February 7 – February 13

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to start sharing these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

The Spinster and the Rake

Author: Eva Devon

Publication Day: February 9, 2021

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance, Regency

Thanks so much to the author, Entangled Publishing, and NetGalley for the complimentary advanced electronic copy of this current read.

Description from Goodreads:

The marriage game is afoot in this clever blend of My Fair Lady meets Pride and Prejudice with a twist!

Edward Stanhope, the icy Duke of Thornfield, likes his life in a certain order. Give him a strong drink, a good book, and his dog for company, and he’s content. But when he goes to his library and finds a woman sitting in his chair, petting his dog, what starts as a request for her to leave quickly turns to a fiery battle of wits, leading to a steamy kiss that could ruin them both if they were caught.

So of course, damn it all, that’s when Edward’s aunt walks in, and thereafter announces Miss Georgiana Bly is the future Duchess of Thornfield.

Georgiana was content to be a spinster, spending her days reading and working to keep her family out of debt. But now her days are spent locked away with a growly duke, learning how to be the perfect duchess, and her nights spent fighting the undeniable attraction to a man who was never meant for her.

As their wedding day approaches, the attraction between them burns hot and fierce, but is it enough to melt the duke’s chilly facade?

20% Review:

The scandal starts on page one, so I got sucked in to this one really quickly! I’m really enjoying the story and the main characters so far, and I’m hoping to finish it in the next day or two!

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Never Enough

Author: Mike Hayes

Publication Day: February 9, 2021

Genre: Nonfiction, Autobiography/memoir

Thanks so much to the author and Celadon Books for the complimentary advanced copy of this book! This one is definitely on my list for the next few weeks.

Description from Goodreads:

In Never Enough, Mike Hayes—former Commander of SEAL Team TWO—helps readers apply high-stakes lessons about excellence, agility, and meaning across their personal and professional lives.

Mike Hayes has lived a lifetime of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. He has been held at gunpoint and threatened with execution. He’s jumped out of a building rigged to explode, helped amputate a teammate’s leg, and made countless split-second life-and-death decisions. He’s written countless emails to his family, telling them how much he loves them, just in case those were the last words of his they’d ever read. Outside of the SEALs, he’s run meetings in the White House Situation Room, negotiated international arms treaties, and developed high-impact corporate strategies.

Over his many years of leadership, he has always strived to be better, to contribute more, and to put others first. That’s what makes him an effective leader, and it’s the quality that he’s identified in all of the great leaders he’s encountered. That continual striving to lift those around him has filled Mike’s life with meaning and purpose, has made him secure in the knowledge that he brings his best to everything he does, and has made him someone others can rely on.

In Never Enough, Mike Hayes recounts dramatic stories and offers battle- and boardroom-tested advice that will motivate readers to do work of value, live lives of purpose, and stretch themselves to reach their highest potential.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Possession

Author: Katie Lowe

Publication day: February 9, 2021

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Thanks so much to the author, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for the complimentary advanced electronic copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

The past haunts her. The present hunts her.

Conviction @ConvictionPod · 1m
The investigating officer: “I’ve seen a lot of homicides in the years since, but…that’s the one that keeps me up at night.”

The husband’s best man: “They had everybody fooled. Or at least, she did. But I always knew something was off.”

Hannah, the wife: “I told you. I don’t remember anything. I don’t know.”

That’s all to come, this season, on Conviction. Get ready for our most twisted season yet.

~~~

Ten years ago, Hannah’s husband was brutally murdered in their home, and she (conveniently) doesn’t remember a thing about that night. But the police charged someone else—a stranger—and put him away for life. And Hannah packed up her six-year-old daughter and left London behind.

But now her hard-won countryside peace is threatened. Conviction, a viral true crime podcast known for getting cases reopened and old verdicts overturned, has turned its attention to Hannah’s husband’s murder for its new season. They say police framed the man who was found guilty, and that Hannah has more suspicious secrets than just her memory loss: a history of volatility; citations at the clinic where she worked as a psychiatrist; dependencies on alcohol and pills; and a familicidal grandmother, locked away in a Gothic insane asylum until her death. As Hannah loses the trust of everyone she loves, the only person she feels she can confide in is a former colleague, Darcy, who’s come back into her life—but who may have motives of her own. But Hannah can’t tell even Darcy her deepest secret: that she’s still tormented by the memory of her husband and the crater he carved through her life.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

The Paris Library

Author: Janet Skeslien Charles

Publication day: February 9, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction

Thanks so much to Libro.fm and Simon & Schuster Audio for the complimentary advanced audio copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

January 31 – February 6

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to start sharing these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

In Love & Pajamas

Author: Catana Chetwynd

Publication day: February 2, 2021

Genre: comics, humor

Thanks so much to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for the complimentary advanced electronic copy of this book.

Description from Goodreads:

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Snug and the bestselling Little Moments of Love comes an all-new collection, In Love & Pajamas by Catana Chetwynd of Catana Comics! 

When you’ve reached that sweatpants-wearing cozy place in your relationship, it’s all In Love & Pajamas This brand-new collection of Catana Comics presents some fan favorites and half of the book features never-before-seen comics that delight and amuse readers of all ages.  Wholesome, sweet, feel-good humor!

20% Review:

Since this is such a small book of comics, it is a very quick read, so it’s easy to finish in one sitting! So I don’t have a 20% review for this one. But you can check out my full review through the link below!

Check out my full review here!

Finlay Donovan is Killing It

Author: Elle Cosimano

Publication Day: February 2, 2021

Genre: Mystery

Thanks so much to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the complimentary advanced electronic copy of this book! I’m so excited for this one, it’s going to be the next book that I start!

Description from Goodreads:

Edgar-Award nominee Elle Cosimano’s adult debut Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is the first in a witty, fast-paced mystery series, following struggling suspense novelist and single mom Finlay Donovan, whose fiction treads dangerously close to the truth as she becomes tangled in real-life murder investigations…

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Make Up Break Up

Author: Lily Menon

Publication Day: February 2, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Thanks so much to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for the complimentary advanced electronic copy of this exciting new release!

Description from Goodreads:

Love, romance, second chances, fairy-tale endings…these are the things Annika Dev believes in. Her app, Make Up, has been called the “Google Translate for failing relationships.”

High efficiency break-ups, flashy start-ups, penthouses, fast cars…these are the things Hudson Craft believes in. His app, Break Up, is known as the “Uber for break-ups.” It’s wildly successful—and anathema to Annika’s life philosophy.

Which wouldn’t be a problem if they’d gone their separate ways after that summer fling in Las Vegas, never to see each other again. Unfortunately for Annika, Hudson’s moving not just into her office building, but into the office right next to hers. And he’ll be competing at the prestigious EPIC investment pitch contest: A contest Annika needs to win if she wants to keep Make Up afloat. As if it’s not bad enough seeing his irritatingly perfect face on magazine covers when her own business is failing. As if knowing he stole her idea and twisted it into something vile—and monumentally more successful—didn’t already make her stomach churn.

As the two rival app developers clash again and again—and again—Annika finds herself drawn into Hudson Craft’s fast-paced, high velocity, utterly shallow world. Only, from up close, he doesn’t seem all that shallow. Could it be that everything she thought about Hudson is completely wrong? Could the creator of Break Up teach her what true love’s really about?

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

The Survivors

Author: Jane Harper

Audio Publication Day: February 2, 2021

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Thanks so much to Macmillan Audio and Libro.fm for the complimentary advanced copy of this audiobook.

Description from Goodreads:

Coming home dredges up deeply buried secrets…

Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.

The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home.

Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away… 

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Milk Blood Heat

Author: Dantiel W. Moniz

Audio Publication Day: February 2, 2021

Genre: Short Stories, COntemporary

Thanks so much to HighBridge and Libro.fm for the complimentary advanced copy of this audiobook.

Description from Goodreads:

Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another.

A thirteen-year-old meditates on her sadness and the difference between herself and her white best friend when an unexpected tragedy occurs; a woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter—whose body parts she sees throughout her daily life; a teenager resists her family’s church and is accused of courting the devil; servers at a supper club cater to the insatiable cravings of their wealthy clientele; and two estranged siblings take a road-trip with their father’s ashes and are forced to face the troubling reality of how he continues to shape them.

Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat forms an ouroboros of stories that bewitch with their truth.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Milk Fed

Author: Melissa Broder

Audio Publication Day: February 2, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, LGBTQ

Thanks so much to Simon & Schuster Audio and Libro.fm for the complimentary advanced copy of this audiobook.

Description from Goodreads:

A scathingly funny, wildly erotic, and fiercely imaginative story about food, sex, and god from the acclaimed author of The Pisces and So Sad Today.

Rachel is twenty-four, a lapsed Jew who has made calorie restriction her religion. By day, she maintains an illusion of existential control, by way of obsessive food rituals, while working as an underling at a Los Angeles talent management agency. At night, she pedals nowhere on the elliptical machine. Rachel is content to carry on subsisting—until her therapist encourages her to take a ninety-day communication detox from her mother, who raised her in the tradition of calorie counting.

Early in the detox, Rachel meets Miriam, a zaftig young Orthodox Jewish woman who works at her favorite frozen yogurt shop and is intent upon feeding her. Rachel is suddenly and powerfully entranced by Miriam—by her sundaes and her body, her faith and her family—and as the two grow closer, Rachel embarks on a journey marked by mirrors, mysticism, mothers, milk, and honey.

Pairing superlative emotional insight with unabashed vivid fantasy, Broder tells a tale of appetites: physical hunger, sexual desire, spiritual longing, and the ways that we as humans can compartmentalize these so often interdependent instincts. Milk Fed is a tender and riotously funny meditation on love, certitude, and the question of what we are all being fed, from one of our major writers on the psyche—both sacred and profane.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Four Hundred Souls

Author: Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain

Audio Publication Day: February 2, 2021

Genre: Nonfiction, history

Thanks so much to Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group and to Libro.fm for the complimentary advanced copy of this audiobook.

Description from Goodreads:

An epoch-defining history of African America, the first to appear in a generation, Four Hundred Souls is a chronological account of four hundred years of Black America as told by ninety of America’s leading Black writers.

Curated by Ibram X. Kendi, author of the number one bestseller How To Be an Antiracist, and fellow historian Keisha N. Blain, Four Hundred Souls begins with the arrival of twenty enslaved Ndongo people on the shores of the British colony in mainland America in 1619, the year before the arrival of the Mayflower.

In eighty chronological chapters, the book charts the tragic and triumphant four-hundred-year history of Black American experience in a choral work of exceptional power and beauty.

Contributors include some of the best-known scholars, writers, historians, journalists, lawyers, poets and activists of contemporary America who together bring to vivid life countless new facets to the drama of slavery and resistance, segregation and survival, migration and self-discovery, cultural oppression and world-changing artistic, literary and musical creativity. In these pages are dozens of extraordinary lives and personalities, rescued from the archives and restored to their rightful place in America’s narrative, as well as the ghosts of millions more.

Four Hundred Souls is an essential work of story-telling and reclamation that redefines America and changes our notion of how history is written.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House

Author: Cherie Jones

Audio Publication Day: February 2, 2021

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

Thanks so much to Hachette Audio and Libro.fm for the complimentary advanced copy of this audiobook.

Description from Goodreads:

A debut novel in the tradition of Zadie Smith and Marlon James, from a brilliant Caribbean writer, set in Barbados, about four people each desperate to escape their legacy of violence in a so-called “paradise.”

In Baxter Beach, Barbados, moneyed ex-pats clash with the locals who often end up serving them: braiding their hair, minding their children, and selling them drugs. Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the Baxter Beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men driven by desperation and greed who attempt a crime that will risk their freedom — and their lives. 

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

In Love and Pajamas: A Collection About Being Yourself Together by Catana Chetwynd

Andrews McMeel – Review: 5 Stars

Thanks so much to the author, Andrews McMeel Publishing, and NetGalley for the complimentary advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

You guys, I love these comic collections so much. There isn’t too much to say other than I really love them. Catana Comics brought me so much joy during a hard time in my life, and ever since then I buy each new collection that comes out. I share them with my husband as I read them as well, since so many of our messages on Facebook and Instagram include sending these comics back and forth to each other. They make me laugh as I read them, and whenever I am having a bit of a hard day I know that I can take one of these collections off of my bookshelf and reread them to brighten my morning.

I would absolutely recommend these comic collections to anyone. They are quick, light, wholesome, and heartwarming reads. I think that these are perfect to read on a grey and drizzly day, or maybe just to keep by your bed to read one when you wake up in the morning, to start your day off on a bright note.

Other collections from Catana Comics:

Little Moments of Love

Snug: A Collection of Comics about Dating Your Best Friend (check out my review here!)

January 24 – January 30

New Releases and Publications

Hello, friends – and happy Tuesday! Welcome to another round of new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to start sharing these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

Shine Your Icy Crown

Author: Amanda Lovelace

Publication Day: January 26, 2021

Genre: Poetry

Thanks so much to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for the complimentary advanced electronic copy of this book.

Description from Goodreads:

“Make them rue the day they underestimated you.”

This is a story about not letting society dictate the limits of your potential. it’s time to take back your power & realize that you don’t need a king in order to be a queen.

20% Review:

Since this is such a small book of poetry, it is a very quick read, so it’s easy to finish in one sitting! So I don’t have a 20% review for this one. But you can check out my full review through the link below!

Check out my full review here!

Shine Your Icy Crown (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale, #2) by Amanda Lovelace

Andrews McMeel – Review: 5 Stars

Thanks so much to the author, Andrews McMeel, and NetGalley for the complimentary advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

TW (from the book) : “This book contains sensitive material relating to: child abuse, toxic relationships, sexual assault, eating disorders, mental illness, self-harm, sexism, suicide, trauma, & possibly more. Remember to practice self-care before, during, and after reading.”

Amanda Lovelace’s collections are never easy to read, for obvious reasons based on the content (I mean, just look at all of the trigger warnings listed above and in the beginning of the book). But her books always mean the world to me as a read them, and they tend to stick with me for longer than a lot of the other books that I read, specifically collections of poetry.

Similar to Break Your Glass Slippers (the first collection in Lovelace’s You Are Your Own Fairy Tale series) and her Women Are Some Kind of Magic series, this book looks really deep into how women are treated. While a lot of her collections are about a woman treating herself well, and not letting others treat her poorly, Shine Your Icy Crown also shines a special light at how women treat each other. The competition that just about all women find themselves in with each other, whether they want to be competing with each other or not.

I have read all of the collections that this author has written, and I always feel like each one means more to me than the last, and that I can revisit each of them when I need them. They are all difficult reads, but at the same time they are so inspiring, and really damn liberating.

Overall I would absolutely recommend this collection to any of my friends, but even more so to all of my female friends. While there are some really intense triggers that are involved in these stories, if you are able to safely read these collections then I think you will be able to get something meaningful out of it. I think the perfect way to read this collection would be either right before or during an active form of self care. If that is reading it in bed, listening to your favorite album, cuddling your pet, or reading it in a relaxing bubble bath.

Additional Collections from Amanda Lovelace:

You Are Your Own Fairy Tale series

Break Your Glass Slippers (check out my review here!)

Women Are Some Kind of Magic series

The Princess Saves Herself in This One

The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One

The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One

Things that Haunt series

To Make Monsters Out of Girls

To Drink Coffee with a Ghost

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Bloomsbury – Review: 5 Stars

All opinions are entirely my own. All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

Listen to me discuss this book more in depth on the new episode of The Same Page Podcast, which is being released today – 01/15/2021! Find us on Apple Podcasts and Amazon Music by searching The Same Page.

TW: murder, wrongful death, description of torture, hunting, tense scenes

Okay. So we all know that this is one of the biggest series on the bookish side of the internet, which puts a lot of hype around these books. Hype can be good because it can get you to go out of your comfort zone and read something that maybe you wouldn’t normally pick up. But hype can also build up expectations that mean if the book doesn’t meet or exceed them then it will feel like a let down. So considering this book was already a genre that I don’t read very often, I was nervous to pick this book up in case it didn’t live up to the hype with me.

That being said, even though it isn’t a genre that I read very often, this book absolutely lived up to the hype for me. I would even say that this book made me want to read more fantasy! And honestly now I’m mad at my TBR that I may not have time to read the rest of this series in the next couple of months.

Maas does a beautiful job of building the world for this story. One thing that I always used to struggle with in regards to the large, sweeping fantasies, was understanding the other world that it may have taken place in, or feeling invested in the lives of non-human background characters. But I didn’t find myself having either of those problems with this book. Characters were introduced in a way that helped me to instantly understand who/what they were and how they fit into the world of the story.

As far as the main characters, I thought that they were all really interesting in the way that they were written. None of them were written in ways that made them seem like “perfect people,” which I always really appreciate in my characters, but they were all still characters that I felt like I could easily sympathize with. Feyre, the female lead, was exactly the strong, badass lady that I look for in my books. I just love a lady who can come to her own rescue, and the rescue of others when needed. I also really enjoyed her sister Nesta more than I had expected to at the beginning, and I am excited to get to hear more of her story in the later books in the series.

Overall, I really loved this book. It lived up to all of the hype for me, which was a wonderfully pleasant surprise. I think that the perfect way to read this book would be inside but with all of the windows open, letting in lots of beautiful sunlight, and ideally overlooking a spring garden. Is that too weirdly specific?

I mean it when I say I’m upset with the other books that I have to read in the next month or two, because I am wishing I could just sit down and read the rest of these books before the newest book comes out next month. If you need me at any point in the next few months, I will be locked inside trying to binge read this series. Only disturb if you bring wine.

Additional Stories in the ACOTAR series:

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3)

A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTAR #3.1)

A Court of Silver Flames (ACOTAR #4) (Pub: February 2021)

Holly Banks Full of Angst (Village of Primm #1) by Julie Valerie

Lake Union Publishing – Review: 5 Stars

All opinions are entirely my own. All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

This was such a fun, fast, and sometimes borderline silly read! This had been on my TBR list since it first came out, but for any number of reasons it kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list, and kept getting put off to the next month, and then the next month, and then the next. But I finally read it in August for a book club discussion, and I am so glad that I did! There were so many parts that I fully laughed out loud as I was reading, and I can’t wait to dive in to the sequel and get more Holly Banks in my life!

Holly Banks is such a funny character to me. She was equal parts a relatable, realistic and caricature. Which, I know, is a crazy way to describe someone, and it sounds like those two things would cancel each other out. But if you’ve read it, I think you’ll know what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, I guess you have to trust me. But either way, she was so much fun, and I really enjoyed reading her story and getting to peak into her mind.

I will also say that at moments the story itself did tip-toe the line between realistic and silly. One moment she could be sitting and talking to another PTA mom in a security office, and the next she’s chasing that other mom around the school yard and spitting pieces of cookies at her. But those moments were very fun to me, and felt like the author was letting herself and the book have fun, and maybe not taking themselves too seriously, which I really enjoyed. It felt like in a movie or TV show when it jumps into a dream sequence and we get to see that character finally give another character a piece of their mind, or they punch someone in the face and then it turns out it was all in their mind. While these weren’t dream sequences in the same way, because these slightly wild things were actually happening in the case of Holly Banks, but it had that same feeling to it. And I found those scenes just so funny!

All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to friends and other readers. It was a fairly light (with a few exceptions) and fun read, and it is a really quick read as well. I flew through this book! I would say that the perfect way to read this book is with a very, very large glass of wine, and with no My Little Ponies in sight!

January 10 – January 16

New Releases and Publications

Hello friends – happy Tuesday! And welcome to my first weekly (hopefully) post of the new releases that I was lucky enough to get an early copy of, and have either already read or are upcoming on my #TBR.

These books could be gifted from the publisher through sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss+, they could be electronic copies gifted directly to me from the publisher or the author, an early audiobook copy through the publisher or Libro.fm, or even a physical copy that has been sent to me from the author or publisher. I am so thankful for all of the reading opportunities that I am given through these various sources, and I am excited to start sharing these new releases!

In these weekly posts I will include a 20% review if I am currently reading the book, as well as a link to my full review if I have already finished the book. And if I have not yet started the book by the time this is posted, I will leave those spots blank and edit the post to add them in later!

The Lost Manuscript

Author: Cathy Bonidan; Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Day: January 12, 2021

Thanks so much to the St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the advanced electronic copy of this #CurrentRead of mine!

Description from Goodreads:

The Lost Manuscript is a charming epistolary novel about the love of books and magical ability they have to bring people together.

Sometimes a book has the power to change your life…

When Anne-Lise Briard books a room at the Beau Rivage Hotel for her vacation on the Brittany coast, she has no idea this trip will start her on the path to unearthing a mystery. In search of something to read, she opens up her bedside table drawer in her hotel room, and inside she finds an abandoned manuscript. Halfway through the pages, an address is written. She sends pages to the address, in hopes of potentially hearing a response from the unknown author. But not before she reads the story and falls in love with it. The response, which she receives a few days later, astonishes her…

Not only does the author write back, but he confesses that he lost the manuscript 30 years prior on a flight to Montreal. And then he reveals something even more shockingthat he was not the author of the second half of the book.

Anne-Lise can’t rest until she discovers who this second mystery author is, and in doing so tracks down every person who has held this manuscript in their hands. Through the letters exchanged by the people whose lives the manuscript has touched, she discovers long-lost love stories and intimate secrets. Romances blossom and new friends are made. Everyone’s lives are made better by this bookand isn’t that the point of reading? And finally, with a plot twist you don’t see coming, she uncovers the astonishing identity of the author who finished the story.

20% Review:

I am only a few chapters in to this book, but it is already so sweet! So far the story is being told entirely through letters and written correspondence, which I think just adds such a heartfelt glow to a story. And I love the idea that it is the story of these people becoming friends based off of this book that just happens to pass through their hands at various points in their lives. Who hasn’t ever found a book in a secondhand shop and wanted it to lead them to their new best friend, right?

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Gone to the Woods

Author: Gary Paulsen; Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Publication Day: January 12, 2021

Thanks so much to Macmillan for inviting me to read this book through NetGalley.

Description from Goodreads:

A middle grade memoir, giving readers a new perspective on the origins of Gary Paulsen’s famed survival stories.

His name is synonymous with high-stakes wilderness survival stories. Now, author Gary Paulsen portrays a series of life-altering moments from his turbulent childhood as his own original survival story. If not for his summer escape from a shockingly neglectful Chicago upbringing to a North Woods homestead at age five, there never would have been a Hatchet. Without the encouragement of the librarian who handed him his first book at age thirteen, he may never have become a reader. And without his desperate teenage enlistment in the Army, he would not have discovered his true calling as a storyteller.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

The Listening Path

Author: Julia Cameron; Publisher: MacMillan Audio

Audiobook Narrated by: Eliza Foss & Julia Cameron

Publication Day: January 12, 2021

Thanks so much to Macmillan Audio and Libro.fm for the complimentary advanced audio copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

A 6-week Artist’s Way Program from legendary author Julia Cameron

The newest book from beloved author Julia Cameron, The Listening Path is a transformational journey to deeper, more profound listening and creativity. Over six weeks, readers will be given the tools to become better listeners—to their environment, the people around them, and themselves. The reward for learning to truly listen is immense. As we learn to listen, our attention is heightened and we gain healing, insight, clarity. But above all, listening creates connections and ignites a creativity that will resonate through every aspect of our lives.

Julia Cameron is the author of the explosively successful book The Artist’s Way, which has transformed the creative lives of millions of readers since it was first published. Incorporating tools from The Artist’s WayThe Listening Path offers a new method of creative and personal transformation.

Each week, readers will be challenged to expand their ability to listen in a new way, beginning by listening to their environment and culminating in learning to listen to silence. These weekly practices open up a new world of connection and fulfillment. In a culture of bustle and constant sound, The Listening Path is a deeply necessary reminder of the power of truly hearing.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start listening to this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Murder on the Menu

Author: Fiona Leitch; Publisher: One More Chapter (HarperCollins UK)

Publication Day: January 15, 2021

Thanks so much to One More Chapter and NetGalley for the gifted electronic copy of this book!

Description from Goodreads:

The first book in a NEW cosy mystery series!
Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.

But there’s nothing like having your first job back at home to be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your village is. And when the bride, Cheryl, vanishes Jodie is drawn into the investigation, realising that life in the countryside might not be as quaint as she remembers…

With a missing bride on their hands, there is murder and mayhem around every corner but surely saving the day will be a piece of cake for this not-so-amateur sleuth?

The first book in the Murder on the Menu cosy mystery series. Can be read as a standalone. A humorous cosy mystery with a British female sleuth in a small village. Includes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes! Written in British English. Mild profanity and peril.

20% Review:

(This will be added at a later date, once I start reading this book!)

Check out my full review here:

(This will be added at a later date, once I have finished this book!)

Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra

Berkley Pub – Review: 5 Stars

Thanks so much to the author, Edelweiss+, and Berkley for the complimentary advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

Let’s just be honest, I absolutely LOVE the original Little Women. So when I first went into this book I wasn’t sure if I was going to love it because I love the original material that was the inspiration, or if I was going to hate it because it didn’t live up to the original material. I am very pleased to announce that, with the exception of a few insignificant details (come on. Trey? Why? Teddy is not an old fashioned enough name or nickname that it needed to be changed to Trey.), I really loved how the story was handled both with what was kept the same and what was changed.

This book takes the idea of the original characters and puts them into a modern day world. Some of the situations from the original novel are represented in this story through a more modern take (example being Jo being a blogger as an outlet for her writing, rather than working to sell her short stories), as have the characters to a certain extent in order to make them feel like they really belong in this modern life, and other portions of the original story that are not included in this story. This book isn’t the original book in a different time, it looks at these women (yes, Beth included) as modern day adult women, and seeing what that might be like. I really, really, really loved the choice to do that, rather than just telling a new version of the same exact story.

I was immediately drawn into this book, and I loved the reading experience of this book right from the word “go.” I would describe this book as a modern retelling, but also as a family drama with some sweet moments of laughter. And it is filled with real issues and very lovable yet imperfect characters, and you can really tell how much all of these characters care about each other. This book is told from alternating points of view, switching between Meg and Jo, and both voices were so different that even if it hadn’t told me at the beginning of each chapter, I believe I would have been able to tell who’s voice I was hearing. I love character driven novels, and I love hearing multiple of those characters’ voices in a novel, and so it is a really big deal to be able to differentiate between the various narrators. Another thing that I will say is that it was very easy for me to see different parts of myself in each of the sisters, including Beth and Amy who we don’t hear from as much in this novel. I think that there are bits and pieces of each of these characters that any reader can relate to.

I would absolutely recommend this book to my friends, and already have on several occasions. I think that this would be a great read both for people who are fans of Little Women and are looking for a rather cozy, easy retelling to read, as well as for people who haven’t read the original (I know a lot of readers who didn’t read it as a kid and now find it intimidating as an adult) who may be looking for an easier or more accessible way to jump in to the characters and story. I will definitely be rereading this book at some point in my future, and I honestly can not wait until the second book comes out so that I can get more into the heads of Beth and Amy!

Forever Wild (The Simple Wild, #2.5) by K.A. Tucker

Review and Blog Tour Courtesy of Valentine PR

Thanks so much to the author and Valentine PR for the complimentary advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on my blog at tacklingtbr.home.blog

Book Description from Goodreads:

From the international bestselling author of The Simple Wild comes Forever Wild, a novella that continues the story of Calla’s journey to the Alaskan wild and a life she never imagined for herself.
The holiday season is upon Calla and Jonah, and with the mistletoe and gingerbread comes plenty of family drama. Jonah is bracing himself for two weeks with a stepfather he loathes, and while Calla is looking forward to her mother and Simon’s arrival, she dreads the continued pressure to set a date for their wedding … in Toronto. Add in one bullheaded neighbor’s unintentional meddling and another cantankerous neighbor’s own family strife, and Christmas in Trapper’s Crossing will be anything but simple.

Review: (5 Stars)

TW : lost children

Oh. My. Gosh. You guys, this book was everything that I was hoping for. I fell completely in love with Calla and Jonah in The Simple Wild and I just keep needing more and more of their story, so I was so excited when I got the chance to read this third installment early. And okay, sure, I wish it was a full novel instead of a novella, but that’s just me being selfish and not wanting the story to end! So that’s a good thing, right?

Let’s start with the basics – this is a novella showing Calla and Jonah hosting their families for their first Christmas together in their Alaskan home.

And a very important note – this isn’t something that you would want to try to read as a standalone. There is so much about the characters and their relationships that you don’t get in this story that, while you may be able to read it on its own, you wouldn’t probably understand all of the scenes and interactions without that background information. But, the good news is, that that means you get to read The Simple Wild and Wild at Heart for the first time! And honestly, now I am just jealous of the journey that you get to go on experiencing the story and characters for the first time.

Anyway, where were we?

There isn’t a ton of new information for me to gush about with this new bit of the story that a) wouldn’t be heavy with spoilers either for this one or Wild at Heart, and b) I haven’t already said in my reviews for the previous two novels.

So let’s just say this. These books, and therefore the characters, have been really important to me over the past couple of years, so every time a new part of their story is released I have this overwhelming excitement, but also there’s always a small part of me that is worried maybe it won’t live up to the last one, or to the story that I have been building for them in my head. And especially with this novella taking place over Christmas, which is my very favorite and most magical time of the year. Honestly, just ask my husband – I go CRAZY for Christmas season.

But even with that small part of me that was worried, as soon as I started reading it I knew that it was going to be everything I could have wanted. There was nothing that I would have changed about Forever Wild (except for maybe making it a full length novel, but again that’s just me being selfish). I loved getting to follow the same characters that I’ve fallen so in love with on their first official holiday, and the stress and excitement of hosting the families. I’ve been there – it’s really fun, but boy oh boy is it stressful. And getting to see the next stage in their love story as well felt so heartwarming.

Overall I would definitely, highly recommend this book to my friends and fellow readers. This book had me laughing and crying and just feeling lots of feelings, and I think it was the absolute perfect read for me to start off the official holiday season with. But I will say again, no matter how enticing the synopsis and this review make it seem, you have to read the other two first if you haven’t already! Just trust me on this one. And I would say that the perfect way to read this book would be on a comfy couch next to the Christmas tree, under a cozy blanket, and with a glass of wine. Roaring fire and a foot rub from your love optional, but highly recommended.

Meet Kathleen:

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.

Connect with Kathleen

Website: https://www.katuckerbooks.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/36Ga0W8

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QPwJZs

Facebook:  http://bit.ly/2MYEDhK

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1468548700062461

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katucker_/

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2FqzR8K

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2rZkYXP

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorkatucker/

My Reviews for more Wild, and more by K.A. Tucker

The Simple Wild (Wild #1)

Wild at Heart (Wild #2)

The Player Next Door

Say You Still Love Me

Link to Purchase on Amazon: