Wrap-up

September Wrap-Up + State of the ARC

Look at me! I actually survived my first month of my Masters at university! (Note: this post is queued, so I might not, in fact, still be alive by the time it appears on the blog.)

πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ = book has a LGBTQAI+ main character [3]
πŸ¦„Β = ARC or review copy [6]
πŸ“šΒ = books that qualify for theΒ backlist challengeΒ we’re doing with Avery [1 – which means I failed badly]
🌍 = Around the World in 52 Books on Goodreads [0]
🌷 = Lesbian Book Bingo by Jae [1]
🍬 = Candybook Land by Elaine Howlin [1]
πŸ“™Β = Sequel September by Books and Munches [1]

As always,Β I’m linking up with Avalinah’s State of the ARC meme:

State of the ARCΒ is a monthly meme at Avalinah’s Books meant to motivate you to finish up all your long overdue ARCsΒ (Advanced or Early Reader Copies).

State of the ARC has a Goodreads groups ARCs Anonymous.Β Join itΒ here.

arcs

I mostly read ARCs this month (6 of them, specifically), and I didn’t request any new ones. I also managed to finish the bingo, so I can just sit back until December! Or maybe try to double them? Although I’m not sure I’d have a second book for some of these, like the new to you genre.

arcsseptember

I only have 7 NetGalley ARCs left, but half of those aren’t due until November or later. And only 1 author ARC that I’ve been sitting on for four months because I’m horrible.

The truth is that I also currently have 9 books saved to my computer that I received for review through the Lesbrary, but I don’t really count those here because they are sent to every reviewer and I don’t feel the pressure to personally review them. It’s just nice to have a list and pick something out of it sometimes. (Soft on Soft and Spark & Change were both received through the Lesbrary.)

Here’s all the books I read this month:

  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ¦„Β Β Soft on Soft by Em Ali: 142 pages. 5🌟
  • πŸ“šπŸ¬Β A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole: 384 pages. 4🌟
  • πŸ¦„Β Ghost Boy by Betty Stafford: 152 pages. 2🌟
  • πŸ¦„Β Drinking From The Trough by Mary Carlson: 288 pages. 3🌟
  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ¦„πŸŒ·πŸ“™Β Β The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember: 256 pages. 5🌟
  • πŸ¦„Β I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns: 320 pages. 4🌟
  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ¦„Β Β Spark & Change by Kellum Jeffries: ~40 pages. 4🌟

Favourite books this month:

  • Soft on Soft
  • A Princess in Theory
  • The Navigator’s Touch

Reviews on the blog this month:

Book tags:

Challenges:

Miscellaneous:

Structured TBR scores:

structuredseptember

Out of the 24 books on this list, I have read 6, abandoned 2, and still currently reading 3. I’d say that’s pretty good for my first month with a structured TBR.

How did your September go reading-wise?

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Wrap-up

August 2018 Wrap-Up + State of the ARC

Another month is over – in fact, summer’s last month is over. After a one-year break, I’m starting my Master’s this September, so I wanted to finish as much reading in August as I could, and the NEWTs reading challenge (link below) was a great opportunity.

I did pretty well in the first half of the month, then real life kicked in, and between working, preparing to move houses, preparing to start uni, volunteering at a music festival, personal conflicts, and impulsively deciding to have another go at playing the entire Assassin’s Creed series, reading kind of got pushed into the background. So, what are my final grades for the NEWTs?

Ancient Runes:Β 
Arithmancy:Β 
Astronomy: Acceptable🌟 (Ignite the Stars)
Care of Magical Creatures: Outstanding 🌟🌟🌟 (The Benefits of Being an Octopus, Take Me Home, The Sun Dragon)
Charms: Outstanding 🌟🌟🌟 (Warrior, My Real Name is Hanna, How to Make a Wish)
Defense Against the Dark Arts: Outstanding 🌟🌟🌟 (Exit Strategy, Dealing with Dragons, Odakint sâtétebb)
Divination:Β 
Herbology: Outstanding 🌟🌟🌟 (Not Her Daughter, Poe Dameron Vol. 2, Still Waters)
History of Magic:Β 
Muggle Studies:Β 
Potions: Acceptable 🌟 (Poe Dameron: Black Squadron)
Transfiguration: Exceeded Expectations 🌟🌟 (Rogue Protocol, Sadie)

I was originally aiming for five Outstanding grades, specifically in Astronomy, Care of Magical Creatures, Charms, Herbology and Transfiguration, because those are four of my favourite subjects from Hogwarts Mystery + Astronomy because of the star/sci-fi prompts. In the end, I managed four Os, one E and two As.

If you’re curious what specifically I read for each challenge, check out my emoji list:

πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ = book has a LGBTQAI+ main character
πŸ“šΒ = books that qualify for theΒ backlist challengeΒ we’re doing with Avery
🌍 = Around the World in 52 Books on Goodreads
πŸ‘­Β =Β Sapphic Book ClubΒ monthly (or bonus) read
🌷 = Lesbian Book Bingo by Jae
🍬 = Candybook Land by Elaine Howlin
🦎 = NEWTs reading challenge by Book Roast

As always,Β I’m linking up with Avalinah’s State of the ARC meme:

State of the ARCΒ is a monthly meme at Avalinah’s Books meant to motivate you to finish up all your long overdue ARCsΒ (Advanced or Early Reader Copies).

State of the ARC has a Goodreads groups ARCs Anonymous.Β Join itΒ here.

NetGalley

Edelweiss

Author/Publisher

  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ¬Β Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss: 70 pages. 5🌟
  • 🦎 Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells: 160 pages. 5🌟
  • 🦎 Exit Strategy by Martha Wells: 176 pages. 5🌟

arcsaugustarcs

And now for the books that weren’t review copies:

Favourite books this month:

  • Rogue Protocol & Exit Strategy
  • The Benefits of Being an Octopus
  • Learning Curves

Reviews on the blog:

Book tags:

Challenges:

Miscellaneous:

***

I might be less active on here once uni starts, but I’ll definitely try to keep reading and updating you people on what I’m doing.

So, how did your summer go?

Readathon/Bingo · Wrap-up

Summer TBR Wipeout Wrap-up + NEWTs Readathon Update

The Summer TBR Wipeout is already over, which is a little sad, since it’s not even the middle of August. You can see my previous posts for this challenge here:

You can see from my July wrap-up that I managed to read quite a lot of books, especially graphic novels. I also got my “owned and unread” shelf on Goodreads down below 400, which is a huge accomplishment, so I’m proud of that.

We’re only 10 days into August, but my August reading has been focusing on the NEWTs readathon. The NEWTs are a continuation of the OWLs, which I did last month:

I didn’t post a separate NEWTs TBR since I was kind of winging it, but let’s take a look at what subjects I completed so far in August.

ASTRONOMY

38469737

Acceptable: Stars on the cover
Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan: 4

CARE OF MAGICAL CREATURES

Acceptable: Animal on the cover
The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden: 5

Exceeded Expectations: A book under 160 pages
Take Me Home by Lorelie Brown: 2

Outstanding: Includes dragons
The Sun Dragon by Annabelle Jay: 4

CHARMS

33080942

Acceptable: A book with magic in it
WARRIOR: a collection of short stories by multiple authors: 4

DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS

 

Acceptable: Last book in a series
Exit Strategy by Martha Wells: 5

Exceeded Expectations: A foiled book
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede: 4

HERBOLOGY

Acceptable: A book with a green cover
Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey: 4

Exceeded Expectations: A book with illustrations
Poe Dameron Vol. 2, The Gathering Storm by Charles Soule: 4

Outstanding: Light, air, sun or water in the title
Still Waters by Alex Gabriel: 4

POTIONS

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Acceptable: Has a colour in the title
Poe Dameron Vol. 1, Black Squadron by Charles Soule

TRANSFIGURATION

Acceptable: A book with a grey cover
Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

Exceeded Expectations: A new-to-you author
Sadie by Courtney Summers

~

So, that’s how I’m doing. Not bad for the first 10 days of August, but there’s still a looong way to go if I want to complete all the subjects… which might not be possible actually.

~ Alexa

Wrap-up

July 2018 Wrap-Up + State of the ARC! + Summer TBR Wipeout

Another summer month is over. This is almost my last month of freedom before I go back to uni + work and most likely will have much less time to read, so I’m trying to make the best of July and August to reduce my TBR while I can.

I did several reading challenges this month, including a graphic novel readathon. Since graphic novels are usually shorter and have more pictures than text, they are much quicker reads – and that’s how I ended up with over 30 books read in the first half of the month only.

πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ = book has a LGBTQAI+ main character (30)
πŸ“šΒ = books that qualify for the backlist challenge we’re doing with Avery (11 – goal: 3, completed)
🌍 = Around the World in 52 Books on Goodreads (4)
πŸ‘­Β = Sapphic Book Club monthly read (0 – DNF, so technically failed)
🍬 = Candybook Land by Elaine Howlin (5)
β˜„οΈΒ = Sci-Fi July by Kathy (13 – personal goal: 10, completed)
πŸ’₯Β = Graphic Novel Readathon for Books and Tea Club (38 – personal goal: completed)
πŸ¦‰Β = OWL Exams Readathon by Book Roast (12 – personal goal: 12, completed)

As always, I’m linking up with Avalinah’s State of the ARC meme:

State of the ARC is a monthly meme at Avalinah’s Books meant to motivate you to finish up all your long overdue ARCsΒ (Advanced or Early Reader Copies).

State of the ARC has a Goodreads groups ARCs Anonymous.Β Join itΒ here.

And this time, due to the timing I am also linking up with The Candid Cover’s Summer TBR Wipeout instead of making a separate update post.

NetGalley

  • πŸ’₯Β Skin & Earth by Lights: 200 pages. 4🌟
  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Once Upon a Rainbow, Volume Three by multiple authors. 4🌟
  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Cold Like Snow by Sita Bethel: 235 pages. 3🌟 (review to come)
  • DNF: Magic or Die by J.P. Jackson (at around 45%)

Edelweiss

Author

  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆπŸ“šπŸ¬β˜„οΈΒ Courage is the Price by Lynn E. O’Connacht: 144 pages. 4🌟
  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆβ˜„οΈΒ Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth: 364 pages. 4🌟

arcsjuly

Wait, what’s that?! I actually read some author ARCs?? And one for Edelweiss?! That basically never happens! But now I’m comfortably caught up on NetGalley, so I’ll try my best to read the author ones I still have left.

I put two new titles on my bingo chart, and I also listed a few upcoming ARCs I haven’t read that might fit the remaining squares. I hardly ever read nonfiction, but this bingo is for the rest of the year, so I’m sure I’ll find something on NetGalley before December.

arcs

And now for the books that weren’t review copies:

Favourite books this month (more details in the list above):

  • Gale: a queer sci-fi retelling of The Tempest by Shakespeare
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: historical fiction with a bisexual male lead, biracial male LI, and a sister who wants to be a doctor
  • Shattered Empire: all my favourite Star Wars characters in one graphic novel!
  • Gunnerkrigg Court series: fantasy graphic novel series in a very interesting school
  • A Duke by Default: a romance novel with a black protagonist and a grumpy older LI

Reviews on the blog this month:

Book tags:

Challenges:

Miscellaneous:

**

Next month: NEWT exams! This is a reading challenge that has 12 x 3 prompts, which is 36 total, sooo… it’s not likely that I’ll complete every one of them? It would technically be possible with a lot of graphic novel as the above shows, but I kind of read most graphic novels I own this month and several of the NEWT challenges have length requirements.

I’m aiming for 5 x 3 as a minimum, and we’ll see if I can complete any more of that.

Readathon/Bingo · Wrap-up

OWL Exams Wrap-up!

Related post:

The OWLs are exams that students in Hogwarts (in Harry Potter) take in their fifth year. Book Roast on YouTube came up with the amazing idea to turn these exams into a reading challenge. The original challenge took place in April, which I unfortunately failed – but since August is the month of the NEWTs, an even bigger reading challenge, I decided to complete the OWLs this month as preparation.

There are twelve subjects total, and thus, twelve OWL exams. The marks are the following:

  • Acceptable – Complete two subjects
  • Exceeded Expectations – Complete three subjects
  • Outstanding – Complete five subjects

In the end, I managed to complete all twelve challenges, but since I wasn’t sure I could do that, I picked my five favourites that I definitely wanted to complete.

ASTRONOMY – A Science Fiction book
Shattered Empire by Greg Rucka

CARE OF MAGICAL CREATURES – Magical creature in a book
The Backstagers Vol. 1 by James Tynion VI

CHARMS – A Fantasy book
The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

HERBOLOGY – Nature-related word in the title
For Whom The Roses Grow by Rebekah Blackmore

TRANSFIGURATION – Shapeshifting in a book
Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee

ANCIENT RUNES – A book with a symbol on the cover
The Dry Season by Cassidy Taylor

ARITHMANCY – A book with a number on the cover or in the title
Three Times as Deadly by Erin Wade

DEFENSE AGAINT THE DARK ARTS – Book with a secret society or club
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

DIVINATION – A book with a prophecy
The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

HISTORY OF MAGIC – A historical fiction book
Moving Pictures by Kathryn Immonen

MUGGLE STUDIES – A nonfiction book
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

POTIONS – A book about or with alchemy
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

~

See you next month with the NEWTs! I have a tentative TBR, but honestly there are so many prompts and many books that fit several categories, so I don’t want to post it. I’m just going to wing it and post regular updates as I go through the subjects!

~ Alexa

Wrap-up

State of the ARC #11 + June 2018 Wrap-Up

There was a lot going on in June. For one, it was Pride month, so I tried to read as many books with queer MCs as I could – which wasn’t very different from my regular reading, actually. I was also participating in the #Marvel-A-Thon challenge organised by Jamishelves, which is divided into three Phases and has a total of 21 prompts.

Below, I’m going to mark everything with a queer main character with a rainbow flag, and everything read for #Marvel-A-Thon with a lightning bolt. But first, let’s look at the state of my ARCs.

State of the ARC is a monthly meme at Avalinah’s Books meant to motivate you to finish up all your long overdue ARCsΒ (Advanced or Early Reader Copies). You can track your reading progress and link up with your own post. Most commonly it comes out on the 30th of every month.

Rules of State of the ARC:

  • Mention that you’re linking up with State of the ARC @ AvalinahsBooks, which is a fun way to share our ARC progress, challenges, wins, woes and mishaps.
  • Include the link toΒ this post, orΒ the currentΒ State of the ARCΒ post.
  • Don’t forget to visit all the other people in the link-up and comment.
  • And most importantly – have fun!

State of the ARC has a Goodreads groups ARCs Anonymous.Β Join itΒ here.

NetGalley

  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Into the Mystic, Volume 3 by NineStar Press: 213 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (anthology of sapphic paranormal stories)
  • ⚑ Free Chocolate by Amber Royer: 400 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (soap opera in space!)
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan: 320 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟(a teenage girl wants to be an escape artist)
  • ⚑ The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts: 192 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (a sci-fi novella about artificial intelligence)
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Omen Operation by Taylor Brooke:Β  306 pages 🌟🌟🌟 (FOUR queer main characters)
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ You’re You by Mette Bach: 184 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (a contemporary about questioning your sexuality)
  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara: 336 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (bisexual pirates!) (review to come in July)

Author

  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault: 424 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Broad Knowledge edited by Joanne Merriam: 365 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • DNF: Sharp & Sugar Tooth

julycharts

(The lesson is that I’m still horrible with my author ARCs. I have three that I received back in MARCH! Yikes. I hope to finally read and review those in July.)

Avalinah also has a bingo chart that you can try to fill with your ARCs until the end of the year! I’ve already completed some of the chart just this month, but I still have a few to go, and some of these (nonfiction, for example) will be pretty difficult.

arcs

With the ARCs out of the way, here’s a list of everything else I read this month:

  • πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Sugarplum,Β Ocean Deep, Wolf Blood & on the border by Darshana Suresh: 8, 29, 24 and 17 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (wonderful poetry collections)
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Goldie Vance Vol. 1 by Hope Larson: 112 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (graphic novel about a teenage detective)
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ DC Comics: Bombshells Vol. 1: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett: 200 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (queer women punching Nazis!!)
  • Goldie Vance Vol. 2 by Hope Larson: 112 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan: 432 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (my beautiful genderfluid child is BACK)
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Coady and the Creepies by Liz Prince: 112 pages 🌟🌟🌟 (triplet girls are in a popular punk band, only one of them is a ghost)
  • Star Wars: Lando – Double or Nothing #1 by Rodney Barnes: 21 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • Skyward #1-#2 by Joe Henderson: 62 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson: 224 pages 🌟🌟🌟
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Loki: Agent of Asgard Vol. 1: Trust Me by Al Ewing: 120 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • The Island by Peter Watts: 76 pages 🌟🌟🌟
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson: 128 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • ⚑ Star Wars: Lando by Charles Soule: 112 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • ⚑ Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes: 112 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • Hotshot by Peter Watts: 23 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Blackout by Kit Mallory: 345 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann: 304 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • βš‘Β πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Β The Origins of Heartbreak by Cara Malone: 230 pages 🌟🌟
  • When Magic Sleeps by Tera Lynn Childs: 41 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • The End of the World is Better with Friends by M.G. Herron: 42 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟
  • ⚑ Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor: 349 pages  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

There weren’t many 5-star reads this month, but Akata Witch was great.

Non-review posts on the blog:

How did your June go? What was your favourite book this month?

~ Alexa

Readathon/Bingo · Wrap-up

#MarvelAThon Phase Three Wrap-Up

Guess what? I finished #MarvelAThon! That’s 21 books total, and this is a wrap-up of the last 9, so let’s start with some links.

In the last two rounds, 4 out of 12 books I read were graphic novels, and in this round, it was 3 out of 9.

phrasethree1

CIVIL WAR – A book about rivalry or enemies
Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes
This is a cute graphic novel about a girl who has to compete with her brothers to have the best restaurant and carry on the family legacy – only she ends up opening her restaurant in a city of monsters, which leads to some trouble.

DOCTOR STRANGE – A book that involves medicine
The Origins of Heartbreak by Cara Malone
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ This is a lesbian medical romance novel that I unfortunately didn’t like much, especially because of the way it treats antidepressants. But hey, it fit the prompt.

GOTG2 – A book set in space
Lando by Charles Soule
The ending of this graphic novel absolutely destroyed me, okay? It also reminded me that I’m a really casual Star Wars fan because I have no idea who half the people here were.

phasethree2

SPIDER-MAN – A young adult book involving secrets
Omen Operation by Taylor Brooke
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ This book has a bisexual female protagonist, and a beginnings of a polyamorous quad with two guys and two girls. One of the guys is also panromantic demisexual, according to the author. Unfortunately, the plot didn’t impress me much, but it certainly involved secrets. Read my review here.

THOR: RAGNAROK – A popular book
Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis & Faith Hicks
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ This is a graphic novel that everyone keeps recommending me, with a strong female cast including some sapphic girls. Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed by the first volume, but I have three others and a bunch of specials, so we’ll see next month if it improves.

INFINITY WAR – A book that fulfills multiple challenges
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ This was one of my most anticipated reads for this year, with a biromantic asexual protagonist who is also #ownvoices for black representation – and female, thus the two challenges. It didn’t live up to my expectations, but I still think it’s an important book.

phasethree3

BLACK PANTHER – #ownvoices with black main character
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
What better book to read for the Black Panther challenge than a fantasy set in Nigeria with a wonderful female protagonist that Shuri would be proud of? (Review to come in the first days of July, so keep an eye on this blog!)

CAPTAIN MARVEL – A book with a female MC
Blackout by Kit Mallory
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Most of my books this round had female MCs, but Blackout was one I read for the book club I’m in, so I decided to list it here. This was a dystopian young adult novel set in the UK, with very European elements.

AVENGERS 4 – A book you don’t know anything about
You’re You by Mette Bach
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ I saw this book on NetGalley in the LGBT section and downloaded it because it had a questioning bisexual protagonist. It was an okay read and I think it handled the questioning part well. Read my review here.

That’s about it! Did you participate in MarvelAThon? How did you do?

~ Alexa

Readathon/Bingo · Wrap-up

#MarvelAThon Phase Two Wrap-Up

Welcome back to my wrap-up of #MarvelAThon’s Phase Two! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are some helpful links:

Phase One and Phase Two both had six books each, while Phase Three has nine. In Phase One, two of the books I read for the challenge were graphic novels, and I said that I would like to continue to include as many graphic novels as I can, because reading 21 books a month is ambitious even for me.

Oh, and of course, since June is also Pride month, I tried my best to read books with queer main characters for at least /most/ of the prompts. (In the last Phase, 5 out of 6 books had at least one queer MC.)

phasetwo1

IRON MAN 3 – A book that will challenge you
Broad Knowledge edited by Joanne Merriam
(πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ)This was an anthology with 35 stories, and while I love anthologies, if they have more than 15 stories then I tend to read them very, very slowly. (It took me a month to read the Sunvault anthology, with had about 40 pieces, and many of those were artwork or a few lines of poem.) So, reading this in time to finish the other prompts was certainly challenging. About 5 of the stories have queer women MCs. Read my review here.

THOR: DARK WORLD – A book with siblings
Coady and the Creepies by Liz Prince
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ This is a graphic novel about three sisters who are part of a punk band… and one of them is a ghost. It was a fun read, although I felt like the plot was a little all over the place. One of the sisters is into girls, though.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER – Main character is a villain or anti-hero
Loki: Agent of Asgard, Vol. 1: Trust Me by Al Ewing
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Need I say more? In the MCU, Loki goes from villain to annoying little brother and reluctant ally. In this particular volume, he is an agent of Asgard, trying to make up for his past crimes – but he’s got a long way to go before anyone would call him a hero. Also, his genderfluidity is wonderfully presented in this volume.

phasetwo2

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Set or written in the 80s
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ For this prompt, I picked a novel by Jeanette Winterson that I was convinced was a memoir until I read the introduction. Apparently, this is a fictional novel loosely based on the author’s life. It’s about a girl who grows up in a heavily religious family and realises she’s a lesbian – personally,Β  I would have enjoyed more focus on the second half, but we can’t always get everything.

AGE OF ULTRON – A book involving AI
The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
(πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ) Shout out to Avalinah’s Books: I was agonising over this prompt because the book I was originally going to read for it is 400 pages long, so it was a blessing to quickly find this 200-page novella that centers a crew’s relationship with their artificial intelligence. The book has a nonbinary side character and two men in a sexual relationship, although romantic attachments are definitely not in focus. (I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book specifically for the LGBTQAI+ content, though. The nonbinary character is pretty minor, and the two men barely spend time together after the first chapter.)

ANT MAN – A book involving heist or thieves
Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ This is the ownvoices aromantic story with a bigender aromantic protagonist and a biromantic demisexual protagonist that we all deserve. Both the queerness and the food in this book is amazing, and I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time. Its relevance to the prompt is probably obvious by the title – I could have used it for the sibling prompt too, because both protagonists have siblings who are central to the plot.

To sum up: six books in this challenge, two of them are graphic novels (one of them is Marvel!), and all of them have queer characters: five as protagonists in at least some stories, and one has multiple side characters.

There’s still time left in June – but will it be enough to read another 9 books?! … Let’s hope so.

~ Alexa

Readathon/Bingo · Wrap-up

#MarvelAThon Phase One Wrap-up

If you’ve been paying attention, #MarvelAThonΒ is a readathon organised by Jamishelves in the month of June, and the goal is to read one book based on every Marvel movie in the first three Phases. That means 21 books total.

Reading 21 books, of course, is super ambitious. Even with having basically nothing but free time, I usually read between 9 and 15 books a month. There are a few tricks/loopholes to help you with the readathon, e.g. you can use two skips per Phase, and if you read a book with a buddy, you get an extra book.

Unfortunately, I was never good at buddy reads – they require you and a friend to be interested in AND own a copy of the same book, and then you even have to read it at the same time? Given that my reading pace can be unpredictable, that sounds like torture.

I also want to challenge myself by not using any skips, so… my plan for getting through this 21 books is to fill as many prompts with graphic novels as possible. I’d like to say I’m doing pretty well so far.

Since this month is also Pride month, I do my best to read books with queer main characters – which is what I do most of the time anyway, but in this case, if I have several available options for a prompt, I go with the queer one.

Now, with all that out of the way, let’s look at how I completed Phase One (and how I didn’t follow my original TBR at all.)

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IRON MAN – First book in a series
Goldie Vance Vol. 1 by Hope LarsonΒ 
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ This was an adorable graphic novel with beautiful art style about a sapphic teenager who wants to be the in-house detective of the resort where she and her dad work at. I actually read the first two volumes and they were both great, and the romance is really cute.

HULK – A book with a green cover
Into the Mystic Vol. 3 by NineStar Press
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ 
Into the Mystic is a series of anthologies with F/F paranormal stories, and lesbian/bisexual protagonists in every story. This volume had nine paranormal stories, and my review of it will be posted on The Lesbrary on the 10th of June. I cheated a little because I actually started this book in May and finished it on the first day of June, but that counts as a June read for me.

IRON MAN 2 – An unpopular book
Free Chocolate by Amber Royer
This is my only non-queer read in this phase, but with that title, I simply had to read it. It turned out to be a fun space opera with lots of drama and tension. Nothing too remarkable, but a fun read regardless. My review of it will be posted soon on this blog.

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THOR – A book involving mythology
The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ As far as I know, this is the last book in the Magnus Chase trilogy (although correct me if I’m wrong, Riordan loves to go on and on). I still don’t like Norse mythology as much as Greek mythology, but this book had my beautiful genderfluid child, Alex Fierro, and my beautiful golden son, Magnus Chase, who is totally unfazed about kissing a guy.

CAPTAIN AMERICA – A book set in World War II
DC: Bombshells Vol. 1 – Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ Maybe it’s ironic to read a DC comic for a Marvel readathon, but I think Captain America would be honored to fight with any of the Bombshells and kick some Nazi ass. Also, this volume was gloriously queer: it had two F/F couples + Wonder Woman, who we all know is bisexual even if it wasn’t clearly stated in this particular volume.

THE AVENGERS – A book with multiple perspectives
The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan
πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆΒ This book took some time to get into, but once I forced myself through the first part, I ended up genuinely enjoying the rest. My favourite character was Frankie, the 14-year-old genius kid whose every word was gold. The protagonist is Mattie, a straight girl who wants to be an escape artist, but there is a secondary POV character, Will, who is a gay boy.

And now, on to Phase Two! That one has six books as well, so maybe I can finish it soon.

Are you participating in MarvelAThon or any other readathon this month? How is it going?

~ Alexa

Wrap-up

State of the ARC #10 + May 2018 Wrap-Up

I managed to read a lot of books this month, and then towards the end of May I started reading short stories I downloaded forever ago because my “owned and unread” shelf has gotten completely out of hand. So, all in all, May was a pretty good month reading-wise.

May was also the month of my entrance exams, which went pretty well, so fingers crossed that I’ll be accepted back to university, starting next September. If that happens, I’ll definitely have less time to read, so I’ll just need to do my best to reduce my TBR until then. πŸ™‚

Let’s start with looking at the ARCs I read.

State of the ARC is a monthly meme at Avalinah’s Books meant to motivate you to finish up all your long overdue ARCsΒ (Advanced or Early Reader Copies). You can track your reading progress and link up with your own post. Most commonly it comes out on the 30th of every month.

Rules of State of the ARC:

  • Mention that you’re linking up with State of the ARC @ AvalinahsBooks, which is a fun way to share our ARC progress, challenges, wins, woes and mishaps.
  • Include the link to this post, or the currentΒ State of the ARCΒ post.
  • Don’t forget to visit all the other people in the link-up and comment.
  • And most importantly – have fun!

State of the ARC has a Goodreads groups ARCs Anonymous.Β Join itΒ here.

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I managed to read 11 ARCs this month! Ten of these were for NetGalley, and only one was an author ARC… which is sad, because I’m really behind on my author ARCs. In fact, I have three of them that I received in March, which is now three months ago. Oops?

That being said, I’m doing well with my NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs – only one is overdue, three are due in June, and all the others are due in July, August, or even later. Plenty of time to read and review those ones.

So, my books read this month are:

  • Tone of Voice by Kaia SΓΈnderby: 384 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (sequel to Failure to Communicate, sci-fi with #ownvoices autistic & bisexual protag)
  • A Graveyard Visible by Steve Conoboy: 312 pages 🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (horror with teenage protagonists)
  • The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill: 72 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (adorable fantasy graphic novel with f/f and m/m ships)
  • Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope: 384 pages 🌟🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (m/f fantasy with black protagonist)
  • The Boy From Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis: 268 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (MG time travel book)
  • The Cage by A.M. Dellamonica: 32 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (f/f short story with werewolves)
  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells: 156 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (android protagonist)
  • Artificial Condition by Martha Wells: 160 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (android protagonist)
  • The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith: 320 pages🌟🌟🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (m/f YA contemporary, #ownvoices adopted MC)
  • Crimson Ash by Haley Sulich: 317 pages 🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (apocalyptic YA with m/f and f/f ships)
  • Spectacle Vol 1. by Megan Rose Gedris: 136 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (graphic novel about twins, paranormal)
  • The Princess Deception by Nell Stark: 290 pages 🌟🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (f/f contemporary with royalty romance)
  • Periphery by J.W. Ferguson: unknown pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 – Author ARC (sci-fi with m/m and f/f main ships)
  • Certain Requirements by Elinor Zimmerman: 266 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (f/f contemporary adult BDSM erotica)
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang: 544 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 – NetGalley ARC (adult fantasy)

And then, the end-of-the-month short story/comics reading spree:

  • The Power Plant by Charles W. Harvey: 25 pages 🌟🌟🌟 (mlm main, no ship)
  • Our Big Gay Affair by Randi Luxe: 26 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (m/m age gap)
  • The Christmas Curse by Ruby Moone: 25 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (m/m Christmas shifter romance)
  • Coffee Shops and Condoms by Eden Winters: 28 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (m/m teenage boys)
  • Ace of Squids by Elliot Cooper: 25 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (m/m Lovecraftian horror)
  • The Scrape of Tooth and Bone by Ada Hoffman: 25 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (f/f #ownvoices autistic, steampunk-ish)
  • Lucifer’s Fall by A.J. Flowers: 21 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (non-romance with angels, prequel)
  • Winter Wren by Miranda Honfleur: 34 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (m/f fantasy)
  • Chasing Christmas Past by Melanie Karsak: 30 pages 🌟🌟🌟 (m/f steampunk prequel)
  • A Night At The Mall by M. Hollis: 33 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (f/f contemporary)
  • Saint Brig by Ian Lewis: 37 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (m/m contemporary, homelessness)
  • Return from Exile by Ron C. Nieto: 36 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (prequel with fallen angels)
  • Back From The Edge by K.C. Wells: 36 pages 🌟🌟🌟 (m/m contemporary with older men, tw for abusive mother, cancer, suicide attempt)
  • Twist of the Magi by Carlen J. Werlinger: 38 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (f/f contemporary Christmas story)
  • Mech Cadet Yu #1 by Greg Park: 25 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (graphic novel, big robots bond with kids)
  • Fence #1 by C.S. Pacat: 24 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟(graphic novel, m/m sports romance, fencing)
  • Mega Princess #1 by Kelly Thompson: 28 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (MG fantasy graphic novel)
  • Misfit City #1 by Kirsten Smith: 25 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (graphic novel, all-girl cast, mystery)
  • Revelations by Ariel Tachna: 48 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (m/m/m polyamorous millitary romance, prequel)
  • Dodge City #1 by Josh Trujillo: 28 pages 🌟🌟🌟 (sports graphic novel)
  • Heavy Vinyl/Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 by Carly Usdin: 28 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (f/f contemporary graphic novel, girl fight club)
  • Not Alone by M.G. Herron: 39 pages 🌟🌟🌟 (sci-fi short story with aliens, male protagonist)
  • A Most Unusual Kidnapping by J.C. Long: 40 pages 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (m/m sci-fi short story)

With these, I actually completed my Goodreads challenge of 100 books, so I increased it to 150 books.

Non-review posts on the blog:

Total number of books read in May: 38 (12 without any short stories or graphic novels)
Total number of pages read in May: 4,345

Books read for Around the Year in 52 books: 4 (35 total)
Books read for Lesbian Book Bingo: 2 (14 total)

challengesmay

Current number of owned-and-unread books: 428

The problem is that I never mark the ARCs “owned and unread”, and I mostly read ARCs, which is why that number is only ever increasing… This is tough.

How was your May? Talk to me about it in the comments.

~ Alexa