September Wrap Up

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What Have I Been Up to Lately?

Hello everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve been here, typing away. I know you’ve seen some Top Ten Tuesday posts appear in the past few weeks. Thank the universe for scheduling, right? Otherwise it would have been complete radio silence. 

I haven’t been posting lately. Whether on my blog or my YouTube channel, I just haven’t found the time or motivation. I could come up with a 1000 excuses. And I do still feel like I need to apologize to you for my absence. To be honest, I know I shouldn’t. This blog, and my channel, are a hobby of mine. I love reading. I love talking about the books I’ve read. I love reading your blog posts and leaving comments. My love for the bookish community has never faded. But I just don’t have much time right now. So here’s what’s been going on in my life lately. 

I’m still working. No surprise there, right? I’m finding it harder than I thought I would to combine a full-time job with reading, blogging, and every other hobby.

I’m excited again about working out. I know, that doesn’t happen often. I usually have to force myself to work out. But in the beginning of September, I participated in a 6K run in support of Think Pink with my colleagues. And to prepare somewhat for that run, I decided to go back to the gym. I’ve discovered that I really, really enjoy weight training. I love the machines, I love pushing until the last rep and seeing how much weight I can challenge myself to push. I haven’t found to courage to start with barbell workouts yet, but I’m hoping I will in the near future. 

I’m excited again about cooking some new, healthy veggie/vegan meals. I want to invest time back into my food, so I start eating a bit healthier. 

I’ve fallen down the KPOP rabbit hole. Yup. It started with BTS, now I’m just all over the place. I’m listening to music, watching music videos and dance practices and random videos of the group members. You’ve sucked me in. 

I started watching Descendants of the Sun. I want to get back into TV shows, and this one looked like a lot of fun! I’ve watched 10 of the 16 episodes so far (I think) and I absolutely love it. 

I turned 23. 

My blog turned 3.

I went on a trip to Naples, Italy. It was wonderful -and sunny!

I’m exhausted. I know, not a fun item, right? But it’s true. I’ve been feeling so exhausted lately. Sleeping 9 hours a night and still being tired. 

That’s what’s been going on in my life lately! I do apologize for my lack of comments on your posts. I just haven’t had the time. I am not abandoning my blog, don’t worry. But I won’t be able to post as much as I used to either. I hope you’ll bear with me.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Fall TBR | YALC Edition

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today, it’s all about that fall TBR. I called this TBR the YALC edition, because it consists of a) ARCS I got at YALC and b) books I bought at YALC in July. 

The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart // Release date January 4, 2018 // This is about 5 friends who discover an ancient stone box in a forest and all make a sacrifice. There are 3 rules: never visit the box alone, never return to it at night, never take back your offering. 4 years later strange things start to happen. One thing is clear: someone broke the rules. Now everyone has to pay. 

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan //  Release date: September 7, 2017 // I have never read a Sarah Crossan book, but this one sounded too interesting to pass up on. It’s about a guy whose brother is on death row, and his final weeks are here. The cover of this is incredibly beautiful too.

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins // Release date: October 2, 2017 // It’s another Stephanie Perkins book! This is a romance-horror book, “perfect for the fans of Scream Queens”. 

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada  // Release Date: November 2, 2017 // The tagline of this is: “3 billion lives at stake, 2 people who can save them, 1 secret hidden in their DNA.” Doesn’t that sound epic?

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp // Release date: January 2018 // I loved her other book, This Is Where It Ends, so I’m so excited about this one. This is about Corey, who is about to return home to Lost Creek, Alaska, when her best friend dies. The entire community says that Kyra’s death was meant to be, and they’re treating Corey like a stranger. What’s going on?

The Fandom by Anna Day // Release date: October 5, 2017 // This story is about Violet and her friends, who are attending Comic-Con to meet the fandom of The Gallows Dance. Suddenly they get catapulted into their favorite world -for real. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas // I really need to read this. Like, really. I’m probably the only person in this community who hasn’t. 

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers // I don’t really know anything about this, other than the rave reviews I’ve seen everywhere. People seem to adore this YA science fiction book!

Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown // I read Red Rising this year, and I don’t want to wait ages to continue the trilogy. I got both the second and third book in a 3 for £10 deal at YALC, which I’m really happy about. 

Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2) by Ryan Graudin // I recently read the first book in this duology, Wolf by Wolf, and I want to finish the duology asap. I really enjoyed the first one, so I have high hopes. I actually managed to get both books signed!


I really hope I’ll get to all 10 books this autumn! Some I have been meaning to read for ages, others are ARCs I managed to pick up at YALC. Have you read any of these? Are any of the ARCs on your to-read list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten “Older” Books I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today’s topic was “Throwback Freebie”. So today I’m talking about 10 “older” books I love. You can take older with a grain of salt here. I’ll be talking about some classics, but also some books from the 90s.

 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë // Published in 1847 // This definitely counts as an older book, right? I haven’t read many classics, so you’ll have to bear with me on this topic. I adored Jane Eyre though, I think it’s my favorite classic so far.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien // Published in 1954 // Who is surprised? NO ONE. 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt // Published in 1992 // This book is 2 years older than I am. That’s so weird to think about? I adore this book though, and I would highly recommend it. It’s about a group of college kids in New England who commit murder.

Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer #1) by Robin Hobb // Published in 1995 // I wasn’t even 1 year old when this was published. Isn’t that absolutely insane? Robin Hobb has been creating incredible characters and worlds for my entire life.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin // Published in 1996 // I wasn’t even 2 when the first ASOIAF book was released. I’m now 22 (at least for a few more days) and I am waiting for the next one to come out. Not-so-patiently.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen // Published in 1813 // Another classic I actually enjoyed! I know, it’s rare. I thought I wouldn’t love it, because it’s one of the most hyped-up classics ever. But I found myself actually enjoying it.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl // Published in 1964 // I read this when I was a kid, in Dutch, and absolutely loved it. I haven’t re-read it in years though. How can you not love this story? As a chocolate-obsessed person, I am gutted that Willy Wonka isn’t real. 

Koning van Katoren by Jan Terlouw // Published in 1971 // This is a Dutch book, and another one I read as a kid. This is about a country called Katoren. 17 years ago, the King died. In the meantime, the ministers have been running (and ruining) the country. 17-year-old Stach goes to the ministers and asks them what it takes to become the next king. He’s then given 7 impossible tasks. 

Wise Child (Doran #1) by Monica Furlong // Published in 1987 // Another childhood favorite that I haven’t read in YEARS! I do remember reading this multiple times as a kid though. 

Gravity by Tess Gerritsen // Published in 1999 // I actually only recently read this one. It’s set in space (in the ISS) when a deadly and unknown virus breaks out. 


There you have it, 10 older books that I absolutely adore. Like I said, you should take older with a grain of salt here. Some of these are classics, others are about as old as I am. Have you read any of these? Which older books would you recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Struggled With at First But Ended Up Loving

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today, I’m talking about books I struggled with at first but ended up loving.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin // Yes, I am a big fan of this series. But I have to admit that when I first started reading it, I struggled somewhat. Mostly with the 55687354 characters and their very similar names. I watched the first episode of the TV show, and then started reading it again. That actually helped a lot, because I could put a face to most of the names. 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth // This is a book that I really need to re-read (because they’re making it into a movie or show). This is about a girl called Cameron Post, who finds out she likes girls at the same time her parents die. This is quite a slow-paced book, which is why I struggled a bit in the beginning. But I ended up devouring it.

Seeker (Seeker #1) by Arwen Elys Dayton // When this was first released, the reviews were… mixed. Some people loved it, others either hated it or couldn’t finish it. I actually really enjoyed it! But I definitely struggled. This book is just so confusing at times, and you have to accept that you’ll be lost for a little bit every once in a while. 

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch // Is this one of my all-time favorite series? Yes. Did I struggle with the first book when I first started it? Definitely. I started this when I was just getting over a reading slump. This book is definitely not an “easy” read. The first book in the series takes quite some concentration in the beginning, which is why it took me a while. Once I got into the world and characters though, I couldn’t stop reading. 

Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon // I struggled with the first 50 pages of this one. It takes quite a while for the story to get going, and for Claire to accidentally time travel. The part before the time travel didn’t really hold my interest, which is why I struggled with it.

The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota // I think I struggled a bit with this one because I’m not used to reading adult general fiction. Yet I found this story really interesting, and finished it in just a couple of days.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt // Same argument as the one above. I’m not used to reading adult general fiction. Combine that with the frequent use of Latin and Greek in this one, and you’ll get a struggling Jolien. At least for the first few chapters! It’s not a secret that I absolutely adore this book now, and I can’t wait to re-read it one day.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance #1) by N.K. Jemisin // I definitely had a hard time with the first few chapters of this book. I felt extremely lost and confused, like I was just dropped into this world and tale without any explanation whatsoever. Once I got a grip on the characters and world though, this became a compelling read. 

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien // I remember the first time I tried to read these books -in Dutch, of course. I felt like I was fighting a battle with Tolkien. His sentences were so long and full of description that I couldn’t focus on what was happening. A few years later, I tried to read them again -in English- and fell in love. I still think that his sentences are way too long. But I love this series too. 

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon // Samantha Shannon has to set up an entirely new London with clairvoyants in the first few chapters, which can be very tricky. You need the information of the first few chapters to understand what’s going on. But it still is a bit confusing and intimidating when you first start reading the book. Rewarding, though! 

Which books did you struggle with at first, but ended up loving? Or do you tend to give up on books you’re struggling with?

August Wrap Up

I only read 3 books in August… I think that’s the lowest amount I’ve read in a month in about 4 years? Yeah. Although I did read a lot of fan fiction! And some of those are like 60 to 90 chapters long. One of them was 91 chapters and 500 000+ words. I mean, that must count for something? Anyway, let’s talk about the books I actually managed to read.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston // 4 stars // I bought this at YALC, and felt like reading a fluffy contemporary in August. This was so much fun! I loved the twists on the classic Cinderella story -like the pumpkin actually being The Magic Pumpkin, a vegan food truck. I also enjoyed the discussion on whitewashing in Hollywood. 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // 5 stars // Definitely one of my favorite reads of 2017 now. I ADORED this book. If you want to read this as well, I’d highly recommend the audiobook. It really adds something to Monty’s voice.

The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase #2) by Rick Riordan // 4.5 stars // I’m slowly catching up with Rick Riordan’s latest books! Another one I actually listened to, and an audiobook I’d recommend too. It did take me a while to get used to the narrator though. Can I just say that I adore Alex?

Yup, that’s all I read in August. I know… Quantity-wise, not a great month. Quality-wise though, I’m very satisfied with my reading! I also managed to reach my Goodreads reading goal by finishing The Hammer of Thor. 


Have you read any of these books? Which books did you read in August?

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated SFF Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today, I’m talking about SFF books I think are underrated. Either I don’t see them mentioned often/at all in the book blogging/vlogging community, or they don’t have enough ratings on Goodreads.

As a cut-off point, I’ve decided on 50 000 ratings on Goodreads. All these books thus have less than 50 000 ratings on Goodreads when writing this post. 

Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier // Ratings: 43 169 // I can’t believe how underrated this series, and this author, is. Juliet Marillier was one of the first fantasy authors I fell in love with, and I still love her works today. I’m currently on a re-read and catch up mission. I recently re-read this one, which is a retelling of The Six Swans set in Ireland. 

Stolen Songbird (Malediction #1) by Danielle L. Jensen // Ratings: 17 253 // It’s been a while since I read this trilogy, but I remember absolutely loving it. It’s about a girl called Cécile who gets kidnapped by the Troll King so she can break the curse they’re under.

City of Stairs (Divine Cities #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett // Ratings: 14 225 // This is one of those books that I really want to re-read one day. I have to admit that I struggled a bit with this fantasy book at the start. But after a while, I felt compelled to continue reading and just couldn’t put it down anymore. In this world, the city and people of Bulikov used to rule the world thanks to their Gods. The Saypur people were their slaves. Until the divine protectors were killed. Without their protection and help, the tables were turned. Now, the Saypur rule over them. 

Paladin (Paladin #1) by Sally Slater // Ratings: 4 508 // I know I’ve mentioned this in a few underrated posts ever since I read it in 2015. But this book only has 4500 ratings! So I have to mention it again. This is about a girl called Sam who wants to be a Paladin -who fight demons. The only problem? She’s Lady Samantha of Haywood. And Ladies just aren’t warriors. 

Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel Bach // Ratings: 9 437 // Rachel Bach (or Rachel Aaron) is another one of my favorite (underrated) authors. This is her science fiction, space opera series about Devi, a mercenary with a ton of ambition.

The Novice (Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu // Ratings: 11 496 // I quite enjoyed this YA fantasy one, but I don’t see many people talk about it. It’s sort of a mix between The Lord of the Rings and Pokémon? I just got the second book, which I want to read soon. 

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron // Ratings: 5 794 // YES, I WILL KEEP MENTIONING THIS BOOK UNTIL YOU READ IT. 

Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1-2) by Michael J. Sullivan // Ratings: 36 981 // See above. I have mentioned this series countless times on my blog. And I will keep doing it until more of you read it. 

Sunbolt (Sunbolt #1) by Intisar Khanani // Ratings: 1 856 // Another one I’ve mentioned in some of my underrated posts before. This is about Hitomi, a young orphan who gets involved in some high-level political (and magical) shitstorms.

First Year (The Black Mage #1) by Rachel E. Carter // Ratings: 10 602 // This is one I read fairly recently. I quite enjoyed it. It’s a solid YA fantasy book, especially for the first book in a series. It didn’t really bring anything new and mind-blowing to the game, but I still read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. It’s a fun, enjoyable read.


Which SFF reads under 50 000 ratings would you recommend? Is there a book or series you wish people would mention more often?