Good morning, my dears! I hope you are staying warm on this absolutely frigid Tuesday morning. I don’t think we’re even supposed to break 25 degrees today, so it’s going to be a COLD one. (I think it was barely 15 degrees when I woke up this morning.) Here’s hoping that wherever you are is warmer. Happy Tuesday!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is actually a FREEBIE, so I’m doing BOOKS THAT DESERVE AN ANIME-STYLE ADAPTATION. I love these books — every single one — but I personally think they would be all but impossible to translate into a live-action adaptation. Therefore, I would much rather these be done in an animated fashion! Let me know if you agree!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl.

What book would YOU like to see turned into an anime adaptation?


Hi friends! I hope you had a fantastic Monday — mine was just fine other than a brutal headache. The weather shifted from 20 something degrees in the morning to close to 50 by the time I left work. Whenever the temperature shifts like that, my head just POUNDS. It’s unfortunate, but there’s literally nothing I can do to prevent it! Oh well.

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s prompt is BOOKISH GOALS FOR 2023. I’m going to twist it a tiny bit, and just say that these are books I really would like to get to this year. A good many of these have sat on my TBR for at least a year, if not more.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl.

The Bridge Kingdom is standing in for all the fantasy romances I want to read this year! I want to read more of that particular genre, as it’s one of my favorites. I want to gather enough books that I can do a massive recommendation list for you all! (So if you have recommendations for fantasy romance, please let me know!) What are your goals for this year, friends?


Good morning, my darlings! How are you doing today? Well, I hope! I’m still doing pretty well with reading, though I’m not back up to my usual speed right now. I’m not rushing things, though. I’ll get there when I get there!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is SERIES I’D LIKE TO START. Easy enough to do — I just scrolled through my TBR on Goodreads and found the series that stuck out most to me.

Most of these have been recommended to me by friends, or they’re by authors who I really like. I’ve read exactly ONE Discworld book and I loved it. I just collect them when I see them on sale for Kindle. One day I’ll have all of them! What’s on your list this week?


Now that it’s spooky season officially, I thought I’d throw together a recommendation list for you! If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll know that I am a big wuss when it comes to being scared. I don’t like it — I’d rather avoid it at all costs. However, I still love Halloween. So every time this season rolls around, I go searching for books that fit the season without giving me nightmares. Hence this list! Everything on here feels like Halloween without being scary enough to need a teddy bear at night! Just maybe…don’t read the last two books while eating anything. 💀

*Mind the content warnings on all of these. Most of these are adult books, with adult themes.*


the book cover for A Dowry of Blood by St Gibson

A lyrical and dreamy reimagining of Dracula’s brides, A DOWRY OF BLOOD is a story of desire, obsession, and emancipation.

Saved from the brink of death by a mysterious stranger, Constanta is transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for an undying king. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things. Finding comfort in the arms of her rival consorts, she begins to unravel their husband’s dark secrets.

With the lives of everyone she loves on the line, Constanta will have to choose between her own freedom and her love for her husband. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death. 

  • WHY’S IT SPOOKY? Vampires.
  • SCARE LEVEL? Minimal. There are no real traditional ‘scary’ scenes, other than vampires feeding. You can read my full review here.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Blood, Toxic relationship, Sexual content


An astonishing debut, a novel of epic scope and suspense that conjures up all the magic and menace of Victorian London

London, 1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society, and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Unnerved, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine city that greets her, she uncovers a secret world at the margins populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother’s disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of one of the country’s preeminent and mysterious institutions: The Aegolius Club, whose members include the most ambitious, and most dangerous, men in England.
In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction’s most dazzling talents.

  • WHY’S IT SPOOKY? Vampires.
  • SCARE LEVEL? TBH, It’s been years since I’ve picked this one up, so I don’t remember how scary it is. But I did enjoy it, so it must not have been that scary, or I definitely would have put it down.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Suicidal thoughts, Gore, Homophobia, Physical abuse


the book cover for Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

Meet Greta Helsing, fast-talking doctor to the undead. Keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well in London has been her family’s specialty for generations.

Greta Helsing inherited the family’s highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills – vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta’s been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

  • WHY’S IT SPOOKY? Supernatural Creatures.
  • SCARE LEVEL? Almost none — this is all about helping the supernatural creatures rather than them scaring anyone.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Murder, Body horror, Medical content


the book cover for Jackaby by William Ritter

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre. 

  • WHY’S IT SPOOKY? Supernatural creatures/beings and a ghost.
  • SCARE LEVEL? Zero, pretty much. There’s a chase scene towards the end, but it isn’t scary.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Violence, Murder


the cover for The Near Witch by VE Schwab

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

There are no strangers in the town of Near. 

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. 

But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. 

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. 

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy. 

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget. 

  • WHY’S IT SPOOKY? Witches.
  • SCARE LEVEL? There are definitely a few scary scenes involving magic forests, bones, and crows.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Kidnapping, Self harm, Confinement, Death


the book cover for Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

  • WHY’S IT SPOOKY? Ghosts, magic, and murder.
  • SCARE LEVEL? There’s a few spooky scenes involving death magic.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Rape, Sexual assault, Drug abuse


Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness. 

  • WHY’S IT SPOOKY? It’s about Victor Frankenstein’s origins.
  • SCARE LEVEL? This is a dark book, and it can get pretty gross and gore-y, but I wouldn’t say this is scary.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Toxic relationship, Emotional abuse, Animal cruelty


the book cover for What Moves the Dead by T Kingfisher

What Moves the Dead is Kingfisher’s retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.

  • WHY’S IT SPOOKY? Nightmare mushrooms.
  • SCARE LEVEL? This isn’t scary as in jump-out-with-a-knife scary, it’s the slow-creeping-dread scary. Check out my full review for more information. Definite body horror.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Body horror, Animal death, Death

What would you recommend to someone who loves Halloween, but hates being scared? Let me know in the comments!


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is actually FAVORITE BOOKSTORES or BOOKSTORES I’D LOVE TO VISIT, but uh, I have exactly one bookstore available to me. Barnes and Noble. That’d be a boring list, so I went through the past Top Ten Tuesday topics that I never did and found one I thought would be interesting enough to do. I’m going with AUTHORS I’VE READ THE MOST BOOKS BY. Let’s see what I can come up with.

  • Patricia Briggs – 18 books
  • Jim Butcher – 17 books
  • Sarah J. Maas – 14 books
  • Brandon Sanderson – 14 books
  • Sarah MacLean – 13 books
  • Diana Gabaldon – 9 Books
  • James S. A. Corey – 9 books
  • Kevin Hearne – 8 books
  • T. Kingfisher – 8 books
  • VE Schwab – 8 books

The top two authors are up that high simply because they have both written two huge, huge, huge paranormal series. The Mercy Thompson series, and The Dresden Files, respectively. Both excellent reads, if you’re looking for something to really sink your teeth into. (This is also how Kevin Hearne popped onto the list — he wrote The Iron Druid Chronicles, and that’s a lengthy series as well!) The rest, well, I love their work.

What author have you read the most work by?

Just a reminder, I’m on vacation this week — I won’t be blog hopping! I’ll catch up when I’m back next week. 🧡


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is COMPLETED SERIES I WISH HAD MORE BOOKS, but uh, my brain is literally not working so I instead made you a very pretty rainbow of book covers. Enjoy.

I’ve read all of these BESIDES The Kiss Curse, which I am getting to next month! (I recommend all of these, too!) I’m blaming my lack of coordination and thought on the fact that Will woke up at 3, and would only try to sleep while I was singing to him. So I sang ‘This Old Man’ for an hour, and he finally fell asleep. ANYWAY, I’m brain dead, tired, and just want to go home. Have a post, my friends.


Today, I’m trying a new type of post out for you guys. — a spotlight on one of my favorite authors! I plan to give a quick little run down of the author and their work, and then I’ll list my favorite books by them that I’ve read!

To start us off, I’m going with VE SCHWAB. She is an auto-buy author for me, and has been since I first read the Shades of Magic series. I’ve read most of her work, and honestly? I’ve loved all but one of her books that I’ve read! (Gallant was slightly disappointing.) What books by her I haven’t read, I already own. I just need to sit down and get into them! Onto the post, then!


  • WHAT’S SHE KNOWN FOR? Dark, incredibly lush stories that tend to feel like old-school fairy tales
  • HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE I READ BY HER? Eight, but she’s written over 20 books for all different ages.
  • WHAT GENRES DOES SHE WRITE? Typically fantasy, but has dipped her toes into sci-fi as well.
  • WHERE CAN WE FIND HER? Twitter | Instagram | Her website

“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”
― V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic



the book cover for A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.


This is one of the first modern fantasy series that I picked up back when I first started getting back into reading a whole lot. It’s an incredibly unique take on the genre — there are multiple different worlds layered on top of one another and only certain magicians can travel between them. Kell is a fantastic protagonist, but my heart belongs to Lila Bard and her absolute need to discover more about magic and the world Kell comes from. There is a satisfying ending to the series, but Schwab left it open enough that she could dip right back into this world. And, as far as I know, she is planning to do so!

  • CW: Blood, violence, death, sexual assault



Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.


You know how superheroes have been literally everywhere since Iron Man came out in 2008? (A quick aside here — I adore the Marvel universe.) This is Schwab’s take on superheroes. This is a dark, modern story bent on revenge, on being the most powerful, and what happens when you give a terrible person the ability to do amazing things. There are some extremely memorable characters in this series, but I don’t want to spoil who or what they are!

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3 in the main series, but only 2 are out right now. There is a graphic novel series set in the same universe, however.
  • CW: Death, violence, gun violence, animal death



the book cover for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. 


 This is really the first book I waited for anxiously since the last Harry Potter book came out. I think it might even be the first book I preordered since then, too. Hmm. ANYWAY — I longed for Addie the second Schwab announced it. It was everything I wanted, but I was still left wanting more at the end. This is a haunting tale about a girl who can never be remembered. Schwab’s writing is so good you can taste Addie’s loneliness.

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? This is a standalone book.
  • CW: Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempt, death, sexual content, mental illness



The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.


I picked this one up while on maternity leave, because it was shorter, a standalone, and because I hadn’t read it yet. Kinda not-great reasons, but who cares. This book is a fairy tale. You know the old-school, don’t-do-this type of stories? Yeah. That’s The Near Witch. This is Schwab’s debut so it might feel slightly rougher than her newer works, but it’s absolutely worth the read. The romance in this one is melt-in-your-mouth sweet, with the innocence of childhood.

  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? This is a standalone book.
  • CW: Kidnapping, self harm, confinement, death, child abuse, death of parent, blood, animal death, fire

What’s your favorite VE Schwab book that you’ve ever read? Are any of these on your TBR? And, finally, do you have any suggestions for other authors you would like to see me spotlight? Keep in mind I’d like to stick to authors who have more than a couple of books out.


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. I love Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is BOOKS WITH [BLANK] ON THE COVER. I’m choosing to do covers that are BLACK, WHITE, AND RED.

What’s your favorite black, white, and red cover? It’s been an extremely popular color scheme as of late, so I know I missed some books out there! Link your TTT post below and I’ll check it out!


  • STAR RATING: 3.5 stars
  • PAGE LENGTH: 334 
  • CW: Death, Death of parent, Blood, Suicide, Child death, Bullying
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Any of Schwab’s other work, honestly.


Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for Girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home; it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile, or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?

New York Times–bestselling author Victoria Schwab crafts a vivid and lush novel that grapples with the demons that are often locked behind closed doors. An eerie, stand-alone saga about life, death, and the young woman beckoned by both. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Melissa Albert, and Garth Nix will quickly lose themselves in this novel with crossover appeal for all ages.

For me, VE Schwab is one of those authors that I’ll buy without question. I’ve read almost all her work, and already own what I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I love her books, and her style — dark, haunting, and just the tiniest bit curious. Gallant as a novel mostly lives up to this.

I say mostly, because there was no real reason for this book to be classified as a novel, and not a novella. This story is a short one, and truth be told, there was a lot of filler in it. There are many full-page illustrations, and many pages that are filled up with just a few lines of text. Without those in there, I doubt this book would have cracked 250 pages.

Now, the story itself is good! Gallant reminds me of a classic fairy-tale and a ghost story all wrapped up in one.

Olivia, a mute orphan, receives a letter inviting her to her family’s estate, Gallant. Once she arrives, it becomes very apparent that no one there sent her the letter. There are only three people living at Gallant when she shows up — the gardener, the cook/house keeper, and her cousin. Everyone at the house is very secretive, and seemingly afraid of the dark. Schwab is excellent at making you feel dread without really knowing why. Olivia is instantly curious, and wanders until she finds something she is not supposed to. Gallant the house is spooky — filled with the ghouls of her family. The story moves forward and you realize that Gallant is haunted by something terrible.

Seeing the world from a mute character’s eyes was incredibly unique. You could feel Olivia’s frustration when she couldn’t communicate with someone. You don’t feel her voice as absent, though, because as you read, her thoughts fill up the pages.

This definitely isn’t my favorite of Schwab’s work, but I still think it’s worth the read if you like her other books.



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is A FREEBIE. Therefore, I’m choosing to do BOOKS WITH A FEMALE MAIN CHARACTER.

I love seeing female characters kick ass. I love watching them grow, and learn, and be real people, rather than figureheads to be fridged. There are some badass women on this list, and some of my absolute favorite characters in fantasy.

  • SANCIA and BERENICE, from the Founders Trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • SABRIEL and LIRAEL, from the Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
  • ORKA and ELVAR, from the Bloodsworn Saga by John Gwynne
  • GIDEON and HARROW, from the Locked Tomb series by Tamsyn Muir
  • VIN, from the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
  • EAD and QUEEN SABRAN, from the Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  • DIANA, and YSABEAU, from the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  • ADDIE LARUE, from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab
  • FEYRE, MOR, and AMREN, from ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas
  • ALINA, GENYA, and ZOYA from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Who are your favorite female lead characters? Did I list them?