Bout of Books TBR

The 24th round of Bout of Books is here! I haven’t taken part in this readathon in a while, but since I’m getting back into blogging this year, I thought it would be a good way to join in with the community and read a bunch of the books right at the beginning of the year. First up, we have two books that I’m in the middle of. Rosewater has become by work book, and I’ve read about 150 pages so far. It’s a bit of a weird book, and I can’t tell if I like it or not, but I’ve been reading that on my lunch breaks at work and I plan on continuing that this week. Yesterday I started The Wolf in the Whale, and I plan on continuing with that one in the evenings. I’m enjoying it well enough so far, but since I’m only a couple of chapters in, it’s a bit difficult to judge right now.

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Rosewater by Tade Thompson

The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Then I’m planning on reading two more books, because reading two books in one week isn’t ambitious enough. I absolutely have to read (or at least start) The City of Brass so I can recap it ready for when the sequel is released this month. It sounds like something I am going to love, so I have high hopes. I then picked a smaller book so I could (hopefully) smash through it, and that one is The Picture of Dorian Gray. I’m trying to read more of the classics from my shelf this year, and wanted to start with something small.

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The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

If you’re taking part in this round of Bout of Books then let me know in the comments below, and feel free to link up your TBR so I can check it out!

New Book Releases: January 2019

It’s a new year, and it’s packed full of new releases. I’ve had to whittle January’s new releases list down by a lot, since it’s probably the busiest month of the year and there are so many that I’m looking forward to reading. Here are my most anticipated new releases of the month. If you’d like to see a longer (although still not complete) list of January new releases, check out my Booktube video here!

1st January

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The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

Clones!

True Places by Sonja Yoerg

This is about a woman who comes across a girl who has been living in the woods, and it changes her life forever.

8th January

jan 8 nr

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Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko JeanEmpress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 6th November 2018
Publisher: Gollancz
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

Oh, this was a juicy fantasy book! I went into this expecting it to focus on the action during the competition where the future empress has to beat four challenging rooms, but it was so much more than that. The world building in Empress of All Seasons was excellent and was truly the most gripping part of the book. I loved it.

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Happy New Year! + Where This Blog is Going

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Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’ve all had a fantastic holiday period and end of the year, and that you’re all ready for 2019 to begin.

I’ve been absent from this blog for a while, and I wanted to take the time to explain myself and also jot down where I hope to take the blog in the future. I’ve been book blogging since 2010, and I can’t see myself ever leaving this community, but that does mean that I need to organise myself better and adjust my scheduling and my own expectations.

There was a time when I first started book blogging when it was recommended that you post as often as possible, and that posting every single day was best for your blog. I used to strive to post at least five times a week, which often led to burnout and less creative posts like memes and tags. I’ve come to realise that now that I’m older and working an intense job full time, posting that often isn’t achievable for me. If I take time off work, I am able to schedule a full month of posts ahead of time, but then I can’t keep ahead when I return to work. I also struggle to find the proper amount of time for commenting back and sharing the blogging love, which is something I want to do, otherwise I’m not really a part of the community, you know?

For 2019, I plan on returning to book blogging, but I also plan on taking a massive step back in my approach. I am going to aim to post a couple of times a week minimum, and those posts will probably mostly be reviews. I do want to post more substantial posts like discussions or recommendations, however there is no way I’ll be able to do that weekly. I also want to set aside a certain time each week to comment on others’ posts and share them, because I really want to continue to support this community.

I am back on Booktube, and have been for the past year or so. To be honest, I’m finding it much easier to post videos than blog posts because, for me, it takes a lot less time and effort. I’m seeing a nice and steady growth on my channel, and I’m making a lot of friends on there because the Booktube community is thriving. I’ve kind of switched my focus onto my channel lately, and to be honest, I can’t see that changing. I’m just enjoying Booktube a lot more than book blogging right now. However, I don’t want to switch my focus entirely, and I don’t want to abandon this blog since it’s been a massive part of my life for the past eight years.

I’ll be back soon with more posts about my 2019 goals and anticipated releases. I’m going to take it easy and try to avoid burnout. I’m going to try to comment on other blogs more and continue to support my fellow book bloggers. And, most importantly, I’m not going to put myself down if I’m not posting as much as other people.

Monthly Wrap Up: October 2018

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Life

October was a pretty hectic month in real life, which meant I was incredibly grateful to Past!Amber, who decided to schedule a whole month of blog posts and Youtube videos. I didn’t get around to doing many exciting things, but I was working a lot so it meant I had very little free time to blog and do Booktube. BUT! I did do some things. Quill and I went on what turned out to be our first dinner date in over a month (!), and after eating we went to the cinema. It was lovely, and we’ve decided to make an effort to not let our date nights slide that much again.

There was a fun pub quiz with my work colleagues (my team came 2nd), and I went to the Chiltern Open Air Museum for their spooky open night. That meant we watched some fire dancers (dancing to no music… it was weird), took part in a chocolate workshop, went on a spooky walk through the woods where actors jumped out at us, and met a vanishing horse.

I took part in the Spookathon for the first time ever, which was lots of fun, and as I’m writing this, we’re just getting to the end of a horror movie marathon.

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