General Posts, Non Reviews

Shameful Saturday: Ten Indie Books I Keep Saying I’m Going to Read Yesterday

I swear I am plugging away at my “imminent TBR” list! Also, I live for lists now. I’ve stopped buying new books while I tackle my TBR pile for real, and to be accountable, here are ten of the indie books that I’ve been saying I’m going to read forever and just haven’t gotten there yet.

As indie April comes to a close this seems appropriate. I own all ten either in hard copy or on Kindle, and it’s going to happen sooner rather than later (I hope). There’s no excuse, sorry authors!

Will all apologies again to the authors, my goal is to read 2-3 of these a month for the summer!

1) Godfrey’s Crusade by Mark Howard

I’ve been interacting with the author on Twitter for a while now and have been absolutely dying to read these. They sound amazing and he’s got a lot of knowledge going into the books!


A crusade is called to aid the Kingdom of Azgald in the distant Nordslands, and the young idealistic knight, Godfrey, does not hesitate to volunteer. Yet Godfrey soon learns that the greatest threat to the expedition’s success is not the savage clans under High Warlord Alvir and the Great Witch of the North, Nera, or the orcs and cyclopes that fight beside the clans but the rivalries between the crusaders themselves. Can Godfrey interpret the vision granted to him by the gods and unite the crusaders with his holy blade? Will his love, Madeline, be able to keep her magical powers hidden from suspicious priests and opportunistic lords? Will they be able to stop Nera and Alvir from unleashing an ancient evil upon Azgald or will Godfrey and his friends all meet a bitter end in the frigid Nordslands?

2) The Fall is All There Is by C.M. Caplan

This is a newer addition to the list but C.M. Caplan is hilarious and there’s a cyborg horse on the cover. I don’t really need anything else but the book also has some incredible reviews so far!


You never want to ruin a really good dramatic exit. When you flee home on a cyborg horse the exact second you turn eighteen, you don’t really expect to go back to the place you fled from, you know? But sometimes your old life hits you from behind.

3) Brian, Created Intelligence by AJ Pagan

This book sounds like it contains everything I love in sci-fi, including artificial intelligence and ethical conundrums. I always just seem to have something else to read and it gets bypassed, but no more! It’s also on US Kindle sale right now as of 4/22 so go grab it


Within a four foot stainless steel cube, a bodiless brain is awake, thinking, computing, knowing. Brian was created by genetic engineer Dr. Ellie Parsons, and neuroscientist Tom Marshall, at biotechnology company Dipol Inc., in San Diego, CA. Ethical questions abound as they hide Brian’s true identity from him and the world around. To Brian, he’s merely artificial intelligence, tasked with creating even more intelligent systems. To Ellie and her company, he’s a means to an end, to create true artificial intelligence using his genius and the brain computer interface attached to his only true organ. All is as well as it can be until the day a psychotic agent of DARPA, Jonathan Volt, commandeers it for use in none other than militarization. Once Ellie neurally links herself to Brian, all bets are off to ensure his safety as his entire life is literally on the table.

4) Robocopter Ski Patrol by AC Cross

I’ve liked everything I’ve read by A.C. so far and he’s also hilarious. I started this and was having fun. I don’t honestly remember what happened. A.C. would probably tell you to go read Where Blood Runs Gold instead but I already have 🤷‍♀️


Join Adam, Miss Girl from Ipanema, and a cast of idiots and perverts as they seek to stop the balance of world power from changing before it’s too late.

Also, there’s a Robocopter. Not sure if you picked that up but…it’s kind of important.

5) I’m Sorry About Tommy by Andre Pretty

This author is really acutely aware of blind person problems and I consider him a treasure! I bought this novella immediately after loving a few of his tweets and now it’s been sitting in my TBR pile 🤦‍♀️


A cabin in the woods.

A northern town after the gold rush.

A dysfunctional family torn by the sins of the past. Follow James, a Metis boy coming of age, as he learns to navigate the violent, & unforgiving world around him.

Torn between Mother & Father.

Will a brother’s love be enough to save him?

Can he escape the static pulling him into the grey place inside his head… or is he already too far gone?

6) The Engineer by Darren Handshaw

I think it’s the length that keeps putting me off of this one but NO LONGER! I said I would read it and I’m going to darn it, plus it sounds great


When the Engineer, Actaeon, arrives at Pyramid in the heart of Redemption, nothing goes according to plan. Mysterious raiders pursue him relentlessly across the shattered remains of the ancient metropolis, and the leaders of his homeland pay no heed to his ambitious ideas. Meanwhile, deep beneath Pyramid, a deadly creature stirs. And, when Actaeon meets a skilled young Knight Arbiter with brilliant blue eyes, he starts down a path he could never have imagined.

7) One Man’s Trash by Ryan Southwick

Because my horse’s name is One Womans Trash, I latched onto this book by Ryan Southwick. He had contacted me about another book to review but I wanted this one and grabbed a copy when it released.  There’s a whole series of truck stop at the center of the galaxy books that can be read as standalones


Croft Winder grew up believing that love is blind.

It wasn’t until he took his fiancée on a little vacation to the Truck Stop at the Center of the Galaxy, however, that he learned it can also be downright insane.

Will the wonders of the Truck Stop save their relationship or send it to the executioner’s block? Not even the ancient Delphians could have guessed.

A cozy science fiction romance adventure.

8) The World of Linaria series by L.L MacRae

These books get a ton of praise and I just haven’t had time to look into them too much. They’ve been on my radar though.


If you love dragons, airships, and sky pirates, you’ll love discovering THE WORLD OF LINARIA

9) Norylska Groans by Michael R. Fletcher & Clayton W. Snyder

Ever since Dr Mauro lent me his review for GrimDarkTober I’ve been thrilled by this book. It sounds perfect


Norylska Groans…

with the weight of her crimes. In a city where winter reigns amid the fires of industry and war, soot and snow conspire to conceal centuries of death and deception.

Norylska Groans…

and the weight of a leaden sky threatens to crush her people. Katyusha Leonova, desperate to restore her family name, takes a job with Norylska’s brutal police force. To support his family, Genndy Antonov finds bloody work with a local crime syndicate.

Norylska Groans…

with the weight of her dead. As bodies fall, the two discover a foul truth hidden beneath layers of deception and violence: Come the thaw, what was buried will be revealed.

10) Why Odin Drinks by Bjørn Larssen

This just sounds funny and amazing and I’ve been meaning to get to it since it came out! I also have Children 😅


Poor Odin only just started existing and already has a Universe to decorate, a smug Tree to ignore, and two competitive brothers who think they’d make better All-Fathers. His wife, who knows the future, won’t tell him a word because of his cheating, which he hasn’t even invented yet. Horrible things such as celery, mosquitoes, Loki’s dubious sense of humour, and people keep happening at him. The esteemed egg whisk and highly regarded feather duster? Not so much. There are only two sensible things Odin can do: 1) hang from the judgy Tree for nine days with a spear through his side and 2) drink from the Well of Wisdom, whose guardian, Sir Daddy Mímir, likes one-of-a-kind gifts. In his head, Odin’s idea seems wise…

Bonus) Duckett & Dyer by GM Nair

He literally offered to come on to Sunday Brunch and give an absolutely not sarcastic at all interview, and I don’t even know what’s wrong with me but I cannot get this book read despite wanting to quite badly 🤦‍♀️


Michael Duckett is fed up with his life. His job is a drag, and his roommate and best friend of fifteen years, Stephanie Dyer, is only making him more anxious with her lazy irresponsibility. Things continue to escalate when they face the threat of imminent eviction from their palatial 5th floor walk-up and find that someone has been plastering ads all over the city for their Detective Agency.

The only problem is: Michael and Stephanie don’t have one of those.

Despite their baffling levels of incompetence, Stephanie eagerly pursues this crazy scheme and drags Michael, kicking and screaming, into the fray. Stumbling upon a web of missing people curiously linked by a sexually audacious theoretical physicist and his experiments with the fabric of space-time, the two of them find that they are way out of their depth. But unless Michael and Stephanie can put their personal issues aside and patch up the hole they tore in the multi-verse, the concept of existence itself may, ironically, cease to exist.

So that’s my list, wish me luck! What are you trying to read that just keeps getting pushed back?

General Posts, Non Reviews

In Honor of Starship: Ten Books Where Something Suffers a “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly”

Everyone loves a good old fashioned explosion. At least I do. Especially when no one is hurt.  I was pretty bummed that Starship blew up, but at the same time it was nice to see them look at the positives and they’ll be trying again for sure.

Anyway, inspired by their quasi success story, here are a list of books where something spectacularly explodes or is otherwise destroyed. For fear of spoilers I won’t say anything specific but if you are like me and love epic destruction you might want to check out these books.

In no specific order, here we go:

1) Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman91a9F5i2yQL._AC_UF1000,1000_QL80_FMwebp_

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

What blows up: A ship 🥲

2) Nova by Samuel R Delany


Given that the suns of Draco stretch almost sixteen light years from end to end, it stands to reason that the cost of transportation is the most important factor of the 32nd century. And since Illyrion is the element most needed for space travel, Lorq von Ray is plenty willing to fly through the core of a recently imploded sun in order to obtain seven tons of it. The potential for profit is so great that Lorq has little difficulty cobbling together an alluring crew that includes a gypsy musician and a moon-obsessed scholar interested in the ancient art of writing a novel. What the crew doesn’t know, though, is that Lorq’s quest is actually fueled by a private revenge so consuming that he’ll stop at nothing to achieve it

What blows up: a supernova

3) The Trials of Ashmount by John Palladino


Cedain is destined to collapse.

Across a world rife with blood, betrayal, and brutality, five people wade through unexpected tragedies.

An egotistical student, a fleeing refugee, a nomadic warrior, a fallen noble, and a criminal in hiding navigate the sinister dealings of politicians, two sudden wars, and nefarious lies that surface at Ashmount-a university dedicated to teaching the five branches of magic

What blows up: at least one building 😆

4) The Star (A Short Story) by Arthur C. Clarke

So… I don’t have a summary for this but basically a priest is having a crisis of faith and the star of Bethlehem is a supernova.  It’s a very short (like 4-5 pages) and pretty moving short story

What blows up: a supernova 

5) The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang


A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

Thanks to Imyril for reminding of me of The Poppy War!

What blows up: ummm….. Everything 😅

6) Medusa’s Child by John J. Nance


– In which a sociopathic dead scientist arranged for nuke to be put on a plane, heading to Washington D.C. Something is bound to be blown up yeah? I enjoyed this book even if it was a little long

What blows up: A Thermonuclear Bomb

7) The Empyrean by Katherine Franklin

The Empyrean by Katherine Franklin

The Empyrean is the first book in the Galaxy of Exiles series, a science-fiction space opera about a galaxy under the pall of weaponised emotions. Immerse yourself in a detailed universe of heroes, villains and more. If you like page-turning futuristic action, you’ll love this

What blows up: at least one planet 

9) Wistful Ascending by JCM Berne


A superhero space opera for grownups.

For fans of Invincible and Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

If Thor and Harry Dresden combined in a transporter accident.

The il’Drach have conquered half a galaxy behind the civilization-ending Powers of their mixed-species children.

Half-human Rohan, exhausted by a decade fighting for their Empire, has paid a secret and terrible price for his freedom

What blows up: a ship 🥲

10) Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh


A thrillingly told queer space opera about the wreckage of war, the family you find, and who you must become when every choice is stripped from you, Some Desperate Glory is award-winning author Emily Tesh’s highly anticipated debut novel.

What Blows up: I am told – “lots of things”. I haven’t read this but A Literary Escape and Welsh Book Fairy both came to Twitter to recommend this upcoming debut novel for it’s explosions, so check it out if it sounds up your alley!

Anyway – reviews for most of these books can be found on the blog if anyone is interested! Thanks for having some book fun with me today!

General Posts, Non Reviews

The Quarter Year Crisis Book Tag! Jan-March 2023 (1st Quarter)

I can’t believe we are into April already, wow! I’m just trying to slow down and enjoy the spring but it’s still freezing out.

Anyway, I’ve seen the Quarter Year Crisis book tag floating around a lot this month and it’s a great tag, so I’m jumping in! I’m also just going to tag “anyone who sees this” 🤣

The original tag was created by Roisin’s Reading on BookTube, a great channel!

How many books have you read so far?

I’m at 33 for the year! I tend to read 10-11 books a month and have been on par with that although my page count may be much lower due to shorter books😅

Have you already found a book you think might be a 2023 favourite?

I started out the year really strong with two Joe Abercrombie books, Before They Are Hanged and The Last Argument of Kings. I also read Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett that was strong


Any 1-star books / least favourite book of the year?

I hate to keep harping on this but yeah, I truly disliked Stella Maris and The Passenger.  I also thought The Hermes Protocol was utterly stupid and far past the political correctness quota


Most read genre so far?

I think because of the SPSFC that sci-fi actually surpassed fantasy up to this point. Don’t quote me on that though, it’s pretty close either way

A book that surprised you?

Oooh…. Hum…. How about The Rush’s Echo by Ginger Smith? I *ducks behind couch sorry* didn’t have great expectations for the book but was happily surprised that she totally nailed the ending and it was worth the wait to read!

The Rush's Echo book cover

A book that’s come out in 2023 already that you want to read but haven’t yet?

The three releases I am truly looking forward to are coming out 1) likely in the summer and 2+3) in November.  Those are Down Below Beyond by TA Bruno, and then a new short story/novella by Kristin Britain in the Green Rider universe, and, new Tad Williams. 2023 releases haven’t really appealed yet

One goal you made that you’re succeeding at?

Reducing my book buying and continuing to unhaul books instead of hoarding them! I’m very proud of both of these goals!

One goal you made that you need to focus on?

I’m doing a fairly good job of expanding my reading into short stories and famous authors I’m not as familiar with, such as the AD collection. I’m off to a good start but will focus more on this once the SPSFC ends


New to you Bloggers/Booktubers/ Bookstagrammers/Booktokers for 2023 you recommend?

I’m set in my ways and haven’t started truly following any new reviewers.  Philip Chase is still my number one.  I did find the Avram Davidson Universe (or they found me haha) and have been learning a lot about sci-fi genre history through their site and Twitter links. Through that I found Endless Bookshelf who also has a lot of varied and interesting content.

I’m excited to see how the second quarter of 2023 goes! There is some new content coming and things that I’m extremely excited for, nott least the final round of the SPSFC and some collaborations I’m working on 😅

General Posts, Non Reviews

March Wrap Up & April TBR (Stats & Shenanigans)

March was a wild month and I spent the majority of it in the UK! While I didn’t read as much I went to my first non US convention, did a whole lot of bookstore crawling in various areas, and saw a lovely spread of different towns & lifestyles. Is this where I also say I met the BF’s family and remarkably they didn’t hate me? Lol!

Ok let’s get this underway because there’s a bit of ground to cover:

April TBR:

This is easy so I’m doing it first.  I’ll spend April mood reading but I have 3 more SPSFC semifinalist books to knock out and they are:


I appreciate their shorter lengths and will knock them out asap.  April is #IndieApril and there are are two huge sales going on for the first few days of the month.  If anyone wants to feature about indie – general content – or their indie novel on Brunch this month, let me know!

March Wrap-up:

I *technically* finished 11 books but 2 were started in February and at least three of the others were well under 200 pages.  I have gotten into the habit of just sharing my favorite read from each month so … *scratches head* … I didn’t LOVE any of my March reads. Nothing was rated 5 stars.  My gut says give it to Trailer Park Trickster by David R Slayton, so there we go.

I dismally hated my most anticipated read of the year: the Cormac McCarthy bait & switch. I wrote quite a bit on The Passenger (he’s lost his damn mind) and Stella Maris then dropped the brand new hardcover set in my giveaway box 🤦‍♀️

Either way, I read a solid and balanced mix of sci-fi, fantasy, mystery/thriller, and literary fiction. I hurt my brain but am happy with what I read and persevered through some difficult books.

So yeah. I did a lot of deeper writing this month, including some final thoughts on Avram Davidson that resulted in a cool email from his now publisher saying he likes my blog 😳 I thought I infringed a copyright or something and he was just saying hi! It also created a Twitter thread that ultimately made me question (once again) what it means to be well read. More on that next week.

I also did one Sunday Brunch interview with L.L. Stephens as part of a book tour!

Other than that I did two excellent literary crawls while in England and Wales and you can read the bookish travelogues if you want!

The Great London Literary Crawl

Hay-On-Wye, the first book town 

Both posts were fun to write and I enjoyed the trip immensely in general.

Speaking of, I think everyone knows who I’m attempting to internationally date now so here’s a cute picture of us doing star trek at sci-fi weekender 😂 I did a TOS era outfit complete with knee high boots and big earrings 🖖


I didn’t have a ton of fun at the convention because honestly I didn’t know any names except Dacre Stoker (who went to college near where my family is from and we had a fun chat)! He also reminded me that there’s an industry for tourism related to folk lore and legends, and I plan to keep extending that to books as well with my travelogue posts.  Stoker’s travel stories were the best. I also finally got into the party aspect (the key is alcohol, one of the bartenders was vastly superior to the others)

Otherwise it was entirely too loud music and boring talks, boring games, and one hilarious dude who was screaming obscenities at children, and everyone was so chill about it. If nothing else I appreciate UK parents a bit more now 😂


And…foul mouthed puppets.

March Blog Stats

Ok, let’s wrap this up with March Blog Stats: literally my best month ever! I had over 1000 visitors! Not views, visitors! Idk how but I smashed every single monthly record including views, visitors, and likes, and again most of my views came from search engines. I even beat out GrimdarkTober by a landslide which is my blog’s biggest draw every year.

So – thank you all!

My two main evergreen posts once again took the top views honors but I’m seeing a lot more posts starting to get regular views so maybe 🤞

Last but not least, I’ve been keeping track of my physical hauls & rough book spending.  It’s hard because the spending was mostly in pounds ($0.80 to the 1€) so… I know I unhauled 7 books and bought 10. I’m proud of that since I was in a foreign country going book shopping and could have done much worse 🤣

What do you all have going on for April? How was March?

General Posts, Non Reviews

Bookish Travelogue: Hay-On-Wye, Wales – “Book Town”! (& So Much Cool Stuff)

I’ve done quite a bit of book shopping and touring during this trip, which culminated in the “World’s First Book Town”. Last year a book blogger that lives in that region of Wales posted about the town and I was lucky enough to be able to go check it out and finally rest my fear of missing out on something like this.

All things considered we only went to a few of the many bookshops in Hay-On-Wye, but they were full of massive amounts of used books, artwork, old posters, and other oddities to check out. Here’s the ones we went to and I’d recommend all of them!


So the day started off at Brecon, a town on the way and a place I believe was called Brecon Books. I didn’t buy anything but they had a great used SFF area and I learned what the old UK Harry Potter books looked like. Apparently they have child and adult editions with different covers so that people don’t mind being seen reading a “children’s book”. That also said, I think Dumbledore was described a little better than this back cover. Either way, interesting stuff. I also saw the UK Narnia covers and like them a lot more


After that, it was on to the main event


These stores love their crazy old sci-fi and bookish ephemera.  Hay-On-Wye Booksellers had piles of old copies of Astounding and other magazines & things, plus rooms and rooms of non SFF books.  To be noted, the ones we went to all had large used SFF collections. I grabbed one for kicks from May, 1945.


This particular bookstore also had views surrounded by books so that was cool. Hard to see here but you could see an old church from one side and the castle from the other, plus out over the fields

I think the next stop was Addyman Books, which had a few specialized locations but the one we went to had some fun things and of course piles of books everywhere.  It also has cutouts of the star trek captains 🤣


Another store in which I didn’t buy anything but was shocked by the size of it, was Richard Booth’s. They also had some extremely cool old posters and just a ton of old magazines, collections, and “out there” sci-fi & fantasy books. Even if you don’t buy anything it’s totally worth a look-see

Look at those covers though, I almost bought Horses Asteroid just for kicks but I don’t have unlimited packing space 🤣

The last main stop was Hay Cinema Bookshop, which was not only huge and had another shockingly huge old books collection, but I found my real gems there which were 1/1 paperbacks of some Black Company books! Check out this haul!

They just had… Omg so many books. This is only part of one hallway from at least two floors of deep rows.


Some other honorable mentions were a bunch of outdoor but covered books called Honesty, where it was unattended but they asked for a donation of a pound. And located in the shadow of the castle!

One that we didn’t go into but looked awesome from the outside was Murder and Mayhem, which focuses on mysteries & crime and a link can be found here. I think most of the booksellers have their links on this site too so you can check them all out!

This is the link to all of the bookstore listings, with better photos and website links

Well – is this a place you’d like to visit? Where have you been where there are tons of bookstores??

If you’re looking for more bookshopping in the UK, I did a similarly surface scratching post for our Great London Literary Crawl here 😅

General Posts, Non Reviews

Bookish Travelogue: The Great London Literary Crawl!

I & we hit so many bookstores and literary landmarks this week, it was awesome!  Tomorrow we are off to sci-fi weekender which I hope will also be fun 😊

Here’s a few of the bookstores and landmarks we went to, and most of the book haul I ended up with this week!

Cecil Court is full of old books, antiques, maps, art stores, a few actual gaslamps, and so much more.  I’m sharing this one first because I found my coolest book acquisition in the Goldsboro Books discount bin…

How cool is that, a Tchaikovsky Arc!

I also found a few other paperbacks up around that area, including at Any Amount of Books, a great little used bookstore with a small but spicy SFF collection in the basement 😃


Besides that, I went to Foyles and found a bunch of Paddington books that I’m going to gift out to family and friends with young kids! I loved the Foyles store but the American History section was a joke, apparently they think our entire history is Trump 🤣


A cool store to roam around though.

I also went to both Hatchard’s and Blackfriars Bridge because of the Shadowhunters books, no regrets there at all.  Bride’s Church is the only landmark I didn’t bother tracking down!

Hatchard’s is a beautiful store with all the books ever, but I didn’t buy anything 

We also obviously saw at least four Waterstones, where I didn’t buy anything but my excellent book crawling buddy found a few new SFF reads to load up on.

Lastly, Forbidden Planet is absolutely deadly.  I say forever and ever that the UK has better editions than the US. I mean y’all’s covers are beautiful and if I had a million dollars and unlimited packing space I’d be in serious trouble! That said, I bought two signed editions from their lovely collection of books and have no regrets there. They won’t quite match my US editions but that’s ok!

There were a few other bookstores, literary statues, a George Orwell themed pubs, and many other places to go and see too.  I would 100% recommend the British Library.  Obviously King’s Cross Station 9 3/4 is a must see for Potter fans, as well as the Mina Lina museum/store which is up near Foyle’s somewhere.  There’s so much to do literary wise in London that I could write three posts about it. 

Leicester Square was fun too, movie and literary statues all over!


Anyway, I barely scratched the surface here but off to a good start!

Where have you traveled or wanted to travel to that has good literary destinations??

General Posts, Non Reviews

February Wrap Up & March Travel Plans

Favorites, stats, hauls & unhauls, and miscellany. Did I even buy books this month? Let’s get to it!

February felt like a slower reading month and  March is going to be pretty vague TBR wise as I’ll be travelling from the 10th-29th and won’t be reading much.

February reading wrapup:

I finished 9 books. All of these reviews can be found on the blog using the search bar if you’re interested.

I was loyal to my TBR this month.

My favorite read was  The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie but I feel bad for giving him two months in a row.

My favorite new to me/debut/new discovery author was definitely Kate J Armstrong, with her new book The Nightbirds

I also just absolutely disliked a few of the books I read in February, like The Hermes Protocol. I’m bordering a reading slump but I’ll recover overseas so it’s all good.

The breakdown was 5 fantasy,  2 sci-fi, one thriller, and one… Uh… badly reimagined mythology. I disliked The Song of Achilles too (thoughts coming🤣)

Stats wise:

February fell way short of January here on the blog.  It rebounded towards the end but my traffic sucks compared to everyone else so why do I even bother 🤷‍♀️ the most interesting thing though is most of my views are coming from search engines now so that’s something! Even funnier is that it’s my two main evergreen articles bringing the views in 🤣

Book un/hauls and spending

I’m tracking spending now to show y’all that commercialism isn’t necessary to do this. I did spend 27$ on audiobooks but I got eight through Chirp, on sale for a few dollars each and have no regrets.

I forgot my Kindle unlimited was due to start again and I meant to cancel it but ate that charge, and the audible trial. I bought NO physical or EBooks.  So the two subscriptions plus the audiobooks, I’m out like 43$.  KU is done in March, I don’t think it’s worth it.

I only had five books come in, two arcs and three giveaway wins. Thanks all ❤️ so all of that is on my TBR (see below)

I unhauled six books so I’m barely net negative for the month 😅.  The only place I collected more books was free e-copies of indies, with some killer sales this month from Clayton Snyder among others

The last thing I did on here that I liked was a short and sweet article about bookish things making me cranky this month 

How was you guys’ reading in February?

March tbr:

I won’t have much reading time so there are only three books on my TBR. If I blog a lot, it’ll likely be an excessively nerdy travelogue. I wrote one list about books based in London and their related landmarks, so stay tuned for my progress!

Celadon Books was nice enough to hook me up with a late ARC of Alex North’s new book The Angel Maker. I also have an audio code so look for that soon.

Sordaneon is for a blog tour and I’m starting it tonight!

Good Dog, Bad Cop will be a quick read and David Rosenfelt is always reliable for an entertaining mystery. Plus dogs. Thanks to Minotaur Books for that one ❤️


I also have one brunch interview planned for the 19th with LL Stephens!

Nerdy travels:

I’m heading back to the UK (and already having a bad time with hotels) but I’m psyched to explore literary London, go to a British Sci fi convention, and see my sad nerd SO among other plans.  It’ll be an adventure for sure.

I will be slow here during March but I’ll do my best to update all the cool bookish things as I go!

What’s on you guy’s TBR?

General Posts, Non Reviews

15 London Based Books & Their Visitable Landmarks

I’ve been collecting books set in London since it always seemed like a magical travel destination. J love travelling through books.

With my trip coming up so soon in March I felt like making a list of the London Based books I’ve read recently, ones I’ve read before, and a few still on my TBR.  I’ve picked a few sightseeing destinations out of these so I’m definitely excited for next month despite the price gouging)

1. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.  I loved this book despite the many eye roll moments, and the series remains strong. Only the first is set in London and afterwards the main characters flew to Romania.

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2. The Left-handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix.  This is set in an alternate London and the author of my favorite YA books can do no wrong


3. The Shades of Magic series by VE Schwab. We don’t talk about these books. There are multiple alternate Londons and the main characters were just so awfully bad that I DNF’d the second book.  Took some heat for saying the prince should just die but literally whatever it took to stop his whining. I truly detest these books but they are wildly popular

4. The Avram Davidson short story that won an Edgar Award, The Affair at Lahore Cantonment. Apparently Avram spent some time in London and loved it despite the crappy rainy weather.  It mostly takes place in India though

5.  The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.  Despite wishing she would let these poor characters stay dead and buried instead of rehashing them forever and ever to sell more books, I did enjoy this trilogy.  I am dying to go stand on Blackfriar’s Bridge and check out Hatchard’s Bookshop on Piccadilly. Maybe I check out Bride’s Church too.

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6. Sherlock Holmes! I read that the apartment number originally didn’t exist, although it does and is a museum now.  Might be worth a look-see

7. Another that I read recently, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. So many gloomy victorian London vibes here.

8. A suspense novel that is still a main draw to my blog, Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner.  If this is a place that one can go to walk around, it seems like it is, I’ll see where it’s located because Faulkner made the vibes sound amazing


9. Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House… Uh… Ok, pretty much every book I can think of by Charles Dickens. There are at LEAST five, probably more.  I should see if there are any Dickens related landmarks worth seeing.

10 & 11: Another recent read, 1984 by George Orwell!  I had forgotten this one takes place in London so it was a fun surprise.  Not much to say for modern landmarks though.  On the same note, Brave New World by Huxley was set there too (although in another unrecognizable fashion)

12. Also along those lines, technically The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is based in London. I read the new illustrated version as an arc a few years back and appreciated it

13. The London Below series by Neil Gaiman. I actually haven’t read this one or seen the miniseries but I’m interested in both.

14. Obviously parts of Harry Potter and yes I’m going to go to King’s Cross as a priority and find the shopping cart 😂 

15. The last one I can think of that I’ve read is The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie.  I highly advocate reading all of his material that one can get their hands on, or at least checking out a few of his talks on YouTube.

There you go! What books have you read that take place in London? What literary (or lesser known) landmarks should I look for??

General Posts, Non Reviews

Salty Saturday: From Context to AI, Five Bookish Things Bugging Me Recently

It’s Saturday and I’m cold and I can’t get my lifesaving contact into my eye, so I’m cranky.  That said, I’ve been particularly annoyed with (or at least thinking about) a few things this week.

Most of these apply to wider society as well, but frankly outside of work I don’t spend much time interacting with people so I’m going to relate them all to books

Annoying item the 1st: Lack of context

Ok, let’s start with the one everyone is talking about right now: Roald Dahl. I don’t care if the content owners wash the word “fat” out of his books.  People won’t be less offended if we call them “enormous” so if the editors want to waste their time nitpicking, that’s on them. (P.S. if the copyright owner decides to alter a publication, they have the right to do that. We don’t have to agree with it. That said, context is important. I don’t agree with these types of choices but still, they can do whatever they want with their property).

“Hi, wow, you’re enormous”

I don’t see the difference but to each their own. More broadly this whole content washing push is about context. American society and book consumers have lost their sense of context while reading.

I see so many reviewers bashing and downgrading old books for their sexism, phobias, misogyny, whatever: it was written 100 years ago. My real concern here is the possibility for this to landslide like everything else wrong with society has done.

Context, people, context

Annoying item the 2nd: perspective and content policing

Tying right into the first is perspective. I know how this one makes me sound, but, readers and community members have lost their wider sense of perspective. Everyone is too worried about offending someone else!

I just keep my language fairly benign and if someone wants to try to cancel me again, fine, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

I miss the days where people would just keep scrolling without causing a rabble about something they don’t like.  What happened to discussion? No one can just have a discussion any more

Like yes I’m sorry that happened to you (to ‘triggered’ people) but at the same time, I don’t endorse content policing when something bothers one person out of a large group.

If you’d like to read an eye opening book about perspective and context, I really recommend The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Item the 3rd: the blessed decline of cancel culture

I think this one is finally going away, as in, I haven’t seen any wider attacks on any particular author recently. Thank GOODNESS.

This just ties into the first two but for the love of everything sacred, if you don’t like something, keep scrolling. I blame wider society for letting our book community get to that point, we can’t pander to every single person with an issue because it’s impossible to make everyone happy

Item the 4th: the AI debate

Ok, back when AOL instant messenger was a thing, I had a chatbot on my friends list. I loved messing with it. I forgot it’s name because this was like 20 years ago (good LORD I’m old) but these AI tools are to me just an evolving technology being put to ill usage.

I’m getting tired of hearing about AI and the debate just started. Submissions are closing down, everyone is riled up, and disclaimers are going into writing assignments in colleges and author competitions.  I get it, but I’m seeing a lot of bitching and no offered solutions

I feel like there’s probably a good use for this somewhere. Maybe it can be modified to help kids with learning disabilities or that need more help in school, maybe they need things explained differently, and this could be a library at a tutor’s fingertips🤷‍♀️ I’d let a big adaptive technology company buy this AI technology and let them put a moratorium on it’s usage for anything else!

The last: hummm… Let’s say the debate about negative reviews

I’ve been reading these articles with great interest and most of the debate has to do with author’s feelings and damaging publisher relationships.

I’ll say a quick piece and move on: you, the reviewer, agreed upon taking the book for review, to give an honest review, so you need to do that.

It’s not a debate, it’s what you agreed to. I’ve incidentally offended people before but I give every single author and publicist the disclaimer that I’m both unflinchingly honest and sometimes don’t have a filter 🤷‍♀️

If you buy a book with your own money, it doesn’t matter as much what you write. If you have it for review purposes, you need to be honest or possibly you’re in it for the wrong reasons and that’s a whole different issue with the publicity base.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Grateful Sunday, I feel like I need to balance this out with something thankful tomorrow 🤣

General Posts, Non Reviews

WWW…W…? Wednesday!

It seems like Wednesdays are for this WWW meme, although to me if you’re following someone’s blog already, you probably know their rough TBR and recently finished books anyway, right?

Ehhh anyways this one is quick and fun …

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at, or just leave a comment!

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 Current reads:

My currently reading list is pretty tame right now.  I’m into the Seventies in the Avram Davidson Treasury, so a little over halfway through. I’ll be talking about the sixties on here tomorrow


I’m almost done with Nightbirds by Kate J. Armstrong and omg it’s by far one of the best YA fantasies I’ve read in a long time.  Very into the secrets and atmosphere despite the rehashing of many similar tropes, the writing is lovely


I’m also working through The Peacemaker’s Code by Deepak Malhotrafor the SPSFC semifinal round.  It’s not bad but I’d like to see less analysis and more aliens.  That said, the author is an ivy league professor of something and writes a lot of books on negotiation, so he just wrote his happy little self into a book as a world saving hero 😅 it’s very well edited though so that goes a long way, and has many interesting points


What did you recently finish readiNg?

Here are my posts for White Trash Warlock by David R Slayton and Heritage by S.M. Warlow. A few days ago I also finished Hex You by P.C. & Kristin Cast, and P.C. got after me on twitter 🤣

What do you think you’ll read next?

Ok, this is pretty clear cut right now. I have to read Good Dog, Bad Cop for Minotaur Books, so that’ll be my next e book. My next physical book is Sordaneon because I won it in a giveaway and am also jumping into a blog tour coming up in March! Besides finishing the Avram Treasury .. my next audiobook will probably be…. A tough choice, I grabbed one about British herbology related folk tales that I might check out next!