So, I kinda dropped the ball on the whole ‘writing regular blog posts’ thing this year. In my defence, the last 4 months have been absolutely hectic – I completed my masters (that is such a satisfying thing to write) and applied for numerous jobs, all while our house was slowly being demolished and put back together (the renovations have been years in the making, and the end result is going to be spectacular, but the actual process really, really sucks!). Now that Uni is over, I am hoping that my life will start to develop some sort of a routine, and I am determined to make that routine include blog writing! I thought I would kick things off by looking back on the books I have read over the last 6 months, and then look forward to the books I am most looking forward to during the rest of the year.
The Last 6 Months
While the last 6 months have been unusually busy, this hasn’t stopped me from reading – in fact, it has done the exact opposite! When I am stressed or unhappy I like to escape into books, and with all the stress of the last 6 months, I have escaped into a total of 47 books, which has me on track for a new record for the number of books I’ve read in a year! There have been a good few rereads, when I have needed to escape into a world I know and am comfortable in, but I have also fallen in love with a few new authors and series, including (but not limited to – if I shared everything I have loved this post would be thousands of words long!):
The Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik
I had previously read and loved Naomi Novik’s stand alone novel, Uprooted, but was hesitant to start the Temeraire series, as I have never been overly fond of military history. While the battles and historic references mean fairly little to me, the characters and creatures that Naomi Novik has created are phenomenal, and I fell in love with the protagonist and his incredible dragon within the first few chapters. I read the first book in the series in less than 24 hours, and have been impatiently waiting for my library to source each consecutive book so that I can delve into the wonderful world of dragons again and again. I highly recommend this series to any fantasy fan, particularly any fantasy fan with a love of dragons, but be warned – you will finish it wishing desperately that you had a dragon of your own!
The Rivers of London Series by Ben Aaronovitch
This was yet another series that I had been hesitant to read – while I am a fan of fantasy, I sometimes struggle with urban fantasy, finding it too dark and gritty. While this series definitely has its dark and gritty moments, it has even more wonderfully funny or even touching moments, and I am so glad that I started reading it. The main character can be a bit of an idiot at times, but he acknowledges this as much as anyone else does, and the fantasy world Ben Aaronovitch has created within the streets of London is so fascinating and complex that I have been quickly drawn in to each book. I do sometimes find myself getting a bit lost, as my knowledge of London is limited to a lot of British TV and 36 very jet-lagged hours exploring, but I usually figure out where I am eventually, and it is well worth it for the laughs along the way!
The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
I had seen the first book in this trilogy recommended in a number of blog posts, and eventually requested it from the library, determined to find out what all the fuss was about. It didn’t take me long to realise that Katherine Arden’s work more than lives up to the hype surrounding it, as I was quickly drawn in to the beautiful, intricate world she has created. I hadn’t initially realised the book was the first in the series, and I could barely contain my excitement when I realised that the second book was already out and the third was only months away from release. Katherine Arden’s writing is beautifully evocative, and her characters are wonderfully complex and real – even those who are wonderfully fantastical! While the books make reference to many well known fairy tales and folk tales it was never predictable, and I am excited to see where the story will go when the finale is released in only a few months.
Frat Girl by Kiley Roache
I happened upon this book while browsing my library’s e-book collection, and borrowed it with every intention of returning it within pages if it didn’t catch my interest. Luckily my interest was very quickly caught, and I am so glad that I stumbled upon this wonderful book! It is such a fresh and interesting take on feminism and university, and I can’t help but think that it will be truly wonderful for young women who are just leaving high school and are just starting to realise how important feminism is to them. It wonderfully articulates so many of the micro-aggressions women face on a day to day basis, while also suggesting practical ways that young women and men can help to change things for the better. Definitely a recommended read for pretty much everyone!
What’s To Come
The second half of this year seems to be setting itself up to be almost as hectic as the first half – the renovations are almost finished, which means we are going to have to start sorting and rearranging and figuring out where the hell we put things. I’m also starting a new job in about a fortnight, which I am both excited and slightly terrified about – it is the first job I will ever have worked that isn’t just holiday or casual retail work, and I have a feeling it is going to need a bit of adjusting to get used to it! That being said, it does mean I am finally going to have a consistent work schedule, which I am hoping will mean I have more time for blog writing, and I know I am going to get even more reading done! There are so many books I am excited to read over the coming months – Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is coming out later this month, The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden follows not long after, and The Map of Days is (quite fittingly) being released in October. I have a really good feeling about the rest of 2018, and I am excited to share it with anyone out there who might be reading this!
What have you particularly enjoyed this year? Are you on track to meet your reading goals? What new releases are you counting down the days for? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to add some new titles to my list of releases to anticipate!