My July

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People, I thought about skipping this month’s reacap because I feel like time is running away from me but I like looking back at what I’ve done the past month and feel like I’ve accomplished something after all. You can see my June post here. I’m also linking this wrap-up to this post, where you can check up other people’s end-of-month posts and see what they’ve been up to.

The best book I read was probably The Accident Season. I’ve been thinking about it for weeks now and I really hope it will get more hype as the US publication date comes up!

We had a three-week heatwave here in Slovenia, which was absurdly hot (go figure) and my mind felt like it turned into Nutella – all warm and gooey and useless when it comes to work/studying. We took a couple of days off and escaped the city in search of cooler places.

Kiddo is doing great, he’s 11 months old now and can stand on his own for a couple of seconds at a time before dropping back onto his bum with a poof. He’s got 8 teeth and is happily munching away at whatever we feed him (though tomatoes, my father’s beautiful, home-grown tomatoes, seem to be giving him some tummy problems…). He’s going to nursery school in a month and I just want to cuddle him and keep him at home, which is really counter-productive, because:

I’m finally getting back to working and studying. I’m a PhD student and a freelance translator which means I work from home, which is both a blessing and a curse. But it feels nice to put my brain to work again, I missed this so much. We’re sleeping better, too, which is a huge factor for my productivity and motivation.

I’ve been posting some pictures on Instagram, if you’d like to check them out, and you can also follow my blog via e-mail if that’s your preferred method.

scorpion-rules-erin-bowI didn’t get that many books this month, apart from signed edition of Joe Abercrombie’s Half a War that I’ve already devoured. OK, so I also got a Kindle edition of Jennifer Armentrout’s Every Last Breath but that’s a given. I’m trying really hard to get through the books I already own (both physical and arcs), and I feel like I’m doing good. I’m really excited about this arc of The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow that I got off Netgalley – I feel it’s going to be epic! :)

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What I’ve been writing about:

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Link love:

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How was your July? Did you do anything special?

What was the best book you read?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

  • I am keeping my eyes peeled for The Accident Season here! I’m in the mood for something atmospheric. Blergh, the heat is getting to me here in Ontario, too. It’s 30 degrees C here every day and humid…I am constantly sweaty and my hair resembles a frizzy triangle. *unimpressed face*

    KIDDO! It just boggles my mind how much babies grow in a few months. He’s standing now?! What?! His love of food is not surprising at all, given his mum’s foodie leanings. ;) I hope he enjoys nursery school and that it’s not too hard on you and A. having him gone during the daytime. I’m loving this PhD motivation, GO GO GO! Get ‘er done and then you can never think about it again. :D

    That NPR list was surprisingly well done! I admit I was a bit worried that it would be blah but then I saw that some bloggers from Smart Bitches Trashy Books (my fave romance book site) were involved, and I knew it’d be a winner. Those book charts though…I really do buy more books when I’m alone in the store!

    • Ugh that idiom “keeping my eyes peeled” is so weird! I mean, you probably don’t even think about it but when I translate it back to Slovenian, it’s vaguely disgusting (sorry!). I use it, too, of course, when needed, but I like to think about it as little as possible :D

      I know what you mean – summer isn’t my favourite season, even if it’s the time for holidays. I prefer spring and autumn, because they can be warm without being overwhelming.

      Yeah, kids grow at a crazy rate at this stage. I think that 0-18 months is probably the stage where most changes happen – they start crawling, then walking, they transfer from milk to solid foods, they start gabbling and eventually talking. And they’re growing so fast! (Though the fastest time for growing is inside the belly – they grow from 0 cells to some 50 centimeters in just 9 months.) Nature is crazy! :)

      Why don’t I know about SBTB?? I need to check it out.

  • Maraia

    Oh man, sending your son off to nursery school is going to be so hard, but it’ll probably be a good thing for both of you. :) I love watching little kids learning how to walk and stand. They’re so clumsy, haha. And eating! That’s also hilarious to watch.

    I’m still not sure what your PhD is, but it’s cool that you’re getting back to it. How much more do you have to go? Any fun translation projects coming up? It’s too bad you can’t get paid to just translate all of your favorite fantasy novels.

    I had a horrible reading month by my standards. 7 out of the 15 books I read were audiobooks, and 6 were re-reads. Aside from my re-reads, Flight of the Silvers and Time Salvager were my favorites – two sci-fi in one month, hooray!

    • Yeah, I know, I think he’ll love it! He’s a pretty social guy and he’ll enjoy exploring the playroom and everything. Oh, yes, when we look at videos from a couple of months ago, he seems so clumsy and uncoordinated! And he can’t eat on his own yet, though not for the lack of trying. Handing him the spoon usually results in him waving it around and then licking the wrong end. Eh, he’ll get there eventually! :)

      Ah, I still have a way to go. But I’m optimistic, as always :) I’m hoping for a fantasy book next, actually, but right now I’m working on Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series which is slowly starting to bug me a little (I was never a huge fan of the Vampire Academy so this spinoff isn’t really my thing). But hey, work is work, right? :)

      I haven’t read any sci-fi for a while now, it’s not a genre I know a lot about. I still have to read Dune!

      • Maraia

        Hah, as long as he’s enjoying his food (and enough of it ends up in his stomach), it’s all good. :D

        A fantasy? Something like…Juliet Marillier, perhaps? ;) Gahhh, I hate vampires. Good luck to you! Do you start by reading the book all the way through and then going back page by page? Are you the go-to translator for YA in Slovenia?

        I haven’t read a ton of sci-fi either. It’s not a genre I’m comfortable picking out on my own, if that makes sense. But I usually end up enjoying the books that are recommended to me. I only read the first book in the Dune series. I remember liking it well enough but not loving it.

        • Ha, no, I’m not the go-to translator for anything, yet! :) There’s a bunch of translators, and really good ones, too, working on ya titles. In Slovenia, more than a half of all the published books are translated, you know, so there’s plenty of work to go around if you’re good at all :) I can’t choose what I get to work on, not entirely (I can say NO if I really hate a book but I haven’t had to do that yet). As always in publishing, it’s the editor’s choice!

          A. has been telling me I should read Dune – and I’m planning on it but there are also giant worms which totally freaks me out.

          • Maraia

            It honestly surprises me that only half the books are translated. Are there really that many Slovenian authors? (Or that few books?) Is there a Slovenian author you know has been translated into English that I should read? I’m glad you haven’t had to say no yet. Just out of curiosity, would you be willing to translate 50 Shades of Grey? (Sorry, had to ask. :P)

            Haha, the giant worms were weird. I wish I remembered more about the book besides the giant worms. In theory I’d like to finish the series some day, but they’re just so long!

          • Well, Slovenians are a pretty prolific nation when it comes to literature. You have to understand that it was mostly writers who were the keepers of our language when we were under Austrian rule, for example, and even if we’d been independent for centuries (which we were not), we are such a small nation surrounded by bigger language groups that our language would have disappeared if people didn’t TAKE CARE of it actively. :) That’s why, I think, we have a crazy number of books published each year, I think we could do with less but there you have it.

            Um yeah, I’d translate 50 Shades – we have this thing called … umm… how would I translate it? A library compensation? Anyway, authors and translators get a small amount of money, depending on how often the books they write/translate are borrowed from the library. I think most of the countries have a similar system. And if a book is really popular (such as 50S), you get more money (to put it into numbers, I get around 70€ each year now that I’ve translated about 10 books which are reasonably popular). So I’m not getting rich or anything but it’s still something. Plus romances are really easy to translate, as long as you’re not too embarassed about writing about sex :D I was at the beginning but now I take it as a challenge to translate it in a tasteful way :)

          • Maraia

            That does make sense. So no favorite Slovenian author I should read?

            Specifically for libraries? That’s unexpected but also kind of awesome. I guess you’d make quite a bit of money with 50S, then! I figured you wouldn’t have a problem translating it, but I was just curious. I think it really would be a challenge, though. Romance novels use such bizarre terminology (did you see the post over at Cuddlebuggery today?), so finding the equivalent bizarre term in Slovenian probably isn’t intuitive.

  • It’s between The Waste Lands (Dark Tower #3) or Wizard And Glass (Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King for the best book I read last month.

    Being a PhD student and having an 11 month old must keep you extremely busy! How do you still have time and energy to read?

    Oh! And I just had a Nutella and apple butter sandwich :)

    • Ah, so you’re sticking with one series? Don’t you get fed up with the characters if you binge on a series (especially one this long)? :) I usually read a couple of books between the parts of a series – but that sometimes results in having a too-long pause so I forget what’s been happening. I haven’t found a good equilibrium yet.

      Umm I read at breakfast and in bed at night. I used to read more because kiddo napped more during the day but now that he just gets one long nap, I try to work then (or blog – which is exactly what’s happening right now, it’s noon here).

      Apple butter? Is that like apple jam? Does it go well with Nutella? It sounds like it might! :)

      • I read two other novels between those two. Unless the series is completely amazing, I don’t read every book in a row. I’ll usually throw something in between each books of a series – a short stand-alone, a comic, or some short stories – so I don’t get burnt out.

        Yeah basically. They’re just cooked differently and butter is easier to spread than a jam. So good, I made two :)

        • That makes sense, yeah. I have something like 20 series going, though, so I’m taking the “read something in between” to a whole new level. (I’m working on finishing some of those series off before starting any new ones so OF COURSE there are dozens of really shiny new series I’m dying to get my hands on.)

          Mm, do you make your own? If yes, recipe? :) My mother-in-law keeps bringing us apples and kiddo can only eat so much applesauce in a day…

          • No, sorry. I buy it from the market :/ But I’m really considering looking up a home-recipe now. I would have felt so cool just now if I could have said yes XD

            I used to use apple sauce with protein powder to made little microwave mug cakes, if that helps at all?

          • :) It’s probably not worth it, though, especially if you have a favourite brand – you’d try and fail to make your butter taste as good as the one you can buy (I’m not doubting your kitchen skills, it’s just the way it is)! :)

            We actually don’t own a microwave. It’s not a money thing or anything (though we do have a tiny kitchen so I’m not sure where we’d put it) but we found we don’t really need it now. I saw a recipe for a chocolate cake in a mug, though, and it was just about the cutest thing ever so that’s probably the first thing I’d make if I ever got a microwave :)

  • Greg Hill

    Looks like a good month! We’re just starting to get our own little heatwave, summer has been mild til now but now it’s hot! I’ve been reading a ton of books, beena good reading summer.

    Fan fic is such an object of contention, I’ve never really paid much attention but it is interesting to see other takes on it.

    • I like mild summers but I do like a week or so of really hot weather so I can go to the seaside and swim a bit. I’ve been to the library this week and the shelves are almost empty! People always read more during their vacation, I think :)

      Yeah, this link was in answer to a discussion post of mine – I don’t read much fan fic but others do, I don’t mind it (and I don’t think I would if I was a writer, either, but you never know) but some authors obviously hate it. Eh, to each his own, right? :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Greg!

  • I’ve heard a couple of people mention The Accident Season, but I’ve still no clue what it’s about. I’m trying really hard (or at least putting some effort) into not buying books until I’ve read some more of the ridiculous number of unread books I have. I haven’t even bought Every Last Breath yet! That is how sensible I am attempting to be. I’m sure I’ll give in soon enough.

    And I’m amazed how quickly kids grow, it terrifies me slightly. A woman at work had a kid a few months ago and she’s returning from maternity leave in a month, she drops into the office every so often and each time I’m shocked at how much the little one has grown in a space of a few weeks. I understand your nervousness about sending him to nursery school, you’ll find him loving it and your the nervous wreck that doesn’t want to let him go. As long as you keep busy you’ll be fine, and by the sounds of it you have plenty to help keep you busy.

    I’ve recently bought Half a War and I fully intended to read Half a World before I did (it’s been sat in my TBR for about a year, I’m embarrassed). I need to get my motivation up to read them, though. How have I never heard of The Scorpion Rules? I am actually hunting around for it because that cover! I want it in my life.

    I saw Dare had released the first chapter of When a Scot Ties the Knot, I’m trying to wait until it’s released and to read it then, I’ll only end up getting myself all excited for it otherwise. And I saw that Lego prosthetic thing the other day, isn’t it so cool! Must cost a fortune, but it would be well worth it, I reckon. I love your monthly summaries for all these cool links.

    • Heh, The Accident Season is one of those books that you should probably go in blind. I wrote a review but I didn’t say much more about the plot than what’s already in the blurb so that’s no help, sorry! :) The good thing about it is that it’s a standalone! :)

      The Scorpion Rules is coming in September, I think, and when I saw that Victoria Schwab gave it 5 stars I requested it on Netgalley (I think it was read-now for a day or so, I don’t usually get approved for such big titles!) – see how influential authors can be? :) I hope it’s good, I know nothing about the plot (I read the blurb but have forgotten about it already) or the author, so I’m a nice blank slate, eager to be impressed.

      Yeah, kids grow and change and learn really fast in the first two years. Then things slow down a bit once they learn how to walk and talk. But the most important changes are happening now and it’s really great to watch. I sort of want him to be a baby forever but I also want to see how he develops into this amazing little person. And yes, he’ll probably love the nursery school, he’s very curious, and I’ll be out sobbing behind the building :D But we’ll all get used to it and I’m keeping a cheery face – and actually looking forward to having time to work and study! I need to keep my mind busy and occupied, it’s what I like best. I’ve been filling the gap with blogging and reading but I want to be productive in real-world sense, too. I think it’s time! :)

      And yes, that Lego thing is probably super expensive but I guess it will become less so once/if they start mass-producing it. My throat always gets a bit tight nowadays when I see kids who aren’t healthy and whole but this seems like a good solution to a bad situation.

      • I hate going into books blind, though! But at the same time spoilers are the worst. I will have to keep my eye open for it when I’m at the bookstore and see about picking it up. I’m intrigued now.

        Now I now why you picked up The Scorpion Rules, with V E Schwab endorsing then it has to be pretty good. Fingers crossed I’ll remember about it come September and by that point I will hopefully be caught up on some of my reading and be able to justify the buy! It is weird how authors can so easily influence us into reading something, they may write books we enjoy, but that doesn’t always mean we have the same taste in books.

        It is true, there is nothing more fun than seeing kids grow into having their own personality. My step nieces and nephews are growing into having the most adorable little personalities, it’s great. One is obviously going to be a nightmare child as she gets older, but when you see that cheeky grin on her face when she thinks she’s gotten away with something it’s great. It’s terrifying to think I can remember when they were babies, though, you can’t figure out where the time has gone. It’s good that you’re looking forward to working, though, I get wanting to do something a bit more serious with your days, I joke I would love to retire at 25 but I’d be bored out of my mind if I wasn’t working.

        Hopefully, they will develop that lego prosthetic into being mass produced because that is the kind of thing kids need, some of them are probably having a hard enough time so something like that would be perfect. I’m with you, I feel myself getting a bit misty eyed every time I see something about kids who are sick and that, I wish I had an excuse but I’m just the kind of person that can’t read stories like that without feeling a bit emotional.

  • Woah. A THREE-week heatwave?! That sounds intense. Personally, I don’t do well with extremes in temperature but extreme heat makes me a little miserable, though coming from a country with such a notorious Winter season, I can’t say that too loudly around my fellow Canucks LOL Our July was hot for about a week or two and the rest was frigid and rainy. I didn’t mind the rain all that much but wearing pants, socks and slippers in July felt wrong O.O

    Anyway, you did wonderfully for July but I agree that time seems to be flying by like crazy. Here’s to a wonderful and slow August haha ♥

    • Ugh, yes, we almost melted. And it looks like this week is going to be another hot one, so I’m hoping we get to escape the city for a bit, it’s always cooler once you get out. I would definitely prefer to live in the North (either in Europe or Canada) than in the tropics, I’m not made for the heat. My brain stops functioning properly at around 30°C and I hate air conditioning. I wore fuzzy socks to bed yesterday and I loved it, I sleep much better when it’s cold :)

      And yes, I hope August will be more relaxed! Have a nice time :)

  • Oh, that’s a pretty picture of a butterfly! I also saw the NetGalley email with The Scorpion Rules but didn’t bite (even though I do get so tempted when they send those “first ___ people to request this gets to read now!” messages :) I’ll await your review!

    ~Mogsy

    • Thanks! :) It’s from my parents’ garden, these butterrflies and bumblebees love my mom’s lavender bushes.
      As for The Scorpion Rules – I would never get approved for that if it wasn’t Read Now so I checked whether anyone I know has read it yet (I trust fellow tough travellers on fantasy books, for example) and I saw Victoria Schwab gave it 5 stars so I decided to go for it! :D There’s your proof on how influential authors can be ;)

  • That looks like an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail though I bet it is some exotic Slovenian species of swallowtail – awesome picture!

    I can imagine the mixed feelings about transitioning back to school/work more – nice to use the brain more but fewer cuddles. Good Luck with getting on with your phD.

    I’ve been so crap at keeping up with things that I see I missed a bunch of Harry Potter posts! I will go now and check them out. Happy August!

    • I’ll have to take your word for that because I know next to nothing about butterflies – except that they begin their lives as eggs and caterpillars which is vaguely disgusting but they’re forgiven for being pretty. Also: my kid loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar ;) I don’t know about “exotic” – they are pretty common here, they love my mom’s lavender bushes (that’s where I took this photo).

      “fewer cuddles” is never a good thing, whether it concerns babies, adults or pets. I love cuddling. If people cuddled more, the world would be a better place.

      I saw you went on a HP commenting spree :D I’ll get to those soon! Enjoy the rest of your summer ;)

  • Wendy Gassaway

    This is a great wrap-up that also served me as a great intro to your blog! I am in awe of your ability to blog in a language that is not your first. It’s been crazy hot all summer here in Oregon as well. In July, I did get a chance to take my kids camping, with my sister. We spent two nights by a mountain lake. The best book I read was The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater. I read a lot of YA fiction, as I teach 7th and 8th grade students. I loved your HP reviews and the book nerd charts!

    • Thanks, Wendy and welcome! :)
      I love camping and I can’t wait to do it again – perhaps next year because this year kiddo’s too small and still stuffs everything into his mouth + having no running water at hand with a 11-month-old is just too much of a hassle now! :D But I prefer camping to staying in hotels – both at the seaside and in the mountains, for example.
      I haven’t read The Scorpio Races yet but I did like Stiefvater’s Shiver and sequels – I haven’t finished the series yet but I have it on my tbr. I’ve heard great things about her Dream Thieves series? I need to check that out…

  • Happy August reading!

    • Thank you – and thanks for stopping by! :)