Category Archives: book lists

Upcoming Scholastic books I’m intrigued by

Continuing with my occasional flip through a publisher’s offerings. These are all from the Fall 2018 catalog and, since it’s Scholastic, are all written for a kid audience.

Middle grade

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab; August 28. Middle grade from Schwab! I think her only other middle grade was part of the Spirit Animals series. This one sounds spooky and atmospheric, so I’m in, and also curious about how she translates her no-holds-barred sensibility to a younger audience.

Dactyl Hill Squad: Rescue Run by Daniel Jose Older; September 11. I’ve liked Older’s other books, and this sounds like a really interesting middle grade alternate history. Plus, I mean, DINOSAURS.

The House with Chicken Legs by Sarah Anderson; September 25. The draw for me here is Baba Yaga, because I love Baba Yaga. I’m not 100% sure how much I’ll end up liking this one, but I’m still planning to read it. Hopefully it’s great!

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty; October 9. Moriarty’s books are usually right up my alley and I’m curious about her take on middle grade; also I resonate with the idea of Extremely Inconvenient Adventures on an almost cellular level.

Young Adult

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten; July 31. This one could really go either way for me, based on the summary. Sometimes a twisty and complex read is exactly right and sometimes it can feel a little bit like shock value for the sake of being shocking. So we’ll see which way this one falls!


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Chapter books about art heists and mysteries

Recently I noticed something intriguing–the number of chapter books that feature mysteries about arts. Heists, thefts, and other strange situations apparently attract kids who are the only ones who can solve them! Of course, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is perhaps the classic, but there are lots more! Here is a selection if, like me, you find this kind of storyline catnip.

The Art of the Swap by Kristine Asselin and Jen Malone
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
Masterpiece by Elise Broach
Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne
The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
London Art Chase by Natalie Grant
The Mystery of the Mona Lisa, France by Elizabeth Singer Hunt
Hannah West, Sleuth in Training by Linda Johns
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
The Mystery of the Martello Tower by Jennifer Lanthier
Manhunt by Kate Messner
The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt
The Sweetest Heist in History by Octavia Spencer
Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells


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Books I added to my TBR: May 2018

I’ve shared books I’m adding to my TBR once or twice before and thought it might be fun again! Here they are, plus the reason I’m adding them.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious by Shannon and Dean Hale. Reason: SQUIRREL GIRL! And the first Hale-authored SG book was very delightful.

Blood, Water, Paint by Joy McCullough. Reason: Leila liked it, and I’ve heard good things from a couple of other sources.

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore. Reason: I’ve liked her other books, especially When the Moon Was Ours, and “Snow White, Rose Red” is a favorite fairy tale.

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djeli Clark. Reason:’s novella line is enviably strong, also this appears to be a heist story with airships?? I’m in.

Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear. Reason: It’s a sequel to Karen Memory, which I liked quite a lot; Liz Bourke liked it.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. Reason: it’s a debut and I need to read more debuts, and the worldbuilding sounds pretty cool.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi. Reason: A couple people I follow really, really liked this one, and I’m in the mood for a nice romance.

Dreamstorm by M.C.A. Hogarth. Reason: I hear M.C.A. Hogarth’s name but have yet to read any books; also it sounds like this one is interested in aftermath and that’s always a draw for me.

The Ice Sea Pirates by Frida Nilsson. Reason: Katy liked it, plus the cover is lovely! (Sometimes that’s all it takes.)

Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren. Reason: any Diana Wynne Jones comparison piques my interest! Furthermore, Charlotte liked it and I trust her.

The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher. Reason: faith in fantasy books is a draw for me, and I like other Vernon books but haven’t read much of her T. Kingfisher stuff.


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Diving into the TBR stacks

Are there some authors who perpetually hang out on your TBR list? Not because there’s anything wrong with their books, but just because there are so many. I have a few I’ve been meaning to get back to for *ahem* some time now and I need a little push to get me to actually do it. So here I am, committing to reading the following books by the following authors sometime this year.  We’ll see how this project unfolds!

An Earthly Crown by Kate Elliott

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson

The Sleeping Life by Andrea K Höst

The Lost Steersman by Rosemary Kirstein

Half-Resurrection Blues by DJ Older

The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi

Vicious by Victoria Schwab

Blood Spirits by Sherwood Smith


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Upcoming HarperCollins books I’m intrigued by

I thought it might be fun to take a look through some upcoming offerings from a particular publisher and picked HarperCollins mostly at random. (Also I have a soft spot for Greenwillow because of Megan Whalen Turner, to be quite honest.) Here are the titles that caught my eye, usually because they’re by an author I’ve liked before. In some cases the subject or the cover also sound interesting.

Middle grade
Ogre Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine; October 16. Do I kind of wish that Levine would stop returning to the same worlds over and over? Yes. Am I going to still read this one? Probably.

And The Ocean Was Our Sky, Patrick Ness; September 4. New Patrick Ness! Because it’s Ness, I’m a bit concerned about how my feelings will be mangled this time.
The Deepest Roots Miranda Asebedo, September 18. Midwestern setting, relationships between girls, interesting premise, therefore I am in.
Pride, Ibi Zoboi; September 18. A retelling of Pride & Prejudice from a rising YA star, this one sounds like it’ll be a really neat take on the classic!
For a Muse of Fire, Heidi Heilig; September 25. The style has been described as lush, which I’m not always a fan of, but the premise sounds amazing, so I’m going for it!
Damsel, Elana K Arnold; October 2. I’m so-so on Arnold’s books, but Damsel sounds like it could be right up my alley.
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, Mackenzi Lee; October 2. I have misgivings about A Gentleman’s Guide, despite also enjoying it in other ways, so let’s describe my feelings towards this one as wary curiosity.
Sawkill Girls, Claire Legrand; October 16. Claire Legrand! Writing horror! I am pretty sure I will be properly horrified and love it.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Tahereh Mafi; October 16. I think (please correct me if I’m wrong) that this is Mafi’s first contemporary novel; it’s a tough subject but a really necessary one.
This Splintered Silence, Kayla Olson; November 13. This mostly caught my eye because it’s YA Science Fiction, and I always want more of that.

The Black Khan: Book Two of the Khorasan Archives, Ausma Zehanat Khan; October 16. Confession: I still have not read the first book, although I hear it’s good. I’m still intending to soon, though, so I’m putting the second on this list anyway.


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March 2018 reading


The Cruel Prince Holly Black 3.11

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani 3.19

American Panda Gloria Chao 3.3

Emergence CJ Cherryh 3.10

The Belles Dhonielle Clayton 3.13

The Disorderly Knights Dorothy Dunnett 3.12

As the Crow Flies Melanie Gillman 3.26

Leia, Princess of Alderaan Claudia Grey 3.1

Garvey’s Choice Nikki Grimes 3.24

The Wedding Date Jasmine Guillory 3.1

All’s Faire in Middle School Victoria Jamieson 3.14

A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle 3.8

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald 3.19

Wonder Woman: The True Amazon Jill Thompson 3. 23

Spinning Tillie Walden 3.12


Total books read: 15

Total rereads: 1 (A Wrinkle in Time)


  • Spinning
  • Leia, Princess of Alderaan
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • The Wedding Date
  • The Belles
  • As the Crow Flies

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Books I added to my To-Read list recently


Wimsey also enjoys books

I haven’t written this type of post with any regularity, but I thought it might be a fun glimpse into what I’m thinking about reading–though I’m not making any promises about when that will happen!

Making this list also led to the realization that a lot of my book recs come from the same people. With that in mind, I asked on Twitter for favorite inclusively feminist SFF critics & bloggers. I’d love to hear your favorites!

Rise of the Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

All the Real Indians Died Off by Roxane Dunbar-Ortiz

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

White Tears by Hari Kunzru

Shattered Minds by Laura Lam

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

Hunted by Megan Spooner

Race and Popular Fantasy Literature by Helen Young


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