Hello, my lovely peeps🐥!
I had an interesting day yesterday. I woke up to everyone in the house complaining about the lack of internet (because nothing makes people, who’ve already been awake for hours, actually crawl out of bed faster than seeing the little Chrome dino show up on your screen to make you feel better about the inability for your device to connect to the internet). Turns out, there was an outage somewhere, and it was right before I had to leave for my dentist appointment. By the time I came back though (mid-afternoon) everything was all sorted out. My brother got to hop back on to take his online exam, my dad opened his phone game again, and my mum ran off to read more online novels.
The appointment took forever. It lasted way longer than usual due to the amount of appointments that day, but hey, I got a whole lot of reading done! I mean, I hate the dentist and all, but there’s nowhere as quiet as a dentist waiting room because everyone’s dead silent waiting for their turn on the torture chair. Heck, it was even more quiet than any library I’ve ever been to!
Anyway, on to my monthly updates!
This month has been exciting for Cozy with Books!
When I first started the blog, back in April of 2020 (Oh hey! The anniversary is coming up next month!) I was aiming for a cozy vibe (hence the name). So it was going to either be brown themed based on coffee and cafés or pastel themed. In the beginning, I alternated between the two themes over and over. Eventually, I settled on just pastels although I did switch up the colors every now and then (pastel pink for a few months, baby blue for a few months, minty green, etc.)
Well. I got sick of pastels. I wanted something BRIGHT and happy. I wanted something that makes me happy every single time I opened up to my blog. I also couldn’t stand the pugly drawings all over my blog. I was never really an artist and settled for my fuzzy blob as a mascot (it was a duck…like rubber duck…). I couldn’t draw a normal looking rubber duck to save my life and settled for the mountain of “mochi ducks” that you still see on the front page. I wanted a complete overhaul of everything; the theme, the colors, the doodles. I got to work and skipped out on two (three?) days of studying and gaming to redo all my blog banners/featured images and even drew a rubber duck to be my new blog logo.
Her name is Ducky. I know. So creative. I finally learned my lesson with digital art. Have layers. Have LOTS of layers. She’s a bit…flat…but I like her. I have plans on switching up her outfit to match seasons and holidays, just like the themed rubber ducks I love so much!
Next up, the Nintendo Direct! I was pretty excited for it and watched it as soon as I got out of work. There wasn’t a lot I was overly excited over. I’ve never played Splatoon or Zelda, generally sticking to Pokemon, Fire Emblem, and most farming sims you might throw my way, but then I saw DECAPOLICE and thought, “Oh that looks SO interesting!” I kind of had a hint (a good whiff) of Astral Chain vibes (maybe it’s the color theme?), which I never did finish because I couldn’t bare the thought of finishing it, but whatever the case, I’m hyped. I’m SO excited to hear more about it.
And a last bit of life news; things are starting to settle down again. Generally, when November/December rolls around, I get pretty burned out from both reading and blogging. I tend to slow my pace down and read whenever I want. Last year, I even stopped the “read every day” goal of mine around October. I have no plans on ever doing that again. If I’m that stressed, I’m perfectly fine with simply cutting down blogging content (no weekly reviews) just so that I could slow my reading pace down. Whatever works to keep me reading daily, even if it’s as slow as a single chapter a night before bed.
Coming out of this end-of-year reading slump fog combined with the stress of a new job with completely different duties than I’m used to, in a completely different industry, January and February have been just massively stressful. I’m slowly coming out of it though, and I see some signs that things are picking back up! For the first time in forever, I started reading ARCS again, physicals included. I even logged into NetGalley! It’s been so long, I barely remembered my password! My requests are currently still closed, but I’m hoping to open them up soon.
And that’s all my updates on life and blogging! Now to get on with the bookish wrap up for February~
I had a pretty good February, having read 7 books last month. It was mostly composed of a few short stories and one Middle-Grade book and I absolutely enjoyed each of them! I also had three books that were “normal” (my normal) novel sizes, The Santa Suit, 3 Days to Live (this one was actually composed of three short stories in a single book), and The City & The City. The last one was a wild read that I’m still trying to wrap my head around.
Since one of the books was actually a [nearly] 3 weeker, I won’t be breaking my February down by weeks as I did back in January. Instead, they’ll be in [relative] reading order.
*** click on the book covers to pull up their Goodreads page***
**disclaimer: all cover images are from Goodreads**
The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews
My first read of the month was The Santa Suit and I really enjoyed this one. Romance will always be a book that’s outside my usual reading moods, but this one had mentions of Santa and damn if it wasn’t such an absolute tooth-rottingly fluffy book. I adored it. I kind of wish I picked it up back in December because it would’ve made for a wonderful Christmas read. It was hopeful, hope-filled, and so sweet.
Check out my review for it >HERE<
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
This was a short read. A VERY short read. If my memory serves me correctly, I was reading this during the few days I was trying to rush my blog overhaul. One night, I’d just happened upon it in Libby, right before booting up ibisPaintX on my ipad to drew all those oranges and lemons you see on this post. It was perfect because Libby’s audiobook player can still run in the background as I draw in ibisPaint. My eyes glanced at the summary for all of five seconds before I dived in. I wasn’t expecting what I read and I was in a complete daze for the ENTIRE evening afterwards. I read a lot of good books in February, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be this one.
Check out my review for it >HERE<
Books 3 & 4
The Odd1s Out (Books 1 & 2)
I came across this in Libby as well. It was just out of the blue and I saw that squishy loveable marshmallow and couldn’t resist. Afterall, I’ve watched and loved James’ videos a few years back, before I randomly stopped visiting Youtube on the daily. I loved the first book so much and was so excited to see that there was a sequel, but when I’d gone into Libby…there was no ebook of the second book, only an audiobook. It was a really good audiobook still. I am so used to watching a lot of Youtube videos in the background while working, that this was essentially the same thing. However, at the end of the day…comics are comics and I know I must’ve missed out on all of the illustrations which (based on the Amazon samplers) I felt like were a huge improvement from the first book, which had already been full of wonderful comics. I’ll come back for the physical or ebook version on Amazon one day.
Review to come: 27 April 2023 (Tentative, but will definitely be in April)
Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick by Jennifer L. Holm (Illustrated by Elicia Castaldi)
I don’t have a lot of bookshelf room at home (in fact I’m completely full. Books have started to just pile up in corners of my room). I try to borrow whenever I can, especially if the books are relatively short. I tried pretty hard to check for this book (and for book 1 of course) in Libby, through both of my library cards (BPL & NYPL), but no luck. So I brought it. I loved book 1 to death. I NEVER forgot the creativity of the colorful mixed media used, not even after all these years and I read the first book back in middle school! I’m a grown adult now!! Loved this second book as well, but the review hasn’t been put up yet so…keep your eyes peeled for it!
Review to come: 23 March 2023 (Set)
3 Days to Live James Patterson
I received a gift copy of this from Grand Central Publishing and got right to reading it, but the actual review was just put up a few days ago on March 2nd. It was a pretty enjoyable book, a collection of three short stories all by James Patterson working with three other authors (in their own respective shorts). They were all interesting, some more gripping and exhilarating than the others, and all have pretty short chapters. I felt like I was flying through the book! The book collected 3 thriller shorts and none of these stories are connected other than the mystery and the thrill. You can even tell the difference in writing style and it’s really neat. Each of the stories were good for their own reasons and with the review now live, you can take a look at my thoughts on this book yourself!
Check out my review for it >HERE<
The City & The City by China Miéville
My head is still reeling from this book. I loved Perdido Street Station so much, but was kind of intimidated to start any other of Miéville’s books. Perdido Street Station had been so dense and the world-building was world-class that I stopped every few paragraphs to write up a quick note. My copy of the book is marked up with notes and flags, highlights, and random other things like sticky notes. I put my heart into annotating that book and ever since then, I felt like I needed a fully charged emotional battery before attempting anything Miéville again.
The City & The City had these lingering feelings and didn’t leave me even by the time I finished the book. It took me 20 days, nearly 3 weeks, to finish and not even because I disliked it, but because I was so enthralled by the world that Miéville painted, that I, once again, felt the need to annotate every little thing, especially if it involved world-building. In this New Weird with a splash of mystery book, we follow Inspector Borlu as he begins an investigation into the murder of a young woman in a world where two cities sat on top of each other, sharing the same geological location but as two separate places. There isn’t even anything otherworldly about this book. It was just how people were conditioned to be; a border created by laws, regulation, and people rather than by brick walls and fences. It was an utterly fascinating book in which the concept itself topped even Perdido Street Station. The review for this book is coming up in a few days as soon as I tidy it up a little more. It won’t come close to doing the book justice, but I hope it’s enough to convince someone to pick up a copy for themself!
Review to come: 09 March 2023 (Set)
And that’s my February! It was such a short month, but a whole lot happened. I’m ready to tackle March with whatever it has to throw my way, but hopefully…hopefully those lemons are nice and sweet 😉
Toodles my lovelies! I hope you had a wonderful February and hope your March will be grand and superb just as well!