February 2019’s Mid-Month Checkin

February 2019’s Mid-Month Checkin

I hate to admit it, but February hasn’t been kind to me. We’re now in the middle of the month and my reading hasn’t been going so well. I’ve read…one book.

In some small way, I’m angry. I’m angry at myself for not focusing and reading as much as I can. I’m angry that I’ve put down two books this month and struggling to get through another book right now. What is with me?

As a book blogger, there aren’t many breaks you can take. You take a break from blogging and it’s like you didn’t even exist. You take a break from reading and the books just keep piling up on your nightstand before it all tumbles down. So taking a break feels a little cumbersome.

As a reader, this frustrates me. I want to read. I sit down with my tea and snacks and my book and I make a concerted effort to read, but I end up on my phone. I end up talking to my husband. I end up playing video games and the book goes another day without a page being turned.

I know I should be kind to myself, but if I’m being honest I haven’t been in a good space mentally for a month now. I’ve been stressed from finding a job and it’s put me off from reading books. I’m not a control person, but I do try to keep myself together. I feel like someone who put buttercream too soon after the cakes came out the oven. I’m melting in a way and just trying to push myself together and it’s not working.

So right now my slump is looking pretty disastrous and I wanted to be honest about that here. Things aren’t going as planned and my brain just needs the rest. I’ll be back next week, I think.

What have you read this month so far?

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

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Can you believe it’s already the middle of January? Sheesh! Since we’re at that point in the month, I wanted to check in and say “hi, how are you?” I also wanted to share what I’ve read so far and my thoughts on them.

While I’ve set myself for an ambitious reading year, my month has been moving at a glacial pace. I’m slightly behind in my TBR and it’s taking me a much longer time to read my books. Don’t know what that is about. Maybe it’s just the cold days or burnout or something.

Before I get into the books I read, I did want to mention that I started The Water Cure and ended up putting it on my DNF shelf. While the language was beautiful, I wasn’t a fan of the story. I feel like there was a golden opportunity to write a feminist dystopian novel, but what I got was a little cultish, a little boring, and a lot of beautiful language. Sorry, friends! Not in a place to read a novel like this.

The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin

So I started this book in 2018 and finished the book within the first day of 2019. I don’t know where this counts. Is it the last book I read in 2018 or is it the first book of 2019? Either way, I was a little disappointed in this one. While I’m still a huge fan of this series, I felt like this book moved slower than the first book. I almost feel like this book spends more time building the world than getting into the meat of the story. Second novels in series are meant to capture the audience and really start moving the plot, but this one felt like it was playing catch up. The ending did surprise me with how fast it was and it does set up the final book well. I just wish there was some more going on in this one.

Find my review on Goodreads

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

This is the first novel in a new series by Roshani Chokshi. I was super excited when I first got the book, but then I sat down and almost finished the entire book in one day. It’s almost like a historical fantasy taking place in the 1880s in Paris and having some magical elements in it. It’s definitely on the fantasy end, but if you’re a fan of adventure-style stories like Six of Crows or even movies like National Treasure, then this one is for you. Also, let me talk about the representation in this book. Every person  is unique in their own way, brings something to the table, and it’s just a good old friendship times. Haha. I really loved this novel and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Find my review on Goodreads

Sadie by Courtney Summers

This winter, I wanted to read a little more thrillers. I think everyone gets in the mood for something based on the seasons. For me, it’s thrillers in the winter. This book takes the popularity of serialized true crime podcasts and puts it into a story. What if you had special privilege and can read into their minds? We follow Sadie on her journey to oust her sister’s murderer, but also get backstory on what happened through the podcast. It’s a really intriguing book that unfolds all its secrets slowly. When you finally get to the end, you end up asking yourself “did Sadie finally get to him or did she die fighting for what she believed?” It’ll definitely warm your blood on those long winter nights.

Find my review on Goodreads

If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim

I just finished reading this book and it’s my first five-star review of the year. We follow Haemi, a young teenage girl, who is in love with her childhood best friend. However, that love is cut short when Jisoo comes courting her during the years before the Korean War. It’s a complex story about one family living in post-war Korea, but it’s representative of its time and beyond.

Find my review on Goodreads

What have you been reading this month?

 

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

Happy Mid-Month! So I’ve been trying to think of fun ways to share with you what I’ve been reading lately. I figured this is the best way to give you some idea of what’s going on in my reading life.

If you don’t follow me on Instagram, then I’ll let you know here. I recently downsized my massive 18-book TBR down to 10. I feel so much better now with reading 10 books over 18. I think I was trying to get as much reading done before the end of the year and it just wasn’t happening. It would basically mean I’d be reading ALL DAY for the entire month without breaks. I don’t know about you, but I love to read but I don’t love reading where it’s an obligation.

Also, it’s tough to keep up with a TBR. I keep getting new books every week and I just want to tear into them now, but because I’m trying to keep to my TBR and go rogue, I’ve had to wait. And I hate waiting. I might have to reconsider this whole monthly TBR in the new year.

But now that my list has narrowed down, I feel like I can read these books at the pace I enjoy. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance

It honestly doesn’t take a lot to impress me and after being disappointed by Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, I didn’t have my hopes too high for this one. However, this turned out to be a fun book and I love fun so of course I enjoyed this one. This was a fun little read and the book I read after cutting down my list to ten books. It was definitely a great palate cleanser, a fun little love story, and not too tough at all. There were a few things I wasn’t happy about, but it doesn’t really take away from the rest of the story. Check this one out if you’re looking for something light and easy this holiday season.

Find my review on Goodreads

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Genre: Romance/Womens’ Contemporary Fiction

I honestly don’t think this is a romance novel. This is definitely women’s fiction about Raina’s dating life. It’s got a lot of different components and becomes a really compelling read, but there wasn’t a lot of love. I think romance and love are the main topics of conversation, but I feel like this is more of a woman’s journey to finding herself and finding who she wants to really be with. I enjoyed it when you think of it that way. I know a lot of people won’t like this one because of some of the other themes that come up. That’s okay. I’ll just have to hype this book up as a story about a young woman who’s been pushed around by her friends, family, and exes a little too long.

Find my review on Goodreads

Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
  • Genre: Literary Fiction

I have to keep emphasizing this, but this book is less than 200 pages long and it will rip your heart out. It’s a character-driven story about three people: Eden, a paraplegic bedridden solider who is waiting for his last breath to finally come. Mary, Eden’s wife who secretly had sex with Eden’s best friend (and fellow solider) and birthed their daughter. The solider who is randomly a part of this entire endeavor, dead in the same accident that handicapped Eden and watching over the last few years waiting for Eden to die. It talks about death and dying in both what’s ethical for a human to die and what happens after you die. It also covers the strange events leading up to Eden and his friend both being in this accident. You feel the most sadness for Eden. He’s suffering for three years, using codes to ask the nurse to kill him, and he’s not sure if his wife loves him anymore. While it isn’t my cup of tea despite it breaking my heart, it is something to definitely check out.

Find my review on Goodreads

What I’m Reading Wednesdays – The Crowns of Croswald by DE Night

What I’m Reading Wednesdays – The Crowns of Croswald by DE Night

I picked up this book recently because the publisher reached out to me to do a giveaway. I already loved the fact that this indie pub reached out to me with a middle grade read for young fantasy lovers. Also, it takes place at a magical school so you know I’ll read it.

But because I’m doing a giveaway, I always want to read the book I’m giving away before I actually do it. I feel like it’s more authentic to know what you’re about to get into.

Anyway, here’s more about the book

34944590For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

So far, this book has been a fun one. There’s a lot of inspiration from Harry Potter, but the differences are subtle enough to make this an authentic story. I love the idea of quills holding magic power. I love that Ivy is a precocious little girl. So far, it’s been a great little middle read for any young teenager.

I’ll probably finish this book today since the reading isn’t too difficult.

Find The Crowns of Croswald on Amazon.

What I’m Reading Wednesday/Author Spotlight – Octavia Butler

What I’m Reading Wednesday/Author Spotlight – Octavia Butler

Today is a very special Wednesday because not only is it the day I share my current reads with you, but this read is also an author spotlight of mine for November.

Octavia Butler has been on my reading list since I bought this Mind of My Mind t-shirt from Out of Print Clothing. I recall feeling a little sheepish buying a t-shirt of a book I’ve never heard of. However, I told myself that I would eventually read Octavia Butler and that time has finally come. I’m a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy especially when they’re written by women and women of color. Science fiction still feels like that one of those genres that’s dominated by white men and so I try my best to mix it up and include other authors of the genre.

However, what I’m learning about Octavia Butler has been blowing my mind.

I like to think of Octavia Butler as one of the earliest African American and female author of science fiction and fantasy. She’s been herald as ahead of her time writing about being a woman, being African American, being infringed, and being working class. She used her experiences growing up to help fuel the fire of her stories and the science fiction genre because it’s just so vast and the imagination is endless. She’s the first science fiction writer to be given the MacArthur Fellowship and a huge influence in the Black science fiction genre.

For my What I’m Reading Wednesdays, I’ll be exploring this genre and how that works with one of Octavia Butler’s iconic works, Kindred. I honestly feel like I’m learning so much just by picking up her novel. Here’s more on Kindred:

60931The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity.

Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life.

During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.

So this book is hitting all my science fiction needs. It’s got time travel, which in and of itself is paradoxical. It’s got a young African-American woman as the main character. It has her traveling back in time to a very poignant time in African-American history.

I think I’m about to have my mind blown. Will you be reading along with me?

You can find KINDRED on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Currently Loving – Thank u, next

Currently Loving – Thank u, next

It’s been a really long time since I broke up with someone and felt the heartache Ariana Grande felt in this song. If this song could have existed over five years ago, it would have saved me years of pain and teach me to move forward. It’s a truth that a lot of people figure out while examining themselves and their past relationships. You may no longer be with that person, but you can thank them for the lessons you’ve learned. You can thank them for the opportunity to feel love and loss. You can thank them for letting you go so you can be the best version of yourself.

Continue reading “Currently Loving – Thank u, next”

What I’m Reading Wednesday

What I’m Reading Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone! I wasn’t sure if people liked sneaking a peek at what I’m reading this week, but I’ll keep soldiering on because I like it. That’s pretty much all that matters when it comes to a blog, right?

This week’s read isn’t technically a read, but it’s in book format and so I thought it’d be fun to highlight.

Continue reading “What I’m Reading Wednesday”

Currently Loving: Self-Care

Currently Loving: Self-Care

This week randomly became a tough week after Vulture posted this article about taking pictures of open books. It criticizes the bookstagram community as well as readers who love to get creative with their books. You’re more than welcome to read it here.

Then pause a take a breath. It’s finally Friday.

Continue reading “Currently Loving: Self-Care”