Roll Credits

I’ve agonized over this for way too long. It’s time to finish it.

It’s over. Done.

No more Bibliotropic.

I know, I did this before. And I came back. And to be honest, I came back for the wrong reasons. I started reviewing again because I was tired of people making “funny” little comments about oh, you said you weren’t going to review anymore, I guess you just couldn’t stay away, hahaha. Only I’d said even then that I’d probably still write full reviews now and again, when a particular book struck me as something I really wanted to talk about. It would just be very uncommon, maybe once a month, and that’s exactly what it was. Until I tired of the comments and just figured fine, I’ll just start writing more reviews again so people can stop saying those things.

It was the wrong reason to do a thing.

I started this blog over 7 years ago, the idea stemming from the wacky notion that I read books and had thoughts about them, so hey, why not put those thoughts on the Internet? Over time I improved, narrowed my focus, learned better ways to critique. I gained a lot of skill in writing and analysis by just reviewing books. My roommate and fellow writer noticed a big jump in my writing skill after I started reviewing, even though I so rarely have the time or energy to write anymore. What I do write has been improved and refined by seeing what others do, and figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t, and why.

But over the past year or so, I really haven’t been feeling it. I’ve had my health struggles, both physical and mental, and the hardest part of this blog isn’t continuing to read books, but in sitting down and sorting through my thoughts and actually writing the review. Knowing that task is ahead of me makes me enjoy reading less. I think I’d rather just read. And it makes the reviews themselves that much harder to write; even when I’ve finished saying all I can think of to say in a review, I still feel that I haven’t done a good job, that I’m being unclear or repetitive or just giving less than my best, even when I’m doing as well as I can. It’s not the level it used to be, and I know it, and thanks to struggles with mental illness, seeing the lackluster reviews I’ve been putting out these days is just… It makes it harder, knowing that I used to do better. Each accomplishment is still a reminder that I’m still not as good as I once was.

Add to that the feeling that I’ve become increasingly irrelevant… I was never particularly relevant, if I’m being completely honest. I wasn’t some breakaway hit, some blogging star. I was just one in a crowd. And that was fine. I didn’t necessarily want to be the centre of attention. But I always felt that slight bite of envy when I’d see bloggers who started after I did get further in the field, growing their blogs so much more quickly, going from reviewing to getting proper paid work within the publishing industry. That isn’t to say none of them deserved it or worked for it; every person I know who did that had and has skill, and they’ve earned what they’ve gained. I don’t wish that any of them didn’t have that, and I wish them the best with turning what they’ve learned into excellent and enjoyable ways to pay the bills. But some of it is also the luck of placement; just about every one of them is in the US or the UK, where major book-related stuff happens, and with me not being in either of those places… Let’s just say that plenty of people want a Britpicker or a set of US eyes proofreading their books, but there’s not much call for someone to check for accuracy in Canadian English. Most people writing books set in Canada are already in Canada themselves and so know how we speak and spell, and we either get British or US editions of books anyway and just deal with the spelling and dialect differences as we go.

I feel like I peaked a while ago, and that any work I put into the blog from here on out isn’t actually going to yield anything. Not in building skills or contacts or employment or anything like that.

I used to hate this mentality so much. My father, when I first started doing this, asked me a few times what doing the blog was going to get me. Would it get me a job in publishing? Would it get me paid work? What was my goal for it? What was it worth to others to have me writing reviews? And I told him that wasn’t the point, that I was doing reviews as a hobby, because I enjoyed doing them, and really, I still stand by that. I didn’t start this with the intent of climbing up some publishing-industry ladder. That, like other stuff I mentioned, isn’t always a good reason to do a thing.

But where I stand, I have to admit, it’s not going anywhere else. Not even in a self-contained way. I’m not going to build a bigger audience, I’m not going to get paid work, and the reviews I write are a drop in the bucket compared to bigger bloggers. I don’t say this to be self-pitying, but really, if I stop reviewing, it’s not actually going to make that much difference to anyone. Reviews will keep pouring in from bigger sources with greater readership that will help people more than I can.

Plus, I have the oft-mentioned reviewer problem of having too many books and too little time in which to read them. On one hand, this is awesome and I kind of love it. A lot. Okay, a whole lot. On the other hand, it long ago created a sense of responsibility whereby I feel like I have to read Book X before Book Y, and Book B’s publication date has long passed so the hype’s gone so the review won’t have as big an impact… A lot of the time now I read a book not because I really want to read it, but because I’m interested in it and it’s due out soon. I took a chance on making 2017 the Year of the Backlog, focusing on books that came out before this year so that I had an excuse to read books I’d missed, and it helped a little, but because of the SPFBO I still had that schedule to maintain, and argh, in the end, reading what I had to instead of what I wanted to resulted in one more stress in my life that I feel increasingly incapable of handling.

I feel guilty wanting to take walks to the local library, because I have too many books at home that I should read that I can’t afford the time to borrow something from elsewhere. Seriously, this feeling of responsibility (which I know is entirely something I placed upon myself) has prevented me from taking enjoyable walks on nice days, because I feel too guilty to go where I want to go and do a thing I want to do.

(I never claimed I wasn’t a great big mess…)

And if all that wasn’t enough, that stress is contributing to a great big creativity-vacuum, in which I have ideas for things I’d probably enjoy, but I can’t even summon the energy to give enough of a damn to do them. It’s like… You have 5 heavy things in front of you, and you know you can manage to carry 4, but just knowing you somehow have to carry 5 anyway makes you sit down and stare at the pile, doing nothing, because you’re too preoccupied trying to figure out how you’re supposed to do everything-plus-one.

So all of this combines into a giant mess that really makes me think I’d be better off closing down the blog and stopping doing reviews. I don’t relish it. I wish I had the fortitude to keep going, along with everything else I want to do. And if it wasn’t for the mental health issues, I’d probably be fine to keep going; those 5 things weigh even more than usual when you’re struggling with depression. Take 1 thing off my plate, and the rest of the load becomes something I can handle. And the thing I remove may as well be the one that’s been bringing me the least joy lately.

It’s been a good ride. I regret only that it had to end. I regret none of the experience itself, because I learned so much and met so many wonderful people during this journey.

So with that in mind, I want to take this moment to mention a few people in particular who I feel contributed to me getting this far. Whether they did so intentionally or not.

Jo Walton, for consenting to let an utter newbie do their first author interview with you, and for tolerating how ridiculously awkward those questions were.

Kersten Hamilton, for directing me to NetGalley all those years ago.

Paul Weimer and Sarah Chorn, for rekindling my interest in photography. (And an extra shout-out to Sarah for inspiring me to improve my cooking so that I could make as many delicious things as she does.)

Courtney Schafer, for showing me extra stuff you wrote, even when you didn’t have to, just because you knew I’d like it.

Teresa Frohock, for inadvertently pandering to my love of nephilim in same-sex relationships. (No, seriously, this is absolutely a concept I’ve loved for years and have toyed with writing and RPing multiple times!)

KV Johansen, for all our talk about the similar weather we must endure.

Mark Lawrence, for starting the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off and letting me be a judge in it. (Maybe some year I’ll be brave enough to submit my own work to it.)

Amanda Rutter, for remembering a far-off Canadian on a World Book Night that isn’t actually worldwide, and for the surprise book to celebrate it.

Foz Meadows, for the Supernatural fanfics that I just could not stop reading!

And so many of you for just generally being awesome friends.

If you want to keep in contact, I’ll still be around of Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add me on either of them. I’ll still be more than happy to talk books and tea and other geekish stuff, and to rant and rave about the stuff I’m reading, and to recommend books to all and sundry. That I won’t be writing reviews here anymore doesn’t mean I’ll be leaving the community entirely. It just means that you’ll probably see me talk more about art projects and my own writing, because now I feel like I have time for them both again.

This feels bittersweet, the closing of a book, and it hurts a little bit to do it. But I really do think it’s best for me right now.

Happy reading,
~ Ria

February was a Write-Off

I feel like I’m living on auto-pilot these days. Though I’ve made some steps in the right direction (started going to counseling sessions, applied for university), I feel like it’s been a “one step forward, two steps back” month on the whole. It’s not that I’ve been hanging on by a thread so much as I just feel generally apathetic and unmotivated. Not to read, not to write, not to play video games, nothing. Enjoyment seems to have gone out the window, to be replaced by this dull knowledge that I have stuff I need to do and that I should probably do it, but… meh.

Ain’t depression grand?

That’s why there’ve been so few posts here over February. I’m back in that phase where, instead of wanting to do things, I merely want to want to do them. As in, “Boy, wouldn’t it be nice if I could summon the energy to really get into a thing?” My moods tend to cycle like this. I had about a week of positive outlook, during which I did responsible things like cleaning more, recording video game stuff a bunch, the aforementioned university application. But that week is over, and I’m cycling back down.

I’m not saying this because I want sympathy or pity. I’m saying it because I figure people have the right to know why I’ve fallen so behind on things here, and why I haven’t been seen on social media that much.

It doesn’t help that I seem to have hit a giant wall of insomnia. I’ve pretty much just relegated myself to sleeping whenever my body feels like it might let me rather than sleeping on a schedule, because getting a couple of hours here and there is better than tossing and turning for hours and then getting no sleep at all. It’s frustrating, because it means that sometimes I’m asleep when my roommate is at work, and sometimes I’m asleep when normally we’d be hanging out, and sometimes I’m asleep when they’re asleep, and there’s just no rhyme or reason to it. I’m just hoping that doing this might let me beat the insomnia and get back onto something of a regular schedule.

It’s also hard to concentrate on things when you’re so lacking in rest that it’s a genuine chore to shuffle into the next room to feed the cats and remember who gets what food in what bowl and how much.

So yeah, I will try to do better. But this is the state of things right now, and I don’t know when they’ll improve nor how much. Time will tell, I guess. I hope it’s soon. I’m so tired of all of this right now.

January 2017 in Retrospect

This past month has been difficult for me. I briefly had a job but now no longer do, after the ridiculous amounts of unprofessional behaviour I witnessed there (when you see your future supervisor making fun of and insulting those with mental disabilities, you know that’s a solid sign that you’re not working in a good place). One of my cats was diagnosed with diabetes. Still no sign on the horizon for getting the mental health care that I need. It’s been one of those months that’s both flown by and dragged on for an age.

I’m happy to see the end of it.

But it wasn’t entirely bad. Even if it was just stuff I accomplished for this blog, that still means I accomplished something.


Certain Dark Things, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Language of Dying, by Sarah Pinborough

SPFBO Review: Paternus, by Dyrk Ashton
SPFBO Review: Larcout, by K A Krantz

Other stuff

I wrote about how poorly Wicca and neopaganism is portrayed in SFF. I got to design my own Loot Crate idea, which was a lot of fun!

For Tea Tuesday, I review King Cole’s chocolate peppermint tea, Stash’s cinnamon vanilla herbal tea, and David’s Tea’s cinnamon rooibos chai. Seems to have been a bit of a cinnamon month!

No movie reviews, though. I’ve been rather slack on those. Probably because I haven’t really watched many movies lately.

Next month

I’m still doing well with sticking to my goal of one book read and reviewed each week, and focusing on books from my backlist rather than upcoming novels. It’s relieving some of my guilt at not having read them already, so that’s good. I should be doing at least one more SPFBO review, too. I’ve got plenty of tea to drink and review, so expect to find out what’s in my cup a few more times along the way!

That about sums it up. How was your January?

The Loot Crate Dream Crate

When I found out that Loot Crate, known for their different subscription crates, was looking for fans to get involved with a project they were setting up around the idea of designing your own “Dream Crate,” I was definitely all for it. The chance to put together a hypothetical box of stuff that’s not only awesome and full of pop culture and geek stuff, but also that really speaks to me? Yes please!

I tossed around a few ideas at first, looking at games or movies or aspects of mythology that I both liked and that were popular enough to have merchandise. Vampires? Origin Stories/Creation Myths? Deities? I love all of these things, and there was enough in pop culture that I could probably group together some cool merchandise for a Crate, but these ideas seemed like things that other people would be able to come up with without much trouble on their own.

Then one day as I walked away from a shift at work, I thought to myself, “Ah, freedom.” And there it was. My Dream Crate idea.



Freedom like the beginning of Stardew Valley, when your avatar becomes too tired of the corporate grind killing their soul and decides to take up their grandfather’s offer of a farm near a peaceful town. Freedom like having so many options for things to do in that game, be it farming, fishing, exploring the mines, hunting monsters, all sorts.

hatemorndasFreedom like the Elder Scrolls series, which — at least in the last 3 main games — always starts off with you being a prisoner, then attaining freedom, then attaining greatness. The freedom to explore a vast world, to meet people, to choose how to spend your time, whether you enjoy mixing potions or picking pockets or just Constantly Jumping Up Mountains.

nofaceFreedom like what Sen/Chihiro seeks in the amazing Studio Ghibli film, Spirited Away, also known as Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi. She seeks freedom for herself and her parents, who are all trapped in a spirit realm. The movie also has a major theme involving the dangers of greed, and ultimately, overcoming the trappings of greed and finding freedom from unrelenting lust play a big role in the family gaining their freedom.


Freedom like Fox Mulder being able to investigate the weird cases that meant something to him, freedom to explore the boundaries of science and pseudoscience to uncover the truth that was out there. Dude got a lot of leniency over the years. And he knew he had more freedom than others to advance his personal mission, too; the show never made a secret of how much other people covered for him, and the character never acted ignorant of how much others made sure he could keep that degree of autonomy.

Even if they made it seem like a punishment sometimes.

Freedom like the ability to lock and unlock entire worlds in Kingdom Hearts. The freedom to travel between those worlds. The main weapon from the series is shaped like a giant key, and if unlocking things isn’t related to freedom, I’ll eat this extremely warm-looking hat.

I’m certain I missed some great examples that could go into something like this. Freedom like the ability to explore a vast world in Minecraft, but I’d already used 3 video game examples that I felt worked better. Freedom like the broken chains on Windrider’s hooves, but since Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar novels aren’t really big in pop culture unless your pop culture consists solely of my house, I didn’t think it was entirely appropriate. Freedom like… something in Game of Thrones, I’m sure, but I think at this point in the sentence it’s obvious why I didn’t include something from that franchise.

Freedom means different things to different people. Sometimes freedom means having the money to do absolutely anything you want in life. Sometimes it means knowing you have what you need and don’t need to seek the money to do anything else. Sometimes it’s having strength to carve your own path, and sometimes it’s the ability to dance along the path others have carved before you.

I’d love to hear what elements from pop culture make you think of freedom. Leave a comment and let me know!

2016 Year-End Post

2016 has been… a year. A hard year. It hasn’t been the worst ever, but it’s been far from easy, in a lot of ways.

But there’s something positive-seeming about closing out the year by looking at accomplishments rather than failures, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Top 10 Posts of 2016

SPFBO Review: The Grey Bastards, by Jonathan French
SPFBO: First Eliminations (Batch 1)
SPFBO: First Eliminations (Batch 2) and Strong Contenders
Top 11 Books I Read in 2016
Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire
Top 10 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2017
The Obelisk Gate, by N K Jemisin
The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley
SPFBO Review: Touch of Iron, by Timandra Whitecastle
SPFBO Review: Song of the Summer King, by Jess E Owens

The First Impressions posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) were also extremely popular, though if I listed them all in the Top 10 list, they’d take up a full half of it, so I decided to list those separately.

So it seems that in general, people come here for SPFBO stuff. Maybe I should change the blog name to SPFBOtropic?

So what’s in store for 2017? Well, I mentioned previously that I’m making next year my Year of the Backlog, so that I have a great excuse to read all the books I previously neglected because I felt the obligation to read more recent things. I do want to continue writing movie reviews and tea reviews, because they’re fun and I like sharing the things I’m watching and drinking. I aim to write a few more posts about my struggle against Ultros, which is what I’ve named my current battle with depression, because even though that’s not related to stories and books, it’s very much a thing I experience and I think writing about it might not only help me but also might help others understand what it’s like.

Beyond that? I want to finish this year’s SPFBO. Aaaaand that’s about it. That’s all I have planned. Anything else, I’ll take as I come.

So with all that in mind, as 2016 draws to a close, I hope that next year is worlds better than this year was, in all ways. Happy reading, everyone!


Taking a week off.

I was going to post today with a movie review. And post tomorrow with a tea review. And post Wednesday with a book review. Possibly the same thing on Thursday, too.

But stuff happened and I’m nowhere close to the right headspace to deal with expectations right now, even my own, and honestly I’d rather spend a few days slacking off and feeling no responsibilities so that I can recentre myself and not feel like absolute crud again. And with that in mind, this blog is going to be a little quiet for the week. I’ll have a year-end post at the end of the week, but other than that, I’m stepping back for a brief period so that I can get stuff in order and try to start 2017 fresh, without as much weighing on my mind.

Thanks for the understanding.

Introducing 2017: The Year of the Backlog

It’s no secret that I have a lot of books. Not as many as some, but enough. More than enough. Probably enough that if I read 100 books a year for the next 5 years, and didn’t get any more books during that time, I still would have some left unread.

This has been the general state of things for years, though; it’s nothing new.

However, my backlog of review copies has left me feeling decidedly guilty. Every month books come to me that I don’t get the chance to read. Sometimes I just can’t read that quickly. Sometimes health stuff gets in the way. There are a variety of reasons. And oftentimes, I end up putting those books on the back burner because other books are coming out soon and I really ought to focus on them instead.

Or so my mind tells me.

So these books that have passed their publication date often end up staying on that back burner. Sometimes I pick a couple off and remember, yes, I need to read that, no matter what, but for the most part, I still end up so focused on future books that the past books get left behind. And I feel guilty, because publishers and authors sent me those in good faith, hoping at least some review would come from it, and I let them down. I feel like I didn’t follow through, even though I made no guarantee that I’d get to read and review any of them.

That’s why I’m declaring 2017 to the the Year of the Backlog. I’m going to make some dents in that mountain!

I’m still going to have a little focus on upcoming books. Probably one a month. But everything else will be reviews of books that were published in 2016 or earlier. (Plus the remainder of the SPFBO books, of course). Taking everything into account, even if I only read and review 1 book a week, that will mean by the end of 2017, I’ll have cleared 44 books of my backlog, and while that isn’t many in terms of the whole giant mountain of books I have, it’s something. It’ll help get some weighty guilt off my chest. It’ll give me a fantastic and worthy excuse to stop focusing so much on what’s going to happen and let me focus a bit on all the good stuff that has already happened, all the books that came out in previous years that I missed or didn’t have time for or what have you.

Anyone with me in this challenge? Or will I be chipping away at Mount TBR alone?

Anime Review: Final Fantasy XV Brotherhood

I’ve been doing movie reviews on Mondays lately, but this week I haven’t watched any. I did, however, watch the Final Fantasy XV companion anime, so I figured I’d give that a review instead.

brotherhoodI’d heard beforehand that this anime was a prequel of sorts, and both it and the game could be enjoyed independently of each other. That’s only partly true, really. One won’t really give you spoilers for the other, so long you’ve played at least about half an hour to an hour of the game and really gotten the plot started. Without that, the anime is going to spoil something for you, if you’re the sort to like things extremely spoiler-free.

Also, given that the episodes are all shorts, and focus on the backgrounds of the main characters in the game, you can absolutely enjoy the anime without knowing much about the game itself, though I would question why anyone would. The episodes focus on events that happened before the game, usually during Noctis’s childhood or adolescence, and when you already know the characters from the game, this stuff is interesting. But if you haven’t played the game yet, I can’t see much interest in finding out events in the history of characters you know nothing about, other than that they’re a bunch of guys who are traveling together. So I wouldn’t recommend watching this unless you’ve played or seen enough of the game to really care about the characters in question. It’s not that you can’t, it’s just that it’s so much better when you do.

The first and last episodes focus on Noctis, specifically on a daemon that attacked him when he was young, resulting in injury and recovery that hints of were seen in the game itself. Gladiolus’s episode focused on his martial training of Prince Noctis, and his discovery that the prince isn’t just some unworthy royal brat but is, in fact, capable of self-sacrifice and compassion. Ignis’s chapter deals with his attempts to make Noctis accept his royal duties, while Noctis rebels against it because accepting royal duties means accepting his father will die. The episodes may be short, but there’s some good stuff in here, conveyed very well visually, and it comes through even more powerfully when you see how the characters were compared to how they are now.

ffxvep1-800x411But it was Prompto’s episode that really stuck with me, as it deals with the first time he ever met Noctis. Unlike the others, he wasn’t employed by royalty in the beginning. He was just a regular kid, a bit of a nobody, with no friends, a weight problem, and an empty home. And while I usually get tense when it comes to characters who are overweight, because 9 times out of 10 the story is that they just can’t stop eating, it’s clear from the outset that Prompto’s weight came about because all we see him eat at first is take-out burgers and fries. He comes home to an empty house every day, no food waiting for him, so what else is a kid supposed to do for food? And after a random encounter with Noctis, Prompto is determined to be somebody the prince won’t overlook. Somebody worthy of attention, no longer the nobody.

So he goes about reinventing himself. And we see his struggle as he learns to eat better and as he gets better at jogging, and he still keeps himself to himself because he’s a shy quiet kid whose hobbies are photography and cute animals, but by the time both he and Noctis both enter high school, Prompto’s ready for the “first meeting” he wished he had years ago. So he pretends that they’ve never met before, and walks right up to Noctis and decides yup, I’m going to be friendly and outgoing so you’ll like me.

And that resonated so hard with me.Because those are issues I have struggled with too, only I didn’t have some random encounter when I was young that made me want to better myself, so I kept struggling and feeling lousy into adulthood (hasn’t changed yet, really). But seeing a character that I could relate to in that way have that epiphany, to watch him change himself into who he wants to be… It hit home.

And made me really understand why so much of the game’s fandom likes to ‘ship Noct and Prompto together.

It brought about mixed feelings, because I’ve also heard countless times that it’s bad for someone to change themselves for another person, but at the same time I can really empathize with the idea of wanting to be who you want to be. To develop your outsides so that they match your insides, and so that you can feel comfortable with yourself. That someone else inspired you to improve isn’t in itself a bad thing, and I think there’s a definite line between than and changing for someone else’s convenience. Prompto wanted to feel worthy of Noctis’s attention in his own eyes, not Noctis’s.

As a companion to the game, this anime doesn’t really answer any questions I had, but it does provide some interesting background to make the characters feel just a touch more fleshed out, to make them feel like real people with histories and experiences and who make mistakes and learn from them. Being shorts, they don’t require much time to get through (there are only 5 episodes), and if you’ve enjoyed the video game or are still enjoying it, it’s worth taking the time to watch. The voice actors are the same as the ones in the game, so there’s none of that weird jarring sensation when you hear a character speak with a different voice than you’re used to, the animation is crisp and clear, and in general I’d say it’s a good addition to the game’s lore and background.

Books on my Radar (December 2016)

Every month has a glut of books that look awesome and that I know — I know — I will never get around to reading, whether or not I have a copy. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth highlighting. So here’s a look at the books coming out in December 2016 that have caught my attention.

(Note – This is not a comprehensive list of all SFF books being released in this month. This is just a list of the ones that I have my eye on, for whatever reason.)

December 2016 SFF books

Tempest, edited by Mercedes Lackey / B&N
December 06

The Nature of a Pirate, by A M Dellamonica / B&N
December 06

…Huh. Well, that was a shorter list than I expected. Now, that’s not to say there are no other books coming out in December that I’d want to read. It’s just that, evidently, only 2 of them have really caught my eye.

Well, I guess that gives me more time to read SPFBO stuff without feeling guilty, then!

November 2016 in Retrospect

Holy crap, November’s over, it’s almost the end of the year! What the hell? Where did 2016 go?

Oh, right. It went out of the nightmares of people and then crashed and burned. I think it’s somewhere in a smoldering pile under our feet.

…Welp, on that cheery note!

November wasn’t that great a month for me. Between battling bouts of apathy and trying to balance other areas of my life, I didn’t get much reading or reviewing done, and I felt guilty and lazy for it. I’m going to try and make December a bit better, but until then, let’s at least look back on what I did do this past month, rather than focus on what I didn’t.


The Hidden People, by Alison Littlewood
An Import of Intrigue, by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Invisible Planets, translated by Ken Liu

SPFBO review: The Music Box Girl. by K A Stewart

Movie review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Movie review: The Silenced

Other Stuff

As always I started the month by looking at the upcoming books I was excited about.

I wrote a post called Facing the Monster, which is about living with mental illness and how the “mental illness narrative” that appears in fiction doesn’t often match up with what happens in reality.

I only did one tea review this month, but it was still a delicious one: Bubbie’s Baklava, from David’s Tea.

Next Month

Huh… When I tally it up, it looks like I did more here this past month than I thought. Well, no complaints from me!

In December, I want to write another book review each week, which is what I’ve been aiming for this year in general. I also want to continue the project ideas I started in November, which is to review a different kind of tea each Tuesday, and a fantasy/sci-fi/horror movie each Monday. More and more lately I find I enjoy reviewing in general, and I really like tea and movies alongside loving books, so I thought it may at least amuse some people to hear me talk about them every once in a while too. Plus, at least where movies are concerned, wanting to review a movie each week gives me a great excuse for a little downtime, since watching movies — even when I’m watching them with a critical eye and a mind to review them — is far less intensive for me than reading a book with an eye to reviewing it. It feels like a break while also being productive, and I like it.

I’ll also take a look at some of my favourite books that I’ve read this past year, as I usually do when the calendar comes to its final page.

Happy upcoming December, everyone. I hope it’s better than your November!