July Wrap-Up and August TBR

Hello everyone!

WOW, is it me or did July just fly by!? This has been a whirlwind of a month for me: I read some books and wrote some words, this blog reached 100 followers (yay!!), Camp Nano happened, and then there is the rest of life.

Books read: 5

Eliza and Her Monsters tells the story of Eliza, the artist of a famous webcomic who struggles with making friends in real life. This was a super fast read for me, and I loved the dialogue, the illustrations, and the focus on mental illness, though I was not too thrilled about the last 1/3 of the book. My review is here.

In Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Audiobook), all is going well for Simon, who is still not-so-openly gay, until he is blackmailed into being Martin’s wingman. This was such a fun and fast read, that I could NOT put down until the very end. Becky Albertalli is an AMAZING writer. I loved reading her dialogues and I loved that this book left me with something to chew on.

All the Bright Places (Audiobook) is another book that touches on mental health. It tells the story of Finch and Violet, two high school seniors who meet on the bell tower and become inseparable. I liked the story, but felt that the pacing dragged. I did not like the performance in the audiobook.

The Hate U Give (Audiobook) tells the story of Starr, who witnesses the shooting of her best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. I loved that this book discusses the sensitive topic of police brutality and I believe that this is an empowering book for anyone who has experienced discrimination.

The Bad Doctor: The Troubled Life and Times of Dr. Iwan James (Graphic Novel) is a gem that I found in the hospital library (aka. my workplace). This book immerses us in the life of Dr. Iwan James, a family doctor who tries his best to care for his patients every day, many of whom have mental health issues. The thing is, Dr. James struggles with a mental illness himself. I loved that this book shows us that doctors are humans too, and that, for better or for worse, they are affected by the patients they see.

Books reviewed: 4

As you can tell, I am a bit behind on my reviews. It is hard to keep up, since I read faster than I review! Here they are in descending order: (Click on the name to read the review)

Words written: 51480

Happy end of Camp Nano everyone!

Good news: I’ve written 51480 words, which surpasses my goal of 50000.

Bad news: I am nowhere near done my novel. The thing is, I have about the attention span of a goldfish, so when I am 3-4 weeks into a draft, I am ready to cram everything into the back of my drawer and work on something else. The problem is, I am only 50% through.

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So… I guess I gotta keep on plugging on into August. Anyone else feeling like this? How do you stay motivated through that middle-of-the-novel slump?

By the way, for those who are new to my novel: Together We Will Live Forever (tentative titled) tells the story of Olivia, a neuroscience grad student and an aspiring artist, and Matt, who works at the art gallery and lives with his daughter, Zelda.

Some snippets from this month:

Thoughts exchanged: 2

This month, I discovered the magic of discussion posts! They are LOTS of fun for me to write and I love reading and responding to everyone’s comments! These are the two discussion posts this month: (More to come!)

Around the blogosphere:

DNFing, by Melanie @ MNBernard Books. I absolutely LOVE this discussion topic which addresses questions that have been bouncing around in my head: When is it acceptable to DNF? Should we review books that we have DNFed? There are no right answers, of course, but it is super interesting to read other bloggers’ thoughts on this topic.

How To: Write a Great Blog Post, by Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books. This is another AMAZING post about book blogging by Marie. It is definitely a must-read for any newbies out there (like myself), or anyone who is looking for ideas to write better blog posts!

August TBR:

Guys, look what I got:

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Yes, it’s an actual, physical TBR. Since our discussion about eBooks vs Actual Books, I’ve decided to (gasp) go and peruse a book store and AwesomeBooks (an online store for used books). Of course, I couldn’t leave empty handed.

Some of y’all are super speedy readers, but I can only read 5-6 books per month. Here are my top priorities for August:

(I am listening to the audiobook version of When Dimple Met Rishi, which is why it is not in the picture above. And yes, Our Dark Duet has been on my TBR for a while, but I will read it this month, promise.)

How is the month of July for you? What are your favourite reads? What is on your TBR? For the writers out there: how do you deal with that mid-novel slump?

June Wrap-Up and July TBR

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Hello everyone!

For the proud Canadians out there, happy Canada day! For me, the month of June was busy. It is also the first full month that I’ve been blogging. Today I want to tell you guys about what I’ve been up to this month, blog-wise and (if you stick around) life-wise.

Books read in June:

  • Want by Cindy Pon (Audiobook) is my greatest anticipation and biggest disappointment this month.
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (Kindle) is a heartwarming story about a boy’s struggle with depression. Loved it.
  • Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon (Kindle) is a page-turning rollercoaster of a teen romance novel. I was hooked by page one. Check out my review here.
  • My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (Audiobook) is my favourite book this month. If you have a heart, you will love this.
  • Legend by Marie Lu (Kindle) is a typical YA dystopian romance/sci fi novel. I didn’t love it or hate it. Check out my review here.
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (Kindle) is the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicle series (after The Name of the Wind). I liked it, though it is slower than expected. Review is here.

Novel progress:

My current project is a new-adult contemporary novella titled Together We Will Live Forever (tentative.) It tells the story of Olivia, a neuroscience grad student and an aspiring artist, and Matt, a single father who works at the art gallery.

This week, I began outlining the fourth draft of the novel. Afterwards, I will be recruiting beta readers. If you are interested, keep your eyes peeled 🙂

Want to read some snippets?

Favourite book quotes (Thoughtful Thursdays):

“If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveller, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.”

– The Wise Men’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss

“So yes. It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and perfect.”

– The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss

You don’t think in depression that you’ve put on a gray veil and are seeing the world through the haze of a bad mood. You think that the veil has been taken away, the veil of happiness, and that now you’re seeing truly.

– The Noonday Demon, Andrew Solomon

“Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love.”

― Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon

“I wonder if that’s how darkness wins, by convincing us to trap it inside ourselves, instead of emptying it out. I don’t want it to win.”

— My Heart and Other Black Holes, Jasmine Warga

Other notable posts:

July TBR:

Sophie’s life:

Carl and I drove across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver. We stopped by the beautiful Lake Louise, where he knelt down to propose. Yes, we are now engaged.

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How is the month of June for you? What are your favourite books this months? Do you have any goals for July (reading, writing, or otherwise)? What’s on your TBR?

Cheers,

Sophie