New Books & Novel Discoveries (July 2021)

Goodness, it has been a weirdly mild summer around these parts. I’ve gotta say, a big part of me is happy not to feel like soup for days at a time, but it does make certain summer activities a lot less pleasant. All things considered, it could be a lot worse though, so perhaps I shouldn’t complain.

Unlike my last post, I have not read through any of the books I bought in June, but I wasn’t really expecting to. Spent too long agonizing over whether I’ve remember all the books I bought or not again too. It’s not even that many, I don’t know what my deal is.

Enough rambling, on to the books!

New Books


The High Republic: Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland was a last minute preorder, which ended up being delivered in a pretty timely fashion anyway. I had just read through the first YA novel in the Star Wars: The High Republic series, Into the Dark, and seeing that this was coming out so soon, decided I may as well pick it up now.

I went to my local bookstore for another round of browse purchasing, which led to me picking up Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. I can’t remember where I first heard about this book, only that it has been quite a while. I still remember the premise, though, that an alien visitation to Earth takes place, with a bunch of strange artifacts left behind. The kicker is, their visit was nothing more than a roadside picnic by careless travelers (considering all the littler left behind). They’re so advanced, however, that their trash is a highly desired commodity for us Earthlings. I love the idea of extraterrestrial trash being so profound.

I also came across and picked up Cain’s Jawbone by Torquemada, which is as much a novel as a literary puzzle. Apparently, this 100-page murder mystery is readable as is, but is not arranged in the intended order. The challenge is to figured out each whodunnit and arrange all 100 pages in the right order. A daunting challenge, but I really want to give it a shot.

Six Stories

My only digital purchase for July, I’m pretty sure I heard about Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski from a WWW post on another blog. Regrettably, I cannot remember where. At any rate, I really like the idea of a mystery thriller written as transcripts from a fictional true crime podcast, and when I saw that it was going for only a couple dollars on the Kindle store, I decided to pick it up.

Novel Discoveries

I’m surprised I shelved so few books on my “want to read” list this month, but here we are.

Mordew by Alex Pheby I heard about from a post over at The Bookwyrm’s Den. First of all, I love that cover. I don’t know what’s going on with the giant bird and I don’t care. It establishes a mood that I am all about. Furthermore, the story concerns a young impoverished boy being sold by his mother to the Master of Mordew, their city, who derives magical powers from the corpse of God, which is hidden in the catacombs beneath the city. Considered me hooked.

A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris is a book that caught me off guard, because I had no idea it was finally coming out. I just happened to click a promo email and skim through “anticipated releases.” This is the second publication of the author’s diaries, after Theft by Finding in 2017, which published his diaries from 1977 to 2002. Though not as structured as his essays, I really enjoyed that first book and look forward to reading this one.

Closing Thoughts

I’m really interested in solving Cain’s Jawbone, but I’m wondering how much of my time it will consume. Part of me just wants to dive in right now, but I’m afraid it will cut into my regular reading schedule, so maybe I should start in the new year? I haven’t decided yet, though I have a buddy who wants to start solving it on their own at the same time as me. When I do start, I want to post journal entries about my experiences, omitting specific info so that I’m not putting too much out into the ether. Has anybody else ever tried solving a literary puzzle before? This is my first time ever learning about one.

Until next time, thank you for reading.


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