Everything I Have Read During My (way-too-long) Hiatus βœ¨

Hello there!

Well oops it has been a minute since I posted πŸ™ˆ I got busy with my PhD, which caused me to sit by a computer for such long hours that my brain couldn’t handle blogging on top of that. I’m still working on the PhD (and the horrid deadline is getting real close yikes) so I’ll probably still pop in and out – but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about blogging and couldn’t resist to jump in again πŸ₯°

Long story short – I’m back! How are you all? Let me know what you have been up to this year!

I have been on a long reading slump this year, but over the past few weeks it has finally started to clear. In this post, I get to talk about the books I have read so far this year and overall how I’m doing with my reading challenges 😎 Let’s jump in!

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Everything I read in April with Mini-reviews

Hello there!

I can’t believe it’s May already! April seemed to fly by. The Spring has been kind of odd to me as I have been buried in increasing PhD pressure and weeks have flown by while each day feels endless. I feel like I’m definitely getting to the busy-busy part of the PhD and my reading & blogging habits have taken a hit. I hope that I’ll get used to the new schedule and manage to stuff in a lot of reading!

(Thanks for hanging on with me while I have had difficulty finishing posts by the way ilysm πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯°)

Spring is my absolute favourite season! I love all the colours that suddenly pop out from the doom & gloom of winter – and I have been wandering around my local park doing some flower-stalking as much as possible.

A gif of a corgi in a flower field
My idea of the-best-timeℒ️ (just add a book, tea, and allergy medication)

Before I get into the books, I want to share some important resources:


#FreePalestine

Palestine is under attack, as Israel is senselessly bombing civilians and destroying homes in Gaza. Hundreds of people have died already, and we all must play in part in stopping a genocide. Many western countries are fuelling the massacre by supporting Israel and we can all stop this by amplifying the voices of Palestinians and challenging politics. This is about human lives.

Covid crisis in India and Nepal

India has been overwhelmed by the emergence of a new coronavirus variant, and it has started spreading to other countries that are struggling to cope. ICUs are full, oxygen is running out and people cannot find help even if they are running out of breath.


Please look into these resources, educate yourself on what’s happening and donate if you can!

Today I’m here to tell you about all the books I read in April. I had some major struggles to find time for reading, but I still managed to get through 4 books. You’ll find a tiny little bit of stats & mini-reviews for these books in this post:

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  • Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal (Modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice in Pakistan)
  • Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger (Mystery & magical realism, a Lipan Apache main character)
  • The Confectioner’s Exile by Claire Luana (Prequel novella to The Confectioner’s Guild)
  • The Betrayals by Bridget Collins (Genre-bending mystery with LGBT+ rep)
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2020 Reading Wrap-up: Reading Stats + How Did I Do With my 2020 Reading Challenges?

Happy New Year! 🌠 πŸŽ‡ πŸŽ†

I hope you have had a great start to 2021. I have a feeling that this will be a good one!

Although I’m already dreaming of all the books I can read in 2021 and all the new releases that are coming out, I must take a peek at how 2020 went. I’m actually pretty scared because the entire pandemic and busyness at work has meant that I have had a hard time sticking to TBRs. But honestly, I’m just happy that we have all made it here!

In this post I’ll go through my reading stats first, then we will dive into all the crazy things I promised to read (and didn’t). This post will be one of many I hope to do on my 2020 reading! Keep your eyes peeled for my Top 10 of 2020 and All Books I Read in 2020, Ranked from Best to Worst πŸ‘€

Let’s get into it!

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September Wrap-up: Bookish Stats & Mini-reviews

September was a crazy month for me! I started a PhD in informatics and I have been very confused and overwhelmed for my first month there. Everyone is lovely and I can’t wait to get properly started, but I have to admit that going from psychology to informatics was a big jump!

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Even though I was busy with university, I still managed to read some books. YAY! I feel like finishing even one should be considered a victory. But I managed to get through *three*! I’m hoping to start reading my usual 5-9 books a month again once I’ve gotten used to what I’m doing, but I’m good with 3 for now (really I need to start reading to wind down, lately I have just been staring at ASMR videos to get my mind off work).

First let’s go over some stats and then let’s dive into the books I have finished.

This month I had less stats (cause I only read 3 books hah) so I could fit it all into an infograph!

I read two classics this month which is a bit of a suprise. Although I like classics, I’m exceptionally bad at finishing them. But this month Currentathon kicked my butt up to gear!

I read 1 print book and two e-books. One of the books I read was an arc. I gave one of the books 4 stars, one 3.5 stars and one of the books received 2 stars (more on that below!).

The books were pretty short with an average page count of 287. The age-categories included adult, YA and middle-grade.

I DNFed three books this month which is an unusually large amount for me. I just felt like I didn’t have as much time to read and I couldn’t be bothered to push myself through something I wasn’t enjoying. I got about half-way through all of the books I DNFed (=did not finish).

I also started quite a few books that I haven’t finished yet. I’ll do that in October! I’m especially close to finishing Skyward.

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The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Classic

4/5 stars

I really enjoyed this classic novel from Kazuo Ishiguro. It is about an ageing butler who reflects back on his life and is relatively overwhelmed about all the changes that the time has brought about. Although it might not sound riveting, the writing was spectacular and I was very immersed while reading this. The butler reminds me so much of Downton Abbey’s Mr Carson that I couldn’t help but think that this could be his diary!

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The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

Classic

2/5 stars

I really liked the beginning of the book in which we focus on the main character, Mary, and how she struggles to come to terms with her new life. But somewhere in the middle, the focus oddly switches to a side character who I didn’t like as much. This really took me out of the story and I felt like it turned into a book which is meant to teach stuff to children rather than an engaging story.

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The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Fantasy

3.5/5 stars

Find my full review here!

This dark and eerie fantasy follows twin sisters Kizzy and Liz whose life is torn apart one evening. The book was twisted and atmospheric but I found it oddly constructed. It almost felt like the middlepart was missing a portion of the book.

That’s my September wrap-up! Have you read any of the books that I read, DNFed or put down in September? How did you find them?

Also, how was September for you? I would love to know!

I’m hoping that October will make a more chilled reading month than September. Keep your eyes peeled for my October TBR that’ll be up this Sunday!

Thank you so much for reading!

Reading Stats: Am I a Seasonal Reader?

Some books have a certain seasonal feel to them. A fluffy contemporary is often thought to be a perfect beach read but you would never think to pick it up when it’s snowing outside. Spooky thrillers belong to rainy days in November, and hard-hitting literary fiction seems to be an important part of spring.

After having followed many different Booktubers, Bookstagrammers, and Book bloggers for a couple years now, I have noticed that quite a few of us avid bookaholics are seasonal readers. We associate certain times of the year and certain weather with different book genres.

I have no idea where I fall on the seasonality spectrum. Do I devour more of certain types of books in different seasons? I want to know! So I decided to inspect all of the books I read in 2018 and divide them up in the four seasons. If I read significantly more of one genre, length or age-type (middle-grade, YA, or adult) in a certain season, then I can safely say that I am somewhat of a seasonal reader.

I tried to make a list of book types that I have noticed the book community often associates with certain seasons (the months signify when each season happens in Scotland):

Hard-hitting literary fiction, classics and nonfiction. Longer books. More emotional books that deal with difficult subjects such as immigration, the global warming etc.

Fluffy, easy-reads and contemporaries, romance. Short books.

Thrillers, mysteries, horror, fantasy. Anything spooky, gory or highly immersive.

Historical fiction, magical realism, sci-fi, holiday themed books and old favourites, rereads.

These are simply my perceptions about which genres are often associated with the seasons. It’s hard to say exactly why I think each one belongs in each category, and you might disagree with me (I’d love to hear what you think belongs in each season!).

I assume that spring is related to hard-hitting, more difficult to read books partly because of New Year’s resolutions. Who hasn’t pledged to read more classics, nonfiction, literary fiction, award winning novels or longer books next year? I definitely have. In contrast, summer should be related to easy-reads because many of us are on a vacation and we just want to chill out. (Also, maybe we are a bit burned out from all those acclaimed books we read in the spring?) Autumn is for Halloween, and the idea is to read darker, spooky books when the weather turns rainy and stormy. Winter is a tricky one. It seems to me that it is a time for a tiny bit of magic, but not full on fantasies like in the autumn. It is a mixture of spring and autumn, full of emotional reads that are nevertheless very immersive. Also, rereads. Who doesn’t love rereading Harry Potter at Christmas? I can’t explain why sci-fi is in the winter section. I just feel like it belongs there. I have no idea why.

Will I follow these seasonal reading guidelines, or do I have completely different seasonal patterns?

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March Wrap-up with Mini-reviews and Delicious Stats

Hi there! Welcome to my Late As Always Reading Wrap Up ℒ️

How was March for you?

For me, it included a great deal of stress and anxiety at university, too little time to read and it finished with a bang of celebrations. Both tears and grins, pretty mixed feelings I would say.

I also have some news that I want to share with you all. 🎊 πŸŽ‰ At the end of March I got to hear that I have been granted full PhD funding to start my doctoral studies in the University of Edinburgh in September! 🎊 πŸŽ‰ I have been designing my PhD project for years now while working on my bachelors and masters degrees, and I’m still over the moon about this all! I get to study recreational reading in everyday contexts to see how reading influences our lives and how it fits into the hassle of everyday life. My partner and I will be moving to Edinburgh this Summer! 🎊 πŸŽ‰

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I have been crying from happiness non-stop since I heard the news 2 weeks ago.

I am so greatful and very excited to start my PhD. It’s surreal that I get to say that; I’ll start my PhD! EEK.

But I also read books in March!

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