Even though I want to branch out in more areas of blogging, books are still a huge part of my life (and will be for… forever?), so I am not skipping any of Evelina’s State of the ARC because how else would I freak out over the huge number of ARCs in my life? Plus, I finally worked on the BINGO and, as always, this post is linked with Evelina’s State of the ARC meme and  you can learn more about it by reading this.

Last time my grand total of ARCs to read was under 75, but now it’s over 75… again? And I have no idea how that happened. Actually, I do… but just keep reading!

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I like to read art books and I am also into cookbooks lately, so it does not help that on NetGalley I am auto-approved by some publishers that concentrate exactly on those two types of books! Up until recently I kinda felt like I had to read all of their books, but lately I refused some because I had a real and honest talk with myself and how my reading is all over the place and that the last time I read a book that was not for review was… well, there was a reread for a book club, but I am having a hard time making time to read other books that are not ARCs.

Plus in spite of my huge interest on books for kids – fiction or non-fiction, I have no interest in a baby food cookbook and that is the book that prompted me to not get ALL the books from the auto-approved publishers. However, my interest for art book for kids is still there and it might have to do with the fact that I taught art to elementary kids (and smaller), so who knows, maybe I might do that again because those little creatures are extremely creative especially because they are so young and they don’t impose a limit to their creativity like older kids and adults tend to do. Guess that’s why Pablo Picasso said it took him a lifetime to paint like a child.

On the plus side of that big number of books left to read (81 and counting), I read 23 ARCs – and while most of them were short and easy to read, I also discovered some gems like:

  • Vegan Yack Attack on the Go! by Jackie Sobon – an awesome cookbook that has a vegan recipe for pierogi! And even if you are not into this cookbook for veganism only, it’s still a balanced cookbook that has a little something for everyone (except for someone that really wants to eat meat, I guess).
  • Also in the cookbook area we have The Essential Cook’s Kitchen: Traditional Culinary Skills, from Breadmaking and Dairy to Preserving and Curing by Alison Walker which really has something for anyone who has ever wanted to learn a particular skill in the kitchen that is no longer taught or as necessary as it was in the past. For me, it’s definitely breadmaking – and baking all the other pastry and delicious recipes in this book, but it also has recipes and tips on smoking meat, and although that’s not my jam I am sure someone would find that useful. Oh, it also has tips on making jams, of course!
  • How to Draw Almost Everything for Kids by Naoko Sakamoto and Brush Pen Illustration by Sho Ito – it seems like Asian, especially Japanese, art books are taking over my life. The first book has the cutest step-by-step illustrations and it really helps the little ones to embrace their creativity and gives them confidence, and the second one is a book I am glad I did not judge by the cover because inside it hides the most beautiful illustrations when it comes to inks and gesture painting. Also worth mentioning is Happy Veggies by Mayumi Oda (told you Japanese artists and authors are taking over my life) which does not only feature beautiful illustration, but also charms you into appreciating veggies and gardening more – great for introducing kids to gardening and veggies!
  • Practical Landscape Painting by David Hollis is the best and most practical book to painting landscape in watercolor. Absolutely loved it! It puts the practical in practical!
  • A huge surprise was Eric Stanton & the History of the Bizarre Underground by Richard Perez Seves which I just finished the other day. I don’t know what first got me to request this book but I wasn’t in the mood to read and kept pushing it aside, but I am so glad I did because it’s a great biography and I discovered an artist and art area I did not even know I could be interested in!
  • Megabat by Anna Humphrey is one of the first ARCs from NetGalley that I got, but it was only published last month and it’s a sweet middle grade read tackling subjects like friendship and loneliness, bullying and caring for others, including animals – even a fruit bat and pigeons!
  • Earth to Dad by Krista Van Dolzer is a different kind of sweet middle grade read, this one a bit more mature and less on the humorous side, featuring themes like grief, but friendship too. Plus it’s a great introduction to science-fiction for the younger kids!

The last three books also make an appearance on my BINGO:

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Speaking of the Bingo, it might be cheating to use a cookbook as a debut book, but I really love A Literary Tea Party (REVIEW HERE). As for an ARC with sensitive social issues, I am not sure if Spinning Silk (REVIEW HERE) fits, but it does talk about slavery in a way – to be honest I always stay away from mentioning social issues or things that I do not feel like I have the right or the best perspective to speak about, but I know I am mostly lacking the knowledge to talk about these issues and I am willing to learn!

I chose Earth to Dad as my new genre because it’s the first science fiction for such younger readers that I read and also because I read pretty much all genres (maybe I an not that versed into New Adult yet), so it was really hard to find a new genre. This counts, right? And I don’t have a favourite color, but I love the shades (and all art) of Sheets so that’s my choice for now!

In conclusion and thinking back to my goals from last State of the ARC, I did quite well! I worked on the BINGO and read a lot of cookbooks (way more than I mentioned here, but some of them did not receive a good rating although I do recommend Stuffed: The Art of the Edible Vegetable Boat by Marlena Kur and The Taco Tuesday Cookbook by Laura Fuentes – these just didn’t impress me as much as the ones mentioned above). I did read one very old ARC (Megabat), but I need to work more on this one…

Plans until the next State of the ARC? I am not really sure, but here’s what I hope to accomplish:

  • be more organized with my reading, but no pressure…
  • do not request as much anymore – this is going to be REALLY HARD!
  • read the physical ARC I received – I am actually really excited about this one and already a few chapters in!

Keeping it vague… that might be helpful or not, we shall see next month! Until then, hasta la vista, baby!

PS: I was worried this post was too long until I remembered that I say F**K IT to my rigid ideas of how a post should be structured and let myself go wild with words! I hope you do not mind and thank you for reading!

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