Show Us Your Books: Did I Finish My 2020 Reading Goal?

I have started and abandoned this post three different times now. So, if you're actually seeing it in April, it means I finally finished it. I started it in JANUARY. I'm outstanding at time management. Here is my original intro paragraph for February's Show Us Your Books Linkup haha.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know the answer, but if NOT then drumroll please! I did it! By the absolute skin of my teeth too. Like December 30th. And now it's already February before I'm recapping so this will be a looooong one. Not making any "will totally be blogging more" in 2021 resolutions because *gestures broadly* but I am aiming to read 60 books this year. I was ahead of schedule after a productive January, but right now I'm reading Devil in The White City and good GOD is it slow. Anyways, linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph & Jana and this post contains affiliate links, so you know, if you click through and buy a book I may make half a penny! 

December 2020:

I need y'all to know I tore through the ACOTAR books, ended up buying some because I didn't want to wait for library holds, and preordered the one that would come out in February. WHICH DID Y'ALL SEE THE NEWS? IT'S BEING ADAPTED FOR TV! I am so pumped. I recommend these to anyone who likes fantasy, it's such a cool world, don't let the maps and character charts intimidate you haha

The Year of The Witching : This was good, it's described as "The Handmaid's Tale for a new generation" (not that we really need that, when we're basically living in the early days of that world...) This was very entertaining and a little heartbreaking, but very captivating. 

Evil Under The Sun: Another Hercule Poirot, which I felt was almost cheating? To hit my goal? Then I remembered it was an arbitrary goal I had set and I loved the book anyways. This one I had a hunch who the murderer was, but only because I'd watched a different Christie novel  in movie form and it hinted the same level of Bad Guy. As always, totally recommend Hercule Poirot every time. 

January 2021:
A Splendid Ruin: This one kept me guessing, y'all. There are three very separate sections of the book. Features some outstanding gaslighting and story telling, lots of adventure and revenge at play.  I didn't see the middle twist coming at all. 

The Last of the Moon Girls: Hesitant Witches! Y'all know I'm a sucker for a witch who's hesitant to use her powers. This one falls into that vein, she doesn't want to take over the family farm, then her grandmother dies, she has to go back to settle the estate, and gets drawn back into her life before the big city. It's a little, cliche? Fits very well into the category it belongs to, but it's well written and a good story. 

Circe: I couldn't put this one down either. Circe loves her some mortals. I didn't know a lot of her backstory, only some of her part in the Odyssey, so it was cool to read about Circe herself. 

Atomic Love: I rage finished this one. I was predictable and terrible and the story didn't have the legs. I don't recommend it. It was my last BOTM. You can skip this one. 

Our Time Is Now: This book was timely as I read it during the Georgia Senate Runoff and it's relevant again now as the state legislature is passing sweeping voter suppression laws! 

The Duke & I - Okay, I read these because everyone was raving about Brigerton the TV show and I felt left out and like, there is a very specific plot point in this one that could have been completely left out or at the very least dealt with better. Not sure if they handle it better in the show, I haven't made it that far. I don't seem to have the attention span for TV (EXCEPT WANDAVISION, I had the time for that one) lately. BUT ALSO I low key hate how they did Daphne AND her older brother who's name starts with an A but escapes me now, because they were definitely better characters in the books than in the first two or three episodes. So.

The Viscount Who Loved Me: I liked this one better than the first one, but it was the last one for me. These are fine, and I thought they'd be more my vibe than they ended up being. Just not for me, but I did try to read the third one and... 

DNF: An Offer From A Gentleman: this felt like it was torn directly from Cinderella, I don't need another Cinderella in my life when Ever After and Cinderella Story and the one with Brandy all exist. Thanks. 

February 2021:
The Devil in the White City - I admit that I put this one on hold because I saw some suburban mom so mad about it being included on some high school reading list. (She was mad because she assumed it was about racism, not America's first serial killer and his MURDER CASTLE.) And good LORD does Erik Larson take forever to get to a point. I was honestly disappointed in this, it was a LOT OF information about the World's Fair, lightly seasoned with murder. I guess that's a dark take since it's non-fiction but like, come on. I was there for H.H. Holmes, not the budget committee's meetings with congress.

The Once and Future Witches: This one was CAPTIVATING, I couldn't put it down. It's set in Salem in a time where there used to be witches, and men are the worst. There's an overlap between the suffragette movement and how they didn't really want votes for all women, there's unfair labor practices, men who deserve to be turned into frogs. It's great y'all. 

A Court of Silver Flames: THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONE SO FAR. You need to read the other ones to understand it, but it just came out and I literally returned books I had borrowed without reading them so I could read it. It's definitely steamier. It follows Nessa & Cassian and tackles some mental health issues and survivors guilt and just like. The character development is incredible. I was so sad when it was over. I can't wait for the next one AND THE TV ADAPTATION. So pumped. 

March 2021:
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: Everyone loves this book, so I was scared I wouldn't. It is important to note that it takes forever to get going. It's very slow at the start, but I think that's on purpose so you're feeling some of what Addie feels. I don't know if I can describe anything else without it being a potential spoiler but y'all it's good, worth the hype.  

The Hollow (Hercule Poirot #26): This Poirot novel, I figured out the killer, but then all of the clues convinced me I was wrong, so I felt vindicated at the end haha. I hope that's not a spoiler. 

The Girl With The Louding Voice: I have a hard time with stories written in any kind of dialect, my brain works to hard to try to make it sound like I speak rather than letting me hear the accent, if that makes sense? So that made this one a little harder for me to get through, also the anticipation. You know something is coming but you can't figure out what and then BAM. The ending really made up for the long way it takes to get going.  

The Book of Lost Names: WWII here, this one had me SOBBING. Just sobbing. I haven't read a WWII novel in a minute because they're exhausting and lately I've been looking for more escapist stuff but whew. It's good, but I would skip it if you try to avoid books about WWII/The Holocaust. 

Currently Reading: House of Earth and Blood

FINALLY linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph & Jana. I've missed y'all! 
Life According to Steph

Show Us Your Books - What I Read in October/November

Hello friends! I'd like to start this out with a dumb complaint: if you're sending me an email with an invoice in it, SEND THE LINK TO PAY THE INVOICE AS WELL. Why are you making me go search on your website for how to pay you? Help me to help you please. I'm feeling very irritated about all of these end of year bills I need to pay and how much work I'm having to do to pay them. Just take my damn money, good lord. 

OKAY so here we go. Let's round up what I read in November! I'm writing this on December 1st and it snowed last night (not okay) and I have 6 books to read to hit my Goodreads goal. Do y'all think I will make it? 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click through them and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: Y'all, I was Very Upset that they started out trying to get me to like President Snow. So if that's where you are in the book, keep going, it gets better. This was really good. It made me want to read all the books again, and I did end up watching the first movie after I finished it. It's a bit long, but what else do we have to do in the cold months anyways? I definitely recommend it if you enjoyed The Hunger Games. The Games are terrible but it was interesting to see how they really got to where they were by the 75th annual... 

Hercule Poirot's Christmas: A holiday murder mystery! Secret identities!  A granddaughter from somewhere warm and exotic! This one has it all! I know y'all know I've been working through the Poirot stories, and that I love them all. So once again, I didn't guess the murderer, Hercule scooped it! 

Conjure Women: I didn't understand the artwork on the cover of this book until I was about halfway through, and I thought that was really cool. I don't really know how to explain this one, so here's a blurb from Goodreads:

 Like her mother, Rue is an all-knowing midwife, healer, and conjurer of curses on the plantation of Marse Charles. Moving back and forth in time between the years before and after the Civil War, Conjure Women tells the story of Rue, the families she cares for, and the mysteries and secrets she knows about the plantation owner's daughter, Varina.

I enjoyed this because it didn't really follow the stereotypical bell curve most books do, if that makes sense. It wasn't like a slow build to a big climactic event then the wrapping up of a story. It felt more like a chunk out of the middle of a bigger story. I don't know if that makes any sense to y'all. There were big events and drama and mystery and a relatively "neat" ending if you will, but it was a very good read. I am doing a bad job of explaining it.  

Sad Cypress:  BACK to Poirot. We have three in here. Oh man. This one was good. It had a Very Christie twist, but only one you can see coming after it's happened. If you've been here for more than one reading recap, you'll be very familiar with my current task trying to read through every single Poriot novel. I'm making pretty good time, very excited to move onto Miss Marple once I'm done with our mustachioed friend. 

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: For some reason, goodreads was CONVINCED this was an audiobook, it was not, but I thought that was very weird. Anyways. This one was one where I thought I knew who the murderer was at the end of each chapter, which we know Agatha does on purpose. There were more twists and turns than normal in this one and I couldn't put it down! 

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot: I saw a meme the other day about how anti-racism work isn't self improvement for white people & doesn't end when you feel better about yourself. I understand why that was a meme, lookin' at you, white women voting for Trump, but at the same time thought "how do you ever feel better about yourself?" because everything I read and everything I learn and every new thing that I come to understand just makes me more mad. So, now that I've made this review about me, in true white lady fashion, I highly recommend this one. It's informative and connects the dots on a lot of things and made me feel more radicalized and more sound in my understanding of how feminism should work. 
They need feminism to recognize that everything that affects women is a feminist issue, whether it be food insecurity or access to transit, schools, or a living wage.

That's it! I have to read 6 books in December to hit my 2020 reading goal, so wish me luck! Linking up for Show Us Your Books! Tell me what you've been reading! Have you read any of these? I'm currently reading (er, devouring): A Court of Thorns and Roses and I've already borrowed the second book of the series because I am enjoying this one so much. 

Life According to Steph

Show Us Your Books: What I Read in September

Full disclosure: I'm currently writing this while not paying attention to a zoom call that I apparently misunderstood the content of. I don't do a lot of zoom stuff for my full time job, just my real estate stuff, and so I haven't been on a call like this in a while and lord do I not envy a single one of y'all that has to do this regularly. In the before times this meeting would have at least come with snacks. SO here's what I've been reading lately. This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through one of these links and make a purchase I will earn a small commission. 

The Warmth of Other Suns : When everyone was making the Anti-Racism Reading Lists, I wanted to make sure I wasn't getting perspective of other white people. I can safely tell you that I did not learn anything about the Great Migration when I was in school. It was smoothly glossed over. This book is FIRST PERSON stories. It was so cool, I learned so much, and it broke my heart. 

Caraval : After I had a whole ~moment~ about the Discovery Of Witches series, someone recommended this tribology to me, and as you can see below, I tore through it too. I think it took me one weekend. Hello, my name is Kasey, and I have no self control. Anyways, this trilogy is set in a land of magic and I don't know if I could explain it if I wanted to without giving away some things. But it's the tale of two sisters as they make their way through said world of magic. It's very good and honestly keeps you guessing until the very end, which leaves us with a cliffhanger into the second one!

Legendary : This is the second of this trilogy, it's set obviously after the end of the first one (wow, hire me to write all of your book reviews y'all) but you have a base understanding of the world as the sisters get deeper into it. They've learned their mom has a connection to this world aside from the little bit they knew. This one is told more from the perspective of the other sister. Feels very much like a middle novel, if you will? Like there are a lot of storylines that aren't dropped or completed but you know there's a third book so you're not worried?

Finale: This one is aptly named. There are A LOT of moving parts and it's told by BOTH sisters. I don't know if I could pick a favorite of the three, because unlike some multi book series, this one almost felt like it could have been one, very long, book? (Kasey, do you think maybe that's because you read all three of them in one weekend?) If you're a fan of magic and action and light fantasy, I think you'll enjoy this series. I know I did. 

The Paris Hours: The ending of this book made me very mad. Mad isn't the right word. But if you've read it, maybe you can sympathize with me. It has that vibe of like. Love Actually? or those movies in the early 2000s where there are like 10 characters and their stories seem disconnected then they're all at some kid's Christmas play. It was very good story telling, I just have FEELIGNS about the end. 

Between the World and Me: I read The Water Dancer sometime either earlier this year or last year (tbh I don't know what time means anymore) and I really liked the writing style so I wanted to see other things written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This book is written in the form of letters to his son and just, the way he speaks to him both warmed and broke my heart. It also felt very... intimate? Almost like I was snooping in someone's mail or something. Also, there's a part where he talks about a trip to Paris and it made me cry more than it should have because he so acutely describes travel and what I miss about it. 

Life According to Steph
Currently. I'm reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which I will almost certainly finish over the rainy weekend, but like I said, I'm writing this mid zoom call I'm not paying attention to, so it'll have to be in my November SUYB. What are you reading? What have I missed? How have you been?