The Three Ws Are: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
What are you currently reading?
After saying (and not actually starting) that I was going to tackle my backlog of requests, tours, and old TBRs, I finally started reading some of them. I have three books scheduled for May and currently reading two; one book is a backlogged request and the other for a blog tour coming up towards the end of the month.
The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .
Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.
After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared—and Idris and his kind became obsolete.
Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects—but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.
Two years have gone by in the surrounding area of Fellowship. Huey Morgan continues to feel unappreciated in his role as the deputy for the sheriff’s department of Duck County. Playing second fiddle to Sheriff Absalom Holmes, a well-respected constable who has been getting too comfortable in his job and becoming lazier and lazier, Huey feels the weight of the work falling solely on his shoulders. Late one, hot summer night, Huey is awakened by a phone call, which leads to a gruesome discovery that will shake the foundations of this small town…
What did you recently finish reading?
I’ve was having a bit of a reading dry spell with my last read being “The Lore of Prometheus”, for a blog tour.
John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive.
What do you think you’ll read next?
Up next after Sheriff and Shards is another backlogged request book that I’ve been meaning to start forever ago. I’ve it scheduled out in my calendar now and things that go into my bujo are things that get done!
Two men and a spotted dog restore a vintage Chris-Craft motor yacht and launch across the American Heartland from Texas to Ohio. The restoration, the people they met along the way, and life in an America which few know exists are the story of River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America.
That’s what Goodreads told me when I went on last night.
I’d been using the site for a brief glance at blurbs and genres, but have mostly stopped using Goodreads. Occasionally I’d drop a review down (when there was one), but it’d been a long time since I last sat and looked through the website. I knew I was behind because I’d been bogged down by work in the last few months, but 4 books is a lot of books for someone whose brain maxes out at 3 a month.
I figured, time to crank down and read. No time like the present time, right?
by G.R. Morris
The first book I wanted to get into is Tomorrow’s End, a giveaway book I’d won. I was in the middle of a sci-fi phase when I saw this book and was in a gods, angels, heroes, and prophesies craze so here’s to hoping to book satisfies that very specific itch of mine that even I can’t identify.
Do you have free will? He never asked to be a hero, but the universe didn’t give him a choice.
Kevin Knight never wanted to be the one to save the galaxy. But when tragedy upends his life and demonic forces steal his soul, the fate of time and space are sealed. Until a scaly, trench-coat-clad alien appears and gives him a glimpse into the true nature of all things.
Astounded, Kevin learns the world he knows is merely an illusion created by alien beings who control humanity’s every move. With an invasion imminent, he must defeat the blackness and perfect his powers before the bloody battle begins.
Which prophecy will Kevin fulfill… the one of darkness or the one of light?
by Atul Gawande
A lovely gift from Jenny over at JENJENREVIEWS (thank you!) I rarely read nonfictions, but I came across this one when watching a documentary (also called “Being Mortal“) and I was drawn towards it because death is something I’ve always thought about and Atul’s documentary really spoke to me. I figured his book would too.
In Being Mortal, author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
Dome City Blues
by Jeff Edwards
This book has been sitting in my shelf forever. It’s another giveaway book that I received and then lost during a major move (to another city). It popped up (again during another move this time even further away). I’ve already read the first few pages and it’s looking like a pretty good read so far. Too bad, when I come across a highly anticipated read, I tend to leave it for last because I want to be extra cozy and prepared to read it. I can’t be the only one who does this right???
For fans of William Gibson, Phillip K. Dick, and Jak Koke…
Los Angeles: 2063
David Stalin was one of the best detectives in the business, running head-to-head with data-jackers, organ thieves, and the tech-enhanced gangs who ruled the shadowy streets of Los Angeles. He could do no wrong, until what seemed like an easy case got out of control, and left his wife dead among the abandoned ruins of old LA.
After four years of self-imposed retirement, David suddenly finds himself back on the job, struggling to unravel a crime far worse than murder. This time, he’s not the hunter. As he’s about to discover, the past isn’t finished with him yet.
I’ve slowly started to collect physical Sandford books alongside my Kindle ones. Deadline, Shadow Prey, and Ocean Prey are my latest purchases (separately) for this series while Buried Prey has been there forever. Since I already read both the Prey and Virgil Flowers series out of order, it’s all good with me (though I intend to reread everything in order in the future). I’m hoping to pick a month this year just for these books.
Despite being one of my favorite authors, I still have a good ton of his books I have yet to read because I keep treating them as my “in between treats” or my go-to books if I was truly in a major slump. Sandford is like…my emergency having-a-good-time ration 😂
It’s Virgil Flowers! And this is one of the thrilling novels in the #1 “New York Times” bestselling series.
In Southeast Minnesota, down on the Mississippi, a school board meeting is coming to an end. The board chairman announces that the rest of the meeting will be closed, due to a personnel issue. “Issue” is the correct word. It’s also an understatement. The proposal up for a vote before them is whether to authorize the killing of a local reporter. The vote is unanimous, five to zero in favor.
Meanwhile, not far away, Virgil Flowers is helping out a friend by looking into a dognapping, which seems to be turning into something much bigger and uglier—a team of dognappers supplying medical labs—when he gets a call from Lucas Davenport. A murdered body has been found—and the victim is a local reporter!
Blurb: Buried Prey
A house demolition provides an unpleasant surprise for Minneapolis-the bodies of two girls, wrapped in plastic. It looks like they’ve been there a long time. Lucas Davenport knows exactly how long.
In 1985, Davenport was a young cop with a reputation for recklessness, and the girls’ disappearance was a big deal. His bosses ultimately declared the case closed, but he never agreed with that. Now that he has a chance to investigate it all over again, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: It wasn’t just the bodies that were buried. It was the truth.
Blurb: Shadow Prey
The #1 New York Times bestselling series. Lucas Davenport goes on a city-to-city search for a bizarre ritualistic killer.
A slumlord and a welfare supervisor butchered in Minneapolis . . . a rising political star executed in Manhattan . . . an influential judge taken in Oklahoma City . . . All the homicides have the same grisly method — the victim’s throat is slashed with an Indian ceremonial knife – and in every case the twisted trail leads back through the Minnesota Native American community to an embodiment of primal evil known as Shadow Love. Once unleashed, Shadow Love’s need to kill cannot be checked, even by those who think they control him. Soon he will be stalking Lucas Davenport — and the woman he loves…
Never get involved with a cop: Lieutenant Lucas Davenport has been warning women for years, but now he finds himself on dangerous ground with a policewoman named Lily Rothenburg, on assignment from New York to help investigate the murders. Both have previous commitments, but neither can stop, and as their affair grows more intense, so too does the mayhem surrounding them, until the combined passion and violence threaten to spin out of control and engulf them both. Together, Lucas and Lily must stalk the drugged-out, desperate world of the city’s meanest streets to flush out Shadow Love — not knowing they are now the objects of his deadliest desires….
Blurb: Ocean Prey
An off-duty Coast Guardsman is fishing with his family when he calls in some suspicious behavior from a nearby boat. It’s a snazzy craft, slick and outfitted with extra horsepower, and is zipping along until it slows to pick up a surfaced diver . . . a diver who was apparently alone, without his own boat, in the middle of the ocean. None of it makes sense unless there’s something hinky going on, and his hunch is proved right when all three Guardsmen who come out to investigate are shot and killed.
They’re federal officers killed on the job, which means the case is the FBI’s turf. When the FBI’s investigation stalls out, they call in Lucas Davenport. And when his case turns lethal, Davenport will need to bring in every asset he can claim, including a detective with a fundamentally criminal mind: Virgil Flowers.
New year, new m— (I’m kidding.) Surprisingly, after years of people saying the same line, this year I have not seen “New year, new me” yet!
Last year, I didn’t really have any particular resolutions in mind other than to get a job nor did I have any particular blog goals [as I started in April]. But! This year! I have just a couple of goals in mind.
Read 25 Books
As someone who didn’t particularly read much after high school, I started my yearly goals off by matching it with the last digit of that year. In 2018, my goal was to read 8 books and then 9 books in 2019. Each of those years I just barely made it, reading 9 and 10 books respectively. It didn’t make sense to read 0 books in 2020 and that jump to 20 books was insane to me (at first), so I started the year out with 10 books. Some magical fairy sprinkled some pixie dust on me and I flew through 10 books before I even knew it. By the time 2020 ended, I just managed to reach my adjusted goal of 20 books. This year, I’m planning to aim for just a little bit higher by read 25 books.
Post More Often
With most of my content being reviews and having read only 20 books last year, it’s no surprise that I was hardly posting. This year, I’m hoping that with a little more books, I will have a reason to post a little more often. Throw in the mix of weekly book memes and maybe a little more variety to my content (maybe I’ll start doing interviews?) I think I could squeeze in a good handful more posts.
Read Books in 5 New Genres/Subgenres
Last year, I started to branch out from my usual mystery thrillers. Previously, I would read fantasy from time to time but I usually just stuck with the same mystery thrillers and the same type of mystery thrillers (police procedural).
Last year, I tried all sorts of different genres such as nonfiction and military thriller [fiction], even trying out steampunk! This year, I’m hoping to read books in even more genres. I might even try out cozy mysteries!
🎵 It’s the 6th day of January and my TBR gave to meee… 🎵
…Three lovely booookss!
One of my sub resolutions (is that a thing? What about ‘mini resolutions’?) is to clear my 2020 review requests. So January is dedicated to getting two of those books read along with a separate third book for myself!
River Queens Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America by Alexander Watsonis the first of my two requests. An autobiography (memoir) the book is about two men, their spotted dog, and a restored yacht as they travel from Texas to Ohio. I’m quite interested in reading this because I rarely read nonfictions and this one looks really interesting. I kept meaning to start it, but then things got hectic. So, the time is now! This is my January priority book.
TheSheriff by David Scott Meyer is the second book in The Fellowship Series. If you’ve read my review of the first book back in October, you’ll remember me talking about the interesting choice of font. The author had provided me with both the first and the second book of Fellowship series/trilogy.
The first book had been pretty interesting and I was fascinated with the font choice. The entire book was practically in bold and look, when you read a ton of books with relatively the same font, something that sticks out as much as bold font just made it a very special read. Somehow…it also made it easier for me to read.
Anyways, I’m ready to tackle this next book up this month. I want to see where this series goes.
The Hands We’re Givenby O.E. Tearmann was found during the two weeks I was obsessed with cyberpunk, which was when Cyberpunk 2077 was just released and I was binging Youtube playthroughs of the game. My non-request read of the month; this book’s genres were Dystopia > Cyberpunk, LGBT > Transgender and it had cardson the cover and it sounded cool and it was part of those “Whoops my hands slipped” buying sprees via Amazon’s devilish One-Click button.
Did I mention the summary had one of my favorite troupes; ragtag team?
Welp, that’s it!
If I manage to finish all three books this month, than I can glide through my 2021 challenge by reading 2 books a month. Every year, my last 48 hours of the year reminds me that I am very much capable of finishing an entire book in a single day if I was motivated enough. If I was that motivated, I could read 365 books a year! But let’s not get carried away. Slow and steady now.
After an entire year of not being able to find a house, we finally managed to get lucky. Moved and mostly unpacked now, I get to rejoice at being able to kick back and relax with a cup of tea and a good book. It’s a small little something that I’ve been looking forward to for a while seeing as the months leading up to the house closing had been pretty rough.
The Black Company by Glen Cook
Ahhh. The book that broke my self-imposed book ban. An omnibus that comprises of the first three books in the series, I’m hoping that I can at least tackle the first book in November. Funny enough, I’ve actually read this book before, on my kindle (not realizing I had purchased the omnibus Kindle version rather than the first book alone). I had reached the end of the first book, completely lost and having no idea what the heck I just read, but proud that I made it to the end of the book at all only to look at my table of contents and seeing that I was only a third of the way in 😂.
Seeing that I have the time now, I’m going to re-tackle book one and hopefully a re-read will help me understand the book as from the little bits of what I did understand, I actually really enjoyed. After watching a couple of review videos on this book, I think I’m ready again. This is the book that I’m most interested in reading out of the three I have lined up for November.
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. Then comes the prophecy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more… This omnibus edition comprises The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose―the first three novels in Glen Cook’s bestselling fantasy series.
Mordecai’s Ashes by Arlana Crane
Now if you’ve read my September “Stay At Home” Book Tag post, you’d know that this book has already appeared once in the “What Are You Currently Reading” questions section. I had initially started this book, rotating with a few other books only to inevitably drop every single one of them because things got hectic.
Evidently, it seems that books I tend to look forward to more, I have a harder time picking up and starting them. I think that it’s the expectation of the book being very good that intimidates me. I want a perfectly hot cup of coffee and the perfectly fluffed pillow beneath my head first before I can enjoy this book. A review request book, this is one of the few books that I have backlogged that I really need to start on reading and get a review out for. I’m loving the cover art!
Karl Larsson is an out of work roughneck, home from the oil fields of Alberta and back on the coast for the first time in years. His wife has left him and his future looks bleak. Becoming a detective is the last thing on his mind, but when Karl learns that he has inherited his estranged grandfather’s agency he decides to take a chance.
River Queens: Saucy Boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America by Alexander Watson
Another book that I’m looking forward to is another backlogged review book, “River Queens: Saucy Boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America” by Alexander Watson. 2020 is truly the year that I’m branching out into different genres, huh? I hardly ever read nonfictions and this would be my second nonfiction this year.
Goodreads Summary: Two men and a spotted dog restore a vintage Chris-Craft motor yacht and launch across the American Heartland from Texas to Ohio. The restoration, the people they met along the way, and life in an America which few know exists are the story of River Queens: Saucy boat, stout mates, spotted dog, America.
I spent 9 years (almost 10) in Buffalo before moving back to the city I grew up in. Now I’m closer than ever to (half) of my family and I can’t even visit many of them. 2020 has been a long and hard year, but I don’t think anyone needs me to say that 😣. As an office worker, I was able to work from home for a couple months, having since returned to the office back in June. It was during the lockdown that I was able to start Cozy with Books and read more than I ever had in a year!
Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag (listed at the end of this post).
What are you currently reading?
I wanted to put The Eye of the World here because I’ve been trying to get past the first few chapters since I started the book maybe 1-2 months ago (ahhaha), but at this point, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve given up and it’ll get read when it…gets read…
My current reads now for now is a mix between new books, older books (rereads), and an MS (a request). The current read I’m most excited to get through would be Storm Front, the next book up in the Virgil Flowers series and honestly, with the libraries opening back up, I was just excited to have an excuse to go to the library again. Virgil Flowers is my excuse to everything.
What is your favorite “can’t leave the house” activity?
Besides the very obvious reading 😉? I enjoy playing video games on my switch (shoutouts to Dragon’s Dogma and Coffee Talk, I love you both!). I also enjoy making a cup of tea, forgetting that I made the cup of tea (for hours), and then sipping the now cold tea……while doing nothing but scrolling through my phone. Hey! Twittering is an activity, right??
What is a book you’ve been meaning to read forever?
I have been meaning to start Gardens of the Moon by Steve Erikson since forever and ever ago. I have the Kindle copy and it just sits there. I picked this book up back when I was simply looking for a fantasy book, not knowing how big, complicated, and popular it was. To me, it was just scrolling through GR and landing on a cool looking fantasy. I have heard it’s complicated and complex to read and I’m just…intimidated by it. I’m sure I’m just overthinking it and all I really need to do is “just do it,” but I’ve been stalling…uh for uh…years.
What is an intimidating book on your TBR?
Well…oop! Gardens of the Moon would’ve fit this question perfectly, huh? Good thing I’m scared of multiple books on my TBR 😂
My next most intimidating book would probably be The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. It would be my first introduction to Sanderson and I’ll be ready to read it…someday. Honestly, it’s a tome and the only thing stopping me isn’t the fear of a large book…but the lack of a comfortable reading position for I have no proper desk, couch, or even a sofa where I currently live.
What are the three top-priority books on your TBR?
Of course, things like review request books or Netgalley reads are obviously the books I ought to be tackling first… however, outside of that, these are the top three books I want to get started on right away!
I couldn’t find a book shorter than 300 pages on my list of books (that I liked enough to recommend) so I’m going to have to throw out a graphic novel instead. Having watched the anime first and then jumping into the manga, I recommend reading Blood Blockage Battlefront by the creator of Trigun, Yasuhiro Nightow. It’s been a long time since I last read a manga and I throughly enjoyed the book and anime. If you want a quick summary, a portal has opened up between the netherworlds and earth. Taking place in New York City, humans now have to learn to coexist with the demons, monsters, and the otherworldly creatures that have crossed over.
Recommend a long book!
Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child is my first introduction to Child and his Jack Reacher series. Nabbed off the “Free! Take me!” cart at my college’s library, it was just a random cool looking book. Plus. Free. Duh.
This book was fast paced and exciting and I really need to dig it out and reread it. I loved it from the first page to the last and was the book to kick start my years worth of reading slumps. Between this and Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell, it is also one of the books responsible for me falling in love with my favorite genre: mystery thrillers.
What do you plan on reading next?
As I’ve never really finished a series before (not even a trilogy!) I look forward to completing my first: The Shattered Sigil Trilogy. I’ve read the first two books with me flying through the first book. The second book was a little harder to get through, but it was still a pretty good read! Now I look forward to reading the last book: The Labyrinth of Flame by Courtney Schafer.
(Apologies if you’ve been tagged before or have already done this tag!)
It’s Teaser Tuesday! A weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker where all you have to do is to grab your current read, pick a random page, and select a non-spoiler sentence or two (from somewhere on that page) to share! If you enjoy the teaser, you might even want to add it to your own TBR!
Remember to share the title and author so others can find the book too!
This Week’s Book is The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva!!
((Siri! QUICK! HELP me Pick a Random Number Between 1 and 281!))
Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.
TeaserLocation: ~33% of the book
“Think nice thoughts. Think nice thoughts. Don’t think about the chair. Think nice thoughts. Don’t think about the chair. Think nice thoughts. Think nice thoughts.” I eventually drift off into a disruptive sleep. Did I make the right decision? Should I have just stayed awake and kept my head protected away from any contact with the chair?
I finished July in a burst of last minute adrenaline. Three books took everything out of me so I’m hoping August will be a little less busy. While my list here is a bit extensive (for me) and maybe pushing it, I’m hoping that I can get through at least 2 or 3 of the books on this TBR and hopefully, if miracles can happen, I might finish the first book of WoT too 😅
Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America by George Mahood
Again, I went on a Amazon hunt for any new “Free to Read” books. The first of the two books I picked out, for this month, is “Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America” by George Mahood. I know nothing else about this book besides that it’s a book about a road trip between two British guys and the last time I read a travel book, I loved it, so I might as well try another one.
Two Brits, George and Mark, set off from New York City to explore the back roads of America. In this calamity-ridden travel tale, George sets out in true clichéd fashion to discover the real America. Throw in plenty of run-ins with the police, rapidly dwindling finances and Josephine – the worst car in the world – and you have all the ingredients for a classic American road trip. Will George and Mark make it all the way to California? And then there is Rachel, George’s girlfriend, left back in England. Would travelling to the United States without her turn out to be the stupidest decision he had ever made?
The Light in the Hallway by Amanda Prowse
I loved my first Amanda Prowse book, “The Day She Came Back” which also happened to be my first Netgalley read. It was the first time I cried so much that I started to keep a cry count (not even kidding). The first chapter made me cry, the last chapter made me cry, every other chapter in the middle made me cry, the book was Niagara Falls inducing!
So when I found an Amanda Prowse book on the Prime Reading list, I was overjoyed. This is one of the books I really hope I can get to during this month!
When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsure how to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly. In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy? And in the aftermath of tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?
The Milan Job by Krista Cagg
The most exciting part of August is here! I’ll be taking part of my first book tour hosted by Psst Promotions! I’ll be sharing an excerpt and a review for this book towards the end of August so look forward to it (because I sure am!!) Finally a Steampunk book that suits my extra picky tastes :’) I’m…really…REALLY excited…! I read the first few pages and already have this bubbly giddy feeling in my tummy.
I’ve been craving a steampunk-like book for a long long time and it’s been an even longer time since I last read a book with a decent female protagonist that doesn’t fall into my least favorite trope where the female protagonist starts out strong…only to need rescuing by her love interest (I’m 80% sure it’s called the “Damsel in Distress” trope). The book comprises of five episodes in roughly 200 pages. I’m gearing up for a good time reading these shorts (which I’ve come to discover that I love). Paired with one of my favorite tropes (the “ragtag bunch of misfits”) I can only expect an exciting and adventurous read.
Meet Captain Alexandria de Sade, the proud and once loyal captain of Naviwerks chrono-ship #25. When she learned the truth about how the company was fleecing their customers she turned her back on the promotion they offered her, left the man she loved without a word, and disappeared with her ship. With a plan in mind to undermine Naviwerks’ business of artifact and heirloom retrieval, Captain Alex hired on several like-minded misfits to crew her chrono-ship which she re-christened The William’s Hunt. They are: An awkward but genius Horotech, an irascible ex-marine, a flamboyant playboy, a churlish physician, and a hot-shot pilot. Their first venture: go to Milan, Italy 1490 and retrieve the working model of Leonardo da Vinci’s Gran Cavallo before Naviwerks does. What should have been a simple snatch and run mission for the newly formed band of pirates goes south nearly immediately. In their struggle to recover, they learn that there is much more behind Naviwerks’ actions. Captain Alex and the crew of The William’s Hunt are the only ones that stand a chance of putting things right,and it seems as if her crew’s every step takes them deeper and deeper into discovering just how nefarious Naviwerks truly is. All five of the monthly episodes of the maiden voyage of The William’s Hunt are collected here in The Milan Job! Follow Captain Alex, Laurence Kane, Geri Reynolds, Nigel Wellington, Dr. Hennessey, and Angel Flynn as they try to stay one step ahead of Naviwerks and Agent Nash, all the while making a grab for the swag that will keep The William’s Hunt in operation.
Walks with Sam: A Man, a Dog, and a Season of Awakening by David W. Berner
My Netgalley selection of the month is another, “Read Now” book. I had waltzed into the wrong section earlier, my exhaustion-cloud hazed eyes and my cotton candy brain had mistook the humor section for the horror section (again!) and went through 3 scary summaries before realizing I was in the wrong section and promptly hopped right off. I spent a good few seconds in the humor section before giving “Nature and Outdoors” a try. to my surprise, the genre isn’t all “garden guides” like I had assumed…An ARC with a publication date of August 28th, I hope to finish this before then and get a review up maybe a day or two beforehand.
A man, his dog, and a long walk can lead to unexpected discoveries. In the tradition of many literary walkers, David W. Berner sets out on foot hoping to reexamine his life, look back and forward, and most importantly, through the help of his young dog, Sam, try to find harmony in new beginnings and the uncertainties of the present. In a series of chapters, each dedicated to one walk during a summer of hiking, the author finds that it is his beloved pet that allows him to awaken to a new spirit of mindfulness, finding beauty, wonder, and comfort in the ordinary, and to see a life, a neighborhood, and even a country with brand new eyes.
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Now this one is really pushing it. Every time I look up recommendations for epic fantasies, the same few series keep popping up and one of them is The First Law series. I’ve read a Mark Lawrence book (Prince of Fools) and commented about how much I loved the witty dialogue and writing and someone (on Reddit) had mentioned that this book had a similar witty writing style. SOLD. I actually have no idea what the book is about. I never made it past the first two chapters before I fell into an affair with maybe 10 other books, but I’m hoping to get back into this one and give this well hyped book a try. Maybe not this month…it’s 500+ pages…so I’ll throw it into the “very much hopeful, but extremely unlikely to start or finish” pile.
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies. Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules. Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it. Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult. Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.
Note: None of these books are in reading order… I simply grouped up the Prime Readings up top because there’s two of them. I’m going to tackle the ones that have “deadlines” first (Milan and Sam).
I knew this day was going to come eventually! A game inspired (or rather a fanfiction inspired) TBR list!
A few weeks ago, I had just finished reading a fanfiction for the game: Fire Emblem Rekka No Ken (Blazing Sword). It’s a game I never got to physically play and so, through words, I let Fanfiction and Ao3 authors guide and take me through the story, settings, and characters; an immersion into a game that I’ve never even touched! (I’ll admit, visuals-wise, for games I’ve never played, Youtube playthroughs and “Let’s Plays” were the MVP 😎)
I love fanfictions because I get to live through the things I’ve never got to experience and for things I have read/watched/played, it just helps bring it to life! Game plots are amazing on their own (sometimes) but when someone takes the dialogue and expands it into a full retelling, everything just feels so real!
Well the one I read was phenomenal and I loved it to bits and pieces. If you’re interested, the link to the fanfiction is right here: (Love, Life, and Peril by LiamReyas).
However, it ended abruptly and it’s been a long time (last updated 3 years ago). I finished feeling empty and sad (and I totally understand if stories become “DNF’d” by their authors or are on hiatus). Maybe I needed closure or maybe I just craved for books that gave off the same feelings as the fic, but I ended up on a Googling spree.
The player/avatar of Blazing Sword is the group’s tactician. He had limited customization (name, birth month, and gender but no face), was never physically playable and you couldn’t control him as a fighter the same way you could control the other units, but he represented you as you moved your units around the stage map. After all, you are the tactician behind the Gameboy screen; who was to fight who, who needed healing, who needed to retreat to the back line, which units are meant to go up front, etc. By the end, the fanfic put me in the mood for tactics/strategy/small army/newfound family/genius protagonists (or side characters) books.
And so…cue the Googling spree. Here are a few books I ran into that I ended up shelving as TBR or To-Read on Goodreads. Some series had books I have previously heard of or even read myself!
((If you have any books fitting the descriptions…do let me know!!))
During my search across a few Reddit posts, Goodreads lists, and other question sites this was one of the most recommended series. While he is not the main protagonist, he is an important and major supporting character and essential to the books; our genius tactician here is Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich!
Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel—but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic….
Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.
To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men and lead them into battle against impossible odds.
The fates of both these soldiers and all the men they lead depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning. But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural—a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.
The first book, Promise of Blood (book 1), is actually a book I’ve read in my 2nd (1st?) year of college. It was a fantastic book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The plot slips away from my memories so I’d have to reread this book if I wanted to get back into the series, but I loved the first book and their characters were written very well. The plot was an interesting mix of fantasy, technology, and sci-fi (gunpowder). Our tactician in this book is Field Marshall Tamas!
The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.
It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king… Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.
Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.
But when gods are involved… Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should…
In a rich, distinctive world that mixes magic with technology, who could stand against mages that control gunpowder and bullets?
Here’s a book I admit to have “judged by the cover”! While I’ve never actually heard of anyone talking about this series, I have passed by the entire set, sitting on the shelves of Barnes and Nobles, oh so countless many times! I had always taken a look at the cover, went “Eh. Looks like some dated 1990s Dungeons and Dragons RPG game” and put it back on the shelf (which is hilarious because I have had R.A. Salvatore’s Homeland book on my Kindle, still TBR, for the longest time ever and one of the listed genres for the book on GR was literally “Dungeons and Dragons” so I don’t know what was my actual reason for not liking the cover to this book was as the Homeland purchase had been based off of how much I loved one of his other books…which was also a Dungeons and Dragons book!) The mentioned “tactician that fits the bill” in this series was mostly Matrim Cauthon but someone had debated that Rodel was a better fit? Of course, I’d have to read it myself to judge. So…WOT series…I’m sorry I judged you on your cover 🥺 I must give you a try!
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Runner Ups and Relative Similarities [To What I’m Looking For]
The above three books are the top three series I am hoping to get into at least in the near future of this year. However, I have a couple of other TBR books and series that I added to my GR shelf as books that are relatively near what I was looking for; two of which I have read and one that is already on my Kindle (and has been sitting there for a while…)
GR Summary: As the Royal Navy takes part in the wars against Napoleonic France, young Jack Aubrey receives his first command, the small, old, and slow HMS Sophie. Accompanied by his eccentric new friend, the physician and naturalist Stephen Maturin, Aubrey does battle with the naval hierarchy, with his own tendency to make social blunders, and with the challenges of forging an effective crew — before ultimately taking on enemy ships in a vivid, intricately detailed series of sea battles.
The Lies of Locke Lamora of the Gentleman Bastard Series by Scott Lynch [Book 1 Read](Not really for the tactics per say but just crazy schemes and crazy adventures in general. I loved book one.)
GR Summary: An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.
GR Summary: Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.
Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men – or worse, a company of mercenaries – against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.
It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.
The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he’s determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it’s just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with.
Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war…
Gardens of the Moonof the Malazan Book of the Fallen Series by Steven Erikson (This is a book I’ve had on my Kindle for forever. I chose it for its genre [fantasy] and I believe the first time I came across it was in Barnes and Nobles too. I keep meaning to start it, but I’ve read that it’s overwhelmingly complex and tons of names are thrown at you so I’ve been pushing it off with the excuse of “It’s intimidating” but I do mean to get to it…eventually.)
GR Summary: The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.
For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.
However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…
Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order–an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.
The Black Company of The Chronicles of the Black Company Series by Glen Cook (Read?? But I can’t recall the plot at all??) (I read through this book to the end, but for some very odd reason, I couldn’t make much sense of it. Technically…I finished this book, but I didn’t process it? Much of my time spent with it felt like those textbooks you read once, blindly regurgitate during the exam, and promptly forgot the context. However, people keep referring back to this book for being a father of sorts to the Grim/Dark Fantasy subgenre so I mean to revisit this book or maybe purchase the physical book as sometimes I process paper better than Kindle. It deserves a reread.)
GR Summary: Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead. Until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. There must be a way for the Black Company to find her… So begins one of the greatest fantasy epics of our age—Glen Cook’s Chronicles of the Black Company.
Disclaimer: All of the above pictures are found on and from their [book’s] Goodreads page.