August ’16 TBR (Summer’s End is Near…)

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Once again, I feel a tad blindsided by the beginning of a new month. How can it already be August? And how can the shops already putting up Halloween decorations?! Fall is my favorite time of the year, but it feels a little premature! All I can say is I hope I’m up north by this time next year, because fall in Texas never feels truly fall-like anyway.

I do not always do monthly TBRs, but this month I do have a list of books I’d like to get to before I return to school at Dallas. I do not intend to take even the fraction of bookshelves I took last year because I know I won’t have much time to read and the UT Dallas library is sufficient at providing new releases. I will only be taking my absolute favorites, particularly the ones which have sequels coming out this season. So I want to read all the books I don’t want to regret not taking with me this month!

August TBR

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How to Do Media and Cultural Studies by Jane Stokes | I started this book in May (or June) and I’ve only managed about a chapter per month! As such, I’m hoping to make this book one of the first finish this month. This book is important for information on how to do good research, and I’ll be doing that this semester for sure.

Consent of the Networked by Rebecca MacKinnon | This is one of the books I had to buy last fall and never quite finished. So I’m hoping to read it before the beginning of this fall’s classes, especially as I get back into the swing of reading academic literature in my field of study.

Status Update by Alice E. Marwick | I only had to read a few chapters of this book for the class for which I bought it, but I was really captivated by those chapters and have since referenced this book twice in my academic writing. So I want to finish this book!

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken | I bought this book in February as a random birthday present to myself. The cover was gorgeous as the summary just sounded like something I would love (if properly executed) so I splurged and got it! My blogger pal Ely just recently read it and liked it, which makes me hopeful because she has such an exquisite taste in what she reads and recommends. ^_^

The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud | I reread The Amulet of Samarkand earlier this year and have wanted to finally finish this series that so inspired my own writing throughout the years. I don’t know really what to expect, but hopefully since this is a middle grade book and I’ve been on a such a good reading streak I will be able to finish this book quickly. If I like it enough, I might even start the next, and final, book in this series, Ptolemy’s Gate which I also own.

Eldest by Christopher Paolini | I only recently bought the final book in this series and would like to be able to marathon this series this month, but I’m realistic enough to realize it probably won’t happen with so many other, and more important, books I must read. I might save this book for the end of the month, once I have more of these books out of the way so that I may move on to the next book, Brisingr if I really feel like I neeeeeeed to.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling | It’s less important that I finish this book this month, but since it’s so short and it’s non-fiction, I figure it’d be great to squeeze it in if I’m feeling a lull in my reading spree.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes | This is the final fantasy book I hope to try this month before I return to Dallas because I’ve now owned it for a whole year and there are so many other installments to the series that would be great to bundle into my pre-order purchases to get free shipping! (Silly rationale, I realize!) I really don’t know what much to expect, but I’m really hopeful I’ll love these because I have so few new series at my disposal that I can jump into with abandon.

End Note

I’m hoping to read at least 10 books total by the end of the month, which is a tall order I admit! I’m not someone who can easily read one book after another. I need time to digest and think about what I’ve just read, particularly if I love it. Luckily I’ve been on such a good reading streak, even preferring to pick up a book as opposed to starting a new Netflix series (of which there are several on my list). I’m hoping since I have such a mixed bag, it won’t be so difficult to read through everything on this list.

I do also hope to do a substantial amount of writing this month as well, so I will be pretty busy. But I like excitement. I’ll probably be assigning myself deadlines in order to help keep me on task and remembering what I need to do. And I’m hoping to prioritize blogging as well. There was a lot more I hoped to do on this blog before school starts up, so we’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks! See you soon!

Thank you for reading!
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July ’16 Wrap Up + Book Haul!

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This has been a most excellent month in reading for me! I read a grand total of NINE books this past month, which is probably the most I’ve read since spring of LAST YEAR. It definitely has had something to do with picking up the Lunar Chronicles this month starting with the #MakeMeRead read-a-thon, in which Cinder won first place in the poll which I created to create my TBR! I’m so glad I decided to participate again and can’t wait to do so next year! I can’t even imagine what I might discover then. (Last year was Throne of Glass, and it’s been a long, strange (and fun) trip through Sarah J. Maas’ work since then!)

As I’m at a loss for what to do about book reviews right now, I’m really happy to finally share my thoughts on all the books I read this month in a cumulative wrap up post. I also ended up acquiring a few books over the past couple of weeks and thought I’d throw in a cheeky book haul as well! (It will probably be my last until Christmas anyway.)

What I Read

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Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo | In June I started my reread of this series with my friend Sara who was reading the Grisha trilogy for the first time. Siege and Storm ended up being my first read of July. I liked it just as much as I did the first time! (★★★½)

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo | I ended up loving this book so much more upon my second reading! The first time around, I was seriously disappointed by the plot’s twists and turns. This time I appreciated Bardugo’s decisions more and enjoyed reading it. (★★★★★)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer | The was the first place book on my #MakeMeRead It TBR poll and the only book I finished by the end of the read-a-thon, because I wanted to finish rereading the Grisha trilogy before I started a new series. I really, really enjoyed the fast-paced, (soft) science fiction adventure that’s inspired by (Disney’s) Cinderella. It was so different from everything I’ve been reading lately and much appreciated. It did end a little flat for me though, which brought down my rating. (★★★)

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer | I started this book immediately after finishing Cinder, but I had trouble getting into it. I didn’t really like how stereotypical Scarlet was as a fiery redhead with a temper who cared about nothing else than rescuing her grandmother, even when it put her in harm’s way when it was clear that was the last thing her grandmother would have wanted. I did like that this book didn’t completely abandon Cinder’s storyline and when hers and Scarlet’s finally merged.  (★★★)

Cress by Marissa Meyer | Cress is probably my favorite protagonist of the four girls of the Lunar Chronicles! Her book was the first in the series that was really exciting and didn’t lag or disappoint for me by the end. I loved all the traveling and how the characters were separated and brought back together again. I think this book even made me tear up at points, making me feel quite silly. (★★★★)

Fairest by Marissa Meyer | Fortunately this was a very quick read, because I did not enjoy it in the slightest. It serves as a decent bridge book between Cress and Winter because it helps explain Levana’s confusing relationship to Winter and shows what Levana and Cinder have in common. But it didn’t help me empathize with her. And it was distracting to me as I read how badly it was written. (★★)

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander | While I was waiting for Winter to arrive, I decided to read something short and non-fantasy that would not pull me out of the series. This was quite perfect. I think it was a very well researched book that taught me more about the real Romanovs than I knew before, especially about their lives in captivity. But it was a tad heavy-handed on the foreshadowing, and there’s a twist at the end that didn’t do anything for me in the slightest. Except annoy. (★★½)

Winter by Marissa Meyer | This book was a rollercoaster of emotion for me! I read it all day and night once I got it, with breaks in between to breathe and assess. There were two major events in the story that were torturous for me involving Kai and Wolf respectively, that I still don’t want to talk about (and not just for the sake of not spoiling anything)! The climactic ending was predictable, but I could not help but reread the resolution chapters a few more times even after I’d finished the book. The series was ended satisfactorily enough for me. I would love to read more about the lives of these characters in the future! (★★★★★)

The Quick by Lauren Owen | I had trouble leaving the world of the Lunar Chronicles after Winter, so I needed to read something that wasn’t going to be fluffy YA fantasy. After watching Crimson Peak (2015) one night, I decided I’d love to read a gothic romance. I have a handful of books that fit that bill, but the most enticing to me at the time was The Quick. It started off well-enough, and I enjoyed the characters and how their storylines ultimately converged, but I hated the ending. There was a lot of unresolved questions left for me. Overall, I’m just glad I can scratch this one off my TBR. (★★½)

July Book Haul

I had unofficially been on a self-imposed book-buying ban this summer on account of there being zero books I neeeeeeeded and lack of spare money. But I ended up acquiring six books in the second half of July, some to complete my series set and others due to…impulsiveness.

The first two books I bought at a Target whilst on vacation. I had just finished Cress, the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series, and needed to have the last book. Unfortunately Target did not offer Winter at a great price, so I settled for Fairest, the bridge book between the third and fourth book. I also picked up The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry which I learned of from Kristina Horner who I follow on Goodreads, which was a Target Book Club pick that seemed like would be a pleasant read.

The next two books I bought, I ordered from Amazon after realizing I wouldn’t find Winter in a physical bookstore at a price I liked. And so that I would get free shipping, I decided to also finally get Inheritance which is the final book in the Eragon series (actually it’s called the Inheritance series, but I call it the Eragon series so people know what I’m talking about!). I hope to finally finish reading that series before I return to Dallas at the end of August.

The final two books I ended up purchasing were new paperback editions of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, the first two books in the Starbound trilogy which I borrowed from the Ames Public Library during my last semester of my undergrad at Iowa State University and absolutely loved. I was able to get them a slightly discounted priced at a Hastings, which is shutting down. It’s kind of sad because it was the only bookstore in this town, but it wasn’t even a real bookstore. I’m hoping they begin to have better deals soon so I can scour the store for more goodies!

End Note

I am now only five books behind on my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, so if I can read another nine books by the end of August I will be in really good shape for the last four months of 2016. This was actually one of my summer goals, to catch up on my reading challenge. So it will be great to be able to tick that off my list! I’ll be needing to reconsult that list and see what else I might still accomplish by the end of August.

My next post will be either writing-related (as I am still trying to write) or an August TBR (because I do hope to read a lot this month before I must return to Dallas). Until then, I hope you enjoyed this long post and have maybe decided to pick up one of these books for yourself!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

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