Hey, hi. Hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I can’t believe that I haven’t posted since 2020. It honestly doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. Firstly, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have chosen to stick around. Sorry I haven’t been around. I was struggling pre-2020 with my reading, and because of that I was also struggling to write and post reviews regularly. Then the events of 2020 happened and everything that followed. I don’t think I read any books in 2020, or at least I didn’t keep a record of them. In 2021 I only read 10 new books that whole year. When I did read I struggled to find the words to share my thoughts on what I’d read. So honestly I’ve been floundering a bit on how to move forward with this blog.
Welcome to the first post of my attempt to clear my TBR pile.
Towards the end of June/the beginning of July I stumbled across a video by LilyCReads in which she challenges herself to complete her TBR pile by 2023. I looked at my TBR pile and thought to myself, you know what maybe I can do that too. So I’m going to try and post once a month updates on how I’m doing with this goal, along with reviews of what I read and maybe some other things – like if I buy any more books, or if I visit anywhere interesting. I don’t know if you will like it, but I hope you do and I hope it helps me to get back into the swing of reading. I will also be posting the few reviews I did manage to write that I haven’t posted yet.
I don’t think my goal is too unreasonable. I want to read 19 books in 6 months, which should be doable I think. I’m not going to force myself to read anything if it’s not for me – so with that in mind, I’m going to say that if I hit the 100 page mark and I’m still not interested then I’m going to give myself the permission to walk away from the book. A few of these books I got when I was subscribed to Illumicrate, but most are onces I picked up for myself. It was interesting to see all the books lined up, as I don’t store them altogether.
This month I read 8 books, and I removed 6 from my TBR pile.
The first book I picked up was Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas. It’s been a book that has been sitting around my TBR for a while, I got this copy in the twelfth Illumicrate box. Catwoman is one of the DC/Batman characters I like so I was both excited and apprehensive to read the book, which honestly is probably why it took me a while to get to it. It wasn’t what I expected. I enjoyed it, and it was an interesting take on the Catwoman origin story. I liked how the Selina Kyle story was written, it was definitely not what I was expecting. For fans of the character through the comics and tv shows, I think this story will be something of a surprise. Selina is a lot younger, but I suppose that fits in with the Young Adult genre. There is a bit of romance in the story, and it was an interesting surprise which in the end I thought worked well. Overall the plot is well thought out and paced, and I enjoyed the alternate narrators. To me this definitley feels like a completed story, and works well as a standalone – though the ending is a little open ended. This gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
The next book I picked up was The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy which is a beautifully illustrated book. Like many, I first heard about this book via extracts shared on Instagram. I know I got given it a Christmas, but I’m honestly not sure how long ago. I’ve dipped into it a couple of times since I got it, but this was the first time I read it from start to finish. I can see why so many people have a soft spot for this book. It is a lovely little read, and it’s great to dip into. The illustrations are gorgeous and really capture the words. It can be a bit trite, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded regardless. Was not disappointeed. This gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
The third book I picked up was Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, it was a little different from the previous books as I’d already started this book several years ago, and put it down never to pick it back up. So I thought now would be as good a time as any to finally finish it. I found it at once both funny and utterly dire. This sounds harsh, but I had to fight myself not to skim pages as my eyes just wanted to skip lines. There was some interesting stuff in there, but I’m not sure I’ve retained any of it. I am glad I gave it a go and finished it though. This gets 2 out of 5 stars from me.
The fourth book I finished in July was Nyxia by Scott Reintgen, I read an ARC copy I got in the eighth Illumicrate. I was really nervous about finally reading this book because sci-fi isn’t a genre I’m particularly comfortable with. There are books and tv shows in the sci-fi genre that I have absolutely loved, but it’s honestly pretty hit or miss for me. This book was okay, but I didn’t fall in love with either the characters of the world. To me, this book felt like it was set-up for a larger piece – like there should have been more to this book. There is a heck of a lot of worldbuilding, but not a lot of plot. It was an easy read, but I didn’t feel any real connection to the characters or like I really knew what was going on. To me this book felt very much like a training montage before we hit the real meat of the story, and I felt like the story only really started to pick up as it ended. I know this is the first part of a series but I don’t think I will be continuing it, even though I did enjoy reading the book. This gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.
There were also a couple of misses for me this month. I tried to read Nonsense by Edward Lear, which is a very short poetry collection but it just wasn’t for me. I also tried reading What If It’s Us? by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli. This was a disappointment. I made it to the 100 pages mark and just had no interest in continuing. From the blurb I thought the characters were like early to mid-twenties, when they’re actually late teens which really threw me. It just wasn’t for me, so I put it down.
I also managed to get in a couple of re-read towards the latter half of this month, which was nice. I really enjoy re-reading old favourites. I read A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton. I really enjoy the Merry Gentry series and I’m hoping that Hamilton writes some more in that verse. I also re-read Rafael by Laurell K. Hamilton which I have written a review for so I will post it soon. I know not everyone is a fan of this book, and I can totally understand why but I do think it opens some interesting possibilities. The scene that infuriated me the first time I read it is still infuriating, but I do think the potential world-building opportunities are interesting.
Thank you for joining me for my July catch-up, I hope to see you next month for my August one.