This month was not the greatest for reading, but I totally smashed NaNoWriMo, so that definitely contributed to it. I did, however, read some truly amazing books, and I’m looking forward to a relaxed December.
Mini Book Reviews
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (11/15-11/22): There is literally nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that I would not do for Nathaniel Thorn. I knew, going in, that I was probably going to love this. I mean, we’re promised warrior librarians, haughty sorcerers, and demonic servants. If there isn’t a more surefire recipe for success, then I don’t know what to tell you. The snark in this alone nearly set me on fire. I would absolutely follow Elisabeth Scrivener into battle without hesitation, and my only heart’s desire would be to listen to Nathaniel Thorn deliver some deadly quip right before Silas murdered me. The writing was superb, the plot was absolutely killer, like holy hot damn, why is this only a standalone, AND THE CHARACTERS. This was an absolute delight from start to finish. Oh, and, before I forget, NATHANIEL IS BI AND I WAS NOT PREPARED SO NOW YOU ARE YOU’RE WELCOME.
Well, this was everything I was hoping for and more. It seems to be the year for making me reevaluate asshole characters. Maggie Stiefvater made me like Declan Lynch, and Holly Black’s here to confuse me with Cardan. Don’t get me wrong, I am forever going to say nope to Cardan, but his redemption arc was pretty spectacular to watch unfold, and I’m a little
a lot shocked at the fact that I don’t hate him anymore. And Jude??? Seriously, I’m baffled over here. Not only did she also have an incredible redemption arc, but she’s actually kind of human now? Like, honestly, you want to talk about someone acting like a psychotic faery, point all fingers at Jude. And yet? I’d almost maybe bend the knee to her now. I like these characters. I don’t understand. I think Holly Black has first book syndrome instead of second book because my reviews for the second two books in this trilogy make absolutely no sense when compared to the first one. The writing was good, the plot was excellent, if a little predictable at times (which is not a knock, I liked that), and the characters are making me look like a fish, just sitting here gaping for the rest of my days. This was an outstanding finale to this trilogy.
Waking the Witch: Reflections of Women, Magic, and Power by Pam Grossman (11/15-11/18): Goddess, this was good. There were a lot of moments that I had to close this and take a break to just breathe for a bit. This was not quite the level of Becoming Dangerous, where I wanted to throw things, but because it was quieter and more in-depth. It was less essays about witchcraft and how they fit into the feminist discussion, and more discussions about feminism inside of a witchcraft lens. Which sound like they’re just opposite things, but they’re very, very not, and it was interesting to read both so close to each other. This was so clearly well-researched, and it was wonderful to follow the path Grossman took as she embarked on understanding both the power of the witch and the power of women.
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane | Katherine Howe (11/17-12/1): NaNoWriMo absolutely kicked my ass, so this book took me this long because of that. Otherwise, I would have had it done in a couple days. This was a really unique blend of actual magic and history, and I loved how the two came together. It was a little predictable, but well written and very interesting. The only thing that bothered me, and it’s 100% because I’m local to the area, were the scenes in Salem. It was pretty hard to suspend my disbelief, but I literally walk those streets every week, so. That aside, I’ll definitely be reading the sequel.
Dragons of Autumn Twilight | Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman (11/7-11/24 DNF @ pg 260): Okay, here’s the thing. When I first read these books, I was 11 or 12. I read them before Lord of the Rings. They were formative for my little fantasy brain, and they made me fall in love with all things magical. I will cherish those memories, and I respect the hell out of these books for what they are, but the thing is–they’re not good. They’re poorly written with a barely coherent plot, one dimensional characters, and an infuriating POV structure in which we jump from head to head each page (sometimes even several times on one page). I was really trying to get through this to participate in a readathon, but as I started to get toward the end of the month, I was reading preorders that I was really excited by, and I just kept putting this off until I had to either read ~200 pages in a week, which I was dreading, or finally sit myself down for a quick TED talk. I love these books. I know why pre-teen Mary loved them. But right now, I can’t do this and not completely hate everything, so I’m DNF’ing for my own sanity. Thank you to Jason for hosting the readathon, and for letting me travel back in time for a bit!
I know I literally just said last month that I was going to work on a specific list of books to finish before end of 2019, but that was starting to give me a lot of stress and making me not read, so that seemed like kind of a stupid idea. My new challenge is to just finish all my owned unread TBR books, which is currently at 74, before my birthday at the end of March. My monthly TBRs will be kind of what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I’m really looking forward to December’s.
- There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
- Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly
- Nocturna by Maya Motayne
- Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
My leftover preorders & upcoming preorders that I’d like to finish this month are:
- Song of the Abyss by Makiia Lucier (8/27, currently reading)
- Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake (9/3)
- Salvaged by Madeleine Roux (10/15)
- Diamond & Dawn by Lyra Selene (12/3)
- Children of Virtue & Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (12/3)
Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books talked about five important things she’s learned while blogging, and I really resonate with a lot of them. Sometimes, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the numbers and the hype, but when it comes down to it, we do this thing because we like books a whole heck of a lot, and it’s important to remember that.
ICYMI, the last two NaNoWriMo weekly updates went live! They are here & here, and, drumroll please, my final word count for November is 58,361! I’m really happy with where my project is currently, and I’m hoping to finish it this winter.
What I’ve Been Watching!
Literally nothing, honestly. I buckled down the last two weeks to finish strong on NaNoWriMo (I feel like a broken record), but I’ve been wanting to watch a lot of different things, so I might be doing some of that next month.
My best friend from California came to visit, and she asked me to be her maid of honor!
She’s getting married in the summer of 2021, and it’s going to be Harry Potter themed, and I just cannot wait! I’m so excited to be her maid of honor, and this was the absolute cutest way ever to be asked. I haven’t tried the butterbeer tea yet, but I’m thinking about doing it as a dessert tea tonight.
I live in the US, so we had Thanksgiving at the end of the month, and I posted this picture on my Insta to say that I’m grateful for my books:
Ahem, library? Though this should be the most updated picture of my books, it actually just changed because I bought a few new plants yesterday, so I added a new vine plant and hung up some of the vines from that standing pothos to help it grow more. You can’t see the shelves below bed-level, either, but I thought it’d be fun to share.
Thanksgiving was fun, and I’ve been enjoying the time off. I definitely needed it. With two jobs and only one day off a week, I’ve been soaking up the down time.