Hey all, Dani here.
Welcome to the first Calendar Girls post of 2019. What exactly is Calendar Girls? Well, I’m glad you asked. Let’s talk about all those details before I start talking about this month’s theme and all the possible book options.
Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event that was started by Flavia and Melanie, but is now being hosted by Katie and Adrienne. They are all wonderful ladies, and you should check out their lovely blogs. Oh, and if you go to either Katie or Adrienne‘s Calendar Girls post each month, they will have links to all the other wonderful book bloggers participating in this event.
First, more about the Calendar Girls. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.
Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and both Katie and Adrienne will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!
Oh, and you don’t have to identify as female to join the Calendar Girls. We welcome readers of all types. So if this sounds like fun for you, join us in all of the fun bookish conversations. All right, let’s go ahead and get to talking about the January theme, and then the runners up and the winner. Forewarning, this is a pretty long post and I talk about quite a few books. Sorry, not sorry. I love books.
The theme for January is…
Happy New Year
2019 Release You’re Most Looking Forward To
Oh man, there are so many 2019 releases that I’m looking forward to…and I know I’m probably missing some great ones too. So, I really look forward to reading all the other posts for this month, just in case there are books that I really should have on my release calendar.
But, for the purposes of selecting a pick for this month, I managed to narrow my options down to 12 books. So I’m going to start with talking about my contenders, and then I’ll have to choose my winner from all of them.
Obviously, most of what I’m excited for is fantasy releases. What can I say? They’re my favorite.
First up is the newest release from Brigid Kemmerer, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, which is coming out January 29th. This is apparently an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, so I’m definitely excited about it.
Then there is Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen, expected January 22nd. The first book, Reign the Earth, was outstanding, and I’m really curious to see what will happen next, because the magic and the politics were very intriguing.
Obviously, King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo has to make this list. This first installment of a Nikolai centered duology will be released January 29th as well, and I’m hoping for wonderful and diverse characters, plenty of drama and complications, and a romance I can root for.
Next, I have to mention Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard, which will be released on February 12th. Now I just talked about this book a little bit a couple days ago, so I don’t want to say too much this time, but I love all the different witcheries in this series, and I’m happy that this book will have a focus on Aeduan, because he is a fascinating character.
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto is a relatively new add to my release calendar, but we’ve been getting a lot more Asian inspired fantasy books these past couple years, and I have been super pleased with pretty much every one I’ve read, so I can’t wait to see what other wondrous reads we get. This book will also be released on February 12th.
Rin Chupeco’s conclusion to The Bone Witch trilogy–The Shadow Glass–is definitely one of my highest anticipated books. I was lucky enough to be granted an e-galley of the first book and an ARC of the second book, but no such luck with this one, so I have been waiting for what feels like forever. I can’t wait to pick this one up March 1st.
I won’t spend much time at all talking about Emily A Duncan’s April 2nd release, Wicked Saints. If you want to know all my gushy feels, go check out my early review for it. But this is a book that makes my D&D cleric loving heart so dang happy. This is definitely a contender for one of my favorite books right now.
When I read Ashley Poston’s Geekerella, I loved all the fandom and charm. So to find that it is getting a sequel/companion just made me super happy. I’m ready to go to another fandom and have more cute geeky interactions. I wish I didn’t have to wait until April 2nd to get my hands on The Princess and the Fangirl.
Kingsbane by Claire Legrand obviously has to make this list, considering how much I loved reading Furyborn last year. I want to know more about these women, this world, and the magic and politics going on. This book will be released May 21st.
I love some good epic fantasy, and I was expecting quite a bit when I read Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep last year. It didn’t disappoint, but I’m still hoping for more with the sequel, Protect the Prince, expected May 15th. I want more badass gladiator women, and obviously more tantalizing descriptions of food.
Give me more fun and tricks, plus more action, drama and romance, with Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa, to be released June 25th. I absolutely adored Shadow of the Fox when I devoured it last year, and I need more of this fantasy adventure with Asian mythology and folklore influences. So good.
Finally, I have The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee, set to be released on July 16th. This is a book set in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and follows a previous Avatar, namely Earthbender Kyoshi. My fiance introduced me to both Avatar and Korra since we started dating, and I have watched both shows, as well as reading all of the comics. I am so ready to see what we’ll learn with this book series.
Okay, so there are a lot of fantastic options here. And I’ve already realized that I’ve missed a few books. More than a few if I’m being completely honest, but I read a lot of books, so my release calendar is pretty full already. But the more I look at all of these, the more I’m thinking that my choice actually isn’t any of the ones I’ve mentioned already. If this had been the theme a couple months ago, my answer would have been Wicked Saints, but I feel bad picking that now because I already have read it and I know that I absolutely love it. So I can’t really call it an anticipated book any more; all I’m anticipating is having a final edition in my hands.
So I’m going to pick another book, and that’s great. I love getting to talk about even more books than I originally planned. All right, so here is my final choice for this month’s Calendar Girls theme.
I think I need to re-read the first book before I write up the review for it, but the Tales of Pell series is utterly hilarious. It is filled with so many classic fantasy tropes that get turned on their heads, as well as pun after glorious pun. This isn’t a dark or serious fantasy, like some we’ve come to expect, but it is still entirely worth a read.
Based on the summary, I’m thinking No Country for Old Gnomes will be just as entertaining.
Go big or go gnome. The New York Times bestselling authors of Kill the Farm Boy return to the world of Pell, the irreverent fantasy universe that recalls Monty Python and Terry Pratchett.
War is coming, and it’s gonna be Pell.
On one side stand the gnomes: smol, cheerful, possessing tidy cardigans and no taste for cruelty.
On the other side sit the halflings, proudly astride their war alpacas, carrying bags of grenades and hungry for a fight. And pretty much anything else.
It takes only one halfling bomb and Offi Numminen’s world is turned upside down—or downside up, really, since he lives in a hole in the ground. His goth cardigans and aggressive melancholy set him apart from the other gnomes, as does his decision to fight back against their halfling oppressors. Suddenly Offi is the leader of a band of lovable misfits and outcasts—from a gryphon who would literally kill for omelets to a young dwarf herbalist who is better with bees than with his cudgel to an assertive and cheerful teen witch with a beard as long as her book of curses—all on a journey to the Toot Towers to confront the dastardly villain intent on tearing Pell asunder. These adventurers never fit in anywhere else, but as they become friends, fight mermaids, and get really angry at this one raccoon, they learn that there’s nothing more heroic than being yourself.
In No Country for Old Gnomes, Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne lovingly tweak the tropes of fantasy and fairy tales. Here you’ll find goofy jokes and whimsical puns, but you’ll also find a diverse, feminist, and lighthearted approach to fantasy that will bring a smile to your face and many fine cheeses to your plate.
Come on. Does that not sound like an absolutely hilarious and awesome book? I’m thinking I may actually try to pick this series up in audiobook. I have the hardcover of the first book, but I think this might be a good series to listen to.
I laughed so much while reading Kill the Farm Boy. I’ve read quite a bit of Kevin Hearne, but not much Delilah S Dawson, which is going to change sometime soon-ish. But they have co-authored an amazing series, set in an awesomely put together world, with a random and hilarious cast of characters.
Wow…this post went so much longer than I expected it to. Oh well, there were lots of great books to talk about. That’s all from me today, but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.