Reading Update: September 2022

Reading Update: September 2022

Happy almost fall, almost spooky season friends! I love fall for reading, and I cannot wait for all these new releases in the coming weeks.

I have a very exciting and important announcement: I broke my annual reading record in August.

Yes, August. By August of 2022, I officially read more books in this calendar year than I’ve read in any other calendar year…

and there’s still 4 more months to go.

I’m up to seventy books as I write this, with a few more in progress. I cannot believe how much I’ve been able to read this year, and I have no idea what makes this year special. I literally doubled my book count over last year (which, if you ask me, was The Hardest Year of My Life, so I guess that adds up). Suffice to say I’m pretty damn proud of myself and I’m going to keep announcing it at all social functions, like a normal person would.

When it comes to the 52 Book Club 2022 Challenge, I’m still nearly just as stuck as last month. I’ve actually read enough to schedule reviews through the remainder of the year, but I’m going to have to shift things around to hit those last few prompts. Here’s what I still have left:

20. Related to the word “gold”

44. An anthology

47. Read during the month of November

Number 47 should still be an easy one, as it’s kind of a waiting game! My plan is still to read Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid for number 20 – even if they don’t select it for Book of the Month, it just sounds like something I want to read. My plan has been Goblin by Josh Malerman for number 44, but I’m open to suggestions, honestly.

When it rains, it pours: I’ve had so many new releases on hold with my library’s Libby app for weeks, and all of a sudden they’ve all come available. At once. Just in one week. So currently my docket there includes The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (loving this one…she is so talented as a writer. Huge fan), Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey, and I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. I’ve heard the last one is pretty heavy, but after watching a few interviews with her, I know I’ve got to read it. McCurdy’s portrayal of Sam on iCarly was a staple of my childhood, but I’m ready to see it in a new light. This sounds like a damn important book for her, and for my generation to understand in the larger concept of our own popular culture.

I also subscribed to Audible last month, and I’m using it to pick away at the books that have been on my tbr for the longest! So this month, I’m reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I remember adoring The Kite Runner when I was *literally a freshman in high school* so yes, this book probably has been on my tbr since 2014. It only took me eight years, but I’m going to read it now, I swear… *starts sweating nervously*.

I acquired a metric ton of new reading material in August thanks to Gibson’s August sale, so unfortunately, cut off one head and two more shall grow in its place, or whatever. My tbr is Hydra.

We’re getting there, people. The colder days and more reading time are almost upon us…

Have an excellent weekend ❤

Reading Update: August 2022

Reading Update: August 2022

I finally did it, friends: the reading updates are getting years on them now.

The Charmed Librarian has been back up and running full-time for over a year now! I’m wicked proud of that accomplishment, especially when it feels like thankless work – but in the end, I love having something so solid and consistent, that I built from the ground up, and can look back and reflect on from time to time. I love reading, and I love what all my reading has allowed me to build on here since 2019.

So, happy birthday, Charmed Librarian.

Sorry you had to see that.

As I write this, on the second to last day of the month, I read fifteen books in July. I can’t even believe that. I don’t think I’ve ever read that much in a month in all my years. That’s practically a book of every other day…insanity. And I don’t really know why, either; my schedule has remained consistently insane between multiple jobs and restarting my Etsy shop (shameless self-plug). Audiobooks definitely make a huge difference for my volume (six of the fifteen were audiobooks, which I can easily listen to at the same time as having another physical book going). Having my Kindle everywhere and anywhere has also been a help. I know some people really hate them, but I adore my Kindle. Maybe it’s not the same, but it’s hella convenient. Another five of the books this month were on my Kindle – which again, I can for some reason read while also having a physical book going.

Next on the agenda for this month: The 52 Book Club Challenge. I have just six prompts left, and one of them is 21. Published by Simon & Schuster, which I have already potentially filled with some books, if I move things around. I’m going to swap The Only Good Indians from prompt #1, to prompt #21, and fill #1 with Devil House. The other prompts I still have to go are:

16. A book you’ve seen someone reading in a public place

20. Related to the word “gold”

44. An anthology

47. Read during the month of November

and 51. The word game in the title

I have plans for almost all of these! Unfortunately, tragically, I basically never see anyone reading in a public place around here. However, the book list on Goodreads provides a myriad of selections that are primarily book club picks, including Where the Crawdads Sing, which sounds kind of awful but is *also* my local library’s book club pick this month as well. I’ve been wanting to attend that book club, as there is also alcohol involved, so I figure this would be a great way to hit two birds with one stone.

For #20, I’m thinking I might go with Carrie Soto is Back if that is in fact a Book of the Month pick for August…which the internet seems to think it will be. The book is about a gold medalist, and the whole cover is gold – so I think that’ll do just fine. For my anthology, I’m thinking Goblin by Josh Malerman, though I’m unsure if that counts. Any thoughts? I read anthologies are collected works by multiple authors, but this is an entire work by Josh Malerman that connects in the end.

#47 should be a walk in the park (just read *something* in November!), and for #51 I’m going with The Marriage Game by Sara Desai. That one has been on my tbr forever, too.

Now I just have to do all these things… home stretch!

I also finally read some of my Book of the Month picks in July! Neither were spectacular, but I liked them well enough. I get so excited when the new picks come out, and nothing is better than book mail. I can see why this is addicting. I’m counting down the months until I get my book BFF bag, with the book pocket. And that makes me feel absolutely ridiculous!

Here’s to another month of stellar reading! And maybe, some more stellar reads!

Adventures in Book Hunting: Volume 7

Adventures in Book Hunting: Volume 7

In Which We Have a Panic Attack in Gibson’s and Buy Books to Make Us Feel Better

I had a doctors appointment last week. Two, actually. Doctors appointments not only make me notoriously anxious, but it was raining. Heavy rain and/or thunderstorms make me very anxious. So. Thus the panic attack.

I had been waiting literally weeks to go to Gibson’s; I had a whole list of things coming out basically every week in July, as well as a full stamp card (good for 20% off your whole purchase when you use it!) so I was trying to wait until most everything was released, and I could go all at once to spend said stamp card. However, after falling ill *again*, *just continuously sick for like six weeks if we’re being honest*… *but I really hate going to the doctor*…I ended up at the doctor’s office several times in one week, in order to have a bunch of useless tests run on me. So naturally, I had to reward myself for a job well done by going to Gibson’s (and the following day, Target!).

I came armed with the list, as per the usual. On it this week were:

  • The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay
  • Dream On by Angie Hockman
  • Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee

It should be noted that like three of these were not even out yet at the time that I made it to Gibson’s. 😦 I was off by a day for Just Like Home and The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, and Booked on a Feeling didn’t come out for yet another week.

So my only hope was to get the first two on my list, and luckily, they were both in stock, because Gibson’s is the absolute best.

The worst part about this trip was that it was absolutely POURING outside and as previously mentioned, I *cannot* with the heavy rain. I had to drive around the block twice just to get a spot, and I was lucky enough to get one right in front of the building…but the parking meter was therefore very far away from my car, in the rain…and I had to make the very difficult decision to not pay for my parking (sorry, city of Concord) and just pray that no cop wanted to be out in this weather, either. The whole time I was inside, I was stressing about this, as I should be – so I didn’t spend nearly as much time browsing as I typically would!

Fortunately enough, in the romance section and right in my line of sight was From Bad to Cursed, by Lana Harper: the sequel to Payback’s a Witch that I absolutely adored earlier this year! I had no idea it was already out, so that was my bonus book for this trip. I was honestly even more excited for that one than I was the other two.

Here’s my whole haul, sans rain:

I already digested The Pallbearers Club, and yes, it is just as weird as you think it is. I was left unsure how to feel about it, because I think the writing was top notch, but I still dragged through it. I liked it, but also I didn’t. I’m sure that helps inform your reading choices, hahaha.

Dream On looks so stinkin’ cute; I wasn’t going to read it but that cover has me.

We’ll see how that one goes!

So after a ~complete panic attack~, I left with three books, no parking ticket (!!), and some peace of mind. Thanks Gibson’s ❤

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Reading Update: July

Reading Update: July

I suppose I should probably start putting the year on these reading updates? I must have done at least a year’s worth by now!

It’s July which means SUMMER READING IS HERE!! And given that this is the first full summer I have not been a librarian myself, I am playing to win. I signed up for summer reading last week and plan to dominate. My old coworkers have been scaring off the other adults with the threat of my participation. This. Is. My. Year.

Of course, that also means trying to make time in my busy schedule to go down to the library and log books to begin with…but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

I usually tend to read more in the summer and less in the winter, but the past couple seasons haven’t been like that. Here’s hoping I can still keep up with the insane pace I’ve set for myself this year. As of the end of June, I’ve already read 43 books toward my goal of 52 this year – 18 books ahead of schedule, according to Goodreads. 43 books is already eight more books than I read all of last year! I read nine in June alone, though very few stuck out as great ones. I loved My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey (obviously), but everything else was *meh*. I’d like to aim for a bit more nonfiction in July, as well as cut through some of my tbr currently residing on my shelves at home. June was a good month for that, too. I got through Fumbled, The Five Love Languages Military Edition, and The Book of Cold Cases. This month, I’d like to get through Cricut Maker, The Last Time I Lied (the only Sager I haven’t read yet!), and The Paris Apartment, if I can.

I fell out of touch with my audiobooks in June, too. I usually get through most of my reading by taking advantage of audiobooks, but I just wasn’t here for it this month. I’m getting tired of boring narrators, especially when the stories are so good. The only audios I listened to this month were Written in the Stars, Misery, and The Book of Cold Cases. I started a couple, but didn’t end up listening to them all the way through because I was so bored with the narrators. That’s a problem I’ve not had in a long while.

July will also see the first week or so of my being alone for four weeks. Nate and I tend to spend time together in the evenings by watching movies together, or our favorite shows (Wednesdays are kind of our night, with shows like Kenobi and Moon Knight). This takes up time that I would’ve spent reading in a past life. I’m curious to see how much reading I get done when I’ve got to fill all those evenings alone! Rewatching Stranger Things is also on my list, though, and that’s not something Nate will watch with me. Maybe that’s the time to do it.

I think that will about do it for the reading update! I can’t wait to give you the results of summer reading next month, and regale you of my awesome prizes. 😉

Book List: My Most Anticipated Books for Summer 2022

Book List: My Most Anticipated Books for Summer 2022

I love when these particular lists come around, because it’s an easy out for thinking too hard. It’s always hard to narrow down what I’ve already read for a list, but naming things I want to read? Easy peasy. I’m all over it.

I wrote up a book list earlier this year naming all the books I was excited to read for the first half of 2022; and I was all set to address the second half in its entirety… but there’s tons coming out just this summer that never even made my original list. Because of that fact, I’ve decided to just hit the coming summer 2022 reads!

Let’s do it!

My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey

Tessa. Bailey. Is writing. A murder mystery?!? *Cries in bibliophile*. I NEEEEEEEED ITTTTTT! No but seriously, I’ll read anything this woman writes but especially this. After discovering a corpse in the bedroom of their vacation cabin, our heroine meets a brash bounty hunter out to catch the killer, and they form an epic sleuthing duo. This murder/romance sounds like the perfect book to bring on my vacation later this month, for a taste of all my favorite genres in one sitting. This “the grumpy one likes the sunshine one” story is everything I need! My Killer Vacation will be out June 6, 2022.

The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay

I JUST discovered this one when looking through the upcoming summer releases by authors I’ve read, and I have to say, this sounds like it’ll be a good one. As I reflected on in my review of Survivor Song, I think Tremblay has clear talent, but the apocalypse genre wasn’t the right one for him. 80’s slasher-type deal? Definitely. And that’s the direction this seems to be taking; it sounds like it will be ripe with violence and gore, which I don’t usually like, but thought Tremblay did exceptionally well in Survivor Song. This sounds like the book that will give me a better idea of how I like him as a writer. The Pallbearers Club will release July 5, 2022.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This one has been on my list for soooo looonggggg. I would kill for a copy of this right now. After Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night, I’m kind of hooked on Moreno-Garcia. Frankly, I wasn’t even sure what The Daughter of Doctor Moreau was about before writing this paragraph, I just hit the “Want to Read” button on Goodreads so fast… but really, it sounds like a return to the dark fantasy elements I loved about Mexican Gothic, with the moral and ethical drama of Velvet Was the Night. Monsters and shady characters: this is going to be a good one. The Daughter of Doctor Moreau will release on July 19, 2022.

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey

I’ve yet to read anything by Sarah Gailey, actually, primarily because it typically leans more heavily toward fantasy, but Just Like Home will make its home in the horror genre. I’ve heard plenty of good things about Gailey, and this particular novel comes with recommendations from the staff at Gibson’s – so suffice to say, I need it. This book will follow our main character Vera as she returns to her family home…the same home her father, a serial killer, hid his crimes, and where they will come back to haunt her. Just Like Home will also release July 19, 2022 (looks like I’ll be needing July 19th off, amiright?).

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

I actually thought, when headed to the bookstore the other day, that The Kiss Curse was already out. I was all prepared to buy it, only to discover I’d be waiting another few months to get it. This late fall release will be the sequel to The Ex Hex, which I sort-of enjoyed but also had a lot of constructive criticism for, frankly. I need more witchy content and less bitchy content, lol. However, I’m more excited for The Kiss Curse because it follows Gwyn, Vivi’s cousin and an awesome supporting character from the first book. I liked her much better and see very few ways this could be screwed up, unless Sterling completely changes her snarky and sassy character. The Kiss Curse will be on shelves September 20, 2022.

Well, my reading tastes are anything but refined, but that will make for an excellent summer of reading.

Very excited for these! What are you most anticipating for this summer? Which books will be hitting the beach with you?

Have an excellent weekend!

Adventures in Book Hunting: Volume 5

Adventures in Book Hunting: Volume 5

In which we spend gift cards at Barnes & Noble Newington!

Happy Friday, people!! The weekend cannot come soon enough.

This past Sunday during the holiday weekend I had the pleasure of visiting my most local (if you can believe it, 45 minutes away) Barnes & Noble to spend a gift card from my awesome parents, for helping them purchase their home (real estate is my day job, reading is my career).

I had a long list to purchase, as per the usual, but realized almost as soon as I got there that a lot of them actually aren’t out yet? So it really seems like a great time to run another “Most Anticipated” list for the rest of 2022! I won’t spoil those surprises, but tune in on the 17th for my full thoughts!

What was on my list, though, definitely got purchased. 1) Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano. I *adored* Finlay Donovan is Killing It; it was totally unexpected and enjoyable. I initially read it because it was supposed to be like Only Murders in the Building, and while it has the casual humor of the show regarding seriously violent subjects, it doesn’t have the same ambience. I loved it all the same and cannot wait to read this sequel.

2) One Night on the Island by Josie Silver. I follow another book blogger on Goodreads with the username “chan ☆”, and I have a love/hate relationship with her reviews. It’s my understanding that she primarily vlogs, but I don’t really like social video content, so I’ve never watched any of her stuff. Mostly, I just awe at how many books she can consume in a 24 hour period and scoff at her few sentence reviews that almost always disagree with my own thoughts. When she shelved this as read and “dnf”, I figured I’d probably like it, lol. I really enjoyed The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, even though it broke my heart a thousand ways to Sunday. I’m excited for this one and love the concept of the shared vacation spot as a trope. I’m betting it’ll be cute!

3) My Favorite Thing is Monsters Vol. 1 by Emil Ferris. I don’t even remember how this one fell across my Goodreads dashboard, but I’m definitely in a noir mood as of late, and this fits the bill. I love a good graphic novel every once in a while, but the price tag on this bad boy had me like 0_0. I get it, though. Art AND writing? You earned it. I’m excited to read this interesting-sounding novel, with fantasy grounded in reality, and the past informing the present.

The other two things I *accidentally* picked up were Breathless by Ann McCulloch and The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon. I’ve been interested in Jennifer McMahon’s books before but I wasn’t sure how I would like the writing style, or if the plot itself would really carry the book. This one definitely sounds like it can, and it sounds from the synopsis that the writing style will also be pretty darn good. Breathless also sounds like a great mystery, but I primarily decided to pick up that one because it was one of the Book of the Month choices for this month. I don’t like the cover art so much (feels very generic), but once I read what it was about, I decided it’d be a good one. I picked both up off a table that suggested they were nail-biters with great twist endings. Wish I could remember what the table said exactly, but I trust their judgment!

Here’s my fresh stack in all it’s glory:

I also checked out the strategy games. Strategy games, while extremely expensive, are kind of my weakness. I checked out the game Furnace; I was drawn in by the art style but it seemed more up Nate’s alley than mine (so I handed it off to him!). I was also interested in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a Disney game based off the ride of the same name, and I liked that it seemed easy enough for the whole family to learn and play. Mostly I think I’m just overly-excited for my upcoming trip to the parks. I ended up passing on both in the end, which my wallet appreciated when the gift card didn’t cover it all, lol.

All in all a successful B&N trip on my first day off in a WHILE! Glad to restock while I had the chance.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Reading Update: May

Reading Update: May

The usual GIF offering for the reading update gods:

That’s right…I went there. Even though this is the most disturbing image of JT I can possibly imagine, I went there.

April was an awesome reading month for me, yet again! I’ve never had such a successful spring time, at least not since I was a senior in high school. I finished 7 books, including one five star read (Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune).

This was a big month of audiobooks for me. 5 out of the 7 books, I enjoyed as audiobooks. I’m in the car so much lately, that it was just really helpful to absorb the books this way this month. Usually it’s not that many, but you do what you have to when you now have two jobs and endless house chores to keep up with!

As I write this I haven’t actually *gone* to indie bookstore day yet, but I’m very excited to do so! I have a huge list going of books I want to pick up at Gibson’s on Saturday the 30th, including but not limited to Devil House, Finlay Donovan is Killing It, Dial A for Aunties, and Secret Identity. Half of these are on my list simply because I’m told they’re similar to Only Murders in the Building. I also really wanted the rest of The Home Edit series, but it doesn’t look like they’re in stock there…so I may peruse some other organizing and design books!

I have about a billion books on my tbr that are coming out in the next few months. This was an excellent month for finding things I can hardly wait to read, unfortunately for my sanity… currently the list includes:

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey

The Hacienda by Isabel Canas

Fangirl: the Manga: Volume 2 by Rainbow Rowell and Sam Maggs

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

And that’s not even counting the ones I couldn’t wait for and found on NetGalley!

Oh my goodness, just got completely derailed on NetGalley after writing that. I was only looking for one specific book and ended up requesting three. Ughhhhh. I’m so bad at this!

Maybe I’ll get lucky and some of these will become Book of the Month picks. I can only hope! And speaking of BotM, guess who still hasn’t read March or April’s picks…

It’s me. I know. Hide your shock.

At least I seem to be cruising through some of my tbr from years ago (or even months ago). Sometimes I fear that when I buy too many books all in one trip, I’ll read the one I’m most excited for and then lose steam and never go back to the other ones…it happens far too often, to be truthful. But the past couple weeks I’ve managed to knock out Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire, Survivor Song, The Only Good Indians, Cackle, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This, of course, is all thanks to audiobooks: every single one of these was an audio read for me, even though I have the physical copy on my shelf. It’s a great way for me to go back and knock out those pesky books that are just giving me side-eye from the shelf.

I think that about wraps it up. It’s a quick update, but still a solid month of reading! I always feel like I should have a game plan, especially when it comes to getting these NetGalley books done, but it never works out like that. I’ve succumbed to reading wherever the wind takes me.

Have an awesome weekend and an awesome month, peeps!

Adventures in Book Hunting: Volume 4

Adventures in Book Hunting: Volume 4

In which we go to Gibson’s for Independent Bookstore Day!

Indie Bookstore Day!!! One of the best days of the year, in my opinion. I think I’ve been going since roundabout 2018, where I must have heard about it from some family or friend or another and convinced my mom to drive me to Concord (I didn’t have a license then so, like, this was a huge feat). I won a raffle that year and earned myself a most fabulous Out of Print pouch of cats from bookstores across the country. Still have it!

But even more so than the merch, I go to support my very favorite bookstores on what we hope will be one of their most successful days each year. It’s a way to show some love to the spot you love to haunt most and keeps you supplied with reading material. I come ready to SPEND.

Going into it this year I had a relatively small list, only because so many of the books I want right now are still a few weeks out from publication! I don’t know why I’m so ahead of the game right now. But there are a couple books I’d like including:

  • Devil House by John Darnielle
  • Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto
  • Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
  • Secret Identity by Alex Saguro

And of course, the merch. Can’t do IBD without some merch.

But this year I had to work during the day and couldn’t get there until this evening…so my lovely auntie snatched me one of those tote bags!!

Just look how fabulous. I’m a sucker for a tote bag. In fact, I think all the ones I still have in my possession are from bookstores or IBD (I have some merch from 2018, 2019, 2021, and now, 2022! We don’t talk about 2020…).

So my boyfriend, Nate, and I set out in the evening for Gibson’s and made a night out of it.

I got EVERYTHING on my list, which ROCKS. I found the vast majority of it in the mystery section (excluding Devil House which is currently a staff pick, one of the best endorsements a book can get), which surprised me, as I don’t think I typically pick up books that are exclusively “mystery”. I think usually my mysteries have some horror or thriller aspects to them.

And much to my delight, Finlay Donovan and Dial A both sound absolutely hysterical. I honestly picked them based on their covers and that I had heard of them before, but I found them on a random list of “books like Only Murders in the Building“. I think they’re both going to fit the unlikely detective prompt of the 52 Book Club 2022 challenge quite well, if anyone still needs a read for that! I think I filled mine with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Even Nate got a book! He doesn’t typically splurge on reading material, but every once in a great while I can drag him to the bookstore and he finds something he wants. This time it was The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. Babish of the Binging with Babish fame recommended the book in a recent video he watched (along with The Wok, which we desperately want…I can’t even imagine how many foods regularly eaten in our houaehold would be easier with a wok). He likes to cook and does most of the cooking in our house, so he splurged the $50 price tag and went for it. We were perusing it when we got home, and it definitely seems to have been a worthy investment.

Please ignore my bad grammar above…text speak and all that. XD

In the end, I got a full stamp card (good for 20% off your whole purchase, which I promptly gave to Nate behind me even though it hurt my heart) and an *almost* full additional one. We got five raffle tickets between us for some seriously awesome merch, gift cards, and gift baskets and even a personalized shopping experience at the bookstore during closed hours! Which, of course, would make any little introverted bookworm’s heart go wheeeee! There were five different raffle options, so we just stuck one ticket in each. Cross your fingers for me.

Here’s my whole haul! Not too much as to break the bank, but enough to keep me well read for the next few weeks or so. 😉

If you haven’t gone before, keep your eyes peeled for IBD festivities at your local bookstore next April! And if you did attend, where did you go? What did you get??

Have the very best weekend, friends!

Reading Update: April

Reading Update: April

Is it really time for one of these again?!

I suppose it’s a good thing that the weeks are flying by, but I think I’m more than a little annoyed that it hasn’t warmed up in NH just yet. I’m currently sitting on my couch and cursing the fact that Eloise is sleeping on the blanket, so I can’t put it over me. (Yes, I know I allow myself to be greatly inconvenienced by my cats).

This is the first time in a long time that I’ve bothered to look back over what I wrote last month. Usually I don’t like to feel the pressure of failure, having not read anything I said I was going to, but I legitimately can’t remember where last month started and ended. I need to read my own update just for a recap, LOL.

I did not get to Gwendy’s Final Task or The Paris Apartment. Shocker! I did read quite a bit though. I got to seven books, including 2 NetGalley ARCs (Mia Sosa’s The Wedding Crasher and Sulari Gentill’s The Woman in the Library). Only The Woman in the Library was a five-star read for me, but I liked most of the ones I read this month. I had some four and four-and-a-half star books.

I also accidentally signed up for Book of the Month? I was doom scrolling Facebook and got a Book of the Month ad (all my ads are book related…does this happen to anyone else?!) and they had March’s selections on a little carousel. They caught my eye with The Paris Apartment, but of course I had already ordered that one, so I kept scrolling until I found Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma, which sounded like a fun one. And it was only ten bucks for a hardcover, so I thought, what the heck. It showed up at my door literally two days later but I still haven’t read it as I write this. Also, I picked Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett for my book this month, and it’s already here, sitting on my coffee table, right next to the other one. I’m starting to think buying books is a whole separate hobby then reading them…but I like both?

With the exception of my BotM accident, I did pretty good on my no-buy. I’m going to try again this month, and really try to work through everything that’s already here. I have so many good ones just waiting to be read, if I could only stop buying and finish them!

I did end up getting to The Only Murders in the Building on Hulu, and it launched me on a streak of books *like* Only Murders because GODDAMMIT I NEED THE VIBE BACK. I’ll be not so patiently awaiting season 2, but in the meantime, I’ve picked apart the internet for books like it. So far, I’ve come up with The Maid by Nita Prose, The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley (!!!), Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto, and Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano. I already have the first two, so the other two will go on my next book shopping list. Must. Recapture. WARM FEELINGS FROM MURDER SHOW.

I’m on a mini-vacation now, sitting at home for a couple days and just recuperating, but I haven’t found much time to read. I made a lot of plans by mistake (truthfully, by mistake. I hate plans) but figure it’s better to get everything done while I have the time. I’m going to stain my bookshelves, get through all my blog stuff, and maybe (just maybe) read a bit. 🙂 No solid plans on what to read, though. I seem to be trapped in an endless circle of “I just need to finish this…” where I then proceed to pick up a completely different book and finish it one sitting. I’m getting really good at ignoring books I’m supposed to be reading.

I just realized as I went to schedule this post that April has FIVE. FRIDAYS. Ugh. That means two bonus reviews I’m totally not prepared for. Pray for me! What should I read??

That’ll do it for me this month! Enjoy the rainy season, and find some time to relax. Have a great weekend. ❤

Book List: My Most Anticipated Reads for the First Half of 2022

Book List: My Most Anticipated Reads for the First Half of 2022

A mouthful, if I’ve ever written one. Sorry about that! This was going to be a “most anticipated” for the whole year, but I decided to split it up instead! This list will hit the novels that most excite me between now and June. 😉

Gwendy’s Final Task by Richard Chizmar and Stephen King

I think I’ve made my feelings on Stephen King’s work pretty clear by this point: the shorter, the better. Gwendy’s Button Box is no different. While not truly terrifying, I thoroughly enjoy the story in these books and the deep moral dilemma that goes along with the responsibility of the button box. I read Gwendy’s Magic Feather as well, which King didn’t work on, and found that I thoroughly enjoyed Chizmar’s writing on its own as well. I’m excited to see the duo back together on this final installment, set to release February 15th (update: publication date has been pushed out to May 31st. So sad!!). Preorder your copy here.

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Technically, I have the advance readers copy for this one, so maybe it’s not so much most anticipated release as it is “I can’t wait to read this!”. So why I’ve waited to read it, I have no idea. I absolutely adored In Five Years when I read it maybe two years ago now? Definitely quarantine times. It was so unexpected and heavy, but I thought the story was just lovely and packed with raw emotion, so I’m excited to see what Serle does next. Maybe that heaviness is the reason I haven’t been able to pick it up yet. Look for my review in the coming weeks! One Italian Summer releases March 1st, and you can pre-order a copy here.

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

I had no idea St. James had another novel coming out, but this one sounds right up my alley! I loved Broken Girls years ago. I thought it was positively eerie, if a little predictable. The book was not only an incredible yarn but it gave me goosebumps while I read. I skipped Sun Down Motel, but this new novel gives me a Riley Sager-like vibe from the description. I’m interested to see how she does with it, given that most of what I remember about Broken Girls was that sweaty and uncomfortable feeling it left on my skin – this seems like her territory. The Book of Cold Cases will be released March 15, and you can pre-order a copy here.

The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa

What would my list be without a good romance. I didn’t actually love Sosa’s The Worst Best Man, but The Wedding Crasher sounds like so much fun, I’m willing to give her another go. I like a good fake-dating trope, and seem to be drawn to it as of late. I also really love the cover of this one, even more than The Worst Best Man. We’ll see how it goes! The Wedding Crasher will release April 5, and you can pre-order it here.

Fangirl: the Manga: Vol. 2 by Rainbow Rowell and Sam Maggs

It’s no secret that I love Fangirl. Rainbow Rowell’s masterpiece and its scenes resonated with fourteen year old me so hard, it just echoes through my head and my life, and sets a vibe and tone to my holidays. For real. This is what love for a book looks like. It’s just one of my absolute favorites, and I loved seeing it adapted into a manga version in 2020. It was tons of fun and captured that *feeling* just perfectly. If it only it had been released in a complete form!! I’ve been dying for this second installment for approximately a year and a half, and I’ll finally get it on May 10. Pre-order yours here!

…and oh my gosh, so so many more.

I took what I knew was coming out and tried to add to it by using my Goodreads recommendations for new releases, but I ended up with a new tbr about a thousand miles long. I almost immediately hit NetGalley to try and get some ARCs. Prepare yourselves for a lot of reviews, people – it’s going to be a great year for reading!

Another reminder that I don’t get paid for these links – just trying to make it easier for you to grab a copy! I love Gibson’s Bookstore, but if you don’t want to shop with them, buy with your own indie bookstore and shop local. ❤ Maybe one day, with all our support, we can send our local bookseller to space.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend, peeps!