Did you know that Blessing Manifesting was almost called Spinster’s Guide to Romance?! I was really into Historical Romance novels at the time and I had been single forever so writing book reviews under the name “Spinster” seemed like a fun thing to do. I ended up deciding to go with Blessing Manifesting because even though reading romance was fun, personal growth was life changing.
Reading has been my thing since I was a kid. When I was a teenager it was a way to escape my anxiety and feeling like I was never going to fit in. As an adult it continued to be an escape from anxiety and depression. It occupied my time when I spent years being single.
And now? It’s still one of my favorite things. It’s my self-care.
It does help me manage my anxiety. I listen to audiobooks pretty much every single day, especially when I’m working at my retail job.
So I read a lot. My general goal is 100 a year and I’ve hit that goal for the last several years.
My books are self-care and that means that most of the time, they’re just fun. I like a good book about self-improvement and personal growth but I LOVE books about zombies, space, sci-fi, and fantasy!
Here are some of the books I’ve been reading!
If you need to kick back with a cup of tea in your jammies, these are some great reads.
Off to Be the Wizard
The summary of Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer reminded me of one of my all time favorites Ready Player One so I was super excited to read it.
Martin Banks is just a normal guy who has made an abnormal discovery: he can manipulate reality, thanks to reality being nothing more than a computer program. With every use of this ability, though, Martin finds his little “tweaks” have not escaped notice. Rather than face prosecution, he decides instead to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and pose as a wizard.
What could possibly go wrong?
This is a light-hearted, silly, read and I love it. It’s great for those days where you feel a little gloomy and you want to laugh over the antics of a silly guy trying to make it as a wizard in the Middle Ages while he makes questionable choices.
Some of the world-building drags on a bit and I wish it focused on small adventures so you could see some of the personalities of the other characters but it really picks up toward the end and the book as a whole gave me some giggles. I give it 3/5 stars.
Allow me to FANGIRL over Sarah Lyons Fleming and her latest book World Departed. If I had to pick a favorite author of all time – she would be mine. The way she writes her characters is so deep and intricate. You feel like you know them and you love them or you hate them and then through the progression of their story you love them because they aren’t bad characters/people – they’re human and flawed and under the asshole persona is an ooey, gooey, vulnerable center – she writes that well. Her ability to character build is just… amazing. PLUS ZOMBIES!
Rose Winter has enough problems. With a marriage going down the tubes and a dreaded anniversary party on the horizon, the last thing she needs is the zombie apocalypse. She wanted to get drunk and sing karaoke, not murder her undead neighbors. It’s clear the party’s over, however, and now Rose has more problems—a missing husband, an overbearing houseguest, and keeping her family alive.
Tom Jensen has inflexible rules. Rule number one? Don’t deviate from the plan. But when his life is overturned in the space of minutes, his plans die along with everything else. The world is finished, the future is uncertain, and survival means living in the last place he’d planned to be. Maybe his rules weren’t meant to be broken, but if he can’t change his tune, he risks losing the one thing he has left—his daughter.
Every single character in this book feels like someone you know in real life. Someone you love. If you enjoy the zombie genre with normal people struggling to survive, you’ll love this book. And bonus points for inclusion! One character is a lesbian and another is a aromatic asexual and they’re treated like normal people!
Also, be ready to cry.
5/5 stars hands down!
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri is the second book in the Urban Fantasy The Guild Codex: Spellbound series by Annette Marie. The series is about a regular human woman named Tori who accidentally ends up working as a bartender at a guild for magic users. Her life gets completely turned upside down as she discovers there’s a whole world out there that she knew nothing about.
When I found myself facing down the scariest black-magic felon in the city, practically daring him to abduct me, I had to wonder exactly how I ended up here.
It all started when I accidentally landed a job as a bartender–but not at a bar. At a guild, populated by mages, sorcerers, alchemists, witches, and psychics. Good thing this lame-o human is adaptable, right?
Then my favorite guild members–three sexy, powerful, and intermittently charming mages–asked for my help. Did they want access to my encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails? Oh no. They wanted to wrap me up in a pretty ribbon and plunk me in the crosshairs of a murderous rogue to lure him out of hiding.
So that’s what we did. And that’s why I’m here. About to be kidnapped. Oh, and our grand plan for safely capturing said murderous rogue? Yeah, that completely fell apart about two minutes ago.
This is another funny and light-hearted book that I read when I needed a little pick-me up. The main character is sometimes a little dense, stubborn, and she doesn’t think things through, but I can’t help but love her anyway so I give it 3.5/5 stars.
Valkyrie is the 9th book in the Expeditionary Force series by Craig Alanson. Before you go any farther, go to Audible, buy Columbus Day, get half-way through the book, have your mind blown, and then spend the rest of the time laughing so hard you can’t breathe.
The audiobook is narrated by R.C. Bray who I’m a super fan of. He adds so much depth to the storyline and the characters and he’s hilarious. Listening to his performance is just a whole different experience.
We were fighting on the wrong side, of a war we couldn’t win. And that was the good news.
The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon come ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There go the good old days, when humans only got killed by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits.
When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved. The UN Expeditionary Force hitched a ride on Kristang ships to fight the Ruhar, wherever our new allies thought we could be useful. So, I went from fighting with the US Army in Nigeria, to fighting in space. It was lies, all of it. We shouldn’t even be fighting the Ruhar, they aren’t our enemy, our allies are.
I’d better start at the beginning…
Let me sum up this series for you:
Joe Bishop and his Merry Band of Pirates (they aren’t really pirates, they’re random members of different Earth military forces) travel through space with the help of a Beer Can (he’s not really a beer can, he’s an AI) trying to save earth from certain doom.
This series is my favorite space opera. I have belly laughed too many times to count. It’s one of the few series I’ve listened to more than once. Valkyrie is one of the best in the series because it answers questions that have been building up throughout the other books and it’s a wild 5/5 stars ride!
Other books I’ve really enjoyed.
Fear the Fallout by Kyla Stone is the 2nd book in the Nuclear Dawn series. It’s about a young woman named Dakota who’s trying to rescue her younger sister who is in foster care during a nuclear strike on the US. I love the main character, she’s so determined and loyal that you’re rooting for her the whole time. 3.5/5 stars
Building a Life Worth Living by Marsha M. Linehan is a memoir about the creator of DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). If you’ve been on my blog for any amount of time then you’ll know how DBT has completely changed my life. It’s a type of therapy that helps us regulate our emotions and stop spiraling out.
Marsha shares her story. How she went from being a struggling, depressed, suicidal woman who spent 26 months in an inpatient facility to becoming a world-renowned psychologist who developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy so that she could help other people.