Currently Checked Out Vol. V

Another week, another Currently Checked Out post! This one is a bit of a giant post since I’m combining two weeks in one. This is everything that I have checked out between Nov. 28th and Dec. 13th.

Also, a quick housekeeping note: I’ve reverted the synopsis links back to Goodreads. It wasn’t until I came across another post where someone had linked all their links to Amazon that I realized how annoying it can be if you just want to add something to your “Want to Read” shelf on Goodreads as a reminder. Apologies if anyone felt inconvenienced by the change!

Anyway, let’s get into these books!

The Books

The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: MARINet
ISBN: 9780008298494
Green Apple Books $35 n/a | Books Inc. $35 n/a | Amazon $25.04 ✔︎

Once again, a very solid recommendation from over on my YouTube channel. One of the things that I really love about doing the videos (& these posts as well!) are the book recommendations! This is half memoir, half cookbook, and full of warm fuzzy holiday feels.
Winter is my favorite season. I love the gloom, rain, various holiday decorations, and just the general cozy vibes of winter. Of course, I also don’t live in a place where there’s snow or any extreme weather at all so my version of winter is probably a little bit (okay, a lot) soft compared to other’s. Now, the real question is: since this book is half cookbook, will I actually cook anything out of it? Will I attempt to make a seasonal dish or will I just enjoy the vibe and keep my kitchen from falling into further shambles? Do y’all think it would make for an interesting post or vlog if I do decide to attempt a recipe from this book? Let me know!


Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: MARINet
ISBN: 9781250214430
Green Apple Books $27.99 n/a | Books Inc. $27.99 ✔︎ | Amazon $20.99

I can’t remember what initially drew me to this book. I know that I requested it a while ago but I don’t know where I heard about it or saw it. In re-reading the synopsis though I do have to say that it sounds like a very good historical fiction novel! I can’t think of any historical-fiction books that I’ve read in the past few years that were centered in Russia so this will be a new adventure. It’s focused on Catherine Alexeyevna (not to be confused with Catherine the Great!), Peter the Great’s second wife as she attempts to keep his death a secret and take power for herself. I love a good coup and from incredibly limited understanding of Russian history, I do remember finding this chunk of time to be rather interesting.


Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: SFPL
ISBN: 9781524744939
Green Apple Books $26.00 n/a | Books Inc $26.00 n/a | Amazon $15.49 ✔︎

I came across this in the library catalog’s “Recently Reviewed” section. Oddly enough, I actually didn’t read the review that was left, (shame on me) but I did read the synopsis and pretty much instantly decided that I wanted to read it. Basically it’s about this woman named Alice who moves with her husband to the New York suburbs. In Alice’s new home she finds a cookbook left by the previous occupant, Nellie. Nellie not only records her recipes but also her life, relationship with her husband, and letters she’s never sent her mother. The story promises to be a dual-narrative which I absolutely love when it’s done right and I flipped through a few pages and saw that there are actual recipes in this book so I’m pretty excited about reading this one.


The Perfect Nine by Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʼo
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: SFPL
ISBN: 9781620975251
Green Apple Books $23.99 ✔︎ | Books Inc $23.99 | Amazon $17.09

I don’t remember how I came across this one, but I do remember that the wait list for it was freakishly long so I’m assuming that I read about in some sort of article or best-seller list. This is Thiongʼo s first epic and it’s a telling of the founding of the Gĩkũyũ people of Kenya from a feminist perspective. I’m definitely not up on my Kenyan mythologies and folklore so I’m looking forward to diving into this one. It follows one of my favorite folklore themes in which suitors are being sought for perfect daughters and have to perform a series of tasks in order to prove themselves worthy. Why this is one of my favorite themes in folklore, I’ll never know.


Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: MARINet
ISBN: 9780062667632
Green Apple Books $27.99| Books Inc $27.99 | Amazon $16.88 ✔︎

I had been on the hold list for this one for so long that when it finally came in I had forgotten entirely what it was about, what mood I was in when I requested it, or even that I had requested it. Amanda and Clay, along with their kids, have rented a luxurious vacation home for a week to get away from New York and to spend time with their kids. While they’re there the owners of the home, Ruth and G.H an older Black couple, knock on the door and bring news of a massive blackout that has swept New York City and the East Coast. There’s no cell phone service, no internet and no TV at the house which means that everyone is nervous as hell. I actually finished this one on Wednesday and I loved how gripping and smooth the story was. I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars, meaning I enjoyed it, but I don’t see myself purchasing it.
On another note: I just found out this is going to become a Netflix movie staring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts – which I’m incredibly excited for!


The Cold Millions by Jess Walter
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: MARINet
ISBN: 9780062868084
Green Apple Books $28.99 ✔︎ | Books Inc $28.99| Amazon $21.38

I once again, have absolutely no clue where I came across this one or why I requested it. All I know is that I waited an incredibly long time for it to come in much like with “Leave the World Behind” and that I had no recollection as to what it was about when I had it in my hands. Apparently its set in the early 1900’s and features two brothers who jump freight trains and work crooked jobs for living. One brother yearns for a home and a steady job while the other wants to fight alongside union men for better pay and treatment. It honestly sounds like something I would not request so I’m very unsure of why I requested it or even if I’m going to read it. If anyone has read it, let me know if it seems like something that will suit my reading tastes!


A Children’s Bible by Lydia Millet
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: MARINet
ISBN: 9781324005032
Green Apple Books $25.95 | Books Inc $25.95 | Amazon $17.85 ✔︎

I have a faint memory of reading about this somewhere but where that somewhere was I have no idea; per usual. I love how creepy the cover of this is and the synopsis sounds pretty interesting as well. Essentially there are 12 eerily mature children who are on vacation with their families, a destructive storm that destroys the property, and biblical scenes come to life. It sounds both intense and fascinating and apparently it’s also one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2020 books, which is one of the many “best book” lists I hope to read through in 2021.


How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: MARINet
ISBN: 9780062933966
Green Apple Books $7.99 (backordered)| Books Inc $7.99 ✔︎| Amazon $7.99

I’ve been in love with Alyssa Cole’s romance novels for a hot minute now so when I heard that she was dropping a new romance in the theme of royals I absolutely had to request it. I’m in my incredibly slow process of purchasing her Reluctant Royals series so until I’ve purchased all of those this one is going to have to wait. However, until that happens the library copy will do just fine! The synopsis for this one has promised me a queen who’s seen as an outsider and ignored despite her ability to find the solutions to the kingdom’s problems, a king who never expected to fall in love with his wife, and a good ‘ol fashioned runaway wife trope. I’m excited to read this one.


Girl Gurl Grrrl: On Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic by Kenya Hunt
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: MARINet
ISBN: 9780062987648
Green Apple Books $26.99 | Books Inc $26.99 | Amazon $18.89 ✔︎

I saw this one on Goodread’s “5 Great Books Hitting Shelves This Week” article (along with some other books I’ve requested) and instantly wanted to read it. I’ve always wanted to know more about the Black experience in the UK and reading that Kenya Hunt once upon a time lived in America and then moved to the UK was what sold me on this. I believe this book is a collection of essays examining Blackness and womanhood and I’m deeply looking forward to diving into this one.


A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Synopsis from Goodreads
Checked out from: SFPL
ISBN: 9781524763169
Green Apple Books $45.00 | Books Inc $45.00 | Amazon $23.96 ✔︎

I’ve never read a president’s memoir before and I figured it would be fitting that Obama’s be the first one that I read. To be blunt, I’ve never been interested in any President’s or First Lady’s backstory. And to be even more blunt, very rarely am I ever interested in the memoirs or biographies of White men in positions of political or financial power. I’m interested in seeing how Obama shapes his journey to the White House and his time within. I’m also interested in seeing what changes he noticed with his family once they were thrust into the spotlight. I think this is going to be a book that will have me in my emotions and I’m both nervous and excited about it.

How Much $$$ Did I Save?

With San Francisco sales tax (8.5%) factored in the total amount of money I saved is $224.64

Breakdown by purchasing location:
Amazon = $128.15
Green Apple = $57.45
Books Inc. = $39.04

Breakdown by library system:
MARINet = $155.81
SFPL = $68.83

I’m Curious…

What do you currently have checked out? & if you don’t have anything checked out, what are you currently reading?
Bonus Question: Do you have a favorite memoir or autobiography? I’m not sure it’s my favorite, but the one that I remember the most vividly is “In Order to Live” by Yeonmi Park.
Let me know in the comments!


YouTube Version of this Post

3 thoughts on “Currently Checked Out Vol. V

    1. I love the Libby app! At the beginning of the pandemic when the libraries were closed I was using the Libby app exclusively to get all my reading needs met.
      I’ve been meaning to use Netgalley more often but I think the pressure of absolutely having to review the book makes me wary.

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