Monthly Wrap Up: August 2019 & BOTM Giveaway

Life Stuff

August was a very exciting month for me! It was busy, as usual, but some good things happened, the most important of which was Quill and I finding a new place to live! Due to his job being a lot further away from our current flat, we’re having to move a bit closer so his commute isn’t so long. We found a house at the beginning of the month, and have been sorting out all of the paperwork for it. I’m so excited that I’m considering doing a house tour vlog! Maybe lifestyle vlogging will be my new thing.

My company has started paying for fitness classes, so I’m now doing one of those a week as well as a Pilates class. I’m feeling pretty good about all of that right now. If I can get my running back up to scratch, I’ll feel even better!

Another thing my company is paying for is a monthly session on mindfulness. I’ve always wanted to try meditation but if I’m doing it on my own I get distracted, so these sessions have been quite helpful in helping me clear my head and help me to stay focussed for the rest of the day. Having a guide is really useful, it turns out!

Over the bank holiday weekend, Quill and I went to the New Forest. We were ambushed by a lot of horses and donkeys on multiple occasions, and we ended up doing a 16km walk on one of the days. I had a great time down there, and would definitely like to go back in the near future.

On a more negative note, the climate change and Brexit stuff that’s happening is stressing me out. I’m actually losing sleep over it because I feel so powerless to stop it. The Amazon is burning down and no one seems to really care, and the UK government has been suspended because one man wants it to.

Books Read

I somehow read a total of 18 books in August, which is absolutely mad. Here they all are in the order that I read them. As you can see, things started off really well with The Poppy War, but then I read some really average reads, unfortunately. I still enjoyed my reading for the most part though!

  1. The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  2. Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill ★ ★ ★ .5
  3. Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill ★ ★ ★ .5
  4. Sea Witch by Sara Henning ★ ★ ★
  5. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Stephen Brusatte ★ ★ ★
  6. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ★ ★ ★ .5
  7. What She Found in the Woods by Josephine Angelini ★ ★ ★
  8. Clockworks by Joe Hill ★ ★ ★ ★
  9. Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill ★ ★ ★ ★
  10. Wilder Girls by Rory Power ★ ★ .5
  11. Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé ★
  12. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware ★ ★ ★ .5
  13. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan ★ ★ ★ .5
  14. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware ★ ★ .5
  15. The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth by Thomas Morris ★ ★
  16. Pulp by Robin Talley ★ ★ ★
  17. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green ★ ★ .5
  18. Suggested Reading by Dave Connis ★ ★

Book of the Month & Giveaway

The Poppy War was definitely my favourite book of the month! Nothing was going to even come close, so it’s no wonder a lot of my other reads felt a bit lacklustre. From September onwards, I’m going to be giving away my favourite book of the month (or, in this case, it’s sequel) because I want to share the love with you all! Just enter using the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is separate to my Twitter giveaway, so if you like you can enter twice! You’ll only win one copy though.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


As you can see, I read 18 books in August. Format-wise, I listened to 2 audiobooks, read 1 ebook, and 15 physical books. This surprised me a bit because I normally read more ebooks than that. But I guess I was focusing more on physical ARCs for #ARCAugust.

I read a good mixture of genres, which I think really helped to keep me reading. Mixing things up always works! I read 3 fantasy, 4 horror, 2 non-fiction, 4 thriller, 2 magical realism, and 3 contemporary books. My favourite reads from those were the fantasy books and the horror books, but that’s slightly skewed because the horrors were a reread. The thrillers were pretty great as well! But I didn’t love the magical realism books – I gave them 1 star and 2.5 stars.

My average rating was a solid 3.1, which I guess I’m happy with. It could be worse. I would have liked to have found some more favourites, but I’m happy with the ones that I read. And really nothing was going to beat The Poppy War.

Looking Ahead

As I said, we’ll be moving house in September, so I’m expecting most of the month to be taken up by sorting out our current flat and carting furniture around. Thankfully, we have some crossover between our moving in and moving out dates, so we will be able to take our time with it. I’m trying to keep the rest of the month as free as possible so I don’t get too stressed!

I’d like to try to keep up with the blogging, as I am slowly getting back into it, and I’m trying to sort out some kind of balance between book blogging and Booktubing. It’s actually quite difficult to do!

Reading wise, I’ll be taking part in the Contemporary-a-thon. I was considering daily vlogging it, but it takes place during the week that we’re moving, so I’m not sure if that would work out, as I’m not sure I’ll have the time or internet access! But we’ll see.

37 comments on “Monthly Wrap Up: August 2019 & BOTM Giveaway

  1. NANCY 03/09/2019 12:46 pm

    The Poppy War sounds like a great book.

    • Amber 04/09/2019 8:26 am

      It’s incredible!

  2. Ahh so happy you found a new place to live, this is so exciting! Best of luck for the moving-in and settling in this September! 🙂 and wow. You’ve read SO much, that’s so great! I’m glad you seemed to have overall liked Pulp, I really want to read that one 🙂
    Happy reading and have a lovely September 🙂

    • Amber 04/09/2019 8:27 am

      Thanks Marie! I kind of just want to move in now. I don’t like this whole waiting thing haha. Thanks, you too!

  3. Sam @ The Little Munchkin Reader 03/09/2019 8:26 pm

    You had such an amazing reading month, Amber. You go, girl! A house tour would be awesome! Oh, and thank you for the giveaway!

    • Amber 04/09/2019 8:31 am

      Thanks Sam! <3 I'm hoping September will be just as good. And you're welcome!

  4. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra 04/09/2019 2:07 am

    Wow, you had a fantastic reading month! I also think it’s so cool that your workplace is doing so much for employees’ physical and mental well being. I wish my company was more into that.

    • Amber 04/09/2019 8:31 am

      I did! My company has only just started doing it these past couple of months. I hope yours catches on!

  5. Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea 04/09/2019 10:39 am

    I wish you all the best with moving in!! Also, congrats on reading so many books this month!! I’m so happy that you loved the Poppy War because it’s one of my stand out reads of the year. so sad that you didn’t enjoy Wilder Girls though because I’ve been so pumped to read it 🙁

    • Amber 07/09/2019 2:30 pm

      Thanks, love! I’m finding the packing up part a bit tedious and I want to just move now! I still have two weeks to go. Agh.

  6. Amber @ The Literary Phoenix 04/09/2019 11:25 am

    I’m so glad you liked The Poppy War! It was one of my favorites last year and now The Dragon republic is burning a hole in my shelf….

    Also… moving… uck. Good luck – I hope everything is wonderful and stress-free! We are house-hunting at the moment so moving (again, forever, I swear) is on our radar too. It was so smart of you to have an overlap between in/out dates! I hope it all goes really smoothly and you love your new place. <3

    • Amber 07/09/2019 2:31 pm

      I just got The Dragon Republic from the library (as well as an eARC) so I really have no excuse for putting it off! I’m so scared of it though haha.

      Yeahhhh, I’m not enjoying this whole moving thing right now! I’ve still got two weeks to go before we can start moving our stuff in, and I just want to do it now so it’s all over and done with! Good luck with the house hunting. We had to look at a few before we found this place.

  7. +Realms 04/09/2019 12:44 pm

    The Poppy War is definitely on my To Read list; it sounds really good!

    I think the best book I read in August was “Where Oblivion Lives,” by T Frohock. Really good historical fantasy with fallen angels and nephilim and all kinds of fantastic material!

    • Amber 07/09/2019 2:32 pm

      It’s fantastic! I hope you get the chance to read it 🙂 I’ve never heard of Where Oblivion Lives, but I’ll have to check it out!

  8. Stacy Renee 04/09/2019 5:28 pm

    My favorite read in August was On Writing by Stephen King! I did read Wilder Girls but didn’t love it.

  9. Karen Alderman 05/09/2019 7:35 pm

    Congrats on the move! And the Pilates and meditation sound great. I got really distracted at first too (or whenever I take a break from it I have to start over lol) but it still helps even then.

    The Poppy War is on my TBR list.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • Amber 07/09/2019 2:33 pm

      Not gonna lie, I’ve had to start over with the meditation a few times haha. I really enjoy the experience when I’m focused on it, but I keep forgetting about it or getting distracted without a guide! 😀

  10. Ashley Maguire 07/09/2019 2:52 pm

    I loved the poppy war.❤❤

  11. Roz 07/09/2019 9:21 pm

    You’ve finished so many books, that’s great! I actually was a bit disappointed in The Poppy War. The first half was the book of my dreams, then suddenly it was totally different and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

    • Amber 09/09/2019 9:52 am

      I don’t know how it happened haha. I don’t normally read that many!

  12. Ysabel 07/09/2019 9:51 pm

    I read Red White and Royal Blue and I loved it!!

    • Amber 09/09/2019 9:52 am

      I’m so glad you liked it!

  13. Shontelle Milne 08/09/2019 12:34 am

    You should read Red Sister! I want to read so many on this list!

    • Amber 09/09/2019 9:54 am

      I bought that one recently!

  14. Megane 08/09/2019 2:31 am

    How do you read so much in one month!

    • Amber 09/09/2019 9:55 am

      I don’t know haha. I don’t normally read more than 10 books!

  15. Kayla 08/09/2019 8:36 pm

    My reading has been meh lately so busy with a new job! But I guess Deceiving the Corsair was my fave, a short sci-fi romance. Hopefully I’ll get my groove back soon!

    • Amber 09/09/2019 9:56 am

      Aw, sorry your reading hasn’t been great! I always take a bit of time to get used to balancing my reading and work life when I start a new job 🙂 Hopefully you’ll manage it soon!

  16. Megan S. 14/09/2019 1:55 pm

    Amazing wrap up Amber! My fave book of the month was Mortal Heart by Robin Lafevers! 🙂

  17. Lily M. 27/09/2019 8:26 am

    Wow!, I don’t think I’ve ever read 18 books in a month, that’s amazing 🙂 sounds like August was a good month for you. I’ve been in a terrible book slump for a long time, but I just recently started reading so that’s good.

    • Amber 03/11/2019 8:10 pm

      It’s definitely the most I’ve read in ages! I’m feeling very inspired lately haha.

  18. Julie 01/10/2019 12:59 am

    Ok, I definitely need to read The Poppy War. It seems like everyone who reads it loves it.

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