Month in Review: March 2019

Favorite Media

I was never the biggest Hozier fan, but loving “Take Me to Church” was enough to get me to check out Wasteland Baby from the library. But this album, y’all! I basically like every song (which is so rare) and already really love a few (especially “Movement“). If you’re even a passing Hozier fan, you really need to check out this album.

I don’t think I realized how much I missed the JoBros until “Sucker” dropped in early March. This is a bop, y’all, and my 20-year-old self is screaming.

Stuff I Added to My Queue

I’m pretty sure that I’d add The Friend Zone to my TBR without the infertility plotline, but I have yet to see another contemporary romance address this, and so now I’m super intrigued!

Do I desperately wait for a new Millennium novel? No. Did I automatically add The Girl Who Lived Twice to my TBR the first moment I knew it was being published? Yes. 🤷‍♀️

Destiny featured both Let’s Get Textual and Level Up in one of her ‘TBR Lows & Highs’ posts, and it’s a good example of how a good rec can overcome both a cheesy plot or a bad cover.

New Orleans Rush was another Destiny find! The meet-cute and forced-into-one-another’s-company plot sounds like an ideal pick-me-up the next time I finish something heavy.

ICYMI

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

Month in Review: February 2019

Favorite Media

Oh, man, this book y’all. I stayed up until 12:30am on a work night reading the second half of If I’m Being Honest because I couldn’t put it down. There was a delicious slow-burn romance that made me curl my toes and squee juxtaposed with a nuanced portrait of female friendship. There was fandom and passion projects and mental health and I may have cried a bit? UGH IT’S SO GOOD.

Listen: I was not a fan of this song for the longest time and then I watched Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform it at the Oscars and now I can’t get enough. (Including all of the covers.)

Stuff I Added to My Queue

Bad Blood came out last summer, but I’m still hearing good things about it, and I was in a (desperate) mood for some well-written true crime after struggling through Mindhunter. 👎

The cover of Cannonball caught my eye in an issue of Publisher’s Weekly, and then the summary just sounded so me that I had to add it to my TBR.

Where did The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane catch my eye? 🤷‍♀️ But that cover! And the summary! It gives me such Shadow Cipher vibes, and I am here for it.

I normally like my true crime more, I don’t know, high-profile? But every time I came across Say Nothing, I thought, “hmm, that actually sounds really interesting.”

Vicky recommended Starry Eyes as part of a massive YA romance post, and I couldn’t pass up something summarized as one of her “favorite enemies-to-lovers contemporary romances EVER.”

Another middle-grade mystery that reminds me of Shadow Cipher? A new Margaret Peterson Haddix? Gimme The Strangers now please.

Vita Nostra is a decade-old Russian fantasy whose English translation was just release a couple of months ago, and the combination of “adventure, magic, science, and philosophy that probes the mysteries of existence, filtered through a distinct Russian sensibility” sounds fantastic.

Ari featured Whisper Network as a recent TBR add, and it just sounds so delicious that I had to add it as well. (Especially because of this snippet: “If only you had listened to us,” they tell us on page one, “none of this would have happened.”)

ICYMI

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

Month in Review: January 2019

Favorite Media

I have been on a superb Aaron Tveit kick lately, which has basically come and gone since Grease Live! but is right now like JSKLDJ:KLS. I went down a rabbit hole one afternoon and came across a cover of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”/”All I Ask” which is just all kinds of devastating. Like, he looks absolutely WRECKED while singing, but it somehow makes the songs that much better. (UGH my heart.)

Stuff I Added to My Queue

I stumbled onto The Bookish Life of Nina Hill through NetGalley and then promptly fell in love with the cover and summary. An Introverted bookworm falling in love with her trivia partner? Yes, please!

The Flatshare sounds like it could be, I don’t know, weird? But I’m hoping it’s the cute romantic read the summary promises.

Everyone (and their mother) has Internment on their TBRs, and I have also succumbed to peer pressure. 🤷‍♀️

Do I really need to explain why I added Meet Cute? It sounds like every fanfic I ever read and loved while in college and I am so here for that.

Is Opposite of Always another YA meet-cute that also kind of features time travel? Or maybe it’s just About Time in book form?? I don’t care, though, because both sound adorable!

The cover for Queenie is gorgeous, it sounds like a character study more than a plot-driven novel, and I am 100% super okay it.

Technically, You Started It gives me the same ~vibe I got out of Emergency Contact with a dash of Sierra Burgess Is a Loser through in, and I’m hoping it doesn’t disappoint. 🤞

I literally read The Unhoneymooners‘ summary line-by-line expecting something to jump out as “meh” but then nothing did??? And then I saw that it was by Christina Lauren and I was like “oh duh no wonder.”

A new Lindy West? ‘Nuff said.

On My Radar

  • I’m going to BEA this year (!!!), but I don’t live in NYC, so now I have to book a hotel and decide on a mode of travel. (Yes, this might take me a whole month to accomplish!)
  • I’m ahead with my reading which means I might get to my ARC of If I’m Being Honest in time to nominate it for LibraryReads! (Like, who am I right now???)
  • I’m skating by with my blog and video schedule, but I want to make it a priority to sit down once a week and actually do things in advance (as opposed to the night before). Why is time management so freaking hard?

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

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!