Wow. So. It’s been a couple of years, hasn’t it? The pandemic kind of destroyed my attention span – constant stress will do that to you, I suppose. Being chronically ill to begin with makes the pandemic that much more stressful. My household has successfully avoided it so far – mostly by hiding in the house with the exception of my spouse, who does actually need to leave for work, but luckily works in an office with the same people every day who are also taking things seriously.
I’ve still been reading, but at less than half the speed I was when I was actively updating this blog. I easily did 200 books a year in 2018, and around 160 in 2019. I struggled to hit 75 in 2020 and 2021. That’s still a review a week, easily, I suppose, but actually writing out my thoughts (especially when a LOT of those books were, well, escapist shifter romances, lol) has still been a bit beyond me.
So why this post? Well, honestly, I’ve found a new Goodreads alternative, and importing my books and poking around it may have actually gotten me excited about reading again. (It’s called Hardcover.app and it’s still in very early development, but it’s VERY promising.) I do have a few books that I’ve wanted to yell at the world about (If you haven’t read Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao yet, GO READ IT HOLY CRAP.)
So I’m not promising anything. But. I might be back soon?
So as you’ve probably noticed, my holiday hiatus has….run long. There’s a number of reasons for this, but a lot of them boil down to burn out. Since I do like to share a little bit about what’s going on in my life, on Sundays, I’ll actually give a rundown.
A) I’m in a reading slump. I’ve read two books since the beginning of the year – normally I’d have read 6-8 books in this timeframe. And that’s largely because
B) I’ve started a new medication that actually has me feeling REALLY GOOD. I’m getting better sleep, I can be more active without paying for it in pain later, my mood is better, it’s been a remarkable difference. How does this lead into a reading slump?
C) Since I’ve been able to be more active, I haven’t been glued to the couch/chair/bed! We bought the Ring Fit game for the Nintendo Switch, and I’ve actually been getting in workouts every single day! I’ve been more willing to get out of the house and go DO things. This is actually really exciting for me.
So yeah. Taking meds–>Feeling better–>Being more active–>Less time to read.
But. This means the blog is suffering. I could still be doing posts during a reading slump – I haven’t reviewed all the books I read at the end of the year, there’s Top Ten Tuesdays and Library Loot Wednesdays (though I haven’t been checking many new books out, either). But I’ve not had the motivation to write anything, either.
So all this is to say, I’m taking a step back from the blog. I’m still pretty active on Twitter, though books are only a portion of the things I tweet about. I’m far more political on Twitter!
I’m not sure when I’ll be back. I’m sure I will be – I always come back to blogging eventually. But for now, I’m going to concentrate on my offline life.
Since we’re coming up on the end of the year, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do for Reading Challenges this next year. As normal, I will do my Goodreads Challenge, probably set to 150 books again, as that seems about right for my reading speed. I’m currently at 139, so I need to hurry up and read 11 more books before the end of the year!
This year I did Year of the Asian, and read a lot of Asian authors. I didn’t get to everything I wanted to read, but I did read 26 books by Asian authors!
In 2020 I’m going to do something similar, but for LGBTQIA+ authors. I’m going to call it Reading The Rainbow, and I’ll be aiming to review at least one book by a LGBTQIA+ author every week. (With June being completely LGBTQIA+ like normal!) I actually have a lot of LGBT books on my to-be-read list already, so this should be fairly easy to do. I’m looking into link party services, to see if I could perhaps make it a public reading challenge with a monthly linkup! I’m not really equipped to do any giveaways or prizes, though. Would anyone be interested in such a thing?
The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.
This week’s quote is from The Warrior Moon, the third book in K. Arsenault Rivera’s Their Bright Ascendancy trilogy. (The first two are The Tiger’s Daughter and The Phoenix Empress.) I’ll be doing a combination review for the entire trilogy as soon as I finish this (650 page!) book.
Shefali and Barsalai are two names for the same person.
Two more li they travel, Barsalai clutching at the arrow in her chest the whole way. Dismounting is simple enough – all the excitement has granted her the energy to do so with little trouble.
It is the healing that will be the issue.
She slumps against a tree. Her blood drips onto the earth and she curses. Trees may be eternal symbols of everything the Qorin dislike, but that is no reason to poison them. When she is done, she will see if the kumaq can cleanse it.
But there is the matter of the arrows first. She snaps the shafts between her fingers. Shoddy craftsmanship, to start. Fletching with sparrow feathers is always bad luck. That the arrows are bone tipped and not metal should make this a little easier – they’re narrower. If she focuses, she can feel its shape.
Another deep breath.
Shefali stares at the arrow in her chest, at the wound around the base of the shaft, and wills the laceration to expand. Shifting her form like this takes focus – but it is easiest when she can stare down at the thing she wants to change. Holding the image in her mind is the integral part, after all.
I’ve gotten six books since I updated last! Forest of Shadows is a tie-in novel that goes between Frozen and Frozen 2. I haven’t yet seen Frozen 2, but I really want to! The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is another Kiersten White novel, and I’ve loved everything else of hers that I’ve read. The Princess Who Flew With Dragons is the third book in Stephanie Burgis’s series about dragons and chocolate; I’ll be writing a combination trilogy review for those soon.
The last three are Make Your Home Among Strangers, Disaster’s Children, and Beyond the Black Door – an second-generation American story, a climate apocalypse story set in my home state, and a fantasy.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Holiday Reads. My Holiday Reads TEND to be anything I’m reading at the Holidays – similar to my issues with “Beach Reads” but I don’t think that’s what the topic is actually looking for. So. Books based around the holidays, I suppose?
Well the obvious first one is Krampus the Yule Lord. Written and illustrated by Brom, it’s a dark, fantastical tale of a small village’s brush with Krampus.
Next up I’m going to go with Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik, another wintry fairy tale.
In a similar vein to Spinning Silver, we have the trilogy that begins with The Bear and the Nightingale, a lush story based in Russian folklore. (The other two books are The Girl in the Tower and The Winter of the Witch.)
Girls Made of Snow and Glass (a feminist Snow White) is the last of the already-read books I’m putting on this list. From here we’ll be getting into books I want to read that seem holiday-themed to me!
Eight Kinky Nights is a Hanukkah-themed f/f polyamorous romance with fat, queer, disabled, autistic characters. I’ve already pre-ordered the Kindle version, and I can’t wait for the 16th so I can read it!
You know, I thought I’d be able to come up with three more holiday books, but these seven are all I can think of. So I think I’m wrapping up here!