A Springtime Update

Hi, everyone! … It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, I know! I hope you’re all doing well & enjoying the beginning of a new month. It’s just turned spring here and the weather is seriously starting to act like it—sunshine, flowers, warmer weather (the last of which I’m NOT that fond of, believe it or not.) But I’ve always adored spring. The flowers are bright and lovely, and the perfect opportunity for photography. ❤

Because it’s been ages since I last blogged (…seriously, I’m ashamed), I thought I would give an overview of my favorite reads of this year, along with other recent goings-on, so I’m going to split it up to make it easier to read. Hopefuly.

(this blog post might be…long. I’m going to cover a lot! Gah, sorry?)


RECENT PHOTOS I’VE SNAPPED…

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Gorgeous bright blossoms, taken a few weeks ago.

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Manly Beach is STUNNING. How I spent the first day of spring. (look at that crystal water!!)

 

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A closeup of the first image—I think they might be some kind of cherry blossoms. I adore them!

 

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Just a glimpse of the core of our Milky Way from my backyard.


WHAT I’M READING…

Fiction

A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY by Brigid Kemmerer (YA, fantasy)

Magical, with loveable characters and lush worldbuilding. Yes, please! I’m *so* excited to see where the next book goes. A fresh take on Beauty and the Beast, if you haven’t already read it and love fairytales, I cannot recommend it enough.

BLOODWITCH by Susan Dennard (YA, high fantasy—especially perfect for older readers looking to dip their toes into more complex plots and worldbuilding. I honestly think this series is a fabulous transition to reading adult high fantasy.)

I’m a huge fan of Susan Dennard, from her writing advice to her books. And BLOODWITCH just blew me away. The characters, the story, the world—I was just so wrapped up in it from beginning to end. These are the sorts of books that made me forget reality while I’m reading them…which is exactly what I want in a high fantasy.

THE BOY WHO STEALS HOUSES by C.G. Drews (YA, contemporary)

I loved C.G. Drews’ debut novel, A THOUSAND PERFECT NOTES, so my expectations were high…and god, this book definitely delivered. Heart-aching, hopeful, & just so gorgeous. I can’t even imagine not loving this book.

BLOOD OF ELVES by Andrzej Sapkowski (Adult, high fantasy)

I’ll start by say that no, I haven’t played the games yet. I do have the third game waiting for me on Steam…and I intend to dive into it once I’ve finished the entire series. I *loved* this book. All of the ones in the series I’ve read, in fact. I can’t wait to see how Netflix adapt it, too. (Please, please, please don’t let me down!!! I *need* another fantasy show to get into after Game of Thrones…)

Other fiction books I’ve read and loved this year are (but would take up too much time/space to rave/rant about, so I’ll just list them): PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon; CATWOMAN: SOULSTEALER by Sarah J. Maas; THE POPPY WAR by R.F. Kuang; QUEEN OF AIR AND DARKNESS by Cassandra Clare.

Non-fiction—

This year, one of my resolutions was to read more non-fiction. It takes me much, much longer to read than fiction—but it’s just as worth it. (…and yes, a lot of this is novel research.)

DINOSAURS: HOW THEY LIVED AND EVOLVED by Darren Naish & Paul. M Barret

This was a fabulous, intriguing overlook of dinosaurs and their evolutions (and will, from now on, correct people when they claim that dinosaurs are extinct…technically, they are not.) I was grateful to find that it was fairly easy to understand. For such a complicated topic, it’s written in a way that makes it accessible to everyone.

THE ANCIENT GREEKS: TEN WAYS THEY SHAPED THE MODERN WORLD by Edith Hall

Oh, I LOVED this. Such a wonderful examination of what made the Ancient Greek people Greek. Edith Hall is a wonderful writer, and I can’t wait to pick up more publications by her. Split up into ten definitive sections, it’s detailed, clever, and well-researched. A must-read if you’re interested in Grecian culture!


WHAT I’M WORKING ON…

This year has been a…slow writing year. It’s been both frustrating and liberating. I’m not sure that makes a whole lot of sense, but although I’m irritated with my lack of progress lately, I know it’s going to be fine. I love writing—it’s my passion—and I think I just got a bit burnt out.

For now I’m not going to talk too much about what I’m working on, but I’m *so so so so SO* close to finishing up my adult dragon-taming WIP (…and I don’t want to jinx my good progress lately! Hah!)

I keep telling myself—deep breaths. We’re still in September, and that’s not the end of the year. I don’t intend on wasting it. ❤


MUSIC I’M LISTENING TO…

Dragon Age: Inquisition Original OST by Trevor Morris. (so! many! incredible! tracks! That *one* song that plays during a certain scene in Tresspasser… you know what I mean.)

Game of Thrones: Season Eight OST by Ramin Djawadi. I have a ton of issues with the last season itself, but that music? Flawless. Utterly flawless. Literally carried the last season for me.


SHOWS/MOVIES I’M WATCHING…

Oh boy, where do I begin? I absolutely devoured Avatar: The Last Airbender. Like…I cannot remember being so engrossed in a TV show since first watching GoT. A:TLA just got even better as the seasons went on, with one of the best redemption arcs I’ve ever seen in…anything, really. I loved everything about this show; it became one of my favorites instantly.

Definitely the best thing I’ve watched all year.

As for films, I’m totally not ashamed to admit I utterly loved Detective Pikachu. It was just so much FUN. I don’t think I can remember a time I’ve had so much fun watching a film in theater. As a kid, I was an OBSESSIVE Pokémon fan, and a live-action was all I wanted, so seeing it on-screen? Unreal! (not kidding when I say I have a plush Bulbasaur sitting on my TBR pile right now.) And what’s more, I think a Pokémon cinematic universe would be incredible.

As for the latter half of this year, I’m hoping that The Witcher comes through and is brilliant. I need my epic fantasy fix, thank you.


That’s all for now! Hopefully it won’t be such a long stretch of time before my next post. In the meantime, what books have you read and loved lately? Anything that’s blown you away?

To all my writers out there—how is writing going? Hopefully better than mine lately!


Currently reading: Right now, not anything! Hoping to pick out my next read soon.

Currently listening to: Audiomachine—I am the Shield

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