August in Review // The Month of Little Reading

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.

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.)


Reading

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 coverHouse 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.

📖 Read my full review

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

  • None!

August Statistics

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!

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

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!

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

52 Comments

  1. Susan

    September 1, 2019 at 11:57 AM

    I am sorry about what you are going through. I have and am dealing with similar circumstances. If you ever need to talk, please reach out.

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 3:28 PM

      Thank you so much, Susan!

  2. thebookprescription

    September 1, 2019 at 2:48 PM

    I hope things turn out well for you soon Kal <3
    Both in real life and reading wise! If you need anything we are here 😀

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 4:06 PM

      Thank you so much, Hamad! I hope you have a wonderful September!

  3. Avery @ RedRocketPanda

    September 1, 2019 at 3:33 PM

    Hey friend, I can definitely empathize with the recovery process. Blogging and creating content was the only productive/work related thing I had in my life for 9-12 months at one point, and it definitely helped me in terms of routine, motivation, creativity and giving me something to do.

    I’m not in a position to be able to give any financial support at the moment as things aren’t financially good for us at the moment but it’s definitely something I would to do soon when my financial situation gets a bit better. I don’t think I could afford the higher amount on Patreon for any length of time (unfunded PhD life, yay) but I would I would love to talk to you about paying for some freelance work for my blog, if you were interested?

    I’m also really looking forward to organising and doing more planning for the streaming collective <3<3

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 4:24 PM

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Avery! While I am sad that you can relate to what I am going through, it does make me feel a lot better that I am not alone.

      You are the sweetest, thank you for even considering my Patreon! I understand not everyone is in a position to join and no hard feelings at all – that is why I am trying really hard to not take away from what I’ve been offering for free for 1.5 years. I would definitely be open to helping you out with your website, so feel free to poke me via DM on Discord or Twitter!

      I am so excited for streaming too! I hope my little laptop can handle it as I don’t have a gaming pc but for the most part gaming-wise I don’t have issues.

  4. trufflereads

    September 1, 2019 at 10:33 PM

    I hope you feel better soon and recover asap! You’re doing amazing and I’ve been seeing House of Salt and Sorrows non stop so I’m so glad you liked it – 6 books is an awesome reading month and hope September is even better for you <3 Even though I can't join your patreon, I hope it's super successful – lots of love from Australia 🙂

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 4:28 PM

      Thank you so much, Tracy! While 6 books is pretty much the slowest month in existence for me, the fact I am reading at all is still a blessing so I am trying to rewire my negative thinking! xoxox

      1. trufflereads

        September 9, 2019 at 4:50 AM

        you can do it <3

  5. Clo @ Book Dragons

    September 2, 2019 at 3:06 AM

    *squishes in a hug* you are amazing, and I’m so proud of you <3 Here's to you having a better September and I can't wait till I can support you via patreon (when I have a job that is) I've only read The monsters of verity duology by V E Schwab and I really liked both of them but her writing style isn't gonna be for everyone.

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 4:39 PM

      Thank you sosoos much, Clo! Your support and encouragement never fails to cheer me up! No pressure AT ALL on joining my patreon, but I would love to have you if you are able someday! xo

  6. dbsguidetothegalaxy

    September 2, 2019 at 6:38 AM

    Stay strong, Kal 🤗 you’ll get there! That’s a lot of books for a month, Kal!! I think I might loan A House of Salt and Shadow (the title I keep on forgetting and misspelling) from my library soon, because I keep hearing good things about it!

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 4:41 PM

      Thank you very much DB for the encouragement, it means more to me than I can ever express! I hope you love House of Salt and Sorrows as much as I did, can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

      1. dbsguidetothegalaxy

        September 9, 2019 at 3:09 AM

        💜💜 would do it again in a heartbeat! I think I might borrow it when I have a lull in my library loans 😆

  7. Lilyn G

    September 2, 2019 at 11:37 AM

    I feel ya about how your health can affect your reading. It’s so true. I hope you get better quickly!

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 4:42 PM

      Thank you so much, Lilyn! Happy reading this month!

  8. Heather @ The Frozen Library

    September 2, 2019 at 6:56 PM

    Awe thank you so much for mentioning my post! It’s gotten a lot more love than I expected. 🙂

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 4:43 PM

      Of course, it is a great post!

  9. May @ Forever and Everly

    September 2, 2019 at 9:01 PM

    I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this Kal, but know that you’re doing amazing just making it through each day and we’re all here to support you 💗 And it’s great that you read 6 books! I could only manage 5 but we are NOT going to talk about that lmao. And what you said about Schwab is so relatable — I think the only book where I was completely fine with her writing style was her Archived series, which sucks since it’s changed a lot since then.

    I hope your September is better than August, Kal! We’re all cheering you on!! <3

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 4:44 PM

      Thank you sosososo much, May! The bookish community has been so incredibly kind and supportive, which has helped more than I can ever express. 5 is still good! I haven’t read her Archived series but kind of want to… but I don’t know why I would since I am just meh.

      I hope you have a wonderful September, love!

  10. Amber

    September 3, 2019 at 6:48 AM

    Sorry you didn’t have the best month, Kal! I hope September is better <3

    I'd definitely watch your Let's Plays tbh. And I'm planning on reading A Spark of White Fire soon (I should have read it last year as an ARC *facepalm*) because everyone (including you!) keeps shouting about it. Love it.

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 5:03 PM

      Thank you so much, Amber! And yay for at least one person watching my Let’s Plays hahah! Any specific games???

      I hope you have a wonderful September, and I am so glad you are (finally!) picking up A Spark of White Fire!

      1. Amber

        September 9, 2019 at 12:05 AM

        What do you tend to play? I’d watch most things tbh, but I love The Sims, Fallout, The Forest, Skyrim, Mario… So many!

        1. Kal

          September 11, 2019 at 1:15 PM

          Oooh!!! I play a lot of RPGs like Fable, Dragon Age, but also the Sims.

  11. Marie

    September 3, 2019 at 10:38 AM

    I’m sending you all of the love, Kal, I’m so sorry that these past months have been tough and I hope that September will be a little brighter. Everything you do is valued and deeply admired,I know I admire everything you have been doing and working on with your blog and everything else. You are doing amazing, always rooting for you and hoping for the best for September. and here if you ever need to chat or just a listening ear to rant x
    I’m sending you all the love <3 <3

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 5:09 PM

      Thank you so incredibly much for your kind words and encouragement, Marie! You are such a light in my life and I am blessed to have you in it! I hope you have a fantastic September, love!

      1. Marie

        September 9, 2019 at 12:08 AM

        Always always here for you Kal <3

  12. northernplunder

    September 3, 2019 at 2:37 PM

    look it might’ve been a slow reading month (which is totally acceptable) but hey at least there was 0 DNF books which i call a win tbh!!

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 5:09 PM

      LOOK AT YOU, THE QUEEN Of SILVER LININGS!

  13. brittanythebookguru

    September 3, 2019 at 3:38 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing my post, Kal! I’m sorry to read about everything you’re going through and I wish you lots of progress in your recovery ❤️ Know that I’m sending you lots of virtual hugs! Even with your reading slump, you’re still doing great!! 6 books is still a great reading month, not to mention 0 DNFs! I’m actually super interested in getting some
    coding help for my blog so if you do decide to do some freelancing work, I may be reaching out!! I hope September goes better for you ❤️

    1. Kal

      September 8, 2019 at 5:11 PM

      You’re welcome, I loved your post and it deserves the boost! Thanks so much for the virtual hugs and support, it means a lot to me!

      Happy to help so feel free to poke me via DM if you wanna talk coding needs!

  14. Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)

    September 3, 2019 at 6:06 PM

    Dang that tweet really hit me to the core because it is SO SO true. You have been through so much this year, and you deserve all the good things. Even though your recovery may be slow, I’m proud of what you have done and you are doing great! It takes small steps and I’ll happily squish you with cute kitty GIFs to cheer you up in the morning. <3

    1. Kal

      September 11, 2019 at 11:01 AM

      Thank you soo much for your support, Soph. I can’t express how much it means to me, it really does help the mean Inner Kal to shut up for a few minutes.

  15. This or That Book Tag – Siobhan's Novelties

    September 3, 2019 at 9:00 PM

    […] & Ngoc | Kal | Dev | Misty | Alyssa | Jill | Leelynn | Kathy | Kayla | Mara | […]

  16. TheCaffeinatedReader

    September 4, 2019 at 2:14 AM

    I just want the rest of this year to be amazing for you. I love how honest you are in your blog and that you find us worthy of sharing <3 and I'm always here if you want to chat. [Now, let's get back to fangirling about House of Salt and Sorrows!]

    1. Kal

      September 11, 2019 at 11:07 AM

      *hugs you tight* Thank you so much, Haley!

      I WANT FAIRY SHOES.

  17. waytoofantasy

    September 4, 2019 at 6:54 AM

    6 books is not bad at all though! That’s over a book a week! That’s a lot more than many people ever think about reading. I really hope things work out for you and that this period of self-doubt ends soon. You’re a rock star, don’t forget it. <3

    1. Kal

      September 11, 2019 at 11:22 AM

      You’re right, I need to stop being so negative! Thanks so much for the kind words and compliments xox

      1. waytoofantasy

        September 11, 2019 at 11:27 AM

        No worries I totally get it because I also feel like I never do enough lol. We have to be better to ourselves. 🙂 You’re welcome!

        1. Kal

          September 11, 2019 at 1:42 PM

          We are our own worst critics.

  18. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall

    September 5, 2019 at 2:19 PM

    I’m so sorry that you’ve been going through a hard time, Kal! You’re such an amazing individual, and I sure I speak for many others when I say that you make the book blogging world a brighter place! I hope your health heads in some positive directions this September! <3 I think that reading 6 books is incredible! You've truly made me excited to read House of Salt and Sorrows, so I can't wait to check it out soon. Sending you all my love, Kaleena! <3

    1. Kal

      September 11, 2019 at 11:33 AM

      *awkward whale noises and sobs* Thank you so much for your kind words, Kelly! They mean so much to me, words can’t express! I really hope you enjoy House of Salt and Sorrows as much as I did – it’s a book that has stuck with me long after finishing it; it’s going to be one of my top reads of the year.

  19. Annemieke

    September 5, 2019 at 11:02 PM

    Hugs Kal. Make sure you take all the time you need. Six months seems like a long time and it might seem slow but you are working hard.

    1. Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea

      September 6, 2019 at 2:54 AM

      This is pretty random, but WOW. your blog looks so futuristic–I LOVE IT.

      also, sending you lots of hugs! Please know that you are an amazing person, and that the world is so lucky to have you! I hope a positive change will come in September for your health!

      I’m so excited to read A Spark of White Fire! (plus, thank you for mentioning one of my posts here <3)

      1. Kal

        September 11, 2019 at 11:38 AM

        Thank you so much, Caitlin, you are so sweet! I hope you love A Spark of White Fire as much as I did, and you’re welcome for the post mention! Happy September!

    2. Kal

      September 11, 2019 at 11:37 AM

      Thank you so sosososo nuch, Annemieke!

  20. Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea

    September 6, 2019 at 2:56 AM

    This is pretty random, but WOW. your blog looks so futuristic–I LOVE IT.

    also, sending you lots of hugs! Please know that you are an amazing person, and that the world is so lucky to have you! I hope a positive change will come in September for your health!

    I’m so excited to read A Spark of White Fire! (plus, thank you for mentioning one of my posts here <3)

  21. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer

    September 9, 2019 at 11:16 PM

    Thanks for sharing my post Kal! I totally get you about guilt. A loved one went into the hospital at the start of the month and now I’m behind on posts and comments! ❤️ I feel so overwhelmed considering I’m there everyday and when I do sit down with an hour I just want to write a review and not worry about comments.

    1. Kal

      September 11, 2019 at 1:27 PM

      You’re welcome, Dani!

      And you are doing great! It’s wonderful you have been spending time with your loved one while they are in the hospital – the blog and comments can wait. I’ve been struggling to reply to mine in a timely manner for months and no one seems to mind. I hope all is well with your person!

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