Monthly Wrap-Up: July 2023

I’m honestly not quite sure where this month went. Looking back on it, there doesn’t seem to be any events that stand out as super significant. It has just all been a bit of a blur. I guess that is a good thing considering how awful June turned out to be. I’ll take the improvement of things returning to humdrum normal. lol. It wasn’t a ‘meh’ month when it came to reading, though. I finished tons of great books! Read on to find out more about them and how I’m progressing on my yearly goals.

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Mid-Series Impressions – A Chorus of Dragons

Hello, everyone! Today I’m doing something different. I don’t usually write up reviews/discussions of an entire series, much less give my random thoughts before I finish one. However, A Chorus of Dragons has me in a choke-hold, and I just need to talk about it. So, here we are. I recently finished the third book of the series (out of five), and I am seriously tempted to throw my TBR out the window and move on to book four. I’m trying to be good, though, and decided that bombarding you all with my thoughts would be enough of a distraction to keep me on task… hopefully.

Where do I start? Hmmm. I’ve realized that I love super complex stories with multiple layers, detailed world-building, weird timelines that jump all over, and lots of strange mysteries with reveals that make my jaw drop. This series has all of those things with a side of polyamory. lol. So, of course I have to love it. I was SO CONFUSED whenever I started the The Ruin of Kings. The characters were commenting asides to each other while narrating a story from multiple perspectives and different starting points. I had no idea what was going on for a while, but the characters and world were so interesting I didn’t want to stop reading. I was honestly dumbfounded at how well the different perspectives meshed up by the end and needed to know what happened next.

So, I quickly dove into The Name of All Things. I was almost immediately disappointed. lol. The characters from the first book were largely sidelined in this one, and the story seemed to go backward to events that happened before and simultaneously alongside those of the first book. I guess that shouldn’t have been so much of a surprise given how wonky the storytelling timeline was in the first book. The book’s focus on the horse people/kingdom and it’s repetitive explanation of their gender roles just did not work for me and really got on my nerves. The end of the book was interesting and finally moved the story forward, but it wasn’t enough to make this book a great reading experience for me. I considered DNFing the series and didn’t pick up the third book until a year later.

The Memory of Souls changed everything. It delved deeper into the history of the world, its gods, and all the main characters. I want to talk about all the crazy shit that went down, but so much of it would be spoilers. All of the main characters got important roles in this one, and it moved the story forward in some massive ways. The complexity of the plot and of the relationships between the characters was wild. I’m still trying to wrap my head around all the ramifications of the past lives and the many layers of interconnections between the characters. It almost feels incestuous to a certain degree because of the complex history between them all. The ridiculous amount of revelations and the mind-blowing ending left my head spinning. That is how you use an epilogue. Seriously. This book even made me look back on the second one in a fonder light. lol. Now I’m curious to see what I’d think of it on a re-read with the knowledge I know now. I think I’d enjoy it more.

In general, this series has the potential to become one of my all-time favorites if the author manages to stick the landing. I haven’t really seen many posts about it in the book community. So, I felt the need to shout about it for a bit. 🙂 Thank you for reading my rambling. If you’re sleeping on this series, definitely give it a shot. I’m glad I did and that I didn’t give up on it.

Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2023

June was a rough month. I managed to get food poisoning that had me vomiting and nauseous for days. Then we had severe weather roll through town and knock out the electricity and internet for days, which was not pleasant with temps approaching 100F. I don’t know how people survived before air conditioning because I just couldn’t do it. The only bright side was my Kindle being fully charged before the outage. So, I could read at night without straining my eyes. Well. Enough of my complaining. Let’s get to the books!

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Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2023

May was an awesome month for me. I went on vacation for the first time in forever. My wife and I traveled to Massachusetts and visited Boston, Salem, and Plymouth. I’d never been to New England before, and it was a great experience. I’d definitely love to go back because there was so much to do, and we didn’t have enough time to get to it all. I loved the Museum of Fine Arts so much, and we spent almost an entire day there. Other highlights included visiting Harvard, the Boston Public Library (I could seriously live in there), the U.S.S. Constitution, the Mayflower replica, and the house of the seven gables. Of course, I had to visit some bookstores too. I shopped at Brattle Book Shop and The Harvard Book Store, which was so much fun. I bought so many books there and at all the gift shops that I almost had to buy more luggage to get them home. So, this month’s book haul, which I’ll get posted eventually, was my largest ever. Now that we’re on the topic of books, let’s get on with wrapping up my reading month. It was a bit less than usual because of everything else going on, but I still read plenty of great books.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2023

April has been a pretty great month. There were tons of awesome new book releases, and I managed to complete everything for the Magical Readathon. The weather is finally a bit nicer, and everything in my neighborhood is in bloom, which is really beautiful. I spent a small fortune on landscaping this month, and now our flower beds look so much better. I know this is going to make me sound old, but I’m also excited we have a new grocery store close to my house. lol. It opened up right across from my neighborhood, and I love the convenience of being able to go right down the street to pick up what I need. Those are pretty much the major highlights. So, let’s jump into my reading progress for April.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2023

January has been an absolute whirlwind. Between my parents’ six eye surgeries, several vet visits, and ending the month being sick with COVID, it is a wonder I got any reading done at all. I was super motivated this month, though, and read a lot of great stuff. I participated in my first buddy reads this month and had so much fun with it. All in all, it has been a pretty good month despite ending it being sick.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2022

I enjoyed the month of October. It was relatively quiet, and I always enjoy giving away buckets of treats for Halloween. Our neighborhood is super popular, and it is always a big event with people setting up tables at the sidewalk to give away goodies to the kids going from house to house. I also went on a trip to visit my in-laws. We haven’t made that trip since before COVID started. So, it was nice to make it over there and see them and our nephew. I got approximately the same amount of reading done as in September, and I met one of my goals for the year, which is super exciting (Hint: It involves NetGalley). All in all, it has been a pretty great month. Now, let’s get down to the specifics.

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