I know that I say this every month, but wow time sure flew by in August! I genuinely think that the older you get the more fleeting time can be, and that is a bummer.
Being an adult is saying "I can't believe it's (x month) already" over and over and over until you die
— Karen M. McManus (@writerkmc) August 5, 2019
Personal & Patreon Update
August wasn’t a great month for me. A lot of change happened which may work out in the long-run but now just feels scary. I am still on medical leave from work and struggling daily with feelings of self-worth issues, guilt, and shame. It’s going on six months at this point and my recovery is slow.
I long to be a functioning member of society again when I am ready, but for now I am trying to put some extra effort into my Patreon to give my life some structure. I added a new tier and a few new benefits, the coolest of which is an interactive story that I will be writing & my patrons will be voting on where the story goes! For as little as $2 a month, you can help support me, my content, and my recovery by giving me something to do!
I’m working on potentially putting myself out there for freelancing as well for social media marketing & strategy, analytics, behind-the-scenes blog work/design (design = coding, not artwork!), and possibly helping manage self-hosted blogs. I have a lot of skills from my career that I am not using presently and this may be a good way for me to add more structure and help with the feelings of doubt that I have. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out! (The new Patreon tier does include 2 hours of freelancing per month if that is something you’d be interested in.)
One of my potential future projects involves video editing, so I decided to do a Let’s Play of one of my favorite games on Youtube to learn the new software. I don’t think I will ever be a booktuber, but I might add some videos on my channel over the coming months, so subscribe if that’s your vibe. (I think my next gaming video – which will have a better mic – will have video footage of my cat in the corner.)
I read a total of 2,129 pages across 6 books (one was a 21-page novella, so really it was 5 books) in August, which means the Slump of 2k19 continues for me.
It is amazing how much your health, or lack thereof, can affect your ability and desire to read. I am still on medical leave from work but despite having a lot of time, I am just not in the mood most days.
✨ As a quick reminder, I’ve done away with star ratings on my blog reviews. You can read more about my reasoning in this discussion post on ratings systems, but you can find my ratings on Goodreads!
My Favorite Read of August
House of Salt and Sorrows absolutely blew me away in the best of ways! I was instantly swept away into the gothic atmosphere that Craig crafted from page 1 and gripped until the story finished.
I read the book in one sitting, staying up until 4 a.m. to finish it because I just had to know how it ended (also it was a little spooky with the atmosphere)!
This is a loose retelling of 12 Dancing Princesses, and while I haven’t read the source material yet, I hear it is rather accurate. I recommend this debut standalone novel to anyone who enjoys touching sibling relationships, a mystery to solve, possible ghosts, and a dash of magical realism.
All August Reads
ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted below by an asterisk *
- This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab – I think it’s time to accept that I am not overly fond of Victoria’s writing style, because every book I’ve read has similar results. She crafts amazing worlds but I always struggle with the narrative. I was really bored with this one for the first half of the book, but once the action actually started I mostly enjoyed it so it was a decent read for me. I am not sure if I will finish the duology. 😈 Patreon TBR Control Choice | 📖 Read my full review
- These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1) by Sara Raasch – (re-read) I am one of the minority who enjoyed this political fantasy story last year when I read the ARC, and actually enjoyed it a lot more during my re-read in preparation for These Divided Shores. So long as you don’t go in expecting it to be a ‘gay pirate’ story, you will likely enjoy this one. | 📖 Read my ARC review (I read my finished copy this time around.)
- * These Divided Shores (Stream Raiders #2) by Sara Raasch – This book is the conclusion to the Stream Raiders duology, and war has full-on broken out. Our main characters all have to grapple with questions of morality and ethics in war, which is a theme I enjoy reading, but was most blown away by Ben’s character development. | 📖 Read my ARC review
- A Spark of White Fire (Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna – (re-read for #SparkAlong) Are you sick of me screaming about this book yet? Well too bad, because this book is a hidden gem and it is my mission to get people to read it! But really, this book was heartbreaking for me to re-read and even made me ugly cry at the end of it. | 📖 Read my ARC review (I read my finished copy this time around.)
- Steel and Flowers (Celestial Trilogy #0.5) by Sangu Mandanna – This is a free 21-page short story set at least twenty years prior to the events of A Spark of White Fire. Short but sweet, it was an interesting look into how the pieces started on the path to future events. You can read this short story for free on Sangu’s website here (scroll to the bottom of the page).
DNF – Did Not Finish
Total Books Read: 6 | Total Pages Read: 2,129
Total Books Read in 2019: 58
Goodreads Reading Goal: 52 🎉
ARC Mountain Update
I recently put myself on an ARC Ban (as of July 12, 2019), and last month I wrote a post about the ban to hold me accountable, and I’m reporting on the mountain each month.
Current ARC Total: 37 (+1 as was sent a couple of unsolicited copies)
Finished in August: 2 (House of Salt and Sorrows, These Divided Shores)
Reviews to Write: 0
Awesome Community Posts
While my blog hopping is nowhere near what it used to be, I saw some amazing content published last month – here are some posts you definitely should check out!
- Sign-ups for Sci-Fi Month are open! This November share your love of the genre of possibility with this fun event, more information can be found over at There’s Always Room for One More!
- Beth @ beforewegoblog posted a really good primer for science fiction and fantasy I know Science Fiction and Fantasy Can Be Daunting.
- Heather @ The Frozen Library talks about why she doesn’t read ARCs.
- Siobhan @ Siobhan’s Novelties is at it again with a fantastic discussion on the reasons publishers should advocate for trigger warnings in books.
- Take a look at this pro and con list on critical reading that Brittany @ Brittany the Book Guru shared!
- Dani @ Perspective of a Writer wrote an interesting discussion on the various kinds of readers we can be. Are you a Reader, Bookworm, or Book Blogger?
- Ruby @ Ruby’s Books wrote a really thought provoking discussion on ARC Bans and some lessons she has learned.
- Caitlin Althea shared a list of WordPress Tips that will be a lifeline for new bloggers to the platform!
- Jennifer @ The Bibliofile Reviews did a comparison between Audible, Last.fm, and Scribd for audiobooks.
- If you love data as much as I do, you need to check out A Fire Pages’ Biblionomics post on the non-price determinants of the demand for books!
Blog hopping was almost non-existent last month, and I spent a lot of time feeling guilty about it. Over the last couple of days I have been working on catching up on Feedly but I will be clean-slating moving forward. I think this is the best way for me to let go of the guilt and not be continually behind.
Thank you, everyone, so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me last month! I hope that you had a fantastic August, let me know how your month went in the comments below!
Let’s go on another adventure together!