Random (but not really)

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Books of 2023: Audio Books

I’ve mentioned before that I listen to audio books while I clean and exercise–wanting one more chapter keeps me walking just a little longer or cleaning one more thing. And Michael and I listen to audio books on drives (at least when the windows are up).

Also, I almost never listen to books I’ve never read. I get too involved and can’t focus on what I’m trying to do–or want to do nothing except finish the book. But when I’m trying to push through and get a task done, audio books are perfect.

It perhaps says something about this year that I’ve listened to more than 19 days worth of audio books (last year it was about 15 days). I’ve needed a lot of distraction to get through things, and audio books have been the perfect solution. Most of those books however were one’s I’d listened to before, so I could focus on what I was doing if need be, and then jump back into a familiar story when I needed a mental reprieve.

But this year wasn’t all re-listens.


Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn narrated by Angèle Masters

A Curious Beginning Perilous Undertaking A Treacherous Curse A Dangerous Collaboration A Murderous Relation

Mystery, Historical

This is the series Michael and I have been listening to in the car. Historical mysteries aren’t always Michael’s thing, but he’s been enjoying this series.

Even if he too sometimes finds Veronica annoying.

A Curious Beginning, Audio Book (2015) 8/10
A Perilous Undertaking, Audio Book (2017) 8/10
A Treacherous Curse, Audio Book (2018) 8/10
A Dangerous Collaboration, Audio Book (2019) 8/10
A Murderous Relation, Audio Book (2020) 7.5/10

Published by Recorded Books


Blitz, Audio Book (2022) by Daniel O’Malley narrated by Moira Quirk

Supernatural, Mystery, Historical

Moira Quirk narrated Stilletto, and I was curious to see how’d she do with this book.

Marvelous, of course.

As I noted when I read the book last year, the first half is a fair amount of history and world building. Fascinating, but slower paced.

The second half is a rocket, barreling through and carrying you with it.

Publisher: Little, Brown & Company

Rating: 10/10

The Rook Files: The Rook (2012), Stiletto (2016), Blitz (2022)

The Thursday Murder Club

The Thursday Murder Club, Audio Book (2020) Richard Osman narrated by Lesley Manville


I listened to the first book, but then realized Michael would probably really enjoy this series, so once we finish the Veronica Speedwell series we’ll move onto the Thursday Murder Club series.

I’ve enjoyed listening to Lesley Manville, her voice fits the story nicely.

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Rating: 9/10

Thursday Murder Club:The Thursday Murder Club (2020) 9/10, The Man Who Died Twice (2021) 9/10, The Bullet That Missed (2022)


Swordheart, Audio Book (2018/2021) T. Kingfisher narrated by Jesse Vilinsky

Fantasy, Romance

I started listening to Swordheart as background talking. But once I reached the David Dukes narrated Spenser books I was scrambling for something to listen to and decided this would be the next listen.

I quite enjoyed it, however, Sarkis is hard to understand with any background noise.

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Rating: 8/10

Clocktaur War series by T. Kingfisher narrated by Khristine Hvam

Clockwork Boys The Wonder Engine

Clockwork Boys, Audio Book (2017/2019) 8.5/10
The Wonder Engine, Audio Book (2018/2019) 8.5/10

Fantasy, Romance

Narrated by Khristine Hvam.

Who reads Faith Hunters Jane Yellowrock and Soulwood series.

It’s a bit weird, hearing this story in her voice. Mostly I don’t notice, but several secondary sound exactly like Alex Younger and that throws me every time.

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Clocktaur War: Clockwork Boys (2017), The Wonder Engine (2019)

The Books of 2023: Yearly Reading Roundup

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Books & Reading,Yearly Round-Up  

Sunday, December 24, 2023

The Covers of 2023: Fantasy

Back when I was in college, there were two types of fantasy covers: the amazingly gorgeous covers, such as those done by Thomas Canty, or there were the really awful covers you absolutely wouldn’t read in public.

There are still some horrible covers out there, but there are also very few with Thomas Canty-level gorgeous art.

Te current trend seems to feature silhouettes, and I honestly love it. But there were a variety of styles I liked this year as far as fantasy covers went.


Legends & Lattes (2022) by Travis Baldree

Legends & Lattes

Cover art by Carson Lowmiller & Cover design by Peter Lutjen

Published by Tor Books (Macmillan)

An orc hires a hob, a succubus, and a ratkin to help her build and run her dream: a coffee shop.

This cover is a throwback to those 80s and 90s covers, from the color palette to the fonts.

but once you look at characters and what they’re doing it’s obvious this is nothing like those fantasies from the 80s and 90s. There are baked goods–and not a single chain-mail bikini in to be seen.

Legends & Lattes has been described as a low-stakes cozy fantasy, and that’s a spot on.

Paladin’s Faith (2023) T. Kingfisher

Paladin's Faith

Published by Red Wombat Studio

As she publishes her own books, and as she also creates comics, I believe she makes her own covers.

This cover matches to previous books in the series, and I like the design.

The Saint of Steel: Paladin’s Grace (2020), Paladin’s Strength (2021), Paladin’s Hope (2021), Paladin’s Faith (2023)

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human (2023) by Kimberly Lemming

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human

Cover design by Alexia Mazis, Cover illustration by Kimberly Lemming

Published by Orbit (Hachette)

This series is ridiculous.

It is also a lot of fun, despite all the boinking.

This series was initially self-published, and then picked up by Orbit. This cover (and the earlier covers) were drawn by the author, which is freaking AMAZING and I adore everything about that.

Orbit is reissuing the books with different covers, and I feel like those covers weren’t drawn by the author–they have a very different feel–and I don’t like them anywhere near as much. I like the goofy comic/illustrated feel.

Mead Mishaps: That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon (2021), Mistlefoe: A Mead Realm Tale (2021), That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf (2022), A Bump In Boohail (2022), That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human (2023)

The Bookshop and the Barbarian (2023) by Morgan Stang

The Bookshop and the Barbarian

Cover design by Etheric Designs


This is another self-published book, and the author did the work of giving their book a lovely cover. The design seems simple with fewer colors, but the art is pretty and represents various elements of the story.

This cover makes me think of The Lord of the Rings or The Princess Bride, although the story is like neither of those.

A Power Unbound (2023) by Freya Marske

A Power Unbound

Cover art by Will Staehle

Published by Tordotcom

The design matches the previous two books in the series, and although I don’t love the color choices (the pink is a bit much for me personally) I do love the elements and silhouettes and overall botany theme to the design, though this cover is trees, rather than flowers.

You can see it’s a Queer book, but it’s a bit subtle–and quite safe for public transportation.

The Last Binding: A Marvellous Light  (2021),  A Restless Truth (2022), A Power Unbound (2023)

Once a Rogue (2023) by Allie Therin

Once a Rogue

Published by Carina Press (Harlequin)

No cover artist listed.

As usual, Carina/Harlequin don’t give you the artist who created the cover, which is a damned shame, because like the previous book in this series–and the series before this, it’s a gorgeous cover.

I love the art deco elements and the silhouettes (I really love a nice silhouette), and I particularly love the single color theme each of these books has. I’m not sure if it was purposeful, but so far the palettes are matching the first series: red, followed by blue, and that is another lovely touch.

I just wish Carina Press told us the artist so we could appreciate them.

Magic in Manhattan: Spellbound (2019), Starcrossed (2020), Wonderstruck (2021)
Roaring Twenties Magic: Proper Scoundrels (2021), Once a Rogue (2023)

Lamplight Murder Mysteries by Morgan Stang

Murder at Spindle Manor Murder on the Lamplight Express

Cover by Inkwolf Designs; Etheric Designs


More self-published books with gorgeous covers. After discovering Morgan Stang I’ve been searching out and reading their books.

Again, the design seems simple, but the more you look at it, the more details you notice. I’d like to remind you that I hate spiders, but still think that is a pretty cover. I like trains, so nothing disturbing about the second cover.

Lamplight Murder Mysteries: Murder at Spindle Manor (2022), Murder on the Lamplight Express (2023)

Winter’s Gifts (2023) by Ben Aaronovitch

Winter's Gifts

Cover map image by Stephen Walter. Title lettering by Patrick Knowles

Published by Subterranean Press

I didn’t even know this was being published until Tania gifted it to me.

Although published by Subterranean Press (the main series was published first by Del Rey and the by DAW), all of the covers are clearly Rivers of London books with the gorgeous map background and the meandering title font.

Rivers of London: Midnight Riot (2011), Moon Over Soho (2011), Whispers Under Ground (2012), Broken Homes (2014), Foxglove Summer (2014), The Hanging Tree (2017), The Furthest Station (2017), Lies Sleeping (2018), The October Man (2019),  False Value (2020), Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection (2020), What Abigail Did That Summer (2021), Amongst Our Weapons (2022), Winter’s Gifts (2023)

The Eidolon (2023) by K.D. Edwards

The Eidolon

Primary Cover art by Dezaray Shuler, Secondary Cover art by Bethany Cath, Dust Jacket design and Magnus Academy seal by Justyna Chlopecka


Although his main series has a publisher, this novella is self-published, and he used fan art for (I believe) everything.

I particularly like the detail where Quinn seems to be tangled up in the things he is trying to manipulate (at least how that’s how it feels to me) which very much describes Quinn and what he has gone through in this book and the previous series.

The Tarot Sequence: The Last Sun (2018), The Hanged Man (2019), The Hourglass Throne (2022)
Magnus Academy: The Eidolon (2023)

Baking Up a Magical Midlife by Jessica Rosenberg

Butter, Sugar, Magic
Butter, Sugar, Magic (2022)
Bread, Coffee, Magic (2022)
Bitter, Sweet, Magic (2022)
Sweet & Sour Spells (2023)

Cover design by Karen Dimmick/ Arcane Covers

Published by Blue Octopus Press

I’m pretty certain it’s the color that I like so much about this cover, especially since the 4th book has a similar theme but a very different color palette, and I don’t like it nearly as well.

It’s a relatively simple design, but the blue elements make it pop and give it the feel of magic.

Liar City (2023) by Allie Therin

Liar City

Published by Carina Press (Harlequin)

This is the second Allie Therin cover to make the list, and like the first, Carina Press doesn’t credit the artist.

I don’t like this cover as much as the two historical series, but as this book is extremely different from the other to series–being an alternate timeline contemporary fantasy rather than an historical with hidden fantastic elements, it should look different.

The smoke / light winding around the needle give it a more subtle magical feel.

Sugar & Vice series

Little, Brown & Company: 1
Orbit: 1
Subterranean Press: 1
Carina Press: 2
Tor Books: 2
Blue Octopus Press: 4
Self-Published : 5

The Books of 2023: Yearly Reading Roundup

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Covers,Yearly Round-Up  

Saturday, December 23, 2023

The Covers of 2023: Mystery

I’ve been reading mysteries for longer than about any other genre, and I don’t remember being taken by many (if any) of the covers of the books I read as a teen.

There were the silver Agatha Christie books with different highlight colors for each series, and there were the pulp James Bond covers I discovered, but not much else stands out. The first mystery cover I clearly remember being taken by was CS Harris’s What Angels Fear. And some of my favorite series have gorgeous covers (you’ll see a couple below).

This is the genre that has the most variety in covers. There are some illustrated covers, some that focus on the text, some that are seemingly simple yet striking, and others that are simply beautiful.


Lily Adler Mysteries by Katharine Schellman

The Body in the Garden Silence in the Library Death at the Manor Murder at Midnight

The Body in the Garden (2020)
Silence in the Library (2021)
Death at the Manor (2022)
Murder at Midnight (2023)

Cover design by Nicole Lecht

Published by Crooked Lane Books (The Quick Brown Fox & Company)

I discovered this series and then quickly devoured all four books.

As with many of the other series I especially like, each book has a similar design but a different primary color.

Once you look more closely you see elements of the design change on each cover, in this case different botanical elements giving you a sense of the different seasons.

They seem deceptively simple, yet are quite lovely.

A Fatal Illusion (2023) by Anna Lee Huber

A Fatal Illusion

Cover art by Larry Rostant

Published by Berkley (Penguin)

Every book in this series has a lovely cover that reminds you of a painting, which matches perfectly Lady Darby, who is a portrait artist.

Like most of the other covers, there are two primary shades–a background shade and strong share for the main character’s dress.

For this book, I really like the red and blue contrast, with that peculiar shade of blue you get as evening falls.

Lady Darby: The Anatomist’s Wife (2012), Mortal Arts (2013), A Grave Matter (2014), A Study in Death (2015), A Pressing Engagement (2016), As Death Draws Near (2016), A Brush with Shadows (2018), An Artless Demise (2019), A Stroke of Malice (2020), A Wicked Conceit (2021), A Perilous Perspective (2022), A Fatal Illusion (2023)

The Price of Lemon Cake (2023) by Jennifer Ashley

The Price of Lemon Cake

Cover design by Kim Killion

Published by JA / AG Publishing (Self-Published)

Although the series is published by Berkley, the novellas–such as this one–are self-published.

The Berkeley covers (which I do like) all have a woman on a staircase in period dress. The novellas all are food still-lifes.

A still life doesn’t necessarily say mystery, but it does say food and kitchen, and for a self-published book I think it’s quite lovely.

Kat Holloway: A Soupçon of Poison (2015), Death Below Stairs (2018), Scandal Above Stairs (2018), Death in Kew Gardens (2019), Murder in the East End (2020), Death at the Crystal Palace (2021), The Secret of Bow Lane (2022), The Price of Lemon Cake (2023)

A Sinister Revenge (2023) by Deanna Raybourn

A Sinister Revenge

Cover design & illustration by Leo Nickolls

Published by Berkley (Penguin)

I adore these covers.

More silhouettes (I hope they never go out of fashion), and that gorgeous embossed design.

The sepia tones here are plainer than other covers, but I don’t find it a bad thing, just a little different, and the sepia tones really seem perfect for the modern reading thinking back on that era.

Veronica Speedwell: A Curious Beginning (2015), A Perilous Undertaking (2017), A Treacherous Curse (2018), A Dangerous Collaboration (2019), A Murderous Relation (2020), An Unexpected Peril (2021), An Impossible Impostor (2022)

A Newlywed’s Guide to Fortune and Murder (2023) by Dianne Freeman

A Newlywed's Guide to Fortune and Murder

Published by Kensington Books

No artist credited.

I really do enjoy these covers. They’re fun and swirly and twisty and colorful.

I just wish the publisher had credited the artist.

A Countess of Harleigh Mystery: A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder (2018), A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder (2019), A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder (2020), A Fiancée’s Guide to First Wives and Murder (2021), A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (2022), A Newlywed’s Guide to Fortune and Murder (2023)

A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons (2022) by Kate Khavari

A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons

Cover design by Nicole Lecht

Published by Crooked Lane Books (The Quick Brown Fox & Company)

This is such a pretty cover, with the flowers and the vial of (presumably) poison, and that border that subtly signifies “historical mystery”.

It’s lush, with deep colors, and immediately drew my eye.

I just wish I’d liked the story as much as I liked the cover.

Saffron Everleigh series

The Deadliest Fall (2023) by Charlie Cochrane

The Deadliest Fall

Cover art: L.C. Chase

Published by Riptide Publishing

Yes, I know. Another monochrome cover with silhouettes.

What can I say? I know what I like, and I am loving this trend.

There is again that shade of blue that says, “evening” and even “inky shadows”.

Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club The Man Who Died Twice The Bullet That Missed The Last Devil to Die

The Thursday Murder Club (2020) The Man Who Died Twice (2021), The Bullet That Missed (2022), The Last Devil to Die (2023)

Cover design by Richard Bravery, Hand lettering by Joel Holland

Published by Viking (Penguin Books)

These are relatively simple covers, but I really like that simplicity.

They remind me of some book series my parents had on their bookshelves, but I can’t at all remember anything about those books except bold text on a beige/tan background.

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies (2022) by Misha Popp

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies

Cover design by Trish Cramblet

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (The Quick Brown Fox & Company)

I wasn’t sure how I initially felt about this cover, but I found that it stuck with me as time passed, and that it was recognizable at a quick glance.

I feel like the knife is a bit over the top, but I suppose they needed some way to emphasize murder part of the mystery.

Pies Before Guys series

Mystery on the Menu: A Three-Course Collection of Cozy Mysteries (2023) by Nicole Kimberling

Mystery on the Menu: A Three-Course Collection of Cozy Mysteries

Cover Art by Amber Whitney of Unicorn Empire

Published by One Block Empire (Blind Eye Books)

I feel like the lemon slice is the focal point that tells you one of the characters works in food service. Where else, besides restaurants, do you really see lemon slices?

Oddly, the bloody knife isn’t immediately noticeable, as it’s directly below the red strawberries.

Kensington Books: 1
One Block Empire: 1
Riptide Publishing: 1
Self-Published: 1
Berkley: 2
Viking: 4
Crooked Lane Books: 6

The Books of 2023: Yearly Reading Roundup

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Covers,Yearly Round-Up  

Friday, December 22, 2023

The Covers of 2023: Romance

Many dedicated romance readers–particularly Old Skool Romance Readers, hate the trend of illustrated covers.

I kinda love them. Almost as much as I hate clinch covers. (I’m not meaning to yuck anyone’s yum, I just do not like to look at click covers, old or new.)

The drawback is, of course, that you can’t tell the level of spice/heat in a book with an illustrated cover. If a cover has a naked or mostly naked model, you know there is going to be boinking. But you can’t easily tell with illustrated covers, unless you know the author’s reputation.

But to be fair, there are plenty of books with high heat/spice that don’t have hot/spicy covers. And I am always going to be a sucker for a pretty book cover.


Four Walls and a Heart (2023) by Celia Lake

Four Walls and a Heart

Cover design by Augusta Scarlett


I’ve read several books by this author–related and intertwined romantic fantasies, and although I love the world-building and the setting (late Victorian and early Edwardian eras) the writing … well, it feels like it was dictated and then published without editing, which I find extremely frustrating to read.

But I want to note this cover, which I really love. It’s set during the Mahdist War, and one of the characters was severely injured–which is made clear on the cover.

Of course there are silhouettes, and a two color scheme, which I liked.

And of course this is self-published and the author made sure to get a good cover that represented the characters.

Just wished the book had held up to the cover for me.

Bergman Brothers by Chloe Liese

Only When It's Us Ever After Always

Only When It’s Us (2020)
Ever After Always  (2021)

Cover Art by Jennie Rose Denton of Lamplight Creative


This series has been picked up by Berkley and is getting all new covers, and, to be honest, I really really prefer these covers she commissioned when she self-published them. Here, on the cover of Ever After Always, Freya is clearly curvaceous AND confident enough to wear a bikini.

I also like the solid color backgrounds that make the characters the focal point.

The new covers are illustrated clinch covers and nowhere near as interesting.

Bergman Brothers: Only When It’s Us (2020), Always Only You (2020), Ever After Always  (2021)

Donut Fall in Love (2021) by Jackie Lau

Donut Fall in Love

Cover illustration & design by Vi-An Nguyen

Published by Jove Books (Berkley)

Honestly, I just think this is a cute cover.

The Holiday Trap (2022) by Roan Parrish

The Holiday Trap

Cover illustration by Kristen Solecki

Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca

I hadn’t realized until I put this post together that these two covers used the same shade of blue.

As is the theme for many of the other covers I loved this year, it has a solid background and a relatively simply design.

I like the arrows, signifying the house switching the main characters do. I suppose the felt they had to use evergreens to signify Christmas, but that makes it hard to guess the second location is New Orleans.

Overall I find it pleasing.

Gouda Friends (2022) by Cathy Yardley

Gouda Friends

Cover design & illustration by Philip Pascuzzo

Published by Montlake

Cheese DOES in fact play a major part in this story, being both the reason Tam leaves her ex and the impetus for helping her get a new job.

My only ding is that I totally didn’t expect the amount of boinking this book had. The cover feels far more light-hearted than super-sexy.

Ponto Beach Reunion

Role Playing (2023)

Role Playing

by Cathy Yardley

Cover illustration by Leni Kauffman

Published by Montlake

Montlake is Amazon’s publishing wing, so I wonder if she had more say than she would with other publishers.

I hope so, because I really like everything this cover is doing. I love the moon as the “O”. The cuddling is adorable as is the look he is giving her, and the mini-figs on the table are marvelous.

Also, her comfy sweats and slouchy socks!

Teacher of the Year (2023) by M.A. Wardell

Teacher of the Year

Design & cover illustration by Myriam Strasbourg


I’ll be honest, the reason this cover made the list is solely because it’s a self-published book and she clearly went out of her way to have a cover that matched both the characters and the tone of the story–pastel and sweet.

And like all the other books on this list it’s got a solid background, emphasizing the characters.

Teachers in Love

Jove Books: 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca: 1
Montlake: 2
Self-Published : 4

The Books of 2023: Yearly Reading Roundup

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Covers,Yearly Round-Up  

Thursday, December 21, 2023

The Covers of 2023: Science Fiction

I have gone whole years without reading a science fiction book, but in the past couple years I’ve read multiple SF books.

Of course, 93% of those have been Murderbot reads, listens, and rereads. (I just calculated; I’ve read 30 SF books since 2020, and all but two of them were Murderbot.)

The other two books were Claire O’Dell’s Janet Watson series.


The Hound of Justice (2019) by Claire O’Dell

The Hound of Justice

Cover design by Richard L. Aquan. Cover illustration by Chris McGrath

Published by Harper Voyager (Harper Collins)

This cover has the same feel as A Study in Honor. Everything is soft edged and you can’t clearly see what is happening, but the two women are clearly in a fight or flight situation. Even more importantly, both models match how the women are described in the book, and Sara looks pretty much how I’d have expected her to in that situation.

The cover gives you the sci-fi / mystery feel of the book, which is how I ended up reading the first book, wanting to see if the book read how it felt.

I fear that there shan’t be another book in this series, since it’s been four years, but the stories were interesting, even if they were SF bordering on dystopia.

The Janet Watson Chronicles: A Study in Honor (2018), The Hound of Justice (2019)

System Collapse (2023) by Martha Wells

System Collapse

Cover art by Jaime Jones

Published by Tordotcom (Macmillan)

There is nothing exceptional about this cover, except you know at a glance: MURDERBOT!

These covers don’t really give you the complete feel of the story–there is no sense of the humor and the snark–but you do get the sense of action and adventure.

Mostly I’m just pleased that after the series blew up they didn’t try to change the covers to something more… blockbustery.

The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red (2017), Artificial Condition (2018), Rogue Protocol (2018), Exit Strategy (2018), Network Effect (2020), Fugitive Telemetry (2021), Compulsory (2023), System Collapse (2023)

The Books of 2023: Yearly Reading Roundup

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Covers,Yearly Round-Up  

The Books of 2023: Yearly Reading Roundup

Once a RogueIt’s time for the yearly reading roundup, and a hell of a year it’s been.

Just as I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of my mental health struggles, it all blew up again.

The good news is I wasn’t starting from the sub-basement and my absolute worst, where I was at a couple years ago.

The Thursday Murder Club

So my reading has once again been erratic. Which is totally fine, because we do what we need to get through rough times.

And it’s not like a reread of the Murderbot series isn’t enjoyable, after all.

And I’ve still managed to read about 30 books published this year, almost as many published in 2022, and only a handful of those I’d read before. So it wasn’t all rereads! (Just 60% rereads.)

I want to note there are books that I was not in the right frame of mind for, and might love on a second, later, read. Essentially, remember the ratings are how I felt about a book when I finished it; I’ve written reviews that were essentially, “I can see why this is a classic, but the whole thing made me feel sad and icky.) It’s one of the reasons I rate a book every time I read it; my rating often changes (sometimes dramatically) on a later reading.

The round-up will start (of course) with book covers, and end with my love of statistics.

The Deadliest Fall

Science Fiction Covers
Romance Covers
Mystery Covers
Fantasy Covers

Science Fiction
Final Roundup

The links on this post will be updated as the posts are published.

Previous Years

The Books of 2022
The Books of 2021
The Books of 2020
The Books of 2019
The Books of 2018
The Books of 2017
The Books of 2016
The Books of 2015
The Books of 2014
The Books of 2013
The Books of 2012
The Books of 2011
The Books of 2010
The Books of 2009
The Books of 2008

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Yearly Round-Up  

Friday, December 1, 2023

Remember, Remember the Books of November (2023)

A Power UnboundNovember was a mix of reading new releases (FIVE! FIVE new releases!) and rereads (relistens, mostly) with almost no backlist first reads.

I (like everyone else) was impatiently awaiting the new Murderbot story by Martha Wells and it did not disappoint. It’s set immediately after Network Effect so lots of Murderbot and ART.

I was also very excited about the conclusion to Freya Marske‘s conclusion to the Last Binding trilogy. I knew it was going to be about Lord Hawthorn, and we knew Alston had tragedy in his history, with the death of his twin and the loss of his magic, but he was such an arrogant ass in previous books, I was worried about him being sympathetic. I needn’t have worried–it was marvelous.

I’m all caught up on the Lily Adler series, so sadly I must wait for a new entry, but I do have another entry in Morgan Stang’s Lamplight Murder Mystery, which is a silly gaslamp/steampunk series.

Murder at MidnightI was disappointed by the two new mysteries. I have been tepid about the  Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mysteries, and was glad I borrowed it from the library.

I had high hopes for the latest Caribbean Kitchen Mystery, but either I utterly failed to focus or the story needed tightened–particularly the ending, which felt as if part of the resolution was left hanging. I’ll read the next one (if there is one) but I probably won’t pre-order and might wait for a price drop.

After finishing my listen of Patricia Briggs’ Alpha & Omega series (I didn’t like Wild Sign any better the second time around) I started a relisten of Robert B. Parker‘s Spenser series, which is fun, especially since I’m skipping the books I don’t care much about. I love the look back at the 70s and 80s I’ve been getting, especially as Spenser pays attention to details. (Acid washed jeans!)

I can’t believe it’s December and the year is almost over. It’s been a long, rough several months, but I’m pushing through, and remain glad I have the escape of lovely stories.

Murder at Spindle Manor


System Collapse

Science Fiction
Audio Books
Written by Michelle at 8:45 pm    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Books & Reading,Monthly Round-Up  

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

October Books, 2023

The Body in the Garden

I listened to a lot of audio books this month–they keep my brain busy while I do boring things like cleaning, or  exercising. And when it’s a good book, I’ll exercise just a little longer to finish a section.

Additionally, I read 5 (FIVE) new books! Two of which were published in October! Yes, they were novellas, but that makes it even better, because I adore well-written shorter fiction. (and by well written I don’t mean just out-takes from a series, but stories that stand on their own. So kudos to Ian Rankin writing and excellent stand-alone novella.

PLUS, I discovered a new series, Katharine Schellman’s Lily Adler Mysteries, which have all kinds of representation and are fun reads (plus good mysteries).

Unbeknownst to me, a new Rivers of London novella came out rencetly–thanks to Tania for both telling me about it AND getting it for me. Winter’s Gifts is about FBI agent Kimberly Reynolds, not Peter Grant, and I was wondering if I wanted to spent time with her.

Winter's Gifts


Couple of rereads, as I flailed around trying to figure out what I was in the mood for, but I didn’t much seem to be in the mood for those books either.

Ah well, can’t win ’em all.


Role Playing



Audio Books

Written by Michelle at 7:22 pm    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Books & Reading,Monthly Round-Up  

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Picture a Day, Tuesday, October 31st


Written by Michelle at 7:09 pm    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Picture a Day,State Park / Forest  

Monday, October 30, 2023

Picture a Day, Monday, October 30th


Written by Michelle at 10:27 pm    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Picture a Day,State Park / Forest  

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Picture a Day, Sunday, October 29th


Written by Michelle at 9:22 pm    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Picture a Day,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Picture a Day, Saturday, October 28th

Obi and Shadow in the car

Written by Michelle at 10:22 pm    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Cats,Picture a Day  

Friday, October 27, 2023

Picture a Day, Friday, October 27th

Mom & Dad's Yard

Written by Michelle at 9:08 pm    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Picture a Day  

Picture a Day, Thursday, October 26th


Written by Michelle at 7:41 am    

Comments (0)  Permalink

Categories: Picture a Day  
« Previous PageNext Page »

Powered by WordPress