October was one of the worst months of my life, to be honest. Not in terms of the books I read or anything related to that but personally. I don’t have a lot of words to share but I’m dealing with some really traumatic personal stuff, so I’d really appreciate some distance and understanding at the moment. It made me reconsider many things, go on a short hiatus at the end of October and I’ve been struggling since to get my life back to normal. This wrap-up may not be as detailed or wordy as usual mostly because I’m in the mood for brevity. However, sharing my love for books makes me feel marginally better, so I decided to write this post despite everything. With that sombre introduction out of the way, let me talk about the reading month I had and what I’m looking forward to in November.
I read 6 books this month, 2 of which were buddy reads. My favourite was A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna, which I reviewed in my previous post and read along with Sahitya @ My World of Books. My other buddy read was quite early in the month with Neha @ BiblioNyan and we read Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. I was unimpressed with this one as well and I’m glad that Neha saw things exactly the way I did too. However, with the way it ended, we both felt a twinge of excitement for the next book, so I might just pick it up, but it’s really low on my TBR at the moment. In order to cheer myself up when I was going through a bad time, I finished From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon in a day and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was light, fluffy, relatable and just perfect for me at the time! The only ARC I read was Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. I had a lot of difficulty getting into it in September when I was going through a book hangover, but once I delved into it a little bit more, I started enjoying myself. The other two books I read were part of the same series, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. It’s dramatic, funny and poignant in places, but what I loved about it was its sheer entertainment value. I liked the first book marginally better than the second one, mostly because the plot in the latter wasn’t as strong. Overall, I had an average reading month but I’m glad I more than I did in September.
There won’t be a Highlights section this time because those little achievements seem really inconsequential to me at the moment.
There were some really excellent posts that I came across this month and here are my top five that I think everyone will benefit from reading –
- Charvi @ Not Just Fiction discusses whether ARCs are overrated and I find myself completely agreeing with her views.
- Marta @ Cursed Books talks about how books can combat the stigmas surrounding mental illnesses and gives a list of books that have successfully done so as a guest post on Marie’s blog as part of the Shattering Stigmas series.
- Mish @ Chasing Faerytales put together an amazing list of 50 fantasy books with Asian characters or settings when the depiction of Manon as an Asian character in official art became an issue.
- Kaleena @ Reader Voracious compiled the ultimate social media guide for book bloggers and this is the kind of post that has the potential to change lives.
- Resh @ The Book Satchel gave an impressive response to Vulture’s (vulgar) article shaming Bookstagrammers, especially women, encouraging the community not to spread hate and stop policing artistic expression.
- Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (November 6th: US release) – this Asian-inspired fantasy standalone features enchanted palaces with seasonal rooms, a competition to become the next ruler, shape-shifting yōkai, reluctant princes and outcasts
- Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (November 6th: US release) – this diverse fantasy features a F/F romance while also tackling issues like sexual abuse
- Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao (November 6th: US release) – one of my most anticipated sequels for 2018, this retells the more familiar story of Snow White set in an Asian-inspired world
- Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (6th November, US and UK release) – the master of fantasy is now trying his hand at a YA space opera trilogy that is a mashup between Top Gun, Ender’s Game and How to Train Your Dragon
- Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri (13th November: US release) – this lush new adult fantasy series is inspired by the Mughal era with hidden powers and powerful female heroines
- The Storyteller by Traci Chee (13th November: US release) – the highly anticipated conclusion to the wonderfully imaginative trilogy set in a world without books
- Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi (27th November: US release) – a new fantasy the author was kind enough to send to me for review, this features a huntress of Artemis who disobeys the rules of the Hunt by saving a princess’s life and falling in love
I’m taking part in two very exciting readathons this month! One is Mythothon, run by Foxes and Fairytales, and the other is a Middle-Earth inspired one that I found randomly on Instagram run by Apleha Ekho. I’ve compiled a list of 10 books that fit both of them really well although it took me quite a while to find the perfect ones. I had to work in a majority of the ARCs and review copies I’ve received as I really want to be done with them by the end of the year.
- The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X. R. Pan – Zeus from Mythothon and Rivendell from Middle-Earth Road Trip
- Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo – Hera from Mythothon and Gondor from Middle-Earth Road Trip
- This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab – Hebe from Mythothon and Isengard from Middle-Earth Road Trip
- Circe by Madeline Miller – Poseidon from Mythothon and Lonely Mountain from Middle-Earth Road Trip
- The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton – Hermes from Mythothon and Khand from Middle-Earth Road Trip
- Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan – Athena from Mythothon and Shire from Middle-Earth Road Trip
- God’s Forsaken by David Brevik – Persephone from Mythothon and Mirkwood from Middle-Earth Road Trip
- Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal – Apollo from Mythothon and Mordor from Middle-Earth Road Trip
- The Book of M by Peng Shepherd – Hades from Mythothon and Numernor from Middle-Earth Road Trip
- The Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean – Demeter from Mythothon and Fangorn Forest from Middle-Earth Road Trip
I really hope you had a better October than I did. Let’s look hopefully at what’s to come, shall we? What new releases are you excited for? What are some of the things you want to accomplish before the end of the year? How is your reading goal for the year going? Let me know in the comments section below.