Random (but not really)

Monday, January 2, 2023

The Books of December

BlitzSince several of these books ended up in my best of the year posts, and some others I don’t feel like commenting on right now, here we have the books of December.


Blitz (2022) Daniel O’Malley (The Checquy Files) 9/10

Paranormal Bromance (2014) Carrie Vaughn 8.5/10

Posthumous Education (2022) Drew Hayes (Fred, the Vampire Accountant) 8.5/10


Make a Scene (2020) Mimi Grace 7/10

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care (2022) Ashley Herring Blake (Bright Falls)


Posthumous EducationAgatha Christie
Miss Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (1964) 9/10
Superintendent Battle: The Secret of Chimneys (1925), The Seven Dials Mystery (1929) 7/10

All Lessons Learned (2018) Charlie Cochrane (Cambridge Fellows) 6/10

Wonton Terror (2019) Vivien Chien (A Noodle Shop Mystery) 5/10

Audio Books

Shadow Police series by Paul Cornell narrated by Damian Lynch
The Severed Streets, Audio Edition (2015) 9/10, Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? Audio Edition (2016) 9/10

Murderbot series by Martha Wells narrated by Kevin R. Free
All Systems Red, Audio Edition (2017) 9.5/10, Artificial Condition, Audio Edition (2018) 9.5/10, Rogue Protocol, Audio Edition (2018) 9.5/10, Exit Strategy, Audio Edition (2018) 9.5/10


Paranormal Bromance Knowing Why: Adult-Diagnosed Autistic People on Life and Autism (2018) Autistic Self Advocacy Network 9/10

We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation (2021) Eric Garcia 8.5/10

Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism (2018) edited by Barb Cook & Michelle Garnett 8/10

Taking Charge of Adult ADHD: Proven Strategies to Succeed at Work, at Home, and in Relationships. (2021) Russell A. Barkley and Christine M. Benton 7/10

Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism (2015) Barry M. Prizant

Written by Michelle at 7:20 pm    

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Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Books of November (NOVEMBER?!)

A Restless TruthI am considering refusing the ignore that November is over. It’s been another long year, and yet it somehow sped by without me accomplishing most of the things I wanted to.

Shockingly, more than half the books I read were new releases, and two of those were November releases.

And some of those were very good!

Going in I didn’t remember much about A Restless Truth by Freya Marske, but luckily it didn’t matter. One heroine is the sister of one of the main characters in the first book, but it wasn’t a problem, so you could read this book without having read the first–with the exception that you won’t get an in-depth explanation of magic here, which may or may not matter to you.

Although I had put off reading it, as it started a new series that’s a spin-off from her previous one, I very much enjoyed Allie Therin‘s Proper Scoundrels. I really like the world-building she’s done, and I very much like the characters–one of whom is badly damaged by his past (Michelle catnip).

There should be another book to follow this one, and I look forward to it.

Proper ScoundrelsI normally try to highlight only my favorite books in this roundups, however, I want to note Alexis Hall‘s newest romance, Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble. It is being touted as a rom com, but it really isn’t. That’s not to say there aren’t funny bits, because of course there are, but the main thrust of the story was watching the main character spiral out of control until he has a panic attack and passes out on the street. This book was extremely difficult for me to read, because I was not in a place where I could read about someone having a mental breakdown and not have it be deeply upsetting.

This is not to say it isn’t a good book, because it was well done. But… if you have issues with anxiety you might want to consider skipping this one.

After reading Paris, I ended up going deep into some comfort reads. Happy stories that feel like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold and rainy day. So of course I recommend all those as well.


Amongst Our Weapons

A Restless Truth (2022) Freya Marske (Last Binding) 8.5/10

Proper Scoundrels (2021) Allie Therin (Roaring Twenties Magic) 8/10

Good Enough to Eat (2015) Alison Grey & Jae (The Vampire Diet) 7/10

The Doctor (2022) C.S. Poe (Magic & Steam) 6/10


Loud and Clear (2016) Aidan Wayne 9/10

Jericho Candelario’s Gay Debut (2018) R. Cooper 9/10

Garnet Run Roan Parrish : The Pride of Garnet Run (2022) 7.5/10, The Rivals of Casper Road (2022) 7.5/10

Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble (2022) Alexis Hall (Winner Bakes All) NR

Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble


Miss Marple Agatha Christie: Murder Is Announced (1050) 8.5/10, They Do It With Mirrors (1952) 7/10, A Pocket Full of Rye (1953) 8/10, 4:50 from Paddington (1957) 9/10, The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (1962) 9/10, Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (1985) 8/10

Crown Court Killer (2022) Dahlia Donovan (London Podcast Mystery) 6/10

Miss Vee and the Lecherous Lawyer (2020) Delilah Knight 5/10

Audio Books

Stiletto, Audio Edition (2016) Daniel O’Malley narrated by Moira Quirk (Checquy Files) 9.5/10

London Falling, Audio Book (2014) Paul Cornell narrated by Damian Lynch (The Shadow Police) 9/10

Crown Court Killer

Amongst Our Weapons, Audio Edition (2022) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Rivers of London) 8.5/10

I’m currently at 226 books for the year, so I won’t be breaking 300 this year, which is ok! I read plenty, and I have enjoyed most of what I’ve read, which is all I care about.

And I’ve already started drafting my yearly reading round-up, and as usual am enjoying getting in the weeds.

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am    

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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Books of October

I can hardly believe it, but I read five new releases in October. Suer, half the other books are rereads, but I tend to sit on new releases, either afraid they won’t be as good as I want, or because I’m not in the mood for them. Yet here I am reading four different books in the same month they were released.

Were the new releases good? Pretty much, yes! I was startled to discover Ada Maria Soto had a new Agency book coming out, and almost held off reading it, in fear I wouldn’t like it as well, but as I’d just reread His Quiet Agent, it seemed silly not to read Agents of Winter.

I was delighted to see Raquel V. Reyes had a new Caribbean Kitchen Mystery out, and was pleased by that sequel as well. And it’s not that I disliked Mia P. Manansala third book in her series, but I kept thinking was the second book in Raquel V. Reyes series, and so was disappointed it wasn’t. And the fact I read both in a couple weeks of each other isn’t going to help me keep the authors straight.

David R. Slayton‘s Adam Binder series finished off the arc started in the first book, and I was pleased with it–even if I probably need to reread the entire series, to pick up the things I missed first go round.

WitchmarkAlthough it wasn’t a new release, I was delighted by Kathryn Harkup’s A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie. I mean, science and Agatha Christie–what’s not to love?

I’m almost finished with my relisten of Ben Aaronovitch‘s Rivers of London series, and I have no idea what I’m going to listen to after that. (The books I listen to have to be fantasy or mystery and have to be one’s I’ve already read, so that makes things harder, especially since I like immersing myself with audio books, and some of the series on my want-to-reread lists are ones with authors I can’t bear to listen to.

I am still trying to finish my final post on representation, which is behind my reading of several books this month, except there is already one more book to read and always will be, so I just need to finish it and be done.

And that’s October.


A Girl Like Her (2018) Talia Hibbert (Ravenswood) 8.5/10

Agents of Winter (2022) Ada Maria Soto (The Agency) 8.5/10

Cant Escape LoveAlways Only You (2020) Chloe Liese (Bergman Brothers)  8/10

Damaged Goods (2018) Talia Hibbert (Ravenswood) 8/10

Can’t Escape Love (2019) Alyssa Cole (Reluctant Royals) 7.5/10

Bewitching Benedict (2017) C. E. Murphy  (The Lovelorn Lads) 7.5/10

Lucky Yellow Shoes (2020) Jae 7/10

Coffee Boy (2016) Austin Chant


Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking (2022) Raquel V. Reyes (A Caribbean Kitchen Mystery) 8.5/10

Agatha Christie (Miss Marple): The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) 7.5/10, Thirteen Problems (1932) 8.5/10, The Body in the Library (1942) 8/10, The Moving Finger (1942) 8.5/10

A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha ChristieBlackmail and Bibingka (2022) Mia P. Manansala (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery 7/10


Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists (2017) Angel Martinez 8.5/10

Deadbeat Druid (2022) David R. Slayton (Adam Binder) 8/10

Witchmark (2018) C.L. Polk (The Kingston Cycle) 7.5/10

The Great Atlantean Battle Royalchemy (2022) K.D. Edwards 7.5/10


A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie (2015) Kathryn Harkup 8.5/10

Audio Book

What Abigail Did That Summer, Audio Book (2021) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Shvorne Marks and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Rivers of London) 8/10

False Value, Audio Edition (2020) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Rivers of London) 8.5/10

Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection, Audio Edition (2020) Ben Aaronovitch narrated by: the author, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Ben Elliot, Felix Grainger, Sam Peter Jackson, Alex Kingston, Shvorne Marks, and Penelope Rawlins 8.5/10

Waiting for the Flood, Audio Edition (2016) Alexis Hall narrated by Alexander Doddy 7/10

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am    

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Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Books of September 2022

The Hourglass ThroneTowards the end of the month I started reading a lot more. Part of it was receiving some comics I wanted caught up on, but another part was trying to shift my brain back into reading as a distraction.

That is working only so-so.

Oh! There were new releases I really wanted to read. By that I mean, I actually read two books that came out in the same month in which I read them.

Crazy, I know.

I was delighted by both  K.D. Edwards‘s third book in the Tarot Sequence, The Hourglass Throne as well as the first book in Charlie Adhara‘s Monster Hunt series. And actually annoyed I didn’t get another Oliver and Cooper book and so was grumpy about switching to Eli’s POV in Pack of Lies.

Silly me.

I’ve been reading up on the next series of posts I want to write about representation in fiction (I wrote several posts about mental health representation, and although it was good to do, it was also somewhat exhausting) so several of the books I read were ones I went delving into for quotes and ended up rereading the entire thing.

I was able to borrow the latest in Ashley Gardners Kat Holloway series, which I very much liked. I am not sure if the series is preparing to wind up or if it’s just the romance that is going to be settled, so I’m curious to see what happens next.

The Secret of Bow Lane

I did read one book that ended up pissing me off, mostly because they went with a power imbalance in the secondary character’s relationship. As I went through something similar my freshman year, I wasn’t delighted to see it seen as OK for a TA to date a student in a class he was currently assisting. No. Sorry. It’s not ok. Once the class is over, fine. But not concurrent.

Yeah, I’m still unhappy about it.

I got the newest Lacy Mechanika, which was good, but very dark, and a bit cliffhanger-y, which is mildly aggravating as those books are soooo slow to come out. Which isn’t the authors’ fault, but I do hate waiting.

And I had some comfort reads while I was flailing around. And Everything Nice is just a fun story that is full of baking–and no boinking. It’s very sweet. And I randomly got Glass Tidings in my brain and had to read that.

I also want to recommend (again) Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne because it is sweet and cute and also has some amazing disability rep, making it clear (without preaching) just how much the luck of one’s birth affects whether someone with a disability can succeed.

Plus the romance is incredibly sweet.

I’ve got at least three new releases I coming my way; hopefully I’ll manage to read them immediately as well.



Pack of LiesThe Hourglass Throne (2022) K.D. Edwards (The Tarot Sequence) 8.5/10
Pack of Lies (2022) Charlie Adhara (Monster Hunt) 8.5/10
Human Enough (2019) ES Yu 8.5/10
Green Creek series by T.J. Klune: Wolfsong (2016) 7.5/10, Ravensong (2019)



The Secret of Bow Lane (2022) Ashley Gardner (Kat Holloway) 8/10
Requiem for Mr. Busybody (2020) Josh Lanyon 7.5/10



Loud and Clear (2016) Aidan Wayne 9/10
Band Sinister (2018) K.J. Charles 9/10
Glass Tidings (2018) Amy Jo Cousins 8.5/10
And Everything Nice (2020) Ada Maria Soto 8.5/10
His Quiet Agent (2017) Ada Maria Soto 8.5/10
The Ruin of a Rake (2017) Cat Sebastian (The Turner Series) 7.5/10
Sympathy (2009) Jordan Castillo Price 7/10
The Other Side of the Roses (2017) R. Cooper
Lucky Charm (2019) Chace Verity
Adorkable (2020) Shane K. Morton Human Enough



Rivers of London, Audio Edition by Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith: Broken Homes (2014) 9/10, Foxglove Summer (2015) 9/10, The Furthest Station (2017) 8.5/10, The Hanging Tree (2017) 8/10, A Rare Book of Cunning Device, Audio Edition (2017), Lies Sleeping, Audio Edition (2018)



Lady Mechanika Volume 7: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell (2022) Joe Benitez, Beth Sotelo, Michael Heisler
Rivers Of London: Vol. 8: The Fey and the Furious (2020) Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Lee Sullivan, Vol. 9: Monday, Monday (2022) Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, José María Beroy 7/10

Random Stats:

I’ve read 52 books that were published since 2021, and it’s currently split evenly between the two years.

13% of the books have been audio books, which apparently comes out to 13 days, 4 hrs, and 2 mins worth of audio books so far this year.

The lowest I have rated a book this year is 4/10 while 43% of the books I rated have been 8/10

8% of this years reading has been library books.

And 41% of the books this year have been rereads.

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am    

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Thursday, September 8, 2022

The Books of August

Husband MaterialQuite a few audio books this month. One was our travel book, the others were my exercise / cleaning books.

I’ve had a lot of cleaning to catch up on.

Lots of rereads, but I did manage some new releases–including three books that were released in August. That rarely happens–I tend to put off reading new releases for no rational reason. But these were mostly cozy mysteries, and I was very much in the mood for cozies.

Plus Husband Material, which is not a cozy, but a rom-com is just as good. And it was Alexis Hall! HUZZAH!

I want to give props to That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf. You’ll not I only gave it a middling rating, but it was a bunch of stuff I don’t care for (fated mate, weird mating rituals, tentacles, and a LOT of sex) and I still really enjoyed it.

I was just a little weirded out by some of the boinking bits.

If you like cozy mysteries, I highly recommend Charlie Cochrane‘s Lindenshaw Mysteries. The first book I was a little meh on, but I’ve loved every book since.


Lock, Stock and Peril (2022) Charlie Cochrane (Lindenshaw Mysteries) (8/10)
Death at the Deep Dive (2022) Josh Lanyon (Secrets and Scrabble) (7.5/10)
Purloined Poinsettia (2022) Dahlia Donovan (Motts Cold Case Mystery) (7/10)
Give Unto Others (2022) Donna Leon (Commissario Brunetti) (7/10)

Purloined Poinsettia

That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf (2022) Kimberly Lemming (Mead Mishaps) 7/10
Of Claws and Fangs (2022) Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock) (7/10)


Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter (2016) R. Cooper (8.5/10)
For Better or Worse (2017) R. Cooper  (8/10)
Husband Material (2022) Alexis Hall (London Calling) (8/10)
The Labours of Lord Perry Cavendish (2021) Joanna Chambers (Winterbourne) (8/10)
The Turners by Cat Sebastian: The Soldier’s Scoundrel (2016) (7/10), The Lawrence Browne Affair (2017) 8/10


Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (2009) Dan Ariely (8.5/10)


The Rook, Audio Edition (2012) Daniel O’Malley narrated by Susan Duerden (10/10)
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith: Midnight Riot, Audio Edition (2012) (9.5/10), Moon Over Soho, Audio Edition (2011) (9/10), Whispers Under Ground (2012) (8.5/10)


Reading Challenge 2022 So FarI’ve only (only! HA!) read 160 books so far this year, but only 38% have been rereads, which is down from last year (and those rereads include 18 audio books (Almost all my audio books are rereads.) Plus, I’ve read 11 non-fiction books so far–I read only one last year. And that’s actually a decent pace for me for non-fiction, as I tend to read it much slower, and often go back and reread passages.

Plus, according to Goodreads I’ve read 1292% of my goal for the year!

(Yeah, goodreads numbers are off–but that 160 is the number of reviews I’ve written, so that’s the accurate number. (Except that I haven’t written reviews of a handful of books non-fiction I’ve read, but that’s a tale for another day.))


Written by Michelle at 8:48 pm    

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

The Books of July

A Brides Guide to Marriage and MurderJuly was busy, and slipped past me when I wasn’t paying attention.

A fair amount of rereading this month, because I’ve been feeling extra vulnerable. But I did manage some new reads, including two new releases!

Dianne Freeman’s latest book, Countess of Harleigh, A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder is a series I’ve very much been enjoying and enjoyed this book as much as the previous ones. And I was finally able to borrow An Impossible Impostor from the library. I like this series, but not quite as much as the other, and Deanna Raybourn is popular enough I don’t fear that series ending any time soon.

Although it wasn’t one of my favorite books, I appreciated Andrew Grey’s Twice Baked for some of the twists it did NOT take.

Speaking of books that stuck with me, I reread Dahlia Donovan’s Sin Bin series, and was as drawn into as much this time as I was the first read—far more than the average rating I gave it, which had to do more with the need for editing and the inconsistencies that stemmed from that than anything else. These stories did all sorts of unusual things, including one book with an unflinching look at chemotherapy and dealing with cancer, and another book that was about a rescued man and the years it took him to recover himself (and the patience of the man courting him). Both of these stories faced difficult topics, but did so with sensitivity, and I deeply cared about what happened to the characters.

There were also some disappointing books, but the rereads made up for it.


An Impossible Impostor

Mystery, Historical

The Thief-Takers by Alissa Johnson
A Talent for Trickery (2015) 8.5/10, A Gift for Guile (2016) 8.5/10, A Dangerous Deceit (2017) 8/10
A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (2022) Dianne Freeman (Countess of Harleigh Mystery) 8/10
An Impossible Impostor (2022) Deanna Raybourn (Veronica Speedwell) 8/10


Renovated to Death (2022) Frank Anthony Polito
Murder in Pastel (2015) Josh Lanyon 7/10

Science Fiction

Fugitive Telemetry (2021) Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries) 9.5/10


The Sin Bin by Dahlia Donovan
After the Scrum (2016) 8/10, The Wanderer (2017) 8/10, The Caretaker (2017) 7.5/10, The Botanist (2017) 7.5/10, The Royal Marine (2017), The Unexpected Santa (2017),
The Lion Tamer (2018) 7.5/10
Color of You (2017) C.S. Poe (A Lancaster Story) 7.5/10
Twice Baked (2019) Andrew Grey 7/10
The Cubby Hole: A Bear Camp Short (2022) Slade James 7/10

The House in the Cerulean SeaFantasy

The House in the Cerulean Sea (2020) TJ Klune 9/10

Non Fiction

Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History (2018) Catharine Arnold

Audio Books

Soulwood, Audio Edition by Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam
Flame in the Dark, Audio Edition (2017) 8.5/10, Circle of the Moon, Audio Edition (2019), Spells for the Dead, Audio Edition (2019) 7/10

I know I haven’t been doing stats recently, but as a quick update: I’m at 140 books for the year, which is a lot slower than the past several years, but that’s still 20 books a month. And I’m at about 35% rereads, which is down from last year where almost 50% of the books I read were rereads, which is possibly a sign I’m starting to feel a little better.



Written by Michelle at 11:12 am    

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Saturday, July 9, 2022

The Books of June

Monster, She WroteSlow reading month. Partially because we’ve been hiking and partially because I’m dealing with stuff-including medication changes (Ah, brain chemistry) that are messing with me.

I finally read Alexis Hall’s Prosperity series, which was wonderful. I’ll note that there are stories in the second book that really didn’t work for me (because: me), but overall it was just another reminder of how delightful Alexis Hall is.

I’m dropping Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen series for awhile. Mostly because I got tired of the romantic triangle. I tend to dislike romantic triangles as a trope, so extending one over multiple books in a series is just: UGH.

For comfort I reread The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. Because: Murderbot.

And I read another non-fiction book! Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction (2019) Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson. This seems like the perfect book for Eric.


Prosperity series Alexis Hall
Prosperity (2018) 8/10, Liberty & Other Stories (2018) 7.5/10


Lancaster series C.S. Poe
Kneading You (2016) 8/10, Joy (2017) 9.5/10

ProsperityHistorical Romance

The Soldier’s Dark Secret (2015) Marguerite Kaye (Comrades in Arms) 8/10

Cozy Mystery

Hannah Swensen series Joanne Fluke
Fudge Cupcake Murder (2004), Sugar Cookie Murder (2004), Peach Cobbler Murder (2005)

Science Fiction

The Murderbot Diaries Martha Wells

Artificial Condition (2018) 10/10, Rogue Protocol (2018) 10/10, Exit Strategy (2018) 9.5/10, Network Effect (2020) 9.5/10

Non Fiction

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction (2019) Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson 8/10

Audio Book

Shattered Bonds, Audio Book (2019) Faith Hunter narrated by Khristine Hvam (Jane Yellowrock) 8/10

Written by Michelle at 10:17 am    

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