Monthly roundup – April 2023

April reads. Lots of bizarro, horror, Chainsaw Man, and a couple memoirs. Overall a good month of reading. Thoroughly enjoyed them all. As usual, books with full reviews will be linked, but all have at least a brief review on my Goodreads page. That said, there were some standouts. Her Orc Protector was so good. Loved the characters. You Sound Like a White Girl had me thinking about my life and identity as a mixed race woman. I won’t be writing a full review on that one because that is a whole conversation that I think a lot of people aren’t ready to have and a book review can’t do it justice. Stay tuned for some discussion though. Check out my full breakdown.

Her Orc Protector, by Zoe Ashwood
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Novelization, by Jeff Strand
Chainsaw Man, Vol. 11: Go Get ‘Em, Chainsaw Man, by Tatsuki Fujimoto
If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse, by Wrath James White
You Sound Like a White Girl, by Julissa Arce

Russells in Time, by Kevin Shamel
Stillborn Gallery, by Axl Barnes
They Take Your Skin, by J.R. Curtis
Her Orc Mate, by Zoe Ashwood
Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner
Chainsaw Man Vols 5-10, by Tatsuki Fujimoto

Unrated due to pending review:
Am I a Monster, by J. Boote
Fight Tub, by William Pauley III
The Ballad of Old Joe Booth, by William Pauley III
Bound in Flesh: An Anthology of Trans Body Horror, by Lor Gislason
The Best of Bizarro Fiction: Vol. 2, by Planet Bizarro

Three of those pending reviews are ARCs, so they absolutely will get full reviews by the end of the week. They’re almost finished. I have a few others that are being published this month that I will get to soon as well. I will come back and edit in some links and put them in their proper spot on the ratings list once they’re ready, but I don’t want to tease with stars right now.

I finished up as much Chainsaw Man as I could find via Libby. I think there is a 12th volume, but it is not available to me just yet. I will say that I enjoyed the series much more than I expected. I would rate the series 4/5 overall, with the last volume I read being the strongest. My kid has already handed me a new stack of books to read, Vols 1-4 of Sailor Moon. She loves it when I share in her interests and I’m happy to oblige. So next in my exploration of manga is Sailor Moon.

I’m still dreaming of zombies, so I will get my fix ASAP. I had an author reach out to me via contact form and it just so happens that he writes zombies, so I’ll check that out. I do read every message and spend some time looking up books, but I rarely respond because the books I’m being pitched are not stuff I would pick up organically. I’m not big on fantasy and I’m picky about my romance/smut. And anything with a religious slant is not for me. I make a point to not pick up books that I know are not my thing because I want to be fair and honest in my reviews. But if you offer me zombies…well, who can resist zombies?

I’ve also started making some progress on the BoH Indie Brawl reading list. I’d already read 4 out of 32. Today I read another and tomorrow I’ll start on another. In an effort to motivate myself, I’ve resurrected the Cool Ghouls Book Club in Book Lovers Cafe. My horror selections don’t get a lot of attention because it’s not a horror oriented group, but every once in a while someone lets their freak flag fly and joins me for a buddy read. Maybe I’ll catch a few more over the next several months.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to share my stuff all over the internet. So yeah. Read some books and let’s talk about them.

New year, new reading goals

New year, new reading goals. Because I like checking off boxes, I’ve collected various reading challenge graphics that tackle my various goals. You can check them all out on my corresponding Instagram post.

⭐️ 100 books
⭐️ More indie authors
⭐️ Catch up on my ARCs
⭐️ More reviews

Reading challenges I’d like to complete include:

⭐️ Goodreads – 100 books
⭐️ Gagents of Chaos and Gagents of Chaos Extra Credit – The Gage Greenwood author group on FB’s reading challenge that is basically a list of horror authors
⭐️ B.A.N.G. Book Club 52 Week Challenge – smut prompts
⭐️ PopSugar – I like this one because it encourages me to branch out and read things I wouldn’t normally read
⭐️ Books of Horror – This is the yearly horror themed challenge hosted by the Books of Horror FB group
⭐️ Diversify Your Reading Challenge – Monthly themes meant to make you read different genres
⭐️ Book Blanket Challenge – This is a play on the temperature blankets that are popular in crochet/knitting groups

I know it seems like a lot, but there’s a lot of crossover and I’m going to be reading a lot of this stuff anyway so why not check off some boxes. Last year I nearly completed the PopSugar challenge without any effort. Every quarter or so, I checked my log and filled in boxes with books I’d read. This year I expect to do the same, though I will curate my reading list a little more than usual to make sure I read the authors on the Gagents of Chaos challenge. This will help with my goal of reading more indie authors as well. And I’ll be using the Book Lovers Cafe’s monthly book club to complete the Diversify Your Reading challenge. That’ll save me the trouble of coming up with a theme every month and give me the satisfaction of checking off boxes. Win/win.

I don’t know if I’ll make the blanket, but…maybe? I’d have to come up with my own color scheme for sure because I don’t need or want a red and orange blanket. Maybe I should finish the blanket I have in progress first 🙃