This is the last month I'll be hosting the What I'm Into linkup. I've been writing these posts for around eight years now and hosting the linkup for almost six. This past year it's been harder and harder to make sure everything is ready on time. I don't know that I'll stop writing these posts completely, as I do enjoy having a record of what life looked like each month. But I need to not have a deadline for it anymore. Thank you so much to everyone who has linked up with me! It's been a fun ride. And if you've enjoyed writing these posts, please continue! Just because there isn't a linkup doesn't mean you need to stop recording your months.
I've felt pretty constantly behind on everything all month, mostly stemming from being out of town for over two weeks, but it was completely worth it. This is going to be an abbreviated version of What I'm Into because that's all I've got time for, which is a shame because August packed in a whole lot of awesome.
Trail Of Lightning (Roanhorse) was seriously amazing! The Sixth World series centers on Dinétah (a former Navajo reservation) after flooding wiped out most of the world. It's an #ownvoices Native post-apocalyptic story and the incredible world-building had me hooked. Maggie the Monsterslayer was such a fierce, prickly character and I really appreciated the way she grew through the course of the story. She experienced major loss and hardship but she also needed to make sense of who she was, as someone who now has the god-gifted ability to kill monsters. It brought up a lot of questions about good and evil, identity, and who monsters are, beyond the monsters Maggie tracks in this particular novel. Kai was an intriguing character in his own right. I kept trying to get a read on him and his intentions but he kept me guessing the whole time. There were so many great side characters, plus the way Coyote and immortal monsterslayer Neizghání figured into the plot. When I reached the end, I immediately wanted to dive into book two. What an ending! I absolutely have to know what will happen next to Maggie and her crew.
Darius The Great Is Not Okay (Khorram) is going on my Favorite YA list for 2018! I adored this book so much. Full review coming up soon.
The Luckiest Lady In London is so angsty, so wonderful. I'm a complete Sherry Thomas convert! I loved every part of how she built this story and let her characters serve as foils for one another and then something more.
I am the wimpiest of wimpy readers. I will read the occasional thriller but I don’t read scary books and I rarely read about serial killers. But when I read a few friends’s rave reviews about Bone Music (Rice), I was intrigued. The daughter of serial killers gets super powers and decides to hunt down a serial killer?? I decided I needed to get out of my comfort zone and read it. This was A+ decision-making! This was an impeccably plotted, well-paced page turner of a sci-fi thriller. It’s intense (hence, I had to read it in one day) and disturbing in places but more because of how Rice builds our dread than the actual content. Although, to be clear, characters do some messed up things too. I don't want to say more than that because I think you'll appreciate the storytelling so much more the less you know going in. The twists really elevated the story and I cannot wait to see how he develops this as a series.
Currently reading: Hot Mess (Belden), The Library: A Catalogue Of Wonders (Kells), The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches From The Border (Cantú), Tear Me Apart (Ellison), Hold Me Down (Woods), I'd Rather Be Reading (Bogel), No One Tells You This (MacNicol), Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery (Shaffer), A Study In Scarlet Women (Thomas)
- Lindsay from Pen And Paint kindly sent me the Currently Reading tote she recently added to her shop. I'm a HUGE fan of her work and may or may not have told her she should add some bookish products. This tote is seriously amazing! Great design, first and foremost, but the bag itself is really sturdy and well constructed. I haven't used anything else since it arrived.
- Getting to see my niece and nephew who are the cutest children ever. My niece was a little shy when she first saw me but shortly after proclaimed to everyone, "Aunt Leigh is here!" and this is why I'm going to let her do anything she wants.
- I spent two weeks in Nashville and it was glorious. It's been almost a year since I last visited, over three years since I moved away, and it'll always feel like home.
- I'm author JT Ellison's executive assistant and we got to run around town getting stuff ready for the release of her latest standalone thriller Tear Me Apart. It was so fun to finally meet in person! And now her book is out in the world and I'm so glad I got to play a small part in it going out into the world.
- I saw Lisa Scottoline and Adib Khorram speak at Parnassus Books. They have such good events and I'm glad I was in town for both of these.
- I traded a whole bunch of books at McKay and found some great finds in return. I miss that place.
- Taco Mamacita with the family I used to nanny for. C recently had a birthday so I gave her the first Ramona book and as soon as she finished eating, she started reading it. I've never been more proud.
- Favorite places with friends: Fido with Tracy, BurgerUp with Allison, Star Bagel with Valerie, brunch at Chauhan with Jennifer (the only place I hadn't been to before and it's amazing), Pinewood Social with Alece, Edley's with Lesley Ann and then with Crystal, Frothy Monkey with Jen, bar.taco with Amanda
- Conversations so good, you forget to take pictures together with almost everyone. Luckily, Amanda and I took the photo first, then let the conversation carry us away.
- Doughnuts from Five Daughters and all the fruit tea from Star Bagel
- Walking to the library with my niece-in-love. I'm so glad she still wants to spend one on one time with me!
- My nephew-in-love poking his head around the corner trying to "scare" me. He cracks me up!
- Just getting to be at my second home in Nashville aka my best friend's house. So good to be with Tracy, Joel, and the kids like old times. Tracy and I took photos together with my novel because a) I dedicated it to her and b) I wrote more than half of it while sitting on her window seat. Her support means so much.
- Tracy got me dairy-free ice cream from KoKo's and it was AMAZING. The best dairy-free ice cream I've ever had. We got cherry, avocado banana, chocolate, and mint chip.
- I stayed with Anne and her family on my way back to the Twin Cities and it was so good to catch up. Her new book I'd Rather Be Reading comes out tomorrow! I'm so proud of her.
#partner 🍩 I don’t always match my book to my doughnut...but I am pretty excited to start reading Designer You (thank you for the free copy, @tlcbooktours!) It explores grief and discovering what you’re capable of with the backdrop of DIY home renovations, blogs, and podcasts. If you listened to my last appearance on @whatshouldireadnext, you’ll know why this novel is right up my alley.
(You can read my review of DESIGNER YOU here.)
(If you want to follow me on Instagram, my user name is leighkramer.)
On The Blog:
What I'm Into Link Up Guidelines:
1. This link-up will stay open for one week. In case you missed the note above: this is the last month I'll be hosting What I'm Into.
2. Link the unique URL of your post, not your blog's home page. Readers peruse link ups months after the fact and you want to make it easy for them to find your What I'm Into post.
4. Visit at least 2 other posts in the linkup!
What have you been into this month?
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