April 2022 Monthly Wrap Up

Did April pass by in a blink and a blur for you too or was that just me? 😂 I travelled to Bali at the start of the month and I gotta be honest with you, nothing really stands out to me in April! I can’t recall doing much of anything this month except work, read, sitting by the pool and catching up with one of my besties every now and then. My insomnia hasn’t gotten better and I can count on one hand the number of times I fell asleep before 4AM but I can’t say I’m not used to it by now!

Continue reading “April 2022 Monthly Wrap Up”

March 2022 Monthly Wrap Up

How has another month already come and gone?! March was… something. Half the month passed by too quickly and the other half could’ve passed faster. A good chunk of the month saw me drowning in work stress + insomnia but there were some good times to counter the not-so-fun moments!

  • I got exciting book mail from Goldsboro and Illumicrate!
  • My parents had their wedding anniversary on the 21st and it was dad’s birthday on the 30th!
  • It was a pretty great foodie-licious month with ramen, biryani and decadent melt-in-your-mouth cookies!
Continue reading “March 2022 Monthly Wrap Up”

February 2022 Monthly Wrap Up

Another month has come and gone and honestly, good riddance to February! 🙊

Hmm… I think it’s safe to say that February was kind of a shite month? Personally, things are much better now than they were mid-month. Globally, things definitely turned to shite towards the end of the month and my heart feels so heavy, especially with regards to what’s happening in Ukraine. Every day more and more people show their disrespecting asses with their whole gd chest on that freaking bird app and this month it has just been more tiring than usual. 😮‍💨

But on a more positive note… Here are a few good things that happened this month:

  • I finally got my Owlcrate Special Editions for Vespertine and Our Violent Ends. I pre-ordered these books long before cancelling my sub with them last year and this is the longest its ever taken to receive my orders but I’m glad they finally arrived!
  • I got lots of gorgeous book mail from Illumicrate and I couldn’t be happier to have switched my sub to them. It’s pricier for sure and I know I’m hella privileged to be able to order from them but it’s a treat so I have no regrets!
  • Wonderful buddy reads with Jess and Leslie have got me through the month. Bookish friends like these two make me so thankful to be part of this bookish community! 🥰

Although it felt like I didn’t read much this month, I’m surprised to find that I actually read 28 books. I continued to read a number of novellas but I also enjoyed a few audiobooks. I had one re-read, no DNFs and a surprising number of 5-star reads?! That’s definitely what I call winning! 🥰

Are you on Storygraph? Let’s be friends!

That said, with everything that happened this month, it’s no surprise that my mood has been slightly wonky, which had me feeling a bit slumpy at times though I had a few buddy reads to help me power through those vibes. I’m a big fan of these buddy reads! I’m still trying to keep on top of reviewing every book I read but I’ve slacked a bit this month and I’m fine with it! 😂

Undoubtedly my favourite book this month was Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee. This book unequivocally destroyed me and I’m so thankful I had buddy reads to keep me going afterwards cos otherwise I would’ve most likely stopped reading this month. Lee is ✨magic✨ and The Green Bone Saga is one of my favourite fantasy series ever.

“The clan is my blood, and the Pillar is its master. On my honor, my life, and my jade.”

Continue reading “February 2022 Monthly Wrap Up”

January 2022 Monthly Wrap Up

A month of Epic reading

Well, now that the first month of 2022 is over, I wonder just how quickly the rest of the year will pass by? If it’s anything like 2021, it’ll be a blink! 😂 This was a pretty quiet month on the life front.

  • I very quickly got a consultancy gig from Jan-May. It’s twice a week and not a lot but at least I have a little something!
  • We had one major trip this month and that was coming back to Jakarta from Bali. I love our Bali house (I miss our pool!) but ah, it feels so good to be back with my fur babies and my books! 😍
  • I’m still obsessed with T.Swift and if I continue to obsessively listen to her music throughout the year, I’m pretty sure she’ll take top spot on my Spotify wrap up (again).
  • I don’t watch much but I did start Kim’s Convenience and Schitt’s Creek on Netflix! I’ve heard amazing things about both shows for a while now but my “watch moods” always pass so quickly that I never end up watching anything. I’m loving these shows and they’re so easy to binge-watch! 😂

My reading in January was completely unprecedented. I read 40 books?! It definitely helped to have a few buddy reads with Leslie because the momentum really kept me going! I’m probably never gonna read this much in one month again this year (or maybe even ever) but it was fun, lol!

Are you on Storygraph? Let’s be friends!

My reads were a good mix of novellas, a few graphic novels and full-length novels. I’ve always struggled with novellas so I’m delighted that I enjoy them more now! My reading mood has still been with romance although I did manage a few SFF titles too. Luckily for me, I’ve enjoyed the majority of my reads and I’ve rated most 3.5 stars and up. 🌟

I’ve surprisingly kept pretty updated with my reviews, only three haven’t been done, I just haven’t had the time to post them all on my blog! I’ll be posting them slowly but you can find them all on my Goodreads (and eventually my Storygraph once I’ve caught up lol)!

Continue reading “January 2022 Monthly Wrap Up”

Let’s Talk Bookish: Book Buying Bans – Yea or Nay?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for January 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

DO BOOK BUYING BANS WORK FOR YOU?

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Prompts: The book community is full of consumerism. People want to not just read their favourite books, but own them as well. Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand. How do you control your spending/buying books you don’t have time to read? Does setting a book buying ban work for you? How long do you usually ban yourself for?

“Sometimes this can get…a little out of hand” 👀

I can still hear the echoes of the above phrase still ringing in my head, especially as I sit and contemplate how I’ve liberally indulged in book-buying since the start of 2022, which was literally 14 days ago. At this point, to say that I’ve been treating myself, might be an understatement and though I initially justified this splurge by saying that I really didn’t buy books last year, my brain has very conveniently blocked out all the eBooks I happily one-clicked because “out of sight, out of mind” and all that, right? 🤷🏻‍♀️

I will say though that despite all the one-clicking of eBooks, I am actually spending less on books than I was previously. When I first joined the book community, it was through bookstagram and I immediately jumped in on all the book-buying hype and my physical library grew immensely over a very short period of time; it was unsurprisingly unsustainable!

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!

When I was still buying books like it was going out of fashion, I did set bans several times and they were successful—I resisted temptation and I was pretty proud of myself for not buying all the books! The longest I ever set a ban was 5 months and even then I didn’t buy books. That said, the minute these bans ended, I’d look up the books that I catalogued for buying while I was banned, and I would start “treating” myself to a certain number of them for the length of time I was banned (i.e. 2-3 books for each month I was on the ban). 🙄 So, ultimately, it was pretty pointless? 😂

Learning OVER TIME

A combination of things have helped me stop buying books so often. First, I left bookstagram. I know it’s not the same experience for everyone, but since I stopped trolling the feeds looking at everyone’s gorgeous bookish pictures, I’ve also stopped feeling the overwhelming need to constantly buy all the books. Yes, I’m still tempted to buy books when I see people talk about them all over blogs and book Twitter, but there’s less urgency for me to get my hands on it/them—especially when I think about all the books that are still sitting unread on my physical and digital shelves.

For physical books: I’ve started to focus more on quality over quantity for my physical shelves but it’s not a hard rule! 😂 But as much as I’d love to keep adding more and more hardcovers/ paperbacks to my shelves, international shipping is so freaking expensive and even when it’s free, it often takes forever and a day to arrive! In the last year, I’ve mostly bought special editions of favourites and while they’re way more pricey than your average version, they’re so worth it!

For digital books: These days I do the most indulging with eBooks but I usually tend to wait for good deals before buying them. One trick I learned was to do semi-regular checks of my wishlist and sort them from lowest-to-highest price to see if any have good deals. I’m surprised by how many popular titles/anticipated releases I’ve bought for £0.99-£2.00 as a result (some of the more recent titles include: Iron Widow, Defy the Night and Raybearer)!

BOOK BUYING BAN: YEA OR NAY?

While I’m not opposed to book-buying bans, I’ve found through experimentation (and knowing myself, lol) that they ultimately don’t work for me. That said, my priorities have changed over the years and as much as I want to own every single book under the sun, I’m also very aware of all the books that are still sitting unread on my shelf and as I get older, the guilt over leaving them unread has started to hit me harder! 🤣 Plus, international shipping is painfully high and since I stopped working full-time, it’s been easier to refrain from indulging so often. So… It’s a NAY for me!

Do you set book buying bans for yourself? If you do, how long do you set them for and do they work for you? What’s the longest you’ve banned yourself? If you don’t, how do you control your book buying habits?

Let’s Talk Bookish: 2022 Reading/Blogging Goals

Hello, friends! It’s been a while since I did a Let’s Talk Bookish post but I thought what better time to dive back into these posts than at the start of a new year, right?!


Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for January 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

2022 READING GOALS

(SUGGESTED BY DANI @ LITERARY LION)
Prompts: As we enter the new year many of us will be setting goals on Goodreads and choosing new year’s resolutions. What are your goals related to your blog or books/reading in general? Are you going to have resolutions this year, and if not why not?

QUICK RECAP of 2021 goals/resolutions

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I didn’t do a great job of achieving my 2021 goals/resolutions. 🙃 I was so convinced at the start of the year that it would be my year and well, a couple of slumps, weird reading moods, and burnouts later, and that wasn’t the case at all. I felt pretty shoddy about it when I realised just how little I accomplished but after a little internal monologuing, I decided that it’s okay. Of course, I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve what I set out to do, but I had as much of a rough personal year as a lot of others did—but the high point is: we got through it!

I thought I’d share a review of some of my 2021 goals/resolutions before moving on to 2022:

  • Read 150 books (GR challenge)this is the only goal I achieved as I ended up reading 199 books!
  • Tackle my existing physical shelves (at least 50 books)yeah, no. this really didn’t end up happening as i participated in a slightly overwhelming number of blog tours last year 😂
  • Catalogue all my physical/digital booksi didn’t even end up making/downloading a library tracker until january 2022 so… 🙈
  • Prioritise reading Asian (South/Southeast Asian) authorsi read 13 books by asian authors and considering i read almost 200 books, i didn’t do well with this one!
  • Read more amazing Middle Grade Fantasy!i read a few mg fantasies that i really enjoyed but 2021 ended up being the year of romance, and i think 2022 is going to follow suit.
  • Grow my blog to 800 followerssadly, i didn’t achieve this and have been in 700 followers limbo for the past 8 months but i’m honestly just happy to have a few regular readers who engage with me, especially after posting so erratically in 2021
  • Read more non-fiction (at least 4 books)nope. non-fiction stood no chance 🥲

IS THERE HOPE FOR MY 2022 READING GOALS?

Oof, that recap was a little more painful than I anticipated (😮‍💨) but I’m not gonna let that stop me from trying again in 2022! I also know myself and I’ve never been very good at sticking to resolutions or slaying goals. I’ve always kind of taken things as they come and just going with whatever flow I’m on, but I also like having a general idea of where I’m heading and what I want to work towards. All that to say, I’ll have these goals but I’ll try not to take them too seriously? It’s chaotic but we’re rolling with it, ok? 🤓

THE 2022 READING/BLOGGING GOALS

I’m gonna keep it pretty simple this year and include one or two ideas that I’ve been thinking about doing for the past year and I’m pretty excited about it, so hopefully, that means it’ll happen! 😂

  • Read 150 booksGoodreads Reading Challenge
  • Read 50 backlist titles – Because I really want to focus on getting the backlist read this year!
  • Complete the 2022 Popsugar Reading Challenge – I’m trying. Again. Maybe 2022 is the year I’ll finally complete it 😂 why not be ambitious, right?
  • Fill in my Library Tracker – I’m starting with recording my ebooks and then I’ll move onto my physical books!
  • Grow my blog to 800 followers – why not be a little more ambitious, eh?
  • Start my Re-read Project – I had this idea to re-read some of the books that I rated 4-5 stars before I started my book blog. I’d love to see whether I still feel the same way about them and I want to give them actual reviews this time! I hope to at least read 2-3 series or ~10 books.

That’s it for my 2022 reading and blogging goals! Do you set yearly goals for reading and blogging? Do you find setting goals helpful or is it just pressure you don’t need?

December 2021 Monthly Wrap Up

Happy New Year, friends! 🥳

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! 😍

The Love Hypothesis

Battle Royal

Continue reading “December 2021 Monthly Wrap Up”

November 2021 Monthly Wrap Up

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…

MY REVIEW

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!

Image is titled #NetGalleyNovember BINGO.

Below the title are nine book covers chosen for the bingo prompts. 

Book 1: Skin of the Sea - a book published this year (Marked as read)

Book 2: The Vanishing Season - your oldest approval (unmarked, not read)

Book 3: Never Saw Me Coming - a book beginning with 'n' (Marked as read)

Book 4: You'll Be the Death of Me - your latest approval (Marked as read)

Book 5: A People's History of Heaven - a book with a green cover (Marked as read)

Book 6: How to Love Your Neighbor - a book yet to be released (Marked as read)

Book 7: The Hand of the Sun King - a book beginning with 'the' (Marked as read)

Book 8: She Who Became the Sun - a debut author (unmarked, not read)

Book 9: Chef's Kiss - most excited for (Marked as read)
Continue reading “November 2021 Monthly Wrap Up”

Let’s Talk Bookish: Keeping Up With New Releases

It’s been a hot hot minute since I’ve done a LTB so I’m sorry if I’m a little rusty and more rambly than usual! 😂

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! You can check out these pages for more information on November 2021 prompts & a list of all prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks:

DO YOU KEEP UP WITH NEW RELEASES?

(SUGGESTED BY PIPPIN @ THE PIGEON)
Prompts: How current is your reading? Do you tend to read recently published books or pick from the publishing backlog, and why? Is there any particular merit to keeping up with current releases, or is it all hype? How has book blogging changed your habits on this front? And, in the future, are you thinking you want your reading to shift either way? 

How current is your reading? do you pick from the newest releases or from the backlist?

Ever since I discovered the book community I think my reading has been pretty current as I’ve been reading a lot more ARCs compared to backlist titles. I don’t think I purposely search out the newest titles but because a lot of what I’m reading has started to revolve around blog tours, especially in the last year+, I’ve definitely prioritised these newer titles. Taking a quick look at the books I’ve read this year, I do notice that there’s a difference between the genres I read too. For example, I tend to read newer titles when it comes to contemporary fiction and fantasy while I tend to read a mixed variety of mostly old and some new titles when it comes to romances! I think this is because I tend to join blog tours that are for contemporary/fantasy titles and when it comes to romance I randomly trawl through Romance Twitter to find out what authors/titles are being mentioned and catch my eye! 👀 But I don’t pick books specifically because they’re frontlist or backlist titles.

Is there any particular merit to keeping up with current releases, or is it all hype?

I mean, I think there’s definitely merit to keeping up with the current releases but I also think it’s a personal preference? I feel like keeping up with the latest books and jumping on the hype wagon keeps you in a certain spotlight because, of course, you’re featuring titles that are hot right now and that everyone else is talking about too. Being part of that hype and being able to join in the current discussions about popular books is a boost for you especially if you engage in various platforms; but I also think there’s a lot of pressure to keep up with new books which can get overwhelming, especially if you’re based internationally and don’t have access to the same resources as those based in the US/UK/Canada.

What I love about a lot of newer releases is that it’s easier to find more diverse and representative reads. It’s so great that more people have the chance to see themeslves reflected in stories, whether it’s in fantasies and (for me especially) in romances, while with a lot of backlist titles that’s not always the case. It’s been said before, and I’m sure it’ll keep being said, but I wish that a lot of these reads had existed for younger me because I would’ve felt *so* seen, and I’m happy that more people (especially younger readers) will get that experience now!

How has blogging changed your habits on this front?

Ever since I started blogging I’ve noticed a shift towards reading newer titles. Looking at my reading journey through a “before and after” lens, I honestly can’t remember how I ever discovered “new” titles prior to joining the community! Being international, it’s not as if the local bookstores that sell English books always have the latest titles (or if they do it takes a good long while to appear in store!), but then again, I have to be honest and say that I never really paid attention to publication dates prior to starting up this hobby! 😂 Now that I’m more aware of upcoming releases it’s easy to get caught up in the hype (even though it makes me nervous in equal measure) and I (mostly) want to read what everyone else seems to be reading, too! 🙈

are you thinking you want your reading to shift either way?

I can see my reading habits shift to more backlist titles if I choose to stop doing as many blog tours in 2022, which is a possibility, and if I decide to pursue my “re-read project”! Though I wouldn’t necessarily say that I want my reading to shift either way because I don’t really—I’m happy to read both newer titles and backlist titles and at the end of the day, what matters is that you enjoy what you read, right? 😉

Do you keep up with the latest releases or are you more of a backlist reader? Do you prefer one to the other? Does the hype entice you or nah?

October 2021 Monthly Wrap Up

Wow, why does it feel like I just wrote my September wrap up… Yesterday? Anyone else or is it just me? 😂

This month has passed by so quickly that I’m not even sure what happened this month! Here are some highlights (hopefully I’m not thinking of a different month though lol):

  • I’ve been playing some great games on Switch and PS4: Unravel 2, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Detroit.
  • I got exciting book mail: Leslie’s bday books from May (lol) finally delivered, the final two books of the ADSOM Illumicrate SE!
  • I got a lovely new bed that feels like I’m sinking into a cloud whenever I lie down!
  • I reorganised my bookshelf and it looks *SPECTACULAR!* I even managed to unhaul some books that I no longer want to read or no longer want to keep, and have made space for more books (duh)!
  • I decided to make the move to a Digital Passion Planner and I’m obsessed. I still enjoy writing things down physically but it’s so convenient

Achievement Unlocked: Goodreads Reading Challenge! 🔓

Screenshot of Goodreads Reading Challenge: You have read 150 of 150 books.

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.

MY REVIEW

Continue reading “October 2021 Monthly Wrap Up”