January 2023 Reading Recap

Happy 2023! January feels like it was many things. I wrote over 15,000 words of fanfiction and short fiction for deadlines. I re-outlined all of my novel code-named AquaShame. I did a lot of reading and watching movies, and honestly, it’s been a pretty good time. The biggest thing, however, is that I dropped the title of my forthcoming novella! I made a handy dandy press kit that has all the information you need: content warnings, links to goodreads/storygraph, pre-order information, and more.

Blog Interviews are resuming next month with Freydís Moon (who is also showing up on the blog tomorrow with a cover drop).

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Review: EMPIRE OF ICE AND STONE: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk by Buddy Levy (2022)

Genre: Adult Historical Nonfiction
Year Release: 2022
Source: Libro.fm

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Listened to the audiobook
Content warnings: Starvation, depictions of mental illness, period-accurate slur against Inuit and northern indigenous people (explained, but present), animal slaughter, alleged death by suicide, dog on dog violence & cannibalism, corpses, graphic depictions of surgery & infection

Levy returns again with an incredible account of several boats and two dozen people trapped in and around the Arctic circle. Anthropologist Vilhjalmur Stefansson organized a scientific and geographical expedition to the Arctic on The Karluk, a ship vastly unprepared for Arctic sea ice and manned by a crew composed largely of scientists with little experience in that treacherous territory. It goes well, with Stefansson abandoning ship to go on a caribou hunt and leaving everyone else in the charge of its captain, Robert Bartlett. Death, mental illness, desperation, and long, long treks across ice pack into Russia around the onset of World War One ensure.

If you enjoyed Labyrinth of Ice, you are in for a treat with incredible characterization and a reverence for the snow and ice many have tried to traverse in previous expeditions, you’re in for a treat. The audiobook does come with supplemental materials like photographs, a timeline, and additional reading.

A note on the content warnings related to animals: if you like cats, there is a cat who survives and lives for several years after the Canadian Arctic Expedition. If you like dogs, however, you might want to skip this one as many do not survive and Levy does not shirk away from descriptions.

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My 2020 in Reading

I read 153 books this year in a 50/50 split between audiobooks and other formats. Being unemployed helped that along, didn’t do much for me in terms of my mental health. But there were so many good reads consumed and published this year, I had to make two lists. Enjoy!

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July 2020 Reading Recap


I hit my goal of reading 100 books in July! Which sounds absurd, but between Animal Crossing, unemployment, and ongoing lockdowns, there is so much reading to be done (television, for whatever reason, cannot hold my attention).

This month, I did two blog interviews:

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Review: LABYRINTH OF ICE: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition by Buddy Levy (2019)

Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Adult Nonfiction
Year Release: 2019
Source: Libro.fm Audiobook

Listened to the audiobook

This book must have been recommended to me by a friend, because it showed up on my libro.fm wishlist and wow. I do not regret a single minute of this harrowing tale about an expedition to reach the new “furthest north” where only five members survived in the end.

The way Levy takes the reader through the promise of adventure and the light-hearted before times to the places where disaster loomed and the aftermath and the brave rescue. Like other reads, this one never fails to bring forth the wonder and prestige of partaking in such expeditions. There is an allure to the land of groaning ice floes, unpredictable weather, and creatures which can’t be seen anywhere else on earth. It really helps mitigate the “why would anyone do this” factor of this tragic expedition. Terrifying to think that this is one of the more successful excursions (yes, there are mentions of cannibalism towards the end).

Plus, the ending does a fantastic job of connecting the expedition to the realities of climate change endangering those arctic lands. An absolute must-read for those interested in immersing themselves in the wonders and dangers of the arctic.