Recommendations Book Tag

Here we are, Day 2 of BOOK TAG WEEK!!

For today’s tag, I’ll do the Recommendations Book Tag, which I found over on Jessica Favor. It was created by Ally Writes Things.

(The titles below are linked to my review, if I did one.)

A book about friendship

The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill (illus.)

These middle-grade fantasy graphic novels are about people who have tea dragons as pets. The tea dragons are miniature dragons that grow tea leaves from their horns. There are three books so far in the series, and they are all cozy, sweet reads that also focus on friendship.

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January Book Tag

Umm, so because I’m unprepared for the week, blogwise, I’ve decided to declare a BOOK TAG WEEK!! Yes, it’s time to partake in this wonderful bloggy holiday of mine.

Since January is still hanging around, I’ll do this January Book Tag I found on A Little But a Lot. The tag was created by booktuber Emma for Book Break, a YouTube channel by the publisher PanMcMillan U.K.

What’s a book you’ve read so far in 2023 that’s cheered you up?

Olympians, Vol. 1: Zeus: King of the Gods by George O’Connor (illus.)

Well, I’ve read a variety of things since the year started, but none of them was very cheering. However I chose the first volume of Olympians here, Zeus: King of the Gods, because it was a fun read and I think a great way to introduce kids to Greek mythology.

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2022 End of Year Book Survey

I do this tag every year, so here I go again with it, looking back on all the books I read last year. It was created by Jamie, the Perpetual Page-Turner.


Number of books read: 35

Physical: 25
E-books: 10
Audio: 0

Number of books reread: 2
(Which, wow! That’s super low for me since I OFTEN reread.)

Number of books I Did Not Finish: 4

Genre I read the most: Fantasy

Best book I read in 2022

Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Elder Race is easily the best thing I read last year. It’s a sci-fi novella about a lonely scientist at a secluded outpost on a planet, where he’s supposed to only study the inhabitants and not interact much with them. And it’s also about a princess seeking help from a sorcerer to defeat a demon terrorizing her people. We read from both characters’ perspectives, one which seems to be telling a sci-fi story and another which seems firmly set in fantasy. I loved the structure of this story and the emotional depths it explores.

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“How to Fail at Flirting” by Denise Williams

In recent years whenever the winter holidays begin to roll around, I find myself turning to romance, watching those cheesy Christmas romances on the Hallmark channel and reading a bunch of romance novels (which for me usually means just two). That was the case in 2022. And because I’d been battling reading slumps throughout the year, I was more than happy to be reading, interested in, and completing the two romance books I picked up, How to Fail at Flirting being one of them.


Contemporary Romance





Goodreads summary

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check… almost.

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“Ring Shout” by P. Djèlí Clark

This novella received a lot of praise when it was published, and I can see why. However, I procrastinated on reading it myself until it popped up as a pick for my book club. I expected to love it — and normally I would — but unfortunately, the reading experience didn’t go as I’d hoped.


Horror, Fantasy





Quick summary

Set in early-1920s Macon, Georgia, during the Prohibition era, Ring Shout is about a young woman named Maryse Boudreaux hunting demonic members of the Ku Klux Klan with her two friends.

The demons are attracted to the hatred that fills members of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were able to cross over to this world during a ritual that took place in November 1915, when The Birth of the Nation (a real and controversial film) was shown. Only a few people have the ability to see the demons, which disguise themselves as White men and are all members of the Ku Klux Klan.

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“Best Served Cold” by Joe Abercrombie

Emily of Embuhleeliest and I are working our way through Abercrombie’s First Law books; we completed buddy-reading this one in December. I liked the books in the First Law trilogy, but this one, a standalone novel set in the same world with some familiar characters, wasn’t as appealing.


Grimdark Fantasy


First Law



Quick summary

As the title suggests, Best Served Cold is a story of revenge. The famous and talented female mercenary Monza Murcatto and her brother Benna were betrayed and murdered by their employer and close, somewhat trusted, associates. However, death didn’t take to Monza despite her being thrown down a cliff (or mountain, someplace high). Angry and bent on revenge, Monza gathers up a group of misfits — the Northman Shivers, self-important poisoner Morveer and his assistant, a former member of the Inquisition named Vitari, the once-famous mercenary and now drunkard Cosca, a killer with a love of numbers called Friendly — to hunt and kill the eight men (I think it’s eight… or was it seven?) responsible for her murder, which includes Duke Orso, father of the new queen of the Union.

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“Kissing Galileo” by Penny Reid

Once again the romance mood hit as the Christmas holiday rolled in, and I found myself watching and reading more romance stories than I usually do (like two books, lol!). One of the books I picked up was the second novel in Penny Reid’s Dear Professor duology, as Reid is shaping up to be one of my favorite romance authors.


Contemporary Romance


Dear Professor, book 2



Quick summary

The second novel in the Dear Professor series focuses on Emily Von, a smart college student who works as a lingerie model. One day her research methods professor visits the shop where she works and sees Emily while she’s modelling a lingerie set; however, Victor Hanover did not realize that the model was his student.

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2023 Reading Plans

It’s a brand-new year and guess who’s feeling happy about it and refreshed and not slumpy at all (although, let me stop mentioning slumpiness so I don’t jinx myself).

Well, in addition to making “best of” lists and such, I enjoy making reading plans for the year, which is what this post is about. From my 2022 reading wrap up, I learned that making my reading goals manageable and not too ambitious is best. So I intend to repeat the goals I had last year, with a few tweaks thrown in.

Overall Reading Goals

Spend less.
Read more of my own books.

My plan is to read at least 10 of my own books before purchasing a new one (exceptions for series I’m reading and buddy-reads).

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Reflecting on 2022: Reading

2022 was quite a year. I suffered through several bouts of reading and blogging slumps that greatly affected my reading, resulting in me reading less books than I’d intended — even though my goal was to read 30 books (my intention is always to read much more than my intended my goal).

Having read a combination of 35 books, comics, and picture books in a year isn’t bad, but (ugh!) in some ways I feel a little dejected, especially since most of the things read were short, quick reads. I just want to one year read a whole bunch and have most of what I read be novels, preferably from my own shelves. Who knows, maybe 2023 will be that year.

Well, one of the great things about 2022 is that my reading slump lifted by the end of the year, so now I am in prime reading mode and have already completed a book! 😊 So since the reading excitement is still coursing through me, let’s quickly (sike, it won’t be quick) look back on my reading in the past year.


ZeZee’s Favorite Reads of 2022
ZeZee’s Most Memorable Reads of 2022
ZeZee’s Most Disappointing Reads of 2022

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Characters of the Year Book Tag | 2022

Hey, it’s Book Tag Thursday and this time I’m doing the Characters of the Year Book Tag, which I think was created by Amanda at A Brighter Shade of Hope, whose blog seems to no longer be around.

Favorite male character of the year

Sand Dan Glokta from the First Law trilogy
Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

I don’t think there was a male character who stood out to me last year, except maybe Glokta, who I also chose as my favorite male character of 2021.

Glokta is a war hero and was once a master swordsman, but his experiences during a war with the Gurkish left him crippled and in constant pain. He’s a bitter man who works for the Inquisition, interrogating people via torture, but I like him for his sarcasm. I enjoyed reading from his perspective the most.

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