Month in Review: December 2018

Favorite Media

Botched is one of the few shows I can stand to watch with commercials, but for some reason, I also thought it ended in 2015?? Idk. E! broadcast all of the previous episodes in preparation for season five, and I was in a happy couch-watching state for the better part of two weeks catching up on the two seasons I’d missed.

Even though I’ve never read the books (nor want to) AND watched the show since it first premiered, none of the previous Outlander seasons have been must-see TV before now. I honestly don’t know what it is that makes me choose it over other shows, but I watch enthralled for a full hour and then practically salivate until Sundays.

Stuff I Added to My Queue

I have no idea where I first heard about Anjali Sachdeva’s All the Names They Used for God, but the stories within sound just slightly off that I think I’ll dig ’em. (It also has over four stars???)

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung is getting All. The. Hype. and I am Here. For. It.

Joyce Carol Oates’ latest, Hazards of Time Travel, doesn’t have the greatest reviews, but I enjoy her writing and it’s also about time travel so…. 🤷‍♀️

I feel like How to Date Men When You Hate Men by Blythe Roberson just kind of like speaks to me on a spiritual level because sometimes men are just so UGH that I can’t even deal with their bullshit. But then they’re like OMG YES and I can.

Sometimes I just want to forget that the 2016 election happened and, instead, be lulled to sleep by a 500-page oral history on the eight years Obama spent in the White House. (Brian Abrams coming in for the clutch!)

On a Sunbeam initially debuted as a webcomic, but Tillie Walden heard our prayers and let me lounge and read without having to deal with WiFi or scrolling or clicking.

Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick: And Other Essays is a (yet another) book that lulled me in by its cover, but I’m also pretty sure the poignant take on race and pop culture will keep me deliciously full.

On My Radar

  • The final season of Game of Thrones drops in April, and I low-key kind of want to rewatch seasons one through seven to like mentally prepare myself for the end. (But will this also make me more emotional???) I really only bring this up because if I want to do it, I need to start real soon and I am not at all ready.
  • I am trying to read for ~30 minutes per day (see my 2019 goals!), but the amount of good shows coming back in January is going to seriously test my ability to pay attention to anything textual: True DetectiveThe Magicians!! Brooklyn Nine-Nine!! UGH NOT FAIR

What were YOU up to in December? Let me know!

Month in Review: November 2018

Favorite Media

I consumed season five of Brooklyn Nine-Nine one weekend and then cursed myself because I didn’t have any more episodes left to watch. ☹ This show has quickly become an absolute favorite since I started it a couple of months ago, and I am so super excited for it to come back in January.

The Keepers is a very difficult documentary to watch—one I am taking an episode at a time—but it is so, so good and frustrating and heartbreaking and hopeful. If you are at all interested in true crime, it’s worth a look.

A&E recently premiered The Clinton Affair, a fascinating re-look at the major scandal that plagued the Clinton presidency, and Monica Lewinsky penned a thought-provoking article on her participation for Vanity Fair: Who Gets to Live in Victimville?” It’s a nice companion to both the docu-series and the second season of Slow Burn.

Stuff I Added to My Queue

Blind Kiss by Renée Carlino sounds very much like a stay-in-bed-all-morning kind of romantic read and, after inhaling My Favorite Half-Night Stand, I am very much here for that.

Will the stories in Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s Friday Black make me uncomfortable? Probably. Will I also be okay with that? Definitely.

Rebecca Traister has slowly become an auto-read for me, based solely on her New York articles and because she wrote All the Single Ladies. But there’s also the fact that I would read a book called Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger no matter who wrote it.

Roxane Gay gave Heavy: An American Memoir five stars, asking “how do you carry the weight of being a black man in America?” I’m looking forward to learning Kiese Laymon’s answer.

I’d never heard of Lacy M. Johnson before stumbling across The Reckonings, but now that I know the book is her way of considering—and yes, reckoning—with the idea of justice following a kidnapping and rape, I’m excited to read it.

Just look at the uber cute cover for The Seas by Samantha Hunt and then tell me you don’t want to read a book about a maybe-mermaid.

I tell myself that I’m not that ~into short stories until something like Camille Acker’s Training School for Negro Girls is published, and I have re-evaluate my priorities.

On My Radar

  • I am SO close to meeting my Goodreads challenge, y’all! I don’t think this should be that exciting except I haven’t actually met my goal since 2012. (Lol.)
  • I haven’t forgotten about vlogging so much as not really planned for it. I want to be more active, though, and am hoping a short break later in the month will motivate me.

What were YOU up to in November? Let me know!

Month in Review: October 2018

month in review - oct

Favorite Media

I knew The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory was going to be a fun, contemporary romance but boy did I NOT expect Guillory’s ability to write. Her characters are fully-fleshed, the plot flies, and everyone just happens to be non-white and non-hetero. (Woot.) Here’s to hoping I love The Wedding Date just as much!

Y’ALL. I binged the first two seasons of The Good Place in four days then sat on my couch and plaintively asked, “What do I do now?” out loud once I’d finished. The third season feels ~different somehow, but I can’t figure out if it’s because the crew is SPOILER[on earth] or because I’m not watching six episodes in a row on my iPad under a blanket. I have thought many times about rewatching the first two seasons because I loved them so much.

Stuff I Added to My Queue

Honestly, I have no idea where I first encountered Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young (maybe on Lit Hub?), but I absolutely love the cover and the summary kind of hits all my buttons, too.

A fellow librarian purchased Adib Khorram’s Darius the Great Is Not Okay for the young adult collection, and the cover intrigued me so much that I felt compelled to read the summary… and that sounded so interesting that I added it to my TBR. #whoops

I will pretty much look into anything that mentions time travel, but not all time travel books are the same. Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen has so many different parts to it that I can’t wait to figure out how they all fit. PLUS it’s set in the ’90s. AND I love that cover.

A NEW ALL SOULS BOOK aka Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera seems to be inspiring both great and terrible reviews, but I adored Love, Simon and have They Both Die at the End on my TBR, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a teenage romcom featuring two guys. (AND THAT COVER.)

On My Radar

  • I made myself a blog calendar via Google Sheets to better organize the content I want to include on thewasofshall – very heavily influenced by Shealea over at That Bookshelf Bitch btw – and it’s either going to make me extra a+ organized or super overwhelmed.
  • I got so many books this month that I have enough for another book haul video!
  • I’ve been trying to be more active in seeking out ARCs, and I was recently approved for three great-sounding ones: Here and Now and Then (01/29/19), My Favorite Half-Night Stand (12/04/18), and You Know You Want This: ‘Cat Person’ and Other Stories (01/15/19). It means I have to figure out when to read them but then again I also get to read them.

What were YOU up to in October? Let me know!

Month in Review: September 2018

month in review - sept

Favorite Media

To say that The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox surprised me would be an understatement. This book swaddled me in a hand-knitted quilt, plopped me in front of a cozy fire, and then lulled me to sleep. UGH. So beautiful. Much spooky. Such romance. (Read my review here.)

Even though September introduced me to a tasty snack named Noah CentineoLove, Simon gave me a good punch to the stomach. Although it wasn’t perfect (Simon has kind of shitty, friends, y’all), Nick Robinson is just so damn quiet and perfect and longing as Simon, and I literally screamed when Blue and Simon got their Ferris wheel ride at the end of the film. Then I tweeted about it. Then I watched it again.

I’ve been on a huge Panic! at the Disco binge right now, but especially their most recent album, Pray for the Wicked, and most especially “(Fuck a) Silver Lining.” It’s just so damn catchy.

Stuff I Added to My Queue

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton is giving me a lot of the same vibes I felt after reading A Discovery of Witches, but it’s not really hard to pique my curiosity with a found-item mystery spanning centuries set in England, so… 🤷‍♀️.

Then there’s Michiko Kakutani’s The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump which has kind of flown under the radar since it was published in July, but from the introduction, it reads like a smart apolitical look at truth and democracy as it stands today. (Aka sign me tf up.)

Sometimes you just need a funny, well-written friends-to-lovers romance in your life, and I’ve heard no bad reviews about Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. (Or, really, anything by Christina Lauren.)

I’m pretty sure I’m going to be that ~cool auntie who lives alone with her non-human companions, though, so No One Tells You This by Glynnis MacNicol speaks to me on a spiritual level.

But then there’s Ibi Zoboi’s newest, Pride, to remind me to believe in love again. (AND OH YEAH IT’S A PRIDE AND PREJUDICE REBOOT.)

On My Radar

  • I’m volunteering at the Boston Book Festival next weekend! I’ll be listening to short fiction all day, and I’m hoping for lots of books and/or book-adjacent swag.
  • Then, I’ll be attending a librarian conference the weekend after. Perhaps more books and/or book-adjacent swag?
  • Archenemies drops on November 6th, but I’m crossing my fingers that my library will not only purchase a copy but that we’ll also get our copy early so I can read it asap. 🤞

What were YOU up to in September? Let me know!

Month in Review: January 2018

Here’s what I’ve been up to in January!

Books I read

Lumberjanes, Vol 5: Band Together by Noelle Stevenson
It’s a battle of the bands… with mermaids! April takes it upon herself to restore a friendship that has fallen apart, but will she be in over her head as her above water friendships take a hit? When friendships are challenged, can the Lumberjanes save the day?

Lumberjanes, Vol. 6: Sink or Swim by Shannon Watters
All is fair in love and badges! Or so April, Jo, Mal, Molly, and Ripley thought until they met the mysterious counselor, Seafarin’ Karen. When the Lumberjanes decide it’s time to learn more about the theatrical yet intriguing counselor, things take a turn for the strange. Between a sudden storm hitting the camp, shapeshifters, and strange portals, this is one badge that the Lumberjanes must go above and beyond for.

The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby
It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind the Old York Cipher, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction. Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment house slated for destruction—which spells the end of a dream long-held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.

Movies I watched

Atomic Blonde / Baby Driver / The Dark Tower /The Hitman’s Bodyguard

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power / Kingsman: The Golden Circle / Logan Lucky / Star Wars: The Last Jedi

On my radar for February

Month in Review: March 2017

Um, hi?

Here’s what I’ve been up to in March!

Books I read

According to a Source by Abby Stern: Ella Warren works for celebrity news website as a club reporter, assigned to stake out Hollywood’s hottest clubs and spy on the celebrities inside. When Ella is pressured by her Devil Wears Prada-type boss to find an exclusive story to keep her job, she has to decide if being in Hollywood’s elite inner circle is worth jeopardizing her friendships, a budding romance, and her family.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: The story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever — if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship — and even love — after all.

Movies I watched

The AccountantBilly Lynn’s Long Halftime WalkDeep WebThe Magnificent Seven, and Moana

On my radar for April