Challenge Check-In 2024 Q2

Challenge Check-In 2024 Q2

Last year I failed spectacularly at monthly updates, though I lasted for half a year so that’s not bad. So I decided to try doing it quarterly, and since we are halfway through the year (holy shit, HOW?!), it’s time for the Challenge Check-In 2024 Q2!

And if you missed it, you can check out my Q1 check-in HERE!

The Good, The Bad, and Everything in Between

After a rocky start to the year, things definitely picked up in the spring. So much so, that I needed to pull the break in May to avoid sliding back into burnout. I pushed myself a bit too hard, and I really need to pay attention to myself when it comes to it.

So, between April 1st and June 30th, I opened 22 books, including my 5 SPFBO books. I DNFd 7 out of 22, and 2 were rereads from previous years. I’m going to return to 2 of the 5 SPFBO books as they are my potential semi-finalists and I’d like to read more (or all) of them before I make m decision. I’m pleased with my progress so far, but I took up a bit more in July than I should have so… 😅

Out of the 22 books, 7 were on the list I set up as my shortened TBR in my Reading Goals for 2024 post, which means I slowed down in that regard. Too many new shinies, I guess. And since we’ve hit the half-year mark, I need to go and update that post with anything new I added recently… someone tell me why am I doing this to myself?

The books I loved the most in 2024 Q2

Out of the 22 books, I gave 5👑 to 5 (1 reread). I also had 3 4.5👑 reads (also 1 reread). I was a bit less nice, as I should be. I have a reputation to hold up and everything. Anyway, I would highly recommend them all, but I’m only going to highlight 5 that I think have a good chance of making my final top 10 of 2024! The books are listed in the order I’ve read them.

A Rival Most Vial by R.K. Ashwick

A Rival Most Vial by R.K. Ashwick was one of the SPFBO 9 finalists, and one of the last books I read for the season. Which is a good thing, because I loved this sooo much. This was hands down my favorite book, and I’m pretty sure it’ll make my final top 10 as well. It has everything you could ask for: rivals-to-lovers M/M romance, adventure, cozy fantasy with epic elements, cool worldbuilding, and a great set of characters. It’s a travesty it didn’t place higher, but I implore you to read it!

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Ritual of Fire by D. V. Bishop

Ritual of Fire by D. V. Bishop is the third book in the Cesare Aldo historical mystery series. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I discovered this series. I somehow don’t have a great fantasy year, but I’m definitely having a great mystery one. This series is amazing, start reading it.

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The Hungry Dark by Jen Williams

The Hungry Dark is only the first book I read from Jen Williams, but definitely not the last (especially since I read The Ninth Rain, too). This was a…bit of a disturbing read, if I’m being honest. An absolutely thrilling one, though. Made me want to read more thrillers, frankly. Please don’t ever let me procrastinate on Jen Williams.

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Arthur by Giles Kristian

Arthur by Giles Kristian is the book I had no idea I needed, but here we are. I found out about Arthur back in January when I decided to reread Lancelot. I wasn’t into Camelot much, so I wasn’t sure what Arthur helds for me. I shouldn’t have worried. This is an amazing closure to the trilogy. I was just flying through the pages.

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A Divine Fury by D. V. Bishop

A Divine Fury by D. V. Bishop is the fourth book in the Cesare Aldo series, and yes, it absolutely deserves its place on this list. Picking only one of these books for the final top 10 will be a bitch. You should be happy to hear that this is the latest release (came out in June), so everyone will have to wait a year until the next one and I have no idea what to do with myself until then.

Womble's TBR Reduction

Well, the good news is, I’m doing slightly better with Womble’s reading challenge, for now… 😅 In 2024 Q2, out of the 3 prompts, I finished two!

April – Diamond AnniversaryThe Fourteen Carat Car by Jenő Rejtő. Since we had to read a book that’s over 60 years old and it also fit another challenge I was doing in April I thought it might be time to pick up this old classic. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while now. Jenő Rejtő is a famous Hungarian author who writes satire and comedy. Until know I only read one of his books which I liked. I don’t know if it was the case of wrong time, wrong book or what but I didn’t enjoy this one as much.

May – The Fourth…The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams. Soooo, I don’t really read SF, as it’s just not something I’m interested in, but May happened to be Wyrd & Wonder Month, and I organized a buddy read for The Ninth Rain, which happens to have SF elements, and so I decided it fits. Sorry Womble, I know you make the rules, but you can’t stop me from doing this. AND! I managed to reach a stretch goal too, whooo! Any book from the TBR counted, so it’s Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy for me.

June – The Longest Days: I’m sorry, but there was just no fucking way I’d read the longest book on my TBR when 1) June is one of the busiest months of the year for me, 2) I had a shitload of stuff to read, 3) I have no idea which is the longest book on my TBR and 4) and I don’t even want to know which is it. I don’t like super long books, so I avoid them whenever I can.

Year in Aeldia

This is the first year I’m taking part in the Choose Your Own Adventure: Year in Aeldia 2024 Reading Challenge which is its second year. So far I’m doing really good. I’m also taking part in the Magical Readathon that takes place in April and August. But we’ll get back to those in due time. 2024 Q2 had the following choices:

Choose Your Own Adventure: A Year in Aeldia 2024 Q2 progress

April – Back to Orilium (Readathon Month): So this year I was brave and gave a go to the Magical Readathon. While it was fun picking the books, but I don’t think I’ll do it ever again. Since I’m not taking part in the community (from what I hear, their Discord server is HUGE), it’s not so much fun alone. Plus even if I did some audiobooks, I almost sent myself back to burnout by forcing myself to read way too much, especially as it was the last month in SPFBO 9 and I had to finish some finalists. I think I’ll stick with this choose your adventure thing.

May – Extra credit in lore (title has multiple ‘L’s): Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. I had to think a lot about how to move on after the readathon month, and the deciding factor was the later prompts. I had to take into consideration my upcoming plans and what I can fit in. It was a close call, but I was able to fit Skulduggery Pleasant in thanks to audiobooks. That it fit with Womble’s challenge was a bonus.

June – Read about first recorded companions (book you had for ages): Guild of Tokens by John Auerbach. With June being busy as hell, it’s a small miracle I was able to fit this in. Although I just finished it on July 3rd, we are not going to talk about that. I won’t tell if you won’t.

The Sound of Madness

In 2024 Q2, I decided to add another 4 books to The Sound of Madness Reading Challenge card. Here they are:

Here is what my card looks like right now:

The Sound of Madness Progress Card for 2024 Q2

And that concludes my Challenge Check-In for 2024 Q2. On the whole, I’m doing well with my different challenges, so for now, I’m still happy with my progress. Let’s hope I can keep it up for Q3 as well! I’d love to hear about how you are doing with your challenges so far, so feel free to comment below!

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