Whaddup homies? Welcome to your tita’s monthly wrap-up and TBR! (Yup, it’s all in one post now, because your tita is also lazy and couldn’t be bothered to make two.)
JANUARY FLEW BY LIKE WHOA, DIDN’T IT? 😳 I felt like I’d hardly taken in a breath and suddenly – whoosh! – the first month of 2019 had already ended. Pretty soon, it’ll be Christmas again. (Lmao.)
Anyway, let’s dive into what iyong Tita Kate (‘Your Tita Kate’ in Tagalog!) was up to this month!
Books I Read
I wasn’t able to read everything from my January 2019 TBR, but nevertheless, I got quite a good chunk of my reading done!
☕ Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri – Read my full review here. 5/5.
☕ The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf – A heart-rending historical novel about a girl with OCD in Kuala Lumpur during the race riots of 1969. I cannot recommend this book enough. Review to come soon! 5/5.
☕ A Conspiracy of Stars by Oliva A. Cole – Read my full review here. AND! I just got an ARC of the sequel, An Anatomy of Beasts, in the mail! Thank you, Olivia! 5/5.
☕ Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau – Read my full review here. 5/5.
☕ The Wicked King by Holly Black – I have one major issue with this and The Cruel Prince which prevents me from totally and wholly enjoying this series – and that issue is that I still believe that this series promotes normalization of abusive relationships. But I recognize that the series is not over yet and so am withholding judgment until I get to read The Queen of Nothing. 2/5.
☕ Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan – Read my full review here. 5/5.
☕ The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – Roshani presents a compelling juxtaposition of the beauty of La Belle Epoque and the ugliness of the effects of colonialism, as shown by the experiences of the main characters. Review to come soon, but right now you can check out either Shealea’s review or Kevin’s review. Both are excellent! (Rating: 4/5)
☕ Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – The minute I read the first chapter of The Gilded Wolves, I knew people were going to compare it with Six of Crows. So I decided to read the two books side-by-side. And let me just say while that SoC will always have a place in my heart, the representation in this book, written by a white woman, doesn’t mean nearly as much as that in The Gilded Wolves, as presented by a Filipino-Indian woman – two cultures that certainly know firsthand the effects of colonialism. 4.5/5.
February 2019 TBR
So here’s what I plan on reading this month!
☕ A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna – I’ve gushed before about how I love space operas now and how I need to add more sci-fi to my reading list, and this one inspired by the Mahabharata fits the bill nicely!
☕ Dreamer by Ja-Mel Vinson – And I’m on Shealea’s blog tour for this one!
☕ The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco – The final book in the stunning trilogy by Rin Chupeco comes out this month! Read my reviews of the first two books, The Bone Witch and The Heart Forger, by clicking the links! (Also, many thanks to Rin for the physical ARC!)
☕ For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig – I utterly fail as a person for letting my reading of this book slide as much as it did. Utterly. Fail.
☕ Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – I still can’t believe I got approved for the e-ARC of this on Edelweiss. There is indeed a just and loving God. 😭
How was your month, Tita?
January is always a month of new beginnings, but my January was particularly new beginning-y. I did a Lite Rebranding™ from The Backwards Bookshelf to Your Tita Kate, deciding to embrace my status as one of the Filipino book blogging community’s young, hip aunties.
Because I am Premium Trash, as of today, my rebranding is not fully done! While my blog’s overall aesthetic has already changed, there’s still a ton to be done behind the scenes. My About page, my reviewing policies, my rating system, and old posts that I have to revisit and edit all still need to be revamped. Plus, I need to work on indexing all the books I’ve reviewed. Pray for me, y’all.
On the more positive side, this month, I joined my first-ever reading challenge: Year of the Asian 2019! And I’m proud to say that 4 out of the 8 books I read last month counted towards my goal!
(Quick rundown of YARC 2019: it’s basically a year-long challenge to read the works of Asian authors! If you haven’t joined yet, check out the challenge’s hosts: Vicky, Shealea, Lily, and CW! I also have a nifty spreadsheet to track your progress here.)
I also revived my bookstagram account! (It’s @yourtitakate if you’re interested in following.) My bookstagram account died (fell into a coma?) last year when I got way too discouraged to post photos because: a) I didn’t have any aesthetic props with which to take photos; b) running two social media accounts just seemed way too tiring; c) my Instagram account wasn’t growing the way my Twitter was; and d) most of my books are e-books instead of pretty hardbacks or paperbacks. Just peering into any of the bookstagram-related hashtags will tell you why the odds are stacked against bloggers like me. BUT! I decided not to give a fuck. I like taking cute photos of books, my cat, my plants, my apartment, and myself. I like posting nonsensical Instagram stories. And I like talking with my friends from book Twitter who do have Instagram accounts! So it’s hereby revived, and I am enjoying it very much! (Nevertheless, I do hope you consider giving ya tita a follow!)
Another thing that happened to me this January is that I took a leave of absence from school. Don’t worry, it’s not for a sucky reason! I’m going to be taking lead on a major project at work this year which is honestly really good for my career, and I know myself well enough to know that I can’t possibly balance such a major commitment along with grad school. Still, I’ll always be an Iska at heart. I know Shealea and Cara will get me! #ImperyalismoIbagsak #NowhereToGoButUP
Lastly, in keeping with the theme my blog now has, I’ve decided to get into indoor gardening! For photos and updates on how my little corner of this urban jungle is going, check out my Twitter or my Instagram. (I’m also toying with the idea of naming my plants after my fellow book bloggers… 🤔)
Phew. What a month, and there’s no sign of any of it stopping any time soon!
What about you?
☕ How was your January?
☕ What are you reading this month?
☕ Link me your wrap-ups and TBRs in the comments!