July was a rollercoaster of a reading month that also felt pretty meh? The historical romances were entertaining to meh, the historical mysteries were enjoyable but nothing out of the ordinary. I read The Remix for a course, and I absolutely hated the presentation and perspective of it. Then the remaining three books of the month were gossipy and delicious (Glossy), immersive (The First Binding), and entertaining but not the best (Fourth Wing).
🔮 Brazen and the Beast, by Sarah MacLean 🔮 Daring and the Duke, by Sarah MacLean 🌠 Murder in Postscript, by Mary Winters 🌠 A Brush with Shadows, by Anna Lee Huber 💖 Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace, by Lindsey Pollack 🔮 Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss’s Glossier, by Marisa Meltzer 💖 The First Binding, by R.R. Virdi 💖 Fourth Wing, by Rebecca Yarros
June was a romance-heavy month for me! It wasn’t until I got everything entered into Goodreads that I noticed three (and a half) of the books I read featured a romance plotline, but June was also a weird month and I didn’t feel like I could focus on too many heavy reads in a row. Not the Kind of Earl You Marry and The Heiress Gets a Duke were my favorites of the romances I read, and The Perks of Loving a Wallflower was good but felt a little flat at times. The romance hints in Of Manners and Murder definitely had a hint of what is to come with the series, and I may borrow the second book from the library once it comes out even though I found the first to be a bit slow in the first half. Thornhedge is another winner from T. Kingfisher, and it has proven that I will read anything her and love it, so I need to get my hands on her backlist. The Future of Another Timeline is a riot of a read, and it makes me miss the riotgrrl days a bit. I loved the time travel concept in this, how history and the future can be and is changed even without time travel, and the writing in this has a buzz running through it. Linden’s The First Sister was a surprise read for me in how much I loved it! I recently purchased the sequel, and the conclusion to the trilogy comes out later this year – feels familiar but subverts a lot of science fiction tropes in a way I enjoyed. Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed feels just like listening to him speak on social media, and it makes me want to listen to the audiobook in the future.
💖 Not the Kind of Earl You Marry, by Kate Pembrooke 🔮 Thornhedge, by T. Kingfisher 💖 The Future of Another Timeline, by Annalee Newitz 💖 The Perks of Loving a Wallflower, by Erica Ridley 🌠 Of Manners and Murder, by Anastasia Hastings 💖 The Heiress Gets a Duke, by Harper St. George 💖 The Anthropocene Reviewed, by John Green 💖 The First Sister, by Linden A. Lewis
May was a solid reading month for me, and I read eight books! The Once and Future Sex was a great introduction to women’s medieval history and provided a jumping off point if you wanted to get started with reading beyond a men’s-focused frame of reference. Some Dukes Have All the Luck was an addictive read that I couldn’t put down once I started it and made me want to read this author’s backlist immediately!! Deanna Raybourn’s Silent in the Grave is her debut, and I can see a lot of the threads that would become evident in her Veronica Speedwell series (which I also love and need to catch up on). The Crane Husband is a solid novella and once I’d recommend to those really interested in fairy tale explorations, while The Witch’s Heart was a bit of a disappointment because Loki as a character in that felt… juvenile. One can be a trickster without seeming like a one-trick pony. Ash Princess is a solid series opener, so I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy as I’m trying to read more of what I have on my kindle. The only two that were less than great, but not bad, were The Death of Vivek Oji (I was not expecting some of the elements as I’d not really seen them spoken about in some of the reviews I read, and I felt the incest took away from the impact of the story) and Our Share of Night (seemed a bit too long in the middle and dragged, and the best part of it was in the last quarter of the book or so).
🌠 The Once and Future Sex, by Eleanor Janega 💖 Some Dukes Have All the Luck, by Christina Britton 🌠 The Death of Vivek Oji, by Akwaeke Emezi 💖 Silent in the Grave, by Deanna Raybourn 💖 The Witch’s Heart, by Genevieve Gornichec 🌠 The Crane Husband, by Kelly Barnhill 💖 Ash Princess, by Laura Sebastian 🌠 Our Share of Night, by Maria Enriquez
I read eight books in April! Leech was delightfully creepy, though I don’t really know where the Wuthering Heights comps came from except maybe for the atmospheric/on the moors remote sort of vibe. I really enjoyed Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful as a stand-alone work and as a companion to The Great Gatsby. Neill’s The Bright and Breaking Sea was so much fun, and I hope there’s more after the sequel that I can’t wait to read. I read Fangs on a break at work, and I thought it was cute. I also finished up my listening to The Old Kingdom trilogy on audio with Abhorsen. It still remains one of my favorite series of all time, and I feel like I could read it over and over again while getting something new out of it each time. One Dark Window is a series/duology opener with a card-based magic system that I really enjoyed and found fresh in the wake of a lot of romantic fantasies lately. The only book I found myself disappointed in was The Witch and the Tsar, a Baba Yaga retelling with none of the bite I expect from Baba Yaga. As Death Draws Near was a fine series continuer, but not one of my favorites of the series. I got the next book from the library as I am trying to get caught up on series I enjoy reading and are still active!
🌠 Leech, by Hiron Ennes 💖 The Chosen and the Beautiful, by Nghi Vo 💖 The Bright and Breaking Sea, by Chloe Neill 🌠 Fangs, by Sarah Andersen 💖💞 Abhorsen, by Garth Nix 🌠 The Witch and the Tsar, by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore 🌠 As Death Draws Near, by Anna Lee Huber 💖 One Dark Window, by Rachel Gillig
March was a lot of shorter books because Twilight is so slowly paced that it seemed like it took forever for me to get through! Which! First of all! Even me from two years ago would not have thought in 2023 I would have willing read Twilight and found entertainment in reading it!! It was a sort-of buddy read with a friend, and I wanted to giggle along with her, so I read it. I am not sure if I’ll continue the rest of them, but considering I was staunchly against reading it or even seeing the movies (I may end up going that route!! But who knows!!).
I like reading books before the movie adaptations come out, and I read Women Talking before seeing the film, and I think this is one of those cases where the movie feels like a more appropriate point-of-view for this kind of story. For it being about women talking, the book was narrated and seen from the point-of-view from a man, and the film focused more on the women speaking and telling their truths.
Reading Mysteries of Thorn Manor means I have read all that Margaret Rogerson has put out, and I don’t know when her next will be out! She’s one of my current favorite YA fantasy writers, and I have loved everything she’s written so far. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is an excellent follow-up to A Psalm for the Wild Built, I was creeped out by Chuck Tingle’s venture into horror with Camp Damascus, and rereading The Great Gatsby was an experience! I can’t believe it had been ten years since I’d last read it, and I read it to refresh myself with the story before I read Nghi Vo’s The Beautiful and the Damned. I didn’t enjoy Six Wakes as much as I thought I would, but I am not sure if it was due to a reading slump or not. Overall, it was a decent month for reading!
🌠 Women Talking, by Miriam Toews 🌠 Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer 💖 Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty 💖💞 The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald 💖 A Duke in Time, by Janna MacGregor 💖 Mysteries of Thorn Manor, by Margaret Rogerson 🔮 Camp Damascus, by Chuck Tingle 🌠 A Prayer for the Crown-Shy, by Becky Chambers