Bookshelf Roundup 09/05/20: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads

Bookshelf Roundup is a feature I do every weekend which fills the role of several blog memes, like Stacking the Shelves where I talk about the new books I’ve added to my library or received for review, as well as It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? where I summarize what I’ve finished reading in the last week and what I’m planning to read soon. Mostly it also serves as a recap post, so sometimes I’ll throw in stuff like reading challenge progress reports, book lists, and other random bookish thoughts or announcements.

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Happy September! Or should I say, holy crap, it’s September?! As challenging as this summer has been, it felt like it really just flew by. Of course, fall will also bring its own set of challenges, and for me, the first and foremost of these will be getting my kids back to school. Like many, they’ll be virtual learning for the first semester, and as hardworking as our teachers are, I’m already anticipating certain areas where distance learning simply won’t cut it, and for one, I know I have a Kindergartener who will probably need some extra attention. At this time, I have no idea how much it will affect my schedule, only that it will, because I’ll also be working. I try to update this blog daily, but for the next little while, you might see a few less posts from me every week — at least until I settle into my new rhythm, which hopefully won’t take too long! You can bet I’ll still be reading and reviewing, so without further ado, let’s continue to the roundup…

Received for Review

My thanks to the publishers and authors for the following review copies received, and be sure to click the links to their Goodreads pages for more details and full descriptions!

A couple more new arrivals made it to my mailbox this week, with thanks to Subterranean Press for this ARC of A Question of Navigation by Kevin Hearne. This one wasn’t even on Goodreads when I tried to look it up, and I was made even more curious by whatever is happening on that cover. Dare I ask? All I know is that it’s a sci-fi novella about aliens, and chances are it’s going to be quirky and wild, considering who wrote it.

Also, my thanks to Saga Press for The Residence by Andrew Pyper, a mid-nineteenth century historical horror inspired by the tragic family life of President Franklin Pierce, whose last son was gruesomely killed in a train accident when he was just 11, right before his inauguration. I think this is going to be a tough read considering the sorrowful and grim subject matter, but I can’t deny I’m intrigued by this tale of haunting.


This is probably my biggest audiobook hauls in a while, but it’s the start of the month so there were a lot of September releases that caught my eye. With thanks to Penguin Random House Audio, I received Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising by Timothy Zahn, first book in a new series about our favorite Chiss Admiral, as well as One Step Behind by Lauren North, a psychological thriller about a woman who is targeted by a stalker. And with thanks to Macmillan Audio, I also received Skyhunter by Marie Lu which already has so much excitement surrounding it, I can’t wait to check it out.

Courtesy of Hachette Audio, I received three new ALCs: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, which I don’t know why I’ve heard about only recently. I love the author! I also grabbed How to Rule an Empire and Get Away With It by K.J. Parker, which promises to be a humorous, high-spirited read. And cheers to Tammy from Books, Bones & Buffy who convinced me to pick up Lone Jack Trail by Owen Laukkanen, even though it’s the second book in the series. I still need to read the first, but these books are standalone and the premise to this one sounds irresistible.

And you know it’s getting to fall season when all these great looking horror novels start showing up. With thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio, I picked up The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson, which has drawn comparisons to Stranger Things and The X-Files.

Last but not least, with thanks to the author, I received a listening copy of Blue Angel by Phil Williams! As you know the Ordshaw books are gradually coming to audio, so I am so thrilled to be continuing the series as they come out. Thank you again, Phil!


Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis (4 of 5 stars)
Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May (3.5 of 5 stars)
The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell (3 of 5 stars)
The Mother Code by Carole Stivers (3 of 5 stars)

This Week’s Reads

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Have you heard of or read any of the books featured this week? What caught your eye? Any new discoveries? I hope you found something interesting for a future read! Let me know what you plan on checking out. Until next time, see you next Roundup!:)

38 Comments on “Bookshelf Roundup 09/05/20: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads”

  1. Good luck with school. I know it is a huge problem in our area. We’re supposed to open schools in the next week or so but I don’t think there is any actual unified plan on how to move forward. Parents who have lived their whole lives with the idea of sending their kids off to school and then going to work, well, that model has been seriously tipped on its side and I don’t envy you all who have to deal with it.

    So take all the time off you need. I have a bad feeling that our culture is in the middle of some sort of shift and we won’t realize it until after it has happened and the dust settles.

    As for the books, I hate to say it, but Zahn really seems to have become a one trick pony in the star wars universe. Of course, with Thrawn being one of the most universally known characters outside of the movies, I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m still pissed off that Zahn’s creation Mara Jade was killed off and it has been years! Me and Star Wars, it is like some sort of bad relational drama soap opera thingy.


    • That’s exactly where our county is right now. They gave us this whole spiel about doing the whole first semester virtually for the well-being of students, which is fine and good but…there was virtually no plan. Now with the shortage of chromebooks, they almost had students from grades K to 3 doing packets until they had to relent due to the uproar from parents. So now as long as we can scrounge together our own devices, we can do synchronous learning where you actually get live class sessions with a teacher. But of course, that leaves behind the most vulnerable sections of the population, the poor as well as kids with learning disabilities – ironically, pretty much the complete opposite of caring “for the well-being of students”. It’s just been a cluster, ugh.

      And yeah I’m pretty pissed that Mara Jade died, AND the fact the franchise pretty much threw her away. I still have hope that if they brought back Thrawn they might find a way to bring back Mara Jade, but it’s becoming more and more unlikely. If they did, she would probably Mara in name only, but a completely different entity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s talk here of keeping everyone from this year back a year, as they just aren’t going to learn what they are supposed to.

        And you are right, this is going to destroy the down and out. I can imagine poor kids parent’s selling the chrome books for cash, for whatever purpose, and saying it was “lost” or stolen. and that is if they even get one.


        • That would be my worst nightmare. I can’t imagine them going to such extremes as to hold all students back a year, but sadly, I know some kids who would probably benefit from that. It sucks, but students who are already behind are going to fall even further back this year, and passing them will do them no favors. I also have friends who are teachers who tell me that they regularly see students sleeping through the virtual classes, making no effort to hide doing so on the webcam. Earlier this spring when they shut down the schools, ours still provided the rest of the curriculum online so the kids could do asynchronous learning with weekly updates with the teachers. However, my kid’s teacher told me she was unable to get a hold of a few families in her class, like they just couldn’t be bothered and blew off the rest of the school year. Clearly, there are those students and their parents who just don’t give a shit about getting an education, and in my opinion they should be held back too.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel your concerns about the school situation – my grandchildren are starting back this week and so far, my daughter still doesn’t know how my younger grandson’s school intends to deal with it… As for your haul – oh my goodness! You have SO many good reads in there… The Kevin Hearne has me green with envy – and highly intrigued, as I didn’t know he wrote sci fi! I hope you are loving the Seven Devils as much as I did… Whatever September holds – I hope your reading is going to be great:)


  3. Ooh nice new reads! Those are new to me ones! Except for Skyhunter of course! I am super curious about that one, though I did pass on a review copy as I’ve been struggling to keep up with what I have and try to work on reading TBR books! I hope you thoroughly enjoy them all!

    My StS will be up tomorrow, so stop by then if you can!

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower 🙂


  4. The re-opening of schools is going to be a huge challenge, world-wide, not just for the problems posed by Covid, but for their ramification into the lives of people who have to juggle their jobs and the schooling of their kids. Best of luck! 🙂


  5. Hope you enjoy Lone Jack Trail 😁 I’m hoping to squeeze in The Residence this month too, its been far too long since I’ve read a book by Andrew Piper.

    And good luck with distance learning, I think its going to be especially tough for the Kinders. Let’s hope schools figure out a way to open safely soon…


    • Yeah, it’s their first year of school, the most formative and important year. At this point, our state and county has gotten the okay to reopen the schools if they feel they are up to it, but I think those in charge who can make that decision are just too afraid.


  6. Hello Mogsy. I haven’t heard of any of your listed books there. But that often happens to me when reading blogs. Maybe new books in America are promoted in a different way to new books here in Europe. So many writers I haven’t heard of and I’ve been reading for a REALLY long time! Take your time with the back to school issue. Sometimes life takes over our plans!


    • Well, my area of focus is also sci-fi and fantasy, so maybe it’s just a niche genre 🙂 Sometimes I go to other blogs and I don’t know any of the authors and books either, but a lot of times, it’s because the blogger just reads completely different books than me, lol! 😀


  7. I’ve been curious about KJ Parker for a while but haven’t tried anything yet. Looking forward to hearing about this one. Good luck with balancing everything the next few months, and I hope your kids handle it well. It can’t be easy times for them.


  8. I have the first Parker book and I really want to read it but deadlines keep getting in the way – or is it that I just request too many books!
    Good luck with the school situation, I can only reflect the comments above – it feels like we’re in the middle of such a huge chance doesn’t it, and I doubt that thing will go back to the way they once were.
    Lynn 😀


  9. School is such a challenge with everything going on! I hope your roll out goes smoothly. My daughter is doing the online as well- extended traditional they call it- and there are definitely challenges to it!

    The Residence and One step Behind both look good to me.


  10. I’ve never heard of that Hearne one, either, but the cover reminds me of R.L. Stine. I’ve heard good things about Lone Trail Jack, and Skyhunter—can’t wait to hear how you like them! And I won’t panic if you miss any days this week. Like, too much. Good luck with work and children and school and the plague and politics and… everything 😂


    • Yes, that cover does have a throwback feel to R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps for me, now that you mention it! And haha, you literally made me laugh with your comment about panic – I’ll definitely be missing more days, now that the first week of school is over and I see that I’ll need to be putting in WAY more time than I originally thought into making sure my kids actually learn something this year, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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