I read ten books in February, and it’s the most of the year so far. It’s also the month where I read the most from the library, which is great because I am attempting to use the library and spend less on books this year. Part of that is because I tend to only read a lot of books once and then carry them on my shelves for years before they find new homes, and using the library gives me the opportunity to read the book once, enjoy it, and send it back right away. Reserving books and going into the branch to browse also scratches that shopping itch.
I didn’t have any real duds of a book this month, with all of these being 3-star reads and above. I may write a few reviews for these if I feel inclined too, but all of these are worth checking out for one reason or another. My favorites of the month are Margaret Rogerson’s Vespertine, Rin Chupeco’s Silver Under Nightfall, and Beth Revis’s Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel. I’d been meaning to read Sister Outsider for quite some time, and I’m glad to have read it in February. The God of Endings and Silver Under Nightfall were two more additions to my vampire reads of the year, and I wasn’t aware that when I started The God Of Endings that it was about vampires. Khaw’s The Salt Grows Heavy is a delightfully creepy mermaid novella that shows us that even though there are scary bitey mermaids, there’s always something much worse out there. Johanna Lindsey’s When Love Awaits is a very dated historical romance with plotlines and themes that wouldn’t jive today, but as I want to familiarize myself with the genre, I wanted to read some older published works and I couldn’t put this one down. I was entranced, and part of that was due to it being set in medieval times. Overall, February was a great reading month!
🌠 The God of Endings, by Jacqueline Holland 💖 Vespertine, by Margaret Rogerson 🌠 Silver Under Nightfall, by Rin Chupeco 🌠 A Psalm for the Wild Built, by Becky Chambers 🌠 You Sexy Thing, by Cat Rambo 🌠 The Final Strife, by Saara El-Arifi 💖 Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel, by Beth Revis 🔮 The Salt Grows Heavy, by Cassandra Khaw 💖 Sister Outsider, by Audre Lorde
I read one of the worst books of the year already in January, but I also read some really excellent ones as well! I have also condensed my emoji indicators for whether or not it’s something I purchased, received for review, etc! It’s been a few years, and with this new layout and it being a new year/new approach to my blog, I decided to make a small update! I don’t particularly track whether or not something is in audio or ebook for end of year review, so those went away. As I have a track record for not posting my Bookends posts in a relatively timely manner, I’m not including what I’m currently reading in wrap up posts! Even though I have been posting two or more months in a wrap up, I will be posting each month individually every Friday for January through April to catch up, and then my wrap ups will be monthly!
💖 Spells for Forgetting, by Adrienne Young
💖 Babel: An Arcane History, by R.F. Kuang
🌠👻 Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match, by Sally Thorne
💖💞 Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
💖 The Gossamer Mage, by Julie E. Czerneda
💖 A Kiss at Midnight, by Eloisa James
💖 Dark Prince, by Christine Feehan
I read eight books in January! I think my favorite of the month was Babel: An Arcane History, but I enjoyed Spells for Forgetting and Up All Night With a Good Duke!! Ella Enchanted is a favorite of mine, and I reread it to avoid getting stuck in a book slump after DNFing the Sally Thorne book which was arguably one of the worst books I’ve read this year if not one of the worst books I’ve attempted to read in a while due to its weird interpretation of Frankenstein but as a romance. It gave me the super ick. The Gossamer Mage and A Kiss at Midnight were fine, and I enjoyed Dark Prince more than I thought I would! Vampires seem to have a resurgence lately, and I’m ready for it.
I am an irregular blogger, and I accept this about myself. Without further delay, here is what I read last four months of 2021! January’s wrap-up is in the works!
Each month is separated!
I read six books in September! This was the shortest reading month of the year, partially due to a start of a new semester at work that ate away at my brain space and being in a reading slump. My favorite of the month was The Hacienda, and my least favorite of the month was And Then There Were None. I think I may enjoy watching Agatha Christie adaptations more than reading them.
⌛️ Act of Service – Lillian Fishman 📚The Ghost Bride – Yangsze Choo
⌛️The Hacienda – Isabel Cañas
📚💞 Twenty-Five Books That Shaped America – Thomas C. Foster
📚 And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
🎧💞 Lirael – Garth Nix, read by Tim Curry
I read eleven books in October, a lot of manga to try to catch up on my reading goal for the year! This was a solid reading month with no real duds for me!
📚 I’m Glad My Mom Died – Jennette McCurdy ⌛️ Small Favors – Erin A. Craig 📚 The Year of the Witching – Alexis Henderson 📱 Duke Gone Rogue – Christy Carlyle (Thank you, Avon!) 📱 Tsubaki-Chou Lonely Planet, vol 1 – Mika Yamamori (Thank you, Yen Press!) 📚 Foreigner – C.J. Cherryh ⌛️ The Savior’s Book Cafe Story in Another World, vol 1 – Kyouka Izumi, Oumiya, Reiko Sakurada ⌛️ The Savior’s Book Cafe Story in Another World, vol 2 – Kyouka Izumi, Oumiya, Reiko Sakurada ⌛️ Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman 📚 Nights With a Cat, vol 1– KyuryuZ 📚 Nights With a Cat, vol 2– KyuryuZ
I read thirteen books in November. A lot of them were novellas, but I still count them! I also enjoyed the experience of listening to all of the novellas in the Into Shadow collection.
📚 Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured – Kathryn Harrison 📱 Happy Place – Emily Henry (thank you, Berkley!) 🎧 The Six Deaths of the Saint – Alix E. Harrow 📚 Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor – Xiran Jay Zhao ⌛️ The Savior’s Book Cafe Story in Another World – Kyouka Izumi, Oumiya, Reiko Sakurada 🎧 The Garden – Tomi Adeymei 🎧 The Candles are Burning – Veronica G. Henry 🎧 Persephone – Lev Grossman 🎧 What the Dead Know – Nghi Vo ⌛️ Castles in Their Bones – Laura Sebastian 📚 No Longer Human – Osamu Dozai 🎧 Out of the Mirror, Darkness – Garth Nix 📱 Maeve Fly – C.J. Leede (thank you, Tor Nightfire!)
I read eight books in December! The Book of Gothel was a great fictional historical history of the Rapunzel fairy tale from the mother’s point of view. Undercover only made me want to read more by Tamsyn Muir and revisit The Locked Tomb series. I liked The Queen of the Tearling but I hadn’t realized when I started it that it’s set in the FUTURE, yet it feels very… traditional fantasy sort of thing. I’m interested to see where the rest of the trilogy goes.
⌛️ The Book of Gothel – Mary McMyne 🎧 Undercover – Tamsyn Muir 📚 Star Wars X-Wing: Rogue Squadron – Michael A. Stackpole 📱 Burning Roses – S.L. Huang (Thank you, tordotcom!) ⌛️ How to Keep House While Drowning – K.C. Davis ⌛️ The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman 📓 Egypt’s Golden Couple – John Darnell and Colleen Darnell (Thank you, St. Martin’s Press!)
2022 was a weird reading year. I wasn’t motivated to read certain things I’d picked out for myself, for review and for myself, and I came to the conclusion that I’m going to be focusing less on chasing review copies and more about reading for myself and going back to what it was like when I started this blog. I was reading and posting stuff for me, not for obligation and internet points or whatever. I want to maintain the relationships I currently have with a few publishers and contacts, and I still will request things if they come through my inbox, and I’m able to get to them in a timely manner. I also have Edelweiss and Netgalley at my leisure. Posts will be likely infrequent and sporadic, with a few changes here and there in formatting and approach, but I think having less external pressure to have things submitted and put up and done will help with the pressure I put on myself, too.
I don’t ever expect to have these done on time because of the state of the world and my general ‘idk what to do with this blog’ moods, but here’s my wrap up for March and April of 2022!
I still have not read much of The Big Book of Science Fiction, mostly because if it is something that’s out of sight, it’s out of mind, and I’ve just recently moved it to my nightstand again so I can finally get this done. I’ve been picking at it for so long it’s absurd! Disorientation is getting a lot of good reviews from people I follow, and the concept/premise/cover have drawn me in. Sistersong was an arc I started a bit ago and then let fall to the wayside, but I am enjoying the lyricism in the writing. I have also been meaning to read more ‘contemporary classics,’ so Vonnegut is on the list! I will likely read Slaughterhouse Five after this. I’ve only ever read a few of Vonnegut’s short stories!
📚 The Big Book of Science Fiction – edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer ⌛️ Disorientation – Elaine Hsieh Chou 📱 Sistersong – Lucy Holland (thank you, Redhook!) ⌛️ Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
I read 6 books in March! With unpacking and the stress of having my things delivered, I had very little brainpower to do much of anything. I focused more on horror and romance this month, and I think I’m getting more comfortable with the genre as a whole?? Which is weird to say because I’ve never gravitated toward horror/horror-adjacent books as I have within the last year.
📚 Never Kiss a Duke – Megan Frampton (3.5/5 stars) 📱 Comfort Me With Apples – Catherynne M. Valente (4/5 stars, thank you, tordotcom!) 📚 A Duchess a Day – Charis Michaels (3/5 stars) 📓 Tripping Arcadia – Kit Mayquist (4/5 stars, thank you, Dutton Books!) ⌛️ Revelator – Daryl Gregory (4.5/5 stars) 📚 House of Hollow – Krystal Sutherland (4/5 stars)
I read seven books in April! All of it is so varied, and I read a few ARCs/review copies (physical and digital) to try to actually be on time with things for once, and then read a couple of things of my shelf as well. I’ve also been trying to use my library more to read newer things that I’m interested in rather than straight up buying everything to save money! A Marvellous Light was the library book I read in April, and it was a very warm romantic fantasy.
📚 Star Wars The High Republic: Light of the Jedi – Charles Soule (3/5 stars) 📱 Time is a Mother – Ocean Vuong (3.5/5 stars, thank you, Penguin Press!) ⌛️ A Marvellous Light – Freya Marske (5/5 stars) 📓 The Agathas – Kathleen Glasgow & Liz Lawson (4/5 stars, thank you, Delacorte Press!) 📓 Portrait of a Thief – Grace D. Li (3.75/5 stars, thank you, Tiny Reparations Books!) 📱 Woman, Eating – Claire Kohda (3/5 stars, thank you, Harpervia!) 📚 Brain Rose – Nancy Kress (3/5 stars)
ON THE HORIZON
Darling Girl is a reimagination of the Peter Pan story and looks like something I’ll enjoy! I won Scorpica in a Goodreads giveaway, and a matriarchy in a fantasy setting is always one of my favorite things! Counterfeit sounds like a fun summer novel!! Cherish Farrah has gotten some wildly different receptions from people I follow, and it’s from the library so I should check it out. And Her Majesty’s Royal Coven is a BN Pick of the Month that I’ll be buying soon! The concept and cover is so cool! She Who Became the Sun was one of my most anticipated reads for a long time, and it’s time to actually read it! I’ve also been meaning to read Red, White, and Royal Blue since I bought it when it first got popular on social media (before the weird stepback best seller piece was added!!). Sundial is another library book I need to finish and looks delightfully creepy for a summer read. I’ve just started paging through Lapvona even though I’ve never read another Moshfegh book!! I’m also continuing my ABC Challenge of 2022 with Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured (that has also been on my active TBR for literal years).
📓 Darling Girl – Liz Michalski (thank you, Dutton!)
📓 Scorpica – G.R. Macallister (Goodreads giveaway, thank you, Saga Press!)
📱 Counterfeit – Kirstin Chen (thank you, William Morrow!)
⌛️ Cherish Farrah – Bethany C. Morrow
📚 Her Majesty’s Royal Coven – Juno Dawson
📚 She Who Became the Sun – Shelley Parker-Chan
📚 Red, White, and Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston
⌛️ Sundial – Catriona Ward
📱 Lapvona – Ottessa Moshfegh (thank you, Penguin Press!)
📚 Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured – Kathryn Harrison
WHAT I ACQUIRED
I want more wlw mass market historical romances, and the cover of Erica Ridley’s The Perks of Loving a Wallflower has all of my favorite colors omg. Misrule is my highly anticipated follow up to Malice, a favorite of mine last year! I loved Iron Widow, so naturally I had to see what Xiran Jay Zhao’s middle grade release was all about!! I had requested a copy of Phasers on Stun and I’m pleased to see it encompasses a lot! As soon as I saw House of Hunger, I had to download it to read it even though I know I’ll purchase a physical copy once it releases.
📚 The Perks of Loving a Wallflower – Erica Ridley 📚 Misrule – Heather Walter 📚 Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor – Xiran Jay Zhao 📓 Phasers on Stun – Ryan Britt (thank you, Plume!) 📱 House of Hunger – Alexis Henderson (thank you, Ace Books!)
GAMING: I’ve been playing a lot of World of Warcraft lately, and I’ve really gotten into playing a Demon Hunter!! Now that the next expansion was released, I’m excited to get caught up on a few things and see as much endgame content as possible.
TV: I feel like I’ve watched a lot of TV lately, and I’m really enjoying The Essex Serpent, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and I’m excited for the fourth season of Stranger Things!
MOVIES: Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness was a lot of fun to watch visually, but I wasn’t too fond of the treatment of the Scarlet Witch?? Men was weird, and Everything Everywhere All at Once is a contender for my favorite movie of the year!
Today, March 1, 2022, marks the 6th anniversary of fairybookmother.net! Thank you so much for following along! Even though I’m not as consistent as I would like to be, a lot has happened in the last couple of years, and I’m proud of myself for sticking with something, even sporadically, for as long as I have.
I started a new book journal in 2022, and that generally makes me more excited for the reading year ahead! I’m planning on a post about my spreads and what I plan to do with it in the upcoming weeks. I’m also trying to focus more on spending less, using my library more, and utilizing Edelweiss to help 1) curb the spending on new books that I know I’ll read once and 2) read new things and hopefully be able to share my thoughts about new and upcoming reads with you!
These Bookends posts also seem to function better for me when they’re done every two months because for some reason I can’t seem to get them done on time monthly.
I also finally got my things delivered! Long story short, the moving company I booked is shady, packed up my things in May, and I finally got them to deliver on February 27. Eight months later. I still have to go through everything, I have to buy some new bookshelves, but I’m excited to have my collection back because there have been a few things I would have been really sad to lose. It’s also a little overwhelming because I have so many books.
This weekend I am going to tab out place markers in The Big Book of Science Fiction to finish it by the end of April. I finished all of the books I had started in February and all of my current reads (aside from BBSF), so these three are ones I’m starting right away. One Italian Summer was sent to me by Atria (thank you!), and I remember devouring/enjoying In Five Years, so I hope this has the same effect. The cover also has gold foil on it, making it super pretty. Tripping Arcadia is a new release in the gothic fiction vein that’s gaining popularity, especially since Crimson Peak and Mexican Gothic. I’m already thinking of making a gothic-themed post in the near future! Now that the second book’s out, it’s time for me to finally start House of Earth and Blood. I’m not always into contemporary/urban fantasy, so we’ll see how I like this one!
📚 The Big Book of Science Fiction – edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer 📓 One Italian Summer – Rebecca Serle (thank you, Atria!) 📓 Tripping Arcadia – Kit Mayquist (thank you, Dutton!) 📚 Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood – Sarah J. Maas
I read 11 books in January! it was a pretty good reading month with a few duds. I didn’t particularly enjoy Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait because I thought it could have functioned better as a novella with the same arguments/drama cycles happening multiple times throughout the book. I also didn’t care for All I Want at all. The premise was intriguing, but it fell flat and the last chapter ruined everything for me. Donut Fall in Love was a super adorable romcom that I keep thinking about, All About Love was a reread after bell hooks’s passing, Sex Cult Nun was a page-turner and I couldn’t put it down. Chan’s The School for Good Mothers was creepy and immediate, much in the vein of a tomorrow dystopia.
⌛️ Witch Hat Atelier, vol 2 – Kamome Shirahama (4/5 stars) ⌛️ Donut Fall in Love – Jackie Lau (4/5 stars) ⌛️ Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait – Grace Burrowes (2/5 stars) ⌛️ All About Love – bell hooks (4/5 stars) ⌛️ Sex Cult Nun – Faith Jones (4/5 stars) 📓 All I Want – Darcey Bell (1.5/5 stars) 📓 The Book of Mother – Violaine Huisman (3/5 stars) ⌛️ The Light Ages – Seb Falk (4/5 stars) 📱 The School for Good Mothers – Jessamine Chan (4/5 stars) 📚 Velvet Was the Night – Silvia Moreno-Garcia (3.5/5 stars) 📓 Spidertouch – Alex Thomson (3.5/5 stars)
I read 8 books in February! I wanted to read a little bit more romance than I did, but the highlight of the three I read was definitely an ARC of Emily Henry’s Book Lovers. It was weird reading Station Eleven again in the midst of a pandemic, but I still enjoyed it! I hadn’t realized until reading Sea of Tranquility that Station Eleven, The Glass Hotel, and Sea of Tranquility are loosely connected, referencing each other. The Latinist
📱 Book Lovers – Emily Henry (5/5 stars) 📚💞 Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel (4.5/5 stars) 📚 Iron Widow – Xiran Jay Zhao (4.5/5 stars) ⌛️ Pahua and the Soul Stealer – Lori M. Lee (4/5 stars) 📚 Knight of Desire – Margaret Mallory (3/5 stars) 📱 Sea of Tranquility – Emily St. John Mandel (5/5 stars) ⌛️ The Latinist – Mark Prins (4/5 stars) ⌛️ Wicked Intentions – Elizabeth Hoyt (3/5 stars)
ON THE HORIZON
I got Laura Thompson’s Heiresses from the publisher from a request because I love reading about women in these magnificently wealthy families. Now that I’ve finished reading Station Eleven and watched the show and read Sea of Tranquility, it’s time to revisit The Glass Hotel, especially after learning that all three of these are interconnected, however loosely. And I want to be immersed in her writing. I want to go read some more of Mandel’s backlist after reading The Glass Hotel. I have been putting off starting the High Republic era in Star Wars fiction, but I am ready to make the jump, especially with so many works out already. I have also desperately missed reading Star Wars adventures. Nightshift is set in late-90s London, and something about the premise (and cover) keeps drawing me to this, so it’s time I give in and read it.
📓 Heiresses: The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies – Laura Thompson (thank you, St. Martin’s Press!) 📓 The Magnolia Palace – Fiona Davis (thank you, Dutton!)
📚💞 The Glass Hotel – Emily St. John Mandel
📚 Star Wars The High Republic: Light of the Jedi – Charles Soule
📱 Night Shift – Kiare Ladner (thank you, Mariner!)
WHAT I ACQUIRED
I bought House of Sky and Breath on release day, and I also picked up a physical copy of Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey. I have it on my Kindle, but this is something I want to read in a physical form. I downloaded The Atlas Six, The Library of the Dead, and We Were Dreamers recently because I’m in the mood for some fantasy and Simu Liu’s memoir piqued my interest!
📚 Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath – Sarah J. Maas 📱 The Atlas Six – Olivie Blake (thank you, Tor!) 📱 The Library of the Dead – T.L. Huchu (thank you, Tor!)
📚 The Odyssey – Homer, trans. Emily Wilson 📱 We Were Dreamers – Simu Liu (thank you, William Morrow)
GAMING: I’m playing my first otome game, Café Enchanté, and I’m a few chapters in now and really enjoying it. I bought Pokémon Arceus, but I want to finish Café Enchanté first. I’m also surprised that Game Freak/Nintendo are coming out with another Pokémon game this fall!! I have also been playing World of Warcraft on and off, and this new patch seems interesting with more/new things to do than the dailies I’ve been doing for a while. I don’t necessarily raid aside from LFR, but the last two raid sequences have been not all that fun for me.
TV: I’ve watched Station Eleven and enjoyed the differences between book and show, I rewatched all of New Girl but the later seasons were more annoying than I remembered them being. I am currently watching The Book of Boba Fett and The Gilded Age, and The Gilded Age is only making me want to rewatch Downton Abbey from the beginning.
MOVIES: Uncharted was a lot of fun, and I’m very excited about The Batman.
Let’s just say I am glad 2021 is over! 2022 has already been chaos, but all things considered, I’m here, I’m alive, and that’s what matters.