Then and Now #29 (9/5/2022 - 9/11/22

Happy Sunday! The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted @ Caffeinated Reviewer. See rules here: Sunday Post MemeMailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.  It is hosted weekly over at Mailbox Monday and every Friday they do a round-up of some of their favourite, shared reads!

Last Week 

Last week was my penultimate week in the Netherlands, so I had some farewell drinks as well as some official stuff like letting the municipality know I'm emigrating, etc. In between I've also tried to leave space for plenty of down time so that this whole moving process doesn't become too stressful. I've got help from family and friends so I can't actually complain about how the moving is and will be going, but the thinking through of what to pack when and how is still something that tires me out a bit. But I'm also just super excited to get to Germany, get started with my job and the PhD, so that is really getting me through. On the blogging side of things I've finally decided that I need to work on my enormous backlog of requested books on NetGalley. It's honestly really bad, considering I've over-requested since 2010... but I've really gone through the books still waiting for me and they are all books I want to read. And now my goal is to get through as many before the semester starts on the 16th of October and to read at least one "backlog book" a week from then on. I already knocked two off the list: My Purple-Scented Novel by Ian McEwan and White Horses by Alice Hoffman.

I've also started watching Rings of Power, the new Lord of the Rings show from Amazon. I had some issues with it initially, mainly because Tolkien and his work are so close to my heart and because I'm not super happy about a company like Amazon working with his material. But I decided to set some of that aside to see what the hundreds of people working on it have created. And I must say that it looks absolutely stunning and the music is gorgeous. The plotline is still a little wonky but I think that the third episode, which came out this Friday, hit its stride a little more. This show won't please hardcore fans, since it doesn't actually have the rights to most of the "canon" lore, and it might be a little hard for complete newbies since it does work with some of the lore, but I think the work countless of people have put into it is worth recognising. Am I happy with all their choices? No. Is it a relatively valid take on or interpretation of Tolkien's work? I think so. 

Recently posted:


This is probably my favourite track from the Rings of Power soundtrack so far. It's the 'Scherzo for Violin and Swords'. I just love the urgency of it! Bear McCreary is a brilliant composer.

Mailbox Monday

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes by Eric LaRocca (Titan Books; 9/6/2022)

Three dark and disturbing horror stories from an astonishing new voice, including the viral-sensation tale of obsession, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. For fans of Kathe Koja, Clive Barker and Stephen Graham Jones.

A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires. 
A couple isolate themselves on a remote island in an attempt to recover from their teenage son’s death, when a mysterious young man knocks on their door during a storm…
And a man confronts his neighbour when he discovers a strange object in his back yard, only to be drawn into an ever-more dangerous game.
From Bram Stoker Award finalist Eric LaRocca, this is devastating, beautifully written horror from one of the genre’s most cutting-edge voices.
What have you done today to deserve your eyes?

This is going to be my early Halloween read. I love the sound of the three stories in here and the title, in combination with the cover, just really caught my eye. Horror is not everyone's cup of tea but it's such a rewarding genre for me. I'm really able to confront some things through it, so the fear is almost always cathartic.

White as Witching: Faerie Tales Rich & Strange by Katherine Buel (Victory Editing; 10/4/2022)

A wicked queen. Dark magic. A heart as cold and fierce as winter.

The Selection is a lie. The five girls chosen each year do not vanish into a life of royal luxury, as most believe. Snow knows this because she knows her aunt Lyric—the Witch-Queen of Cresilea—murderess and usurper.

When the Selection comes to the remote village where Snow has hidden since her father’s murder, she puts herself forward, trusting in her scarred face to hide her identity, and enters the castle she fled seven years ago—a place now haunted by unnatural whispers and eerie shadows.

But more is at stake than Snow’s revenge, or even the fates of five girls, and she must learn all she can about Lyric’s magic—and her own—before it’s too late.

Rich and darkly enchanting, White as Witching takes you into a perilous world of fairy tale where you must break the first rule:

Do not go into the woods at night.

Do not follow the faerie lights.

Do not dance and do not sing—set no foot in the faerie ring.

This book was preciously published as Heart of Snow but it's completely new to me. I'm always down for some long-term vengeance as well as weird Selections and wicked queens. Maybe this will be a good book to read when I make a trip to the Black Forest!

Foster by Claire Keegan (Grove Atlantic; 11/1/2022)

An international bestseller and one of The Times’ “Top 50 Novels Published in the 21st Century,” Claire Keegan’s piercing contemporary classic Foster is a heartbreaking story of childhood, loss, and love; now released as a standalone book for the first time ever in the US

It is a hot summer in rural Ireland. A child is taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm, not knowing when or if she will be brought home again. In the Kinsellas’ house, she finds an affection and warmth she has not known and slowly, in their care, begins to blossom. But there is something unspoken in this new household—where everything is so well tended to—and this summer must soon come to an end.

Winner of the prestigious Davy Byrnes Award and published in an abridged version in the New Yorker, this internationally bestselling contemporary classic is now available for the first time in the US in a full, standalone edition. A story of astonishing emotional depth, Foster showcases Claire Keegan’s great talent and secures her reputation as one of our most important storytellers.

I had never heard of this novel before but the blurb really struck me. I can't imagine the heartbreak of finding a safe home, only to once again have something be wrong. I can't wait to discover this modern Irish classic for myself!

Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction ed. by Sheree Renee Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, and Zelda Knight (Macmillan-Tor/Forge; 11/15/2022)

From award-winning editorial team Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald
Ekpeki, and Zelda Knight comes an anthology of thirty-two original stories showcasing the breadth of fantasy and science fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora.

A group of cabinet ministers query a supercomputer containing the minds of the country’s ancestors. A child robot on a dying planet uncovers signs of fragile new life. A descendent of a rain goddess inherits her grandmother’s ability to change her appearance—and perhaps the world.

Created in the legacy of the seminal, award-winning anthology series Dark MatterAfrica Risen celebrates the vibrancy, diversity, and reach of African and Afro-Diasporic SFF and reaffirms that Africa is not rising—it’s already here.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

I must admit that the first thing that caught my eye here was the cover. It's absolutely stunning! I'm also a big fan of Speculative Fiction and short stories, however, so this is an absolutely ideal book for me. I'm hoping to savour it and take my time with it, but knowing myself I'll race through it once I start.

So that's it for me this week!


  1. Hi there Julie! Exciting times ahead! I wish you happiness and good luck!

    I think the plan to read one book a week from the backlog, is a great idea. My backlog isn't all that bad, but I still have no idea when I'm actually going to catch up...!

    Have a great week and good luck with everything!

    Elza Reads

    1. Yes, definitely an exciting time! My backlog is embarrassing but I already managed to read three so the plan is working so far. Thanks for dropping by :)

  2. Good luck with your move! I've been watching Rings of Power too and honestly I'm really liking it too. I feel the same way- the third one kind of cemented for me that I'm good with how they're treating it (so far). I do think it must be really difficult for them walking that tightrope of what they're allowed to use and what they're not. So far I do feel like I'm visiting Middle earth, and what more can I ask for?

    1. Yes, I'm completely in agreement with you here! The challenge before them is a hard one, but I think they're doing pretty good. Thanks for dropping by :)

  3. Good luck with the move! I hope everything goes smoothly. I could never get into TLOTR myself, so I haven't any idea what this new series is about even. Lol. I hope you enjoy it though!

    Nice new reads! Those are new to me ones but I hope you enjoy them too!

    Here's my StS

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

    1. Thank you! LOTR is quite something, but a little more grounded than what the show is based on, so if the first didn't work for you then maybe the show also won't be your vibe xD Thanks for dropping by :)

  4. I've been seeing Eric LaRocca's books more and more lately, and I am really curious about his books. Have a great week and happy reading!

    1. The name was also super familiar to me for some reason, but this is my first time reading anything by him! Thanks for dropping by :)

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  6. I hope you enjoy Germany and that the transition is smooth.

    1. So far I really am, hence my late response! We survived the transition, which is the best outcome really xD Thanks for dropping by :)

  7. There is always stress in a move and you are going to a new country. I hope the move goes well. Good variety in your books. I like the sound of Africa Risen. Happy Reading!

    1. It really is surprising how much comes into a big move like that, but then I think any move, even within a city, has its own particular stressors! Thanks for dropping by :)

  8. I don't know any of these books...hope they are all winners for you.

    1. Yess, fingers crossed they all do the trick! Thanks for dropping by :)


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