Bookopoly August Wrap-Up/ September TBR and Magical Readathon TBR

Rolling your TBR is so much fun!

August 2021 Wrap-Up

I had a reasonably good reading month with only one book being set aside and a couple of summer romance books that were rated three stars.

I probably always set the judgment bar too high for romance books since I’m a Pride and Prejudice eternal fan and all romance books get unconsciously compared to that masterpiece. All heroines also have difficult times when compared to Elizabeth Bennet and all love interests have it even harder when compared to Mr. Darcy. Even though I unconsciously judge their plots, relationships and characters. Apart from that I don’t like when the heroine suffers too much and when the love interest has no emotional intelligence at all. Mr. Darcy is fine, he was a Victorian man after all and you forget all his snob nonsense because Jane Austen and Colin Firth made him unforgettable, but male love interests these days are so often unlikable.

But now let’s get on with my August Wrap-up and the new Bookopoly rolls for September.

1st Roll: 4, 3rd Yellow space –
Fantasy: The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade #1) by Seth Dickinson. This was my August DNF. The themes this book had were very important and well chosen, but I have difficulties when the story is so character driven and slow paced, so I set it aside after giving it a good try. I picked up another fantasy book for this space then:
Shades of Grey (Shades of Grey #1) by Jasper Fforde – 4 stars
This was very original and funny, and this series absolutely has to continue!!!

2nd Roll: 2, 1st Red space – Romance/Retelling:

I chose Retelling this time: War of the Cards (Queen of Hearts Saga #3) by Colleen Oakes. – 3 stars
I finished this series more because I am in a series completion mood this year than because I really enjoyed this third book. I saw the Queen of Hearts as a victim of the way both her fathers acted towards her. She was original in her tragic and wrathful moments and that was my favorite thing in a very predictable plot.

And now my deep considerations (rant) about this book: It is probably a challenge writing Retellings and making it sound fresh and surprising when that has a story which readers already know the end. I get that, but this series first book was a five stars for me and then the plot didn’t fulfill all the ideas it hinted at in the first book, or at least this is how it seemed to me on book two and three.

SPOILER ALERT I think I would have enjoyed more the story if the Queen of Hearts would have gone tragic and bad more due to getting corrupted by the politics and by problems/struggles with the dark story world of Wonderland. In the end the dark side of the story world is pushed in the background and all bad things she did were connected to her love interest being in love with Alice. I think it made the plot more cliché to say that the Queen of Hearts became evil because she was unloved, female villains should not always be portrayed as evil because their hearts were broken. I think this is too simplistic, female villains sometimes became evil due to other reasons, perhaps because they are too greedy for power like male villains? I would gladly read about a female ‘Saruman-like’ villain sometime.

3rd Roll: 2, 2nd Red space – Romance/Retelling: And I picked Romance this time. A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane. – 3 stars
SPOILER ALERT I unfortunately didn’t like the angsty romance plot here. I understand why the story and romance were written this way, but in romances I usually like the main female character to suffer less and the main male character to be more likable and trusting. The romance here takes really long to happen and before that it is mainly the heroine trying to knock some sense in her extremely distrusting and closed up love interest from the beginning (when we get to know all the heroine’s goals so that there isn’t any mystery or heroine’s second thoughts left) to the end.
I liked the fantasy world and story though (even if it had a lot of going-from- point-A-to-point-B type of plot) and therefore this gets an extra star.

4th Roll: 5, 3rd Pink space – Science Fiction

Local Star by Aimee Ogden. – 4 stars
Lots of beautiful sentences in the prose. I also liked the polyamory relationships even if they weren’t as fleshed out as I wished, but then multi-partner relationships is one of the aspects I consider really interesting in Sci-fi and I can’t read enough of it. I also liked the multi-layered and the flawed main and side characters.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5th Roll: 3, 2nd Purple space – Mystery/Thriller/Horror – A Mystery/Thriller book that has been for years on my TBR:

The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman #1) by Ben H. Winters. – 4 stars. This was well written and with an interesting mystery and original premise. My only problem with it was that I have been really not wanting to read apocalyptic dystopia lately. Eventually I’ll continue this series, when I feel that I can deal with dystopia and impending apocalypse again.

September TBR Rolls

And now my rolls for this month. I will try to read these this month at least but it will probably drag one or two weeks into October due to my ambitious TBR for Space Opera September and Sci-Fi September. I’ll do my best so it’s only around one week though.

Three of these books I will be reading for the Magical Readathon too.

6st Roll: 6, Read a book published the first time between 2000 and 2010
I’ll pick The Love-Artist by Jane Alison, an historical fiction that has been for ages in my TBR. I’ll be also reading this for The Magical Readathon for the prompt: “Read a Standalone.”

7th Roll: 4, 3rd Lavanda space – YA mixed with other genres. I might pick Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake for this since I rarely read YA/Horror and this would fit completely the prompt of the Magical Readathon of a “Book featuring ghosts, a haunted house, or other supernatural elements.”

8tht Roll: 4, Orange Bookshelf – Pick a TBR card. Aaand a big coincidence happened here that I could not believe it myself, I picked up a card and it was Axiom’s End (Noumena #1) by Lindsay Ellis!
I was already planning to read this for two other readathons. This was so crazy! 🙂
I’ll be also reading this for Sci- Fi September for the prompt: “Alien Presence” and for The Magical Readathon for the prompt: “Book on top of your TBR.”

9th Roll: , 2, Read a book published the first time between 2010 and 2020. I’m not sure yet of which book. I might pick Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie since it was published in 2013.

10th Roll: 3 Roll: 4, 2nd Dark Blue space – Paranormal fantasy/romance/mystery or Magical Realism.
I’ll pick another book that has been in my TBR for ages. Incubus (Fairwick Chronicles #1) by Carol Goodman. I expect this to be light reading, let’s see how it turns out.

And how is September’s reading life going for you? Let me know in the comments.

Space Opera September and Sci-Fi September 2021

Space Opera September #SOS2021

Space Opera September is run by Thomas at SFF180. If you want to know more about this Readathon please check out his videos.
This is the third year I participate in this readathon. The first and second time were a lot of fun so I’ll participate again this year.

My current #SOS2021 TBR for the Federation Track:

  1. Read a space opera novella -> (unlocks Shuttlecraft)
    Home (Binti #2) by Nnedi Okorafor

2a. Read two space operas written by women -> (unlocks Fighter)
Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication Order) #1) by Lois McMaster Bujold.
DarkShip Thieves (Darkship #1) by Sarah A. Hoyt

  1. Read a space opera published before you were born -> (unlocks Explorer)
    Tau Zero by Poul Anderson. First published in 1970.

I’m not yet sure if I’ll be doing other challenges so I won’t set up a TBR for them right now.

Sci-Fi September #SciFiSeptember

This is a Readathon on Twitter
I set up a really ambitious TBR for this so I must say that I’ll probably not manage to finish them all in September but go on reading these books in October.

Alien Presence: Axiom’s End (Noumena #1) by Lindsay Ellis
I’ll be buddy reading this book too.

Queer: The Silence of the Wilting Skin by Tlotlo Tsamaase
I have this Novella for awhile in my TBR so I’ll try to pick it up.

Non-Human MC: Yargo by Jacqueline Susann
I read this romance sci-fi so many years ago that I can’t remember any of it so I’ll reread it.

Short Story: Entanglements: Tomorrow’s Lovers, Families, and Friends
(Twelve Tomorrows #6) by Sheila Williams

I’ll try to at least start this anthology.

Global South: Não Verás País Nenhum by Ignácio de Loyola Brandão
This is a Brazilian Dystopia that I’ll be reading in Portuguese since I think this wasn’t translated so far.

Robot/AI: The Caves of Steel (Robot #1) by Isaac Asimov
One of the few robot books by Asimov I have not read yet.

Contemporary with sci-fi elements: The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
This seems to be a very interesting contemporary sci-fi mystery with clones.

And you, are you participating in any readathons or reading great Sci-fi in September? Let me know in the comments.

Bookopoly Chooses My TBR

Bookopoly board

Inspired by the videos of Becca and The Books I decided to make my own Bookopoly Game Board.

Bookopoly is a game that is inspired by the game Monopoly, only that instead of buying streets, railroads, houses and hotels, I’ll be reading different genres of books according to the spaces I land.

If you want more details on how this game works, please watch Becca’s introductory video. I changed the Bookopoly board game she introduces to how the spaces would work better for me and I won’t be playing with two dices but only one but the ways how both TBR choosing games work are very similar.


The genres I have set for the following space colors are:

Yellow – Fantasy (Adult or YA)

Red – Romance or Retelling (Adult or YA)

Pink – Science Fiction (Adult or YA)

Purple – Mystery or Thriller or Horror

Brown – Genre-benders (Books with two or more genres)

Lavanda – YA mixed with other genres Fantasy/Sci- fi/ Contemporary/Mystery/Retelling/Horror or Middle-Grade.

Green – Classics/Nonfiction/Audiobook/Short Story Anthology or Collection/Graphic Novel.

Dark Blue – Paranormal Fantasy/PA Romance/PA Mystery or Magical Realism

Depending on how these settings work for me I might change these genre settings later, therefore I’ve not written the genres on the board. And if anyone else decides to use this board for their own TBR choosing game, they can also choose the genres for each of the colors according to which genres they prefer.


Apart from the genre spaces, I also have the “Chance TBR” spaces and the “A to Z” spaces.

The Chance TBR spaces (orange space with books) will have cards with books I have in my TBR and the “A to Z” spaces (light blue with letters) will have cards with books I chose for my A to Z Challenge.


The first corner space where START is written is my starting point.

The “Numbers” corner space may be used in two different ways. Either by reading a book with a number in the title or by picking a number in a random number generator and picking the book correspondent to that number on a physical shelf.

The other two corner spaces are “Five Star Predictions” where I’ll pick a book I think will be a five star read, and “Mood Reading – Super Bubbly” where I’ll read a comfort read.


Finally I replaced the Monopoly Railroad spaces with Published-in-the-Year spaces. In the first you can read books published until 1990s, the second is for books published in the 90s decade, the third for books published between 2000 and 2010 and the fourth for the books published between 2010 and 2020. All these squares encourage readers to read their older books.


I’m playing this game for the first time now in August and here are my rolls and books:

1st Roll: 4, Third Yellow space – Fantasy: I’ll be reading: The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade #1) by Seth Dickinson.

2nd Roll: 2, First Red space – Romance/Retelling: I’ll be reading a Retelling: War of the Cards (Queen of Hearts Saga #3) by Colleen Oakes.

3rd Roll: 2, Second Red space – Romance/Retelling: I’ll be reading a Romance this time. A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane.

4th Roll: 5, Third Pink space – Science Fiction – I’ll be reading Local Star by Aimee Ogden.

5th Roll: 3, Second Purple space – Mystery/Thriller/Horror – I’ll be reading a Mystery/Thriller book that has been for years on my TBR: The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman #1) by Ben H. Winters.

I’ll be posting my Wrap-Up of this challenge in the beginning of September and roll again five times to pick a new monthly TBR.

Would you like to play too? Let me know in the comments.

A TO Z CHALLENGE Wrap-Up 2021 – Part 1

In my last blog post, I said I still had a couple of yearly challenges to talk about. And one of them is my A TO Z CHALLENGE 2021.

At first I thought about calling this blog post “Reading Goals 2021 Mid Year Update -Part 2” since this is what I was aiming for when I started it, but when I included all the book reviews, this turned into a longer post. So I will concentrate on the A to Z Challenge alone and write about my other challenges later.

I was in doubt last year about repeating the A to Z Challenge in 2021 but when one of my favorite groups in Goodreads, the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club (SFFBC) started it, I had to take part too.

So far I have done the letters E, I, J, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, V, and W.

I will try to stick to the TBR I have set up in January for this challenge until the end of the year. I know I could have more letters accomplished if I would just pick up books I have already read and sort them into the challenge but I don’t see the point in doing that.

And I’ll be reviewing the books I have finished in this post so that I don’t have a five pages blog post at the end of this challenge in December.

Internet Sensitivity alert: I have now and then very strong opinions on books and some of the following reviews are negative. Therefore, if you are sensitive to negative reviews of books you liked don’t continue reading this post.

So here are the books I have read:


Edgedancer (The Stormlight Archive #2.5) by Brandon Sanderson

Interesting Novella with additional information on the Stormlight story world and the Cosmere. The tone of the Novella was in the young adult direction, so different from the Stormlight Archive series which has a more adult tone and this was a bit jarring for me. Even though this Novella was very entertaining. Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite fantasy authors and I will be certainly be reading more by him in the future. My rating: 4 stars.

Emergency Skin (Forward Collection #3) by N.K. Jemisin.

I read five of the six Novellas in the Forward Collection until now, but this is by far my favorite at this point. Brilliant, I want to read more from this author for sure. My rating: 5 stars.


In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard

I often struggle when a story is mainly focused on the characters and their relationships, but in this case the resolution was masterfully done and the character’s arc of Vu Côn and all other characters was deeply tied with their situation and setting, in a way that this Novella’s theme development is complete on its own. I would want to read more about this post-Vanisher’s World past or future so that I could better grasp it’s puzzling nature. Aliette de Bodard is an author I want to read more in the future. My rating: 4 stars.

Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine

I’m not sure how to review this book, it has a harsh dystopic/alternate history world, but the plot moved slowly. I liked the writing style so I’ll give it one extra star for that.

*Spoiler Alert* What I didn’t like was that the story was mainly about a school class in a cruel school with a cruel teacher (who was much worse than Snape ever was) and I have read so many books with this kind of trope I can’t really stand this kind of plot anymore. I won’t be continuing this series. My rating: 2 stars.


Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee

This book reminds me a bit of The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi where the world was interesting and there were loads of action but I had difficulty caring enough to go on reading even though. I can’t explain why, really… This sometimes happens when there are many characters who are interesting but nothing that really makes me care about one special character and what will happen to him/her. This is very subjective, as some people told me they loved this book. I continued this book but I won’t continue the series. My rating: 2 stars.


The Last Conversation (Forward Collection #5) by Paul Tremblay

An intriguing and eerie dystopian Novella. My rating: 3 stars.


Machinehood by S.B. Divya

This had a very good premise and ideas but the narrative style wasn’t unfortunately for me. I would recommend this to people who like science fiction technological thrillers and are OK with a narrative in Michael Crichton’s style.

I would also like to say thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. My rating: 3 stars.


Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Please don’t ‘hate’ me, I did like this book a lot too, only that I considered some of the character developments of Dalinar quite jarring with the character he seemed to be on the first two books of the series. I also got the impression that his ARC wrapped up too neatly and too fast at the end without enough foreshadowing. Too many battle scenes and not enough character interactions. I missed more development on Shallan, Adolin and Kaladin, and it all got decided too quickly for me. Maybe these impressions will change once I have reread this series since this time I was mainly hearing this as an Audiobook.

Still a brilliant series that I’ll go on reading for sure. My rating: 4 stars.

Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter

Exceptional story, and one of the best novellas I’ve read this year. I want to read more from this author for sure. My rating: 5 stars.


Pride and Prescience: Or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged

This was a very entertaining historical/ paranormal/cozy mystery with the universally loved characters of Pride and Prejudice. I’ll be continuing this series. My rating: 4 stars.


Questing Beast (Koslov Universe) by Ilona Andrews

I like most books by Ilona Andrews and this free short story that can be found on the website of the authors was no exception. Very creative, I wish they write more stories in this universe soon. My rating: 4 stars


Randomize (Forward Collection #6) by Andy Weir

This wasn’t my favorite story by this author since it wasn’t funny like “The Martian” and “Artemis”, or intriguing like his short story “The Egg”. It also wrapped up too conveniently, but it was still all right. I still really like his books though and will read “Project Hail Mary” asap. My rating: 3 stars.


Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal #1) by Zen Cho

This was one of my biggest disappointments for the first half of 2021. I gave this audiobook a fair chance by hearing 50% of it, but the plot development was too slow, so slow that I thought there wasn’t really a plot and if there was one that I didn’t care anymore. What also tired me were the often repetitions of character names when all these repetitions were completely unnecessary, since I knew the scene was in that character’s POV most of the time. Honestly, I can only hear “Zacharias” so many times before getting completely bored. I won’t be continuing this series. My rating: No rating since I DNFed.


To Have and to Hoax (The Regency Vows #1) by Martha Waters

This was a really disappointing historical romance and sorry, but I’ll rant in this review. I’m tired of reading romance books where the male character says toxic, horrible things to the female character all the time because he is supposed to have zero emotional intelligence. I believe that most guys are smarter than that, and if they are saying horrible things to a woman is because they don’t want to have that woman around and not because they are overly stupid like some romances imply.

I don’t like books that try to explain toxic relationships by saying that all problems are just misunderstandings that can be solved if women are humble enough or hustle enough. If both characters aren’t at least trying to meet halfway, what’s the point of a romantic story? My rating: 1 star.


The Vampire Knitting Club (Vampire Knitting Club #1) by Nancy Warren

This was a very entertaining story I could not put down. I really liked the writing style and the lightness of it and as of now I have read this series until its 11th book! This is a perfect series to binge read or hear if you like cozy mysteries with a dash of paranormal fantasy and romance. My rating: 4 stars.

The Vela (The Vela #1) by Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, Rivers Solomon, S.L. Huang.

This serial packs a punch! And has four things I really liked:

1) Skilled writers collaborating in a cohesive and well done narrative,

2) Well done, many layered, characters,

3) A surprising and fast-paced plot that never gets boring and

4) Food for thought of utmost importance.

We could translate many of the questions this story asks to our current world situation and how we handle world problems like refugees and climate change. I liked how it made me think about a lot of important things and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get out of their comfort zone while reading a very entertaining science fiction story with fast-paced action. My rating: 5 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson.

This is my favorite book of the year so far. You know you liked a book when you feel like rereading it as soon as you finished it. I’ll be continuing this series for sure. My rating: 5 stars.

Stay tuned for my next updates and reviews!

Reading Goals 2021 Mid Year Update -Part 1

Read 100 books on the Goodreads Challenge

I’m doing very well on this challenge. I’ve read/heard 93 books so far and therefore I am now 41 books ahead of schedule.
This year there is the difference that around 40 of the books I ‘read’ are audiobooks and of the 50 others, none so far are graphic novels like in the last years.

I’ve been not using the library lately so my graphic novels source is gone and meanwhile I started a Storytel subscription that allows me to hear a lot of audiobooks.

Get the feedback ratio up to 80% on NetGalley

I’m doing reasonably well on this challenge by reading eleven ARCs this year so far and my feedback ratio is now 70%.
I received four new ARCs this year, but this is all right since my goal is not to have an empty shelf on NetGalley, but to give feedback to the ARCs that are sitting since last year or longer in my shelf. I still have plans to read at least one ARC per month which has been doable this first six months.
I’ve been also quite careful about only picking up ARCs that really interested me, so half of my ARCs turned out to be five star reads. The other half were in average interesting books too that unfortunately didn’t subjectively work for me. I plan to make a blog post with my favorite NetGalley ARCs at the end-of-year.

Series | catching up or finishing 10 series

I’ve been quite happy with my progress here. Even if I only caught up or finished four series so far, I made a lot of progress in four others in a way that in most cases only one or two books in the whole series remain unread.

I’ll do a more detailed blog post on this challenge when I achieve my ambitious ten series goal, but two series I really liked and caught up/finished were:

1) The Split Worlds series by Emma Newman. I read all five books and would gladly read more books in this series if they existed.
2) Chilling Effect (series?) by Valerie Valdes
I’ve read the second book in this duology and I certainly hope it turns into a series.

2021 I Just Have To Read More Of That Author

This is a challenge I found in the Worlds Without End webpage and I pledged at least nine books by Brandon Sanderson this year. And by the side I am also doing this with the books by Adrian Tchaikovsky and Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

So far I’ve read, by Brandon Sanderson:

The original trilogy of The Mistborn Saga. I did like the original trilogy, but I’m not yet sure if I will continue the rest of the series by reading the Wax and Wayne part of the series, so at least for this year I’m considering this done.
The first three books of The Stormlight Archive series. I am really loving this series and this is one of the series I’m planning to catch up this year. I’m taking a break after reading the first three books back to back, but I hope to read the fourth book, Rhythm of War, still this year.

Ups and Downs with Warbreaker and Edgedancer

I really liked Warbreaker, which, together with The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, was one of my favorite books by Sanderson.
However, when I read Edgedancer and Oathbringer, I didn’t feel as invested as I was by the first two books in The Stormlight Archive series. In Edgedancer the story tone of the Lift Novella was very different from the overall tone of the series and in Oathbringer, Dalinar Kholin’s character arc turned up to be not as interesting as Kaladin’s or Shallan’s. I hope though that the fourth book in the series, Rhythm of War, picks up where the second book, Words of Radiance, was subjectively for me.

I talk more about my Brandon Sanderson reads on my Mid Year Book Freakout 2021

And again, I’ll be elaborating on this particular challenge by the end of the year too. Hopefully I’ll have an opinion on Rhythm of War, and at least four reviews of books by Adrian Tchaikovsky and Silvia Moreno-Garcia to share.

And I still have three other yearly reading challenges that aren’t in this post. I’ll talk about them on my next blog post: Reading Goals 2021 Mid Year Update -Part 2

And do you have yearly reading challenges too? Let me know in the comments.

Mid Year Book Freakout 2021

My Goodreads Reading Challenge is doing very well this year. So far I’ve read 81 books and therefore I am 34 books early for my usual goal of 100 books per year.

The difference between this year and last years challenges is that none of the books I’ve read until now are graphic novels, which I read much faster than novels. I have surpassed my goal of 100 books the last four years, but usually around 20 – 40% of the books in my reading challenge are graphic novels. This year though I have another reason for my successful reading speed, Audiobooks and a service that allows me to stream as many Audiobooks as I like, Storytel.

Now, let’s get to the tag I found in the YouTube video of BookswithEmilyFox

_____ Questions _____

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2021

This is a tough question, but if I really have to choose the prize goes to Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson. You know you loved a book when you feel like rereading it as soon as you finished it.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021

My favorite book in this series so far, The Lost Plot (The Invisible Library #4) by Genevieve Cogman was something special in a excellent series that I plan to finish still this year.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I’m just waiting for the paperback to come out because the e-book version and the hardback are way too overpriced.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia which is planned to be released on 7th of September. I’ll probably buy a physical copy for my “Silvia Moreno-Garcia” shelf.

5. Biggest disappointment.

This has unfortunately to be Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal #1) by Zen Cho. I had high expectations for this book after hearing so much about it. I gave it a fair chance by hearing 50% of the audiobook, but the plot development was too slow, so slow that I thought there wasn’t really a plot and if there was one that I didn’t care anymore. What also tired me in the audiobook were the way too often repetitions of character names when all these repetitions were completely unnecessary and when I knew the scene was in that character’s POV most of the time. I can only hear “Zacharias” so many times before getting completely bored.

I also can’t forget to mention the Audiobooks of White Sand Vol. 2 and 3 by Brandon Sanderson. The GraphicAudio version was very well done, but the plot flopped and finished without fulfilling its premise at all after an interesting start on Vol.1.

6. Biggest surprise.

The five star Novella Emergency Skin (Forward Collection #3) by N. K. Jemisin. Awesome, with a so well done theme! This is one of my favorite reads of this year. And the narration of the Audiobook was five stars perfect too!

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Michael R. Underwood with his Genrenauts series and the space opera Annihilation Aria. These are very entertaining reads, full of action and light banter. Perfect if you just want to escape into a fictional universe during lock down.

8. Newest fictional crush.

None that I can remember right now. I’m usually not into mainly romance books or fictional crushes and of the books I’ve read this year that have a side plot of romance in them, none stroke me as being developed as something remarkable and more than an entertaining side plot.

9. Newest favorite character.

Mary Bennet from The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow, because of her heroine journey after having an abusive mother and growing up in a family where she was the weird, ugly duckling outcast. There was a romance, but it wasn’t the best in this book since it was wrapped up way too fast and without enough fleshing out. For me the most interesting thing was Mary’s journey into coming to terms with her own nature and loving herself.

10. Book that made you cry.

I didn’t cry, but attention: *Spoiler Alert*

The Hero of Ages (The Mistborn Saga #3) by Brandon Sanderson

This was such a heart wrenching finale for this first trilogy. I was so sad about this beautiful and tragic third book.

And I was also so sad about a character in Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1) by Brandon Sanderson, because he was so original and redeemed himself into sacrifice. Again something that elevated this book in a beautiful, transcendent way.

11. Book that made you happy.

The Vampire Knitting Club cozy mystery series by Nancy Warren. This is an entertaining, perfect series to binge read.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

The paperback of Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick & Manifestation by Mat Auryn. Because it has such a beautiful black cover with an owl.

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I have a lot of unfinished reading challenges and 26 NetGalley ARCs I want to get to, but I mainly want to read the book I mentioned in my previous answer.

So these were my answers, and now I have a question for the patient readers who read this post to the end:

I was thinking of writing a blog post comparing Audible and Storytel services but I’m not sure if you would be interested in that or if it would be just another drop of information in the ‘interweb’ ocean. Let me know in the comments.

And otherwise, if you decide to do the Mid Year Book Freakout tag, post a link in the comments too.


Today I’m doing a Booktube Tag called “The Anti TBR Tag” created by Nicole & Her Books

This post is mostly about books I didn’t like and plan to read or finish reading after setting them aside. Therefore, as the creator of the Tag herself says, “if you are sensitive about people saying they won’t read a book you like than this post is not for you.”


A popular book EVERYONE loves that you have no interest in reading?

Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1) by Richard K. Morgan is loved enough that I have seen women getting scolded by men because they ‘dared’ to post a negative review of it. I won’t elaborate on this, I just feel sorry that in 2021 women still get harassed on the internet because they have a opinion about a book. I DNFed and really didn’t like this book and don’t plan to finish it.

A classic book (or author) you don’t have an interest in reading?

Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. I saw the film and it was disgusting, so I can take that book out of my TBR list. I don’t have an opinion about his other books, only that I’m in no hurry to read them.

An author whose books you have no interest in reading?

This isn’t actually having no interest, I have tried two of Robert A. Heinlein’s books and his ideas seem interesting, but I can’t get through the blatant misogyny. And there is more than enough of it in the world at the moment so that I have to put up with that in what I read too.

A problematic author whose books you have no interest in reading?

I don’t usually go after information on author’s lives, but I don’t live under a rock either, so I heard about Orson Scott Card issues.
I intend to read no more books from him. It also happens that a long time ago I read Ender’s Game and it was quite boring, and I just managed to finish it because I was in a ship in the middle of the Amazon river and there were no other books around. Not a great loss there.

An author you have read a couple of books from & have decided their books are not for you?

Sarah J. Mass. I read and really liked “A Court of Mist and Fury” but her other books are the kind of bestsellers I read and later feel I just lost a precious time I could be using to read another, much better, book.

A genre you have no interest in OR a genre you tried to get into & couldn’t?

Horror is a genre I now and then try and nine times out of ten get disappointed with. An exception would be Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, but I think that was because I considered it more historical fiction than really horror.

I often try to get into Contemporary, Romance or to come back to read Paranormal Fantasy. In the end I often feel I only have myself to blame when I pick again a book by these genres but don’t like them. I still try to get out of my comfort zone of favorite genres often enough tough. Fortunately, now and then I get rewarded, a Paranormal Romance Mystery series I recently liked was the Vampire Knitting Club by Nancy Warren.

A book you have bought but will never read?

I mostly have good intentions of at least trying to read a part of the fiction books in my shelves, but many years ago I picked up a couple of sequels for the series Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs in a library sale and don’t intend to read them anymore. I really didn’t like the first book in that series.

A series you have no interest in reading OR a series you started & have DNFed?

Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, I read the first book in this series and it wasn’t at all for me.

A new release you have no interest in reading?

Any book by these authors I talked about before and also probably books that are in a series that goes beyond ten books. I don’t want to commit to any series that goes for so long, especially if each book is more than five hundred pages long. I’m still in doubt if this means I should not try to continue the Dresden files or even begin Discworld, but let’s see.
And finally, I won’t read the next book in the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” even if it ever gets released. My farewell to this series happened with the very disappointing end of the TV series and then I decided to stop waiting for a sequel that will probably never happen. That series is for me finished. Enough other books to read out there.

My NetGalley ARCs Bingo Card Reading Challenge

This is my NetGalley Advanced Reader Copies Bingo Card!

A Bingo Card with NetGalley ARCs


This year I’ll participate again in the #BookSpin Reading Challenge on Litsy created by TheAromaofBooks

In this challenge two numbers, from 1 to 25, are drawn each month and you may pick books from either a list, a picture where you assign numbers to each book cover or you can make your own bingo card and try to complete it.

Last year my goal was to read the physical books in my book shelf and I just read one or two books each month. I didn’t make or try to complete a bingo card then. This year tough, I’ll put a new spin in the #BookSpin challenge, and read exclusively from this Bingo Card composed solely of #NetGalley ARCs.

If everything goes according to plan, I’ll read two ARCS per month, unless one of the books is 790 pages long and I take the whole month to read it or I feel that I need a month of only mood reading for a change.

Last year I tried this challenge with my physical books and I managed to read at least one book per month, so I’m confident that at least 12 ARCs will be read with the help of the #BookSpin Challenge.

In this post I won’t talk much about each of these ARCS, but by the end of the year I’ll make a blog post with my favorites.


My NetGalley ARCs


1. Selected Stories: Science Fiction: Volume 2 by Kevin J. Anderson

2. Octavia E. Butler: Kindred, Fledgling, Collected Stories by Octavia E. Butler, Nisi Shawl (Editor), Gerry Canavan (Editor)

3. Machinehood by S.B. Divya

4. The Second Bell by Gabriela Houston

5. Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur

6. Gatekeeper (Daemon Collecting Series #1) by Alison Levy

7.A Desolation Called Peace (Teixcalaan #2) by Arkady Martine

8. Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology (Tales of the Otori #4.9 – Wine, Knife, Sword) by Melanie R. Meadors (Editor), Alana Joli Abbott (Editor) & Others.

9. Local Star by Aimee Ogden

10. The Fractured Void: A Twilight Imperium Novel (Twilight Imperium #1) by Tim Pratt

11.The Vela (The Vela #1) by Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, Rivers Solomon, S.L. Huang, Robin Miles (Narrator)

12. The New Voices of Science Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi (Editor), Jacob Weisman (Editor) & Others.

13. Free Choice – I’ll use this to read an ARC that isn’t in the Bingo Board.

14. Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

15. The Chimera Code by Wayne Santos.

16. Robot Artists and Black Swans : The Italian Fantascienza Stories by Bruce Sterling & Others.

17. One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky

18. Annihilation Aria (The Space Operas #1) by Michael R. Underwood

19. Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley

20. Entanglements: Tomorrow’s Lovers, Families, and Friends by Sheila Williams & Others

21. The Midnight Circus by Jane Yolen

22. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

23. Complex by A.D. Enderly

24. The Everyday Empath: Achieve Energetic Balance in Your Life by Raven Digitalis

25. Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith.


I’m looking forward to all these awesome ARCs!

And you, are you doing any reading challenges in 2021?

A to Z Yearly Reading Challenge 2020/2021


Now in 2021 I decided to do again an A to Z reading challenge. I was quite succesfull with this challenge last year, only missing the letters Q,Y, and Z. (I usually skip X due to too little choices being available for the letter.)
This time though I will post my TBR here in advance and at the same time talk about the books I read for this challenge in 2020, so you might pick (or avoid) my choices from both years in case you decide to do this challenge too.


An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls #1) by Hank Green.
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a very interesting mix of contemporary and sci-fi where the main character is an internet video celebrity. I could not put it down and I’ll probably be reading the next book in the series.

Ancestral Night (White Space #1) by Elizabeth Bear – I have wanted to read something by this author for awhile now.


Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor.
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a very original Novella, and I’ll go on reading this series for sure.
Note: At a certain point I was upset at how people touched Binti’s hair all the time, and just felt like shouting: “Leave her hair alone for God’s sake!” Then I could understand why book titles like “Don’t touch my hair.” exist

Borne (Borne #1) by Jeff VanderMeer – This has been on my TBR for years now.


A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn
Rating: 2,5 Stars
This book started well, but it got quite boring in the middle so I stopped caring. I won’t be continuing this series.

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi
I have this book in my TBR since 2018. Will I finally read it?


The Deathless (The Deathless Trilogy #1) by Peter Newman
Rating: 5 Stars!
This was an extremely interesting and well written first book of an original fantasy series. The world is intriguing and the characters are relatable and multi-layered. I enjoyed reading all POVs. I’ll be continuing this trilogy for sure. The Audiobook narration was excellent too.

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Another YA book that I have wanted to read for years now. Perhaps this year will work!


Elantris (Elantris #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 5 Stars!
This had a very interesting story world and characters. The end was a bit rushed-up and kind of wrapped up too neatly, but still a great fantasy read.

Edgedancer (The Stormlight Archive #2.5) by Brandon Sanderson – I’m reading this series now in 2021 and this novella is part of it.


Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication Order) #4) by Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: 5 Stars!
This book proved that a story with important themes can be an entertaining page-turner too. And now I understand why so many people recommend the Vorkosigan Saga which I intend to go on reading for sure!

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North – ‘ABALTBR’ Abbreviation for “Another Book that has been Ages Long in my TBR”, 🙂


The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi
No rating yet.
I liked the characters in this book a lot, but perhaps I’m the wrong audience for too much action? This isn’t the first time a book full of action made me tired of it. I set this book aside in 2020 after 128 pages because I needed a break, but perhaps I’ll give it a second chance in 2021.

Grass (Arbai #1) by Sheri S. Tepper – Another classic sci-fi author I want to try this year.


Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3) by Alwyn Hamilton
Rating: 5 Stars!
This was a page-turner finale for this awesome YA adventure series.

House of Dragons (House of Dragons #1) by Jessica Cluess – I read another series by this author called Kingdom on Fire and really liked it. So I’ll try this new series too.


The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve Cogman
Rating: 4 Stars.
This was a bit slow in the beginning, but I liked the story world and the characters a lot and especially how the book was an interesting mix of historical/paranormal fantasy and mystery.
I will be following this series for sure.

In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard – I want to read more books by this author.


Joyride Vol. 2(Joyride #2) by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Marcus To (Illustrator)
Rating: 5 Stars!
This is an entertaining graphic novel series, with great characters and LGBT representation.

The Just City (Thessaly #1) by Jo Walton – Another Author I want to read more from since I read Tooth and Claw and really liked it.


Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy #1) by Jacqueline Carey
No rating since I DNFed it.
The story world was interesting but there were certain elements of it I didn’t like, and the pacing was meandering slow and repetitive. I didn’t like the book enough to finish, setting it aside at page 97.

Knaves: A Blackguards Anthology (Tales of the Otori #4.9 – Wine, Knife, Sword) by Melanie R. Meadors & Other Authors
I received this fantasy anthology ARC from NetGalley and want to read it still in 2021.


Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Rating: 4 Stars.
I rarely read Contemporary but this was a very touching, special one. Also an entertaining page-turner that I read in just one day because I could not put it down.

Local Star by Aimee Ogden- I want to try one of this author’s books since I heard a short story called Intentionalities on Clarkesworld Magazine.


Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Rating: 5 Stars!
This was one of my favorite books last year. It took a really unexpected turn, which made it even more interesting and original, in a way that I could not put it down.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia has become an auto-buy author for me.

The Midnight Circus by Jane Yolen, with an Introduction by Theodora Goss. I received a Netgalley ARC of this intriguing anthology and want to read it this year for sure.


New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color by Nisi Shawl & Other Authors.
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a very original and interesting anthology and I’m happy that it won the Locus Award 2020.
My favorite stories were The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias Buckell, The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu, Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez, The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh, Blood and Bells by Karin Lowachee and The Robots of Eden by Anil Menon.

The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #1) by Jen Williams. I heard that this a very interesting fantasy series so I plan to start it soon.



The Outside (The Outside #1)by Ada Hoffmann (Author), Nancy Wu (Narrator)
No rating since I DNFed it.
This Audiobook had a very interesting premise and a very good narrator, but the pacing was really slow and getting to the answers required an amount of patience that I just didn’t have while in lock down. I heard the Audiobook until chapter 15 when I stopped caring enough to go on listening. I might pick this up later in calmer times.

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson
This year I want to catch up with this awesome series so this third book will happen.


Prism Stalker #1 (Prism Stalker #1) by Sloane Leong
Rating: 4 Stars.
This was a very original and intriguing space opera graphic novel that I plan to continue reading this year.

Pride and Prescience: Or, A Truth Universally Acknowledged. (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries #1) by Carrie Bebris.
I keep an unconscious place in my TBR for books inspired by Pride and Prejudice, so I hope this fills up that empty slot.


This letter didn’t work out for me last year and I’m not sure I’m doing it this year either. Let’s see if I accidentally manage it without any plan whatsoever.


The Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove #1) by Kaitlyn Davis
Rating: 5 Stars!
I started this book not knowing much about it, but it completely surpassed my initial expectations. It is an extremely clever retelling of Tristan and Isolde with multi-layered, interesting and relatable characters, and with a story world I want to read more about.
I’ll be continuing this series for sure!

Randomize (Forward Collection #6) by Andy Weir – I’ll read anything this author publishes!


Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
Rating: 5 Stars!
This was a great science fiction mystery story, and the Audiobook narration was five stars too!

Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal #1) by Zen Cho – I have really many books starting with ‘S’ in my TBR. But this seems to be an amazing fantasy series.


The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow.
Rating: 5 Stars!
This historical fiction was beautifully written and the story/characters/themes were all awesome. This was one of my favorites of 2020.
Alix E. Harrow is a new favorite author to watch for!

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters – Now and then I try to read Historical Romance because it seems to work better for me than Contemporary Romance? I rarely read romance anyway, but let’s give this one a try.


Underground Man by Gabriel Tarde, with an Introduction by H.G. Wells
Rating: 3 Stars.
This picturesque, more ‘Gedankenexperiment’ than story book is very different and original in ironically imagining a civilization forced underground after the Sun has gone cold and the Earth’s surface is frozen. Something to read if you are interested in Subterranean Fiction.
The ‘underground society’ is presented as an Utopia but a lot of questions and considerations are left open for further interpretation. One of them is that this book has some openly racist content that I understood as a criticism, due to the obvious sarcastic tone of the narrative, of this future underground society encapsulated in its own intolerance and self-image of perfection, but the way how this racism is blatantly exposed is somehow shocking.

Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Part historical fiction and part mystery thriller by an author I like? Seems very intriguing.


Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate #1) by Megan E. O’Keefe
Rating: 3 Stars.
I couldn’t get into this book so much, perhaps due to it being the sixth sci-fi/space opera book I read during Space Opera September. Later I’ll perhaps come back to this book again and see if I enjoy it more.

The Vela (The Vela #1) by Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, Rivers Solomon (Goodreads Author), S.L. Huang (Goodreads Author)
I received a NetGalley ARC of this intriguing space opera and plan to read it still this year.


Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
Rating: 5 Stars!
I liked this classic sci-fi with clones book a lot. I think it was brilliant and the best-written sci-fi I’ve read for a long while, and I’m happy that I came across this book though the Lady Vaults Goodreads group.

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 5 Stars!
I already finished this book now in January and really liked it. This series is awesome and I recommend it. It has really big books but they are so well written that you won’t mind spending three weeks or longer with each of them. In my case I was reading them slowly so the books would last longer and I plan to reread these books sooner rather than later.


Is a letter that wasn’t done last year and won’t be done this year.


Since it’s quite difficult to find good titles with this letter, I decided to pick an author whose surname starts with Y, and chose for this challenge Rick Yancey. I could pick The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) or The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist #1) by him.  I failed to read any of the books in 2020 but will try one of them again in 2021.


My last year’s choice was Zodiac (Zodiac #1) by Romina Russell, but since I didn’t read it, I just postponed this in 2021. After all, we are still at home in lock down and I need to travel with my mind if I can’t travel in person.

My Favorite Books Of 2020 Part Two: Fantasy And Other Genres

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

Here is the second installment of my favorite books of 2020 wrap-up. If you like Science Fiction, check out the the first part of this post, which are my favorite sci-fi reads of 2020.

Favorite Fantasy Books

1) The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

This was beautifully written and the story/characters/themes were all awesome. Alix E. Harrow is a new author to watch for!

2) The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

This whole historical fiction trilogy was so extremely well-written, with such amazing, multi-layered characters, and important themes, that I really liked this trilogy even if I’m tired of the ‘teen girls in a school’ trope. I’ll check out more books by Libba Bray.

3) Elantris (Elantris #1), The Emperor’s Soul and The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson’s books are Epic in every sense, with fascinating story worlds and awesome, multi-layered characters. I plan to read all his books, I repeat, all of them! I hope to read faster than the velocity in which he writes masterpieces, but I probably won’t manage that. 😉

4) The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) and The Masked City (The Invisible Library #2) by Genevieve Cogman

This was a bit slow in the beginning, but I liked the story world and the characters a lot and especially how the books were an interesting mix of historical, paranormal fantasy and mystery. I will go on reading this series for sure.

5) The Deathless (The Deathless Trilogy #1) by Peter Newman

This is an extremely interesting and well written first book of an original fantasy series. The world is intriguing and the characters are relatable and multi-layered. I enjoyed reading all POVs.
I’ll be continuing this trilogy for sure. The Audiobook narration was excellent too.

6) Between Two Thorns (The Split Worlds #1) by Emma Newman.

A very interesting story world, with well developed characters. The plot started a bit slow but it built up to a first book I could not put down, I plan to be continuing this series in 2021.

7) Sunset Mantle by Alter S. Reiss.

Beautifully written epic fantasy novella with themes such as love, honor, loyalty, heroism, that make it transcendent and relatable to human experience at the same time. One of my favorites in the Collection: Season 1 so far. The Audiobook narrator also fitted extremely well for this particular story.

8) The Last Witness by K.J. Parker

This was masterfully written. A perfect, self contained in its form Novella, that handled profound themes like social injustice, suffering and so many others. With an unlikable but extremely interesting and multi-layered main character.

9) The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

Characters, theme, pacing and plot, everything in this standalone worked extremely well together to turn this historical fantasy into a really entertaining, and impossible to put down story. I’ll be reading more by this author for sure!
I would like to thank NetGalley and Erewhon Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

10) The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club #1) by Theodora Goss

I had this book in my radar since I read “Snow White Learns Witchcraft: Stories and Poems” by the same author and wanted to read more by her. This was well written, extremely entertaining and impossible to put down. I’ll be continuing this series for sure. And the Audiobook narration was awesome too.

11) Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

I’m heard the GraphicAudio dramatized Audiobook version of this book.
The Audiobook made this already very entertaining story come alive in an awesome way. I’ll surely continue this series and read more books by this author.

12) Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

This ‘Gedankenexperiment’ was really entertaining! It has ‘Victorian Dragons’ and all original situations that would arise from the juxtaposition of a Victorian and a Dragon society. I really liked and wish it would be a series instead of a standalone so I could read more stories with Victorian Dragons. This is my first book by this author but I’ll be checking out her other books.

Other Genre Favorites

Contemporary Mystery Thriller: 13) The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John

I usually don’t read Contemporary Thrillers but the blurb was interesting enough that I picked this book on a whim. This was a very interesting mystery with a dash of romance, it was really entertaining and I could not put it down.

Historical Fiction: 14) What Kitty Did Next by Carrie Kablean

I’m always happy when I read a story set in Jane Austen’s universe that follows her characters loyally, and this goes further by developing Kitty’s character in a delightful way.

Modern Gothic: 15) Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I read this, “The Beautiful Ones” and “Gods of Jade and Shadow” by this author in 2020 and they were all great reads that I recommend, but this book was my favorite of the three. It took a really unexpected turn, which made it even more interesting and original, in a way that I could not put it down. Like Brandon Sanderson, I also want to read all books by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.