Book Recommendations, Book Talk

The Audiobook Experiment: addendum 2

I’m talking about audiobooks again! (Did anyone actually believe the last post about it was really the last post? Nah, didn’t think so 😁)

But today, I want to talk about Audible credits.

More specifically, how to decide what to spend the credits on. It’s harder than you’d first think…at least in my opinion. I’ve tried some different tactics:

  • Used credits to buy an old favorite book that I’ve eye-ball read several times. This has both worked and not worked. In one case, I didn’t like the narrator very much so I ended up deducting a star from the book because of it. In another case, the narration was good, and no stars needed to be deducted from my Goodreads rating.
  • Used credits to buy new-to-me books that I’ve neither eyeball-read or listened to before. This to with mixed results. Took my chances on a book that I ended up really liking, and another that I DNF:ed.
  • Used credits to buy books I’ve already listened to and know I loved. This works every time ofc, but at the same time it feels a little…boring. I want new fantabulous audiobook experiences, not rehashing the same ones over and over again.

So now I’m stuck in some kind of limbo and I don’t use my credits because I don’t know how to spend them. If you’re an audiobook listener with an audible membership, tell me how you go about spending your credits.

I much prefer a subscription model like Nextory or Storytel where I can listen to an unlimited amount of audiobooks each month. I take chances on books I otherwise wouldn’t have, because I can DNF it without having to resent that I threw away an expensive credit should I not like it. But a lot of books I’m interested in are only available through Audible which is why I’ve kept my membership so far. But what good does it do if I don’t spend my credits anyway?

So help a girl out, please. Tell me, how do you spend your Audible credits?

Four books I’ve listened to lately.

And before I go, here’s an audiobook update on a few books I’ve listened to lately.

One Giant Leap was a re-read (I’ve written about it here) and the narration by Greg Tremblay did the book justice. I listened to Soft Place to Fall (a new-to-me book) when I was in a B.A. Tortuga Mode, and John Solo did a fantastic job narrating it. Speaking of John Solo: he elevated Ranger (that I’d read before) from a good book to a fucking fantastic book, and I listened to it omw to work and walked into the office sobbing and had to hide in the bathroom until I’d calmed down. I’d read The Weight of it All before; Joel Leslie is a bit of a hit-or-miss for me and this one was good. Nothing spectacular, but didn’t really live up to the greatness of the book.

Book Recommendations

Sunday Book Recommendation

I found something fun on Twitter the other day that I thought I’d use for a Sunday Book Recommendation. Let me show you:

So here are 8 book recommendations spelling NELL IRIS. They are all five-star reads for me and get my warmest recommendations.

Nowhere Ranch :: Eight Acts :: Leather and Tea :: Lucas

Invitation to the Blues :: Raze :: In the Absence of Light :: Shifting Silver

I hope you’ll find something you like. And I’d love it if you, too, spelled your name in LGBTQ+ books you love in the comments (or on your blog, Twitter or whatever).

Have a wonderful Sunday ❤️

Book Recommendations, Book Talk

The Audiobook Experiment: Addendum

Yes, I know I said the audiobook experiment was concluded, but I have a short update I want to share with you, so bear with me 🙂

When I started my audiobook experiment, it was because I wanted something to entertain me while I mowed the lawn, which in reality meant gardening work in general. And now I’m moved into the new house (LOVE IT!) and have done some garden work (even if my plan isn’t to do too much this year, but weeding still needs to be done. Stinging nettles need to be eradicated!) and decided to test my theory.

Is gardening work more fun while listening to audiobooks?

I put on my headphones and started listening to Assimilation, Love, and other Human Oddities by Lyn Gala (because John Solo is my most recent audiobook narrator crush and because Liam and Ondry are fan-fucking-tastic) and went to work.

And let me tell you; battling the stinging nettles with my handheld trident gardening tool thingy (yes, that’s the official name of this thing) as Liam attacked the kawt (Rownt predator creature) with the reialet (Rownt club) was fun. I felt fierce as hell, and the more Liam fought, the more I attacked. Listening to a book while doing it gave me energy and stamina and I kept going for hours.

So I’d say that the experiment was a smashing success!

Also: something I didn’t know when I started the experiment was that I was going to apply for a job, get said job, and start commuting an hour in the morning and and an hour back in the evening Monday through Friday. And listening to audiobooks while on a train, makes the commute much more bearable. Especially considering I’m commuting at the same time as kids going to school, and the one morning I was forced to listen to four teenaged girls arguing about homework for 20 minutes straight taught me to always always bring my headphones on the train.

One more thing before I conclude the experiment again: I mentioned that I listened to Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities, which is the second book in Lyn Gala’s Claiming series. I also listened to the first book, Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts, which made me happy because the short prequel Prelude to Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts (that I hadn’t read before) was included in the audio. I loved hearing how Liam and Ondry met the first time and traded.

I’ve read books 1 and 2 before, a long time ago, before book 3 was released, and I really loved them, so when I saw that John Solo was narrating them, I decided that a re-read (re-listen?) was in order. And gawd, John Solo does an amazing job; I love his voice for Ondry, I love how he infuses so much sensitivity into Liam, and I adore how he narrates the grandmothers.

If you haven’t read these books, you really should. They’re awesome. And I say this as someone who

  • doesn’t read sci-fi
  • doesn’t really like series
  • definitely doesn’t like series that follow the same couple over several books

But Liam and Ondry are the exception to the rule, they’re just that fabulous…which is why I’m going to listen to book 3, Affiliations, Aliens, and Other Profitable Pursuits, too. It’s included in my Nextory subscription, but even if it wasn’t, I’d spend an Audible credit on it. That’s how much I like them.

And this is the conclusion to my audiobook experiment.

…I think 😁

Book Recommendations

Friday Book Recommendation

The weekend is here and everyone knows that weekends are for reading! So I thought I’d tell you about a book I’ve read recently and loved, if you need a recommendation, I mean.


It’s the summer of 1967 and the Sexual Offences Act has just decriminalized consensual gay sex in private between two men over twenty-one. Percy Wright and his friend Les Barker have both taken temporary jobs teaching English as a foreign language in London during their long summer break from teaching at a rural boarding school near Oxford.

Thirty-three year old Percy is keen to soak up some theatre, music and general culture, whilst the younger Les is also keen to experience the varied gay social scene. When Les picks up a man called Phil at the box office of the Albert Hall when he goes to buy tickets to a Promenade Concert, Percy inadvertently gets thrown together with Adrian Framlingham, Phil’s friend.

Adrian is all the things Percy likes in a man…funny, kind and steady. When Les gets hurt, Percy turns to Adrian for support, but as the end of the summer looms it seems as if their affair will come to a natural end.

What will happen when Percy goes back to his everyday life as a house-master? Will he and Adrian stay in touch? Does he even want a long-distance relationship when arranging to meet someone for sex is still illegal, even if the act itself is not?

A 20k novella that’s set five years before Taking Stock. Stand alone.

If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know that Taking Stock by the same author was one of my favorite books in 2020, so this book was an auto buy for me. And it didn’t disappoint! I devoured Eight Acts one Sunday afternoon accompanied with a cup of tea and it was lovely. It has the same feeling as Taking Stock, the feeling that made me fall head-over-heels for it. The quiet romance, the ordinary guys falling in love in a down-to-earth kind of manner. It has no grand gestures, no over-the-top moments. Just two men, meeting and falling in love, being there for each other, supporting each other when times get rough.

It’s honestly my favorite kind of romance.

Adrian emerged from the box with a triumphal expression, clutching a half-open pack of digestives. “Here! I knew I’d seen them!” he said.

“I think I’m in love with you,” Percy said, apropos of completely nothing.

Quote from Eight Acts.

So do yourself a favor and check out this book; it’s great. And if you still haven’t read Taking Stock (buy link), you definitely should. (Taking Stock and Eight Acts are only loosely connected and both can definitely be read as standalones.)

All the heartwarming stars from me. And Ally, if you read this: now I wanna read Les’s story! 😍

Book Recommendations, Book Talk, Meet Cute Chronicles

International Tea Day

Today is International Tea Day! There are some weird “holidays” floating around, but a day celebrating tea? I can get behind that!

Here on the blog, I’m celebrating with tea (duh!) and books where tea features prominently. Let’s start off by pouring a cup of our favorite tea. Here’s mine.

My favorite tea: matcha genmaicha. Look at that color! 😍

Many of my characters drink tea, because I’m a tea lover and I project that onto my MCs. But no one but Viggo in They Met in the Woods makes their own tea. No wonder Måns falls for him, right? I would, too, if I lived in that world 😁

Måns Elemander had A Plan. A researched and well-thought-out one, devised to help him avoid getting lost while foraging for mushrooms in an unfamiliar forest. But his cell phone battery didn’t get the memo, died unexpectedly, and thwarted The Plan, leaving Måns with a basket full of mushrooms, but no idea where to go. Until the sounds of someone chopping wood reaches him.

Måns follows the sound and finds a quaint cabin…and its owner, Viggo Moberg. Viggo is kind, understanding of the situation, and willing to help. He’s also smoking hot and their connection is instant, threatening to ignite and burn down the woods. Will the sparks burn fast and fizzle out, or will the attraction grow roots, just like the trees in the forest?

M/M Contemporary / 17 388 words

But wait. I know I write pretty short books, so if you still want more after finishing They Met in the Woods, if you’re in the mood for a really long and cozy tea-drinking and tea-reading session, I’ve got you covered. Here are three more books featuring tea.

Amy Tasukada’s Blood Stained Tea isn’t a romance, unless you count the relationship between Nao and his tea. But if you’re in the mood for a bloody thriller about crazy, murderous yakuza and excellent tea descriptions, Blood Stained Tea is just the book for you.

Tattoos & Teacups by Anna Martin: if you’re in the mood for opposites attract, age gap, and a charming relationship-focused book. I haven’t read it in years, but I remember loving it. Maybe today is the perfect day for a re-read?

Taking Stock by A.L. Lester might not have the word “tea” in the title, but it’s full of the stuff. It’s a book set in Britain, written by a British author after all, so tea is expected. And it’s there, in every little aspect of daily life, and as a tea lover myself, this is something I really appreciate. But it’s the quiet, lovely romance between the two men that’s the real star of this book, despite all the tea goodness.

Nao took the cup and let the tea warm his hands. The astringent oolong filled his nose with an undertone of plum from that particular blend. Tea always calmed him, and he was more thankful than ever that Father had called for it. Nao pressed the cup to his lips and drank. Bitter, probably from too many leaves stuffed into a tiny infuser.

After making tea in my only, beautiful teapot and finding proper teacups and saucers to drink it from, I loaded up a tray with the tea-making paraphernalia and some proper Scottish shortbread and joined Chris under the duvet that he’d brought through to the sofa.

Laurie was thin under the soft cotton. They stood for a while, doing nothing but breathing and looking out the window. Gradually, Laurie relaxed and as he did, he swayed back, just a little, until some of his weight was resting on Phil. It felt nice, to take the weight for someone else.

Eventually, Laurie dashed his good hand over his face. Wiping his eyes, Phil thought. “Tea’s getting cold,” Laurie said.

Tell me; which is your favorite book where tea features prominently?