Monthly reading review – May 2023.

Monthly reading review – May 2023.

This May I have read:

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff ★★★★★

Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga #6) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★

Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan saga #7) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★

Brothers in Arms (Miles Vorkosigan Saga #8) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★★

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Mellisa Bashardoust ★★★★

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

The Siege of Cadanla (Elfes#9) by Éric Corbeyran, Gwendal Lemercier (Artist), Diogo Saito (Cover Art), Christina Cox-De Ravel (Translator), DigiKore Studios (Colorist) ★★★★★

Anaïs Nin – Sur la mer des mensonges by Léonie Bischoff ★★★★

King of Libertines (Sea of Ruin #0.5) by Pam Godwin ★★

Ar-MenL’Enfer des enfers by Emmanuel Lepage ★★★★★

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhause #13) by Charlaine Harris ★★★

Les Vieux Fourneaux (#1-4) by Wilfrid Lupano and Paul Cauuet ★★★★★

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

In May I have read 12 TWELVE books total! I am very happy with this amount. I helped myself with an assortment of graphic novels but I am still happy with how I did!

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

There were many books I was happy about in May. I suppose that in May all the books I’ve read had a special treatment since I am still high on endorphins from so much reading and my rating has been a lot higher than usual! Among all the books I’ve read I decided to pick out two that have made the best impression: The Siege of Cadanla and Les Vieux Fourneaux. Both are graphic novels by mostly French authors. First one is fantasy and second is contemporary.

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

My least enjoyable read in whole month of May was King of Libertines (Sea of Ruin #0.5) by Pam Godwin. Maybe it is because I simply cant get into mood for reading smut and maybe it was the hideous phrases like “unholy intrusion” that were the opposite of sexy to me. I am glad I did not buy the physical copy of this book like I was considering when BD was closing down…

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

My biggest reading plan was to read all the books I needed for May The Force Read With You 2023. All the books I have read in May are from that reading challenge TBR. This month I made a break from Buddy reading challenge and picked up some books from the library in order to fit the prompts for the reading challenge alone.

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

May was a great month for reading book series! More than half the titles I’ve read in May were part of a series. I finished a book series I started very long ago and did not like how it ended in the last book – Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhause #13) by Charlaine Harris. I started two new book series I plan to continue Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff and Les Vieux Fourneaux (#1-4) by Wilfrid Lupano and Paul Cauuet. I reread a favorite in Serbian edition Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton and had a blast with all the translated phrases and names. And what I am especially happy about I managed to read three books from Miles Vorkosigan saga!

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

Lately I have been enjoying a lot of graphic novels made by French authors! Modern graphic novels that cater to adult audiences and cover a wide range of serious themes. I find it enjoyable and contemplative when I am confronted with a visual representation of the theme and characters I am reading about. So my recommendation from May is to enjoy more graphic novels marketed for adults be it manga or more western formats.

Final thoughts on May 2023 reading

This May I have used a reading challenge TBR to up my reading and make myself read more in general with outstanding success! I would have to dig deep to check the previous months I have read this many books in a single month. I understand that I will probably have trouble reading at this pace for longer periods. For this reason I am already planning on a month with a more manageable reading plan. May was exciting reading month and I finally got to reading some books that were on my TBR for quite some time. There are some books I have read in May that will probably leaving my bookshelf for good. Finding out that my local library has a good selection of graphic novels was a useful information and a pleasant surprise and I will try to read more of their collection in the future months.

May 2023 was a great reading month and I hope that I will be able to keep up with it in June!

Book series – Stuck on the second book!

In an effort to have more control over all the book series I have started to readneed to finish or want to start on, I decided to make a few categories I can arrange them into and make myself busy with planning on how to fit them in my future reading plans!

There are lots of second books of the series where the first book did not make that great impression on me. When I was getting them, I went and acquired more than just the first book before reading any, AND NOW I am left with bunch of books on my shelves I did not read.

This is the most upsetting type of unread books on my bookshelves since there is an actual deterrent for me to pick up any of those books and start reading them. Some of these I have even considered just getting rid off without reading them BUT for some reason that did not happen. I feel the need to read them before I can safely find them a new home or something. All of these are on my TBR and on my bookshelves in physical form for few years without me even trying to pick them up.

Book series second books I am not jumping for joy to reading but want to read on anyway:

Belladonna (Ephemera, #2) by Anne Bishop

These two books were my pick to try reading something by Anne Bishop. She was an author that kept popping out on my recommendation lists and many readers were fans of her books. This was back when I was a student and working in a bookstore. I expected something intriguing and magical with a little erotica on the side. It has been over a decade since I’ve read the first book. What little I remember of it is marred by the memory of a slow uphill battle to read trough it. I remember the book was not engaging and even with the main character being an incubus I was bored while reading. Afterwards I remember thinking maybe I tried the wrong book series when I wanted to try reading this author for the first time – the series everyone still praises are Black Jewels and The Others.

The prospect of 450+ pages is not something I am looking forward to. Considering there are a great number of books I am more motivated to read before this one it is not very likely I will be reading this book anytime soon. Chances of it being picked up for some reading challenge are also very slim . the cover does not offer any specific details for a visual prompt, my understanding of the plot being very vague so I can’t fit it in for any plot specific prompt either. The number of pages is too high for a casual read and it is missing out for that 500+ category. All in all very hard book for me to place for an actual reading plan. The fact that there are more books in the series afterwards don’t make me happy either…

The Taste of Night (Signs of the Zodiac #2) by Vicki Patterson

Urban fantasy book series that came out more than fifteen years ago. I picked it up because it fit into the category I enjoy reading in general. I ended up with four books of the series: first, second, third and the fifth one! I have no idea if I’m ever gonna be able to get the fourth one! There are altogether six books in the series and a number of short stores across several short story collection. I remember reading the first book not so long ago – though it has probably been a few years and at this point I am scared to check GR for the actual date because then I would need to do this for each of my book series books!

Maybe it was the mood I was in when I picked it up and read it but it was okay. The creatures and location were interesting but it was more of an average reading experience and I just never felt the need to pick up the second book. Again it is 400+ pages long and not very inviting for the purpose of a reading challenge. It rates better than the book series I mentioned above because I just find UF genre more interesting.

Elminster in Myth Drannor (Forgotten Realms: Elminster #2) by Ed Greenwood

Story of Elminster was something that I let myself get hyped about long before I even bought the books. I played and online video game Dungeons and Dragons Online where the character has had a major role and was generally well liked. I have been playing pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons RPG across two decades on and off and enjoyed the experience. To read about the history and creation of a such a strong character was something I was genuinely interested in. I managed to get four books of the series – with again missing the fourth in chronological order.

Then I read the first book for a reading challenge few years back and almost hated it. The writing style was such an obvious “dude wrote this for other dudes” that I just could not get past it. Slightly over 300 pages long and published in 1992.! This book did not age well. There is something about the main character’s interaction with female characters that made me read and have the hairs on the back of my neck stand out with a sleezy feeling accompanying every reading session.

Judging the book series as a whole gives me hope for future character development of Elminster – in the fifth book he has a daughter that tries to kill him if the book cover is to be trusted! The number of books in the series has climbed to eleven in the mid 2010. Covers and plots are colorful enough for these books to fit into a reading challenge prompt or two. There is hope for this one yet…

Angel Souls and Devil Hearts ( The Shadow Saga #2) by Christopher Golden

These books are like a blast from the past. My general motivation for purchasing these was the vampire theme and urban fantasy setting. I remember the first book being horror dark with a splash of mystery to it. Vampires as a species type along with their background were well written as well. I was just in that period of my life when I did not read much but was intent on collecting books with vampire themes. This one seemed cool and cool it was. What I really disliked were the dark generic covers of UK editions I managed to get my hands on. Don’t get me wrong I strongly believe that the US covers are even worse and that this books series never had a fortune of a caring editor and designer to make sure the visual design of those covers is going to attract potential buyers. US covers look trashy and cliché and among the seven books of the series you can point out a single unifying motive on the cover other than the name of the author. Now that I think about it these UK covers are not that bad.

From what I remember reading in the first book, the characters and their background was rich and intriguing. along the side of vampires and usual urban fantasy elements the horror factor was a nice touch with some rather memorable gory scenes in particular. I don’t remember much but I remember few of those gory scenes. I am considering to read the first book again and give this book series a proper chance. I already have more than half the books – need only three more to complete the set.

My biggest issue is finding an excuse to reread the first book – a little under 400 pages makes it just on the wrong side of that inviting number of pages to get to it. At least now I will be actively looking for an excuse to try!

Confessions of a Bookseller ( The Diary of a Bookseller #2) by Shaun Bythell

This is, by far, the most recent addition to my bookshelves. It might have been an impulse buy to satisfy my neglected dream to own a bookstore. Unfortunately for my long neglected dream, reading the first book did little to inspire me to venture on my own real life adventure of owning a bookstore. The writing style is not as nearly as exciting as the blurbs on the front and back cover would lead you to believe. I might have expected way too much out of the bookstore owning life that it can be written about it in a book like this one – one that is supposed to be based on real life. I need to work on managing my expectations better.

Chances are, I will get to reading this book next time when I need a non fiction book for a reading challenge prompt or when that long neglected dream strikes me again. I recently found that there is a third instalment in this book series and I am not sure if that one is ever going to be on my reading or buying list.

Tanki bodež (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman

Long before the TV series or even the movie based on this book series came into being, these books were on my reading list as a YA fantasy (more like middle grade). Bf has read them and liked them and at one point I was excited to read them before the TV show comes out and we can watch it together. I barely remember what happened in the first book and I don’t have any fond memories of my reading experience.

For some, this book series is a staple of children’s fantasy and as someone who was supposed to be a librarian youthworker I thought I needed to read this. Whenever I think I NEED to read something for reasons other than my own intrinsic reading needs, I get even less motivated or excited to actually do it.

Most annoying thing about these books is the Croatian edition came out with two types of covers and I was not able to collect one or the other – second book is with a different cover version. And, at this time Croatian editions are sold out and hard to come by. We even watched the TV series and lost interest somewhere around season two. Generally, I just don’t seem motivated to go anywhere near this book series and I feel I might miss out if I let it go.

Chances of me picking these books up to read are slim to none, even with the size of the books being around that 300 mark that can fit a reading challenge prompts easily. I just did not know how much conflicted about these books I was…

Vjetar u Vratima (Time Quintet Series #2) by Madeleine L’Engle

These dreadfully dark covers targeted at children reader audience are Croatian editions of first two books in a series of total five books. Naturally, other books of the series never came out in translation – something that is rather common in Croatian book market. My first objection to these is that I am not targeted audience but it is, AGAIN! one of those beloved children’s books that I feel I should know more about. I was not an avid reader of big book or long stories when I was a child. I preferred the short stories and folk fairytale collections because I could not hold my attention for longer than that. So, as is the case with most children’s books for me, I never really read them when I was a child and now I have trouble understanding them. My second objection are the covers – dark and uninviting – I really dislike the style of these books.

Number of pages is a lot lower than all previously mentioned books – around 200 pages per book. In the past I came to a conclusion that my best course of action might be to read both books and then just get rid of them. I don’t like having these on my shelves and these are not something I plan to go back to.

I know there was a movie with Oprah and that nobody had a nice thing to say about it. It saddens me when that happens. It also did nothing to motivate me to finish my chapter with this book series.

In conclusion

Writing down my own thoughts about these books has helped me to clear a path for future reading plans that might include them. Learning what I have on my physical shelves and exploring how to reach that unattainable goal to read all the books I own gives me hope in organizing my time and reading better. Some of these will definitely be leaving my shelves and I might try completing others both by reading trough them and by collecting them – sadly these are two very different things.

I don’t expect to deal with all the books from this category by the end of the year but now I have a place to start and that is a great thing!

Book series – Excited to read!

In an effort to have more control over all the book series I have started to read, need to finish or want to start on, I decided to make a few categories I can arrange them into and make myself busy with planning on how to fit them in my future reading plans!

First category are the book series I am excited to read.

I love reading books with lots of sequels. When I find a story and characters I love, I want to have more books to read trough and enjoy. For this reason I will sometimes decide to buy more than one book from a completely new book series before I even started to read the first book! And this is also why the books I already own and have on my physical bookshelves are being promoted into priority category for the purpose of making any future reading plans.

Few years back I have made a decision to always prioritize the books I own and it has actually worked out wonderfully. When I look around the books on my shelves I am happy to report that the ratio of unread and read books is not as alarming as it might be.

Here are the books I am excited to read as a continuation of the book series I already enjoy and have on my shelves. They are not sorted in any particular order and these are all book series that I rated highly enjoyable to read because I like the characters, writing style of the author or the ideas they represent. Some of them are on my shelves longer and some are recent purchases. all of them are part of my ever present reading goal – to read trough all the books I own!

Vorkosigan Saga by Lois MacMaster Bujold

I was not always fond of science fiction because space is a confusing place and in theory I found it hard to relate and get into the cold outer space setting. Vorkosigan saga is one of those book series that completely changed how I view space opera genre and science fiction in general. The characters are relatable and “down to earth”. Even though my primary goal when I was buying the series was buying them for my BF to read and not me – I have learned to love and appreciate these books. The editions I have are translations in Croatian from a publisher that no longer exists which makes them a bit of a rarity. These books are highly underrated and they deal with ideas and topics relevant in any day and age – traditions, science versus belief, questions about gender, characters with disabilities, dealing with expectations of others, and so many more unexpected moral and personal questions you will be thinking about once you start reading trough satisfying number of books in the series.

My progress of the series is slow paced. I am somewhere half trough the series and I am excited follow more space adventures of the characters author has created about forty years ago!

Hell Bent (Alex Stern #2) by Leigh Bardugo

One of the most recent additions to my book shelves since Hell Bent has only been published earlier this year. Leigh Bardugo has become an author whose books are automatically on my TBR and wish list. I have great respect for who ever is making the decisions to make her books well designed physically and beautiful too. I always choose to get her books in hard cover editions whenever possible. This particular series is dark academia theme and I have found the horror and mystery elements quite appealing. Again, this is an example of a book series that has helped me include genres I don’t normally read – mainly horror genre.

My progress with the series is: need to read the second book and then slowly and not so patiently wait for the next book after that to come out – probably why I’m not in a hurry to get to it…


Only exception on the lists of book series I own is a graphic novel I am reading in digital form. This is a part of an ongoing series that is currently on volume 30. This series is collaboration of many authors and artists. Most are originally European and mainly French descent but some of the collaborators expand out of those limits as well. This graphic novel came as a recommendation from a friend and I was impressed with depth of the story and beautiful coloring. Story is long and expanding many continents in a fantasy world filled with magical creatures and many different races. The volumes are short – around fifty pages each but are

My progress with the series: I am on volume nine out of current thirty available. I come back to this graphic novel series every time I need a good and fast read I know I am going to enjoy for a reading challenge!

Alpha (Strays #6) by Rachel Vincent

I love urban fantasy book series with interesting female protagonists. This is an older shifter book series with cats, they had me at cats! I love this series so much that I made my peace with not all the books being same size and format – otherwise this is a horrifying concept for me! One of the books I even bought used and a bit scraped up since I could not find it in any better condition – also not a comforting thought for me. This book series has been a lot of firsts for me in this regard even though it is a genre and theme I usually go for.

My progress with the series is almost done since I have only the last book of the series to read! I think i am saving it for some reading challenge that requires me to finish a book series or something…

Aurora’s End (The Aurora Cycle, #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

My motivation when I got the first two books was to give author a try – I’m still very picky when space theme is present. It was supposed to prepare me to read another book by Jay Kristoff and it was not a planned buy when I got the first two books. I ended up reading both books in the same month and then immediately had to order the third one. That is how much I liked the characters and their dynamics! Also I really like the covers and how the characters are portrayed on them. The extra content in these soft cover edition has been impressive and it made me wonder if I can afford to get the hard cover editions. That is how much the extra content has been important to me. I would love seeing this book series turned into animated series or a TV series but I don’t hold my breath for that to happen at all…

My progress into the series: need to read the last book and I am postponing it because this is only a trilogy and I don’t want it to end so soon…

Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles #8) by Kevin Hearne

This is one of the older book series I got into so many years ago. Trough the years my interest has lessened. But then I read next book of the series after a long pause ( years long pause!) and was surprised at how easy I got into the story and how the characters were still captivating. It was one of the book series I started collecting in hopes of reading it along with my BF. He ended up reading more than I did and now I’m not sure if he is going to finish it at all after such a long break.

My progress with the series is close to finishing – three books left! Good thing is the author has finished writing and aside from the books I already have, there are also few short stories I can read.

The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3) by Anne Rice

Vampire theme was always a fascination of mine and I still have a tendency to collect vampire themed books – be it short story collections or book series. Anne Rice has always been a staple of vampire genre and I always had a feeling I needed to read these. This nagging feeling I needed to read something had made me collect Anne Rice books but held me back from actually reading any of them. At one point I had more than ten books written by Anne Rice and have not read one single of them. After a shaky and bumpy start with the first book of the famous Vampire Chronicles I got to read the second one and finally gotten thrilled with it. I am slightly unhappy with all the different covers for the mass market paperback editions I own but the hard truth is I can’t find all the books in a more uniformed editions because there has been so many different editions over the years. I would love to own these in a prettier collector editions – something more like Folio society editions.

My progress with the series is slower than any other book series I own so many books of – I need to start reading the third book in the series and the small mass market paperback editions with chubby 500+ pages are not that inviting not easy to fit in any reading challenge…

Hellboy #2 by Mike Mignola

Graphic novel collection that started as a yearly present I picked out on a Zagreb Book Fair Interliber for my BF. These editions are hard cover and in Croatian. They each have more than one volume inside them and it makes it harder to follow on GR once I start reading them. I plan to collect the rest but have been unable to afford them last few years.

My progress with the series – I have accidentally read the first and the last graphic novel of the series and not I need to get and start reading the second omnibus edition ( right one in the picture)

Batman: Nightwalker (Dc Icons #2) by Marie Lu

Once I had an idea to collect all the books from the DC Icons series because the list of authors connected into this project was impressive. Each book is written by one of the popular YA authors and I liked the opportunity to try reading some new popular author for the first time without being sucked into another YA book series that everyone else is into. Hard cover books were a present from my BF and now I am struggling to find the resto of the DC Icons editions in hard cover which is proving to be near impossible…

My progress with the series: not in any hurry to read the second book since the prospect of finding the next book is going to be a nightmare…

In conclusion

Book series I am excited to continue reading from my own book shelf ( with one notable exception) is not that long but I can not call it short either. I expect that with starting some new book series and finishing out the last books from the series on this list – the number of the books that are part of a series and I am excited to continue will change, evolve and, most likely, grow. I am perfectly fine with that thought and I am happily looking forward to exciting books I can enjoy reading in the future!

May The Force Read With You 2023 TBR

This is the second time I am participating in Breakeven Books reading challenge on the theme of Star Wars in May! Last year I skipped it but this year I will try my best to read the most of it.

You can check how it all started way back in 2021 HERE and see what my experience with the challenge was HERE.

Also I encourage you to check out Breakeven Books channel and show him some love HERE.

This year the challenge was combined with some RPG style characterization. Meaning, each participant can read trough their adventure in Star Wars universe and create their own character. Options include race, some equipment, some allies and some abilities. all of these are still dependent on your choice of Light or Dark Side. There is even a character sheet for those who like to immerse into their character and maybe later on use it in some RPG plays. I will only highlight my own choices and TBR plans.

You can check out all the details available HERE

I am still filling up my character sheet and depending on how successful I am at the end of the challenge I will post it as a whole. For now here are some basic options I am using for my May TBR.

Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga #6) by Lois MacMaster Bujold

When I first read this prompt I did not notice OR in it. While I did find some options for the hardcore prompt I decided to continue one of the book series I was reading the first time as well – Vorkosigan Saga series. Its a science fiction series with some powerful and relatable characters and so far I’ve loved it. Sadly I did not get far ahead with the series and I will use this opportunity to read more of it.

Last time I participated I was going for Light Side. This time I like prompts for the Dark Side more and will try to mix it up with some neutral options where it is possible. I have chosen maximum of five abilities mix of neutral and Dark side prompts.

1 & 2 – Drain Knowledge: Read a book over 600 pages. Counts as 2 ability prompts. (Dark Side)

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff

This one has been on my shelf since it came out last year and I was looking for an opportunity to start reading. The theme is complimentary dark to my character and the pull of the Dark side. It is quite chonky with 700+ pages. I got the hardcover with some black and white illustrations so it will be an actual feast of a book. I even have a friend I gifted a copy of the book and she is willing to read it at the same time. Because of the number of pages this one counts as two abilities and I think the “Drain Knowledge” ability is very thematic as well!

3 – Telekinesis: If Jedi, do a dark side ability prompt; if Sith, do a light side ability prompt. (Neutral)

Light Side Plant Surge: Read a book with nature on the cover

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Mellisa Bashardoust

I really liked this prompt on the Light side since it fitted a book I was meaning to read for a while now. The choice of a Dark side ability to kinda steal into the Light side prompt was perfect here! I am intrigued by the book and so far I like its a standalone. Again the theme is darkly thematic and fits with my idea of a Dark side character and “Telekinesis” is such a cool ability to have!

4 – Doppelganger: Do a re-read. (Neutral)

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton

I have the mass market paperback of the book in English and have read it more than once already. Recently, I got a Serbian translation of this book and because of the style of the translation I am excited to give it a try. These characters are very dear to me and this world is one of my favorites to come back to. Some of the first books in the series are my all time favorite books as well. Reading this translation will give me a new perspective on it which is a useful foundation when training in “Doppelganger” ability.

5 – Memory Walk: Read a book that came out 15+ years ago. (Dark Side)

Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan saga #7) by Lois MacMaster Bujold

As I mentioned before I will be catching up Vorkosigan saga more in May. This is the second out of three planned books of the series I will be reading in May! Published over 35 years ago this book definitely fits the prompt and is still one of the best space opera book series out there. I wish it were more popular because when it was first published it was very well received considering that some of the themes are relevant and popular today. Have I started training “Memory Walking” already just by going back at how much I like this book series? Maybe…

The choices for weapons/equipment are sparse, which naturally, means I want them all! Here are the choices of books for the prompts:

Lightsaber – Look at a color wheel. Read a book with the opposite of your favorite color

The Siege of Cadanla (Elfes#9) by Éric Corbeyran, Gwendal Lemercier (Artist), Diogo Saito (Cover Art), Christina Cox-De Ravel (Translator), DigiKore Studios (Colorist)

Without actually looking at the color wheel I first had to decide on my favorite color. Over the years my favorite color changed. Right now I have decided on violet and its opposite is yellow. I had books with orange covers ready but yellow was a bit more work. For this reason I decided to go back to one other graphic novel book series I did not read in a while – digital edition of a fantasy masterpeice Elfes. It has (so far) 35 parts and they tell an intricate story spanning different species and continents in a magical world. Each part has different authors mostly from France. Some stories are dark and gritty and some are less so. so far the character and world building has been elaborate. I think it is a good match for a Lightsaber prompt!

Blaster – Read a book in a different spot every time you pick it up to read it.

Anaïs Nin – Sur la mer des mensonges by Léonie Bischoff

Since I have decided to go all in on the equipment and partners I found a way to make it easier and give me a chance to finish reading everything by adding more graphic novel editions. I went and raided my local library and brought with me a pile of good options. This is one of the more serious one in topic at least. Also, since the prompt requires me to read in a different spot each time I might have easier time with something that reads faster since I am actually a slow reader! I always wanted to read something by Anais Nin and this might speed up my decision to finally give it a try. Hoping to have a blast with this one!

Space Ship – Read a book that has a vehicle on the cover.

Brothers in Arms (Miles Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois MacMaster Bujold

Third book from the Vorkosigan saga I decided to put in for May! I remember I enjoyed them and the pace of reading was faster because of it. Space opera themes with political conflicts and lots of scheming promise a good backdrop for my Dark Side path, also the spaceship on the cover gives me ideas on what kind of ship I would like as my own.

As a Dark side trainee I get the options for all Dark Side partners and the Neutral ones. I was ambitious enough to put them all in for prompts so here are my book choices for those:

Bounty Hunters – Read a book that’s recently caught your attention.

King of Libertines (Sea of Ruin #0.5) by Pam Godwin

When the BD was closing down and I was culling my wishlists to make the last order Sea of Ruin was one of the books that almost made my list. I’ve never read anything by Pam Godwin and the marketing intro for the book promised sea adventure with steamy love triangle. The book was only available in paperback and it cost as much as a hardcover and that’s why id did not make the cut on the last order. But then I learned of this novella as a small prequel to the book exists! I almost ordered that one and at the last minute I saw that it was free on Kindle! I got it on Kindle and it will be probably the only book I will be reading in the digital form for a while. Depending on how much I like the writing style I might try getting the Sea of Ruin as well later on. Pirates work for their bounty as well!

Droids – Read a book with no people on the cover.

Ar-Men. L’Enfer des enfers by Emmanuel Lepage

This is one of the graphic novel picks I got from the library. There are no people on the cover, only churning sea and a Lighthouse. I don’t know what to expect from this one to be honestly. This month I was reading a book set on the English island Guernsey and I got intrigued to learn a bit more on English another English island since I am very bad at geography in general. Looking forward to a learning experience with this one!

Galactic Empire – Read a book with over 3 people on the cover.

Les Vieux Fourneaux (#1-4) by Wilfrid Lupano and Paul Cauuet

As opposed to the last prompt I needed to find a book with over 3 people on the cover which turned out to be much harder than it sounds. After scouring trough my own book shelves and my Kindle options I was not happy. My own bookshelves were not helpful and all my digital options were smut with extra bang! This is where the inspiration to check out library for graphic novel options came from! This is a story about three old friends and the title of it translates into: The Old Farts! I hope for some laughs from this one 🙂

First Order – Read a book with a prologue

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhause #13) by Charlaine Harris

I decided to read the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse series because I’ve had it for a very long time now and I am one book away from finishing a series. I am glad this book has a prologue since it has been years since I’ve read any of the books in the series, maybe even a decade…I’m too scared to check at this point. I remember liking it though. I am working on my book series backlog and honestly I didn’t know it was this bad!

I decided to stick with a story that I am not choosing to be a villain, I am only choosing to have an option to use the Dark side if necessary. Is my character a villain in the making? Possibly…

Orilium Spring Equinox ’23 Magical Readathon TBR

After a careful and long debate with myself I have decided to choose my first calling and enroll into some classes at the Orilium Academy as a Novice! Last year when I was looking at maybe participating I was drawn to Demonologist calling but after some more checking up on other choices I decided to go with Necromancer calling – I may or may have not been influence by the first book I’ve chosen to read this month and as a start of the readathon which is a series with a necromancer main character!

Necromancer calling has a bit longer list of prompts than the Demonologist and I am now on eight books that I need to read in April in order to pass my Necromancer Novice exam. Some of the prompts were easy for me and some I got lucky on which makes me very excited and I have already started on my first book!

Each year the types of classes are the same but the syllabus prompts change depending on the focus of the course. Here is a list of the whole Syllabus with prompts for Spring Equinox 2023. From this list I only need the eight classes listed above and will use those prompts for my eight books.

Note: The recurring silver feather in the pictures is my try at keeping up with my guild theme The Archivists.

Shapeshifting – Form: Wolf

Read a book with wolf on the cover, in the title or as the author’s name.

Wolf Brother ( Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #1) by Michelle Paver

This is one of the books that I got as a gift quite some time ago. It belongs to the pile I need to read and decide if I am keeping it or if it is going to be gifted on to someone else.

Animal Studies – Heads & Tails

Flip a coin and choose a book: Heads – non fiction ; Tails – fiction.

Biblioteka by Zoran Živković

Being a perfect klutz and deciding to use digital coin flip instead of the real thing I barely thought about what my choices would be if I needed to read non fiction book. This is the first book I grabbed since I was not sure is it fiction or not. I got it from a bookish friend with high recommendations and with just a browse I think I am going to love it as well!

Inscription – Glyph: Flight

Read a book from your top (highest) shelf.

Smolder (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book 29.) by Laurell K. Hamilton

My top leftmost shelf is all books by Laurell K. Hamilton. Most are Anita Blake and Merry Gentry book series with few short story collections she was in. All the other books I own on that shelf are mass market paperback but this is the only hardcover I bought and I am still trying to decide how to rearrange that top shelf now with this addition. The book is fairly new and it came out just a few weeks ago. Until I make up my mind on how to store the new book I decided to read it first and it has kinda influenced my choice of calling to Necromancer!

Spells & Incantations – Spell : Magic Missiles

Read a book with 389 – 415 pages length.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Croatian edition)

I thought this one is going the be a tough prompt to fill in since last time I was looking for a 500+ pages long book I got frustrated by finding whole shelves of my unread books with just 20 – 50 pages less than that. I even got two options in and decided to go with Uprooted in Croatian edition which is exactly 397 pages long! This book I plan to read second in April since Vivone will be reading it this month too so we can have an impromptu meeting just to discuss it right after reading and all impressions are still fresh!

Conjuration – Spirit Binding Spells

Read a book recommended by a friend!

The Word for World Is Forest ( Hainish Cycle Series ) by Ursula Le Guin

This one has been recommended for our Buddy readathon by Vivone. I have never read Ursula Le Guin and this would probably not be my first choice to start with. Hope its is going to be good!

Restoration – Oculi Curses

Shuffle some books and choose without looking ( I made a pile of five books and left the room for my SO to pick one).

Le Diable amoureux by Jacques Cazotte

The description of the prompt said to close eyes and point one book at random. Since I did not trust myself to recognize the books anyway I decided to not look at the choice being made for me by my SO. The books I picked for my side shelf and I consider them all not likely to be picked up on my own any time soon. I ended up with the book I’ve gotten from a library sale some seven (!) years ago!

Lore – The Legend of Dia

Read a book with a map.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

I am often angry at Croatian publishers since they rarely put care and thought into additional contents like maps in the books anymore (this problem is so serious that some don’t even bother with hardcover editions for books with 800+ pages and this will have a deserving rant in it’s own post some other time). Imagine my surprise when I saw a library description that this book has a map! I had to go to the library the next day and take a picture and also include it into this reading challenge!

Demonology – Type: Impersonators

Read a book that can be compared to your favorites.

Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J. D. Robb

Both books have a strong female investigator who is used to do things on her own and who starts out as a loner . They are a start of a long series (57 and 30 books respectively!) and the romance/erotic themes can be found in both as well.

These are my eight prompts and chosen books. With those I plan to finish up my second conduit prompt for a book with a bone on the cover with the Hellboy in Hell by Mike Mignola. All in all it will be a big jump in number of books to read in a month for this year. I am tackling this reading challenge with all the enthusiasm I could find and hope for the best!

Wish me luck!

Rapid Fire Book Tag Questions

I enjoy watching Booktube videos with interesting tags and since it has been a while since I did a tag post I decided to use this opportunity to go trough one of the introduction type of tags to answer some basic and important bookish questions!

E-Book or Physical Book?

Physical books, I like the tactile effect books have on me. Picking it up from the shelf and putting it on the shelf when I’m done reading!

Paperback or Hardback?

Hardback! I like how they look on my shelf and they often have more extra content than the paperback editions. Maps look bigger, there are illustrations more often and I like the jacket and exploring what is under it!

Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

My answer would be In-Store if there were any stores around me that keep books in English. Sadly I have to go to a smaller city an hour drive away to be able to browse for books in English.

Trilogies or Series?

Series. Trilogies are great for pacing but I prefer to have more than three books when I find a series I enjoy

Heroes or Villains?

Villains. They make a better impression on me and usually get the best one liners.

A book you want everyone to read?

Daniel Pennac: Comme un roman (The Rights of the Reader) This is a book by a French college professor about cultivating and nurturing the love of reading. Half of the book is a portrayal of his experiences with his young son and his students. The second half of the book is a very popular list of Readers rights which are used in many reading programs to inspire readers to read more.

Recommend an underrated book?

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris

The last book you finished?

Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick ★★★

For some reason the plot and the characters were much weaker than I expected.
Most of my impression can be summarized with Mister Tagomi’s search for meaning in the last quarter of the book.

The Last Book You Bought?

Ordered Smolder book 29 in Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton trough Book Depository just the other day and now I’m waiting for it to arrive so I can finally read it. Usually I wait for the mass market paperback since all the other books I have are mass market paperback editions. But this time I decided not to wait a year before I get to read it. To make matters more interesting book 30. in the series is coming out later this year as well since it has been exactly thirty years since the first book Guilty Pleasures came out!

Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

Weird and actually unusable bookmark I got as a present from my boyfriend. It looks really nice and cute. In reality the leaf like part is made in the shape of the real leaf and you cant close the book on it without breaking it. Maybe I’m doing it wrong and if you have this thing tell me please how it is supposed to be used.

Used Books: Yes or No?

Not if I can help it. The thing is I like the smell of new books, ink and paper. I will get a used book only if I don’t have any other choice. Sometimes I buy a book from people selling their books online but I prefer to get a new book if I can.

Top Three Favorite Genres?

Urban fantasy. Romance, High fantasy

Borrow or Buy?

Buy if I can, borrow if I have to. I like owning books!

Characters or Plot?

Characters over plot.

Long or Short Books?

Short, and by short I think on books under 300 pages long.

Long or Short Chapters?

Short chapters are more motivating for me. Rick Riordan does it best with his chapters and chapter titles!

Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

Holly Black: The Cruel Prince,

Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Christo,

Lisa Kleypas: Devil in Winter

Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Devil in winter – therapy crying when I’m going trough hard times and it makes me laugh and makes me feel better as well!

Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional world are full of possibility. What is impossible in our world can be possible in the fictional world and that gives me hope and helps me deal with real world problems in more creative ways as well.

Audiobooks: Yes or No?

No. Audio books are not that common where I am from. I gave it a try and it ruined the whole book for me. To make matters worse the book I was listening to was a part of a series and I took a very long break from it. I barely managed to get back to it but I am still apprehensive because the tone of the characters did not sit well with me.

Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Always! Pretty covers are something I enjoy. In fact I love it when the publisher pays special attention to book cover, design and technical details. It is a good sign if the publisher makes the effort to make the cover of the book special this way.

Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Yes! When I like the story and the characters I want more content with them. Understandably book and film are two different mediums and the adaptation will probably have a different focus than the original book. I don’t mid the difference as long as the point of the story and feel of the characters are transferred well across the medium.

A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book? 

Starship Troopers, loved the trashy 90-ies flick and got really disappointed by the book. Wrong expectations since I watched the movie before reading the book.

Series or Standalone’s?

Series, because I want more of a good thing! I like series that have the same main characters thought and those that have a different main character with each new book in the series. Fantastic new worlds can be a home away from home and when you find a good one you want to have plenty of opportunities to explore.

Reading update January/February 2023.

Life happens…

Life is what happens while we are busy making plans. While I was making great reading plans at the beginning of January – life happened. I got sick and it took quite some time to heal and get better. I had problems with my daily life and reading was not something I could do easily. I am just glad that this is all behind me and I hope to catch up to my usual reading schedule and maybe spice things up with some interesting reading challenges as well! I did managed to read few books in the last two months and I am slowly picking up the pace with some great new books from my own bookshelf – just because I could not read it doesn’t mean I did not buy some new books!

Books I’ve read in January and February 2023.

The Cat who saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa ★★★★

Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries, #6) by Martha Wells ★★★★★

The Stolen Heir (The Stolen Heir Duology #1) by Holly Black ★★★★★

The Sellout by Paul Beatty ★★

Ruination: A League of Legends Novel by Anthony Reynolds ★★★★

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

Reading only five books in two months period would normally be a very bad score for me. But all things considered I am happy with the books I’ve read.

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

Going back to Holly Black’s world was as exciting and enjoyable as much as I hoped it would be. The Stolen Heir was like a balm after all the issues I had to deal with in the last two months and I loved every second of it. Deliciously dark and a total guilty pleasure! How will I wait for the next book?

Ruination: A League of Legends Novel was a nice surprise for me. I did not expect to enjoy mentions of all the characters from the game so much and I am glad I got this book!

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

Not surprisingly the only book I had more trouble reading trough was book club pick. Sad thing is that I was the one who picked the book! My main issue with The Sellout was that it was marketed and promoted as a comedy and satire. My expectations were not met in that regard and the author’s writing style required more concentration than I could offer at the time. At the book club meeting we all pretty much agreed that the book was a lot more difficult than we all expected.

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

My plans went out the window after first week of January! What I did manage to do is find some good books to get my reading modjo back. Two of the books read were part of the Buddy readathon for this year so at least in that regard I am up to schedule!

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

I find it bittersweet that I have read the last published book in the Murderbot Dairies series. The Stolen Heir is a first book in duology and since it was published earlier this year I am in for a long wait for the next book…

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

Basically out of five books I have read in the last two months I would recommend four. They have exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed them for different reasons.

Final thoughts on January and February 2023 reading

I am looking forward to making new reading plans. Regardless of the outcome and my reading results I like making plans to read. They make me energetic and excited for the future. I want to look forward to the future and great books I have yet to read!

So many books – December 2022

Books I’ve read in December 2022

Donjodravska obala by Drago Hedl ★★★

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan ★★★★

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo ★★★★

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood ★★★★★

Sword of Destiny (The Witcher #0.7) by Andrzej Sapkowski ★★★★

House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle, #3) by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ★★★★★

Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle, #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ★★★★

Shift (Shifters, #5) by Rachel Vincent ★★★★

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

2022 in general has been a rough year for me. I have been reading sporadically at best and the December was the month with most books read for me – a total of 9 books. I am happy with the amount but did not really reach my goal for December (more on that at the question number 4)

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

There were two books that helped keep my spirits up and get my reading modjo back. First was The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. While there were often some cringey moments while I was reading the comic situations did help with my mood and I have enjoyed reading it quite a bit too. Second five star book for me in December was Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I got the first two books totally unplanned on a book fair Interliber in Zagreb in October 2022. I was a bit worried about the space theme and it was actually a test to see if I would like Jay Kristoff’s writing style. It turns out as just what I needed: variety of lovable characters, enough drama between them to launch into space and enough action to keep me reading the second book right after it!

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

The two books I enjoyed reading the least in December were (AGAIN) my book club pick for December – Donjodravska obala by Drago Hedl and House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle, #3) by Diana Wynne Jones. The first one was a bit of a downer with a historical theme and more than one character that were victims to a time and politics of the world they lived in. The hardest part about reading it was the setting of the story is just a few houses down from the place I live in now and the book had some historically accurate portrayals that hit too close to home for me. Not a bad book or story just not something I would read for pleasure. The second book should have been a total opposite of that since its is a teen book with magical setting and the last book in the Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy. For some reason the main character was not really endearing to me and not even Howl and Sophie could not help with my impression of the book. It just felt too childish at times while some parts of the book seemed culturaly foreign to me – like if I grew up in Great Britain I would have a better understanding of the motivation of the characters and some parts of the book. I just could not bridge that gap…

Again, three star does not make these bad books at all just the ones I liked reading the least in December!

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

I challenged myself for a total of 9 books for the Reindeer Readathon in December and since 2 of the books I’ve read were actually not part of the Reindeer Readathon Challenge 2022. I did not read all the books I’ve wanted to read in December. 2 have been totally left out and the third one was only finished on the first day of January – but I’m still counting it here for a more positive outcome on my reading experience.

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

There were quite a bit updates on the books series for me in December! Starting a new book series and reading trough two thirds of it right away with The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I even ordered the third book right after I finished reading the second one. Shifters #5 by Rachel Vincent has come down to only one book in the series left to finish the whole series which is a bittersweet experience. The book reminded me how much I enjoy my urban fantasy book series with lots of action and good female protagonist! I have finished the Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy by Diana Wynne Jones and while it was not a bad book series I will hold off on acquiring new books by the same author since I could not get into the setting anymore. And the last book series update was for The Witcher #0.7 by Andrzej Sapkowski. This book series I am progressing on a one book a year slow pace since it is a part of a Buddy readathon with a friend – more on that in the next update post (there will be several to note on the books I’ve read in 2022 and the reading challenges in general because while I have not been making posts for a whole year I have been reading and participating in creative bookish things through the year)

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

My two five star reads in December I have been very skeptical about before starting to read them. The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff I started on as a part of getting the feel to read The Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff which is a really big book I got a while ago and I really wanted to like it. I am much more confident about liking it and hope to get into it this year!

In that regard my recommendation is to give an author a try by learning more about the writing style and more than one book they have out there, if unsure, explore further.

Second read was a book I actually thought I would not like since it had a printed on sticker to label it as The TikTok Sensation. That kind of promo did not really sit well with me but I liked the them and I was in need of a feel good book with a nice ending. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood gave me more than I expected in that. So again my recommendation is that you sometimes need to give authors and stories a chance in spite the marketing that is attached to them.

Final thoughts on December 2022 reading

My reading December 2022 has helped me end the year on a high note and while I still have some regrets and some books I would have loved to squeeze in, I think I did well. Most of the books I read in December 2022 I rated very high and enjoyed reading more than I expected it to. As a whole this month gave me the push I needed to continue with posting about books and bookish things, my reading experiences and sharing the things I enjoy trough this platform.

I am making plans for more updates and sharing of books I’ve read in 2022 and I feel good about reading again which makes December 2022 a good month!

September Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – September 2021

This September I have read:

Les Hirondelles de Kaboul by Yasmina Khadra ★★★

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor ★★★★

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor ★★★★

Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4) by Martha Wells ★★★★★

Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning ★★★

Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1)by Kerri Maniscalco ★★★

The Crystal of the Wood Elves (Elfes #7) by Nicolas Jarry, Gianluca Maconi, Christina Cox-De Ravel ★★★

Half the World (Shattered Sea #2) by Joe Abercrombie ★★★★

The Culling Trials (Shadowspell Academy #1) by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer ★★★★★

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch ★★★★

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

This September was a busy month and I am surprised to have read ten books total. I am happy with the amount of books read and I am especially pleased with the variety of genres among the books I’ve read.

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

The biggest pleasant surprise in September was one of the last books I’ve finished in the month: The Culling Trials (Shadowspell Academy #1) by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer. A friend reader loves the K.F. Breene and I was surprised to find a translation in Croatian for this book. The best part of the book for me personally was a translation that did not suck! I could enjoy the book! The fast pace of the book was a welcome surprise and the language was fluently translated. This book hit all the right spots for me and considering I’ve went in not knowing much about it – I thought it was a children’s book, I am happy to report that I have trouble remembering the last time I enjoyed reading a translated book as much as this one! The angsty parts of the book were done just how I like them and now I am even thinking about buying a copy in Croatian and sign myself for further torture by waiting on the next book. The fact that I’m thinking about it says a lot and only those who had the misfortune of never having a book series translated till the end can fully understand why this is such a significant comment.

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

It has been quite some time since I’ve read an urban fantasy book with the main character as unlikable and annoying as the one in Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning. I tried liking her and as soon as I could come to terms with one annoying thing two new popped up! What I did have a healthy respect for was that the story was not set on the romance and that the sole purpose of the main character was not to fall for the dark mysterious brooding guy – Jericho Barrons. For the better part of the book main character Mac was a typical privileged twenty two year old American that has never known any serious hardship in her life. Pink and glitter were not the annoying parts and the “she’s a rainbow” gig was at times refreshing. What killed this book series for me and made me not want to continue reading the rest of it was the last chapter where nothing made sense in lieu of what the characters did. Getting a manicure from the person she got the manicure from seemed like something that should have happened in a chaotic dream and not the cliffhanger plot it turned out to be. I’m glad I gave it a try and I would have tried giving this book series another try with the sequel but I just could not digest that last chapter…

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

My plans for September were elaborate and I intentionally went to make it a real challenge by participating in two different book challenges with total amount of 13 books. I read 9 of the planned books. One of the books had to be replaced because Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff did not arrive (still waiting for it). Two of the books I started on and did not finish by the end of September – one: Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry was not what I expected and it is a very slow read; second: The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice I started reading literally on the last day of September which makes me want to scream so bad because the book is so interesting and engaging I would like to drop everything I have to do (including going to a new job) and just spend my time reading it! One of the books I put in my plans (Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe) was for the Orilium Magical readathon challenge as a book I am supposed to read until April next year which makes it not that big of a deal for not fitting in this month.

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

This September I managed to start a new series and finish it – it is Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor duology (yes, its only two books in a “series” but I don’t care because it feels good and sounds cool to have this accomplishment) I’ve officially read all the Murderbot diaries books I have and I’am already making plans to get the next two! I read three books that were first in three new series and only one of those – The Culling Trials (Shadowspell Academy #1) by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer I plan to continue. I felt like I forced the The Crystal of the Wood Elves (Elfes #7) by Nicolas Jarry, Gianluca Maconi, Christina Cox-De Ravel and might have enjoyed it more had I just took my time with it. I plan to continue with this graphic novel series in the future at a casual pace.

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

For September my recommendation is variety in genres with some casual sprinkle of the books and authors you know you will love and enjoy. Reading a good book gives me more energy and makes me more passionate in my search for the next great book. I love letting myself be surprised by actually liking the book I was thinking I would not like. Below is the pile of books I loved this September and recommend them to you to try out 🙂

Final thoughts on September 2021 reading

September was a hard month for me since I have started working and my hours have made me more aware of the need to plan my time for books better. I find myself wanting to pick up a book more and read for enjoyment. It came as a total surprise when the books I though I would not like turned out to be awesome and something I can look forward to. I think I did good with the number of books total I have read and I am especially happy with the amount of different genres and topics I have read in September. Not all of the books I have read in September were something I would casually pick to read and enjoy but I am glad to have had an opportunity to experience reading the books that others think highly of and enjoy. In this way, I can report that I have grown as a reader enough to appreciate that, while some books are not my thing, they have a value outside the genres and topics I usually go for comfort reading. I consider these occasional excursions into genres and topics I consider “not my cup of tea” to be a good educational choice that gives me insight into how my reading personality evolves trough the years.

And how was your reading this last month?

August Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – August 2021

This August I have read:

Lord Mord by Miloš Urban ★★★

Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson book 12) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

First Girl Child (The Chronicles of Saylok) by Amy Harmon ★★★

Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow #3) by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny ★★★

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell ★★★★

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

This August things did not go as planned and while I expected to read less than in July (in July I rad 14! books) I an not so happy with reading more than half the number of books less.

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

Strangely the book that stayed with me for the better part of August was Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny. I got pulled in the authors post apocalyptic world despite the many scientific flaws I thought I found there. This August I decide to ignore such small flaws in plot execution in favor of thinking about ideas. This applied most to the A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell where I oved the mythology and ideas the authors brought to light in their stories. Book I enjoyed best was Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson book 12) by Patricia Briggs and I am happy the series is still bringing me so much joy and satisfaction to read!

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

I have read only six books in august but only one left a bad aftertaste – Lord Mord by Miloš Urban. This was such a man’s book. It shows the audacity of privileged men in a man’s world. Most of the book was filled with probably historically accurate but still annoyingly misogynistic characters and character choices. I had different expectations and was let down.

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

I messed up my plans for the Merlin Readathon by reading books in wrong order but ended up finishing most of the books I planned by the end of the month. If you want to know more about my Merlin Readathon experience you can read all about it HERE. I even had a few last days of August where I spent not reading anything because I did not want to start a new book and not finish it by the end of the month. This was slightly frustrating since I was already making plans for September and had some interesting books but was holding off from reading…

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

I brought two book series I am currently reading up to date: Simon Snow book 3 by Rainbow Rowell and Mercy Thompson book 12 by Patricia Briggs. Only other book I read that was a part of a series is First Girl Child book 1 in the The Chronicles of Saylok by Amy Harmon. I am not sure if I will read the second book.

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

Like I already mentioned August was all about ideas and managing my own expectations. It is a part of my effort to try and focus on positive things in a world that keeps highlighting the negative. To some this might seem like I’m lowering my bookish standards but I will keep trying to find the positive and good in all the books I am reading. I am already making a selection on what to read by choosing some books over others and this is enough for me.

Final thoughts on August 2021 reading

After reading fourteen books in July, August was a big fall dawn to only six books. I am again well behind on my goal to read 100 books by the end of the year. I am not feeling very happy about that and I feel that the reminder of my reading goal on Goodreads is staring at me all the time – talk about self induced pressure :/

Now for some statistics: the six books I read were all together 2193 pages which is almost 1500 pages less than July. Most of the books I read in August had a little over 300 pages each with two exceptions: one book was over 500 pages and one was under 250 pages long. Half the books were in English and exactly half were in Croatian language which is a big leap for me since I used to read significantly more books in English than in Croatian. Only one book was from the library and the other five were from my own shelves. I did not read any manga or graphic novels in August. One book was a short story collection and other two were standalones. Three books, half of them were part of a book series. Total average rating of all the books I have read in August is 3,6.

And how was your reading in August?