September is at an end, and it’s well and truly fall now. This is the view from my window as I’m typing. See the bits of colour starting to show on the leaves? As usual, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this past month.
I’ve finally finished going through the huge pile of books I requested from the library, which means I’m in the market for new reading material suggestions (here’s where you come in, other WIIers. i’ll be getting most of my new crop of suggestions from your favourite reads of the month). I read a total of 13 books this month.
- Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. Devoured in less than a day, and I was really groggy the next morning. Totally worth it. The whole trilogy was fantastic
- Enchanted and Hero by Alethea Kontis. Y’all know how much I love riffs on fairy tales, and these were a lot of fun. The first one is a Cinderella/Princess and the Frog mashup and, while I didn’t recognize the base story of the second one, it still had that fairy tale feel to it. I will definitely keep an eye out for book 3 (Dearest), which is slated for release sometime in the coming year.
- The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I read this on Leigh (Kramer)’s recommendation and loved it. It’s set in a fantasy version of pre-Revolution Russia, and I’m a sucker for good world-building. My only qualm was that an unrealistic number of people were in love with the heroine.
- The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. This is a debut fantasy novel that looks to be the first part of a planned series. I liked the heroine and the plot, but the world-building drove me up the wall. It felt like the author was making it up as she went along. It’s supposedly set in our future, on some new continent that magically materialized on Earth, but the tech level is medieval and there is absolutely no contact with the Americas or Afroeurasia. When I am supreme ruler of the universe. Every fantasy author will be required to begin their book with a brief history of the world they have created (and, if applicable, state exactly when that history deviates from our own). All that being said, I would still totally read the other books in the series when they come out.
- The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore. This is the latest installment in the Lorien Legacies series. I still want the authors to wrap it up already, but this one actually had some twists I wasn’t expecting. It was better than the past few books in the series.
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. It wasn’t bad, but who sets a romance between two teenagers in the 1980’s and then doesn’t tell you what happened to them in the modern day? I felt ripped off, a little.
- The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine. This was a takeoff on Twelve Dancing Princesses set in 1920’s New York, which I read at Cara‘s recommendation. I enjoyed it but missed the magical elements of the story.
- What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I loved this book. It feels like a perfect choice for a book club read. I liked the ending but also liked that it didn’t arrive at its ending in too facile a manner, which it easily could have.
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling. I got some laughs out of this book, but it was a bit disjointed and overall I preferred Tina Fey’s Bossypants.
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. You guys, this book wrecked me. I kept hoping that it would end differently, and I was even sure it would until the last few chapters. Still a good read, but it takes an emotional toll.
This month, I brought myself up date on back episodes of New Girl (did they really have to break up Nick and Jess? Really?). I also went back to The Mindy Project, and found it less annoying this time. I have to say, though, Danny was such a tool for most of season 2 that it was hard to properly celebrate their getting together at the end.
We’re also still watching through Fresh Prince and The West Wing and enjoying seeing some of our favourite shows start up again (hello Downton Abbey).
I actually posted a recipe to this blog for the first time in nearly a year. These Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Sugar Cookies were just too good not to share.
Other favourite foods of the month included these Peach Shortcakes with Honeyed Whipped Cream, this Spinach, Turkey, and Butternut Squash Autumn Lasagna, and this Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova. As usual, you can catch my other favourite recipes I tried on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest board.
Grad students aren’t as affected by the start of the school year as undergraduates because a) we’re expected to keep working during the summer and b) many of us don’t have classes anymore. Even so, it changes your routine. I’m loving being back to TA work. Also, I have my written comps coming up in two days and my oral comps at the end of the month, so I’ve been trying to prepare for that. I’m not too worried. Goodness knows I can talk about Reformation history ad nauseum anyway, so this past month has just been a matter of going back over my notes and making sure my thoughts are clearly organized.
In lighter IRL news, I also had the chance to visit the new board game cafe in Waterloo, which I really enjoyed. We’ve already acquired one new game for our collection after trying it out there. It’s a cooperative board game called Forbidden Island, and it’s reminiscent of a simplified Pandemic (another favourite of ours). We’ll be going again with some friends on Wednesday night. Does it make me a dork that board games are my post-comps celebration of choice? Undoubtedly, but I embrace it.
Anyway, that’s it for me for this month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s page to check out some of the other contributions.