Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Month in Review for September, and Upcoming Critiques

Because it was so cold and rainy this September, I started up my loom knitting again and completed a new hat in three nights. It should be noted I'm terrible with my hands (i.e. I have man hands and often get weird pains when I use them too much) so real knitting is not an experience I want to have... yet.

This month has brought many unexpected comments and new experiences for Victorian Soul Critiques. Not only did I participate in my first readathon in hopes of thinning my piles of unread books, I've also done extensive (and somewhat frenzied) blog hopping to check out what other bloggers are up to. I also debuted my newest feature-ish thing, Out of Orbit Critiques, which was pretty popular based on the amount of pageviews. You may also notice my new pages design (Fantasy-Historical-Science Fiction), which gives you the option to sort my critiques by genres (Note: Urban Fantasy will show up in the Fantasy feed). It now kind of dominates the page, but I didn't want the genres with the general tabs, so I was forced to make the font huge. I doubt anyone will have trouble navigating the pages due to eyesight problems now.

 Total Posts: 19
  Total Critiques: 10
    Classics: 1
    Fantasy: 2
    Historical: 7
    Out of Orbit: 1
    Paranormal Romance: 1
    Sci-Fi: 1
    Urban Fantasy: 1

Most Popular Posts of September:
Note: Lisa See retweeted a tweet containing the link to this critique. It made my day, in a non-Clint Eastwood sort of way.
From Giphy

Pageviews for the Month: 690+
Comments: 21!!!

Blog Schedule and Features: Critiques on Tuesdays, Thursdays, sometimes Fridays, and Saturdays. On Sundays, I rotate between the Sunday Fun Five, and Confessions of an Insomniac Book Devourer (or Not Quite a Confession).

Currently Reading:

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer #3) by Brent Weeks (39%)
Still at 39% because I had a couple review copies to read after the Travel the World in Books Readathon. I'll get back to it soon. (Epic Fantasy!!!)

Of Bone and Thunder: A Novel by Chris Evans (76%)
The f-bomb meter on this book is off the charts (as in, I'm 61% through and have already highlighted 100). I usually don't mind profanity, but I didn't expect to be reading a Tom-Clancy style book when I picked it up on Netgalley. I was promised Lord of the Rings slash Apocalypse Now, but so far it reminds me more of a documentary of a different planet's war. (Epic Fantasy?)

Death Masks (Dresden Files #5) by Jim Butcher (22%)
Because after all that Night Huntress (as in, I read the first two) I'm feeling nostalgic for my favorite urban fantasy chauvinist. (Urban Fantasy)

Unborn (Unborn #1) by Amber Lynn Natusch (Just Started)
So, this one was on Netgalley (even though it has been published) and I said, "Why not?" and clicked request and somehow ended up with it, despite not being notified in an email that I even was chosen to read it. So far it's urban fantasy with Greek mythology, but it reminds me slightly of the Black Dagger Brotherhood because of the brothers' personalities. (Urban Fantasy)

At Grave's End (Night Huntress #3) by Jeaniene Frost (61%)
Because I don't give up on series that I bought in bulk, even if the second one wasn't to my taste (that darn scene). I'm a series devourer, not a series quitter. (Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance)

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick (Page 58/296)
Because sometimes in life, I think we all need reminders that our own lives could be a lot worse. I can't imagine living in North Korea, but this book might give me some insight. (Nonfiction)

Planning on Reading in October:

Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn
Because it sounds scary and I don't mind a good scary story in October.

Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice
I am lucky enough to have one of the first editions (mine is known as the gold book club edition) and I've been meaning to read it since I bought it from a thrift store.

A Treasury of Modern Mysteries (I sadly only have Volume 2) by Various Famous Vintage Authors
This book was published in the sixties (I assume, based on the psychedelic cover) so all of the mysteries are now historical, but it appears to have some great stories/novels by Ian Fleming, Truman Capote, and Ira Levin, among others. I'm sad now, because I noticed Volume 1 had a story by one of my favorite authors, Daphne du Maurier, but hopefully I'll be able to find it elsewhere.

Upcoming Critiques:

Here's a look at what I've been polishing for the month of October.

I've decided on a theme for October: Monster Mash. I'll be critiquing books with monsters in them: whether they are just plain villainous antagonists, witches, vampires, zombies, or books with ghosts in them.

Forever Odd (Odd Thomas #2) by Dean Koontz
Odd Thomas sets out to find his missing (and possibly kidnapped) friend, with help from the nonverbal ghosts. This review will have spoilers for the first book, so I can't tell you more.
Genres: Paranormal, Ghosts, Mystery

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
A classic tale of witchcraft, family, and murder told by one of my favorite authors. The movie is nothing like the book, so do not judge this book by it.
Genres: Magical Realism, Magic, Paranormal

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) by Isaac Marion
Zombie/human love story. And also, the kind of YA I don't mind reading (i.e. brains are involved, nom nom). I read this after watching the movie, and the movie actually does a good job with representing the book.
Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Zombies

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
'To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…
'Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.' (Synopsis via Goodreads)
This was one of the first vampire reads I devoured, and it continues to be one of my favorites. Although it does wax poetic a tad too long for some readers, it is the author's debut book, and a strong one at that.
Genres: Mystery, Historical, Vampires


  1. I like how you separated your review feeds. It'll make it easier to find books I'm in the mood for :)

    - Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider Silk

    1. I got the idea from Books, Bones, and Buffy's header image (which doesn't let you sort reviews, but it looks pretty). I thought why shouldn't I let people choose what they want to read and in the same vein, show them what the majority of the genres on this blog is. And I conveniently found a tutorial on how to CSS the pages for Blogger around the same time, so it was meant to be.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Kritika!
      ~Litha Nelle


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