Yes, I am still here and doing wrap ups on this blog. It’s very rare nowadays but somehow, this month, it’s definitely happening. I haven’t read a ton of books since the last wrap up I posted, this year has been going swimmingly for me. Can you tell? I am way behind the reading challenge over on Goodreads and I have frankly given up on it. I am just going to read what I want to read and just not let anything else bother me. Let’s see how that goes.
I haven’t done anything on the blog other than a few reviews. So, yeah, posts aren’t growing up on those trees anymore. However those books were so good! So, here are the reviews of the e-ARCs I finally got around to recently. Seeing as I didn’t do a wrap for August or September either, I will also talk about those books. They are not that many, I think, but this might be a long post anyway, considering how many books I read during this month alone. So, grab a snack or mug of tea of your choice and settle down because we are in for a long haul.
So, during August and September I read a total of 7 books and 7 novellas/short stories which now that I think about it, are quite a lot for me, considering they were not the best months for me personally. Good on you, past me!
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
This book truly dragged for me and part of it might be my own mood which wasn’t all there for the sort of book this is and part of it the book itself. I think I am not quite the reader for generational sagas in general, they never fare well with me and in the end, I keep rating it lower than it probably should be. I will say this though, if I keep my own mood out of it, this book is good. If a bit too chronicle-y at times for my comfort, I couldn’t quite connect with the characters. My sister loved it a lot more than me but even she agreed that at times it felt like reading a history book albeit one about just one person at times.
A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark
This is the start of me falling head over heels over this series. Seriously, even though characters could use some work but frankly, for a novella, this was a perfect read for me. I loved the world building and lush alternate history the author managed to show through this. The feeling of wanting more was perfect because there were more worsk in my immediate future.
The Angel of Khan el-Khahili by P. Djèlí Clark
Ugh, this one is so good too! It’s a short story but it packs a punch and walking back into this world was a treat for me.
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark
This one truly captured my heart, it didn’t have the same characters as the first book but it worked its wonder on me regardless. So there’s that. Seriously, if you are looking for light but engaging read then this series is it for you!
A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark
This was such a fun book and I am so glad that we got to see more of Fatma and Siti and Fatma’s ministry coworkers because this book delivered everything I ever wanted in the Dead Djinn universe, the murder mystery was well written but maybe not the best out there but frankly, I am simply here for the vibes of this world and how much fun it seems despite the books containing a lot of violence and not a lot of other fun things, I just enjoyed them a lot.
We Come as Gods by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Another amazing short story but this time from a different author. I was in a short story phase and it worked out well when it came to Tor and their amazing short story collections. Seriously. If you are in a slump, any of these short stories would work for you!I can’t really talk about it but rest assured that a lot happens in this one for a short story and it only makes me want to read this author’s book even more.
The Future Library by Peng Shepherd
Ah, this one made me cry because of the way humans simply are. Good and bad. Peng Shepherd wrote such a good short story and by the end, I was left wanting more. It felt like I could read on and on about that world and its people. I can’t wait for this author’s next book to come out because I honest loved Book of M and now this hurt me in the best way possible. So, yeah, I will be looking out for the next book!
As the Last I May Know by S. L. Huang
This one was more hard hitting than I was prepared for because I simply didn’t read the synopsis for it and I wasn’t ready for the things in store for me. It was written so well and the tragedy of Nyma and president Han and the brutal way the author delivered the story really made it stand out. There was no right answer in this one and it hurt but it was so good.
The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
I will admit that this book felt a bit more boring than the first book and it also meandered a lot more than I expected. I was so frustrated with the all the men in the story that by the time, it ended, I wanted to smack them but also felt a bit relief that I was away from these characters, if you know what I mean? For a chosen one, Rand really grates on my nerves, I am just hoping that it gets better at least a little bit or else I might have to consider giving up on this series as a whole. At what point should one give up when it’s a fourten books series? I am still invested enough to read the next one but now I am not in any hurry.
Wake of the Phoenix by Chelsea Harper
Ah, this one had such a potential and I loved certain aspects of it. I loved the world building and the politics is good too! I just wish characters were more fleshed out and were given more time to be developed in front of the reader. I am hoping that the next books manage to show characters’ growth or even depth and more exploration of the personalities while keeping the world building and aesthetics at the same level.
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko Ogawa
Ah, this one was so good. I read it one sitting and it’s a slice of life sort of book that leaves you feeling a little forlorn but at the same time, content. I don’t know what to write, I can’t explain the feelings it evoked. I will say this, for a book about maths and baseball, it worked out well for me. I could live without both in my life but somehow this story worked for me.
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
I am not saying this book was a complete disappointment because it simply wasn’t but it lacked logical sense and growth of character and that played a huge part in me not finding it as lovely as I could have. It has a charm to it that would definitely lure in people and keep them happy because the author is an expert in writing charming stories, I think. I just wish the characters and the pacing with which things happened made a bit more sense.
Far from the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson
There are so many things I loved about this book, there’s the realistic space travel, a murder mystery with a real threat , the way he showed how a brilliant young person when faced with something for the first time in a completely out of the box scenario could react and how it could affect people in general. Basically, a lot of things made this one a truly great read. If you like space, locked room murder mystery and no-quite-right AI then this is the book for you.
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
This is slightly strange, slightly creepy and entirely amazing. I loved the way everything was shown to us, how events unfolded and how ambiguous the ending was. I am guessing that the author might be planning to write more in this world or maybe not. Either way, I loved the novella and if you, too, love creepy strange stories then this is the book for you.
And that concludes the first part of my wrap up. It was a long journey but I managed it. Now, onto the current month. I read a total of 10 books out of which 2 were novellas? I am not quite sure if the last one can be considered a novella. Never mind.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
I finally started my journey for the Stormlight Archive and I can certainly see why so many people are always hyping up this book. I pretty much loved every Sanderson book I came across and this one was no exception. The world building and magic system needs no introduction as to how good it is. I think I struggled most with the beginning 200 pages or so of this book but after that, I couldn’t read fast enough. I loved Dalinar even though I still think there’s so much more to know about him, Kaladin was the clear focus of this book and we saw the world mostly through his eyes and this one never got a break. Then, we are also given glimpses of Szeth, a person I would love to know more about, he also doesn’t get a break but we just don’t see enough of him for me to truly understand what’s going on with him other the harrowing existence of Szeth. Shallan and Jasnah were the parts that I got excited for throughout the book because I am always up for lore and characters learning things about their histories with us. I will say that there’s one scene with Kaladin and Dalinar that I absolutely loved and felt the most for. It was the moment the readers must have been waiting for and Sanderson delivered. Can’t wait to read the next books in the series.
The Fall by Ryan Cahill
This novella came to me free courtsey of the author himself, I had bought the first book in the Bound and Broken series a while back and while I was wondering when I should be reading it, the author came up with this novella. It’s a prequel for the series and I thought, yes, this is perfect, I could dip my toes and see how much I like the world and the writing. Well, let’s just say that I will most likely be reading the first book in this series as soon as possible because the novella was so freaking good and full of action. This world feels like I could love it so be on the lookout for the review of the first book Of Blood and Fire!
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
This was my first Alix E. Harrow book and I can see why everybody was raving about it and the first book when it came out. The writing is so good and lush. I loved the Eastwood sisters and their bond, it felt real with love and misunderstandings and anger and hurt. The magic was cool too. The setting in an alternate history also worked so well. The main characters along with the side characters were so well written that I know that I am going to revisit them in the future.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Oh man. I set out to write a review for this one but was stumped. How do I go about it without spoiling the whole book? Suffice to say, please read this weird little book because it’s absolutely wonderful and I will only say this, if you like small wonders and constant bafflement and then, the increasing feeling of loneliness and unsettling realisations then definitely give this one a try.
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
I actually wasn’t planning on reading this but I just impulsively started the audiobook narrated by Andy Serkis and I flew through this one because of him. Audiobooks generally don’t work for me unless it’s nonfiction and then too, only audiobooks which are either leaning towards history or science. The fact that Andy Serkis made me finish this book in a week was how awesome his narration is. Also, it’s always a treat to hear Gollum’s voice, of course.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
I re-read this because I was approved for the sequel and I am glad to say that I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time around. The setting, the characters and the plot with the pace it had. Of course, I was gonna love it. When my heart broke in end, I knew that there was the next book waiting on my Kindle. So, this time, the heartbreak wasn’t for long.
Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong
This is exactly the conclusion I was hoping for. This duology is definitely one of the best YA I have read recently. I know that doesn’t say much when I am not reading as much YA as I used to but seriously, I loved the characters and Chloe Gong managed to hurt me the way I expected her to. So, there’s that. The review will be up soon.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Another impulse pick up. Another audiobook. I finished this in three days or so. I knew just enough to not feel incredibly stupid but I also knew too little to understand the big math that is required for these kinds of things but that’s as much as I am willing to go near maths while also satisfying my need to know all things space. If you know what I mean.
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
I went into it with a little fear because of the mixed review. Although mixed reviews don’t stop me, they do make the expectations go at a normal range and then, I am either pleasantly surprised or not but meh. This one took it further, I truly loved the way it built up and up and how only one of my theories ended up being solid but there was one twist I wasn’t too fond of but it did not negate any enjoyment of the story at all. A good read all in all.
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
An impulse re-read and I might not have really wanted to read it after all. But I did and my rating went down from the first read. I think earlier it was 4 stars but I am putting down to 3.25. I am sure it was a thoroughly unique concept at the time it was first published and for the first read, it truly felt like a 4 star but it’s true what they say. Sometimes, you shouldn’t re-read a book, you might not enjoy it as much as you might have in the first go.
I am pretty happy that I managed to read this many books and the fact that I am still trying to write reviews on time is absolutely blowing my mind every time I see it happening. Let’s continue that, hopefully in the coming months…
Also! I know a lot of places are going back to normal but there are many countries that are still struggling because of the virus. So, please, take all the precautions. Stay safe and take care of each other.
What about you guys? What was your best read or the worst one? Or, let’s not call it the worst, let’s call it the most disappointing read. Tell me all about it in the comments.