December 2022 TBR

Now, I have not done a TBR on this blog in years. Mainly because at that point in my life I was a heavy-mood reader and, the minute I decided what books I was going to read that month, I just got overwhelmed and never read the books I planned. They didn’t seem as desirable as I planned. I liked being able to pick on a whim. Recently though, that started to change and with all the plans I have coming up for 2023, I know I will be creating more and more TBRs.

So, let’s start with my Dec 2022 TBR. This month’s theme is Christmas crime and academic fantasy!!

  • Title: Babel
  • Author: R.F. Kuang
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy

Plot: 1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation — also known as Babel. 

Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.

Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down? 

I actually tried to read this in November but I struggled a little bit in the first half due to the slow-paced nature of the novel. I have since switched to the audiobook and I am finding that to be easier. I am hoping to get this finished before the end of 2022.

  • Title: Murder at the Theatre Royale
  • Author: Ada Moncrieff
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Murder Mystery

Plot: December 1935. Director Chester Harrison’s production of A Christmas Carol has had a troubled run on its tour of regional theatres. With tensions amongst the cast running high, the company reach their final stop – London’s Theatre Royale – a few days before Christmas. Catastrophe, however, strikes on opening night: ‘Scrooge’ dies on stage, seemingly due to a heart attack. But the show must go on. Until, that is, an old rival of Chester’s is murdered in a dressing room. Are those associated with the production being picked off one by one? Journalist Daphne King is determined to reveal the truth…

  • Title: Marple
  • Author: Various
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Murder Mystery

Plot: This collection of a dozen original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery.

So, I was going to read this the minute I got my hands on this but I saw one of the stories was set at Christmas and I don’t like reading books set at Christmas outside of December so I decided to wait.

  • Title: Portrait of a Murderer
  • Author: Anne Meredith
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Murder Mystery

Plot: Each December, Adrian Gray invites his extended family to stay at his lonely house, Kings Poplars. None of Gray’s six surviving children is fond of him; several have cause to wish him dead. The family gathers on Christmas Eve―and by the following morning, their wish has been granted.

I bought this book last Christmas and have waited an entire year to read it!

  • Title: The Christmas Murder Club
  • Author: Alexandra Benedict
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Murder Mystery

Plot: The annual Christmas Game is afoot at Endgame House, the Armitages’ grand family home. This year’s prize is to die for–deeds to the house itself–but Lily Armitage has no intention of returning. She hasn’t been back to Endgame since her mother died, twenty-one years ago, and she has no intention of claiming the house that haunts her dreams. Until that is, she receives a letter from her aunt promising that the game’s riddles will give her the keys not only to Endgame but to its darkest secrets, including the identity of her mother’s murderer. Now, Lily must compete with her estranged cousins for the twelve days of Christmas. The snow is thick, the phone lines are down, and no one is getting in or out. Lily will have to keep her wits about her, because not everyone is playing fair, and there’s no telling how many will die before the winner is declared.

  • Title: Legendborn
  • Author: Tracy Deonn
  • Series: Legendborn Cycle #1
  • Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Plot: After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC-Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack on her very first night on campus. A flying demon feeding on human energies. A secret society of so-called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down. And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

I am super excited to read this as its for something really really exciting happening in 2023.

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