September (AKA The Month of 5-star Reads Streak) Monthly Wrap-up

Monthly Wrap up

I don’t know about you, but September just blurred by for me, its days bleeding together in a confused haze. It’s been a busy month for me, probably busier than July though I didn’t much feel it because by now I’ve adjusted to the grind of home, work, patients, reports then home again. Wash, repeat the cycle.

A number of good things happened last month. I was sent by our company to a week-long post-graduate course, and now I have a new certificate under my belt. I soon have to renew my BLS & ACLS certification though it’s not due ’til the end of the year. I’m thinking of maybe reserving my slot in a class some time this month or the next.

I also joined my first blog tour (3 actually!) and had my first giveaway. I had the chance to chat with my winner, Michelle, a couple of days ago and she told me she already received her prize – a hardcover of Sarah Bird’s Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen – courtesy of the good people at St. Martin’s Press.

And here’s another thing I’m really happy about.

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goodreads

When I stopped blogging in 2015, I was stuck in a rut, not just reading-wise but also personal. I just stopped reading all together, but I came back to it, bit by bit. I initially set a goal of 20 books in 2016, completed that, then added 10 more books to make 30 in 2017, surpassed that by 50+ books, so I added 10 more books to my goal for this year, and, well, hit that earlier than expected. This is something I’m really happy about, not just because I’ve managed to complete my reading challenge for the third year in a row, but because it means so much to me to be back doing the things I love – reading and writing – after not having even the energy and the will to even pick up a book three years ago. I’ve come a long way.

All right, well, enough of that. Here’s a little snapshot of my September in books.

Books I’ve finished:

I’ve had a great month reading really good books. I actually think this is the most 5-star ratings I’ve given, not to mention my 4-star ratings.

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Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird (Historical Fiction – Post American Civil War)
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ // 
Review: “Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen” by Sarah Bird

Also check out my quick Q&A with Sarah Bird here.

 

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I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 // Review + Author Q&A: “I Do Not Trust You” by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

 

 

cover - White as Silence 9780785217060.jpg_1

 

White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia
My rating: ⭐⭐ // Review: “White as Silence, Red as Song” by Alessandro D’Avenia

 

 

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Strange Grace by Tessa Graton
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ // Review: “Strange Grace” by Tessa Graton

 

 

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The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ // Review: “The Deepest Roots” by Miranda Asebedo

 

 

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Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ // Review: “Give the Dark My Love” by Beth Revis

 

 

Books I’ve started:

🍂 Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb

🍂 Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

My TBR for October (aka The “Are you seriously going to be able to finish all these books” Pile):

Oct TBR

Release dates:

October 2

Broken Things – Lauren Oliver

Shadow of the Fox – Julie Kagawa

When We Caught Fire – Anna Godbersen

October 9

The Witch Elm – Tana French

October 16

A Well-behaved Woman – Therese Anne Fowler

A new discovery:

If you want to know more about your reading habits – your most read genres, etc. – try Book SirensI signed up and it was so easy. I just linked it with my Goodreads profile, then they do the rest. Apparently, I’m a strict reviewer (what?!?) but that I can definitely be impressed. Anyway, I recommend that you at least give it a try. I was pretty surprised by the info it gleaned from my Goodreads profile.

P.S. There’s also a widget for the profile they make for you. I already have mine up on my sidebar. It’s pretty cool.

 

 

July Monthly Wrap-up and August TBR

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If you have been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that July has been a rather busy month for me at work and it proved itself up to its very last day. The number of patients who visited us doubled this month, and this affected my other duties as the clinic’s most tenured member. I had to take home some of my work (aka reports) because I just can’t seem to finish them while I’m at work, and it decreased my reading time.

On happier, less stressful side of things, our family celebrated my nephew’s first birthday and christening recently, which was a ton of fun. He’s very fascinated with dinosaurs so his mom and my brother-in-law set up a dinosaur themed christening reception. I wasn’t able to take many pictures because my phone’s battery got drained halfway through the event, but here are some that I took just before my phone shut down.

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My reading time woes aside, I think I still had a wonderful July. Here’s a quick snapshot of what the month has been for me:

Books I’ve finished:

🍂 Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pèrez (Young Adult Fiction // Series, Fantasy, Re-telling)

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2  // Review: “Sweet Black Waves” Kristina Pèrez

I really enjoyed this book despite the little problems I had with it, mainly its slow pacing in the middle and unrealized secondary character. It’s the first book in what is to be a trilogy so I’m sticking. I mean, hey, this book got me at Tristan and Iseult re-telling.

🍂 Ghosted by Rosie Walsh (General Adult Fiction // Contemporary, Romance)

My rating: ⭐⭐ // Review: “Ghosted” by Rosie Walsh

This is one book I really wanted to love but just couldn’t. I thought it was interesting as it centered around the topic of ‘ghosting’ so I went on and requested it from Penguin’s First to Read reader program. The first few chapters were okay, but as it progressed it just became tedious. This book ultimately failed to live up to its promise.

🍂 Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza (General Adult Fiction // Women’s Fiction, Political Satire)

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ // Review: “Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win” by Jo Piazza

Now, this book is the total opposite of Ghosted for me in that I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Jo Piazza took some of the most important issues we all face in our regular lives and weaved it through her narrative. Though, I have to say, the best part of this book is the titular character herself, Charlotte Walsh. I don’t have any political ambitions (why would I put such stress on myself?!?) but I saw a lot of myself in her – determined, flawed and conflicted – and that’s something that is so rare for me, so this book really earned its gold stars.

Books I’ve started:

🍂 Wait For Me by Caroline Leech (Young Adult Fiction // Series, Historical Romance, WWII)

I borrowed this from the library at the start of July and had to return it because my 21-day loan was up. I was already 63% into the story and I really want to finish it because I enjoyed what parts of it I finished. I’m second in line for it though, which translates to about a 2-week wait.

🍂 The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis (General Adult Fiction // Historical Mystery, Prohibition, mid-70s)

Have you noticed I’ve been on a historical fiction kick lately? Well, I certainly have though I didn’t really notice it not until I was reading them one after the other.

I’m already about 70% through The Masterpiece and I’m loving it. I think I can finish it today, or maybe tomorrow, and have the review for it up by Sunday. That’s all tentative though as my work week is only starting tonight.

July Book Haul:

I kind of splurged on books this month. My local bookstore was celebrating it’s anniversary and they had this massive sale. 20% to 70% discount anyone? So, of course, yours truly broke out her wallet, picked up a basket and filled it. I’ve already read three of these five books, (bought their e-books first because I just don’t want to wait!) but still wanted physical copies so I’m pretty happy to get them on discounted prices.

I also bought a couple of second hand mass market paperback of books from the In Death series. They are hard to find, owing to the length and the age (is that the right term?) of the series, and I made it into a sort of treasure hunt for myself. It’s fun sifting through secondhand books and finding gems. Here’s a photo of my July haul (featuring my hand).

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Book hauling and lifting are valid forms of exercise!!!

August TBR:

I have a couple of books lined up for this month, almost all of them releasing on the same day (a reason to freak out, I know) so I’m really going to try to get my act together and carve some reading time.

36575823A Touch of Gold (Annie Sullivan)
Publisher: Blink/HarperCollins Christian Publishing
Release Date: August 14

 

 

 

 

32718970See All the Stars (Kit Frick)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster
Release Date: August 14

 

 

 

 

39897647The Learning Year (Pam McGaffin)
Publisher: SparkPress/Ingram Publisher Services
Release Date: August 14

 

 

 

 

37506437Darius the Great is Not Okay (Adib Khorram)
Publisher: Dial Books/Penguin Publishing Group
Release Date: August 28

 

 

 

 

36911793White as Silence, Red as Song (Alessandro D’Avenia)
Publisher: Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian
Release Date: September 4

 

 

 

 

I’m hoping that August eases up a bit work-wise. I could really use a break, honestly. Anyway, I think that’s it for me today.

💗💗💗

Rachel

let's chat

How’s your July been and what are you planning to read this August?