Anonymous Bookaholics Tag

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I saw this tag done on Kerri McBookNerd’s blog and thought it looked like fun. Not sure who originated it; if you know, let me know so I can update.

1. What do you like about buying new books?

I like the possibilities I’m bringing into my life. New worlds to explore, new characters to meet, new villains to hate (or love). If it’s a book I’ve already read, then it’s old, familiar characters I’m ready to go on adventures with again.

2. How often do you buy new books?

Every few weeks. I was trying to confine myself to just one book a month, but that’s just not happening.

3. Bookstore or online book shopping: which do you prefer?

I vastly prefer going to the bookstore. I like seeing the books and their covers, being able to pick them up and start reading them, and read as much as I need to in order to decide if it’s the book for me.

4. Do you have a favorite bookshop?

No. There aren’t many bookstores by me. I’ve been to the used bookstore in town, and it’s okay, but I don’t love it. I guess there are a few more indie bookstores by me, but I don’t know where they are.

5. Do you pre-order books?

I’m trying to get in the habit of it, since pre-orders are important to authors.

6. Do you have a monthly buying limit?

Not really. I mean, like I said, I was trying for one book a month, and then I modified that to say if they’re really cheap (like $.25), it’s okay to buy more, and now I’m just trying to keep myself entertained.

7. How big is your wish list?

I don’t really keep a wish list.

8. Which three books from your wish list do you wish to own right now?

All three books I wish I had right now aren’t out, and one isn’t even listed on Goodreads yet. I want A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber (and I did preorder it), Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody, and Relentless by Jonathan Maberry. I cannot wait to have all three.

Boom! You’re tagged!

Review: Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Title: Archenemies
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: YA, action, superheroes, scifi
Source: library
Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Nova is living a double life. In one, she’s Insomnia, a Renegade superhero dedicated to protecting the weak and maintaining order in Galton city. In the other, she’s Nightmare, and Anarchist determined to bring down the Renegades who once failed to protect her family.


Adrian is also living a double life. In one, he’s the leader of his Renegade patrol group, son of the leaders of the Renegades, and upstanding citizen. In the other, he’s the Sentinel, a vigilante determined to do good even if it means breaking a few rules.

Nova, Adrian, and the crew are faced with problems beyond secret identities as crime escalates in Galton City. They also have to deal with a new secret weapon being rolled out by the Renegade scientists, one with horrifying ethical implications. To top it off, Adrian and Nova’s feels for each other deepen, blurring the line between good and evil even further.

Oh, man, was this book a lot of fun. Nova is such a great character. Raised by evil super villains, she’s concerned with justice and integrity even more than the so-called superheroes. She isn’t blinded by her powers and and the idea that good is always right. She’s concerned with the people of the city, with ethics, and has a clearer picture of how power can be perverted. That’s not to say that she doesn’t have blindness of her own. Her uncle, Ace Anarchy, and the other villains, clearly don’t care about the people as she does. They want power for power’s sake, to be able to do what they want, and the freedom they enjoyed during the Age of Anarchy, when lawlessness ruled. But Nova, of course, is too young and naive to see that, which makes her story a tragedy.


I like Adrian well enough, but he’s not as interesting to me as Nova is. His power is the ability to bring drawings and paintings to life, and he’s used it to tattoo modifications on himself to turn him into the Sentinel. He’s willing to break the rules of that his parents follow, and he does have a point, but ultimately, he’s more of a child in his thinking. I do like the way he cares about everyone, especially Nova. His and Nova’s relationship is very cute and I like the way the came together.


I wish, though, more time had been spent on developing the “bad” Renegade patrol unit. They are exactly what Nova fears: superheroes that abuse their power and authority. I have no t trouble believing that they exist, but I would have liked them to be more complicated and less cartoonishly villainous. I would have liked to see some nuance. But, on the other hand, they contrasted with Adrian, who as Sentinel is abusing his powers and breaking the rules, but following a code that keeps his conscience clear, unlike Geinessa and her crew. So, maybe that’s where the nuance lies.

I highly recommend this book. It’s a great read on what the world might be like with superheroes where the world doesn’t fall apart like in Watchmen by Alan Moore. If you’re looking for an exciting escape from the world, this series is for you.

WWW Wednesday 3/25/2020

Hi everyone! Is anyone else losing time with their quarantine? I’m trying very hard to keep track of my days, but even so, Wednesday surprised me. As did Sunday; I completely forgot to post my weekly wrap-up. I was busy Sunday shopping, meal-prepping and doing chores. It felt like a normal day.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are asked to answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

I started both these books yesterday and am completely in love. Starcrossed by Allie Therin is an e-ARC and a sequel to Spellbound. Arthur and Rory are navigating their relationship in the face of vast class differences, an ex-lover of Arthur, and even more magical problems. I’m so in love with this book and am already half way through.

The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer is equally magical. India Steele’s father has recently died and, before his death, left his watchmaking business to India’s fiance with the assurance the finance would marry her. Instead, on the day of the funeral, he breaks off the engagement and steals the business out from under her. Destitute and unable to secure employment, she goes to the shop to discredit him where she meets a mysterious American looking for a specific watchmaker. They join forces and…. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. But, like the Ministry of Curiosities series I listened to early this year, it’s completely engrossing with great characters and sizzling chemistry between the two mains. I walked an hour yesterday just so I could continue to listen.

Oh, man, was Archenemies by Marissa Meyer great! Hidden identities, secrets and lies, superheroes… it’s just so well written. And the romance is sweet and frustrating all at once, in the best way. I cannot wait to read Supernova.

I know Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca has been on my “currently reading” list for the past month, but, truth is, I haven’t read it in awhile. So, after I”m done with Starcrossed, I’m going to sit down and read it. Really. And then, as a treat in these troubled times, I’m rereading Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I definitely need something sweet and romantic right now.

What are you reading this week? Hope you’re staying healthy!

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young People

Genre: YA, contemporary, coming of age, queer lit

Source: library (audio)

Publication Date: February 21, 2012

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison and an uncommunicative father who suffers from PTSD. Dante is a smart kid who is crazy about his parents. When they meet at the pool one summer, they soon become best friends. But where life and tragedy doesn’t separate them, Ari’s anger and uncommunicative nature may do it for them. They must learn to trust one another and themselves in order to discover the secrets of the universe.

This was a super sweet book, which is funny because the main character, Ari, is not a super sweet character. He’s very angry and closed off. Even though the book is told in his first person voice, he doesn’t share a lot about himself and his feelings. The entire book is very sparse and short in the way it’s written, echoing Ari’s nature.

But the relationship between the boys is magical. They are drawn together like magnets and their joy at being with each other just bubbles over. I loved watching them navigate their relationship and growing was wonderful. While there are definitely fits and starts and places where they stumble, but it’s a great journey that they make.

I read this book for two reasons. One, I knew it was queer literature and that’s my special interest. Second, the audio book was read by Lin Manuel Miranda. And both were great. Okay, I’m getting into kind spoilery territory, so if you don’t want any spoilers, don’t read below.

spoiler break

Reading this, I began to think that this was going to be a one sided love story. One of the characters falls in love with the other, but the other didn’t reciprocate. And that was disappointing to me, because I don’t like reading stories like that. I’ve been in that situation, and I want happy endings. But, in the end, it turned out the way I wanted, so it made me happy.

And, as always, Lin Manuel Miranda was great.

Yes, I recommend it. It’s a great coming of age story and a really good love story. I was almost in tears at the end. Happy tears. It’s a great book.

Comfort Reads M/M Romance Edition

Hi all! Don’t know if I’ve ever explicitly stated this, but I’m in California, which has now been put under a “stay-at-home” order. I’ve been under “shelter-in-place” for a few days now. I’m surviving by vlogging my experience. Talking to a camera helps a lot. If you’re interested, here’s my playlist.

I’ve seen quite a few people posting comfort reads and wanted to hop on the train. I’ll do it with a different twist. I’m going to post exclusively M/M romance books.

So, full disclosure: The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles might be just a little bit too heavy for right now. It deals with a magical curse that’s trying to kill one of the main characters, Lucius Vadurey, and dead bodies and evil stuff. But the characters are so good and the plot is so interesting, you might not mind that. Plus, K.J. Charles writes some of the hottest sex scenes and this one has some great ones. It’s also one of my favorite M/M historical fantasies, so I had to include it.

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is the most romantic romance book I’ve ever read outside of Jane Austen. It’s such a great premise too: the son of the president falls in love with the Prince of England. It’s enemies to lovers (although they aren’t enemies, they didn’t like each other very much) and there are love letters. Super good love letters. This book is fun and squishy and romantic and absolutely lovely.

If you’re looking for a lovely read about magic, 1920s, Prohibition, a gumpy magic user and a protective non-magic user, this is for you. Arthur and Rory are <i>amazing</i>. I love how protective Arthur is of Rory and how good he is. And Rory is a fire starter. It’s a great book and the sequel is coming out sometime this year. I’m trying to get an eArc of it, but no reply yet. 😐

Really, anything by Cat Sebastian is perfect for this time, but I just finished A Gentleman Never Keeps Score and I remembered how much I loved It Takes Two to Tumble, so I’m highlighting these two. The first, It Takes Two to Tumble is basically The Sound of Music set in the 1800s (or 1700s) and they’re both men. Ben Sedgwick is hired to instruct Philip Darce, a ship captain’s, children. In the process, they fall in love. In A Gentleman Never Keeps Score, Sam Fox comes together with Hartley Sedgwick when Sam tries to find a dirty portrait painted of a friend of his. In the process, they fall in love. They’re both just lovely, sweet, and very easy to read. And, seriously, check out any of Cat Sebastian’s books.

Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes hires Jerry Crozier to steal some diamonds from his father. Upon meeting, they find themselves attracted to each other and eventually, you guessed it, fall in love. But, oh man, can K.J. Charles write a love declaration. She bowls me over every time. Any Old Diamonds is so much fun, a rollicking heist, with hot sex and romantic words.

No Good Men by Thea McAlistair is another great novel. Alex is a bodyguard by night and a writer whenever he can get it in. When he gets distracted by a handsome stranger one night, his charge and mentor are killed and the police want to pin it on him. He and the handsome stranger, whose name I think is Sev, team up to solve the murder. It’s a great book with a lot of romance and I may have to reread it. 🙂

Any of the Hexworld books by Jordan L. Hawk are great. They’re set in a world where some people can shift into animals and are familiars of magic users. They are stand alone, but have an overarching plot. They’re a lot of fun.

Okay, I’m starting to get repetitive, so I’m going to leave this off here. I hope this list was helpful to any M/M fans who are looking to escape. But, really, anything by KJ Charles, Cat Sebastian, or Jordan L. Hawk will get you through this. Take care and stay healthy!

WWW Wednesday | March 18, 2020

Hi everyone! I am now on living under a shelter-in-place order. I panicked yesterday, not sure what that meant, but I can still leave for food or to go outside. They specify go outside for walks, but I assume I can still run. I don’t think I can go to the beach and run, though, which I did yesterday and it felt really good. We’re supposed to avoid unnecessary driving.

Things are scary, but there’s still books and reading and writing. I’m also vlogging my experience mostly to hear myself talk and process through. If you’re interested, my channel is here.

So, enough about me. Let’s talk about what I’m reading. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are asked to respond to the following questions:

What are you currently reading?\

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

I might have to stop reading Mrs. Sherlock Holmes for a bit. It’s heavy reading and I’m not quite in the mood for that. I’ll read some today and see what I think.

Recently finished

Reading next

How’s pandemic life treating you? Any great books this week? Let me know, I’m dying for company!

Top 5 Tuesday – Authors KLMNO

Hello everyone! It’s time for Top 5 Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Each weeks, Shanah gives us a topic and participants answer with their top 5 answers in that topic. This week is authors KLMNO!

This week, I’m doing one author for each letter. I’m only doing authors on my shelf or in my Kindle and I’m going by last name. Let’s get started.

K

This one was hard because I’ve got lots of K’s on my shelf, including Brigid Kemmerer who is a new favorite author. But, in the end, I had do go with Susan Kay author of Phantom.

I know the book has its flaws and Erik is just a little too good at everything, but I love it to death. This Erik is my Erik and just adds to my love of the Phantom of the Opera.

L

For L, I have chosen Ira Levin who wrote Rosemary’s Baby. I read this many, many years ago and just fell in love. It was probably the first true horror novel I read. I still have my Nana’s copy, which is being held together by tape and a prayer. I probably shouldn’t read it again and get a new copy. But I love it.

M

Who else can I put other than Jonathan Maberry, who is my (I think) my second most read author after Rick Riordan. I almost put the first book I read by him, Patient Zero down because I thought the main character, Joe Ledger, was going to be a chauvinist pig. Turns out, he’s very sensitive and upholds feminist ideals. Plus, the books are suspenseful, horrifying, and a lot of fun.

N

I didn’t have many under the letter n, but then I realized that Ahab’s Wife was written by Sena Jeter Naslund. I read this in college and I was enchanted. Una is an amazing character and I loved her relationship with Ahab and everyone else. I haven’t read this in years, but it’s great.

O

I only have one author for O, but it’s an important one: Robert C. O’Brien, author of Mrs. Frisby and the Rat’s of NIHM. My fourth grade teacher first read this to me, and I fell in love hard. I wrote a sequel to it for her as my end of year gift (which was just a romance between Jonathan and Mrs. Frisby). I’ve read this so many times and it never grows old. It’s magica.

And that’s my list! It was a lot easier than just doing one book for each. That’s what I”m doing from now on.

Stay healthy and wash your hands!