Archives

2022 Books: Stats & Pie-charts!

I neglected to post a general photo of (most of) the books I read in 2022 — at least the physical, photographable copies — so here we are! (There’s a link at the bottom of the post to the full year on Goodreads, including digital ones.)

Everything on the top shelf except the last five (a.k.a., not the ones by Diana Wynne Jones or Ally Carter) are books I had the privilege of editing last year! ❀ The last five on the top shelf are re-reads (and that’s also where Twinepathy and Lightporter would be, but I’m lending them to friends at the moment. XD).

On the lower shelf are new-to-me novels, a couple of anthologies, and some nonfiction and picture books, with a few in there representing one section that I read in a book, even if I didn’t read the whole thing (for example, Into the Heartless Wood I read the previous year but last year I read the short story Of Leaves and Stars in the paperback version which I totally recommend and was my favorite short story I read last year!).

Obviously, I also read e-books . . . but there’s just something fun about looking back on a shelf of books I read in the previous year. ^_^

Charts!

Maybe I’m weird but I looove pie-charts and statistics, specifically for bookish things! And I realized that despite keeping a detailed spreadsheet of my reading during 2022, that I forgot to share the shiny results when I posted my Top 20 Favorite 2022 Reads post!

Not sure if it’s something that’ll interest any of y’all, but maybe it will as a curiosity, and I want to have it to look back on in the future. πŸ™‚

So . . . some stats and charts!

This fascinates me. XD The 25 “Multiple Reads” was books I edited so it counts in both new and re-reads. I was just very curious about the breakout of this category, especially since I re-read a lot more than I do sometimes.

This one was interesting to me because I realized I usually read things I “needed” to read, or else miscellaneous things like picture books, graphic novels, short stories & novellas, and re-reads, all of which I categorize as different and kind of considered “lesser” than new-to-me novels. I’m trying to break from that mindset a bit (all reading is reading!) but it’s interesting.

  • 33 Misc (Just Because)
  • 28 Specific reason
  • 25 Books (or short works) I edited
  • 9 Review books
  • 6 Read aloud
  • 5 Just Because (novel)

Mostly novels but not by a huge amount. XD I did differentiate between novels and novellas, having a short story/novella/novelette category, and had the next most of those. I read several lovely picture books which was a lot of fun, and a non-fiction per month, ish.

  • 1 play
  • 2 poetry
  • 3 graphic novels (I read a ton the previous year around when I first started reading graphic novels, but apparently not many last year)
  • 3 anthologies

How I consumed books.

Physical, owned copy was the highest (especially when adding in the picture books which I tracked separately), although some of them I actually read in a digital format, for example if I edited them, and later acquired a physical copy, so…it depends.

23 audiobooks! I really hit my stride with audiobooks the last couple years. It makes me happy.

14 e-books–yeah, not so much of an e-book reader, apparently.

13 Other–a category I had for books read when editing, though some of those moved to physical when I got a copy… Yes, these categories are very unscientific. XD

7 In owned collection means I read something but not the whole thing it was collected in, for example when I read some amazing essays by Tolkien and Stephen R. Lawhead.

2 Borrowed

1 Play (I heard The Importance of Being Earnest read by different people as a sort of sitting-around-together-play-read-aloud and it was such a unique and fun experience. XD)

Bringing out the big guns! Genre!

  • Unsurprisingly, over half was fantasy. XD
  • 14 Nonfiction (sounds familiar from a previous category)
  • 11 Historical fiction
  • 9 Sci-fi (Which surprised me because I don’t think of myself as a sci-fi person but I enjoy it when I try it, it seems!)
  • 6 Contemporary (most of these were a re-read of Heist Society!)
  • 5 Superhero (Yes, I read enough that I made this its own category. XD Shoutout to We Could Be Villains and the Twinepathy books!)
  • 3 Poetry/Play

This was fun to break out a bit more!

Fantasy

  • Contemporary Fantasy (11)
  • Fantasy (Other World) (25) And we have a winner! This was the largest sub-genre I read, which makes me happy. XD
  • World-hopping (5) I decided on this for stories that spanned our world and a fantasy world since they didn’t quite fit in either the contemporary or the other-world fantasy categories.
  • Celtic Fantasy (5) I made this a category this year and it makes me happy to see so many!

Science Fiction

  • Space Setting (6) Yeehaw, we’re going to space! Er. Anyway…
  • Superheroes (5)
  • Time Travel (3) If I had a nickel for every story I read in 2022 that featured time travel, I’d have three nickels, which is not a lot but it’s weird that it happened three times. XD

Historical Fiction (5)

Non-fiction

  • On Writing (6)
  • Self-help (2)
  • History (2)
  • Inspirational (3)

Misc

  • Christmas (9) Christmas books make me happy and I try to read a few each December. It’s fun. ^_^
  • Retelling (3) I’m sure I read more than three retellings, but I must’ve been stumped for subgenres for these ones or something.
  • Mystery (3)
  • Poetry (2)
  • Misc. (1)
  • Horror (1) This was a short story and surprisingly good. I don’t generally read horror and don’t plan to make a habit of it but anyway!
  • Humor (1)
  • Heist (5) Yes, I did in fact categorize the Heist Society trilogy (and accompanying two short works) as heist as a genre. XD
  • Steampunk or Gaslamp (3)

I also decided to track how I listened to audiobooks! It was mostly on Scribd. (Obligatory affiliate link here to join for two free months which gives me a free month as well, for any audiobook or ebook fans who want to try out a subscription site!) So I’m glad to see I was using it a bunch. Next Audible. I suspected that I didn’t use the Audible Plus part of their site much and that’s the case, but I did do a couple there. And I keep forgetting about Chirp and need to use it more but it’s not playing nice with my phone app currently, but it’s great for audiobook deals. πŸ™‚

Yeah, that’s going to be a hard one to read without zooming in, but it’s the authors I read last year!

Here are the ones I read two, three, four, or five of their books (short stories included).

  • Kyle Robert Shultz (Still so excited The Hare and the Hatter is released!)
  • Ally Carter (I binge-reread everything Heist Society.)
  • Diana Wynne Jones (Always a favorite!)
  • Lloyd Alexander (Picture books, actually!)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien (<3)
  • Micheline Ryckman (Piratey series!)
  • Selina J. Eckert (Retellings and cozy modern fantasy!)
  • Tara Grayce (ELVEN ALLIANCE BE STILL MY HEART)
  • Jenelle Leanne Schmidt (Y’all, this author’s books! The Orb and the Airship is nearly heeere!)
  • C.B. Cook (Re-devoured the Twinepathy books and having serious longing for a third book!)
  • W.R. Gingell (Finished up City Between, with mixed feelings, but feel accomplished and had many good times along the way. Zero forever!)
  • Terry Pratchett (I read the entire Moist von Lipwig trilogy on audiobook. He’s a blast. XD)
  • Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist and the two sequels. Recommend for creatives!)
  • Hazel B. West (Brothersss! I adore her works.)
  • Jon Del Arroz (Graphic novels!)
  • Stephen R. Lawhead (I have so much more by this amazing author to read but especially loved finishing the Eirlandia series! A top favorite!)
  • Ness Kingsley (Okay but she writes some of the most hilarious books ever and I adore them.)

For individual books I read last year, my Goodreads Year in Books has those! Although my spreadsheet lists 105, different than the 90 listed there, and the pages are inaccurate, and they’re all listed out of order since I just added them any-which-way instead of as I read them, which is bugging me, buuut anyway. XD


That’s all I’ve got for today! Thanks so much for reading — or skimming, if stats bore you! XD

Are you a stats person? Do you enjoy analyzing your reading? Or is it just me? πŸ˜›

Let me know your thoughts in a comment below!

Advertisement

Wrapup: #MarchMagics 2022!

Time got away from me (clearly! XD), but it’s time to look back at the Diana Wynne Jones and Pratchett related goodness I got up to in March — and, actually, April as well!

I didn’t manage to finish up my March Magics goals during the month since I got crazy busy, so I carried on a bit of the reading in April, which was rather nice, actually. And now that I’m trying to ease back into blogging, I shall recap.

Diana Wynne Jones

  • Samantha’s Diary by Diana Wynne Jones (short story in Stories: All-New Tales, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio) — I didn’t expect much from this but ended up finding it to be a total blast! I found the book on Scribd, which was handy as I have a subscription there (referral link if anyone’s interested), and it was neat to be able to just pull up the ebook and read that one story. I don’t want to spoil anything because part of the fun is discovering what’s going on as you read through it (and my favorite quotes from it that I want to share are definitely spoilers), but it’s a Christmas story set in futuristic London and it’s hilarious. XD Recommend!

  • Everard’s Ride collection by Diana Wynne Jones
    • The True State of Affairs (novella in Everard’s Ride and also in Minor Arcana) — I was nervous about this one (and with good reason) after seeing mixed reviews on it. It was gripping and unique and far more intriguing than a story about someone trapped in a tower reasonably ought to be. But most of the characters were difficult to like, the content was far more adult than DWJ usually wrote, and I was not a fan of the ending at all! So I’m torn, because it was fascinating and extremely vivid, and a clever idea, but a lot of it just felt very bleak and then the ending sort of ruined any of the fun I had. I found out, after reading it, that DWJ wrote about the story in the introduction to the other anthology it was collected in (Minor Arcana; Everard’s Ride’s collection which I read it in, had a lovely introduction by Patricia C. Wrede!). And that in that introduction, DWJ explains the story came from an idea she had to explore another angle of an actual historical event with actual people, which actually gives away the rather meh ending right there in the introduction. So I can’t decide whether I’m glad I experienced the story without knowing the ending, or whether I would’ve braced myself for it better if I’d read that introduction before. In any case, I don’t exactly recommend it, unless one is a total completionist, but I’m glad that I did at last read it, and it was definitely fascinating and I liked aspects of it, it was just…darker and more adult than I’d like, and with a lot of unlikeable characters and a depressing ending. But now I know! XD And at least Samantha’s Diary was a fun read, so those were my last two short stories by DWJ that I had on my list to read.
    • other short stories in the collection — These were rereads, and like I thought I remembered, they are hit or miss like many short stories are for me, but definitely all vivid and gripping. My favorites are definitely No One (what an enjoyable sci-fi tale about a robot butler! And the bit about the clothes-washer with the laundry and the socks! Pure hilarious brilliance! XD) and Dragon Reserve, Home Eight which was intriguing if a little grim at times.
    • I did not actually re-read Everard’s Ride, the novella itself, as I ran out of time, but I remember enjoying it the first time, years ago, and hope to revisit it sometime.

  • The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones — (If the following wall of text is too daunting, skip to the small review at the end of this bullet list. XD) It was SO NICE rediscovering reading for fun after a long reading slump (helped by this series), and experiencing the world of Dalemark all over again. I seem to read this series every 4.5 years (not planned. XD) and I’m still all :O about a lot of the twists which still surprise me on my third read. Only Diana Wynne Jones can do that to me. XD Especially loved reading The Crown of Dalemark, which is my favorite and really ties the whole series together and is mind-blowing and brilliant! *flailing* This series is worth reading just for that book because the way it weaves together the threads of the three previously not-very connected books, and all in a mind-bending timey-wimey way? SHEER GENIUS. Not going to do super book-specific thoughts on it, so just a few general things, but the world of Dalemark is unique and I love how it combines medieval-type fantasy with beginnings of muskets and industrial revolution, while also having a prehistoric-type prequel, and then all the way to their own modern times — modern-day fantasy world is something that is tragically underused, as is time-travel in a fantasy world, and that was just incredible. Plus, following different characters and also traveling so much in each of the books (by cart, by ship at sea, by boat on river, by horse on the Green Roads). The result is this wide-ranging epic that gives a glimpse at hundreds of years of history of many different locales, while still being the story of specific people and how their stories intertwine and echo through history. The muskets and time-travel, woven in with fantasy elements of clever, subtle magic, and the occasional immortal character, was all masterfully interwoven. And the characters are all so vivid and I love so many of them so fiercely! Even ones I didn’t know I’d like at first! Mitt and Navis have to be my top favorites, I think, but Kialan and Moril and others are also fabulous. I just love them so much! There’s a slight wistfulness to the series that’s a little hard to explain — not tragic, really, though there are a few darker moments than in many of her later works, but just this almost melancholy strain of time and immortality and mortality and very real struggles of peoples and earldoms — and yet there are rolicking fun times and banter and tight-knit friendships even in spite of former enmity at times. And all with the vivid ALIVENESS that DWJ’s books often bring of characters who will throw themselves wholeheartedly into things. The ending still absolutely GETS me and leaves me jittery with OH MY GOODNESS feelings and delights and also makes me want another several chapters if not another book. As DWJ books often do. XD Anyway, it was a sheer delight returning to this series, and although it’s not one that every reader will enjoy, I’m certainly one of the readers who does, immensely. ❀ (I left a few more thoughts on the series later in the post under the Dalemark pic I posted down there.)
    • Cart and Cwidder
    • Drowned Ammet
    • The Spellcoats
    • The Crown of Dalemark
    • The small review I left on Goodreads upon finishing: I love this series a lot. It’s odd and not for everyone I suppose, but definitely a favorite of mine, particularly several of the characters, the depth of history/world, and the way each book is so different than the others but all come together masterfully in the fourth one. Flaming Ammet but it’s majestic! Three reads and I’m still catching so many new, deeper meanings and connections. It’s so complex and layered, woven together with so many threads. I’m delighted to have this collection with what I consider to be the definitive cover. *hugs book* Each time I read this series I find myself wandering around a bit dreamy like Moril, during and after reading it, lost still on Dalemark’s Green Roads of the Undying (or maybe the Wind’s Road… or the River…), following Mitt, Navis, Kialan, Wend, Moril, Tanaqui, Maewen, and the others. “Who will ride the King’s Way, the King’s Way? Who will ride the royal road and follow with the King?”

  • Films inspired by books by Diana Wynne Jones
    • Archer’s Goon — This was a super old BBC mini-series from the ’90s that I discovered a few years back and it is rather cheesy but otherwise a lot of fun just to see a neat book (Archer’s Goon — the book is better but still!) come to life on the screen in some way, remarkably true to the book in many ways. And they’re so terribly British and it’s fantastic. XD I also ended up liking Quentin’s character more on the screen than in the book, oddly. This was a fun re-watch.
    • Howl’s Moving Castle — Of course I had to re-watch this one. πŸ˜‰ I still noticed things I hadn’t caught before, even after watching it so many times! The book is still my favorite but the movie is just so relaxing and cozy and it makes me happy in its own separate way! It was a treat to revisit during March Magics. ^_^ And the music and scenery! And Howl. And just all of it!

Terry Pratchett

  • Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett — This was quite unique and I enjoyed listening to the audiobook! I still think the first Tiffany Aching book (The Wee Free Men) is my favorite in this Discworld subseries, but I did like this one more than the second one I think. The concept was fascinating, at least. But mostly, I’m here for the Feegles and their hilarious dialogue and delightful Scottish accents. XD I feel like there was a bit more of them in the first which may be why I loved that more, but this was a fun time and, like I said, unique, with sentient winter and so on. ALSO THIS IS RANDOM BUT I ADORED THE MUSIC FOR THE SECTION BREAKS IN THE AUDIOBOOK VERSION. *cries* The music was just so lovely and whimsical and enchanting and SNOW LIKE and I adored it despite how brief those clips were and could’ve listened to it forever. Ahem. Carry on. This wasn’t, by the way, on my original list of things I wanted to read in March! But I ended up needing an audiobook to listen to and picked this one on Scribd and had a blast. πŸ™‚
  • The Color of Magic (film) — This TV movie was a blast! I enjoy the fact that there are a few Discworld film adaptions out there and this one was a lot of fun. I haven’t actually read the books it’s based on (The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic) yet (I know! I’m a bad bookworm!) but I wanted something new to watch for March Magics and this one was a nice one to try. I’m also fairly certain there was a Po-ta-toes reference since it has Sean Astin in it. XD It was…odd — unsurprisingly, because Discworld — but a lot of fun and I definitely enjoyed myself. πŸ™‚ Still prefer Going Postal, but still!
  • I did not actually manage to read a City Watch book! I can’t believe I did this AGAIN where I planned to and got distracted with a different series, but apparently Pratchetts are just unexpected. XD I will definitely work on the City Watch series again at some point, but I enjoyed Wintersmith and it was just a more convenient format (audiobook) since my physical reading was very focused on Dalemark. I’m sure Sam Vimes will wait patiently until I can get to his next book, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Quotes

I wanted to collect some favorite quotes as I read, but I’m afraid the only ones I did it for before being too absorbed in the stories to actually try, was Cart and Cwidder, The Spellcoats, and Samantha’s Diary. The latter of which, the quotes are spoilers. XD

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones.

  • You had to stand up and come straight out with it. β€œThis is true,” you had to say. β€œThis is the truth. And, though I may not get it over very well, it just is.” And it was horribly difficult to do.
  • The thing about Kialan, he thought as he raced for the cart, was that he had brains.
  • That kind of dream was not true. There were true dreams, but they had to be part of life as well, just as life, to be good, had to embody dreams, or a good song had to have an idea to it.
  • If you stood up and told the truth in the wrong way, it was not true any longer, though it might be as powerful as ever.
  • When he sang, you forgot it was Hestefan singing and thought only of the song. Moril was impressed. Then Hestefan told a story. It was one Moril did not know. And while Hestefan was telling it, he found he forgot who was telling it and simply lived in the story. Moril realized he still had a lot to learn.
  • Everyone had to do things their own way.

And from The Spellcoats:

“These,” Hern said, “are the bodies of two kings. They were killed in senseless hatred, when both had lost nearly all they had. Someone is coming up the River who knows of this, and it pleases him very much. This will make it easy for him to suck out our souls, and the soul of this land, and rule us as his slaves.”

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones

β€œAnd you call yourself a god!”
Tanamil fetched himself up onto one elbow and said, very earnestly, a very strange thing. “I never called myself that,” he said. “Neither I nor any of the Undying ever made that claim. It is a claim men made for us, and that is how we came to be bound.”

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones

β€œMallard, can you make nets?”
“I made the best nets in Shelling,” Duck said. Nothing will ever make Duck modest, but he does make good nets.

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones

And from The Crown of Dalemark, because I had to. XD (This was a quote that was so vivid, it rattled around in my brain for years after reading it but I’d forgotten where it was from so when I re-discovered it on a re-read it was like a massive lightbulb moment of OH THAT’S WHERE THAT QUOTE WAS FROM!)

“All these years I thought [*massive spoiler*]”
“Of all the idiots!” Mitt answered. “There were several hundred people you could have asked!”

The Crown of Dalemark

Pics and Posts

  • I had posted a few #MarchMagics pics on Instagram during the month, a couple of which were also in my March Magics plans blog post.
  • It was my 11-year anniversary of reading Howl’s Moving Castle for the first time and I celebrated with this photo of my HMC editions!

  • And this photo went up in April when I was still reading The Crown of Dalemark. This is one of my favorite books I own! Look at that purple! The sword! The cup! It’s a UK edition I found at Half Price Books once and it’s gorgeous. The Dalemark Quartet anthology with all four books in it, also in the photo, is the definitive version for me though. I love that it has the four main characters from the four books on the cover and it’s so THEM! (Moril with his cwidder, Tanaqui with her bushy hair and rug-coat, Mitt looking slightly shifty/sulky. XD And Maewen with her horse.) Also, the fact that the books are all in one volume like that and I can flip to the end to reference the awesome Guide to Dalemark which has names and places and extra tidbits of history and current/future events. It’s so cool!

And that’s it on my March Magics adventures, extending into April as well. So, so grateful to Kristen M. at We Be Reading for hosting this last hurrah and for creating this celebration in the first place! It’s been a lovely, lovely time.

Even if there aren’t official March Magics in the future (unless somebody else takes over hosting!), I may still revisit DWJ and/or Pratchett in future Marches… we’ll see.

Meantime, this one was an absolutely lovely time and was a highlight of my spring. ^_^


Whew! A virtual cupcake for anyone who read that!

Thanks for reading my wrapup! And let me know in a comment if you’ve read/watched any of these, or any Pratchett or Diana Wynne Jones books recently!

My Top 20 Favorite 2022 Reads

Today I’m excited to (finally) get around to sharing my top favorite books I read in 2022!

Top 5: Best of the Best

Dana Illwind and War’s Shadow (by Arthur Daigle) Dana Illwind, #2

(Read my full review.)

My top-favorite read of last year! This series makes it onto a very select list of my top-favorite books of all time, and I enjoyed this one just as much as book one–maybe even more. More adventures with Jayden (my favorite!) and Dana and other characters. More fighting against both monsters and injustice. More character growth. More hilarious humor. More fantasy awesomeness. It’s marvelous in every way! (JAYDEN AND DANA FOREVERRRR!) I literally have no words to describe how much joy this book/series brings me. I love it so, so much!

(You can also check out my review for book 1.)


Illuminare (by Bryn Shutt)

Everything about this one is absolutely STUNNING! The writing, the themes, the delightful characters, the dry humor, the magnificent (and shadowy light-and-dark) Venice-esque setting . . . And it has Desmond, Artair, Kennet, and Luca. Which. I mean. What more do you need? πŸ˜‰ I could just eat the gorgeous prose in this book. Ugh. It’s so good! I constantly want to re-read it and just bask in the glorious writing/world/story.


Greywolf’s Heart (by C. M. Banschbach)Spirits’ Valley, #1

Brothers and giant wolves and sabertooth cats and war and feels and humor and banter and COMRAN! Comran forever. Etran forever toooo. This story of two half-brothers trying to protect their valley and finding out what it’s like to truly be brothers is just . . . ❀ It has my whole heart! The stabbiness, the snark, the feels, the comrades-in-arms . . . It’s everything I love!

(Book 2, Saber’s Pride, is coming soon . . . and, y’all, it’s AMAZING. ❀ Expect to see it in this year’s roundup of favorite books!)


In the Kingdom of All Tomorrows (by Stephen R. Lawhead)Eirlandia, #3

(Audiobooked. Read my full review.)

This book firmly cemented this Celtic fantasy trilogy as one of my favorite series of all time. Ancient Ireland, heroic warriors, fey, justice, battles, humor, and beloved characters. What a soul-filling book and a coming home! A new favorite Lawhead series, for sure!


The Hare and the Hatter (by Kyle Robert Shultz)Beaumont and Beasley, #6

The long-awaited next installment of Beaumont and Beasley did not disappoint! Being back in the Afterverse (that wonderful alternate-1920s setting with fairytales and mythology as history), this time with fan-favorites Crispin Beasley (time-travel and shenanigans) and Malcolm Blackfire (grumpy dragon extraordinaire) . . . WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE! Throw in some Wonderland and Peter Pan things, timey-wimey-ness, nonstop humor and banter, some truly astounding twists and reveals (WE LEARN THINGS, GUYS. :O), and a good dose of feels (in the best way), and you have a real winner. Plus, I mean, Crispin and Malcolm? As the narrators? How could it NOT be amazing! I love this book a lot.


Favorites after the top five! (So many good books this year!)

Silverblood (by Jamie Foley) Katrosi Revolution, #2

(Read my full review.)

I was waiting for a book about Lysander and Brooke, ever since reading Emberhawk, and this did not disappoint! Lysander’s story is amazing, and there are other favorite characters, banter, and a griffin, and so many clever twists, plus a lush setting and — it’s just delightful!


Tattoo of Crimson (by Sarah Chislon)Blood of the Fae, #1

A gaslamp fantasy/murder mystery, with perilous fae and a mystery-solving heroine with a magical cat? You guys. What is not to love! The setting and writing is just delicious and perfect for fans of Regency-esque fantasy. The characters were so well done and I was captivated by the setting and the fact that the fae were so Other!

(Book 2 coming October 2023!)


The Orb and the Airship (by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt)Turrim Archive, #1

If you’re reading this post before 3/22/2023, would you consider dropping by the Kickstarter for this series? The Orb and the Airship is in my top ten reads of last year for a reason! It’s sooo good and you need it in your life!

I love epic fantasy quest stories, I love academy-type stories, and I love airships — and this combines all three in a stunning adventure full of peril, humor, twists, and an amazingly rich world. And don’t get me started on the characters and how much I love all of them and their banter and relationships! (Did I mention airships?)

This is kind of like Lord of the Rings meets Treasure Planet, with a side of Firefly if it was family-friendly. And I am HERE for it!

(Book one is releasing in June of this year — 2023 — with the following four books scheduled to release after that through the next year or so, and I am STOKED.)


A Most Irregular Prophecy (by Ness Kingsley)

(Read my full review.)

The uniqueness and hilarity of this Georgette Heyer meets Diana Wynne Jones meets Enchanted Forest Chronicles, on a fantasy planet, story . . . well, it positively bowled me over. Pegasus/unicorn creatures, prophecies, an Extremely Capable heroine, and a riot of humor told in a purely delightful voice utterly captivated and delighted me!


We Could Be Villains (by Megan McCullough)The VIGIL and ANTE Files, #1

Avengers meets Heist Society in this cinematic superhero adventure about a normal girl who gets caught up in the schemes of a supervillain . . . and that’s before all the twists start! This was a delight and I had a blast getting lost in this superpowered world whose beating heart is the rich characters who tugged me completely into their story. ❀ Humor, feels, action, and so many things that aren’t as they seem! I loved Rosemary and Ironfall’s story, and all the side characters were amazing as well!


Into the Churn (by Hayley Reese Chow)

I hardly even read sci-fi but MY WORD. THIS BOOK. I nicknamed it “the Space Race book” because it features a dangerous race across a deadly planet. I was utterly enthralled by the heart-pounding story of feisty Ezren and enigmatic Foster and how their fates intertwined in this death-defying challenge filled with memorable characters who steal the spotlight. Just a stunningly satisfying tale!

Releases in April!


Dilseachd – A Stolen Crown (by Cheyenne van Langevelde)Princess of the Highlands, #1

Castles and Scotland and rebels! I felt so at home in this lush Scottish fantasy, full of endearing characters, escapes and battles, and that feeling of coming home. The writing is delicious and the Scottish flavor and accents give me life. The story of a princess and the son of a chieftain (ANGUS FOREVER) who, along with fan-favorite Malcolm (the scamp!), twined their way around my heart and wouldn’t let go. Aching and lovely.

(Book 2, Urram – Rekindled Hope, is coming 2024, I believe!)


Watson and Holmes (by E. B. Dawson)

(Audiobooked; delicious. Read my full review.)

This was way too much fun and just made me super happy! Everything I could want in a Sherlock Holmes retelling, and a fascinating cyberpunk sci-fi setting, plus tons of friendship and banter and mystery, peril, and cool aliens. I was not prepared for how much FUN this would be, despite the dangerous turn to things, and the two heroines who take the place of the Holmes and Watson characters were simply a delight. Also, a plant robot. That is all. XD


Elf Prince + Shield Band + Peril (by Tara Grayce)Elven Alliance series

I couldn’t pick, so these are all going on here together. XD More Farrendel and Essie (including Farrendel’s perspective on things from the first book!), Prince Julien and Vriska in a sort of series ending that was super satisfying, Prince Edmund and Jalissa in shorter spy adventures… These were delightful continuations of a series full of elves, humans, trolls, alliances, fantasy with a dash of steampunk, and beloved characters/great dialogue, and has become very much a comfort read series for me. ^_^

(Inventor and Elf King, final additions to the series, are coming this year, I believe!)


Rimewinter (by DJ Edwardson) Swordspeaker Saga, #2

Truesilver was a favorite the other year, so I was so excited to check out this sequel and it did not disappoint! Talking weapons, a hero I adore, his sister who gets a bigger piece of the spotlight this time, and their hilarious and wise sidekick, plus a breathtaking fantasy world, and a quest across the land. Featuring peril and ice and a winter like you’ve never seen . . . plus an icy fox that stole my heart! It’s truly epic and perfect for fans of Prydain, Ranger’s Apprentice, or the Wingfeather saga. ❀

(Book 3, Grimbriar, is up for preorder! Check out my review for book 1, Truesilver.)


Wraithwood (by Alyssa Roat)Wraithwood Trilogy, #1

(Audiobooked–so fun! Read my full review.)

This reminded me of some of my favorite books from when I was younger and I really enjoyed the magical maze, the mysterious mansion, the Merlin/Arthurian things, and just the fun of it. It made me happy! Still must read the sequel, but I recommend this one if you need a light summer read with modern fantasy and a dash of the whimsical.

(Final book in the trilogy releasing March 15, 2023!)


Imprint (by Madeline J. Rose) Ink Press, #1

The concept of entering books/fairy tales, plus book-people, several amazing twists, and characters I became very attached to, all combined to make this a delightful book that makes me smile when I think of it! Some of my favorites involve spoilers but . . . just yes. πŸ˜€

(I hear book 2 is in the works!)


Going Postal (by Terry Pratchett) — (Audiobooked.) And I had to include this blast of a book about con-man-turned-post-master Moist von Lipwig and all the Ankh-Morpork city of Discworld shenanigans. XD It was just fun, and Moist was a blast, and him versus Lord Vetinari cracked me up.


FAVORITES IN OTHER CATEGORIES

Favorite short story — I have to give a shout-out to Of Leaves and Stars, a short story in the paperback edition of Into the Heartless Wood (which made last year’s top-favorite list) by Joanna Ruth Meyer. This is almost like an epilogue, set after Into the Heartless Wood, and I loved it SO MUCH.

Non-fictionPractical Dreamer by Kalyn Brooke — This introduced me to six-week sprints, a way to chop up large goals into achievable sets of time. I owe it, big-time, for helping me finish my ARCs and my book reviews. Definitely recommend. πŸ™‚

Picture Books

  • Knight Owl (by Christopher Denise) — I cannot! So adorable! T_T
  • When Your Dragon Is Too Big for a Bath (by C. E. White) — Made me smile!
  • Nuts in Space (by Elys Donan) — UTTERLY HILARIOUS. XD
  • Bilbo’s Last Song (by J.R.R. Tolkien, illustrated by Pauline Baynes) — Just beautiful. πŸ™‚

Re-reads — I re-read quite a few books last year, but special shout-out to the Heist Society series by Ally Carter, and the Twinepathy series (Twinepathy and Lightporter) by C. B. Cook for filling my summer comfort-read needs (and satisfying the heist and superhero cravings I was having after reading We Could Be Villains several times as an editor. XD).

Have you read any of these? Do we share any favorites?

Let me know your thoughts in a comment!

Thanks for reading!

March Magics 2023

I love March. It’s the beginning of spring . . . it’s my birthday month . . . and for the last several years it’s been March Magics, a celebration of the works of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett.

DWJ being one of my top-favorite authors (alongside J.R.R. Tolkien), of course this brings me great joy, and I enjoy indulging in a Pratchett from time to time as well.

So March has long been a great excuse to hang out in some whimsical and wacky books filled with humor and imaginative fantasy.

This March is the last March Magics to be hosted by Kristen M. @ We Be Reading, who started this delightful event first as DWJ March and later as March Magics, and I’m sooo grateful for the delight this event has brought me over the years. Looking forward to one last hurrah. (And if someone else carries on the torch, I certainly wouldn’t complain . . .)

So!

My March-ish plans.

TO READ

  • Diana Wynne Jones short story/stories — After figuring I’d read all of DWJ’s stuff (aside from her impossible-to-find first novel and misc. plays/poetry/essays that I can’t really track down), I was delighted to find (while combing through the handy list of her works on Wikipedia) a short story or two that I’d yet to read. And I was even more delighted to track ’em down. One’s in an anthology with some other authors so…I’ll just check out DWJ’s entry. The other is in (I believe) just two anthologies of DWJ stories, namely Minor Arcana (which I don’t have, but have the rest of the stories in a different anthology) and Everard’s Ride. I tracked down a copy of Everard’s Ride (thank you, Ebay!) and I’m so excited. It has the titular novella (which I have read before) and some short stories, as well as a long short story or short novella called The True State of Affairs which is said story I haven’t read. SO. All that long backstory to say I intend to read that and another short story and I’m excited to read these new-to-me DWJ stories (even if her short stories can sometimes be hit or miss…but I’m certainly curious to try!). I may just go ahead and read the entire Everard’s Ride collection because it’s so pretty . . .
  • The Dalemark Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones (re-read) — I’ve been meaning to reread this series for AGES so I’m super excited to have it planned as my main DWJ read this month. Consisting of Cart and Cwidder, Drowned Ammet, The Spellcoats, and The Crown of Dalemark, I have a lovely edition collecting all of them together and I’m sooo looking forward to diving in.
  • Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett (City Watch #3) — I’ve been working on various sub-series of the Discworld books, and since last year I read (er…listened to) the Moist von Lipwig books, and had finished the Death series before that, it’s now time to get back to the City Watch series which is special because, I mean, it has Commander Vimes in it, and also because Guards! Guards! was my very first Pratchett (read for my very first March Magics!).

POSSIBLE TO-READ BUFFET-STYLE LIST

A couple of short stories, the Dalemark series, and one Pratchett book are my official TBR, because I need to have something concrete.

I also know that I’m usually wayyyy too overambitious with my March Magics lists and I just don’t always read very much in general, especially when life is busy. (*sighs at Life* Rude…)

However!

I wanted to make a secondary list because I couldn’t resist the idea of stacking more pretties and having possible continuing options to pick and choose from, depending on my mood at the time, if I manage to finish the above “official” TBR.

  • Chrestomanci series (Diana Wynne Jones) — I have been craving a re-read of this series for AGES now, but wasn’t quite ambitious enough to aim for all of them this month. But I would love to pick up one or two if I have the time. Because Chrestomanci! And I put considerable effort into collecting these gorgeous editions so they are patiently awaiting whenever I find time for a re-read. I’m excited.
  • City Watch continued (Terry Pratchett) — If I read Feet of Clay, I’d love to make more progress on this series! I don’t want to be too ambitious because I likely won’t have much reading time, but I’d love to read more Vimes books if I can.
  • Pratchett audiobooks — This is entirely dependent on circumstances and if I have time/opportunity, but I’m eyeing a few Pratchett audiobooks on Scribd, and I may pick one up if I can manage the time to listen! It would either be the next Tiffany Aching or maybe a standalone. (I keep almost trying some DWJ audiobooks on Scribd but I just . . . haven’t been able to make myself do it. I have specific “voices” for all the characters from having read the books and I just don’t feel like listening to an audio version that wouldn’t match up. The one exception I made was for HMC for the novelty of it.)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle or others in the series (Diana Wynne Jones) — I re-read HMC most years so I wouldn’t be mad if I picked it up for another re-read, but I also know that I’ll likely pick it up later in the year if I don’t get to it now. But I’ve definitely been in the mood for this series lately and it would be lovely to try out the pretty hardcovers of HMC and House of Many Ways that I picked up — again, thank you Ebay deals. Maybe one of these days I’ll get my hands on a Castle in the Air hardcover Folio Society edition . . . One day . . . *dreams*

TO-WATCH

  • I’d like to check out another Pratchett film since those have been interesting in past years, so I’m planning on The Color of Magic.
  • I mean . . . I often re-watch Howl’s Moving Castle so I may do that. We shall see. XD

MISC.

I couldn’t resist including this photo I snapped while prepping this post that looks like my cat cackling. XD She’s named Callette, after a griffin from Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones, so she feels like an appropriate addition to this post. Just imagine me cackling gleefully like that at the thought of all the March Magics things! XD

  • I have an idea for a Howl’s-Moving-Castle related blog post and I haven’t managed to post that any of the previous years soooo here’s hoping I can finally do it. XD (It may end up posting on my other blog, due to the topic, though.) It would coincide nicely with my 11-year anniversary of reading HMC for the first time . . . The fact I was going to post it for my 8th anniversary of HMC says something about a trait I sadly share with Howl, a.k.a. being a slitherer-outer. πŸ˜›
  • I’m planning a giveaway for a neat Howl-themed sticker by Beth Wangler Art, so stay tuned for that!
  • I also was going to post a handful of pics on my Instagram, hopefully, but as one of them is to be a DWJ “shelfie” pic of my collection, I figured I’d post that here today!

DWJ Collection Shelfie

Top Shelf: Dark Lord of Derkholm, Year of the Griffin, Fire and Hemlock, The Homeward Bounders, The Merlin Conspiracy, Reflections, Howl’s Moving Castle, House of Many Ways, Stopping for a Spell, Witch’s Business, The Ogre Downstairs, Aunt Maria, Archer’s Goon, Howl’s Moving Castle (2), Castle in the Air, House of Many Ways (2), Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Witch Week, The Magicians of Caprona, Conrad’s Fate, The Pinhoe Egg, Mixed Magics, Howl’s Moving Castle (3), The Crown of Dalemark, Charmed Life (2), Howl’s Moving Castle (4; yes, I have 4 editions of HMC. XD)
Bottom shelf: “Yes, Dear”, Everard’s Ride, The Islands of Chaldea, Deep Secret (2 copies), The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, A Tale of Time City, Eight Days of Luke, Power of Three, Enchanted Glass, Wild Robert, The Skiver’s Guide, Puss in Boots, The Game, Earwig and the Witch, A Sudden Wild Magic, Unexpected Magic, Hexwood, Dogsbody, The Time of the Ghost.
Stack (all extras): The Crown of Dalemark, The Pinhoe Egg, House of Many Ways, The Spellcoats, Castle in the Air, The Merlin Conspiracy, Mixed Magics (x2), Charmed Life (x3).

I’ve been collecting DWJ books for quite awhile now and I’m quite fond of my li’l collection! ^_^ I have pretty much all her books and have been tracking down some specific editions. (The little stack in the lower right corner of the shelfie collection are extra editions that I’ve ended up with that I don’t intend to keep, long-term, and may end up selling. [In fact, if one of the books in that stack interests you, let me know. :)])

There we are!

And we’ve made it to the end of the post. Huzzah!

Are there any DWJ or Pratchett fans among the audience? *peers at readers* Are you doing anything for March Magics? Any thoughts about my hopeful plans? Let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Books of 2021 (+ Book Stats)

Long time no see, blogosphere!

I’d like to blog more this summer (possibly with some book reviews coming your way every Friday? *fingers crossed that I get them written*), and since I never actually posted a wrapup of 2021’s reading . . . well, here we are at last!

Hush, I know we’re 7 months into the next year. A wizard is never late.

Before we get into a list of my top favorites, first . . . a few reading stats in the form of my new favorite thing, pie charts!

(Feel free to skip past the stats and get straight to the books!)

(I just love keeping track of stats.)

(Carry on.)

STATS

Shocking no one, I read a lot of fantasy… But the amount of modern fantasy DOES surprise me; I blame City Between and some (lovely) books I copyedited.
I apparently read a lot of things that are not technically novels…but at least slightly over half of them are! There was also a jump in graphic novels, which I hadn’t done much with before this last year.
This is one I was very curious about, because I don’t feel like I read a lot “for fun” — I’m proven wrong!
Massive jump for audiobooks last year!
This is also very interesting to me, just to see how many re-reading I do. (“Multiple times” reads were mostly books I copyedited.)

I am slightly addicted to pie-charts. XD I did these with a Google Form inspired by Kendra E. Ardnek’s book wrapups. But I’ve since learned how to use pie charts in Google Docs and have been tracking all my current reads this year in real time in a spreadsheet. So I should hopefully have some cool stats at the end of the year. ^_^

(Books I read in 2021 which I have in physical form. Top shelf on the left: books I copyedited. Top shelf on the right: re-reads. Middle shelf: general new-to-me novels. Lowest shelf: graphic novels, picture books, anthologies [including Fantastical Moments by Erudessa Gentian, which I copyedited and is small with no readable title on the side], another book with no readable spine, and nonfiction.)

Some numbers

  • 95 total things read (I hesitate to say “books” but anyway. XD)
  • 44 new-to-me novels
  • 15 comics/graphic novels
  • 14 novellas/novelettes/short stories
  • 7 re-reads
  • 4 short story collections
  • 4 non-fiction books
  • 4 picture books
  • 3 poetry or play

And now . . .

Here are the best of the best new-to-me reads I consumed in 2021!

(Gotta say, there are a lot of swords and pointed ears featured here, and I am here for it.)

TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2021

Wrought of Silver and Ravens + Wrought of Serpent and Snow (E. J. Kitchens)

This series is EVERYTHING, I tell you! I adored the first book with its Twelve Dancing Princesses story, its ancient-Greek flavor of a fantasy world, brilliant worldbuilding and magic systems, and most of all the CHARACTERS! These characters, though! I could rattle off the entire cast on a favorites list. Then the sequel was EVEN BETTER, which I didn’t think possible, and was just sheer perfection, IMO. Some of the most delightful books I’ve ever read, and I highly recommend them! The stunning writing, skillful fantasy, whimsical humor/camaraderie/dialogue of the characters, and Galen, Athdar, Breccan, Murray, Floraison, Ayrton, the magical lion cubs . . . I told you I could go on forever but I’ll stop now. πŸ˜‰ All of it is just sheer excellence and I cannot recommend these books enough!

Blood of the Seer (C. M. Banschbach)

Aaahh, this book! I adored the first book (Oath of the Outcast) and this one takes everything up a notch. It’s full of so many fabulous things like brothers, snark, much stabbiness, Celtic fantasy vibes, a band of outlaws, redemption, and several favorite characters — particularly a certain Mountain Baron, Rhys MacDuffy (don’t let him catch you saying his name, though), who’s a character I’ve dubbed my “Smol Floof of Anger Management Issues” and . . . yeah. *grinning* Rhys and his story are life! I adore him and this book, and I highly recommend this duology! Plus, there were some great twists for some side characters, especially that epilogue — OH MY WORD. I just cannot with this book. It’s SO GOOD. (Read my review here!)

In the Land of the Everliving (Stephen R. Lawhead)

I’m planning to review this second book and also the final book (In the Kingdom of All Tomorrows) of the Eirlandia trilogy soon. This series set in ancient Ireland has been a massive homecoming for me, and when I say they mean a lot to me, that’s quite an understatement. Mr. Lawhead’s writing, characters, and world together form a magnificent story, and I wanted to LIVE in these books. After reading each one, and ever since, they echo in my mind — “We’re your home,” they say. Book 3 will be going on 2022’s top reads, for sure, and book 2 was another fabulous Celtic fantasy from last year’s reads. In the Land of the Everliving was a fabulous center book of Conor mac Ardan’s trilogy in this green and magical land my heart aches for. (Review of book one.)

Sing To Me of Rain (E. B. Dawson)

This book! It’s the most delightfully whimsical tale full of all the best kind of fantastic things, from a certain fox (aahh!) to a tiny mermaid-like naiad to trees with flaming leaves to pangolins . . . It’s both deep and fun and is such a heartfelt book that had a huge impact on me. It’s like George MacDonald meets Studio Ghibli and I could just LIVE in this gorgeous setting of exotic locales with this whimsical cast of characters on a journey figurative and literal. Plus, you will never look at rain the same again. I JUST ADORE IT and it’s the best middle grade fantasy I’ve read in a couple of years, so I was extra ecstatic this last weekend to find out it won the Middle Grade Realm Award! SO deserved and I hope more people will discover this beautiful little book and experience it like I have! *all the heart eyes* (Read my review here!)

Pretense (Tara Grayce)

This one is here because Edmund and Jalissa finally get their own story in this wonderful elven/human series featuring our very own Farrendel and Essie. I adore this series and elf/steampunk world and these characters, and I was blown away by Edmund and Jalissa’s adventure full of twists and spy-shenanigans and court intrigue and secrets and ups and downs. Edmund’s been one of my favorites from the beginning, and it was amazing to get his story at last! And, of course, Farrendel and Essie are still being amazing and adorable, and the other characters are still fabulous. A favorite series, for sure. It just…it is such a comfort-read series for me!

Stolen Midsummer Bride (Tara Grayce)

I know, another Tara Grayce book, but this one was just so whimsical and delightful and it made me so happy! The magical world, the library, the semi-sentient cottage, the Door, Buddy the Talking Equine Companion (he’s a pony, but he’s marvelous), and of course our mild-mannered librarian Basil the fae who meets up with spitfire human Meg. The fae courts and Midsummer Night’s Dream twists just made it more delightful. It may not be for everyone but it was just the whimsical read I needed last spring and the hall of doors has actually helped inspire a new organizational system for my writing. The magical things like the cottage and Door made me think of House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones, too!

Truesilver (DJ Edwardson)

This one I technically read in 2020 (since I copyedited it), but it hadn’t been published yet when I did my 2020 book wrapup, sooo I’m adding it to 2021’s favorite reads since it didn’t get to go in the previous year’s . . . and I simply can’t pass up including this amazing book on a top-favorites list! It’s an excellent tale and I love it so, so much! Ranger’s Apprentice meets the Wingfeather Saga, with a dash of Prydain, in this masterfully woven tale featuring a sentient sword (eep!). The bright threads of a lush, original world and the whimsy, humor, and peril at turns all twine together to tell the story of a cast of colorful characters who stole my heart. ^_^ (Read my full review here!)

Into the Heartless Wood (Joanna Ruth Meyer)

This author’s books always enchant me and this lusciously written novel was no exception! I adored the Welsh-type names and the haunting woods and dash of technology (like trains) and the heartfelt story of family (like all a certain big brother will do for his little sister), but I especially loved the heartrending love story of a tree siren girl and a cinnamon roll of a character named Owen. Owen and Seren! Be still my heart. (Okayyy, I’ll stop with the heart words! But I seriously “heart” this book…) It’s just such a rich, enthralling tale and I breathed each poetic word of this story which is like a bright star in the dark woods. Fans of Echo North or of the Maleficent movie should love this one. πŸ™‚ (Read my review here!)

ALSO. If you haven’t read it, be sure to pick up the paperback edition of Into the Heartless Wood because the paperback (which released this year) has an exclusive short story in the back which is sort of like an extended epilogue, and I just read that this month (yay for birthday giftcards), and aaaahhh it was everything my heart needed! *happy tears*

Moonscript (H. S. J. Williams)

There are two (main) reasons for this book being here and they are: ERRANCE and ELVES! I adore elf books after having grown up on The Silmarillion (I don’t even want to know how many times I read it before I was even a teen and during my teen years too), so this book makes me ALL THE HAPPY. The characters were all AMAZING and I just adored so many of them (Rendar and Coren, anyone?), and all the different locations were sooo cool. Just. Such a rich world. And then there’s Errance and I’m basically him but he’s also really, really cool, so there’s that. XD The epicness and humor and character moments and aching and darkness defeated by redemption and light were just so inspiring! I just really enjoyed it.

I feel like this was an exceptional year for my top-ten reads. ^_^ Just. Look at themmm!

FAVORITES IN NON-NOVEL CATEGORIES

My favorite . . .

(image from latest C. M. Banschbach newsletter; of course I can’t predict if it stays, but!)
  • Short Story: Birth of a Soldier (C. M. Banschbach) — This is available (at the moment, at least) on Claire’s newsletter and is an ABSOLUTELY PERFECT short story about when Rhys/the Baron was young and — MY HEART. T_T
  • Re-read: Howl’s Moving Castle (Diana Wynne Jones) — I actually tried the audiobook, and at 2x speed I quite enjoyed it. ^_^
  • Poetry: We Are Storm and Starlight (Sarah Delena White) — I’ll read anything she writes and this was gorgeous!
  • Non-fiction: Trusting God When You’re Struggling (C. E. White) — I just really enjoyed this one. πŸ™‚
  • Graphic Novels: I can’t decide! I really enjoyed the middle grade steampunk duology City of Secrets/City of Illusion by Victoria Ying, and the superhero-dating-a-supervillain (do they know it? No, they don’t. XD) series Flying Sparks by Jon Del Arroz, and the post-apocalyptic duology Eden and The Aftermath by Skillet. They were all really different but really cool. I’m kind of new to graphic novels, so. XD (They’re all clean, as far as I remember, though there’s of course some violence in the superhero and post-apoc ones.)

Leave a comment and make my day! Have you read any of these?

Wrapup: #MarchMagics 2022

March has wended its way to the end so it’s time to see how my #MarchMagics went . . .

It was an excellent one! Books were read, re-read, and listened to, a film was watched, pictures were taken, and I even had a Howl’s-Moving-Castle-ish birthday!

(Thanks as always to Kristen at WeBeReading for hosting March Magics, a celebration of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett!)

BOOKS READ

(Yes, my new adorable otter stamps had to feature in this pic because of Going Postal.)

In my March Magics post with my TBR for the month I mentioned what I hoped to read, so . . . how did it go?

Fairly well, I’d say!

The themes for my reading this month turned out to be Moist von Lipwig for the Pratchett books, and the Magids for Diana Wynne Jones books. Two of each!

  • Going Postal (Terry Pratchett) — This was SO MUCH FUN and I will never look at stamps the same way again. Moist von Lipwig is a delightful con-artist of a hero and I really enjoyed his POV. His parts facing off against Lord Vetinari are the BEST. Their back-and-forth of wits is excellent. XD I generally had a blast with this one and I’m so glad I finally read it! Definitely a new favorite Discworld book.
  • Making Money (Terry Pratchett) — I had planned to read a different Pratchett but instead dived straight into this sequel to Going Postal because it was on audio and I wasn’t ready to leave Moist behind yet. It wasn’t quite as fun as the first one but was still mostly enjoyable, and again, all the Moist and Vetinari parts were gold, no pun intended. XD
  • Deep Secret (Diana Wynne Jones) — This was a reread which I THOROUGHLY enjoyed! It was back in 2016 that I first read this one, and it was delightful to rediscover! Multiple worlds, centaurs, a fantasy convention, and several delightful characters. I loved it so much and it was my first “for-fun” read (not counting audiobooks) in quite awhile and I just SO enjoyed getting to curl up with a wonderful book and look forward to each night of reading. ^_^ (Yes, it’s a pretty dark one in several respects, but aside from that it’s excellent!)
  • The Merlin Conspiracy (Diana Wynne Jones) — So I’m not quite sure if I’m allowed to list this one, but I’m about a third done my re-read so I guess I’ll include it. πŸ˜‰ I had no idea I’d forgotten so much of this one from my first read several years back, so I’m having a blast re-discovering it! Different worlds and Nick and Roddy and all the things. I’m looking forward to finishing this re-read soon (especially to get to the elephant and more of Romanov!!), but I did make a fair bit of progress on it!

I listened to Going Postal and Making Money in audiobook format on Scribd and had a blast! (If you’re interested, you can sign up for two free months on this audiobook subscription site through my link which gets me a free month as well.)

BOOKS NOT READ

I haven’t FINISHED The Merlin Conspiracy but I’ll do that soon. A re-read of the two Magid books (Deep Secret and The Merlin Conspiracy) has been something I’ve been meaning to do for years so I’m so pleased to have finally gotten to (most of) it!)

I also did not manage to read Feet of Clay, sadly, which was on my TBR, but I did read two Pratchett books which was my goal (even if one of them wasn’t planned) so I’ll just have to read this one another time! I do really want to read more Vimes books, for sure, but I guess this month was a Moist von Lipwig month. XD (I also need to get my hands on the third Moist book at some point.)

WATCHED

Going Postal (2010) — After I read Going Postal, I had a blast watching this TV adaption of it. (Just two 90-minute episodes which I watched on IMDB TV/my Amazon for free.) At first it seemed like a pretty good adaption, but still felt rather different than the book in tone and some of the characters/plot ended up a bit different, plus it was less funny… I definitely preferred the book BUT it was still still very well done and enjoyable, and such fun just to see it brought to life on the screen!

INSTAGRAM

I posted a few pics related to March Magics over on my Instagram this last month. Here are some.

My TBR
I posted about House of Many Ways and a book that reminds me of it because of Twinkle. XD
My Diana Wynne Jones collection!

I think I’ve finally collected all of DWJ’s books (with the exception of some short stories, plays, her first basically-unattainable novel Changeover, none of which I’ve read, and the picture book Yes, Dear, which I HAVE read from a library but haven’t collected yet).

The top shelf and beginning of the second shelf are the main collection, and the rest of the books (after the facing-out Howl book) are other editions/copies.

You can see close-ups for the titles in my Instagram post here, and you can also see a video I posted of said shelf tour here!

A Very Howl Birthday

(An English Cream Cake my sister made me for my birthday)

My sister made me a Howl-themed birthday celebration during March! Bacon (“I hope your bacon burns!” XD) and eggs for breakfast. An amazing homemade English Cream Cake because of the cream cake from Cesari’s in the book. She said the chocolate I received could stand for logs for Calcifer. It wasn’t part of the theme on purpose, but a green shamrock shake which was minty and delicious could have been for green slime (in a good way)! XD I even had a minor cold for my actual birthday (and celebrated later) so that was a very Howl thing, the parts in the book where he’s “having a head cold like a drama queen,” as his author said, being some of my favorite parts. XD So of course I had to re-read those bits for my birthday in solidarity. πŸ˜‰

Isn’t this Howl’s Moving Castle “I think we ought to live happily ever after” sticker by Beth Wangler Art amazing? I think it’s adorable! (You can find prints and stickers of this art in her shop or her Etsy!)


All in all, this March Magics was a delight and I thoroughly enjoyed the reading, listening, watching, photographing, cake-ing, and celebrating that I did for Diana Wynne Jones-y and Pratchett-y things! ^_^

In that respect, and for me at least, March was, indeed, Magical. ❀