BOOKENDS: January & February 2021

These first two months of 2021 have flown by. I’m trying to focus more on me this year, and I’ve also decided to move back east by this summer! Lots of changes are happening, and I’m very excited for so many of them (but the moving process itself is not something I enjoy). I’m taking this time to unhaul and reevaluate the books I currently own, and I’m hoping to reduce what’s on my shelves by a lot. I like the idea of having a personal library, but I also like having space and curating a collection of books that represents me as a reader.


At this point, I wonder if I should start taking bets on when I’ll finish A People’s History of the United States and The Big Book of Science Fiction. What I really need to do is take them out of a book stack and put them in easy reach so I read a little bit of them every day… I finally started reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and while I’m only a few chapters in, I don’t quite know how to feel about it yet. I’m enjoying The Paris Library and Siri, Who Am I? and hope to finish those soon!

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

📚 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins (7%)
📓 The Paris Library – Janet Skeslien Charles (12%; thank you, Atria Books!)
📱 Siri, Who Am I? – Sam Tschida ; (44%; thank you, Quirk Books!)
📚 A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn (56%)
📚 The Big Book of Science Fiction – edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (32%)


I read nine books in January and nine books in February! For some reason I thought I read much less, but February itself just flew right on by and I also started reading A Court of Silver Flames at the end of the month, so that threw my books read sense askew. I was looking forward to The Duke and I, but aside from a DNF it is the lowest rated book of the year so far. I thought it would be better than it was, but I felt literally no connection/love/spark between the two leads. The show is much better than the book, and I ended up selling my Bridgerton books on eBay for a nice chunk of change. The first DNF of the year is Michael Poore’s Reincarnation Blues. I’ve tried on and off throughout the years to start this and make headway, but something about it kept causing me to set it aside. This time I made it a little further in and didn’t like the fatphobic jokes nor the use of the n-word, so I set it aside for good. The rest of the reads were good and I enjoyed so much from a variety of genres! This is also the first time I’ve gotten to use my reread emoji!

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

💞The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien (5/5 stars)
⌛️ A Grave Matter – Anna Lee Huber (4/5 stars)
⌛️ The Right Swipe – Alisha Rai (4/5 stars)
📓 Culture Warlords – Talia Lavin (4.5/5 stars; thank you, Hachette Books!)
📓 The Heiress – Molly Greeley (4.5/5 stars)
📚 The Duke and I – Julia Quinn (1/5 stars)
📱 The Princess and the Rogue – Kate Bateman (4/5 stars; thank you, St. Martin’s Press!)
⌛️ Hood Feminism – Mikki Kendall (5/5 stars)
📚 Pretty as a Picture – Elizabeth Little (3.5/5 stars)
📓 The Rush’s Edge – Ginger Smith (3.5/5 stars; thank you, Angry Robot!)
⌛️ The Duke Who Didn’t – Courtney Milan (4/5 stars)
📚 The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem – ed. Jeremy Noel-Tod (3/5 stars)
📓 Craft in the Real World – Matthew Salesses (5/5 stars; thank you, Catapult Press!)
📚 My Fake Rake – Eva Leigh (5/5 stars)
📓 Single and Forced to Mingle – Melissa Croce (3.5/5 stars; thank you, Atria!)
📚 Would I Lie to the Duke – Eva Leigh (4/5 stars)
📓 Reincarnation Blues – Michael Poore (DNF)
💞 The Thirteenth Princess – Diane Zahler (4/5 stars)



This is my rough March TBR based on a little game I created for myself (I’ll create a post on this soon!), and I’m trying to get myself out of reading ruts by creating prompts matched to a playing card. I drew five cards and got the following books based on these prompts: horror, random color (a generator picked #042279/navy blue), mystery/thriller, kindle + romance, and a friend’s pick! I’m actually really looking forward to this selection of books, and I feel like this method will also help me read more of my own backlist as well as make me think outside the box about what to read next!

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

📓 Horrid – Katrina Leno (grabbed off the work arc shelf)
📚 The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
💾 The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley
💾 Destiny’s Embrace – Beverly Jenkins
📚 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins


I am trying to be more mindful of what I buy, considering I’m moving soon, but sometimes I just like to have the physical copy on my shelves…

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

📚 A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
📚 A Heart So Fierce and Broken – Brigid Kemmerer
📚 A Vow So Bold and Deadly – Brigid Kemmerer
📚 A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians – H.G. Parry
📓 Eleanor in the Village – Jan Jarboe Russell (thank you, Scribner!)
📚 Graceling – Kristin Cashore
📓 In Five Years – Rebecca Serle (thank you, Atria!)
📚 Lore – Alexandra Bracken
📚 Play It As It Lays – Joan Didion
📚 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Rae Carson
📓 The Agitators – Dorothy Wickenden (thank you, Scribner!)
📚 The Gilded Ones – Namina Forna
📚 The Mask Falling – Samantha Shannon
📓 The Moonsteel Crown – Stephen Deas (thank you, Angry Robot!)
📚 The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry – C.M. Waggoner


GAMING: I haven’t really played many video games. I pop into World of Warcraft every now and then, but I am finding I don’t have the attention span to dedicate myself to anything right now.

TV: Bridgerton is okay so far! I started it but got distracted by other things to watch and read. I really enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit, and WandaVision is amazing. I can’t wait to see how things wrap up.

MOVIES: I watched all three Lord of the Rings films in IMAX in January and reignited my love for that entire story. I was obsessed with LotR when I was a teenager, and seeing them on the big screen again brought back so many emotions and memories. WW84 was definitely better as a theater viewing!


All that’s on my horizon is moving, and I’m looking forward to new beginnings back where I lived before, and this whole time in Colorado will just be a there and back again sort of deal.

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