Timefulness by Marcia Bjornerud, a review

Timefulness by Marcia Bjornerud is a non-fiction on Geology that discusses how the Earth’s temporal rhythms are critical to humanities survival. This was gifted to me by the lovely Kari who is always here to encourage me to read more non-fiction and geological reads.

Timefulness: How thinking like a geologist can help save the world, by Marcia Bjornerud

I will start with something bad for this book, unfortunately. And frustratingly it comes from the third page from the end of the damn book. So annoying! The final paragraph for this section contains ableism directed towards autistic people. I’m going to include the quote beneath so you can see it.

As members of a technological society that can keep Nature at arm’s length most of the time, we have an almost autistic relationship with the Earth. We are rigid in our ways, savants when it comes to certain narrow obsession, but dysfunctional in other regards, because we wrongly view ourselves as separate from the rest of the natural world. Convinced that Nature is something outside us, a mute and immutable thing external to us, we are unable to empathise or communicate with it.

Timefulness by Marcia Bjornerud, end of Chapter 6, p179 in my paperback edition.

Thank you to Veronica and Bekka, two autistic bookish creators, who looked at this paragraph for me to confirm that it is icky from an own voices POV. Of course they are only two individuals out of a collective, but their voice is more meaningful than mine. Please check out their links and follow them as they’re wonderful people with great channels!

So. There’s that. Which immediately negated all the positives I had gained from this book. Personally? I can no longer recommend the book. But if you’d like to know my thoughts on the rest of the book, then the review continues below.

If you’re coming into this with minimal geological knowledge then don’t be concerned, as Bjornerud explains everything in the depth required to understand her points. However, it does use some more scientific terminology than I would expect from a base level book (not even geological, electrocariograms anyone?).

It does discuss the benefits of geology as a more mainstream discipline, along with mentioning the time timeline of geology itself. Something that seems to be common in quite a few geological non fictions but doesn’t seem to be all that pertinent to the authors intended thoughts here. However, if you’re wanting to know more about geology as a whole but don’t want to dive into a textbook? This could be a good shout!

This is very much a plead to humanity to recognise the speed at which alterations are happening to this planet. Faster than we’ve measured in prior geological timescales. And whilst the planet will endure long after we are gone, human bodies, and other living creatures on this floating rock, aren’t able to adapt to these conditions quickly enough and our lives with be snuffed out.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Research: 7, Uniqueness: 6, Readability: 5, Personal Impact: 5, Intrigue: 6, Informativeness: 6, and Enjoyment: 5, which gives an average of 5.71 and a 3* rating. But of course this is not inclusive of that very end section.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: ableism.

Unfortunately this is not a book I will be recommending. I think I’ll keep it on my shelves for a while, as it did have good points that I’d like to return to. But that ableism? Please, if you want a book like this yourself, look at picking a different one up.

August Reading Wrap Up

In August I had two readathons: the Mary Shelley AThon and the MiddleEarthAThon. Both were amazing and both inspired me to pick up books I wouldn’t have (at least this month) otherwise. It also meant that I read more than I would’ve so no complaints here!!

If you’d like to see how well I balanced my books out this month, then check out the video here!

The first book I finished in August was Fire by Kristin Cashore which is the second book in the Graceling series. This is an older YA series that has gotten a bit of a revival lately and it’s so much fun! Fire is our main character and I loved seeing her development throughout the book, as well as how the court changed around her. So excited to dive into Bitterblue next! This was my tbr jar pick and I’m glad this was forced into my hands!

Next up was Mathilda by Mary Shelley which I picked up for the Mary Shelley A Thon prompt of something written by Shelley. This is a super short read, around 100 pages, and a really interesting one. It’s essentially an unedited short story about a young woman who just wants a family and considering it’s unedited… wow is it written well. I just wish Shelley had been able to edit this one up into a fully fledged work!

The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi was my next read, the Goldsboro GSFF book for last month, and WOW did I adore this book. Five stars, one of my favourites ever. This book is just amazing. I need the sequel like yesterday. This high fantasy is incredibly detailed, beautifully well developed, and I adored seeing the characters learn more about the world and each other. I love this book so much that I struggle to talk about it. That’s when you know I loved a read!

Then another great read was The River and the Book by Alison Croggon, my first reads from this author since The Pellinor Series (you know, that one that’s in my handle). This is not an own-voices book, but that is literally the only downside. It’s a beautifully written book that tackles white saviourism and it’s a real short read too. One I’d definitely recommend picking up!

Then I read the behemoth that is The Collected Poems of Robert Burns which clocks in at 600 pages. This was for a Mary Shelley A Thon prompt to read a poem/collection of poetry and this was the best choice because it was gifted to me by the readathon host Caitlyn! (from Mad Cheshire Rabbit) This is definitely not one I’d recommend generally to everyone, because there are some duds in this collection, but there are also some fantastic works and I think you should look Burns up and read a few.

The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones was the Illumicrate read for August and it was… fine? There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with this YA fantasy, but it also wasn’t a standout. Not one I’ll recommend or remember, but it’s fine. Read my full review linked above for more details.

Then I finished my non-fiction for the month, Timefulness by Marcia Bjornerud. This one was fantastic, having super interesting and unique discussions on geology, the physical makeup of our planet, and how we can learn to think more about timeframes past our existence. But. There’s ableism right at the end and I just can’t recommend a book after that. Check out my full review of this one coming in a few days (or available on my blog now if you’re reading this in mid September 22 onwards).

For my first MiddleEarthAThon read, a shiny book, I went for Demon Road by Derek Landy which is the first book in a YA Urban Fantasy trilogy. This is the same author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series and unfortunately it doesn’t quite live up to that high bar. It was enjoyable enough though and I’m curious, so I’ll be carrying on with the series.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr works for both readathons. For MiddleEarthAThon it’s (one of) the oldest book on my tbr, and for Mary Shelley A Thon it counts for both a book outside of your comfort zone and a tbr vet. This. This book was fantastic, amazing, and a 5* read! I had the smallest of issues with how travel was portrayed but other than that – perfection! Another favourite of the year.

And my final read was most of The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This entire collection was 1122 pages so I didn’t manage to read it all before the month was up, but I did manage it in the one week of the MiddleEarthAThon, and in August I read a fair few of the short stories. I’ll mention this one more in my September wrap up but this was a 4* read and just as fun as I remember Sherlock stories being.

And that’s everything I managed to read last month! It totalled 3944 pages, and so much of that was during the MiddleEarthAThon!!

Did you get any five star reads last month? The Final Strife and All The Light We Cannot See are both amazing and I’m so glad that I picked them up!!

Collected Poems of Robert Burns, a review

The Complete Poems of Robert Burns is not a small book, clocking in at 600 pages. This contains almost, if not all, of the poems and songs he wrote throughout his life. Burns is a celebrated Scottish poet, with Burns Night being observed by Scots around the world on the poets birthday, the 25th January.

Collected Poems of Robert Burns

I’ve wanted to read Burns’ poetry for many years now, so I was excited to dive into this collection. There are some absolutely beautiful poems here, I’ll list my favourites further down, but this also seems to be just a collection of everything so there are some that aren’t as engaging.

If you’re coming into this as someone with little to no knowledge of Scots, there is a glossary in the back that’ll help you with the words you don’t know. But you will still struggle with some of the poems because the rhyming is in Scots. The English pronunciation of the words don’t rhyme, but with the Scots accent they do. For an English person I’m pretty decent with Scots, but I’d have to double back and reread the words in the Scots accent to get the rhyme to work. If you’re totally unfamiliar with Scottish accents it could be worth listening to someone Scottish read a few of these poems out loud, I’m sure there’s videos on YouTube.

Here are the poems that I enjoyed the most, they vary in theme from mourning, to nature, to political themes:

The Death and Dying Words of Poor Mailie, To A Mouse, Lament of Mary Queen of Scots, Winter, The Inventory, Elegy on the Year 1788, On the Birth of a Posthumous Child, The Selkirk Grace, Line Written on a Banknote, Auld Lang Syne, The Highland Widow’s Lament.

I didn’t rate this collection on CAWPILE, because it doesn’t fit into the categories there. However, I’ve rated this collection as a 3*. There are some wonderful poems like the ones I mentioned above, but there are also a fair few that I didn’t enjoy or just found neutral that brought the rating down to a respectable 3.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: racism, misogyny, death.

This is a really interesting collection, and I definitely think that Burns is a poet worth checking out. I don’t know if this 600 page bind up is for everyone but I’m glad I’ve read it. Have you read any of Burns poems? What did you think of them?

My September TBR!

At this very beginning of September I’ve been finishing off my reads for the MiddleEarthAThon, so that has delayed me starting my actual tbr. It’s also tempting a slump because WOW I read a lot ๐Ÿ˜‚ but that’s why this tbr is a little late.

Ironically, my video version wasn’t late – so if you’d rather see this in video form then check it out!

But now onto the list version of my tbr! I do have one “secret” book on my tbr, that you folks won’t find out about until mid-October at the earliest. I really need to get reading on that one!

Babel by R.F. Kuang is one of the most hyped books of this month and I’m so excited to dive into this diverse dark academia. I’ve not read anything by Kuang yet (The Poppy War is on my tbr still) and so I really hope I enjoy her writing style – I have hope! This one was, of course, from my Illumicrate subscription.

My Goldsboro GSFF subscription brought me Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle and it’s definitely something very different to what I usually pick up! A man is sent back to the time of the dinosaurs as a punishment but he has to get back to the modern day. Sounds wild and I’m here for it.

Then for the Middle Grade Magic readathon which is taking place from the 1st to the 11th September I’m wanting to read two books. One is Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko which I’m wanting to read via audiobook, a YA high fantasy, magical, queer read. Always here for that and I’ve heard wonderful things. The other book is The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan, the second book in his Ancient Egyptian series The Kane Chronicles. This is one of the few middle grades that I have a physical copy of so it was the obvious choice.

And then I have four books on my general tbr, along with a fifth for my tbr jar pick.

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin is a piece of classic LGBTQ+ literature that was gifted to me by my uncle (who runs this amazing page called On This Gay Day) and I’ve been meaning to read for a while!

Then one that I keep hearing amazing things about, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. Now that I’ve read more gothic literature, I’m excited to dive into this book that utilises both those tropes as well as the famous characters from these books, and I’ve heard the communication style is unique.

It’s been a while since I read a dystopian so I’m finally going to pick up Raging Star by Moira Young and finish the Blood Red Road trilogy. I’ve had this on my tbr for so long now that it’s slightly ridiculous. Time to finally read it!

Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sonderby is my last book before the jar and this is a sci-fi read that has autistic representation that I’ve been told is wonderful. It’s also an indie-published novel which I always love supporting!

And then for the jar. I went through the jar with Caitlyn from Mad Cheshire Rabbit and added and removed some entries – from the newly refreshed jar I picked out……

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco! (which was gifted to me by Kari from Kar-ing for Books) This is a sci-fi fantasy read where the planet has stopped rotating. One half is freezing and the other is boiling – but the two must work together. I’m excited to try out this one.

And that’s my tbr. As always it’s far too big but fingers crossed I can get through all these reads and that I enjoy most of them, we’ll have to wait and see ๐Ÿ˜‰

What are you most excited to read in September? I’m assuming for most of you the answer will be Babel! I’m super excited for that one too!!

My MiddleEarthAThon TBR!

The wonderful Lizzie from Lizzieiself is hosting the MiddleEarthAThon from the 26th August until the 2nd September to celebrate the new Lord of the Rings TV show releasing! She asked me to cohost and I’ve been placed as the team leader for the Dwarves ๐Ÿ˜Šโš’

Our others hosts are: The Bookworms Feast for Team Hobbit (who also has a book blog), Imena Ginac for Team Elf, Stuff Celine Does for Team Men, and LadetteM for Team Witch King!

Come and check out the MiddleEarthAThon twitter and instagram too for updates and mini sprints!

I published a recommendations video for the Dwarf prompts a while ago, as well as a video and a blog post for my overall August tbr. But I’ve also done a standalone video for my MiddleEarthAThon tbr so I thought I should do a blog post too!

First up is the prompt: “That still only counts as one” – reading an anthology or a collection of short stories. For this one I’m going with The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle… I know it’s huge but it’s literally the only one I have! This is over 1100 pages and I’m going to be trying to read it, and two 500+ page books, in just a week. Why do I do this to myself?

The second prompt is: “Thranduil” – a book with a shiny cover. Demon Road by Derek Landy is my choice for this one. A YA urban fantasy based in the US by the same author who wrote the Skulduggery Pleasant series. I’ve heard some… not so positive reviews of this one? But I want to try it for myself regardless and I’m hoping that this’ll be a quick read like the Skulduggery books are for me.

The final dwarfish prompt is: “Durin’s sons” – the book that has been on your tbr the longest. For me this is pretty hard to judge, so I just went with one I know is pretty old (since 2016) and that’s All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, a historical fiction based in WWII. I’ve not been having much luck with historical fictions lately, but it’s been a while since I’ve read one based during WWII (which used to be my favourite period) so I’m holding out hope.

Now whilst that’s all the prompts, the Dwarves do also get one special power and that is to swap out any book for a shorter one if needed. And oh boy do I intend to use this if I need it!

For the anthology prompt I have two different options. One is to just read one of the bindups that lives within the Sherlock book itself. The full book of The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes. This is a lot more manageable so I’m going to start the readalong with this and then see if I can manage more. Another possibility was given to me by the wonderful Hannah from Ladette M, who reminded me my Waypoint Books order would be coming through soon with my copy of Armageddon Outta Here by Derek Landy the revised edition. This is a collection of Skulduggery short stories and would be a much easier read ๐Ÿ˜‚

For the shiny book prompt I’ve given myself the backup book of The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa which is a translated Japanese cat book. I whip through these super quick (I actually force myself to spread them over a few days) and so if Demon Road doesn’t work out I can squeeze this in at the end.

And for the oldest on my tbr prompt, I realised that I actually have a book I know has been on my tbr longer! And that’s The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown. This is a historical fiction which only clocks 300 pages rather than the 600 for All The Light and could save my guts by the end of the month ๐Ÿ˜…

I will say I’m slightly worried that I might end up trying to read all of these books… in a week… so someone needs to stop me from doing that please and thank you.

Are you taking part in the MiddleEarthAThon? If you’ve not signed up yet I’ve linked the Spreadsheet, Google Form to submit the books you’ve read for your team, and the form to tell us the team you’ve picked so you can sign up and have some fun with us! Having read/watched Lord of the Rings not required (I only just read the first LotR book last month and I’ve still not watched them!)

If you are taking part tell me which team you’re joining and make sure to follow all of the other lovely hosts!!

Fire by Kristin Cashore, a review (Graceling Realm #2)

Fire by Kristin Cashore is the second book in the Graceling series. It’s also actually a prequel, being set before the events of book one – Graceling. I read Graceling earlier this year and really enjoyed it so I was excited to dive into Fire when it came up as my August tbr jar pick.

Fire by Kristin Cashore

I really enjoyed this book! I was forcing myself to put it down and go to bed each night! In this we follow a young woman called Fire who is half human, half monster. But in this world being a monster means being irresistible and Fire has to work hard to stop every person around her throwing themselves at her feet.

This is more than just about her dealing with her monstrous influence, however. It’s also a book about war, spies, friendship, love, and learning about yourself. Everything you need in a good YA fantasy! I adored seeing Fire’s growth throughout the book and I was incredibly invested in her relationships with those around her. From her father figures, to possible romantic relations, to her guards who cared for her separately from her monstrous influence.

This book also calls back (or forward?) to Graceling, with at least one recognisable character from the previous book present. I don’t want to spoil anything by saying who that is, but they’re mentioned in the prologue so it won’t take you long to find out.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 9, Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 9, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 9, and Enjoyment: 9 with an average of 8.71 and a 4.5 star rating.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: animal abuse, animal death, animal torture, assault, attempted sexual assault, death (parental), gaslighting, grief, murder, rape (mentioned), suicide (discussed), torture, violence.

My only complaint about this series so far is that it has me caring about and being deeply invested in the lives of one set of characters – and then completely moves in time in the next book! Book 3 is set a fair few years after Graceling apparently and I just need more of Katsa and Fire!! (I’m not actually mad at this, if it wasn’t clear. I just want more from these young women!)

Have you read any of the books in this series? Let me know your thoughts!

๐ŸŽ‡I’ve FINALLY read it!๐ŸŽ‡

It’s slightly ridiculous that it’s taken me this long, but I finally read The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, the first of three parts of The Lord of the Rings. This is a classic high fantasy that defined the genre, and for some reason I never read it when I was younger. Well at least I’m starting to fix that now.

I had been worried that I wouldn’t get on with this book. I’ve been told there’s excessive descriptions of the environment, and as a character driven reader that can be pretty boring for me. But I actually ended up really enjoying the reading experience. I think part of this is because I listened to it via audiobook. I got to have someone telling me these details, and in that way it felt like less of a chore and more of a story.

Tolkien was able to lay so much foundational work in this first third, with emotions set and plotlines started for stories that I know continue throughout the next two thirds. It was also a delight, as someone who enjoys reading high fantasy books, to see the inspiration that so many of my favourite authors had drawn from this book. From the music and the taverns, to the monsters and the hero’s.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 7, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 8, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 7, Logic: 7, and Enjoyment: 7, giving an average of 7.57 and a 4* rating.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: child abuse, kidnapping and captivity.

I’m so pissed that it took me this long to get around to these books! I enjoyed The Hobbit too (also via audiobook) and to think I could’ve read these years ago! I just need to finish up the books and delve into the movies now!!

Have you read these? And if not do you plan to or are they not on your tbr? I’d love to know your thoughts on this classic high fantasy story!

Miss Peregrine’s for Adults? ๐Ÿฆ…

I got Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro in a Goldsboro GSFF box, and god is it gorgeous. But on top of that, it’s a damn good book. Coming in at just under 700 pages it’s definitely a big boi, but I think it’s worth it.

Ordinary Monsters is set in late 1800s, in the UK (mainly Scotland but with time spent in England) along with travels to places including the US and Japan. There are children who have mysterious powers, and a man who has set up a school/community for them in the Scottish highlands sends out staff to find them and bring them back to the Institute. To keep them protected. We primarily follow Charlie and Marlow, two young boys from the US. One is Black and despite being in Mississippi and having been treated with violence, Charlie has no scars. The other travelled across the pond from London to end up working in a circus in the US, and he can make himself glow blue.

I’ve barely even scratched the surface with the details inside this book. I could go on and on about each and every character, their backstory, and what we learn about them. Everything within this book has been so well developed. I’ve even found myself wanting to know about each and every side plot that was mentioned. I want to know everything about this world.

Miro does such a great job at exploring this magical world nestled within our own. I’m able to understand the magic system (as much as our characters do) as well as the community that has been built up and what their aims are for themselves and for humanity. And yet despite this there is still so much more that I want to know about the world! I was so relieved when I finished this and saw that there would be two more books. There is so much that can still be explored within this series!

I’m doing such a bad job of explaining this book, and that’s because it was just that good! I’m trying not to give any spoilers while I gush about this amazing tome and it’s so difficult!

It’s a lot easier to describe this book if you’ve read the Peculiar Children series though. Because this seems very much like the adult version of that. We explore the outside world more than you do in PC (especially in the first book) as well as tackling much darker and more complex themes. But the core concept of the book is still the same. There are magical children, they are taken to a big old house where they look after them and teach them to use magic, but things aren’t as they seem and dark forces want to ruin everything.

Bloody fantastic. That’s what it is.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 9, Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 9, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 9, Logic: 9, and Enjoyment: 10. With an average of 9.14 and a 5* rating.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: violence, death, gore, racism, blood, murder, injury detail, body horror, child abuse, gun violence, child death, mental illness, physical abuse, self harm, slavery, torture, kidnapping, abandonment, death of parent, addiction, confinement, miscarriage, misogyny, rape, xenophobia, police brutality, gaslighting.

I think the only reason this didn’t rate higher is because I finished The Travelling Cat Chronicles just before it and that made me weep my eyes out! But this is an amazing and fantastic read. If I’ve piqued your interest at all, please please consider giving this book a shot!

Have you read this? If so I need to know what you thought! And have you read Peculiar Children? I know a lot more people have read those books, and they’re fun!

Some Jane Austen for my July

If you read classics, and if you’ve liked what you’ve read from Austen before… it’s kinda mandatory to read one of her books in July. Right? Well at least I think so, which is why I read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen this July.

I’m not gunna lie, I picked this one because it was the shortest in my bind up collection out of the books I’ve yet to read. I didn’t want to make my tbr any harder than it had to be! But this ended up being a really fun choice.

Austen used this novel to poke some fun at her gothic literature counterparts. Playing with, and making fun of, the tropes they so often utilised within their works. It’s all in good jest though, and I did really like how she interwove this in with the main character so that it wasn’t something at odds with the rest of the book.

The ending of this one is exactly what I had expected. It’s an Austen novel, I think all the endings are the same. Right? I don’t know, I’ve not read them all yet. Ask me in five years and I might be able to get back to you. But yes, the ending was exactly what one would predict. But there’s a plot twist that you (if you’re like me) definitely won’t expect. Shocking behaviour!

Also within this novel, I adored Austen’s discussions on novels and literature, discussing their importance and utility. As well as discussions on friendship, first impressions of people, and gut reactions not always being the best move (surprise suprise)

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 6, Atmosphere: 7, Writing: 7, Plot: , Intrigue: , Logic: 7, and Enjoyment: 6. Giving a score of 6.29 and a 3.5* rating.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: toxic friendship, misogyny, domestic abuse, infidelity, gaslighting, death of parent, classism, adult/minor relationship, death, confinement.

This was definitely a novel of Austen’s that was worth reading. If you’ve read anything from her before and enjoyed it then I definitely recommend! I wouldn’t say that this is the best novel to start with however. It’s definitely (imo) best appreciated when already having knowledge of Austen’s writing style so you can see how she mocks the gothic tropes.

Have you read this Austen work, or any others by her? I know that some people aren’t keen on her writing. And usually I wouldn’t go for the genre she writes in, but for some reason I just really enjoy her novels!

Back Into Reading! My July wrap up and stats!

I’ve had a big dip in my reading lately. Life came up on me and so reading had to take a back seat, but by the end of the month I seem to have gotten back into my stride. Despite that, I did “only” manage 7 books (I was averaging around 13 books before, 7 books is still a great number!).

I read 2410 pages this month, with 18 hours of audiobook listening. Which is the most I’ve done in any month so far. Despite that, I read mostly physical books, 6 in fact. With only the 1 audiobook (The Fellowship of the Ring). And surprising nobody, 4 out of the 7 books were fantasy!

I started out the month by reading Pompeii by Salvatore Nappo. This is a guide book to Pompeii that was published in 1998 and gifted to my family then. None of us ever got around to reading it, and seeing as I was in Pompeii last month now seemed like a good time! Despite it being a little old the information in here was still mostly accurate (what’s been excavated being the most inaccurate – obviously) and super interesting.

Then I finished Rivers of London by Ben Arronovitch and I couldn’t stop thinking about this book after I finished it! A Met Police PC discovers the occult and supernatural and ends up joining the department of the Met that deals with magical crimes. I did have a few issues with this book, but honestly I can’t get it out of my head and I’m definitely carrying on with the series.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen was my next read. This is my fourth book by her (if you include Lady Susan) and yet again I really enjoyed it! I like how it played on the gothic tropes and made fun of them a little whilst also advocating for reading and having some great quotes. I don’t know why I like her books so much, because I wouldn’t think of picking them up if they were contemporary now. But I’m not complaining!

A translated piece of fiction from Japan, The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa made me sob. Honestly my face was not fit for public consumption. Christ. I was red as a tomato and sniffling like a child who just finished throwing a tantrum. This book is so beautiful, and so heartwrenching. I don’t want to tell you much, because it’s learning about the events themselves that give the impact of the book. But the general plot is that it’s a road trip across Japan with this man and his cat, as he tries to find a new home for the cat. 5 stars!

Goldsboro did it once again with their amazing GSFF box pick, Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro. Think Peculiar Children but for adults. The magic system in here was amazing, I loved the conversation about taking children from their homes and their loved ones. I loved each and every side plot in here and wish that we could have them all fleshed out. It was just an amazing experience and this is another 5 star read for me. Read it.

Unfortunately, my next book wasn’t so great, and that’s Book of Night by Holly Black. This was the Illumicrate book for last month, but because I wasn’t reading this month’s book (cause it’s racist) I thought I’d catch up on my missed reading from my holidays with this one. It’s fine? The magic is interesting but I just couldn’t get along with Black’s writing style. And given this is supposed to be an adult title it felt incredibly YA.

Luckily my final book puts things on an upspin with The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein finally being on my read shelves! I listened to this via audiobook, which was a fantastic experience, and I’m so mad that I didn’t pick these books up sooner! I need to read the next two! I’m so glad Lizzie is hosting the MiddleEarthAThon to kick me into gear to read these!

And those are my reads! I seem to be getting back into my books now, fingers crossed (touch wood, and every other superstition available), and I’m looking forward to all the new stories I can get to next month! If you’d like to see how my balancing of the books went in July? Well you’ll have to subscribe to my BookTube channel so you get notified when that video comes out! (soon!)

What’s your favourite read of July? Mine has to be a tie between The Travelling Cat Chronicles, and Ordinary Monsters!