June 2017 Month in Review

June 2017 month in review

This post is linked up at the Monthly Round-Up Wrap-Up @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

Is summer here yet? The season has been slow to arrive where I live. But if the weather forecast can be relied on, then I should only have to wait a few more days! I finished work on 23 June and move in mid August. In the meantime I’m want to enjoy my last few weeks here as best as I can. This means as maximizing lake time, biking to the library and, in a couple weeks, attending lots of Fringe shows. I’m also going on a four day camping trip with my best friend to a national park I enjoyed as a kid. As for blogging goals, since we’re halfway through the year, I’ll have a post up in a couple days for a check in of my overall yearly progress. June overall was a good month for posts and books read.

Books Finished

  1. The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods
  2. The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell
  3. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
  4. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
  5. Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
  6. Yours Sincerely, Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa
  7. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
  8. Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
  9. Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn

Books Reviewed

Features

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The Library of FatesBannerless

  • 11 July – Publication of Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn (post-apocalyptic story in which households have to earn a banner, giving them the right to have a child. Sneak preview of my forthcoming review: don’t bother with this one.)
  • 18 July – Publication of The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana (“A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore […]” I’m willing to ignore that romantic bit because the cover is so gorgeous.)

How was your June? What July events or releases should I check out this month? 

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May 2017 Month in Review

May Month in Review Banner

This post is linked up at the Monthly Round-Up Wrap-Up @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

Hello June! Lovely weather has arrived. I’ve been participating in Armchair Book Expo the past few days. Reading so many thoughtful posts and engaging with blogging friends both new and old has got me feeling exciting about blogging again. I’ll try to keep up that feeling throughout this month.

May turned out to be the first month I didn’t reach my posting goal, but I’m pleased with the reviews that I did write. I was surprised to realize I only read six books in May. But thanks to the April readathon, I remain on track to reach my mid-year target of 50 books read.

Books Finished

  1. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
  2. Icemen by Mick Conefrey and Tim Jordan
  3. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
  4. Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowel
  5. Drift & Dagger by Kendall Kulper
  6. In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

Books Reviewed

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Upcoming in June

A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and VirtueSaints and Misfits

  • 4 June – Armchair Book Expo concludes today (my giveaway runs until the end of the day, so check it out if you haven’t already!).
  • 13 June – Publication of Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (Arab Indian-American hijabi MC. Might be too romance-y for my tastes…)
  • June 17 and 18 – Mini Bloggiesta
  • 27 June – Publication of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (“Two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.” – this one sounds more to my taste, even if there’s romance. Gay MC.)

How was your May? What June events or releases should I check out this month? 

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April 2017 Month in Review

April 2017 in review banner

This post is linked up at the Monthly Round-Up Wrap-Up @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

Oof, how are we already a week into May?! The past few weeks have seen my energy diverted into apartment hunting. I have heard a lot about how hard it can be to find a place in Vancouver. Thankfully, I signed a lease yesterday! Now, I can put my time back into reading and blogging. I managed to skip ahead of my reading goal thanks to the 24 hour read-a-thon, during which I finished the final book in a trilogy, read three middle grade novels, an account of the 1913 Arctic disaster of the Karluk, and started two other books. I think it was my post productive read-a-thon 🙂

Books Finished

  • Sputnik’s Children by Terri Favro
  • Gutenberg’s Fingerprint by Merilyn Simonds
  • Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner
  • The Break by Kathrena Vermette
  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Ten Degrees of Reckoning by Hester Rumberg
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsberg
  • Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George
  • Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
  • A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
  • The Luck of the Karluk by L.D. Cross

Books Reviewed

Features

  • My review of The Little White Horse was a part of Elizabeth Goudge Reading Day, hosted by Lory @ Emerald City Book Review.
  • I wrote about how my physical TBR stack was getting out of hand.
  • Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon took place on 29 April. It was my seventh time participating, to great success.

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Upcoming in May

The Seafarer's KissIt's Not LIke It's a Secret

How was your April? What May releases should I add to my TBR? 

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March 2017 Month in Review

March Month in Review banner

This post is linked up at the Monthly Round-Up Wrap-Up @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

March was a much more consistent month for me than February. Although I still ended up travelling for four days! I snagged some last minute work up north during spring break (when there’s no work for an EA). The most exciting bit of March is that piece of news I shared above 🙂 I will be attending the University of British Columbia in the fall. This means moving to Vancouver from the prairies. I am so excited about living out west, but less excited about finding a place to live (let alone an affordable one, hah…). Reading wise, I had better success than in February. I still haven’t quite caught up to my Goodreads goal. I didn’t read as much middle grade as I thought I might have, so I plan to remedy that during the 24 hour read-a-thon towards the end of April.

Books Finished

  • Minds of Winter by Ed O’Loughlin
  • Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • A Secret Vice by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Mad Richard by Leslye Krueger
  • Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist by Sunil Yapa
  • The Plants of Middle-Earth by Dinah Hazell

Books Reviewed

  • Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
  • Middle Grade feat. Some Personal Favourites (from the 2016 Cybils middle-grade fiction nominees):
    • Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
    • Allie, First at Last by Angela Cervantes
    • Just Like Me by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
    • Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • The Girl Who Beat ISIS by Farida Khalaf
  • Neverhome by Laird Hunt
  • The Uncommon Readeby Alan Bennett
  • Minds of Winter by Ed O’Loughlin
  • Middle Grade feat. Historical Fiction (from the 2016 Cybils middle-grade fiction nominees):
    • Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm
    • Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
    • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
    • Finding Fortune by Delia Ray
    • Aim by Joyce Meyer Hostetter
    • Some Kind of Courage by Dan Geimenhart
    • Nine, Ten by Nora Raleigh Bashkin
  • Tolkien in Translation edited by Thomas Honegger (guest post at Pages Unbound)

Words and Pictures

  • A Silent Voice Vol. 2 and Vol. 3  by Yoshitoki Ooima  – I ranked vol. 3 higher than vol. 2 on GoodReads because the main issue I was concerned about (Nishimiya not being depicted as having any agency) is starting to be addressed. I think the point of vol. 2 and 3 were to demonstrate how self-centered Shoya was being in his desire to make things right with Nishimiya. His actions and therefore the story was about him instead of her. Kind of a ‘manic pixie dream girl’ thing going on, though Shoya is clearly depicted as being in the wrong. Towards the end of vol. 3, Nishimiya starts taking visible action for herself, so I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing more of her character in the next volumes.  (Not sure about where the ‘cliffhanger’ is going, though…) The inclusion of more old classmates from grade six added new perspectives to the story. I was so glad when Shoya realized how awful one of his classmates still is.
  • Will I See? by David Alexander Robertson, GMB Chomichuk and Iskwe – I started writing about this graphic novel about missing and murdered Indigenous women, but I have now decided it deserves its own post.
  • Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen – TriangleAnother excellent release from this duo. I had the pleasure of first encountering this book through a reading Klassen did. I would love to find more picture books with this kind of humour.
  • What Do You Say, Dearby Seslye Joslin and Maurice Sendak – I read this book and the next when I checked out an exhibition of the Perry Nodelman Maurice Sendak collection at my alma mater (on until April 10 at the University of Winnipeg, if you’re in the area!). Originally published in the 1950s, this cute book introduces polite phrases in creative ways (ex. “What do you say when you bump into a crocodile on a crowded city street?”)
  • Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak – See above. This book inspired the film Labyrinth (which I was wondering about when I read it, haha – “Was this published before or after Labyrinth?”, I thought.)

outside over there

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Upcoming in April

Borne by Jeff VandermeerSputnik's Childrengutenberg's fingerprintMusic of the Ghosts

  • 11 Apr – Publication of Sputnik’s Children by Terri Favro (woman writes a Cold War-era inspired comic book featuring a heroine based on herself in an alternate reality – I’m currently reading this and it’s actually pretty cool, more so than I can briefly sum up here), Gutenberg’s Fingerprint by Merilyn Simonds (memoir about the “past, present, and evolving future of the book”), and Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner (woman returns to Cambodia from America for the first time since fleeing as a child refugee)
  • 24 Apr – Elizabeth Goudge Reading Day hosted by Emerald City Book Review
  • 25 Apr – Publication of Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (How do you sum up a VanderMeeer novel? New weird scifi release from author of The Southern Reach trilogy)
  • 29 Apr Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon

What new releases or bookish events are you looking forward to in April?

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February Month in Review

February Month in Review

This post is linked up at the Monthly Round-Up Wrap-Up @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

February posed a challenge when it came to staying on top of reading and blogging. I was travelling and offline for seven days of that short month. Plus, I found myself a full time job! 🙂 I am now working as an educational assistant in my local school division. Even with all the distractions, my posting goal didn’t suffer too much (only one post short). My reading goal took more of a hit. I’m currently 3 books behind. I plan on making up for February’s lost time with some middle grade and some (hopefully) unputdownable reads!

Books Finished

  • When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
  • Neverhome by Laird Hunt
  • The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  • Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Books Reviewed

  • Middle Grade feat. Animals (from the Cybils middle-grade fiction nominees):
    • Pandas on the Eastside by Gabrielle Prendergast
    • When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
    • Wish by Barbara O’Connor
    • The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs by Cylin Busby
  • You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris
  • When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
  • Middle Grade feat. Multiple Narrators (from tje Cybils middle-grade fiction nominees):
    • Two Naomis by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick
    • Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson
    • Slacker by Gordon Korman
  • Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Words and Pictures

  • A Silent Voice Vol. 1A Silent Voice Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Ooima – It’s been a long time since I read manga. I checked out this series on Neko Neha‘s recommendation. The first volume depicts what unfolds when Shoko, a girl who is deaf, enters a six grade classroom and becomes the bullying target of Shoya, the narrator. I taught sixth grade occasionally when I was in Japan. The students were generally on their best behaviour for me (I think because my time in their classroom was rare) so I didn’t see any bullying. Of course, I know bullying like what’s depicted in this volume occurs, as I heard tragic stories about 12 year olds committing suicide and schools refusing to discuss it, let alone acknowledge that bullying was probably a significant factor. Bullying is one issue. The treatment of students with disabilities is a whole nother one. Suffice it to say they are often more stigmatized than in western society. So, A Silent Voice begins as a sad story, but one that is important to share, especially in Japanese society. Vol. 1 reads a bit like a prologue. The rest of the series fast-forwards six years to Shoya trying to make amends with Shoko. I’m curious to see how that will pan out, so I will keep reading this series!

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Upcoming in March

Star-Crossed The Beast is an AnimalAmina's Voice

  • 7 Mar – Publication of The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arnsdale (YA dark fairy tale)
  • 14 Mar – Publication of Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee (MG featuring a protagonist who learns about her bisexuality after developing a crush on girl at school during a production of Romeo and Juliet) and Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (MG contemporary about a Pakistani-American girl navigating her identity)
  • 14 Mar – Local launch of Will I See? by David Alexander Robertson, GMB Chomichuk, and Iskwe (graphic novel about missing and murdered Indigenous women).
  • 20 Mar – Start of Pages Unbound‘s 2017 Tolkien Reading Event
  • 25 Mar – “All Who Wander”, an evening of dramatic readings and a capella renditions of music from The Lord of the Rings.
  • 28 Mar – Publication of Radio Silencby Alice Osman (YA contemporary LGBTQA+ diverse characters and a male-female friendship(!)) and Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (picture book by an excellent duo)

February whirled by for me! How was your month? Did you read any great books?

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