Summer Reading, Book Buying, & Productivity | Reading Diary pt. 3

The month of May was quite a busy month for me, not only here on the blog but on other platforms as well! In addition to my job, blogging, posting more on booktwt and on my news blog, I also started a little newsletter over on Substack called Ink & Myths (as if I don’t have a million other things I need to be doing πŸ˜…πŸ“). I think what inspired me to start it was to update on YA-related stuff, articles & just have a space different from my blog where I can experiment a bit more with my writing, its been fun and the plan is to publish another one sometime this month.

What makes the newsletter such a great addition to the blog is that it helps me share book-related news or upcoming releases that perhaps is tough for me to schedule writing for on the blog. It’s also honestly another creative writing project I’d been eager to start for a while. (hope you enjoy giving it a read & consider subscribing if you’re interested! πŸ’ŒπŸ™Œ )

I went to a couple book festivals, picking up a few arcs while I was there, so my priority over the next couple months is to deliver more ARC reviews on the blog as well!

As for my reading, during the last couple months I’ve been feeling so motivated to read more cozy fantasy books to update my Cozy Fantasy Masterlist which inspired me to finally pick up the manga The Savior’s Book Cafe Story In Another World Vol. 1. I’d had on my tbr for about a year since I’d discovered this isekai series last year. Its the literal definition of cozy fantasy where it follows the 30-year-old main character Tsukina who finds herself transported to a fantasy world (as usually is the case in isekai stories) but instead of going on epic adventures, she decides to…open up a book cafe! What made this manga such a joy (aside from Tsukina meeting a soldier whose also an avid bookwork) was the “healing quality” this story had and in general the gentle ambience that made the read so comforting, you can also read my full REVIEW!

My second read was Squire by Sara Alfageeh and Nadia Shammas which was one of my most anticipated graphic novels for a few years now, so I’m glad that I was able to finally pick it up. Its driven not only by the themes but also its plot and features quite an expansive cast of characters! My favorite parts were definitely how the authors brought in a lot of themes and attempted to give them nuanced discussions and in general introduce these grand ideas about war, imperialism and so on. The artwork was also incredibly colored, detailed and the everything from the architecture to the clothing made for such a lived-in, immersive setting. However, it felt like ultimately the characters and themes weren’t delved into enough making the world feel underdeveloped with not enough page time to explore these elements in further detail.

Next, my third read was With Lots Of Love by Jenny Torres Sanchez, a beautiful picture book that just the sweetest most comforting book I’ve read this year. While I plan to write a more detailed review on the blog the premise is essentially following Rocio whose remembering her life in Central America before moving to the States, reminiscing on memories of her Abuela & her hometown. There’s such a beautiful message in this 32-page book about the love for our family that always finds its way, no matter the distance. I adored this book so very much and highly recommend it.

Lastly, my fourth read was Samira Ahmed’s Hollow Fires which just released in May! In this YA page-turning thriller it follows Saifya, a journalist for her school newspaper who attempts to solve the mystery of forgotten boy Jawad Ali! Loved the investigative, journalism aspect to the story, the dual POV just breaks you and overall, this was just an unputdownable read! Read my full REVIEW for more detailed thoughts, but definitely recommend this one if you enjoyed A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder or are looking for another POC-authored thriller.

Onto my current reads, I’ve started reading The Edge Of Summer by Erica George, you can also see my booktwt aesthetic! This is literally the perfect book to start the season am I right? Coriander Cabot is spending the summer at Cape Cod to take part in an internship for a marine institute + its organization that saves whales, she meets lifeguard and aspiring chef Mannix, as she navigates grief and love on the Cape. I never really realized this until recently, but the aesthetics of cozy beach romances are becoming my newest obsession (especially ones that deal with grief, that I noticed is becoming a trend with my summer-themed reads). I like the plot and how quiet the story feels, but as I’m reading I’m starting to notice gripes in the writing style but that’s more from my personal taste. I’m over 200 pages in though and interested to see what happens to Cor and Mannix! The book releases next week on June 14, 2022.

I’m also trying to catch up on currently reading (and finishing) books I’d started and then put down or ones that keep getting checked out from the library (like THIS POISON HEART by Kalynn Bayron, THE BRONZED BEASTS by Roshani Chokshi, Latinx YA releases of course), among lots of other recent young adult books that are now on shelves. Keep on saying this too, but now I really do plan to keep on posting on my bookstagram & have some bookish pictures planned out for this month.

I’ve also been working on unhauling books because realistically, I think its time for me to prioritize what books I’ll actually get to and just pass others along the books to others who will hopefully get more enjoyment out of them. I’ve also been working on creating a more curated personal library / reading space and the only way that can work is if I go through my books and get rid of stuff. For me I also have access to a great library and am thinking more about which reads could be borrowed instead & additionally, which books will be ones that I’d really consider rereading in the future! I’ve also been considering rereading books I previously reviewed here on the blog to revisit & see if my thoughts have changed. I’m thinking that would also be a great way to clear out books & bring fun content to the blog (Progress: Have unhauled about 10 books which I’ve set aside, my goal is maybe 30).

Received quite a bit of book mail from a box of Latinx YA arcs which was an unexpected surprise that made me so happy! πŸ₯ΊπŸ’– I’ve also been treating myself to some backlist book buying like Lakelore (from the incredible Anna-Marie McLemore, so excited to read this one), the second Book Savior’s Cafe manga & a couple other manga gifted to me by my sister! Also a Yallwest haul with arcs of lots of upcoming YA releases I’m planning to review on the blog this summer β˜€πŸ“š

Also wanted to share some AMAZING NEWS, I published my very first article with Buzzfeed (still cannot believe it AHHH! πŸ˜πŸ˜†) where I recommended 15 LGBTQ+ comics, graphic novels & manga to read after watching Netflix’s Heartstopper, if you have the time of course, it’d mean so much if you give it a read or comment on my original tweet!

What have you read this month? Any bookish accomplishments you’d like to share? Or any recent blog posts you’ve written? & What’s on your TBR for the season? πŸ“šπŸŽŠ

10 thoughts on “Summer Reading, Book Buying, & Productivity | Reading Diary pt. 3

  1. It sounds like you’ve been busy! The Savior’s Book Cafe Story In Another World sounds like a really cool manga… Very cosy and a book cafe sounds literally perfect 😍 Hollow Fires is a book I would love to try out. Glad you enjoyed it!
    Ahh.. Hope you enjoy Lake Lore, it sounds amazing 😍
    And big congrats on your buzzfeed article, that’s amazing!! πŸŽ‰ I loved all the recs as well πŸ’—
    Have a wonderful June!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a good manga & yes I’m so excited for Lakelore! If you need an emotional YA thriller, Hollow Fires is the book to pick up! Still shaking, cannot believe that article is finally published, thank you I appreciate all your kind words! Happy June to you also Sophie! ❀

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  2. AHH congrats on starting a newsletter, I love the name so much!! Squire looks WONDERFUL, I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it before!! AND AHH CONGRATS ON THE ARCS AND THE BUZZFEED ARTICLE!! Those are some amazing achievements!!

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    1. so bad at catching up on comments right now, but thank you so much Chelsea, when I came up with that name, I knew it was the right one. Reading your comment reminded me I’m behind on posting a new issue for the month πŸ˜‚ As always thanks for reading! πŸ’•

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  3. wow am loving the reading diary!! have subscribed to the newsletter, can’t wait to read it… thanks for sharing the books you’ve read too! publishing an article on buzzfeed is so cool ahhh I’m so happy for ya! hope this next few months are just as great! <3333

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  4. Congrats on the Buzzfeed! I still haven’t visited any book festivals.. unlucky that I don’t live in big city where book fest usually takes place.

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  5. ahhh i loved reading this post so so much!! and omgggg the newsletter sounds like so much fun and i cannot wait for more of them!! all the books you read sound amazing!! especially the savior’s book cafe story!! i mean, a soldier who’s also an avid bookworm??? I NEED THIS!! ahhhhhh CONGRATSSS ON THE BUZZFEED ARTICLE I AM SERIOUSLY SO SO HAPPY FOR YOUU ❀❀ hope you’re having an amazing june!!

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  6. Congrats on getting your article published with Buzzfeed!! πŸ₯³ I’m also very glad to see that you liked Hollow Fires, I have been meaning to read another book by Samira Ahmed πŸ₯° The Savior’s Book CafΓ© Story in Another World sounds so cute!! I’m always on the lookout for more manga πŸ’•

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