My Month in Review
So, what have I been up to this month? Well, not much at all – no vacations, no part time job, no big, all-consuming events going on. Despite that, there have been a few days that I just haven’t had the time or energy to write up a post, either a head of time or the day of posting. So, I don’t really have any excuses, but hopefully that’ll change in August. Obviously today is more of the same since this is barely going up before dinner (at least in my time zone), but I have hope for the future!
Music of the Month
1. Foxes – Night Owls, Early Birds: This was one of my favorite songs when I first saw a leaked version of Foxes’s debut album, Glorious, on YouTube, and now that I’ve bought the album and can listen to all of the songs (well, that it has – the deluxe version wasn’t available), including this catchy song. And it has owls in the title!
2. Foxes – Glorious: The titular song on the album has also been growing on me. I watched the music video, which I didn’t understand completely, but I just really like this song!
Top Books Read
1. Princess Diaries series (Meg Cabot): I had always liked the movie version of this series and knew that the books it was based on were quite different (and even read the first book a long, long time ago), but I didn’t know that much about the books – which meant I was really surprised when I enjoyed them so much! It was great that they were all published and I was able to binge on the whole ten book series. Now I have to wait for the new adult addition that will be released next year!
2. Nantucket Red (Leila Howland): I was a little worried about this book after so much slut- and fat-shaming in the first book, but there was almost known of that in this sequel. It left me feeling like I could do anything, even move to New York and put off college for a year, even though that’s really not something I can do – it just felt a bit inspiration!
3. Love Letters to the Dead (Ava Dellaira): I read the majority of this book in one night partially because it was due back at the library the next day and I had to finish it, but it was mostly because I was really drawn into this beautifully written book. I loved how the dead people that protagonist Laurel wrote to seemed like real characters themselves and I kind of want to write some letters of my own now.
4. And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie): This is one of the few adult books I’ve liked this year, and definitely the oldest book I’ve read this year (excluding anything for school, of course). This was my first Agatha Christie book and I can definitely see why it’s so famous and popular – I kept trying to figure out who the murderer was and was a bit frustrated (in a good way) when I was wrong!
Favorite (Non-Review) Posts
1. Top Ten Tuesday – Classics I Want to Read and Reread: Classics are books I tend to shy away from, so it was nice to compile some classics I’ve already read that I’d like to give a second chance outside of a classroom setting.
2. Happy Fourth of July (or A Look at Summery Reads): Summery books are just always fun, whether you’re also lazing around by a pool or the ocean or you’re cuddled up in a blanket in front of a burning fire while snow trickles down outside your window.
3. Retrospectively Reading (1): This was the inaugural post of my new weekly recap! I was proud of myself for coming up with my own feature, even though it’s really not that different from other weekly recap posts.
4. Discussion – My Fear of Getting Personal on This Blog: The longer I blog, the more I struggle with how personal I should get, especially with the complicated (for me, anyway) debate that is whether or not I should start including pictures of myself on the blog and my new blog Instagram account.
5. Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite TV Shows: I love TV – I love watching and rewatching shows while I do other things (namely, be on the computer), and I love talking about shows I love!
6. Watching Vampire Academy: After hearing some horror stories about Vampire Academy, I just had to see it for myself. While it definitely wasn’t the greatest movie, I had so much fun just writing down each and every thought I had in a Word document while I watched it, whether my comments made sense or not.
7. Discussion – How Much Depression Is Too Much When Dealing with YA Heartbreak: After reading one of the Princess Diaries books which dealt with Mia being quite depressed after a breakup, I just had to write up my thoughts on heartbreak in YA and how much is too much, using New Moon for comparison.
8. Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I Would Want With Me On a Deserted Island: This was a fun topic to come up with people who could either get me off a deserted island or could keep me entertained if we were unable to get off it!
Books I’m Excited About
I have Breathe, Annie, Breathe and On the Fence both on deck and just waiting for me to get to them, so that’s exciting! I also hope to start rereading Harry Potter – I was going to begin my reread today, since it’s Harry’s birthday as well as J.K. Rowling (and yes, I am quite proud that I know that), but I just ran out of time! As for Prisoner of Night and Fog, I had it earlier this month but wasn’t able to finish it, so I’m just waiting for my hold to get in so that I can finally finish it!
Upcoming Releases I’m Excited About
Isla and the Happily Ever After is probably the book that people in the book blogging community are most excited about, especially if they’re like me and didn’t get their hands on an ARC of it. I’m also excited for the last book in the Prep School Confidential series and the surprise sequel to the Internet Girls series that explores the adventures of the winsome threesome in college!
Challenges – Progress
At the beginning of July, I was eight books away from my goal, so I had figured that I would complete this challenge this month – but I had no idea how well I would do. Not having much going on definitely helped me – I’ve now read 121 books! That’s almost thirty books in one month, so almost a book a day! That is really, really good for me!
My number of new books isn’t as impressive since a lot of those books were rereads, but I did manage to read 16 books, so I’m now at 81 books! My new goal is definitely 100 new books, and since the year is just over half over, I think it’s safe to say that it’s a reasonable goal.
I only read two more debuts this month, so I’m now at 10 books, but that means I’m only two books away from my goal of 12, which is enough for me! I also already have one debut on hand, so I should definitely be one step closer in one month, if not already done with it.
I only read one book from a sophomore author, but I completed this challenge last month, so that actually means I’m one over my goal now! Anyway, that’s 11 books if you absolutely need a number.
This challenge has been stuck at 5 books for a while and three of those were DNFs, but I finally read another adult book that I actually liked this month and am reading another, so hopefully that’ll change soon! Anyway, I’ve now read 6 books.
Favorite Non-Book Things
1. Greek: I’ve been watching this old ABC Family for the first time for a while this year, having mini-binges, but now that it’s summer it’s definitely been easier. My library doesn’t have the final season, so I don’t know how I’m going to watch that yet, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the third season – there’s so much drama and humor that it’s no surprise I like it. Plus, it’s set at college, which you don’t get to see nearly as much, at least in the shows I typically watch – they’re definitely more in the high school setting!
2. The Vampire Diaries: Even though I don’t love TVD as much as I once, I still enjoy it a lot, and I was happy to rewatch the third and fourth seasons as my sister finally saw them for the first time. I kept trying to keep my mouth shut about some of the bigger twists and such, but I know I didn’t always do that well…
3. Finding Carter: I’ve only seen two episodes of this new MTV show so far, but I’m definitely intrigued. It’s about a girl who discovers that the mother she loves actually kidnapped her as a child, so she has to readjust to life with her old family while still loving her kidnapper. It looks like it’s going to get really dramatic, but dramatic can definitely be entertaining. My only problem with it so far is that at the beginning of the second episode, Carter faked a panic attack just so she could cut school – panic attacks are big deals and shouldn’t be used for something so stupid.
A Goal for August
Since I created an Instagram account last month and am including my favorite picture from the week on my weekly recap posts, I decided to attempt doing the #30DaysofBookstagrams, which is hosted by some bloggers. I hope that it can force me to have pictures ahead of Saturday, when I’m running around taking pictures of my stack of books and such, and will hopefully help me grow as a photographer, even if it’s only using an iPhone. Anyway, if you want to check out my work starting tomorrow, you can find my account here or just look me up – I’m @thereadingshelf (I know, how original)!