Book Round-up: February 22, 2020

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How long has it been?!

Holy moly, the last time either of us posted a book round-up was summer 2019? I have a bunch of ARCs to review! I’m not going to post every single one just because that’d be so many, but here are some of the highlights within the past half year.

Note: ARCs have been received in exchange for an honest review from their publishers through NetGalley, and a number of these ARCs will be reviewed in full at a later date.


Ghoster by Jason Arnopp
Published by Orbit Books
Published on 10/22/2019
My rating 2/5

My short (NetGalley) review:

OK… I read through the entire book, and will do my best to avoid spoilers.

I love me some thrillers and stories that keep me flipping the pages to figure out what’s going on. Eventually, I ended up flipping through the pages in frustration in an attempt to get through the rest of it and find out what the heck is going on. It ends up feeling like a cop-out ending, and I felt so irritated that I spent the day reading the entire thing.

The authors writing isn’t terrible, which frustrated me even more… the direction it went just made me go “huh?” I enjoyed Kate, though did find the characters annoying at times, but some of the other characters were just like … there.

Unfortunately this isn’t a story that I would personally recommend.


The Dark Continent by Scott Reardon
Published by Aspen Press
Published on 01/28/2020
My rating 2/5

My NetGalley Review:

OK, so there was a point when reading this book where I just went… what happened. The first half really had me going with a horror thriller kind of vibe, trying to figure out what the heck the researchers were doing and all of this backstory, but then the second half left me scratching my head.

The book itself: Like it was really going somewhere with all of the “who did what” and “what happened here” among all the other things going on. It gave me the creepy vibes that I look for when I read horror books. I liked that! I also felt like I didn’t have to go back to read the first book and was just able to jump cheerily in to reading this one, which I’m grateful for.

The second half of the book was downhill from there, though. I wasn’t a fan of the fact that it just threw everything out of the boat and went a different direction, nor was I really happy with the sudden incredibly patriotic theme that overtook the rest of the book. It was grating, and it didn’t feel like it added anything additional to the plot this way, feeling more like an interjection of some weird feelings just because the author could (e.g. the note about the French Canadians being “backwardly cheerful” and the tidbit on tolerance/diversity).

TLDR: Not sure if I can recommend reading this just for the first half alone.


Celiac Disease Cookbook for the Newly Diagnosed by Rebecca Toutant
Published by Callisto Media
Published on 02/18/2020
My rating 5/5

My NetGalley Review:

So, if you know/follow me at all (likely you don’t but that’s okay), you’ll know that I write quite a bit about celiac disease given that I was only diagnosed within the recent past. Back then the gluten free diet was becoming a hot, trendy thing, and celiac disease was only starting to get more media attention. I had no idea what the heck the disease was until I was diagnosed.

This would’ve been an extremely helpful book for someone new to celiac disease or who doesn’t understand what it is.

Rather than just being a cookbook, the author discusses exactly WHAT celiac disease is, and bonus points to the author for pointing out that ***we can’t just have people picking crumbs off our salad***. She talked about STIGMA, which is a HUGE issue, and talking about the emotional/psychological issues relating to being diagnosed.

So this isn’t just a cookbook, it’s really an introduction to being diagnosed and how to handle the weight of the disease, which is HUGE. I mean — no one talks about the fact that you can’t just eat out anymore and you have to shell out a LOT of money for new equipment when you’re diagnosed. It’s kind of like you just get told “stop eating gluten” and that’s it.

The ONLY issue I have is that she notes that oats are OK for celiac disease if labeled gluten-free, but it has been consistently found that gluten-free optical-sorted oats are not safe for celiac sufferers and purity-protocol oats are really the best option.


I’m constantly on the look-out for GOOD horror and thriller books, especially if they’re paranormal! If you have any you’d like to suggest, leave me your recommendation in the comments. I’ve been really disappointed with the reads that I’ve come across lately.

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