MONTHLY REWIND: October & November 2019

Even though it’s not quite the end of November yet, I’m doing a wrap-up/check-in post because I feel like I’ve failed at everything in November due to some sort of good life things. I’ve also realized that I am not good at monthly challenges while on a ridiculous work schedule, so my fifth attempt at Nanowrimo will probably be my last. Until I get into better habits, I can’t sustain magically and seemingly overnight writing outputs of 1,700 words a day. I did finally get a job, and I’m back working at a bookstore, which is good for me because I feel useful but also a little bad because I have no control sometimes when it comes to buying new books. I also have access to physical arcs again, and I grabbed a few off the shelf that I’m excited to read! I also got some kind of illness last weekend that threw off all of my plans to read a lot and start updating my instagram more, but it’s life and sometimes I need to focus my energy elsewhere. I also purchased Pokemon Sword and Shield, and I’m excited to play through them both!

Here’s what I’m currently reading as of this posting:

  • The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon
  • The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings, by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Waiting for Tom Hanks, by Kerry Winfrey
  • This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (I have a First Lines Friday post for this book this week!)

In October, I read ten books, but so far in November, I’ve only finished three.

October’s reads:

  • The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe, by D.G. Compton
  • Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir
  • The Ascent to Godhood, by JY Yang
  • The New Voices of Science Fiction, edited by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, by Christopher de Hamel
  • The Duchess Deal, by Tessa Dare
  • The English Wife, by Lauren Willig
  • Something Strange and Deadly, by Susan Dennard
  • Recursion, by Blake Crouch
  • A Darkness Strange and Lovely, by Susan Dennard

November’s reads:

  • Strange and Ever After, by Susan Dennard
  • The Guinevere Deception, by Kiersten White
  • The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman

Now, onto books received, grabbed, and purchased! All arcs are courtesy of the publishers, including the ones sent to my store, and I’ve received no compensation for reading them or for their future reviews/features. I’ve been visiting Goodwill lately when I drop off things to donate, and I picked up some books there as revisits and research for pacing for writing geared for younger readers.

ARCS (release date)

  • Vagabonds, by Hao Jingfang (April 14, 2020)
  • Fate of the Fallen, by Kel Kade (November 2019)
  • The Secrets We Kept, by Lara Prescott (September 2019)
  • A Queen in Hiding, by Sarah Kozloff (January 2020)
  • The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, by Ken Liu (February 25, 2020)
  • Things in Jars, by Jess Kidd (February 2, 2020)

Purchases, new

  • Do You Dream of Terra-Two?, by Temi Oh
  • Velocity Weapon, by Megan E. O’Keefe
  • Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • The Cloud Roads, by Martha Wells
  • The Merciful Crow, by Margaret Owen
  • Fortuna, by Kristyn Merbeth
  • The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo

Purchases, used

  • The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo
  • Redwall, by Brian Jacques
  • The Babysitter’s Club #1: Kristy’s Great Idea, by Ann M. Martin
  • The Babysitter’s Club #2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, by Ann M. Martin

It’s a LOT. I also accidentally forgot to update my address on my Bardugo preorder so it’s at my old place and I just need to contact my former roommates and see if they can mail out anything else that’s been sent to the house, because I think some other books have been sent there even though I’ve updated my address everywhere I can think of!

What are you reading currently? Have you started planning out 2020’s reading goals? I’m working on figuring out new images for the blog for the new year/decade, and hopefully getting back on track with my reading and online life.

REWIND: Summer 2019

Even though the header says “Monthly Rewind,” this installment will cover June, July, and August’s reading! I want to get in the habit of writing more than just review posts to add some variety and hopefully keep me out of a blogging slump. Now that I’m settled in my new place, I have plans in place to organize myself better, and I already have a Monthly Rewind for September in the drafts! I’ll be adding to it throughout the month so I don’t feel like I have to catch up at everything in the last minute.

Over the summer, I read thirty books! I read nine books in June, and in July, I didn’t read for the first half of the month, but I managed to read and finish twelve books. I read nine in August. Ten books is a month is my average, and I do try to shoot for at least that many. However, if I’m busy or just not feeling reading, I’ve been letting myself not read. I’ve been doing the same with social media over the summer as I realized it’s hard to read, want to read, post, and want to post when there’s a lot going on IRL. I needed to give myself space to adjust to the changes. I’m still adjusting, but I’m finding myself in a better frame of mind to get back in the swing of things with my blog and Instagram!

In June, I read:

  • The Very Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan – Caitlin R. Kiernan 3.5/5
  • The Earl Next Door – Amelia Grey 3/5
  • Rouge – Richard Kirshenbaum 3/5
  • Sky in the Deep – Adrienne Young 4/5
  • The Templars – Dan Jones 3.5/5
  • Jane, Unlimited – Kristin Cashore 3/5
  • Not One of Us: Stories of Aliens on Earth – Neil Clarke 4/5
  • The Mere Wife – Maria Dahvana Headley 5/5
  • Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck 4/5

In July, I read:

  • Off the Grid – Robert B. McCaw 3/5
  • Chaucer’s Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury – Paul Strohm 4/5
  • The Beast’s Heart – Leife Shallcross 4/5
  • Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky 4.5/5
  • The Dragon Lady – Louisa Treger 4/5
  • The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary 4/5
  • Neuromancer – William Gibson 4/5
  • Cold-Hearted Rake – Lisa Kleypas 3.5/5
  • A Memory Called Empire – Arkady Martine 5/5
  • Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer 5/5
  • A Conspiracy of Truths – Alexandra Rowland 4.5/5
  • Seafire – Natalie C. Parker 4/5

In August, I read:

  • The Duke is But a Dream – Anna Bennett 3/5
  • We Are All Good People Here – Susan Rebecca White 4/5
  • Love at First Like – Hannah Orenstein 4/5
  • To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo 4/5
  • Authority – Jeff VanderMeer 5/5
  • Meet Me in the Future: Stories – Kameron Hurley 5/5
  • An Enchantment of Ravens – Margaret Rogerson 5/5
  • Savage Appetites – Rachel Monroe 3/5
  • Rogue Most Wanted – Janna MacGregor 3/5

Overall, I’m really pleased with what I read and the variety of what I read. I’ve been really into medieval history lately and I’ve been picking at a few history books over the summer. Reading historical romance has been one of my personal challenges this year because I dismissed the romance genre as a whole without really understanding what it was about, so I’m learning a lot about the history of the genre and what place it has, and honestly, I’m enjoying it! This year I challenged myself to read more classic SF, which I’m failing at because I had a whole challenge set up and then my life kind of did a whole whirlwind change and that fell to the wayside, and more YA because I keep buying it but not reading enough even to marginally keep up with what I’m buying.

What were some of your favorite books you read this summer?