January Wrap Up
First and foremost, let's clap for making it to 2022 and pray we all make it to 2023 and years after. I actually read books this month but, whew chile, the tasks were tasking! Moving, depression, anxiety, car stuff, taxes, and a whole lot of other things came (and are still coming) that I didn't want to deal with. So here the books I read and some favorites of the month. I hope your January was the start you wanted for the year and if it wasn't, that's alright. Why? Because you have tomorrow, the next month, this whole entire year to do and be what you want. Just get into it.
Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood
This was a great debut for Lauren Blackwood that was quite surprising. I do maybe 5% research before picking up a book because I love being pleasantly surprised with what the book is rather than what I assumed it to be. So, for some reason, I assumed that this was going to be a harrowing, haunting horror story and what it ended up being was a great, really grounded low to mid level fantasy book with romance and a whole lot of unresolved trauma. My favorite.
In retrospect my favorite thing about this book was how it tied certain elements back to IRL concepts and issues. It did not necessarily make any grand statements on religion, politics or what-have-you but it was a story full of heart. I can appreciate that. Sometimes you need a story that reminds you that love is absolutely the way.
Ended up giving this book 4 Stars! Obviously that isn't a bad rating in the slightest. I expect a ton of people will find this to be a five start read for them, I just had a couple issues with pacing in a few spots and/or found myself skimming some passages. That's it, everything else was fabulous.
Mistletoe by Kimberly Lemming
Listen, y'all. If you want a feel good romp through a high fantasy land with a woman named Cinnamon who just wants to be chill and eat snacks, but accidently gets drunk and saves a horny demon, read That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon. The title betrays the first act but it does not betray how freaking fun the book is. No trauma (based on the color of anyone's skin at least), just all the good, sexy vibes. And Mistletoe, Kimberly Lemming's novella set in the same universe right after the events of TTIGASAD, is equally as fun.
Mistletoe did exactly what I needed it to, which was hold my attention until the second full length novel in the series came out. It was cute, it was sexy, it was on brand and I loved it. Now when I say the following, I do not want anyone getting buck: this needed another round of eyeballs. That is not detracting from any of the good, and I am fully aware of how expensive editors are, which is why I'm not allowing it to affect the overall love for this novella, but I'm still going to say it. Kimberly Lemming is a genius, someone please team up so small mistakes don't give people a reason to discount her work.
I also ended up giving this book 4 Stars (That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon was a five start read by the way). Kimberly Lemming is an auto-buy author for me at this point so, I really can't recommend her growing series enough.
DNF's THIS MONTH
WILL TRY AGAIN LATER's
Cobra Kai - The fact that I waited so long to watch this show is a crime. I've committed a crime. It was hilarious, heartbreaking, and dramatic in all the right ways. Perhaps one day I'll do I massive video essay on how realistic it is (speaking as a "retired" martial artist). For now I'll just say it was top tier television (streaming).
These two bags. I've been calling one my "Level 1 Adventurer Bag" and the other "Cottagecore Business Woman Realness." Why? Because those are the vibes! You can get both on Amazon as well. Just click on their ridiculous names above. If you have any shoulder issues, I would advise only checking out the Ecosusi bag (pink).
A Cause Worth Your Attention!
Due to the ongoing attacks and bans on books/media by BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ people, I'd like to highlight NCAC (National Coalition Against Censorship). They are not only categorizing, monitoring, and working against these sweeping bans but they are providing immense amounts of free education on these topics on their website.
Their mission statement:
Every generation of Americans faces new and significant challenges to free expression. For almost 50 years, NCAC has acted as a first responder to protect this freedom, which is both a fundamental human right and a keystone of democracy in the ever-changing American nation. We promote freedom of thought and inquiry and oppose censorship. When controversy occurs, we encourage and facilitate dialogue between divergent voices and perspectives, including those that have historically been silenced.
- NCAC website
Please check out their website, join their newsletter, and support them in this fight. In case it wasn't clear, banning books for centering human rights issues is NOT RIGHT and we need to stop this travesty NOW!
Well, that's a wrap on January and what a great wrap it was. Here's to a Fabulous February, cheers.