2021 releases I was excited for but didn’t get to

So in 2021, I was able to acquire quite a few new releases that were on my radar, mainly thanks to my Book of the Month subscription. Did I read them? I wouldn’t be doing this week’s Top 10 Tuesday post if I had. LOL. As you know my 2021 wasn’t my best reading year and I wasn’t even close to hitting my reading goal. This year is quite the opposite and I jumped out of the gate at a full sprint. It remains to be seen whether my stamina will last through the remainder of the year, but I do have plans for most, if not all of the books on this list.

How could I not be excited for a book by the Fresh Prince himself? This came out toward the end of the year and I had started the book, but then life got in the way. I plan to read this as my nonfiction option in February.

I had every intention of reading this as soon as it came out in September. However, I knew it was going to end up on one of my book club lists so I purposely held off. I might still read it beforehand because I am itching to get my hands on it.

After reading “The Great Alone” I knew that I wanted to read more by Kristin Hannah. Then this book was announced at the beginning of 2021. When it came out I immediately ordered it and then – you know what happened next. It went on a book stack and was never read. Although now that I am rereading the summary for this I am getting an idea about another book that I can read with this one for a future post.

“Behold the Dreamers” is one of my all-time favorite books and one that I recommend highly. So I immediately bought Mbue’s new book as soon as it came out. And for some reason I have yet to crack it open. Luckily, my book club is reading this later this year, so it will be off my TBR soon enough.

I bought this book because I loved Whitehead’s “Nickel Boys.” I got this in September right while in the process of buying a house and packing my apartment. However, I plan to get it off my TBR and read it next month.

This book sounded so interesting that I couldn’t help but pick it for my December book of the month. It says that it’s a story of fairy tales, our fear of the dark and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind. I will blame not reading it because of the holidays. I might push this one off to the spooky season.

Not sure why I haven’t read this one yet. The summary sounds so good and I really want to know what the connection is between all these characters. It reminds me of a book I have read before, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Every immigrant story I have read have ended up on my recommended lists, so when I saw this book come out, I immediately got it. It’s rather a short book but I have yet to read it.

Another immigrant story, but this time a nonfiction one. This came out in September, which was when my reading was barely non-existent. I plan to read this one in the spring.

What releases were you excited for and didn’t get to? Have you read any on this list? What did you think?

Monday reading check-in (1/17/2022)

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week. This past week was much better than the week prior in all aspects. We are halfway through the month and I am amazed at how much reading I have gotten done. I have read three more books than what I planned to read this month so my wrap up at the end of the month is going to be lengthy. Just this past week alone I managed to read four books and started a fifth! Here is a recap.

Book recently finished

I liked this book but I am not fully sure what I think about it. Woolf’s writing took some getting used to and while I had understood what was going on, I felt like the whole meaning of the book was just out of my grasp. I think this is a book that I will have to read more than once. My thoughts are similarly laid out in my review.

I am so glad that I finally read this book. It deserves all the hype that it is getting and is definitely a five-star read. Reid is quite the storyteller. I felt like Evelyn Hugo was a real actress and found myself wanting to look up the movies that she starred in. Then I would remember that it was fiction and be disappointed. More of my thoughts will be laid out in a review later in the week.

I now understand why Michaelides’ “The Maidens” was disappointing to many people, after this jaw dropping novel. It had all the twist and turns that I love in the novel, the second guessing of every character, the unexpected twist and it not being over to the last page. I read “The Maidens” before this one and I was disappointed with it. I am glad that I didn’t give up on his writing because I absolutely loved this book. When are they making this a movie? LOL

After “The Silent Patient” I was on a thriller kick so I picked up this book I got at the end of last year. It didn’t disappoint. Camille is a grieving mother after her daughter was three years prior. She is learning to cope in the best way she knows how, when she gets invited to join an online group for grieving mothers. What she doesn’t realize is that its more than a forum for them to talk about their grief, it’s about revenge. This book definitely sucked me in and didn’t let me go until the end.

Currently reading

This book has been on my personal bookshelves for 10 years and I thought it was about time that I get around to it. I put it on my winter TBR and since I have been plowing through books lately, I decided now was as good a time as any. I am thoroughly enjoying Harold Evans’ account of his forays in journalism and the history lesson of the time period as he moves through the decades. It’s making me nostalgic of my own reporter days and the stories my editor used to tell me. I have a ways to go before I finish this 500+ page book but I have no doubts it will only get better.

Reading next

Both of these I need to read for book clubs which will be having their discussions in the beginning of February so I need to get them out of the way. Book Thief is a reread for me but I haven’t read since it first came out. I am really excited for Time’s Arrow, mainly because it’s a story that goes in reverse, meaning we start with the main character in the present day and it ends with him as a baby.

Books I want to read because I saw the movie/TV show

This post is all because of “The Witcher.” While watching the first season last year, I saw it was adapted from the book series. I never heard of “The Witcher” until it had appeared on Netflix and then, not only to find that I loved it, but also that it was adapted from books, I knew I had to read it. Then the second season came out a little while ago, and it seemed that the books appeared on shelves everywhere, mocking me because I had yet to read them. So I got to thinking about all the books I want to read because I saw the movie or TV show. Here are some of them:

Of course The Witcher series. The show is so good and the fact that it is also a video game just says how universal this story is. It would be interesting to compare the books to the show.

I absolutely love the HBO show Game of Thrones and even though my husband owns the series, I have yet to read them. Why? I have no idea. But this seriously something I want to do soon. I am particularly interested in how the story is different than the show, since we all know that they changed some of the storylines, especially after the show went past the books.

While I have read the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy after seeing the movies, I have yet to read “The Hobbit.” I have seen bits of pieces of the movies because they haven’t grabbed my attention like LOTR but I know that I would love the books. I own the book but have yet to crack it open.

After seeing the movie, I bought “The Martian” at a library book sale with every intention of reading it. And yet it still sits unopened. However, last year I read Weir’s “Project Hail Mary” which I loved and have a renewed focus on reading his most well-known work.

I absolutely love the movie “Bridget Jones’s Diary” so when I heard that it was actually a book, of course I wanted to read it. From what I can see from the reviews, you either love this book or hate it. If I had to guess, I am going to love it.

One of the books that has been on my bookshelves the longest is “Great Expectations.” It was actually my sister’s book but I took it. We had seen the movie (Gwyneth Paltrow version) when we were kids and ever since then it has been on my TBR. I have started the book many times but for some reason or other I put it down. I think in part because I was too young to understand Dickens. I think now that I am older, I will have no trouble.

This book was purely a purchase because I had seen the movie and wanted to read more about the famous horse and the people who made him famous.

Ever since I have seen this movie, I have wanted to read this book. Yet every chance I have to purchase a copy I never seem to. No idea why. I think I may just have to borrow this from the library and get it over with.

I love the Jurassic Park movies and it was only until a few years ago that I realized that these were books. Michael Crichton has been on my TBR for awhile because he has written a number of books besides Jurassic Park that I wouldn’t mind checking out. I heard that he is a really good writer.

“The Three Musketeers” and “The Man in the Iron Mask” have also been on my TBR since I saw the Leonardo DiCaprio movie of “The Man in the Iron Mask”. Then I realized that the book was a series and since I generally knew the story of the “Three Musketeers” I knew that I to read both.

The movie has haunted me since I saw it when I was younger. Who can ever forget the girl in the red dress? When I saw the book at a library book sale, I instantly picked it up. Yet I haven’t read it, mainly because I know how sad this book is going to be and I waiting for the right time. But is there ever the right time to read about this subject?

The Jungle Books is a book I will probably get to sooner rather than later. It’s on my Classics Club list so I am hoping that I will get to it this year. Of course I have seen the Disney version of this movie. I have yet to see the live action version but maybe I can watch them after I read this book.

What books do you want to read because of the movie or TV show?

The most recent additions to my book collection

For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, we are discussing the most recent books to our collections. Most of the books I have recently acquired are from Book of the Month but last month, my husband and I went to Manchester, Vt. for our annual getaway weekend. In town is the Northshire Bookstore, which has a used book section and where invariably I acquire a few books that I have been wanting to read. So here are the top 10 in no particular order.

Monday reading check-in (1/10/22)

The first week of January was a rollercoaster ride. It started on the upside with everything going smoothly and then peaked over the hill and went speeding to the bottom. The Omicron variant is running rampant in our neck of the woods and it seems that everyone is getting it. My anxiety is at all time high, especially because Friday I found out someone in my family has it, someone who I wished would never get it again because it almost killed them in 2020. Luckily, their doctor acted quickly and they are hopefully on the mend. It is a waiting game. Luckily I have had my reading and this blog to keep me distracted. I am ahead in my reading, which I know won’t last, but I am riding the crest while I can. Here is a recap of the books I read over the last week, the books I am reading now and what I plan to read next.

Recently finished

If there is one thing I am sure of after reading this book, it is that I will NEVER go to Mount Everest. Not that it was ever on my bucket list, since mountain climbing is the last thing I would ever try, but even if there was a shred of hope, Krakauer solidified the fact that I will never go. Maybe I will travel to that corner of the world and happen to glance upon its peak from afar but that is as close to the mountain as I will ever get. Krakauer recounts the 1996 disaster, of which he was a part of, partly on assignment, partly to fulfill a longtime dream. He recounts it vividly and in detail from the beginning to the end. If you are looking for a nonfiction book to read that will draw you in, this is definitely it. Krakauer is becoming one of my top nonfiction authors.

My reread of “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi was just as enjoyable as the first time. I forgot alot of the details about this story and it was nice to refresh myself with the story of Effie and Esi and their lineage through history. My five star rating still stands and I can’t wait to discuss this with the Capital District Book Club later this month. It turns out that we will be talking about this book in the Metaphorically Speaking Book Club as well as Gyasi’s second work “Transcendent Kingdom”, which I have yet to get to.

Currently Reading

This book has been sitting on my bookshelves since college. In fact, it still has the used book sticker on the spine from when I bought it at university. I don’t know what to think of this book right now as it is different from what I am used to. It is stream of consciousness, which is hard for me to used to, but surprisingly I am getting through this really fast. However, I think it is one that I am going to have it sit on for awhile before I can fully grasp it.

What I am reading next

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” arrived in my January Book of the Month box and I couldn’t be more excited. I have heard nothing but good things about this book and so now I need to know what all the hype is about. I have also never read Taylor Jenkins Reid so this will be my introduction to her writing.

Book Club List (part 3)

In the final listing of book club picks for 2022, I am sharing the titles from the Metaphorically Speaking Book Club, a small group of girls who just want to talk about books. We just had our book selection event the other day and many of the books we will be reading have been on my TBR. Since the book selection was this month there won’t be a book and we are not planning to read a book in December. I am really excited for these selections.

February –
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

March –
Shallow Waters
by Anita Kopacz

April –
Transcendent Kingdom
by Yaa Gyasi

May –
by Yaa Gyasi

June –
Apples Never Fall
by Liane Moriarty

July –
Friends Like These
by Kimberly McCreight

August –
Midnight Library
by Matt Haig

September –
Before We Were Yours
by Lisa Wingate

October –
Bed Stuy
by Jerry McGill

November –
It All Comes Back
to You

by Beth Duke

Book Club list (Part 2)

It’s part two of the book club list mini series where I share the titles that each of my book clubs will be reading for the year. Yesterday, I shared the list from the Modern Library Book Club where we mostly read modern classics. Today, we are going to the Capital District Book Club, which selects its books through a democratic process. We gather suggestions loosely based on each month’s theme, alternating between fiction and nonfiction, and then vote on the top three suggestions. We are only about five months out so I only have the selections up until May. Let’s get to it.

January –
by Yaa Gyasi

(Fiction/Historical Fiction)

February –
Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party” by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr.

(Nonfiction/Black History)

March –
The Pull of the Stars” by Emma Donoghue

(Fiction/Women Authors)

April –
Braiding Sweetgrass
by Robin Wall Kimmerer


May –
How Beautiful We Were
by Imbolo Mbue

(Fiction/Stories from Around the World)

We haven’t selected the rest of the year yet but the themes are as follows:

  • June – Memoir Biography (NF)
  • July – Beach Reads (F)
  • August – Science/Heath (NF)
  • September – Classics before 1960 (F)
  • October – Current Affairs (NF)
  • November – Anything goes (F)
  • December – No book (Meet and Greet)

2022 Book Club TBR list (Part 1)

With the new year upon us, my book clubs are putting together their lists of the books we are going to read for the year. If you don’t know this already, I am part of four book clubs. Two of them have completed their lists while another is halfway through and the fourth… well they go month-to-month so we never really know too far in advance what we are going to read. With so many books already on the TBR, I thought I would share what each book club is reading for 2022 in a multi-post series.

I am starting with the Modern Library Book Club, aka my classics book club, which I now run after the original organizers left. Originally this book club formed to read all the books on the Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels list, but after completing the list, we are now reading books that members thought should have made the list. So far all of the books we have read have been amazing. And the list for 2022 has some really good ones, including some favorites. But enough of my gabbing. Here are the 12 books we are reading in order, starting with January (Titles linked to Goodreads).

January –
To Kill A Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

February –
Time’s Arrow
by Martin Amis

March –
Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neal Hurston

April –
A Long Long Way
by Sebastian Barry

May –
Death in Venice
by Thomas Mann

June –
Kate Vaiden
by Reynolds Price

July –
The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway

August –
Lucky Jim
by Kingsley Amis

September/October – “Gravity’s Rainbow
by Thomas Pynchon

November –
The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith

December –
by Charles Portis

TTT: New releases in the first half of 2022 I want to check out

When I first saw this week’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt asking about the most anticipated books for the first half of 2022, I debated whether I wanted to do it. Then I was curious and did my research, and lo and behold, there are several books from some of my favorite authors coming out between January and June that I really want to check out. And then I lost the list I made and had to make a whole new one, so I am not sure if I am missing any. However, I am evenly split the list between the authors I know and new-to-me authors who have books coming out that sound intriguing.

New releases from familiar authors

The Final Case” by David Guterson

I absolutely loved “Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson and when they compared his newest book to that one, I put it on my TBR list.

When an Ethiopian girl dies one night a few feet from her home, her adoptive parents, Delvin and Betsy Harvey – white, conservative Christians – are charged with her murder. Retiring Seattle criminal attorney and Octogenarian Royal takes on the Harvey’s case and leans on his son as he prepares for the trial.

Release: January 11

Chasing History” by Carl Bernstein

Bernstein and Bob Woodward and their reporting of the Watergate Scandal are what pushed me into journalism. So when I learned that Bernstein had written a memoir about his life and his experiences in the newsroom, I was so excited. I have a feeling this is going to be a book about the bygone era, a time before I was born but had heard about from older editors that taught me everything I know.

Release: January 11

Gallant” by V. E. Schwab

After reading “The Life of Addie LaRue” by Schwab, which was a pleasant surprise for me, Schwab has become an instant author. Granted, I still have to read her old stuff but this book sounds too interesting to pass up.

Release: March 1

Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces 2004-2021” by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is an instant buy author for me. I am slowly but surely reading each of her books and have yet to find one that I haven’t liked. In this one, she seems to gives us insight into her mind on a myriad of topics and issues. I can’t wait.

Release: March 1

Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel

I read “Station Eleven” by Mandel a few months before COVID pandemic broke out. Although it ended up being very prophetic and too realistic, I loved the novel and have been dying to read Mandel ever since. I have yet to get to “The Glass Hotel” but “Sea of Tranquility is being added to my TBR list alongside it.

Release: April 25

Books by New-to-Me Authors

To Paradise” by Hanya Yanagihara

I have yet to read anything by Yanahihara but I have seen her newest book on every highly anticipated book of 2022. I am normally not one to jump on the hype train right away but I am curious.

Release: January 11

Daughter of the Moon Goddess” by Sue Lynn Tan

So like probably everyone who is putting this on their TBR list, it’s probably because of the cover. That is what immediately attracted me to the cover. Also I have been really into the folklore stories of late. I don’t know much about the legend of Chang’e, but piqued by interest.

Release: January 11

How High We Go in the Dark” by Sequoia Nagamatsu

All I saw was that this is about humanity’s survival after a climate change plague and I was sold. I love a good dystopian novel and one that has to deal with realistic issues and I am even more intrigued. There are several books I want to get to this year that revolve around climate change. It seems that a TBR list is in the making, perhaps for Earth Day. This may have to be on it.

Release: January 18

Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

When I saw this cover, I was immediately drawn to this book and then I read the premise and I was even more interested. It’s also inspired by true events. Enough said.

Release: April 12

The Woman in the Library” by Sulari Gentill

When I read the summary for this book, I immediately thought of “Anxious People” by Frederik Backman. However, instead of a real estate opening, these people are in a library and they aren’t complete strangers. I wouldn’t mind checking this book out.

Release: June 7

What are your highly anticipated releases of 2022? Mention them in the comments or link to your list so I can check them out.