Hello friends & foxes & fox-friends!
So, here we are on January 1st, 2021. Take a deep breath. exhale. Repeat.
2020 took a lot out of all of us, but it did deliver TWO Taylor Swift albums and a bevy of wonderful books. If you were able to read this year, AWESOME. If you couldn't and you just listened to T-Swift on repeat whilst staring into the void, that is also AWESOME. The important thing is that you're here, reading this blog (THANK YOU!), and you have persevered. Any books you missed out on this year, will still be available for reading purposes in the new year.
I'd love to influence your TBR, so behold! My Mighty Stack of December Reads!
My goals this month were to clear off a good chunk of my TBR in preparation for 2021 and I felt like I made solid progress. (the downside to subscribing to book boxes is that I have 5 new books guaranteed to arrive every month...) So a good part of my December reads were book box books (five to be exact).
My top five favorites were:
Firestarter by Tara Sim: This is the fantastic conclusion to her Timekeeper Trilogy and I cannot recommend these lovely books enough. Danny, Colton, Daphne & the crew are faced with impossible choices and there is excellent gay pining. The magic and world building of this series is top notch. And, Tara Sim's writing is absolutely beautiful to boot. I cannot recommend these books enough. (CW: Violence, parental loss, sibling loss, queerphobia, torture)
Eloquent Rage by Britteny Cooper; THIS BOOK. READ IT. That's it. That's the summary. Cooper's essays on the intersectionality of race and feminism are excellent. If you're looking to educate yourself on your white privilege or better understand how to be intersectional, you can't miss this book. There are some painful truths to listen to, but they are truths that need to be heard, addressed, and unpacked. There are so many ways white people are failing the BIPOC community and this book will help to illuminate where those shortcomings are. It's also a celebration of Black power, Black beauty, and Black lives. Her final chapter includes affirmations that will leave you feeling like you're ready to tackle the social injustices of the world. (CW: Racism, fatphobia, Family violence, Community Violence)
The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake: *sigh* this book was so soothing to my queer soul. It was beautiful and witty and just, comfy. This brilliant coming of age story has Violet returning to the small coastal town where her great-great-great grandmother was the only survivor of a ship wreck. As she works to uncover the truth of her family's history, she has to face the demons of her own making, all while falling in love with a girl who makes her want to be the best version of herself. The sapphic pining in this is just *chef's kiss* (CW: Suicide, drugs, alcohol, panic attacks, mental health)
Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson: W O W. I sat down to read this book, thinking I would just start it one night & read a chapter or two and then, suddenly it was four hours later and I had finished. I could NOT put it down. This book is intense, but an absolute must read. It examines and exposes the way young girls are objectified and groomed by older men. This is a book that you definitely don't want to start unless you are in a good mental space. (CW: Sexual assault, Non-consensual intercourse, drugs, alcohol, mental, verbal, & emotional abuse)
Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe: This book was a delight. Rom-coms are the hardest genre of book to hit for me. I'm just not a Hallmark movie kind of a person. But this book was so much fun and absolutely adorable. I loved Henri and his dog-walking start-up. Philippe writes such a relatable character and bonus points that it's a rom-com from the POV of a male protagonist. Which while not unheard of, is less common than being from a female POV. I loved this enemies to friends to lovers romance and the ending message was fantastic. 10/10, I cannot recommend this book enough. (CW: none come to mind!)
I know, my favorites list is heavy on the contemporary side. Shhhh, don't tell anyone or they might try to revoke my fantasy-reader card. But I promise to make up for it in 2021! I have so many fantasy books on my TBR!
This year I'm not only going to work towards continuing to diversify my reads by reading more BIPOC and queer stories, but I'm also working on completing the Siren's Reading Challenge. It's a list of twenty-five essential texts that can found here: Sirens 2021 Reading Challenge. So far I've completed 5 of the required 25 texts. This will also be my first year using a reading planner and I am both excited and terrified as planners in general stress me out. (I am a very flexible person planning wise, but if I write something down in pen, it had better happen. If it doesn't I feel like a failure & I also get into planning kicks sometimes and I'm like HERE IS MY PLAN FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS OF EVERY BOOK I'M GONNA READ AND THE EXACT DAYS I WILL START & FINISH. So I am approaching it with trepidation, but hoping it goes well, because in the end, I do love a good plan)
Here is my official #shelfie of my 2021 TBRs. It's very manageable and only has a total of 15 books on it! Will this be the year I actually get it down to zero? Who knows! But I'm so excited to read these books, along with the many amazing new releases that 2021 has in the works.
I'm currently listening to The Burning God & reading Soulswift. I'm excited and hopeful as we kick off into another 365 days of reading, writing, & nerd shenanigans. I have plans for this blog in the works and am looking forward to bringing y'all the content you crave. (Or like, the content I crave? But, also, if you want me to blog about something, or want to be interviewed, or do a guest blog, please please send me a message or hit me up on Twitter @KatjaBookDragon. I would love to hear from you.)
Also, I have decided to not continue creating Bookshop pages as it has come to light that their business model might not be the best for the local indies they claim to support. I am, instead, providing links to books from the website of my local indie shop. Leana's Books & More has great prices and offers media mail shipping rates. This local owned bookstore was my lifeline during the past year. The owner personally delivered books to me at my house on several occasions and overall, they are just fantastic. So if you're looking to buy any of these books, check out the links!
I hope you have a wonderful 2021! Happy Reading!!