Read These Soon!

I mentioned a little while back that I’ve started a new shelf on Good Reads called “Read Soon.” My TBR is so long — just under 2000 books – that the onces I’m most excited about get lost in there and my memory is so bad I can’t remember the titles when I’m at the library or bookstore. Today I thought I would share what’s on this shelf.

A Black So Black by LL McKinney.  A new YA take on the Alice in Wonderland story with a fierce Black protagonist. Found it on Good Reads. Need to buy.

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier, Grim & Blackstone book 3. I’m loving this Adult Fantasy series with a super slow burn romance and a hero to die for. Owned in print.

The Dry by Jane Harper. Mystery set in Australia. So much buzz for this one, but I haven’t gotten a copy yet.

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde. Brand new book (Stand alone? New series?) by a favorite author. Might do audio on this one.

The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer. OK, this one is a little embarrassing. I’ve owned it on Kindle forever, but I still haven’t read it! It’s a sequel to House of the Scorpion. Children’s/YA dystopian fiction.

Let me know in the comments what books are on your list to read soon or if you’ve read any of these and what you thought.





5 Thrillers in my TBR

Thrillers are so hot right now. I haven’t read a ton of them, but there are definitely times when I’m in the mood for a book that will have me on the edge of my seat. Here’s some I’m looking forward to.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.

A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends domestic drama, psychological suspense, and a touch of modern horror, reminiscent of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House

White Bodies by Jane Robins

A page-turning work of suspense that announces a stunning new voice in fiction, White Bodies will change the way you think about obsession, love, and the violence we inflict on one another–and ourselves.

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, this is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect–much like the silent companions themselves.

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

A contemporary gothic from an author in the company of Kelly Link and Aimee Bender, Mr. Splitfoot tracks two women in two times as they march toward a mysterious reckoning.

Trespassing by Brandi Reeds

In a novel of mounting psychological suspense, a young mother follows a dangerous path to find her missing husband.

What do you th ink? Any that catch your eye? What thrillers are you reading?



Top 10 Tuesday – New YA

It’s Tuesday and I thought I would do a list of 10 new or new-ish YA books I’m looking forward to reading. I don’t read as much YA as a lot of bloggers do, but I do like some, so here goes!


The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. This sounds like a fun book with an #ownvoices author and diverse characters. It’s not available until May, but the reviews are really positive, so I think this one will be worth reading.


Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis. Again, a YA contemporary with #ownvoices representation. I was sold on this because the description, a girl moving in with an estranged parent into a religious household. This one also releases in May.


Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. I love the cover on this one! I follow this author on Twitter and this story of a Pakistani girl forced into servitude sounds really compelling. I think this one will get a lot of attention. Out in May.

A Blade So Black by L L McKinney. This one has been getting a lot of buzz, not all of it positive, because of some controversial statements by author about race. However, I’m intrigued enough by the idea of Alice in Wonderland as a POC that I’m willing to wait until the September release and then decide for myself.

Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg. This one comes out in July, and it sounds like a Western fairy tale kind of thing. I like this author enough to put this on my list right away, without waiting for reviews.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw. Finally we come to a book that is actually available now! A stand alone book about three sisters who are witches and some creepy stuff going on. Reviews are good and it sounds like a cool setting.

Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron. Unlike the others, this one is the final book in a series that I’ve already read and enjoyed. Set in a future or parallel world where dragons live among humans and basically rule the world, I really hope this wraps up all the conflicts and has a satisfying ending. Also available now, but I haven’t downloaded it yet.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton. I am a sucker for Shakespeare retelling and this one sounds promising. Add magic in, give the sisters more of a personality than in the play, and then a creepy poison ritual (according to the book description) and it’s no surprise that this goes onto my list.

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson. This one came out last month and the reviews are a little mixed, but I think it sounds interesting enough that I want to give it a try. I haven’t read all the descriptions, because everyone says it’s better to just jump in with this one, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. A Viking- inspired story with a female MC. How cool is that? She’s fierce, and she’s angry, and there’s an girl holding an ax on the cover! OK, shallow maybe, but I’m still going to read it.

And one more, because I’m excited about this one and I just barely heard it was coming out!


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. I loved Uprooted, and it sounds like this one is set in the same world, although with different characters. I can’t tell for sure, but it sounds like there’s a Jewish MC, which you don’t see a lot (like ever?) in fantasy, and I think that’s really cool. But even if I’m wrong, I can’t wait to read it. But I have to, because it’s not out until July.

Wow, I’m kind of surprised that I was able to come up with 10 books for this list; I was afraid I would only have 4 or 5. But it looks like I will have plenty of YA to keep me happy, not to mention all the hundreds of other books on my list and the books I have piled up literally in every room of my house. What new books are you looking forward to reading? Let me know! Happy reading!

TBR Thursday

Hey bookies! I was trying to come up with something fun for today, and I decided to share some of my TBR list with you. Here’s 3 of the latest books I’ve added to my list and why.

Loot by Jude Watson. Here’s the description:

On a foggy night in Amsterdam, a man falls from a rooftop to the wet pavement below. It’s Alfie McQuinn, the notorious cat burglar, and he’s dying. As sirens wail in the distance, Alfie manages to get out two last words to his young son, March: “Find jewels.”

But March learns that his father is not talking about a stash of loot. He’s talking about Jules, the twin sister March never knew he had. No sooner than the two find each other, they’re picked up by the police and sent to the world’s worst orphanage. It’s not prison, but it feels like it.

March and Jules have no intention of staying put. They know their father’s business inside and out, and they’re tired of being pushed around. Just one good heist, and they’ll live the life of riches and freedom most kids only dream about.

Watch out! There are wild kids on the loose and a crime spree coming .

I thought it sounded like fun. I don’t read a lot of MY or young YA, but it’s a great premise. It reminds me of the TV show Leverage and the character of Parker. The reviews are pretty good and it sounds like a fun series.

Next is The Devil’s Revolver by VS McGrath. This one I found because of a Good Reads friend.

Synopsis is:

She is Hettie Alabama — unlikely, scarred, single-minded, and blood bound to a revolver forged by a demon.

The first book in an epic, magic-clad series featuring the Wild West reimagined as a crosscultural stereoscope of interdimensional magic and hardship, The Devil’s Revolver opens with a shooting competition and takes off across the landscape after a brutal double murder and kidnapping — to which revenge is the only answer. Hettie Alabama, only seventeen years old, leads her crew of underdogs with her father’s cursed revolver, magicked to take a year off her life each time she fires it. It’s no way for a ranch girl to grow up, but grow up she does, her scars and determination to rescue her vulnerable younger sister deepening with every year of life she loses.

A sweeping and high-stakes saga that gilds familiar Western adventure with powerful magic and panoramic fantasy, The Devil’s Revolver is the last word and the blackest hat in the Weird West.

My thoughts:

I love the Western steampunk genre or as this calls  it, the Weird West. The reviews are really positive. One thing I liked – no romance! Kind of a nice change. And saving your sister is always a good motive.

Finally I picked one from a WordPress reviewer, The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton. Here’s what Good Reads says.

A kingdom at risk, a crown divided, a family drenched in blood.

The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.

The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.

Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.

This one I’m not as sure about. The book isn’t out yet, and the reviews are mixed. But it’s a retelling of the Shakespeare play  King Lear, and I loved that play. I’m really curious to see it redone. I think I will at least give it a chance.

What about you? Do any of these sound tempting? What new books are you excited about? Tell me in the comments.


I don’t know about you lovely bloggers, but I always struggle to come up with content. I have a few book reviews I need to write, but I’m not feeling like it right now. I could of course share some stuff about my WIP except that that has almost completely stalled. I could share more pictures of my cat, but she’s sulking after a trip to the vet and I can’t find her.

I thought I would try something new. I have a list of a few books I’ve heard about or discovered recently and I want you folks to help me decide if they’re worth reading or if I should pass. My GoodReads TBR list is currently over 2000, so even if I read another 200 books this year, it really won’t make a dent. I’ve got to do some major cleansing. It’s not like there’s an actual limit, so that huge imaginary list isn’t actually hurting anyone. But it makes it hard to find the books I really, really want to read in there compared to all the books I’m just thinking about.

So here are the ones I’m currently considering:

CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein

11925514What it is: sort of spy thriller thing set in WWII

Plus: All my friends who’ve read it have really enjoyed it.

I like spy thrillers when they’re good

Minus: Kind of a little tired of WWII setting

Sounds a little slow for a thriller

Verdict: Maybe wait a bit on this one

THE MERMAID’S SISTER by Carrie Anne Noble
What it is: Magical realism with family dynamics and mermaids

Plus: By a local author I want to support, free on Kindle Unlimited

Minus: I mostly hate magic realism, reviews tepid, afraid of leaving a bad review for someone I “know”

No reviews by friends on this one, so I’m on my own. I guess I’ll give it a try – it is available for free – but not right away.


What it is: Historical fiction about the Trojan War

Plus: Love the subject and the idea, girl power

Minus: No reviews by friends on this one, and the reviews are rather split. Also not sure if it’s at the library.

I really am undecided on this one. I think I’ll see if it’s at the library. Maybe if I can read through it a bit, I can decide if it’s a good fit for me.


24819482 What it is: Dark fantasy with strong female characters, some queer representation (I think) and a creepy vibe.

Plus: Love female drive fantasy, getting lots of positive buzz.

Minus: Not sure? A little hesitant about wondering just how dark it is. I’ve gotten more careful about that since my mental health has kind of gotten more fragile.

I think I will take a chance on this one and move it up the list. I’m sure the library will have it and I hope it will be a good book for me.



What it is: A memoir by the owner of an independent bookstore in Ireland

Plus: Books! Written by a guy who loves books!

Minus: Yeah, the only one I can think of is that this is going to KILL my TBR list!

I heard about this one from a friend and I love the idea of it, so this is one I’m definitely going to look for at the library. If they don’t have it, I might even request that they buy it.


Right, that’s where I’m going to stop for now. I like the way this post turned out so I think I’ll redo it later with some more books. Have you read any of these title? Do you have any of them on your TBR lists? Let me know your thoughts!

2018 Category Challenge

I don’t know how many of you are over at LibraryThing, but it’s a great site. I’ve been on there for several years now. I love the forums and groups.

One of the groups is The 2018 Category Challenge. The idea is to organize your reading by themes and then share with everyone what you thonk. They have a lot of mini-challenges, group reads and so on.

I’ve decided to join in and I have my categories.

  • Cold cases – book that have been On the shelf too long 
  • First Timers – new books


  • Repeat offenders – rereads


  • Serials – books in a series


  • Isolated occurrence – stand alone titles


  • Minor infractions – YA and kids books


  • Eyewitness accounts – nonfiction books


  • Advance warning – ARCs


  • Most Wanted – best books of the year


  • Petty crime – boring and DNF

If you want to join in, my thread is here. I’ll still post most of my reviews here though.

Have you started thinking about next year yet? What are your plans?

October TBR

I don’t usually plan my reading out, because I hate feeling tied down. Instead, I’m just listing a few possibilities. Nothing wrong with that, right?


Current Reads I must finish!

  • The Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir, ARC for NetGalley
  • Nation by Terry Pratchett
  • Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy, Volume 1, **Dad’s old book**


The old opened book is christian PsalterNew books I own and must read!

  • Shadows in the Jungle by Larry Alexander, WWII Scouting in the Pacific
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, historical fiction on audio
  • Servant of a Dark God by John D. Brown, epic fantasy by local author

The old opened book is christian Psalter

ARCS and Review Copies to Finish. I’m so behind!

  • More Than a Fraction by Kerri Moseley – Hobbs
  • Afterdeath by Benoit Charter
  • Claude’s Hotel by Naylene Rondon
  • Fateful Impact by Samantha Hoffman

The old opened book is christian Psalter

Library Books I want to get Hold of

  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo – hooray! It’s here, it’s here!
  • The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
  • Extreme Makeover: Apocalypse Edition by Dan Wells

The old opened book is christian Psalter

So that’s my tentative list. We’ll see how much I get through and what I wind up adding. But I should get to 1/3 – 1/2 of these books. What do you have planned for October reading?

Off the Shelf reading challenge

I’m having trouble with my “Off the Shelf” September challenge. I can’t seem to settle down and read any of my books. I spent an hour searching for free books from Amazon and wound up with a dozen new books for my Kindle! I haven’t started any of them, but the whole point was to read books I already own and take a break from buying new ones for a month.

It’s not like there’s a shortage of books in my house! There are bookshelves everywhere, all of them full and more books stacked on the floor. I don’t have that many Kindle books to read, but I have plenty. I also have a few books to review, including one I’m reading now.

Here’s what I think I will read next:

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey – for the Book Riot challenge

The Pierced Heart by Lynn Shepherd

Slaves of Spiegel by Daniel Pinkwater

And I’m currently reading:

Something New by PG Wodehouse

Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir – for review

American Colonies: The Settling of North America by Alan Taylor




Climbing Mt. TBR

Hey there. If you’re like me, your TBR pile is more like a mountain. I have almost 2000 books on my “To-Read” shelf in Goodreads. (Hey, feel free to check me out there. I am Cindy B.) With that many books floating somewhere in my radar, I may never run out of book ideas! Just kidding. At my present rate of reading, it would take 10 years. A long time, but totally possible. Of course, I keep adding more books to the list, so it really will take me until I die.

That’s not to say I actually own 2000 books I haven’t read. It’s more like 100. Still, way too many. That’s why September is my “Off the Shelf” month. I try to make September the month that I only read books I already own. I have plenty to choose from. There are piles or stacks or shelves or something in every single room except the upstairs bathroom.

Here’s my Top 20 books I want to read this month (I probably won’t get to all of them, but I hope to make a dent.):

  1. Rough Crossings: Britain, Slaves, and the American Revolution by Simon Schama
  2. A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic by Henry Mayer
  3. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey – for the Book Riot challenge
  4. The Pierced Heart by Lynn Shepherd
  5. Servant of a Dark God by John D. Brown
  6. The Killing of Katie Steelstock by Michael Gilbert
  7. Partials by Dan Wells
  8. Passage by Connie Willis
  9. Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
  10. Glory Road by Bruce Catton
  11. Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
  12. The Raphael Affair by Iain Pears
  13. A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa Fleming, Book Riot Challenge
  14. Native Son by Richard Wright, Book Riot Challenge
  15. Spider Woman, Book Riot Challenge
  16. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
  17. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon
  18. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Supetys
  19. Two for the Lions by Lindsay Davis
  20. Emma Brown by Clare Boylan

These are a few of the Many! books I have lying around the house. Any of them sound good to you? I’d love some recommendations about which ones to tackle first. I’m really excited about the Connie Willis one and the Iain Pears one, but otherwise I don’t have a preference. It will probably depend on what I’m in the mood for, fiction or non-fiction or audiobook, something quick or something meaty. In the comments, vote for which one I should read first.

Stand Alone Sunday #2 – Passage

Title: Passage

Author: Connie Willis

Genre: Science fiction/speculative fiction

This one is on my TBR list for this year, in a stack of books in my bedroom. Here’s what it says about it on Amazon:

“One of those rare, unforgettable novels that are as chilling as they are insightful, as thought-provoking as they are terrifying, award-winning author Connie Willis’s Passage is an astonishing blend of relentless suspense and cutting-edge science unlike anything you’ve ever read before.

It is the electrifying story of a psychologist who has devoted her life to tracking death. But when she volunteers for a research project that simulates the near-death experience, she will either solve life’s greatest mystery — or fall victim to its greatest terror.

At Mercy General Hospital, Dr. Joanna Lander will soon be paged — not to save a life, but to interview a patient just back from the dead. A psychologist specializing in near-death experiences, Joanna has spent two years recording the experiences of those who have been declared clinically dead and lived to tell about it.

It’s research on the fringes of ordinary science, but Joanna is about to get a boost from an unexpected quarter. A new doctor has arrived at Mercy General, one with the power to give Joanna the chance to get as close to death as anyone can.

A brilliant young neurologist, Dr. Richard Wright has come up with a way to manufacture the near-death experience using a psychoactive drug. Dr. Wright is convinced that the NDE is a survival mechanism and that if only doctors understood how it worked, they could someday delay the dying process, or maybe even reverse it. He can use the expertise of a psychologist of Joanna Lander’s standing to lend credibility to his study.

But he soon needs Joanna for more than just her reputation. When his key volunteer suddenly drops out of the study, Joanna finds herself offering to become Richard’s next subject. After all, who better than she, a trained psychologist, to document the experience?

Her first NDE is as fascinating as she imagined it would be — so astounding that she knows she must go back, if only to find out why this place is so hauntingly familiar. But each time Joanna goes under, her sense of dread begins to grow, because part of her already knows why the experience is so familiar, and why she has every reason to be afraid….

And just when you think you know where she is going, Willis throws in the biggest surprise of all — a shattering scenario that will keep you feverishly reading until the final climactic page is turned.”

Sorry, that was kind of long, but doesn’t it sound good? I love Connie Willis’s books. This one is not rated as high as some of her other books, but I’m excited to read it anyway. Even when I don’t LOVE her books, I find them interesting reads. She has such a unique way of looking at the world, and every books is different from each other. So I really don’t know what to expect from this one, but it should be fun!