Book hauls, Sunday post

[Monthly wrapup] A Busy Month Finally Over September Stats Fever! 2018

So September has not been an easy month. So many things to catch up with after my vacation and travels, and especially work. I am still quite stressed, and working late nights a month later. So during this busy time, I am not even sure where my blog’s headed. I am definitely keeping it, but I might either go on hiatus, or just blog way more intermittently. We will see.

But there’s good news as well! The fact that I’ve been rather active on my second Instagram account that I’ve created. Frankly, I am pleasantly surprised that I already have over 100 followers on that account in a week! Thank you everyone ❤️ the fact that it’s a smaller account makes it so cozy for me, and I almost always know who is going to reply to my captions, and I love hearing from those people. I feel like I’m using my second Instagram the way a social network is supposed to be used – without overthinking it, purely for sharing what I’m up to with my friends and as frequently as possible. It has been a while that I’ve loved using a social network this much! Here’s one of my most recent unedited photos – yes, that’s precisely the point of that account – to share unedited, raw photos, and let them be unattractive – but it’s genuine. If you haven’t followed me yet, see my account here:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Just taking my notes for The Sugar Queen. I’m really enjoying it so far, and after all, how could I not get completely into a book by Sarah Addison Allen? I said I wouldn’t be doing many formal reviews anymore, which kind of eliminates the need for notes, but with this book I just find myself tempted to write things down. Thoughts just form sentences in my head and I have to put it in notes. After I finish this one, I’ll be diving into a rec by @unconventionalbookworms, who actually didn’t just recommend me the book, but straight up gifted it to me ❤ (#bookcommunity FTW!) It’s called Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis. Have you read it? I was surprised to find a lost sisters theme in The Sugar Queen too today! Although it wasn’t even hinting at that as I was starting to read it last night, right before I talked to Lexxie. It’s interesting how things just bunch up like that, isn’t it? #currentlyreading #chicklit #romance #sarahaddisonallen #jillshalvis #reading #toberead #takingnotes #remarkablepaper #remarkabletablet #readingbooks

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What have I accomplished in September though?

    • decided to ditch my schedule and rigorous calendar. I’ll just be posting whenever. If I first run out of posts, that is 😂
    • decided to change up my post format and focus less on formal reviews
    • decided that books I didn’t absolutely enjoy won’t be going on my blog anymore – only on social media and review sites
    • I reached 1k on my original Instagram account and created my second one
    • Broke 3k on my Twitter account
    • got a package from the lovely Tor.com – yay for international reviewers!
    • Broke through 100 books read (my yearly goal was 52…)
    • At one point, I was currently reading 11 books and was in a little slump. I’m not sure I’m out of the forest quite yet.
    • And you know what? My blog is turning two years in two weeks!

So even though the month was super stressful and busy, it seems reading-wise it was still not a bad month. Let’s see the books I read and which ones I would recommend though – my reading this month was a mixed batch, although leaning towards the good side.

~ 5-Star Miracle Books Read ~

Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4) Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse A Year of Living Kindly: Choices That Will Change Your Life and the World Around You

September marked the end of my beloved Murderbot Diaries – Exit Strategy comes out blog on October 2nd, 2018. As sad as it was to close this chapter, it was an amazing ending. Plus, there’s good news! This will not be the last that we see of Murderbot. More on this in my Murderbot Diaries post on Tuesday! I truly loved Exit Strategy, it’s just as wonderful as the other Murderbot books and I can honestly recommend it. Another pleasant surprise this month was Finding Baba Yaga. It’s a novel in verse, and I’ve never been much of a poetry lover – which is why I was so surprised to love Finding Baba Yaga so much. It was great! Not pretentious or mysterious at all – it was clear and understandable, sad in places, funny in others, and I loved what it was trying to say. Very recommended. Thank you Tor.com for these amazing review copies.

And of course, then there’s A Year of Living Kindly. This book I could recommend to absolutely everyone. It’s just so good and aligns so well with my virtues, I can’t even tell you. It has practical insights about how, and especially WHY you can make your day to day life focused on more kindness, and what’s the most important – it’s not religiously oriented, so it works for just about anyone. There should be more books like that. Thanks to She Writes Press for the review copy. I actually bought this book myself after it came out, despite having read the review copy. That’s the first book I’ve ever bought even though I had a review copy. So you can probably see how much it meant to me.

~ 4-Star Steady Good Books Read ~

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone (Kingdoms and Empires #1) Mindless

I absolutely loved The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone because it was such a colorful, all-encompassing middle grade book! I believe I’ve already rambled about it here in my list of middle grade stories that might pick your mood up in the autumn. I really, really recommend it! I also liked Mindless, a strong and very moving short story by Louise Cole about a teen who is left no choice but to defend her family and ends up in trouble over it. It opens your eyes to the realities of some people – realities we have barely just started taking about in the past five years. Thank you to the publishers for these review copies.

~ Okay Books Read ~

Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith Primrose Street The Things We Learn When We're Dead Tomorrow factory The Psychology of Time Travel

It was so hard putting Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith in this group – because Ewan is so much better than the rest of these books! And yet, I couldn’t say I completely enjoyed it. It remains somewhere in between 3 and 4 stars, because while it was a great story, it was just a tad dark for me at the time, perhaps. The rest of these books though… I DNFed three of them. Primrose Street was good, but it also just got too dark, and I can’t handle dark at the moment. Tomorrow Factory was imaginative, and while it reminded me Central Station, it also had the same drawback that that book had – being cold and unattached to the characters. That’s a no go for me, usually. The Psychology of Time Travel I pretty much flat out hated, because it showed a lot of bullying and discrimination for having mental health issues. I realize that the author wanted to raise these issues and talk about them, but it was just too jarring for me, and the story itself bored me, so there was no way I was finishing it. As for Things We Learn When We’re Dead… I realize I’m probably the only reviewer out there that didn’t like it, but… the book was 500 pages and I only got into it after maybe 200. That’s not okay. But there’s a bigger thing that wasn’t okay – the book tries to make light of loss, tragedy and suicide . I will talk more about this in a mini reviews post next week. But basically, it didn’t go down.

However! While I pretty much hated three of five books in this pile, I’m still giving them good ratings, because I understand that the reason I didn’t like them was me, rather than there being something wrong with the book (with maybe the exception of The Things We Learn.) So that’s me being nice, I guess? Which means… That this month there is no ‘Totally Meh’ books pile!

~ The Stats! ~

september-stats-2018

I don’t know if I should keep posting the stats! They’re like wildly over the top by now xD

~ On The Blog In September ~

Out of all these posts, I’m probably most proud of the discussion, Why Authors Should Take Extra Care When Writing Enemies to Lovers. It seemed to be a hot topic! Out of the reviews, I recommend to check out Going Widdershins, a story of oppression and healing that I would absolutely read again, and Sleep, Merel, Sleep, which I dubbed the perfect middle grade story.

 town in bloom playing to the gods  enemies to lovers

mini reviews 2   sleep merel sleep

going widdershins   #NewBloggersWelcome

autumn blues   

~ Books Hauled ~

A Year of Living Kindly: Choices That Will Change Your Life and the World Around You The Black God's Drums Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4) Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse
War Cry Foam On The Crest Of Waves All the Birds in the Sky Interplanetary Robots: True Stories of Space Exploration
Polyamorous: Living and Loving More Battlestar Suburbia Golden Son (Red Rising Saga #2)

Okay, so I actually hauled a little more than I said I did. Because I got this amazing Humble Bundle with 24 Doctor Who comics. But I’m not putting that on the hauls list because that would explode it xD and I’m pretty sure I will read them fast! But anyway, there are like ten days left to get this Humble Bundle, and you can pay as low as 1$. If you want to get hyped up for the new Doctor Who season, I can very much recommend it and have an affiliate link here! You can also choose how much goes to the publisher, the charities and affiliate (my blog) before you check out. Doctor Who HYPE!

I also have to express my love for this community once more. I just asked Lexxie @ Unconventional Bookworms for a sweet cozy book recommendation, perhaps romance, the other day, and she just… gifted one to me! This has got to be the sweetest thing ever. THIS is what our community is and I can’t help but feel very lucky to be in it ❤️

~ Next Week ~

Next week I’ve got a lot of scifi planned. First of all, it’s a post about The Murderbot Diaries as a series, and then – a review of Tomorrow Factory that I’ve been pushing out of the way for far too long – I’m not excited about it because I didn’t like the book all that much, but I wrote it before I decided to stop writing reviews for books I didn’t love on the blog. So, to the last hurrah!

 murderbot diaries  tomorrow factory

~ In The Bookish Community ~

Clo @ Book Dragons 24/7 guest posts at Northern Plunder and gives us 5 Reasons Why Love in Books is Overrated

Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages talks about her own weird reading habits

Kat @ Novels and Waffles talks about DNFing and her bookish turn offs

Gayathri @ Elgee Writes talks aboout all the convenient ways she’s found of following blogs

Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku talks about how and why The Giver has moved her time and time again

As usual, I’m linking up with Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday post, also with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga’s Reviews, Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

And that’s it for my September! What about you? Share your links with me in the comments!

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

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Vee
Guest

Girl, you have been busy! I am really happy to hear you are pacing yourself and letting loose with the blog schedule; going on a hiatus really showed me how important it is to do what you love and not feel stressed by it! Seeing your quick thoughts on some of those books means I’m adding more books to my own list so thanks for making my TBR list even longer 😛

Clo @ Book Dragons
Guest
Ah I’m slowly planning and prepping my bookstagram, was gonna try and do it this month and keep it rolling but erm…it’d be too much on top of Blogoween, writing, my own blog and college. I’m still in a reading slump too *sighs* But I like the idea of just having an account which has raw unedited photos, particularly when we seem to pressure ourselves to make everything look visually pleasing and ‘perfect’. Depending on when you see this, will depend if my wrap up has gone up yet…cause I’m bad like that. But thanks for sharing my guest post!… Read more »
Ivyclad Ideas
Guest

If I ditched my schedule, nothing would ever get posted! :’) I’m glad it works for you though. We all need to give ourselves permission to be free from time to time.
Hope you have a great October!

Tânia@MyLovelySecret
Guest
Congratulations on reaching on 1k on Instagram, 3k on Twitter and creating a new Instagram account – I haven’t followed you yet because I’m currently taking some time off from Instagram. I’ll try to return in October, but we will see… I just haven’t been in the mood to take photos. I’m so happy for you, Evelina! It’s so great when a publisher recognizes international bloggers and sends them some physical books. Have you thought about joining Top Ten Tuesday? It’s a great meme to talk about (and raver over) books you love without having to write a traditional review… Read more »
bookworm
Guest

I like Instagram too, and I try not to overthink mine, it should be fun. I hope things get less hectic for you, I know there’s never enough hours in the day. Congrats on 100 books read, that is great 😉 Happy reading.

Carolina
Guest

Looks like a really great month love!! Bronte Mettleston is on my TBR too, I’m glad you liked it!!

trin carl
Guest

Broke 3k on your twitter account. I know a fellow writer whose done that in the last year. Although I have no idea how it’s done. I’d get a good 5-10 hear and there then it seems to taper off for a few months.

Annemieke
Guest

So glad I ended up not requesting psychology of time travel by the sounds of it, haha.

Aditi @Dreamy Reads
Guest

Aaaah I used to have a posting schedule and now I have one but I don’t actually force myself to follow it. And formal reviews?? What are those?? XD I’ll never be capable of doing anything that has the word “formal” in it. Wth am I even writing. I need to go to sleep. Hope you have a great October!!

Mary @StackingMyBookShelves!
Guest

I don’t think I have read anything by Martha Wells. I will have to check her out. You have been very busy. I try to pace myself but sometimes it just doesn’t work out and then I get frustrated. Congratz on the 2-year anny coming up! That’s awesome. I have to get to the point where I don’t put books that I don’t like up on the blog some of them I want to throw in the garbage. =0) Have a great week.

Mary

Sam@WLABB
Guest

I know September was stressful for you, but wow! So many wonderful accomplishments. You crushed your reading goals too. I am totally in support for doing what makes you happy with your blog.

Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
Guest

I swear, sometimes when coming back to work I wonder if the vacation was worth it. All the extra work and catching up to do. But then I tell myself not to be ridiculous and of course it’s worth it. 🙂 Hooray for having several 5 star reads! That’s such a good feeling. And you’ve blown your GoodReads goal away. I’ve been pondering my own blog lately and how I want to move forward. I hope your less rigorous schedule is a good move for you.

Northwoman
Guest

Wow, you do have lots happening. You have some great books there and I LOVE Murderbot. I’m waiting for the final one Exit Strategy on audio. And congrats on your large number of social media followers on multiple types of accounts. I think it’s perfect that you will post when you want and not have to be rigorous. You have to feel free to try different things and do what works for you. Anne – Books of My Heart

Sophie
Guest

No! You are ditching your blog schedule????? Who are you and what have you done with Evelina??? LOL Congrats on your shipped book by the way. You show there is maybe hope for international bloggers!

Greg
Guest

I think your second, more relaxed IG account is a great idea, and while I love to see all the amazing propped pics, it’s nice to see genuine too, as you said. Genuine’s a good word. 🙂 Glad you’re loving it! And I was really happy to see the Murderbot news when it came out- can’t wait for that!

The PSychology of Time Travel was one I was sorta eyeing, maybe I’ll give that one a skip. Interplanetary Robots looks interesting though!

You have been super busy but looks like a fabulous September too! Hope October starts off great for you!

Laura Thomas
Guest

Wow. You have been busy. I understand wanting a break from blogging. It can sometimes feel more like a chore than the fun we intended it to be.

Sherry Jolly
Guest

Great month of reading! It was a tough month for me too. Let’s make October great, all the way around!

Sherry @ Ubiquitous Grace

Kat @ Novels & Waffles
Guest

OH GOSH! Thank you SO MUCH for including one of my articles here 🙂 It really means a lot to me! The cover of The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone caught my eye and after reading about it on Goodreads, it sounds like a fun read. I’ve been in a kind of MG mood recently, so maybe I’ll pick it up! Thanks for another wonderful post 🙂

Aj @ Read All The Things!
Guest

I like the idea behind your Instagram account. Instagram should be fun and low-pressure. Congrats on the followers! I’ve been blogging for 5+ years and don’t have that many followers. Enjoy your new books! Happy October!

ERK @Musings of a Confuzzled Reader
Guest

This was such a pleasant post to read! Although the fact that you might take a hiatus makes me really sad :/ I hope October would be a good and less stressful month. I love to see the posts from your second account on insta! They make me feel so comfy ❤️ and although, I don’t comment on there often, I do read your captions 100% of the time.

Jenn @ Bound to Writing
Guest

I followed your new Instagram account! I love your pictures! 🙂

trackback

[…] million thanks to Evelina, who’s been so encouraging, and really pushed me to try my luck. […]

Caro @ bookcheshirecat
Guest

I’m sorry to hear that you’re very stressed, hopefully brighter times are ahead soon! 🙂 However, I’m glad to hear that there are good news as well: a package from Tor?? That’s awesome!!

Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku
Guest
Despite all the travel and catching up, WOW! You had an awesome blog-related month! I love the idea of a second Insta account for raw, everyday photos. That said, I can barely manage a single account, so what do I know about social media?! XD I don’t know how you manage to find all this time. You consistently impress me. 🙂 I am so proud of you for taking a step back from blogging. Not that I imagine you’ll vanish, but that you’ll let go of some of the rules you were holding yourself accountable for. Schedule and all that.… Read more »
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Guest

Sorry to hear life is so hectic. I definitely get it. I feel like it’s nearly impossible to keep up with everything, but we do our best!