The last quarter of 2021 was a rough one, so I didn’t get as much done as I’d like. It’s not even done yet, but I already know that I won’t complete another book before the end of the year. There’s just too much going on, so my reading speed has been much slower than usual. Below are the few things I managed to complete this quarter.
It’s my favorite time of year, and despite how busy I’ve been lately, I am very happy because some wonderfully amazing things have been happening that I didn’t expect. I keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming about having achieved a major goal.
My plan was to bring the Christmas cheer to my blog by doing Christmas-themed book tags all week, but I wasn’t feeling well the past 2 days, so I wasn’t able to post anything yesterday.
BUT! I’m back in the Christmas spirit now, so I’ll kick things off with the Christmas Eve Book Tag — since it is Christmas Eve. It was created by booktuber Sam’s Nonsense, whose channel introduced me to Robin Hobb’s books. I found this tag over on Embuhleelist, my buddy-reader in all things Hobb — and now Joe Abercrombie, lol.
Christmas Eve Morning: What is a book you wake up excited to read? (It can either be one you anticipate reading or one you read in the past that you want to get back into.)
Velvet comic book series by by Ed Brubaker, illus. by Steve Epting
I’ve read the first and second volumes and would like to reread them and then round out the series by completing the third. It’s sort of a mystery comic book series about a woman working at a secret agency who’s framed for a murder. I enjoyed it and was hooked.
Here’s another Christmas tag that has been too long on my to-do list! It sounds like a cute one.
Santa Clause: A Gift You Received or Want This Year
The Deep by Mayur Vayeda & Tushar Vayeda (illus.)
I would LOVE to get a copy of this book as a gift, but I know no one will gift it to me, so most likely I’ll gift it to myself for my birthday in the new year.
This week’s topic:
Top 5 new authors of 2021
(Tell us all about your favourite new authors, either debut authors from 2021 or new-to-you this year.)
I met some great new-to-me authors this year who I’d love to read more from. Here are my top five.
At the top is Camilla Bruce whose In the Garden of Spite I read earlier this year, thanks to Mogsy and Tammy. The novel is a historical thriller about a female serial killer in the late 1800s. It’s slow paced but such a riveting read. Both my aunt (who I made read it) and I want to read more from Bruce, and I need to get another copy of the book to let my mom read it too (I gave my copy to my aunt).
Cue all the Christmas and winter-themed book tags I’ll post for the next two weeks because I found a bunch of such tags over the years and want to do them all! Ho! Ho! Ho!
I’ll kick things off with the Holiday Drinks Book Tag, which seems to have originated on the blog Browsing for Books, but that blog doesn’t seem to be active. However, I was lucky enough to find the tag over on Way Too Fantasy.
Hot Chocolate | Marshmallows and chocolate and whipped cream, oh my!
Recommend a book that’s sweet through and through.
Pandora by Victoria Turnbull
It’s a children’s picture book about a lonely fox who helps a bird heal and how the bird helps the fox feel less lonely. It’s a sweet read that I actually didn’t like much when I first read it, but I think I’d appreciate it more now if I should reread it.
I’m still catching up on discussing books I read in the late summer/early fall months, especially for the Magical Readathon. So, here’s another comic book I read way back then.
Assassin Nation, Vol. 1: Number One With a Bullet by Kyle Starks, illus. by Erica Henderson
The World’s Former Greatest Hitman hires the 20 best assassins in the world to be his bodyguards. These mean-as-hell hired guns and murderers must work together to keep the new crime boss safe, survive, and also attempt to solve the mystery of who’s trying to off him! (Goodreads)
Assassin Nation is an action comic book about a dude who was once one of the best hitmen in the world hiring the 20 best assassins to serve as his bodyguard because someone’s targeting him.
I read the first issue last year and thought it was okay. I wasn’t really intending to continue with it, but my curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to see how the first volume would pan out, so I borrowed it from the library when I saw it available.
When I started reading this, I was pretty sure I’d read it before or had seen parts of it on the internet. My memory felt foggy, but I had such a strong feeling that a friend had sent a link to the full thing on the internet years ago and I’d seen most of it.
Whether or not I did, I’m glad that I now own a copy of the book and enjoyed my time with it when I read it for the Magical Readathon.
Park Bench by Christophe Chabouté (illus.), transl. from the French by Jonathan Cape
With his masterful illustration style, bestselling French creator-storyteller Chabouté (Alone, Moby-Dick) explores community through a common, often ignored object: the park bench.
This week’s topic:
Top 5 covers of 2021
(What are some of your favourite covers that you have seen this year? Maybe these were reprints, redesigns or alternate covers that came out this year, or maybe they are brand new books.
Whatever they are, tell us all the pretties you have been coveting.)
I love a meme about book covers 😊 and I’ve been looking forward to one like this all year, lol! My favorite thing about December is looking back on all the things I read in the year and chatting about the best of the best.
Well, here are my favorite covers of books I read this year.
The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner
The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry is a gaslamp fantasy novel about a poor fire witch who lucks into the chance to make some money by serving as a bodyguard, along with other women, to protect a young lady from being assassinated before her wedding. I read this early in the year with Millie from Milliebot Reads and really enjoyed it. The protagonist is one of my favorites that I’ve encountered this year.
The cover of this novel is beautiful. For that reason alone, I was happy to have it on my shelves, but I was curious about the story too. I read Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic last year and liked it, so I was eager to try something else by her, and The Beautiful Ones had been getting lots of praise. So, when my book club selected it as one of our reads, I wasted no time purchasing it.
2017; repubbed in 2021
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.
Bear with me, y’all, as I catch up on posting about stuff I read since September. 😳 I learned about Hanrahan’s Gutter Prayer from one of Lashaan’s posts. Fantasy books about gods, religions, and beliefs intrigue me, so this one immediately sparked my interest and I started reading as soon as I could get my hands on it.
Black Iron Legacy, book 1
A group of three young thieves are pulled into a centuries old magical war between ancient beings, mages, and humanity in this wildly original debut epic fantasy.
The city has always been. The city must finally end.
When three thieves—an orphan, a ghoul, and a cursed man—are betrayed by the master of the thieves guild, their quest for revenge uncovers dark truths about their city and exposes a dangerous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.