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MARCH WRAP-UP: Another Hard Month, But Two New Favourite Books!

Hello, everyone! March has been a month of so many ups and downs I’m exhausted just thinking about it. My brain was very overwhelmed with everything that happened, so that I started falling behind on my reading, especially in the ARC department. I spent all of March feeling like I had to constantly play catch up, which made me want to read even less. Thanks, brain, very helpful! However, March also brought me two new favourite authors and books: Victoria Lee’s The Fever King, and Katherine Locke’s The Spy With the Red Balloon, which I both highly recommend.

I didn’t DNF anything this month, but I decided to create a new Goodreads shelf for books I’ve started but don’t have the brainspace to continue at the moment. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me sooner, but it felt good to move my paused books from the Currently Reading to the Paused shelf, since I don’t want to DNF them. Overall, I read 9 books in March, which isn’t bad at all, but I hope I manage to read more in April!


Read

The Brilliant Death (The Brilliant Death #1) by Amy Rose Capetta
Review — Rating: Rating of three-and-a-half out of five stars represented by bumblebees (3.5 out of 5)

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Review to come — Rating: Four star rating represented by four bumblebees (4 out of 5) — subject to change as I want to reread this one before giving it a final rating

The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee
Review — Rating: Five star rating represented by five bumblebees

The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion by Lynn O’Connacht
Rating: Three star rating represented by three bumblebees (3 out of 5)

Once & Future(Once & Future #1) by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
Review — Rating: Rating of two out of five stars represented by bumblebees (2 out of 5)

The Girl With the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers #1) by Katherine Locke
Review to come — Rating: Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5)

A Blade So Black (A Blade So Black) by L. L. McKinney
Review to come — Rating: Four star rating represented by four bumblebees (4 out of 5)

The Spy With the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers #2) by Katherine Locke
Review to come — Rating: Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5)

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
Review to come — Rating: Rating of three-and-a-half out of five stars represented by bumblebees (3.5 out of 5)


Paused Books

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time by Howard M. Sachar

Currently Reading

We Set the Dark on Fire(We Set the Dark on Fire #1) by Tehlor Kay Mejia


Frida of the Month

Frida dog, a small brown dog with long fluffy fur, is curled up into a loaf, eyes mostly shut, with her tongue peeking out

I swear she does things other than snooze, but she’s just so cute when she’s snoozing! Look at that blep.


How was your month? What have you been reading? Let’s chat in the comments below!

FEBRUARY WRAP-UP: The Importance of Mood Reading and DNF’ing

My February reading was supposed to be drawn mainly from my F/F February Reading Challenge TBR. However, I failed to predict all of the things that February was going to throw at me, from more financial issues, to severe depression, and chronic illness flare-ups.

I quickly lost steam for completing the reading challenge and felt myself sliding into a slump. I was miserable and all I wanted to do was to immerse myself in the comfort of rereading Kate Daniels. I fought it for a while, but in the end I realised that having a set TBR was too restrictive for me, and that mood reading is a huge part of what makes reading so good for my mental health.

So I quietly failed out of the F/F February Reading Challenge. I don’t really see it as a fail though because it taught me something valuable about my reading patterns. Another thing that really helped me this past month was rigorously DNF’ing books that weren’t doing it for me, and even though I can’t help but feel a sense of failure when I do, ultimately it always feels freeing. (ETA: I totally forgot to mention this, but this post about good reading habits by Kaleena @ Reader Voracious played a huge part in my realisation that I fare better with mood reading than with a set TBR.)

All in all, I read 9 books in February, compared to the 14 books I read in January, but to be fair, February is like, only half as long as January. I managed to finish a bunch of ARCs that needed reviewing and to cross a couple of books off my F/F February TBR after all, and given my mental health struggles, I’m honestly glad I managed to do any reading at all, let alone as much as I did. To see what I read in February, take a look at my Goodreads Challenge or read on below! Clicking the book titles will take you to each book’s Goodreads page.


READ

  1. Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand Four star rating represented by four bumblebees (4 out of 5, REVIEW)
  2. Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels #5.5) by Ilona Andrews Four star rating represented by four bumblebees (4 out of 5, Reread)
  3. Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels #5.4) by Ilona Andrews Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5, Reread)
  4. Ash by Malinda Lo Four star rating represented by four bumblebees (4 out of 5, REVIEW)
  5. Sparks of Phoenix by Najwa Zebian Four star rating represented by four bumblebees (4 out of 5, REVIEW)
  6. Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5, Reread)
  7. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He Rating of four-and-a-half out of five stars represented by bumblebees (4.5 out of 5, REVIEW)
  8. Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5, Reread)
  9. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo (2 out of 5, REVIEW)

DNF

  1. Marriage of Unconvenience by Chelsea Cameron (DNF @ 30%, REVIEW)
  2. Huntress by Malinda Lo (DNF @ 27%, REVIEW)
  3. Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility by Andrea Fekete, ed., Lara Lillibridge, ed. (DNF @ 50%, REVIEW)
  4. Mirage by Somaiya Daud (DNF @ 23%)

CURRENTLY READING

  1. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (43%)
  2. The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta (5%)

(Oops, I clearly need to work on making some progress with Hamilton.)


FRIDA OF THE MONTH

In order to make my blog a little more personal, I’m trying something new: monthly pictures of my dog Frida! Let me know if you like it so I know whether to make this a regular thing!

My small brown dog Frida curled up on a white shaggy rug, sleeping with eyes closed. She's bathed in sunlight and her long fur looks shiny and soft.


How was your February? What did you read? Let’s chat in the comments below!

JANUARY WRAP-UP: Reading multiple books at once, rereads, ARCs, and I guess I’m legit now

January wasn’t a great life month for me, but an amazing reading month. I had some rough patches and short reading slumps because bureaucracy continues to try and kill me and the anxiety of waiting for my powerchair and financial aid is occasionally so overwhelming that I can’t focus on anything. But ultimately, reading and running this blog and starting to immerse myself more deeply in the book blogging community kept cheering me up. (BTW if you ever want to put a smile on my face and you can afford to, I have a Book Wish List!)

I had originally set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 75 books, but things were going so well that I almost immediately increased it to 100 books. By now, I’ve read 14 books, so I’m going to officially set my final goal at 150 books. I might revisit that number again depending on how things go in the coming months, but I do want to leave myself some breathing room, so it’s unlikely that I’ll increase my goal again. (Famous last words?)

But now on to what I’ve read this month! I decided to try something new this year and start reading multiple books at once, and it helped me read so much more than I otherwise would have. Whenever I wasn’t in the mood for one book I was reading, I would pick up another one for a while, where usually I just wouldn’t have been reading at all. I also realised that sometimes I don’t have the brain space to read something unfamiliar to me, but I still wanted to read something, and that’s where rereading came in handy. Some of these are novellas or poetry collections, but I’m still pleased with the amount I’ve read this month!


READ

  1. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann Rating of three-and-a-half out of five stars represented by bumblebees (3.5 out of 5, REVIEW)
  2. Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews Four star rating represented by four bumblebees (4 out of 5, Reread)
  3. Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5, Reread)
  4. The Girl From Everywhere (The Girl From Everywhere #1) by Heidi Heilig Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5, REVIEW)
  5. Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3) by Ilona Andrews Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5, Reread)
  6. The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl from Everywhere #2) by Heidi Heilig Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5, REVIEW)
  7. Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels #3.5) by Ilona Andrews Four star rating represented by four bumblebees (4 out of 5, Reread)
  8. Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5, Reread)
  9. Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels #4.5) by Ilona Andrews Five star rating represented by five bumblebees (5 out of 5, Reread)
  10. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Rating of two out of five stars represented by bumblebees (2 out of 5, REVIEW)
  11. Blood Heir (Blood Heir #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao one (1 out of 5, eARC, REVIEW)
  12. Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews (5 out of 5, Reread)
  13. The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic #3) by Amanda Lovelace Rating of two out of five stars represented by bumblebees (2 out of 5, eARC, REVIEW)
  14. Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo Four star rating represented by four bumblebees (4 out of 5, REVIEW)

DNF

  1. The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game #1) by Evelyn Skye (DNF at 20%)

CURRENTLY READING

  1. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (43%)
  2. Feminine Rising: Voices of Power and Invisibility by Andrea Fekete, ed., Lara Lillibridge, ed. (eARC)
  3. Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels #5.5) by Ilona Andrews (13%, Reread)

TBR ASAP

  1. Painting Dragons: What Storytellers Need to Know About Writing Eunuch Villains by Tucker Lieberman (review copy provided by author)
  2. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (eARC provided by author)
  3. Shadowblade by Anna Kashina (eARC provided by NetGalley)
  4. Sparks of Phoenix by Najwa Zebian (eARC provided by NetGalley)

I feel incredibly lucky to be receiving eARCs and review copies and I’m excited to delve into them. I’m starting to feel like a real book blogger!


I hope you’ve all had a fantastic month. What did you read this January? Have you read any of the books mentioned in this post or are any of them on your TBR? Let’s chat in the comments!