Showing posts with label month in review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label month in review. Show all posts

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Month in Review: March 2023

Well, somehow we're through another month of 2023. It's been a rough year, man. How was everyone's month? It has been so unseasonably cold and wet in California this year and it's been a wild ride. We've got a consistenly leaking bedroom roof, kitchen window, and living room window, and just last week our neighbors knocked on our door to let us know that our detached garage's roof was not draining properly and had water pooled all up in it and that it might cave in. So, yay! (For reference, they live in a big beautiful two story house that can easily see the roof of our one story abode from their second floor windows, if that seemed confusing.) And for the icing on the cake, our heater broke a couple days ago and I'm typing this in the biggest, fluffiest robe I own with gloves and a beanie and three layers of socks! I've definitely grown up in a warm climate and am admittedly a huge wimp, haha. But for all my complaining, I'm still very grateful that we even have a home to avoid the elements in and a really nice neighborhood with caring neighbors. 

But on the bright side, my reading was much better in March! I really tried to focus and take my time with reading this month while also removing pressure to get through books, and it really helped. I caught up on a bunch of series and read some really fantastic books. Highlights include The Tyranny of Faith, Makanuele Rumble, A House with Good Bones, and The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill. I also managed to get a lot of reviews up in March in attempts to stay on top of things, so that feels pretty good also. I need to catch up on some blog comments and visiting other blogs, so if you haven't heard from me in a while I apologize and I'll hopefully be stopping by soon. :) 

So how was your March? What books did you read? Any new favorites (or new least favorites)? Let me know!

# books read: 12
The Tyranny of Faith by Richard Swan
Source: Publisher | Format: Hardcover
Thoughts: This was such a fantastic sequel! I had such an enjoyable time reading this book and am really wishing I could just go ahead and read the third book already!

A House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher
Source: NetGalley | Format: eARC
Thoughts: My review for this is already up and I loved it! T. Kingfisher always delivers with her horror and I can't get enough of it. 

The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This was a pretty solid conclusion to this trilogy. I'm still a bit up and down on the series as whole, but it's one I'd definitely still recommend as a great fantasy trilogy.

The Sapphire Altar by David Dalglish
Source: Publisher | Format: Paperback
Thoughts: Another great sequel! I'm not sure if I had quite as much fun with this one as I did the first book, but still an incredible installment. 

The Exiled Fleet by J.S. Dewes
Source: Libby | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: I'm not sure if it's because I read this so much longer after I read the first book, but I just didn't love this book quite as much as The Last Watch. That being said, it was still a very thrilling and exciting ride and I love what Dewes did with this story. 

The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill by Rowenna Miller
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: Another delightful book from Rowenna Miller! This was a very charming story full of fae intrigue and clever bargaining and I had a great time. 

Makanuele Rumble by Travis M. Riddle
Source: Author | Format: eARC
Thoughts: I am loving this series so much and this was an amazing additional installment. 

What's Eating Us: Women, Food, and the Epidemic of Body Anxiety by Cole Kazdin
Source: NetGalley | Format: eARC
Thoughts: This was a really fascinating and thoughtful examination of society's struggle with food, eating, and all the mental challenges that come with that. I didn't love the author's writing at all points, but overall I would absolutely recommend this one to anyone struggling with the aforementioned topics.

The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber
Source: Libby | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This was a fun sequel to Once Upon a Broken Heart, but I can't say it really did all that much for the series. I'll probably keep reading and finish the trilogy out when the next book comes, but I feel like it'll probably remain a three star series for me. 

A Fire Among Clouds (Codex Black #1). by Angel de Santiago
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This was fun! This was sent to me by the publisher and I wasn't expecting it, but I'm glad I read it. I think it's definitely a bit on the younger side, but still so much fun and I loved the Mesoamerican setting and focus. I would happily keep reading this series and recommend it.

Hooked by Emily McIntire
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This is another Peter Pan-inspired dark romance that was recommended to me, and while it wasn't the best I've read, it was still pretty fun. I might check out some of the other books in this series from the author in the future sometime.

Riot House by Callie Hart
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: Another one recommended to me, and again not a favorite, but still pretty entertaining overall. 

None! At least, none I can remember...

Original Posts:
(other than reviews)

Blog Memes:
Can't-Wait Wednesday:

Friday, March 3, 2023

Month in Review: February 2023

February has been a true whirlwhind–has it been hectic for anyone else? This latest storm we've had here in Southern California has absolutely thrown us for a loop and as much as I love the rain, I think I'm pretty much done with it at this point, haha. We officially have four big leak points in the house we're renting, the largest of which is in our bedroom and has grown so much that I'm genuinely concerned about the structural integrity of the ceiling at this point (and we won't even think about the other potential issues...). So far, it's stayed far away from my bookshelves, so the important things have been saved, at least. Let's cross our fingers that that's the end of the rainy season for us!

This was probably one of my worst reading months I've had in... well, a really long time. 🤣 Things have been very chaotic in my life reading has been really hard to fit in. At least half the time I actually have had time to sit down and read like I want to, I end up being too stressed or anxious to actually focus very well on the book, so it's just been a slow process. I'm really hoping that March calms down a little, but I'm not sure if that will be the case–at this point, I'm already just rooting for a good second half of the year, haha! The best reading news I have from the month of March is that I finally read The Fall of Koli, the third book in the Rampart Trilogy which I've been procrastinating on since it came out, and it was amazing, as expected. 

My slow reading also meant my blog activity was a bit slow as well, and I apologize if I've been a bit AWOL with commenting and visiting blogs and everything–I've been trying to catch up when I can, but it's taking me a while. :) I'm starting to realize that me reading a number of 2023 ARCs early at the end of 2023 was a life-saving move because March is pretty full with reviews so far (as long as I can finish them all!) so I'm hoping it will be a more active month. I'm currently reading a number of fantastic books, including the newest upcoming Jekua release, Makanuele Rumble by Travis Riddle, The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill by Rowenna Miller, and The Sapphire Altar  by David Dalglish. I'm moving slowly through them all, but I'm really enjoying them all as well. 

How was your reading month of February?? What books did you read? Let me know!

# books read: 6

The Fall of Koli (Rampart Trilogy #3) by M.R. Carey
Source: Publisher | Format: Paperback
Thoughts: What an ending! M.R. Carey wrapped this trilogy up incredibly well and I can't believe it took me so long to finally read this.

Chaos & Flame by Tessa Gratton & Justina Ireland
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This was a really fun and unexpected read! I enjoyed this introduction to a new fantasy world and found the characters really engaging. 

The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: I didn't connect with this one quite as much as I'd hoped to, but it was still a fun new sci-fi world to explore, and I think this will be a big hit for mystery fans. 

Tantalus Depths by Evan Graham
Source: Audible | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This was such an interesting sci-fi. I think it went a little too heavy into info dumping at times and had a very hard sci-fi feel to it occasionally, but overall I thought the plot itself was fascinating and I would happily read more from Evan Graham in the future. 

Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: I have a lot of mixed thoughts on this one. I liked some aspects, but also just couldn't really get into this. I can see a lot of people liking this one, though!

The Broken Darkness by Theresa Braun
Source: Author | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This was a really fun collection of short horror stories. I was very impressed by Theresa Braun's creativity and was excited to explore each story. 

The First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson
Why: I will absolutely be finishing this book! This is temporary DNF because I had a feeling once I started it that I was really going to like it, so I wanted to wait to read it in a month where I could hopefully give it a bit more focus. It's not out until June, so it felt reasonable to hold off on for now. But I can't wait to get back into it!

(other than reviews)

Can't-Wait Wednesday:

Monday, February 6, 2023

Month in Review: January 2023

January felt like a very, very long month and I'm honestly not mad about it. There's a lot going on right now and I'm definitely feeling the stress of it all, but February should be when a lot of decisions are made and hopefully things will feel a little better... but we'll see, haha. I've still been struggling with focus and I'm not sure if that will get much better in February or March, but that's okay! I hope you've all been hanging in there so far this year. It's been a weird start to 2023. I didn't get up nearly as many reviews as I wanted to in January, but I did get up some ARC reviews at least, so I'm glad for that even though I didn't get more up. 

I don't have much to share in the way of personal news because the big things are still up in the air and nothing else has really happened. I'm still taking aerial silk lessons and just can't seem to get enough of it–I wish it were a hobby that were easier to do at home, haha! 

In reading news, things were a bit up and down as seems to be the norm lately. I really loved The God of Endings and Rubicon, and I did not care much for No Longer Human. I actually DNF'd quite a few books (so many I forgot some of them on this list, I think), but I think that's a result of my weird moods and also my inability to tolerate things I'm not enjoying more lately. Anyway, that's my update! How was your January?? What books did you read? Let me know!

# books read: 9

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana 
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This was interesting! Not quite what I expected, but I enjoyed the snippets we got from each person's life as we explored various tenants. 

Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton 
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This was really surprising, but also felt very classic Catton. The writing, the plotting, the pacing, all of it reminded me of The Luminaries so much, and I liked getting to know the characters and plot. It was a little odd at times, but overall it worked. 

Rubicon by J.S. Dewes 
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This was so good! Dewes really knows how to write a nail-biting sci-fi and this was a huge win for me. 

The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland 
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: I really loved this and am so glad I had the opportunity to read it. It's very thoughtful and more slow-paced and without any major... action (?) in a lot of it, and it worked so well. I enjoyed settling down with this book every time I got to read it. 

God of Neverland by Gama Ray Martinez 
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: God of Neverland was a really fun Peter Pan-inspired story that was truly packed with adventure. I'm really looking forward to the next installment in this series, which just so happens to be Alice in Wonderland-inspired. 

No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai 
Source: Owned | Format: Paperback
Thoughts: I read Dazai's The Setting Sun last year and liked it, and I kept hearing about how No Longer Human was really his big work and just endlessly depressing and all that so naturally I had to read it. And honestly, while I think it captured a lot of things really well with depression and the sort of distance that exists with that, I also really, really didn't like this book for a lot of other reasons. It just didn't work for me in the ways I thought it would. It's not bad, it just had more annoying things to me than it had good, so there's that. 

Lord of Embers by C.N. Crawford 
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This was the second in a fantasy series I started last month and it was a lot of fun! I find the world-building and some of the things that happen very imaginative and interesting. 

Crooked Boys by Elena 
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This was recommended to me and it was alright, nothing too groundbreaking or anything, but had some fun with it. 

Haunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton 
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: Oh boy, okay. So I kept hearing this recommended as a 'you have to read... but at your own risk' and honestly, that's a very good way to pique my interest. And yes, this was extremely dark and kinda messed up, but also was a ton of fun. It's dark romance, but there was so much horror in it that it was fairly interesting. Full of trigger warnings galore and I wouldn't recommend to everyone, but certainly an experience. 

Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
Why: This started out fairly intriguing, but it's very slow paced and I don't have much interest in the characters, so I set it aside for now. I do plan on picking it back up at some point, but just not right now. 

The Immortality Thief by Taran Hunt
Why: I'm not not enjoying this one, it was a little too action/adventure-heavy at the time and I wasn't quite in the mood for that since I wasn't very invested in the characters and the plot felt a little predictable.  

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino
Why: I have pretty much the same story for this one as the previous two. There's definitely promise, but it just felt a little predictable and wasn't really engaging me at the time. But I'd like to finish it!

The Vermilion Emporium by Jamie Pacton
Why: This was really fun and I definitely want to finish it, but it wasn't grabbing me as much as I'd expected and I feel like I would appreciate it a lot more when I'm actually in the mood for it. And then I had to return it to the library, so that ended that. 


(other than reviews)

Can't-Wait Wednesday: