I’ve missed doing this feature for the last couple of months mostly because I wasn’t meeting any of my goals. But I’m feeling better and more confident about meeting my goals, because I have more energy and am further out from my injury. September is going to be a good month.
1) Read 15 books in September
I’ve read 10 books so far this month, and I still have time so I’ll probably read 12 or 13. So I want to push myself to read a little more so maybe I can catch up to my goal of 100 books this year.
2) Post 3 times a week.
I’ve gotten out of the habit of posting regularly so I need to get back into that. At least 3 times a week seems reasonable to get back into the posting pattern.
3) Post reviews shortly after I finish the book
I’ve gotten behind on posting reviews after I finish the book and I think that would really help improve my reviews.
4) Get posts ready ahead of time.
I’ve been posting on the day of for awhile and I want to get back to being ahead of the curve.
It’s September so I can finally say it’s spooky season, even though it’s been spooky season in my heart since you know mid-July. So here are some spooky and mysterious new releases to match the hopefully soon coming fall. Check them out below.
Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche
Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.
The Earl’s note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover–or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl’s wives to die suddenly and vaguely–and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl’s hall, Enola is going to require help–from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!
Alice’s world is falling apart. Her parents are getting a divorce, and they’ve cancelled their yearly cottage trip — the one thing that gets Alice through the school year. Instead, Alice and her mom are heading to some small town where Alice’s mom will be a live-in nurse to a rich elderly lady.
The house is huge, imposing and spooky, and everything inside is meticulously kept and perfect — not a fun place to spend the summer. Things start to get weird when Alice finds a dollhouse in the attic that’s an exact replica of the house she’s living in. Then she wakes up to find a girl asleep next to her in her bed — a girl who looks a lot like one of the dolls from the dollhouse . . .
When the dollhouse starts to change when Alice isn’t looking, she knows she has to solve the mystery. Who are the girls in the dollhouse? What happened to them? And what is their connection to the mean and mysterious woman who owns the house? What’s truly going on in this spooky adventure?
After defeating the Oldies, Quinn and Mike thought that things would settle down on Goodie Lane. But then new neighbors move in. Maybe it’s because they all work at the interior design firm, but Abigail, Eleanor, Jade, Brea, and Cami seem to always be together, dressed in only white.
After everything that happened last summer, Quinn’s a bit wary of the Ladies in White, but her friend Lex is thrilled that someone in town finally has some style. But when Lex starts volunteering at the Ladies’ design firm, things get strange. Lex is acting less like herself, and Quinn begins seeing strange shadows lurking in their neighborhood. She knows the Ladies are to blame; she just has to prove it.
Twisty and haunting, The Collectors is the second book in the Fright Watch series, Check out the sequel in this spooky adventure.
So I thought August wasn’t going to amount to much reading wise. Instead it became an extremely productive reading month I’ve had to date since I’ve started reading seriously. Now posting on the blog fell behind which I’m going to try to remedy next month. But I read A LOT. A few were picture books but most were novels, and I may be able to fit a few in more in before the end of the month.
It’s a good thing too since I’ve got two extremely major readathons coming coming up. They both require a lot of books and a lot of time spent. Those two readathons are BookoplAthon and Orillium, one is readathon inspired by Monopoly and the other is a journey to a magical school. So the books I’ve read this month were great training for the TON of reading I’m going to do next month.
Let’s talk about the books I’ve read this month shall we 13 in all. 13! For some of you who hit double digits often this may not sound like a lot but I’ve been having trouble getting out of the low single digits so it’s a big success for me, so I’m going to try for 15-20 next month.
Below are the books I’ve read this month.
So as we can see I have a lot of reviews to do, well as some reviews from the summer that I’ve missed. I’ll try to get to all that in September. But it’s nice to look at all the reading I’ve done in a visual form. Most of this reading was done for the two readathons I was taking part in this month, which were, The Royal Readathon, and the Trope-ical Readathon. I feel particularly accomplished this year because I hit most of the prompts on the Trope-ical Readathon.
So while I’m mostly a mood reader I thought I’d put up a few things I might read during the Orillium challenge.
The Novice Path-Read a book with a map
For this one I decided to back to an old one that I’ve been meaning to re-read. I plan to read the whole series but I’m starting with Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring.
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in
The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu is one I’ve been meaning to read for forever but it just keeps passing me by.
When you’re an identical twin, your story always starts with someone else. For Iris, that means her story starts with Lark.
Iris has always been the grounded, capable, and rational one; Lark has been inventive, dreamy, and brilliant—and from their first moments in the world together, they’ve never left each other’s side. Everyone around them realized early on what the two sisters already knew: they had better outcomes when they were together.
When fifth grade arrives, however, it’s decided that Iris and Lark should be split into different classrooms, and something breaks in them both.
Iris is no longer so confident; Lark retreats into herself as she deals with challenges at school. And at the same time, something strange is happening in the city around them, things both great and small going missing without a trace.
As Iris begins to understand that anything can be lost in the blink of an eye, she decides it’s up to her to find a way to keep her sister safe.
This book came out and I actually meant to read it for this month but it’s perfect for this prompt.
Princess Toli may be heir to the throne, but she longs to be a fierce hunter and warrior. Alone in a frozen world, her queendom is at the mercy of the dragons that killed her father, and Toli is certain it’s only a matter of time before they come back to destroy what’s left of her family.
When the dragons rise and seize her mother, Toli will do anything to save her—even trust a young dragon who may be the only key to the Queen’s release.
With her sister and best friend at her side, Toli makes the treacherous journey across the vast ice barrens to Dragon Mountain, where long-held secrets await. Bear-cats are on their trail, and dragons stalk them, but the greatest danger might be a mystery buried in Toli’s past.
Ruin of the Skye-Read a book featuring ghosts or other supernatural elements.
The Ghost Girl is perfect for this prompt and I’ve also been meaning to read it forever.
Zee Puckett loves ghost stories. She just never expected to be living one.
It all starts with a dark and stormy night. When the skies clear, everything is different. People are missing. There’s a creepy new principal who seems to know everyone’s darkest dreams. And Zee is seeing frightening things: large, scary dogs that talk and maybe even . . . a ghost.
When she tells her classmates, only her best friend Elijah believes her. Worse, mean girl Nellie gives Zee a cruel nickname: Ghost Girl.
But whatever the storm washed up isn’t going away. Everyone’s most selfish wishes start coming true in creepy ways.
To fight for what’s right, Zee will have to embrace what makes her different and what makes her Ghost Girl. And all three of them—Zee, Elijah, and Nellie—will have to work together if they want to give their ghost story a happy ending.
I’m glad September has such great releases because I’m drawing from them for these challenges.
All Ginny Anderson wants from her summer is to sleep in, attend a mystery writing workshop, and spend time with her best friend. But when Ginny’s father—a respected restoration expert in Chicago—surprises the family with a month-long trip to Michigan, everything changes. They aren’t staying in a hotel like most families would. No, they’re staying in a mansion. A twenty-six room, century-old building surrounded by dense forest. Woodmoor Manor.
But unfortunately, the mansion has more problems than a little peeling wallpaper. Locals claim the surrounding woods are inhabited by mutated creatures with glowing eyes. And some say campers routinely disappear in the woods, never to be seen again.
As terrifying as it sounds, Ginny can’t shake the feeling that there’s something darker . . . another story she hasn’t been told. When the creaky floors and shadowy corners of the mansion seem to take on a life of their own, Ginny uncovers the wildest mystery of all: There’s more than one legend roaming Saugatuck, Michigan, and they definitely aren’t after campers.
There was only one book for this when I heard about the Orillium challenge. It’s a book I’ve been waiting a year for and loved the first in the series.
As a Striker, Talin was taught loyalty is life. Loyalty to the Shield who watches your back, to the Strikers who risk their lives on the battlefield, and most of all, to Mara, which was once the last nation free from the Karensa Federation’s tyranny.
But Mara has fallen. And its destruction has unleashed Talin’s worst nightmare.
With her friends scattered by combat and her mother held captive by the Premier, Talin is forced to betray her fellow Strikers and her adopted homeland. She has no choice but to become the Federation’s most deadly war machine as their newest Skyhunter.
Red is no stranger to the cruelty of the Federation or the torture within its Skyhunter labs, but he knows this isn’t the end for Mara – or Talin. The link between them may be weak, but it could be Talin and Red’s only hope to salvage their past and safeguard their future.
While the fate of a broken world hangs in the balance, Talin and Red must reunite the Strikers and find their way back to each other in this smoldering sequel to Marie Lu’s Skyhunter
Orillium Academy Arc-Read a book with a school setting.
I’m already reading a series with a school setting so I’m just going to save myself some time and add the next book in that series for this when we finally get to Orillium.
The future has been saved, but at a cost: Fort Fitzgerald has been expelled from the Oppenheimer School, and some of Fort’s friends have been lost in time. But time is the one thing Fort, Rachel, and Jia don’t have, as they’ll soon be facing one of the eternal Old Ones, the Timeless One, for the fate of the world.
If they lose, the Old Ones will return, and humanity is doomed. If they win, the Old Ones will still return, and humanity is doomed. Because the Timeless One can see every possibility, and plan for it.
How can Fort and his friends defeat a creature like that? And what does this all have to do with the real-life Merlin, from King Arthur’s days?
These are the prompts for the path, I’m then adding on a few more for my Orillium character, I’m playing an urban female dwarf from Daerune. So I need a book in a city, a book set in a desert and one from an ongoing series.
For the the City Book I’m using
Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI6 agency.
Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they’re not attending the local boarding school, they’re honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can’t.
Before she knows what she’s doing, Sara is heading to Paris for an international youth summit, hacking into a rival school’s computer to prevent them from winning a million euros, dangling thirty feet off the side of a building, and trying to stop a villain…all while navigating the complex dynamics of her new team.
Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous, especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits roam the desert and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas, much to her family’s disapproval. After all, only brujas—humans who capture and control criaturas—consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime.
When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil’s Alley, though, she’ll have to become a bruja herself—while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans and agrees to help her on her journey.
With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family—and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.
I don’t have any idea for my ongoing series right now but hopefully that will come along soon. Let me know if you have any good middle grade ideas? Also how are you doing thinking about what you’ll read for the Orillium Readathon?
The other readathon I’m taking a part in is BookoplAthon it by #BeccasBookopoly. It essentially consists of playing a game of Monopoly but with book prompts titles and ideas. BookoplAthon is the much longer month-long version. However, the creator of the readathon also does this for herself every month. And there aremuch shorter 48-hour versions. Here is the introduction for the readathon.
Some people are making TBR’s but we all know how that goes around here don’t we? I’m a mood reader and I’ve just finally admitted it. As much as I love looking at the beautifully crafted TBRs where everyone knows exactly what they are going to read for which prompt. I’m just not that much of planner. Luckily this book has a way to play for mood readers too. You just roll two six sided dice then follow around the board deciding on books as you go.
The game also has cards like Chance and Community Chest, where you put your TBR titles and various prompts like read a fantasy? So if you land on either of those spaces on the board you have to pull a card and do what the card says.
Becca who is running the BookoplAthon suggests that you mix up prompts you love with prompts you might not be so interested in to keep the readathon interesting. I think I’m going to focus my prompts on clearing out my Scribd TBR as it has gotten preciptiously long. I’m going to try and avoid audio books as they tend to slow me down. Genre wise I want to focus more on fantasy as I’ve read a lot of contemporary this year, maybe along with some horror. Reading level will be mostly middle grade but I may throw in a YA book or two to shake things up.
I’m making my prompt cards tomorrow so that should be fun. I’m really excited for both my readathons in September. If you have any ideas for prompts please put them in the comments.
In these new releases protagonists have to fight for their family both found and biological, will they win out and be able to help their families succeed?
Say It Out Loud
Charlotte Andrews is perfectly fine being quiet–in fact, she prefers it. When she doesn’t speak, people can’t make fun of her stutter. But when she witnesses bullying on the school bus and doesn’t say anything, her silence comes between her and her best friend.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, her parents signed her up for musical theater. Charlotte doesn’t want to speak onstage, but at least she doesn’t stutter when she sings. Then, just as she starts to find her voice, the arts program is cut. Charlotte can’t stay silent anymore.
So she begins to write. Anonymous encouraging notes to her classmates. Letters to the school board to save the school musical. And an essay about the end of her best friendship–and her hope that she can still save it.
Words could save Charlotte Andrews and everything she believes in . . . if she just believes in herself enough to speak up.
Carry Me Home
Twelve-year-old Lulu and her younger sister, Serena, have a secret. As Daddy always says, “it’s best if we keep it to ourselves,” and so they have. But hiding your past is one thing. Hiding where you live—and that your Daddy has gone missing—is harder.
At first Lulu isn’t worried. Daddy has gone away once before and he came back. But as the days add up, with no sign of Daddy, Lulu struggles to take care of all the responsibilities they used to manage as a family.
Lulu knows that all it takes is one slip-up for their secret to come spilling out, for Lulu and Serena to be separated, and for all the good things that have been happening in school to be lost.
But family is all around us, and Lulu must learn to trust her new friends and community to save those she loves and to finally find her true home.
Elvis and the World As It Stands
Most shelter animals dream of going home with a forever family. But for Elvis, being chosen by Mrs. Pemberton is a nightmare. He’s been separated from his sister, Etta, and is determined to get back to the shelter to find her. In spite of himself, Elvis becomes curious about ten-year-old Georgina Pemberton, who builds LEGO skyscrapers in her bedroom while navigating her parents’ separation. The longer he’s in his new home, the more he starts recognizing new feelings: admiration for Georgina’s creations, affection for the other pets, and even empathy for the Pembertons—despite their inability to listen.
As Georgina sets out to build her most important skyscrapers yet—the Twin Towers—Elvis realizes that maybe both humans and animals can take a page from Georgina’s Big Book of American Architecture and “build a world of their own choosing,” even if the choices aren’t what they’d initially expected.
So while my state hasn’t issued a stay at home order (because they are not making good choices) and we have one of the highest COVID rates in the US. My family is back to mostly quarantine again except for a few key task. We’re going to get the booster when it’s time and I got my flu shot but until then we are just being extra careful.
I also have my disability hearing in a few weeks which makes things kind of stressful, because it determines whether or not I get a lot of social services. Ones that would help me pay for my medication, find a place to live that not with my parents, and other important things.
Well with this new quarantine I’ve been trying to keep busy, I’ve got several new games including Paper Mario: The Origami King and Cris Tales. I’m also still diligently working on Horizon Zero Dawn.
One goal I didn’t have a problem meeting this month was my reading goal, thanks to my readathons I think I’m going to end up with 12 or 13 books for the month. My best month yet this year.
I’ve also got great new readathons including @MagicalReadthn that I’m taking part of in September which will surely keep me up on my reading goals.
Now I haven’t done as good a job posting reviews, I’m going to try to remedy that I’ve just been so caught up in reading I kind of let posting reviews fall behind.
I’m also taking part in a medical research study that starts tomorrow as a way to make money to help pay for my medicine until my other services hopefully kick in. I think I’ll bring my Switch tomorrow because it’s supposed to be an hour and a half session.
What is everyone reading? I’m currently working on The Forgotten Girl.
So I’m really excited about an upcoming readathon in September called the Magical Readathon, it’s the first part of a readathon where readers go on a journey to a magical school which they will start in a readathon next year.
You can hear more about the world made up for the readathon here in the introduction video.
For this readathon, you are just journeying to the academy but you can also start on some character creation if you are feeling up to it which I’m going to try to do.
The Prompts for the Journey are as follows-
The Novice Path-Read a book with a map
Ashthorn Tree-A book that keeps tempting you.
Mist of Solitude-Read a Standalone
Ruin of the Skye-Read a book featuring ghosts or other supernatural elements.
Obsidian Falls-Read a Thiller or a mystery book.
Tower of Rumination: A five-star prediction.
Orillium Academy Arc-Read a book with a school setting.
I’m also planning on trying to set up my character a little bit in September. I’m planning on playing a Urban dwarf from Daerune. Urban makes sense because Daerune has the most cities and is the most technologically advanced of the continents and dwavares are genies with technology, I’m going to be playing a female dwarf since they always the creator of the readathon made them really cool, and because they often get overlooked in fantasy.
So I’ll also be reading a book set in a city, a book set in a desert , and a book from an ongoing series.
I’ll put up a TBR closer to September but I’m really excited about this readathon! If I’m up to it I might do a second character maybe an elf. I’m just starting a new D&D campaign so this is really hitting at my roleplaying heart.
Plus this readathon is super well thought out and detailed between the different races and the backstory of the world I really can’t wait to see where it goes.
I spent the week reading again, I’m already up to seven books this month. I seem to be a doing a good job at continuing my pace, so expect more books and more reviews to be up soon.
I haven’t felt well this week, but I’m going to my doctor’s next week for my migraines so hopefully that should help overall. I’ve also had some help with my disability case so I’m working that, I’ll continue get help from the organization I’m working with and my lawyers till my hearing in September so wish me luck.
This week I finished What Stars Are Made of, which is a lovely book that talks about the important of women in STEM and features a protagonist with a disability. I look forward to reviewing this book, it also helped me meet one of my readathon challenges.
I also finished the first Revenge of Magic book, which I’m happy about because I’ve found a new series that I like something I haven’t found in awhile. I haven’t found a long series I liked since Keeper of the Lost Cities.
Finally I read Dark Waters the third book in the Small Spaces trilogy. I just finished it Thursday night and I’m still not over the ending. I kind of need the fourth book to magically appear in my hands. Katherine Arden why?
I also just got my flu shot so I’ll be spending the weekend at home enjoying the after effects. Which mostly means I’ll be here doing post in advance, or reading, or playing the new game I got Cris Tales. I also might be doing some reading sprints for my readathon if there are any going on this weekend.
Hope everyone’s weekend goes well. What are ya’ll reading?
The Infinity Courts swept me away I seriously got annoyed when I learned the sequel wasn’t out till next April because the book was THAT good. Also the cliff hanger was great but what I’m saying is I need more of this story stat.
Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.
The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.
When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen of Infinity, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.
As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.
Bowman definitely does a good job creating a whole different world. The part of the world we spend the most time in Victory is very well fleshed out. The different lands that are threatened are also hinted at just enough to be ominous but still mysterious. As for the characters the entire rebel group is well flesh out. I especially liked how reluctant Nami was to help the group, she tried to shy away from conflict sometimes to her own detriment but she wasn’t going for that Chosen One role, she just happened to be the only one who could do a job and struggled deeply with having to do it, the book also has a couple major plot twist especially the one at the end that I liked and I can’t wait to see how they play out in the sequel.
If you want surprise, morally grey characters, and a really beautifully thought out world give The Infinity Courts a try