Monthly Recap: January 2015

Reading 2

I feel like the term “monthly recap” is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case here’s my spiel! I’ll be recapping what I’ve read for the month and what reviews I’ve written, along with what I’m planning to read for next month. What’s been happening in my personal life may also be making an appearance from time to time (this of course depends on whether anything interesting happens!).

What I Read in January:

  1. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  2. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
  3. Paddling With the Current: Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Etiene Parent, Liberalism, and Nationalism in Canada (school)
  4. A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine
  5. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
  6. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
  7. Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue Deconnick
  8. The Al-Hamlet Summit (school)
  9. Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
  10. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Despite reading slightly less this month than I usually do, I’m happy with what I’ve read this month. Two of my reads were much larger than usual (Daughter of the Forest and Fire Study both clock in at around 500 pages) and I also broke out of my UF rut. I read epic fantasy, fairytales, steampunk, a genre-bending YA, and some graphic novels – not too shabby. You can definitely expect more UF in February, though!

What I Reviewed in January:

  1. The Good, The Bad, and The Undead by Kim Harrison
  2. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
  3. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (DNF)
  4. Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Four reviews is pretty typical for me month to month, but I read a lot in December so I’ve been getting behind on my January reviews. I’ve only written about one of the books I read in January, and it wasn’t even a review! One strategy that I’ve considered is joining one of those “review-a-thons” that have been going around. Might help me push through and get back on track.

Reading & Blogging Updates:

For those of you who haven’t heard me rant about #ProjectFiveBooks yet, it’s a reading challenge that encourages you to read five books you own before buying another – or borrowing one from the library. I decided to participate so I could start making my way through the massive pile of unread books that I own, and I’d been doing really well…until BookOutlet had a sale. I have no willpower.

The good news is that I got some e-ARCs this week that will force me to read some of those TBR books. The lovely people at NAL and Ace have provided me with Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs and Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop, the latest instalments in two UF series that I’m behind on. I own all the previous books in both series so February is gonna be series marathon time! Thank you NAL and Ace!

I’m also hoping to read this physical ARC of A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas this month. The cover art is gorgeous, but the real appeal comes from the author’s blog about feminism. A feminist YA fantasy romance author? YES PLEASE.

Thank you to Harper Teen for giving me a copy of A Wicked Thing! How am I supposed to uphold my lofty ideals of accepting fewer books for review when y’all are tempting me with these beauties?! February promises to be a month jam-packed with amazing reads, and I couldn’t be more pleased about it.

School Updates:

You guys…I have officially been accepted into my first ever academic research conference. EVERYBODY PANIC! I will be presenting a paper on the function of kitchens as pro-social spaces in Chinese Canadian and Indigenous literature, and the Β symbolic consumption of culture through the eating of traditional foods. I know, fascinating right? πŸ˜‰ I’m very excited and a little nervous, but thankfully I have until March to prepare.

How do you keep on top of your reviews? Can you recommend any good “review-a-thons” for me? I’m determined to review all the books I read in January this month, as well as a few February reads. Fingers crossed for me!

18 thoughts on “Monthly Recap: January 2015

  1. You’re talk does sound really interesting – Congrats and Good luck! You should do a vlog post for practice:) I have no advice about catching up on reviews. I’m four books behind and instead of writing them I’m checking in on my bloglovin’ feed…so no good advice, only bad from here. Also another way to get through some of the books on your to read books shelves? I can bring my dogs over – they took two books off my shelves this week and tore them to pieces… Naughty dogs or maybe they were just trying to tell me something about those books, lol? But seriously, bad dogs.

    1. Thanks Stephanie!! Hahaha, a vlog post? Hmmm, not a bad idea. Solidarity for being behind on reviews, sista friend. Bloglovin is really the worst when you want to procrastinate…not that I’d know from personal experience, of course. πŸ˜‰

      Oh nooo, bad dogs! But I bet they’re cute, so they’re forgiven.

  2. I tend to write my reviews directly after I finish reading the book, so I don’t seem to have the same issues as you do. I wish I could read 10 books a month, though! I know bloggers who won’t start their next book until the review of the book they just finished is written, so maybe that’s one way you could stay on top of things, ha ha! Good luck and hope you have a fantastic February!

    1. This seems like the best strategy, I think. My problem is that sometimes I just feel gobsmacked or dumbstruck or what have you, and I can’t think of anything coherent. Ooooh not starting the next book until the review’s finished? That’s tough!! Thanks Tammy, you too! πŸ™‚

  3. I typically write my review within a couple of days of finishing the book, and the review is posted usually within a day or two. Sometimes I write and post a review the very day I finish the book πŸ™‚ Yeah, I’m not organized enough to have much of a schedule going on. And I don’t read much YA, but A Wicked Thing has me quite intrigued!

    1. SIGH y’all are so much more organized than I am. I’m often scrambling to finish typing my reviews up the night before they’re slated to go live. I’m feeling very hopeful about A Wicked Thing. At first I thought it was just another pretty dress cover/fairytale retelling, but this feminism angle has got me intrigued!

      1. Well, if I had worded my response better, you’d realize I don’t even schedule reviews. They happen when I get to them and are usually posted very shortly after whenever I write them πŸ™‚ Well, now I schedule my backlist burndown reviews, so I do have one goal a month now! And the first one I absolutely wrote the night before it was scheduled to run.

  4. I’m with Nathan & Lisa – I try to write my review as soon as possible, and once it’s done move onto whatever I’m reading next. (And when I actually do that, it’s MUCH easier.) Sometimes life is just too crazy though. I’m so busy at the moment I’m struggling to read at all.

    Also – I am SO excited about A Wicked Thing (like you, largely thanks to her blog!). Can’t wait to see what you make of it. And at least you can be happy that you’re only accepting the finest books for review :p

    1. Okay, I think we can call the verdict on this one: I need to start sucking it up and just write my reviews immediately after reading. Usually I take pretty good notes, but since my reviews aren’t point for that doesn’t always help me too much haha. Of course you’re busy – you’re moving to another continent!! I’m amazed you still have time to blog at all.

      HAHA yes I scooped A Wicked Thing up at a library conference for my province that I was at earlier this year. I was there in a strictly volunteer capactiy, but the HarperTeen rep said I could have a copy anyway. πŸ™‚

  5. I read like a fiend at the end of December and beginning of January preparing for my due date, not knowing how much time I would have to read and blog once the baby arrived. As a result I have reviews scheduled on my blog all the way to mid February! I may have overdone it, yes!

    Still, that definitely gives me time to write a review now once I finish a book – no need to stress and type one up right away, but I still try to write it within a few days of finishing the book so the details are still fresh on my mind. It just might not show up for a few weeks on the blog because of the back log πŸ˜›

    ~Mogsy

    1. As if you don’t read/review like a fiend all the time!! πŸ˜‰ I’m glad that we’ll still be getting new content from you – and that you’ll have time for you and Adalyn. Babies are wonderful and exciting and lovely but they sure take it out of you (at least, this is what people tell me).

      Ohhhh man, you’ve got a review backlog…it’s a good week when my review is written more than 2 days before being posted. I think I’m in need of a review intervention!

    1. I will keep my eyes peeled for review-a-thons! Sticking to the whole “read what you own” thing has definitely proven difficult…especially when BookOutlet has a sale. DAMN they have some good deals!

      AHHH me too! I love Anna and Charles, but I’ve got some re-reading to do before I get to Dead Heat.

  6. until BookOutlet <—–I know, right? Fell into that same trap myself, but I don't even pretend to try and participate in things like #ProjectFiveBooks *snickers*

    And whoa, holy that is a specific topic on which to present, but YES, it does sound fascinating. Good luck! I'm needing to read A Wicked Thing too, and as far as keeping on top of reviews . . . I got nothing. The only thing I have any success of sticking to (SOMEtimes) is reviewing a book in a series before I immediately read the next one. And I'm crap at that, so . . . yeah, nothing πŸ˜‰

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