I had a lot of fun this summer working towards my summer reading goals; it made me feel super productive! So I thought it’d be fun to take a look back at how things went and where things stand now that the summer is drawing to a close, as well as talk about a few of my favorite reads from the past few months.
The item at the top of my list was to get my physical TBR down to 20 books, and I did that! In fact, I got it down to 18 books, which is great because now it only takes up three rows on a Goodreads shelf, though it still takes up a lot of room on my physical shelves. This wound up not being too hard to check off since I donated a few books I decided I didn’t want to read after all, plus I had a few short ones to power through. I did try to prioritize those six books I called out for having been on my shelves the longest, and I read four! Not bad!
Next up was shrinking my kindle TBR, and while I did finish this goal, it was by far the hardest for me. I think it’s because I didn’t realize how many kindle books I actually buy, between deals and preorders and spur-of-the-moment purchases. They just add up really quickly, so while I read quite a few digital books I owned this summer, that number never really shrank. I feel like I kind of cheated, but I eventually sat down and powered through a bunch of short stories and novellas that are on my digital TBR and got it down that way. Definitely not a trick that will always work in the future, but I did manage to read a few books I’ve been meaning to for a while!
As far as reading more fantasy and science fiction, I can definitely say I did that, though it doesn’t feel like I did that much for this one. But considering how little SFF I read this year before the summer, it definitely counts as a success. And it’s a great reminder that there are a bunch of SFF books that I really want to read! So definitely something to keep working towards going forward.
Another one of my goals was to read at least 40 percent books by authors of color, and specifically 20 percent by Black authors. I’m definitely on track for reading authors of color more generally, and in fact have been flirting with 50 percent on and off throughout the summer, though I think some of my rereads pushed it below 50 percent right at the end. The number of books by Black authors is starting to drop a little bit, though (around 17 or 18 percent), so I need to get that number up more going in to fall.
My last major goal was to read all of my arcs, and I knocked that one out of the park! I officially had a 100 percent feedback ration on Netgalley, probably for the first time since I was a baby blogger! It feels so great to finished those remaining arcs off and get those reviews written. It’s been hanging over my head for a while, and I’m really glad I was able to complete this goal over the summer! I have a new arc that I requested, but it’s a highly anticipated one I’m really looking forward to reading (but am currently saving for a rainy day!), and I’m excited to keep that energy going forward.
Lastly, I mentioned that I was interested in some rereads this summer, and that’s another goal that I definitely checked off. I didn’t get to the Six of Crows duology, but I finished my Spindle Cove and Old Kingdom rereads, AND I started rereading the Psy/Changeling series! I also did an impromptu Hidden Legacy reread, which I enjoyed immensely. I’m really pleased with myself since I’m not a huge rereader. I’ve had a lot of fun rediscovering these books, and it’s definitely motivating me to keep up the rereads!
So yeah, all in all I’m really pleased with how my reading went this summer. It was a great mix of working towards tangible goals and reading what I own while also being able to jump around to whatever I was in the mood for.
Now, what were some of my favorite things I read this summer, you ask?
One of my absolute favorite reads from this summer was Role Model by Rachel Reid. Seriously, I read it and immediately went back and started rereading my favorite parts. Which, honestly, amounted to rereading most of the book. And then I went back and actually reread the whole thing after it came out. It was so good! I wrote a full review on it, which you can check out here. Definitely take a look if you’re interested in hockey romance, sunshine/grump tropes, and characters who go on really emotional journeys that end with all the feels.
The other book that’s right up there is Last Guard by Nalini Singh. This is the latest book in the Psy/Changeling Trinity series, and it was phenomenal. Seriously, how does she keep getting better and better?? This is easily a new top favorite Psy/Changeling book of mine, and I’m really looking forward to rereading it as I continue through the series!
Also, while we’re talking about Nalini, shout out to Archangel’s Sun in the Guild Hunters series! As much as I love Psy/Changeling, the Guild Hunters books are really violent and brutal, so I struggle to read them sometimes and haven’t really been able to binge the series as a whole. But with the announcement that Aodhan and Illium will be getting a book after they’ve been teased forever, I decided it was finally time to catch up. And I’m so glad I did! The last book, Archangel’s Sun, wound up being a new favorite of mine. I just really liked seeing Sharine realize her own strength and start healing from some traumatic events in her past. And I loved how Titus was so utterly befuddled by her and how completely unimpressed she was by the fact that he’s an archangel. It was such a delightful read, and it’s a great place to start if you’re interested in the series (especially Archangel’s Light) but don’t want to start at the very beginning just yet.
Another standout from this summer is The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. This is a long book that took me a while to work through, but wow is it full of such incredibly important history that we’re not taught nearly enough about. Wilkerson did an incredible job weaving the stories together of three different people who moved on different paths and at different times during the Great Migration and blending in a lot of relevant history, like what life was like under Jim Crow and how prevalent lynchings were and a lot of the race riots we aren’t really taught about anymore. It provides such an important look at modern American history that I don’t think is talked about nearly enough. Long nonfiction books aren’t for everyone, but I can’t recommend this one enough!
I also want to shout out Jasmine Silvera, whose backlist I totally binged at the beginning of the summer. I really like the world she’s created in her books. Binding Shadows by Jasmine Silvera is a great place to start if you enjoy more traditional paranormals with werewolf shapeshifters, but I really enjoyed diving into her original trilogy, which totally appealed to high school me. I really like how she plays with familiar tropes, like an ancient, near-immortal hero and a young, magically unique heroine, but in a different way than most other series (he’s a necromancer and she’s a gods dancer). All of them were excellent reads, and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.
Finally, I want to briefly mention Capture the Crown by Jennifer Estep, the first book in a new fantasy trilogy that reminded me why I love fantasy so much, Darius the Great is Not Ok by Adib Khorram, a YA contemporary with a beautiful story about depression and heritage that has stuck with me since I read it, and One Life by Megan Rapinoe, a memoir I didn’t really know what to expect from but that very much impressed me. All three are worth checking out if you haven’t already!
Oh, and shout out to the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews, which I have now reread three times in the last three years. This series is just soooooo good, and I literally cannot wait for the last Catalina book, Ruby Fever. Fingers crossed we can get our hands on it soon!!
Anyways, how was your reading this past summer? Were you able to enjoy a few books? Let me know your favorite things you read in the comments!