This was the worst birthday month I’ve ever had. 😥
Let’s Rewind is my version of a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.
I’m a Pisces, and March is my birthday month. I was excited and looking forward to it. February was chaotic, so March was suppose to be my redemption month: the month when I would get everything back on track. But that didn’t happen.
Just about all my plans went awry because of the spreading Coronavirus. To be on the safe side, I cancelled everything. Back then, cases were spreading around the country like crazy and people weren’t sure whether to cancel travel plans or not. As for my birthday, it was okay. It was relaxing and I enjoyed it. I even managed to squeeze in an exercise class before it became really concerning to attend gym/studio classes and went to a fun candy museum thing before it became chancy to go anywhere.
The month was going as well as can be despite the spreading Coronavirus, travel restrictions, and a slight reading slump I was battling. But then a beloved family member died and… I didn’t know what to do with myself. My family knew this was coming one day (hopefully way in the future, not now) because of his age, but being stuck in the U.S. unable to be with family back home in Jamaica was especially hard. It still is hard, so I try not to think about it much. The circumstances made March a difficult, horrible month. I guess the only positive is that I’m finally out of my reading slump. I read to escape until I feel like dealing with life again, which is what I did, so it helped me out the slump.
Right now, my state has a super shelter-in-place order: no one allowed out after a certain time unless it’s for essential work, caring for family, or an emergency. My hope is that this whole Coronavirus thing gets resolved soon (I’m pretty sure it won’t, or not as soon as I want it to) so that I can go be with my family in Jamaica and have a memorial for my family member who passed. This is a difficult time for everyone, so I hope you all and your family are safe too.
The only reason why I completed this many books this month is because two of them are audiobooks of a series I love. I was easily hooked.
Royal Assassin was the first book I completed in March. I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Paul Boehmer, who did a fantastic job. Royal Assassin is the second novel in the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb, which is part of an epic fantasy series. The Farseer books are about the bastard son of a prince who becomes an assassin’s apprentice. The trilogy is actually a bildungsroman that begins with the protagonist, Fitz, as a child in the first book who matures into a young man by this second book. The story is filled with lots of interesting characters and political intrigue and was an absolute joy to revisit.
Next I completed The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince, also by Robin Hobb but is a prequel to the Realm of the Elderlings series, the wider epic fantasy series that begins with the Farseer trilogy. Of course, I buddy-read this book with Emily from Embuhleeliest. It’s a short book about a headstrong princess and the Witted son she bore. In the Farseer books, the Wit is a disgraced form of magic that enables a person to bond or communicate with animals. This book tells us how the Wit became a lowly form of magic in the Six Duchies. It was a really good read that I highly recommend if you’ve already read all the Realm of the Elderlings books.
I then sped through Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb, the last book in the Farseer trilogy. I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Paul Boehmer. I was hooked the entire time. It was as if I was reading the book for the first time. Again I was worried for Fitz and the Six Duchies and Prince Verity. I loved reading about Fitz and the Fool’s friendship and loved their interactions with Kettle, the little old lady who always admonished them for their silliness. So much happens in this book that I recall differently. I wonder if it’s my memory that’s wrong about certain details or if the audiobook is slightly different from the book. I keep forgetting to check.
The first ARC I read this year was Vashti Hardy’s Brightstorm, a middle-grade fantasy novel with some steampunk elements about twins Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm who become orphaned when their father, a famous explorer, died on an expedition to South Polaris. The twins decide that the best way to figure out what really happened to their father is to visit South Polaris themselves, and they embark on an adventure to do so. The story wasn’t as exciting as I hoped it would be, but I liked it. The book is currently in stores.
And FINALLY, I completed my reread of Robert Jordan’s The Great Hunt, the second novel in the Wheel of Time series. In this book, Rand keeps denying he’s the dragon reborn, Perrin unwillingly accepts his wolfiness, Mat thinks everyone’s crazy while wasting away, the boys team up with Shienarans to regain the Horn of Valere and Mat’s dagger, Rand unwillingly (kinda) becomes a lord, the girls are all annoying and go off to Tar Valon, but somehow everyone meets up on Toman Head for a great battle scene. I really liked that battle, mainly the part when the heroes of old return and Hurrin rides out with them and Perrin carries the dragon flag and Rand battles Ba’alzamon in the air. (I don’t know if I spelled all these WOT things correctly, but I really don’t feel like checking.)
Those with a star (★) are the ones that stuck with me. << I guess this doesn’t matter since I only read one article this month, but it was a good one.
★ How the Virus Got Out (nytimes.com)
— An interactive article about the spread of the novel Coronavirus
Here’s a soca song to give you all some feel-good vibes and help ease the anxiety caused by the current epidemic (start it at 0:51). The song was created to plant “a seed of hope and solidarity through soca music” during this global crisis.
Around the blog-o-verse
R/Fantasy Virtual Con Schedule – Week of 3/30 – 4/5 (waytoofantasy.com)
— Lisa at Way Too Fantasy has helped to create a virtual fantasy convention on Reddit since many book tours and conventions have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The link above is for the latest lineup of author events, but check out this post for more details about this virtual convention and the full schedule.
Wyrd & Wonder: Adventurers Wanted (onemore.org)
— Wyrd & Wonder, a month-long celebration of all things fantasy, is back again for another year! 😀 I certainly plan to participate. The link above is to the announcement post, but check out this one too about quests and rewards.
Illustrator Saturday – Francisco Fonseca (kathytemean.wordpress.com)
— I love art, I love books, and I really LOVE illustrated children’s books, so I was glad to find this blog that features illustrators and writers of children’s books. The link above features an illustrator from Portugal whose work I immediately fell for. Of course, I immediately followed him on IG (check it out to see his work) and I plan to purchase some through his Etsy shop as soon as I get the chance.
Stuff I pubbed
— I plan to participate in the OWLs Magical Readthon in April. I’m excited for it but am not sure which career path I will pursue.
— My review of one of my favorite author’s first foray into fantasy.
Y’all, I am hooked again on Sims Freeplay; harder than ever this time since I am stuck at home — working from home and generally staying inside to avoid contracting Corona. In addition to playing the game, I’m also hooked on watching these home tour videos (makes me realize how much I miss the TV show Fixer Upper).
Stuff I watched in March:
Locke & Key
I didn’t like it. Not at all. I’ve only seen three episodes, though, so maybe my mind will change if I finish the season. But so far, it’s not as haunting as the comic book felt or as interesting. The actor who plays Bode is maybe too old for the character. I can’t tell if he’s supposed to be a really little kid, like 7 or 8 or something, or almost preteen, like 10 or 11. It made no sense to me when the mom up and walked into the mirror world place. That shit didn’t make sense. She had no reason to go in there. It made no friggin sense! 😦 I’m frustrated. I was hoping for something better.
Babies are interesting and cute and a total mystery, so I started watching this documentary series on Netflix. I only watched the first episode so far. It’s interesting. I might continue.
Many Sides of Jane
This first aired on A&E. It’s a TV series (I guess it’s reality series; it didn’t seem like a documentary) about a woman who has Dissociative Identity Disorder and nine identities, called parts, that range in age from 6 to 28. It’s also interesting, but something about it doesn’t work for me, so I stopped watching after the second episode.
I rediscovered my love of this show, so I binged on a few old seasons. I missed Tim Gunn. He was probably my favorite part of the show.
For some reason, I feel that now is the great time to binge on this TV show, so I’m continuing my rewatch. I’m enjoying it, of course. Crowley and Dean are my favorites, and I also like how Rufus and Bobby play off each other. They crack me up.