May 2017 – Wrap Up

May Wrap-Up

It’s that time again already! Time for my May wrap-up post!

This month has been pretty good, I’ve managed to read quite a few books for Bingo, I’ve started doing the “Down the TBR Hole” tag which has really helped me reduce my TBR pile on Goodreads and I’ve also started managing to get rid of some books from my overflowing shelves.

In blog news, I’ve started the Down the TBR Hole tag as mentioned above and it’s doing really well. I didn’t do one last week as I was busy applying for jobs and didn’t have the time. I’ve stopped doing my Travel Thursdays for now as I felt they weren’t really getting any views and so it didn’t seem like something people were interested in. I might do them again later if I get more interest, but I think I might instead focus on general recommendation posts instead. I’ve got quite a lot of book reviews up this month and my views are around the same as February and March which I’m very happy about. I’m getting a decent amount of views from a variety of sources and I think my goal for June is to try and use Instagram more and get some new readers from there (and also because it’s just fun taking book photos)

As for the books I read this month, here they are!

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As you can see, I read a total of 22 books! Of those 22, 12 were by women and 10 by men so I’m quite pleased with that ratio. Several were from different countries helping me with my Around the World Challenge and quite a few of these were for the Fantasy Bingo so I’m making very good progress on that. I’d been ignoring the Book Riot challenge recently so I read Gulliver’s Travels for that (an all-ages comic) and I might try and do a couple more of those this month too. As it’s now halfway through the year, I’m planning on doing several challenge-specific posts to see how I’m doing and to plan out my reading a bit more for the rest of the year.

I’ve discovered that getting books from the library makes me much more likely to read them (the stress of the deadline to return them really helps) and so I’m going to make TBR lists and then request those books from the library as I feel that will work much better than my usual “I want to read these books” and then I don’t touch them for ages.

In life news, I’m moving this month! I’m very excited about that as it means I can hopefully finally get a cat. I’ve also been busy applying for jobs and so I’m hoping that goes well (and more money to spend on books is always good!). One particularly impressive thing I’ve done recently is start being very strict on myself with regards to books and so I’m making a huge pile of books to donate instead of taking with me to my new flat. I’m very bad at this usually so it’s a pretty big deal to me that I’m managing to do this. I’m also going to be pretty busy this month as I have plans for almost every single weekend day now so I’m going to have to be extra organised to keep up with my blog but that shouldn’t be a problem as I have plenty of good books to review and a bunch of post ideas so will just set aside a couple days to schedule some of those up in advance.

What do you think of the books I read? Are there any you think I’d like based on what I read? Any books you’d like me to review from those I mentioned? Let me know!

April 2017 Wrap-Up

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So! This post is a bit late because I spent the past few days reading the Fitz and the Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb and that just took up all of my time.

As far as blog news goes for April, I’ve not been as active as I’d have wanted however that’s mostly due to the fact I’ve been reading a lot more instead and so I’m still happy enough with that. My views aren’t as high as previous months however I’m still getting a decent amount, even when I’ve not posted for a couple days, which I’m very happy about. I’m planning on spending a few days catching up on Book Reviews and trying to schedule them for the next month or two so that I can then focus on other posts.

Since I’m taking part in the /r/Fantasy Bingo, I plan on making recommendation posts for a lot of the squares and so you can expect to start seeing more of those. We’re almost halfway through the year now too so there will probably be several posts on the various challenges I’m doing and how I’m getting on with them. I’ve not posted much lately on my read around the world challenge so I’m going to try and focus my reviews on those.

So yes, I apologise for the lack of posts last month but I’m determined to be way more regular this month and try and beat last months views!

Anyway, on to the books I read in April!

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As you can see, I had a very good month! I read a total of 25 books (A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee is missing from this image as I realised I hadn’t set the read date on Goodreads) and I’ve managed to read all of the Bailey’s Prize shortlisted books except one (I’ve got a reservation at the library and just waiting on a copy to be available). I’ve managed to read quite a few for the /r/Fantasy bingo squares and have kept my reading as diverse as possible. I’m starting to read a lot more SFF again and so there will probably be a lot of reviews of that coming up soon.

I’m not going to discuss each book individually as there are so many, but again I had a very good reading month and enjoyed almost everything I read and am looking forward to writing my reviews so I can share my enjoyment of them.

I added a life update last time as I know I enjoy learning more about the bloggers I follow but nothing too noteworthy has happened other than going on a nice long-weekend away with some friends where I spent a lot of time reading and playing board games. I applied to an awesome job but I won’t hear back for quite a while so fingers crossed (I think I’ve got an interview to another, less awesome, job so that’s cool too. Now to make sure I have interview clothes!)

 

March 2017 Wrap-Up

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March Blog Wrap-Up

So! As you can see from the image above, I read a lot less this month than I did last month. I read a total of 15 books which I think is pretty good considering that the new Zelda game came out this month and I’ve spent a lot of time playing it. I really enjoyed most of the books I read and I’m still trying to read as diversely as possible. 10/15 books I read were written by women so I’m doing really well on my goal of reading more books written by women and several of these will count towards my various reading challenges which is also great. I plan on doing a ReadHarder quarterly wrap-up post soon, I just need to finish my reviews first!

I’m not doing a book haul for this month because I had almost no views on my last one so I feel it’s something people aren’t interested in. However if people would like me to do one, I’d happily do that as I keep all my new purchases for each month separate (as I have a goal of trying to read at least one of my new books each “haul”)

Blogging wise, I’ve started my new Travel Thursday feature which I really enjoy. I’ve not had that many views on them yet so I’m only going to do them every other week but so far I’m really enjoying writing them and they’re a big help for my “Around the World” challenge. I’ve almost hit 100 followers so I’m very excited about that and I now have 300 followers on Twitter. I’ve not had as many posts this month, again mostly due to Zelda, and I’ve started setting aside time on Tuesday and Wednesday for blog hopping so that I can also spend more time reading other fantastic blogs. I’ve managed to slightly increase my views from February which is good given that I made less posts and I’m also quite happy to see that I’ve got views from across the world which is really cool. (I’ve also decided that for my “Around the World” challenge I’m going to focus first on the countries that my visitors are from so if you have a recommendation then please let me know!)

Finally, I’m about to start a new reading challenge/bingo focused on Fantasy books that I’m very excited about. I’ll be making a post about it soon and I expect I’ll be making a couple recommendation posts for a couple of the squares. I’m contemplating joining in on Diversity Bingo too, just because through my reading I’ve already completed a fair amount of the squares – I think I’m going to set aside a day to go through and see just how many squares I’ve completed as if it’s more than a quarter then I’ll definitely join (and if not, I probably will anyway but will wait until I’ve finished one of my other challenges first)

Life Wrap-Up

So, I didn’t do this last month but I know I’m certainly curious about the lives of the bloggers I read so figure you might be curious about me so I’ll add in a monthly feature to update you on my life (especially for those who don’t follow me on Twitter)

I’m currently unemployed but I’ve made good progress with job applications this month and I’m hopeful that I’ll find something soon. I currently volunteer for a fantastic charity while I job hunt so that’s really helping build my skills and they’ve said that they’ll write me a fantastic reference and asked me if there’s anything they can do to help which is so lovely of them.

As I mentioned above, I’ve been a bit obsessed with the new Zelda game as it’s just so fantastic. I’m a big fan of video games and if I’m not reading or playing board games (another hobby of mine) then I’m probably playing a video game. I just completed Zelda a couple days ago but there’s still so much more to do so I’ll probably still be playing it for quite a while. I’ve also started a game of Fire Emblem so I’ll probably be spending a lot of time on that this month.

My writing has been a bit slow lately as my mental health hasn’t been that great so I’ve put it on hold to have one less thing to stress about but I plan on returning to it this month and trying to hit 10k words on my Novella.

Goals for April:

  • Read at least 4 books for each challenge I’m doing
  • Get back to scheduling more posts in advance
  • Write reviews for all the ARCs I’ve finished
  • Make more recommendation posts
  • Get more views than last month
  • Eat healthier
  • Apply to more jobs
  • Start doing yoga again
  • Write at least 10k words

 

So! How was your March? Were you able to achieve your goals or was it a slow month for you? I love reading wrap-ups so if you have one, please comment with it so I can go check it out!

 

February 2017 Wrap-Up

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So, February is the first full month of blogging I’ve had and it’s been excellent! I’ve managed to get more traffic than January, more followers and discovered lots of excellent new blogs to follow myself!

As some of you may know, I was only reviewing books by Black Authors because it was Black History Month and that went really well! I even squeezed in a couple extra posts too as I had so many reviews to post. If you want to check those out, they’re all under the “Black History Month” category. I mixed my reading for that between some free classics which I made a list about here and between Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels focusing on authors from my list here. I did also read plenty of books by other authors and so I’ve got a lot of reviews to catch up on now! I had planned on making a second Sci-Fi/Fantasy post focusing on male authors this time but I ended up not having time although I do plan on doing that eventually. Maybe later this month!

I noticed that I was nominated for a couple awards and I’d like to thank all those that nominated me! That’s lovely of you. As I’m still really new, I don’t really know anybody well enough to tag them so I’ve not responded to any of those yet.

A lot of the posts I make are currently book reviews and so I’m thinking of starting doing a couple of the weekly posts I see floating around since I always enjoy reading those on others blogs. I haven’t decided which yet but if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Anyway, on to the books read!

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I read a whopping 26 books this month so I’m not going to list and link them all individually as that would take forever! However, you can just go view my Goodreads profile if you want to look up any of them in more detail.

 

It’s really hard to focus on highlights because I enjoyed so many of these books! I have reviews up for quite a few of them and am working on reviews for several more. I managed to make quite a bit of progress on several of my challenges too, so I’m thinking about adding another one as thanks to my focus on black authors this month, I’m pretty certain I’ve managed to achieve my POC reading challenge goal already (or am only a few books away from completing it). I’m thinking about starting the Diversity Bingo Challenge although if there are any other interesting challenges out there, I’d love to hear about them.

So! Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think! Are there any you’d like me to discuss more? Are there any books you’d recommend for March based on what I read? Let me know below!