I have one last festive picture book to show you, and I’ve saved the most appropriate one for the night before Christmas…
I have a lovely selection of four Christmassy picture books from New Frontier Publishing for you today – as with my post last month, I thought it would be nice to corral these shorter reviews all in one place!
Taking as its subject and inspiration the Victorian penny dreadful, Twelve Minutes to Midnight is unlike any middle grade I’ve read before!
Looking for an adorable Christmas read for young children, full of warmth and kindness? Little Robin Red Vest is a gorgeous picture book that should hit the spot perfectly!
I adored Jenni Fletcher’s Reclaimed by Her Rebel Knight, so I jumped at the chance to review her new Christmas title, Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess – and let me tell you, it was just as much of a hit, if not more!
Something you may not know about me is that I am a huge Sherlock Holmes nut. I fell in love with the original stories way back in primary school, and have read them so many times I know most of them by heart (remember Data in that one episode of Star Trek? Like that). I’ve also read so many follow-ups by other authors (fanfictions, expanded canon, whatever you want to call it), and I have to say that Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon is one of the very best I’ve ever read.
Heather Rose Jones is a fantastic author whose historical fantasy books centre queer women and their lives and adventures. I’m a huge fan of her Alpennia series, and really looking forward to reading the newest standalone in it, Floodtide. I was lucky enough to hear her read from Floodtide at WorldCon over the summer, and I was instantly drawn into the little magics explored in it – charms to help with laundry, for example. I love how fantasy can open a window into the realities of life, and in this fascinating guest post, Heather explains a little bit about why and how she chose to focus on the smaller, day-to-day magics of women in her new book.
Swashbuckling swordswoman Cass is back in the sequel to The Company of Eight!
Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Naseby Horses by Dominic Brownlow, the new book from one of my favourite indie publishers, Louise Walters Books. I’m excited to be bringing you an extract from this literary thriller, which introduces the protagonist, 17 year old Simon…
Well, it’s the last check in of the year already! This year has been a very interesting one: the trip of a lifetime, my first WorldCon, some rotten phases of health, and for those of you who haven’t seen on Twitter, the big news is that I’m pregnant! It’s a wonder I’ve got any reading done at all, to be honest, but I’ve read even more than I was hoping to this year, and discovered some new favourites that will stick with me for a long time. On to the goals!
Goodreads Reading Challenge
As I said last month, I haven’t upped my goal from 365 even though I’ve passed it, as I’m enjoying seeing how many more books I can finish without any particular pressure. November was a great month for reading, with 41 books read, bringing me up to 409 in total. If I can match that this month, I’ll hit 450 for the year, but it seems a little unlikely since Christmas is likely to knock out a few days. Still, I’m very pleased to be back to normal amounts after my worst month all year in October.
My Owned TBR
My TBR is down to 588, which is amazing for me! That’s a real downwards trend, 31 books down despite adding 15 through #bookpost and NetGalley and buying one. I had a bit of help from my mum and Judith to clear the shelves of things I wasn’t interested in anymore, and I’ve been very ruthless with books that don’t grab me in the first 100 pages. I’m really hoping to keep it under 600 by the end of the year, and maybe even get it down further..?
Last month I wanted to get my NetGalley shelves down from 148 to 130, and I’m pleased to say I did that and more, making it all the way down to 121! I read lots, and I pulled together several reviews that had been waiting a while for already-read books, and I submitted a total of 32 reviews in November. I had a few approvals for new books, but I haven’t requested anything much in ages, so this is doing well.
Just the one blog tour this month – The Naseby Horses by Dominic Brownlow, on the 7th December. I’ve been making a conscious effort to step back from accepting tour invites, as I find the deadlines stressful, and often have to pull out because I haven’t enjoyed a book – I’d rather read and review at my leisure, with no pressure to write a positive review.
I’m taking part in KA Doore’s #NaNoReadMo, which is a low pressure reading challenge based on NaNoWriMo. I’m planning on using it to chop down through my stack of physical review copies, as they take up quite a bit of space on my desk! Here’s what we’re playing with:
So that’s 29 books (Jade City is there because I have a review copy of Jade War, but need to read the first book before I can start it, so it counts as two)! I don’t expect to get through them all, as I have some Kindle reading to do too, and I like to leave myself space for mood reading, but I’d like to at least get this down by half so I can have one stack to start the New Year with. Looks like it’s going to be a pretty fantasy-heavy month! Anything here you think I should start with?