September Wrap-Up

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September was a difficult month for me. My anxiety and depression have been much worse than usual due to a lot of financial and life-related stress. My boyfriend and I just found out that we have to move to a new unit in our apartment complex at the end of September due to renovations, which we were completely unaware of. Also, my real job is starting to make me so stressed that I become physically ill when I’m there, or, more recently, when I even think about the place. I’m planning on getting started with freelance writing 3 days a week starting in November, so hopefully, that’ll go well. My goal is to work from home doing freelancing and blogging full-time.

In music news, I’ve been listening to the Twin Peaks soundtrack on repeat. I loved the TV show (still haven’t seen the new series though) and I love the weird, lightly jazzy, dark music that accompanied it. I’ve also discovered Viking/Norse-inspired music and have become pretty obsessed with that.

I’m excited that it’s finally autumn, but here in the mid-Atlantic, if doesn’t feel like it quite yet. It’s been in the 90s this week, but hopefully, it’ll cool down soon so I can start wearing sweaters again.

Finally, onto the books! In September, I reviewed 11 books. 3 of them were 4 stars or above. So, not the best reading month.

Here’s what I read:

5 Stars

4 Stars

  • The Editor by Steven Rowley – I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this novel when I started it, but it really surprised me. This book is about a writer resolving things with his family while working with a very renowned editor – Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins – While this book was definitely hard to read at times due to the subject matter, it was absolutely worth it. I also can’t believe this is Sara Collins’ debut – it reads like something put out by a very seasoned writer!

3 Stars

2 Stars

  • Deadpool vs Carnage by Cullen Bunn – I seem to have the absolute worse luck finding Deadpool comics that I actually enjoy. The writing of this collection was what turned me off.
  • Storm by Eric Jerome Dickey – I rated this two stars, but I sort of wish I’d given it 1.5. However, I don’t change the ratings on reviews after the fact. Storm is one of the X-Men’s most popular characters, but this collection is godawful. Please don’t read it.
  • Again, but Better by Christine Riccio – While I’ll admit that I enjoyed this book in a guilty pleasure sort of way, it wasn’t good. Most of Riccio’s debut novel was cringy, and it’s obvious that she based the main character on herself.

1 Star

  • NONE! Thank goodness!

I didn’t write as many articles or reading recommendations posts as I would have liked, but here’s what went up on the blog in September.

I also had a couple of updates for the America…in Books feature, including books set in Florida and Georgia.

I also had the opportunity to share a guest post from author D. Ellis Overttun, author of the Terra Nova series. I always love working with other bloggers and authors, so if you’re interested in doing a guest post or an interview for the blog’s Friday Favorites feature, send me a message!


Share any links of your own in the comments! What did you read in September?




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Contemporary-a-thon Wrap-up

Contemporary-a-thon

Last week, I shared my TBR for Contemporary-a-thon, round 5.

I had planned on reading at least four books:

In the end, however, I only finished one – Again, but Better – because I started reading Joe Hill’s The Fireman on my Kindle and I’m enjoying it so much that I stopped reading everything else.

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I’m still technically reading The Right Swipe, which I started and got about fifty pages into, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to stick with it or not. It’s by no means bad, I’m just not really in a contemporary romance mood right now. This time of the year, I get really into high fantasy, magical realism, and horror, so I might save it until I’m in more of a romance mood.

There are a number of readathons that I want to participate in for October (all horror-themed, of course), so hopefully, I’ll be more successful during those ones.

Did you participate in round 5 of Contemporary-a-thon? If so, what did you read? Let me know in the comments!




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June 2019 Wrap-Up

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Due to the blog hiatus I took, this June wrap-up is coming to you guys a wee bit late. Better late than never, though, right?!

I introduced a new feature on the blog right before I went on hiatus, which is a daily news round-up I’m calling Foxy Links (because, as you can see just looking at my blog, I love foxes). I love daily round-ups of relevant articles and posts, because who has time to read a hundred different websites and blogs? I hope you guys enjoy the daily Foxy Links posts!

Moving forward, I’m going to continue posting author interviews, except they won’t be a part of the Friday Favorites feature. I’ll just be posting interviews with authors and members of the larger book community as they come in.

How’d I do with my June Plans that I laid out at the beginning of the month? Well, I had planned on reading 30 books in 30 days, which I didn’t do. I read 17. Out of the 20 books I had on my June TBR, I read 8 of them, counting Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which I DNF-ed. Despite not making it to 30 books, I still think I had an amazing reading month.

For my 2019 Goodreads Challenge, my goal is 225 books. As of this writing, I’m at 75.


Books I Read in June


On the Blog


Books I Bought or Received

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In terms of new books, I accumulated way more than I’d anticipated. However, I only outright purchased a handful of them. I also received some late birthday gifts and a couple of gift cards this month.

In no particular order:

Ebooks (not pictured):

As you can tell from my ebook purchases, I’m on a little bit of a romance binge. Part of that is due to it’s being summer, and in the summer I tend to read fluffy and/or steamy romances. The other reason is that I’m experimenting with new-to-me authors who will be at Apollycon next year, which I’ll be going to.

I’m very new to the romance genre, so if you have some recommendations, I’d love to hear them!


What was your favorite book that you read in June? Let me know in the comments!




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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

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We’re officially halfway through 2019, which I’m still having trouble believing! This book tag has been making its rounds throughout the book community, and I love reminiscing about all the books I’ve read so far, so of course, I was going to participate!

Let’s get right to it!



WHAT IS THE BEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2019?

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The Way of Kings (Book One of the Stormlight Archive) by Brandon Sanderson

This first question was super easy to answer. The Way of Kings was the first Brandon Sanderson book I read, and these 1000 pages instantly pushed him into my list of top ten favorite authors. His world-building blew me away completely.

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads


WHAT IS THE BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2019?

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Words of Radiance (Book Two of the Stormlight Archive) by Brandon Sanderson

Big surprise, right? If it’s even possible, I think I may have enjoyed Words of Radiance even more than The Way of Kings. 

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads


IS THERE A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT ARE REALLY EXCITED FOR?

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

My favorite aspect of the entire fantasy genre is dragons. How could they not be? They hoard gold and breath fire and fly and are just generally totally badass. I purchased The Priory of the Orange tree as soon as it came out on February 26, and I still haven’t read it. Part of the reason is due to its size, as it’s over 800 pages.

Amazon | Goodreads


WHAT IS YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2019?

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The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite dystopian novels, and Margaret Atwood is a wonderful writer. The sequel to her ground-breaking first book comes out in September of this year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I’ve already pre-ordered it.

Amazon | Goodreads


WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR?

Echo North

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

I wanted to like this book so bad. It’s a retelling of a Norse myth, it has a gorgeous cover, and it was fairly highly rated. I was so disappointed in this book, however. For the full details, click on my review below, but to quickly sum it up, this book basically glorifies Stockholm syndrome and the main character, Echo, forgives someone who lies to her repeatedly and at least once violently attacks her. Honestly, I feel like my two-star rating may have been generous, but I don’t like redoing old ratings unless I reread a book, and I definitely won’t be rereading Echo North.

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads


WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SURPRISE SO FAR?

The Simple Wild

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

This is the book that made me realize that I don’t hate romance novels. I always thought I did, even though I never gave them a chance. This book turned everything around for me, and now I actively seek out romance novels. I can’t wait to read more of K.A. Tucker’s books.

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads


WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE NEW TO YOU DEBUT AUTHOR?

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I read this book after seeing Hannah at A Clockwork Reader talk about this book over and over again. When I read this book back in February, I was so impressed with Erin Morgenstern’s beautiful and atmospheric writing. I can’t wait to read her upcoming novel, The Starless Sea. 

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads


WHO IS YOUR NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER FROM THIS YEAR?

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Shallan Davar, The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

Out of the many, many great characters in The Stormlight Archive, Shallan is definitely my favorite. She is determined and fierce, and I love how much she grew in the first two novels of this series. I can’t wait to see how she continues to evolve in the third book, Oathbringer. 


WHAT IS A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?

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As much as I hate to admit it, not a single novel has made me cry this year, which is a pity. I love a good cry after a heartbreaking book. If you have any recommendations for cry-worthy books, let me know in the comments.


WHAT IS A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?

With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I just finished Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High earlier this week, and this book made me smile so many times! A full review will be coming to you guys this week, but gosh-darn I loved this book so much.

Amazon | Goodreads


WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR THIS YEAR?

The Light Between Worlds

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

Out of all the books I’ve read so far this year, this is hands-down my favorite cover.

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads




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Friday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up (1)

Thoughts

This past week, my blog hit 10,000 overall views since I started it back in September. I’m also nearing 1,000 subscribers, and my mind is absolutely blown by all of this. It’s surreal.

I started Read Yourself Happy because I was lonely and didn’t have any bookish friends to talk to in the city where I’m currently living. I wanted to share my love of reading and discuss books I read. A blog seemed like the perfect way to do that.

Since September, this website has become one of the most important parts of my life. While my day job is mind-numbingly boring and I spend my days getting screamed at by angry customers (I work in an insurance-related call center), my days off and nights are filled with writing, reading, and digitally connecting with so many new, wonderful people.

It’s hard for me to believe that there are people who enjoy my content and regularly read my blog. It’s wonderful but just doesn’t seem real sometimes. However, I am so, so, so thankful to every single person who has read a review, liked a post, or left a comment. It means the absolute world to me and has been a bright spot over the last few months when I’ve been struggling with job-related burnout and dealing with my bipolar diagnosis.

I love all of you guys so much. You’re all bringing so much joy to my life.

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Bookish Spotlight

I recently discovered the book blog Novel & Waffles, and everything about Kat’s blog is amazing. The aesthetic of the entire website is delightful, and her content is on point. For an example of what I mean, check out her review of Marie Lu’s Champion.

Here are a few articles from Novel & Waffles to get you started:


Around the Web


Things I Love


On the Blog

(Note: I apparently forgot to post a Friday Wrap-up last week, so this will be a little longer than usual.)




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Friday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up (1)

Thoughts

I’m not sure what I want to talk about here this week. This past week has been a mental struggle for me. The thing that drives me crazy about being bipolar and that has driven me nuts long before my diagnosis, is the inconsistencies of my mood. It’s exhausting to wake up and not know if you’re going to be super motivated and productive that day, or so depressed that you can barely get out of bed. I’m constantly thankful for the support I have from friends and co-workers though.

Since Ian and I are moving at the end of the month (same city, just new place), I’m slowly starting to organize, purge, and pack. I hate moving (who doesn’t?), but I love unpacking. I always start packing way before moving day, and by the time I get around to unpacking everything, it’s almost like opening presents because I’ve forgotten where everything is.

I hope all of y’all have had a good week, and are doing something fun this weekend! Let me know in the comments what you’re currently reading!


Around the Web


Things I Love

  • After we finished watching Star Trek: Discovery, Ian got to pick the next show we watch, and he chose AMC’s Into the Badlands. I’d never heard of it before, but holy shit, it’s incredible. It’s post-apocalyptic, has martial arts and sword fighting, a cacophony of styles and cultures, and lots of gore. It’s exactly the sort of television show that I’d like. I’m upset there are only three seasons though.
  • I desperately want this crystal dragon artwork to hang on my wall from artist Katie O’Neill. All of StrangelyKatie’s art is amazing. If it looks familiar to you, she’s the artist behind The Tea Dragon Society.
  • The region of the mid-Atlantic where I live is miserably hot for 70% of the year (one of the reasons Ian and I are looking to move far, far north), but one of the few things that makes it a little better are the spring and summertime thunderstorms. I missed thunderstorms when I lived in Asheville, NC because we rarely got them. I’ve always loved thunderstorms, and there are few things better than watching lighting over the ocean.

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    Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

On the Blog




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Friday Wrap-up

Sunday Wrap-Up (1).png

Thoughts

If you noticed that I didn’t post too much this week, I really apologize for that. Despite finally being on medication for bipolar disorder, this week my moods have been all over the place, and my anxiety has been super high. My job is really stressful and I had a hard time dealing with it the past few days.

I’ve decided to only post Monday through Fridays now, to give myself time to rest. I realized that trying to post 2+ articles every single day was a bit much for me, so having a weekend off from posting will give me more time to write better quality articles.


Around the Web


Things I Love


On the Blog
(A bit long since I forgot my wrap-up last week)




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Sunday Wrap-up – May 5, 2019

Sunday Wrap-Up

Thoughts

Yesterday I took a long drive down to the town where I grew up. It’s probably been close to two years since the last time I was there, despite the fact that I currently live just 45 minutes away.

Part of the reason it took me so long was that I have such a mix of memories, not all of them good.

I grew up on an island, and it’s scenic and beautiful. Over half of the island is a wildlife refuge. For that reason alone I’m glad I went back today. I’d almost forgotten how pretty the landscape is.

At the same time though, when I was a teenager and living there, my entire life was made up of thinking of ways to get far, far away from that place. I felt trapped there. Eventually, I escaped to Asheville, NC, where I made a life for myself until moving back to the coast a couple of years ago.

The island will always be special for me simply for the fact that it’s where I lived with my mother and it’s where she’s buried. I enjoyed the nostalgia I felt while I was down there today, and marveled at how little it’s changed in the time I’ve been away.

If you haven’t been to your hometown lately, think about making a trip, even if all of your memories aren’t perfect. Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing.


Around the Web


Things I Love


On the Blog




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Sunday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up


Around the Web


Things I Love

  • Even though it’s a daunting undertaking, I find it so peaceful to pull all of my books off my bookshelf and reorganize them. It’s been one of my go-to stress relievers for years. I spent Saturday night doing this, and I found a few books on my shelf that I had forgotten I’d owned.
  • I’m obsessed with these new royalty-inspired eyeshadow palettes from CoverGirl. I rarely wear makeup, but these make me want to start putting it on regularly. The shades are gorgeous.

On the Blog



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Sunday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up

Around the Web


Things I Love


On the Blog



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Facebook
Goodreads

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Sunday Links: October 14, 2018

On the Blog

Literature

Comic Books

Wellness