Let’s Talk Bookish – Summer Reading Plans

Aria @ Book Nook Bits is the new host for Let’s Talk Bookish! If you aren’t following her yet, good check out her blog and give her a follow!

June 2: Summer Reading Plans (Aria)

Prompts: It’s almost summer! What kinds of books do you like to read in summer? Do you have any summer reading plans? What books are at the top of your summer TBR? 

Welcome to another week of LTB here at DTRH, everyone! I can’t believe it’s June already, but this topic arrives just in time, what are everyone’s summer reading plans? Or are they just an extension of what happens during the year? Time to find out!

For me, I like to read relaxing books during the summer for sure. Rather than diving into difficult reads, summer just seems like the perfect time to be relaxing (beach or not) and reading a book that doesn’t take too much out of you, you know? Of course this doesn’t totally disturb the regular flow of things, and books I’ve been wanting to read that are heavy don’t just suddenly get pushed aside necessarily. However, given the choice, and given the luxury to read whatever I want in the nice weather of the summer, I definitely lean towards quick and easy reads, particularly ones that are feel-good.

This summer I really am just aiming to read as much as I can. The regular school year is always crazy busy and I read way way less than I hope to. As such, I really hope to (happily) churn through a lot of books this summer so that at least I feel I really tried to reach my quotas and also get to try a lot of different books! I have already ramped up my reading a lot compared to what I was able to do during the year, and that has really helped to bring my bookish spirits back up and continue on.

I’m currently reading Leigh Bardugo’s Hell Bent, and I’m enjoying it so far (spoiler!). I definitely have a lot of recommendations to get to from my friends and the community, so I will be happily working through that this summer as well. I saw a book at the bookstore called The Immortalists, which seemed really interesting, so I had to pick that up, that’s definitely one on my list to read. My bookclub has chosen Cloud Cuckoo Land as the next book, so expect to see that on the horizon as well! Really these are just a few of the titles on my TBR, but I’m really going to try having as much fun as possible this summer reading through whatever I can.

What are y’alls plans for this summer? Lots of reading? Or maybe it’s time for a break? Let me know in the comments below!


Let’s Talk Bookish – Reading Slumps

Aria @ Book Nook Bits is the new host for Let’s Talk Bookish! If you aren’t following her yet, good check out her blog and give her a follow!

May 26: What Causes Reading Slumps? (Aria)

Prompts: There have been past LTB topics about ways to get out of reading slumps, but I was curious about why they happen in the first place. Do you fall into reading slumps often? What causes them? Are there patterns you notice with when you tend to read fewer books? What do you do to get out of a reading slump?

Welcome back to another week of LTB here at DTRH, everyone! Today’s topic is about reading slumps, which I’m sure is relatable to everyone in the bookish community, blogger or not. I actually wonder if there are those who love books who have never fallen into any sort of slump. Let me know in the comments below if that applies to you!

I don’t fall into reading slumps too often, although I do not think that is directly correlated to reading a lot. Getting busy and not having time to read is not what I would personally categorize as a reading slump, though feel free to disagree there. I feel like the slumps often happen when you read a few books in a row that aren’t particularly exciting, and no new upcoming books really tickle your fancy either. The dampeners on your excitement to read another book is what starts the slump I think, and if nothing gets in the way of that, it can quickly snowball into total slump, I think.

I really think the cause is like a lack of motivation. For whatever external reason it is, usually a bad book, or perhaps just a series of books that aren’t exciting, these kinds of dampeners can really lower the excitement and motivation to read. I think if you just act passively in these situations, it can be really easy for the motivation to slip away, and just get less and less excited to read.

When I get busy I tend to read fewer books, which I think is the case with most people. But it’s not a strict correlation there either of course. If I’m excited enough about a book, most likely I will just make time for it despite the busy schedule. Yet sometimes I don’t read when I’m busy; I assume no book is just interesting enough at the time for me to consider a particular priority. I think it’s really easy to put down books and stop reading and then fall into the weird paradoxical slump where you “really want” to read, but don’t actually read. Does anyone else do that?

Honestly I usually hard force myself out of a slump usually. Or what also really helps is talking to other bookish friends or members of the community who are excited for something. All these will usually re-ignite my passion for reading and make me want to read as well. Even if I don’t speak to someone, honestly if I just pick up any book that sounds a little bit interesting, or something more exciting like a thriller, often times the emotions of reading a book will also jog my love of reading and get me out of a slump. Even if this doesn’t necessarily always have a 100% success rate, I find that since I really do enjoy reading, it isn’t too too hard to climb out of the slump.

How about you all? Are slumps common or just a rare occurrence? And how do you get out of them if so? Let me know in the comments below!

3.5 star

Review: Orchid Child by Victoria Costello

Kate is a neuroscientist who covets logic and order, unless she’s sleeping with her married lab director, and then logic goes out the window. So does her orderly life in Manhattan when she’s fired over the affair and Kate’s mother presses her to accept responsibility for her fifteen-year-old nephew, Teague, an orchid child who hears voices and talks to trees but rarely people.
To salvage her career, Kate agrees to conduct a study in West Ireland where hostile townsfolk rebuff her study of their historically high rate of schizophrenia and a local chief Druid identifies Teague’s odd perceptions as the gift of second sight, thrusting a bewildered Kate on a trail of madness, magic, and armed rebellion that leads to her own grandparents, who were banished as traitors from the same town.
When a confrontation with the chief Druid endangers Teague’s life, Kate lands at the intersection of ancient Celtic mysticism and 21st century neurodiversity, where the act of witnessing old wounds can heal suffering in both past and present – even hers, if she can accept the limits of science and the power of ancestral ties.

Note: I received a copy of this an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions put forward are completely my own.

This book was advertised as: Celtic mysticism meets 21st century neurodiversity. A hint of fantasy in an otherwise realistic world is usually a classic archetype that I would enjoy, so I definitely had to give this one a try. So when I was offered a copy of this, I had to jump on the ship!

Orchid Child revolves around a neuroscientist, Kate, who has a messy past in New York with her old job. Things get even more tumultuous when she assumes custody of her teenaged nephew, Teague, and move together to Ireland for a new position studying schizophrenia and other psychological disorders in a certain population in Ireland. Combining a bit of mysticism with science and the power of familial ties, this is a story told in multiple POVs and explores what it means to be family over generations and in the community. It also has lots of reference to mental health related aspects.

The characters in this book were quite good. The main ones had distinct personalities, and even if I didn’t overly relate with most of them, I still understood the point of the character and what they added to the story. Each had a defined personality, and were quite believable, and were internally consistent. Many also experienced character growth in a natural manner that wasn’t jarring. The one thing here I would say was that there were a decent number of characters, so sometimes it was a bit more difficult to keep track of the relationships that were being defined, especially as we get through multiple generations, and flip through the past and present.

The plot was quite decent. I think this plot really revolves a lot more around the relationships that are built and explored. In a way it reads a bit like a mystery with some suspense elements built in too because of the secrets that are slowly unearthed, even if the main story doesn’t revolve around a murder. It has a number of twists and turns that were quite exciting, and I also think the flipping of the POVs between the past and present slowly coming together is always a type of storywriting that I enjoy. There were a few plot gaps that I personally wish were more explored, but I think that is just an author’s choice. I just had a few questions at some points that were never really answered, but perhaps they were considered side plots and not all too important to the main story, which I totally understand.

I really liked the themes of family, land, and ancestral homes in this book. I can also see that it’s somewhat based on the author’s discovery of her family roots. I think that was one of the strong points of this book, in addition to the way the mental health is treated both by professionals and the lay person. The tying of the mysticism into mental health was also well done, and I found it to be an interesting new perspective on how to look at it as well. There was also a bit of a historical element to it, which was great in tying it all together. Overall I would say I enjoyed the book and its contents, although there were times in the book where I felt that it was leading somewhere, but it actually took me somewhere else. Again this is likely the author’s choice mixed with my own expectations of what I think would/should happen.

One last point is that I like that the title is tied into the book naturally, or is at least, a part of the story that is clear. It really feels like a “coming full circle” moment, and I always enjoy that.

Overall Recommendations

Orchid Child is a story that mostly takes place in Ireland, revolving around our protagonist Kate as she navigates her new job in a foreign country that takes her back to her ancestral homeland. A story of familial ties and everlasting loyalty, the story really explores themes of mental health, support, and perspective of various members of the community on mental health and its stigma. If you enjoy themes of family, ancestral land, with a hint of mysticism, this may be the one for you!