Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2023

September was a bit of a mess. I had quite a few doctor’s appointments, including my annual scans to check for cancer recurrence. I’m always anxious when it is time for the scans, but I was a little more nervous than usual because I’ve been experiencing some worsening shortness of breath for the last few months. They did some other tests, and it turns out that my remaining lung is just struggling with asthma. So, I’m on some new medicine and remain cancer free, which is great news.

The second half of the month was dominated by my wife’s contract negotiation with her employer, which was such a frustrating process. For a while, we thought she might not be working after the end of September, which would mean losing our health insurance. It was all annoying and somewhat worrying, but my diligent savings the last few years meant we’d be okay either way for quite a while. In the end, they couldn’t come to an agreement on terms to renew her contract, but she has a year to find something else before they eliminate her position, which is a much better outcome than we’d expected.

All this to say, the anxiety derailed my reading plans a bit. It was still a solid month, though. I just didn’t make as much progress on my remaining annual goals as I’d have liked.

Books I’ve Read

TBR Books

I did really well in the first half of the month with my TBR. Then things went off the rails a bit. I hated Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer and ended up DNFing it halfway through the book. At the end of the month, I was still reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman, but I do plan to finish it. I didn’t get to A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine at all in September. So, it’ll be pushed off to another month. The seven books I finished from my TBR in September are listed below (ratings link to my review, if available):

  • New Adult by Timothy Janovsky (4⭐)
  • The Midnight Kingdom by Tara Sim (4.25⭐)
  • My Roommate Is a Vampire by Jenna Levine (3.75⭐)
  • A Market of Dreams and Destiny by Trip Galey (4⭐)
  • A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel by KJ Charles (4.25⭐)
  • The Hexologists by Josiah Bancroft (4.5⭐)
  • Stars in Your Eyes by Kacen Callender (4.5⭐)

Mood Reading

I also managed to do a little mood reading, including two books from my possibility pile at the beginning of the month. Here are the eight extra books I managed to squeeze in this month (the ratings link to my review, if available):

  • Lion’s Legacy by L.C. Rosen (4⭐)
  • OverLondon by George Penney & Tony Johnson (4.5⭐)
  • Kit & Basie by Tess Carletta (5⭐)
  • Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie (3.5⭐)
  • Charming Young Man by Eliot Schrefer (5⭐)
  • Herc by Phoenicia Rogerson (3.75⭐)
  • Only a Monster by Vanessa Len (3.75⭐)
  • Never a Hero by Vanessa Len (3.75⭐)

Progress On My 2023 Reading Goals

Goodreads Challenge

I’ve set my annual reading goal at 100 books for the year. I read 15 books in September. This brings me to 184 books for the year so far! I met my goal for the year back in May and am aiming to just read as much as I can now. 🙂

NetGalley Progress

I want to end the year with at least 150 reviews completed for NetGalley and a feedback ratio of at least 81%. In September, I completed 5 reviews for NetGalley, which brings my total up to 141 reviews. My ratio increased a bit to 89%! So, I’m well on my way to meeting my goal as long as I don’t go on a requesting spree. 🙂

Make Some Progress On My Backlog

This year I’ve set the goal of having at least 25% of my reading be from my owned TBR purchased prior to 2023. This could include books on my physical or digital shelves, excluding ARCs. In September, I read 1 book from my shelves, which was a measly 7%. This brought books from my shelves down to 19.6% of my total reads for the year. I really don’t think I’ll be making this goal by the end of the year…

Re-Read More Books

Last year, I didn’t get to re-read much of anything. This year I’d really like to return to some of my favorites. So, I’ve set the goal of re-reading at least six books. I didn’t make any progress on this goal in September, which means I’m still at two re-reads for the year. 🙁

Participate in Challenges

I’ve got a few different challenges going this year. Here’s a quick update on each one of them!

POPSUGAR Challenge

I’ve completed 35 out of the 40 main prompts and finished 70% of the bonus prompts, as well. This means I completed one prompt this month. So, I’m still slowly chugging along with this one.

12 Months, 12 Books, 12 Friends Challenge

This was the first month of the year where I didn’t read one of these books. So, now I’m a bit behind.

The Year-Long Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt is being hosted by Jordyn @ Birdie’s Book Nook. So far, I’ve found all the prompts at least twice! I’ve stopped tracking this one now and consider it successfully completed, as of August 2023. 🙂

Magical Readathon: Adventure in Aeldia

This month, Padwin went on a date (book with romance). I read several books that could fit this prompt, but I’ll mention A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel by KJ Charles, specifically.

Finish Five Series

I plan to finish or catch up on the following 5 series by the end of this year:

  • A Chorus of Dragons by Jenn Lyons
  • Timekeeper by Tara Sim
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman

I didn’t finish any books for this goal in September, but I did start the first book in The Magicians series.

Final Thoughts

I did manage to do a few blog posts along with my reviews this month. You can find those in my blog archives if you are interested in checking them out.

Overall, this has been another good month of reading. My average rating was 4.17. My favorite was Charming Young Man, but there were quite a few this month that I enjoyed. What was your favorite book from September? Let me know down in the comments!

Thank you to everyone who has visited the blog and engaged with comments and/or likes! I appreciate all of you and always enjoy reading your input in the comments. I hope everyone has a great October!

8 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2023

    • Yeah. It was definitely a stressful month, but it all worked out in the end. I always love hearing the words ‘no evidence of recurrence.’ lol. The regular scans really do help bring down my anxiety, especially since I was misdiagnosed for so long before they accidentally stumbled upon the problem.

  1. Oof, sounds like September was definitely anxiety inducing. I’m glad you remain cancer free and that it was “only” asthma. Nice to have some peace of mind about that! And best of luck to your wife with her job search.

    • Yeah. I’m happy that it was only asthma, but that’s also what they told me for a decade until someone found the giant tumor by accident. Logically, I know that type of mistake is super unlikely to happen again given all the scans, but I can’t help but still be a little anxious.

  2. I’m sorry to hear that September was such a rough month but such happy news to hear that you remain cancer free! I hope your wife finds a great job soon as well 🙂 Despite the anxiety and stress, it looks like you had a pretty good reading month! Plus, you’re totally slaying all the goals. 🥳 Have a great October!

    • It has definitely been a good month despite all the stress. I’m happy that everything worked out in the end. Even though the contract negotiations were stressful, I’m kind of glad they fell through because she absolutely hates her current employer. I’m hoping this will be the impetus for a move to a job that actually appreciates her. I hope you have a great October, too!

  3. Glad to hear you are cancer free! It’s unfortunate with your wife’s job though. Hopefully she can find something in the year! Sending all of the good vibes your way. ❤️ You at least had some good ratings this month even though you dnfed one! I feel like I only had one 5 star but I haven’t wrote up my post yet.

    • Yeah. It is always a relief to get the scan results back and see everything is still clear.

      I’m sure she’ll be able to find something. Psychiatrists and sleep medicine doctors are in high demand, which is why I found it baffling her current employer treated her so poorly in the negotiations. Oh well. Hopefully she’s on to bigger and better things.

      It was a pretty good reading month. I found some new favorites, which I always love to have happen. 🙂

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