Greetings friends, long time no see! I haven’t really posted over the last two weeks here on the blog and I apologize for the unplanned & unannounced hiatus. The truth is I had such a productive January in terms of reading and content that it was inevitable to have a massive sap to my mental health. And as if that downswing wasn’t bad enough, last week it was joined with a couple of hospital visits. (I’m ok & healing!)
But this is about January! My birthday month and the month that I unabashedly show my adoration for Edgar Allan Poe. And I also read a lot of books, so let’s jump into it.
I read a total of 3,553 pages across 12 books in January (3 books were DNF). Considering how February has gone for me… suffice to say I know why I’ve been especially spoonless for two weeks.
My Favorite Read of January
Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin is a freaking masterpiece. It’s been over a month since I read it and I honestly can’t stop thinking about it.
A feminist retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Capin’s prose flows freely, layers of meaning shrouded behind every word. This won’t be a book for everyone, but it certainly was for ME. I loved it with my whole heart and loved the feeling of empowerment that I got from reading it. This book is dark, twisted, and powerful.
This book sparked an intellectual interest in me that has laid dormant for some time. I can’t wait for my finished copy to arrive so I can re-read it alongside Macbeth for a spoiler analysis that no one but me wants!
All January Reads
ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted below by an asterisk *
- My Plain Jane (Lady Janies #2) – this book was absolutely delightful! While I didn’t quite enjoy this one as much as My Lady Jane, I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this book and it was the perfect distraction for some tough stuff going on IRL. | 📖 Review to come
- * The God Game by Danny Tobey – ugh, I forgot about this book until it was time to write this post. I did not enjoy this book at all, which was disappointing because it had so much promise but was ultimately not for me. | 📖 Full ARC review
- This Mortal Coil (Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada – just as delightful for the third time! I feel like I love this series more and more. | 📖 Full review
- * Diamond City by Francesca Flores – I literally remember nothing about this book other than feeling kind of meh about it. I hope I took good notes… | 📖 Review to come
- This Cruel Design (Mortal Coil #2) by Emily Suvada – I actually enjoyed this book more the second time around!!! Which really goes to show how much mood and expectations can affect your reading experiences. | 📖 Full review
- The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas – I LOVED THIS BOOK. I devoured it in less than 24 hours; it’s an intricately plotted mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. I caught onto what happened like a page before Monica figured it out and it was so satisfying to connect the dots with all the breadcrumbs. | 📖 Full review 2/18
- Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill – this was such a delightful and heartwarming story of friendship and continuing legacies. I really enjoyed O’Neill’s art style and appreciated the diverse representation that mirrors the world we live in. And all the sweet dragon babies! I LOVE THEM! I wholeheartedly recommend this one.
- * All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace – I devoured this book in less than six hours. This is the YA pirate book that I’ve been CRAVING… and it also has mermaids! Such a stunning fantasy debut and it was great to be attend the launch event! | 📖 Review to come
Did Not Finish
I’ve recommitted myself to setting aside books that I don’t enjoy for 2020, and it is especially liberating! Forcing a book that I don’t like and have no interest in seeing how it resolves doesn’t do the author any favors considering I am setting myself up for a negative review and a potential slump to boot.
Life’s too short to dwell on books that aren’t for me:
- * Oasis by Katya de Becerra – DNF @ 5%; the narrative voice and voice of the book just wasn’t for me. | Read my DNF review
- * Spellhacker by M.K. England – DNF @ 35%; the plot largely hinges on conflict and bad decisions that could have been avoided with people communicating, which is my biggest pet peeves. Once I realized this, the book kind of became insufferable for me. | Read my DNF review
- * Things in Jars by Jess Kidd – DNF on page 61; the writing style just didn’t work for me and I didn’t really care about the plot. | Read my DNF review
Total Books Read: 9 | Total Pages Read: 3,553
Total Books Read in 2020: 9
Goodreads Reading Goal: 52
ARC Mountain Update
I recently put myself on an ARC Ban (as of July 12, 2019), and back in July I wrote a post about the ban to hold me accountable, and I’m reporting on the mountain each month.
How am I doing? Well my “lololol but at least it’s just 2020 ARCs so 🙃” is no longer applicable because 2020 is here and I am now in a hell of my own making. Why are so many of my ARCs coming out in February and March?!
Pre-2020 ARCs: 16 (read 0)
2020 ARCs: 17 (read 7)
ARC Reviews to Write: 3 (Diamond City, All the Stars and Teeth, Ink in the Blood)
I’ve joined Destiny @ Howling Libraries’ #ARCApocalypse readathon and you can expect a more detailed TBR of my ARCs at some point.
Blog & Personal Update
I’m horribly behind on my blog comments (and let’s not talk about blog hopping), and I am so sorry! My favorite part about running this blog is the community we’re building and interacting with you all, and my guilt consumes me for letting them pile up. I am going to do my best to reply to a handful of comments daily – spoons permitting – until I catch up again.
My content calendar for the month is blank. Unfortunately, my downswing began towards the end of January and began with me not having the energy to write this wrap-up post… and spiraled from there. I have several reviews that I still need to write but hope I will have the energy to get two of them written to take care of the week. I’ll definitely be more firmly sticking to my three times a week schedule moving forward; I need to stop adding bonus posts when I get super ahead so I stop doing this to myself.
On a personal front, my birthday was amazing. After literally several years of feeling alone and forgotten, I am truly thankful for such a wonderful day and weekend celebrating! On my birthday itself, my best friend took me to brunch at The Roxy in Encinitas, where we drank bottomless mimosas for like 4 hours and then sat at a lookout point and just had an amazing conversation. I also got treated to pedicures by another friend, and my dad made me my favorite meal.
It all really solidified that my moving back to San Diego was the best decision that I could have made. I am still trying to let go of my feelings of guilt and failure, but I know now that I put myself first in a way that is paying dividends in small ways.
Thank you, everyone, so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me last month! I look forward to catching up with you all as I’m able to do so — feel free to poke me on Twitter anytime as I kind of live there.
How was January for you? What were your favorite reads of the month & what’s your favorite post from the month that you want me to check out? Drop in the comments!
Let’s go on another /adventure together!
Kate Foster says
Love that you call it an adventure log! That is such a great way to put everything into persepective
Ahhh thanks so much, I am glad you like the series name for my wrap-ups! It just felt *right* in terms of my blog’s branding!
Emma @ Words And Peace says
Great month, and awesome stats. Loving those!
Thank you Emma, and I hope you’re having a good February!!!
I’m so glad your birthday went so well! <3 Love the photo, and you know, I wish I would learn to save up post ideas, I always put them down immediately and then I'm screwed when I don't have the energy or inspiration lol. But, no matter how often you post, I always look forward to your content!! Even if my tbr is less thrilled lol
Yea, I am really good about writing down my nugget notes of inspiration for later… but if I write the post immediately I kind of get super excited and want to post it RIGHT AWAY! And thank you so much, lovey!
After reading your post I think I need to ban myself from requesting ARCs for awhile too😝 It’s so easy to hit “download” and much more work to read the book and write a review.
Also I am so glad you had an amazing birthday! You definitely deserve to feel loved!
It is SO EASY and I need a support group to stop me! I actually sat down the other day and realized that a lot of the books I just downloaded available arcs of (that I didn’t request or seek out) tend to not be my favorite… so I should at least stop getting the read nows that just sound kind of cool.
Thank you so much, Lindsay!
Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books says
I’m glad that you’re better now Kal and I wish you all the best for your healing <3
It sounds like you had a pretty good reading month, that's great! I've heard amazing things about Foul is Fair, maybe I should add it to the TBR sometime 🙂
So happy you had such a great birthday, too and HAPPY belated birthday!! I'm sending you all the love and positive vibes and hope you are having a lovely month <3 <3
Thank you so much, Marie! I finished my antibiotics today and am mostly healed up as if nothing ever happened, thank goodness. Foul is Fair is beautiful but also very intense, so check out the content warnings before deciding! xoxo
I’m glad you’re doing better now Kal! Take all the breaks you need! I am so excited for Foul is Fair!! Macbeth is one of my fave shakespeare plays so I cannot wait for this retelling! I loved your inclusion of graphs in your wrap-up! I think I might do that too at some point because gRAPHS.
I am so behind on blogging too – I can barely write posts let alone blog hop and reply to comments but I’m trying to spend more time on that so good luck to us both! Happy belated birthday and I’m glad you had a good month!
Lisa @ waytoofantasy says
Glad you had such an amazing January and enjoyed your birthday, Kal! I hope you’re doing better now, missed you!
I’m glad you had an awesome birthday!! Plus you have me really wanting to get to my arcs, which I’m struggling to pick up because I’m not a big ebook reader unless it from the library. Definitely need to get passed that though because I have a March release to read and an April one.
Thank you so much, Jothany! I hope you are able to get some of those arcs read, I know how stressful it can be to have them looming. I AM SO BEHIND and the pandemic has me reading p much nothing, ugh
i’m glad you’re doing better now, kal. and i’m so happy you enjoyed your birthday. i hope you’re having an even better month this month 💗
Thank you so much, Em! February and March were… uh, unique. I hope you’re doing well!
it really warmed my heart hearing again about how good your birthday was for you and that it solidfied your decision to move even more <2
thank you so much, Lauren!
Happy belated birthday Kal! Sorry to hear that you’ve had it rough recently, I really hope things turn a corner soon.
I visited San Diego many years ago when I was 19 with my friend. It was our first and last place on our 3 months South West travels and it was a beautiful city that we loved very much. I’d love to go back before I have such fond memories!
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, Gerry! I am so glad you have fond memories of San Diego – I love it here, but my appreciation for my hometown definitely has grown tenfold after living somewhere else for 7 years! I hope that you are able to make it back to America’s Finest City someday