Weekly Wrap Up 16 – 22 Nov

Hello readers!

We finally had a bit of sunlight last week, after endless weeks of fog (yay, November), so I gathered some courage and went running and whew, I’m so unfit now it’s a miracle I survived that weak-ass run. I’m hoping to go a bit more often now, even with the cold (I actually like running in the cold, 1000x better than in the heat). I read a LOT this week, mostly because I listened to audiobooks on my preferred unreasonably-fast speed & mostly listening to short books (~5h), so I ended up finishing 6 books (I only had like 20min left on Evil Has a Name and 10% or so of Vivek Oji) and starting 2 more.

This week I received from Netgalley:

This week I bought:

I’ve already read Bad Blood but wanted a physical copy to re-read at some point! I also bought Mostly Hero a while ago, but forgot to haul it here, apparently.

Continue reading

Review: A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

Categories: Romance, Fantasy

First Publication Date: 6. November 2020

Synopsis: The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

Everything Luella had thought she’d known about her life, and herself, was a lie. Taken to a land filled with wild magic, Luella is forced to be the new queen to a cold yet blisteringly handsome Elf King. Once there, she learns about a dying world that only she can save.

The magical land of Midscape pulls on one corner of her heart, her home and people tug on another… but what will truly break her is a passion she never wanted.

Continue reading

Review: A Man by Keiichiro Hirano, translated by Eli K.P. William

A Man by Keiichiro Hirano, translated by Eli K.P. William

Categories: Mystery, Translated Fiction

First Publication Date: 1 June 2020

Synopsis: Akira Kido is a divorce attorney whose own marriage is in danger of being destroyed by emotional disconnect. With a midlife crisis looming, Kido’s life is upended by the reemergence of a former client, Rié Takemoto. She wants Kido to investigate a dead man—her recently deceased husband, Daisuké. Upon his death she discovered that he’d been living a lie. His name, his past, his entire identity belonged to someone else, a total stranger. The investigation draws Kido into two intriguing mysteries: finding out who Rié’s husband really was and discovering more about the man he pretended to be. Soon, with each new revelation, Kido will come to share the obsession with—and the lure of—erasing one life to create a new one.

Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up 9 – 15 Nov: In which I pretend my TBR is under control by creating a ghost-TBR

Hello readers!

It’s been quite a week – I am so ready for Christmas vacations. I’m on a good way to getting my TBR below 170 books, although I’ve been deviating a lot from what I planned to read.

As a way to control my TBR while also not losing track of books that are vaguely on my radar but I’m not very decided about, especially those I keep adding and then removing from my TBR, I created a “on-my-radar” list, where I am gleefully adding books (I added 60 in like… 2, 3 days?) so I no longer have to debate whether to add something to my TBR or not. As a result, my TBR is smaller and consists of stuff I actually want to read, plus a “shadow” TBR of stuff I might want to get to at some point but don’t feel actually pressured to read. I think this will work well!

This week I bought:

Continue reading

Review: Lovely War by Julie Berry

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Categories: Historical Fiction, Romance, Mythology

First Publication Date: 4 February 2020

Synopsis: They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect turned soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by the goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love.

Continue reading

Guest Post: Non-Fiction Recommendations by @cliosboardgames (an actual historian)

Hello readers!

Clio is a very good friend of mine who is a historian and loves reading (you should check out Clio’s Board Games, it’s BRILLIANT and the latest post is about women’s enfranchisement and it’s *chef’s kiss*). So obviously I was going to explore this, and Clio kindly agreed to write a recommendation post for Non-Fiction November! I’ve just posted my amateur recs if you want to check them out. Now
, I give the word to my esteemed guest!

Hello readers!

Sometimes, when you read or watch something exciting, it sends an additional shiver down your spine to see that little note “Based on a true story”. That’s what I love about reading non-fiction – all of it is a true story! Now, you only have to find those true stories that are exciting in the first place. And that’s where this post comes in. Based on my reading record of roughly two thirds non-fiction to one third fiction, here are some books which are insightful, relevant, and at the same time, riveting. For the most complex characters and most captivating plots, I encourage you to read history – but there are gems found to be elsewhere in non-fiction as well.

Elaine Weiss: The Woman’s Hour

Continue reading

Mini-Reviews of Recent Reads: Milk Fed & All the Birds on the Sky

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction

First Publication Date: February 2, 2021

I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Milk Fed is the story of a young Jewish woman who goes through an emotional detox from her mother and meets a woman at a local yoghurt place. She has internalized fatphobia and a severe eating disorder, controlling every minute or her life so as not to get fat. Serious trigger warnings here for eating disorder, self-harm, toxic family relationships and homophobia. I loved the writing in this book, Melissa Broder’s sharp, dry and sarcastic tone makes anything she writes a delight to read. However, I found this book quite uninspired at times and the ending left me thinking – that’s it? Perhaps I’m seriously burned-out from the Disaster Woman trope (as I’ve mentioned a few times), but watching things unfold made me cringe so hard. I just found myself not really wanting to pick this up very often, but at least it was a quick read, and it’s definitely a bold story.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Categories: Fantasy, Sci-Fi

First Publication Date: January 26, 2016

I had a bit of a mixed experience with All the Birds in the Sky, namely that I loved the world building, thought the whimsical touches really worked for it and the humor was on-point, I even loved some of the characters, but also found myself skimming through the book a lot and I did not care for the ending. This is an adult novel that felt very often to me like middle grade, with its on-the-nose themes, which I did not really enjoy. A lot happens in this 300-page novel, making it feel much longer and be quite an immersive read, so if the writing style works for you, I think this will be a very interesting read!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Weekly Wrap Up 3 – 8 Nov: Where did the year go??

Hello readers!

I can’t believe it’s November. Less than two months and this year is over. So weird. I picked up a few nonfic reads this week, FINALLY. I have read more nonfic than usual this year, but I’ve been craving more lately and I’m glad to get some off my list. The weather is quite awful and everything is closed now due to light lockdown, so I had plenty of opportunity to read this week.

From Netgalley and Edelweiss I received:

I’m a bit nervous because I saw mixed reviews for The Sanatorium and also because the translator of Permafrost is the same as for Eartheater, which had a writing style I did not like (and might have been the translation’s fault). We will see! I’m excited to finally read Ali Smith, though. And The Animals in That Country is giving me I Hold a Wolf by the Ears and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead vibes.

Continue reading

Mini-Reviews of Fall 2020 Releases: When No One is Watching, Burning Roses & Zikora

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Categories: Romantic suspense, Thriller

First Publication Date: 1st September 2020

When No One is Watching is Alyssa Cole’s first thriller, telling the story of Sydney, a young woman who grew up in Brooklyn and now watches her neighborhood change at an unsettling pace and Theo, her new neighbor who is having relationship problems. Both are keeping secrets from others, and when Sydney starts suspecting something darker is at play when her neighbors keep disappearing, she and Theo will try to uncover the truth. This is more a romantic suspense plus contemporary than a thriller in my opinion, even though the story flows quickly and the level of tension goes through the roof by the second half, it does spend a long time developing Sydney and Theo’s relationship and explaining gentrification, its history and effects on Black neighborhoods. This was a fascinating read, and it definitely delivers on the Get Out vibes. I am not a fan of romantic suspenses/thrillers, but this really worked! It goes into very dark territory (that I will not list so as not to spoil the story) but also mundane, daily horror and violence which adds an eerie quality to the story. This is an illuminating, dark and unflinching book but also hopeful and full of love. You can feel on the pages how much love was poured into this story, which is ultimately about community and taking care of each other, and also preserving history while maintaining a critical eye. I’m impressed!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Continue reading