Recent Reads: July 2016 (+ How I’m Doing With My 2016 Reading Plan)

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of the books I read. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Feel free to share your bookish happenings in the Comments section!

Last month I took a good look at my reading plan for 2016, which I shared back in January. While I’m doing well in some categories, others might have to roll over into 2017. But that’s OK. I’m just pleased with how many books I’ve read so far this year (36 in total). In fact, I’m on pace to read more books in 2016 than I did in 2015!

So, for this month’s Recent Reads, I’ll share my progress with this year’s reading plan. And of course, I’ve got book reviews! Let’s start with my pick for Read of the Month, which is…
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A Blogoversary Interview With Sara Letourneau

Happy Blogoversary

Today marks the blog’s 7th birthday!  😀  It seems like forever ago when I signed up for a free WordPress account – and to be honest, I had no idea what I was doing back then when it came to blogging. But since then, this site has evolved so much, and I’ve learned a lot and become a better writer because of it. And now, it’s time to celebrate this special birthday with a post that YOU, the readers, voted for.

Last month, readers selected an interview with yours truly as this year’s blogoversary post. I admit that I was a little nervous about this – but I’m an introvert. Of course, I would be nervous about being interviewed. This turned out to be a lot of fun, though, and I thank everyone who submitted questions. Enjoy!
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Recent Reads: May 2016

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

You know what I realized while finishing this post? Next month is July, when writers and bloggers celebrate the year’s halfway point by looking past on their 2016 reads and achievements so far. I’m not ready for that yet! :S

Mind-boggles aside, I managed to read five books during May. Out of those five, I’m reviewing four, including two brand-new YA fantasies, an eerie children’s classic about the Fey / Fair Folk, and a novella collection set in one of the most popular fantasy worlds at the moment. Which one was my Read of the Month? Let’s find out!

By the way, I’m still taking votes and suggestions for next month’s blogoversary! Click here to check out the poll and share your feedback before Thursday, June 16th.
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What Is a “Kagende”? (A #TheKeepersCurse World-Building Post)

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When writing a fantasy novel, the story’s world-building is just as important as the characters you’re creating. I’ve shared bits of the world for my WIP The Keeper’s Curse before; and one detail that’s piqued readers’ interests is the kagende (plural: kagenden), the dwelling that TKC’s Fei race lives in. In fact, two readers in particular (and they know who they are *winks*) asked if I’d write a post about it.

Today, I’m excited (and stomach-turned-upside-down terrified) to share with you what a kagende is! I’ll discuss how I came up with the idea, how this dwelling is structured, and what kinds of rooms you’ll find. I’ve also created a couple collages to help you imagine what a kagende looks like. Ready?

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Recent Reads: April 2016

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

I’d never describe myself as a fast reader, since I know plenty of people who read more books per year than I do. But as of the end of April, I’ve already read 18 books so far in 2016. That means I’m on track to read at least 50 books this year, topping last year’s total of 43. Nice!

As for April itself, it was a pretty good month for reading. I wrote reviews for four of the five books I read – and I may have found a strong contender for Favorite New Book of 2016. 😉 Let’s jump to that one first!
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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 24: March 2016 Haul, Part 1

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

This is getting embarrassing – to the point where, apart from new releases, I might have to institute a temporary “book-buying” ban. (*blushes*) Not to mention this was going to be one installment of Stacking The Shelves. Next week I’ll explain why I split it in two.

For now, here’s Batch #1, a mix of 2016 books with the latest additions to my ongoing “market research” project on fairy novels. Let’s have a look:

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Recent Reads: February 2016

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Well, February was an… interesting month of reading. It was super-productive (I finished six books – wow!); but out of those six, I enjoyed two, thought two more were OK, and was too disappointed by the other two to review them. :/ But when you do “market research” projects on certain kinds of novels, you’re bound to read stories that don’t appeal to you as much.

Thankfully the month ended on an upswing, because my Read of the Month was the most recent book I finished. You’ll find out which one it is shortly!

Also, a good chunk of the following books (minus the Read of the Month) focused on romance. Coincidence? Hmmmm….
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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 23: Mermaids, Fairies, and Magic Galore

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

I bet I know what some of you might be thinking: “Huh? She bought MORE books?? Especially after that big haul a few weeks ago?!”

Yep. My bedroom will look like this pretty soon!

Yep. My bedroom will look like this pretty soon!

I know. (*blushes*) But this new haul is relatively small; and as I’d said in January, my reading priorities for 2016 are newly published books and any novels that will help with my two “market research” projects. With that in mind, here are the latest additions to my (still overstuffed) shelves.

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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 21: Christmas-January Haul, Plus My Reading Plan for 2016

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

It’s been a while since the last Stacking The Shelves post! I always try to be good (i.e., not buy any books) in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and I did pretty well with my ban again this year. Of course, I put books on my Christmas list instead, just to make up for it. 😉

Today’s post will be a mix of gifted books and other additions to my (overflowing) bookshelves. And, since last year’s reading plan worked out amazingly well, I have a new one for 2016 and will share that, too.

Finally, this is the first post using photos taken with my new camera. I’m still learning some of its functions, but for the most part the pics came out pretty well!

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Recent Reads: July 2015 (Plus, I’m Back from #WDC15!)

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Back from my blogging hiatus! 🙂 And WOW, Writer’s Digest Conference was AWESOME! I don’t even know where to begin with describing what an invaluable experience it was. So, all I’ll say for now is that I’ll be writing two articles’ worth (possibly three) of conference coverage for DIY MFA.  It sounds like a lot, but I’ve been so “in the zone” that each piece seemed to write itself in a fingersnap. Unfortunately, this means I won’t have time for a Field Trip post here at the blog – but I’ll do a special edition of Stacking The Shelves instead.  Stay tuned for that on Saturday!

Now, Recent Reads. Last month’s debut of the new format went amazingly well. I’m so glad that readers enjoyed the shorter reviews, and that you’ve been understanding of the change in format. Today I’d like to add one more feature that takes advantage of the shorter reviews: Read of the Month, which highlights my favorite book from the past month. That way, you won’t have to search for the highest rating or most positive review. 😉

So, what did I choose as my Read of the Month? What other books did I devour, figuratively speaking? Find out below!

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