Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up: October 2019

Life Stuff

As always, October was busy. My life is just not calming down. I ended September (WRAP UP LINK) by moving into a new house, and so a lot of October was spent getting used to the new place and figuring out where we were going to put everything. We have SO MUCH space in our new house, which I’m thrilled by, and so we’re going to have to buy some furniture to make it look a bit more lived in. We have a new, much bigger sofa being delivered in November, and then I’m going to focus on furnishing the library room. I’m struggling to find the perfect armchair, though, so if you have any suggestions or recommendations, do shout!

Things have been eventful at work as well. Firstly, I’ve been training someone in their new role (one of my old roles), and that’s zapped a lot of my energy. I haven’t really been online much because of that. The commute hasn’t helped, since it’s currently way, way longer than it should be due to roadworks. I literally cannot get out of my town without hitting at least three sets, no matter which route I take. It’s draining, and so all I want to do when I get home is nap or play games. But on the plus side, we did have a week at the office dedicated to raising awareness for the current climate crisis. I was very appreciative about and keen for that. I just hope that my company keeps this up, and it wasn’t just a phase.

Despite being really, really busy in October, I also managed to fit in some pretty awesome things. First of all, there was GollanczFest, which has made a triumphant return this year. I spent most of my day with Justine (and her Scottish Husband) and Judith, and I also met Maggie, which was lovely! I had a really good time listening to the panels (especially the discussions that got quite heated because DRAMA), and Quill also really enjoyed himself, which I was glad about. I wasn’t sure how he would find sitting around all day listening to authors, but he found it all really interesting. I did have to leave early because we were going to a housewarming party (which sucked), which was a shame, but I guess I’ll be back next year!

Quill also booked a surprise for me – walking a silver fox! We spent a couple of hours on a farm walking this guy around and feeding him berries. He was an absolute sweetheart, and it was really interesting to learn about how silver foxes are entirely domesticated now because of the fur trade.

Then, of course, there was the 24 Hour Readathon, in which I read two and a half books! I love Dewey’s Readathon and I take part at least once a year. I love how the community comes together for it! Did you take part? How did your reading go?

Books Read

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1. Thornhill by Pam Smy ★★
2. Fan the Fame by Anna Priemaza ★★★.5
3. If You’re Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser ★★★.5
4. The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys ★★★
5. American Predator by Maureen Callahan ★★
6. The Whisper Man by Alex North ★★★★
7. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll ★★
8. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch ★★★★
9. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab ★★★
10. The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy ★★★
11. The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts ★★.5
12. Do No Harm by Henry Marsh ★★★
13. The Escape Room by Megan Goldin ★★.5
14. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick ★★★.5
15. All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban ★★★★
16. I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rish ★★★

On the Blog & In the Blogosphere

I only really had reviews going on on Books of Amber during October because I was struggling to find the time to write any more creative posts.

I’ve been a bit behind when it comes to keeping up with everyone’s blogs, but I did a little bit of reading over the course of the month. These area few of my faves.

Movies, TV Shows, and Games

Quill and I have been watching a lot of TV recently. It takes less concentration than blogging and Booktubing, so I’ve been having a whale of a time marathoning shows. We’re currently on Season 3 of Supernatural (I’m trying to rewatch it all before the final season ends, but that might be a long shot), and we’re obviously loving it. We started Season 2 of Scrubs (which I’m not such a fan of but I like a few of the characters), and I introduced Quill to Modern Family (which he is unexpectedly REALLY into). Basically, I have great taste in TV and everyone should listen to me.

I haven’t watched many movies, although I did make all my friends watch Scream with me. I used to be obsessed with that franchise when I was younger, and could probably quote the whole thing from memory. Quill and I also watched District 9, which was a lot more emotional than I was expecting! I got very attached to the aliens.

We’ve also been playing our way through the Gears of War series. We finished the first two games, and we’re currently about a quarter of the way through the third. The games improve massively, which I’m happy about, because the first one stressed me out more than anything.

Looking Ahead

November is going to be another busy one. I’m not sure if there’s any point in my noting that down anymore! First of all we have our anniversary, for which we’re going on a spa weekend. That should be nice and relaxing, and I’m hoping to fit a lot of reading in while I’m lounging around and being pampered. Quill and I also decided we would have a “no phones” weekend so that we’re properly off the grid.

My mum and Quill’s parents are coming to visit (on two separate days – I’m not ready for them to meet yet!) and to see the house, so that’ll be nice. We’re going to a fireworks display on the 9th with Quill’s family, and I have to say that it’s the best fireworks display in the county and I cannot wait for it.

Then we have both of our birthdays coming up as well! Mine is on the 14th, which is a Thursday, so I’ve booked that day off work along with the following day, so I can enjoy a really long weekend. I’m not doing anything special on the day, but on the 16th we’re going ice skating at the Natural History Museum and I’ll probably pop into Waterstones Piccadilly to FINALLY break my book buying ban. Quill’s birthday is right at the end of the month, and we’re not doing anything exciting for his until December. That’s a secret though, so I’m not going to post about it here in case he sees!

Monthly Wrap Up: September 2019 & BOTM Giveaway

Life Stuff

September was a slightly quieter month than August in that the beginning was chill and relaxing and then everything kicked off at the end! Quill and I moved house right at the end of the month, and it was the busiest week I can remember having. It was stressful, I cried a bit, but we’re now in the new place and everything is looking wonderful.

The house move also took place during the week that Contemporary-a-thon was happening, so that was fun! I decided to daily vlog for the readathon, and while I didn’t exactly fail, I still need to upload my final video for the readathon. I fell a bit behind due to having to move all the big furniture on the Friday.

Other than that, September was mostly just spent doing life admin. How was your September? Did you have a lot to do?

Books Read

I “only” read 9 books in September, which is half of the massive 18 that I read in August, but that was also to be expected. To be honest, I’m shocked that I got to 9! I read some really good ones as well.

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1. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron ★★★★
2. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware ★★★.5
3. The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware ★★★★
4. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple ★★★
5. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware ★★★★ .5
6. The Wall by John Lanchester ★★★
7. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson ★★★.5
8. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★★
9. The How and the Why by Cynthia Hand ★★★★

Book of the Month & Giveaway

I read so many good books in September, so it was a lot more difficult to choose a book of the month. I eventually narrowed it down to two, so you can enter to win one of them in the Rafflecopter giveaway below! I decided last month that I wanted to spread the bookish love with you all, so I’ll be doing a Book of the Month giveaway every single month so you can experience my favourite books too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Statistics

I read a total of 9 books in September, which added up to 3082 pages and 543 minutes. Eight of the books I read were physical or ebooks, and one was an audiobook. I wish I had been able to utilise audiobooks more while I was moving, but everything was so hectic that I couldn’t concentrate!

I read 1 fantasy, 3 thrillers, 3 contemporaries, 1 mystery, and 1 dystopia. I definitely felt more love for the contemporary books that I read, but overall every genre impressed me, bar the dystopia (it was boring).

My average rating was 3.8! YES! I read so many great books in September and I’m so happy with where my reading is right now. I’m feeling so motivated because I’ve been loving what I’ve been reading.

I only read from 1 male author this month, which means I read from 8 female authors. Only one of those was a diverse book in terms of race, but one of the books I read also tackled anxiety. Not my most diverse month, but not terrible either.

5 books were new releases, 3 books were YA, and 6 books were adult books. I’m reading a lot more adult books this year than in previous years, which I think is leading me to read a more diverse range of experiences. I also found that I’m slowly getting the hunger back for urban fantasy, which hasn’t hit me since about 2012. I’m excited to pick up some beloved authors (Nalini Singh! Rachel Vincent!) towards the end of this year or the beginning of next. I might do a whole post on this, actually.

Looking ahead

Quill and I promised each other that we’d relax in October, because September was so horribly stressful for both of us. We have GollanczFest to look forward to in the middle of the month, and I’ll be taking part in Spookathon and Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, but otherwise I refuse to make plans. November is going to be busy, so I deserve a month to focus on myself and on my blog!

As for things I’m looking forward to within the blogosphere, well, I’m looking forward to getting back into blog hopping and commenting on Booktube again! I slacked off during the last couple of weeks of September because of the move, but I’m feeling really motivated again and I’m looking forward to finding more bookish people.

What about you? What are your plans for October?

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. Continue reading

Monthly Wrap Up: May 2019

may wrap up

Life in May

I did a tonne of stuff in May, as usual! The milder things were, of course, Eurovision (I’m still laughing over the UK only getting three votes from the public… we deserve it) and a pub quiz with my colleagues in which my team came second (out of two teams, but still). 

In mid-May, we attended a friend’s wedding in the Cotswolds (it wasn’t as fancy as it sounds) and I managed to not get super anxious, which was nice! There was a bit of a moment after I tried to dance and there were too many people, but I managed to handle myself pretty well. The day after the wedding, Quill and I went to Sudeley Castle, which was gorgeous, and we watched the jousting. It was a lovely way to spend the morning before heading home!

Speaking of Quill, he finally got a new job as a technical translator, which is something he has been aiming towards for a long time. This means that we’ll be moving house at the end of September so that we’re halfway between his new office and my current one, so our commutes should both be pretty decent. I’m a bit nervous about the move, but I’m excited about what’s to come!

I’ve also been working on optimising Recaptains for the past few weeks. It’s taking a long time because we have so many posts, but I’m really pleased that I have been working on this project consistently. It has meant that this blog has been a bit neglected, but I’m hoping that once I’m done fixing up Recaptains I’ll be able to focus on Books of Amber a bit more.

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Monthly Wrap Up: March 2019

Me in March

Another busy month! March was supposed to be quite chilled out, but it turned out to be quite hectic because we were seeing friends a lot. We did take my little sister ice skating for her birthday, which means we’re all becoming pros at this point. Unfortunately, I still can’t skate backwards, but SOON.

I went to an event at the Gollancz offices which showcased their upcoming books for 2019. I had a really good time for most of it, but unfortunately the chaos and crushing when the ARCs were released made me really anxious so I left early.

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