Like a lot of people I know, I keep track of the books I read each month. Mostly, I just update Goodreads (you can follow me on there). But I thought it’d be a fun feature to add to the blog.
Unlike the newsletter, where I recommend a killer series of books, this “Monthly Reads” series is going to focus on what I’ve actually read during the course of the previous month. You can check out last month’s list right here.
At the end, I’ll also include some great articles I’ve read this month about books.
Alright, so away we go.
MONTHLY READS: BOOKS
This month, reading was like pushing a boulder up a hill. I started, I think, no less than 6 books and could only get through one. And I’ll be honest, that took effort in and of itself. An official reading slump has hit, and this kid is not happy.
Here’s to hope for next month!
FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Here’s the big bummer of this month, I finished only one book and I wasn’t even that into it.
As you’ve no doubt seen (assuming you’ve been following along for the last year) I’ve been digging deep into fantasy.
The Game of Thrones bug bit me hard so I’m always looking for something that gives me the pleasure to read that ASOIAF does.
Over and over again in various threads, Reddit, forums, etc., I saw Robin Hobb’s books pop up as something else to read.
People raved about her writing, highlighted that the stories were sent in a somewhat similar time frame and, as an added bonus, she actually writes books more than once a decade.
So, It didn’t take much convincing for me to dive in.
I’m not exactly sure what it was, but I just didn’t connect with Fitz, the main character. And because of that, I couldn’t bring myself to care that much about the story.
It’s not with Hobb’s writing, which I liked. She writes well, builds an interesting world, and goes into good characters and arcs. So, I think the result is more just not a good fit for me versus anything else.
It’s a bummer because I liked the concept of the story. Fitz, a young boy around 6 years old, is dropped off at the gate of a castle by his grandfather. He tells the man at the gate that Fitz is the bastard son of the heir to the throne. (Are you getting a few GoT whiffs there?).
We follow Fitz as he grows up. Some people in the castle take him under their wings and are kind to him. Others, unsurprisingly, treat him like shit.
He does have a few special powers that get harnessed into him being trained as an assassin for the kingdom. I won’t go too much further because I don’t want to spoil things if the summary has piqued your interest.
I dunno, I always feel bad when there is a series of books that everyone loves and don’t quite hit the mark with me. But, you’ve got to roll with the punches, on to the next.
More Reads: How Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice Pulls the Rug Out from Under You Here’s a review from someone who absolutely loved the book.
Books I Started By Have Yet to Finish
Gulp, I don’t usually do this, but figured I’d give you something else to read at least. Hopefully, I’ll find my way out of my funk and finish a few of these over the coming weeks.
- All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class: I am really into politics, and was in England last summer for a few months during the leadup and outcome of the Brexit vote. (9%)
- Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire: I loved Romm’s other book, Dying Every Day, so vowed to read more of his stuff. (10%)
- Ubiquity: Why Catastrophe’s Happen: I was going gangbusters on this from a Farnam Street book club and then just fell off. (31%)
- Churchill: With The Crown coming back on Netflix, I wanted to brush up on Churchill, who embarrassingly, I don’t know much about beyond the basics. (42%)
This coming year will be the first in a few where I won’t be doing a Goodreads challenge, so I’m hoping that is going to have some positive effects on my reading after a very up and down year.
MONTHLY WEB READS
I figured I’d add in this little section about some of my favorite reads specifically about books.
- Readers Recommend Their Favorite Books of 2017: Well, it’s that time of year for lists of book lists. This one takes a nice twist with the New York Times polling their readers.
- 25 Books to Read Before Year’s End, According to Bestselling Authors: I love seeing the books that authors love. Hey, I figure a bestselling author knows something about story.
- Do you have a widely acclaimed book that everyone else seems to love but you just can’t get into?: These are always fun. Sometimes you come across a kindred spirit when you find someone who hated the same book you did.
That’s all for this month. Feel free to share this post.
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