A quick round up of the books I read this month and an update on my writing projects.
NUMBER OF BOOKS READ = 14
Books I read in November 2021:
- Sweat and Soap, Vol. 9 by Kintetsu Yamada
- Dr. STONE, Vol. 19 by Riichiro Inagaki & Boichi
- A Single Thread of Moonlight by Laura Wood
- Bungo Stray Dogs, Vol. 20 by Kafka Asagiri & Sango Harukawa
- The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
- BEASTARS, Vol. 15 by Paru Itagaki
- Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Vol. 22 by Takaya Kagami, Daisuke Furuya & Yamato Yamamoto
- Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 32 by Mizuho Kusanagi
- Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
- Toilet-bound Hanako-kun, Vol. 10 by AidaIro
- Jujutsu Kaisen, Vol. 9, 10, 11 & 12 by Gege Akutami
What was my favourite read this month?
A Single Thread of Moonlight was my favourite read this month. I blew through it in two days, despite it’s thickness, and really enjoyed it. I loved the Victorian setting, but also the modern sensibilities that the characters had (at least for their time). I enjoyed the romance, the twists and turns that the plot took, and the journey of discovery the main characters underwent about her past. It was also a great mash up of fairy tails and classic literature – the main plot is a Cinderella re-telling, but there were also elements of more modern stories such as Pride Prejudice in there. Overall, it was just a delightful read.
What book disappointed me?
I was disappointed by The Kingdom of Copper. I enjoyed it overall, but it felt dense for no reason. The whole book felt like it was filler plot for the grand finale. There was a lot of politics and tension, and not a lot of progression. I found the book hard at times to pick up because I wasn’t that interested in finding out what happened. It’s a shame, because I really enjoyed the first book – mostly for the new world, the new characters and the sense of discovery the main character and the reader were undergoing at the same time. But the second book in the trilogy felt very tedious in comparison.
Did anything I read this month make an impression on me?
I’ve watched some really great films and TV shows this month. One of them was Tick, Tick… Boom! which recently came out on Netflix. The trailer for the film didn’t grab me, and I wasn’t going to watch it, but it was directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda so I thought I would give it a go. And it was amazing! So so good. I cried while watching it. I then bought the soundtrack and cried while listening to that. I think the film made such a profound impression on me because I’m the same age as the main character of the story as he freaks out about entering the next decade of his life, while he hasn’t achieved his dream. Very relatable! But the acting is also superb, as are the soundtrack and the cinematography. I would highly recommend!
Did anything inspire me?
The amazing TV show I watched this month was Arcane: League of Legends. The series is based off the League of Legends games, which I have not played, but even so I really loved it. The steampunk setting of Arcane inspired me. Every time I watch something is in a steampunk world, I really want to write something in that setting, and Arcane was no expectation. I’m thinking about writing a blog post dedicated to this series and why it is so good, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but, yeah, go watch the series! It’s really good!
What are my reading plans for next month?
I’m starting December off by continuing to read The Empire of Gold – it’s a chunky book so is taking me a few weeks to finish. I’m taking a break this weekend to read the latest Alex Rider book – Nightshade. Once I’ve finished The Empire of Gold, I’m going to read the December book club pick, which is Juno Dawson’s Stay Another Day. Then – then! – my plan is to get through as many books as I can before the end of the year. In 2022, my plan is to have a re-reading year – so to re-read books that I’ve already read, so I want to try to start 2022 with a clean slate… I have 2 weeks off at Christmas and 14 books to get through… Wish me luck!
This month I’ve been planning my next book – which I am going to refer to as the YA Western until I reveal the title (although TBH, I might have already done so on a previous blog post, but, ah well!). This is a book that I first tried writing 10 years ago when I was at uni, but I hated part of the plot. I finished the book and tried pitching it to agents, but didn’t get anywhere. About 5 years ago I tried re-working it, but still didn’t like the middle section. It’s been nagging at me ever since, demanding to be re-written. So in 2022, I’m finally going to do it!
When I first wrote the book 10 years ago, I did read some western novels and watched some western films to get into the setting – watching the Spaghetti Western films and reading The Sisters Brothers were the reasons why I wanted to write a book set in the American Old West – but I didn’t do much research into the history of the setting, which I think really shows up in the original script. And I’ve learnt a lot more about the Old West in the past 10 years – about what a diverse place it was in comparison to the stories that are shown about it. To fill this knowledge gap, I watched a course on Wondrium on the Old West, which was very educational and gave me loads of ideas for the plot and characters.
Since finishing that course, I’ve been creating templates for the characters, which is then informing the plot. And I’m really excited about this new version of the story! I’ve got quite a lot of the plot to figure out, but I’m hoping to do that in December, so that I can then get writing in January. But the whole of 2022 will be taken up with writing the YA Western.