June Wrap Up

Y’all, Texas allergies hit different. I am currently drinking hot coffee to sooth my throat. I wasn’t able to sleep because it was too swollen. My mom had to buy some more allergy meds for me. Whew. I hate Texas allergies.

Sometimes it catches me off guard how differently month to month goes. For reading, mental health, physical health, priorities, energy, etc. and I don’t hate it. I love change (even if my anxiety doesn’t) and I love being able to start again. I feel like mid year is a good time to set some things down and pick some new ones up.

Now, on to our wrap up!

Books Read

  • The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes (Kit Webb #2) by Cat Sebastian
  • The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
  • Unhinged (Necessary Evils #1) by Onley James
  • They Drown Our Daughters by Katrina Monroe
  • Psycho (Necessary Evils #2) by Onley James
  • A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons by Kate Khavari

Posts Written

Currently

Thinking about how I contain multitudes, contradictions, and am so very human

Drinking coffee with honey and unsweetened almond milk out of my They/Them mug

Listening to my two oldest niblings play with my mom and stepdad

Daydreaming about moving to Ireland or New Zealand

Admiring my mom’s office set up with my old desk

Lastly

I realize I forgot to do a Mini Read for the month, but since I read mostly NetGalley books (which have their own posts), I don’t feel too bad about it since those get their own posts. If you don’t already, you can add me as a friend or follow me on GoodReads and StoryGraph to keep up with my reviews that way too.

Next month, I plan on switching up how I do reviews anyways. I think I’m going to do more mini reviews for NetGalley and make a monthly wrap up for my ARCs and then focus on long reviews for my queer indie authors. I also want to go back to posting my Instagram story reviews more which I have been falling behind on.

We shall see! Y’all know I love to change things up.

Until next time,
-A

May Wrap Up

It is so difficult not to compare my productivity from month to month. April was AMAZING for me. But I have to remind myself, it was because I had less responsibility since Wee One wasn’t home. And now our Michigan family is all together again! And it’s always an adjustment to settle back in, find out what has shifted, what needs to be picked back up.

May was also, to my subconscious, been a countdown to the month of June. Which is a personal difficult month filled with two death anniversaries, of which they are handled so differently due to my relationships with my dead grandmothers. So, I’m surprised I did anything this month to be honest.

So June will be either filled with ALL THE THINGS to distract me or will be nothing but crickets as I burrow in the feels.

Okay, let’s wrap up May now.


Books Read

  • Dark Night Golden Dawn (The Immortal Orders #1) by Allison Carr Waechter – 5 stars
  • Learning to Flirt (Doveport #1) by Kallie Mont – 4.5 stars
  • Learning to Trust (Doveport #2) by Kallie Mont – 4 stars
  • The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon – 4.5 stars
  • Murder for the Modern Girl by Kendall Kulper – 3.5 stars
  • Ornamental (Irons and Works #8) by E.M. Lindsey – 4 stars
  • The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakeley – 3 stars
  • A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic #2) by Elise Kova – 5 stars
  • Little Risk of Fall (Creature Cafe #8) by Clio Evans – 3.5 stars

Posts Written

Currently

Adjusting to a new schedule, including a new day off which is throwing me off quite a bit.

Wondering how many bags of coffee is too many to order?

Obsessing over the new Miley Cyrus.

Bemoaning the chore of putting away my laundry.

Drinking more coffee.

Lastly

If you haven’t subscribed to my Substack, here is the link! And just a reminder, it’s free. It will always be free.

Also.

Thank y’all for being here.

April Wrap Up

Happy New Moon and Solar Eclipse Day! No wonder the energy this week was slowing being drained from me. Naps upon naps, coffee after coffee, restless sleeping. How did I make it?

This month has been a seesaw of energetic cycles, hyperfixations, new ideas, and gay pirates. Truly some multiple timelines smooshed into one month vibes. Which makes my mildly anxious about May?

But let’s get on with this wrap up post!


Books Read

  • Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree – 4.5 stars
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover – 5 stars
  • A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic #1) by Elise Kova – 4.5 stars
  • A Writer’s Guide to Persistence by Jordan E. Rosenfeld – 4 stars
  • Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White – 5 stars
  • Little Slice of Hell (Creature Café #1) by Clio Evans – 3.75 stars
  • Not So Innocent (The Real Thing #2) by Emma Lyon – 4 stars
  • Not so Perfect (The Real Things #4) by Emma Lyon – 4 stars
  • Little Sip of Sin (Creature Café #2) by Clio Evans – 3 stars
  • A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw – 5 stars
  • Little Lick of Lust (Creature Café #3) by Clio Evans – 4 stars
  • Little Shock of Hate (Creature Café #4) by Clio Evans – 4.25 stars
  • Little Piece of Sass (Creature Café #5) by Clio Evans – 4.5 stars
  • Little Song of Pain (Creature Café #6) by Clio Evans – 4.5 stars
  • Little Taste of Need (Creature Café #7) by Clio Evans – 4.5 stars

Posts Written

Currently Thinking About

Gay pirates.

How tired I am lately.

Flavored coffee, especially Vanilla Crème Brulee.

Being a romantic.

Spooky spring, dark florals, and lip balm.

Make-up and binders.

Lastly

I launched my Substack newsletter: In A Brown Study. Feel free to subscribe for weekly letters. No paywall. ❤

How did your April go? What did you create or share or start or finish? Let me know, dear hearts.

February & March Wrap Up

“In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: it goes on.”

Robert Frost

February was such a slowfast month. I spent the majority of it in Texas with my sister, niblings, mom, and stepdad. Post partum care is a lot, four children are a lot, and I miss their hugs so much.

Now we are well into the beginnings of spring here in Michigan and it is giving me spring allergies and headaches already. Time to put the allergy meds next to my bed so I can take them when I wake up and before I go to sleep. *deep sigh* But I am glad to be out of winter. Seasonal depression is so real (fun fact: I get it in the winter and summer, so that’s great) and I am enjoying the cool breeze of spring this morning. Even though my toes are not.

So, let’s wrap up my winter season, shall we?

Books Read

  • The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson & the Olympians #4) by Rick Riordan
  • Girl A by Abigail Dean
  • The Legacy (Birthright #1) by Necole Ryse
  • If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier
  • The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan
  • Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman
  • Heartstopper Volume 2 by Alice Oseman
  • Heartstopper Volume 3 by Alice Oseman
  • Heartstopper Volume 4 by Alice Oseman
  • Riley Thorn and the Dead Guy Next Door (Riley Thorn #1) by Lucy Score
  • The World Cannot Give by Tara Isabella Burton
  • The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

I had 2 DNFs which was incredibly disappointing, but it did remind me to not accept/request everything on NetGalley just because I can. Lesson learned there. But overall, really proud of what I was able to read these past two months.

Posts Written

What do y’all think of these In a Brown Study posts? My book review style? Is there anything else you would like to see on the blog?

Currently Thinking About

How spring time cold feels different than winter time cold

Time, in all it’s wibbly wobbly timey wimey vibes (and that I’m due for a Doctor Who rewatch very soon)

How my brain craves structure until it craves chaos until it craves structure until it craves chaos

Ballet classes for adults

Babies grow up so damn fast

Lastly

How are you entering this new season? Aries seasons always gives me a huge burst of energy as an Aries Rising. Even while it’s currently raining outside.

Also. What is bringing you joy, making you laugh, making you cry? I love to hear it all.

Until next time, dear hearts.

January Wrap Up

“Do you know how to live three hundred years?” she says. And when he asks how, she smiles. “The same way you live one. A second at a time.”

V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

I truthfully have no idea how to write this month’s wrap up post, I feel like I haven’t actually “wrapped up” anything. There are a dozen threads of ideas, three drafts of posts sitting here, at least four books I have started and not finished for this month, so I don’t know what to say, what to celebrate or remark upon.

Also, I am (currently writing this) five days without my anti-anxiety meds and my brain feels incredibly foggy and I am pretty sure I have might have a Benadryl hangover at the moment. But, I’m going to keep writing this post, keep putting one word after the next and hope that something sensical comes out of it all.

Books Read

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I have this delightfully fun Running Thread of Books for 2022. I am doing very mini reviews there and over on my Instagram which are kept in the 2022 Reads Highlight.

  • The Last Witch Queen (Book 2: Outlaws of Interra) by Allison Carr Waechter
  • Any Witch Way You Can (Book 1: Witches of the Midwest Mysteries) by Amanda M. Lee
  • The Lightning Thief (Book 1: Percy Jackson & The Olympians) by Rick Riordan
  • The Sea of Monsters (Book 2: Percy Jackson & The Olympians) by Rick Riordan
  • The Titan’s Curse (Book 3: Percy Jackson & The Olympians) by Rick Riordan
  • Sainted in Error by Glenda Winders

Once I finish book five in the Percy Jackson series, I plan on doing a series review post with favorite moments from each book. I don’t want to be terribly spoiler-y but also this series was published from 2005-2009. But! As we are getting a TV SHOW FINALLY, for those folks who weren’t born/old enough to enjoy PJO as the books were released (lolsob, I always forget I’m old), I am hoping the show will kick up more interest in the series again and don’t want to spoil too much.

Posts Written

I am having a hard time deciding what I want to review here or which to keep just to Twitter/IG and GoodReads. My ARCs and NetGalleys for sure will be posted here, but I do want to write more flash fics here and other writings more than just reviews. But, we shall see what happens.


Currently Thinking About

Can you see it? The absolute difference between my withdrawal brain and mostly settled brain. All of the above page break was written three days ago on a difficult symptom day. The rest of this was written with (now yesterday’s) morning coffee and more settled brain.

Today would have been my Grandma’s 76th birthday.

Mentally preparing myself for February 10th, as I am traveling to Texas and will be there for one month.

Instant coffee tastes like impatience and old memories that won’t go away.

Listening to Spotify and wishing there were ethical alternatives, but hearing my dearest Ari say, “there is no ethical consumption under capitalism“.

Paper cuts are the tiniest and most painful. Why?

Lastly

Tell me how your January treated you.

Highs, low, anything in between. I love glimpses of y’all’s lives. Links to your favorites, your own blog posts, your favorite TikTok.

Do tell, dear hearts.

2021 Wrap Up

I am in denial that 2022 is almost here. I swear it’s still 2019. I may post a more serious note about how 2021 has been emotionally, but for now, I want to do a fun wrap up. With links galore! This wrap up entirely focuses on what I’ve written here and what I’ve read. I’ll also share new updated links for ways to continue connecting with me in 2022.

And now we dive in.

Top Three Most Viewed Posts

I’m pretty in awe of how popular my first flash fic was. I really want to continue doing these in 2022 with a bit more regularity. Also, it seems like birthday post are always a good thing. I want to pick some more personal days through the year and share more things. And lastly, y’all loved that couch hopping flash fic.

Top Three Personal Favorite Posts

These are my personal faves for many reasons, most of it to do with how proud I was posting them and showing some accomplishments. For instance, May was the month I read the most books, before November came swinging in. And my favorite flash fic I’ve written so far is one that has been percolating for years. I adapted it to become a flash fic, but the bones of that story have been in my archived writings for years.

Fun Reading Stats

  • I read 59 (as of 12/23) books this year…that’s 16,338 pages total, y’all
  • Shortest book was 12 pages (love me some short novelettes/novellas)
  • Longest book was 535 pages (hello, Jane Eyre)
  • I read 22,445,198 words of FanFic (thank you to Good Omens)
  • I read 17 books in one week (thank you, E. M. Lindsey)

I don’t know how I’m going to beat my fanfics stats next year, or if I want to focus more on writing fanfic. Let’s be honest, I’ll do both. Not sure if I want to share my AO3 yet, we shall see.

Also, I want to read more novellas, more short stories collections, and set my reading goal at 150 books. Mostly because I bought a cute reading journal and it’s set for 150 books. I may include novel length fanfics as part of my book reading goal as well, because seriously. The amount of fics I read this year were between 40K and 150K words.

More Fun Reading Stats

  • 71% books written by queer authors
  • 80% books had queer characters
  • Most read genres were: LGBTQ, Romance, and Fantasy
  • Least read genres were: Manga, Memoir, and Sci-fi
  • Average star rating: 4.3 out of 5

I made it a priority to read queer books and will continue to do so. I want to branch out more in my genres and read more sci-fi. The tracking system on StoryGraph is lovely, but also, some of the books are mislabeled in my opinion. I know I read more mysteries this year than the tracker showed.

Staying Connected

At the end of the year, I tend to go through my newsletters and social medias and delete/unfollow when I know I am not feeling inspiration. So, if this is not a space you want to continue following, no hard feelings at all.

If you do want to stay connected, here are the best ways:

This blog has an integrated WordPress email every time I post something new and can go right to your inbox. (Scroll down the home page to sign up.) There is a lot I want to do here for the coming year and would love y’all to see it.

Instagram is my favorite social media (even if I dislike much of the direction and algorithm issues). I tend to post most often in the IG Stories and try to post on the general feed once or twice a week.

Twitter is another space I’m trying to use more. I use it mostly for book and writing related things. And also to follow my favorite authors.

Tumblr is mostly for my dark academia and fandom loves. I am planning on using it more next year and making book aesthetic post/reviews and such

And lastly, for folks who just want to creep my book habits, GoodReads and The StoryGraph are my favorite.

And this is it for my last post for 2021. See y’all in the New Year!

November Wrap Up

My toes are cold as I write out this intro, the Texas sun is super glaring through my mom’s window, and my Texas Pecan coffee is lukewarm, yet perfect.

I’m still grappling with the idea of it being one month until the end of 2021, I feel behind in many ways and yet exactly at the right place, right time. Please tell me I’m not alone in these weird contradictory feelings.

Now, please clap for me as we wrap up this month and my readings!

Books I Read

My November TBR didn’t go exactly as planned, but holy fuck, I have read the most this month than any other month this year. I read 19 books this month. *insert squealing and flailing limbs*

I read three novellas as I was trying to stick to my Novella November Theme: A Psalm for the Wild-built by Becky Chambers, Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw, and Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca. All three were so damn good.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built is a new comfort read for me, it had me in tears in the best way. Nothing But Blackened Teeth was so damn good and so much was packed into it in a way I didn’t expect. Things Have Gotten Worse was difficult but brilliant. I love queer horror that doesn’t require “good queers”, and I won’t lie, I started to dissociate a bit when reading it, so do check out content and trigger warnings. Body Gore/Horror is the biggest one that got me that I wish I would have been more prepared for.

I read exactly ONE holiday romance, wished I would have read more, but that’s what December is for. I was so glad to have been introduced to The Geek Who Saved Christmas by Annabeth Albert on Book Twitter! Christmas romance! The Grumpy One falls in love with the Sunshine One! It’s so dang cute, even if most of the time I was like “Please communicate you disaster queers.”

All of the above were exactly my type of books and then, I don’t know what happened, but I waaaay read out of my normal zone and fell in love with a lot of M/M angsty romance by E.M. Lindsey and read 12 of their books in ONE WEEK.

Books 1-4 of the Broken Chains series and Books 1-7 of the Irons and Works series. The characters were all so damn lovable. My faves were: Backfire and Broken Wings from Broken Chains series; Bio-Mechanical, Stick and Poke, and Scarification from Irons and Works.

I also started Lindsey’s Baum Boxing series, just the first one Below the Belt. All of their books feature gay/bisexual disabled men and FOUND FAMILY. Also, guaranteed happy endings which is why I kept reading.

I’m so ready for summer 2022 as the last book in each series will be out! *squeeeeal*

December TBR

I do really want to read some winter holiday romances for December and found a couple on Kindle Unlimited to read so far. And I promised my friend Rachel that I would read The Winternight Trilogy.

Feel free to leave some recs of holiday books, bonus points if they’re queer!

Writings This Month

I really love the couple of posts that I was able to make and am surprised I even made any. This month is always chaotic, with traveling and just the general vibe of rushing to get things together for the winter. And let’s not even talk about NaNoWriMo…

Coming Soon…I Hope

For those who were interested, I am still planning on getting together a newsletter.

I’m also working on the idea of creating a writing prompt challenge for Instagram that will encourage me to post something every day. Not sure if I want to to do that for January or a different month yet. We shall see.

I will also be sharing more of my WIP on Instagram more, so if you aren’t following me there, now is a good time to do so.

Hope y’all had a lovely November, and I hope we all have an even better December.

October Wrap Up

It’s November and I still don’t know how we got here. Something something time is wibbly wobbly.

Last night was a lovely night with a sacred fire, official welcome to the family ceremony, and all the Chinese food. My legs and arms are sore from stacking firewood, but it feels good to work my muscles again. I have a large pile of laundry I need to finally fold and hang up, but I also have books that want to be read today. So, we all know which I will prioritize.

And now, let’s wrap up all the things from October.


Books Read This Month

The Lighthouse Keeper by Alan K. Baker – 4/5 stars.
This book pulled me out of my reading slump. I always forget to go back to settings and tropes that I love when I get stuck. This book had just the right amount of thrill, isolation tropes, and historical flashbacks. It’s based on a true story of the unsolved disappearances of three lighthouse keepers in Scotland 1900.

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin – 5/5 stars.
How many times did I cry reading this? I don’t know, I lost count after five. There is just something about watching Clara move through the seasons, embracing her magic, and navigating what it means to be an Ever Witch. I loved Griffin’s portrayal of each season’s magic and how they manifest. It made me want to start journaling again about my magic and the seasons moods. (This was October’s book for the Litulla Book Club.)

November TBR

All the novellas! Sometimes it helps me to have themes for the month and I’ve been craving some shorter reads. Feel free to leave me some recs in the comments! So far on my list:

Writings This Month

I am really proud of the amount of posts this month. That being said, I’m going to try not to hold myself to this amount every month, but I do want to be writing more here as I am becoming frustrated with social media and it’s algorithms and shifts that prioritize videos.

Newsletter – Coming Soon

In other news, I am going to create a newsletter soon. Still not sure whether to use Tiny Letter or Substack, I have mixed feelings on Substack. But sometime this month or December, I will have a newsletter set up.


And now I am going to warm up my coffee for the fourth time and settle in for some reading.

September Wrap Up: Or It’s Already October, But I Forgot To Say Goodbye

Currently: My toes are cold as I’m sitting here listening to MONTERO again. I’m listing the pros and cons of whether or not I want to shower today or curl my hair, as I only have the energy for one of those things. Lastly, I’m trying to convince myself this post doesn’t have to be perfect, I just need to post something because I’m tired of not posting.

Also: trying to remember the highlights of this month, but I’m having a hard time remembering. It’s tempting to get on my phone and scroll through my socials to see, but I know if I do that I will get sucked into checking all the notifications and then will stop writing this post. So, let’s see what I can remember.

I know I read four books this month: The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie, which was a buddy read with my friend Rachel. They Never Learn by Layne Fargo, which was September’s Litualla Book Club read. Neon Gods (Dark Olympus #1) by Katee Roberts, a gift from my dear Allison. For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1) by Hannah Whitten, my most anticipated read this season.

And for fellow fanfic readers: I read a total of 53 different fics for a total of 1,405,318 words of fanfic this month. My top three are probably Divine Repairs & Restoration (A Good Omens Human AU), Bigger Than Us (A Good Omens Human AU/Priest Aziraphale), and Blackbird (Drarry/Werewolf Harry).

********

Currently, again: I wrote the above part of the post on October 1st, got distracted and never finished it. Or rather, it was finished, but I never posted because I got distracted looking for the right picture to feature. And now I am sitting at the breakfast bar in our house, drinking coffee, with the Wee One in his highchair on my right. He is eating Cheerios, playing a game on his tablet, and is stuffed between his trash panda and favorite blanket.

So far: I have posted three times on Instragram this month, thanks to a lovely Halloween IG challenge for the month. I am not going to post every day, but just the days that spark an idea. That way I don’t burn myself out and start to hate IG.

Also: this ambient mixer sound, “studying in a small town apartment” is my favorite. It’s also the sound I was listening to when I came up with my queer dark academia book idea. Which I will talk about in a later post.

Finally: I’m not going to spend three more days on finding the perfect picture for this post, but I might spend ten more minutes trying to find a new title.