Anticipated Releases of 2021

Hi all! It’s been a hot minute. I’m not going to bore anyone with the details of my long absence (waves hand vaguely at 2020) but I’m back. I hope. My plan is to commit to blogging at least 3 times a week, with at least one of those being a review. But, for today, I am here to bring you my anticipated releases the first half of 2021!

January

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (1/5) This is a modern day retelling of Jane Eyre, a book I happen to really like, so this one caught my eye. It looks fun and exciting, and I love myself a good retelling.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken (1/5) Nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as punishment for a rebellion. And that’s basically all it took to get me interested in this book. I love Greek mythology and retellings. This one looks amazing.

The Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle by Timothy Miller (1/19) Sherlock Holmes is called upon to investigate if Dr. Henry Higgins really managed to turn a flower girl into a duchess or if there’s something more nefarious going on. My Fair Lady crossed over with Sherlock Holmes? Yes, please (doubly so since Holmes interacts with Freddy which, if you get, you get. If not, go watch the Audrey Hepburn My Fair Lady followed by the Granada Sherlock Holmes series).

A Vow so Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer (1/26) Y’all, I am so excited for this book. I have loved the Cursbreaker series so much. Beauty and Beast, court intrigue, politics, battles… this book has everything. I am so excited to see how things turn out between Rhen, Harper, Grey, and Lia Mara. I cannot wait.

February

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann (2/9) Despite not having a religious bone in my body, I love Biblical retelling. I’m not familiar enough of the story of Esther to be 100% certain that this is a retelling of that, but it looks like, if not a retelling, it’s a solid historical fiction book that I’ll like.

Wonderstruck by Allie Therin (2/9) This is another book I’m super excited for. I have loved every moment of the Magic in Manhattan series and excitedly look forward to the last. If you love stories where the grumpy one loves the sunshiny one, this series is for you. Rory and Arthur are adorable together. I cannot wait to reread the first two books before delving into this one.

April

A Wicked Conceit by Anna Lee Huber (4/6) This book is one of my top 3 most anticipated releases this year. I love the Lady Darby series. They’re smart, funny, tense, and great mysteries with a solid romance between Lady Darby and her now-husband. I love that he’s supportive of her role as an investigator and encourages her to do it. I haven’t read the description for this book yet; the whole series is an auto-buy.

A Noblemans Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks by Mackenzi Lee (4/27) I have thoroughly enjoyed all the Montague sibling’s adventures. They’re over the top, entertaining, and just plain fun. I look forward to learning more about Adrian Montague and follow his adventures to find his wayward siblings.

Ariande by Jennifer Saint (4/29) I just finished rereading Circe by Madeline Millar and I really loved the portrayal of Ariande in it. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, I love Greek myths and mythological retellings. This explores Ariande’s life on Crete, her decision of help Theseus, and the consequences of her decision. I think it sounds amazing.

may

An Unlikely Spy by Rebecca Starford (6/1) This book follows Evelyn Varley, who is recruited by MI5 to become a spy during World War II. I’m always interested in female spies and their adventures and misadventures. This looks like it’s not going to be an easy read, but a satisfying one.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (6/8) This is another auto-buy. After reading and loving Red, White, and Royal Blue, I am ready to follow Casey where they lead. This is a queer retelling of Kate & Leopold. Now, that movie wasn’t my favorite, but a queer retelling sounds so interesting. I am there.

My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (6/22) I love these authors. While I’ve not yet read My Calamity Jane, I am super excited for this one. I really liked Mary, Queen of Scotts in My Lady Jane and glad we’re going back to learn more about her.

Women of Troy by Pat Barker (9/29). Yes, another mythological retelling, but, y’all, this is about what happened to Briseis after Troy falls. After reading a million retellings of the Odyssey, I think this book is way overdue. Who cares about Odysseus? After Circe, I’m over him. But learning more about the women from Troy and what happened to them? I’m so there. I cannot wait.

I do technically have two more books on my list in July and September, but even though one of them is the third of my absolutely most anticipated books that I need to have right now, I’m going to save those for June.

What are some of the books you’re looking forward to reading this year?

Stay At Home Book Tag

I saw this floating around the blog-o-sphere and decided to give it a try. If anyone knows where it originated, let me know so I can credit them.

LAYING IN BED — a book you read in one day.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. Prince Sebastian in in Paris so his parents can find him a bride. Sebastian, however, is looking for something else: someone who can sew him fabulous dresses. He finds that and more in the form of Frances, a talented designer who soon becomes his best friend.

I love this book. I read it on Wednesday night and it was delightful. I had only intended to read a chapter or two, but it was so good, I read through the whole thing all at once. Loved it.

SNACKING — a book that is a ‘guilty pleasure’ read.

I wouldn’t exactly call it as guilty pleasure read, but I frequently reread Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan by Vonda N. McIntyre and feel like I shouldn’t be. I love the movie novelizations so much and I read them probably more than I should.

NETFLIX — a series that you want to start.

I want to start reading the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare next. It’s on my TBR, but kind of far down.

 DEEP CLEAN — a book that has been on your TBR for ages.

I’ve been meaning to read American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton for quite some time.

ANIMAL CROSSING — a book you recently bought because of the hype.

I don’t know if it was hype, exactly, because the author is the only one who’s really been talking about it, but I pre-ordered Pandemica by Jonathan Maberry as soon as I heard the trade was coming out.

PRODUCTIVITY — a book you learned from or had an impact on you.

Atomic Habits by James Clear had a big impact. It changed the way I though of habits and habit-building, and it made me more aware of the things I say about myself.

 FACETIME — a book you were gifted.

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca was a gift from my mother. It’s the true life tale of a female lawyer and detective living in New York and one of her most famous cases. I’ve set it aside for now, but it really is very interesting.

SELF-CARE — what is one thing you have done recently to look after yourself.

I’ve been trying to get back into running and working out more regularly.

BONUS  an upcoming release you are looking forward to.

I cannot wait for Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian. I love her romances, and I’m excited to see these two characters, who’ve been on the periphery of the other two book sin the series, finally get together.

I tag everyone and anyone who wants to do this tag.

Review: Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

Title: Whose Body?

Author: Dorothy L. Sayers

Genre: mystery, detective story

Source: Amazon

Publication Date: 1923

When a dead body turns up mysteriously in a bathtub wearing a pair of pince-nez, Lord Peter Wimsey jumps at the chance to investigate. The police soon think they have identified the body, but Wimsey is unconvinced. He thinks the missing person the police have identified the body as is still missing. Excited by his first murder case, Wimsey dives headfirst into intrigue, deceit, and grudges long held.

When I bought this book, I really had no idea what to expect. I’d heard of Lord Peter Wimsey, but have never seen nor read anything of him. I went into this book blind.

Luckily, I was very pleasantly surprised. I love Wimsey. He’s easy-going, light-hearted, funny, sarcastic, and good humored. He pokes fun at others and himself. He’s a gentleman without a profession, so he’s turned his sharp mind to detecting. He also is a veteran of World War I, something that could not fail to leave its scars.

The mystery was well constructed. A body is found in a shared bath of a building. Another man fitting the description has disappeared. It seems like an easy match and the police are happy to rest there, but Wimsey is observant and soon discovers the man in the bath cannot be the missing gentleman. He works very well with a police detective, Charles Parker, and his valet, Bunter, and they soon untangle the mess.

I will say that I was uncomfortable by some period-typical anti-Semeticsm. The missing person is Jewish, and while everyone is complimentary, it’s in a sort of back-handed way that makes it clear that “for a Jew, he’s actually not bad.” That made me very uneasy because I was unable to decide if it was the characters or the author talking. My only solace was that Wimsey himself did not join in.

I also really loved the lighthearted digs at other detective novels the characters too. They weren’t mean-spirited, but all in good fun. The characters would mention how thing would go if this were a detective novel and how much easier it would be. It was a lot of fun. There was also a brilliant scene in which Wimsey and Parker question a witness. They start by saying how witnesses rarely have as good a memory as in detective stories, and then ask a series of questions that guide the witness deeper into his memory until he surprises himself at how much he knew. It was brilliant.

Yes. Whose Body? is a sharp, funny, and well constructed detective mystery. Wimsey is a delight, and I look forward to reading more of him.

WWW Wednesday May 20, 2020

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are asked three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

So, I’m reading quite a few things right now. I’ve been listening to Illuminae by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff while following along with my copy, and I am loving my reread. Everything about it is fantastic. I’m also rereading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen in my new Penguin English Library edition and thoroughly enjoying myself. I’ve been listening to Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and while I like it, I feel like I’ll never be done; I’ve listened to ten hours already and still have another twenty to go. I started reading My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which is a collection of things she’s written in her life. And, this morning, I started The Feminine Revolution by Amy Stanton and Catherine Connors, which is about reclaiming the feminine as powerful. I’m juggling a lot, but , hey, I’ve got time!

I just finished rereading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, which was even more delightful than I remembered it being, and then I read Whose Body by Dorothy L. Sayers. This was my first Sayers novel and I enjoyed it so much, I became an instant fan of Lord Peter Wimsey. I cannot wait to read more.

Next, I’m going to start tackling my giant TBR pile (I really need to get me one of those TBR carts) with the book on top: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. I’ve been wanting to read it for quite a long time and totally forgot I’d borrowed it from my sister until last week. I’m super excited.

What are you reading this week?

Top 5 Opening Lines

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Each week, Shanah gives a topic, and participants are invited to come up with their top 5 for that topic. This week is Top 5 Opening lines.

For my first opening line, I’m going with something that I imagine might be on quite a few lists (although, I could be wrong.) But, I’d be remiss if I left the first line from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen off this list.

It is a truth universally acknowledge, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Next, I am putting the opening line of one of my favorite children’s book, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.

Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if it did happen years ago.

My third choice is Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, which has a beautiful first line that perfectly sets the tone of the entire book.

That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift.

Honestly, I don’t know why I love the first lines of Beauty by Robin McKinley so much, but I love, love, love when books start with characters declaring who they are. I even copied that style when I was a baby writer of 17 and working on my first novel.

I was the youngest of three daughters. Our literal minded mother named us Grace, Hope, and Honour, but few people except perhaps the abbot who had baptized all three of us remembered my given name.

And, last, in a slightly different tone, is the first line from Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry.

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week then there’s either something wrong with your skills or somethign wrong with your world.

And there’s nothing wrong with my skills.

And that’s it, my top 5 favorite opening lines. What are some of yours?