BOOKENDS: 21-27 September 2020

Bookends is a weekly feature on my blog that is a little reflection on what I’ve read/watched/enjoyed (or not) over the past week.

This past week was an incredibly stressful week, and I didn’t get much of anything read or done.


I finished some books this week, but I am still trying to finish out some of these before I start anything else new!

📚 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 (71%)
📱 She Come By It Natural – Sarah Smarsh (17%)
📚 The Big Book of Science Fiction – edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (15%)
📚 Mansfield Park – Jane Austen (9%)


I finished reading three of the books I was halfway through, and I was pretty pleased about that!

Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary reminded me a lot of the humor and style of The Martian, and I was thoroughly entertained.

Into the Drowning Deep has left me never wanting to step foot into an ocean again.

Deathless was a masterful fairy tale with Russian influence.

I have had a stack of books on my desk since the beginning of the pandemic, and the other night I sat down and read a little bit of them and did some further research on them to decide what to keep and what to unhaul. I decided to keep a little less than half and started reading Shanghai Girls. While I really liked the beginning, there is a sexually violent scene that completely turned me off from wanting to read the rest. I’m not in the mood to read anything like that right now, and I wish I would have read into this book a little bit more before I started reading it. I’ve liked other books by See, but this one wasn’t it for me.

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

📚 Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant (5/5 stars, review to come)
📚 Deathless – Catherynne M. Valente (5/5 stars, review to come)
📱 Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir (5/5 stars, review to come)
📚 Shanghai Girls – Lisa See (DNF)


I’ve only added one new book to my current upcoming “tbr” and that’s The Gilded Wolves. I’ve had an e-arc of the sequel for a bit, but I never read the first one even though I had good intentions!

📚 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!)
📓 Stranger in the Shogun’s City – Amy Stanley (thank you, Scribner!)
📱 The Orphan of Cemetery Hill – Hester Fox (thank you, HQN/Graydon House!)
📚 The Gilded Wolves – Roshani Chokshi


I bought a lot of romance off of eBay due to some serious stress-related retail therapy, and I’m happy with the known medieval historical romances that I got and decently surprised by the mystery box (I knew it was a mystery box and it wasn’t guaranteed to be a 100% success). I also bought a lot of romance and other books from thrift stores that I don’t really remember, but I did get a copy of The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso because even though I’ve had a digital review copy for a long time, I thought trying to read it as a physical book (for $1!) would be a good way to help get my Netgalley percentages down. I also found a copy of Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper for also like… $1.50, and since I’ve heard so much about it, I thought I’d give it a try!

I also decided to try my hand at some popup opportunities through BookSparks and received a few books that way! I’ve been so behind on Instagram posting that I really need to at least get those photos posted by the end of the month, and I might end up posting several in a day just to be sure I’m getting them in on time.

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

📚 The Tethered Mage – Melissa Caruso
📚 Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco
📓 They Wish They Were Us – Jessica Goodman (thank you, BookSparks!)
📓 The Endangereds – Philippe Cousteau and Austin Aslan (thank you, BookSparks!)
📓 A Place Called Zamora – LB Gschwandtner (thank you, BookSparks!)
📓 Caley Cross and the Hadeon Drop – Jeff Rosen (thank you, BookSparks!)


GAMING: I did a few achievements and dungeons in World of Warcraft, but I’ve not had much time for anything else.

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

MOVIES: I watched the last half of Black Panther on TV the other night, and some of the scenes hit a lot harder after Chadwick Boseman’s death.

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!


Broccoli took a severe turn for the worse this week, and she died on the morning of the 27th. I won’t go into too much detail because it’s so heartbreaking, but I miss her a lot already. She’s not in pain anymore, and I knew this was the right step to take. Having looked back on so many months of pictures, I can see how quickly her physical and mental state deteriorated due to the effects of her kidneys failing her, and even though I wish I could have done more, I know there was not much else that could be done.