August 2019 Wrap-Up + a major life update about why I’ve been MIA

Happy September, my friends!

🍂☕🍁🎃🌇👻⛈️🦇🍂☕🍁🎃🌇👻⛈️🦇

In my world, it’s Fall and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Apple cider, chilly nights, hoodies, thunderstorms, falling leaves, Halloween, hayrides, carving pumpkins, cinnamon-flavored things. . . I am pumped. Not only is Fall fantastic in and of itself, but that means all of my favorite holidays are coming up, as well as winter. I’m part of that strange 1% of the population that actually loves the cold and snow, but my opinion will probably change once my city decides to plunge itself into a dark arctic tundra…

BUT, before any of that, we’re starting off fresh with September which means that it’s time to talk all things that happened in August. August was definitely a busy month for me, and I’m weirdly excited to go through it all here with you.

Within these past few months, I like to think that I’ve really come into my blogging self in that I’m really enjoying blogging and writing my thoughts down to gush about fictional characters and their stories with wonderful people all across the world. Although, that was ultimately put to a halt towards the end of August because my schedule changed due to my NEW FULL-TIME JOB!

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but all throughout college, I was beyond intrigued about publishing and working within that realm (so much so that I enrolled in a graduate summer program in downtown Manhattan and moved there last summer). But, I felt a pull from experiences from my college years which has led me to now working at a non-profit organization as an event coordinator! It’s only been a few weeks at this point, but I’m loving every minute of it so far.

Unfortunately though, as I’m sure is obvious, I’ve lost the precious blogging time I had during that wonderful phase of my life called unemployment. I’m still trying to iron out my schedule and rework that balance between working and writing, so hopefully we’ll get there soon. But, a huge thank you to everyone that’s been so kind to me despite the fact that I take days to reply to a comment!

August wasn’t necessarily the best reading month for me if you were to only look at my average star ratings, but considering I’m no longer thinking of reading as work, I’m enjoying my actual time spent reading more than I ever have.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson-★★★☆☆. I so wanted to love this book more than I did. Summertime, in my opinion, is the most opportune time to read any contemporary book, so I wanted to give this one a shot. I mean, the cover is completely littered with dogs; I’m obviously going to read it. While the story itself was cutesy and entertaining, I’m having trouble remembering the general scheme of it even just a month later, meaning that it wasn’t exactly the most memorable book I’ve ever read.

Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young-★★★★☆. I want to (and probably will) scream about this book for forever. It was so dark and horribly realistic to the world we occupy today that I was chilled for a good majority of it. The only thing that bothers me is that the second book isn’t out yet. You can read my full review of Girls With Sharp Sticks here!

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson-★★★★☆. I have absolutely no idea why, but once the summer temperatures started dipping (even in just the slightest), I needed to get my hands on every spooky, scary story that has ever been concocted ever. My best friend (who has always provided me with unreal book recommendations) couldn’t talk highly enough about this book, and I needed it in my hands ASAP. While I did wish it was a bit scarier—who even am I anymore?!—it was so, so good nonetheless.

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover-★★★☆☆. I don’t know that I’ve ever admitted it here before, but when I first fell in love with reading, I quickly fell in love with Colleen Hoover. Since then, though, I’ve noticed elements of her books that aren’t my favorite things in the world, so I stopped purchasing her books. But, equipped with my curiosity and a lovely little library card, I picked up one of her newer releases. It lived up to my expectations in that I didn’t necessarily enjoy it as much as I would’ve say two or three years ago, but I can get why some people love the story.

The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz-★★★★☆. Hi, my name is Lauren and I’m obsessed with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and will read anything by this author. Even though I couldn’t fully relate to the characters from this book as much as Ari & Dante, I loved having the ability to fully immerse myself in such a diverse story with experiences I’ve never gone through. You can read my full review on TILOML here!

Currently reading: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I will probably talk about The Raven Cycle and my newly adopted kids until I’m taken to the grave, so I was beyond excited to see that The Scorpio Races was available at my library. Unfortunately though, I’m not liking it as much as I had hoped. Here’s to wishful thinking that I enjoy it more the further I get into it!

Making a Murderer. I have really just wanted to digest every single thriller-y/suspense-y/creepy/scary type of entertainment at my disposal this month. I remember when Making a Murderer first came out, and everyone talked about how much it blew their minds. I can easily say that I’m among that crowd now. I’m currently in the middle of part two, and I just have so many questions. How can so much go wrong? Who am I supposed to believe?! How am I not supposed to give in and Google this to see if it’s all solved now?! The suspense is actually eating at me.

Harry Potter movies 5 & 6. I’m way behind schedule when compared to the rest of the world. I didn’t read the series until this past year-ish, and I didn’t fully see the first movie until last summer. I’ve now been trying my hardest to watch all 8, and I finally found the time to watch 5 & 6 this past month. When I’m watching the films, I’m loving absolutely every second of it (which I expected). But, for some reason, after I finish a specific movie, they become an enigma and totally escape my memory because I never remember actually watching them. It’s a mystery.

Lover. AHHHHHH. Listen, I know the rest of the internet has already screamed about this album until their voices have gone hoarse, but I haven’t gotten the chance to scream about it yet. I fell in love with Taylor Swift when I was 10; I was just a little youngin. And it’s strange, but each album she has released has somehow managed to match the “aura” of my life in that specific moment. I may be 22 now, but I’m never not going to get excited about a new Taylor album. I’m actually having trouble finding the words to amount my love for this one, but just know that it’s been on repeat (in between my listens of the Jonas Brothers—my pre-teen self is LIVING AND THRIVING). Also, please know that I started listing out my favorites here to scream about them with you, but I nearly listed the whole tracklist.

Like I said, my posts this August were kind of lacking and not nearly as frequent as I would’ve wanted. Plus, I’ve had to cut down on participating in a weekly meme and instead change it to a whenever-I-have-the-time meme. But, we’re working on it!

I’ve been absolutely horrible at blog hopping this month, but that doesn’t mean that some incredible posts haven’t been written! Although, because the latter half of August turned crazy on my end, I wasn’t able to explore different blog posts as much as I would’ve liked to.

The lovely Meaghan over at the words gremlin wrote two of my favorite posts to ever exist. I talk about The Darkest Minds books as if it were my job, and she wrote wonderful mini reviews about the original series, as well as a full review about The Darkest Legacy. Reading these reviews made me feel like I was experiencing the books for the first time again; I’m unable to talk coherently about these books, but I felt like Meaghan perfectly captured what stole my heart.

The amazing Xandra at Starry Sky Books shared 4 things about blogging that seem scary but really aren’t that bad. I think I fell in love with this post because of how much I could relate to it, seeing as blogging used to be this crazy unexplored world for me and finding posts like Xandra’s have truly helped me along the way.

The wonderful Caitlin from Caitlin Althea discusses her thoughts on blog hopping and poses the question, are we really friends or do you just want me to comment on your blog? I found this post to be refreshing, intelligent, and so beyond carefully written that it was actually ridiculous. The book blogging community is huge, and I really think that Caitlin’s posts helps navigate me through it.

The incredible Marie from Drizzle & Hurricane Books always manages to write some of my favorite posts, and this month was no different. In her post “How to give your book blog posts that extra spark,” Marie shares her thoughts on how to make yourself stand out amongst the crowd and how to make your writing shine.

The magnificent Clo over at Book Dragons posted one of the most realistic blog posts I’ve ever read, in which she goes through every single one of her thoughts when seeing a bookstore. Honestly, how did she get into my mind and write my exact thoughts?!


And there we have August all wrapped up! I’m fairly certain I didn’t mention it yet, but I’m excited for Fall. I’m so here for this. I’m glad to already be posting this wrap-up. I just want Halloween and Christmas now, honestly. Let’s fast forward?

How was your August? What books did you read this month? Do you have any new favorites? Are you already in the Fall mood or stuck in summer? Let’s chat!

19 thoughts on “August 2019 Wrap-Up + a major life update about why I’ve been MIA

    1. Thank you so much for your well wishes! And I really need to watch the last two; it’s been taking me a hot minute 😂 I also feel like the chillier weather is perfect for a Harry Potter marathon?

      Also, I apologize it took me so long to reply back to you! I really do appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. First of all congrats on your job! That is very exciting! 😀
    I’m sorry to hear you’re not liking the Scorpio Races. I loved that book, it may be my favourite Maggie book.
    I just caved and listened to half (I didn’t realize it was so long!) of Lover… I’m not a giant Taylor Swift fan, but I’ve just been in this mood so I decided to give it a listen and I’m really digging it. I kept thinking I was going to like it, but I do!
    Great wrap up, August looks like it was a good month for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Meghan!

      I’m happy to hear that The Scorpio Races is your favorite Maggie book! I thought that the story and general premise was really interesting and unique; I just (unfortunately) didn’t like it as much as I hoped it would.

      It also makes my heart so, so happy to hear that despite you not being a giant Taylor Swift fan that you’ve been enjoying her new album! I think that it’s such an interesting sound and feel, so I’m happy you gave it a chance!

      Thank you so much again for all of your kind words—they always mean the world to me! 💜 And I am so terribly sorry it took me years to get back to you!

      Like

      1. You’re welcome!

        I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like it, but everyone has their preferences!

        Yeah, I’ve been super obsessed with the album! It’s the only thing I want to listen to these days. It gives me all the feels! 🥰🥰

        Oh no! Reply at your own pace! 🥰☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for mentioning one of my posts here!! And CONGRATS ON YOU NEW JOB. that’s amazing and I hope you know that it’s perfectly okay to neglect blogging in favor of your livelihood!!

    ahh, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on The Scorpio Races. It’s been on my TBR for so long, and its premise is so interesting! Have an amazing September ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course! I loved your post so much, I just had to include it!

      AH! That little bit of advice is actually so reassuring and calming, so thank you times a million for that. I’m still trying to work out my new blogging schedule (hence why it took me an actual two weeks to get back to you—I’m the worst), but I am hoping to nail that down soon because I truly do miss blogging and talking with everyone!

      I unfortunately didn’t like The Scorpio Races as much as I’d hoped to, but the storyline was so intriguing and unlike anything else I’ve ever read. I have heard of countless people signing their praises about this book, so I hope I’m just the black sheep and that you really enjoy it when you get to it!!

      Thank you so much again for your kind words—it means the world to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. fall sounds lovely in your side of the hemisphere! i’ve been thinking a lot about this recently, actually. how i feel like i am missing out on so many traditions & such because it seems like everyone i follow is preparing for fall and halloween and the weather is BURNING around here. plus, we don’t really celebrate halloween ever.
    CONGRATS ON YOUR NEW JOB!!!!! aaaah, that’s so exciting! i’m sure you’ll be able to figure things out with your new schedule, but still, it’s such a great milestone! congrats!
    i am glad to hear you’ve had better luck with colleen hoover over the years. if i’m honest, she’s probably my least favorite author, though i’ve only read one book by her, but it was such a bad experience that i never dared get close to any other title again!
    i have yet to read the scorpio races too! i’ve heard is not as amazing as the raven cycle, but whenever i am craving fantasy and do not want to jump into a series, i’ll give this standalone a chance.
    oh my god, listening to taylor swift & jonas brothers the entire time throughout 2019 is something i didn’t expect either. my 2009 self is SO HAPPY. what are your favorite tracks in lover? mine are paper rings & false god. but this whole album is soooo great!
    hope you have an amazing september, lauren! ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah! I’m sorry to hear that the temperature stays super hot during fall for you! I’m definitely not a hot-temperature kind of gal, so I think that’s one of the main reasons I look for award to Fall so much. And thank you, Lais! My new job has been incredible so far, but I miss blogging like crazy!!

      I really don’t blame you there! Like I said, I fell in love with her stories really quickly and didn’t realize how problematic they were until I was exposed to different stories and differing life experiences. I still do understand why people love her so much, but I just think I’ve grown out of my love for her. It just made me rather happy that one of her more recent titles (in my opinion) felt a little less problematic than her previous works!

      I’m so excited to hear all of your thoughts on The Scorpio Races when you get to it! I think it was such an interesting premise, but I unfortunately didn’t like it as much as I had expected to. Don’t get me wrong; the characters were really interesting and super well done, but I’m thinking I just didn’t read it at the right time? I really do hope you enjoy it though!!

      RIGHT?! I just feel like I’ve completely gone back to my twelve year old self, and it’s weirdly fantastic?!?! I also got to see the Jonas Brothers love a few weeks ago, AND MY TWEEN SELF WAS LIVING HER BEST LIFE. I’d say that my favorite tracks from lover are Paper Rings, Soon You’ll Get Better, and Lover. But, like you said, the whole album is so fantastic that it’s really difficult to pick just a few!

      Thank you so much for always being so kind (and patient when I take forever to reply!!) 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh so many exciting news, congratulation on the new job, this is SO GREAT, I’m so happy for you. Take your time with blogging and the comments and everything else, we’ll always be waiting, find your rhythm one day at a time 🙂
    I’m SO HAPPY you loved Girls with Sharp Sticks, I’ve been wanting to read this book for a little while now and I just can’t wait to get a copy. I’m even more excited now haha.
    THANK YOU so much for mentioning my post ahh I’m honored ❤
    I hope you'll have a lovely September ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah! Thank you, Marie! And your words of advice are so incredibly helpful—thank you so, so, so much for that. It’s definitely been difficult trying to find my rhythm, but with really kind comments like yours, it makes it just a bit easier.

      I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Girls with Sharp Sticks! I really wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, so I’m hoping that you have a very similar experience seeing as you’re already so excited to read it!

      And of course! I always fall in love with your posts each month, so I obviously have to include them! 💜

      Thank you so much again for your advice and for taking the time to comment—it means the world to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve honestly had kinda mediocre experiences with Morgan Matson books so far & I’m not sure how I feel about picking up her other books even though the premises always sound super promising? ALSO OMG I LOVED HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (the Netflix series) & I really want to read the book bc apparently it’s EVEN SCARIER than the TV show?! 😱

    ALSO YES HOW GOOD IS LOVER, NISH & I HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO IT NON-STOP EVER SINCE IT CAME OUT 😍 We even made our own book tag for it – we couldn’t help ourselves 😂 Hopefully she doesn’t leave us hanging & announces a tour soon! 😛

    💛 Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I TOTALLY RELATE TO THAT! Since You’ve Been Gone wasn’t my favorite, but The Unexpected Everything sounded so intriguing and included dogs, so I couldn’t not. Ah! I’ve heard such good things about the Hill House Netflix adaptation! I actually haven’t seen it yet so I’m not the best judge of the book being scarier than the show, but I would deem the book as more creepy than scary!

      AHHHHHH! LITERALLY RELATE TO THIS SO MUCH! Your guys’ tag is so wonderful and I loved participating it because I could just tell how much you love the album. And right?! I need to start saving up my money so I can maybe go to this tour 😂

      Thank you so much for being so kind and taking the time to drop me a comment! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha SAMMMEEEE I literally saw dogs on the cover & I was like *grabby hands* 😂 Ooooh that sounds so intriguing, I’ll definitely have to pick up the book sometime this year!

        We honestly cannot physically stop ourselves from listening to the album & even when we try to put our music on shuffle, TayTay keeps playing – it’s like our phones KNOW what we really want? 😂

        Awww your blog is so wonderful, I’m really glad we came across it!! Can’t wait to read more of your amazing posts! 😍

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I may not be excited about the dark and cold as much as you are, but I am HYPED FOR FALL. It’s cider time! Donuts! Leaves falling! ALL THE GOOD STUFF.

    Congrats on the job, too! Balancing blogging and life is bonkers, and I hope you figure it out soon. ❤️

    And thank you for featuring my TDM posts! I’m still so happy to have talked with someone who loves TDM as much as I do, and it delights me to NO END that you enjoyed those reviews! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CIDER TIME IS THE BEST TIME! You’re honestly making me even more excited for all things fall, and I love that.

      Thank you so much! Weirdly enough, your words are really reassuring to me as I hope to figure out this balance soon—I miss blogging and gushing about books online like crazy!

      And of course! Like I’ve said, your TDM reviews made me feel the same feelings I felt when I read the series for the first time and seeing as it’s my favorite series, that’s a big deal. They’re such wonderful posts 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Awww thanks so much for sharing my blog post! Glad you liked it haha ❤ Congrats on your new job! Also Taylor Swift is amazing, I've loved her music since I was 7 but got really into it at about 10. But I still vividly remember how so many kids my age found it "uncool" to love her music and I always sat there biting my tongue cause I was here for her songs, the lyrics and how she weaves a stories and I JUST LOVE HER MUSIC! Tho I wasn't a huge fan of her reputation album I adore Lover so much. Hope you've been having a lovely September love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally relate to that! Liking Taylor early on was pretty much deemed “uncool” around my circles, but I couldn’t help but love her music. I’m pretty certain I just ended up watching her Our Song music video like it was my job. I too wasn’t a big fan of reputation, but Lover is SO up my alley, so I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying it as well!! ❤️

      I hope your September has been great too, thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

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