BOOKENDS: April and May 2021

I moved and I’m starting my new job at the end of the month! Until then, I’m going to be hanging out with friends and doing a little DoorDash to fill up time and make some money. I’m also hoping to transfer into the local BN soon part time also, but I’m so excited about this new adventure.


I FINALLY finished reading The People’s History of the United States, and while I’m currently still picking at The Agitators and The Big Book of Science Fiction, I feel like I’m finally making progress through some of the chunkier reads on my TBR. I’m listening to The Diviners again because I used my Audible credits to pick up the entire series once the final book came out. I love the narrator so much and think she does such a great job bringing this story to life, and I’m going to continue reading (rereading because I’ve read the first three!! But it’s been long enough that I want to revisit the entire series). It’s nice to listen to a book while writing out blog posts or playing a video game. The Helm of Midnight looked like a fantastic read, so I decided to borrow the ebook from the library. Beach Read was something I bought last year, and I wanted to read this before I read Emily Henry’s latest release.

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

⌛️ The Helm of Midnight – Marina Lostetter (15%)
🎧 The Diviners – Libba Bray, narrated by January LaVoy
📚 Beach Read – Emily Henry
📓 The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought For Abolition and Women’s Rights – Dorothy Wickenden (6%; thank you, Scribner Books!)
📚 The Big Book of Science Fiction – edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (32%)


I read eight books in April and nine books in May, both pretty good numbers considering I worked and prepared to move myself across the country in that span of time. I reread Once Upon a Dream because I remember DNFing it when I first read it and wanted to give it and the series another go. I’ve realized Braswell’s writing might not be for me, but I’m curious about the other titles written by other people. I reread the Shadow and Bone trilogy before the Netflix show released, and I enjoyed revisiting the Grishaverse! Malice is a wonderful start to a duology that retells and queers the story of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent. This is the year of revisiting familiar and favorite stories because I’ve also decided to take on a full reread of Tolkien’s work, especially adding in the works I either haven’t touched since I was fourteen/fifteen or works I haven’t begun to start reading! The Other Black Girl is an amazing Get Out-esque glimpse into the world of publishing, and it feels like the book of the summer.

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

⌛️ Once Upon a Dream – Liz Braswell (3/5 stars)
📚 A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn (3.5/5 stars)
📓 Astrid Sees All – Natalie Standiford (3.5/5 stars, thank you Atria!)
📓 Composite Creatures – Caroline Hardaker (4/5 stars, thank you Angry Robot!)
📓 I’m Waiting for You and Other Stories – Kim Bo-Young (4.5/5 stars, thank you Harper Voyager!)
📚 Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo (4/5 stars)
📚 Three Japanese Short Stories – Akutagawa and Others (3/5 stars)
📚 The Custard Heart – Dorothy Parker (3/5 stars)
📚 Siege and Storm – Leigh Bardugo (4/5 stars)
📚 Waiting for a Scot Like You – Eva Leigh (3.5/5 stars)
📚 The Wallflower Wager – Tessa Dare (3.5/5 stars)
📚 Malice – Heather Walker (4.5/5 stars)
📚 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien (5/5 stars)
⌛️ Finlay Donovan is Killing It – Elle Cosimano (3.5/5 stars)
⌛️ Come As You Are – Emily Nagoski (4/5 stars)
📓 The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris (5/5 stars, thank you Atria!)


The last couple of months were weird reading months for me, so I didn’t read any of the five I picked to read for April, but these are five I have immediately on my Kindle to read from the library or I specifically packed them to take with me in my car on my drive out!!

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

📚 Arsenic and Adobo – Mia P. Manansala
⌛️ Bring Me Their Hearts – Sara Wolf
📚 Dial A for Aunties – Jesse Q. Sutanto
📚 The Duke Heist – Erica Ridley
⌛️ The Siren – Katherine St. John


I was very good on book purchases!!! More than I probably should have bought, but these five excite me the most.

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

📚 Anne of Manhattan – Brina Starler
📚 One Last Stop – Casey McQuiston
📚 People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry
💾 Burning Roses – S.L. Huang
💾 The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water – Zen Cho


GAMING: I bought Pokemon Snap and have played it a little bit (not a whole lot of time to waste on video games during a move)!

TV: I’ve watched most of Shadow of Bone, I really enjoyed Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki so far seems like a treat!

MOVIES: Cruella was fun and Raya and the Last Dragon was adorable.


It’s so great to feel like I’m back home and around all of my friends again! I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year will bring, because it’s sure to be an adventure!