~ Earth Hour by David Malouf
~ Yes Please by Amy Poehler (giveaway prize win)
~ Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles, #3) by Amanda Hocking (review)
~ The Peony Lantern by Frances Watts (review)
~ The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
~ Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1) by Phillip Pullman
~ The Hungry Ghost Festival by Jen Campbell
~ Ophelia: Queen of Denmark by Jackie French
~ Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles #1) by Amanda Hocking (review coming tomorrow)
~ The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson
~ Drowned Vanilla (Cafe La Femme #2) by Livia Day
~ Way Down Dark (The Australia Trilogy #1) by J.P. Smythe (review)
~ The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales by Kirsty Logan
~ The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
~ Ice Kissed (Kanin Chronicles #2) by Amanda Hocking (review coming tomorrow)
~ Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles #3) by Amanda Hocking (review coming Monday)
~ The Hungry Ghost Festival by Jen Campbell
~ I also read four random paranormal romances on my kindle, but those were just a little fun :)
For a lot of this month, I was in cleaning up mode. I was going through clothes, bags, bed linen, basically everything - including books - and really just getting rid of a load of stuff. Apparently I do my spring cleaning really early! The result of this is that I didn't buy myself as many books, because I slimmed my collection down by about 4 or 5...hundred. These books were either given away to people, or they went to the Save the Children book collection for their pop-up shop and regular sales (love those sales).
I may end up writing another blog posts somewhere down the line about my feelings on this, and how I have dealt with different reactions to my decision, but for now I am just enjoying the clean (still have some stuff to go but almost there!).
Anyway, on to the reading. In terms of review books this month, there was a bit of a mixed bag. Ophelia was brilliant, and I adored it. I wasn't such a fan of Way Down Dark, but if you have a look at my review you will see that my feelings may be linked to the fact that me and dystopians generally don't get on so well. I'm glad I gave it a shot though. The Kanin Chronicles by Amanda Hocking were pretty awesome, and you'll be able to see my thoughts on those in the coming days.
On to personal reading, and you will see that I finally finally finished The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Yay me! I did a little dance when this happened because I have been trying to finish this book for months. And I gotta say... probably not the best Sanderson to start with? I don't know. I found it really interesting, but the sheer length made me think that a lot of stuff could have been taken out - I started to find myself uninterested in what was going to happen because it was just taking so long to get there, and it was only through the continued urgings of some friends that I kept reading to the end. I haven't given up on Sanderson, but I am taking a break and will be trying again with a different book.
Drowned Vanilla was pretty awesome, though I think I preferred the first book, now that I look back on it. I also loved the short story, The Blackmail Blend, a little more than Drowned Vanilla, but honestly - this series is just so wonderful to read, and I can't wait for the next one.
Both Rental Heart (a collection of short stories/modern fairytales) and The Hungry Ghost Festival (a collection of poetry) really touched something in me, and made me feel more connected to the way I like to write. There are some haunting and slightly odd tones in these two books, and they shine through. The writing in both was superb, and both Kirsty Logan and Jen Campbell have really cemented themselves in my heart as some of my favourite authors now. I have pre-ordered Kirsty Logan's next collection of stories - A Portable Shelter - and I can't wait to dive in.
And that's about it! I am looking at my (recently changed) shelves right now and thinking about what I would like to read next, and also thinking about the Aurealis Awards since they are happening again now, and I am feeling pretty good about my reading future.
How about you guys? What did you read in July that you loved? Anything you didn't like as much as you thought you would? Any recommendations you would like to pass on? Please feel free to comment, I like hearing from you guys!
Love to all who read.
P.S. I also just want to mention that I am falling in love with little magnetic bookmarks lately (see little Merida above!), so if you want to look into them, I have recommended etsy shops for you to check out! Just ask :D