My Month in Review
School started up this past week, so things might be a little uneven at first since I’m much busier than I expected. A new school year means new classes, field experience (meaning I’ll be in an actual classroom – scary, even if I’m just observing for the most part), a new job, and other activities that are all bleeding from my reading and blogging time. So, sorry about that in advance!
Music of the Month
1. Kiesza – “What is Love?”: This is a really cool cover that I bought on iTunes because it was only 69 cents and I had just enough money left on a gift card. I found this singer through a YouTube link in the sidebar, but I think I first heard her on the radio – you might recognize her song, “Hideaway,” from there as well.
2. Zedd – “Stay the Night (feat. Hayley Williams)”: I know this song was quite popular on the radio a few months (or was it a year? I can’t remember) ago, but I’m happy to say that I’ve continued to like this song after it got close to being overplayed for me and I recently bought it on iTunes when it was only 69 cents!
3. Ella Henderson – “Ghost”: This was a song I played a few times on YouTube a few months ago (although I can’t remember how I found it – the sidebar again?), but I started listening to it again and was glad to see that I still liked it – always great, huh?
Top Books Read
1. Since You’ve Been Gone (Morgan Matson): I was reading this book for a while, but it wasn’t because I didn’t like it – I was savouring it/reading all the many other books I had! This is definitely my favorite Morgan Matson book so far and has me super-excited for whatever she writes next.
2. On the Fence (Kasie West): I didn’t like this book quite as much as The Distance Between Us, but that just means it was a 4 star read instead of 4.5 – so, not a bad book at all for me!
3. 17 First Kisses (Rachael Allen): This was a surprise, but I think it might be a new favorite. Positive toward sex, complex and interesting friendships, and plenty of romance without being focused on it (despite the title) – there were so many things to love about this debut.
4. Prisoner of Night and Fog (Anne Blankman): I’m not the biggest fan of historically heavy books simply because they are quite tough to read, and even though this book about pre-WWII Germany from the POV of a girl who’s considered an honorary niece of Hitler certainly is heavy and tough, it was a great and had me interested in the sequel by the end, despite how painful it could be (there is animal death, just putting that out there – I HATE animal death and definitely like knowing that upfront, so hopefully that helps others like me).
Favorite (Non-Review) Posts
1. Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I’d Give to Readers Who Have Never Read YA Contemporary: Contemporary books are definitely my favorite right now, so it’s always fun picking out some of my favorites that I would love others to read.
2. Mid-Year Book Freakout: This was a survey that I found on another blog and wanted to do right away because I love making these kinds of lists and there are so few mid-year templates for me to work off of!
3. Discussion – The Pros and Cons of Scheduling Posts: With my busy week and uneven posting, scheduling posts was a big topic on my mind. It was interesting writing through my thoughts and trying to figure out how I feel about scheduling (mostly positive, but it can make me lazy and be discouraging when I don’t have any scheduled), and I loved hearing from other people on their thoughts.
4. Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want to Read: There are quite a few books on my to-read shelf that I just don’t know if I want to read, so it was nice getting that out there and trying to hear from other people about whether or not I should take a chance.
5. Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Really Want to Read But Don’t Own Yet: And these are some of the books that would have almost ended up on the other list because I just can’t get my hands on many of these books and it’s frustrating! I want these books now!
6. Discussion – Taking a YA Literature Class As a Book Blogger: This was a spur-of-the-moment post written the day of my first class of YA Literature, and it was great hearing from other people who were encouraging and sympathetic about a class that’s all about and seems to love YA but in a slightly dismissive way. I’ll definitely try to write more posts about it in the coming months!
7. Surveying Series – ttyl/ttfn/l8r, g8r: These posts take a long time to write up, which is why I tend to work on them for a month or two before I finish them, but I liked them when they’re done because they’re all about my love of different series, this time one that I think can be underrated because it’s written all in IMs (although there’s a new version that looks like it might be in Facebook messages or text messages, cuz I guess IMing is just too old? that makes me sad).
Books I’m Excited About
Since I haven’t had much reading time lately, there aren’t a lot of books that I have right now that I’m sure I’m going to get to, and I’m not even sure I’m going to get to this book, but I’m interested to read this book about a recently co-ed boarding school that has so few girls and has to deal with the sexism and gender issues that might come with that.
Upcoming Releases I’m Excited About
As the end of the year gets closer, my list of books that I’m anxiously awaiting gets smaller. These are both debuts, one dealing with a suicide and the next a historical book about a recently desegregated school that obviously isn’t that desegregated when it comes to the minds of the students. I’ve heard buzz about both of these books, but I feel like I haven’t read many early reviews for either, so we’ll have to see if those start pouring in when these books are released.
Challenges – Progress
It has not been a great reading month for me with the beginning of school keeping me busy. I’ve only read 10 books this month, which actually isn’t all that horrible – I must have done better at the beginning of the month than I thought I did. One of the books was a DNF, but whatever. Anyway, I’m now at 131 books.
Since one of my books this month was a DNF, I only read 9 books, which means I didn’t reread any books this month, which is quite shocking after all the rereading I’ve done this summer! So, that puts me at 90 new books so far this year, so it’s definitely possible for me to get to at least 100 new books this year and would be quite sad if I didn’t!
This is another completed challenge! Now that the year is over halfway done, there are quite a few debut books out that I can get my hands on quite easily, so that probably helps. Anyway, I’ve read 13 debuts this year and only three of them were DNFs, which isn’t too bad!
I only one new sophomore book this month, so the number has only gone up to 12 books, but that’s two books over my goal, so I really don’t care! As long as I keep working on it little by little, I’m happy with the way it’s progressing.
Even though I’ve been reading another adult book for a good portion for the month, I haven’t finished it yet, so I’m still stuck at 6 books, but hopefully that’ll change next month!
Favorite Non-Book Things
1. Bring It On: I’ve seen one of the direct-to-DVD sequels to this movie, but I’d never seen the original cheerleading movie; well, I changed that this month, and I really, really loved it! It was fun and did a decent job of looking at race in terms of a well-off, mostly white school versus a poor, mostly-minority school.
A Goal for August
Get ahead! That’s the only way I’m going to remain active or semi-active if I have more weeks like I did last week – i.e. really freaking busy and tiring. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of building up some posts for the next week or so this past weekend, but I also know that I may not have a lot of time to work during the week, so we’ll see how long they last.