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. 😊
We’ve now started the first full week of January and I was debating whether to even make a December monthly wrap-up post because I’m lazy but I already did the End of Year Survey: Parts I, II & III, but I thought let’s just get it done with so… Here we are 🤪
December was both so slow and too fast and it was honestly a bit of a “surreal” month. I found myself struggling even more to stay motivated at work especially since everyone was going off on holidays and I was one of the few that stayed on until the very last day of the year. I did have a lot of wrapping up to do as I was also ending my full-time work contract and with no one around to really hand things off to, it was a bit more hectic than anticipated.
For the most part, I played a lot of Animal Crossing, read a few books and generally tried to not give in to my desire to retreat into ultimate cave-reading mode too often (especially since I still had work to do)! LOL 😂 I did get my Owlcrate mid-December and the merch and book were gorgeous–I absolutely loved it! My favourite items are the planner+stickers, the monthly pin and of course, the book itself!
In December, I read 18 books! They were a pretty good mix of fantasy and romance, although I did manage to sneak in a non-fiction and some literary/contemporary fiction as well. Despite being excited to read more holiday romances, I only ended up reading two, but I might read one or two more in January but that’s also a big might. As you’ll see in my wrap up although I’ve been reading, what I haven’t been doing is writing reviews immediately. I’m so behind and really need to catch up 😂
I loved many of my December reads and despite a few exceptions, most of them were 4-5 stars, so I would defo say it was a successful month for reading! I had two five star reads in December and they were (obviously) my faves: Bad Blood and Amari and the Night Brothers. They’re two very different books but both are equally amazing and I would highly recommend them!
Can you believe it’s already December? I’m a little shook at how quickly November seemed to zoom right by me and that I can’t recall reading much of anything at all last month!
Work in November was been overwhelmingly busy with projects ending, people leaving, and new things to start sorting for next year as my organisation goes through a merger. Having to prepare communications for the region and projects, as well as representing Southeast Asia in our global works council (similar to a union), on top of finding time to blog and read, really stretched me quite thin! To say that everything seemed to be overflowing might be a bit of an understatement and part of me is even glad to see that we’re in the last month of 2020 now because I’m truly running low on steam 😂
But it hasn’t been all bad! It has been an incredible month for book mail and I’ve received many of the special editions that I ordered earlier in the year. I haven’t spent much on regular book buying in 2020, but I’m 100% positive I made up for all that with the many special editions that I purchased. I really kissed that money goodbye, friends 😂
Now… ON TO THE “FUN” STUFF!
In November, I read 15 books! **Okay, I just totally surprised myself with that count because I expected to see that I only managed to read five books or something because that’s really what this month has felt like 😂 LOL I didn’t have any five star reads or DNFs and the majority this month were 4 stars. If you can’t tell I went on a bit of a historical romance binge and the light reads were exactly what I needed! The books were a good mix of blog tour reads, ARCs and new books on my TBR.
Being the only book I rated 4.5 stars this month, The Cousins was my favourite read but I think the Moose Springs series are close contenders because they really brought me a lot of joy and I can’t wait to continue on with the series in December as I was lucky enough to get the ARC!
Well, it’s now the second to last month of 2020 and I don’t know whether to be relieved or cringe at how much there’s still left to do in both my personal and work life, as well as when it comes to reading all the books! Time’s definitely flying although the latter part of October did seem to slow to a crawl (at least for me), and some days ended up feeling like weeks. I bet that’s definitely not going to happen this month though especially with everything that’s on my agenda and it’s low-key giving me some pretty intense anxiety. Welp! 😫 But anyway, let’s stick to the books, right?
In October, I managed to read 17 books. It’s not bad considering my reading slowed down considerably at the end of the month! It was a heavy fantasy month, with sprinklings of contemporary and a dollop or two of historical fiction. I actually didn’t DNF a book in October (yay!) and for the most part, I really enjoyed a lot of my reads although I had no five stars this month! So without further ado… Let’s take a look at what I got through!
Wow, has it really been a month since I did my last wrap up? Because it still feels as if I did my August wrap up last week! 😂 Is time flying for you too or is it just me? Although some weeks this month have felt longer than ever, most days have gone by in a blink and before I know it Mondays have become Wednesdays have become Fridays, and then another week is over. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing either. We’re one step closer to having this flaming hot mess of a year be over but what comes next? That’s a question I’ve been really contemplating lately because I’ve been feeling a bit directionless looking forward to 2021 and I’m hoping an answer will come to me soon!
But before I digress further, let’s take a look at what this month of reading has been like. In September, I read a (surprising) 23 booksbutI read a lot of romance which I tend to speed through so maybe it’s not surprising. I’m actually not sure if this is all the books I’ve read because I haven’t been marking them properly on Goodreads but we’ll roll with it! I also DNF two more books this month and although the guilt made me push on for longer than I wanted to, I ended up putting both books down because they only made me miserable.