The StoryGraph’s Onboarding Reading Challenge 2023 (Read a book in your least read format or genre)—Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge (Go to page 34, line 6 of the book you just read. How many words are there in that line? Divide that number by 3. That’s the amount of words the title of your next book should be): Modern Girl’s Guide to Vacation Flings by Gina Drayer
Beat the Backlist 2023 (meant to read it last year): Prepared by Courtney Konstantin
*Normally, there won’t be a lot of books on here. But I am going through my Goodreads shelves and downloading any free books I am coming across from books already shelved (as well as adding books that are in the same series). This is an ongoing project, and I should be done by September (yes, I have that many books).
WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.
The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
What I am currently reading:
The nation of Trylia believes that the gift, a force that can alter the world through the intent of the person who wields it, is a myth. The stuff of children’s tales, brought to life only in the imagination.
For Lila, separated from a life she was too young to remember, it’s a confusing power that has set her apart from the family she found. And she is only just beginning to understand it when her home and family are destroyed, and she is captured.
To escape, she unleashes the gift in a destructive wave that also forces a man she doesn’t trust to keep them alive. Bryn won’t survive unless Lila does, and they must flee the wrath of the captors still pursuing her. If they can’t find a way to work together, Lila won’t live long enough to learn more about the gift.
As Lila finds her strength, the gift inside her grows. Unless she can control it, she may be a greater danger than the one at her heels.
What I recently finished reading:
An immortal Knight of the Round Table faces his greatest challenge yet—saving the politically polarized, rapidly warming world from itself—in this slyly funny contemporary take on Arthurian legend.
Being reborn as an immortal defender of the realm gets awfully damn tiring over the years—or at least that’s what Sir Kay’s thinking as he claws his way up from beneath the earth, yet again.
Kay fought at Hastings, and at Waterloo, and in both World Wars. After a thousand years, he thought he was used to dealing with a crisis. But now he finds himself in a strange new world where oceans have risen, armies have been privatized, and half of Britain’s been sold to the Chinese. The dragon that’s running amok, that he can handle. The rest? He’s not so sure.
Mariam’s devoted her life to fighting what’s wrong with her country. But she’s just one ordinary person, up against a hopelessly broken system. So when she meets Kay, a figure straight out of legend, she dares to hope that the world’s finally found the savior it needs.
As the two quest through this strange land swarming with gangs, mercenaries, and talking squirrels, they realize that other ancient evils are afoot. Lancelot is back too–at the beck and call of immortal beings with a sinister agenda. And if their plans can’t be stopped, a dragon will be the least of the planet’s worries.
In perilous times like these, the realm doesn’t just need a knight. It needs a true leader.
Luckily, Excalibur lies within reach–and Kay’s starting to suspect that the hero fit to carry it is close at hand.
What I think I will read next:
A retired librarian gets back to the books—and into a devilish murder case—in acclaimed author Victoria Gilbert’s new series, the perfect literary adventure for fans of Kate Carlisle and Jenn McKinlay.
Sixty-year-old Jane Hunter, forced into early retirement from her job as a university librarian, is seeking a new challenge to keep her spirits up and supplement her meager pension. But as she’s about to discover, a retiree’s life can bring new thrills—and new dangers.
Cameron “Cam” Clewe, an eccentric 33-year-old collector, is also seeking something—an archivist to inventory his ever-expanding compendium of rare books and artifacts. Jane’s thrilled to be hired on by Cam and to uncover the secrets of his latest acquisition, a trove of items related to the classic mystery and detective authors. But Jane’s delight is upended when a body is discovered in Cam’s library. The victim, heir to a pharmaceutical fortune, was the last in line of Cam’s failed romances—and now he’s suspect number one.
Cam vows to use his intelligence and deductive skills to clear his name—but with a slight case of agoraphobia, rampant anxiety, and limited social skills, he’ll need some help. It comes down to Jane to exonerate her new boss—but is he truly innocent?
DESPERATELY SEEKING FICTIONAL HERO FOR HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Broke up with, broke, and with a vicious case of writer’s block, romance writer Gracie Landing is a hot mess. She can hardly be blamed for drinking one (or a few) too many cocktails when out with her besties in an attempt to cheer herself up. Sometime in the foggy wee hours, she recklessly emails her unrequited high-school crush, Colin Yarmouth, who is now a successful attorney harboring regrets of his own. When she receives an intriguingly friendly (not to say flirty) response, her acute embarrassment is overcome only by her fervent curiosity―what would a hottie like Colin be like as a grown up? The two forge an unlikely friendship that’s unmistakably headed for more. Colin’s tales of his own woeful break-up become fodder for Gracie’s fertile imagination and her current work-in-progress takes off. With the deadline looming and her checking account dwindling, Gracie has no idea that borrowing Colin’s story could wreak havoc on her life, her career, and her own chance at happily-ever-after…
Celebrate the power of friendship in these five adventurous stories starring Frog and Toad—a Caldecott Honor Book!
From writing letters to going swimming, telling stories to finding lost buttons, Frog and Toad are always there for each other—just as best friends should be. Frog and Toad Are Friends is a Level Two I Can Read book, geared for kids who read on their own but still need a little help.
The classic Frog and Toad stories by Arnold Lobel have won numerous awards and honors, including a Newbery Honor (Frog and Toad Together), a Caldecott Honor (Frog and Toad are Friends), ALA Notable Children’s Book, Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book), School Library Journal Best Children’s Book, and Library of Congress Children’s Book.
She thought she was prepared for the end of the world… until it actually came.
Alex Duncan is a mother, a sister— and the daughter of a doomsday prepper. She always thought her father was insane, raving about an apocalypse she never believed in, but when a plague hits the United States and the dead no longer stay dead, Alex discovers heeding her deceased father’s advice is what will keep her family alive. Before he died, Alex’s father created a compound in Montana just in case situations like this arose.
Hell has arrived on earth.
The dead walk, hungry for human flesh. Living in a highly populated city like Las Vegas makes the reality of the plague imminent to Alex. With little time to spare, Alex must make split-second decisions to prevent her family from being devoured. Facing the end, Alex has three goals.
Escape Las Vegas. Get to the compound. Survive.
As the outside world crumbles and grows darker, Alex faces adversity from not just the infected, but the uninfected as well. Government assistance is nowhere in sight, and rumors fly that the nation’s only solution to the growing plague is execution. Not everyone will outlast the plague. Doomsday is here. Will Alex be up to the challenge, or fall, and rise again as one of the undead?
Beth Riley wasn’t looking for commitment. Beth left Chicago to escape her ex’s upcoming marriage to her sister. She thought a hot no-strings-attached vacation fling would help her forget her latest dating disaster, and the sexy guy she’d meet on the plane seemed like a perfect candidate. But Matt wasn’t what she expected.
Matt Carver wasn’t looking for a girlfriend Matt was trapped on a TransAtlantic cruise with his entire family, and his mother was set on fixing his dating life. He just needed to convince everyone he was already in a relationship. He knew the perfect woman for the role: Beth Riley, an adventurous beauty who’d already rescued him once.
The whole ruse was supposed to be harmless, but things quickly got out of hand when their made-up relationship and fake kisses turned to real passion.
Note: This book features plenty of panty-melting sex! Not for the timid!
The town is all abuzz when a murder occurs in Jennie Marts’ debut cozy mystery, perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Amanda Flower.
As a successful mystery author, Bailey Briggs writes about murder, but nothing prepares her for actually discovering the dead body of the founder of her hometown of Humble Hills, Colorado. Bailey grew up at Honeybuzz Mountain Ranch and was raised by her beekeeping grandmother, Blossom Briggs, aka Granny Bee, and her two eccentric sisters, Aster and Marigold—which is why she drops everything to come home and help Granny Bee after a bad fall.
A broken foot doesn’t stop her grandmother from ruling The Hive, her granny’s book club, or continuing to prepare and package her bee-inspired products. But when Bailey’s grandmother’s infamous “Honey I’m Home” hot spiced honey turns out to “bee” the murder weapon and her granny is now the prime suspect, Bailey has no choice but to use her fictional detective skills to help solve the murder and ‘smoke-out’ the real culprit.
With the help of Bailey’s witty bestie, a pair of meddling aunts, the feisty members of The Hive, and her computer-savvy daughter, this amateur sleuth is determined to solve the case. A malicious attack and an ominous threat reveal that someone wants Bailey to butt out of the investigation, but there’s no way she’s backing down. She must use her skills to uncover the truth and catch the clever culprit before her grandmother ends up bee-hind bars.
Years ago, a reclusive mega-bestselling children’s author quit writing under mysterious circumstances. Suddenly he resurfaces with a brand-new book and a one-of-a-kind competition, offering a prize that will change the winner’s life in this absorbing and whimsical novel.
Make a wish. . . .
Lucy Hart knows better than anyone what it’s like to grow up without parents who loved her. In a childhood marked by neglect and loneliness, Lucy found her solace in books, namely the Clock Island series by Jack Masterson. Now a twenty-six-year-old teacher’s aide, she is able to share her love of reading with bright, young students, especially seven-year-old Christopher Lamb, who was left orphaned after the tragic death of his parents. Lucy would give anything to adopt Christopher, but even the idea of becoming a family seems like an impossible dream without proper funds and stability.
But be careful what you wish for. . . .
Just when Lucy is about to give up, Jack Masterson announces he’s finally written a new book. Even better, he’s holding a contest at his home on the real Clock Island, and Lucy is one of the four lucky contestants chosen to compete to win the one and only copy.
For Lucy, the chance of winning the most sought-after book in the world means everything to her and Christopher. But first she must contend with ruthless book collectors, wily opponents, and the distractingly handsome (and grumpy) Hugo Reese, the illustrator of the Clock Island books. Meanwhile, Jack “the Mastermind” Masterson is plotting the ultimate twist ending that could change all their lives forever.
. . . You might just get it.
Fantasy author Kyla knows dreams don’t come true. Isolated and grappling with debilitating depression, she copes by writing about the realm of Solera. Fearless heroes, feisty shapeshifters, and mighty dragons come alive on her pages. She adores her characters, but she doesn’t believe in happy endings. And if she can’t have one, why should they?
Kyla’s on the verge of giving up on everything when she wakes one morning, magically trapped in her fictional world. Now she’s with her most cherished characters: the friends she’s always yearned for, the family she’s never known. There’s even someone who might be Prince Charming (if Kyla could get her act together and manage some honest communication). She’d surrender to the halcyon fantasy, except she knows a nightmarish ending awaits. Solera is at war, and its defenders are losing against the insidious villain spawned in the depths of Kyla’s mind. He feeds on the energy of dreams, seeks the destruction of all who oppose him—and Kyla’s become his number one target.
Kyla must trade her pen for a sword and fight to change her story’s ending, but this isn’t a fantasy anymore. No happily-ever-after is guaranteed. And mental illness has robbed her of everything she needs to succeed: love, fighting spirit, hope. If Kyla can’t overcome the darkness inside her, she’ll die with her darlings.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Depictions of mental illness including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-harm.