C’est si bon!

Over the past couple of weeks I have found myself getting overwhelmed by good things. It’s a foreign feeling, and what tends to happen if I dwell on them is that my brain shuts down and I start to hear excited dolphin sounds.

New Job: New Outlook

I have had 4 different jobs in the last 2 years. Online, to in-classroom, to another school, and then back to the school I was at before I went to online. It’s been like riding the teacups at Disneyworld. Now that I’m back I’m in a position I’ve been looking for (teaching AP Statistics and Precalculus) and I am working to help the programs grow. I hopefully have new textbooks coming for next school year, I’m excited to see my very first AP pass rate, and in two more years I’ll be able to become an AP grader – teachers who are paid to travel and grade ALL THE THINGS for ten days in the summer.

I feel settled and happy where I am right now. The husband also teaches where I am, so that’s good too. It’s a good situation and I am hopeful that it will continue to be into the future.

Fantasy Novel: Stage Two

I AM SO EXCITED TO SIT DOWN AND REVISE!!! I’m bringing in outlining and research and expansion ideas to really bring this first book of a series (at least a trilogy) to a place where I might feel comfortable querying either at the end of this year or early next year when agents open back up after the holiday.

I know what this book is going to do. I know where I want it to go. I have a clear vision and I am itching to sit down and work with the dough. I’ll do a little over spring break, but I don’t want this to be a stop and start process, which means I have to wait to really get into it until June. BUT I DON’T CARE I AM SO EXCITED IT IS WORTH THE WAIT.

Professional Development

After such a positive experience at the AWP Conference in Tampa last year, I booked a flight and hotel room and will be heading to Portland, Oregon at the end of March. I’ll get to see one of the largest bookstores in America (I’m looking at you Powells!) and I have already earmarked revision and querying sessions in my conference schedule on the AWP app. I’ve also looked on Google Maps around my hotel and have found several restaurants that I will be ordering food from. Plus I just like staying in hotels, and I’m excited to fly after not having flown since our trip to London back in 2015.

International Affairs

When the husband and I got married he wanted to have kids and travel the world. After a conversation about realistic goals, we decided that saving to travel the world was the most important goal. We visited London in 2015, and since then have been working hard to save up to go to Paris next. 2019 is the year! We’ll be flying to Paris at the end of the year. I found a perfect hotel in the city – close to a Metro stop and right across the street from a grocery store – and there is a great selection of flights to choose from when I have to book them at the end of March. I’m really looking forward to eating everything and seeing Versailles and the Louvre.

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Despite there being many positive things for me to hang my hat on there are still a lot of struggles that we are working through. Progress is a positive thing, though, and I wanted to spend some time celebrating that.

You have probably noticed a dearth of personal posts here as of late. Between my job, my mom, and that creepy foot fetishist I have shied away from being personal or opinionated here anymore due to its public face. I’ve been dialing back things to being mostly just reviews – book, movie, or otherwise.

If you are interested in keeping up with my life, I have been making more personal style posts behind a paywall of sorts on Patreon. Patrons as low as $1 a month can see more personal posts and starting in the next month or so will also have access to my first attempts at flash fiction and short stories. I want to earn your patronage with more than just book reviews, and this is how I plan to do that. I even have a type of serial in the works, where you would get bits of story either weekly or monthly, so we’ll see how that goes.

As always I am thankful for your readership and these posts will always be ad-free and free overall. But remember, if you read my work and you feel like contributing towards my financial well-being, you are more than welcome (but not required!) to avail yourselves of the links included below. I am working on saving for travel to both the AWP conference in San Antonio and the BookExpo in New York in 2020, as well as an updated computer to move my writing out of Google Drive and into something more sophisticated like Word. Any contributions you make will help bring me closer to those goals.

Two new reviews are coming your way next week! Have a great weekend.

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The Fog Comes on Little Cat Feet

I’ve started to feel different lately.

I’m not sure if its due to my efforts to have a cleaner, more organized home.

Or perhaps my dedication to leaving work on time and leaving work at work, including my laptop.

Maybe it’s the result of going to the gym on a regular basis.

I mean, I did power wash part of the pool deck this weekend. Maybe that’s it?

Slowly but surely this house is becoming clean, manageable, and little by little I attack the darkness and grime and clutter and my mind becomes clearer every day.

I look around and I’m actually proud of my efforts. I can say, “I did that” and know that I feel better because I did something. Maybe it’s washing the sheets or vacuuming the living room rug, or something as simple as grabbing a Lysol wipe and dusting the tops of everything until the wipe is used up.

Home is starting to feel like home and not just a place where I come to sleep and store my stuff.

My fridge is almost empty and my pantry half full, but only because I don’t have to store extra food to feel safe right now. Washing the inside of the fridge is something that is actually on my radar.

The toilets are clean.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say with this post. Only just that over the past month or so I’ve felt like a fog is lifting. A thick, dark cloud that’s been choking me and smothering me for years is lifting. I am not sure which part of my new routines are contributing to it or if it’s just luck or age or hormones or whatever.

All I know is that I like how I’m feeling, and I want it to get even better. So I’m not going to stop. I’m gonna keep going to the gym and cleaning and organizing and writing and reading and living my life in a better way. I just hope it keeps getting better.

Fangirling

 

Today is the release date for King of Scars, the next book in the Grishaverse by goddess and queen Leigh Bardugo.

She’s one of the only authors that I will ever preorder a book from as opposed to waiting for it to arrive at the library. The hardcover should be arriving today while I am at work.

This new release, on top of the Netflix news about Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, has made my January one of my best book months yet.

If you need me I’ll be reading King of Scars.

Read. Be brave. Stay angry.

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Happy 3rd Anniversary! (2019)

Three years ago on January 27, 2016 I registered my blog on WordPress. I was working from home, and had the time to consider a non-work activity, I believe they are called ‘hobbies.’ The more I thought about it, I kept returning to reading. Being in college studies (Bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate) for so long restricted the reading I could do for pleasure. Perhaps I could use a blog to hold me accountable for reading more, for making reading for pleasure a part of my life again.

I took a trip back to find my first post. I posted only this once in February 2016, and once in March 2016. I began to make an effort to post once a week in May 2016, and by the end of the year I was posting 1-2 times a week on a regular basis and had read enough to make my first Angel Picks: Best of List.

My first review was actually a movie review!

My first book review was for The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee.

If you’d like to see some of my first posts please visit my Goodreads page and sort my Read shelf by Year Read, or you can use the calendar on the right side of the website to click back in time. Reading some of those first reviews really showed me how far I’ve come, not only with my writing style but with my goals for this site as a whole. As we head into year 4, I want to thank all of you for reading and supporting me. You are my online family and I am so grateful. Happy Anniversary!

screenshot 2019-01-27 at 9.32.44 am

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Goodreads Challenges

Since learning about Goodreads and beginning to use it to track my reading and post my reviews, I have participated in the Goodreads Challenge. You choose an amount of books you would like to read within the year, and then log them as you go. I set a goal of 100 books each year, just to see if I can make it.

Last year I did pretty well considering everything that happened. I made it to within 13 books of my goal and read a ton of really excellent work.

2017 Goodreads Challenge

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Angel Picks: Best of 2017 (Read my favorites list from last year!)

This year I saw a dip in my reading due to my multiple changes in jobs and how difficult the jobs I took were. Despite this I feel like I put on a good show.

2018 Goodreads Challenge

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I might read a few more before the end of the year but honestly I’m knackered and just want to sleep the rest of 2018 away. I’ll set my 2019 goal back at 100 books and see if I can reach the bar next year. 🙂

My Angel Picks: Best of 2018 will be up tomorrow! Have a great day!

Sharp and Sweet

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of the top books lists and seeing a lot of Kirkus Reviews stars, and I got to thinking that I needed a rating system of my own so you could know when a book really knocked my socks off. Two thumbs up is taken, 5 star systems are overused and not clear, and of course stars in general are used across different platforms.

This May I shared an embarrassing story involving my misunderstanding of how pineapples grow. I got to thinking that the pineapple is a perfect representation of me: spines, round in the middle, and relatively sweetish-sour on the inside, and so it might be a great symbol to use for my reviews as well.

pineapple

In the new year, I will be applying a “pineapple” to any book that is fucking spectacular. Books that made me feel something, whether it be sweet or sharp, that I devoured because they were delicious. Pineapple reviews will be filed under favorites and can be accessed anytime by clicking on that tab in the menu.

If you see any books being released in 2019 that you would like me to test out first, please feel free to email me the title at angryangelbooks [at] gmail [dot] com or connect with me on Twitter. I can’t wait to read with you into the new year!

Thankful Reading

A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of books that I had put on hold at the library as a result of looking at some of the best of 2018 lists.

I’ve already finished Elevation by Stephen King. Waiting at the library for me are The Incendiaries and The Great Believers, as well as Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. She also wrote Uprooted and His Majesty’s Dragon, and Spinning Silver has begun popping up on many of the best fantasy book lists for 2018.

While I’ve been on Thanksgiving break and waiting for these books to come in I’ve been reading the second book in Stephanie Garber’s Caraval series, Legendary. Caraval (#1) was dark, mysterious, and beautiful and so I wanted to see what book 2 had to offer. I’m also a sucker for books who show us women who escape convention to shape their own destinies. Waiting for me in my newly organized office is the SFF epic Dune, but I have to admit that my brain seems to be avoiding it as much as it avoided Stephen King’s The Stand for the same reasons – it’s a book I should  read but it’s fucking HUGE and right now I just want to read 300-400 page books about cool stuff.

Our Thanksgiving was pretty good. Photos of my food efforts can be found on my Twitter timeline if you’re interested. If you haven’t clicked a follow there yet please do. I’m not an influencer or anything, it’s just that sometimes I post things there that don’t get a full post here and if you’re interested in me you might be interested in that too.

I am thankful for you. Thank you for being here.