OMG I’m so behind with blogging!!
I promised myself when I started this that I would blog at least twice a month and I was doing so well and I honestly can’t tell you why I disappeared for 3 months. Well there is probably a few reasons but the main one is that I am a champion procrastinator and I’m shocking lazy. These two things combined do not make a very efficient human.
So what have I read since July? This isn’t overwhelming at all!
Top August reads:
August was a great reading month for me. First up was Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff and yet again Jay Kristoff has blown me away. I loved this sassy little book and I can’t wait for more. What I liked about this the most was the Romanov retelling. I was obsessed with the Russian Revolution when I was a teenager. I took an interest in a lot of strange and depressing things back then, oh to be a teenager again! 😀 I thought using the execution of the Romanov’s as the basis for an AI revolution was ingenious and it made everything seem so much more real. This book is incredibly fast paced and it’s Jay Kristoff so don’t expect any hearts and flowers but what a great introduction to this world and what amazing characters. Book 2 is due to be released around May 2019 and it can’t come soon enough!
I followed Lifel1k3 up with an Illuminae reread because I needed a Jay Kristoff fix and add in Aime Kaufman and I’m a happy camper. I can’t recommend this trilogy enough! I’m currently rereading Obsidio and I think I may need to do a special Illuminae Files post in the future.
Another future separate post will be a Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Audio Collection post. I listened to this audio between the 15th August and 21st September. Sherlock Holmes has been on my tbr FOREVER and having Stephen Fry narrate them has made this series one of my all time favourites.
The highlight of the month was American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I came to know Neil Gaiman through Terry Pratchett. After not being ready to reread any Pratchett since he passed away I reread Good Omens in July and felt it time to get stuck into Neil Gaiman. American Gods was incredible. I loved all the different plots. I loved the cons and the mythology, the new and the old Gods. It was purely fantastical but with lots of little human truths interwoven throughout. It’s an epic journey and a small town tale. It’s just a really great bloody read and another new favourite.
My poetry read for August was Salt by Nayyirah Waheed. While a worthwhile read it really didn’t blow me away and was at times a little condescending. It felt a bit like every part of me was being judged and while self reflection with poetry is a good thing I didn’t really get any joy out of this and I need to get at least something positive out of it. Sadly this was the last poetry book I managed to read and therefore won’t be completing my one complete work of poetry a month challenge that I started in January. I’m happy with what I achieved but also a little disappointed that I didn’t see it through!
Top September reads:
The birthday month!
This was a very busy month but I managed to get a few good books in.
My number one read of the month was The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.
As a huge Buffy/Vampire Diaries/Teen Wolf/The Secret Circle (plus all the supernatural shows that don’t revolve around high schools) the idea of the people in background, the people just trying to get on with the business of being people really appealed to me and this didn’t disappoint me.
Mikey, Mel, Jared and Henna were in no way ordinary but, just like all teenagers, they really wanted to be so they tried their hardest to be just that. Ordinary. Just like real life it didn’t always work but when they failed they were there for each other.
This is a book where nothing ‘huge’ really happens. At the beginning of each chapter we get an outline of the drama the ‘indie’ kids are involved in but other than that it’s just four kids trying to survive the final days of high school in a small town that is involved in another drama.
I just enjoyed reading it. I liked all the characters and their stories and how they dealt with each other and the problems they faced. They were not minor problems at all. They were huge. But they weren’t apocalypse problems so I think they felt like they weren’t as mammoth as the ‘indie’ kids problems and they were. They really were.
Anxiety is a feeling grown too large. A feeling grown aggressive and dangerous. You’re responsible for its consequences, you’re responsible for treating it. But Michael, you’re not responsible for causing it. You’re not morally at fault for it. No more than you would be for a tumour.
September also brought a new reading discovery. I’ve often listened to audios but found that they worked best with books I’d already read. Well in September I decided to give ‘immersion reading’ a go. For those who haven’t guessed, immersion reading is listening and reading at the same time. This works spectacularly for me as I get easily distracted, I’m basically that dog in the movie ‘Up’, and listening and reading has me utterly focused. I also like that I can sit in the sitting room with the Boy while he watches football or whatever else on tv and I can happily read without being distracted and best of all, I don’t think I’ve ever retained so much from books before. I was able to recite some quotes after reading and that never happens.
The first book that got this treatment was Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. While I adored the audio, especially hearing Romanian pronunciation for names and places, I wasn’t mad on the book itself. I love Thomas Cresswell and will be continuing with this series because of him but I had a lot of problems with the story and I was actually bored for a lot of it. I’m also kind of annoyed about a tiny little detail that was totally artistic license and while I completely understand why the author did it I was still annoyed by it. The story takes place in Bran Castle which is located in Bran. The students all WALK to the neighbouring town of Brasov for an afternoon excursion and Audrey Rose also goes on a little adventure to Brasov in the middle of the night on another occasion. While reading this I was in the middle of planning my trip to this part of the world and simple googling informed me that Bran is a 40 minute car ride to Brasov so roughly a 6 hour walk each way and not something I imagine possible in the middle of the night. What bothered me the most was that Bran is in it’s own village so why not make the village a bit further away and have them walk to that instead of Brasov? This is really pedantic on my part and doesn’t take anything away from the story but these things annoy me.
Sherlock Holmes was obviously putting me in a historical mood so I also picked up Jackaby by William Ritter. Marketed as Sherlock Holmes crossed with Dr. Who. I was all over this and I really enjoyed it. Easy reading and even easier cases, I think this will be a lovely series to dip in and out of when feeling burnt out.
Top October reads:
Well it was October and I was going to Romania for Halloween so I think we can all guess what the top read was!
Dracula by Bram Stoker is one of my favourite books and on this reread I was struck by how generous Bram Stoker was to us lowly females. I was honestly surprised by how much credit he gave Mina and I thought the consequences of excluding her were particularly interesting.
Something else that struck me on this read was all the religious undertones. As a very lapsed Catholic and baby Pagan the religious symbolism was basically everywhere and while I must of noticed it before I was honestly shocked by the amount of it on this read. My everlasting memory of Dracula is the Count crawling down the tower and Lucy so I wonder will I block out all the religious elements before the next reread? This is why I love to reread though.
I also read one of my top 10 books of the year in October. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton was an outstanding read and completely different to what I would normally pick up. A creepy murder mystery with body hopping and not being able to trust a single person made it impossible to put down.
I was recommended a lovely little book by two of my friends ages ago and I managed to read it in October. The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards was very entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A really interesting take on Tarot lends the plot to this detective like caper and I loved the emphasis on friendships between Rune and Brand. I can see the possibility of a romantic relationship between them both but for now I’d like to see where things go with Rune and Addam.
I finished the month off by reading And I Darken by Kiersten White and I loved it. This is a historical retelling where Vlad the Impaler is a woman. It was my first Kiersten White and I can’t wait to finish the The Conqueror’s Saga and pick up a few of her other books. Her writing was top notch and so far I’m experiencing her writing a female protagonist who is strong and independent and doesn’t rely on men to save her. I like this in my books and Lada could very well become a favourite of mine.
So that’s a wrap one quarter of the year!
I really hope to keep on top of this from now on. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and decide not to bother at all. Keep an eye out for a Romania post in the near future. I’m hoping days but I am lazy so who know!! 😀