For January I decided to try a new style of monthly wrap up (new if you aren’t familiar with what I would do on my old blog Books o’ the Wisp). This layout is inspired by Ely from Tea & Titles‘s wrap ups which I’ve long admired! I’ve never really tried to sum up what I watch and write, so I think it will be really cool to look back and see what I “accomplished” in those areas.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog! Thank you if you’ve subscribed this month and even if you’ve just randomly stumbled across this blog and are reading this one post! Hope you enjoy.
Tooth and Claw // ★★★
An Ember in the Ashes // ★★
Bone Gap // ★★★
Six of Crows // ★★★★★
This January, I managed to read four books. The first three were initially rated 3/5 stars, but since I wrote the review for An Ember in the Ashes I’ve changed my rating for that book to 2/3 stars. I think I was initially being generous because it is an author debut and it is such a unique entry into today’s YA genre. But ultimately I had one too many problems with it that made me decide I don’t even care to find out what happens next in the sequel A Torch against the Night. Unless, of course, I see a lot of people rave about it.
My favorite book of the month was easily the final book I read which was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo! It was so beautifully written and I love everything about it. I have zero complaints! I was absolutely blown away by how unique a story it was and how intricately designed the characters were. I also could not believe how funny it was. It was the perfect book to get me excited about reading and writing again. I cannot wait for the sequel Crooked Kingdom.
To see read more about what I thought about these books, I’ve included links to the available book reviews that I published this month (click on the stars). Subscribe and stay tuned for the rest of the book reviews which are in the pipeline to come out in February.
Early this month, Parks and Recreation‘s seventh and final season premiered on Netflix. I’d been waiting for it to to be added to the website for the longest time! Unfortunately I was actually a little underwhelmed by it. I feel like the comedy took a backseat in this season to make room for sentimental goodbyes. I enjoyed how all the minor characters got personalized individual send-offs, but I didn’t like that the show writers felt the need to outline the major characters’ futures with such detail. I would have liked some things left open-ended.
This month I also started the BBC crime drama Luther starring Idris Elba. It was such a random show for me to start, and it’s so cool because Elba just won two SAG awards this weekend, one for Luther! I had a little trouble at the beginning understanding the British accents, which weren’t like what I’m used to hearing. But the first season was mind-blowing and I can now say I really like Ruth Wilson (who I’ve not enjoyed in other things I’ve seen her in). I’m now on the third season, so I’m almost finished with what’s currently on Netflix with no plans for what I’m going to watch next.
This month I started making writing more of a priority, but I did not write much of anything. I wrote less than 2,000 words over the course of about 2 weeks. What I’ve been working on primarily is EMatST which I introduce in my Writing Goals for 2016 and Novel Progress #1 (Working Title & Plotting) posts. I’d hoped to get around to working on my first short story of the year (I hope to write 12 this year), but it just didn’t happen. I do, however, have two ideas, so maybe by the end of February I’ll have drafted them both.
This month I started my second semester as a graduate student. I actually did not have a hard time getting myself settled into my new schedule. I actually think I’m still going to be able to accomplish a lot, despite my demanding course load. The biggest difference in my schedule is that I keep later hours. I used to love waking up early and starting my day when others were still asleep. Now I wake up closer to noon so that I have a few hours to things before my night classes and still make it through those three-hour classes alive.
Over all I’m pleased with how January turned out. I still feel like I’m getting back into the groove of reading and blogging so I’m not so sure that I’m happy with everything that went up this month, but it’s all trial and error right now anyway. I’ve been able to keep up with book reviews for everything I’ve read, but I’m honestly not too sure how long that will last. I’m thinking about switching to mini-reviews just so I can focus my blogging on other things as well.
I want to start doing more blogging tips & advice posts, as well as opinion pieces and critiques of what I see happening in the publishing industry. I’m also going to have to start figuring out what I’ll do for my Capstone project to graduate next year. So expect some more experimentation with what happens on Ink Keys and Other Things in February!