Weekly Wrap-Up: Jan 4 – 10, 2021

Happy Monday, Boozie Book Nerds!

This is your weekly reminder that all lives can’t matter until black ones do.

Sam’s Update

Welp, 2021 is starting off strong, she says sarcastically. All of us are physically ok (we’re in the DC area), but we’re not mentally ok. Only 10 more days. Only 10 more.

What Sam Finished:

  • Reverie by Ryan LaSala: This was… ok. In this world, Kane wakes up after a coma having no memory of how he got there. Apparently he was in an accident. Turns out, there are these things called Reveries, which are irl dream manifestations and these kids help save people from them. I predicted a lot of what was going to happen, but it was just easy enough for me to get through it quickly.
  • Dawnshard by Brandon Sanderson: This is a novella set in the Stormlight Archive world, set before book 4. Rysn is on a mission to find a missing island to save her one-of-a-kind pet, but also for Queen Navani. I gobbled this up. So so great. The Lopen is in it too…

What Sam is Currently Reading:

I’m participating in Medieval-a-thon tryna be a Empress Bard…

  • Level 1: Read a book with a great first line: Well Played by Jen DeLuca: This is the sequel to Well Met and it is bringing me so much joy.
  • Level 2: A book with a travel element: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown: I forreal hope this has a travel element… the dust jacket made it seem so. Does anyone know? I only just started this. It’s about a poor boy and a princess and that’s all i know right now.

Ginny’s Update

It looks like I might need to adjust a few of my new years resolutions. First, I’m at about 90,0000 vertical feet where skiing is concerned.  I managed to fit in more skiing than I expected. Also, the lifts may go higher than I thought they did. Second, I’ve had a crazy amount of time to get some reading in. I chose 52 books for the year knowing that at some point I’ll go back to not having any free time. But in the first two weeks of the new year, it looks like I’m going to blow past my goal. 

What Ginny Finished:

  • The Marriage Game  by Sara Desai: Sam fires people for a living and Layla is moving home to start a business after her life implodes. Through unfortunate happenstances, they end up sharing an office. This was another book on Oprah’s list of the best books from 2020 and I think I need to ignore that list. There’s a few too many douche-y/unexplainable things happening in this book. I think this book used insta-lust as a reason for people making inexplicable decisions. It was still a fun book, just not one I’d suggest to a lot of people.
  • Deadline by Mira Grant: This is book 2 of the Newsflesh trilogy, which I am making my way through. I forgot interesting this book was. Shaun, now alone, uncovers medical information that makes it clear that someone is trying to control the population using the zombie virus. The expanded character list is great (I particularly enjoy Magdalena who makes pancakes while threatening to kill someone). Still, this is probably a weird choice to read during a pandemic.
  • Duchess by Design by Maya Rodale: An impoverished Duke goes to the US to marry a wealthy heiress and falls in love with a dressmaker instead. This book has a number of interesting discussions about power dynamics and how to deal with tradition vs innovation. While, again, a number of characters made what seemed like poor decisions, it was still a fun read. This is one I would suggest to other people, and I plan on reading the series.
  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik: I just found out this book is part of a series and I’m so excited. El is a student at the Scholomance, where students learn magic and occasionally get eaten by malevolent creatures. Except Orion Lake keeps saving people!!! I’m going to write a review of this for sure. I enjoyed El’s caustic nature, the magic system was a lot of fun, and there were times this book had me straight up laughing. 
  • This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria: We received this book as an ARC, so there will be a review. Karis is a slave of the Scriptorium who just wants to run away to find her brother. She wakes up an automaton (long-dormant machine) and goes on the run. This has an interesting magic system that I wouldn’t have minded a little bit more information on. Overall, this book was fun, although I do have a slight question about the target audience (for reasons I will discuss in my upcoming review).

What Ginny is Currently Reading:

  • A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday: I know, I’m a little late to be reading this. But hey, they library gives when the library has. Leo is supporting his little sister by driving a cab and being a super. Marie, the princess of a made up country, needs a ride to try to save her country’s economy. I haven’t gotten far in yet, but so far the characters seem really interesting. There are some really lovely descriptions about how people survive grief that I’m enjoying. 

Minda’s Update

What Minda is reading now: 

  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Mexican 50s socialite Noemí Taboada goes to the countryside on her father’s demand after receiving a mysterious, disturbing letter from her recently married cousin. Counts as the Level One: Miller category for the Medieval Readathon Baker Profession.
  • The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky (audio) – This one is a fantastical telling of the hypothetical meeting and clash between Inuits and Vikings in AD 1000. Definitely an inventive story that I am looking forward to reading more of.

What Minda finished:

  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi – A powerful story of an immigrant family from Ghana dealing with addiction, depression, racism, and reconciling a deep-seated belief in religion and science. Let’s just say this one was not for me.

Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,

— Sam, Ginny, and Minda

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