Hi friends, and happy December!
Is it just me or was November a total whirlwind? Halloween feels like it was ages ago, but I’m also pretty positive I blinked and suddenly it’s Winter.
November deserves its spotlight though. It was a fantastic month filled with beautiful books, shows, and new music, and I even had an epiphany.
I read some INCREDIBLE books this past month. I’m also weirdly proud of the fact that two out of the five books were recommended to me? I love getting recommendations on top of recommendations, but sometimes, even my own TBR is overwhelming enough. And because of that, I’ve noticed that recommendations kind of take a seat on the back burner. BUT, trust me, after the wonderful experience I had with these two, I’ll be more prompt with picking up more recs.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo-★★★★☆. No surprise here when I say that Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite authors. I mean, I talk about her 99% of the time. I was so beyond myself excited for Ninth House, and it didn’t disappoint. I definitely had my qualms with the book though, the biggest being the main character and the crazy complex storyline, but I’m still going to anxiously await the second book. If you want to read even more of my thoughts on this book, you can find my full review here!
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater-★★★★★. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I MISSED RONAN AND ADAM AND DECLAN AND MATTHEW. I really have so many thoughts on this book, and most of them need to be conveyed in caps lock. The story was beautiful, and the character development was even more beautiful. I need these characters to be protected at all costs, okay?! You can read my full thoughts of this book here!
Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston-★★★★☆. I finally read that one book that every book blogger couldn’t stop raving about this past summer, and it was honestly one of the cutest stories. I’m not sure why I expected anything less, seeing that everyone loved it, but the story was sweet, fulfilling, and easy. Sure, it made my blood boil at times because so much could’ve been prevented from just a small thing called communication, but it was so so good.
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey-★★☆☆☆. I’m not quite sure how this book found its way onto my TBR, but the synopsis makes it sound super promising. Unfortunately though, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I was hoping to. I found the characters to be a bit one-dimensional and flat, and their story was pretty predicable. But, that didn’t keep me from reading it quickly. It wasn’t great, but it was oh-so addictive.
Bloom by Kevin Panetta-★★★★☆. I’m a newbie when it comes to graphic novels, so I ran across Bloom after getting a recommendation from a wonderful friend (thanks, Margaret!). Really, the book centers on two guys and baking. WHAT MORE DO I NEED? Plus, the illustrations were nothing short of adorable, and the only bad thing about this book was that I got too attached to the characters and finished it too quickly.
Currently reading: I’m just about forty pages short of finishing Over The Top by Jonathan Van Ness. and I’m really loving learning about how JVN became JVN. His trials and tribulations are nothing shirt of horrible and horrendous, and seeing just how confident and okay he is with himself now is honestly inspiring. I will admit though, you can definitely tell that JVN’s first occupation is not “writer.” He’s a little all over the place in the book, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.
“Mr.” by Leslie Odom Jr. Pardon me, are you Aaron Burr, sir? UGH. I’m sorry, I had to. But really, “Mr.” is a lovely album that is a great mix of old sounds and new vibes. It’s really an incredible balance of “this sounds like it’s from the Jazz Age” and “this is an instant radio hit.” The songs themselves are so deep and personal, and I’m kind of in love with them. I’m over the moon excited to hear all of these live next year (!!!!).
Frozen II. I have what could be considered a Frozen obsession. Back when the first movie came out, I was just about to move into my first college dorm and my mom had given me permission to buy one “silly” item with my high school graduation money. And 17-year-old Lauren took it upon herself to purchase a life-sized Olaf stuffed animal. Fast forward to now, and I couldn’t get to the movie fast enough to see the sequel. Let me just say that that movie exceeded every single one of my expectations. While it’s still very much a children’s movie, really deep and mature topics are covered which made me appreciate it even more so, whereas these things would completely go unnoticed my anyone under 10. The songs are stunning; the message behind the stories are beautiful; and the character arcs are unmatched. Also, I’m still very much in love with Johnathan Groff.
Atypical, Season 3. Atypical is such an incredible show, and I feel like not many people know about it. I think, as someone who is NOT on the autism spectrum, that it’s a great representation of the disorder (I say this specifically because I have absolutely no knowledge about living on the spectrum, and I have no concrete evidence that this is actually accurate representation). So, since season 3 came out, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ve been trying to use all of my free time to watch it.
Queer Eye: We’re In Japan! This is the second time now that I’ve been watching a Queer Eye season, and the season ended far earlier than I expected it to. No one told me that We’re In Japan was only four episodes, and I didn’t even know that until I finished the last one. Queer Eye has easily become one of my favorite TV shows, and it always makes me feel All of the emotions while simultaneously healing all of my ailments. Seeing the Fab 5 take on Tokyo was incredible, and I would love to be able to see them explore more cultures. They were really living their best lives and thriving in Japan.
I’ve got to be honest here. For months and months, I’ve mentioned how “I didn’t write as much as I wanted to,” or “I’ve really been slacking on my blog, but I’m trying to work out a new balance.” I’ve said it all time and time again, and yet nothing has changed. And November was really transformative for me regarding this.
I started to realize that it’s okay to not be able to post every week. It’s more than alright to only put three or four posts out a month as long as it’s content that I feel proud of. I’ve learned to not compare my blog output to others. My blog is mine, and I shouldn’t be placing all of this pressure on writing when writing doesn’t feel quite right.
I only put out four posts this past month, but I really enjoy each one of them. And the fact that I’ve finally realized that I’m the only one expecting myself to post constantly is absolutely priceless. Now that I’ve figured this out, I’m really excited to say that I have some (what I think of as) awesome original content coming to you in December.
- October 2019 Wrap-Up || the month of new!
- Book Review || Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (ft. an identity crisis dilemma)
- The Frozen Book Tag || AKA I’m an ‘adult’ that is way too excited about this movie
- Book Review || Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater (we need to talk about Ronan Lynch’s character development)
And, as a quick aside to all of this: the little community that has formed around my blog is one of my favorite things in this whole entire universe. I love interacting with people across the globe about huge plot twists and small details written in between the lines. The book blogging community means absolutely everything to me, and I give you all the biggest hug and utmost gratitude for letting me be a part of it, even when I’m not always a part of it.
Like I said, one of my absolute favorite things about being a book blogger is the community it has created. I’ve met wonderful people that put out wonderful content on the daily, and I’m so excited to share which posts I fell in love with this past month.
Alex from the paperback piano shared an incredible rendition of Queen’s “No One But You” in honor of Freddie Mercury, and you need to listen to it now.
Stephanie from Adventures of a Bibliophile discussed the mistakes she made at the beginning of her book blogging journey, and it was honestly just really refreshing to hear how much you can learn during your time blogging.
Sofii at A Book. A Thought. celebrated her three years blogging (congratulations!) with a post highlighting her top 5 blogging tips. There’s something just so wonderful about posts where bloggers share what they’ve learned? I really love it.
Margaret over at Weird Zeal had two posts this past month that stole my heart, with the first being a genre talk about what exactly makes a book YA. The line between YA and general fictional is fascinating, and Margaret put it into better words than I could ever hope to. Her second post that I loved was simply her beautiful review on Call Down the Hawk. Seeing as Margaret is quite possibly the biggest Raven Cycle fan, hearing her gush about the book made my heart really very happy.
Sophie from Me and Ink shared the most beautiful collection of “plain chaotic thoughts” about each book from the Raven Cycle series, and it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever read. She points out SO MANY THINGS to love about this series as a whole, and it felt like I was meeting these characters for the first time again.
I’m still in complete denial that it’s already December. I’m not at all ready for 2020.