Monthly Book Blog Wrap-Up: March 2022

Even though March was a few days longer than February, it still seemed to pass quickly for me. I think it’s because I signed up for my first readathon (more on that below), so I made an effort to put a dent in that and my backlog of ARCs. I feel I made good progress on both accounts and even boosted my NetGalley ratio back to above 50%. Anyway, keep reading for a recap about what I posted in March!

Book Reviews

I posted five book reviews in March. From earliest to latest, here are my recent book reviews.

Book Memes and Other Posts

I participated in three blog tour spotlights:

And I posted the following book memes:

I also participated in the Support Book Bloggers Challenge by commenting on 10 book blogs. Check the post out to learn more about how you can join and boost other book bloggers!


A few more lovely people followed my blog to bring my total to 59 of my 2022 goal of 100. Thank you to my new blog followers for helping me make my way to that goal!

Unlike last month, I didn’t participate in as many blog tours hosted by The Write Reads. But I still managed to squeak out slightly higher numbers despite this.

In March my top five posts were:


Lisa at Owl Be Sat Reading started the hashtag #BeatTheBacklog to rally those who want to make a dent in their TBR list. Three of the five books I finished in March were part of my #BeatTheBacklog: The Cicada Tree by Robert Gwaltney; The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna; and Out Front the Following Sea by Leah Angstman. I haven’t posted my reviews for these books yet, but I will at some point, of course.

Other Bookish Progress

In March I participated in Trope-ical Readathon for the very first time. I was very intimidated because I thought I’d feel super stressed to read all the books. But it felt much more relaxed than I expected. It’s like modifying a work out to suit your needs, only it’s about books not jumping jacks. I ended up finishing five books for this readathon.

Lastly, March 21, 2022 marked one year since I posted my first book review. I celebrated my one year blogiversary by posting a Q&A session here. Check it out if you want to learn a little bit more about the blogger behind the blog. Thank you to those who submitted questions!

Book Review: Culture Warlords by Talia Lavin

Author: Talia Lavin
Publisher: Legacy Lit
Publish Date: October 13, 2020
Print Length: 288

Want to support local bookstores? Buy a copy of Culture Warlords on!*

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Official Synopsis

One reporter takes an immersive dive into white supremacy’s explosive online presence, exploring the undercurrents of propaganda, racism, misogyny, and history that led us to where we are now.

Talia Lavin is every skinhead’s worst nightmare: a loud and unapologetic Jewish woman, acerbic, smart, and profoundly antiracist, with the investigative chops to expose the tactics and ideologies of online hatemongers.

Culture Warlords is the story of how Lavin, a frequent target of extremist trolls (including those at Fox News), dove into a byzantine online culture of hate and learned the intricacies of how white supremacy proliferates online. Within these pages, she reveals the extremists hiding in plain sight online: Incels. White nationalists. White supremacists. National Socialists. Proud Boys. Christian extremists. In order to showcase them in their natural habitat, Talia assumes a range of identities, going undercover as a blonde Nazi babe, a forlorn incel, and a violent Aryan femme fatale. Along the way, she discovers a whites-only dating site geared toward racists looking for love, a disturbing extremist YouTube channel run by a fourteen-year-old girl with over 800,000 followers, the everyday heroes of the antifascist movement, and much more. By combining compelling stories chock-full of catfishing and gate-crashing with her own in-depth, gut-wrenching research, she also turns the lens of anti-Semitism, racism, and white power back on itself in an attempt to dismantle and decimate the online hate movement from within.

Shocking, humorous, and merciless in equal measure, Culture Warlords explores some of the vilest subcultures on the Web-and shows us how we can fight back.

My Review

How do I even review a book like Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy? Though it’s not a long book, it certainly covers a topic deserving of many analytical volumes of text. I’m not easily triggered, but even I found this book unsettling. I must admit, after reading it I’m wary of even of posting my bumbling review for fear of attracting unwanted attention.

As the full title suggests outright, the topic covered is white supremacy on the dark web. The author, Talia Lavin, adopted various identities to infiltrate these hate groups and learn more about what drives these people into the arms of misogyny, anti-Semitism, racism, and violence. To be frank, I expected more firsthand accounts of Lavin’s interactions with those she messaged on the dark web; at least, that’s what the full title suggested to me. I personally absorb more information when presented with examples. To be fair, Lavin does incorporate some exchanges, but most interactions are summarized allegorically and then analyzed in a scholarly way. Though the writing is superb and expressive, it’s also very high level and somewhat dense. I feel that makes this book overall less approachable to the layperson.

However, after reading Culture Warlords, would I want more primary examples of Lavin’s interactions? I’m not so sure. The summaries of recent news events, many of which flew under my radar but were a big deal on the dark web, made my lip curl in disgust and dismay. I just cannot fathom hating a group of people, namely Jews, so much that one desires their eradication.

I absolutely am not going to pretend I remember everything I read in this book. It explores and analyzes a lot of various topics under the umbrella of white supremacy. Some discussions stuck with me, though. For example, I don’t think I can look at the revival of Norse mythology in our culture, or anything related to the Crusades, through the same lens again. I was totally oblivious to the fact that these time periods/religion are romanticized as the origin story of Whiteness (religion, culture, fervor), to paraphrase broadly. That doesn’t mean every new Viking-related pop culture piece is tainted, but it’s something I’ll now keep in the back of my mind.

Because I don’t want to misrepresent Lavin’s excellent journalism, I’ll keep this review short. But this is a great book with which to engage to learn more about this topic. It is naturally evocative, but so is the nature of hate. The whole time I read this I couldn’t stop thinking about how awful Lavin must have felt working on this piece; she does, in fact, mention this in the Afterword. Fair warning that you need to be in a decent head space to read this.

Rating: 4/5
Content warnings: discussions about white supremacy, misogyny, anti-Semitism, racism, gun violence
Reading format: Library hardback

WWW Wednesday: February 23, 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme revived and hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is to answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses.

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading: I’m still working my way through Culture Warlords by Talia Lavin. It’s a heavy read and I can only get through one chapter at a time before needing to switch to something lighter. I’m also reading Blood of the Lost Kingdom by Kristin Ward as part of a Write Reads blog tour. It’s the next book after The Girl of Dorcha Wood, which I also read as part of a blog tour.

Recently Finished: I recently finished reading A Dance With the Fae Prince by Elise Kova. It’s a stand-alone novel that’s part of the Married to Magic collection, which is based in the world of Midscape. I wrote my review for it a few days ago. I’m not sure when I’ll post it since I still need to post my review of the first book, A Deal With the Elf King. Yes, I am a little behind on posting reviews, but that’s honestly how I prefer it. It means I have a handful of reviews to pull from and post if I find myself overly-committed one week.

Reading Next: I decided that in March I need/want to get back to making progress on my NetGalley shelf. So I will finish The Cicada Tree by Robert Gwaltney. I also plan to read, perhaps simultaneously, The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, which I checked out from the library.

WWW Wednesday: February 16, 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme revived and hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The idea is to answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses.

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading: I’m currently reading Culture Warlords by Talia Lavin. I first heard about it on NPR a couple of years ago and it’s been sitting on my TBR ever since. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy and I think it’s about time I switch it up for a different genre. This book covers a heavy topic (white supremacy), so it’s not an emotionally light read.

Recently Finished: I recently finished reading Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key by Estelle Grace Tudor. I read it as part of a BBNYA blog tour hosted by The Write Reads. Check out my review if you missed it!

Reading Next: I have one last The Write Reads blog tour coming up for Blood of the Lost Kingdom by Kristin Ward, which is the sequel to The Girl of Dorcha Wood. After that I’ll probably read The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, which is on its way to my library; and/or one of my many pending NetGalley reads.