For my first TBR of the year, I decided to take it easy on the number of books.

Just kidding. Looks like 2022 is starting out like it’s going to be another big reading year for me. Plus, I was like a kid in a candy store at the end of December, loading a bunch of audiobooks into my app because my Hoopla monthly borrows were about to run out. Here’s the list of what’s currently downloaded in my audiobook apps, and what’s sitting on my bedside table at this moment:

Physical and eBooks

The Fall of Babel (The Books of Babel #4) by Josiah Bancroft — This is the fourth and final book in the series that began with Senlin Ascends. These books are unlike most others I’ve read. I find them both interesting and satisfying, but also dense and, at times, hard to get through. All of the first three have been worth the read, though, and I’m interested to see how the final book ends, how the world is wrapped, for our plucky schoolteacher-turned-pirate-turned-spy, Thomas Senlin, and his band of misfits.

The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales from Verania #1) by T.J. Klune — The brief synopsis is a boy named Sam who accidentally discovers he has magic powers and he becomes an apprentice to the King’s Wizard. I like the other two T.J. Klune books I’ve read, but this one seems like it will be a bit different from those. Here’s one choice phrase (there were so many it was hard to pick just one) from the Goodreads synopsis: “When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.” What am I getting into with this one?

My Hero Academia vol. 2 by Kohei Horikoshi — The kids have been enjoying this manga (basically serialized graphic novels from Japan) series for a while, and they finally got me to read one; now I’m ready for the second volume. The series is about a bunch of kids at a school for heroes in a time when 80% of the population has quirks (powers). Some quirks are better for hero work, some are used by villains, and some people are quirkless. The MC of the series is a quirkless boy who has the heart of a hero, and the journey he takes to reach his dreams. So far it’s a good story! And vol 2. (at least, the first part?) is also called ‘Rage, you damned nerd’ which makes me want to read it even more, somehow. But the kids are all caught up (vol 29 is the latest to be released in English) and they say it gets a bit darker, so I don’t know how far I’ll end up reading. Maybe the kids can just give me a synopsis of the saddest ones…


Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton — A sci-fi story about a time when “humanity’s complex relationship with technology spirals out of control.” I’ve never read anything by this author, but his bio says he’s “Britain’s biggest-selling science fiction author,” and the synopsis looked interesting, so I’m going to give it a go (as the Brits would say).

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor — You’ll see this one on all of our TBRs for the next few weeks as this is our January book club pick. It’s a re-read for me, but I loved this trilogy a great deal the first time around, so I’m excited to see what the rest of the book club thinks. It’s a fantasy story about a blue-haired girl with magic she doesn’t understand, a realm of ‘angels’ and ‘monsters,’ and an epic battle for the soul of an empire. If you like fantasy, do yourself a favor and pick this one up; or you could read any book by Laini Taylor. Every one I’ve read by her has been great!

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman — This is my non-fiction book for this TBR. It’s about how our brains work to make judgements and how we sometimes can’t spot logical fallacies. I’m about 1/3 in so far, and it’s dry but still very interesting. So far the scariest finding to me has been how easy it is for authoritarian governments to exploit the brain’s weak spots to convince citizens of things that are clearly untrue by any other measure. Worth a read!

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston — This is a middle grade book that I just started with the kids. The synopsis says it’s a cross between Men In Black and Artemis Fowl, and it’s supposed to be good for fans of Percy Jackson, Tristan Strong, and Nevermoor, all of which the kids and I have enjoyed!

The London House by Katherine Reay — After enjoying a Kate Quinn novel towards the end of last year, I realized that I probably have a sweet spot where I’m willing to read WWII stories, and that is women spies. The Goodreads description says, “Uncovering a dark family secret sends one woman through the history of Britain’s World War II spy network and glamorous 1930s Paris to save her family’s reputation.” Set in present day, a woman is looking for answers to prove her great-aunt didn’t really betray her country during WWII. Looks good to me!

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey — I’ve read two other Sarah Gailey books (Magic for Liars and When We Were Magic), and I have found them interesting, but the endings ultimately unsatisfying for my tastes. In this one, according to Goodreads, Gailey “reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.” I mean…seems like it would be worth a try?

100% That Witch by Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix — This one… what can I say? The cover is cute. Billed as a paranormal chick lit witch / vampire romance, the story is about a goth witch who looks like a necromancer, but she’s embarrassed because her magic comes out as fluffy bunnies. Plus, the word lust is in the description. In the end-of-month ‘use your borrows or lose them’ frenzy, this one showed up in my search for something else and I clicked borrow. I don’t actually have high hopes that it’s going to be any good (I know, I’m really selling it here), but who knows? Worse case, I can always DNF.

Have you read any of these? What did you think? What’s on your TBR this week? Let us know in the comments!


  • Can’t wait to see what you think of the TJ Klune! I need to read more since I loved Cerulean Sea and Whispering Door.

    • I’ll let you know! I’ve only skimmed so far, but it feels like it has a very different vibe from those. It feels more like The Extraordinaries, if you’ve read that one by Klune?

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