It’s officially NaNoWriMo time, and I should be writing my novel right now. So, I’m going to try to keep this post short. But I wanted to get my October reading recap out there and share my end of year TBR. Yep. That’s right. I’m doing a TBR. Because there are still two more months to go in this year, but I’ve already hit 2018 my reading goal! Whoohoo!
First, what I read this month:
I started the month already in the middle of reading Obsidio and Aru Shah and the End of Time. These two took me a little longer than normal to read. The first (Obsidio) because of the format. I don’t like to carry paper books around with me, and I especially don’t like carrying around large hardcovers. Plus, I couldn’t read it in bed at night without a light on. So, it limited my reading opportunities. But, ultimately, I thought this was a great end to a really fun series. These are some of the best YA sci-fi that I’ve read recently. I highly recommend them. But I also highly recommend you get paper copies because the interior layout takes the form of a compiled file of documents (hence the series title: The Illuminae Files).
Aru Shah took me even longer to finish reading, but not for the same reasons. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but middle grade books are getting increasingly harder for me to read. No matter how good they are, they just don’t hold my attention. Which should be expected. I’m an adult. But, it’s kind of a bummer because most of the kids in my life are just getting to chapter books and breaking into middle grade books, and I like to be able to read whatever I recommend to them so we can talk about it and share favorite bits of the story. I enjoyed Aru Shah and the End of Time, and if you have a kid in your life that loves the Percy Jackson books, but you maybe want to expand their world-view and toss some heroines their way, you should definitely get them a copy of this book.
Somewhere in there, while I was finishing up those books, I read the third book in the Three Dark Crowns series, Two Dark Reigns. I’ve been gushing about this series for a while now, and I also really enjoyed this book. But…the plot has taken a couple of turns that I’m not fully into, and I’m reserving judgement until I see what happens in the next (final?) book. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I feel like at this point in the series we should be reducing the number of contenders for the crown instead of adding more to the mix. If you’ve read this series, let’s discuss in the comments.
In preparation for NaNoWriMo, and because I’m still learning how to do this whole “indie author” thing, I also read a few writing books in October. The only one that I read cover to cover was Marketing Steamy Romance. My books aren’t super steamy. The potentially super steamy scenes fade to black, and I like to try to find a 50/50 balance between romance and fantasy plot in my stories. But, I still found this book super helpful. Finding your readers is really hard. I write what I like to read. But the world is full of great books. Every time I consider my TBR, I’m reminded of that. So, you really have to work to convince readers that they want to try your book next. This book offers a lot of great options that I hadn’t necessarily considered. Plus the author offers pros and cons for all the things she discusses, so you can sort of “choose your own adventure” based on what you’re willing and able to do from a time, talent, and/or budget perspective. If you’re an author, I highly recommend you check out her book, even if you don’t write “steamy romance.”
Now, about that TBR…
I’ve suspended all my library holds for the rest of the year so that I can focus on writing book two in the Modern Fae series. November is going to be mostly writing, and I have a feeling that may bleed into December as well. But, there are a handful of 2018 and 2017 releases that I bought (or received as a gift) that I haven’t had a chance to read, yet. I was (and still am) really excited about these books, and I’d really like to try to finish at least a few of these before the end of the year.
So, when I need a break from writing, this is my end of year TBR:
I’m also starting to think about my reading goals for 2019, because tracking my reading the way that I’ve been doing it is starting to feel like a chore, and it’s sucking some of the joy out of reading. I really love keeping track of what I’m reading and various other related stats (book lengths, genres, diversity of authors and main characters, etc.). But, managing a spreadsheet, plus my Goodreads shelves, plus tracking in my bullet journal is getting to be way too much. Also, library hold availability has started to drive when I’m reading books instead of me just reading what I want to, when I want to.
Now that I’m writing full time, reading has definitely become part of my job, but it’s still also something I do for fun and pleasure. So, I want to try to find a better balance next year. I may do a post on that as we get closer to the end of the year, or once I decide on my 2019 reading goals.
As for what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo this year…If you like Pride and Prejudice, and if you liked the magic competition in book two of V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series, you are probably going to love book two in my Modern Fae series. I highly recommend that you read book one now because there are two novellas coming out very soon, and book two will be out in Spring 2019. Click on the image below to read the first chapter and get links to buy at all retailers.
That’s it from me, for now. This post turned out to be much longer than I’d planned. Time to get back to writing. Talk with you more in the comments!