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Jessica (HDB)

I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!

Currently reading

The Gunslinger
Stephen King
The Small Hand
Susan Hill
Summer of Night
Dan Simmons
Progress: 70%
The Dovekeepers
Alice Hoffman
Naomi Novik

Reading progress update: I've read 35%.

Dreamfall - Amy Plum

This book is horribly cheesy, and yet kind of what I need to read right now. I've been listening to it on and off in between other things. Honestly, I've mostly been listening to it while doing dishes. The fact that Plum is touching on the idea of being trapped in the dream of another person is really interesting. The dreams are just... odd? This is supposed to be a horror novel I think, so some of them are really weird. Some of them are really SAD. All of them are interesting though.



Halloween Bingo - The Planning Phase (Complete)

As I am cranky, exhausted, and have zero energy to do any actual work today, I'm distracting myself by planning my Halloween Bingo reading instead. That's valid, right? Honestly, this week has been hell. Complete hell. I'm hanging on by a thread, and the prospect of a quiet weekend of reading and sleeping is calling me. So let's get there faster by ignoring all things work and focusing on books!



Romantic SuspenseThe Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney

I've seen this book on many a blog that I follow and one of my friends who doesn't read much, but loves mysteries, has been waxing poetic about this. Hahaha. So I guess I will read it!


Chilling Children  - Let the Right One In  by John Ajvide Lindqvist

I've been meaning to read this for AGES. I loved the movie endlessly, and then felt guilty that I hadn't had the time to read the book. I already have this on request from the library!


GothicRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Pretty much everyone I know has read this, and I have not. So, that shall be remedied.


Modern Masters of HorrorLittle Heaven by Nick Cutter

I've owned this book for... 5 months? It keeps staring at me. Time to dive in and probably be scared out of my wits because Nick Cutter is EVIL.


Magical RealismMidnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

This book has been suggested to me multiple times, by multiple people, so what better time to read it? I'm pretty excited!




Haunted HousesLittle Stranger  by Sarah Waters

(Thank you MR!) I can't wait to read this now! 


GhostThe Diviners  by Libba Bray

I loved this book, but it's been so long since I've read it and I can't remember the nuances. Which stinks, because I want to finish the series. So here's a chance to re-read it.


Locked Room MysteryThe Burning Court by John Dickinson Carr

According to my mystery obsessed friend, any one of Carr's books fits this square. I chose this one mainly because it involves a female murderer. Fiendish!


Terror In a Small TownSummer of Night by Dan Simmons

Look, E. loved this book and I've been wanting to read it. That's it.


In the Dark, Dark WoodThe Ritual by Adam Nevill

OMG. This looks so scary. I am SO excited.



Darkest LondonA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

As excited as I would have been to re-read Neverwhere for the umpteenth time, I think I should read this book that has been languishing on my shelf for nearly two years.


VampiresSalem's Lot by Stephen King

Time for a re-read! YAY!


MonstersThe Breaking by Daniel Greene

Daniel had me read his first zombie novel, and this is the sequel! I need to review it so, two birds, one stone, and all that.


American Horror Story The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Another book that has been sitting for ages.



Classic Noir The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammet

Since others look to be reading this and I'm intrigued!


AliensIn the After by Demitria Lunetta

Have I mentioned I have a LOT of books, waiting to be read on my shelf?


Classic HorrorPsycho by Robert Bloch

Time to visit Bates motel! Woo!


WitchesThe Witching Hour by Anne Rice

My favorite series, and I do believe that it's time for a re-read.


80's HorrorNightscape by Stephen R. George

Can we please talk about how amazing ALL 80's horror covers are? I'm in love with them. Chose this one mainly because of the cover, to be honest!



Serial/Spree KillerThere's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Yes, I know it'll be cheesy. I just think I'll need something fluffy by this point!


WerewolvesThe Wolf's Hour by Robert McCammon

Realistically I know it's very unlikely I'll get to this or finish it, but hey, it's a hope! Also has anyone noticed how woefully packed all werewolf books are into the "shifter" category. Paranormal Romance has eaten all things werewolf.


SupernaturalNeedful Things by Stephen King

Would you look at me weird if I told you I was giddy over re-reading this? This is literally my favorite King book and I couldn't even explain why.


Diverse VoicesAkata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Recommended multiple times. I'm listening.


DemonsSeed by Ania Ahlborn

I didn't love The Devil Crept In but I'm willing to give Ahlborn another shot!



So that's everything! All updated. I'm going to take it slow, and pick my way through the list. I know I took on a LOT of horror but, truth be told, I think I'm ready to get lost in that right now. Maybe my psyche needs it. 

Reading progress update: I've read 75%.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee

I hereby profess my undying love for Henry Montague, and his rakish ways! The banter and tension between him and Percy is giving me life this week, since it hasn't exactly been the best of weeks by any measure. The fact that today is Friday and that I can probably do nothing this evening but lay around and read is the only thing keeping me together.


That, and Felicity's boundless wit and venom:


“Just thinking about all that blood." I nearly shudder. "Doesn't it make you a bit squeamish?"


"Ladies haven't the luxury of being squeamish about blood," she replies, and Percy and I go fantastically red in unison. 


I do love this book though. Endlessly. I think it's destined for the favorites shelf.

Reading progress update: I've read 82%.

Spliced - Jon McGoran

I made more progress! Although now this book is descending into a sadly predictable "thriller" portion and I'm getting bored. I actually wasn't sad when my Kindle notified me that I needed to charge it hahahaha. I'd rather be listening to the audio book I have on tap. Still, I'm hoping that the ending will surprise me!

Halloween Bingo Card!

Just dropping this here so I can keep track of it, since I can't wait to play! It has my name on it and everything! I'm so excited!


This year I set out to stop reading just to blog, and start reading what I wanted to. It's worked amazingly well. I can't wait to tackle some of the horror/mystery/thriller books I've been holding onto for the "perfect" weather to go with them. WOOT!


Reading progress update: I've read 57%.

Spliced - Jon McGoran

This book is killing me to finish. Not because it isn't interesting, or well written, but because it has a focus on hate groups and the irrational way they think. See, in this book "splicing" is a real thing. People can choose to be spliced with an animal, although in most cases not legally. There's a hate group that thinks anyone with "less than 100% human genes" shouldn't be a person. It's getting to me hardcore, in the light of everything going on right now. Our characters were just harassed by a group of young people who were raised within this hate group, and I literally almost sobbed.


I don't know if I'm going to be able to finish reading this right now. It's not really escapism, which is kind of what I need at the moment.

Fandom Box Swap!

Hey guys! Grim is hosting the September Box Swap and it's Fandom themed! Come join us and make/receive a box packed to the brim with all the goodies from your favorite worlds!


Link is here!

I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski

I See London, I See France - Sarah Mlynowski

Ugh. This book was a really rough read for me, and I only persevered because I was buddy reading it with a friend. If I hadn't had an outlet to complain, and feel like it wasn't just me feeling that way, I would have given up. I got nothing out of this book other than the fact that these girls should not have been traveling, because clearly they are exactly why people in other countries are annoyed with American tourists.


I really have nothing else to say. Obnoxious characters. Thin watery plot. Horrid travel scenes. Tepid romance. The only thing this did make me want to do was travel to eat food because YUM food.


I'm glad I'm done.

A Merchant in Oria by David Wiley

A Merchant in Oria - David E. Wiley

It's not often that I stumble on a novella length Fantasy novel, so you can imagine my delight when this one was offered to me for review. Even better, this turned out to be a novella that I honestly didn't want to end. David Wiley has managed to execute quite the story in A Merchant in Oria, and it's impressive even without the small amount of pages that he's done it in. I tell you, this is an author to watch.

Firion is a great character. I was stunned at how much I instantly liked him, and how well fleshed out he was as the novella sped by. With dreams of wealth, and filled youthful vigor, he sets out to Oria to make a name for himself. Little does Firion know that he's riding right into the middle of something rotten, and a mystery that is so much larger than himself. Watching him battle with his conscience and even grow a bit throughout this, was so much fun. I could not believe how well his character developed in such a short time.

Better still was the world building that spanned this novella. Instead of feeling flat and rushed, Oria and its surrounding cities grew in front me. If you haven't already caught on, there is a lot to love about how much attention to detail there is in such a short span of pages. Wiley brings lizard-men and dwarves into the picture, wraps them in magic and intrigue, and does it all effortlessly. This was a fun ride.

Truth be told, I was sad when this novella was over. I'd love to see more of Firion, and find out more about the family that he came from. This is so worth your time. Check out A Merchant in Oria. You won't be sorry.

Hobbies and Happenings

Hey y'all. *flops on the floor* Can someone explain to me why it's not Friday yet, when it clearly feels like it should be? I've done more work in the last two days than all of last week, and I'm done with this week. I'm wishing I was home, and flopped out with a book and some wine.



I recently purchased this chair (and that pillow because... CUTE), and now I even have a storage ottoman to go with it! This is my new reading nook. Unsurprisingly, it's in the same room where my puppy resides. So I can chill, read books, drink wine, and hang with my girl. It's my happy place, and I so wish I was there pretty much all the time that I'm not. Hahaha. It's good to have a place to dream about.



I've also picked up my first ever embroidery project and, despite the fact that it has taken me somewhere upwards of 10 hours so far, am thoroughly enjoying it. I keep telling everyone that if you own anything hand embroidered, cherish it. It has a ton of love and time inside of it. It's really relaxing though, and a great way to kick back and listen to audio books.


Other than hiding in my reading nook, and working like mad, I've mostly been keeping to myself. I've kind of initiated this calm state inside of myself, where I try to make sure nothing makes me too stressed. When something feels too big, or too much, I step back to assess it before deciding whether it's worth my energy. It's been working great, honestly. My anxiety is at an all time low, and I'm really enjoying myself. Even my household chores haven't been an issue lately, and that's saying a lot. Hahaha. I used to have a meltdown when the dishes in the sink started to stack up.


Point being, I'm doing well. I come here and lurk, read all your posts, and swoop on through. I'm here! Just sometimes hiding. With the new upswing in my mood though, don't be surprised to see me posting random things again. *hugs*

Reading progress update: I've read 70%.

I See London, I See France - Sarah Mlynowski


For the record, I'm only still reading this because I'm doing a buddy read of it and so far talking crap about it with my friend has kept me sane. This book is terrible though. Leela is a horrific friend, and a spoiled brat. Syd has no spine whatsoever, and is making me want to throw something at her. These girls are the worst kind of tourists imaginable. Also, I'm angry that they aren't at all appreciative of all the amazing things that they're seeing.


Must. Not. Burn. Book.

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

A Million Junes - Emily Henry

Short and sweet: This book went from something I wasn't sure I'd love to a book that I fell head over heels for, in no time flat.


One of the most beautiful, and honest, discussions of dealing with loss that I've ever read. June doesn't beat around the bush. She brutally honest about the way memories hurt, and heal, then hurt again. The idea that you ever "get over" losing someone is all but smashed in this, and I loved it for that.


My favorite part was June's sentiment about helping others deal. "I'm useless, but I'm here." I've been saying that to people for ages. I know I can never fully understand their pain, and I don't want to trivialize their process by attempting to. But I always tell them I'm here. To listen. To hug. To smash things with if need be.


Beautiful. Just beautiful.

New swap is up! Come celebrate all things summer!


Hunted - Meagan Spooner

I liken this book to roller coaster of the worst kind. One where it takes literal hours to slowly, slowly, inch up to the top of that first hill, only to find out that the drop on the other side is over in 3 or 4 seconds. Gah.


Good things:

* Beauty is actually a badass here. She's strong, capable, and actually kind of easy to follow along with.


* Beast is more intriguing than normal, because he has this whole dual mind thing going on and we actually get to see from his point of view.


Bad things:

* Literally everything else. The romance is boring. The "action" scenes are boring. Beauty spends SO MUCH TIME contemplating things that it's obnoxious, only to turn around at some point and act drastically, leading her to something awful. Like... do you not know what middle ground is woman? 


Oh well. I finished it!

Reading progress update: I've read 70%.

Hunted - Meagan Spooner

Bah, this book. It's like... I want to know what happens but also I'm REALLY bored at the same time. Yeva (Beauty) has been with the Beast for almost 3/4 of the book and nothing at all has really happened. The most exciting part, that just occurred, was the first time in this entire read that I actually smiled.




I'm too far to give up now.



Is where I was for the last week and a half! Grim reminded me, as she always does, that I had forgotten to check in here. Sorry all. Since I'm not participating in Booklikes-opoly I keep forgetting to check in.


Anyway we played tourist to the max. We did everything touristy that there is to do. Visited the Bean, went to the top of Willis tower, saw the zoo, etc. etc. We even, much to the delight of the hubby, took a tour of Wrigley field! Here's us sitting in the dugout.



It was a ton of fun. Exhausting, but honestly really enjoyable. It was also a great reset button for all the madness that was happening at work, and I came back a happier and healthier person. So that's always good! I'm super happy we took the time to visit a new city, and I can't wait to go back and eat more food!