HERE WE ARE AGAIN.
My fourth-most recent post is a wrap up of FOUR MONTHS. Merely three posts ago!! That’s how recently we did this!!
And yet somehow, enough months have since passed that I have to wrap up five more.
Enough introing. I already have a lot of writing to do.
ALL OF SUMMER HAS ELAPSED.
I love summer. I’m cold all the time, so it’s cool for that to be less of a thing. I like walking at night and I like the smell of the air and I like picnics and flowers and it’s all around a joyful time.
Wow, I am writing myself into being really sad right now.
Anyway, not only has all of summer rushed away before my very eyes, but we’re like…basically done fall now? Now, it’s November, which is just Winter: The Preview.
Cold and suffering…they’re on their way. You can smell them in the air. LEAVE ME BE.
It seems…ridiculous to look back on my goals for July and see whether I achieved them over the course of many months.
But ridiculous is where I LIVE.
REMAIN AHEAD ON READING CHALLENGE ✓
READ AT LEAST ONE CLASSIC ✓
BLOG POST AT LEAST TWICE (BUT REALLY AT LEAST THREE TIMES) ✗
LOWER NUMBER OF BOOKS ON “TO-REVIEW” SHELF ON GOODREADS
Surprisingly…not that bad.
But then, the bar was very, very low. As in, so low that fifty percent – a failing grade – seems okay. (Also, even when I’m not active here, I tend to be active on Goodreads because I thirst for attention. So if you can’t get enough of me, find me there.)
Goals for November
Stay ahead on reading challenge
At least kind of blog
Be active on Twitter
Sticking with what works: wildly low expectations.
Also, I’m now trying to be an actual member of the Book Internet?? Rather than someone who sporadically appears here once every two months.
Basically what I’m saying is…follow me on Twitter and please encourage me to begin Instagram again. Please. Because it’s been years.
I need your help on this one.
As mentioned, I love summer. And fall has arrived VERY SUDDENLY. Seriously, one day it was 80 degrees (Fahrenheit, I am not boiling alive), and the next it was 60 and then it just never went back.
I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO SAY GOODBYE.
This is my first-ever fall that doesn’t include Back To School time. I also moved away from a city I love very much because Money, and that’s kind of a bummer too.
So I’m melancholy. And you know what that means.
READING TO ESCAPE THE PRISON OF MY FEELINGS.
Now, to talk about, like…60+ books.
1. Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer
Read: May 31 – June 1 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1.5 stars
I have never enjoyed a Brigid Kemmerer book.
But I love Bloomsbury and they keep sending them to me.
This one included some truly insufferable characters who were inexplicably horrible to the people around them, and it was about as fun as it sounds.
2. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
Read: June 1 – 2 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1.5 stars
This was simply so, so, so boring. And riddled with small mistakes and errors, as if specifically designed to drive me slowly insane.
3. Mr Salary by Sally Rooney
Read: June 2 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars
I fell so deeply and profoundly in love with Sally Rooney that I was compelled to read every scrap of insight into her brain I could, including:
– another short story
– several profiles
– a failed attempt to break into her home in order to read her grocery lists.
(That last one is a joke. Please don’t arrest me.)
4. The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt by Ken Krimstein
Read: June 3 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2.5 stars
I don’t know that much about Hannah Arendt and philosophy is so cool and so are women, but this was a lot more List Of Famous People Hannah Knew In Her Lifetime Via Footnote, And Mostly They Are Men than Graphic Novel Overview of Hannah Arendt’s Philosophies, Or Even Life.
5. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (reread)
Read: June 4-6 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 5 stars
Jonathan Safran Foer is quite possibly the most pretentious man alive, and I will stan these two (2) books forever. And probably not read anything else he’s ever written. That’s the take.
6. Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
Read: June 10 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3 stars
You could probably convince me that reading it was an elaborate hallucination. Or not-so-elaborate. Because I don’t remember a thing.
7. The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket (reread)
Read: June 9-12 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 5 stars
And it’s not even hard to keep track of what’s happening.
THAT’S HOW FANTASTIC AND MEMORABLE THESE BOOKS ARE.
8. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (reread)
Read: June 12-13 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 5 stars
Not exactly convinced I’d read anything that WASN’T about books and stores that sell them and people that love them at this point in my life. Or any point.
9. We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Read: June 13-15 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1.5 stars
Or more accurately, taken it off.
This was a deeply unpleasant reading experience.
10. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Read: June 10-16 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2 stars
Before reading this, I thought the most interesting thing about it was that its original (and current British) title was The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but that was deemed too similar to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and so the half was added.
After reading this, I still thought that was the most interesting thing about it.
11. Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Read: June 17-18 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3.5 stars
This was very cute and very, very fluffy and very, very, very much the most insane and ridiculous book ever of all time.
Was it an enjoyable read, for the most part? Yes. Did I enjoy the moments this felt like a political-fanfiction AU where 2016 went differently? No. As someone with an actual genuine interest in politics beyond “WHAT IF THINGS WERE DIFFERENT AND PERFECT,” that was not my favorite.
12. Becoming by Michelle Obama
Read: June 17-19 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4.5 stars
(Michelle Obama is the only perfect thing about politics.)
Also, I read this as an audiobook! A pretty uncommon thing for me. I wanted to hear Michelle’s dulcet tones ❤
13. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (reread)
Read: June 20-21 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4.5 stars
Truly how could I? This book has Prince Char and Ella and is the best fairytale retelling of all time probably. Middle grade-level romance = forever the only kind I’ll accept. (This is blatantly false.)
14. The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Read: June 18-26 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3 stars
When I finished it, I did not know if i liked it or not.
Three months have passed.
I do not know if I like it or not.
15. Stealing Home by Becky Wallace
Read: June 27-29 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1.5 stars
This is an ARC I was sent, and it’s about baseball. I actually requested this ARC, which is not only about a sport (generally not something I read about), but specifically my least favorite sport of all time.
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t like it. Surprisingly, it wasn’t only because, you know, baseball.
16. The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
Read: June 28 – July 1 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3 stars
The unfortunate part of this inclination is a lot of books about bookstores are fluffy romance-y type things, and…I do not always do well with that.
But this was fine.
16. Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (reread)
Read: July 1 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3.5 stars
Unfortunately, this book – which was a four and a half or five star read originally – dropped significantly when I realized it was more about emotions than bookstores. A lot more.
17. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (reread)
Read: July 2 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars
I got 99 problems but The Penderwicks ain’t one.
(I’m equal parts proud of myself and disgusted. So…the usual.)
18. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Read: July 7-9 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2.5 stars
And this is coming from a girl who LOVES children’s classics. My favorite book in the history of time is a children’s classic! But this is sure as hell not my favorite book in the history of time.
19. Beyond the Lens by Hannah Ellis
Read: July 10-11 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1.5 stars
Regardless, this was neither of those things, and I still don’t know why I bought or read this.
I just know I should not have.
20. Alice’s Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll (reread)
Read: July 14 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars
Which was in LEWIS CARROLL’S HANDWRITING. If you’ve ever heard anything cooler than that, you need to fix your priorities.
21. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Read: July 12-15 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2.5 stars
That’s not why I read this book.
I read this book because I’m desperately seeking the high of Six of Crows. Like a normal person.
22. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Read: July 13-15 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3.5 stars
It is very very sad.
It is very hopeful.
My heart was stomped on.
23. Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur
Read: July 15-16 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars
THE DRAMA. THE ANGST. THE EMOTIONS. Reading this is like having the best most gossipy lunch with your most backhanded high school friend. In the best way. (Thanks to HMH for sending me this.)
24. Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden
Read: July 16 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2 stars
This is only truer if that graphic novel contains two separate character arcs, plus a handful of very thorny and complex social issues, plus a near-inexplicable introduction of some very complicated magical realism.
(Thanks to First Second for the copy.)
25. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody
Read: July 17 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2.5 stars
I can’t think of a synopsis much dreamier than that.
And yet. Here we are. With a pretty meh read and a 2.5 star rating. Because life isn’t fair.
26. Fake Plastic Girl by Zara Lisbon
Read: July 17-18 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1 star
(Obviously that isn’t all I have to say in general, but it’s all I have to say about this.)
27. Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills (reread)
Read: July 21-22 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4.5 stars
But it was still beautifulfantasticamazingfunny.
I love Emma Mills.
28. Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
Read: July 22 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1.5 stars
That was a mistake.
I THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE MYSTERY. NOT ROMANCE.
Also there were no ghosts.
29. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Read: ?-July 24 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: ? stars
I viscerally hated everything about reading this except for the prose, which was…maybe the best I’ve ever read?
30. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (reread)
Read: July 25-26 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4.5 stars
IT’S THAT FUN.
It has everything I love. A contemporary with summer and road trips and friendship and banter and a little bit of romance. A dream.
31. Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Read: July 26-30 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 5 stars
Franny and Zooey has the powerful ending of East of Eden, the beautiful and spare writing of Fitzgerald, the holy-hell-this-book-is-inside-my-head feeling of Sally Rooney, the intensely real characters of Jonathan Safran Foer, the lyrical descriptions of Neil Gaiman… This book feels like it was made for me in a lab.
32. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Read: July 30-August 1 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2 stars
(Even though it took me years to read it.)
All I wanted was magic and Prague and worldbuilding. Instead I got instalove and Mary Sue. Hurray.
33. The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
Read: August 5 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2.5 stars
They’re summery. They have a Major Social Issue. The main character has a big thing with their parents. There’s a romance. People Come Of Age. But some are better than others. Others are better than this one.
34. If You’re Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser
Read: August 7 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3.5 stars
I just had to reread the synopsis and I’m still not all that confident this isn’t a Goodreads glitch.
Maybe this isn’t a 3.5 star read after all.
35. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Read: August 8-9 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2.5 stars
It’s the optimist in me. (Or the masochist. Depending on your perspective.)
(It’s more likely the latter.)
36. Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia
Read: August 13-26 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1 star
I did not have most of these (except Foolish Hearts), and that is because I did not think I would like them. And I did not like this book.
37. The Season of You & Me by Robin Constantine
Read: August 29-30 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1 star
Except I, presumably, bought this book. Myself. With my own money.
I do not remember why, but…it was a bad idea.
39-40. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
Read: August 31 and September 2 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 5 stars
a) It’s a five star read.
b) I read it twice in three days.
This is the most perfect most autumnal thing I have ever laid my eyes on.
41. We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund
Read: September 1-2 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3.5 stars
(By which I mean, excluding maybe rereads, it will happen exactly once in this post.) (Even though I’m wrapping up like 60+ books.) (Thanks to the publisher for the copy.)
42. As Many Nows As I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl
Read: September 3-4 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars
I expected a cute fluffy summery fun road trip-y read, and instead this book made me feel everything and then it DESTROYED ME.
(Again…thanks to the publisher for the copy. Even though I was ruined.)
43. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (reread)
Read: September 5-8 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 5 stars
Even in my terrible history of constantly, compulsively rereading…that’s a new low.
Sally Rooney let me hug you. Or at least publish another book soon. I need it. Clearly.
44. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
Read: September 9 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2 stars
This was my most anticipated read of the year, probably (okay not THE most but in the top tier for sure), and it tore my heart out and stomped on it.
And not in the way I wanted it to. In the wow-that-was-disappointing way.
45. The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh
Read: September 12-13 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1.5 stars
WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT FOR ALL OF THESE BOOKS TO ACTUALLY HAVE THEIR CHARACTERS ACT LIKE FEMINISTS? NOT JUST SAY FEMINIST STUFF? I mean really. (Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.)
46. American Royals by Katherine McGee
Read: September 13-16 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1.5 stars
Just a whole lot of boredom and angst.
I need to remember that I don’t go for poor-little-rich-royal-can’t-marry-for-love stories.
47. A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Read: September 17 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3 stars
But mostly I thought this was a worse version of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
48. In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
Read: September 20-22 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars
But HURRAY BECAUSE THIS WAS GREAT!
49. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (reread)
Read: September 22-23 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars
I never intended to reread this book (which I got as one of my VERY FIRST ARCs, at my first and only BookCon), because the only thing I remember about it is that it’s very, very sad. And I do not do “sad.”
But then I found a hardcover copy of it in a dollar store (?!) and that changed everything.
50. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Read: September 28-30 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3 stars
The idea of this book (a nonfiction account of the sex lives of three women across America) is so much better than the execution (all three women are white, two are Catholic and live in the Midwest, hints of victim-blaming at the beginning).
Because I love to suffer.
51. The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody
Read: September 30-October 1 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2 stars
When I tell you I really and truly went on Book Outlet (the world’s greatest site) and bought approx. a dozen young adult contemporaries about road trips (possibly the world’s greatest trope)…
Anyway. This one was disappointing, BUT MY EXCITEMENT ABOUT THIS HAUL REMAINS.
52. Kiss Number 8 by Colleen A.F. Venable
Read: October 2 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1 star
The very Idea…of making the subplot in your GRAPHIC NOVEL all of your protagonist’s loved ones being TRANSPHOBIC AF…when you OBVIOUSLY DON’T HAVE TIME TO RESOLVE THAT…wtf. (Thanks to First Second for the ARC.)
53. Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian
Read: October 3-5 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3 stars
Well, the middle third-ish does. The only thing that scares me about the ending is how meh it was.
And that’s not unusual.
54. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Read: October 5 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars
Lately, I’ve been really into the IDEA of rom coms? Like, I glamorize them in my brain and think “wow it would be so fun to read something cute and fluffy and funny right now…I should do it…” and then I read one and it’s not like that at all.
This was the least disappointing of all my attempts thus far.
55. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Read: October 7 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2 stars
Someone in the comments of my Goodreads review of this was like “don’t read romantic comedies from more than 2 or 3 years ago” and that person was not only correct, but probably an angel sent to guide me. (This book is from 2004.)
56. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Read: October 8 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3.5 stars
But I read this anyway.
Worked out surprisingly well.
57. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Read: October 9-15 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4.5 stars
THIS BOOK IS THE SH*T.
I GAVE IT 4.5 STARS BUT MIGHT HAVE TO F*CK AROUND AND CHANGE IT TO FIVE BECAUSE I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT AND I KIND OF ALREADY WANT TO REREAD IT. SO.
58. Everything is Horrible and Wonderful by Stephanie Wittels Wachs
Read: October 16 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 5 stars
Harris Wittels is one of my very favorite comedians, and in 2015, he died of a heroin overdose.
This is his sister’s memoir about his life and the loss. It is beautiful and it destroyed me.
59. How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
Read: October 18 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1 star
It was…well, you can see the rating.
I have to get over this fixation. It very rarely goes well.
60. The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall by Drew Weing
Read: October 19 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2.5 stars
It took me approx a year and a half and was ultimately disappointing, but I did it.
61. Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry
Read: October 22 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3.5 stars
Everyone in the world knows that I truly adore Emily Henry. (Especially Emily Henry. To which I say: Apologies for the creepiness. It’s not intentional. Just an effect.)
Anyway, this book was only about 50% Emily Henry, and that’s just not enough Emily Henry for me. (Although…is anything?)
62. If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Read: October 21-22 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2 stars
Then, true to form, I did not like it.
I am doomed to an existence of never-ending suffering.
63. The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket (reread)
Read: October 23 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 5 stars
I’ve been doing this series reread for like two years. And I just…keep forgetting about it. Then I’ll think (as I very often do) about how much I love these books, and then be like “Wow I want to reread them right the hell now.”
And then I remember I ALREADY AM! It’s like a fun gift for me every time.
64. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead (reread)
Read: October 27-28 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3 stars
And yet I truly enjoy the Vampire Academy books.
I never promised logic.
WE DID IT!! We wrapped up all 64 books!
My average rating for alllll of June, July, August, September, and October…
Insert drumroll here…
Also might be wrong but I am NOT going to recalculate that. Way too many numbers.
Well, there certainly aren’t many. But it’s not as bad as it’s been in the past.
The lowest bar of all time.
Here are my three most popular posts of the last four months:
Woohoo! We did it! And hopefully I actually…keep blogging so I won’t have to do that again.
Or more realistically won’t have to do it for a while.
Anyway, in my last post I mentioned my dog, the best creature in the world, and I promised a few people in the comments that I’d include pictures here, so without further ado here she is. Enjoy. (And prepare yourself for the cutest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on.)
(These are when she was littler but she remains just as perfect now.)