Meet The Co-Hosts Of Tome Topple: Adri from perpetualpages!

Hello Readers!

Continuing on with my Tome Topple co-host interview series, today I’ll be featuring Adri from perpetual pages on YouTube! If this is the first interview you’re reading, I chatted with Sam from Will Read For Booze already and that post can be found here! That’s enough of an intro, let’s jump in and start chatting with Adri!

Mr Geek: Hi Adri, I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. To kick things off, why don’t you introduce yourself to my readers. Tell me a little about yourself – what do you like to do outside of reading? Do you have any fun hobbies? What’s your day job? 

Adri from perpetualpages: First off, thank you so much for having me on the blog! For those who don’t know me, I am a queer, trans nonbinary, Mexican-American writer, book reviewer, and YouTuber. I run a BookTube channel called perpetualpages, where I share reviews for books I’m reading, recommendations, book tags, and lots of other fun book-related content! As a reader, my taste is highly eclectic. I read across all genres, age demographics, and mediums. I put a particular focus on reading works from marginalized authors, with a special emphasis on queer lit just because that’s where my experience aligns. Every one of my new uploads comes fully captioned and I include content warnings for every book I review, because I believe access to information is power.

Outside of reading, I love to play video games, take photos, watch movies/tv shows with my family and friends, color, go on long walks, and of course write! I have a Bachelor’s degree in creative writing, and I try to balance my own creative projects—poetry, short stories, fiction manuscripts—with my content creation. For work, I’ve dabbled in a lot of different industries. I’ve done some freelance content creation and writing, I’ve worked in the field of education as a tutor and teaching assistant, and most recently I’ve started working in the postal service industry! I kind of bounce around wherever I’m needed, but I think that just demonstrates a strong range of professional abilities, and I’m super proud of all I’ve done so far.

Mr Geek: I love that your degree in Creative Writing aligns so perfectly with your YouTube channel, current projects and all of the other elements in your life that you mentions. Very cool! Since we’re talking about YouTube, how long have you been a BookTuber?  I love the name perpetualpages, what inspired that?  How long have you been co-hosting Tome Topple?

Adri from perpetualpages: I started my BookTube channel in late 2013. So when November hits later this year I will have officially been making videos for nine years! It’s kind of surreal to quantify my experience in that way, but I suppose the numbers don’t lie.

I got to the name perpetualpages because I started BookTubing in the early days when alliteration was very much The Thing To Do. After toying around with a lot of different book-related terms, I landed on “pages,” because I felt it was a universal part of the reading experience. Whether you listen to audiobooks, read e-books, or read physical books, the “experience” of reading is often quantified by the page count, and you make progress by working your way through those pages, however they may be presented to you. With that decided, I just needed to find another “p” word and “perpetual” struck something in me because I think it alludes to a feeling of permanence and legacy. So all together, my hope was that “perpetualpages” would signify how the stories that truly matter to us will always stay with us. What’s more, I think it ties into my “branding,” so to speak, because I am very intentional with what I read and how I read, and my mission statement as a content creator and reviewer has always been to help other people connect with the stories they need the most, the stories that will always stay in their hearts.

As far as Tome Topple, I am fortunate enough to say that I have been a co-host since the very first round! Sam reached out to a few different people to help her get this read-a-thon off the ground, and I had such a good time with it that I decided to make myself available any time it rolled around again! I always have so much fun interacting with readers, hosting reading sprints, and of course spending some dedicated time with those bigger books, so it always works out for the best.

Mr Geek: I had no idea that I was speaking with one of the original co-hosts of Tome Topple! That’s awesome that you have been around from the very beginning. It’s hard to believe that is is already the 4th round that I’ve helped co-host, and I’m obviously loving it! Speaking of things you love, if you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would you pick and why?

Adri from perpetualpages: As a lover of almost every genre that exists, this question is so painful! But I would probably have to say Fantasy. I think Fantasy itches that part of my brain that longs for a sense of wonder and imagination, and because it isn’t tied down to real-world constraints or logic, the concepts can really challenge a reader’s mind and provide limitless possibilities. Plus, Fantasy also comes with a lot of subgenres that would make me feel like I’m not missing out too much. I could still get those contemporary settings in contemporary fantasy or urban fantasy, I could still enjoy the richness of intimate relationships in fantasy-romance, and the fantasy genre covers everything from children’s books to adult books! The same could be said for many other genres, but as a life-long lover of Fantasy, I think I’d have to stick with it for good.

Mr Geek: I completely agree with you. When I chatted with Sam (2), she also picked Fantasy. There is just something about escaping into a great Fantasy book that I love. You previously mentioned that you’re a videogame player, as am I, and I also love a good Fantasy game. I always choose to be the magic user when I can! Shifting gears a bit, let’s talk about some of favorite, and least favorite, books from 2021!

Adri from perpetualpages: Not gonna lie, I have to go back and reference my bookish stats for this one! As a Libra, having to choose one definitive favorite is my worst nightmare, but I’m going to cheat a little bit and say it’s probably a tie between Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa and The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon. Though they’re very different from each other, both stories are incredibly written and reading them brought me a deep sense of catharsis and recognition that I haven’t experienced before. I’m definitely anticipating both Jonny and H.E.’s next books!
I don’t love “putting books down,” because enjoyment of the arts is so incredibly subjective, and what’s a “bad book” for me could absolutely work on every level for someone else. It’s so often a matter of taste and reading experience that’s hard to definitively pinpoint. But just based on ratings alone, one of my lowest rated books of 2021 was Well Played by Jen DeLuca, which I think paled in comparison to the first book in the trilogy.

Mr Geek: I’ve never read either of your favorites, so you just made my TBR a little bit longer! I also don’t usually like hating on books, there is only one book out there that I despise but we can save that for another day! Since our time together is winding down, tell me about a few of your favorite books from past rounds of Tome Topple!

Adri from perpetualpages: Luckily, I can say that I’ve picked some real winners for these past rounds of Tome Topple! I’ve read everything from The Secret History to Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky and almost everything you can imagine in-between. Some real standout tomes for me have been Jade City, which set me on a path of utter devastation; Braiding Sweetgrass, which turned out to be one of the most personal and memorable pieces of nonfiction I’ve ever read; Priory of the Orange Tree, which I finished in a week out of sheer force of will; the entire Daevabad trilogy, which I listened to on audio over three different rounds; and Empire of Sand, which turned out to be one of my favorite books of 2021. I’ve had so many memorable reading experiences throughout my years of co-hosting Tome Topple, and I look forward to making many more memories!

Mr Geek: I don’t know Adri, I might have to ban you from future interviews haha – I added 5 new books to my TBR and bumped Priory of the Orange Tree, Jade City and the Daevabad trilogy to the top of the list! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me! Hopefully we can do this again for a future round!

And that concludes my interview with Adri from perpetualpages. If you couldn’t tell from our conversation, Adri is EXTREMELY good at giving book recommendations and their channel is just overflowing with that type of content! Be sure to check them out over on YouTube! Keep an eye on my blog, Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou) and the Tome Topple Twitter Account (@Tome_Topple) for my next co-host interview! Keep toppling those tomes!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek

Meet The Co-Hosts Of Tome Topple: Sam From Will Read For Booze!

Hello Readers!

Tome Topple officially started yesterday and we’re off to a solid start! My first read is going to be King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (and I’m already about 100 page into it)! For this round, I thought it would be fun to do blog posts featuring each of the co-hosts that make this event happen! Over the next 2 weeks, whenever I host reading sprints, I’ll be sharing a blog post highlighting one of my fellow co-hosts! So without further ado, let’s chat with Sam from Will Read For Booze!

Mr Geek: Hey Sam! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me for this blog post! Let’s kick things off withy ou introducing yourself to my readers. What are a few things you enjoy doing outside of reading? Have any fun hobbies?  What’s your day job? 

Sam (Will Read For Booze): Hey there! I’m Sam from Will Read For Booze. I live in the DC area, am in my early 30s, and work as a consultant (like most people here). I have the cutest cat ever named Nona Grey from the Red Sister series by Mark Lawrence. Other than reading, hobbies include social sports (I play kickball) and Netflix, but my Covid hobby I picked up was doing my own nails. Been loving that. 

Mr Geek: I love a good book-inspired pet name! Speaking of things I love – the name of your blog, Will Read For Booze, combines two of my favorite things into one!  What inspired the name and what got you into blogging? 

Sam (Will Read For Booze): Well… back in 2016, my friends and I attended our first BookCon in Chicago. Little did we know what we would get ourselves in to. We started talking about how we want to get in to BookNet but how to do so without being one of many… we also just so happened to be hammered at the time. So, myself, Ginny, and our other friend Parker started the blog. The name came from us basically starting a google doc and everyone writing ideas and we picked one haha. We’ve picked up a few others along the way, Linz and Minda. A couple of us are on hiatus, but that’s what happens when you’ve got.. you know.. life.

Mr Geek: That’s awesome! It’s great that you’re able to blog with friends… I’m flying solo over here at Treat Yo Shelf. Follow up question, that your favorite kind of booze?

Sam (Will Read For Booze): Fave booze? I don’t really discriminate when it comes to alcohol but wine. Always wine.

Mr Geek: Ahhhh, wine. An excellent choice and I might just go pour a glass after this interview is over! I also don’t discriminate but I am a big wine drinker too. Love a good Sauvignon Blanc! Shifting gears and back into book talk, if you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would you pick and why?

Sam (Will Read For Booze): Fantasy, one thousand percent. It’s my escape. You can learn and process so much about your life when you can get rid of a lot of the realities of the day to day. Especially now, the last thing I want is to think about the real world.

Mr Geek: I can completely understand that! This pandemic has not been very enjoyable to live through! I completely agree with you though, I also love fantasy. It’s great being able to escape to a separate world and forget about your day-to-day life for awhile! What were your favorite and least favorite books you read in 2021? Read any good fantasy?

Sam (Will Read For Booze): This is not a fair question but if I had to pick a favorite, The Burning God by R.F. Kuang. The finale just worked and the series was beautiful and tragic all at the same time.

My least favorite? Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin… listen I know these books are well loved but… not by me, and especially not this one. Nothing happened haha!

Mr Geek: There are plenty of books out there that I can’t stand but others adore. That’s what makes you, you! As we wind down, your final question. What was the most boring thing you did during the pandemic?

Sam (Will Read For Booze): The boringest thing I did in Covid, you ask? Why, I’ll tell you. I literally watched paint dry. I moved in to a new place and was painting my bookshelves and just watched it dry so I could do the next coat.

Mr Geek: Haha, I did A LOT of boring things during the pandemic but I can honestly say I’ve never watched paint dry! Sam, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview, it was great chatting with you!

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, Sam from Will Read For Booze! Hopefully you learned a little something new about Sam. Keep an eye on my blog, Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou) and the Tome Topple Twitter Account (@Tome_Topple) for our next co-host interview! Hope everyone is having a great round!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek

A Mis-Matched April TBR + Tome Topple!

Hello Readers!

I can’t believe we are almost halfway through April! The weather should be breaking but it has been surprisingly cold and even a little snowy here in Pittsburgh these last few weeks. In non-book related news, I just got back from a trip to Augusta, GA! I was invited to golf at Augusta Country Club last Thursday and then I attended the Masters golf tournament on Friday and Saturday. It was an incredible trip and I am still in disbelief that I was able to go! While the trip was packed with activities, I did get some serious reading done during my flights! So let’s chat about what books I plan to tackle during the month of April!

I originally had a pretty fun idea for my TBR planned but due to Tome Topple and a couple other events I’m participating in this month, I’m going to postpone this one more month and use this idea in May! Instead of having a fully baked plan, I’m sticking with the theme of this year and going a little chaotic. To start, I’m reading Finlay Donovan Is Killing it by Elle Cosimano. This is a funny, light and slightly dark story about an author, and recent divorcee, who gets mistaken as a hired assassin. I’m almost done with this one and I’m really enjoying it – it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is a nice distraction in this crazy world we’re living in. The next book I’d like to wrap up is This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg. I’ve been picking away at this one since last month and am going to be committing to finishing it soon. I was a little slumpy when I first started this one, so I’ve been dragging it out much longer than I meant to!

Once I wrap up these two books, we’re going to be into the start of Tome Topple Round 16! I always set lofty goals for Tome Topple and never follow through with them but I’m going to try to change that this time around! As you might’ve seen in my announcement post, I’m planning to read King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. This is the first book in the Nikolai Duology that takes place after the original Grishaverse trilogy and the Six of Crows Duology. I’m planning to try to knock this one out in week 1 of Tome Topple then move into The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig. The Book of Accidents is a creepy horror title that sounds RIGHT up my alley. I usually save these types of books for October but I got this one for Christmas from my Secret Santa (if you ever read this – Thanks again, Gigi!!) and I’ve been dying to read it ever since! Each of these books check the box for each of the reading prompts I rolled in my announcement post. I’m also going to revisit Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I started this one back in January and while I enjoyed it, it’s slow pacing threw me off. I’m about 90 pages into that one already, so I’m going to pick that up when I can to try to chip away at it during this round of Tome Topple.

So that’s it! What books are you reading this month and are you planning to participate in Tome Topple? Drop me your books in the comments and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for when I’m hosting reading sprints (and be sure to join in)!

Until Next Time,
Mr Geek

Tome Topple Round 16 Announcement!

Hello Readers!

It’s hard to believe that April is right around the corner and with it… THE NEXT ROUND OF TOME TOPPLE! That’s right, Tome Topple Round 16 will begin on April 15th and run until April 28th! Better start picking out those books because we have some exciting updates happening this time around!

Since it has been awhile since our last round in October, I thought I’d give everyone a quick rundown of what Tome Topple is and how you can participate! Tome Topple is a 2 week read-a-thon where the main objective is to read books that are over 500 pages… that’s it! We’ll be hosting reading sprints on Twitter and potentially Discord this time around plus there will be Instagram and TikTok challenges too! So, how can you participate? Simply read your long books (and be sure to tag me and the other co-hosts so we can chat about your book/s)!

Speaking of co-hosts, I think now’s the perfect time to introduce the wonderful group of people that make this event happen!

We’re also going to be switching up the reading prompts this time and are shifting away from the “Bingo Card.” Instead, there are 20, yes 20, reading prompts for this round! Feel free to pick your favorites, use a random number generator, ask your friends / family for numbers or you can always roll some dice. The prompts are as follows:

1. The tome with a screen adaptation (current or upcoming) 2. A sequel tome
3. Tome on your TBR with the most pages
4. Audiobook tome
5. A tome written by a BIPOC author
6. Tome from a genre you don’t usually read
7. Tome in a series you haven’t read for a while
8. Tome with a green cover
9. Tome based on a historical event
10. Tome that has won an award

11. Standalone tome
12. Tome set in a non-European inspired setting
13. Tome centering a romance
14. Tome that’s been on your TBR the longest
15. Tome featuring an animal as main character or prominent side character (real or magical)
16. Tome with your favorite cover
17. Graphic novel tome
18. Tome that was published before 2018
19. Re-read a tome
20. Tome written by someone who doesn’t identify as a man

I decided to bust out my old faithful D&D dice (which have been in retirement for about a year) and leave my book selections up to Fate!

The dice have spoken – I’ll be tackling prompts 8 (Tome with a green cover) and 10 (Tome that has won an award). As an added bonus, I might try to throw in an Audiobook Tome too (but I usually only manage to read one book during this read-a-thon so I should probably calm down. It was pretty easy selecting which books I’ll read for each prompt. For #10, which I’ll begin the read-a-thon with, I’ll be reading King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo which won the Parents’ Choice Silver Award. For #8, I’ll be reading The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig. Both of these books have been on my TBR for entirely too long and it’s time to finally knock them out!

Are you planning to participate in Tome Topple? What’s your TBR looking like? Leave me a comment and be sure to follow along on Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou) / Subscribe to my blog for all the updates!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek

My Chaotic March TBR

Hello Readers!

I’m writing this post a little later than I originally intended. As I was wrapping up February, I had this great idea for March. My “Judge A Book By Its Cover” TBR. Well, like always, life threw me for a loop. I ended up getting an ARC a little later than expected and I had a copy of Acts of Violet show up that I have been dying to read, so… PLOT TWIST. I’m changing up my TBR and moving “Just A Book By Its Cover” to April – so keep an eye out for that! For now, I’m just going to let chaos rein and enjoy whatever March throws at me, which will include the follow books!

As you might’ve seen in my February TBR, I was working on a blog tour for This Golden State. I’m currently making my way though that and really enjoying it so far. It’s a sort of YA thriller / mystery and it has been GREAT! I’m going to review this book once I’m done (and I’ll include more spoiler-free details there). Definitely something to keep an eye on!

My new book is Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore. Montimore’s debut, Oona Out Of Order, was one of my favorite books of 2020 (and one of the best things to come out of that year). Acts of Violet is the story about a magician, Violet Volk, how vanishes in the middle of her magic show and is never seen from again. Similar to Oona, Violet is more of contemporary fiction and I’m LOVING it. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 and, so far, it’s living up to the hype! I’m also going to be doing a dedicated review for this book as well!

The last book that I’m currently reading is The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I’m actually helping out Lisa From Troy (on GoodReads & Twitter) with a read-a-long she’s hosting. I am enjoying this WAY more than I thought I would. I saw The Da Vinci Code movie years and years ago when it first was released and wasn’t crazy about it. The book is 10x better and Lisa is doing a GREAT job with the read-a-long. She posts discussion posts daily (then I’m there to support with fun side talk and chatter). More information on the read-a-long can be found HERE. Also, if you’re worried about starting late, don’t be! Lisa did a great job breaking each day into small, bite-sized pieces and you could easily knock out a few days at a time to catch up!

Outside of these books, I’m going to play it by ear and just read whatever I’m in the mood for. Chaos will likely ensue but I’m just going to enjoy it and ride this wave! Should be an interesting end of month wrap up post! If you’re enjoying my content, please consider following my blow here or on Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou). Enjoy your month, friends!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek

February ’22 Wrap Up!

Hello Readers!

I can’t believe that February is officially over. Somehow this month feels both extremely long and extremely fast at the same time. I feel like I was just writing my TBR post or my Top 5 Books from 2021 (to sync up with Valentine’s Day). While I don’t love how fast time seems to be moving, I am excited about Spring approaching, Day Light Savings Time starting (goodbye darkness at 5:30) and we’re one step closer to “Summer Hours” at work. Overall, I had a pretty solid reading month and managed to finish 4 books (about halfway done with another one). So without further ado, let’s dive in!

The first book I tackled was The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. I really started the month off with a bang! This was a fantastic story that, once you got about 1/3 the way in, really sinks its hooks into you. The synopsis is pretty vague but that woks in the favorite of the story. You follow three different points of view throughout the book which was a little disorienting at first but soon becomes comfortable. There were a fair number of twists and turns along the way that I didn’t see coming (there were also som weird, cringeworthy moments too). Overall, if you’re a fan of fantasy books, that are character driven, you should give this one a try!

Next I jumped into the Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and Dear Justyce by Nic Stone. I more or less read these books simultaneously. The Poet X follows a High School student, Xiomara, as she navigates a strict religious family, High School and growing up. The book is written in verse which I found to be really unique and different. The further I got into the novel, the more I enjoyed it (as I became accustom to the style). I highly recommend this one for anyone looking to branch out of their comfort zone a little and try something new. This was NOT an easy read though. It was quite heavy at times and I’m sure there are plenty of people who have experienced similar situations growing up. In addition, the ending felt a tad too rushed for me. It felt a little too – BOOM, we’re done here. Still, it was an interesting read! Dear Justyce is the sequel to Dear Martin. I really enjoyed Dear Martin but I think I enjoyed Dear Justyce even more. It was fast paced, engaging and read like it could be non-fiction. This novel follows a character we meet in Dear Martin and talks a bit about his life and what happens after. I think this one was done really well and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did feel it was trying too hard to be progressive at the end but that’s a minor note.

About this time, my library request for The Psalm For The Wild-Built by Becky Chambers was available, so I pivoted and decided to read that instead. I requested this book from the library awhile back because I didn’t want to spend $11 for the Kindle edition (when the book is only a little over 150 pages). This was the book equivalent of a warm hug. It was thought provoking and real. The only thing that threw me off a little was the non-binary main character. I feel like no matter the book (I struggled with this reading Legendborn and Truly Devious), I always get a little confused reading they/them and it referring to a single person. Once I adjust, I’m fine but I have to constantly remind myself that the person is non-binary.

My last book, that’s still a work in progress, is This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg. My ARC for this book arrived a little later than expected, so I’m still in the process of finishing it up. So far though, I am really enjoying it. This is a YA mystery thriller that really holds your attention and reads pretty freaking fast! I’ll be posting a full length review soon, so if this sounds like something you’d be interested in, be sure to stop back!

How was your February? Read any amazing books? Or maybe a few real duds? Let me know in the comments! I’m also planning my March “Judge A Book By Its Cover” TBR, that’s going to be a fun post!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek

Spotlight: This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg

Hello Readers!

I’m going at you today with a very special post! Last month, I was asked by Flatiron Books if I wanted to participate in an upcoming Blog Tour supporting one of their new releases (This Golden State by Maris Weisenberg). I had never heard of this author, or the book, so I was a little skeptical Before confirming my spot, I decided to research the title a bit – it’s VERY important to me to provide honest and reliable reviews, so I wanted to make sure this was going to be something I’d enjoy before moving forward. I immediately went to GoodReads and Amazon, after reading the summary of the book, I was intrigued to say the least. I am a HUGE fan of murder mysteries and thrillers, plus I typically enjoy YA books (usually read fantasy). This book checked all those boxes! If you aren’t familiar with This Golden State, here’s a quick synopsis:

The Winslow family lives by five principles:

1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please—do not ask.

Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice.

When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality.

Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?

I’m currently making my way through my ARC (it arrived a little later than expected) and have been LOVING IT so far! Fans of the Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson, One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus or Sadie by Courtney Summers will love This Golden State. The character development and family dynamics complement the plot in such refreshing and unexpected ways! Poppy is engaging and relatable; While she doesn’t always make the best choices, her impulsive actions and teenage angst are absolutely perfect.

This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg is out next Tuesday, March 1st and is available everywhere books are sold – like Amazon or Barnes & Noble! Stay tuned to my blog, I’ll also be posting my review next Monday to help celebrate the release!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek

Top 5 Favorite Books of 2021

Hello Readers and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Since today is the “holiday” that celebrates love, I though this would be the perfect time to talk about all the books I LOVED in 2021! Plus… I am WAY behind on my 2021 recaps and thought this would be the perfect excuse to still write this post even though it’s about 7 weeks late (Oops). So grab your Conversation Hearts, Dove chocolate, you favorite person and let’s talk books!

The first book I’d like to mention, and definitely a favorite of the year was Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo. How I stumbled upon this awesome book was completely accidental. I typically do most of reading on my Kindle Oasis and have been trying not to buy as many physical books (key word there is tying) because I’m running out of space. I decided to run into Barnes & Noble to pick up a book and ended up chatting with one of the employees. One thing lead to another and she ended up recommending Everything is Figureoutable to me. I had never heard of this book but the synopsis hooked me from the start. You can figure out everything if you put your mind to it. I’ve read both the physical book and the audiobook (which is narrated by the author, high energy and extremely motivating to listen to) and completely loved it. I’m not a huge fan of nonfiction but this was such an inspirational book, how could you not love it?

Next up we have Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. I loved Garber’s Caraval series and it was great returning to this world! While Once Upon A Broken Heart isn’t directly connected to the Caraval series, there are some overlaps and Easter eggs that you’ll pick up on having read those books first. I was already excited about this book but to make it even better, I was asked by Flatiron Books to join their Blog Tour supporting this release! The plot of this novel was simple, how far will you go for your happily ever after? For Evangeline Fox, it’s pretty damn far – so far, that she makes a deal with a Fate to help her win back the love of her life. From this somewhat simple deal, a dazzling story unfolds filled with adventure, magic, murder and mystery. This book also swooped in to save me from a pretty terrible reading slump, so I can’t recommend it enough! If you’re looking for more content on Once Upon A Broken Heart, check out the Author Q&A we did here or my full length review of the novel here.

Continuing on with favorite fantasy, I read and loved Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. GOOD LORD was this a great book. This was the epic conclusion of the Dark Artifices trilogy (which is also my favorite trilogy that Clare has written to date). This book came in at over 900 pages and it did not feel that long! It read so fast that I found myself absolutely devouring it during Tome Topple Round 14 back in March. Since this is the last book in a series, I don’t want to go into much plot here to avoid spoilers (and I’m not going to talk much about the series because the Shadowhunter books are all so interconnected). If you’re a fan of fantasy, magic and memorable characters, the Shadowhunter Chronicles are for you. There’s a lot of “required reading” to be able to read this series but it’s all worth it. I was completely engrossed by all 3 books in this series and cannot praise them enough!

As I start to wind down my list, I feel like it’s only appropriate to include one of my favorite thrillers – Survive The Night by Riley Sager. I am quickly becoming a Riley Sager fan – I’ve read a few of his books and have a few more waiting on my Kindle. I’ve enjoyed each one and I think Survive The Night might be my favorite so far. This book takes place in the 90s, before cell phones and readily available technology. After Charlie Jordan’s roommate is murdered, she’ll do anything to get away from her college campus, including taking a ride home from a stranger who may or may not be a murderer. The story unfolds over the course of the night as her and her mysterious companion travel in his car. There’s an unreliable narrator and twists at every corner. There were quite a few things that caught me by surprise (and other things I saw coming a mile away) but overall, I loved this one. It was fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I’ve seen some reviews dragging this book but if you can suspend belief for awhile (and go back to a pre-technology time) I think you’re really going to like this one!

Last on my list is Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters by Kara Goldin. This was also a nonfiction read (look at me, 2 nonfiction titles in my Top 5 list) and it was utterly fantastic. Goldin is the CEO is one of my favorite beverage companies, Hint Water. Hint is an unsweetened water beverage that is PACKED with fruit flavors. I stumbled upon this company years and years ago at a local grocery store. I picked up a few bottles and have loved it ever since (ironically, I had a problem with a few of the bottles that I purchased – when I reached out, I ended up emailing back and forth with Kara’s husband, Theo). The only way I can explain this book is equal parts life advice, inspiration and entrepreneurialism. Goldin is so down to earth and relatable. When Goldin created Hint, she started the company as a way to drink more water and kick her Diet Coke habit. As you read her story, you come to find out that every product expansion or growth opportunity was born from something personal that Goldin cares deeply about. If you’re looking for some inspiration or just a feel-good story, be sure to pick this one up!

Well, that’s it. Those are my Top 5 books of 2021 that I just loved. I hope this post provided you with a few potential new titles to try or maybe I mentioned one of your favorite books! What did you read that was absolutely amazing last year? Leave me a comment or you can always tweet me @ItsMrGeekToYou.

Until We Meet Again,
Shawn

February ’22 TBR

Hello Readers!

It’s hard to believe that we are officially into February already! Last year, I decided to do a Black History Month TBR that focused on POC authors. Not only did I read a lot of interesting, thought-provoking and engaging reads, this gave me a chance to purposefully flex my reading into genres that I don’t typically dabble in. Since I had so much success last year, I challenged myself to do it again! In addition to my BHM TBR, I was also asked to be part of a Blog Tour for an upcoming release from Flatiron Books (This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg), but I’ll get to that later in this post! For now, let’s talk my main TBR and what that lineup looks like.

To start things off, I’m reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. Last year, I read Jemisin’s The City We Became and it was one of my favorite books of the year. It was so unique and different, it pulled me in and didn’t let go. I’ve heard great things about her Broken Earth trilogy so I thought this would be the perfect time to give it a try! I’m not going to give.a synopsis here because everything I’ve read so far has been vague and I think that’s part of the fun – piecing the story together as you go. I only have about 100 pages left so I’ll be wrapping this one up soon and I’m curious to see how Jemisin ties this all together.

Next up will be The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and Dear Justyce by Nic Stone. I actually read books from both of these authors last year and really enjoyed them so I thought they’d be perfect to include again in 2022. The Poet X is written in verse and I’ve heard great thing about the physical book and the audiobook (supposedly this one reads fast, so I might read it on each medium). The plot revolves around a Brooklyn high school student who begins using poetry as a means of self expression. Dear Justyce is the follow up novel to Dear Martin. I really liked Dear Martin (I wish it was longer) and I’m curious to see how this next novel plays out. I don’t want to go into plot details since it’s a sequel but I’m hoping to get a little more resolution and closure that I thought was missing from Dear Martin.

Finally, I’m round out this list with On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. This is the story of Bri a seventeen year old student who dreams to follow in her father’s footsteps and become the greatest rapper of all time. When life start to catch up to her, she’ll need to figure out if this dream can support her or if she’ll need to drop the mic in favor for a more steady option. I also read The Hate U Give last year and that was a masterpiece. I’ve heard great things about both of Thomas’ other books that I haven’t read so I have high expectations for this one!

As I previously mentioned, I was asked to participate in a Blog Tour support This Golden State, so I’ll also be reading that book in February, with a review and more content coming last this month! If you haven’t heard of This Golden State, here’s a quick summary:

The Winslow family lives by five principles:

1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please—do not ask.

Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice.

When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality.

Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?

I’m a big fan of YA and thrillers, so this seems to be right up my alley! Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou) for live thoughts while I’m reading! What kind of books do you have planned for this month? Any recommendations for my BHM TBR? Be sure to leave a comment!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr.Geek

January ’22 Wrap Up

Hello readers!

It’s me, your favorite geek, back to recap the blink that was January. I still can’t believe the month is over already – January definitely went 80 mph in a 25 zone. I feel like I was just writing about my goals and reads for the month and now it’s almost February! The weather has been wickedly cold these last couple weekends which have been really helpful in catching up on my reading. I had an ok reading month but I somewhat deviated from my original plan. So without further ado, let’s talk about this month’s books!

A few years ago, I wanted to start off the year with Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I decided to go after that goal this year and start off 2022 as a Year of Yes. I both read and listened to this book (and Everything Is Figureoutable, which I’ll talk about next). Rhimes narrated the audiobook and it added such a personal element to the story. I don’t love nonfiction but this was really a home run. Rhimes was warm, relatable and extremely down to earth. She’s the writer of mega hits like Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder but she also struggles with the things a normal person does (weight, self confidence, staying within her comfort zone). If you’re looking for an inspiring, feel-good read, look no further!

After wrapping up Year of Yes, I moved onto Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo. As I mentioned, this was a read and listen combo as well. Forleo also narrated this one and her energy is infectious. You can feel it in her voice and her writing. This was a re-read for me and I enjoyed it as much as the first time I picked it up. You can’t help by feel inspired and optimistic when reading this one. The stories and anecdotes are extremely applicable and relatable.

Shifting gears, I flipped over to a thriller that has been sitting on my shelf for months, Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney. I LOVED Feeney’s debut novel, Sometimes I Lie, but wasn’t really drawn into this one. The premise sounded good – a couple wins a weekend away at a secluded chapel turned house (with an underlying notion that one of them isn’t leaving the chapel alive). Overall, this felt slightly boring and drab. Things finally started to pick up in the last 100 pages but I saw one of the twists coming from the beginning and the others were just very strange. I have another one of Feeney’s books in my backlog, I might get to it eventually but I think she’s going on the back burner for awhile.

The last book I started, and have been slowly making my way through, it Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. While I am enjoying this book, it’s a bit of a slow burn. I’m a little over 100 pages in and I enjoy it when I sit down to read but don’t feel drawn to the book. The writing style does draw you in but I just don’t have that desire to pick it up (and it’s a long one, about 750 pages).

So that was my January. I have a Black History Month TBR planned for February and then I’m going to be trying something new for my March TBR. Make sure you stop back for all the details! How was your reading month? Pick up anything outstanding? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou).

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek