Stacking the Shelves – January 2023

I always enjoy seeing these posts on other blogs, but to be honest didn’t feel I ‘acquired’ (ahem) enough books in a week to make it worth while. Why did it take me so long to think about a monthly haul post, instead?! This month has been very generous on the book-buying, hurrah, so suddenly the penny dropped!

The first haul was a little bit random, older titles on epic sale!

Stack of four books

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. has been on my e-shelf for several years now, but a bargainous hardback copy was too pretty to pass up 🙂 A “complex near-future thriller combining history, science, magic, mystery, intrigue, and adventure that questions the very foundations of the modern world“, apparently. I’ve liked a lot of Neal Stephenson’s previous books, but they do tend towards doorstop dimensions which is why I think I haven’t gotten to this one yet.

After reviewing ARCs of all of Linden Lewis’s First Sister trilogy, I already know how much I adore it, so of course a hardcover would be amazing! If you haven’t checked it out yet, I do recommend a LOT – it’s sci-fi with everything and SO GOOD!!

The October Man is a novella in Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, which I previously borrowed from the library. It’s a pretty little hardback, the smallest and also the most expensive of this book haul, hah! I think this was the first time we strayed away from Peter Grant, and while it wasn’t my favourite of the series, it’s still fun.

And finally – for this one – I’ve been reading another of John Gwynne’s epic fantasy series, and this paperback of the start of his The Faithful and The Fallen was far too tempting. Of course I do now need to go and buy another three books in the series..! 😉

Now, I’m not saying that your tech is spying on you or anything, but after buying Malice I coincidentally got an offer on the ebook of the end of the author’s other series – the one that I needed to finish the trilogy. I mean…! And then another offer elsewhere encouraged me to finally pick up Sin du Jour: The First Course by Matt Wallace. This volume has the first three novellas about a catering company for the supernatural community and sounds hugely fun 🙂

Picture of the first three volumes of the Lore Olympus book series

From offers to vouchers… I was lucky enough to win TWO lots of book vouchers last year, and have been debating ever since how best to spend them. I love books, but mostly read my kindle these days, so finding ones I wanted physical copies of…! However, a couple of years ago I was introduced to the webtoons version of Lore Olympus, a gorgeously illustrated take on the Greek myths of Persephone and Hades and more. These hardcovers are just gorgeous, as well as being a little easier to read than on a screen, imo.

Picture of three books

With the rest of the vouchers – and yeah, okay, also cold hard cash 😉 – I decided to round out my Scholomance collection. Huge shout out to the lovely Lali at The Portal Bookshop for putting up with my order demands, and tracking down not just an out-of-print hardback copy of The Last Graduate but a signed one at that! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series, and am looking forward to a reread that continues into the third of the trilogy now.

And finally for the physical books – so many! After such a long time of none! – the internet’s bookish community has been all abuzz for long enough over Legends and Lattes and who could resist? I hear it’s all cosy and lovely, and what better way to see out these never-ending winter months?

This was a very unusual month for me, purchase-wise, but it has made me really happy 🙂 More normally, my ‘book haul’ comes in the form of eARCs from the lovely people over at NetGalley.

This month’s acquisitions included Unbound II, a set of fantasy short stories by various authors including Tamora Pierce, Brian Herbert, Mark Lawrence, and Adrian Tchaikovsky. Review due very soon!

Both of the latter two there have their own books out this spring, and I was thrilled to be not just approved but invited to read – what can I say, it makes me feel a little special 😉 LOL! And Put Away Childish Things is Adrian Tchaikovsky’s portal fantasy novella that I expect will be a little more cynical than Narnia. The Book That Wouldn’t Burn with that absolutely amazing cover is about “A boy [who] has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.”. Libraries? Vast libraries? By the author of the brilliant Red Sister? Can I say ‘oooh’? 🙂

Talking of gorgeous covers, my request for Gothikana by RuNyx (Ru Nyx? I dunno) was a very rare occurrence of choosing the book based almost solely on the cover art. Well, that and the word ‘gothic’, and that it’s set in a remote, highly unusual, university. School-like settings are almost as much catnip as libraries, aren’t they? 😉

NetGalley introduced me to Daniel Polansky several years back, and I loved A City Dreaming enough that I’m surprised not to have sought out more by the author before now. Glad, then, to have been approved for his new one, March’s End, “a multi-generational portal fantasy of strange magics, epic warfare, and deadly intrigue, in which the personality conflicts and toxic struggles of the Harrow family are reflected in the fantasy world they’ve sworn to protect.” Will be interesting to compare the two portal fantasies.

And finally, once in a while I try to pick something by a new or at least new-to-me author – partly in support, and partly in the hope of finding a new favourite. Kill Your Darlings by LE Harper came with the tag “Inkheart meets Inception”, about a writer that uses fiction to help cope with depression, until one day she wakes up in the pages of her book…! 


Phew! As I say, this was far from a typical month for me. I think I like the prompt, though, so perhaps there will be a February round up – although probably a lot shorter! And I really better crack on with some of this reading now, too…! 🙂


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