Folklore Book Tag

I admit I’m not the biggest Taylor Swift fan but I have absolutely been in love with her new album Folklore. I saw this booktag on Twitter through @PeiReads and I just had to do it. I’m guessing the original graphic was made for bookstagram, but I’ll be blogging it instead.


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July Wrap-Up | 2020

Writing and posting this wrap-up on time this month! I had a pretty solid reading month, including my binge of the House of the Dominion series. Man those books are powerful. It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed up til 3AM reading to finish a book in one sitting, let alone three. Review wise… not so great. I still blame my sudden move, new job, and very insistent boss. But I am back on track and with pleeeenty of books to review, as well as some super exciting book tours in the upcoming months!

Books Read:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – 4/5

  • Overall enjoyable, though I could have done without Nina/Mattias entirely. Locke Lamora has ruined heist novels for me

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard – 4.5/5

  • Way more gruesome than expected but overall fantastic. Loved the fallen angels and colonization commentary. I read this entire series in three days, one book per day

The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard – 5/5

  • Thuan and Asmo!! We get Thuan and Asmo! My favorite of the series

The House of Sundering Flames by Aliette de Bodard – 4/5

  • Thuan and Asmo learn to be a semi-functional couple. Overall solid but the interest levels in different POVs was too different

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – 3/5

  • A better YA fae book than ACOTAR but still too high-school-y

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson – 4/5

  • My most anticipated book of 2020! Solid installment to the Masquerade series and people who didn’t like Monster will certainly be happy, but not my favorite of the series

Reviews Written

All reviews for July can be found in the links below

The City of Brass by SA Chakraborty

Other Posts

June Wrap-Up | 2020

  • super late. whoops accidental hiatus

June Wrap-Up | 2020

This is several weeks overdue and I sincerely sorry for that. In the past four weeks, I have a) been hired for a full-time position b) convinced my boss to let me stay at home for a week to dodge SoCal 4th of July tourists c) moved to SoCal the following week and d) am currently trying to get the hell out of SoCal since my job got moved to fully WFH anyways. It’s been a time. In the meantime, I’ve been reading like crazy, but kind of neglecting this blog, but since I’ve settled in (for the moment), it’s time I catch-up.Read More »

Pride Month Book Recs

Happy Pride everyone! For this month, I wanted to give a list of some of my favorite books featuring LGBTQ+ characters and/or written by LGBTQ+ authors. For this list, I wanted to focus on representation, so books that happen to have a minor LGBTQ+ character or two or a background LGBTQ+ couple won’t make the cut! Not all books listed will treat their characters nicely, but I’ve made sure to mark warnings as I remember them where necessary.

As a member of the asexual community myself, I’ve struggled to find books with ace leads, so if anyone has recs, please fire away in the comments!

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The Stuck at Home Book Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Silvia @ Silvia Reads Books. It’s been a while since I’ve done a tag post and this one seems quite fun and topical.

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

The Questions

  1. What are you currently reading?36216359. sy475 As of Sunday, I’m 300 pages into The Pheonix Empress by K Arsenault Rivera. I read The Tiger’s Daughter back in 2018 and I really enjoyed it. Currently, I’m loving the deep dive into Hokkaran culture and the angst between Shefali and Shizuka. I love that even though the two have their secrets and Shefali has a lot of (justifiable) beef with Shizuka, they talk through their issues!
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“Balancing” Blogging and School

Finals week is over for the last time in my undergraduate career, so this seems to be a good time to discuss how I balanced (or did not) blogging with school. This post is by no means a guide to how someone should do it, and some of the actions I did are probably outright unhealthy for both reading and schoolwork, but it seems better to be honest than to just spout advice that has no backing.

A quick overview

For blogging, I run this blog, A Cup of Cyanide, where I post 2-3 times a week. Friday posts are always reviews, while posts on other days can be reviews from a backlog or other topics I find myself wanting to talk about. In my sophomore and junior years of undergrad, I also ran a booktube account under the same name, where I would post videos on Mondays weekly. My general reading speed is about a book/week, so in a month where I am reading, I’d read about 5-6 books a month.

On the school side, I am a mechanical engineering student. My university runs on a semesters system, so I usually take 15-18 credit hours a semester. I’m also part of a fencing club that meets for ~7 hours/week, a robotics team that takes about 6 hours/week, and I work as a research assistant for ~10 hours/week. Senior year I quit the robotics team, but I was also spending a lot of time applying for grad school, studying for the GREs, and in the second semester, working on my senior design project. So overall, busy busy.Read More »

April 2020 Wrap-Up

I’d say April wasn’t the best reading month for me (despite the 700K WC very long Chinese webnovel), but in my defense, all of the projects I’d put off for the entirety of March reared back up and I had to take responsibility. And also I had to at least attempt at studying for finals, open book/notes or not.

Bookwise, I had a fairly large range of ratings. A 5, two 4s and two 3s. I suppose not my best month in terms of picking good reads.

In May news, I’ll be participating in the Asian Readathon, so expect all books read next month to be written by Asian authors, predominantly feature Asian settings, or both!Read More »

March 2020 Wrap-Up

March started out a crappy year for reading. Spring Break happens mid-March, which means EVERY class decides the week prior to Spring Break it’s time for another exam. Which is not conducive to reading. And then the quarantine announcements came and suddenly studying looked much less appealing and books and alcohol much more.

The end of March also means the end of the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge, which, until the beginning of the month, I had completed about half of. And so came the creative shuffling of squares (read:  ‘yeah I think the book I read almost a year ago had a vampire character probably?’ and the like) and the speed-reading of a shit-ton of novellas. With 23 hours to go, I did manage to finish it and you can read about my full bingo card here!

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A Quarantine TBR

The US is recommending social distancing for the foreseeable future and my university has moved to online classes (with Senior Design and another robotics class basically crippled), so… books? Featuring my desperate last-ditch attempt to complete the /r/Fantasy 2019 bingo and books that have been sitting on my shelves for too damn long

The Black Tides of Heaven – JY Yang

For the ‘SFF Novel Featuring Twins’ square. I’ve had this one sitting in my Kindle library for a while and it certainly seems interesting.

33099588Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as children. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While his sister received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, he saw the sickness at the heart of his mother’s Protectorate.

A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue to play a pawn in his mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from his sister Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond he shares with his twin sister?

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The Slow Descent of Falling Behind

I have a confession to make.

I’ve fallen behind on my book blogging, fallen behind in the book community in general. My Goodreads has been left all but abandoned. The last four posts on this blog were queued from May. I didn’t even know SDCC was occurring, let alone filled with so many publishers and authors, until I checked Twitter for the first time in ages, and I live in the damn city.

I’ve fallen behind and I didn’t even notice.

It starts with noticing the reading pace slowing down, until you find yourself barely getting through ten pages a day. It’s the gradual slip of book-related websites and communities like NetGalley and /r/Fantasy, sliding further and further down the recommended websites list in Chrome. It’s the creeping feeling of guilt that comes every time you open up Twitter, berating you for not staying caught up on the latest news in publishing, not picking up references to new drama and events, not recognizing new names and authors and debuts and what the upcoming catalog of every publisher in your sphere is. It’s the indifference, yet shame felt every time you check your blogging email and see the number of unopened emails, notifying you of author updates, new blog posts, publisher newsletters, grow and grow and grow.

It ends when even looking at the Twitter icon showers you in a wall of shame and guilt, when the simple act of picking up a book to read during a lunch break trips you up with guilt over Netgalley requests left unfinished. It ends with the knowledge that you’ve probably been blacklisted from every publisher and author you love and follow because of requests left untouched and ignored for months.

To me as a reader, it’s saddening. To me as a blogger, it’s crushing.

Because I like to read. Because I enjoy blogging. Because I enjoy this community and the people I’ve met and the conversations I’ve had. I enjoy getting to share my love for books I’ve been enthralled by, and encouraging others to read something they otherwise would not have.

But sometimes it becomes overwhelming.

I don’t plan to stop reading, or posting (hopefully), but I don’t think I’ll be able to maintain that book-a-day pace that I used to be able to manage. I won’t use this as a formal announcement for anything, but this simply has been something I needed to get off my chest.