Book Spotlight: Wrath of the Land by Oli Jacobs

Happy Wednesday my lovely peeps🐥!
It’s a lovely mid-day of the week and today, I have something special for you.
In lieu of the usual weekly check-in, I’ll be sharing a book spotlight for a release from yesterday!

In today’s bookish feature: The author of BBNYA 2021 finalist, Oli Jacobs, is here with a new release, Wrath of the Land. Stay tuned afterward for I’ll be sharing my thoughts on it, in a review, soon enough!


Title: Wrath of The Land
Author: Oli Jacobs
Genre: Fiction, Horror, Comedy/Humor
Length: 269 Pages
Published: 7th March 2023

LINKS:

Amazon UK – [LINK]
Amazon US – [LINK]
Goodreads – [LINK]
Author Website – [LINK]
Newsletter – [LINK]


In the small town of West Crumb, a lifestyle of shopping and pub visits is disrupted by the discovery of a huge fatberg. What at first seems like a mild inconvenience soon brings mysterious government agencies, an affable cult, and a grotesque pillar stretching far beyond the sky.


“It began, as these things tend to do, with a blocked toilet in West Crumb.”

“”Existence is chaos, Mr Pile. As I’ve told you, the slightest twitch can cause ramifications that are beyond your understanding.”

“A butterfly flaps its wing, yes, I’ve heard of that nonsense.”

“In this case, a butterfly hasn’t flapped. It has grown to the size of a continent and eaten the people there.”


Oli Jacobs is a mad bearded fellow who enjoys croissants. He is best known for Wilthaven, a finalist in the BBNYA 2021 competition. When not writing, he can be found contemplating existence with a cocktail in hand.

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February Wrap Up

Hello, my lovely peeps🐥!

I had an interesting day yesterday. I woke up to everyone in the house complaining about the lack of internet (because nothing makes people, who’ve already been awake for hours, actually crawl out of bed faster than seeing the little Chrome dino show up on your screen to make you feel better about the inability for your device to connect to the internet). Turns out, there was an outage somewhere, and it was right before I had to leave for my dentist appointment. By the time I came back though (mid-afternoon) everything was all sorted out. My brother got to hop back on to take his online exam, my dad opened his phone game again, and my mum ran off to read more online novels. 

The appointment took forever. It lasted way longer than usual due to the amount of appointments that day, but hey, I got a whole lot of reading done! I mean, I hate the dentist and all, but there’s nowhere as quiet as a dentist waiting room because everyone’s dead silent waiting for their turn on the torture chair. Heck, it was even more quiet than any library I’ve ever been to! 

Anyway, on to my monthly updates!

LIFE UPDATES

This month has been exciting for Cozy with Books! 

When I first started the blog, back in April of 2020 (Oh hey! The anniversary is coming up next month!) I was aiming for a cozy vibe (hence the name). So it was going to either be brown themed based on coffee and cafés or pastel themed. In the beginning, I alternated between the two themes over and over. Eventually, I settled on just pastels although I did switch up the colors every now and then (pastel pink for a few months, baby blue for a few months, minty green, etc.)

Well. I got sick of pastels. I wanted something BRIGHT and happy. I wanted something that makes me happy every single time I opened up to my blog. I also couldn’t stand the pugly drawings all over my blog. I was never really an artist and settled for my fuzzy blob as a mascot (it was a duck…like rubber duck…). I couldn’t draw a normal looking rubber duck to save my life and settled for the mountain of “mochi ducks” that you still see on the front page. I wanted a complete overhaul of everything; the theme, the colors, the doodles. I got to work and skipped out on two (three?) days of studying and gaming to redo all my blog banners/featured images and even drew a rubber duck to be my new blog logo. 

Her name is Ducky. I know. So creative. I finally learned my lesson with digital art. Have layers. Have LOTS of layers. She’s a bit…flat…but I like her. I have plans on switching up her outfit to match seasons and holidays, just like the themed rubber ducks I love so much!

Next up, the Nintendo Direct! I was pretty excited for it and watched it as soon as I got out of work. There wasn’t a lot I was overly excited over. I’ve never played Splatoon or Zelda, generally sticking to Pokemon, Fire Emblem, and most farming sims you might throw my way, but then I saw DECAPOLICE and thought, “Oh that looks SO interesting!” I kind of had a hint (a good whiff) of Astral Chain vibes (maybe it’s the color theme?), which I never did finish because I couldn’t bare the thought of finishing it, but whatever the case, I’m hyped. I’m SO excited to hear more about it.

And a last bit of life news; things are starting to settle down again. Generally, when November/December rolls around, I get pretty burned out from both reading and blogging. I tend to slow my pace down and read whenever I want. Last year, I even stopped the “read every day” goal of mine around October. I have no plans on ever doing that again. If I’m that stressed, I’m perfectly fine with simply cutting down blogging content (no weekly reviews) just so that I could slow my reading pace down. Whatever works to keep me reading daily, even if it’s as slow as a single chapter a night before bed. 

Coming out of this end-of-year reading slump fog combined with the stress of a new job with completely different duties than I’m used to, in a completely different industry, January and February have been just massively stressful. I’m slowly coming out of it though, and I see some signs that things are picking back up! For the first time in forever, I started reading ARCS again, physicals included. I even logged into NetGalley! It’s been so long, I barely remembered my password! My requests are currently still closed, but I’m hoping to open them up soon.

And that’s all my updates on life and blogging! Now to get on with the bookish wrap up for February~

I had a pretty good February, having read 7 books last month. It was mostly composed of a few short stories and one Middle-Grade book and I absolutely enjoyed each of them! I also had three books that were “normal” (my normal) novel sizes, The Santa Suit, 3 Days to Live (this one was actually composed of three short stories in a single book), and The City & The City. The last one was a wild read that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. 

Since one of the books was actually a [nearly] 3 weeker, I won’t be breaking my February down by weeks as I did back in January. Instead, they’ll be in [relative] reading order.

*** click on the book covers to pull up their Goodreads page***
**disclaimer: all cover images are from Goodreads**

Book 1

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

My first read of the month was The Santa Suit and I really enjoyed this one. Romance will always be a book that’s outside my usual reading moods, but this one had mentions of Santa and damn if it wasn’t such an absolute tooth-rottingly fluffy book. I adored it. I kind of wish I picked it up back in December because it would’ve made for a wonderful Christmas read. It was hopeful, hope-filled, and so sweet. 

Check out my review for it >HERE<

Book 2

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

This was a short read. A VERY short read. If my memory serves me correctly, I was reading this during the few days I was trying to rush my blog overhaul. One night, I’d just happened upon it in Libby, right before booting up ibisPaintX on my ipad to drew all those oranges and lemons you see on this post. It was perfect because Libby’s audiobook player can still run in the background as I draw in ibisPaint. My eyes glanced at the summary for all of five seconds before I dived in. I wasn’t expecting what I read and I was in a complete daze for the ENTIRE evening afterwards. I read a lot of good books in February, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be this one. 

Check out my review for it >HERE<

Books 3 & 4

The Odd1s Out (Books 1 & 2)

I came across this in Libby as well. It was just out of the blue and I saw that squishy loveable marshmallow and couldn’t resist. Afterall, I’ve watched and loved James’ videos a few years back, before I randomly stopped visiting Youtube on the daily. I loved the first book so much and was so excited to see that there was a sequel, but when I’d gone into Libby…there was no ebook of the second book, only an audiobook. It was a really good audiobook still. I am so used to watching a lot of Youtube videos in the background while working, that this was essentially the same thing. However, at the end of the day…comics are comics and I know I must’ve missed out on all of the illustrations which (based on the Amazon samplers) I felt like were a huge improvement from the first book, which had already been full of wonderful comics. I’ll come back for the physical or ebook version on Amazon one day. 

Review to come: 27 April 2023 (Tentative, but will definitely be in April)

Book 5

Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick by Jennifer L. Holm (Illustrated by Elicia Castaldi)

I don’t have a lot of bookshelf room at home (in fact I’m completely full. Books have started to just pile up in corners of my room). I try to borrow whenever I can, especially if the books are relatively short. I tried pretty hard to check for this book (and for book 1 of course) in Libby, through both of my library cards (BPL & NYPL), but no luck. So I brought it. I loved book 1 to death. I NEVER forgot the creativity of the colorful mixed media used, not even after all these years and I read the first book back in middle school! I’m a grown adult now!! Loved this second book as well, but the review hasn’t been put up yet so…keep your eyes peeled for it! 

Review to come: 23 March 2023 (Set)

Book 6

3 Days to Live James Patterson

I received a gift copy of this from Grand Central Publishing and got right to reading it, but the actual review was just put up a few days ago on March 2nd. It was a pretty enjoyable book, a collection of three short stories all by James Patterson working with three other authors (in their own respective shorts). They were all interesting, some more gripping and exhilarating than the others, and all have pretty short chapters. I felt like I was flying through the book! The book collected 3 thriller shorts and none of these stories are connected other than the mystery and the thrill. You can even tell the difference in writing style and it’s really neat. Each of the stories were good for their own reasons and with the review now live, you can take a look at my thoughts on this book yourself!

Check out my review for it >HERE<

Book 7

The City & The City by China Miéville

My head is still reeling from this book. I loved Perdido Street Station so much, but was kind of intimidated to start any other of Miéville’s books. Perdido Street Station had been so dense and the world-building was world-class that I stopped every few paragraphs to write up a quick note. My copy of the book is marked up with notes and flags, highlights, and random other things like sticky notes. I put my heart into annotating that book and ever since then, I felt like I needed a fully charged emotional battery before attempting anything Miéville again. 

The City & The City had these lingering feelings and didn’t leave me even by the time I finished the book. It took me 20 days, nearly 3 weeks, to finish and not even because I disliked it, but because I was so enthralled by the world that Miéville painted, that I, once again, felt the need to annotate every little thing, especially if it involved world-building. In this New Weird with a splash of mystery book, we follow Inspector Borlu as he begins an investigation into the murder of a young woman in a world where two cities sat on top of each other, sharing the same geological location but as two separate places. There isn’t even anything otherworldly about this book. It was just how people were conditioned to be; a border created by laws, regulation, and people rather than by brick walls and fences. It was an utterly fascinating book in which the concept itself topped even Perdido Street Station. The review for this book is coming up in a few days as soon as I tidy it up a little more. It won’t come close to doing the book justice, but I hope it’s enough to convince someone to pick up a copy for themself!

Review to come: 09 March 2023 (Set)

And that’s my February! It was such a short month, but a whole lot happened. I’m ready to tackle March with whatever it has to throw my way, but hopefully…hopefully those lemons are nice and sweet 😉

Toodles my lovelies! I hope you had a wonderful February and hope your March will be grand and superb just as well!

xoxo

WWW Wednesday 01 March 2023

Happy Wednesday my lovely peeps!
Since it’s the middle of the week, that means it’s time for our reading check-in!

How is your bookish week coming along? Mine is starting to get a wee busy but hey, at least I’m somewhat ahead of my yearly reading goal still!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words

The Questions
What are you currently reading?
What have you just finished reading?
What are you going to read next?

(Click on the book covers for a link to their GoodReads page)

What are you currently reading?

The Monkey’s Raincoat by Robert Crais

I just finished watching the playthroughs for both Judgement and Lost Judgement from the Yakuza series and now I’m in a massive mood for PI books. PI books generally never make it onto my TBR, because I enjoy team settings and a lot of my favorite police procedurals satisfies that craving (calling in for backup, having a forensics team, etc.) and to me, PIs generally work alone, are kinda broke, and lack a lot of resources. I guess it never really occurred to me to just look for PI books with MCs that work as a duo. I’ve had my eyes on this series a few years back, but never got around to it. I totally missed it afterwards becauses, again, the series never made it into my TBR.

I read a little of this yesterday. It’s dated, and right away the MC strikes me as sexist (he literally says, in the first chapter, “as much as I’d like, to lick chocolate syrup off your body, I want you to shut up.”) I’ll see how it goes. Not looking great right now, but I’m not one to judge a whole series on a foul first chapter of the first book. I do at least want to see how “go find my husband and kid” can turn into a mess of a thriller.

Meet Elvis Cole, L.A. Private Eye. . . . He quotes Jiminy Cricket and carries a .38. He’s a literate, wisecracking Vietnam vet who is determined to never grow up.

When quiet Ellen Lang enters Elvis Cole’s Disney-Deco office, she’s lost something very valuable—her husband and her young son. The case seems simple enough, but Elvis isn’t thrilled. Neither is his enigmatic partner and firepower, Joe Pike. Their search down the seamy side of Hollywood’s studio lots and sculptured lawns soon leads them deep into a nasty netherworld of drugs, sex—and murder. Now the case is getting interesting, but it’s also turned ugly. Because everybody, from cops to starlets to crooks, has declared war on Ellen and Elvis. For Ellen, it isn’t Funtown anymore. For Elvis, it’s just a living . . . He hopes.

The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson

My general reading habits are a book a week, but recently (starting with The City & The City) I’ve taken a liking to finding one read that takes a little longer (2-3 weeks to finish) while finding smaller or cozier/funnier books in the middle so that I’m still technically finishing a book a week. With The Monkey’s Raincoat as my “shorter read”, The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson will be my longer read (~2 weeks, maybe 2½ because I like to savor world-builds and take my time). I received an ARC of the book (paperback, coming out in May 2023) and immediately started on reading it. I’m 7 chapters deep and there’s already so many page flags and little margin notes because I’m liking what I’m reading so far. Like, a lot.

The war is over, but something is rotten in the state of Eidyn.

With a ragged peace in place, demons burn farmlands, violent Reivers roam the wilds and plague has spread beyond the Black Meadows. The country is on its knees.

In a society that fears and shuns him, Aranok is the first magically-skilled draoidh to be named King’s Envoy.

Now, charged with restoring an exiled foreign queen to her throne, he leads a group of strangers across the ravaged country. But at every step, a new mystery complicates their mission.

As bodies drop around them, new threats emerge and lies are revealed, can Aranok bring his companions together and uncover the conspiracy that threatens the kingdom?

What have you just finished reading?

The City & The City by China Miéville

Last week, I finally finished reading The City & The City by China Miéville. It only took 3 weeks minus a day, but I’m finally done with it. It was such a good book full of world building and charm that I wanted to savor a few chapters every night until I finished and so, unlike some of the other books that I love (in which I end up inhaling them as quickly as possible) for this one, I wanted to drag it out for as long as possible. I drafted a whole review for it already, but I’m lazy on editing format and layout so…

But don’t you worry! It’ll be up as next week’s Thursday review! Stay tuned!

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own. This is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen. His destination is Beszel’s equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, and struggling with his own transition, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of rabid nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one. As the detectives uncover the dead woman’s secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them and those they care about more than their lives.

What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.

Casting shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & the City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

What are you reading next?

Dust & Lightning by Rebecca Crunden

I usually start my books on Mondays and with The Lost War being a 2 week read and having started The Monkey’s Raincoat a little late I may very well still be reading both by next week’s WWW Wednesday. However, I do have my eyes on Rebecca Crunden’s Dust & Lightning and seeing as it’s a shorter read than both of my current read, I may still make it in time! Regardless of the whens, Dust & Lightning will still be my next read, whether it’s for next week or the week after.

In the near future, humans have gone beyond simple space travel. By the year 4054, multiple solar systems are inhabited, and taking a spaceship is as commonplace as taking an aeroplane.

Unfortunately, not everything about the future is so advanced. The central planets, led by Earth, have risen high at the expense of cheap labour on distant worlds. Dissent is widespread and arrests are common. Sometimes prisoners are released; sometimes they disappear without a trace, sent to labour camps in other solar systems.

When Ames Emerys receives a letter telling him that his brother Callum has died en route to the remote planet of Kilnin, he takes the first ship he can off Earth, desperate for answers. But the secrets Ames uncovers prove far more dangerous than he could have imagined.

And trouble isn’t far behind.

First Lines Friday # 41

HAPPY FRIDAY! 
February is going by too quickly. I need it to slow down just a bit. I feel like I just posted a First Lines Friday and here we already are with a new one for this week. 

I’m currently reading two books at the same time, one of which I’m slowly going through and has been my current read for about 2 or 3 weeks now. So, for this week’s FLF, I’ll be featuring my other read. Can you guess which book it is based on the opening lines?

Here’s a hint, it was released just recently!
And, since this book consists of three short stories, you get three opening lines instead of one!

First Lines Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

(Click on the book covers for a link to their GoodReads page)

꜀( ˊ̠˂˃ˋ̠ )꜆ F – R – I – Y – A – Y !! ꜀( ˊ̠˂˃ˋ̠ )꜆

This week’s lines…

My life felt like a dream. I guess that happens when you elope, hop on a plane, drift off to sleep, and wake up in a foreign country.

Chase Weldon stood outside his lovely townhouse, holding a 9-millimeter pistol pressed to his leg.

Masha Poplov could kill a live chicken by snapping its neck, but she liked to go it in Jimmy Choos. Chanel, Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, spider-leg lashes and acrylic nails, so what if she had to work hard for a living? She did it in style.

Enjoyed that preview? This week’s book is…

3 Days to Live by James Patterson

Blurb

The people closest to you can be your most dangerous enemies in this heart-pounding collection of 3 brand-new thrillers from the master of suspense.

3 Days to Live: A CIA-agent bride is on her European honeymoon when she and her husband are poisoned—leaving her seventy-two hours to take revenge (with Duane Swierczynski). 
 
Women and Children First: When a deal goes bad on a tech executive in Washington, DC, he turns an order to kill his family into a chance to relive his military glory days (with Bill Schweigart).  
 
The Housekeepers: A Los Angeles doctor trusts her two housekeepers, but when she’s murdered in a botched attempt to steal drugs, the pair of grifters vie to control their former employer’s estate—facing off against the Russian mob (with Julie Margaret Hogben).

Cover Reveal: Fight for Freedom by Marisa Noelle

Hello, my lovely peeps🐥!
Today, I’ve something exciting for you!

I’m thrilled to be sharing the cover reveal for Fight for Freedom by Marisa Noelle, hosted by TheWriteReads!
Isn’t it gorgeous?!?

This book is coming out on March 30th, so keep an eye out for it!

Title: Fight for Freedom
Series: The Mermaid Chronicles Book # 3
Author: Marisa Noelle
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 290 Pages
Publishing: 30th March 2023

LINKS:
Amazon eBook: https://geni.us/FightforFreedom 
Signed Paperback + swag: https://marisa-noelle.sumup.link/ 

WHILE MERMAIDS HIDE ON ATLANTIS…
…THE MAINLAND IS DESTROYED…

Cordelia, Wade, and friends return to the mainland to find a nuclear junkyard. With the human population drastically reduced, most blame the mermaids and selachii for deserting them and hiding the sanctuary of Atlantis.  

When a new prophecy says they must unite with a third, a human, Wade and Cordelia open their land to the survivors. But sharing Atlantis comes with a price. Prejudices are rife and many are out for revenge. And the third in their trio is anything but cooperative.

Distracted by the politics on the island, Cordelia misses the creeping return of Wade’s old flame, Stephanie. Seeking vengeance, Stephanie transforms into a sea witch and evokes the hound of the ocean, a terrible beast from the ancient depths that kills without prejudice.

With Atlantis threatened, Cordelia’s powers misfiring, and a betrayer among their ranks, mermaids and selachii are once again at risk of extinction. Only if they can remain united with the humans and vanquish the hound and Stephanie will they have a chance to reclaim their island. 

Photo from Goodreads

Marisa Noelle is the writer of middle grade & young adult novels in the genres of science-fiction, fantasy, horror & mental health including The Shadow KeepersThe Unadjusteds Trilogy (The Unadjusteds, The Rise of the Altereds, & The Reckoning), The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep, Quest for Atlantis, Fight for Freedom, & the award-winning The Unraveling of Luna Forester

She is a mentor for the Write Mentor program that helps aspiring MG & YA authors. With dual citizenship, Marisa has lived on both sides of the Atlantic and uses settings in both the USA and UK as inspiration for her novels.

Growing up, Marisa had plenty of ideas for career and still regrets not moving to Hawaii to train dolphins and pretend the real world didn’t exist. Struggling with anxiety and anorexia lead her to the field of psychology. Heavily influenced by underdog movies such as The Karate Kid, she realised her mission in life was to help other people, through any medium. Embarking on a psychology degree, she wanted to emulate her hero, Jodie Foster, from Silence of the Lambs and actually tried to secure work experience at Broadmoor. Thankfully she left the idea of criminal profiling behind, but uses many of these aspects in her novels.

Author Links: 

First Lines Friday # 40

Happy No-Alarm Eve! I survived another week just so I can spend the next two days doing nothing but game and read (jk, I’m going to clean around the house a bit)! The last few days have been pretty boring, but I did finish a short audiobook and am making my way through another (outside of The City & The City where things are slowly ramping up). I’ve watched a couple of videos from this YouTuber and knew that he had books out, but never got around to it. And now I am!

So for today’s post, you guessed it!
It’s time for this week’s First Lines Friday! Do you know what book I’m reading based on it’s opening lines? Let me know below!

First Lines Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

(Click on the book covers for a link to their GoodReads page)

꜀( ˊ̠˂˃ˋ̠ )꜆ F – R – I – Y – A – Y !! ꜀( ˊ̠˂˃ˋ̠ )꜆

This week’s lines…

Everyone starts out as a bad artist. And some people stay that way. Fortunately, others improve. No one likes to hear this, but improvement is mostly the result of several hundreds of hours of practice. If adults told children how much work it takes to become an artist, they would all abandon their dreams and make other plans somewhere in the middle of kindergarten. This is why adults always tell little kids that they’re great artists, even if they’re actually terrible.

Enjoyed that preview? This week’s book is…

The Odd 1s Out: How to Be Cool and Other Things I Definitely Learned from Growing Up James Rallison

BLURB

Hilarious stories and advice about the ups and downs of growing up, from a popularYouTube artist and storyteller.

Like any shy teen turned young adult, YouTube star James Rallison (“The Odd 1s Out”) is used to being on the outside looking in. He wasn’t partying in high school or winning football games like his older brother. Instead, he posted comics on the Internet. Now, he’s ready to share his hard-earned advice from his 21 years of life in the funny, relatable voice his fans love.

In this illustrated collection, Rallison tells his own stories of growing up as the “odd one out”: in art class with his twin sister (she was more talented), in the middle school locker room, and up to one strange year of college (he dropped out). Each story is filled with the little lessons he picked up along the way, serious and otherwise, like:

*  How to be cool (in seventh grade)
*  Why it’s OK to be second-best at something, and
*  How to survive your first, confidence-killing job interviews

Filled with fan-favorite comics and never-before-seen material, this tongue-in-cheek take on some of the weirdest, funniest parts of life is perfect for both avid followers and new converts.

WWW Wednesday – 08 Feb 2023

Happy Wednesday my lovely peeps🐥!
We’re halfway through to Saturday so it’s time for this week’s reading check in. How is everyone’s week looking? Have you finished or picked up anything good?

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words

The Questions
What are you currently reading?
What have you just finished reading?
What are you going to read next?

(Click on the book covers for a link to their GoodReads page)


What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading China Miéville’s The City & The City and I’m so far really enjoying it. Just as with Perdido Street Station I’m already deep and lost in this world that he’s created even if it’s two fictional cities in our very real world. I actually saw a [spoiler free] video about The City & The City yesterday, while not having gone too deep into the book yet, and the concept of two cities existing in the same geological location, sharing the same streets and where citizens walk side by side but do not acknowledge the existence of the other city is just a mindblowing concept. There’s the typical mystery side and then there’s this concept just running in the background. As with my first Miéville book though, I find myself slowing down and enjoying the words and world built around me rather than fly through like I did with my previous book. Who knows if I’ll read it in time for a weekly review, but good things can’t be rush ❤️

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. To investigate, Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to its equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the vibrant city of Ul Qoma.

But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one.

As the detectives uncover the dead woman’s secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them more than their lives. What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.

What have you just finished reading?

I like to have a little breather in between intense books, especially if the previous book was heavy on fighting. I need that adrenaline to calm down a little. Can’t have my stress levels flying all over the place every week after all. Well, I just finished reading The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews and goodness was it a joy to read. I really loved the setting, the characters, and especially enjoyed the storyline. I did find myself tearing up in places, especially near the ending, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read my full thoughts on the book 😉

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

What are you going to read next?

I’m still deciding what I’m going to read next. I have my eyes on Duplicity by Newt Gingrich & Pete Earley as my next read, but I only have one “main” read a week and so if I don’t finish The City & The City, I may pick up a separate and smaller side read, usually a nonfiction or shortstory/anthology, while finishing Miéville’s.

The greatest nightmare for the free world today would be an extremist in hiding, controlling and coordinating radical Islamic groups at the highest level around the globe.

In Duplicity, two bestselling authors — former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Pulitzer Prize finalist Pete Earley — weave a grim and gripping tale of this worst case scenario. From home front fears to an international crisis, this thriller is terrifyingly plausible, ripped straight from the headlines.

When President Sally Allworth decides to reestablish America’s Mogadishu embassy in Somalia weeks before Election Day, her challenger says she is playing politics with American lives. That turns out to be true when the embassy is attacked and hostages are taken. Station chief Gunter Conner and Marine captain Brooke Grant end up the unlikely survivors of this Benghazi-style strike. And suddenly, they are the only hope for saving their captured colleagues.

With his in-depth political knowledge of friends and foes on the political stage, only Newt Gingrich could weave such a spellbinding tale of events and personalities, one that could actually happen . . . if America’s leaders aren’t wary of a world full of duplicity.

January 2023 Wrap Up

JANUARY WAS AN EVENTFUL MONTH!

Unbelievably enough, it’s already February! Lately, time has been speeding by quicker and quicker. I find myself making the same “did last month/week even exist?” jokes over and over. Maybe it’s because I fill each day’s schedule to the brim, if not work, than reading, blogging, gaming, and/or studying. When you’re having a ton of fun (OMG, Fire Emblem Engage!) time goes by quicker right?

I managed to read 4 books in January, one of which being an audiobook during a week that no other physical/ebooks would stick. I picked up probably 3 or 4 books, in the span of a single week, and nothing felt right. I’d read a few chapters and try hard to keep that momentum going only to eventually put it down in favor of another book. Rinse and repeat. 

Still, I was able to read everyday, keeping my year goal of reading daily, and was able to get at least a book in every week. 

So, without further delays, here’s my January wrap up! 

Click on the book covers to take you to their Goodreads page! Photos are taken from Goodreads or Amazon

Life Updates

I left my old job at the end of December for a new position. The entire second half of January involved me trying to wrap my head around this very new, very complicated, concept at work. I’m still learning and according to (nearly everyone) that I met on the team, it takes half a year to a year to “get comfortable.” Still though, It’s a part of accounting I’ve never really gotten to touch [much] before and I’m very excited to continue learning. 

I promised myself, even before I started my job hunt, that once I settled back down after finding a job and getting used to a normal life schedule again, that I was going to give the GMAT another try. I started studying for it a few years back (I’d say about 4 years?) but it was going slow. I hit a learning wall in the first out of 8 or 9 Manhattan GMAT guides after realizing that I’d forgotten nearly all the math I’d ever learned and my poor grammar skills faired no better. It was discouraging and it was right when I was moving homes (twice!). I saw the guidebooks go into those cardboard boxes and didn’t see them again for years afterwards. My cold mock test was pretty abysmal in terms of score, but when I landed my current/new job, I had a renewed vigor. I was starting to lose hope and motivation with the job hunt, but had I given up, I would’ve never gotten that offer letter MANY MANY applications later! If I were to be so discouraged over not understanding fractions [my archnemesis, as a kid!], I’ll never get to my goals. 

I started studying again and lo and behold, I’m nearing the end of that first guidebook. I’ve conquered fractions and getting ready to move on. 

Book Wrap Up

Week 1: Open Season by C.J. Box

One of my New Years Resolutions & Goals for 2023 was to tackle some of the books on my TBR that’s been there for quite a while…and one of them was Open Season by C.J. Box. It was a chance happening that I picked it as my first read of 2023. I’d fully intended to read all five books on that list by the end of the year, but I didn’t think I’d cross one off so soon. It just happened to still be out because I’d gone around pulling random books out (to make that 5 TBR list of somewhat ancient standings) and never put it back. I got the book back in 2018 (or a little earlier) and never got around to it despite it falling right in my preferred/favorite genre of mystery thrillers. I really enjoyed it and it’s one of those books that you end up going “Why’d I wait so long” to afterwards. 

Check out my review for it >HERE!<

Week 2: Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida

(I had a really hard time pronouncing unanimity, had to Google and listen to the audio pronunciation of it, and as I’m writing this, I’m still getting it wrong! I think it’s because I used to pronounce anemone as anenemony…and I read the title as “Un-Animity”)

So, this was for a blog tour and I’d actually received it back in December. It was part of the tour hosted by TheWriteReads and the first thought that popped in my head was “this cover… so glossy, so shiny!” I wanted to read it closer to my tour date and so put it off until early January, the week before my stop. It took a good bit to wrap my head around the concept, I got a bit confused and remained somewhat confused by the end, but was able to get the gist of it. Ultimately, a fine as wine concept that was terrifying to think about. Full of hard science and philosophy, I enjoyed the read, although I can’t say I enjoyed the characters as much.

Check out my review for it >HERE!<

Week 3: Tanqueray by Brandon Stanton & Stephanie Johnson

I’ve recently stopped reading based on a TBR list and more so mood reading. The trouble with that is that I never know what to pick up next. I usually pick out a book about 3 days before my current read is ending, but if I’m busy those 3 days, I’m struggling the following week with no book read and I’d end up just grabbing whatever’s around. I wasn’t in the mood for 4 different books that I’d picked up, so I visited my old pal, Libby. A quick scroll down and I saw the familiar simple but eye-catching purple and “Tanqueray” that I’ve seen a while back on HONY’s FB/IG page. Most of the book were the posts (some slightly reworded) directly copied over into an audio version but there were also sections and extra stories in the audiobook that weren’t in the original posts. There was also a neat interview section towards the end of the audiobook and all in all, it was a quick but enjoyable read during a week that nothing else stuck. 

Check out my review for it >HERE!<

Week 4: Pirate Bounty by Rick Partlow & Pacey Holden

I got lucky afterward with Pirate Bounty. My “pick up and put right back down” reading mood was happening before and after I finished reading Tanqueray and so, after DNF’ing my 4th book, I’d come across Pirate Bounty and by chance too! I was on Amazon shopping looking for an extension cord/cable when it was just there. It was $0.99 and I had a few dollars in Kindle credits so, seeing as it had already caught my eye a while back, I figured to give it a try. I’d only picked it up because I really enjoyed the opening chapter/prologue and the writing style and tone. It didn’t disappoint and after 4 tries, I finally found my Week 4 book. Quite a good read with plenty of actions, a good deal of pewpew, and some serious case of MC bad luck to chuckle through. 

Check out my review for it >HERE!<

And that’s that!
January was an interesting month for sure; life and bookish wise. How was your first month of the year? Did anything interesting happen? How about books? Did you read anything good?

First Lines Friday #39

Hooray! It’s Friday!
I have plans for this weekend including chores, studying, reading, and lots and lots of gaming.

Today’s post: A First Lines Friday for my current read! It’s a lighter book, contemporary romance, compared to the gritty and action-filled previous read. It’s a nice breather in between all of the adrenaline rushes! Can you guess what I’m reading based on the book’s opening lines?

First Lines Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

(Click on the book covers for a link to their GoodReads page)

꜀( ˊ̠˂˃ˋ̠ )꜆ F – R – I – Y – A – Y !! ꜀( ˊ̠˂˃ˋ̠ )꜆

This week’s lines…

“There it is!” Ivy Perkins pointed at the weather-beaten sign hanging from a dented mailbox nearly obscured by a stand of overgrown dead shrubbery. “Four Roses Farm, Punkin. See it?”

Enjoyed that preview? This week’s book is…

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

Blurb

From Mary Kay Andrews, the New York Times bestselling author of Hello, Summer, comes a novella celebrating the magic of Christmas and second chances in The Santa Suit.

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

WWW Wednesday – 01 Feb 2023

Hello my lovely peeps! Happy hump day and happy February as well!
It’s the middle of the week and that means it’s time for this week’s WWW Wednesday! I was able to finish a pretty exciting book this weekend, but then got caught up and hooked on Fire Emblem Engage on Sunday and Monday so guess who’s been slacking with reading again? Still though, I did find a wee bit of time to squeeze in a few handful of minutes to read this week, so let’s see what’s on my reading list this time!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words

The Questions
What are you currently reading?
What have you just finished reading?
What are you going to read next?

(Click on the book covers for a link to their GoodReads page)


What are you currently reading?

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

I’m not usually a romance fan, but when it comes to short, easy to read, chick-lits, I’ll pick it up anytime. I just came out of a pretty intense and action filled read and usually in between those kinds of books, I like to have a little refresher. It used to be the next book up in the Virgil Flowers series, but I’m finally out of new ones, I’m procrastinating on the Prey series, and honestly I think even I got sick of using bloody thrillers for a refresher. A light-mooded book with a bit of romance and a plot where you know it’ll most likely end up with some form of HEA sounds like a much better choice. So I went Libby scrolling and the cover caught my eye. What more is there to say?

Blurb

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

What have you just finished reading?

Pirate Bounty: A Military Sci-Fi Series by Rick Partlow & Pacey Holden

I spent most of the week prior to last week just picking up…and putting down…and picking up…and putting down book after book. Nothing was sticking and I was worried I was seeing the beginning of another reading slump after struggling to get out of my last (very long) one! You know that tingly feeling you get sometimes and you go “Uh oh, incoming cold!” That’s what two weeks ago felt like to me.

I was on Amazon again when I came across a book that was already on my TBR. I had some e-book credits in my account and the Kindle version was only $0.99 so it was only natural to pick it up.

The sampler’s writing? Great!
The cover? Neat-o! 
TBR status? Already interested in picking this book up for a while.
Price? Free 99!
Results? I got it, I read it, and I loved it! Review to come tomorrow!

Blurb

Sometimes, it takes killing to make a living.

That fiancée? She’s married—to another guy.

The family business? His parents sold it.

Jack Bennet returns from the war to find the life he left behind has moved on without him. The only option he has to make endsmeet lies in a military surplus junkyard starship. What’s a former Combat Search and Rescue soldier to do?

Fix up the ship, hire the cheapest pilot—a notorious drunk—and take the first contract that comes up: collect a bounty on one of the most ruthless killers in the Pirate Worlds, a place crawling with thieves, cutthroats and con artists whose primary language is violence. Jack must abandon his nice guy persona, or exploit it, if he is to survive.

What could possibly go wrong?

What are you going to read next?

The City & the City by China Miéville

I made a little post on IG the other day saying that no book has ever made me feel the same way as Perdido Street Station did. I get this fond and happy feeling every time I lay eyes on it on my shelf and that doesn’t even happen when I lay eyes on any books from my favorite author! Perdido Street Station and Miéville’s writing was simply special in a way I can’t fully describe and so, every other Miéville book after Peridod Street Station has been a struggle to start. His writing was dense and beautiful and I felt like all his books would be similar. I thought, “I’ll read this book when the time is just right.” I had to have the perfect environment, the perfect time, the perfect couch, the perfect weather before I so much as let myself curl up to explore another of his books.

The time isn’t perfect. The weather is piss poor. And honestly, I’m so achy from poor posture, no couch will ever be perfect to me. But, I’ve got to start somewhere and next week will be that somewhere sometime. I eagerly await it. If I finish The Santa Suit early (doubtful, I’m a slow reader), I may even start The City & The City this weekend!

Blurb

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. To investigate, Borlú must travel from the decaying Beszel to its equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the vibrant city of Ul Qoma.

But this is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a seeing of the unseen. With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, Borlú is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one.

As the detectives uncover the dead woman’s secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them more than their lives. What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.