It’s strange how every month seems very short while also being very, very long. Case in point: I’d completely forgotten I finished The Priory of the Orange Tree in October. I don’t know what month I thought I finished it, but in any case it wasn’t October.

October was a productive month: I read thirteen books and almost 4,300 pages, published five reviews and a couple of miscellaneous posts, unhauled two ginormous boxes containing a large portion of my fiction collection and about half of my mangas, and ate more cookies than I’m currently willing to admit to. I also bought some more books despite my giant unhaul because, well, nobody’s perfect.

October Reading Stats

Books Finished:

  1. Adulthood Is a Myth – Sarah Andersen
  2. Big Mushy Happy Lump – Sarah Andersen
  3. The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon
  4. Macbeth – William Shakespeare
  5. Spy x Family 2 – Tatsuya Endo
  6. Black Butler 29 – Yana Toboso
  7. Macbeth – Jo Nesbø
  8. Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  9. The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang
  10. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead – Olga Tokarczuk
  11. The Dragon Republic – R.F. Kuang
  12. Alice – Christina Henry
  13. Red Queen – Christina Henry

Total Pages Read: 4,292

I’m so bummed. I have now read three books by the Queen of Lame Endings and I don’t want to read any more, which really makes me sad because Alice sounded so promising. I thought maybe the disappointing ending in The Girl in Red was a one-off thing and the rest of her books would be different, but, no, they’re all that lame. There’s a third book in the Alice series, which appears to be a prequel/sequel of sorts, but I will not be picking it up. I’m currently debating whether I want to unhaul the two books that I have. On the one hand, I love the premise of the series and I love the strength that Alice finds within herself, and the setting? Top-notch. On the other hand, those endings are fucking lame, the bad guys put up almost no fight, and Alice’s relationship with Hatcher isn’t exactly such stuff as dreams are made on. For now I think I’m going to keep them at least until after I’ve written a full review, but with the possibility that they might get kicked out later if I need the space (so like maybe in about a month or so).

November Reads

Every month I say I’m not going to wander off and read random books not on my list and every month I’m dead fucking wrong. Keeping that in mind, a five-book TBR seems prudent and wise. Unfortunately I just now realized I’ve managed to set myself up with six chunksters, including the ones I’m currently reading, because apparently November is Chunky Chunkster month. This’ll be fun. (Why don’t I just rearrange my TBR, I hear you say? Good question. I really have no idea.)


The Burning God
R.F. Kuang
I am officially caught up on the Poppy War series!!! I knocked out both The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic in October, so now I just need to wait till mid-November, when The Burning God will be released. I plan to have another full series review along the lines of my Trilogía Victoriana review, but for now I’ll say that so far the series is living up to the hype, and there are definitely moments I recognize from Chinese history (e.g., the rape of Nanjing) and culture. At the beginning of The Dragon Republic you learn that Nikara nobility give their children generational names (e.g., Muzha, Jinzha, Nezha, and Mingzha), which is a neat little detail and ties into the Chinese historical fictions I’ve read. That said, these aren’t my favorite books. They could’ve been shortened a bit, and the character interactions really start to grate after a while, even between characters who are supposed to be friends. It doesn’t take long to get tired of Rin’s default response, which is “Fuck you.” I know for a fact that she has a better vocabulary than that. I also want to give Nezha a good kick. I realize he’s suffered significant trauma of his own, but nothing gives him the right to call Rin trash. However, The Dragon Republic was an excellent sequel and it was actually better than The Poppy War, so I’m excited to see what The Burning God has in store. The only thing to keep in mind if you’re thinking about starting the series is that it is DARK. There is literally a dude who gets turned into dumplings. I won’t say who, but it happens.

My earlier thoughts on The Poppy War can be found here.

The African Trilogy
Chinua Achebe
This has been sitting unloved on my shelf for months, and in fact I first claimed I was going to read it back in August. You can probably guess how that went.

The Thirty Names of Night
Zeyn Joukhadar
YOU GUYS I AM SO HYPED FOR THIS BOOK. I am a devoted fan of The Map of Salt and Stars, and I cannot wait to get my hands on The Thirty Names of Night. It does make me sad that the release date has apparently been pushed back a few weeks, but I’ll live. I’ve also just learned that it’s already reprinted even though it hasn’t been released yet, so I’ve gone ahead and preordered it because why take chances?

Gideon the Ninth
Tamsyn Muir
My general impression of this one is lesbian space necromancers, to which I said yes, thank you, I will read that. I bought Harrow the Ninth too, and I really don’t want to sit on these any longer because Gideon at least is supposed to be a great fall read.

Black Sun
Rebecca Roanhorse
I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS. Black Sun is the first of the Between Earth and Sky trilogy and is inspired by pre-Columbian America, and it sounds amazing.

Currently Reading

Wicked / Son of a Witch
Gregory Maguire
Lori and I have been reading this since mid-October, and I’m not really sure what’s taking me so long (aside from the obvious fact that I keep diving into other books and getting badly sidetracked). I enjoyed the first couple of sections before hitting the Emerald City section, which d r a g g e d like nobody’s business, with the result that I allowed myself to fall head first into the Chronicles of Alice. I’m currently planning to finish Wicked tonight so I can start Son of a Witch, which I was supposed to do yesterday. Finishing shouldn’t present too much of a problem, because there’s only 166 pages left and my delays are getting kind of ridiculous. Actually I was planning to finish last night, but for some reason or other I was having real difficulty focusing and I ended up reading 88 pages of The Lost Queen instead because it was so much easier to read.

The Lost Queen
Signe Pike
Okay this was most definitely not on any of my lists but I am reading it nonetheless or at any rate I was until I decided I needed to read three other books first ? I was kind of on the fence about this one because, while it sounded amazing, it was also described as a cross between Camelot and Outlander and my impressions of Outlander are not favorable. However, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, so I borrowed it from the library and am 145 pages into it at the moment. To sum up the first 145 pages, Languoreth is a bad-tempered redhead who’s good with a knife, and I already love her.

Miscellaneous Reading News

I read about something called NaBloWriMo, which is basically the blogging version of NaNoWriMo, but a cursory internet search suggests that that’s not really a thing (or, at any rate, not an up-to-date thing) and it was calling for a daily commitment, which is way more than I want to post, so never mind. I also won’t be participating in NaNoWriMo but I never do that anyway, so no surprises there.

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