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October & November wrap-up

October & November wrap-up

Monthly wrap-upI am seriously neglecting this blog. I have been thinking (but not too often) about what I want to do with the blog and for now I am okay with the way it is. Life is happening, and it’s all good, and that’s okay.

So I will drop wrap-ups here now and then and I will of course do my long end-of-year wrap-up. I am reading and have in the past days met my goal of 75 books this year, so enough food for that end-of-year wrap-up in a few weeks!

Read in October

  1. God’s Boat by Kaori Ekuni
  2. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  3. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
  4. The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery

Read in November

  1. Affinity by Sarah Waters
  2. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  3. Bij ‘t graf van een denker by J. Groneman

October was The Literary Others. I was going to participate actively, but alas. I did host a giveaway over at Roofbeamreader’s, and was lucky enough to win a book myself. I ended up reading 4 books (but finished the last one in November), and all were amazing!

November was just a whole lot of eh. I started reading Cixin Liu’s Death’s End, the last volume in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series. That was a slow read and took up most of my November.

Reading for the rest of 2016
I have finished my Goodreads challenge of reading 75 books. I am now trying to finish my current book, Queer: A Graphic History. I also plan to pick up Haruki Murakami’s Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and my Christmas read will be Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days. The last two+ weeks of the year are looking very busy, so who knows if I’ll even manage to finish these three books!

September wrap-up

September wrap-up

Monthly wrap-upWe’ve been enjoying a near perfect Indian summer here in the Netherlands, which has really lifted my spirits. I’ve found back some of my motivation and started studying again. I started a Korean language course, and am also working on Japanese again (mostly by reading). It feels good to be excited about something again.

As for reading: it’s clear I still had to let my foot heal the past month, hah. I wish I could’ve enjoyed more activities (active activities) outside to properly enjoy the lovely weather, but alas. That’s the one thing I’m pretty bummed about, looking back at September. My foot is slowly getting better though, hopefully it’ll be all fine within a few weeks, and in the mean time I’ve enjoyed a ton of reading.

Read in September

  1. The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
  2. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents, #1) by J.K. Rowling
  3. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents, #2) by J.K. Rowling
  4. 女仙 by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
  5. 日記帳 by Rampo Edogawa
  6. The Book of Tea by Kakuzō Okakura
  7. Breaking Into Japanese Literature: Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text edited by Giles Murray
  8. Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents, #3) by J.K. Rowling
  9. by Kanoko Okamoto
  10. Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys
  11. Tegenspel (Een groene bloem #2) by Floortje Zwigtman
  12. Spiegeljongen (Een groene bloem #3) by Floortje Zwigtman

Phew! I am now at 66 books read in 2016. This past month I read a few short story collections, plenty of Japanese (all short stories), but also a couple of longer books. I read Good Morning, Midnight for #ReadingRhys, and I finished a wonderful Dutch LGBT+ YA series. I wish it had been translated to English, but no luck 🙁

Reading in October
In October I am joining Roof Beam Reader‘s The Literary Others event! I am very excited about it. I will be reading nothing but LGBT+ books this month. The last time this event was held was back in 2012, and my posts are still up (click!). I just picked my first book for the month, Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta. No idea what else I’ll end up picking up this month.. yet 🙂

August wrap-up

August wrap-up

Monthly wrap-upI am approximately 100% done with 2016. I was already hugely demotivated, and to top it off I got hit by another bout of bad luck a little over a week ago. Right before visiting a concert with friends, I missed a step at the bus stop when we arrived and twisted my ankle. I now have a tear in my ankle ligament and ugh. It continues to hurt and it’s apparently going to take 6 weeks to heal. I already miss my regular workouts, and I also realised I friggin’ love walking, which I can’t do properly right now 😐 Plus, I was preparing for the Color Run in less than two weeks and my running was going so well… Have to cancel that, obviously.

So big fat sigh.

That said, I’ve been reading. I passed my 52 book goal for 2016 and upped my goal to 65 (which I suspect I will pass easily too). My attention span is really short these days, so I’ve been switching back and forth between multiple books.

Read in August

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne and J.K. Rowling
  2. Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3) by Robert Galbraith
  3. How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  4. Foxfire by Nobuko Yoshiya
  5. Kersenbloed (Een groene bloem #0.5) by Floortje Zwigtman
  6. Schijnbewegingen (Een groene bloem #1) by Floortje Zwigtman
  7. The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho
  8. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alice Bechdel

The Cursed Child did not live up to my expectations at all, but I did manage to grab two tickets for the play for September next year, for me and a friend. I am quite excited! In more HP related news, in November they are doing the Harry Potter in Concert show in the Netherlands and I got tickets for that too, hurray!

I loved Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home! Highly recommended. Also, I have been reading Dutch LGBT+ YA, Een groene bloem series by Floortje Zwigtman. I enjoyed the prologue novella and the first book. I’m currently on the second book (after that, one more to go) and getting a bit tired of it. Must be the attention span thing.

Reading in September
I don’t have any specific plans for September, except for #ReadingRhys, a Jean Rhys reading week. I plan to read Good Morning Midnight and perhaps Sleep it off Lady.

July Wrap-up

July Wrap-up

Monthly wrap-upIt seems I magically brought my blog back to life, more or less! I must say I’m quite proud, and *gasp* I’ve even got a bunch of posts scheduled! Now I have to get more social and then everything will be alright… right?

I am also going really fast with the reading challenge this year… 46 of 52 books read so far! July was a verrrrry good reading month 🙂

Read in July

  1. The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
  2. A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf
  3. Stone Mattress: A Story by Margaret Atwood
  4. Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
  5. Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
  6. This One Summer by Jillian & Mariko Tamaki
  7. Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
  8. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  9. Yellow Rose by Nobuko Yoshiya
  10. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
  11. Skim by Jillian & Mariko Tamaki

Confession: three of these are short stories and two are graphic novels, so clearly they were quick reads. Still, 11 titles is not bad. Also, many four and five star reads. I can’t even pick my favourite book this month. I wonder if I’m getting soft? (Although The Dark Wife received a harsh one star…)

Reading in August
No idea! No idea whatsoever! But on the last day of July I started both A Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling and, OF COURSE, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! I was going to wait with that book, seeing how there is a tiny bit of hope that I might actually still see the play… But then I realised that even if that’s the case, how on earth could I wait nearly a year? Plus, the book was staring at me. I swear.
I suspect I’ll finish it tonight, so expect a (non-spoilery!) review!

I’m still here… April, May & June wrap-up

I’m still here… April, May & June wrap-up

Monthly wrap-upApologies for my absence! I’m still here, and I’m still reading. I just haven’t been feeling very social the past months, and on top of that I was focusing on a bunch of other things. Working out lots (walking, cycling, hiking, weight lifting, yoga, tae bo..!), my vacation to South Korea & Japan in May, another trip to Berlin, and my pet rats mostly. And work. Work work work.

But like I said, I have actually been reading the past months! And really enjoying my reading, for that matter. The past months I have been focusing almost exclusively on reading books by women, or LGBT+ books. This is something I have been doing for the past years actually (see my old post on the topic here), but I’m paying more and more attention to it and it is a fantastic journey 🙂

During my stay in Japan my poor 6-year old Kindle died on me at the most inconvenient time (when we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, cultural wasteland without any bookstores carrying English books). After my vacation I replaced it with a Kobo, and I’m really loving it!

Read in April

  1. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings-and Life by Laura Vanderkam
  2. The Cage of Zeus by Sayuri Ueda
  3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  4. Oh, Tama! by Mieko Kanai

April wasn’t a very impressive month. What the Most… was actually an audiobook that I listened to during a walk. Very interesting concept, and I wonder if I can make it work for me… but I haven’t had the chance (or the guts) to try it yet haha. The Cage of Zeus and Oh, Tama! were both interesting reads, I loved getting some Japanese literature reading in again. Fangirl made my head hurt though… I didn’t hate it but I suspect I might have enjoyed it more if I didn’t read all of it in just two days.

Read in May

  1. Geheimen van het Wilde Woud (De brief voor de koning #2) (The Secrets of the Wild Woods) by Tonke Dragt
  2. UFO in Her Eyes by Xiaolu Guo
  3. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  4. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
  5. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
  6. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  7. Falling From The Sky (Bear Creek, #1) by Nikki Godwin

May was great! The only disappointment was Falling From The Sky, but everything else was pretty good. My favourites for this month were probably The Secrets of the Wild Woods and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (the latter was so sad!).

Read in June

  1. You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
  2. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi
  3. Body by Nonami Asa

Not a very long list, but a good one. I loved Persepolis especially, which I read for Our Shared Shelf.

Book haul
I bought books but I can’t for the life of me remember which ones. Not too many though, I am still pretty strict and picky about what I buy. Trying not to buy any more books until the large Deventer book market in August.

Reading in July
We’re already well into July, and I finished 6 books so far (to be fair, two of them were short stories). Also in the middle of three more books, but I have no idea which I will finish first (or finish at all).

And finally… the blog
I am not active here at all and I am not sure if I will get active again anytime soon. I want to start updating on my reading again, but it’s the social side of blogging that is putting me off XD Sorry, that doesn’t sound too friendly! But I’ve just not been feeling social at all lately 🙁 So we’ll see what happens…