September Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – September 2020

This September I have read:

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ★★★★

Snow: A Reverse Harem Fairytale Romance Series by Plum Pascal ★★★

Push by Sapphire ★★★★

Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #9) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5) by J.R. Ward ★★★

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma ★★

1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

This September I have read six books. My reading has dropped last month to almost half of my reading pile from August. September was slow reading month and I don’t feel good about that at all…

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in September? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

As it turned out the book that I gave the highest rating this September was the only book I’ve read this month that is from my own bookshelves and it is also my second reading of the said book: Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9) by Laurell K. Hamilton. I enjoyed reading this book most and the only thing that made a bad impression was the random chapter preview for the next book at the end of Obsidian Butterfly. The random chapter for the next book was so out of sync with everything that happened in Obsidian Butterfly that made me reluctant to pick up the next book of the series in my rereading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series project!

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

This September a friend from book club provided me with some books from the library since I’m not a member of the library anymore. I am unemployed and paying my library membership is way outside of my budget for now. Half of the books I’ve read this September were from the library, only one of them was for my book club assignment: The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma. I rated it two stars because I felt totally disconnected from the characters or the plot. The crude and brutal details of the book put me off and I could not understand most of the book at all. I hope book club discussion sheds some light on things that I missed out on…

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

What I did in September was try out the Becca’s Bookopoly Readathon with my bookish friend. You can check out Becca’s announcement for the readathon and give her some love HERE. I actually made a board for the game myself while she printed out Becca’s board. We even used Discord for a video chat and a second camera phone to throw dice for each other! We both rolled five times to get five books to read in September and all five books were the one’s I’ve read while the sixth book was the book club assignment! While I went with the plan by the letter I can’t help but feel a bit deflated with my reading in September.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

From the six books I’ve read only two were part of the series. I am glad I finally got to read a novella Father Mine from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I got the first four books from the series long time ago and did not like it enough to decide to continue the series. I was very interested for this novella because it featured the only character from the series I liked – Zsadist. Obsidian Butterfly was a part of my rereading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series and it has kinda put that project on hold for now :/

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

I’m glad I finally got to read some books from the library I was interested in but not enough to actually buy them. I remembered how much I like reading poetry and should explore more of it. Every reader should try to read poetry from time to time. I have some favorite older authors like super melancholic Ana Ahmatova and tend to be a bit cautious with new poets.

Final thoughts on September 2020 reading

September was a very slow month for me both in creativity and reading. My posts were nonexistent and while I kept myself busy I just could not summon inspiration for posting any content. I hope to get more of the books from my own bookshelves in for October. I feel that reading books from my own bookshelves makes me more content with my reading and inspired to produce more content. It is strange that now that I am not a member of the library I have read more books from the said library than in the few month when I actually was a member of my local library! Also half of the books I’ve read this September were Croatian translation and I mostly read books in English!

TBR Jar Draw – September 2020 update

I have read my last TBR Jar Draw book back in July when I was taking a break from reading challenges. The book I’ve read was:

The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1) by Jennifer Bell ★★★

I let my friend choose a book for me and I’m happy how it turned out. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while and unhaul it by donating it to my local library. Last year I noticed they have a second book from this series but not the first. I got the book as a present and it is a bit too middle grade for my tastes. As middle grade books go it was a great read and I liked it. Before I donate it to the library my friend asked me to borrow it so she can read it too!

Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show by Glenn Yeffeth and The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries #1) by Maryrose Wood are going back into the TBR Jar!

Three new picks I pulled from the Jar back at the end of July were:

1# Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins

This is the second book in an older book series from the eighties. I read the first book when I was very young and impressionable. I even made a post about it few years back as a part of the Books that changed me project and you can check it out HERE. When I stumbled on the second book by accident and at great price I decided to give it a chance. The reason I did not read it already is tied to the fact that I read the first book so very long time ago and I’m not sure how well I will be able to get into this book. Also, this book is quite a chubby one – 639 pages of chubby paperback edition! It might be a big commitment for a book I’m not sure I will like anymore and it is kinda hard to include it in reading challenges for that very reason!

2# The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

I remember a friend of mine telling me about this book. I remember I was intrigued and I don’t remember how I got it in the end. It is a Croatian edition and I already borrowed it to some people to read before I read it and that is a sure sign I am not that interested in it. It is one of those books that drop into your life by accident. As I understand the story is a bit dark and supernatural with a very young main character. I might pick it up in some of my darker moods or try to fit it into some reading challenge.

3# Angélique, le chemin de Versailles (Angelique 2) by Anne and Serge Golon

This is a second book in another older book series. This one is created by the french duo Anne and Serge Golon. It is a historical adventure book series and I’ve only read the first book when I was in high school I think. Again I have an issue with getting into the story after such a long time. Only this time I already own the whole book series of around twelve books in translation. They are kinda slow paced book and I’m worried how I can fit them into some reading challenges and finish them. It is another chubby edition with 640 pages.

This time I am at a complete lack of direction at which book out of these three to choose to read. I might even have to consult my friend for help!

N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon – Experience and Thoughts

When I caught this last train for N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon I was torn between being happy and sad for it. In one hand it was announced to be the last O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s year and on the other hand it was my first time participating in this multifaceted reading challenge. O.W.L.s were held in April and I was kinda lost in them but trying my best to participate. You can check out my O.W.L.s Experience and Thoughts post HERE. I was not sure how things were gonna work out so I went all in trying to read as much categories and prompts as I could but I had no real direction. This left me with a couple of hurdles on the way of becoming a Librarian because I missed out on the needed prompts for it. After a lot of thinking and weighing of options that were left to me I decided to try and go for the noble profession of Mind Medic.

In order to achieve my goal I had some reading to do for five different categories of subjects: Charms – 3 books, Defence against the Dark Arts – 3 books, Muggle Studies – 2 books, Potions – 2 books and Transfiguration 2 books. Which brought my total of books up to 12!

Here is the complete list of subjects by the number of books needed for my grade and my thoughts on books I’ve picked up for them:

Charms: grade needed Outstanding – 3 books

A: Cheering Charm: read a humorous book

Suddenly, a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret ★★★

This was my book club reading pick for August. It was a library copy. It is a book written by an Israeli author and it is a short story collection. All the short stories were small insights into a sometimes tragic and sometimes ludicrous daily lives of different characters. This was supposed to be a humorous book but I found it more sarcastic than funny. Stories were short and simple in writing style but complex and thought provoking.

E: Glacius: Freezing Charm. Rad a book set in winter

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden ★★★

This prompt was a bit tricky for me. I’m very cautious of the prompts that require knowledge of the book plot before reading it. I don’t like to research to much into the books before reading them. I considered few options and ended up with this book I had for well over a year. I got the luxurious edition form a small Croatian publisher with actual wooden blocks for hardcover, I even got the box for the book, I got the whole trilogy as a matching set with same publishing number since there was only 500 of these books made. I even got the author to sign the book for me. I invested a lot in it and was hopeful with all the positive reviews and the good reputation the book has among bloggers and booktubers. I read it and did not think it was anything that special. I could not connect with the characters and I was not moved by the story nor setting. There was winter, it all began in winter and it all ended in winter. I thought it was average and average made me feel kinda let down for all the investment I put into these books – monetary and otherwise. I even thought about selling it but have not made any decision yet…

O: Finite Incantatem: reverse spel! Read a manga!

One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 (ワンパンマン / Onepunch-Man #1) by ONE, Yusuke Murata ★★★★

I am not a fan of action manga editions but I remember watching an anime for first few episodes and some of my friends really liked it. I got the first volume of manga as a present and thought this could be a got time to read it. If I understood it correctly the story was first a web comic and then anime and after that it was translated into manga. What little I remember from anime is very well adapted in the manga as well. The characters are not very eloquent and kinda unreal but they bring out some interesting perspectives on life. It was no something I would choose for myself but it was a positive surprise.

Defence Against The Dark Arts: grade needed Outstanding – 3 books

A: Boggart: read a horror/thriller

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix ★★★★★

I was very intrigued by this book that gave me Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris vibes. When I read that it is about a group of middle-aged women that gather in a book club and battle a vampire I was sold! I was not prepared for what I got in this horror – thriller. This is not my usual genre. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a well rounded book with family drama and suburban horror. I was rocked by some scenes and was blown away by the whole story. What gripped me was the nineties setting and the brazen inequality between the sexes. Some characters spoke to me more than others but I was left wondering at some racial issues as well. I wanted to know the background of this author who wrote the story and was surprised to find out that he writes satirical paranormal books. I was left with so many questions and I am still glad I read this book.

E: Kappas: water demon! Book with demons or water theme

Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues (Angel & Faith: Season 9 #2) by Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs ★★★★★

Grabbing this graphic novel series makes me uneasy. The reason for that is that I don’t have the opportunity to buy next volumes after I read this one. I love these characters and I loved this story with them. I was a bit skeptic about graphic novel continuation for both Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV shows. The artwork did not agree with me at first but I barely noticed things to complain about in this volume! The story was really good and I would love to continue reading these graphic novels!

O: Red Caps: read an epic fantasy

Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie ★★★★★

This was the first book by Joe Abercrombie I read and I hope it will not be my last. I have a strong affinity towards underdog characters and Yarvi was an excellent example of such a character. He reminded me of Maia from The Goblin Emperor by Catherine Addison (You can check out my thoughts on The Goblin Emperor HERE ) I loved reading about the journey the main character goes to and I loved brittle humor the book is filled with. The sea adventure part of the story was my favorite part and it really clicked with me this summer even though the book is not really set in summertime at all. I am apprehensive about reading the next book in the series because it centers around different characters and I would really love to read more about Yarvi. This was one of the best books I’ve read in August.

Muggle Studies: grade needed Exceeded Expectations – 2 books

A: Read a comic

White Elf, Black Heart (Elfes #3) by Olivier Peru, Stéphane Bileau ★★★★

Technically this is a graphic novel not a comic. I loved reading this graphic novel and I’m glad my friend pointed me to it. It is a series of high fantasy stories beautifully made. Each volume has different characters and the authors and artists vary from volume to volume. All volumes so far center around different types of elves and bring in stories from different parts of the same world. As I’ve been told it is all an interlude for some big fantasy showdown in latter volumes. Each story is well rounded and feels quite complete on its own so far.

E: Read a book written by an author of a different race than yourself

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie ★★★★★

This was one book I already tried and failed reading for O.W.L.s back in April. I was deeply ashamed for not reading this book sooner. It clicked with me and I loved it! Which is kinda strange because it is far from my usual fantasy or romance genre. Book is based on real events. It made me wonder about different cultures and policies. When a book brings out my inquisitive spirit I know it was a great book! I plan on pushing it for further reading for my book club and I’m looking forward to talking about it with my bookish friends.

Potions: grade needed Exceeded Expectations – 2 books

A: Ingredient: Flying Seahorse – book with the word “sky” in title, or sky on cover

Fantastic Hope by Laurell K. Hamilton, William McCaskey ★★★★

This was one of the books I bought a month before and I just had to include it in this reading challenge because I was so eager to read it. I was a bit worried how well I would pace my reading to book have enough time to read trough all twelve books I wanted to read trough. I was very eager for some of the stories by my favorite authors and I even made a review post for it. You can check my thoughts on this book HERE.

E: Doxycide: Author name starts with a letter D

The Autumnlands Vol. 1: Tooth and Claw (The Autumnlands #1-6) by Kurt Busiek, Benjamin Dewey ★★★

This prompt proved to be a bit tricky for me. As it turned out finding an author whose name starts with a letter D on my shelves was a real challenge. At the end of my options I decided to pick a graphic novel whose one author’s surname starts with the letter D. The graphic novel did not appeal to me at first. I had issues with the visual representations of animals with human physique – hands, feet, clothes …It took some time to get used to that. Story was interesting enough and it really intrigued me. This graphic novel was a present and I don’t think I will be continuing it since I don’t have the rest of the parts.

Transfiguration: grade needed Exceeded Expectations – 2 books

A: Lapifors Spell: animal on the cover/title

The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat (Bob The Cat #2) by James Bowen ★★★

This prompt I had several options for. I keep getting surprised at just how many animals are on the cover of the books on my bookshelves. This book was a birthday present from a friend few years back. We did not know this was a second book in a series. I was happy to say this did not influence much on my reading experience. The story is again based on the real life events. The drama was what I expected it to be and I thought the book was okay. I will probably try out some more stories with real life cats in them!

E: Draconifors Spell: book with dragons or fire (title or cover)

Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons by Andy Collins, Skip Williams, James Wyatt

This was the book that did me in this August. No matter how hard I tried I could not concentrate on reading more than a few page sin one sitting. This made the reading feel extra slow since most of the other books that had a lot more pages than this one I went trough in a few days reading. I’m still not done with this one and it will probably be a very slow year until the end of the year.

Final thoughts on my reading experience:

I think I did pretty well on this reading challenge. I even managed to read trough categories in order of the grade I needed to make progress on. As it turned out the one book I did not finish was the last book of the challenge and I feel lucky about it. If I had started reading it sooner I might have lost even more time and would have probably have more than one unfinished book for the challenge. On the positive side, reading nine books I already owned was a great score! I feel like I’m really digging into the books I own on my TBR and that makes me feel good. Most of the books I read from my own shelves make me glad I picked them up in the first place and I am making progress with culling some books I don’t feel so strongly about anymore. All the books I read for this challenge were first time reads and I feel good about that too! I’m trying to keep positive about this reading challenge and I am glad to have been a part of it. Once again if you would like to check out some content from the awesome person behind all the Magical Readathon’s from the last three years it was on go show some love for Book Roast on her YouTube channel HERE.

August Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – August 2020

This August I have read:

Iznenada netko pokuca by Etgar Keret ★★★

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden ★★★

One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 (ワンパンマン / Onepunch-Man #1) by ONE, Yusuke Murata ★★★★

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix ★★★★★

Angel & Faith: Daddy Issues (Angel & Faith: Season 9 #2) by Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs ★★★★★

Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie ★★★★★

White Elf, Black Heart (Elfes #3) by Olivier Peru, Stéphane Bileau ★★★★

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie ★★★★★

Fantastic Hope by Laurell K. Hamilton, William McCaskey ★★★★

The Autumnlands Vol. 1: Tooth and Claw (The Autumnlands #1-6) by Kurt Busiek, Benjamin Dewey ★★★

The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat (Bob The Cat #2) by James Bowen ★★★

1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

This August I have red eleven books. I was planing on twelve and while I realize that eleven is a really good number I am unable to be happy about it because I’m bugged about this last one I did not finish :/

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in August? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

There were three books I really liked this August. First one was Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie. I really liked the writing style and enjoyed the characters. The second book was Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie. I have been meaning to read this book for quite some time now and I even managed not to read it for few reading challenges before this one. I was pleasantly surprised by both books. Third book was also the first book I have read in August and one of the newest purchases I was very eager to read The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix.

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

The book that kinda let me down since I expected a lot more from it was The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden. I had an impression that this is a well liked book most readers. There was something about the way it was written that lacked emotion for me. I even got the whole trilogy in a luxurious edition and that was a big downer as well.

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I planned on reading twelve books for N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon this August. You can check out my original post on it HERE and I will make a summary of my thoughts on it soon. I’m pretty glad I managed to get in nine books from my bookshelves and read them. In the end I was off by one book that I only read one third of – Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons by Andy Collins, Skip Williams, James Wyatt. It is a Dungeons & Dragons supplement book that is meant to be a guide on Dragons. How ever I tried pacing my reading I could not read more than a few pages in on sitting and nearly a week and a half was not enough time for me to finish it. This put a damper on my reading experience for August which would otherwise be a great reading month.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series

I read six books that were part of some kind of series in August and from all those one was a part of an ongoing series I read from month to month. One was a first book of a new series I plan on continuing for sure. There were three first in the series books I’m reluctant to continue for various reasons and one book I am quite satisfied with and don’t plan on reading other books related to it right now. This question usually serves as a guidance on my progress with many book series I read in any given moment but this month it made my reading a bit more complicated.

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Joe Abercrombie was a new author for me in August and I plan on reading more of his books. I would recommend his book Half a King (Shattered Sea #1).

Final thoughts on August 2020 reading

In any other situation reading eleven books would be an excellent reading month but this one book that left me short of my reading goal is really annoying. I was surprised at myself and how well I have paced all other books in August – it usually took me a few days for each book with the sole exception of the one I did not managed to read trough. The amount of books I own was pretty good and in contrast to last month all the books were new to me and I had no rereads in August. August has left me with two books I am already in the middle of reading and it makes planning my further reading projects a bit more daunting. Let us hope I will be up to the challenge!