November 2019 Wrap-Up || an epiphany!

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.

me trying not to smile whilst reading Bloom.

“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.

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.

So, what do you think? How was your November? Did you find any new favorite books? What show have you been binging? Any new music you’re in love with? Let’s chat!

15 thoughts on “November 2019 Wrap-Up || an epiphany!

  1. I’m so happy that you read some books that I recommended and enjoyed them!! Wasn’t Bloom just the cutest?? And Red White and Royal Blue is fantastic, of course! 😀 AND CALL DOWN THE HAWK. I’m never gonna stop screaming about that book, basically. Thanks for linking to my posts, btw!! ❤

    Also, yes, that epiphany is wonderful! I'm glad you're not pushing yourself to do more than you're able, and letting yourself be satisfied with what you can do instead of putting too much pressure on yourself. We love a balanced queen! 😂

    I still haven't seen the new Japan season of Queer Eye, but clearly I need to get on that! And I also need to watch Frozen 2 over and over again, I think. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we’re just learning here that you know me very well and you know of the most fantastic books! SO THANK YOU! I will always scream about anything related to the Raven Boys, so I’m right there with you.

      You’re are honestly the absolute kindest, Margaret. ❤️

      You SO need to get on that Queer Eye Japan train. And for sure tell me all of your thoughts. And yes!! There is no limit to how many times you can watch Frozen 2.

      Thank you for commenting!! 💜

      Like

  2. ARE YOU AARON BURR, SIR ajiqowjdjwoeodkjeow my hamilton obsession three years ago is remembered 😭
    FROZEN 2 WAS SO GOOD!! Kristoff is breaking toxoc masculinity boundaries and the sisterly love was so great.
    I’m so glad you liked RW&B! It was so cute 😀 Have a great December!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lauren, honey! Thank you SO much for mentioning my post!! I’m super happy that you liked it, it really means a lot to me & Super excited for Call Down the Hawk!! I can’t wait to read it, I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🥰
    I hope you have a great reading month this December ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, Sofii! Your posts are always so incredible, so I’m not at all surprised that they always find their way in my wrap-ups 😊 and I’m SO EXCITED that you’re excited about Call Down the Hawk. It’s a total whirlwind. I hope you have a great December as well! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aw.. I loved reading your wrap up!!

    Looks like you’ve had some good books this month– I’m currently reading Ninth House and I’m really loving it!!
    I’m sorry Waiting for Tom Hanks wasn’t the best read for you, I almost read this one myself but a few reviews said it wasn’t great for them either!!
    Ah.. I would love to read Bloom– it looks adorable!!!
    Of course I loved CDTH too as I’ve mentioned!!

    I’m hoping to see Frozen 2 soon but I’m so glad you liked it!! I also love your story with an Olaf teddy– that’s amazing!! 😂😍

    I’m so happy that you feel more comfortable with writing and your blogging schedule. I look forward to your content and I’m so happy you are a member of this community!! ❤

    Thank you so much for linking to my Raven Cycle post, that means so much to me and I’m so happy you liked it and could relate to the feelings!! I really enjoy writing about them in this post 😂

    I hope you have a wonderful December Lauren!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Sophie! I’m glad you liked it!

      I read some INCREDIBLE books this month, and I hope the same goes for you! I’m so, so happy to hear that you’re loving Ninth House! I definitely need to get better at reading reviews of books I’m semi-interested in, so I have more time for books better suited for me. It’s just so hard to find that right balance of taking reviews seriously into account and not letting them fully influence your thoughts.

      AH! YOU NEED TO READ BLOOM! It was such a quick and cute read and filled me with the most happiness.

      I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU AND YOUR FROZEN ADVENTURES! I truly hope you love the heck out of it, and I would love to know what you think of it!

      Thank you so, so much Sophie. You’ve always been so sweet, and I’m happy to have met you through this community! 💜

      Your Raven Cycle post was so spot on to my own thoughts while I was reading the series, I couldn’t not include it. I’m happy to hear your enjoyed writing it too! Those are always the best kinds of posts.

      Happy December! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did have some really wonderful books too!! I just finished Ninth House yesterday and I can’t believe I have to wait until 2021 for the sequel!! 😂
        It is hard to read reviews and decide what you should do after!! They say reading 3 star reviews is best because they are middle of the line so will give the most unbiased review so I don’t know it that works or not but I’ve heard it!!

        Ahh.. it looks adorable and I love the colour palette!!!

        I watched it at the weekend (yes with all the kids 😂) and I really enjoyed it!! I feel like it was a really nice journey for the characters and they all ended in the right places!! Plus Olaf was hilarious and Lost in the Woods was amazing!! 😂

        Aw.. you’re so welcome!! I’m so happy I got to meet you through this community too !! ❤

        Thank you so, so much again!! Yes it is great to write something you are passionate about!!

        Thank you!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RIGHT? Waiting until 2021 really just seems unfair. And reading 3 star reviews is a great idea! Maybe I should take that up.

        YES! So, so glad to hear that you loved Frozen 2! In my opinion, it touched on some really incredible topics and themes, and I loved seeing them explore it. Olaf was top notch, and I’m forever in love with Kristoff.

        Thanks for reading, Sophie! 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so happy you had a lovely November! I hope your December is going great as well 😀
    Red, White and Royal Blue is such a GREAT book, I completely agree that sometimes I just wanted to scream at them to talk to each other, but yes, amazing. And I really wanna go watch Frozen! I also really liked the first movie and I’m excited about this sequel – I’ve heard spoilers, I know I’ll cry, – but movie tickets in Germany are so expensive, I hope the movie is still in the theatres when I go back home for Christmas break. And what do you mean, a life-sized Olaf? Because now we know Olaf is big af xD (I bet it’s really cute, though)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marta; I hope the same for you!
      And right?! They really just needed to learn some solid communication techniques. 😂 This stinks about ticket prices being so expensive, but I do hope you get the chance to see Frozen! And Olaf’s true height is actually terrifying, and in that case, mine is definitely not life size 😂 More like two feet – the size you’d expect him to be.

      Liked by 1 person

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