Monthly Book Blog Wrap-Up: September 2023

Even though I decided to take a semi-hiatus from blogging, I still posted 12 times, including this one. Usually I published 15+ posts per month. This time I focused my posts on reviews only and cut out any weekly meme-related posts. Overall it was nice. I found I had more time to read. Now that my efforts to incorporate SEO are paying off, I may continue to focus more on reviews and less on memes. I may still do the occasional meme post here and there. But the truth is all blogging takes up a lot of time, including relatively simple weekly memes.

Anyway, in case you missed what I was up to in September, read on!

Book Reviews

I posted five reviews on September. From earliest to latest they are:

Blog Statistics

Every month I share some statistics from Google Analytics because I think it helps put expectations into perspective for other micro-bloggers like me who are out there. These statistics are from Google Analytics 4.

As of the evening of September 28, my top five posts for total page views are:

  1. Arthurian Retellings Reading List: 318 views
  2. Book Review: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros: 303 views
  3. Book Review: Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Maehrer: 161 views
  4. ARC Book Review Etiquette: 148 views
  5. ARC Review: North Queen by Nicola Tyche: 134 views

SEO continues to drive most of the traffic to my site now by a long shot. My blog hit another personal best in terms of visitors and total views this month. I also hit my goal of 150 blog subscribers thanks to a few more people who decided to follow along. Thank you!


I didn’t finish a single book that was on my TBR prior to 2023. Oh well.

Other Bookish Items

A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman by Lindy Elkins-TantonThe Phoenix King by Aparna VermaThe Milkweed Lands by Eric Lee-MaderThe Last Days of the Dinosaurs by Riley BlackAssistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole MaehrerFall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. ArmentroutBloemetje by Amanda McNeilRevelation by J.H. MooreShield Maiden by Sharon Emmerichs

I read nine books in September, helped along by a couple of novella reads for the SFINCS competition. There’s a chance I will have read 10 books by the end of the month. I’m currently ~65% through my ARC of WRATH BECOMES HER by Aden Polydoros.

  • THE PHOENIX KING by Aparna Verma
  • THE MILKWEED LANDS by Eric Lee-Mader
  • ASSISTANT TO THE VILLAIN by Hannah Maehrer
  • FALL OF RUIN AND WRATH by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • BLOEMETJE by Amanda McNeil
  • REVELATION by J.H. Moore
  • SHIELD MAIDEN by Sharon Emmerichs

I posted about my participation in the inaugural round of the Speculative Fiction Indie Novella Championship (SFINCS).


My feedback ratio remains 80% on NetGalley. I submitted three reviews: THE PHOENIX KING by Aparna Verma; THE MILKWEED LANDS by Eric Lee-Mader; and SHIELD MAIDEN by Sharon Emmerichs.

Non-Bookish Items

My progress on non-bookish goals is negligible. I’m still exercising, but not as often as I set out to do. Some is still better than nothing!

Summer gardening is coming to a close. I’m still picking cucumbers and tomatoes, but production is slow now. I planted some seeds for fall including swiss chard, turnips, cold-resistant beans, and various greens. Hopefully we’ll get something before it gets too chilly for any production. We also harvested a huge blue hubbard squash that weighed in at just under 10 pounds.

Health stuff is still health stuff. The bills have come in. The ER one was surprisingly cheap (hopefully I don’t get a surprise bill) while the one I thought my insurance would cover came in higher than expected. Win some, lose some. Testing continues next month.

I found out that the new home for new Doctor Who seasons for the U.S. will be Disney+. I’m very excited for this. I haven’t kept up with DW simply because we stopped paying for cable. And there was a year I think where our cable provider didn’t carry BBC America at the tier we paid for.

I’m almost finished watching Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story on Netflix. It took me long enough and I managed to avoid spoilers. But I have one episode left that I’ll probably start, if not finish, tonight. We’re also more than half way through with Season 2 of Picard. I have mixed feelings about it, mainly that Season 1 is better. Hopefully Season 3 has better plot writing.

And that’s it for my monthly book blog wrap-up! How was your September?

6 thoughts on “Monthly Book Blog Wrap-Up: September 2023

  1. How did you find Assistant to the Villain? I’m interested in reading that one!
    I’m glad you loved Queen Charlotte! For me it was the best out of the three bridgerton seasons, followed closely by season two 🙂

    1. Overall I was kind of disappointed with Assistant to the Villain, I’m not going to lie. You can read in more detail why I felt that way in my spoiler-free review linked in this post.

      Queen Charlotte is entertaining, but sad. I found the other seasons more engaging, but I appreciate the themes in this one, e.g., racism and women having little power over themselves or society. We’ve come so far since then in many places across the world, but still have ways to go!

    1. Omg especially if it’s a book tag! Or even writing a post for one of the many cool monthly themes some bloggers host. Writing reviews takes me time, too, usually an hour, longer if I’m having a tough time. The formatting is what I hate doing the most, though.

  2. Blimey! What are you doing for SEO?

    Also fingers crossed on picking up the exercise. I’ve been slacking myself, but I know just one good day will restart the habit.

    1. I use the Yoast SEO plugin, the free version. Are you familiar with it? Basically, you determine a key phrase to use several times in your post. Make sure you use that key phrase in the first paragraph of your post as well as in the “Focus key phrase and “SEO Title” slots (at the bottom of your draft WP post). Also use a photo in your post and links help, too. In the upper right of your draft post window there’s something that looks like a traffic light…it’ll turn green when the plugin determines you’ve met SEO.

      And thanks! I’m pretty happy with my last 2 weeks–I fit in 4 work outs both weeks. I find that the hardest part is just getting started. If you can at least do that, then chances are you’ll be able to up your game. But it’s tough, I get it! Good luck!

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