Usually I do my monthly wrap up and next month’s TBR in one post together, but the last wrap up (which went live yesterday!) had two months instead of one, so the post turned out very long and I didn’t want to make it even longer.
I’m participating on Non-Fiction Novemberand picking up a bunch of Non-Fics that have been on my TBR for a while. I am personally calling this No Excuses November and I will try and read at least 3 ARCs and reduce my TBR (it’s at 175 now and I am aiming to end up under 170). Last month I also started Faust, but I am not trying to finish it this month and therefore it’s not included in this TBR!
I’m doing a September and October Wrap Up because I was on vacation during the end of September, so I didn’t write a wrap up back then. So it will be a monstrous list, but that’s for 2 months, and for a few weeks I was on vacation plus a few days when I got sick leave, so… please don’t be scared. I normally would read far less and actually have a life (when there’s no pandemic, at least). It also helped that my husband and I did a reading sprint and got several books read in a day.
My September and October planned TBRs were as follows (in bold are the books I actually read):
The Fire Starters by Jean Carson
The Mercies by Kiran Millwoood Hargrave
Luster by Raven Leilani
A Falência por Júlia Lopes de Almeida
Burning Roses by S. L. Huang
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
The Harpy by Megan Hunter
Milk Fed by Melissa Broder (started)
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab
Daughter from the Dark by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Places in the Darkness by Chris Brookmyre
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu
The Three-Body Problem by Cinxin Liu
Penumbra por André Vianco (dnf)
O Vilarejo por Raphael Montes
I deviated (a lot) from my planned TBR and read also:
I managed to read 5 books in two and a half weeks, which is less than I hoped for and lower than my average, but still a pretty good amount. I’m glad to have gotten a few ARCs done (4 of those were ARCs and1 a backlisted title). I have now 11 ARCs to hopefully finish this year, and one of them I’m reading already so I’m feeling actually positive about my chances.
I’m actually quite pleased it’s October. Sure it’s cold, dark, foggy and seasonal depression is just around the corner, but at least there is pumpkin soup! I find German winters quite depressing, but Fall is in fact one of my favorite times of the year. I do much better with the cool weather than the harsh cold or the unforgiving heat, plus it’s a great time for baking and cozying up with a book.
As I struggle to keep up with my ARCs, we slowly approach the end of the year! By October I will be reading mostly creepy stuff, then November I will panic realizing I need to read a thousand ARCs and some books in genres I’m sorely lacking, and by December I will half-heartedly attempt to read books I lost interest in since I requested/bought them while eyeing greedily next year’s books. So I am trying to get a bit ahead now in September with some ARCs. Oh, the life of a book blogger.
I’ve been playing around with the block editor and I have *gasp* started to get used to it and even enjoy some aspects – I’ve now created a “Book Review” block so it will be quicker to write my reviews! Do expect some weird-looking posts as I try to decide for a look, especially for the reviews, which I have changed a bit (you’ll see on my review of The Harpy this week!). I quite like to play with new toys. So much for my complaining before. Let me know if you would like a short list of tips for using the block editor as a book blogger. I’m assuming by now most people are quite used to it but just in case that would be actually useful, let me know!
I went a little bit excitedly into Netgalley and Edelweiss a couple weeks ago and requested 16 books. Last week I got approved for eight and this week for another three, two of which I had no memory of requesting (although I’m very excited for them!). So… I’m in trouble.
I also have gotten the block editor for WordPress and had a mild meltdown on Twitter:
I’m slowly getting used to it but it’s a somewhat frustrating experience. Thankfully I had a bunch of posts ready and took some time on Sunday to learn how to use the editor, I can’t imagine what it’s like if you actually post every day and write your posts the day you post them and suddenly get the new editor blocks. ANYWAY.
My Netgalley haul this week:
Weekly Wrap Up
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell / 3 stars
I feel like this is objectively a 4-star read but I was incredibly bored during the entire book and I’ve been struggling to write a review – hopefully I have one prepared for tomorrow because on the 9th we have the announcement of the WP winner and I want my review post to be up before that!
Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami / Ongoing
I’m halfway through! This is such a great book I’m considering getting a physical copy to re-read it at some point. I loved part 1 and I think part 2 is not as strong but it’s still a great read and I’m having one of those “oh this is why I love reading” moments every time I pick it up, which doesn’t happen all that often.
The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea / DNF
I went all the way to 33% and literally all we had was an endless repetition of the 3 facts that we get to know already in the beginning. It took 20% of the book for us to even be introduced to the actual main characters. I am sure this will be an entertaining read once we get past say, half of the book, but I got really bored and lost any curiosity for who the killer might be. I’m also not very happy about the representation of Rory, an autistic girl with OCD and social anxiety, who seems like a Sheldon-like caricature of a quirky genius. I wouldn’t have minded that so much if the story had been actually gripping (although I resent the whole “it’s okay if you’re different/eccentric as long as you’re a genius!!” thing that is so prevalent in thrillers/police TV shows). I do love the whole true crime podcast thing, and that’s what kept me reading for that long in the first place. But then it was all gore and sensationalism and quirky genius girl and slow plot, so I gave up.
A Falência por Júlia Lopes de Almeida / Ongoing
I am truly enjoying this??? It’s about a high society married woman who’s having a (ridiculously poorly hidden) affair and one day her husband loses his fortune. Apparently it’s more about the class struggles than the affair (I thought it’d be sort of a Anna Karenina / Madame Bovary book, but not really) I’m around 25% through so far but her writing is GORGEOUS and she’s so sharp, I can’t believe people (men) erased her books.
Half an hour ago I complained it was already August, and now September is tomorrow. Time is going by crazy fast (and yet, it’s never my vacation!). This week has been quite restoring – surprisingly, I got lots of reading and relaxing done. The state of lack of focus and energy that I’ve been feeling for months now seems to be slowly going away. It feels quite good to feel more like myself.
Drive your plow over the bones of the dead by Olga Tokarczuk
My Heart’s in the Highlands by Amy Hoff
Hysteria by Jessica Gross
Sisters by Daisy Johnson
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (ongoing)
Actually I’m very impressed with myself! I read all the books I wanted to read this month plus a few more (It Would be Night in Caracas which I’d started in July, The House in Smyrna, Fangs, How Should One Read a Book?, Pequeno Manual Antirracista and started both Breasts and Eggs and The Suicide House)
This week was particularly creepy – on my reading list, that is. Real life was thankfully boring. I finished Things We Lost in the Fire, Fangs and Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead. I’ve already bullied my mom and my sister into reading Things We List in the Fire, which I think will make nobody sleep for a week and both of them never to take recommendations from me ever again. I also started Hamnet and Hysteria. All the books I finished were 4 stars, which speaks very well of my reading week!
In case you missed it, you should check out my list of Latinx Books to Read Instead of American Dirt from a couple weeks ago! Took me a while to compile a list, and I’ve got a few more in the making, as I slowly go though my list of to-be-read Latinx (especially Brazilian) literature. I do love coming up with very specific lists – next I want to write a list of Latin American recommendations for Women in Translation month. Unfortunately that won’t be done in time for this year’s WIT month so it will be quietly sitting on my drafts for almost a year as I slowly add more books to it.
Do you guys also write posts SUPER in advance? I confess I’m lowkey obsessed with doing that. I start my “Best books of the year” list on January every year, and write a little bit on it every time I read something great.
I forgot to list in other Wrap Ups, but I received the following books from Netgalley in the past couple weeks:
This was an incredible reading week. I managed to finish The House of Spirits (excellent read), The House in Smyrna (so unique and raw) and Sisters (creepy and wonderfully written). The last two books were very short, but still I feel very accomplished! I’ve then started Things We Lost in the Fire and Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead. This puts me far closer to reaching my August reading goals, with 3/7 books finished.
For a change I haven’t ordered or received any books this week, added only a couple books to my TBR, and in fact got some reading done, so my TBR went ever so slightly down. Is this a trend? I hope so.
Family dramas set in Latin America seem to be a trend for this week, with The House of Spirits and The House in Smyrna (both of which count for Women in Translation challenge, by the way). Reading them both together was not a wise choice because I like to have a fast-reading book and a slow-reading book, and both of these are rather slow-reading, so I’m thinking of picking up another book to change things up a bit (also reading two family dramas is a bit confusing). Talking about WIT, I finished It Would be Night in Caracas! This was a very impacting read and I’m really glad I picked it up. I’ve also started and finished My Heart’s in the Highlands, a fluffy F/F romance that was entertaining but not brilliant. With 3 Latin-American reads this week, I feel quite proud.
Alright, so apparently it’s August, although I’m still recovering from March and in denial that April is over. At this point I am 98% sure that 2020 is just a fever dream, really, but at least I’ve been reading some great books (yay…?).
I finished Disappearing Earth, and now have the dilemma of whether to buy the next two books (I’m in a bit of a book buying ban) or to wait, because I DO have lots to read, but ALSO I want to finish the longlist in the next couple months. I picked up and finished The Guest List – I really enjoyed this book and it goes so quickly! It also helped that this weekend was more chill and I had more time to read. I’m a bit over halfway through with It Would be Night in Caracas and I hope to finish it soon! I read it in small bursts in breaks going to work or when I’m picking up my lunch, so it takes a long time to read. As I finished both physical books I was reading, I picked up The House of Spirits next. Do you guys also do this – having a book you read at home, one for commute, one that you’re kinda-reading for the past year etc? I think I’m reading like 4 or 5 books at the moment.
I like talking about my reading plans for each month to try and maintain a semblance of order and not let my ARC Reviews fall too much behind. So, my Reading Plans for August:
I posted my Tentative August TBR yesterday, in case you missed it, in which I discuss the books I’d like to read for the Women in Translation month. My priority WIT reads are:
Those are Priority 1, but of course I’d like to read everything I listed on the post from yesterday. I am also attempting this month to read at least 3 ARCs, namely:
I’m excited for all three (and just received Hysteria from Edelweiss). AND I would also like to read Hamnet, my last Women’s Prize Shortlist book.
So, in total there are seven books I would really like to read this month (plus finish It Would be Night in Caracas, my current read) and it sounds ambitious but I’m keeping my hopes up, especially as next weekend I might do a reading sprint, time allowing.