Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (42)

Hey all, Dani here.

As it turns out, all of my reading plans changed last Wednesday, just a few hours before my What I’m Reading post went live. My author friend Rachel E Kelly sent me her latest book for copy editing, and Wednesday Books approved me for an e-galley of Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan.

So I set aside my current reading and upcoming reading plans to start on both of those books.

But I haven’t had a lot of reading time overall, so currently I have no books to report as finished in the last week.

By the time this post goes live, I should be around 60% through Wicked Saints, so I imagine that I will finish it in the next couple of days. My big debate is that this book won’t be released until the beginning of April 2019. Should I just prep up a review and schedule it for closer to release day, or should I have the review up before the end of the year even though it will be a very early review?

It shouldn’t take me a whole lot of time to finish Waterworld Volume 2 either, because I tend to fly through all of Rachel’s books.

Which means that I will absolutely be jumping into new books within the next couple of days. The only question is what I will pick up next.

These are my top options for my next books to read. It will just really depend on my mood after I finish my current reads. Will I be in a contemporary mood? Because both From Twinkle, With Love and Pride both fit the bill for that, or perhaps fantasy with Phoenix Unbound or Empire of Sand.

Obviously right now I am focusing on tackling some of my diverse reads I have on my bookshelves, as we have started Diverse December, a reading challenge hosted by my blogger buddy Kathy from Books and Munches. I have so many great books I am hoping to read before 2018 is over, so we’ll see how many books I’ll finish and review in the coming days.

Frankly there are just so very many books I want to read and I don’t have as much free time as I would like to read them all closer to their publication dates. So I just have to settle with reading as many as I can in the free time I can find in my schedule.

I hope you are all having a great reading week, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.

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Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, Graphic Novel, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

November Wrap Up and December TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

It is the last month of the year. Holy moly. Where has 2018 gone? Well, I can say that it has been a pretty productive year for me overall. My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal was originally 100 books, then 120, and currently 130, a goal I will absolutely be beating within the next couple of days. But I’m not changing it again so we’ll see where I end up in another month.

But before I truly focus on December, it is time to reflect on everything I read in November, as well as what I watched. Then let’s not forget my Owlcrate unboxing and my monthly book haul.

Oh, and I should also say THANK YOU SO MUCH! Yesterday I reached 500 followers on this blog, and it is honestly something I never would have expected when I started my blog. Thank you for following me and joining me on this journey to talk about books. I will be having a 500 follower giveaway post up soon, so stay tuned for that.

All right, let’s start off with what I read. As always, if I have a review up for the book the link will be included just in case you’d like to check it out.

Amazing Fantastic Incredible – A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee — 5 stars

Seasons Turning by Donaya Haymond — 5 stars

Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco — 5 stars

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald Official Screenplay by J.K. Rowling — 3.5 stars

The ABCs of D&D by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland — 5 stars

The 123s of D&D by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland — 5 stars

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White — 4.5 stars

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan — 5 stars

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White — 5 stars

Of course, now that I’ve talked about what I’ve read–and I think I did pretty decent for the month as a couple of the books were longer ones–it is time to talk about what I watched.

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindewald (3.5 stars), Ralph Breaks the Internet (5 stars), Galaxy Quest (5 stars), Firefly series (5 stars), Serenity (5 stars), Doctor Who series 2 (5 stars), The Princess Switch (4 stars), A Christmas Prince (re-watch 5 stars). I’m in the middle of the third season of Daredevil, and I’m continuing the watch through of Doctor Who with my fiance, and of course we are keeping up with the second campaign of Critical Role and loving it.

So it has been a pretty busy month of reading and watching.

Up next: book haul time. I picked up a decent number of books from Book Outlet at the beginning of the month, and I couldn’t pass up the newest release from my buddy Donaya. The bound Illustrated collection of Earthsea novels is absolutely stunning and I am so glad to have it in my collection. Finally there are the books I bought during Black Friday weekend. The final picture in this is technically the books I’ve purchased for Christmas presents, though the Miles Morales book was one I bought for my fiance so it is pretty much mine as well.

And the OwlCrate unboxing. I loved this month’s box of goodies. My fiance really enjoyed making the wishing bracelet, and the wax seal is pretty awesome. I might honestly use it for my wedding invitations, once we set a date, that is. The skull planter is interesting, and that Dumbledore and Fawkes sticker as well as the art print will be heading to my bookish art wall very soon. That pillowcase is awesome as well, but my favorite thing from the box is the book. It is a fantastic read and I definitely recommend it (though content warning for sexual assault if that would trigger you).

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Finally it is time to talk about my December TBR. Most of my reading plans for the month have already been documented in my post about Diverse December and the Short-a-thon, but I also would really like to finish reading Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon before the end of the year.

Also, my writer friend Rachel E Kelly sent me Waterworld Part 2: Charlotte for copy edits. I think the book is scheduled to be released at the very end of the year, so I will definitely be reading that ASAP.

Finally, I was lucky enough to be approved for an e-galley of Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan, a book that will be released in April 2019, and I am currently absolutely obsessed with it.

So those are the books on my TBR for December. What reading plans do you have to finish up 2018? Let me know in the comments!

I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (41)

Hey all, Dani here.

We have almost reached the end of November. There is seriously only one more month before we are celebrating a whole new year. So I hope everyone is doing well with their reading goals. I know that with the stress of the holidays coming, I’m trying to plan ahead when it comes to reading and blogging so I don’t have to disappear or anything. I’m also trying to get my end of year posts and beginning of the year posts started. Every year I do a post on my underwhelming reads for the year, and of course the second part of my top ten reads for the year. Then there’s the goals for the new year and my blogaversary post. So definitely a lot to look forward to.

But today we can look forward to talking about the books that have been read in the last week, the books currently being read, and the books that we hope to start reading soon.

Let’s get started.

It was a pretty decent week for me. I managed to read The ABCs of D&D and The 123s of D&D, both by Ivan Van Norman and Caleb Cleveland. These are cute nerdy educational books, and I definitely recommend them for the nerdlings in your life. I also read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, which yes, was a re-read for me, but it has been a long time. It is also technically a Christmas present for my niece, but I can’t resist reading the books I get her before I wrap them. Then while at work the past couple days, I managed to finish Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan and a reread of Heartstone by Elle Katharine White. Because guess what everyone? I didn’t realize there was a sequel coming out, and by coming out, I mean that it was released on November 20th. So I will be buying it very soon. Because Pride and Prejudice plus dragons is a combination I didn’t know I needed in my life.

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As for current reads, I am currently in the middle of a reread of Shadoworld by Rachel E Kelly, specifically the Illustrated Edition of the story. I’m doing this so that I can also re-read Dreamworld, hopefully before Rachel sends me the early copy of her next book. I like to be refreshed on everything that has happened.

Finally it is time to talk about what I’m hoping to start reading soon. Well, there are only two more days left in November, so I don’t know that I’ll be able to start and finish anything before the end of the month. I suppose that means that the next books I pick up will probably be for Diverse December, though I’m not sure which one I’m going to pick up first. Then again, perhaps I could read a few volumes of manga to finish up the month. So we’ll see what happens. It honestly all depends on how quickly I finish my current read. Though, I should probably spend some more time working on Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon as well; I want to finish reading it by the end of this year.

Books!, Diverse December, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Diverse December and Short-a-thon TBRs

Hey all, Dani here.

It is time to curl up with some great books and finish the reading year off strong. Last year I participated in Diverse December, hosted by the wonderful Kathy at Books & Munches, and I had such a great time trying to focus more on diversifying my reading. So imagine my joy when she announced that Diverse December was coming back. Oh, and then add to it the fact that she has come up with another readathon as well. I’m going to have a busy December, you guys.

So, what is Diverse December? Well, Kathy’s post explains it all (and go check out her blog anyway because her posts are fantastic–and also usually end up making me hungry. Darn those munches photos), but it is really quite simple. Read books that are diverse. Now that could mean a book set somewhere quite different from where you are. It could mean a different race, a different religion, a different gender, a different sexual identity, etc. The possibilities are vast.

Then there is the Short-a-Thon. This is a recently announced readathon, hosted by Kathy at Books & Munches and Destiny at Howling Libraries. It is being held from December 21st through December 31st. Now the recommendation for this one is to give a list of your ten shortest books on your TBR and that will become your readathon TBR. But I just started pulling books off the shelves in my library that are somewhat shorter reads, and that is what I’m going to do for this readathon. So if you want to join in the fun of ending your year reading a bunch of shorter length reads to maybe catch up on or surpass your reading goal for the year, come on and join in the fun.

So that leads to me talking about my December TBR. Hopefully I’ll be able to read most of these. But we all know that the end of the year, especially around the holidays, can get quite hectic. So we’ll see what happens.

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So the left side is my Diverse December picks, and then the right side are more my Short-a-Thon picks. For the diverse reads I have a Mayan inspired story, an Asian themed one, one with Indian characters, one with a gender fluid character, and one set in a world where the Empire demands that each year each village sends a young woman to be burned alive for the entertainment for others–so definitely a different kind of world than what I live in.

I think the longest book I have on my Short-a-Thon list is Roar by Cora Carmack. But I just kind of want to read some books about some awesome female characters in some interesting and sometimes difficult situations, fighting to survive or protect their nation or figure out what is going on in their world. And I think all of these should be pretty quick reads.

I guess I could also throw some manga volumes in for the Short-a-Thon as well. I definitely should try to read The Wicked + The Divine Vol 7 before the end of the year, so that may make an appearance in my December reads as well.

Anyway, I think that is all for today. If you’re going to join in on either of these readathons, then let me know. We can cheer each other on. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Inspiration, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Tips and Tricks for Surviving a Readathon

Hey all, Dani here.

I love readathons. I think they are really fun events that generally help to increase the number of books I read. For the most part, I feel like I do a pretty decent job with readathons and so I thought perhaps I can share some of the tips and tricks that help me get through them.

Now, I guess I should start with a general disclaimer. Just because these tips help me doesn’t mean that they will work for everyone.

Next I suppose I should clarify what I mean by readathons. When I’m talking about readathons I am referring to 24 Hour reading events, weekend reading events, or week-long reading events. For me personally if it lasts for a full month then it is a reading challenge.

So some of the tips I give will be more helpful for all the readathons, while some others are more useful for a specific type of readathon. Okay, let’s just jump into some of these tips and tricks.

Number 1: Announce Your Participation

The most important tip I can give is to let people know that you are participating in a readathon, specifically that you may not be as active or available for social media, social calls, etc. for the duration of the event. Seriously, it has been so helpful for me. And honestly, not just with readathons, but also with events like NaNoWriMo. Letting people know that you are going to be doing something that you feel strongly about and want to dedicate your time to for a day, a weekend, a week, whatever, can be pretty liberating and wonderful.

Number 2: Catch Some ZZZs

For my second tip, I totally recommend getting a good night’s sleep before the readathon starts. When it comes to 24 Hour readathons, having a full rest might mean that you can stay up for the whole duration. Of course this tip can also extend to making sure you get enough sleep for the entirety of your readathon.

Number 3: Don’t Forget to Eat

Snacks! I find that having a good stash of snacks significantly helps me with my readathons. By planning my food and snacks ahead, I don’t have to waste time during a 24 Hour Readathon trying to figure out what I want to eat or where I want to go to get something to eat. It is a serious time saver. Plus, not gonna lie, sometimes during a readathon you need a little energy pick me up, and snacks are a wonderful way to get that.

Number 4: Schedule Reading Time

Okay, so this tip is definitely aimed more towards a week long event. Schedule reading time during the readathon. Obviously during a week long readathon, most of us have work and/or school, and sleep is necessary. Outside of that you might have other obligations. If you schedule an hour or two of reading into your day every day then you can get some serious reading accomplished.

Number 5: Read, Read, Read

Read every time you have a free moment. Again, this one definitely suits a longer readathon than a shorter one. If you leave the house, take a book with you, and if you find yourself waiting for an appointment, or if you get to work a few minutes early, etc. pick up your book and read. Trust me, those minutes all add up in the long run.

Number 6: Take Breaks

So here’s the thing…even during a readathon, it is important to take a break periodically. Get up and take a short walk (though if you feel the need to listen to an audiobook while you walk then that’s fine). When I take a break, I do a quick social media check. During the readathons I participate in, I like to do status updates on my Instagram. So every time I finish a book, or at least every couple hours, I’ll log on and browse through the readathon’s hashtag just to see how other participants are doing. The trick with this is to limit your social media time. Only let yourself have a few minutes.

Number 7: Read Some Shorter/Quicker Works

This is one of my favorite tricks or cheats for readathons. It really helps to boost my books read total, and it feels really good to start off feeling successful. I like to start my readathons with a couple of quick reads. For this I use volumes of manga, a novella or two, or a couple of short novels. Being able to fly through a book in 30 minutes to an hour per book helps me to feel like my 24 Hour Readathons are super-productive.

Number 8: Hydrate

While this one could include this one with the snacks tip, I feel like it is important enough to warrant its own section. Whether this hydration means drinking plenty of water, or having tea, coffee, etc on hand, that’s up to you. I like to get myself a nice assortment of coffees and teas so that I can either make drinks that correspond with what I’m reading or that just sound good at the time. Perhaps you need to have a six-pack of your favorite soda/pop ready so you can have a pick me up to survive your reading marathon. Much like with snacks, I like to have my beverages planned and purchased ahead of time.

Number 9: Have Fun

Obviously this goes without saying, the best way to have a successful readathon is to enjoy yourself. If you aren’t enjoying what you’re reading, then set it aside and grab whatever book you really want to read right then and there. If you need to get away from your books and spend a couple hours socializing with friends, then that is perfectly fine. Yes, readathons are meant to help with reading productivity, but any amount of reading–even if it is just a sentence or a paragraph–is fine. So what if someone else has read ten books during the readathon, while you only managed one. That is one more book than you read before this event.

And I do believe that is all the advice I can think about passing on, at least right now. I’m sure I’ll remember something after this post has gone live. And for the rest of you who participate in readathons, if you have some tips to share, please feel free to let all of us know in the comments.

That is all from me today. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon TBR — October 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

I’m back with another readathon announcement. This is a readathon I definitely look forward to twice a year–err, three times this year, since they did the reverse readathon this summer. You can get all the details about the history of the event by visiting the web site.

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon has been a major part of my reading life for pretty much three years now. I discovered it back in 2016 and have participated each time since. So every April and October I try and figure out a good variety of books to try and devour in one twenty-four hour period.

Now I have had attempts at this readathon that I’ve done really well with, and some that I did just okay. But what is important is that I manage to get some reading accomplished and that I have fun. And I honestly do. I love popping on Instagram and seeing how everyone is doing with their reading.

Oh, so I think before this next session I’m going to write up a post with some of my tips and tricks for preparing for a readathon, as well as participating in one. I mean, if any of you would be interested in that sort of post anyway.

This next session of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2018. It starts at 8 a.m. EST (which thankfully is the time zone I live in) and will continue until 7:59 a.m. EST on Sunday, October 21, 2018. You can figure out your start time by going here.

Okay, so I guess it is time to go over my tentative TBR for the readathon. I don’t know how successful I will be at this, because we will have friends over for 5 or 6 hours in the middle of the readathon, but oh well. That has never deterred me from participating.

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First up, Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel. I have been wanting to read this book since I saw the cover last year before its release. And the companion/sequel is out now (also with a gorgeous cover), so I’d like to give this one a try.

Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells is a re-read for me, so I’m predicting that I can read it fairly quickly. Also, it takes place in a fictional city in Northern Ohio, so I find that to be pretty cool. And the grittiness of it, plus the cool magic system, just makes me want to read it again.

Next is Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller. I have followed the Vampire Book Club for a couple years now, and Chelsea is the founder of the blog/group, which now includes a handful of wonderful ladies who review all sorts of paranormal and fantasy stories, typically ones with romance in them. So when I heard that Chelsea was getting published I wanted to support her. That was last year, and I bought her book. The sequel is now out, so I’d like to actually finally read this book.

Then I want to talk about All the Feels by Danika Stone. It sounds like a fun and geeky contemporary, and I’ve read quite a few of those and really enjoyed them. This one has a focus on fandom and conventions and a science fiction show, so I am really excited to finally read it.

Finally, there is The Monster of Selkirk: The Duality of Nature by C.E. Clayton. This is the first book of a series that has I have watched my book blogger buddy Kathy from Books & Munches rave about over and over again. And honestly, with such high praise, how could I not pick it up? Actually, I bought the first two books. The third book is due to be published on October 16th, so now seems a perfect time to jump into the series.

Of course, my TBR can possibly change, and might shift to include some quicker reads like some volumes of manga. But we’ll see what happens during the readathon itself.

Are any of you participating? Let me know what social media accounts you’re using so I can follow your readathon progress.

That is all from me today. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Books!, Graphic Novel, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (26)

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so this week I am proud to say that I have made a lot of progress when it comes to reading. August is starting to look like a productive reading month. And I hope to continue this pace over the next few weeks, so we’ll just see what happens.

And since I have been doing these weekly reading updates, I probably won’t be doing a Manga Madness Readathon post. You’ll get part of my reading progress today and then the rest will be in next week’s post.

All right, and with that I think I’m ready to jump in and talk about all the books I’ve finished reading in the past week.

Whew…that was a lot of books. Okay, yes, so many of these are manga or comic book/graphic novels. But still. It has actually been a pretty busy week. My fiance and I ended up buying Diablo III for our PS4 and we have been spending a lot of our non work time playing the game. I am really enjoying it, but I wish we could find more similar games that are multiplayer (without us needing to buy another TV/PS4/etc). We like playing together but a vast majority of non-PvP games are single player.

Anyway, let’s just move on to my current reads. I’m still trying to squeeze in as many volumes of manga as I can before the readathon ends this Friday, so naturally I am reading more of that. But I also picked up a book at the grocery store and I have read about 70 pages of it over the past few days as well…just so I can watch the movie on Netflix, because it looks pretty good too.

Reading Blue Exorcist just makes me want to watch the anime again, which isn’t the worst thing, because I rather liked it, and I’m sure I would pick up on more of what’s going on this second time viewing it, but it will have to wait because my current anime watches are dedicated to Fairy Tail and keeping up with the newest season of My Hero Academia.

Finally, as for what I’m hoping to read over the next week…well,a bunch more manga, that’s for sure. I think I own through Volume 6 for Blue Exorcist, so I’m going to try and finish that, and then maybe I’ll try to finish reading the volumes of The Ancient Magus’ Bride that I have. Oh, and I just got the first volume of Black Clover in the mail, so perhaps I can squeeze that in to my reading schedule as well.

Then I suppose I’d like to finish reading Guernsey Society and then I’ll probably jump into a couple other books.

That’s all for today. Let me know what you’re reading and loving in the comments below, because I would love to know what else to add to my TBR. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Graphic Novel, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (25)

Hey all, Dani here.

As can be predicted, I actually did not accomplish a lot of reading over the last week. That tends to happen when it comes to going to conventions. But I did manage to finish one book and start a few others, so I’ll talk about all of those here.

But first, Gen Con was actually a lot of fun. I bought a lot of books, a few games, several sets of dice, and I just had a wonderful time hanging out with a bunch of awesome geeks. My fiance and I are already planning on attending again next year. If you’re interested in hearing more about my Gen Con experience, let me know in the comments and I can write up a post about the whole trip.

Okay, so for the book that I finished in the past week, it was a good read, and it didn’t take me all that long to actually finish it, so that was nice. I had hoped to finish it before we left for Indianapolis, but that didn’t happen. Still, I enjoyed reading Game of Secrets by Kim Foster. The concept was an interesting one and I’m glad I gave it a try.

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Then there’s the books I started while at Gen Con or over the past couple of days. Needless to say, I am in the middle of a good number of reads, but sometimes that just happens. With any luck I’ll finish most of these in the next couple of days and move on to the next books on my TBR…oh, and of course seeing how many volumes of manga I can read because the next round of Manga Madness Readathon starts very soon.

Anyway, here’s everything I’m currently reading.

The first book I started reading is the Looking for Group Omnibus, which contains Volumes 1-3 of the web comic print bind-ups. Back in college I read Looking for Group online for awhile, but it has been so long that I don’t remember specifics. I’ve only read about 20 or 30 pages, but it is fun being reintroduced to the characters. The second book is another gaming guidebook from Kobold Press. I love their worldbuilding book, and actually recommend it for not just game masters, but also authors. The great thing is that I don’t have to read this book all at once or anything since it is just a collection of essays, but I am really looking forward to reading most of the advice I’m sure to get from all these amazing gamers and writers. Finally, I just started Beyond a Darkened Shore on Monday as my work read, and I am really enjoying it. Actually, I think I should be able to finish it soon.

Oh, I almost forgot about the books I want to start reading soon. Obviously my focus is going to switch to manga starting on Friday and going until next Friday. I imagine that I’ll be starting with Volume 14 of My Hero Academia, but I also definitely want to read the first volume of Dawn of the Arcana. After that I’m not sure what I’ll read, but hopefully I will have a lot of updates for next week.

Thanks for reading everyone. Let me know in the comments if you’ve recently finished or are currently reading something interesting. I think that is all for today, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Manga Madness Readathon (Round 3)

Hey all, Dani here.

Today is Day Two of Gen Con, and when this post goes live, my fiance and I will be wrapping up our time at the convention center and be heading across the city to the theater where we will watch a live episode of Critical Role, and we are both very excited about it. Anyway, I am not here to talk about my convention fun (yet…I will have a con wrap up post coming after the weekend is over).

I guess I’m just really in a readathon mood lately. Plus, my fiance and I just bought a bunch more manga to add to our collection. So it seems appropriate to announce that we are participating in the upcoming round of the Manga Madness Readathon.

It will be taking place from August 10th-18th, and the goal is to read as many manga as possible in that time. Now, there are a couple more specific ways to participate, like trying to complete a bingo board of different types, themes, or genres of manga, or focusing your attention on one specific series, but I just want to read some manga instead of trying to find a specific TBR for the event.

You can find out all the details on Jade’s blog here.

As for what the two of us will be reading, well it will probably be something on these shelves, though we may have added more volumes since this photo was taken. Oh and the shelving of the manga is not my decision. This bookcase is my fiance’s and he has complete control over where they all go and how they are stacked. He’s still figuring out his shelving preferences.


That is a really vague TBR, isn’t it? Well, I personally want to read the rest of Ancient Magus’ Bride, read the newest volume of My Hero Academia, since it comes out on August 7th, and then I’ll start reading whatever sounds interesting. I believe my fiance will be trying to work on getting manga completed and reviews formulated so he can start posting. We’ve already figured out his bio blurb and his review policy, so those are both up on the blog. Now we just need content.

So really, I do believe that is all for today. I just wanted to announce that I am doing another readathon. Let me know if you plan on participating as well, or let me know if you have any manga recommendations. I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Conventions, Graphic Novel, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Self-Published Books, Signal Boost

July Wrap Up and August TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome to August. At the time this post goes live, I will probably be sitting in an Irish pub in Indianapolis, relaxing before the start of Gen Con. Why an Irish pub, you may ask? Well, as today is my birthday I got to choose where to eat dinner, and I just really wanted to hang out with my fiance and our nerd friends who came with us, and have a nice adult beverage…because I turned 30 today, so I can do that.

Also, heads up, sorry if I am not as quick at liking or responding to your comments over the next several days. Gen Con runs from Thursday through Sunday, and I will likely be soaking in all the nerd gear and books and gaming equipment, instead of playing on my phone. But I promise, I’m still here, and I will get back to you as soon as I am able.

Okay, let’s get started. First up, the books I read over the month of July. I feel like this past month was a pretty good one for reading. I participated in two different readathons and just generally was in a mood for devouring stories. As always, if I have a review up, I will include the link back to it, just in case you are interested or missed it.

The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead — 5 stars

All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor — 4 stars

Save the Date by Morgan Matson — 4.5 stars

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone — 5 stars

Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd — 5 stars

My Hero Academia Vigilantes, Vol 1 by Hideyuki Furuhashi — 4 stars

And I Darken by Kiersten White — 5 stars

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse — 4.5 stars

Blackened White by Brian W Foster — 4 stars

Terminal Alliance by Jim C Hines — 4.5 stars

Spellslinger by Sebastien De Castell — 5 stars

Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S Dawson and Kevin Hearne — 5 stars

Game of Secrets by Kim Foster — 4 stars

Vox Machina Origins by Matthew Coville, Chris Northrop, Olivia Samson, and Matthew Mercer — 5 stars

All right, and then there were the other stories I consumed over the month, namely movies and TV shows. I kept track of them just in case anyone was interested, and I guess I enjoy having a record of what I’ve seen, so this segment of my monthly wrap up may be here to stay.

Pokemon: the series — Sun & Moon (season 1) — 4 stars, Kung Fu Panda 3 — 4.5 stars, Ant-Man and the Wasp — 5 stars, The Princess Diaries (again) — 5 stars, Ella Enchanted (again) — 4 stars, Happy Gilmore (again) — 5 stars, The Mummy — 4 stars, The Mummy Returns — 4.5 stars, Journey to the Center of the Earth — 4 stars

Also, as usual I am still watching “Critical Role” each week and things got really intense and emotional in July. I am so looking forward to seeing the show live and in person this weekend. My fiance and I also started watching a summer show on the CW called “The Outpost,” and it is really interesting so far. The show is created by the same people who did the Mythica series of movies, and those movies are what my fiance and I watched on our first date, so obviously we feel a special connection to all five films. This new series actually has a couple of the same cast members and has a similar feel to the magic as Mythica, so I’m excited to see where it goes from here. Finally, my fiance and I decided that we had taken enough of a break to separate Avatar from Korra, so we started watching The Legend of Korra. We finished Books One and Two, and are almost finished with Book Three, and I am really enjoying it so far. So many of the characters are either connected to characters from the original series or act in a similar manner, and it is really entertaining to watch.

I do believe that is all for what I saw this month.

Next up is the book haul and OwlCrate unboxing portions of this post. This month is a little special because I am separating my fiance’s haul into its own section. There was a manga sale on Barnes & Noble and he decided to stock up on some reads and start prepping posts, because he is getting really excited about joining me here on this blog. He has figured out what name he wants to go by, because he doesn’t want to use his real name, so like me he has come up with a pen name, and now we are just figuring out his review policy and rating system. So his debut should be soon. Okay, let’s just get into his haul already.

There are a few of these manga volumes that I plan to check out as well, so we may see me switch to mini reviews on the manga when he starts doing his reviews.

Next up is my haul, and I also purchased some manga because that deal was too good to pass up. Plus I got a few other books I was pretty excited about. And I am so happy with the OwlCrate for July, though it was a book I had recently purchased, so I now have two copies. I actually do prefer the OwlCrate cover, so I may end up unhauling the original.

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Finally, there is my August TBR to announce. And I can honestly say that I haven’t exactly planned out a TBR really just yet for this one. Oh boy, I guess I need to go stare at my shelves and figure that out. Hold on a moment.

Okay, so the next volume of My Hero Academia will be released in August, as will the fifth volume of Rat Queens. I will most likely be getting and reading both of those. My most anticipated release of the year will be out in August, but not until the 28th, so I don’t exactly think I can include it on my TBR, but you can definitely expect Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis to be on my September TBR. Oh, and the next round of the Manga Madness Readathon is taking place in August as well, so I will probably be reading quite a few volumes, but I’ll have a TBR announcement post up for that one soon.

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There, that seems like a decent TBR, though I could always change those up or add more, depending on how the month goes. And I do believe that is all for today. Thanks for reading and commenting and being awesome bookish friends. I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.