Showing posts with label monthly wrap-up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monthly wrap-up. 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)

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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:

Friday, August 5, 2022

Month in Review: July 2022

And that's a wrap on yet another month. How is it almost August? Time is just... I don't even know anymore, it's just crazy. I had a much better reading month in July than I have in a while, though I'm still struggling to get into things here and there. However, I did get to read some really awesome books, like The Stone Knife, The Book Eaters, Ymir, and The Lavender House (among others!). I've also been really enjoying audiobooks lately, which will never not be hilarious to me because I used to swear up and down that I just couldn't get into them and had a hard time focusing on them... and yet here I am, excited to listen to them everyday! I find they are the perfect complement to any tasks like cleaning, painting, etc. 

In personal news, I'm afraid there's not much to share from July. I've been getting full-time work from the company I work for (it's somewhat seasonal, so summers are busy!) so I've put my job hunt for something new on a small pause for now while I just rack up all the money I can right now, haha. We've decided we won't be moving when our lease ends in September, which is a bummer, but also for the best because I really, really don't feel like moving, the dog is finally settled, and our landlord offered to not raise our rent because he wants us to stay (!). We're still paying more than we'd like, but hey, we've got a good thing going with the landlord and we can make do in this house. :) 

The dog is also doing great and we are finally (finally) starting to get some reward for all our desensitization efforts for his fears (he's not utterly terrified of the hose anymore, just hesitant!). We take all the wins we can. He is still a menace on a leash, though, so that may take some time. He is obsessed with dogs and wants to play with every single one he sees, so that makes things difficult. In less positive news, we recently found out that my husband's grandma has stage four cancer. She is 101 (!) and will be turning 102 in September, so she's had an incredible life and has been blessed to remain independent her entire life and live on her own. We will be having a party for her in September!

 How has your reading month been?? I hope you're all staying healthy and safe and doing well and had a great reading month. Please do share any books you read and loved in June (or hated, sometimes venting is helpful!), or let me know if you've read any of the books I read! :)

# books read: 15

Surveillance State: China's Quest to Launch a New Era of Social ControlThe Stone Knife (Songs of the Drowned, #1)The Book EatersYmir
Surveillance State: China's Quest to Launch a New Era of Social Control by Josh Chin
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This was a fascinating and rather terrifying look at the rise of surveillance and it's impacts both in China and around the world. Highly recommend this one!

The Stone Knife (Songs of the Drowned #1) by Anna Stephens 
Source: Owned | Format: Hardcover
Thoughts: I loved this new fantasy inspired by ancient South American civilizations. I can't recommend this one enough and can't wait for the sequel!

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
Source: NetGalley | Format: eARC
Thoughts: The Book Eaters was a dark and somewhat unexpected read. I really enjoyed the audiobook version of this and I am really excited to see everyone's thoughts on it once it's out. My review is already up!

Ymir by Rich Larson
Source: Publisher | Format: Paperback
Thoughts: This was such an interesting sci-fi that I really liked. Since reading it, I've already picked up and read another one of Larson's collections of short stories, so I'd say it was a hit!

EversionLavender HouseThe Last White ManThe Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn
Eversion by Alastair Reynolds 
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This sci-fi was so unexpected and may be a new favorite for me! I loved the way Reynolds structured this story and kept twisting in ways I didn't ever really expect. 

Lavender House by Lev A.C. Rosen 
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: I fell in love with this book from page one (seriously, I read the first page and was instantly hooked and knew I'd love this book, it really helped me reading slump!). This was an amazing mystery with an almost entirely queer cast of characters and a bit of a closed room murder mystery! It's out this fall (which is when my review will go up) and you guys are going to want to check it out.

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn by Tyler Whitesides 
Source: Publisher | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: I'm so glad I finally finished this! I started the physical ARC years ago when Orbit sent it to me and never finished (sorry!), but I saw it on sale as an audiobook a while back and decided I had to give it a shot. And I had so much fun! I looked forward to continuing the trilogy. 

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid 
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This short novel didn't end up being quite what I expected, but it was still a compelling and thought-provoking read about what could happen if people started waking with dark skin instead of their usual lighter skin. 

The Daughter of Doctor MoreauMomenticonThe LeviathanOne of the Girls
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 
Source: NetGalley | Format: eARC
Thoughts: This was an Island of Dr. Moreau retelling that didn't quite work for me, but still had Moreno-Garcia's wonderful writing. 

Momenticon by Andrew Caldecott 
Source: Owned | Format: Hardcover
Thoughts: This was probably about as whacky as I expected it to be and I had fun with it, even if it wasn't a new favorite. 

The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews 
Source: Owned | Format: Hardcover
Thoughts: This really didn't end up being quite what I expected and I really liked it! It felt like it had some familiar elements, but did everything in a way that felt unique and like I hadn't read a story quite like this one. 

One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke 
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This was a captivating thriller that took place on a beautiful island in Greece and follows a group of friends with a variety of secrets they are holding on to. 

Birds of CaliforniaFinna (LitenVerse #1)The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle, #1)
Birds of California by Katie Cotugno 
Source: Publisher | Format: Physical ARC
Thoughts: This was a fun contemporary romance. Not something I'd typically read, but I had a good time with it and enjoyed the journey. 

Finna (LitenVerse #1) by Nino Cipri 
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: This was a fun little novella that really surprised me! I listened to the audiobook and thought the narrator did an amazing job of pulling me in to the story. 

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo 
Source: Library | Format: Audiobook
Thoughts: I really liked the overall atmosphere and writing of this novella, but I didn't end up enjoying the story itself as much as I'd hoped. 

None! (I think)

(other than reviews)

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