Monday, January 6, 2014

OhMyGod. It's a Post!

Hey guys!

(For those of you who want to skip the life update and go straight to the bookish stuff, check out the last paragraph).

Wow. I bet you'd thought you'd seen the last of me. No posts since July? Crazy. Then again, most of you know I'm currently in my last year of my Master's program, and unfortunately, keeping up with grad school and teaching has pretty much meant no time for book blogging (much less fun reading). Until two or three days ago, I hadn't read a "fun" book since my last blog post, which was six months ago. Yikes. That sounded even worse when I had to type it. Truth is, this semester has easily been the most challenging, stressful semester in my life. With my coursework, teaching two different classes (instead of two sections of the same class), writing my thesis proposal, and putting together my Ph.D. applications, I've averaged about 3-4 hours of sleep a night since August. Not kidding. To make things worse, my semester ended with the unexpected death of a friend, along with Christmas, and me being a bridesmaid in the wedding of another friend, all occurring within a week and a half of each other. 

I'm not trying to turn this into a pity party (though it definitely feels a little bit that way now) . . . I just want you guys to get a feel for what's been going on with me over the last few months. Because I didn't get to blog this semester. Not once.  Not even to check in. And that's okay, because grad school is important, and even though it sometimes feels like I will be in school forever, I won't be, and maybe life will eventually get a little less chaotic. I really do miss book blogging. I miss getting to interact with such a warmhearted community of book lovers on a regular basis. I miss keeping up on all the latest publications. Though, admittedly, blogging can be stressful at times, I miss the relaxation it offered--being able to share things I loved (or didn't) with people who cared. I miss getting up in the morning and getting to sit down with my cup of coffee and read through all of your wonderful posts. 

I realize that my longtime followers and book-loving friends will tell me not to worry about keeping up with the blog, because it's something that will be waiting for me when I finally have the time. And I know that at some point, the book blogging community will welcome me back with all the kindness and support they've shown me over the years. I guess I'm just having a moment of nostalgia and even a little bit of regret, having to give up something I enjoyed so much in order to pursue something else, which is also incredibly important to me.

Anyways, the serious part of this post is over, and now I want to focus on good things! Over the last week, I have gotten the chance to continue Ann Aguirre's fantastic Sirantha Jax series. I just finished the fifth book, Aftermath, last night. I've already ordered the final book in the series, Endgame, and I'm planning on finishing it this week before school starts again on Monday. Getting the chance to read Killbox and Aftermath has been the highlight of my winter break, both because Aguirre really is a kickass author, and because getting to read such thoroughly enjoyable books that I got to pick out to read for fun has given me some relief from the insanity.

This brings me to the question I've been wanting to ask you all: what were YOUR favorite reads of 2013 (or, if you've been on the ball, your favorite read so far of 2014)? They can be books that were published last year or ones that you just read last year, but I'd love to know your recommendations for some awesome reading. If you reviewed the book(s), leave me the links so I can check them out. And most of all, I wish you all the best in 2014. I hope I'll get to check in now and again, but if not, I'll see you when I see you! :)
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