Sunday, December 27, 2020

Break Notice...

It's that time of year again when we take an extended break from blogging. We'll still be around on Instagram, Twitter, goodreads, and on the blog to answer any comments. See you all in the New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2020

The Cookie Book Tag (Round 3)


It's December 25th, so Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! I hope everyone has a great day. The year is almost over, and today we're going to do a book tag. It has been a year to the day since Adri and I participated in the Cookie Book Tag for the second time. And today, we're going to do it again to see how our answers do and don't differ. Before we begin, here are the more technical details about the tag.

The Cookie Book Tag was created by Nicole @ Sorry, I’m Booked. And you can check out the original tag post here: Sorry, I’m Booked, The Cookie Book Tag.

The rules…
  • Link back to the person who tagged you + the creator of this tag 
  • Pick a book that corresponds with the cookies theme 
  • Have fun 
  • Tag 1-3 people

Chocolate Chip: A Classic Book That You Love or Really Enjoyed (interpret classic how you want, it can be a classic written 100 years ago or 20 years ago)

Breana: It may be 10 years shy of 20 years, but I'm going to go with Cold Magic by Kate Elliott. It came out in 2010, and it's one of my all-time favorite novels. It's also one of the first general fantasy books I picked up around the time my reading tastes were changing.

Adri: I have a Barnes & Noble edition, which includes The Invisible Man and The Time Machine. I finished reading The Time Machine around two years ago. This year, I just now completed The Invisible Man. It was a wild story. 

Thin Mints: A Fandom That You Really Want to ‘Join’ AND/OR a Hyped-Up Book You Want To Read (your source(s) of a book being hyped can be from anywhere)

Breana: I'm still waiting for A Crown So Cursed by L.L. McKinney. The Nightmare-Verse is currently one of my favorite series, and I can't wait to get my hands on the conclusion to the story.

Adri: The Shadows by Alex North has been out for some time, but I was never really sure if I wanted to read it. However, when I saw an interview with the author from BookBub--which mentioned lucid dreaming--I became intrigued. And now I want to read it. 

Shortbread: An Author You Can’t Get Enough Of

Breana: I have two choices for this one: Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Jun Mochizuki. I've really been enjoying Mochizuki's The Case Study of Vanitas. It's one of my favorite takes on vampires, and the world building for the series is just fantastic. I've also read two of Garcia's books so far (Gods of Jade and Shadow and Mexican Gothic), and I've enjoyed both of them. There are a number of other books by the author that are still on my TBR list. 

Adri: My choice is the late Mary Higgins Clarke. I've already read Remember Me, but we have quite a few of her books around the house. I've been meaning to read them but never got around to it. I look forward to when I can get my hands on them.

Samoas/ Caramel DeLites: An Emotional Rollercoaster (this cookie was hard … so any book that made you feel more than one emotion, strongly. The choice of emotions is up to you)

Breana: I know Jelly by Clare Rees doesn't come out until May next year, but I had so many feelings while reading this book. My review will explain it, but it won't be up on the blog until its closer to the release date.  

Adri: Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett. As I said before, one look at the description will tell you why.

Oreos: A Book Whose Cover Was Better Than The Story OR Vice Versa, Where The Story Was Better Than Its Cover

Breana: I really liked the first cover for The Sisters of Straygarden Place, and the second one is just fine. The story though is fantastic and I highly recommend it.

Adri: I don't dislike the cover for Exploring The World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold. I feel like in contrast to its simplicity, the contents of the book are definitely more interesting. 

Tagalongs/ Peanut Butter Patties: A Book That Wasn’t What You Expected (good, bad, or just different, interpret how you wish)

Breana: Deal With The Devil by Kit Rocha was surprising in a good way, and it renewed my interest in post-apocalyptic stories.

Adri: The Complete Book of Fashion Illustration by Sharon Lee Tate and Mona Shafer Edwards. There were no preview images when I purchased this book, and I looked really hard for them too. Since it was a used book, I really didn't know what I would get. However, I've come to love it and have been using it to practice a different art style from my usual. 

Snickerdoodles: A Book You May Never Stop Rereading/ Loving

Breana: I have two for this one. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden. In terms of series conclusions, this book is one of my top favorites. The same could also be said about Ann Leckie's Ancillary Mercy.

Adri: I will never stop rereading Victorian Fashions & Costumes From Harper's Bazar 1867-1898 edited by and with an introduction by Stella Blum. Note: the cover is in shambles..... **Update: the cover fell off while writing this....***

Bonus: Choose a cookie I didn’t list and make up a question!

Our question from 2018: Monster Cookies have bold flavors and a long and varied list of ingredients such as M&Ms, chocolate chips, peanut butter, oats, and even sometimes raisins. It’s like a handful of cookie types mashed into one monster of a cookie. So… Monster cookie: name a book with a bold and whimsical title or a book title with four or more words.

Breana: The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark.

Adri: Dreamscapes Creating Magical Angel, Faery & Mermaid worlds with Watercolor by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.

That's about it for today. We tag you to do the cookie book tag to see how your answers differ (if you've done it before). If you're curious about our original take on the tag and our second try at it visit the post HERE and HERE

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Short Stories I Read In November

Today, I’m here to talk about the short stories, miscellaneous posts, and podcast episodes I read or listened to in November. This post is appearing earlier this month, since I will mostly be away from the blog toward the latter half of December.

An Egg Before It Is Broken by Miyuki Jane Pinckard (Strange Horizons; November 9, 2020)

An Egg Before It Is Broken was the first story I read in November, and it was a nice bit of light reading. Recently, I’ve enjoyed stories where a character reminisces about some event in the past, and that’s essentially what this story was about. It was a scene, a moment in time, and it was written excellently. Also there were soft-boiled eggs.

Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law by Lavie Tidhar (, November 11, 2020)

In October, I read a story by Lavie Tidhar called Juvenilia. In searching for more work by this author last month, I came across Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law. Recently, there have been a slew of vampire novels, and I’m not mad at the trend—especially if it keeps giving gems like Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law. This was such a fantastic vampire story. I loved the characters, and at times the story had a mystery novel feel to it along the same lines of Sherlock Holms—while part of it also felt like an origin story as well. The two characters, Judge Dee and Jonathan, kind of gave off a feel that reminded me of the dynamic between Holms and Watson. I gotta be honest, it was great. Besides the characters, the story was easy enough to get into, and the case Judge Dee and Jonathan took on kept me reading till the end. As the synopsis says “No vampire is ever innocent.” The limits of the laws vampires had to abide by were pretty clear, and it was interesting to see how Judge Dee applied them while making his verdicts. All-in-all, this was an enjoyable story to read.

From Around The Web…

Monday, December 21, 2020

Music Monday (143): Holiday Edition


  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 

Breana: We've been sharing holiday music throughout the month. That being said, it's the Monday before Christmas, so it's time for the holiday edition of Music Monday.

Some of the holiday music I've been listening to this year includes A Hand For Mrs. Claus by Idina Menzel featuring Ariana Grande and Last Christmas by Wham!.


Andrea: This week, I'm listening to Christmas Prayer by Gloria Gaynor. Have a great week all!

Adri: I've been listening to a variety of music as always. Today, I'm listening to Ain't A Lonely Christmas Song by Tayla Parx.


What holiday music are you listening to?

Friday, December 18, 2020

2020 Favorites: Media

Today, I’m here to talk about my favorite books, movies, TV shows, and music I watched, listened to, or read in 2020. Usually, I break this post down into various parts, but the year is 2020 and it’s going to be a little different.


With the pandemic going the way it is—as well as how nerve-wracking the election was—I read fewer books this year. However, the ones I did pick up were mostly good. I’m just going to list them here since I already did dedicated posts for them, and for short stories check the Short Story label

Movies & TV Shows...

It doesn’t feel like I’ve watched anything new this year, but I know I have. Earlier in the year, I talked about watching Labyrinth (1986) for the first time. (I Watched Labyrinth (1986))  I also revisited movies like Stardust, Total Recall, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 

In the last three months of 2020, I started watching holiday-themed shows. I enjoyed the usual classics when I caught them on TV, as well as the various baking competitions that aired on Food Network.

One series that was my absolute favorite was Over the Garden Wall. It took a while for me to watch this one, but I’m so glad I did. It was the perfect way to get into fall, as the show has a very autumnal aesthetic with the perfect amount of heartwarming feels and quirky spookiness. 

I watched a number of movies on Netflix around this time as well. For Halloween, my favorites were A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting and Vampires VS the Bronx. And for Christmas, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story was the clear winner here. It was hands down one of the best musicals I watched in 2020. I also watched Christmas on the Square with Dolly Parton and Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, a documentary involving Debbie Allen and her dance students. 


My list of podcasts hasn’t changed. I mainly listened to Print Run, Our Opinions Are Correct, and Fangirl Happy Hour.

And last but certainly not least, music. I listened to a lot of great albums and EPs this year. I did try to step out of my comfort zone and find new artists to add to my playlist, and I did accomplish that.
Two Mixtapes I did not get to do a post for this year was Tkay Maidza’s Last Year Was Weird Vol.1 and Vol.2. I did mention them on a Music Monday post, but they needed to be mentioned again and with a little more details. Last Year Was Weird Vol. 1 and Vol.2 were probably two of the best mixtapes I listened to in 2020. The sound and lyrics of every song was done so well, and I often find myself wanting to listen to them again and on repeat. They're memorable and give a smooth R& B vibe with a number of catchy rap flows. There’s going to be a Last Year Was Weird Vol.3, and I’m looking forward to when that gets released.

Adri: I'm here to tack on some of my favorite music that I have been listening to. I didn't do any post for these (some of them I mentioned for Music Monday), but I am listing it anyway. This year, I gravitated toward more metal artist, like Ocean's of Slumber, I Prevail, and Tetrarch. I discovered a lot of past albums from the likes of Grace Jones, Mythos, and Samantha James. And, of course, have been enjoying recent releases from various artist. Anyway, here's my full list in no particular order. (Sorry in advance for the long list...)
  • Earthgang - Mirrorland
  • RL Grime - Sable Valley Summer Vol. 1 (Compilation)
  • Lone - Not Seeing Is A Flower (EP); Cluster Dreams (EP) Lone x KETTAMA
  • Grace Jones - Muse; Hurricane/Dub
  • Samantha James - Subconscious; Rise
  • The Airborne Toxic Event - Hollywood Park
  • Disclosure - Energy (Deluxe)
  • Mythos - The Reality Of A Dreamer
  • Stephen Rhodes - Perfume
  • Tetrarch - Freak
  • Bree Runaway - 2000AND4EVA
  • Oceans of Slumber - Oceans of Slumber; The Banished Heart; Winter
  • I Prevail -Trauma
  • Swing Out Sister - It's Better To Travel (Deluxe Edition)
  • Thunder Cat -It Is What It Is; Apocalypse
  • Oceans of Slumber - Strange Fruit; Kashmir
  • WOODKID - Goliath
  • The Spiritual Machines - Sleepwalk; Moon of Honey; Dancing in the Streets; Flood it all
  • Les Friction - The End of the Beginning
  • Tetrarch - I'm Not Right
  • Lion Babe - Umi Says; Hot in Herre
  • Cookiee Kawaii -Vibe
  • Moonchild Sanelly - Bashiri
  • Bree Runaway - Gucci (Feat. Maliibu Miitch)
  • Lil Nas X - Holiday

So that was all my favorite media from 2020. What movies, shows, music, books, or podcasts brought you joy in 2020?

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