Thanksgiving Book Tag

Gobble, gobble! 🦃 Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the United States (and anywhere else you may be celebrating)! I’ve been wanting to do another book tag and thought a holiday themed tag would be fun. So, I scoured the inter-webs to find one. Luckily, Anna’s Book Nook created one a few years ago.

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Give credit to the author (Annasbooknook)
  • Answer the prompts
  • Tag others if you desire!

The Questions

1) Friends and Family: A Book with Characters that Feel Like Family

I don’t know what it was about the Green Bone Saga, but I fell in love with the Kaul family almost immediately. I laughed and cried so much as their family went through its ups and downs, and it felt as if I was a part of their family experiencing everything alongside them.

2) Fallen Leaves: A Book that Fell Flat (didn’t meet your expectations)

I had really high hopes for this duology, but it just did not work for me. It had so much potential, but the annoying protagonist coupled with the focus on the love triangle just squandered it. Don’t get me started on the ending. It was awful. Needless to say, these definitely fell flat.

3) Thanksgiving Dinner: A Book You Want to Read Every Year During This Season

I don’t really do a ton of re-reading and have no books that I read every year during this season. However, these three books are at the top of my re-read TBR right now. One day I’ll get back to them again…

4) Turkey: A Book With a Bird in It

A Restless Truth

This book had a parrot and its cage at the center of a bunch of mayhem on a boat. There was also murder, mystery, magic, and lots of sapphic goodness. 🙂

5) Ham: A Book that Made Your Eyes Glaze Over (Boring)

The Stars Undying

I don’t often DNF books, but I could not make it through this one. The writing was tedious and confusing to read, and I didn’t find the characters interesting at all.

6) Dinner Rolls: A Book that Melted Your Heart and Made You Feel Warm

Jack's on Fire

This YA romcom was so sweet it completely melted my heart. I loved its focus on queer joy and just had a wonderful time reading the types of interactions I wish I had when I was a teen.

7) Mashed Potatoes: A Book With a White Cover

These are two of my fantasy faves from this year so far. Both of them were thrilling adventures and should be on the TBR of every fantasy fan.

8) Gravy: A Book You’re not Totally Sure Why You Love, but You Do

Rosebud

This short book was SO weird, and I didn’t have a clue what was going on for a significant portion of the story. lol. The weirdness gave it a charm that I cannot really put into words, though, and it ended up being a 5-star read for me.

9) Pumpkin Pie: A Dessert Book That You Love

The House in the Cerulean Sea

I’d not heard of the term ‘dessert book’ before this tag. I’m taking it to mean a sickeningly sweet book, and I can think of no better book than The House in the Cerulean Sea. I adore this book so much and love its genuine found family vibes.

Bonus: Black Friday: The Top 5 Books on Your “I want to buy them” List

I’m about to shock all of you with my answer to this one. At the moment, I don’t have any books on my ‘want to buy them’ list. Why? I’ve already bought them. lol. I’m very impulsive and buy whatever books I want to read mostly on a whim. I also utilize the library a lot and ARCs, of course. Will this keep me from perusing Black Friday sales. Nope. 😂 But at least I won’t be going in with a list. Although, maybe that’s even worse…

I Tag

Anyone who wants to participate. I recognize that today is Thanksgiving. So, if you’re bored, feel free to have some fun and consider yourself tagged. Otherwise, bookmark it until next year!

End of the Year Book Tag

How is it already this close to the end of the year? It seems like just yesterday I was setting my annual reading/blogging goals, and now we are rapidly approaching December. I was tagged by Jordyn @ Birdie’s Book Nook to complete this tag, and I’m excited to participate. Be sure to check out her answers on her blog, as well!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Other than my current read, Heart of the Sun Warrior, I don’t have any books that I haven’t finished and plan to pick back up this year. I’ve DNFd a few books this year, including The Stars Undying, Silk Fire, and The Starless Crown, but I don’t plan on picking them back up. I did start Empire of the Vampire, as well, but I wasn’t in the mood to finish it. I doubt I’ll return to it before the end of the year, but I plan to finish it eventually because the bit I read was really good.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

No. I’m not much of a seasonal reader, in general. I’m mostly just scrambling to finish up all my 2022 ARCs and BBNYA reads at this point. 🙂

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

There are still a few releases this year that I’m looking forward to. The first adult novel of the second phase of The High Republic, Convergence, is released later this month. Never Ever Getting Back Together and The Gentleman’s Book of Vices are two others releasing at the end of November. I’ve also got my eye on The Ivory Tomb by Melissa Caruso, which is the last book in a trilogy. I plan to read the trilogy once this last book is out. So, I’m looking forward to it releasing in December.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Only three? LOL. I’ve got so many books I’m hoping to get through before the end of December. I doubt I’ll get through them all, though. Here’s three that will likely make it onto my December TBR.

Is there a book you think that could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Honestly, probably not. I think Babel by R.F. Kuang will be clenching the top spot. It would take something truly spectacular to knock it off the top.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2023?

Of course! I’ve got a great line-up of ARCs coming out in the first half of next year and have been mulling over what I want my annual goals to be for 2023. Here’s a sneak peek of the ARCs I’m looking forward to the most.

I Tag

Nonfiction November Week 2: Book Pairings

I don’t read a ton of nonfiction, but I have made an effort this year to read more of it than last year, which was none. Pretty much anything is an improvement on that, including the three nonfiction books I’ve read since January. Needless to say, I did not know this event was going on this month. I found out about it from viewing posts at A Literary Escape and My World of Books, and this week’s prompt looked like fun.

Nonfiction November is a month-long event highlighting nonfiction books with weekly blog post prompts and a daily Instagram challenge. It is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Rennie at What’s Nonfiction, Jaymi at The OC Bookgirl, Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks, and Rebekah at She Seeks Nonfiction.

This week’s prompt is about book pairs!

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Spooky Season Spotlight – Recent TBR Additions

Hello, everyone! Happy Halloween!! In honor of today’s festivities, I’d like to shine a spotlight on some books I’ve recently added to my TBR that I think would be perfect for spooky season (or any other time of the year too). I probably won’t get around to reading them until next spooky season with the rate my TBR constantly grows, but they looked great and seemed like perfect Halloween reads. So, I wanted to share!

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My 500th Blog Post: Reflections on the Journey So Far

A Personal Note of Reflection

As I sit here contemplating my blogging journey so far, I’m honestly at a loss for words. I’ve considered doing many different types of posts to celebrate this milestone, even just ignoring it and doing a regular review. However, nothing has really felt right. So, I guess I’ll just go with a reflection post. It is in the blog’s name after all. 🙂

When I started blogging in March 2021, I knew nothing about it. I’d never really read any blogs before, and I made the decision to start on a whim. I had recently quit my Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology after going through treatment for neuroendocrine cancer. I was hiding from COVID and rarely left my house, and my days had become a blur with little structure or purpose. I started reading a lot in late 2020, which was fun but also added to the isolation because I didn’t have anyone to talk to about my books other than my wife, who doesn’t read that much. So, I started looking online for ways to express my bookish opinions and maybe make some money doing it. I still don’t make any money (LOL), but I’ve definitely enjoyed the community I’ve found here. I am eternally grateful to everyone who has visited the blog and liked or commented on a post.

The road to 500 posts hasn’t always been easy. There have been plenty of days when I feel like this is pointless. There have been numerous others where I’ve been bored or burnt out. Honestly, I kind of feel that way now. However, I cannot imagine leaving this behind even on those days. This journey has enriched my life in ways I never expected, and I don’t want to give that up. I get bored easily and have always bounced around between careers, jobs, and hobbies because of it. For the first time, I think I’ve found something I want to stick with for a long time to come. My blog will likely transform a lot over the next 500 posts, I’m sure, but I definitely want to be around long enough to reach 1000 posts and beyond, whatever that looks like. That’s actually one of the things I like about blogging. It can be whatever I want to make it, both visually and content-wise.

Thank you for coming along for the ride so far. I look forward to sharing my love for reading for a long time to come. 💖

Books I’ve Read Because of Blogging

One of my favorite things about blogging is finding new books to read. My TBR has exploded since March 2021, and the number of books I’ve read has increased significantly. Truthfully, almost every book I’ve read since March 2021 should be listed here. Prior to blogging I read a small amount from a tiny, repetitive list of authors, who are actually no longer in my top authors at all. The depth and breadth of my reading has expanded considerably. I can’t list them all, though. Therefore, here are 10 of the 5-star books that blogging most influenced me to pick up because I’ve seen them everywhere. Have you read any of them?

10 Favorite Posts

500 posts is A LOT to sort. However, 10 posts stand out to me as favorites. Some are reviews of books I loved and am super proud of, while others are tags, reflections, or memes I enjoyed.

Some of My Favorite Bloggers

I’m hesitant to even write this list because I’m sure I’ll forget to put someone on it. There are so many bloggers whose work I love to read. You all have influenced both my reading and my blog in numerous ways, and I’m thankful to have gotten the chance to know you. Please take a minute to check out all of their blogs! You won’t regret it because they have lots of awesome reviews, recommendations, and other bookish content.

Thank you for joining me on my blogging journey! Here’s to another 500 posts and lots of great books! 🎇🎇🎇

Spooky Season Spotlight – The Ghost and the Real Girl

Hello, everyone! Today I have a real treat! It has been a while since I’ve done any spotlights, and this author was kind enough to reach out about their book, which releases on Halloween. Below you’ll find all sorts of info about the book, including the link to pre-order it. The story is only 124 pages, which is the perfect length to curl up with on Halloween night and finish it in one sitting.

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Books I’ve Read This Year with Bi+ Male Characters

Last year for Bi Visibility Day, I created my first list of favorite books with bi+ male characters (see here). It was comprised mostly of books I’d read in the preceding year. I’ve decided to make this a yearly thing… because why not? Without further ado, here are some of the books I’ve read since last September that included bi+ male rep within the main cast of characters (with synopses from Goodreads).

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Sabriel Read-a-long – Week Three

It is already the final week of the Sabriel read-a-long. I actually finished reading this week’s chapters early instead of waiting until the night before. lol. So, this post is going up much earlier than previous weeks. The read-a-long was hosted by Jordyn @ Birdie’s Book Nook. You can find out all about it on her blog! So, be sure to stop by her page and see her thoughts on this book (and many others), as well.

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.

NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS WEEK’S DISCUSSION!! Here are my thoughts on this week’s questions:

1. Pick a character — were you satisfied with their journey in Sabriel?

I’ve really enjoyed Sabriel’s journey in this book. She started out super green with a single-minded mission of saving her father and ended up becoming a hero that helped save an entire kingdom despite all the odds being stacked against her. She had to learn how to translate her skills into action so that she could navigate the new, unfamiliar life she found herself inhabiting. I thought it was a compelling coming-of-age story. She still has plenty of room for continued growth as the series progresses since she’s barely scratched the surface of learning about the Old Kingdom and her role as Abhorsen, but she’s definitely grown into the role during the trials she faced in this story.

2. What did you think of the reveal for who Touchstone and what Mogget is?

I wasn’t really surprised by either reveal. I thought the context clues made Touchstone’s identity fairly obvious pretty early. It made sense for one of the main characters to be a royal with the importance of the royal blood in relation to the charter magic. So, I was fine with that reveal. I didn’t guess the specifics of Mogget’s reveal, but I got the general gist of him right. I thought the way his nature was used to defeat Kerrigor was particularly ingenious and liked it a lot.

3. Was Kerrigor scary enough for you, or do you wish he had been more menacing?

I thought he was scary enough. I just wish the story had spent a bit more time with him. The characters we followed were constantly running from him. So, we didn’t really get to see him being all that menacing until the very end. Even then, most of the gruesome stuff took place before he got to the main characters and wasn’t described in a ton of detail. I actually think we saw Mogget do more damage to the main characters when he blew up the wall than Kerrigor did in the final battle. As a side note, I’m really curious to see the personality that emerges from Kerrigor’s new form. So, I hope they keep him around in future books.

4. Where do you think the rest of the series is headed?

I’m sure the characters will probably return to the Old Kingdom and attempt to re-establish the monarchy or some other form of functioning government. Sabriel has her work cut out for her in rounding up all the dead/undead things wandering the kingdom, and Touchstone will have a big job of trying to rein in the anarchy. I’m sure the two of them will probably engage in some sort of romance, as well. That was probably my least favorite part of this book because it just felt a bit rushed and forced, but maybe I’ll like it a little better once their relationship gets fleshed out a bit in subsequent books.

Well. That’s it for this week’s questions! Have you read Sabriel? If so, what did you think of it?