This has been such an irritating month. If I had to pick, I think July and August might be my least favorite months in general. The best thing to come out of this particular July is my new kitchen bookcase. My back did not thank me for carrying the bookcase boxes up three flights of stairs, but it was totally worth it. The relocation of the cookbooks freed up space on my manga bookcase for my poetry/theater section, which in turn opened up almost a whole extra shelf for my nonfiction section, and, thanks to an aggressive unhaul, I have managed to squirrel away every new book I have bought this year. Bookcases are wonderful things. What with the new amount of space, I might move the reference books and the lonely Magicians trilogy from this little bookcase back to the main bookcases, but that’s a problem for another day.

July Reading Stats

Books Finished:

  1. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  2. The Long Patrol – Brian Jacques
  3. Nimona – ND Stevenson
  4. The Bone Shard War – Andrea Stewart
  5. Black Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse
  6. Marlfox – Brian Jacques
  7. Fevered Star – Rebecca Roanhorse

Total Pages Read: 2,816

All in all, not a bad month. I have found the Drowning Empire series very difficult to get through, and so was pleasantly surprised when The Bone Shard War was actually better than its two predecessors. I didn’t drag my feet on it the way I did with The Bone Shard Daughter and The Bone Shard Emperor, and I thought it was a solid conclusion to the trilogy. I fully expected to spend a month struggling to motivate myself to read it, so it was a surprise when I managed to finish it in a much shorter timeframe. Even with this unexpected boon, however, I’m going to give Stewart’s future books a miss. While Stewart is a good writer and there are many things I liked about this trilogy, there are just as many things I didn’t like, and right now I don’t feel like I need to read anything else by this author, particularly if the being-complicated-just-for-the-sake-of-being-complicated thing is typical of her writing. Her first three books suggest that it is.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I finally read Fevered Star a full year after I bought it, and oh skies am I hooked. Black Sun was a perfectly pleasant time, but Fevered Star blew it out of the water. I am so hyped for Mirrored Heavens, and I cannot believe I will have to wait a whole year to buy the book even though if we’re honest I will probably leave it on my shelf for another year before I actually read it. (And, of course, the Redwall series continues excellent. More reviews are coming. I have them drafted and ready to go, but I am trying to space them out so they’re not showing up on my blog back to back, because that’s just obnoxious. There’s so many of them that I’ve only recently managed to get some breathing room, largely because I am now scheduled through October, and I have a good chunk of content drafted that is not Redwall-related.)

In book-tracking news, I started using StoryGraph late last month, and it’s great. I love tracking my reading, and I really love all the neat little graphs that StoryGraph provides. If you’re on StoryGraph too, let’s be friends. I do kind of wish that I could sync my goodreads to my StoryGraph – I imported my goodreads library on day one, but now I have two separate libraries that need to be manually maintained – but I don’t mind it too much. I have also been enjoying Threads, which is a terrific time-killer if I don’t curb my doom-scrolling. I hope it’s able to keep its momentum. Whatever anybody else says about the squabbling billionaires and their attendant problems, I actually really like Threads, particularly now that it’s added a chronological Following timeline.

Currently Reading

The Legend of Luke
Brian Jacques
Current rating: 4.75-5 stars. I fully get what my cousin meant when she said the first and last sections of this book were dumb. They are. But I still love this book so damn much, and the dumbness of the intro and the outro don’t really bother me. Right now Luke and crew are aboard the Sayna in the wake of the red ship, and they’ve just escaped Marrahagga and Slariss.

Plain Bad Heroines
Emily M. Danforth
My very ambitious plan to start Plain Bad Heroines right before the official start of August got shuttered when I realized that I am going out for dinner tonight (a couple of days before posting) and I do not have the energy for reading, lol. More specifically, I do not have the energy for Plain Bad Heroines, which I do not recall with any particular fondness. I am hoping it will make more sense upon rereading. I haven’t started it yet, but with any discipline I will by tomorrow.

July Hauls

To the me from a month ago, who was wondering if I would be able to stick to a book-buying ban for the entire month of July: No, I was not.

I was doing so well not buying books, and then I watched Nimona and I had to buy the graphic novel. Then while I was at the store I had to buy all these other books that said they wanted to come home with me and Nimona, and then the White Marsh Barnes & Noble reopened last week and that was the end of my book-buying ban, which to be frank I completely forgot about anyway. Anyway, I now have 15 new books and a box full of old books that got unceremoniously pulled off my very full shelves, and I am trying to find an unoccupied day to drive up to Pittsburgh to sell those old books. (Yes, it has to be Pittsburgh. Don’t ask me why. It sounds crazy even to me.)

The new(ish) BN is smaller while somehow packing more books, and it’s great. I stood in line for a long ass time, and then I decided I wanted a cookie, and while I was on my way to the bakery I found another several books so I had to stand in another line because I always seem to end up stuck behind the kind of people who have no idea what they want, and then at the end of all that it turned out they had run out of chocolate chunk cookies. Still got a lot of books, though. Not pictured: a couple of books that are going to be presents for other people, which does make me feel slightly better about myself.

Fuck evite

Hi, my name is Carolyn and I get mad about stupid things. There’s really no good way of predicting what’s going to set me off, but suffice it to say that this tendency of mine goes hand in hand with mental illnesses, of which I have many. (Why, yes, this is an exhausting way to live, thank you for asking.) Today I am mad about this system-generated email, which honestly might not have set me off if I hadn’t already been in a mood over something else.

I want to know which brainless corporate hack thought it would be cute to harass the guests the day after the socially acceptable shakedowns that are more generally known as bridal and baby showers. I don’t think I’m going to go to another bridal/baby shower, and, after this September, I am also going to start skipping weddings. No offense if weddings and showers are your jam, but I really do not enjoy this kind of event. There is very little overlap between my different friend groups, and, in the case of this particular event, everyone seemed to know everyone else but I didn’t know anybody except for one of the two hosts. I have a very long list of things I am not good at, and mingling with strangers is at the top. Next time I am going to send a gift and my excuses because, while I want to support my friends, I am not the target audience here.

This brings us back to the email, which infuriates me to an irrational degree. I am fully aware that I am being petty and unreasonable, but I’m coming off a late-night spiral and I sincerely do not give a fuck. I hate this email. A bridal/baby shower is a widely accepted financial assistance tool whose sole purpose is to ask for gifts in a way that doesn’t seem rude. That’s actually not the part that bothers me: I am happy to help my friends, and, even if they didn’t ask for anything, I would probably show up with some kind of gift anyway. I can never resist a chance to bestow my favorite children’s books upon expectant parents. If nothing else, I like the idea of a small community of friends and family coming together to support the hosting couple, because the cost of living – to say nothing of the cost of raising a family – is even more ridiculous than this email. But I am not grateful for the “opportunity” to give them a gift. Let’s not pretend they’re doing me some special favor by handing me their registry. Worse, I clicked on the card button just to see if I’d have to pay for them (supposing I actually wanted to send one), and it turns out they’re $1/card.

In conclusion, go fuck yourself, evite. You absolutely need to give me the option to unsubscribe specifically from this bullshit, especially if it’s something that is sent automatically without the knowledge of the host. I don’t care if the email is considered “transactional.” The fact that it is unblockable is unforgivable, because this is the stupidest fucking product idea I’ve ever seen.