House-Hunting, ARC Reviews, & a SMALL HAUL WHO AM I EVEN? – The September Wrap Up

Posted September 30, 2019 by Amber in Checking In / 4 Comments

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Good morning everyone!  September is swinging to a close and here in Massachusetts… we are fully immersed in autumn.  The leaves are beginning to go a little red-orange around the edges and the mornings have been crisp and cool.  When I leave for work in the mornings, I can smell woodsmoke and for me?  That’s the truest sign that fall have arrived.

This is my favorite season – I thrive in fall.  I feel more alive September – November than I do the rest of the year and I try to live these months to my fullest… which means getting out of my house and being with people and doing things!  I’m doing a little less reading right now than in summer or winter, but there’s plenty of ARCs this month to fill in the open spaces!

Before I get lost in the joys of autumn in New England, we better dig into this wrap up….

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I have been astonishingly good this month.  This is the smallest haul I’ve had in an age!  Six books is nothing for me, especially when two are ARCs… and all the rest are book boxes.  Oh, plus The Bone Houses, which I pre-ordered in… March?  Yup, that’s right!  This is the first month in an age that I’ve stuck to my book buying ban.

Honestly, I’m really pleased with myself.  I think it is, in part, because I know I’m going to have to pack them all up again soon enough and #no.  Heavy boxes are a surprisingly potent motivator!

After swearing I wouldn’t, I did end up digging into NetGalley a bit and unearthing some books I really wanted to read – one of these you’re probably well aware of (Ruthless Gods, the anticipated sequel to Wicked Saints) but the other one if probably mostly unfamiliar.  I came across You Too? following Mackenzi Lee’s Instagram, and I was immediately struck by her story.

I’m so grateful for this book in particular not because of hype, but because I really want to leverage my platform to promote this one: While the #MeToo hashtag isn’t trending anymore, the movement is still so important and I think it’s really incredible to see this anthology put together for teens… because they are affected as well.  Looking forward to sharing that review come January!

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So, as forewarned last month, a bunch of ARCs from over the summer dropped this month.  A good variety of things – new books, older books, MG and YA and adult.  Fantasy and contemporary.  I’m really pleased with my variety this month.

Honestly, by the end of the month, my hardcopy reading started to falter.  I haven’t had a lot of motivation to sit down and read the latter half of the month.  I drew Eragon from the TBR Jar and while at first this was a happy, nostalgic pull, what I’m finding is that there are some aspects that don’t hold up as well as I want them to.  I’ll talk more about that when the review drops… but yeah.  Suffice to say that I’m underwhelmed, unfortunately.

In general, though?  There were a lot of good books scattered throughout the month and picking 3 was really hard.  Honestly, all of these 4+ reviews are musts!

Highlights:

Beauty Queens / ★★★★ I danced around this one for a little while because I haven’t read Lord of the Flies and pageants aren’t really my thing.  But I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty so I know I enjoyed Libba Bray’s writing style… so… stupid me, I shouldn’t have put this off for so long.  the satire is just so good and on point and to make this even BETTER, Libba reads the audiobook herself, and it’s AMAZING.  I so thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Hunger Games / ★★★★★ Never underestimate the power of a good re-read.  The Hunger Games is one of my favorite books and holds up every time I read it.  It’s great in any format, and is one of those books that pulls me out of slumps.  I fully appreciate the complexity in every aspect.  If you’ve been contemplating a read or a re-read, this is your sign.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) / ★★★★★ – I’ve been a “nerd” forever.  And not just books – pop culture, collectible fads, video games?  Guys I love video games.  And I love Felicia Day.  I’ve known about her forever and I’ve been wanting to read her memoir forever and it spoke to my life experience in so many ways while also giving me so much more respect for this fantastic lady.  I easily recommend this book.  Like 6000x.  Loved it, and so excited to meet her in November.

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Favorite Post: 10 Books Outside of my Comfort Zone (That I Really Liked!)

I loved hearing from everyone about this post!  Reading outside our favorite authors and genres is almost always an exercise that pays off, but it can be dangerous as well… because you never know what you’re going to end up with.  It can be discouraging, but if you keep doing it, you’re bound to find some new favorites!  I know I did!

Also popular: Armed & Dangerous: An August 2019 Illumicrate Unboxing and Storms & Seas: An August 2019 OwlCrate Unboxing.

Favorite Review:  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who still loves this book and was dying for a re-read.  The Hunger Games was actually thievery first audiobook I ever listened to and I go back to it from time to time when I start getting into a slump.  I’ve gotta say… it is still good.  Some books you go back to and wonder why you loved them so much… The Hunger Games is not one of those books.

Also popular:  Six Goodbyes We Never Said and Steel Crow Saga.
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So, in my real world (yay!) some adulting craziness has been happening.

As most of you know from my endless talking about it earlier this year, we just moved to a different state.  I love my apartment – it’s huge, and I have a library in the loft.  Basically a dream, y’all.  Unfortunately, at the end of August, we received a notice that our apartment complex had been sold.  So what does this mean?  In our case, it’s not bad.  The new owners promised to honor each tenant’s original lease, and after speaking to the office, the manager said there were no intentions to force tenants out at the end of their lease by exorbitantly raising rent.  So we were okay.  Probably.

However, in our initial panic, my husband and I began reviewing our situation and came to the conclusion that, really, we’re paying so much for our apartment (no utilities included) that we may as well have a mortgage.  Previously, this option was off the table because we were saving for a downpayment, and we wanted to pay off other loans.  Whelp, the last loan (my car) was paid off in March, so suddenly, this became a real option.

So.  We started the process at the very beginning of September to get pre-approved for a loan and find a real estate agent.  We’ve been blessed with people who care about us and want to help… some genuinely helpful and others just sort of… messing up our groove?  But the support and excitement from our friends and family is wonderful.  It’s funny – I’m terrified and nervous and anxious about the whole thing, but everyone else is so excited.  Like YAY, ASSETS AND EQUITY and I’m like “but is stressful and what if hate and also timelines equal ack?” so this is an adventure!

In other, less adulting and life-changing news, some cool stuff this month:

  • I went to a library with the purpose of borrowing books for the first time in several year (read: a decade) and that was pretty cool.  They actually have some of the of books on my TBR *gasp* but I have to sneak into the teen room to get them. 😛
  • I went with a friend (and a bunch of her friends) to see a production of The Crucible and ahhh I love the theatre.  My husband hates it, and it’s difficult to arrange stuff with friends most the time, so I don’t often get to go.  It was a great day!
  • My husband and I celebrated our fourth anniversary by… okay, well, we did nothing.  But we are both okay with that as we are not romantics. XD

I’m choosing to focus on these positive things, because work has been weird with holiday weekends and people being out and new training and there are a lot of simultaneous changes going on within my departments structure to prepare for a production reorg and it’s just… stressful.  So yay to the other things!

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This month’s book blog spotlight falls on Iris from Hoard of Books!

Book bloggers come in all shapes and sizes, and our community is made up of different people.  Some people post content every day – others give a good post every couple months.  Iris’ blog may not be as active as others, but she’s always about in the community and if you haven’t met her yet, you really must!  Sometimes I think we get so obsessed with the fancy graphics and Big Names and ARCs and all the craziness in our community, we forget the small blogs and lovely individuals.

Iris has been a part of the community at this blog for the last two years, and it’s about time I shoot her some love. <3 Remember to support small blogs, guys!

Not sure where to start?  Try these fantastic posts:

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A couple months ago, I was lucky enough to stumble across a new bookstagrammer – @inabookishminute!

Okay so full disclosure?  …  This is my brother’s girlfriend.  But she is cool as heck and reads contemporaries and she’s my favorite because she go my brother into reading which was something we spent 25 years trying to do SO.  She’s definitely an influencer. 😉

Jeneane reads contemporary YA and is just diving into this community as a participant as opposed to a watcher bee, so if you all want to go give her a little support, it would make my heart happy.  And honestly?  She’s got some great snapshot-of-life photos, and really good, concise reviews. <3

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Hey guys, so I’m going to take ownership here – there hasn’t been a proper discussion post on the blog since July.  I’m usually really good about this and it’s something I pride myself in.  It’s not that I’m out of ideas, because I have a whole stack of prompts in my drafts that just need to be written.  Between burnout and an overabundance of reviews, I haven’t been good.  And I’m owning it!  I plan to remedy this in October.

For reals, though!  Posts have already been scheduled.  There’s two book tags in October, two discussion posts (including a Halloween themed one!) and a blog award I’ve been sitting on since last December (oops).  There’s content coming!  Better content!  Not just reviews, I promise!  I’m not out of steam yet, mes chers.

I look forward to talking to you all in October! <3

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What was the highlight of your September?  For me, I think my high and low was both house-hunting-related.  It’s such an emotional rollercoaster every day!  Tell me your bests and worsts in the comments!

Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | LibraryThing

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4 responses to “House-Hunting, ARC Reviews, & a SMALL HAUL WHO AM I EVEN? – The September Wrap Up

  1. thewolfandbooks

    Happy four year anniversary!My two year is coming up this October.

    I feel you about fall. I literally thrive during this season. I do not leave my apartment from June to August. Its pretty sad. My mood has definitely shifted for the better. Happy fall!

    • Amber

      OMG happy fall to you too! I’m so glad you’re feeling better as well! This time of the year is the best.