January 2023 Reading Recap

Happy 2023! January feels like it was many things. I wrote over 15,000 words of fanfiction and short fiction for deadlines. I re-outlined all of my novel code-named AquaShame. I did a lot of reading and watching movies, and honestly, it’s been a pretty good time. The biggest thing, however, is that I dropped the title of my forthcoming novella! I made a handy dandy press kit that has all the information you need: content warnings, links to goodreads/storygraph, pre-order information, and more.

Blog Interviews are resuming next month with Freydís Moon (who is also showing up on the blog tomorrow with a cover drop).

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2023 Bookish Hype Train

Per my post about 2023, I really need to refocus on refilling my creative well. So, this year, I’m limiting the number of author interviews I do and reshuffling my to-read list to be mainly about backlist titles. Plus, I am releasing a novella of my own, which I am more than thrilled to unleash upon the world.

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My 2022 in Reading: Jo Needs a Nap

I read 192 books this year in a split of: 54 ARCs (up from last year), 33 audiobooks (down from last year), 72 manga volumes (down from last year), 20 physical copies (up from last year), 8 light novels (up from last year), and 5 eBooks (down from last year). I want to share my favorites, so please enjoy my favorite 20 2022 books, favorite 10 books from before 2021, and my favorite 5 manga. I would have done a favorite 20 of backlist books, but, unfortunately, I did not prioritize this year, and I think that contributed to my exhaustion.

Overall, it’s not as many things as last year, and it did bring me dangerously close to burning out on reading. 2023 will be a year for resetting some of my priorities with regards to reading, which will focus on my backlog and reading a whole lot of light novels.

Note: Harper Collins book links have been replaced with the linktree for the Harper Collins Union until that publisher goes back to the bargaining table

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December 2022 Reading Recap

December is a strange month for me because of traveling to get home and other plans, and having to recon with my own success at completing my own goals (not going to touch on that whatsoever here). It was a month where I read a bunch of things in translation and a singular ARC which feels more in the direction of how I want to be reading into 2023.

December’s only blog interview:

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Author to Author with R.J. Theodore (The Peridot Shift)

The Peridot Shift trilogy, consisting of Flotsam, Salvage, and Cast-Off, comes to a close today, and I’m celebrating by having R.J. Theodore back on the blog to talk about putting this finale together. Since Flotsam, a god has died, souls can be ripped from bodies using a deadly gas, the remaining gods have the concerns of Peridot’s inhabitants elsewhere, and Captain Talis fights and works hard to keep her crew safe.

Rekka chats with us about the process of shifting a trilogy from an indefinite saga, tightly weaving loose ends for the finale, the parts they enjoyed, and what they’re working on now.

Buy Link: Bookshop

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November 2022 Reading Recap

November might have been the month that took me out. Though I did not do NaNoWriMo, I wrote a lot and, more importantly for a post coming later this week, I read a lot. So much. So many things. I also wound up watching a lot of Japanese horror films (classics like Ringu and Ju-On, so if you have recommendations, I’d love them).

November’s blog interviews were:

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Author to Author with Rae Mariz (Weird Fishes)

Weird Fishes by Rae Mariz is a work of oceanic fantasy that shows great veneration to the ocean and all its inhabitants, from tiny krill to clever octopi to the massive cetaceans. Ceph, a scientist from the deep sea, discovers that the time current is slowing down and hears of these new types of fish, humans, who are wreaking havoc on the environment. Iliokai, a whale rider like a selkie, has answers of her own and works with Ceph to prevent a different marine ecological disaster going too far in the other direction. The work is compassionate, enthusiastic, full of so much love for all things beneath the sea, and full of righteous rage for ongoing climate disasters.

I’m so excited to have Rae on the blog today to talk about the lightning-in-a-bottle experience of putting this novella together, how she went about selecting the narrators, what changed in revisions, and the joy of working with venues like Stelliform and khōréō who are open to experimental works.

Buy Link: Stelliform Press

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Author to Author with R.B. Lemberg (Geometries of Belonging)

Happy release day to R.B. Lemberg and their collection, Geometries of Belonging. As I mentioned in my review, the Birdverse is among the richest worlds I have ever been given the gift of visiting. There’s magic, there’s normalized queerness, there’s a variety of fantasy roles and occupations that aren’t rebel and ruler and mercenary, plus so much more.

I’m thrilled to have R.B. on the blog to chat about the origins of this secondary world fantasy, how they come up with stories and poems, plus a little bit of what they’re working on now.

Buy Link: Bookshop.org | Unabridged Books

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October 2022 Reading Recap

October was my first month without my main WIP. Because I’ve been in such an intense state of revision, I took October off to tap into things I’ve wanted to watch and read for a while, and honestly, it’s been quite restorative. 10/10 highly recommend. I might have a new project in the works, but it’s all joy and no stress. Book-shaped, but without all the other intensity.

Which, speaking of, it’s November. Am I doing NaNoWriMo? Who knows.

October’s blog interviews were:

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Author to Author with Bendi Barrett (Empire of the Feast)

Happy release week to Empire of the Feast, an amuse bouche of delights for spacey science fiction and queer fantasy fans alike. There’s an eldritch god kept at bay by cultish sex magic, a reincarnating monarch, and plenty of conspiracy to go around. It’s fucky, it’s goth, it’s queer, and it’s here.

In today’s interview, author Bendi Barrett talks about how this novella came to be, how he crafted its tight world-building, and what he’s working on next.

Buy link: Neon Hemlock

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