It’s the start of a new reading month and the season of fall in many places. Although the weather here is still forecasted to be dreary and rainy, I always feel more energized at the start of anything new. Overall, I had a good month in August where I read a total of 7 books and somewhat successfully finished one readathon I had committed myself to. I also had the best stats this month on the blog. Thank you to all my readers who made this happen! There are also some really exciting books hitting shelves this month that I’m very happy to share, so let’s get into the details now!
I was participating in the NEWTs readathon this month, hosted by Book Roast, and managed to read 7 books for it. I did break a few rules here and there because it’s too difficult having to manage adulting, responsibilities as a reviewer and reading for pleasure. The readathon rules state that I can’t read a book for a higher grade in a subject before I finish the lower ones but as you might know, I was on the blog tour for Mirage by Somaiya Daud, so I had to finish it beforehand. Also, I finished the last book today, September 1st, but it was surely still August 31st somewhere on the globe when I was done, so I’m counting it anyway.
I started with Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli on audiobook for the BookTube-A-Thon but I had been spoiled for Blue’s identity a while back on Twitter and as soon as I spotted the character’s actual name, the suspense evaporated. It was still quite enjoyable and I loved both the romance and the friendship dynamics. I cannot wait to watch the movie now! I picked up A Thousand Beginnings and Endings next, which took me a long time to finish as I wanted to savour it. It’s a short story anthology by different Asian authors retelling myths and folktales they grew up with. Each story was very different in tone from the other, so I needed a break in between each to fully appreciate them all. I really enjoyed this collection, more so because some of them incorporate my culture and the stories I grew up with. It was bursting with amazing Asian representation in varied genres like fantasy, sci-fi and contemporary, some even effortlessly blending them. It reminded me of why I love reading so much and I highly recommend it to everyone! I will be posting a detailed review on the blog soon.
I also started with Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire on the side via audiobook. Although it was quite a short book, it had a very different vibe to it than Every Heart a Doorway and I didn’t enjoy it as much even though my expectations were low. Next, I read Everless by Sara Holland for which I’d heard mixed reviews but the world-building and plot really drew me in, so I ended up enjoying it a lot! Then I had to read Mirage by Somaiya Daud for the blog tour, which I also loved and my review is already up on the blog (link). I then took my time with The Wicked Deep, which was good but didn’t have a really strong plot, so I gave it 4 stars. Finally this morning I finished Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third book in the Wayward Children series, which didn’t live up to the first book but I still liked a lot because we went back to following more or less the same characters in Every Heart a Doorway.
- Reached 400+ followers on the blog and 1500+ views for the very first time – I put in a lot of efforts for each post that I write and I’m doing my best to be consistent with my blogging even though my work schedule is quite hectic. I’m so happy that all the hard work I’m putting in is paying off and I’m so grateful to each and every one of you who continue to support me!
- 475+ followers on Twitter and 300+ on Instagram – I’m trying to be more active on bookish social media where I want to add value to all my followers. I’ll be trying harder from September onwards with weekly book recommendations on my Instagram and with daily updates on Twitter, with a creator spotlight every Friday and tips for the bookish community on Mondays. Links are in the sidebar if you’d like to follow and aren’t already doing so!
- I granted bookish wishes to a few people on Twitter – Leslie, Nicka, Fanna, Rain and Fuzaila. It’s amazing to spread the bookish love around now that I have the means to and plan to do few every month particularly to teenagers or people in countries with no easy access to books.
- Made new bookish friends – Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books, Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog and Vanessa @ Through Prose Tinted Pages. Please go show their blogs some love as they are all amazing!
- New favourite author on Twitter – Mackenzie Lee for her amazing posts on women in history, her dog photos and her videos over on the Epic Reads Youtube channel that have great recommendations!
- Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog also talks about her reasons for not writing negative reviews, which perfectly captures all the things I forgot to mention in my own post last Saturday on the topic of positive reviews.
- Shealea @ That Bookshelf Bitch is back to doing what she does best – spreadsheets – and gives helpful tips and tricks as well as some free templates to help you conquer the world with your improved blogging skills.
- Neha @ BiblioNyan recommends 5 Japanese books for readers who are new to the genre (such as myself) that I found really interesting and will be bookmarking for future reference.
- Sahitya @ My World of Books shares the best bookish maps and all of them are so stunning that I could stare at them forever! The best part of being a fantasy book lover are the maps of course.
- Shruti @ This is Lit discusses if mood reading can affect book blogging and she makes some excellent points that I can relate to so much as a mood reader myself!
- And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Rovina Cai (September 4th: UK release) – a reverse retelling of Moby Dick where the whales hunt men with gorgeous accompanying illustrations
- A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna (September 11th: US release) – a sci-fi retelling of the Mahabharata which promises to be just as epic as the story it is based on
- Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman (September 11th: US release) – featuring an amazing PoC cast of characters along with asexual rep, this contemporary set in Hawaii deals is about navigating the loss of a loved one and the complicated process of figuring out one’s identity
- Pride by Ibi Zoboi (September 18th: US release) – a loose Pride and Prejudice retelling with a diverse cast and modern twist
- Wildcard by Marie Lu (September 18th: US release) – although some of my bookish friends have been very disappointed with this sequel to the highly praised Warcross and has a cover I dislike, I put it on here to promote this PoC female author whose books have entertained YA fans over several years
- For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig (September 25th: US release) – shadow puppets, rebels and smugglers in a blend of Asian and French colonialism-inspired setting seems like the most intriguing book recipe of all time
- A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney (September 25th: US release) – an urban fantasy retelling of Alice in Wonderland with a Black female lead written by an OwnVoices author
Review requests on my email have exploded a bit and I also surprisingly got approved for ARCs on Net Galley, so I will be mostly reading to catch up on those in September. Since I’ve been having unpredictable reading moods for the last couple of weeks, I don’t want to put up a TBR that I would fail to stick to. Apart from that, I will soldier on with my Silmarillion read this month because September always puts me in a Tolkien mood. I’m also going to be doing Tolkien Month on my blog where I share my love for Middle Earth in a series of themed blog posts. If that seems interesting to you, keep an eye out for that!
How did August go for you? What September releases are you most excited for? What is your current reading mood? Let me know in the comments section below.