What I Read…

First book review of 2023! Let’s gooooooo!

I finished the first two books back in 2022, but I never included them in a review so they’re piggy-backing on this post. I make the rules here.

The Naughty or Nice Clause by Kate Callaghan |
Holiday Romance |
Ho hummm… I wanted to like this one and I tried. The setting was magical and the side characters were fantastically lovable. But the lovers were inconsistent and (in my opinion) a bit toxic. It just didn’t click for me. Cute for Christmas, but not a super enjoyable romance.
*2.5 stars, but I rounded
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Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of The Naughty or Nice Clause. All opinions are honest & my own.

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz |
Historical Fiction |
I’m a big fan of Dana Schwartz’s podcast, Noble Blood. It was a no-brainer to pick up her debut novel. It was a little slow at first, but I think she was setting the stage for Hazel’s limited world and what adventures lay beyond it. Readers who enjoy slow, morbid, historical drama will love it. The love story was a nice added bonus. Hazel and Jack were both lovely humans (when their flaws weren’t clouding their judgements).
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The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton |
Historical Mystery |
A few things… I did not love Evelyn Hardcastle, so I was not going to pick this one up. But my brother’s bookclub chose it, so I had no choice. Also- the cover is absolutely beautiful. I love it.
I’m glad I was “forced” to read this. I actually really enjoyed it. The adventure and the mystery were great and I was staying up WAY past my bedtime to read “one” more chapter. The ending was… abrupt and a little unbelievable, but I’ll go with it. *shrug* Turton redeemed himself in my eyes with this one.
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The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston |
Romance |
Oh my goodness, I really truly loved this story. I usually don’t enjoy grief in my romance novels. I don’t mind a bit of tension or drama, but grief is a different bird. Poston presented and dissected it beautifully. Every single part of this book was beautiful. And while I did guess one of the twists, I did not guess the other one. The family and friends along the way were an added bonus to the magical characters that were Florence and Ben. If you love romance, you will love this.
BUY IT on BookShop


M is for Mama: A Rebellion Against Mediocre Motherhood by Abbie Halberstadt
This came highly recommended by Nadine and I do think it’s a good book with a lot of value… but it wasn’t for me. Or maybe my timing is off.

Moo’s Favorite Reads

I have such a tough time remembering what books of M’s I’ve already shared. Lol. Oh well, good books deserve to be shared & re-shared. (M is three so these are appropriate-ish for her age.)

These four books are her current FAVORITES and come highly recommended by me!

The Three Little Pigs by Carly Gledhill *
This is such a cute story and a safe retelling for little kids. The illustrations are cute, too. I’ve found this story to be helpful in subtly teaching M about strangers. The piggies don’t let a stranger in the house and neither should we.

Families Belong by Dan Saks *
This book is simple and rhyming with colorful photos and great representation. We can quickly read through the story, or slow down and talk about the families pictured and how they are alike or different. It’s been very helpful to talk about race and gender and different no. of kids, etc. in a casual and normalized way.

The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky/Jessica Courtney-Tickle
I think I was influenced by Olya to buy this one. I love that M learns the story of the nutcracker AND learns to recognize the music. I was whistle a tune from this ballet the other day and she goes, “Are you singing The Nutcracker?” I love it!
I will be buying more “Story Orchestra” books soon!

Poke-a-Dot! What’s Your Favorite Color? by Lucy Schultz
M got this for her bday and she loves it. It’s a sensory book that lets her pop the bubbles while I read. It’s wonderful for color identification, counting, and focusing.

*books sent to us for free from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

That was a long and fulfilling book review post! Hope you found your next read somewhere in there! What books have you read so far in 2023? Any stand out as a favorite?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. thesiberianamerican says:

    Yes! We love those Story Orchestra books! I’m so glad M loved it too!


    1. Audrey says:

      Love them so much! Thanks for the rec! I can’t wait to get more of them.


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