Monthly Book Blog Wrap-Up: December 2023

Hello again, end of the month! This here post is my usual monthly wrap-up, though I intend to post a yearly one as well very soon. By now my regular followers know the drill. Here’s my December book blog wrap-up where I list reviews, stats, and what I read during the month. Allons-y!

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2023 End of the Year Book Tag

Hello, December, my old friend. This is a busy time of the year no matter how you look at it. For blogging, this means electively taking time to do recaps and set up new goals. One type of recap is the 2023 End of the Year Book Tag. I first did this book tag last year, so it will be fun to see how my answers changed from 2022. It’s a short and sweet tag, which always appeals more to me than a longer tag. So, let’s go!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Making It So by Patrick StewartTwo Twisted Crowns by Rachel Gillig

“Need” is a self-imposed construct in the bookish world, of course. But I’ll play along. I need to finish MAKING IT SO by Patrick Stewart because it’s a library book with a holds list. By the time this post goes live, though, hopefully I’ll have finished it. I would like to finish TWO TWISTED CROWNS by Rachel Gillig, which I think is very doable. I’m partially through A TOUCH OF DARKNESS by Scarlett St. Clair, but that’s not a “need to finish” book.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Like I said last year, I don’t really read seasonally. Right now I’m trying to get through some backlogged ARCs.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Not particularly. This time of year seems to be relatively quiet with respect to new releases. August and October seem to be the big pushes for new releases before the holidays. Everything I’m currently looking forward to are releases for 2024.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

The Words of Kings and Prophets by Shauna LawlessHouse of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

My December TBR talks about all of the books I want to try to read before the end of the year. To recap, though, a couple of the books I hope to get to include are THE WORDS OF KINGS AND PROPHETS by Shauna Lawless and HOUSE OF SKY AND BREATH by Sarah J. Maas.

Is there a book you think that could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Him by Geoff Ryan

I’m not sure. HIM by Geoff Ryman has some potential. But I don’t know if I’ll have time to get to it this month. It’s more of a hopeful than priority read on my mental December TBR list.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2024?

The Tusks of Extinction by Ray NaylerThat Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly LemmingThat Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted A Love Potion At A Werewolf by Kimberly LemmingImmortal Pleasures by V. CastroHouse of Flame and Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Of course! I’m a book blogger who appreciates ARCs, so I definitely have some lined up already. They include THE TUSKS OF EXTINCTION by Ray Nayler, a couple of books by Kimberly Lemming, and IMMORTAL PLEASURES by V. Castro. I have a bunch of preorders, too. I also plan to try to finish up a bunch of series I started. Most importantly, though, I’m looking forward to HOUSE OF FLAME AND SHADOW by Sarah J. Maas!

And that’s a wrap on this 2023 End of the Year Book Tag! If this looks fun to you, then feel free to tag yourself!

Happy Thanksgiving 2023!

To those who celebrate, happy Thanksgiving! I just want to take a minute to say I feel so grateful to be a part of this book reviewer community. With some dedication and hard work over the past couple of years (never down play that aspect–it does take work!), I feel comfortable in my niche and have found some very lovely reviewers in the process. Additionally, I’m very thankful for everyone who follows along, whether as a blog subscriber or a Twitter or Instagram follower. Trust me, I don’t take it for granted, not one bit!

Visiting with family in Boston is on the docket. However, I do have a couple of bookish adventures planned over this holiday. I’ll try to remember to take decent photos so I can share them either on this blog or on social media.

I don’t know how much reading I’ll do over this long weekend. When I do get some quiet time I’ll likely be reading my ARC of THE KINGDOM OF SWEETS by Erika Johansen or a SFINCS novella. I started MAKING IT SO by Patrick Stewart, but I don’t have enough room in my carry on luggage to bring it. (Visiting the north in the cold season on a holiday means clothes are thick.)

The Kingdom of Sweets by Erika JohansenMaking It So by Patrick Stewart

Lastly, in the U.S. the Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday. So, if you’re able, don’t forget to pay your local independent bookstore a visit! Usually runs a promotion where you can get a free audiobook if you submit a receipt showing you purchased a book at an indie bookstore over Thanksgiving weekend. Keep an eye out for that on their social media!

SFINCS Participation Announcement

Good morning, everyone! I just want to announce that I am a judge for the inaugural round of the Speculative Fiction Indie Novella Championship (SFINCS).

SFINCS, pronounced “sphinx”, is a new yearly competition to recognize, honor, and celebrate the talent and creativity present in the indie community. It’s a sister competition to both SPFBO and SPSFC, and it highlights greatness in the novella format in all areas of speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.).

I am participating on Team Behind the Musings, which is lead by Tabitha at Behind the Pages and Sue at Sue’s Musings. To learn more about our team, visit Tabitha’s “Meet the Team” post. Below is a collage, created by SFINCS creator Nathan, of our assignments for the SFINCS competitions.

SFINCS 2023 Behind the Musings reading assignments

The competition officially started on September 15, so keep an eye out for my SFINCS-related novella reviews! The competition will conclude on March 31, 2024. Follow along on Discord or Twitter.

September Blogging Plans

Not that I typically have blogging plans per month, but it wasn’t in my September blogging plans to decide to take a semi-hiatus. Everything was proceeding as usual. I presented my September TBR plans a few days ago. I was excited to visit friends and family in Maine. But as soon as I took my phone off of airplane mode on Friday after landing, I received a call urging me to do some follow up tests at the emergency room.

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