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.

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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).

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.

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.



First Lines Friday #38

Hello my lovely peeps🐥 and happy Friday!
It’s the end of the week and I’m looking forward to a weekend of books and video games!
Last weekend was Chinese New Years so I didn’t spend much time at home and the past two weekends were spent cleaning up for it. So this weekend, I finally get to lay down and relax for a bit! 

For today’s post, we have a First Lines Friday!
After picking up and DNF’ing a handful of books (3 I think), I finally have one on hand that I’m on the 60% mark at. Can you guess what it is based on its 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…

If you want to make it in the galaxy, the first thing you need to learn—and you might want to get this written down somewhere, because if you forget it, you’re screwed just like every other clueless wastrel wandering the cosmos—is that every decision has a consequence.

Enjoyed that preview? This week’s book is…

Pirate Bounty by Rick Partlow & Pacey Holden

Blurb (Goodreads)

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?

WWW Wednesday – 11 Jan 2023

Happy Wednesday my lovely peeps🐥!
After Righteous Prey, at the end of September, I went into a reading hiatus and when I came back, it was a slow ease, reading here and there and mostly for BBNYA. I’m glad to finally be back on schedule: one book a week and reviews on Thursdays!

Today’s post is going to be this week’s WWW Wednesday!

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?

Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida

I’m currently reading a book for my first blog tour of the year: Unanimity by Alexandra Almeida. It’s pretty interesting and intense so far, and I look forward to finishing it this week.

Goodreads Blurb:

Shadow is a reluctant god with a broken mind and a death wish. He used to be Thomas Astley-Byron, an affluent young screenwriter whose creativity and idealism saved a world from the brink of collapse. Together with Henry Nowak, an AI expert, Tom created heaven on earth by inventing a Jungian simulated reality that helps humans confront their dark sides. The benevolent manipulation platform turned the two unelected leaders into beloved gods, but now everything is failing. The worlds suffer as a sentimental Tom descends into his own personal hell, becoming the embodiment of everything he despises and a shadow of his former self.

His journey from an optimistic, joyful Tom to a gloomy Shadow is paved with heartache and sinister interference from emerging technology. Humans and bots fight for his heart, but their aims differ: some want to own it, some to dissect it, and others to end its foolish beat. Still, the biggest threat comes from within—none of the sticky stories that steer Tom’s life end well.

Who’s pulling on Shadow’s heartstrings? Are their intentions malign or benign? It’s all a matter of perspective, and Shadow has none left.

Now, a young goddess—Estelle Ngoie—has been appointed to replace him, and unlike Shadow, Stella takes no prisoners, and her heart bleeds for no one.

What have you just finished reading?

Open Season by C.J. Box

The poor book had been sitting on my bookshelf since prior to my then-local Kmart closing down (2018-2019). I figured it was time to read it. I had it added to my New Year’s resolutions and goals for this year, part of a list of 5 books I’ve owned forever and thus must read by 2024. It was a bit of an accident that I ended up picking it as my first read of the year. Really enjoyed it, actually, and the review is live on Cozy with Books, tomorrow!

Goodreads Blurb:

The first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series featuring Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett–the book that launched one of the biggest, most reliable, and fastest growing franchises in commercial fiction!

Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden–especially one like Joe who won’t take bribes or look the other way–is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. Even after the discovery of two more bodies, and the resolution of the case by local police, Joe continues to investigate.

As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of this rare species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species, and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.

What are you going to read next?

Tanqueray by Brandon Stanton & Stephanie Johnson

This has been on my TBR for a while, ever since I saw Brandon’s original post and Tanqueray/Stephanie’s story on HONY’s Facebook. I was running through the nonfiction section of Libby when I came across this audiobook copy and, seeing as next week will be hectic with both the new job & Chinese New Year prep, the length was just perfect. I can’t wait to get into this one!

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

I was in Barnes & Noble, the other day, and already had two books on hand. I left the table (that had this book on display along with other nonfictions), and came back, and left, and came back, and left and told myself I’m on a strict budget, and came back, and left again, and eventually, as I was rushing to the register, I came back and grabbed it. I heard great things about it, the writing (in the brief period that I skimmed the book) did not sound like the boring history textbooks I am used to seeing such topics in, and honestly, the glossy pages won me over because I like shiny things.

I’d also seen it before, floating around booktok and bookstagram, and when I was checking out, the cashier also told me that he really liked this book. I wasn’t about to leave it behind then!

Goodreads Blurb (Tanqueray):

1970s New York City: Go-go dancers, The Peppermint Lounge, gangsters, Billy’s Topless, and Stephanie Johnson…

In 2019, Humans of New York featured a photo of a woman in an outrageous fur coat and hat she made herself. She instantly captured the attention of millions. Her name is Stephanie Johnson, but she’s better known to HONY followers as “Tanqueray,” the indefatigable woman who was once one of the best-known burlesque dancers in New York City.

Brandon Stanton chronicled her life in the longest series he had yet posted on HONY, but, now, Stephanie Johnson—a woman as fabulous, unbowed, and irresistible as the city she lives in—tells all in Tanqueray, a book filled with never-before-told stories, personal photos from her own collection, and glimpses of New York City back in the day when the name “Tanqueray” was on everyone’s lips.

Goodreads Blurb (Sapiens):

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power … and our future.

That’s a wrap for this week! How is your bookish week looking?
Are you reading anything good? Let me know in the comments below!

First Lines Friday #37

Happy Friday! It’s the first Friday of the year and I’m currently in the middle of my first book of the year as well so for today’s post, I’m sharing a First Lines Friday with you! Can you guess what book it is based on the opening sentences?

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…

When a high-powered rifle bullet hits living flesh it makes a distinctive—pow-WHOP—sound that is unmistakable even at tremendous distance. There is rarely an echo or fading reverberation or the tailing rumbling hum that is the sound of a miss. The guttural boom rolls over the terrain but stops sharply in a close-ended way, as if jerked back. A hit is blunt and solid like an airborne grunt. When the sound is heard and identified, it isn’t easily forgotten.

Enjoyed that preview? This week’s book is…

Open Season (Joe Pickett # 1) by C. J. Box

Blurb (Goodreads)

The first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series featuring Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett–the book that launched one of the biggest, most reliable, and fastest growing franchises in commercial fiction!

Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden–especially one like Joe who won’t take bribes or look the other way–is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. Even after the discovery of two more bodies, and the resolution of the case by local police, Joe continues to investigate.

As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of this rare species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species, and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.

WWW Wednesday – 29 Aug 2022

Hello, my lovely peeps🐥!
I had the longest Tuesday ever, but it’s finally the middle of the week and that means it’s time for this week’s reading check in!

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?

Glittering a Turd: How surviving the unsurvivable taught me to live by Kris Hallenga

My current read is my latest NetGalley approval, Glittering a Turd by Kris Hallenga. I’ve taken a liking to reading memoirs lately, but can only work with them if they’re an audiobook. I’m enjoying the book so far and have been listening while gaming these last few days.

What have you just finished reading?

Winter Prey by John Sandford

Oh gosh, this one was disgusting and heinous. Back with Davenport again, it’ll be my last Prey book before I skip all the way to the end next time, with Righteous Prey. I’m starting to go all over the place, but intending to ultimately stick to the order. Sandford sure has a way to make you feel brutally cold, even in the middle of summer!

What are you going to read next?

The Frederick Sisters Are Living the Dream by Jeannie Zusy

I keep saying I’m going to get to this book, but never end up doing so! Well, this is my next book and I’m determined to read this once and for all. It’s not that I’m not interested in it, but I keep finding myself burying older TBRs with new ones and I’m sure that’s a bad bookish habit we’re all familiar with…

And that’s this week’s reading update! What’s on your bookish list this week? Did you pick up or finish anything good?