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05 July 2019 @ 09:36 am
2019 Q2 Reading Round-Up  
During the past three months I read 116 books, which brings my total for the year to 162, which is 63 ahead of schedule to hit my goal of 200 books for the year. 83 of the books were M/M Romances, which means 33 of the books were not, and 8 of those books were Pulitzer Prize winners. This puts me at 13 out of my goal of 6 Pulitzer Prize winners for the year, which means I hit that sub-goal! I also read 1 of the hard-copy books I own, which puts me at 2 of my goal of 4 for the year. I actually technically read 2 hard-copy books this quarter, but one of those was a new-to-me book, so I'm not counting it towards my goal since the whole point is to read the books that have been languishing on my shelves for awhile.

FAVORITE BOOKS:

YA: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
GAH, this book was really, really excellent. I'd heard it was, but it honestly exceeded all of my expectations. I literally couldn't put it down and binged all in one sitting.

Fantasy: Temeraire Series [Books 6-9] by Naomi Novik
As expected this series finished strong and GAH I just really, really loved it. Fabulous characters, gripping plot, expert pacing, and just a truly engaging read, which is a masterful accomplishment considering this series spans nine novels! I'm a little bit heartbroken at having finished, especially as I've now read all of Novik's published novels and now will have to wait with baited breath for whatever she decides to publish next!

M/M Romance: Top Secret by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
I have to say, I read a lot of decent MM romance this quarter, but not a lot that blew me away. This one though was *right* up my alley. Hit all the right buttons for me and was just super fun and hot.

Memoir: Becoming by Michelle Obama
I honestly didn't expect this to live up to the hype, but I really, really enjoyed this one. I listened to it on audiobook, which I HIGHLY recommend since it's narrated by Michelle herself. Wonderfully written, and a truly comprehensive account of Michelle's life and experiences.

RUNNERS UP:

Self-Help: Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
I rarely read self-help books and even more rarely do I find them particularly "helpful" but this book spoke to my soul. A somebody who's struggled with shame and vulnerability their entire life, reading this book was a bit of a revelation. I honestly think everybody should give it a read.

Fiction: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Ooof, this book was a doozy! Definitely an intense read, but brilliantly written and a very powerful story. Definitely one that will stay with me for a long while.

YA: Renegades Series 1-2 by Marissa Meyer
I listened to these books on audio and they were SO good. It's a trilogy, with the final book coming out at the end of the year, and having to wait for the finale is going to be torture. It's a sort of superhero thriller fantasy book that essentially takes place in the aftermath of a revolution. It's super engaging, and employs a lot of fun tropes. Definitely a fun one.

M/M Romance: Riven Series 1-2 by Roan Parrish
This is one of my auto-buy authors and despite the fact that this series actually has a number of tropes that I don't normally enjoy, I super enjoyed it! Gorgeous characters and fantastic tension that gets you invested in the story but never veers into angst-overload. There's another book in this series that just came out and I'm really looking forward to reading it!

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

YA: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
This was an utter DELIGHT! Queer historical YA with wonderful characters, fantastic representation, and an engaging plot filled with pirates and murder and ALL the pining. Monty seriously stole my heart, and the narrator (the actor who played Tom Riddle in HP!) did a BRILLIANT job.

M/M Romance: His Boy Next Store Series by R.J. Moray
This is a MM BDSM serial with 34 "episodes" and MAN did I gobble them up. A bit slow to start, and mostly just smut, but something about this one just really spoke to my Id.

Graphic Novel: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
I have such a ~thing~ for powerful autobiographical graphic novels (Maus, Persepolis, etc) and this was another fantastic addition to the list. I personally LOVED the art style here, and I thought the author did a brilliant job exploring her family's history from war-torn Vietnam to the States. I've read a number of really moving works surrounding the Vietnam War and the Fall of Saigon, and I really enjoyed reading about it in a new medium. Highly recommend!

M/M Romance: Sweet Clematis (Being(s) in Love #9) by R. Cooper
I've really enjoyed this series overall, and this most recent update was no different. The world building in this universe is fabulous and I so adore all the different beings. Clematis's story gave me ALL the feels and was really lovely.

UGGHH:

Fiction: Rabbit, Run by John Updike
This book was awful. Gross and racist and misogynistic and just UGH. I read this because it's the first in a 4-book series, and the last 2 books are Pulitzer Prize winners, so I thought I should get some context. I really do want to complete the challenge, so I am planning on reading book 3 & 4, but I won't make myself read book 2, and will just look up what happens. *sigh*

Pulitzer Prize Winner: American Pastoral by Philip Roth
I think part of my issue with this one was that I listened to it on audiobook, but it was SUCH a slog. Super long and repetitive and it just really didn't resonate with me at all.

M/M Romance: Ascendant by Tal Bauer
This is a spin-off book featuring a background pairing from the Executive Office series, which I loved. I didn't really connect with the couple in that original series though, and this main book still didn't sell me on them. It looks like it's the start of a series, and I really don't plan on continuing on with it.

COMING UP:

These are just a handful of books/series that are on my TBR list. Many I plan to read in the next 3 months, though I definitely won't get through all of these. The ones with (*) are books I own a hard copy of and my goal is to read at least one of those per quarter.

* The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
The Omega Objection by G.L. Carriger
The Dark Artifices Series by Cassandra Clare
Playing in the Dark by Avery Cockburn
Unspoken Vow by Eden Finley
* The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Seven of Spades Series Books 3-5 by Cordelia Kingsbridge (will need to re-read books 1 & 2 as well)
* The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Mainly by Moonlight by Josh Lanyon
The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee currently reading
Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer [4th Quarter]
Raze (Riven #3) by Roan Parrish
Trouble Brewing Series Books 2 & 3 by Layla Rayne (will honestly need to re-read book 1 as well)
Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2) by Rainbow Rowell [4th Quarter]
* The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skoot
Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer #1) by Maggie Stiefvater [4th Quarter]
rock by Anyta Sunday
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas currently reading
Educated by Tara Westover currently reading

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