Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2020.

I’m so excited for all of these! Since I just did a summer TBR post a couple of weeks ago that included a bunch of new releases for June through August, today I’m focusing on books coming out in fall to early winter. And the scary thing is, most of these are being released in September. How will I possibly have the time to read them all?

  1. A Killing Frost (October Daye, #14) by Seanan McGuire (release date 9/1/2020)
  2. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (release date 9/8/2020)
  3. The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry (release date 9/8/2020)
  4. The Trials of Koli (The Book of Koli, #2) by M. R. Carey (release date 9/15/2020)
  5. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (release date 9/15/2020)
  6. Well Played (Well Met, #2) by Jen DeLuca (release date 9/22/2020)
  7. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (release date 9/29/2020)
  8. The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher (release date 10/6/2020)
  9. Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker (release date 10/6/2020)
  10. The Once & Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow (release date 10/13/2020)

Are you planning to read any of these? What new releases are you especially excited about for the 2nd half of 2019? Please share your links!

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The Monday Check-In ~ 6/29/2020

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Another busy work week, but what else is new? I did get a little bit more time to relax and get outside this week, so things are improving.

And I did another puzzle!

Maybe you can’t tell from looking at it, but this one was hard! So many pieces of the same color… my poor eyes! And then there was the saga of the missing piece, which took three of us (and some daring lifting of the couch) to find. But I finished! I guess it’s a sign of these crazy times that a little thing like finishing a jigsaw puzzle can be my big accomplishment of the week.

What did I read during the last week?

Hella by David Gerrold: Exciting sci-fi that’s a little longer than it needs to be — but still a good read. My review is here.

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal: I loved this audiobook! It was a re-read for me, and so worth it. My review is here.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory: Sweet and sexy romance. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I finished Jane the Virgin! LOVED it. But since I started my binge with season 2 (since I watched season 1 back when it first aired), I decided to wrap things up by rewatching season 1. Such an amazing, clever, touching show. I’ll write up some thoughts once I finish season 1.

Fresh Catch:

No new books! I didn’t even buy any e-books this week, and I’m always on the lookout for good price drops on Kindle books.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Ooh. I’m just about done, and I’m loving it. This is my first time reading a book by this author, but I have a feeling I’m going to want to read more!

Now playing via audiobook:

Well Met by Mary Jen DeLuca: Cute! I’ve been in the mood for light, breezy audiobooks lately, and this fits the bill! And hurray for my friend who told me to check Axis360 — I’d only borrowed from my library via OverDrive up to now, but Axis360 has a good selection too!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club’s re-read of Outlander is underway. We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. Coming this week: Chapter 3. Loving it.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/22/2020

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Well, it’s been rough. This was one of the worst workweeks I’ve ever gone through. My “day job” is in human resources, and this week, my organization laid off 150 employees. While I feel fortunate to still have a job, it was awful being on the back-end of all these layoffs, especially since it also meant saying good-bye to people I’ve worked with for many, many years.

Anyway, I don’t come to my blog to dwell on real-life bummers… but between the mood and the sheer amount of work that needed to get done, my reading time this week has been pretty limited and sporadic.

But hey, I did a cute puzzle, so there’s that.

(Sorry, my lighting sucks, but the puzzle really is adorable.)

What did I read during the last week?

How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior: Just a perfect read for me this week — sweet and uplifting! You know those books that you just want to hug? This is one of those. My review is here.

And that’s it! I didn’t manage to finish anything else this week.

Pop culture & TV:

Even more Jane the Virgin! I’m THIS CLOSE to finishing the final season. I’m loving it, and also getting super sad that I’m almost done.

Fresh Catch:

No new books!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Hella by David Gerrold: Sci-fi set on a planet called Hella, because everything there is HELLA huge. (I have to wonder if the author is from the Bay Area… ) It’s entertaining, but I just haven’t made as much progress as I’d hoped to.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal: Getting close to the end! I’m enjoying the audiobook so much. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club’s re-read of Outlander started this past week. We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. Woo hoo! It’s so much fun. And yes, I’ve read this book multiple times already, but it’s always a pleasure to go back to where it all began. Chapter 2 is coming up this week! If you’d like to join in, let me know and I’ll give you the links and info.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer 2020 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books On My Summer 2020 TBR.

Some of these are new releases, some are books that I already own and just need to make a priority this summer. And I’m embarrassed to say that one of these books was on my summer 2019 TBR list, and I just never got to it.

  1. Peace Talks (Dresden Files, #16) by Jim Butcher
  2. The Unkindest Tide (October Day, #13)  by Seanan McGuire (a reread, but hey– I need to be ready for #14 in September!)
  3. Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald (my book group’s pick for July)
  4. The Relentless Moon (Lady Astronaut, #3) by Mary Robinette Kowal
  5. Blood of Elves (The Witcher series) by Andrzej Sapkowski
  6. Shades of Milk and Honey (The Glamourist Histories, #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal
  7. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer (I know, I know…)
  8. Alice by Christina Henry
  9. Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
  10. Bookish & the Beast by Ashley Poston

What are you planning to read this summer? Please share your links!

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The Monday Check-In ~ 6/15/2020

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Although school already ended and my son got his diploma the previous week, this past week we had the virtual graduation. So now it’s doubly official — my baby is a high school graduate!

What did I read during the last week?

Devolution by Max Brooks: Terrific horror from the author of World War Z. My review is here.

The Ghosts of Sherwood by Carrie Vaughn: A fun, entertaining novella about Robin Hood and Marian’s children. A terrific read! Part 2 of the story will be released in August.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Just finished this lovely audiobook, right in time for my book group’s discussion this week. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

More Jane the Virgin! I’ve just started season 5 — the final season — and I’m already getting a little weepy at the idea of the story coming to an end.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week. But I did treat myself to a few new jigsaw puzzles! And hey, here’s a tip for my fellow puzzlers out there: While prices are very jacked up on Amazon right now, Barnes & Noble has a good selection at normal, pre-pandemic prices. Score!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior: I adored this author’s debut novel, Ellie and the Harpmaker, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her new book, which releases this week! I’ve read about half. It’s adorable!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal: This is a re-read for me, although my first time on audio. The author narrates these books, and is wonderful. (She narrates many of Seanan McGuire’s audiobooks too — very talented!). Book #3 in the Lady Astronaut series (The Relentless Moon) comes out next month, and I needed a refresher.

Ongoing reads:

Who’s ready for a re-read? Starting this week, Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of Outlander, reading and discussing one chapter per week. Interested in joining in? Let me know, and I’ll share the details.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Top Ten Tuesday: Doesn’t ring a bell… 10 books I’ve added to my TBR, but can’t remember why.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why.

I’d say about 50% of my TBR shelf qualifies! Here are 10 that jump out of me — books marked as TBR in Goodreads, but have no idea what made me add them (and in some cases, have no memory of adding them in the first place).

  1. My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
  2. The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos
  3. Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling
  4. Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
  5. We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra
  6. The Nobody People by Joe Proehl
  7. The Brideship Wife by Leslie Howard
  8. The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
  9. Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright
  10. The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

Have you read any of these? Are there any here that you’d particularly recommend?

If you wrote a TTT post, please share your link with me!

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The Monday Check-In ~ 6/8/2020

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

In these disturbing times, it’s nice to find a ray of sunshine at home. Without ceremony of any sort, my son finished high school! There’s supposed to be a virtual graduation taking place later this week, although we don’t know any specifics yet. Meanwhile, the school year ended and he was able to pick up his diploma, so it’s official!

What did I read during the last week?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins: I ended up loving this new prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy. My review is here.

Laughter at the Academy by Seanan McGuire: An excellent short story collection from an author who always makes me happy. My review is here.

500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan: A sweet romance with a Scottish setting from one of my go-to authors! My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

Continuing my Jane the Virgin binge! I’m on season 4 now — still loving it.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Devolution by Max Brooks: The newest from the author of World War Z. I’m just getting started, but I’m already hooked.

Now playing via audiobook:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Amazing! I’m at 80% — hope to finish in the next couple of days.

Ongoing reads:

None at the moment. But next week, Outlander Book Club is starting a group re-read of the book that started it all! We’ll be reading and discussing one chapter of Outlander per week. Interested in joining in? Let me know, and I’ll share the details.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/1/2020

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Like the Talking Heads put it — this week was…

Another week of working from home, attending Zoom meetings… sleep, wake, repeat!

What did I read during the last week?

Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson: Romance and family ties at a Harlem knitting store. My review is here.

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev: A Jane Austen retelling involving a celebrity cooking show (and lots of family baggage). My review is here.

In audiobooks:

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor: I finally finished this book! My review is here.

And lastly — I think it’s time for me to admit that I need to hit pause on my book group’s classic read.

I’m now 7 or 8 chapters behind, and I don’t see myself having the time or attention span needed to even attempt to catch up any time soon. I’m not giving up entirely, because I do really want to read Don Quixote… eventually. It’s just not happening for me right now, unfortunately.

Pop culture & TV:

I’m still loving Jane the Virgin! I was going to take a break after season 2 — but then it ended on a cliffhanger, so I just couldn’t! I’m now halfway through season 3, and let’s face it, there’s no way I’m going to stop until I’ve binged the entire show.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week! Unless you count all the Kindle deals I took advantage of? Sure, why not? Here are the new Kindle titles I’ve added to my library this week:

 

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins: I’m almost halfway through, and despite some uneasiness at the beginning, I’m now very absorbed by the story. Can’t wait to see how it all works out.

Now playing via audiobook:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: My book group book for June — trying to get a head-start.

Ongoing reads:

Laughter at the Academy by Seanan McGuire: I’m sticking with my plan to read a few stories per week until I get through this whole collection. I only read two more this past week, but one was a really creepy story about AI dolls taking over the world. I don’t think I’ll ever sleep easily in a house with dolls in it again. Eeeeeeek.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/25/2020

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

This is a first for me — I attended a Zoom wedding!

Sunday was the original wedding date, then the couple decided to cancel about a month ago in light of the health crisis, and then decided to go forward and include friends and family via Zoom! The bride and groom and their parents were present, the rabbi officiated via Zoom, and they had a few other close family members present, plus about 120 Zoom logins. It was actually so sweet!

What did I read during the last week?

Beach Read by Emily Henry: Really enjoyable love story with a light touch. My review is here.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner: Austen-inspired historical fiction set in post-war England. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

Netflix kept me busy every night! First, my son finally convinced me to jump on the Tiger King bandwagon…

So weird, So disturbing. But so hard to look away from!

On a lighter note, I decided that now would be the perfect time to go back and watch a show I see through to the end:

I watched season 1 of Jane the Virgin back when it aired, and really liked it… so why didn’t I keep up with it and continue watching? Probably just too much TV, too little time. Anyway, I’ve picked back up with season 2, and I’m loving it. It’s so over the top, and that what makes it so much fun.

Fresh Catch:

I had some Amazon credits, and naturally had to spend them all immediately:

Hurray for book mail! I’ve already read Chosen Ones, but really wanted my own copy, and can’t wait to read the rest!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson: This is fun! I probably wouldn’t have stumbled across this book on my own, but then I read Reading Tonic’s review, and just had to give it a try.

Now playing via audiobook:

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor: The sequel to Akata Witch, which I really loved. Sadly, I was so slammed with work this week that I only managed to get outside for walks a couple of days, and that means I barely had chances to listen to my audiobook. I’m making progress, but sloooooooowly.

Ongoing reads:

Laughter at the Academy by Seanan McGuire: If I had a dollar for every time I’ve mentioned that I’m not a short story reader… well, I’d have a lot more dollars than I do now! Laughter at the Academy is a story collection from one of my favorite authors, so I can’t NOT read it. But knowing how I tune out if I read too many short stories in a row, I’ve decided to take a slow but steady approach, and I’m trying to read just one or two stories each day. And so far, these are excellent! Content warning, though — Seanan McGuire loves to write about world-ending diseases, so now is kind of a freaky time to be reading some of these. Still, I’m delighted to be reading this book finally (I bought it last fall), and I’m just a wee bit proud of myself for sticking with it!

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: Why is this still on my ongoing reads list? I’m now five chapters behind, and I don’t see myself getting any closer to catching up with my book group’s reading schedule any time soon. But… I’m just not ready to walk away completely!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/18/2020

cooltext1850356879 My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Work, work, work. Who said remote work was relaxing? Apart from getting to wear sweatpants all day, every day, I swear I’m more stressed working remotely than I ever was in my actual office.

But yeah, the sweatpants will be hard to give up when and if we finally return to on-site work.

And hey, here’s my puzzle for the week! Cute, right?

Sorry for the glare — it’s  super-detailed bookstore, with really adorable and funny book titles and all sorts of adorable little details. (I’d try to get a better picture, but I already took it apart.)

What did I read during the last week?

If It Bleeds by Stephen King: Fabulous collection of four novellas. My review is here.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane: My book group’s book for May (and yes, I finished on time!). My review is here.

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski: Terrific audiobook! A must for Witcher fans — my review is here.

Pop culture — Outlander, season 5:

Ha ha, made you look! Season 5 of Outlander ended last week, so this was my first week since February without a new episode to watch. I guess it’s time to say good-bye for now and settle in for the next long Droughtlander.

Other TV watching:

I had fun doing a binge-watch of Dead to Me, season 2. Maybe not quite as funny and surprising as the first season, but still really enjoyable, and it left me wanting more.

I wrote up my thoughts on the season finale of Survivor: Winners at War, here.

Fresh Catch:

Two exciting new books this week:

My awesome daughter sent me this book for Mother’s Day! It’s gorgeous.

And… after finishing If It Bleeds (as a library e-book loan), I really felt like I needed my own copy, and luckily, I had an unused Amazon giftcard sitting on my desk just begging for some attention! The book arrived on Friday. The cover image (above) looks kind of flat-orangey, but in person, it’s got a bit of a gold glittery-ness to it. Very cool. (Also, I hadn’t noticed until I had the book in my hand that the cat face actually has a rat instead of a nose, and now I wish I’d never seen it! Eek.)

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Beach Read by Emily Henry: I’m LOVING this book. I tore through about half today, and stopped only because (big surprise) I needed to get some work done.

Now playing via audiobook:

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor: The sequel to Akata Witch, which I really loved. I’m just getting started, but it’s great so far!

Ongoing reads:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: I was within one chapter of being all caught up with my book group… and now I’m three chapters behind again. Boo.

So many books, so little time…

boy1