September 2022 Wrap Up

And my amazing reading year continues! I am so happy with how this year is going!

  • I read 12 books this month
  • Genre: 5 fantasy, 3 mystery, 1 sci-fi, 1 classic, 1 horror and 1 humour.
  • Gender of authors: 6 women and 4 men
  • Race of authors: 5 white authors, 2 asian authors, 2 black author and 1 Latinx author.
  • Age range: 5 adult, 5 YA and 1 middle grade
  • Format: 7 paperback, 2 ebook, 2 hardback and 1 audiobook

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (2 stars)

This was just not it. I was so bored reading this. I felt the author focused so on the most unnecessary things in the narrative. We didn’t get too much of the more interesting part of the story. I just did not enjoy this.

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Four Panel Comics by Hiromu Arakawa (3 stars)

This was a fun addition to the Fullmetal Alchemist series.

Post After Post-Mortem by E.C.R Lorac (3 stars)

This was a good murder mystery. I loved the focus on characterisation and I was adamant I had got the murderer right but I was very wrong. I did feel that the beginning was a bit slow and the ending did disappoint me. But I loved the investigation part of the story and the slow un-furling of the truth.

The King is Dead by Benjamin Dean (4 stars)

This was a solid story that I read at the worst time possible. I did not expect the events of the month to pan out the way it did. I loved the exploration of the royal family, the hounding of the paparazzi and the discussion of racism in the UK. So much was discussed in this book and it was done so so very well. I was super engaged in the characters. I do wish the mystery part of the story was stronger. I also didn’t love the culprit behind the events. It was disappointing to me.

The Secret of Haven Point by Lisette Auton (4 stars)

The disability representation in this story made my heart sing. Great characters, great story and a beautiful setting. My favourite part was the discussion of language in this story.

The Liminal Zone by Junji Ito (4 stars)

My first ever Junji Ito manga. What an experience.

  • Weeping Woman Way – 5 stars
  • Madonna – 5 stars
  • The Spirit Flow of Aokigahara – 2 stars
  • Slumber – 3 stars

Lord Peter Wimsey: BBC Radio Drama Collection Vol. 3 (4 stars)

A great ending to what was an absolutely amazing series!

  • Murder Must Advertise – 4.5 stars
  • The Nine Tailors – 3.5 stars
  • Gaudy Night – 5 stars
  • Busman’s Honeymoon – 3 stars

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin (4 stars)

Another series I finished this month. Not my favourite of the three but still an amazing instalment. Everything tied up nicely and it was amazing to finally get a perfect picture of the story and the characters. I was a big fan of the ending.

Gleanings by Neal Shusterman (4.5 stars)

It was so great to be back in the Arc of a Scythe universe! Shusterman’s imagination and ingenious were top tier and I love his writing so much. Probably my favourite short story collection to date.

  • The First Swing – 3 stars
  • Formidable – 5 stars
  • Never Work With Animals – 3 stars
  • A Death of Many Colours – 4 stars
  • Unsavoury Row – 5 stars
  • A Martian a Minute – 5 stars
  • The Mortal Canvas – 5 stars
  • Cirri – 4.5 stars
  • Anastasia’s Shadow – 3 stars
  • The Persistence of Memory – 4 stars
  • Meet Cute and Die – 4 stars
  • Perchance to Glean – 2 stars
  • A Dark Curtain Rises – 4 stars

The Queen in the Cave by Julia Sarda (5 stars)

A beautiful picture book I read just in time for the spooky season. Beautiful art and a beautiful story.

Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 8 & 9 by Hiromu Arakawa (5 stars)

Another monumental series I finished. I cried so much when this ended as I started this all the way back in 2019. Amazing story, amazing characters, incredible art style. Loved it! I was also able to understand the ending a lot more by reading the manga than when I originally watched the show.

The Broken Earth Trilogy Review

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

The Phantom of the Opera Review

First published in French as a serial in 1909, “The Phantom of the Opera” is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well until Christine’s childhood friend Raoul comes to visit his parents, who are patrons of the opera, and he sees Christine when she begins successfully singing on the stage. The voice, who is the deformed, murderous ‘ghost’ of the opera house named Erik, however, grows violent in his terrible jealousy, until Christine suddenly disappears. The phantom is in love, but it can only spell disaster. 

August 2022 Wrap Up

August is normally my worst reading month. For the last 2 years, I have never had a really good reading streak but finally I have had an August with amazing results!

  • I read 11 books this month
  • Genre: 6 fantasy, 2 mystery, 1 sci-fi, 1 literary fiction, 1 non-fiction
  • Gender of authors: 6 women and 5 men
  • Race of authors: 6 white authors and 5 asian authors
  • Age range: 7 adult and 4 YA
  • Format: 5 paperback, 3 ebook, 2 hardback and 1 audiobook

Death in the Clouds – Agatha Christie (1 star)

This was not it. I knew going into this, it wasn’t her best work but I didn’t expect it to be as bad as it was. Not enough set-up at the beginning for me to care about any of the characters. I guessed the ending early on, and many of the reveals were far-fetched. The only reason I guessed them is due to having read many Christie novels. Also the writing was just boring.

Heatwave – Victor Jestin (2 stars)

Another book which I knew I wasn’t going to love but still decided to give a chance. I am not the biggest literary fiction reader. I prefer a bit more plot over character and this book was one whole book of just following a character around as he processes a death he saw. I was just bored the entire way through it. Thank god it was short.

Murder the Biography – Kate Morgan (3 stars)

This was a super interesting look at how Britain’s murder laws have changed over the years. The cases were captivating and looking at how complicated the laws are and how injustice can happen so easily was dis-heartening to read but good to bring further awareness.

A Touch of Darkness – Scarlett St. Clair (3 stars)

I needed to see what the hype was all about and while I didn’t expect it too blow me away. I did enjoy it more that I thought I would. I fully understand why people love it the way they do. I didn’t feel a big desire to finish the series but I do want to read more of St. Clair’s stuff.

ATLA: The Promise, Part 1 – Gene Luen Yang (3.5 stars)

Super excited to finally get around to reading the ATLA comics. I needed to be back in the ATLA world. I really enjoyed the story but felt the volume itself was a bit too rushed and didn’t have enough content in it. That being said, it was great to see the gaang back together and see Katara and Aang together. I wasn’t sure on their relationship when it was first introduced but I am warming up to them.

The Promised Neverland Vol. 6 – Kaiu Shiraii (4 stars)

Another great installment. Not sure where this story is going but I am enjoying the ride.

Assassination Classroom Vol. 1 – Yusei Matsui (4 stars)

I have been waiting to read this series for ages. This volume did not dissapoint. I love Korosensei and I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series goes.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim (4 stars)

This was a super enjoyable and whimsical story. I loved being lost in the story and watching Shirori going on this powerful and magical journey. I did think the romance was a little bit unbelievable.

Lord Peter Wimsey: BBC Radio Drama Collection Vol. 2 by Dorothy L. Sayers (4 stars)

I love these dramatisations. The cast, the story and the acting is amazing. I will say adapting The Five Red Herrings is hard to do. Too many characters and motive changes etc. and I fully respect the writers for trying to adapt it.

  • The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club – 4 stars
  • Strong Poison – 3.5 stars
  • The Five Red Herrings – 2 stars
  • Have a Carcase – 3.5 stars

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid (4 stars)

I saw so much hype for this story on TikTok and I knew I had to read it. For me, it met the hype, mostly. I loved the romance, the mythology and the villains but I found the story to be super slow paced which hindered my overall enjoyment of the story.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna (5 stars)

Great characters, beautiful message, hilarious scenes, amazing romance. It literally has everything. This book was like being wrapped in a warm hug. This book deserves all the hype and love it can get.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches Review

As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos “pretending” to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.

But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.

As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….