I’ll Be Home For Christmas (sort of)

Hello readers! I’m currently on my way to my hometown in Northern California. I’m going to be seeing my parents and friends for an early Christmas and I am so freaking excited to see them. Plus, as I’m sure you’re all aware from American Christmas movies, Christmas is a pretty big deal there.

The city I’m from is well known for its Christmas lights, with people coming from all over to see street after street lit up. It’s gotten so big there are actual open air tour buses driving people around so they can take it all in. So watch this space for photos of twinkling houses!

To get to California from the UK requires a lot of travel. My usual route is a short UK flight followed by a 10 hour trans-Atlantic one. Then there’s the hour and a half taxi ride to my hometown from the airport. Ugh.

Every time I make this trip, I stay up the night before with the hopes that I’ll be tired enough to sleep on the plane. In 10+ years this has never once worked, but I’m ever the optimist.

So, just in case, I’ve charged up my Kindle and packed a couple of books because more likely than not I’ll be spending most that 15 hours of travel reading. I have several e-ARC’s I’ll be finishing for review, but I’ll also be reading a couple of books for fun, too.

Some of the books I’m going to be reading:

A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen


“Six years after a global pandemic wiped out most of the planet’s population, in post-apocalyptic San Francisco the survivors are rebuilding the country, split between self-governing cities, hippie communes and wasteland gangs.”

The Woman in the Veil (Victorian Mystery #4) by Laura Joh Rowland


“Sarah Bain and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick O’Reilly are crime scene photographers for the Daily World newspaper. On a foggy summer night, they’re called to the bank of the river Thames. The murder victim is an unidentified woman whose face has been slashed. But as Sarah takes photographs, she discovers that the woman is still alive.

Then “Sleeping Beauty” awakens–with a severe case of amnesia. She’s forgotten her name and everything else about herself. But she recognizes one of the people who’ve claimed her. Sarah is delighted to reunite a family and send Sleeping Beauty home–until one of the claimants is murdered. Suddenly, Sarah, her motley crew of friends, and her fiancé Detective Sergeant Barrett are on the wrong side of the law. Now they must identify the killer before they find themselves headed for the gallows.

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebochi


“Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.”

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff


“Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way, Cleopatra’s supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff ‘s is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.”

The Boy in the Suitcase (Nina Borg #1) by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis


“Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can’t say no when someone asks for help—even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive.

Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy’s are in jeopardy, too. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down.”

Have you read any of these? What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!

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