I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.
As part of my monthly wrap up, I am linking to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently.
Happy New Year! What better way to start off the year than with Sheila's (of Book Journey) First Book of the Year! It has become a New Year's tradition for many of us readers, and I enjoy seeing what books others have chosen to start off the year with. For me, that means the first book I start fresh in the new year (not the carryovers from the year before). My husband and daughter
were forced volunteered to share their first books of 2022 too!
My First Book pick of the year is The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith:
My daughter gave me The Witch Haven for Christmas, knowing I love stories about witches. It seems like the perfect book to start off the new year.
Mouse's First Book choice is The Minor Third (The Magic Misfits #3) by Neil Patrick Harris:
I thought it would be interesting and I like the series.
Anjin chose The Witchwood Crown (The Last King of Osten Ard #1) by Tad Williams:
It's been sitting on my to-be-read pile for too long.
Which book are you starting the year with?
Continuing over from 2021, I am reading both Dressed For Freedom: The Fashionable Politics of American Feminism by Einav Rabinovitch-Fox and White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows #7) by Kim Harrison. I am determined to finish (or at least catch up in) the Hollows series in 2022--I am really enjoying it.
What are you reading right now?
It is that time again when you help me choose the next book I will read! After pouring over my personal bookshelves, I came away with a a big stack of options, but narrowed it down to the three choices before you. Each of these books are on my unofficial Must Read in 2022 list and so my hope is to read all of them at some point this year. One will just have the honor of going first!
It is the summer of 2011, and Nour has just lost her father to cancer. Her mother, a cartographer who creates unusual, hand-painted maps, decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. But the country Nour’s mother once knew is changing, and it isn’t long before protests and shelling threaten their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee as refugees across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety. As their journey becomes more and more challenging, Nour’s idea of home becomes a dream she struggles to remember and a hope she cannot live without.
More than eight hundred years earlier, Rawiya, sixteen and a widow’s daughter, knows she must do something to help her impoverished mother. Restless and longing to see the world, she leaves home to seek her fortune. Disguising herself as a boy named Rami, she becomes an apprentice to al-Idrisi, who has been commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily to create a map of the world. In his employ, Rawiya embarks on an epic journey across the Middle East and the north of Africa where she encounters ferocious mythical beasts, epic battles, and real historical figures.
A deep immersion into the richly varied cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, The Map of Salt and Stars follows the journeys of Nour and Rawiya as they travel along identical paths across the region eight hundred years apart, braving the unknown beside their companions as they are pulled by the promise of reaching home at last. [Goodreads Summary]
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. [Goodreads Summary]
The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in her path, Adunni never loses sight of her goal of escaping the life of poverty she was born into so that she can build the future she chooses for herself - and help other girls like her do the same.
Her spirited determination to find joy and hope in even the most difficult circumstances imaginable will “break your heart and then put it back together again” (Jenna Bush Hager on The Today Show) even as Adunni shows us how one courageous young girl can inspire us all to reach for our dreams...and maybe even change the world. [Goodreads Summary]
Thank you for voting! What will you be reading next?
My TBR List is hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and let you vote for my next read during that month. My review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise).
What I Have Been Watching
My family recently saw Disney's, Encanto, on Disney+ which we loved. Even my husband was in tears at the end. We also re-watched Moana, a family favorite. Television wise, my husband and I watched Hawkeye, another great Marvel series, the second season of Witcher, and the final season of Lucifer this past month. On my own, I started watching the first season of Outlander. I have never read the books and have no interest in doing so, but at least thought I would check out the television series. It is definitely a series I am glad I chose to watch over reading.
Have you watched anything interesting lately?
New to the Shelves
Books I found under the Christmas tree this year:
The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith
The Book of Magic (Practical Magic #2) by Alice Hoffman
The Made Women's Ball by Victoria Mas
Not to be left out, Mouse found a few books under the tree too:
The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1), Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2), and Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend, illustrated by Jim Madsen
Persona 4, Volume 10 by Atlus & Shuji Sogabe
Have you read any of these books? What books did you add to your TBR this past month?
December Monthly Wrap Up
Here is what I finished reading in December:
- Down a Dark River ((Inspector Corravan #1) by Karen Odden
- Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
- Walking in a Witchy Wonderland (Stay a Spell #3.5) by Juliette Cross
- Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
While I may not have fit in much reading time in December, I certainly read some great books. The stories in Walking in a Witchy Wonderland were a fun way to wrap up the holiday season with a bit of magic and romance. I had a hard time putting down Down a Dark River, a historical mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters. The timing felt right to finally pull Brown Girl Dreaming off my TBR shelf to read--such a beautiful and touching history of the author's childhood written in verse. I had not planned on reading Shout last month. It was a desperate attempt to meet the last requirements for two of my reading challenges (poetry and nonfiction). The nonfiction book I was (and still am) reading was slow going and I knew I would not finish before the end of the year. From the very first page, I knew Shout was going to end up being one of my top five reads and that held true in the end.
This Past December In Reading Mews:
How did your December shape up? Do you have a favorite among the books you read?
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