I can’t believe that it’s already the last day of December as I write this. How quickly time does fly! I’ve spent my month in Bali reunited with the parents in our newly renovated home. My sister has been with me and my brother recently joined us and for the first time in a very long time, it’s the five of us under one roof again. It’s been a little… overwhelming at times (lol) but it’s also been nice! 😊 We’ve been really lucky that the sun has been shining more than it has been raining which gives us time to soak up some vitamin D after a year stuck indoors.
This month was also my last month of work and… It was a bittersweet moment. Five years of my life with this organisation and its been tough a lot of the time but I know I’ve been lucky to have a well-paying job that allowed me to indulge in my pretty expensive love of books (especially pretty special edition ones)! 😂 Let’s hope 2022 brings something good my way on the employment front.
I ended up reading 26 books in December and all of them were romances. I’m not usually as a seasonal reader but apparently holiday romances have been my thing this month and I’m not mad about it at all! For the most part, I enjoyed most of the ones I read but there were a few duds that weren’t my jam or ended up being a let down (for me). I think this might be the most I’ve read out of any month this year and what a great way to end 2021, especially considering how weird my reading mood has been all year!
In terms of favourites, this month saw me reading two of my favourites for the year: The Love Hypothesis and Battle Royal! I loved these books so much and both book couples are some of my new favourites. There are so many feel good and swoontastic moments in these books and I can’t stop gushing about them! 😍
Wow, why does it feel like I just wrote my September wrap up… Yesterday? Anyone else or is it just me? 😂
I don’t know what happened in November. I feel like it was a pretty weird month as I fell into a bit of a funkier mood and lost motivation when it came to work, which eventually bled into pretty much all other aspects of my life. How dramatic! 🙈 But I honestly didn’t do much and nothing of note happened. I baked a bit, I ate at a restaurant for the first time since the second wave hit Indonesia in mid-2021, got obsessed with playing Zelda BOTW, and of course, obsessed over Taylor’s Version of Red. Better Man is my current favourite track from the vault, mostly cos the lyrics hit so close to home in maybe not the best ways, but as much as I’m an emotional reader, I’m also an emotional listener and this has me wrapped up in my feels!
I think I read 20 books in November! I feel like maybe I read a romance or two and didn’t note them and uh, forgot? 😂 Brain fog was kinda my November… I thought I got a little bit of my reading mojo back at one point but no, my reading mood has still been a little erratic and slump-ish even though I stopped gaming for a week+ thinking it would help (don’t think it did).
Surprisingly though I had THREE 5-star reads with a new favourite fantasy and a new favourite small-town romance series to add to my faves list! I think if I had to pick my favourite of the three, it’d be The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. Greathouse, which is an amazing fantasy debut. That said, Brighton Walsh had me wanting to set up in Havenbrook asap, please! 😂 So, I guess I really can’t choose between my 5-star reads? LOL!
My name is Wen Alder. My name is Foolish Cur.
All my life, I have been torn between two legacies: that of my father, whose roots trace back to the right hand of the Emperor. That of my mother’s family, who reject the oppressive Empire and embrace the resistance.
I can choose between them – between protecting my family, or protecting my people – or I can search out a better path . . . a magical path, filled with secrets, unbound by Empire or resistance, which could shake my world to its very foundation.
But my search for freedom will entangle me in a war between the gods themselves…
Also, a quick update on my #NetgalleyNovember BINGO reading: I read 6 out of 9 titles, which is a little sad but also, ngl, I’m pretty chuffed to have managed those six books! 😂 As my super funky reading mood continues I was pretty worried I’d struggle to finish even two books, so this is a win for me!
So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Characters I’d Love An Update On (Where are they now that the book is over?)
I’m going rogue this week because I have zero brain power as I type this and I’ve been thinking about thetitles on my TBR that I want to read before the year ends. They’re a mix of 2021 releases and backlist titles that I was super pumped to get to but for one reason or another were put off instead 😂 Most of the time it’s the hype that actually cautions me away from the books because I’m too scared that I’ll be disappointed! Does that happen to anyone else or is it just me?
Anyway, these are the titles that I’m really hoping to read before the year ends. 🤞🏽
Pretty chuffed about completing the challenge considering I was pretty behind not two months ago! 🙈 I’ve been reading my share of novellas and plenty of romances though and I always have fun bingeing those quickly. I actually had no idea how many books I’d read in October until I counted just now and I surprised myself by reading 21 books! I guess October didn’t start out too badly but then I really slowed down in the latter half of the month because I was feeling a bit slump-ish. Hopefully, it’s an October thing and I’ll get back to reading regularly in November.
The majority of my reads (as you’ll see below) were around the 3½ to 4-star range. I’ve enjoyed most of them but I thought only a few were memorable or stood out to me in any way. My favourite book was The Goddess of Nothing at All by Cat Rector. It’s also one of my favourite 2021 reads and I can’t recommend it enough if you love: Norse mythology told from a new perspective and unapologetically queer characters that will have you wailing in your emotions because this story will pummel them hard—y’know, only the good stuff! 😅
Perhaps you know the myths. Furious, benevolent Gods. A tree that binds nine realms. A hammer stronger than any weapon. And someday, the end of everything. But few have heard of me.
Looking back, it’s easy to know what choices I might have made differently. At least it feels that way. I might have given up on my title. Told my father he was useless, king of Gods or no, and left Asgard. Made a life somewhere else.
Maybe I would never have let Loki cross my path. Never have fallen in love. But there’s no going back. We were happy once. And the price for that happiness was the end of everything.
Someone wanna tell me how it’s already October?! 😭
Not a whole lot happened in September but the month has literally passed by in a blur so I don’t even know if I’ve caught up yet mentally as I’m still at the start of the month but it’s already October? How?
I’ve still mostly stayed home but I took an exciting trip to Ikea for some Swedish Meatballs and new lux sheets early on in the month and I’m not mad about that! The parents also came back and we got to spend mum’s birthday together last weekend, which was nice 😊 Other than that it’s just been a slog of working, reading, occasionally painting, watching shows, and chilling to some good new tunes. I’ve been playing Montero repeatedly since it released and it’s a rare no-skip album for me and it just might be my favourite new release in 2021!
I’ve just counted how many books I’ve read in September and it’s a whopping 28 books! I think this is the most books I’ve read in a month in 2021 and it’s most likely because a lot of these books were romances and it’s so easy to binge those. I found my first 5-star read in Good Girl, Bad Blood after months of not having one and I couldn’t think of a book that deserved it more!
I have to also mention two other favourites this month: The Wolf’s Curse(MG SFF) and The Sweetest Oblivion(Adult Romance).
I joined The Magical Readathon in September and had hoped to finish books for all seven prompts but sadly only got through five. Out of those, only two were reads I picked out for my “possibility pile” and that’s how truly awful I am at sticking to TBRs of any kind! 😂 Here’s what I managed to complete for the prompts:
The Novice Path Entrance – A book with a map:Lost Girl by Leia Stone
Ashthorn Tree – A book that keeps tempting you: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
The Mist of Solitude – A standalone:The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis
Ruin of the Skye – A book ft. ghosts/haunted house or other supernatural elements:The Dark Bite by Leia Stone
Obsidian Falls – A thriller or mystery book:Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
The last time I wrote a monthly wrap up was all the way back in March so I’m not gonna lie, I’m feeling kinda overwhelmed at the thought of making one now? Plus, although the last time I shared a ‘bigger’ life update was months ago, not a whole lot has really happened since. I guess I can share some highlights:
I went on a mini break (which extended to a several months) at the end of April
I turned a year older in May — 🎵 I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 3233! 😉
I took a short trip to Bali for a funeral and a birthday in June
I got fully vaccinated at the end of July — yay!
We’ve been in semi-lockdown for almost three months as Indonesia’s COVID cases soared to a terrifying 50k+ daily cases towards the end of June. The situation has gotten better now and things are slowly opening up again…
I’ve done a lot of baking and managed to make soft pretzels and cinnamon rolls for the first time!
I’ve been doing quite a few paint-by-numbers kits and I even started doing drill diamond paintings but I still have yet to finish one 😂
I made “my comeback” to blogging in early August and it has been so good to be back! I don’t think I realised how much I missed blogging until I started again but the long break I took was something I really needed so I don’t regret it—I just missed this community!
This month I ended up reading 18 books and a lot of them were novellas, which is quite surprising as I’ve always struggled to enjoy novellas! I’ve found new novella favourites though, but the top spot goes to Sing Anyway, an adorable queer romance that had my heart singing!
Another surprise is the fact that I don’t have a 5-star read this month! I don’t know if it’s just my mood being a bit wonky but that doesn’t mean I haven’t read some great books! I think my favourite was The Will Darling Adventures and I feel like I’ve gushed a lot about this series already but… just in case you (somehow) missed it: this is a trilogy set in the Golden Era (1920s) and it’s a mystery and MM romance with amazing characters (including the supporting ones), a murderous criminal gang, infuriating aristocracy, and deliciously steamy romance! I would definitely recommend checking it out, plus at roughly 250 pages per book they’re the perfect reading length! The majority of my reads this month fell in the ‘4 pandas’ range so I’m really not too mad about it. I had hoped to read a few more ARCs than I did but towards the end of August I started to stray from that goal (as usual 🥲) but I did tackle more than I thought I would so that at least is good. Hopefully I’ll continue making steady progress on my ARCs as the year progresses.
March was a bit of an off month for me. I don’t know what it was exactly but the days passed by in a bit of a tired blur. Work got decently busy and it got pretty intense as I tried to cram the work I normally do over a five-day week into a three-day week—oh, the joys of being a part-timer! Well, at least it’s better to be overly busy than to be bored to tears, right?
Other than work things have been pretty much the ‘same old’ on the personal life front, meaning absolutely nothing new has happened! If I’m not busy working, I’m busy helping mum take care of the house and doing all the “adulting things”. In general I’ve beentiredand then tired of being tired. 😫
In gaming, I’ve continued to “beef up” my AC island. I thought I’d put out my Dream Address already but with the Sanrio + designer updates that happened mid-March, I’ve put that off again as I randomly decided to change up 90% of my villagers and more of my island. Will it ever be finished? At this rate, who really knows! 😂 I’m still having fun with this game though and I can’t believe it’s already been one yearsince it was released!
As I’ve mentioned in about 90% of the posts I made this month, I really feel like I didn’t get any reading done, even though I read 19 books. Is it because I wasn’t very good at keeping track on Goodreads this month? Or maybe it’s because I haven’t actually been reviewing what I’ve read, save for the ARCs and blog tour reads? It could very much be the latter—I honestly have about ten million reviews that I still need to write and despite saying that I’m gonna do more mini-reviews I still have yet to do any. 🤣
I think on average my reads this month were about 3-3.5 stars? Not bad but I do think the “lower” ratings have more to do with my fickle mood than the books themselves. I did DNF one book and have plenty more that I started but haven’t got around to finishing yet (but I will). Hands down, my favourite read this month was Jade City by Fonda Lee. I’m so glad that I did a buddy read with Jess and finally ticked this off my TBR. If you’re still sleeping on this one, don’t! Because it is 100% worth all the hype you hear about it. Jess and I are continuing with Jade War this weekend and I’m super excited because I’ve missed all the characters. NO PEAK FOR LIFE, BAYBEE! 💚
This month was also a bit shoddy for blogging. I did my usual weekly memes but even then not very consistently. The worst is that I drastically cut down on the blog hopping because I’ve just been so tired. And I know it’s okay because we’re allowed our off moments/days/weeks, but my blog has suffered because of it and just thinking about it sets off a ‘tired cycle’ in my head and I don’t want to—LOL. Still, I’m sorry for the lack of engagement but I really hope to do better next month!
Two months down and we can already start counting down the months left in 2021 on two hands! 🤯 Also, does anyone else love the fact that March starts on a Monday? Is it just me that finds that oddly satisfying? 😂
I know February is the shortest month of the year but wow, it really passed by in a blink! Other than work, reading and blogging I’m not even quite sure what I can tell you about what I got up to this month? Like January, half the time I didn’t even know what day it actually was! The only days I was certain of were Wednesdays because as a part-timer that’s my Friday. My parents left to Bali to sort out our house there earlier this month, so the responsibilities here have fallen to me, but other than doing all this adulting stuff it’s been a pretty quiet month!
I’ve been spending a fair chunk of time especially in the last week playing Animal Crossing and honestly, life on my in-game island is probably more exciting than IRL. 🤣 I’ve been doing a lot of terraforming and redecorating and it’s all coming together quite nicely and I was more than happy to kiss the snow good-bye, too! I’m excited to see what the updates this month bring. I saw the Mario x ACNH update has already appeared and the items are so cool! 😍 I don’t know how I’m going to incorporate them on my island but I want to try as much as I can.
Despite the short month, I think I managed to get in quite a few reads in February and I ended up reading 20 books. All save one of my reads were 3-stars and up but I did have one DNF this month and that’s also my first for the year! February was unsurprisingly heavy on romance and I ended up reading a lot of NA sports romances on a whim 🤣 I haven’t read many sports romances and although the jock vulgarity at the beginning of each book is always slightly off-putting, I think I definitely want to try more sports romances. They’re very white though, aren’t they? 🤔 I also had my first re-read(s) of the year this month and deciding to re-read with the audiobooks for The Illuminae Files and Aurora Rising was a really good decision! These audios are fantastic and I would highly recommend if you want a fun and full-cast listening/reading experience!
All my re-reads were 5-stars but my only 5-star first-time-read this month was Take A Hint, Dani Brown but I also have to mention The Death of Vivek Oji, which ended up being 4.5-stars for me but I’m in no doubt that this book will stick with me for quite a while! 🥲
Please someone tell me how the first month of this new year has already come to an end. How did that happen so quickly?
2021 kicked off pretty quietly (on this side of the world) although globally, it seemed that chaos still reigned in many places causing tensions to remain high and people to feel pretty low, not to mention the pandemic. I took a one-week holiday at the start of the month to “decompress” between work contracts, although not much of that happened before it was time to start work again but this time on a part-time contract! I have to admit that since I started working three days a week, my days have begun to blur into one giant blob of working, reading, blogging and not much else. 😂
Half the time I feel like I don’t even know what day it is anymore and that definitely didn’t help by the brain fog that came creeping in around mid-month. Although I still struggle with my mental health and this month got a bit rough towards the end, the three day work week has really helped to keep extra pressure at bay and that’s exactly why I agreed to it in the first place!
In bookish mail news, I was surprised to actually receive the Cemetery Boys pre-order goodies from Aiden Thomas (even if it’s quite late)! I never usually receive these goodies and I blame that entirely on the mail system in my country so colour me very shook when I saw the beautiful character cards (and sign plate) arrive the other week. My photos don’t do the cards justice but trust, they’re gorgeous and I love to see them! 😍 If I’m not mistaken, the art is by: @mmarsloud.
January ended up being a pretty great reading month thanks to having more time in general. I ended up reading 22 books (that I’m counting with three books that I read and won’t be counting towards my GR goal). This month was unsurprisingly heavy on fantasy and romance with a sprinkle of middle-grade and literary fiction. A couple books took me a few steps out of my comfort zone but I ended up really loving them and they were strong contenders for favourites this month! The majority of the books I read were also by new-to-me-authors with some potential favourite new ones on the list!
I’m still a bit behind on my reviews and part of me just wants to start writing mini-reviews for all of them but is that a cop out? 😂 I loved most of my reads this month but I also had quite a few ratings below three-stars and I don’t tend to give those out a lot, so that was pretty surprising! With only one five-star read this month Ever After Always was the winning favourite and I’ve linked my review below if you want to check it out. 😊
So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is:Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To (You could take this opportunity to tell us what’s left on your seasonal TBRs from last year. Or books you were super excited about and then you didn’t get to them.)
At the tail end of December, I made a list for the weekly meme, #5OnMyTBR, about five books I planned to read in 2020 but never got around to before the year ended. There are obviously a lot more than five, so I’m glad to highlight even more books this week, but on top of that, these are the backlist books (including 2020 releases) that I want to prioritise this year. I’ve heard pretty much all good things about so many of these titles and I know they made it onto a lot of peoples’ favourites lists, so that makes me even more excited to read them!
While the books I listed in the #5OnMyTBR post are also top priority, I won’t be repeating them here today! On that note, here are ten of the books I didn’t get to read last year but will be prioritised (and for sure READ!) in 2021! 😉🤞🏽