Thursday, October 7, 2021

Quarterly Reading Wrap-up - July to September 2021

Time for a little recap on all the books I've read in the last quarter a little recap of the best and worst! 

Quarterly Reading Wrap-up - July to September 2021
Some of the books talked about were received as review copies - this post contains affiliate links

Reading has clearly taken over as my most time-consuming hobby, and I've enjoyed incorporating more book content on the blog! So I thought I would recap all the books I read in the third quarter - there were 30 of them (33 in the first quarter, and 28 in the second quarter)! My original goal was to read at least 60 books through the whole year and I crushed that, so I upped it to 100 books for the year, and I'm already at 91 so pretty darn good! 

I have always been a pretty good reader; but, my reading has really picked since the pandemic. I've been more conscious about taking the time to read, and using it as a pre-bed routine to help my unwind and relax before bed (I think my anxious thoughts picked up and it was hard to fall asleep), so I've been turning the phone off before bed and reading for at least 15-20 minutes, and it's really helped with my routine plus getting through my growing TBR! 

Quarterly Reading Wrap-up - July to September 2021

I'm not a book snob - I will consume books anyway - audiobooks, physical books and I've been getting more in to electronic books as well! I have a fairly long commute to work, so audiobooks have always been a big part of my reading routine and I read a pretty equal amount of audiobooks compared to physical and e-books over the past few months! 

In terms of my reading taste, I read absolutely everything - literary fiction, non-fiction books, fantasy, young adult, graphic novels; I will give anything a go and there is rarely a category that I don't enjoy!

I certainly can't give reviews on all 30 books, so if you are interested in my thoughts and rankings on all of them make sure you check out my Goodreads page - and if you have it too, add me as a friend! I love seeing what people are reading and find some new books to read! 

Quarterly Reading Wrap-up - July to September 2021

One of my reading goals this year is to read about the same amount of newer books are older books - newer books would be 2020, 2021 and ARC releases and older books are anything prior to 2020! I feel like a hit a pretty good balance this quarter and read a pretty even mix of everything! 

Alright, a quick look at all the books I've read July - September 2021:
Quarterly Reading Wrap-up - July to September 2021

My rating system is:

5 Stars: Excellent/Fantastic/Amazing Read 
4.5 Stars: Really Great Read
4 Stars: Great Read 
3.5 Stars: Really Good Book
3 Stars: Good Book 
2.5 Stars: Eh, It was Okay Read
2 Stars: Finished it, but Didn't Enjoy It
1.5 Stars: Not Good at All
1 Star: DNF (Did Not Finish)

I had a decent reading quarter - a couple of amazing reads in there, a few duds and everything in between! 

Quarterly Reading Wrap-up - July to September 2021

I read some really fantastic books this month - 2 books I rated 5 stars and 5 books I rated 4.5 stars, so some real standouts:
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller ~ What a total surprise this was - I mean it shouldn't have been because people have been raving about this for so long and it just took me a long time to pick it up. This is a retelling of The Illiad and focuses on Patroclus and Demi-god, Achilles. It is their journey starting with their friendship and eventually they become devoted to each other (it's hard to say fall in love, because it is so much more than that!!) It also focuses on the Trojan War, but it's ultimately love a story that will tear your little heart out! 5 stars! 
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ~ I'm pretty everyone knows this is an obvious 5 star for me - hands down, my favourite book of all time! This was my 6th or so re-read and it is more and more amazing every time I read or listen to it! 
  • Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno ~ This is such a great young adult magical realism book - it features a set of twins finishing up high school and their last Summer on their island. One is waiting for her magical powers to show themselves before her 18th birthday (all the women in her family have magic), meanwhile her sister is going through a change! What a lovely Summer/Fallish read! 
  • If The Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy ~ What a delight this book was - the was Julie Murphy's first foray in to adult romance, and I really hope this line of fairytale retellings by her is going to continue. This is a twist on Cinderella, but in a reality-tv dating show setting, with a plus size protagonist. This author writes characters so you love them and loved what felt like behind the scenes glimpse at a reality tv dating show! Loved! 
  • Circe by Madeline Miller ~ I had to listen to the audiobook as soon as I finished The Song of Achilles and honestly, I will read anything Madeline Miller puts out. You do not need to know much Greek Mythology as she explains it all - her writing is so descriptive and lovely. Circe is the daughter of the Sun God, Helios but ends banished on an island where she harnesses her powers of witchery (which she uses to turn men in to pigs), but eventually has to decide between staying a god or with humans - she will do anything for her son! It's so good and the story is fantastic. 
  • The Strangers by Katherena Vermette ~ Oh, this is a companion novel to The Break (which is a 5 star read) and this focuses on 3 generations of woman in the same family, The Strangers. This is a raw portrayal of indigenous woman's story in Canada, and man, can this author make you feel like these are real people's stories you are reading. But, ultimately it is about their stories, struggles and survival - they are angry, sad, but their is hope in there! 
Quarterly Reading Wrap-up - July to September 2021

And, there were a few duds these past couple of months (these are 1 and 1.5 star reads):
  • The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares ~ This was a 1 star, which means I Did Not Finish (DNF)'d this - I gave it a fair shot until about 34%, but this so slow, there was no plot by this point and while I read spoilers about the end, I know more happens but I couldn't get wait for the story. The characters were quite unlikeable and it just didn't work for me. 
  • The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix ~ Okay, I also DNF'd this as well - I really wanted to give this a shot because people have been raving about Grady Hendrix, but I'm not sure if horror is for me. This was a little yucky and then there was a horrible scene about someone with them dying and being left and I stopped instantly. But also, it was super meandering and the characters all blurred together and it was a no. I will try another one by them before deciding if this author or genre is not for me!
  • A Spectacle of Souls by Jessica Julien ~ Ahh - this book was a 1.5 because I stuck it out and finished the whole thing, but the only reason was because this book is from a small publisher that was hard to find in print. This was great in theory - a waitress swept away in to a circus, but the ringmaster is dark and dangerous. This just got so weird and not in a good way - this writing felt quite juvenile and it's just not good.  
What is your favourite book so far this year?! 

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