Top 10 of 2020

HOLY SMOKES! What a great year for books I’ve had! This is, hands’ down, the best reading year I have ever had. Ever. I know I say that every year, but there are eight, count ’em, EIGHT five-star books on this list. YOWZAH!

In all seriousness, I’m so excited to share this list with you all.

1. The Mirror & the Light

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Utterly brilliant historical fiction. Captivating and compelling.

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folklore Book Tag

Star at Star is All Book Up created this tag waaaay back when the folklore album first came out, and I saw her posting about it all over her Instagram but I was catching up on the tags that I was tagged in literally a year ago. So I’m only just now getting to it!

Full disclosure, I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about folklore. All of Taylor Swift’s albums sound so different, but post-rock isn’t my favorite style. Still, I said the same thing about both Reputation and Lover, so I’m sure I’ll come around. 🙂


the 1

a book you grew out of

I don’t usually grow out of books, I’m usually capable of reading a book from my past self’s perspective, especially my kids’ books. But I definitely don’t care for Eragon and the rest of the Inheritance Cycle as much as I did in my teen years. Part of it is because the last two books were so lackluster, but also I think because I’ve discovered SO MANY great books since then. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Eragon, just not as much as I used to.

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Review: Harrow the Ninth

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Series: The Locked Tomb
Genre: Fantasy
Maturity Level: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

WARNING: Gideon the Ninth spoilers ahead!

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor’s Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?


This book is going to be very difficult to talk about this book without spoiling it, so forgive me if this review is short and vague.

My biggest concern about this book going in was that I was worried that without reading from Gideon’s point of view I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. I mean, Gideon’s amazing voice was 1,000% of why I enjoyed the first Locked Tomb novel so much. And I was right, I didn’t enjoy Harrow quite as much. But Muir somehow still managed to deliver the feel of a locked-door mystery, which was the other 25% of what I loved about Gideon.

And I ended up becoming rather fond of Harrow. It was nice to get to know her and understand what made her so … bitchy. While I can’t claim to understand any of the magic involved with Lyctorhood (and therefore this book), getting insights into her past was fascinating.

What really kept me reading was my desperation to figure out what was going on. Without giving anything away this is hard to explain, but Harrow is written in such a way that the reader is going to be VERY confused. While I kind of loved that about Gideon, especially since it was mostly because Gideon herself couldn’t be bothered to understand anything, in Harrow I found it aggravating.

Muir’s writing (and her world-building) is, in general, so odd that I’m never fully sure I understand what’s happening in her books, especially when the climax comes around. But I didn’t get the end of Harrow at all. If someone wants to explain it to me in the comments, much appreciated. This is definitely a book I’ll have to re-read before I’ll feel I understand it well.

In the end I went ahead and gave this book four stars because of course I am going to buy book 3. But it was really more of a 4- for me. Obviously recommended for fans of Gideon the Ninth, but for everyone else READ GIDEON FIRST!

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag – 2020 Edition

Oh my gosh. June is over. Summer vacation is halfway over. I don’t know whether to shout for joy or cry. Shout for joy because PLEASE can we go back to school in August. Cry because summer is over and I’m still waiting on pretty much all the books from my summer reading list to come either to the book store or library. I’m worried I won’t have time to read them all. 😥

Also, the middle of the year always sneaks up on me. During summer vacation it’s really hard to keep track of the date, so I’m always shocked and, well, freaked out to find it’s July. lol

So far this year I’ve read 45 books, but since a HUGE chunk of those were either gifts or read for work, it hasn’t been the most exciting year for me book-wise. Not even all the books in my Top 10 have four stars, yikes! Still, I’m well on my way to my 75 book goal, and frankly may have to adjust it to 100. YAY ME!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020

Okay, I’m going to share my two favorites, because they’re so different from each other. My top book is hands down The Mirror & the Light, which is easily the best historical fiction novel I’ve ever read. I love the Thomas Cromwell trilogy so much, and this book was literally perfect. I wouldn’t have changed ANYTHING about it (except maybe make it never end!). My second top book is a YA backlist title, A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi. It had been on my to-read list forEVER, and I finally picked it up on sale in February. GUYS. Why did I wait so long to read this book?!?! If you haven’t read it yet you’ve GOT TO.

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Review: Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Series: The Locked Tomb
Genre: Fantasy
Maturity Level: 5-
View on Goodreads
Rating:
⋆⋆⋆⋆

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.


Holy cow, what a ride! I’ve heard people go on and on about this book, so I expected it to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be so fun. It’s got character, its got originality, its got surprises, its got a can’t-stop pace, and it’s got GIDEON.

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