and it was fun, super fun.
City of Lost Dreams by Magnus Flyte (4/5)
City of Dark Magic is one of my all-time favorite books and I should have read this in like 2016 when I read the first one but I didn’t want to finish the series and here we are six years later and it didn’t have the same magic for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the book. I called the plot twist early on though, and for me that’s odd. The ending left me a little underwhelmed because it just felt too sudden and almost too peaceful for the rest of the book and even the one before it. I loved the time travel mechanic and who doesn’t love a sarcastic immortal dwarf. It’s a good book and I need to go back and reread the first one. I loved it so much when I read it and it was a good duology.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (3.5/5)
Well, this book got so hyped last year and it was a lot. I enjoyed it to an extent but it is not my favorite. The fact that it was told through the eyes of what felt like 30 people was a little much for me and the ending was lacking. It just kind of ended and it was very odd. It was a fine book but it was not my favorite. It was an interesting story and it only took me three days to read and that’s pretty normal for me. I read it, I liked it enough, but it not going to be a top ten read this year. It was just a lot and all of the family drama was interesting but a little much for me as a reader.
A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova (4/5)
I read it in two sittings because I couldn’t put it down, the blurb on Malibu Rising I wrote yesterday to give you some context. This was another book that TikTok made me buy, I don’t even remember what enticed me to it. It was real cute, like real cute. It had very strong Beauty and the Beast vibes which I was totally there for. It was predictable in the best ways and there was a moment there were I was thinking that it wouldn’t end happily and y’all know your girl almost threw it across her office. It was such a fun read about learning and being in a new place and how sometimes you find what you are looking for when you aren’t even looking. It was a touch spicy, just a little and that’s fine. I really enjoyed the magic in this story and I will be reading the other books in this series when I get a chance to order them but I am putting myself on a self-imposed book buying ban until at least my birthday (except my BoTM) because I really need to stop buying books and then neglecting the books that I own and need to read.
Hot Vampire Next Door (Season 2) by Nikki St. Crowe (4/5)
It was really good, I read it in about an hour literally the day it showed up at my apartment. There were for sure some parts where I would urge you to read the content warnings. I had to stop reading for a minute an collect myself because I was in shock, let’s just say if you are averse to blood… I wouldn’t recommend it. I cannot wait for Season 3 and I could read it on the Kindle but I don’t like eBooks, I never have. This book left off on a soft cliffhanger, I don’t want to call it a hard cliffhanger but it’s still a cliffhanger. I want to read the rest of it. I love the characters and the story is absolutely bonkers. I mean it’s really bonkers but I am really enjoying it. It’s spicy and I mean it, well, it’s spicy for me. I know people who can blow through a lot spicier content than me with a straight face, I will sit and blush like an idiot. That’s just who I am as a person. Seriously, TikTok made me buy it and that’s just apparently who I am at the moment.
A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross (4/5)
I was not planning on opening this document again tonight, I did though and here we are. I have been reading this through the last two books so here we are. I really enjoyed this one and I wrote a whole post on it because it was my February Book of the Month. So that will be out next week at some point so I am not going to go into heavy detail here. I enjoyed it and the next one doesn’t come out until December so that’s a bummer.
The Fine Print by Lauren Asher (4.4/5)
I even liked the epilogue in this one and everyone should know by now how much a detest epilogues. I could not put this book down and I am reading a non-fiction at the moment as well so I needed a break from that. I loved this book; the concept is amazing and well I mean it’s a theme park that feels very much like a certain mouse themed park and that was a fun thing. Rowan is so grumpy; I love the grumpy/sunshine trope though so that was fun. I really liked how there were some tough topics discussed and that was so important to see in a book like this. It’s spicy, it’s real spicy. I cannot wait to read the second one though and that comes out somewhere near the end of the month, which is next week and I am really excited for it because let’s be real; I love series like this that focus on one group or family apparently.
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor (4/5)
This was a gift from my step-grandmother when I graduated from high school in 2010. At the time I thought it was an odd gift to give someone at 18. Now at 29, I see the value. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology and reading this book made me remember and realize how much of my time as an undergrad was spent trying to chase the high of positive psychology. This book was great, it’s non-fiction which for me takes a lot longer to read but the contents of it were fascinating and I am going to try and implement them in my real life. It’s a lot, it’s so much trying to be happy at work somedays but we all try and we all want to do better (at least I hope that’s the case). It was eye opening to read this book that was published in 2010 that it still holds true because we went through another crisis and I feel like most of us throughout the pandemic have been living in a constant mode of crisis and uncertainty. It’s a good read if you are interested in psychology and I know that Growth Mindset is on my list of books to buy and has been for years. We are allowed to be happy in all aspects of our lives, it just takes time.
Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire (3/5)
I didn’t really enjoy it and that is okay. I have had this in my collection for years and I was hoping it would be much more fantasy and much more about the nutcracker than it actually felt like it was. I didn’t really like the pacing; it was just a little weird for me and it wasn’t a book that is for me. That’s totally cool because it is for someone else. I just didn’t jive with the story and the style of it. I thought it was interesting but it was just odd in many aspects and jarring in others. It was just weird. I don’t really have anything else to say about it, it just wasn’t my favorite.
Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford (3/5)
This book has been in my collection for a long time. I liked the idea of the BBC in its infancy, there is a lot of espionage and I didn’t know that one of the characters was a real person. Not until the end. I expected very different things from this novel. I liked the character of Maisie, but there were a lot of things that I didn’t particularly enjoy. I know men treated women like this back in the day, but man, I wanted to punch things reading parts of this book. I expected more radio, less fascism. It was a lot and it just wasn’t for me and that is totally okay. I have read 14 books this month, and I have read almost 25 this year, we are bound to find a few that aren’t for me.
I didn’t expect to read this many books this month, I read 14 in December and this post is just as long or longer which is insane. I have trained myself to read like 100 pages a night and some nights that goes by super-fast, sometimes it takes me a long time. I had some highs and lows this month in my reading because some of my TBR books are just things that I am forcing myself to get through. I don’t DNF, I just don’t because what if it gets good ten pages before the end and that makes it all worth it? Will that actually happen? No, but do I think maybe someday it might? Maybe.
I have no idea how I read so much this month besides a few AMI days and books that I just couldn’t put down. I think on average it took me something like two days to finish each book which is insane and a breakneck pace that I cannot sustain. I need to not condition myself to do this because I will be finished with my TBR by the summer and I don’t need to be.
I cannot wait to read some of the books that I have planned for March and I am going on a book buying ban until my birthday so I cannot buy the four or five books that I have sitting in my Amazon cart, I need to get off BookTok because it’s one sentence and I am buying a book, which honestly seems a little insane; but here we are.
Well with all of that I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!
Let’s Keep Track Shall We?:
General Fiction: 2/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, )
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 1/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, )
Historical: 4/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, )
Thriller: 1/2 (The Alienist)
Free Choice: 3/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, )
Memoirs/Autobiographies: 1/2 (Buffering, )
General Non-Fiction: 1/2 (The Happiness Advantage, )
Book of The Month: 2/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, )
Extras: 7/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, )
Honestly, I saw this idea scrolling through TikTok really early on Sunday morning and I had never really thought about how I rate my books and how subjective ratings can be. I rate books different than other people and other people rate different than me and that is really interesting.
Since I have been reading and rating a lot of books lately, I think I need to go over my rating system because I never really thought about how I rate books, I just rate them and then move on. My ratings might straight up depend on my mood while I am reading the book and that has to be okay.
I am a mood reader so while I am working through my TBR my scores tend to be lower and that’s not fair to those books, but if I didn’t give myself a TBR I would never read half the books I own and that seems even worse.
I also rate on a sliding scale, I rate books whole numbers and decimals depending on how much I like them because I hate straight whole number ratings, do I rate just whole numbers? Of course I do, but I also rate .1-.9 as well.
1 Star (1-1.9):
I don’t think I have ever rated a book at a one that I ended up finishing. This rating is for books that I have DNFed and the last book I DNFed was Gossip. I also rated Crimson Peak a one as well because that book was a lot and I originally rated it higher and then reevaluated because I couldn’t. I finished it and didn’t pick up another book for several weeks. A one start rating for me is really rare because I usually only pick up books I think that I am going to like and I am a little more selective now than I was at the time. One stars for me are the books that give you that feeling in your stomach that something is wrong, that you just need to put the book down and leave it down.
2 Stars (2-2.9):
I rated three books last year in this category because they were hard to get through, they were all classics and that’s fine. I didn’t enjoy them. 2-star ratings are pretty much just as rare as my 1-star ratings because I am selective. Usually 2-star books are just not well written or they have subject matter in them that should have been a trigger warning. There are very few books outside of the classics that I have rated 2 stars. I rate classics like that because they were really dense and I slogged through them, I don’t like taking months to read books because I am annoyed. The classics also need to be listened to and I think if I listened the audio books, I would like them a lot more. A 2-star rating for me is that feeling of creeping dread, you know something weird is going on but you don’t know what it is.
3 Stars (3-3.9):
Most of the books I read fall in this category. They are good, they make have a few things that I don’t really like but they also have things that I really do. 3 Stars is kind of my catch all because it’s average. I don’t like to rate below this benchmark because I know how hard writing is, and what might be for me may not be for someone else and vice-versa. Most of my TBR books end up here which is totally fine, I just finished Malibu Rising and gave it 3.5 because while it was good it was a lot and it moved too fast for me to keep up, also the ending left me feeling unfulfilled. It was a good story and a great idea; it was just not 100% for me. A 3-Star rating gives me the ups and downs, it makes me smile and feel for the characters, and it makes me want to keep reading.
4 Stars (4-4.9):
These books are amazing, I don’t give many 4- and 5-star ratings so if a book is 4 stars it means that I really enjoyed it. It means that I couldn’t put it down and I loved the story, the characters, and everything else about it. Sometimes these books are books that make me feel so much. Like I read a lot of books and most of them do not wow me. To get a 4-Star rating the book has to wow me, I have only rated a handful of books 4 Stars this year. Last year when I got to mood reading, I rated a lot of them 4 Stars and that is because they made me feel a lot of things. These are the books that I devour in just days or a day, if I read the whole thing in a day, it’s usually in this category. I know that a lot of reader like to put books in this category and if you look at my GoodReads list I rate a lot more books a 4 than I actually do because I cannot do half ratings, so if I think it’s 3.5 or over, I rate it a four. Is it always a four? No, but if I can’t rate it by half or decimal then I have to go with the closest whole number. (#TeacherProblems)
I rarely rate books 5 Stars, I can count on about seven fingers the books that I have rated five stars since the beginning of 2021, I don’t rate books this highly often because this means that they blew me away. These are the books that I want to reread as soon as I put them down, these are books that have touched a part of me in my heart and in my brain where only a few books get to live. I know that 5-Stars seems like an unattainable rating and for me, it kind of is. These are books that go on my trophy shelf in my bedroom, they don’t get packed up at the end of the year with the rest of my books and that is really cool. There are some 4-Star books in there as well. These books take you for the ride of the book with them, they transport you to that world and you feel like you are there immersed with the characters, these are the books that I recommend to people, or buy for people even though they may not like them and it breaks my heart just a little bit when people don’t like my favorite books, it’s subjective and I know that.
So that’s my rating system, pretty much in as many words and I can describe it. I hadn’t ever thought about justifying my rating system even though like half of my posts at the moment are about books because that is a big part of my life right now. I had a weird week at work last week and this post will come out two days after Valentine’s Day so just know that I needed to make a list. Work wasn’t bad, my kids were being a lot, but other things happened that made it a good week and I am hoping that as you are reading this I am having a good week out here in academia.
So, until I see y’all again with another post on Sunday, I hope that everyone has a great rest of the week and I also hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to reveal what books I unhauled in 2021, I usually don’t unhaul books. It’s just not who I am. I usually keep every book I buy, well since I moved from Indiana. I got rid of a lot of books when I left Indiana because books are heavy.
I changed my mind on revealing which books I am saying goodbye to and will be donating as soon as the opportunity presents itself for me to get to the used bookstore. It’s been a busy beginning to 2022. I have gone and pulled other books from my collect for people I no longer support or books that no longer serve and I don’t want to have in my personal collection. I am trying to build a collection, not a library. Though I would love a library, that’s the dream but I digress.
I unhauled ten books that I read last year. I probably could have unhauled more but I didn’t want to get rid of any of the Book of the Month books that I got, I have about three that I could unhaul and not feel bad. One day, I will.
This is just going to be in brief. They are not in order because there isn’t really an order besides the order that I read them in. These books just aren’t for me and that it totally fine, they will find their way to someone who will love them when I couldn’t. If you liked these books, cool, I love that for you; they just weren’t for me. Not every book is for everybody and that’s fine, that’s what makes us people, we are allowed to disagree.
I think I unhauled most if not all of the historical fictions I read off my TBR last year, that’s a little strange, but here we are.
There is nothing against any of the authors on this list, I have written 17 books, (Published none of them because I am terrified of what I am doing at the moment, someone not liking it and telling the world.) so I know how hard it is to bare your soul on paper and have someone not like it. Art is subjective, it’s not for everyone and these just weren’t for me.
There are so many books that I love, it might just be these books, I might love other books written by these authors because a few of them have repeats in my collection that I am still trying to get through. Not every book is for everybody, I want to scream that from the rooftops and I felt it needed repeating before we get into the meat of this post.
So, which of the 77 books I read last year am I unhauling?
West of Sunsetby Stuart O’nan
It was a good one time read. I enjoyed reading a fictionalized version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s later years. It was interesting but not something that I want in my forever collection. I have read plenty of historical biographical fiction and while I liked it, it wasn’t my favorite so I am unhauling it so someone else can enjoy it.
Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
Again, I enjoyed it as a one-time read. It was really interesting to learn about Westinghouse, Edison, and Tesla during the race to light the world with the electric light and bring power to homes with electricity. It’s fascinating, but not for my forever collection. I bought this book probably in 2014 or so and that is the case for a lot of my books, I buy them and then don’t read them because I am a mood reader.
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
So good, so powerful, and so poignant. World War 2 fiction is fascinating to me. I love that this is semi biographical but not at the same time. It was such a good read and I could not put it down. This again though, is a good one-time read and not one that I want to keep forever. It will be so good in someone else’s collection.
The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber
I liked the subject matter I just hated how it was written, I don’t like reading a whole book in verse unless it is a play and those are meant to be performed. I skimmed this one, there is no shame in that and I just needed to let everyone know that. I didn’t enjoy this one, that’s my own fault because it says ‘in verse’ on the back of the book, I just missed that sentence.
All is Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant
Very Hallmark, that’s about all I remember about it. A baking competition and a love story, every predictable. I read it in January or February of last year so I don’t really remember much of the plot and that tells me that it didn’t leave an impact on me and it will bring someone else a lot more joy than it brought me.
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
I thought it was going to be more about Degas, if we are being honest. A lot of the books that I am unhauling are historical fiction. This one was just a lot for me and I enjoyed most of it, but not all of it and that’s totally okay.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
There were no quotation marks and that took so much away from this book for me because it was hard to follow. It was also just weird, like super weird, I think that her brother turned into furniture because he was sad? I had no idea because I was so lost while I read this book, or struggled to read this book.
Soulless by Gail Carriger
If I would have read it when I bought it, I would have probably read the whole series, I enjoyed it as a one-time read and it would have been fine as a standalone but I didn’t like it enough to keep it or continue the series. It was an interesting concept, I enjoyed the read, but it was not for me in my current reading habits.
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
I might have read this whole book in a day; it was that or two days. It was a fine read, it was basically a rom-com, it was predictable. Which is totally fine, I love predictable sometimes but nothing in this book really stood out to me. I don’t actually remember much of it, which is not great. I have a pretty good memory for most things but if I don’t really like a book or it’s fine, I don’t remember a lot of the plot…oops.
Dream London by Tony Ballentine
Another one that I probably would have loved the series, it’s sci-fi, which I usually like. It was just weird and that’s okay. I liked it when I read it, I truly did but it is not something I want in my permanent collection. I got concerned at the ending and that was what threw me into unhauling it. I know there are more in the series but I have no interest in reading them.
Well, there it is, ten books that I got rid of from my collection. I gave my top ten might as well give my bottom ten as well. I already have a list of books that I am unhauling so far this year because when you read over 5 books in a month that you have owned for several years you are bound to find some that just aren’t your scene anymore.
That’s the thing about being a mood reader and buying books when you are in the mood for them and not reading them because your TBR is so long, they get lost in the cracks and then you pull them out 5 years later and you don’t like them anymore. That’s alright, I love to read and I love to read a variety of books because they amuse me. I will pretty much read anything, or at least try and I am so much of a completionist (yes, I am aware that is not a word, but that’s who I am) that I do not ‘do not finish’ books, I haven’t not finished a book since like 2016 so I get through them, because maybe the last ten pages will make the other 300 worth the read. I don’t know.
This post was hard to write, it’s repetitive and I will link the original blurbs to all of them when this is posted so you can see in the moment what I thought about them, not several months removed. I read something like 20 books in November and December and all of them except a few were mood, so all the books that I unhauled were from my TBR. I need that to be clear. All ten books came from my original 45 book physical TBR, these are books I am going through to make sure I want them in my personal permanent collection.
This post was a long one, sorry. I hope that everyone has a great rest of the week and I will be back later in the week with another post. Until then, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.
There are for sure going to be spoilers in this review so if you don’t want to know anything about it, I would skip this one.
This book started slow, I am not going to lie, I finished it in two days though and the second half went from 0 to 60 in like ten pages.
So we start on Maui with Lux and her boyfriend Nico who seem like a really solid couple, Nico is hired to charter a boat out to a deserted kind of spooky island and they go with Brittany and Amma. It’s a lot, like so much. They meet up with Jake and Eliza on the island and they party for like a week or two. Some stuff happens and then like everyone is dead. It shifts between ‘now’ and ‘before’ and all of these timelines and story lines all weave together. Everyone has something to hide and that is made clear throughout the novel itself.
Going from 0 to 60 so quickly made it a really slow build, I wasn’t really sure if I liked it until about page 200 or so out of 309. Like I feel like a lot of it was a little cliché for a thriller novel, I am not saying that’s a bad thing but everyone is sleeping with everyone, it’s kind of like Clue but with a lot more swearing. Like there is so much swearing in this book. I swear a lot in real life but not in writing, there is just something really permanent about it that I don’t really like.
I can see this for sure being made into a movie, it feels very cinematic and that is really cool. The imagery was really good but I was left with questions, so many questions.
(HUGE SPOILER!!) For example, how didn’t Amma recognize Eliza as Chloe, did she change her look that much? I was really confused by that when it was revealed unless I just missed the part where she realized it was her and never said anything, I was confused.
I just wasn’t surprised when Nico kind of turned into a not so nice guy, I liked him at the beginning but when you get all of the “Now” perspective from one character you don’t get to know what everyone else is thinking. All of the “Before” perspectives were from different characters but the “Now” was all from Lux’s point of view, it was an odd shift from knowing how everyone got there to just knowing one person’s thoughts and feelings in the present tense of the book.
The ending for sure left me unfulfilled it was very odd, everyone but Lux dies and she just leaves, like she killed two people and then she just goes and doesn’t look back. Everyone kills someone and it’s just a little odd and everything at the end happened really quickly. I really did feel like the book gave me a little bit of whiplash.
I liked it though, do not get me wrong, I was gripped and I read all of it in two sittings, I would call it a beach read because you can get through it so fast. If you like an island thriller where literally everything goes wrong, I would totally recommend this one for you.
The “In The After” epilogue was a little weird and honestly it left me with more questions, like what’s going to happen to Caroline? It’s implied that it’s Lux that she goes off with but that’s where it ends. It left me with more questions than answers about the book itself and it was kind of thrown in there for me, but most epilogues are.
I liked the book, it was a pretty good book, I cannot be upset about it, I would love to see it as a movie because I think it would be fun. I know that this was the best choice for me this month with Book of The Month and I will be looking forward to next month’s choices at the end of this month.
I am only going to tag the current year’s posts but you can click on the “book of the Month” tag and see what I read last year.
I will be back later in the week with another post so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.
Something I learned last year was that I read a lot of books. A lot more than I usually do and I enjoy reading, I always knew that. Here’s the thing though; I only had six parts to this series last year because I did it every other month. There was a problem with that, some months I read 3 or 4 books or 9 but in December when I read like 14 and that means that my longest post was either part 4 or part 6 and that is a lot of books to cram into one post when I know it’s a lot to read. You can still go back and see what I read last year and proof that once I finish my TBR I solely become a mood reader is proved at the end of the year, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.
I am 100% aware of how long those posts were and I was not expecting to have posts that long. I was expecting to read 45 books and then I read over 70 and here we are in another year and this year my TBR goal alone is 50, plus my 12 Book of The Month books, and any other books that I want to read throughout the year so I have a lot of books planned this year. I know people who can read 100 books in a year and that boggles my mind.
So, this year I am going to be doing monthly posts about my reading habits. Y’all are going to be seeing a lot of book content and that’s just where I am right now. I love the fact that my blog while is lifestyle, lifestyle can literally be anything so here we are, on brand, on theme.
Like last year I have some TBR pile goals and I am going to do the break down first and as always there will be a tracker at the bottom because by now y’all know how much I love to track like everything, well I like to track things that probably aren’t super important to most, but I enjoy it. I am also keeping a Book Bullet Journal this year and you can see some of the content of that in the Intro post I did that is linked just above.
What do I plan on reading this year? Most of the books that are in these categories come from my current collection or books I bought in 2021. I have a lot of books and I am trying to dwindle my current collection before buying more. I have had a lot of them for a long enough time that they aren’t really my genre faves anymore, so I might as well read them and unhaul them if I don’t enjoy them.
Fiction: This is my largest category because let’s be honest, I read a lot more fiction than non-fiction and that’s just my scene so it’s okay.
– 10 General Fiction, this has not changed from last year, I just doubled the number of books in it and that is going to be a common theme. I also feel like when you say general it’s more contemporary or whatever I want to read that doesn’t fit into other categories.
– 10 Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, most of them are fantasy and about half of my planned Free Choice this year are also fantasy. It is very clear to me what my favorite genre outside of cozy mystery is.
– 10 Historical Fiction, self-explanatory, I have a lot of historical fiction in my collection and I have for a while so reading them sooner rather than later is probably a good idea on my part.
– 2 Thrillers, I actually really liked reading thrillers last year, but I don’t have enough in my collection to want to read more than two.
– 14 Free Choice, this is my flex category of books that I want to read that I can’t or don’t want to fit into a category, I thought this would be mostly cozies, but I ended up picking up several books last year that I really want to read as well as leaving some spots open for books coming out this year that I am waiting on.
– 2 Autobiographies/Biographies/Memoirs, I just like to read about people, usually about people who I find really funny and this year is no different.
– 2 general non-fiction, one is a teaching related book the other is something fun and that is just want I want with non-fiction.
Book of the Month:
– 12, I mean, it’s going to be 12 there because that’s how many months are in the year, so it’ll just be my 12 BotM books.
Let’s get started! Also, this year because I am a literal idiot and didn’t do it last year (I might go back and augment every single post with the ratings), I am going to put my rating next to each book because why not?
Midnight Spells Murder by Mary Angela (3.5/5)
This was the Once Upon a Book Club pick for Halloween of 2021, I got it on New Year’s Eve because well, shipping is awful right now and I didn’t want to wait to read it. It was a quick read, not my favorite cozy but the gifts that came with it were super fun. I probably will write a whole post on it at some point. It’s the second in the series so I was just a touch lost but it was good. The ending felt rushed to me which is weird for a cozy but this one was only like 203 pages which is also on the short side for books that I usually read. That is all fine, my longest book this year is like 700 something pages from my TBR so here we are. This one was a little magic and it was fun.
The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman (4/5)
Well, I read The Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable in like 2016 and it is about the same apartment in Paris, I was a little worried when I realized that this was the same context because I didn’t end up really liking The Paris Apartment. This one was amazing; I loved the story how it switched by Marthe from the 1880’s to the present of the 1940’s and Solange who is her granddaughter living in the 1940’s. My favorite thing about all of this is that it’s a real place and a real painting that was discovered in like 2010 which is super interesting to me. This story was complex and vivid and I really enjoyed it throughout my reading.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (5/5)
I could not put it down, I read half the book in one day and it kind of broke me. It broke my heart just a little bit like all the best books do. I loved this book, I want I Remember You tattooed on me, I loved the characters and the story so much. It hurt, so much of it hurt but this book is one of those that will go on my favorite shelf. I love the writing style, the imagery, and how real it all feels to be trapped in the world where someone doesn’t remember you. I get it. I totally get it and I would love to read it again without knowing how it ends. There were so many moments where I was holding my breath and yelling at nothing because of what was going on. This book wrapped me up like a hug, a hug that is just a little too tight but you don’t want to let go because it feels good because you just need a good hug.
Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins (3.6/5)
I wrote a whole post about it and that will come out next because this was my first Book of the Month book for 2022, it was good, a little beach read thriller that went from 0-60 in like ten pages and left me with a few dozen questions. I am not going to spoil it but it felt very much like Clue to me but on a deserted island in the Pacific not a manor house.
The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne (3/5)
It was cute, I enjoyed it but I guessed the ending about 45 pages in. Which is frustrating because it hit a lot of those cliches and I walked into this book really looking forward to it and if I would have read it in 2014 or 2013 when I bought it; I probably would have been head over heels for it. It’s not so much that anymore, a prince to come and sweep you off your feet and then pretty much give up whatever for you. (I did that like touch because normally it’s the other way around.) I cannot judge a book in 2022 standards that was written in 2012 and it was cute but it left too many threads undone for me. It was made very clear that her sister had done something but you don’t find out what that is until about 45 pages to the end, maybe later and I felt like that rushed it, that it was just thrown in as a plot point. Her being normal, not super thin, a little weird, all of those were plot points to be almost mocked and I understand because of the royal aspect, but that was a lot for me.
Buffering by Hannah Hart (3.5/5)
I bought this when it came out and I watched a lot more YouTube at the time, I also loved My Drunk Kitchen. My tastes have changed since then and that’s okay. It was a good book, it talked a lot about struggling with mental health and as someone who deals with that one the daily, I get it. I have moved away from certain creators on the internet and that’s totally cool, I wanted to get it read and I did. This is just a book that’s not meant for me and that is also okay. It’s meant for a lot of other people and I hope those people find it.
Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto (4/5)
This book was good, it was a lot though. I love a good time travel book and the crack in the wall very much reminded me of Doctor Who. I was totally cool with that. I did like all the twists and turns and everything that happened throughout. There was a huge plot twist that made the end of the book worth it, I was for sure going to say that I didn’t like the ending but it wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed the read and I did like how it went, it ended happily and its own way. It was a really quick read and that is not a bad thing but there were moments where I was slightly confused, also really sad.
In the Shadow of Paris by Claude Izner (3/5)
I was so confused, it’s my own fault because this is not the first in the series. It’s a mystery and it was fine but I know very little about 1890’s Paris. Also, the perspective shifted so many times I was getting lost. Not every book is for everybody and I know that, this one is not really for me. It was fine but I had no idea who did it until it was very suddenly revealed and I was even more confused because I just wasn’t keeping up with the story. I couldn’t keep up with who was talking at some points because there would just be a paragraph space and it would switch perspectives only to switch to someone else a page later. Not my favorite book and that’s okay. I could go back and read the rest of the series but I don’t want to, it was just a little too much for me.
The Alienist by Caleb Carr (3.6/5)
I wanted to watch the series so bad when it came out because it sounded so cool. I enjoyed the book it was just dense like a lot of turn of the century based literature is, it was written in the 1990’s so it’s not like it’s that old. It was a good story with compelling characters and I enjoyed it. It was a lot, but most books are a lot. It was a gruesome story for sure and that threw me for a few moments but this book took me almost a week to read. For me it’s usually about three days to read a book but this one took some time. It had some amazing treatment of mental health and psychopathy from that time period, not a lot was known about the human brain and reading it through the lens of today it was fascinating.
I was hoping to have one more on here, but that was just not the case. It will be the first one on my February post and it’s a good one. I promise, if you are into fantasy and murder plots, it’s for you.
I only read nine books in January, I mean compared to last January I think I only read three or four, I shouldn’t complain about reading nine books but I have seen people on the internet who read like 20 in a month and I am like “How?” I also have a full-time teaching job and you know writing that I do so I don’t have the undivided attention that some people do for reading. I also don’t have the attention span or the want for sleep deprivation to stay up all night and read books anymore like I did when I was younger.
This post was supposed to come out sooner, but I wanted to try and finish a book and then we had some snow so I wasn’t home to take the pictures, so this is coming out later than planned, oops! I also was not home because it snowed so I was snowed in at my parent’s house and this idiot didn’t take any pictures before she left her apartment, so it’s quite a bit later than planned!
I will be back later in the week with another post so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.
Let’s Keep Track Shall We?:
General Fiction: 1/10 (The Runaway Princess)
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 1/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
Historical: 2/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris)
I cannot believe how many books I read in 2021, it is really almost twice as many as I usually read and that to me is insane, honestly and truly insane. I cannot even really begin to narrow it down to my favorites. So maybe this post shouldn’t be called ‘top ten’ it is more of a list of books that I wish I could read again for the first time because they were so good. Now you might be saying, ‘well the title is favorite’. I know, I changed it because it’s not a list, it’s just a recap of my favorite books of the year and I don’t want to rank them.
I read several series this year so I am not going to count each book in my top ten. I haven’t completed some series though so I am just rolling with it at the moment until I do finish them, or await the next volume in the series because they aren’t out yet.
These are in no particular order and there may be some spoilers, I don’t know yet if there will be or not. I am starting this at the beginning of December because I have the time to start it now, but I still have almost ten books on my TBR for the rest of this year. I have so many and I will only have more next year. That’s why every month is getting their own books post, it’s just easier for me that way and then the posts won’t have so many books on them.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I mean, I wrote a whole paragraph about this in February when I read the book because it was amazing, I think this was one of my only five-star books of the year because it was so good. She weaves these amazing fantastical worlds that I want to get lost in. The Night Circus is one of my all-time favorite books. This one was amazing and I absolutely could not put it down. The multiple perspectives that all thread together makes it amazing and so much fun to keep up with. It’s vivid and I could not put it down, if you like fantasy and a magical library with a dark past and a society of people trying to make sure that it goes dormant then this one is for sure for you.
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (the entire series so Stalking Jack the Ripper, Hunting Prince Dracula, Escaping from Houdini, and Capturing the Devil)
I have read six of her books this year because she is a phenomenal writer and her writing style is imaginative and vivid and again, this was a series I read all of them this year starting in April and finishing the series itself in October. Like I said in that post, I will one day re-read the entire series and I will tab it, I am really bad at tabbing but I am trying with re-reads. This series though is one for you if you like turn of the century true crime, badass female lead, and twists and turns throughout London, Romania, a steam ship, and Chicago this series is for sure something you should look into.
Seaside Café Mysteries (series) by Bree Baker (the series so far so, Live and Let Chai, No Good Tea Goes Unpunished, Tide and Punishment, A Call for Kelp, Closely Harbored Secrets, and Partners in Lime)
It is literally and legitimately no secret that I love cozy mysteries I read two of these books in a day each. I can devour cozy mysteries and I feel no shame about it. The next one doesn’t come out until April and that means that I just have to wait. I love Charm and the character of Everly is so much fun. The mysteries for sure take a little bit of a darker turn than usually a cozy mystery heroine faces, like there were near death experiences more than once in this series and that was a little jarring. Also, several of the killers have been female which for a murder mystery is not super common, the series is a lot of fun though and I am kind of unhappy that I have to wait because I read through these so fast. This is the exact reason that I am doing a TBR because otherwise I would just buy half the cozy mystery section at Barnes and Noble and not read any of the other books that I own.
A Darker Shade of Magic (the series) by V.E. Schwab (the first two, so, A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows)
I have not read the third one yet, that is on my TBR for next year but I have not read it yet. So, no spoilers on the final book, I don’t want to know how it ends. I want to read it next year and enjoy it without spoilers. This series is one that has been on my TBR since about 2018? Or so. I honestly can’t remember when I added it to my TBR but I know that I am looking forward to and dreading reading the third one because then it’s over. This is the series that I have tried to tab, it went okay for the first one and then I couldn’t stop to put anything really in the second book because it was so good. I love the world of the different colored London’s, it’s fascinating to use a multidimensional travel scenario like this. It’s super good. (Yes, I know that is not a great sentence, but here we are and it’s staying.) I love the characters and the world building and I cannot wait to see how it all ends in A Conjuring of Light.
Kingdom of The Wicked (the series) by Kerri Maniscalco (both books, so Kingdom of The Wicked and Kingdom of The Cursed)
I for sure am writing this post in sections because that’s who I am as a person and I finished these books super quick. I loved Kingdom of the Wicked and got sucked into Kingdom of the Cursed so fast that I could not put it down. I love Wrath and Emilia. I love the seven realms and everything that happens in the second one. So many plot twists. I am so excited for the next and final one to come out next year. The world, like the Stalking Jack the Ripper series is vivid, but this one is super magical and amazing. I feel like I am talking like a middle schooler as I talk about books I like. I don’t get to do it very frequently, so, here we are. The second one is a little spicy, it may not be for some readers but for me, it was.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
I watched the mini-series first and loved it, this book has been in my collection since before we moved to Arkansas, so it’s been in my library for at least four years if not longer. I loved the book, the series stuck pretty close to it and that made me so happy while I was reading the novel. It was a book that I read really early this year and then watched the series again because I wanted to. I wrote an entire blog post about the series and if you want to read that, you totally can. I love the characters and the pacing of the book itself because it is a week to the apocalypse and it needs to be stopped by an angel and a demon who are both so extra.
Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian
This was my first Book of The Month and it was so good; it was one of those books where it hooks you in from the first line and then doesn’t let go. The first line talks about her drowning and I was hooked. There is mentions and instances of suicide and that’s not fun. It is a retelling of King Arthur’s court and it is phenomenal. So many twists and turns for characters that are so familiar to all of us. Merlin is shady in this one though, which is a departure from the normal mythos so that was fun. I spent the book thinking of the characters like the BBC show Merlin so that was amusing.
The Ex Hex but Erin Sterling
Fantasy and Romance, I loved this book, I wrote a whole post on it in November because it was my October Book of the Month, it was a really fun read and I saw someone online say it had no plot, it did. It was magic and a curse all started with a Bath and Body Works candle and too much alcohol. It was just so fun. I spent a lot of time laughing and a lot of time wondering what I had gotten myself into. I liked that magic kind of cohabitated with normal life in this one as well, it made the world feel much more real.
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
At the beginning of the year if you would have told me that two rom-com/romance books would be on my top ten list I would have laughed at you. Then I picked this book up and I regret waiting so long to read it. I read it in one day because I could not put it down. There are some tropes in this book that I actually really enjoyed and when the book was one of the September selections for Book of the Month I considered it, but the romance tag and the fact that they tagged it ‘salacious’ gave me pause and I read Rock, Paper, Scissors instead. I am so glad I got this one as an add-on for December though because it was amazing. It did get a little spicy, again for me, for most people it probably isn’t that bad. I loved it though, it had me closing it every few pages to silently laugh, so good.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I wholeheartedly blame BookTok for my want to read this and then I read it and I get the hype, I cannot wait to read the next one, I will probably go out and buy the rest of the series at some point soon just so I can have them when my fancy strikes me to read the next one. It was so good and felt very Beauty and The Beast to me, I loved the characters and all of the vivid imagery that were provided in this book. It is a slow start than then it gets so good. I have seen enough through BookTok that I know there are things that come up in later books that will make me dislike a character I currently like, (do not spoil it anymore for me!) If I could I would just read the rest of the series before going back to school at the beginning of January but I have met me and I need to sit with this one for a while before moving into the next one. (For some reason every time I am writing next in this post the next word that my brain wants to type is morning. I mean, writing problems?)
There it is, my favorite books for 2021, I am writing this on Christmas but I don’t think I am going to have another book that can match up to this list and if there is there will be 11 on the list not ten.
I read so many books this year, finally tally is: (insert number here), my goal at the beginning of the year was 45. I found a bunch of books this year that pulled me out of a reading slump that lasted years. I love reading and it’s an expensive hobby, but it’s better than a lot of other hobbies I could have. Reading also makes you a better writer and I have written quite a bit this year, nothing like during 2020 because you know, lock down, but I am excited to really dig into my TBR list for next year because 2022 promises to be fun when it comes to what I am reading.
I can’t wait to do this post again next year and see what else I loved throughout the year.
I will see everyone later in the week with another post and until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.
Yes, I do want everyone to start singing the song that corresponds with the title of this blog post. I cannot believe that 2021 is coming to a close, I am starting this post at the beginning of November with my first book after I finished my part five post.
If you want to see what else I have read this year, you totally can, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5. I will be doing one post a month next year because some of those posts were super long and I want to have less lengthy posts next year. I am trying and it’s going to be a lot, I am already planning blog posts for next year, so here we are.
This one is super long! I mean it’s really long and I’m sorry. I was not planning on reading like 14 books in December, but here we are and I am sorry.
This might contain spoilers so if you want to read the book skip the blurb.
I bought a bunch of extra Book of The Month books because I have a book problem, it’s an expensive hobby, but it’s a lot better than other hobbies that I could be into.
Like the last post in this series, I am hoping for about a dozen books (I was wrong and I am sorry!) on here and that will include the last two classics I have to read this year and that is the end of my TBR which is really cool, I just have to read them.
Circe by Madeline Miller (4/5)
Well, I read it in just a few days, I really enjoyed the book as a whole. Who doesn’t love Greek myths? I read TheOdyssey in high school so hearing about a character that had a hand in that myth. It was easy to read and I spent a lot of time turning page after page because I couldn’t put it down. This was the Book of The Month book of the year in 2018 and this is one of those books that I have been seeing in Barnes and Noble for years and have been thinking about reading it. I am glad I did; Circe is such a multi-dimensional character and I loved how her story was told. If you like Greek myths, some feminism, magic, monsters, and some crazy situations; this is for sure the book for you.
No Good Tea Goes Unpunished by Bree Baker (4/5)
This is the second in the Seaside Café cozy mystery series and I didn’t need to start a new series this year but I read the first on in a day and I read well over half of this and finished it the day that I am writing this blurb. I love the characters of Charm and (spoiler alert) the two killers have been ladies, which I feel like for cozies and real life, not as common and I loved it. I have a character now that I really don’t like, but we aren’t supposed to like him. We don’t root for him, at least I don’t. I cannot wait to read the next one and I probably will before the end of the month. I have my Book of the Month book and another book or two to read first before diving back into Everly’s world. Seriously, this book was so fun and I cannot tell you how much I am loving this series so far.
The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker (4.3/5)
I wrote a whole post on this. It was really good and I cannot wait to read the second one, there were a lot of twists and turns with some really amazing and vivid imagery. If you want to read the actual post about it you totally can because it’s already posted so if you want to know more about this book then I suggest you click on the link here and go over and read that one!
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco (5/5)
I read it in two days, I could not put it down. I know that this book made it’s rounds on TikTok but I picked it up because I have read the other series that Kerri Maniscalco wrote which was Stalking Jack the Ripper, I read the entire series this year because it was also amazing. This one was vivid and amazing. Wrath and Emilia make such a great team and the ending made me want to keep reading so I will be going to Barnes and Noble tomorrow and picking it up because I really want to read it. I love stories with family, magic, a curse, and the sometimes blurring lines between light and dark. It pulled me in from about chapter two and I could not put it down. I read half of the book yesterday and the other half today. Lots of blood mentioned and murders so if you aren’t cool with that, I would skip this one, but honestly, I wouldn’t skip it, it’s amazing. Apparently the second book is spicy and I don’t know how I feel about it but with the plot of this one, I want to read it.
Tide and Punishment by Bree Baker (4/5)
This is exactly why I chose to do a TBR this year because otherwise it would be a lot of cozies, and while I love cozies, I can go through them in two days if I have the time read. Spoiler alert, another lady killer. That I kind of predicted when I started this because of the pattern from the last two. I love Charm, I also really love cozies so there is no shock that I love a small town with a fun heroine who has a really close family. I also love Hallmark movies so it should shock no one. I am already excited to read the next one and that will be shortly, I just want to read some cozies because I haven’t gotten to read many this year because of my TBR. I am still doing a TBR next year and cozies will be threaded through the list as well as at the end because I will have the time with no real plan on reading or a list to go on. I cannot wait to read the next one and see where it goes from where this one left off.
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides (3/5)
I am going to preface this with not every book is meant for everybody and that is totally cool. This book was fine, I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I felt like I was reading about three different books at the same time. There are a lot of what felt like throw away moments, and holy mother of plot twists Batman. I don’t think I mean that in a good way either. Like I did not see the ending coming, well I kind of did I made a joke early (super spoiler) what if her dead husband was the murderer and I wasn’t super off. It was a lot, I cannot describe how much of a lot that it is, it was a really interesting premise of making someone feel like they are insane, it just wasn’t one of my favorites and that is totally okay. I have read 60 books this year, I am allowed to not be head over heels for all of them. I am also pretty new to reading thrillers for fun and again, not every book is for everybody. What I like and dislike are very different from what other people like and dislike and we can all agree that books are great, but there are books that are out there that may wow us while other people dislike them and vice versa. It’s okay, this one was just not for me in my current life stage and in my current reading and genre habits, and that is okay.
A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker (4/5)
Can y’all tell I am pretty much finished with mt TBR for the year, look I found all the cozies. I was not planning on opening up this document for the second day in a row, but here we are. I read this in one day (I’m on Thanksgiving break, so I have the time.) It was really good; I love the story and the characters and the very near-death experiences that Everly finds herself getting into. This one was really good and (spoiler alert!) the killer in this one was not a woman which I was cool with. This one for sure did keep me guessing the whole time I was reading it and I am a sucker for a good relationship. I love the built relationship of Everly and Grady, it’s so much fun. Seriously, read the whole book in one day and I need to stop doing that, but here we are anyway. I’m also now rooting for the person that I didn’t want to root for when he was introduced in the second of the series (No Good Tea Goes Unpunished) I like him now that he is not a potential suitor. I am reading at least another book or two before I read the next one in this series because if I don’t, I will read four books this week and I just don’t want to. Seriously amazing series though, if you like cozies I would for sure give this one a try.
Last Summer at The Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland (3.6/5)
Another Book of the Month add-on because I have a problem. I liked this one. It’s all about family and how secrets can rip a family apart. It reminded me of Not a Happy Family, but with less murder. I read it in a day and a half because I just needed a second full day of reading during my Thanksgiving Break. It was fun and it was a good story, it took me some time to get into it but when I did, I couldn’t put it down. There are so many tangled relationships and family drama that is evident throughout that it felt like I was watching a movie and I for sure would watch this movie. I wish the dog was in it more though, he felt like an afterthought and that was a little weird. I completely forgot for a while that he was even a character in the story and then he disappeared? I’m not really sure maybe I missed something but it was a fun what a lot of people call a beach read.
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (4.9/5)
This is the second in the Darker Shade of Magic series, I loved it so much. I read it in like four days, I think. I know that’s not super quick but I have read enough books this year that I wanted to actually savor reading a longer book instead of blowing through another one. This one was amazing, I loved the Element Games, the dynamics shifting, and all of the characters that were featured. I cannot wait to read the next one, and it is on my TBR for next year so that’s really exciting. I love the characters and I will be reading a few V.E. Schwab books next year including A Conjuring of Light and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. There were so many twists and turns in this book and it left me on a cliff hanger, I have had so many cliff hangers this year and all I want to do is read the next one; like right now. I am not going to read it right now because I want to space out my reading. If you want to see what I thought about A Darker Shade of Magic, you totally can. Also, I still want Kell’s coat, I think that was such a cool idea.
Closely Harbored Secrets by Bree Baker (4.3/5)
Seriously, I told y’all that there would be a bunch of cozies throughout the end of the year, and there sure are. I literally just ordered two more because I have a problem. Some people love romance, I love a good cozy mystery. This one was amazing; I figured the killer out in this one most of the way through the book because I binged like 250 pages in one day. Again, I have a problem. Everly and Grady are probably one of my top five cozy mystery couples. They are amazing and this book really showed that they are meant to be, no spoilers. I loved the little add ins of the ghosts and the unraveling of a centuries old story. It was so good; I could not put it down and I found myself smiling through most of the book even though for a certain part I wanted to throw it against a wall because I was upset with a certain turn of events. I cannot wait to read the next one and then have to wait until April for the follow up. I really do hope that this series is nowhere near completion because I need some Sun, Sand, and Tea in my life.
Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco (5/5)
I am going to preface this one with, I should have tabbed both of the ones in this series, when I do my re-read I will, because there were lines in this one that had me rolling with laughter and I want to go back and read them over and over again. This was a little spicy, I will not lie about that but I could not put it down. I cannot wait for the final installment in the trilogy with the cliffhanger this book left it on. I loved all the princes and all of the crazy twists and turns in this book. I read it in like three days just because I have to be a person. This one is one of my top books of the year because it was just so good. I would suggest this series to anyone and everyone, the imagery is amazing, the characters are amazing and sarcastic and I love them, and the world building it is amazing. This for sure is a lot of moral grey area and it’s so fun. I laughed so much while reading this and I really do regret tabbing this book; next time. I rarely re-read books but some of the books I have read this year for sure deserve a re-read in the future.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (3.5/5)
I love pretty much every retelling of this story and I finally read it. Half of the Christmas movies that I own are retellings of this quintessential Christmas novel. I read the whole thing in like an hour. It was only like 68 pages for the Dover Thrift edition so it was not a hard read. I don’t know how it’s taken me this long to read it because it’s one of those things that is so much a part of our popular culture that I have no idea how I haven’t read it before now even though I have heard the story over and over again in cartoons, in TV shows, and in films.
Ariadne by Jennifer Saint (3.5/5)
This book was good, this is the second Greek mythos-based novel that is in this specific post since I started it with Circe. It was not my favorite book ever; it was good though. It got sad and I will for sure say if you are averse to mentions of suicide or the death of children, maybe don’t. It was a quick read when I actually got into it. I don’t really have much to say about it, it made me a little sad and a little confused and then there was some weird stuff.
The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox (3.5/5)
Do you want to read a Hallmark movie? This is for sure the book for you. I wrote a whole post on it that will be out at the beginning of January so if you want to know my more in-depth details on it, go read it over there. I have read 68 books this year so far and they can’t all be my favorites.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Volume 2 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (3/5)
I skimmed it; I feel bad about that but reading ten classics in a year was as mistake especially when two of them were over 600 pages. I love Sherlock Holmes but like I said with the first one; I should have read it as an audiobook. I will probably do that eventually, just listen to it because I think I would enjoy it so much more. It was a good book, but it was just long and I couldn’t find the strength in myself to read it completely all the way through. I skimmed and I hate skimming books because each novel deserves your complete attention. It’s Sherlock Holmes and the character and stories are amazing, but reading it was hard and I just couldn’t get interested and gripped by it like I do with most of the books I read. It is a masterwork of fiction, that is no lie, it just was difficult to get through.
Partners in Line by Bree Baker (4/5)
This one was really good, I for sure had moments where I wanted to throw it across a room because of Everly and Grady, I love them but I got mad a little throughout this one. I cannot wait for the next one to come out because I need to know what happens next. I loved this whole story and I honestly didn’t guess the killer until it was revealed and I love a cozy mystery where I am guessing until it’s all over. I love how her relationship with Wyatt has changed and progressed through this series because when he showed up, I hated him. This book shocked me at a certain point that I don’t want to spoil so I am not going to say it but I was upset. This one was a lot, it was a good a lot but it was a lot.
The Love Hypothesisby Ali Hazelwood (5/5)
I read it in pretty much one sitting, like I only took breaks to go to the bathroom, let the dogs I am dog sitting out, and eat; I could not put it down. This was one of those books that blew up and I could have gotten it for a Book of The Month in September, I got it as an add-on this month. I regret, whole-heartedly regret not reading it sooner. I found my new favorite funny book quote in this book and that is, ‘carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man’ I laughed so much while reading this book and it does get a touch spicy, but I could not put it down. It was fun and pretty much every other page through at least the first half of the book had me closing it so I could laugh silently or like a dog squeaky toy. I love a good grumpy and sunshine trope relationship and this one, it was so fun and so good. I loved the characters and just everything about it, it hooked me from the first page and didn’t let me go until I closed the book.
The Falcon Always Wings Twice by Donna Andrews (4/5)
I have been waiting to read this one because my Barnes and Noble just never got it, shame on them. The Love Hypothesis gave me a little bit of a book hangover so it took me like three days to read this one. It was good, I love all the characters in Meg’s world since I have been reading this series since like 2016. I have all of them that are out at the moment if they are out in paperback because you know that your girl like paperback more than hard cover if I can manage it. I loved the ren faire and I honestly didn’t figure out who the killer was until like a chapter before it was revealed, I had my suspicions but other than that, no idea. I hopefully will get the next one read before the end of the year as well because that’s just who I am as a person. The next book I am reading it a BookTok favorite so pray for me.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (5/5)
Well, I am way behind the times on this one but BookTok introduced it to me and here we are. I read most of it in a day, I just didn’t have the motivation to read and then it got good and I know why everyone loves Rhys. It is totally worth the hype with a very Beauty and The Beast feel mixed in with a mad queen and ridiculousness throughout. I could not put it down once I got into it and I feel like all of my favorite books this year have been fantasy. I have always loved fantasy and from everything I have seen on TikTok about this book I am for sure in for a rollercoaster. It took a while for me to get into it but when I did, man, I read from chapter 15 (pg 131) to the end of the book. So many twists and turns and so much going on, I cannot wait to crack into the second one at some point in the new year. I probably won’t wait to read it and that just means that the free choices on my TBR might be a little out of order.
Gift of The Magpie by Donna Andrews (4.3/5)
This one had a happy ending! I was so happy. Normally you don’t like the people who dies, I loved this book, it was so good and so happy. I love a good Christmas cozy mystery. I love meg and her cast of characters; I have been reading the books for years so it’s like a weird extended family and I love them. This one was back in Caerphilly and I missed the townsfolk that I have learned to love so much since I started reading the series. It’s number like 30 in the series and finding the earlier ones is hard if you want a physical copy, but it’s so worth reading like all of them because I love the characters and let’s be honest Spike, he steals the show constantly. I remember reading the first one and not knowing exactly what was going on, and now these characters are so familiar to me and they are all amazing. I read this one in one day and I am hoping to get like three more books read by the end of the year.
In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren (4/5)
It was cute, it was a Hallmark movie meets Groundhog Day, I read it all in one day. It was a super quick read but I wanted to keep reading it so I did. This was book 75 this year and I really rather enjoyed it, I was not sure if I was going to, but I love a good romantic comedy and this was a lot. I like the mechanic that she was reliving the same day or week over and over again trying to find happiness. It was really fast paced and so fun. The Epilogue, like the one in The Holiday Swap probably could have been left out, but that’s just me. I like a good wrap up but I also like the unknown when it comes to books, letting the reader make their own conclusions. It was a really cute book though.
Petals and Poison by Jess Dylan (3.5/5)
I read the first one earlier in the year and I honestly can’t remember much of it. It was a fun little book but the ending left me meh, it was kind of anticlimactic and that’s a little odd for a cozy mystery. I like the development of the characters and this is only the second book in the series. I know that the next one comes out next year and I’ll read it because I like the characters and the story. This one was fine, it was absolutely fine.
Absence of Mallets by Kate Carlisle (4/5)
I bookended the year with two of her books! That’s so weird and exciting. I love Shannon and I found myself really enjoying this ninth installment of her series. She’s a lady carpenter and that is so important because girls can build stuff too. I seriously have walked through a Home Depot and a Lowe’s and had guys ask me if I know what I am looking for and I just want to do the Ron Swanson thing from Parks and Rec when he says “I know more than you” sometimes. I loved the story and I still hate Whitney, this one had a lot of subterfuge but I figured out the killer kind of early on, so either I am getting better at picking out the killer or this one was a fluke. It was good though, a nice short read for my final book of 2021.
Can y’all tell by this post that I am 100% a mood reader? I read what I want to, that is 98% the reason that I have decided I have to do a TBR every year because otherwise I would not read any of the books I own. I would just read what I want and that means buying more books. While I will still buy all sorts of books (thanks BookTok) I need to stick to at least part of a list. I need to go through the books that I own and unhaul the ones I don’t want.
Speaking of unhauling, I normally don’t, normally I keep every book I read. This year because I read so many and I know that I will never crack them open again I am just going to get rid of them. I am not going to tell y’all which books I am unhauling but there are about eight from this year. I am not saying them because for some people those might be their favorite books and my favorite books might be ones they hate. We are all allowed to like and dislike books and stuff without hatred or malice, I promise. We all like what we like and that’s okay.
As I did last year, here is a picture of all the books I read this year except four, one that is my mother’s and is at her house, and three that I read at school. This is my Book Stack and I couldn’t put it in one pile without it falling over, so two piles this year. Spoiler alert about a minute after I took this picture the stack on the right fell over and half of it ended up on the windowsill behind it which was funny.
By the time that this post comes out, I had to move some things around so it’s the beginning of January, Happy 2022! I am hopefully halfway or completely done with my first book of the year.
I am hoping to hit 70 books again in 2022 but I am not holding myself to that goal, my TBR is at 50 so my GoodReads goal will start at 50 as well because then I can just go up from there. In like July of 2021 I told my mom I had another 20 books on my TBR and she questioned if I could do it (my mother reads a lot more than I do) and I took that as a challenge so I read almost 40 more.
Alright, I think that’s enough because this post is super-duper long and that is part of the reason that I am doing monthly next year not bi-monthly. Too much. I will be back later in the week with another post so until then, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!
Let’s keep track shall we?:
Classics: 10/10 (Alice in Wonderland, Tuck Everlasting, The Secret Garden, Dracula, The Complete Sherlock Holmes Volume 1, A Confederate Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Peter Pan, Frankenstein, A Christmas Carol, The Complete Sherlock Holmes Volume 2)
Historical Fiction: 5/5 (The Painted Girls, The Last Days of Night, The Marlowe Papers, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, West of Sunset)
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 5/5 (A Conspiracy of Alchemists, Dream London, Soulless, The Starless Sea,Good Omens)
General Fiction: 5/5 (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, Me Before You, All is Fair in Love and Cupcakes, Bridget Jones’s Diary)
Memoirs/Autobiographies: 2/2 (Yes, Please and Scrappy Little Nobody)
Non-Fiction: 1/1 (Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire)
Thrillers (one is non-fiction because I am an idiot, but it’s still thrilling): 2/2 (I, Ripper and Depraved)
Free Choice: 15/15 (Eaves of Destruction,A Wrench in the Works, Shot Through the Hearth, Stalking Jack the Ripper, Premeditated Mortar, Hunting Prince Dracula, Death in Bloom, A Study in Darkness, Escaping from Houdini, The Dalek Generation, Live and Let Chai, A Grave Matter, A Darker Shade of Magic, Capturing the Devil, Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
Book of the Month (late addition): 6/6 (Half Sick of Shadows, Not A Happy Family, Rock Paper Scissors, The Ex Hex, The Keeper of Night, The Holiday Swap)
Extra’s (books I read during my TBR and after I finish it): 21/21 (how?) (See Something, Idiot, A Tale of Two Cookies, Circe, No Good Tea Goes Unpunished, Kingdom of the Wicked, Tide and Punishment, The Maidens, A Call for Kelp, A Gathering of Shadows, Closely Harbored Secrets, Kingdom of the Cursed, Ariadne, Partners in Lime, The Love Hypothesis, The Falcon Always Wings Twice, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Gift of the Magpie, In A Holidaze, Petals and Poison, Absence of Mallets)