Sunday, July 30, 2017

July: Best and Strangest

This month, I’m regretting Netgalley overzealosity (if that’s even a word). When I first started blogging, I signed up for a Netgalley account and requested everything that looked even remotely interesting. I was shocked when I got approved for most of them. Months later, I think I’ve learned my lesson. I’m barely keeping up on reading my Netgalley books before they come out and this has been a bigger source of stress than I assumed it would be. Of the 49 books I’ve been approved to read, I’ve only read 26 of them (and some of them were really not my type of book). I spent this month trying to get ahead of my Netgalley requests so that I can start working through my TBR shelf - which is completely full now. Next month, my project is to start working through that. Once I get enough books completed, I’ll reward myself by throwing a book swap to acquire even more books that I won’t read for months.
I was surprised that I read as much as I did. I’ve been able to stay ahead of school work this summer and I frequently get time to read in the afternoons after class, which has been so nice. What’s more unfortunate is that I realize I won’t be able to keep this up in the fall - with school and work and a Loverboy to pay attention to, I doubt I’ll get as much reading done as I want to. Oh well. For now, I’m relishing the time I have. And I got to read a lot of interesting books this month:

  • Lirael by Garth Nix - The second book in Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy is fun, fantastic, and still suspenseful. A young girl finds herself helping bring down a plot against her kingdom and must team up with some unlikely characters to succeed. Lirael is my favorite Nix character so far and this book was far better than Sabriel - it was more fun and I felt more connected with the characters. Also, Lirael gets to have a lot of fun with charter magic - Nix’s magic system - and this makes the book so much more rewarding than other books I read this month. The first part of the book is a girl figuring out how to use magic and having a lot of fun doing it - and that was awesome. Also, there’s a Disreputable Dog and a prince and an evil necromancer and a twist ending - so it’s a perfect fantasy story.

  • Treasure Island!!! By Sara Levine - I finally got around to reading this! A young woman with no direction after her college graduation finds inspiration in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and begins living her life by the principles of Jim Hawkins. This book reminded me of a sillier The Edible Woman (by Margaret Atwood) - it details a young woman’s emotional breakdown, but in a much funnier and more modern way. Directionless 20-somethings will really identify with this - as will anyone who’s felt like they aren’t living up to their potential.

  • Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson - I’ve been putting this book off for months, but I finally got around to reading Sanderson’s collection of Cosmere short stories. And it was BEAUTIFUL and wonderful and I highly recommend it for fantasy lovers. Keep in mind that there are so many spoilers for other Sanderson books, so put it off until you’ve read a few more.

  • Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock - This was a very odd and interesting book that I’ve been thinking a lot about. It was recommended to me in a Matt Colville video about Dungeons & Dragons and this book definitely gave me some new ideas and settings to work into my campaigns. This classic fantasy story is about the emperor of Melinibone as he tries to protect his throne. The world building is beautiful. The story is dark, but very fun. Highly recommended for fantasy readers.

  • The Gunslinger by Stephen King - I read this because of a friend’s recommendation (and also because of the upcoming movie adaptation) and I’m still trying to discover how I feel. In the foreword to this book, Stephen King mentioned that he wrote this when he was younger and that, in hindsight, it’s a rough book and could use some changes. In a lot of ways, I agree with him. It’s a dark fantasy story about a cowboy who’s looking for a Dark Tower for reasons that are still kind of unclear to me. King’s book moves at a snail’s pace, but the setting and the characters are interesting enough to keep you occupied. And it’s just so strange - I’m hoping the next books will help clear things up a bit.

Library books: 5
Books I bought: 3
Overdrive Audiobooks: 5
Egalleys: 7
Goodreads Giveaway wins: 0
Amazon Lending Library: 0
Free books on Kindle: 0
Gifts: 0
Borrowed from friend: 1
Book Swapped: 0
Available online: 0

Total: 21

What are the best books you read this month? The strangest?

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