Hello bookworms!! Welcome to the August 2020 wrap up!!
So apparently August is over, and I barely even noticed. And it’s now almost halfway through September and I haven’t done my wrap-up (until now), and what even is organisation?!! I was behind on blog-hopping, and updating goodreads. And I still AM behind on my spreadsheets, review copies, writing blog posts and book reviews, instagram… life?
In saying all of this, I am taking a proper amount of leave from work at the end of this month. Yes, I am taking THREE WEEKS off. Which means that I might actually finish painting my study, and start getting organised… because when I had 1 week off I only painted 1/3 of the room. Although, to be fair, I had to move 3 Billy bookcases full of books to do just that, so I’m cutting myself some slack.
Anyway, let’s talk about what I did in August?! (Also, I’m so sorry this goes for so long… ?)
August was a pretty good reading month, despite the part where I had my very first DNF of the year. Honestly, I try and give review books a really good chance, but I was 11% into this book and I wanted to stab the characters. I just did not care for them, the plot, the way female characters were talked about (it’s a male POV, but a female author), and the language. I just couldn’t do it.
But the rest of the books I read were either 4 or 5 stars, so, winning!!
As I mentioned earlier, I am still doing my N.E.W.T.s (?), in support of Gintare and all her amazing work on it, but I’m spreading it out over two months because we can.
|?||historical fiction||❤️||romance||?||crime / mystery|
|?||BIPOC author||?||own voices||?️?||queer rep|
|?||mental health rep||♿️||disability rep||?||graphic novel|
|?♀️||YA||?||MG||??||NA / Adult|
|?||Beat the Backlist||⏰||ARC / review copy||?||Aussie author / #loveozya|
Emoji table for reference
Symbols + ? prompt
|A Question of Holmes||Brittany Cavallaro||Charlotte Holmes #4||⛱ ? ? ?♀️ ? ? ? ?
|The Bear and the Nightingale||Katherine Arden||The Winternight trilogy #1||⚔️ ? ?♀️ ? ? ?
|City of Glass||Cassandra Clare||The Mortal Instruments #3||⚔️ ?♀️ ? ? ?
|Riot House||Callie Hart||Crooked Sinners #1||❤️ ? ?? ? ?
|Escape from Lucien||Kazu Kibuishi||Amulet #6||⚔️ ? ? ? ? ? ?
|Nick and Charlie||Alice Oseman||Solitaire #1.5||⛱ ❤️ ? ?️? ? ? ? ?
|Boyfriend Material||Alexis Hall||⛱ ❤️ ? ?️? ? ?? ? ?
|The Bro Code||Elizabeth A. Seibert||⛱ ❤️ ?♀️ ? ⏰ ?||DNF|
|City of Fallen Angels||Cassandra Clare||The Mortal Instruments #4||⚔️ ?♀️ ? ?||4|
|Well Met||Jen De Luca||Well Met #1||⛱ ❤️ ?? ? ? ?
|The Flatshare||Beth O’Leary||⛱ ❤️ ? ?? ? ? ?
|Firelight||Kazu Kibuishi||Amulet #7||⚔️ ? ? ? ? ? ?
I’m having difficulty picking my favourite book of the month, so I’m taking the easy way out and giving you BOTH of the candidates:
- The Bear and the Nightingale was always going to be a super hit or miss for me. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground for me in terms of fantasy books based on Slavic mythology. And I felt like Arden really nailed it. The scenery was dark and atmospheric, the characters were rough and wild, and the story itself was moody and alive. This is definitely the type of fantasy that I love. (I also love whimsical fantasy… I’m an enigma…)
- The Flatshare was just as good as The Switch, if not, better. Beth O’Leary has just ticked the box for me as an ‘auto-buy author’, and TBH I couldn’t be happier.
I’ll do my N.E.W.T.s wrap up with the September wrap-up, as I’m only just over halfway through (10/18) so far.
I think I just worked in August… OH! I participated in the MS Readathon, so that was something!!
For those of you unaware what this is, the MS Readathon is a an annual fundraising event that has been held by the MS Society in Australia (and other countries) since 1979. It encourages Australian children to read books, learn about multiple sclerosis (MS) and raise funds to help people living with MS. The money raised by the MS Readathon helps the MS Society to provide services to assist people living with MS such as physiotherapy, access to specialist MS nurses and respite care, while also working towards funding research.
When I was a kid, I participated every year without fail, and I have a lot of fond memories from it. You used to get sponsorship for each book you read, so if someone sponsored you $1 per book and you read 10 books, they would pay $10. One of my favourite memories is from my parents telling everyone not to sponsor me more than 10¢ per book because I would bankrupt them. One year one of the men who worked for dad must have missed the briefing, and sponsored me $1 per book. Suffice to say he nearly cried when I happily informed him I had read over 50 books during August. (This was a lot of money in the 90s, and I read a LOT of Baby Sitters Club books that year!!)
2020 is the first year that the readathon has been open to adults to enter as well. So a bunch of bookstagram friends and I, who have been doing virtual bookclub since March, decided to join as a team. We had a lot of fun, and between the 11 of us (plus 2 strangers who joined our group), we read 114 books and raised over $2,200AUD. It was really fun, and I hope we do it next year too.
Surprising everyone, including myself, I actually finished the ‘main game’ part of Animal Crossing. Yes, K.K. Slider came to my island, the credits rolled, and I got the extra stuff for my in-game phone, meaning I can now make crazy changes to the island. I have not played since (which is honestly just crazy).
I have been playing more of The Sims 4 though. AND, I’ve started streaming on Twitch which is honestly such a weird thing. I’ve discovered that I’m actually quite bad at conversing with a chat while playing… but I have also been mainly playing the family with 8 sims in it, so it’s probably a bit much. I’m going to try with a smaller family and see if that’s any better.
If you want to follow me on twitch, my account is twitch.tv/meeghangames. I don’t have a regular streaming time yet, but I’m hoping to figure out a schedule when I have those 3 weeks off!!
Dungeons & Dragons
Sadly, this will be my last update for D&D for a while. Our super amazing DM (dungeon master) needs a break. Which honestly, totally fair. I think we started playing last year, and while we had about a month off in between ‘season 1’ and ‘season 2’, DMing can be super draining between coming up with story and maps and random NPCs.
In saying that, we might do some one-shot missions and I’ve been thinking about building my own world that the boys can play in… so, it’s not a forever goodbye. We’re just on a break!!
TV and movies
Things I watched in August were (all on Netflix):
- The Umbrella Academy season 2
- Chesapeake Shores season 4
- Lucifer season 5 (part 1)
- Work It
- Feel the Beat
PLUS, we went to the actual cinema (our city hasn’t had any COVID cases for a month so we’re starting to open things up again), and we saw TENET, which was super confusing to begin with, but also amazing. Plus it’s the first movie I’ve seen R Patz in that I haven’t hated him.
If you don’t know about TENET, it’s the latest movie by Christopher Nolan (the brains behind Inception) and it’s this amazing twist on time travel. It has brilliant performances by John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, and Kenneth Branagh (who plays a Russian mobster type character). Honestly I hope Nolan does about 16 more movies in this world. (OK, maybe not 16… but definitely 2 more.)
Now, as with the whole not reading a blurb before I read the book, I knew nothing about this movie going into it. That was probably a really bad idea, because it genuinely starts in the middle of a gunfight. Plus I had no idea that it was about time travel until (what felt like) halfway through the movie. Which goes for THREE HOURS. So many things I was unprepared for… Anyway, I’ve been through all the trailers on youtube (FOR YOU), and I think this is the best one that kind of explains it in the least confusing way possible and gives you a good flavour for the movie.
Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it. Especially if you liked Inception.
The only new music I’ve listened to is by Aussie band Yours Truly. I found them through Triple J (an alternative radio station here) when I was catching up on Like A Version. (Like a Version is a weekly segment where a musician / band come in and play an original song live + their take on someone else’s song.) Triple J have a whole playlist on YouTube, and I also highly recommend having a look through this. Some of them are so amazing. These are some of my favourite covers that have been done:
- Milky Chance do a hauntingly great version of Shake It Off by Tay Tay
- Birds of Tokyo cover Without Me by Halsey
- Joyride do this really jazz feel version of Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
- Gossling covers Dance the Way I Feel by Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
- Something For Kate’s version of Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris
Although, some of my absolute faves from the past 15 years aren’t up, so I might do a search and share them next month!!
Anyway, this is Yours Truly covering Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis.
OK, we had the FIRST FOUR WEEKS of Top 5 Tuesday hosted here, and the support from you all has made my little heart so happy!! ? These were the posts for August:
- Top 5… books where something went wrong
- Top 5… books where something went right
- Top 5… characters I would dress up as!
- Top 5… characters I would trade places with
As well as these, my favourite post I did last month, is going to be the start of a new series: Books to replace HP in your life (you’re welcome). I started this because I have (had?) a friend who, despite everything that is happening, continues to post HP stuff on Instagram. So, I asked them why and they said they had never read anything like it. My goal now is to find everyone a replacement so we can all stop support JK Trolling. August’s list was all about books that have magic school in them. Personally, I can’t separate the art from the artist, so I want to offer everyone other options.
I caught up on blog hopping the last week (yes, I let it get bad again, and had over 500 posts to read… ? apparently I will never learn my lesson). BUT, these are some of my fave posts of yours from August:
- Sam @ Sleepy Sam Reads was amazingly brave and shared her personal story about disability, and if you read nothing else that I share this month, you should read this
- Kay @ Hammock of Books talked about own voices reviewers and her experiences
- Malka @ Paper Procrastinators wrote a great post about whether ARC reviews are really honest
- May @ Forever and Everly shared her reading spreadsheet (and we all know that I love a good spreadsheet!!)
- Tracy @ Truffle’s Literary Wonders had a really interesting discussion about being a bookish person but also going minimalist
- Shealea @ Shut Up Shealea is back (???) and talked about 7 things she wish she had known before she started book blogging
- Sofii @ A Book. A Thought. also shared 5 things she wish she knew when she started blogging
- Lauren @ Northern Plunder continued her very helpful guides with 2 posts in August: how to use headers and fonts, and how to format a book review
- Sabrina and Vera @ Wordy and Whimsical recommended books based on Taylor Swift’s folklore album, and it was as glorious as it sounds!!
- Speaking of turning something into recommendation lists, Tracy @ Truffles Literary Wonders did the same, but with drama on twitter (and let’s be honest, she had lots to work with here ?)
- The Orangutan Librarian made a list of whimsical and wonderful fantasy worlds to get lost in (and spoiler, Nevermoor was first, which made me SO HAPPY)
- Malka @ Paper Procrastinators shared how she comes up with discussion posts
- Nyx @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books talked about why she rarely gives out 5 stars in ratings
- Katie @ Never Not Reading gave us 5 reasons why stats aren’t that important (and should not be stressed about!!)
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books talked about fake engagement vs real engagement and shared some tips (which is so important)
- Clo @ Cuppa Clo shared how she curates her social media feeds so that you’re not just listening to noise
- Lois @ Midnight Musing shared 5 board games your family (or household) can play to alleviate boredom during iso
- And finally, Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books wrote the most beautiful post on ‘shining a light on book bloggers’ work’, and I loved it so much ??
Honestly, you all inspire me so much with your creativity and resilience. Book bloggers are honestly some of the hardest working people and just know that I love you all.
ALSO, congratulations to all the winners of the 2020 book blogger awards!! You’re all amazing!! And huge thanks to May @ Forever and Everly, and Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books for organising the award this year!! I know winners weren’t announced until this month, but I really wanted to get in and say thank you to them both, and congratulations to everyone!!
How was your August?