Update: Life and Books (July 2021)


I’m not sure what I did in July. Not much, to be honest.

I bought a few games in the Steam sale that I thought might be accessible with some sort of TTS only to find most of them weren’t, so I returned one. Kept one because it was 50% off and a game I’d wanted for a long time. One was partially accessible and only a couple dollars, so I kept it too. And the last was also only a few dollars and actually is supposed to be accessible.

Here’s an updated version of my cowfish merman. I gave the coral reef a bit more depth.

Digital painting of a longhorn cowfish merman at a coral reef, surrounded by a bunch of small cowfish swimming toward him. He's smiling and looking fondly at the one swimming toward his face, his hand coming up to touch it. He has a thin body and a bright yellow tail with a flat expanse that tapers to two horn-like protrusions at the bottom, with a tail fin in between them (like a cowfish). The side and fin of his tail have white spots. His head has two small, straight, yellow horns near his temples. He has fair skin, long black hair flowing around his face, some scattered freckles and moles, and Japanese facial features.

I’ve been watching the Olympics gymnastics, but I don’t know, I’m just not as into it this time. I don’t know if it’s me, the competitions, or just the whole vibe of the world.

I’ve also been listening to “Lemons” by Brye, featuring Cavetown on repeat. I think I first heard the original thanks to Karen @ For What It’s Worth, and recently I found this version that has both singers that sounds especially great!

Blog/Bookish Updates:

I did a new type of post, “quick reviews,” but I’ve already decided to change it to sharing brief thoughts with links, rather than whole reviews. If I keep doing them at all. I don’t know. I need to figure out a way to post reviews that’s easier. I keep thinking about maybe not making featured images for review, just using the book covers. It’s just that my perfectionist side is constantly at war with my disabled and tired side.

But anyway, I’ve gotten a lot of review posts done lately, so I most go back to posting two a week.


Books I Received for Review:

Forging a Nightmare by Patricia A. Jackson from Angry Robot on Edelweiss. It sounds like a fun, action-packed urban fantasy!

The Vampire and His Pleasant Companions Vol. 1 by Marimo Ragawa, original story by Narise Konohara from Yen Press on Edelweiss. I already read this one, it’s super cute!

Foxgloves are for Deception by Clair Gardenwell from the author. A fantasy romance series that seems to include some disability rep!

Villainous by Lou Wilham from BookSirens. A genderfluid werewolf MC and a trans, POC, deaf banshee LI!


Books I Finished:

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava ReidThe Vampire and His Pleasant Companions Vol. 1 by Marimo Ragawa (original story by Narise Konohara)A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley ShuttleworthThe Fascinators by Andrew EliopulosThe Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen

If you’re considering buying one of the books below from Amazon, I’d really appreciate if you’d use my affiliate link!

This month was about half books that I didn’t have much feeling about and couldn’t really get into and half great ones! The standouts were The Vampire and His Pleasant Companions Vol. 1 and The Infinite Noise, but I also really liked The Fascinators and Yesterday is History.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid – Some interesting fantasy elements.

Ripples & Waves by L.A. Witt – A fairly light mlm merman romance.

The Vampire and His Pleasant Companions Vol. 1 by Marimo Ragawa (original story by Narise Konohara) – Really liked this one! Super cute and fun. Made me laugh and feel.

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth – YA with lots of fae and queer rep.

The Angriest Angel by Christopher Holt – About aliens, rather than angels, and an MC with ADHD.

Villainous by Lou Wilham – As I mentioned above, some nice LGBT+ and disability rep, plus supernaturals.

The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos – This was cute and sweet about teens with magic but also just regular teen struggles.

The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen – An absolutely ADORABLE YA romance about an empath that gave me all the squishy feels!

Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson – Another romance about teens with magic/powers, and also cute.


In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed Those Words I Dread by Tess Barnett, a cute series starter about a mlm fae and human couple.
– I quizzed you all on how well you know my reading habits.
– I reviewed Cute Demon Crashers, a cute and sexy game about incubi/succubae.
– I reviewed The Vampire and His Pleasant Companions by Marimo Ragawa & Narise Konohara, a BL manga with both humor and heart.
– I talked about how to make visual novels accessible for blind/visually impaired players and screen readers.
– I reviewed Only the Good Die Young by E.M. Jeanmougin & Jay Wright, a fantastic UF with complex relationships and characters I love.


Talk to me!

How was your month?
Did you find any good books, movies, songs, etc.?


Your Thoughts


13 thoughts on “Update: Life and Books (July 2021)

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  1. Greg

    I haven’t bought a new game in ages. Man I used to but beaucoup games but lately… just haven’t.

    I love coral reefs and now that I think about it, we don’t see nearly enough reefs and other environments in merfolk art. Or maybe we do and I just haven’t seen ’em, but still…

    I think a lot of people feel that way about the Olympics this time. Covid, yeah the general state of the world… I’ve been watching a ton myself but I think I’m using it as escapism lol. The last two nights I’ve been glued to track and field. the races are amazing!

    1. Kristen

      I don’t buy many, but Steam has those great sales sometimes!

      Yeah idk, there’s lots of art out there, but a lot merfolk art does seem to be more stylized and with pretty designs rather than underwater backgrounds.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the Olympics!

  2. Roberta R.

    “It’s just that my perfectionist side is constantly at war with my disabled and tired side.”
    I hear you. I’m a perfectionist at heart. It must be painful to find a balance.

    Glad you found some new games (if not always perfect) and books that gave you life!

  3. Angela

    Sometimes I can’t remember what I did in a month, either! Most of our months are pretty mundane at this point! I’ve definitely cut down on the length of my book reviews, it has made life so much easier!

    1. Kristen

      The Olympics should be available free for everyone to watch online, in my opinion. Have you heard of Locast.org? It might work if you do want to watch some Olympics!

  4. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    That sucks about the games not being accessible. I meant to buy some games during that sale, but I worked so many hours that I forgot about it. One of my hobbies is buying games that I don’t have time to play :). I hope you have a good August!

    1. Kristen

      Yeah it’s too bad there aren’t more accessible games. Aww darn about missing the sale, but at least Steam does lots of big sales!

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    I really enjoyed The Infinite Noise. I know there’s a companion book but I wish there was a straight up sequel. July was a good month overall, I suppose. Been having anxiety and mental health issues in general. Hopefully those will even out a bit this month.


    1. Kristen

      I’m so glad you liked it too! Yeah idk if I’ll read it or not, it doesn’t sound cute. Hopefully you’ve been feeling better!

    1. Kristen

      Aww yay, I’m glad you also liked it! It really was so cute. The other books are about different characters though 🙁 And idk about the third, but the second one isn’t cute like the first, as far as I can tell, so idk if I’ll try it or not.