2020 August and September Wrap Up

Do you ever put off looking back on the amount of reading you’ve done recently, convinced that you didn’t do nearly as much as you’d set out to read? Stopped yourself from thinking about it because you’re just a little disappointed in yourself for being lazy – because that’s the true reason you didn’t pick anything up. It’s not like there’s not time to read with the way the world is right now…

Well thankfully writing this post surprised me with how much I actually managed to read over the last couple of months. I was convinced I’d read next to nothing!

In the month of August I certainly got more reading done than I have in the last little while. Part of it had to do with putting aside more time for myself, to try and not feel pressured to always be “on”. With the way things are in the world right now, it’s nice to be able to relax a little bit, distress and take things one step at a time. But because I was putting this time away for myself, I didn’t think about the reading I did during this time as… well, as counting more or less.

That isn’t to say it shouldn’t count. Any reading you do counts – newspapers, comics, flyers… it all counts because you’re using your brain to process words on a page. You’re reading! You’ve picked something up in the spur of the moment just because? It counts! You got halfway through a book and then decided that book isn’t for you? It counts! I just have to remind myself of that sometimes.

I also got a nice chunk of reading done in September. Hard to believe since I posted virtually nothing this month, but I’m actually content with the amount of reading I’ve accomplished. Here’s hoping that the amount of reading I get done can be translated in a decent amount of posts over the next little bit.

However, I still need to work on creating a consistent upload schedule. (So thank you for being patient with me while I figure things out.) I’m going to aim to have 3 posts uploaded a week in 2021, but I make no promises. I’d love to have consistent days on which I upload things, but for now the first step is going to be attempting to upload three videos a week. As you can tell, I’ve been slacking a bit the last couple of months. In the past I’ve had very unsustainable goals with my upload scheduling, so here’s hoping that this format will make it possible for me to find some consistency in my blog posts.

As always, here are some pictures of my pup, Yzma. August was pretty chill for her, September full of hikes and playdates. (Shameless plug for her adorable PupStagram account @YzmaTheHound):

Without further ado, here’s my reading stats for August and September:

For reference: Physical books, eBooks, and AudioBooks. Library books.

Total books completed: 11

Total pages: 4245 pages (avg. 386 pages per book)

Total books completed in August: 6

Total pages: 3046 pages (avg. 508 pages per book)

Completed Books:

  1. (Mis)fortune by Melissa Haag (Judgement of the Six, Book 2)[3.5 stars]
  2. Nosatsu Junkie by Ry Ryoko Fukuyama (Charming Junkie, Vol 14 – 16)[Avg. 4 stars]
  3. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer (The Twilight Saga, Book 5)[0.5 stars]
  4. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly, Book 1)[4.5 stars]
  5. Emmitt’s Treasure by Melissa Haag (Judgement of the Six Companion Series, Book 2)[3.5 stars]
  6. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas (Crescent City, Book 1)[4.5 stars]

Total books completed in September: 5

Total pages: 1196 pages (avg. 239 pages per book)

Completed Books:

  1. Dreamthief by Tamara Grantham (Olive Kennedy, Fairy World M.D., Book 1)[3.5 stars]
  2. Holly Freakin’ Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley (Goodreads)[3 stars]
  3. Mistletoe Match by Lindzee Armstrong (No Match for Love, Book 6)[1 star]
  4. How to tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) (Goodreads)[3 stars]
  5. Coffee, Tea, or Me by Rich Amooi (Goodreads)[3 stars]

Dedicated Blog Posts:

  1. Hope(less) by Melissa Haag
  2. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
  3. Clay’s Hope by Melissa Haag
  4. Sea Glass by Maria V Snyder
  5. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
  6. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Wrap Up:


Michelle, another woman with unexplainable gifts, finds herself surrounded by werewolf society. Kept prisoner for years by the predictions that torture her, she meekly follows orders not knowing if she’ll ever be able to run. When her stepfather dies, Michelle takes the opportunity to run. But she needs to find a safe place – somewhere someone will listen to her predictions and not use them against her. It also needs to be somewhere safe, with someone just like her captor to protect her from him.

Part of the fur wearing faction wants to use her, and another part strives to keep her safe. Will Michelle discover enough to keep those she loves safe from the emerging evil?

I adore every readthrough of this series I indulge in. While I certainly like some books more than others, the entire series pulled together makes for quite the world to jump into. Michelle is an interesting character to be in the mind of. Knowing she’s got others to protect makes her more serious than Gabby – though Gabby herself is quite serious – and adds an extra layer of severity to the events in this book.

Nosatsu Junkie:

This manga follows Naka, an aspiring young model whose face transforms into a terrifying spectacle whenever she gets nervous at photo shoots. Naka’s rival at her agency is Umi, the girl who can do no wrong. Shortly after joining the agency Naka discovers Umi’s secret, leading to more than either bargained for.

Another reread, this is a series I remember reading back when I was in high school. It was just as fun and upbeat as I remembered. If you’re looking for a cute slice of life, Shojo manga, this could be a fun read for you. A bonus is that it’s been completed for years so you won’t need to wait for anything to be released.

Midnight Sun:

Until now, readers have only experiences Bella’s side of the events that happen in Twilight. Now, Midnight Sun gives the reader a chance to read things from Edward’s point of view.

Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing thing that’s happened in Edward’s long second life. As the reader learns more about Edward’s past and his inner thoughts as he struggles with being around her, it’s apparent just how hard he fights to keep Bella safe. Even if it’s from himself.

I must say, this book is riding hard on the nostalgia factor. While this series has gotten a lot of flack over the years, it did amazing things for the Young Adult genre as a whole. However, if I hadn’t been reading this as part of a “Bad Book Club” read, I doubt I would’ve finished this book. I almost felt like everything I enjoyed about the series originally was sapped from this book into a watered down version of what it was like from Bella’s perspective. Of course Bella wasn’t a perfect narrator herself, but I enjoyed the sense of unknown that came from her perspective.

On top of that, Edward was pure teenage angst – which is weird for someone who’s constantly thinking about how he’s so old and mature, who claims not to remember what it was like to be human or a teenager.

No, this read certainly wasn’t for me and I almost wish I had left Twilight alone so that I’d continue to have fond memories of the story.

Something Strange and Deadly:

Eleanor Fitt, of the Philadelphia Fitts, is heartbroken to discover her brother is missing. She’s terrified to know that his disappearance is tied together with the walking Dead in the streets, to know that the Necromancer has kidnapped him.

Doing what she can to rescue her brother, Eleanor enlists the help of the Spirit Hunters. This motley crew, hired to help protect the city from the Dead, is after the very necromancer that has Eleanor’s brother. As Eleanor spends more time with the crew, and their handsome inventor, the more dire the situation gets. Not only is her reputation at stake, but also her life.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: zombie stories aren’t my cup of tea. However. Susan Dennard has somehow flipped that statement on its head by writing what might very well be my favourite animated dead story of all time. This is a highly underrated story that isn’t talked about nearly enough. If you haven’t read it already, you should. Check out this fantastic world building and “magic” system. Steampunk might be a genre I didn’t know I was a fan of this time last year, but I’ve certainly found the love for it now.

Emmitt’s Treasure:

After six years away from his pack, Emmitt realizes he doesn’t know what he wants from life. His parents want him to lead, the Elders expect him to further integrate his people into human society. Yet these responsibilities weigh on him and make him reluctant to take on the leadership awaiting him.

Finding his mate changes everything. Michelle’s shy and beautiful… and on the run. Helping and protecting her just might be the very thing Emmitt needs to learn that responsibility isn’t always a burden.

As always I adored reading the story from a second perspective. Getting into Emmitt’s head gives the reader a second take on the events that happen, full of new scenes or takes on the same ones. No two people experience the same event the same way, so getting to see it in different ways helps clarify the situation. Besides, I adore reading about Emmitt’s protective side.

House of Earth and Blood:

Bryce Quinlan led the perfect life – working hard all day and partying all night – until a demon murdered her closest friends leaving her alone in a world she used to love. With the accused behind bars and the crimes starting up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. And she’ll do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of things.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His skills and abilities are being forced into one purpose – to assassinate his keeper’s enemies no questions asked. Yet when a demon begins wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer and freedom will be in reach.

I am in love with this story and the world. It took me a while to get into it, but once the story hooked its claws into me, it hooked them in deep. I generally enjoy Maas’ writing style but her works have been pretty hit or miss for me plot wise and this was definitely a hit. I look forward to reading on in the story, to see what ends up happening to Bryce and her cohort.


Visiting Faythander is a nasty business. Forget fairies and good times, people come back with lost memories and mental problems. Just ask Olive Kennedy, the therapist who treats patients suffering from Faythander’s side effects. Despite her empty bank account, she’s never failed to cure a client – until now.

Traveling back the Faythander wasn’t on Olive’s to do list, but she has no choice if she wants to save both Earth and Fairy from the ancient being called the Dreamthief. To complicate matters, she might very well lose her heart to someone who can’t love her in return.

I found this to be a fun mystery/fae/paranormal read. The world itself intrigues me and while I’d never want to deal with the nasty side effects of travelling from Earth to Faythander, I’d love to be able to experience its beauty and cruelty to myself. That might not sound like the most appealing thing in the world, but what’s beauty if you’ve got nothing to compare it to? Throw in a mind gripping plot, and I look forward to diving back into this world the only way I can.

Holly Freakin’ Hughes:

Holly thought her life was heading in the right direction. She ran a moderately successful teen advice column and was certain she was about to get married and start a family with the love of her life Stephen. That is, until Stephen breaks the news to her that he’s gay, setting off a domino of events that leaves Holly single, unemployed, and living in her sister’s guest bedroom as her niece’s babysitter. Struggling with the knowledge that she’ll be stuck in the Land of Mediocrity forever, Holly’s niece runs face first into a handsome stranger in a bookstore and sets Holly down a path that’ll change her life.

This was a cute little romance read, middle of the pack in relation to the other romances I’ve read this year but still enjoyable. While I cringed at some of the stances taken in this book vis a vis “babysitting” – childcare is a serious job with a lot of commitment and not everyone is suitable for it – I enjoyed this story.

Mistletoe Match:

Michelle Collins is on a mission to end animal testing and no matter how irresistible a mystery man might be, he won’t stand in her way. It seems like Christmas magic when she kisses a mysterious stranger under the mistletoe – until she finds out he’s Austin O’Neal, the new marketing director of the company she’s sworn to destroy.

This was not a book for me. Stances were taken in this story that gave me hope, only to be dashed by unjust stereotypes and false narratives. I understand this is a work of fiction, but sometimes carrying on a false narrative hurts the plotline more than it helps it. The story had promise and fell short.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You:

If your cat is kneading you, it’s not a sign of affection but them checking your internal organs for weakness. If they bring you a dead bird, it’s not a gift. It’s a warning.

This collection of cat comics is cute and delivers exactly what it promises to. Ever wonder if your cat is plotting to kill you? Now you’ll know the signs and what to watch out for!

Coffee, Tea, or Me:

Jack Robbins runs a successful coffee business and has a rescue Chihuahua named Chimichanga that hates women and loves to kiss him on the mouth. Susie McKenna has just opened a new tea shop next door that everyone is talking about which she runs with her over protective brother. Things get heated as the two begin competing for customers, and reach a new intensity when they both volunteer to help plan the downtown festival. But can a coffee lover and a tea devotee put aside the competition to find their happily ever after?

This is a cute romance that gives exactly what you’d expect. Two warring beverage shop owners need to find a way to work together and end up falling for each other. Sure there are hiccups along the way, and more than a dash of toxic masculinity at times, but it was still a cute relationship to get to watch blossom.

As you can tell, some of the books I read the last little while were pretty hit or miss. I certainly found some stories that I adored and some that I won’t be reading again. And sometimes it’d just nice to reread a story you know you’re going to enjoy. No matter what you managed to read in August and September, I hope you enjoyed what you read and maybe even found a new favourite read.

As always, I’d love to know how your reading went this month. Did you have a good time reading, or did you struggle with some of what you picked up like I did?

Finally, the question of the month(s): Have you ever experienced a month of reading that was better/worse than you expected?

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