BOOKENDS: 14-20 September 2020

I’m starting a new weekly feature on my blog called Bookends! It’ll be a little reflection on what I’ve read/watched/enjoyed (or not) over the past week, and I’ve seen a few other bloggers do something like this, either as a Wednesday post or a weekend post, and I thought “bookends” was a fitting title! As this is the first one, I’m mostly going to be playing catch up with what I’m currently reading and watching (and buying) and hopefully this will help keep me motivated to read a little bit more instead of just doomscrolling Twitter. Eventually, I want this to morph into a recollection of what I’ve been doing over the past week and eventually look back on it. I really just miss blogging and writing, and this ultimately is brought on by some livejournal-esque nostalgia.


I have a problem, but I constantly misplace books around my room/the house, usually by stacking other books on top until I forget I started them and then when I find them again, I dive right back in and pick up where I left off usually by rereading the last few pages.

During quarantine, my friend binge read the whole ACOTAR series and raved about it so much that I wanted to do it too, even though I’d never read the third and the novella, and now’s the perfect chance! I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but I am finding more and more that I like romance in a lot of flavors to help with this current climate.

I also want to read more history, so I’m reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States because I feel like I was sheltered from a lot of realities in the history I was taught as a homeschooled kid.

I don’t know how I managed to get approved for Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun, but I am loving it so far, and it has reached the point where it’s picking up and I need to know how everything converges.

I love science fiction stories, and Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s anthology work is incredible. This is a chonk, so I read a few stories out of it here and there.

I don’t know why I keep putting Into the Drowning Deep aside, but it’s one of the twenty books I set out to read this year for my 20in20 challenge that I’m not adhering very well to. The narrative is picking up where I’ve left off, and I’m excited to see how the mermaids are done.

Deathless has been on my TBR for far too long and is also part of my 20in20 challenge, and I’m really enjoying it so far. Valente’s writing is some of my favorite.

Requesting Andy Weir’s latest was a COMPLETE long shot that I was like 80% sure I’d get denied for, but when I got the email for the arc approval, I squeaked and immediately dropped everything else I was reading to get started on this. I didn’t like Artemis as much as I liked The Martian, and it’s safe to say that Project Hail Mary evokes a similar kind of enjoyment I had with The Martian!

I… am a bad classics reader and I have only read three of Jane Austen’s works, so I’m fixing that this year by starting Mansfield Park. I was in the mood to read something classic, and this one was in easy reach.

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

📚 A Court of Mists and Fury – Sarah J. Maas (4%)
📚 A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn (29%)
📱 Black Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse (66%)
📚 The Big Book of Science Fiction – edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (15%)
📚 Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant (28%)
📚 Deathless – Catherynne M. Valente (63%)
📱 Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir (61%)
📚 Mansfield Park – Jane Austen (9%)


For as many books as I’m currently reading, I definitely need to pick up the pace a little bit more. These are the books I’ve finished in the last two weeks, and hopefully I will get my current reads under control and have a better list next week!

I didn’t like Hamnet as much as I wanted to. I liked the prose itself, but the story seemed too vague?? I still need to think about it before I write a review.

Chris Panatier’s The Phlebotomist hit my radar earlier this year when I saw the cover, and it lived up to my expectations and surprised me! A review for this is coming this week.

Dan Hanks’s Captain Moxley was a fun Indiana Jones-esque, pulpy romp! A review is linked below!

Fable is the latest release from Adrienne Young, and I enjoyed it a lot! I wrote a review about it that’s linked below.

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

⌛️ Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell (3/5 stars, review to come)
📓 The Phlebotomist – Chris Panatier (4/5 stars, review to come)
📓 Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire – Dan Hanks (3.75/5 stars)
📱 Fable – Adrienne Young (4/5 stars)


I have a few review copies to write posts about, and a few more review copies to read. This is what I’m looking forward to reading in the very near future.This translation of Beowulf is one I’ve been waiting to read ever since it was announced (I loved The Mere Wife), and this took a while to arrive to my store. I’m glad to have it now, and I’m going to take one of my days off this week and really sit down with it and enjoy it. Brandon Taylor’s Real Life has been on my radar ever since it was announced (and he’s a delight on Twitter), so I put the preorder in for the UK edition because this cover speaks to me so much more. I’m so excited to be working with Angry Robot, so I want to read these and get my thoughts up about them as soon as possible! I was also delighted to have the opportunity to read She Come By It Natural and Stranger in the Shogun’s City sent by Scribner as both seem incredibly interesting! Both of Hester Fox’s previous books have been delightfully atmospheric, and I was so happy to be approved for her third novel! Between this release and Mexican Gothic‘s stunning success, I hope that gothic fiction in these veins make a big comeback as that genre is one of my absolute favorites.

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

📚 Beowulf – trans. Maria Dahvana Headley
📚 Real Life – Brandon Taylor
📓 Red Noise – John P. Murphy (thank you, Angry Robot!)
📓 She Come By It Natural – Sarah Smarsh (thank you, Scribner!)
📓 Stranger in the Shogun’s City – Amy Stanley (thank you, Scribner!)
📱 The Orphan of Cemetery Hill – Hester Fox (thank you, HQN/Graydon House!)


Let me just preface this by the fact that I work in a bookstore, so I am privileged enough to have access to physical arcs this way and through direct working relationships with publishers, and I have the employee discount perk so I do tend to buy a lot of books that catch my eye. I need to spend less on books, overall, but I enjoy supporting my store and the authors. I also find it entirely too easy to buy ebooks during those daily deals, I also went thrift shopping, and bought some romance lots off of eBay… Since this is the first week, I won’t list off everything, but here’s a list of ten that I brought into my place this week!

The Cadfael series has been on my radar for a bit, and when this was a daily deal, I grabbed it! They were all on Kindle Unlimited at some point, but I obviously missed that.

Craven Manor, and other Darcy Coates titles, popped up on KU when I last checked, so I downloaded this one to give this author a shot!

Eva Evergreen‘s cover gives me Studio Ghibli vibes, and I was happy to find this on the shelves at the library!

I haven’t liked the first two titles in this Twisted Tales series, but with this being a different author and only 99c, I thought I’d give this series another chance.

Such a Fun Age popped up as a decent deal, and I’ve heard lots of good things about it! I’ve read a lot of the Reese’s Book Club picks, and this was one I hadn’t yet started.

The Duke I Tempted was going around on romance Twitter a few days ago, so… I got curious and had to download it.

I go through phases of wanting to read nothing but nonfiction, and my main interests in science reads are physics, space, nature, and dinosaurs. I’ve been eyeballing this one by Brusatte ever since it came out, and I’m excited to read it!

The Sea Around Us is also on KU, and it looked interesting while I was browsing through the available titles.

I found The Tethered Mage half off at the thrift store the other day (a dangerous venture for me), and since I’ve had the e-arc of this for too long, I’m going to read the physical copy!

James Gleick’s Time Travel has also been on my radar since it popped up on store shelves, and I was happy to find it at the library as well!

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

💾 A Morbid Taste for Bones – Ellis Peters
💾 Craven Manor – Darcy Coates (KU)
⌛️ Eva Evergreen: Semi-Magical Witch – Julie Abe
💾 Reflection – Elizabeth Lim
💾 Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid
💾 The Duke I Tempted – Scarlett Peckham
⌛️ The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs – Steve Brusatte
💾 The Sea Around Us – Rachel Carson
📚 The Tethered Mage – Melissa Caruso
⌛️ Time Travel – James Gleick


GAMING: I have not played Animal Crossing in about a month and a half, and I don’t have any explanation for it except that I probably burnt myself out on it. I am pumped for World of Warcraft’s upcoming expansion, Shadowlands, so I have been catching up on some achievements and things to wrap up before Battle for Azeroth ends.

TV: I have only really been watching The Golden Girls while I play video games or before I fall asleep.

MOVIES: I saw The New Mutants (3/10) and The Personal History of David Copperfield (7.5/10).

There are a few movies and shows on Netflix I want to watch, and I need to make a list so I stop forgetting what they are. If you have any recommendations, let me know!


I found a cat food my cat Broccoli will eat without feeling like I have to sit there and encourage her to eat. Her teeth need to be removed and she has bad kidneys, so I want her to gain some weight and show the vet that she’s doing all right even with the current pain medication to moderate the pain her teeth are causing her. It’s only a few more weeks until I have saved enough money for her procedure, but there’s a lot of anxiety I have surrounding that as well. With my other cat, I really didn’t have the money to afford the care I wanted to give her, so I’m making sure I do whatever I possibly can to feel like I’ve done everything, but I am hopeful and optimistic about this procedure as I think it will really help with Broccoli’s long-term care. I am about halfway to my goal, and I’m glad I get paid weekly because that really helps with budgeting. I’m also listing things for sale on eBay this week to also help offset the cost (and get rid of the HP merch and other various things I no longer want in my life).

I am also working on a few personal writing projects that are slow going, but a little progress is better than none at all. It’s just difficult having ideas for three different novel-length projects and barely having the energy to write a full blog post. This current one has been a week in the works. But now that I have a format that I like, it’ll be easy to copy and paste and fill in the new stuff!

2 thoughts on “BOOKENDS: 14-20 September 2020

    1. A People’s History is so interesting to me, considering I never learned about so much of this when I was in school!

Comments are closed.