December Read Round-up

readingroundup

Perhaps a little late, but these posts were a staple on the blog before the hiatus, so I really want to get back into the habit of them. New year, new me, new blog schedule or something like that. Right?

So, in December, I honestly didn’t read a ton of published books—I read 3—but I read a lot of webcomics, so I’ll drop some links to stuff I’m currently following at the end of this post, too.

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Year End Round-Up

Like an unstoppable lich, I rise from the dead, and bring with me…. blog posts! Oh my goodness this year got away from me toward the last half there. A lot happened that I might write up in a separate post, but more importantly, it’s time for a yearly recap of all the great stuff I read. The best way to get back into the grove of things is to scream about all the stuff I loved, right? Right.

Let’s start with some stats, shall we?

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June Read Round-Up

ReadingRoundUp

Happy summer! June completely disappeared on me, as evidenced by my complete lack of posts last month. Oops. To be fair, a lot has been happening for me in the past month – I’ve been writing and editing for Women Write About Comics (WWAC), started writing for Sidequest, and bigger than that, the whole house buying thing I mentioned last month. The first house we put an offer on was a bust, but the one we’re working on now is an amazing brick ranch that I just cannot WAIT to move in to. We’re almost there, with a closing date rapidly approaching, but as it turns out, the act of looking for and purchasing a house is draining, to say the least. Every spare moment not working was being consumed by house hunting, so I haven’t gotten much reading in. It’s a bummer, but that’s life, I guess!

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May Read Round-Up

ReadingRoundUp

Last week was a quiet week from me, but there’s a good reason for that… we’re buying a house! Well, we’re beginning the process of buying a house, and now need to deal with all the un-glamorous parts of buying a house that no one tells you about. Like inspections and appraisals and spending more money than you can even wrap your head around. So my last few weeks have been crammed full of pouring over listings, scheduling showings, and conversations with mortgage consultants and realtors. It’s been chaos!

As a result, May just flew past. It was like I blinked and it was gone. Luckily for me, I had a week long vacation somewhere in all that insanity, and during that time I got some good reading in. So I do have some books to talk about! Just not nearly as many as I’d hoped for, given it being a vacation month, but ah well. Thaaat’s life.

But enough about boring old life stuff, let’s talk about BOOKS.

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April Read Round-Up

My Post (1)

It’s May! What!? How did this happen already, I swear I JUST wrote the March Round-Up post, like, two days ago. This year is already going by so fast that I kind of can’t believe it, but at least I managed to cram some very good reading into that lightning-fast month. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got.

Just like last month (maybe I’m very predictable…), my favorite book from April is a stand alone fantasy novel, with this one easily coming out on top:

Favorite April 2018 Read
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
I. Cannot. Stop. Thinking. About. This. Book. I am obsessed. I will sing its praises to anyone who gives me even a minute of their time and I’m only exaggerating a little when I say it might be one of the best fantasy novels I’ve ever read in my entire life. With fantasy, I have a type. That type is elves. If you could see my character select screen in World of Warcraft, you’d probably stare at me like I’d lost my mind, because how can one person have so many elves, but look, I’m nothing if not dedicated to what I like. And this book, THIS BOOK, is a thing I like. Lovely writing, likable characters, courtly intrigue, and precise storytelling combine to make one of the most enjoyable 480 pages I’ve ever read. I was so enamored with this book that, when I finished it and was standing at my shelf trying to pick out my next read, I almost started it over. I was THIS CLOSE. But I’ll save it for another time, because I absolutely know that this is going to become one of my go-to comfort reads.

Runner Up
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Wowie this book is really something else. Here’s my review post about it, where I talk about how long I put off reading it and how much I ultimately ended up liking it. While it’s by no means perfect, I did enjoy my time spent with Hyperion, and I’ll be entertaining the idea of picking up The Fall of Hyperion sometime in the near future. If anything, Simmons is skilled at telling an interesting story.

Other reads:
I read 4 other books last month, and just like last month, I want to take a moment to talk about each one a little bit. A God in the Shed by J-F. Dubeau was my first read and, although it started strong, it had a terribly slow middle and failed to wrap up any loose ends. The Merry Spinster by Daniel Mallory Ortberg was a suitably creepy retelling of some classic fairy-tales and Cannibalism by Bill Schutt was an interesting and informative way to make my coworkers concerned for my well-being. Finally, I finished things up with The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang, a coming of age graphic novel with some gorgeous artwork.

Stats time! I read 6 total books this month: two horror, one sci-fi, one fantasy, one romance, and one non-fiction. Four were written by men (one was a trans author!) and two by women. This adds up to 2,149 pages of reading this month, which is pretty awesome. That’s a lot of pages.

I also finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year already:

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I won’t officially increase the goal, but between you and me, I think I’ll aim to double it by the end of the year. If I keep up this pace, that should be well within my reach.

That’s it for my April Round-Up. How’d everyone else do? Read anything good? Let me know how your first full month of spring went and until next time – read on.

March Read Round-Up

March is over! I really can’t believe it, but it’s already April, spring has supposedly sprung, Easter has come and gone… and I read a pretty good spread of books. I stumbled across some real gems in March, and it’s going to be so, so hard to pick out my favorite. My book picking game was on point last month.

Honestly it’s not that hard, I guess, because I absolutely cannot stop thinking about how much I loved…

Favorite March 2018 Read:
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
And boy did I love it. It snared me into its world from page one and wouldn’t let go until I’d come out the other side. The fluidity of the magic system, the dangerous beauty of the wood and its ultimately heart-wrenching history, and Agnieszka’s rural-style magic were some of my absolute favorite components here. The contrast and comparisons between Agnieszka’s magic and the Dragon’s magic were hands down my favorite individual scenes of this book. Novik does such an incredible job writing these moments that you feel just as wrapped up in the magic as our two main characters. Plus, it’s a stand-alone fantasy, which gets MAJOR brownie points from me, a person who has the attention span of a mouse when it comes to those 1000+ page, tangled, 12-book-long fantasy epics everyone’s always suggesting I read… (/sad trombone noises play over copy of A Way of Kings)

Honorable Mention:
The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #2) by Amanda Lovelace
I picked this up at the grocery store on a complete whim, having heard it mentioned in one of the many book podcasts I listen to (I suspect it was Reading Glasses – go check ’em out!). This collection of heartfelt poetry has stuck with me for weeks. I’ve snapped photos of poems which spoke to me with my phone, I post them on Twitter or send them to friends constantly, and I can’t stop thinking about them. Lovelace speaks to all the women who have been thrown in the fire, all the women who feel the heat of the flames, and all the women who have been too afraid or too complacent to speak out. Please please please go read this. Support Lovelace. Then send some of your favorites to your friends in an endless loop to make them understand what it’s like to stand in the fire. Some that really stuck with me: “The Hollow Girl”, “expectations vs. reality,” “a girl’s first words/a girl’s last words,” and “THE FRIENDZONE DOESN’T EXIST.”

Other reads:
I read four other books last month, and while I’m not going to linger too long on them, I do want to spare a moment for each. Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Talents is just as timely and biting as Sower was, backed by Butler’s amazing writing and world-building, though I found I liked Sower more. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson remains one of my favorite graphic novels to date, and I will love Ambrosius and Blackheart and Nimona for all eternity. Genevieve Cogman brings back what I loved about The Invisible Library with The Burning Page, which is just so FUN that I immediately had to hop on Amazon and grab The Lost Plot. March was a good, good month for books, my friends.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer was kind of a bust, but hey, I can’t win ’em all. It did make me want to check out the movie, so the moment I can get my hands on that, I’m allllll over it.

So that was March. I read 6 total books, 5 written by women and 1 written by a man. 3 were fantasy, 2 were sci-fi, and 1 was poetry. That ended up being 1916 pages of reading! We’re now sitting at 15/20 books read for our 2018 goal, which, well, means I should probably increase that goal, as the April TBR pile is already rapidly growing.

Speaking of, here’s the (tentative) reading backlog for April:
Currently Reading: A God in the Shed by J-F. Dubeau (which I just finished, see the review here!)

TBR:
The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History by Bill Schutt

Some horror, some fantasy, and GASP! Non-fiction!? I’ve heard Cannibalism come up in conversation enough times now that I just couldn’t resist. (Which, y’know, is an extremely weird sentence to type out. Don’t…. don’t take that one out of context.)

Well, that’s all for our March round-up. Until next time: burn whoever tries to burn you :fire: