Ever since I joined Evelina’s meme (aka last month), I’ve dreamed about writing my next update and seeing my progress. So let’s do this! Also you can learn more about this meme by reading this.

I did not take a nice picture with books, so I will continue to use the cats as my picture for State of the ARC.

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As for my current State of the ARC…

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I read 15 ARCs from NetGalley, which is 5 more than last month, and I have a total left to read of 46, which is 1 less than last month. I guess it’s not really progress if I read and review more books but continue to request even more, right?

My pile of ARCs from other sources grew up quite a bit too, but I cannot help myself especially when I discovered gems like Sneaking Out by Chuck Vance (review here).

Unlike last time, I barely read any children’s fiction. Most of the books read were non-fiction and art books – as in techniques and how-to books, that I really enjoy reading for inspiration and to review because I studied fine arts at Uni, but I consider myself still an amateur to appreciate the book from that perspective too.

I will not list here all the books read (because 17?! and I write monthly wrap-ups anyway), but here are my highest rated this month:

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From the artsy pile we have The Art of Creative Watercolor (5 stars), with the friendliest and most encouraging author ever! And now I will quote my own review:

The author made me happy from the introduction, seeing how it emphasized on the importance of practice and the unplanned beauty of watercolors. But even though practice is important, I liked how Danielle talked about the importance of taking a break and how sometimes life gets in the way of art and that is okay, no need to put pressure on yourself to draw every single day.

[..]

In terms of techniques and illustrations, the book is quite simple, but that’s exactly why it works so well for myself and amateurs in general. Plus the friendly tone of the author encourages everyone to pick up a brush and simply create.

The other two books are more into graphic design rather than watercolor or illustration. Design School: Layout by Richard Poulin is targeted towards graphic design students or people that are really passionate about graphic design. I gave it 4 stars, because I think it could have used more images to exemplify the theory, but I still think I want to own a physical copy of this book.

I absolutely loved The Little Book of Lettering & Word Design because I did not expect such a short book to cover typography from traditional styled to modern styles, illuminated lettering, borders and quotes compositions. This book is perfect and inspiring and deserves 5 stars!

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I did read a few children’s graphic novels: The Ghost, The Owl (4 stars), which is quite complex and a bit dark (but I do believe darkness is okay in small doses for children), and the art is fluid and perfect, and Florence & Leon (5 stars), a short picture book I read during Dewey’s Read-a-thon that is a great book to teach kids about people with disabilities, it’s a sweet, funny and kind book.

Wild Nights: Heart Wisdom from Five Women Poets (5 stars) is a poetry book read during the read-a-thon that introduced me into the world of five poets that I never read before (although Emily Dickinson was always on my to-read list).

Sneaking Out by Chuck Vance (4 stars) is a great YA crime novel – and it’s already reviewed on the blog!

Last time I made some goals to accomplish for my next State of the ARC and I will continue to do so because it helped, even if I only got 2/3:

  • got more organized with my reading, although there’s still more to do;
  • read all the books that I really wanted to cross of my ARC list last month;
  • read more than a couple of books that were overdue, but because I did not organize myself as much as I wanted, by the time I finished those overdue books some other books turned overdue – do I make sense? Ha ha!
  • did not post more reviews on the blog, only one… which isn’t more than my other months.

But here are my future plans:

  • Read all the books that might turn overdue in May – this sounds like “eat all the food in the fridge before the due date!”, but I really want to stay on track!!
  • Read only two books from the overdue pile – this way I can focus on the May books!
  • Definitely post more reviews on the blog – even if it’s not ARCs!
  • And read these books:

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This is for me! This post was a tad bit longer than my previous State of the ARC, but it was a lot of fun to write.

Please let me know what you think about the post and the length and tell me what are your reading plans for next month!

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