December 2021 TBR

It’s December!

2020 is almost over!

However, this hell year’s wrap-up doesn’t mean that we can rest easy. The pandemic is still going strong (and spiking really horribly) in many places, and we still need to do our part by wearing our masks, limiting our travel and washing our hands. Even if you and your family are strong, you still need to do your part to protect the most vulnerable among us.

And please, please, please remember to provide those folks on the front lines a heaping ton of politeness. I’m not just talking those in the medical profession, but all folks who work in face-to-face roles with the public on a daily basis—grocery workers, retail workers, receptionists, library workers, etc. These people have been taking the shit with as much politeness and customer service skills as they can muster, and as we ramp up into holiday season, please remember that front line staff have had to put up with a lot of extra shit this year in addition to having their health on the line.

One final thing before I get off my high horse: please remember that not everyone in the United States celebrates Christmas. I get that for many Christians, leaning into the holidays is a source of comfort and joy, but please don’t push your religion onto the rest of us with your aggressive Merry Christmases. And no one is attacking Christmas—seriously. Enjoy your holiday, I wish you well, but please be considerate of others with differing religions.

Anywho, lots of books on deck this TBR, and I’m excited for all of them! I was incredibly proactive in November (while procrastinating and failing at NaNoWriMo), and read all my Decembers ARCs ahead of time (however I did not write any reviews), so this month I have five January ARCs to read and the rest is to make time for my much-neglected backlist TBR.

Along these on my “official” TBR are a couple other longtime lurkers: The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon and The Stone Sky by NK Jemisin. Since I polished off two longtime TBR lingerers earlier, I’m feeling like I. Can. Do. This.

Not listed, of course, are the audiobooks I plan on reading, as those are tied to the whims of the holds gods.

January ARCs

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant (Jan 5)

When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. But as Tessa checks off each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. With comp titles of Fangirl and TATBILB, I was hooked! Plus, it deals with writer’s block, something I am intimately familiar with.

The Forever Sea by Joshua Phillip Johnson (Jan 19)

On the never-ending, miles-high expanse of prairie grasses known as the Forever Sea, Kindred Greyreach, hearthfire keeper and sailor aboard harvesting vessel The Errant, is just beginning to fit in with the crew of her new ship when she receives devastating news. Her grandmother–The Marchess, legendary captain and hearthfire keeper–has stepped from her vessel and disappeared into the sea. But the note she leaves Kindred suggests this was not an act of suicide. Something waits in the depths, and the Marchess has set out to find it. I am incredibly intrigued by this one!

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire (12 Jan)

Regan loves, and is loved, though her school-friend situation has become complicated, of late. When she suddenly finds herself thrust through a doorway that asks her to “Be Sure” before swallowing her whole, Regan must learn to live in a world filled with centaurs, kelpies, and other magical equines―a world that expects its human visitors to step up and be heroes. But after embracing her time with the herd, Regan discovers that not all forms of heroism are equal, and not all quests are as they seem…My suppressed 12-year-old horse girl is neighing in excitement!

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon (26 Jan)

Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio. When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Enemies-to-lovers on public radio? YES YES YES!

The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by CM Waggoner (12 Jan)

Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins. At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere. Not really one for alcoholics, but a f/f romance and all-woman bodyguards and assassins?? Yes, please!

The Backlist That I Will Totally, 100% Get To

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic, created to be the wife of a man who dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free. Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. This is a new addition to my Goodreads TBR, although I’ve eyed it off and on for a couple years now. With the sequel being set during WWI, I know that I need to read this one!

Clear to Lift by Anne A Wilson

Navy helicopter pilot Lt. Alison Malone has been assigned to a search and rescue team based at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, near the rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and far from her former elite H-60 squadron. A rule follower by nature, Alison is exasperated and outraged every time she flies with her mission commander, “Boomer” Marks, for whom military procedures are merely a suggestion. Alison is desperate to be transferred out of the boonies, where careers stagnate, and back to her life and fiancé in San Diego. Alison’s defenses start to slip when she meets mountain guide Will Cavanaugh during a particularly dicey mission. I absolutely loved her first book, Hover! I love reading (well, adding to my TBR) books by women veterans, and this is the month I finally read this one!

Wild at Heart by KA Tucker

Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together. Despite hating everything about the cover on the first one (that fucking hat, whyyyy), I really loved The Simple Wild. And I was going to read it in November because this this has been available from one of my libraries every time I checked for the past year—but it was checked out! So it’s on hold and I’ll hopefully get it mid-December.

Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

When Shuos Jedao wakes up for the first time, several things go wrong. His few memories tell him that he’s a seventeen-year-old cadet–but his body belongs to a man decades older.  Hexarch Nirai Kujen orders Jedao to reconquer the fractured hexarchate on his behalf even though Jedao has no memory of ever being a soldier, let alone a general.  Surely a knack for video games doesn’t qualify you to take charge of an army? It’s been a minute since I read the first two books in the series, but I am going to finish this trilogy because 1) it’s fantastic and 2) it’s damn time I do it!

Velocity Weapon by Megan E O’Keefe

Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction. However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later on a deserted enemy warship controlled by an AI who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe. How many months has this bee on my TBR? BUT last month I finished (and loved) another long-time TBR lurker and I’m feeling December for this baby to get read!

What are you looking forward to read in December?

8 thoughts on “December 2021 TBR

  1. I’ve had my eye on The Forever Sea for a while now – that cover is just so damned gorgeous! – but The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry just came into my radar recently. Some great picks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have definitely been EXTRA nice to everyone in the medical and retail professions this year. Now, I’m never mean but I’ve just been working hard on being extra nice because fuck, they deserve it.
    I’m not religious, I celebrate Christmas as a means to show the people in my life how much I adore them. The aggressive Merry Christmas’ are SO annoying. Like you said, no one is attacking Christmas. We’re just nice enough to make sure everyone is included in the holiday spirits.
    I also hate when people emphasize “Have a BLESSED day.” The urge to reply “No thanks,” almost wins every time. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I HATE “have a blessed day.” It’s such a forceful projection of a person’s views and values onto you in the most defensive way possible.

      I will admit though—I have let my staff decorate our front desk as much as they want (they chose the grinch because they are hilarious—we even have a Whosville and TV playing grinch music with 1960s grinch gifs) and they have gone all out. It’s a way for them to cope for this year and at this point I want them to do anything that will make them happy and stay sane, particularly since we’re front line and they have done so much.

      Liked by 1 person

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