- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (★★☆☆☆)
- Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (★★★★☆)
- Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (★★★★★)
- Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (★★★★★)
- Policing Egyptian Women by Liat Kozma (★★★★★)
- Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao (★★★☆☆)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 6
YEARLY SO FAR: 14
I kind of challenged myself to read six books this month and ended up finishing off two books in the last two days of February, so huzzah! I think this is pretty cool considering I was quite sick for most of February and didn’t really up to doing anything except sitting in bed and staring at the ceiling, haha.
I finally finished Policing Egyptian Women which was incredible but it took me a long time to read because I was taking pretty detailed notes as I read through it. I started Nevernight at the end of January but it took me like a month to get through the first 100 pages, but then after that I read the whole thing in like four days. Overall a decently solid reading month, with a few duds, but nothing so terrible it made me want to tear my hair out.
I am currently reading Things a Bright Girl Can Do because Chelsea gave it a fantastic review, and because I am currently writing a book that revolves around suffrage, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to get a sense of how another writer might structure a book like that! I started Hunger by Roxane Gay yesterday and am nearly finished with it! It’s a punch in the gut, but very readable and compelling. I don’t think I’ve ever read a memoir or a series of personal essays before, but it goes by really quickly and as a genre I think it’s a good palate cleanser between speculative books.
Next I am planning on starting a buddy read of Madeline Miller’s Circe with Rachel, and Chelsea and I have been planning to buddy read Jane Eyre literally since the start of the year, so maybe we can get to it this month? I don’t know. No pressure, Chelsea. Also, I’ve had Red Sister out from the library for a while, so I need to get to that before it has to go back. Oh, and I just requested The Haunting of Maddy Clare, so I have to go pick that up from the library and start on it too!
Finally, a bit of shameless self-promotion here: my short story, Your Damnation Will Be Infinite, was published on The Dark Magazine today! Check it out if you’re interested in stories about murder and Lovecraftian horror in Cairo!
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (★★★★☆)
- Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (★★★★☆)
- If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio (★★★★★)
- The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (★★★★☆)
- The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (★★★☆☆)
- Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (★★★★★)
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (★★★☆☆)
- A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena (★★★★★)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 8
YEARLY SO FAR: 8
January was an incredible reading month for me! Eight books is kind of a record! My average per month is normally something like 4-6, at most, so I’m really proud of myself. I can’t take all the credit, though – most of these books were pretty fantastic, which of course made it easy to zip through them quickly.
There were only two outliers, and even those weren’t terrible! Children of Blood and Bone was disappointing and dragged on for quite a bit, but it was still fun. The Good Daughter, though not something I would reach for again, was nevertheless a page turner. All the other books were pretty amazing; some of them may even go on my “best of” list at the end of this year. January has set the standard high for this year, haha.
Right now I’m reading three books. First is Stalking Jack the Ripper, which is unfortunately not turning out to be as gripping as I had hoped. It’s also a little bit ridiculous. I literally just started Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight, and it’s very weird so I have no idea how I feel about it just yet. And in my effort to read non-fiction and also do research for my book, I’m reading Policing Egyptian Women: Sex, Law, and Medicine in Khedival Egypt which is just so fascinating, you guys. I’m learning so much.
In terms of TBR I’ve already gotten Red Sister out of the library. I also have soooooo many incredible ARCs, including The Queens of Innis Lear, Toil and Trouble, All Out, The Diminished, Ace of Shades, Circe, Freshwater, Girls Burn Bright, and Furyborn! I don’t even know where to begin! Help me out, y’all, have you read any of these ARCs and think there’s somewhere in particular I should start?
- The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (★★★★★)
- The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie (★★★☆☆)
- The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan (★☆☆☆☆)
- Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (★★★☆☆)
- Jade City by Fonda Lee (★★★☆☆)
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (★★☆☆☆)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 6
YEARLY SO FAR: 75
Okay, so first of all, hats off to me for finishing off a whopping six books this month! I know for a lot of folks here in the book blogging sphere that doesn’t seem like much, but I haven’t accomplished this in a long time! I definitely tried to dedicate more time to reading than I usually do this month, and because I read so many books I didn’t love, I was in a hurry to finish them and get on to something better. Funny how that works.
So let’s talk about that, huh? This was…not a great month! It started off amazing with The Dark Days Pact, but it very steadily went downhill from there. I finally finished off The Bloodprint, which was as terrible as the first chapter promised; I’m actually surprised and proud I managed not to DNF it. Then I wanted to try some Kate Elliot, and though Court of Fives wasn’t as terrible as some reviewers make it out to be, I didn’t love it. The Abyss Surrounds us, a f/f sci-fi that everyone purports is the greatest thing ever, was only just okay. Jade City, a highly anticipated fantasy, was not for me. And finally, my classic read of the month, Northanger Abbey, was dreadful.
I’m really hoping I start off the new year with better books! Currently I’m reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I’m only one chapter in, so I don’t have too much of an opinion yet, but it seems entertaining. And…that’s it! It’s been so long since I was only reading one book at a time. I’m sure that won’t last long, though. I’m meant to be starting a buddy read of The Lymond Chronicles, beginning with The Game of Kings. I’m also thinking to read Jane Eyre, but I’m not 100% on that yet; I think I might need a break from classics for a bit! Other than that, I don’t think I have any specific plans!
We’ve come to the end of the year, however, so stay tuned for a) a best books of the year post and b) a more reflective end of the year post including some bookish resolutions.
- Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (★★★★☆)
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (★★★☆☆)
- Bird Box by Josh Malerman (★★★★☆)
- The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (★★★★★)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 4
YEARLY SO FAR: 69
A fairly average reading month – more on the slow side, actually. Wuthering Heights was definitely a slog and took me a while to get through. I also had a week off work, which you would think would translate to more reading, but I get like 90% of my reading done on my commute, so I ended up reading little to nothing during my week of. For some reason I tend to have a very difficult time concentrating on reading when I’m home? I have to wonder what will happen when I stop using public transport every day…. I did read Bird Box fairly quickly though, which is why I really thought I had read more this month. Oh well.
Oh, and I actually struggled through another book this month, which I still haven’t finished: The Bloodprint. What was one of my most anticipated releases of the whole year has turned out to be the biggest let-down. I’m nearly halfway through the book and struggling mightily. I try very hard not to DNF book but this one is seriously testing me. I really want to try to to finish it by this weekend. Hopefully I can sit myself down and force myself to get through it, but if not it might last until the end of the year. We’ll see.
The good news is I discovered The Dark Days Club and am actually reading its sequel now! I have a feeling I’ll finish that fairly quickly since I can’t stop reading it. I’m so pleased I discovered this delightful series! And despite not loving Wuthering Heights I’m feeling a great sense of accomplishment at having read one of the most well-known classics of English literature!
Other than those two books I’m not reading anything else – I haven’t touched my non-fiction book (Before They Were Belly Dancers: European Accounts of Female Entertainers in Egypt, 1760–1870), simply because I only read it at work and there hasn’t been any time! But I’m not too upset about that, because the book is turning out to be the sort of book you use as a reference and flip through, sort of like a coffee table book, more than a straight-shot read. I might relegate it to my ~hiatus~ books. I’m thinking I might want to purchase it to have it for reference (and it has so many useful historical illustrations/photos).
I’m trying not to be too rigid in planning out my TBR these days…I have vague thoughts of reading The Hate U Give or The Library at Mount Char and will likely do a buddy read of Northanger Abbey with Rachel, but otherwise who knows!
- The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorani (★★★★☆)
- Now I Rise by Kiersten White (★★★★☆)
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (★★★★☆)
- The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin (★★★★☆)
- Roar by Cora Carmack (★★☆☆☆)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 5
YEARLY SO FAR: 65
A solid reading month. Nothing really got me in the gut, but I loved most of these books! Roar was the only one I really detested. Look at that cover, though! I really love how it looks in this graphic. If I ever get published I would kill to have a cover like that. Alas. I’m also not quite sure how I read only five books this month when last month I read four including War and Peace. Maybe it’s because I had been reading one of those books from last month forever…
Anyway! I’m still reading the same non-fiction book from last month, which is Before They Were Belly Dancers: European Accounts of Female Entertainers in Egypt, 1760–1870 by Kathleen W. Fraser. Again, I’m only reading from this like an hour a week, so it’s slow going. Plus I’m savoring it. It’s literally giving me thrills as I read it (yes, I am a nerd). I just started Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao yesterday! I can’t believe I managed to get it out of the library so quickly.
This month I’m also buddy reading Wuthering Heights with Rachel. And I just bought Jane Eyre, so I hope to read that as well. I hope I continue to enjoy my foray into the ~classics. Finally, I also recently acquired The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan, which I’m really excited to read.
- The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter (★★★☆☆)
- Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (★★★★☆)
- Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (★★★★☆)
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (★★★☆☆)
MONTHLY TOTAL: 4
YEARLY SO FAR: 60
Even though I only read four books, one of them was War and Peace, which counts for way more. I completed my Goodreads Challenge of 60 books with War and Peace, actually, which felt very fortuitous! The History of White People took me forever to read because I only read it when I was staffing the Reference Desk at work, and I finished it on September 1st. Feels a little weird including it here, but oh well!
October should hopefully be a better reading month. I’m currently reading Now I Rise by Kiersten White (the second book in that series), The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana, and Before They Were Belly Dancers: European Accounts of Female Entertainers in Egypt, 1760–1870 by Kathleen W. Fraser.
In terms of TBR, I need to read N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky, to conclude the trilogy, before I head to the Sirens Conference at the end of October (I’ll be sure to post about that! Anyone here going?) since Jemisin is the keynote speaker! I’m also aiming to read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and my book club is reading my suggested book, The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani, so I gotta get on that too! I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to read anything else; this is already a pretty full list!