Monday, January 31, 2022

January 2022 Wrap Up

It is 2022!

I realized a week or so ago that maybe it wasn't good that I didn't really set goals for the new year. Aside from my goal to read 60 books.

So I decided I want to finish the following books in order to finish the respective series:
  • Winter
  • The Bronzed Beasts
  • Five Dark Fates
  • Vengeful
  • The Stone Sky
I have already made some progress (as you will see). And while there aren't any formal goals aside from reading, I think it is better than nothing.
In the last couple of months I have started to see a counselor. It was determined several years ago that I have anxiety which has been pretty nicely under control due to my medication. Lately I have been experiencing pretty specific emotional issues and when I think about it, it sounds like a different manifestation of anxiety. And I think it was really triggered by my work/place of work. Unfortunately, I think it has changed me enough that this will continue to be a problem for the rest of my life, even after I leave this job (one day). So I started counseling. And that has been very good, I think. I still don't feel "better" per se, but I have learned more about myself and become a bit more aware of my thoughts and feelings. And my counselor recently suggested starting a vision board (or multiple, if that works). I have been looking into that, but haven't started anything concrete. I like the idea of them. And that is what made me think about setting goals and that maybe it was bad that I didn't set many.

I do still want to make some more disease posts. I haven't figured out which disease I want to cover yet, but I have a few top options. And I still have plans for some wedding posts that some people might appreciate. I will try to turn these into more concrete goals.

Lets look at the books I finished this month.

Title: Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow
Author: Jessica Townsend
Narrator: Gemma Whelan
Synopsis: Morrigan is now a scholar at the Wunderous Society. All the time she had been dreaming of her unit becoming her allies, like brothers and sisters. But life is not so easy. Someone is blackmailing her unit and the members of her unit resent Morrigan for it. Meanwhile, people are disappearing all around Nevermoor and the few that reappear are forever changed. Morrigan must unravel the mystery and try not to alienate her unit at the same time.
Thoughts: This was a re-read. And I still love these books. They are so good and fun and well-written. I absolutely adore Jupiter North, I think he is hilarious and wonderful.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Title: Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow
Author: Jessica Townsend
Narrator: Gemma Whelan
Synopsis: Morrigan is finally training to be a real wundersmith. In the meantime, a mysterious disease is sweeping through Nevermoor that turns Wunimals into Unimals. No one is able to prevent or cure the disease that leaves the Wunimals hollow. Morrigan realizes that it might be up to her to stop it.
Thoughts: The first book and this one are my favorites so far. I love the story and characters and I absolutely cannot wait for more!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Title: Daughter of the Deep
Author: Rick Riordan
Narrator: Soneela Nankani
Synopsis: Ana Dakkar is attending an elite school: Harding-Pencroft Acadamy. Their studies focus on the ocean, marine life, manning ships, exploration, and more. When she and the rest of her freshman class leave the school for their weekend trial at sea, something destroys her school and (likely) all of the other students including her older brother, Dev. With their one faculty member and rivals from Land Institute after them, they set course for the Mysterious Island and Ana's ideas of fact and fiction get turned upside-down.
Thoughts: I am not sure why I waited so long to read this. When have I NOT loved a Rick Riordan book? It was great, I loved it. I think it is a stand-alone book and I hope he will write more like it. And I have never read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or the Mysterious Island, but I want to now!
Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5 stars
Title: The Bronzed Beasts
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Narrators: Laurie Catherine Winkel and P.J. Ochlan
Synopsis: After Séverin seems to betray his friends and team, he is whisked away to Venice to find the temple in which he can play the lyre and grant Ruslan godhood. With only a few hints about where they need to meet Séverin, Enrique, Hypnos, Laila, and Zofia have to find him and the temple. And time is running out, especially for Laila who only has days left to live.
Thoughts: I'm glad I finally finished this trilogy. It was creative and interesting and I really enjoyed it. I couldn't help but love the characters and be invested in their stories. And it was a good conclusion to the series.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars
Favorite book read this month: Daughter of the Deep
Least favorite book read this month: honestly none of them

I have now read four books towards my goal of 60. I have already started Vengeful (and am really enjoying it so far) and I am newly committed to finishing Winter. I've been in such a reading slump. Starting books and never finishing them, nothing holding my interest. Vengeful has been the first book in a very long time that I have just wanted to sit and read for hours.

And generally life is pretty good. I'm still working to better socialize our newer rats. Aside from Hermes (who bites), they are doing alright and are spoiled. Poseidon is still hanging in there with no medical issues that we have seen. He is now my oldest living rat. Sprite may have been about this old, but she had many, many health issues. Poseidon is still moving around and eating and being his adorable, sweet self.

The cat is a monster still. I call him the worst cat ever.

Married life has been good so far. We are only three months in, but it has been lovely.

And otherwise I work a lot, which is mostly good and sometimes less good. But I am glad that I have a job and I am glad that I am getting a lot of different experiences. I think this job has done wonders for my lab skills. And I am even more glad for my team of ladies who have also become friends. I love that I get to work with them and spend time with them.

One last thing. Can we talk about Encanto? It might be my new favorite. I adore it and watch it waaay too much. I listen to all of the songs and spend too much time thinking about the movie.
Image from Disney: Encanto
Anyone have thoughts about the colors the family wears? I noticed it on Pepa's side because they all wear yellow, but I couldn't figure out why that was. Until I finally realized that Julieta's family wears blue. Except for Isabela, which is what threw me. She wears pink (though it looks kind of blue in shadows). But who else wears pink? Abuela. Isabela is supposed to take over her role. But near the end when she gets her power back, she dyes her dress different colors, but mostly blue. 
Image from Slash Film: Encanto
And the triplets wear the same colors they wore as babies! That helped clue me in. I am not sure what the significance is, but I think it is interesting. And probably significant that Mirabel has different colored embroidery on her outfit. My guess is that her "gift" is bringing the family together and she will take over Abuela's spot. Technically, Abuela doesn't have a gift either; she was given the miracle, but not magic. So Mirabel is like her. And are her green glasses significant? Green is Bruno's color.

Also, I love Pepa. She is a bit nuts and I adore it as well as her husband! And I am very fond of Bruno. I'm sure that has nothing to do with all of the rats that he keeps around... Camilo is hilarious, I never get enough of his parts. I love that Dolores knew that Bruno and the rats were around. Kevin and I love all the capybaras (we call them capyboppys because of the book Capyboppy by Bill Peet). The characters are all so interesting, it's great. I don't know how you can NOT like them.

And did everyone notice Bruno (or Camilo disguised as Bruno??) in the background when Dolores sings her part in We Don't Talk About Bruno? I keep meaning to check if he is lurking any other time, but I keep forgetting and end up just watching the movie.

Anyway, random thoughts that I wanted to get down. Maybe others will weigh in and share thoughts, too.

Thanks for reading!

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