Mid-Month Reading Update

Happy middle of November! I can’t believe that we’re already in the middle of November, which means Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? What are you doing this year?

I’m already thinking about ours and planning a super low key Thanksgiving with me and my husband. Instead of the traditional meal, I was thinking of making some of our comforting favorites. Anyway, I’m getting off topic.

This month is shaping up to be a “ignore all the books you need to read and read whatever you want” kind of month. I’ve read four books, put down one book, and in the middle of two books. My reading life feels really uneven lately, which isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. But at the same time, I feel like the first half of the month was also just me sitting and refreshing the election polls in the US to see the results of the presidential election. So while I want to read more, I was doing a lot more viewing on my phone. I hate weeks like that, but I’m hoping it turns around in the second half of the month.

Let’s get into the books I’ve read so far:

What I’ve Read

So far, all romances or women’s fiction. I thought that November would be a little bit better in terms of my mental health, but with the elections and the number of cases of COVID going up, I’m just a stressed out mess. I knew I wanted to read something, so I picked a few light reads to listen to while I worked on my knitting projects.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

I was pleasantly surprised with this one especially since this book came out during the summer and I was expecting it to be much more light-hearteded and “fun.” And in many ways, it was but in other ways, it was the story about two young people who both went through some emotional turmoil and needed guidance and a boost from each other to grow beyond what has happened in their lives. I also really liked the conversation between genre fiction and literary fiction. It’s an interesting topic because one is always considered low brow while the other is considered high brow. In my opinion, what you read is what you read. You can put whatever intellectual label you want on it, but a good or bad book can’t hide behind a label.

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim

I was a fan of Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune, so I picked up Roselle Lim’s second book. Overall, it was a fun and quirky story that will make you so hungry. I really liked this one for its depictions of Paris, the food, and also the magic. It’s usually books like this that fill me with a little warmth and tell me that everything’s going to be okay. I think it’s because I always imagine a world with a lot of magic in it (if you’re willing to see it). Reading a story that feels real in so many ways, but with that little hint of magic reaffirms my love of romance in the world and I most definitely needed a little reassurance in the past few weeks.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

For some reason, I went into this one thinking it would be an enemies-to-lovers romance. I think it’s because it has two strangers coming to live in an apartment together. I thought it would be a little of the “odd couple” trope where one is a neat person and the other is a messy person. Turns out, I was wrong on all accounts. The story is quite interesting being a story about two people living in the same apartment, sleeping in the same bed, and never setting eyes on each other. With opposing schedules, it works out for them and the little post-it notes they shared with each other was way too cute.

Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

I received a copy of this one for promotion later this month, but I couldn’t help sit down and read it. It took me twenty minutes to get through this one. There aren’t many dialogue bubbles or a lot of dialogue in general, but what Alice Oseman is able to convey without words is what makes this graphic novel really good. The faces on the characters and the juxtaposition in the situations they are in bring so much life to the story without having to spell it out to the audience. Also, the feelings are SO REAL. Charlie and Nick’s journey through their friendship and then the possibility of it being more really made you root for them. What they felt fit exactly in with how I felt when I had a crush or liked someone. It was so authentic that it will whisper at your heartstrings. I will probably read the second volume before the end of the month!

Currently Reading

Of course, there were books that I assigned myself to read this month and I’m so glad that I only put three books on my TBR. They were The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter, Black Sun by Rebecca Roanrhose, The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

I’m in the middle of The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter. So far, it is soooo good. Honestly, I’m putting Evan Winter on the level of Brandon Sanderson. I’m not comparing the two because both their stories are completely different with different characters and situations, but Evan Winter is one of those prolific fantasy authors that really digs into the world building and delivers a hero’s story of revenge and military might. It’s for sure a military fantasy, but it also has that cast of characters that you can’t help but to have a favorite. The main character, Tau, isn’t some Mary Sue and works doubly hard to beat out people who are

I’m not usually the type of person who reads multiple books at once, but since I took a break from Rage of Dragons to allow my mind to settle down, I wanted to read something in between. So I picked up The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren. So far, it isn’t my favorite Christina Lauren, but that’s okay. It’s light-hearted and fun to read, so I don’t mind a bit that it’s not the best. I’ll probably finish this one sooner than later so I can make room for my current read.

Mid-month Checkin // April 2019

Mid-month Checkin // April 2019

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I was out all weekend with friends and books, so I’m waking up this Monday morning pretty exhausted. Sadly, there’s no rest for the wicked as I’ll be celebrating my anniversary this weekend and I’ve got a lot of reading to do.

But we’re not here to talk about the future. We’re here to talk about the past and what I’ve read so far in April. If you don’t recall, I kicked off this month with plans for reading as many books as possible. The verdict? Doing pretty well! So far I’ve read five books and plan on reading another six or seven before the end of the month.

Out of all of these, I think my absolute favorite was The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz. My friend, Emma, let me borrow her copy a while back and I wanted to read a little something for myself this month. This was absolutely an amazing novel with a strange family history and so many Southern Gothic themes. I was completely enamored with the book the entire time and immediately went out to buy The Night Mark and The Siren by Tiffany Reisz. This novel also brought the realization that I love Southern Gothic and will be exploring this tiny universe some more.

I also really loved How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow. I got this book to promote, but ended up reading it and loving it. Grief and loss is a tough subject to tackle, but I think Kathleen Glasgow did an excellent job conveying the emotions of losing someone close to you especially if it was your last living relative. The focus on the foster care system was also super interesting since I haven’t read many books with that theme. I would also recommend reading the author’s note at the end for extra feels.

I snuck in My Sister, The Serial Killer and it really blew me away. For a tiny book, it packs a serious punch. If you need to sneak in a little book before the end of the month, highly recommend this one!

While I really wanted to like 99 Percent Mine, I found it a little underdone. It’s like getting your food only to see it’s a little pink in the middle. You want to eat it, but you can’t fully enjoy it.

What have you read this month so far?

Mid-Month Checkin – March 2019

Mid-Month Checkin – March 2019

Happy Monday! I decided Monday was a good day to launch into a mid-month checkin. I’ve been in this state currently where I’m so content just reading. I want to pick up book after book after book without the wait of analyzing and criticizing what I just read. I have notes in my notebook, but I just can’t get in front of the computer and write my thoughts.

So I have a lot of books I read, but I haven’t shared any thoughts. They’re coming soon!

In other news, I had completely different plans for my March reading. I was going to catch up on reading The Throne of Glass series, but somehow that’s not going to work out this month. There’s still time, but I figured I would spend all of March reading Throne of Glass. I’ll be lucky if I finish the month with one.

Like I predicted, March is turning out to be a better reading month than I anticipated. I think it’s because I’m working to organize my work and daily errands and making more time to read. This week wasn’t a good week for that, but that’s okay. I got a lot more work done for the blog, and considered some other bigger content pieces for the future. Let’s hope I can get to that promise. Here’s what I read so far this month:

As you can see I was on a little Leigh Bardugo kick this month as I tried to reread The Grisha Series to prep for King of Scars. I don’t regret making this decision, but that took a considerable amount of time I didn’t budget for. It’s okay because it made me a huge fan of the series and I absolutely adored King of Scars.

After reading that whole fantasy series, I needed a little break. I was going to try and read the surfing memoir Barbarian Days, but my brain was too tired from taking in that giant universe. So I decided to read some romance ARCs I recently received from Netgalley. Both of these books were super cute. If you like romcoms especially ones starring Tom Hanks, then you’ll like this one. I wish there was a bigger variety of romcoms (since I’m a huge romcom fan myself), but I was okay with the Tom Hanks references.

The rest of the month is dedicated to:

I have about three more books to read for various book clubs in my life. All the books for this month are a little bit heavier, so I’m going to be focusing my time to read these this week.

Next week, I would love to start the plan I had for March and read more Sarah J Maas. I feel like at this point I’m just trying to get through this series so I can say I finally read it. It’s taking forever to finish this series, but I definitely want to finish it soon. I’d like to focus the rest of my year to the other fantasy series I’ve got on my list.

How’s your month going?


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?