Bookshelf Roundup: 05/29/21: 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.
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!
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Children’s/McElderry Books for reaching out to me earlier this year with a few pitches for their upcoming spring and summer books! As you know I’ve become very picky about my YA, but out of many titles on the list, Blood like Magic by Liselle Sambury stood out immediately for me. I mean…witches, sacrifice, urban fantasy set in my hometown of Toronto…how could I not? There’s also a forbidden love aspect and a genetic matchmaking program thing that kind of reminds me of The One, so that made me curious as well. Definitely looking forward to check it out, and thrilled to have received an ARC.
My thanks also to Tor Books for this surprise arrival of The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman. Very happy to have a finished copy of this gritty, quirky fantasy debut from one of my favorite horror authors. I posted a review for it last week, in case you missed it you can check it out here!
Also with thanks to the amazing team at Minotaur Books, earlier this week I also received an ARC of The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl, described as a hard-hitting mystery about the aftermath of a sexual assault, and how a young woman from a family of dysfunctional relationships will seek justice by attempting to piece together the hours missing from her memories.
And courtesy of Random House Audio, I received two very exciting new titles in the digital review haul this week! The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman kind of snuck up on me, I didn’t even know she was going to have a new book out! I love her work though, so needless to say this was an auto-request. Finally, I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for the US release of The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell, the queen of Gothic horror fiction. At last, the time has come, and I’m beyond excited to dive right into this ALC.
Finally, thank you to Brilliance Audio for a listening copy of The Ice Lion by Kathleen O’Neal Gear, a dystopian sci-fi novel about climate change and survival in a frozen world. I’ve read the author’s work before, it’ll be interesting to get an archaeologist’s point of view, and she writes great characters!
The Album of Dr. Moreau by Daryl Gregory (4 of 5 stars)
The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter (4 of 5 stars)
Lost in the Never Woods by Aidan Thomas (2.5 of 5 stars)
With the weather getting warmer, my family and I have been going on more outings and hikes at the many parks and trails around my area. This year, the state of Maryland is also the epicenter of Cicada Brood X, which if you’re not aware is a cyclical phenomenon that happens every 17 years where billions of these huge, noisy insects burst out from the ground en masse, and basically the peak of their emergence was this past week. Just imagine, for seventeen years, they have been living beneath our feet…waiting. My daughter, deathly afraid of bugs, has taken to calling it the cicada uprising, but really, they’re harmless, just kinda gross. Me being a science geek though, I’m always fascinated by this type of thing, and while my background is more in healthcare and human biology, the ecological stuff never fails to interest me as well. These last few weeks I’ve been snapping photos and keeping track of Brood X, which hasn’t been difficult, because they are literally everywhere, from backyards to parking lots. My neighborhood being right next to a nature preserve, the cicadas are especially plentiful, and the days and nights have been getting really LOUD with their calls.
Here are some of pics I’ve taken on my hikes. The holes in the ground like Swiss cheese are where the nymphs have tunneled out, after which most will attempt to climb up the closest vertical surface (which is usually a tree trunk, but can also be a tall blade of grass, a wall, or a mailbox) and shed their exoskeleton, reaching the adult stage. The reason we’re not currently overrun with the adults is because of the heavy predation, but all the papery brown shells they leave behind are a good indication of the sheer numbers that have emerged. You can’t go two steps without crunching on some.
What I’ve Been Reading
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!