Wrap Up: August 2021

I’m convinced time no longer has any meaning, because where did August go?! I’m glad I keep a daily planner otherwise I literally wouldn’t know where time went or what I did lol!

I wrote an August TBR post this month – how did I do? I read 4 books on my TBR, am currently in the middle of The Witch Haven arc, and finished 2 leftover from my July TBR, so I consider that pretty well done.

In August, I read 8 books total including 1 non-fiction and 1 graphic novel, and DNF-ed 1 book. Casual reminder its never too late to DNF a book you aren’t enjoying! ~9 books seems to be my monthly average and I’m pretty happy with that.

My month started out a little rocky with reading, but it ended on a very high note! I easily see Songs in Ursa Major being one of my top reads of 2021, I loved it so much!

1. Chrysalis – Audiobook – 3/5 ★★★☆☆

This story follows Charlotte aka “Charlie” – she is vice president of marketing for a company, she’s engaged to be married, her and her fiancé have a beautiful mansion – but Charlie still feels like something is missing in her life. She decides to stop by the dance studio across the street from her office and sign up for classes – pole dancing classes.

One day at the studio she literally runs into Paxton, owner of the dance studio, and he is crass and unapproachable and yet Charlie feels drawn to him. You can guess where this is leading. It’s hard to say more without giving too much away, but dark mysterious sexy man? Oh yeah, hard to resist.

2. I Killed Zoe Spanos – Audiobook – 3.5/5 ★★★☆☆

Anna takes a job as a nanny in the Hamptons on Long Island, NY for the summer. Little does she know, she looks almost exactly like a girl, Zoe Spanos, who disappeared 6 months prior on New Year Eve/Day. She finds herself with memories she can’t remember happening and knows things she doesn’t know how she knows – and believes she killed Zoe Spanos.

This is a mystery book that will keep you turning the pages to find out what the heck is going on, and can easily be read in one sitting!

3. Realm Breaker – Audiobook – 2.5/5 ★★★☆☆

Going into this, you should know its a high fantasy which obviously means its long. Almost 600 pages or 17 hours of audio. (Even on 2x+ speed which I listen, that’s still a long book!) I thought I was in the mood for a fantasy, but maybe I wasn’t. Because this book wasn’t for me, and I’m so sad about it.

I listened to this as an audiobook and with how many characters and POV’s we have, this audiobook would have strongly benefited from having multiple narrators for the various POV’s we get throughout this book. I think that would’ve helped break it up and give each character their own voice – literally. Because listening to this, they all blended together…. so no, I do not recommend this as an audiobook.

4. It Happened One Summer – Audiobook – 2.5/5 ★★★☆☆

Summer always puts me in a mood to read romance books and hearing this was a Schitt’s Creek inspired rom-com made me eager to read this!

…unfortunately I was let down by this book. Using Schitt’s Creek as an inspiration was a genius marketing tactic, but besides Piper being a “rich” and “spoiled” girl like Alexis in the beginning of Schitts Creek, that where the similarities end. She’s a rich girl who has it all and doesn’t understand the value of money, so after a big mishap, her step-father sends her to a costal town in Washington state where she was born and her father passed away while at sea to teach her a lesson. Her sister volunteers to go with her, and I love Hannah for that.

I feel like I’m in a slump right now and thats why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I could have. I also took longer breaks when reading then I typically do and time away from a story isn’t good for me. So this could be a case of its not you book, its me and my current mood.

5. The Wolf and the Woodsman – Audiobook – DNF @ 77%

Just a reminder its never too late to DNF a book you aren’t enjoying!

…and boy am I not enjoying this one. I gave it a chance. Its not a bad book, its just not for me. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be for me going in, but I decided to join the Illlumicrate readalong and….yeah, this isn’t for me. I can’t waste anymore time on it.

I listened to this as an audiobook and 0/10 do not recommend the audio. For 2 reasons:
1) This book has names/places most of us aren’t really accustomed to, so I think seeing the name in print on the page is better than hearing it in this case
2) I hate this audiobook narrator. Thats a totally personal preference but I cannot stand her voice.

6. Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn – Graphic Novel – 3/5 ★★★☆☆

I’ve been trying to read this for AGES and I’m glad I finally picked it up & finished it! I originally picked this up because of the title – Birds of Prey! And the cover image! I thought it might connect someway to the recent movie….it does not lol. The Harley inside is the classic red & black harlequin Harley Quinn. Nothing wrong with that, but the cover is very misleading.

My favorite parts of this story were any that involved Poison Ivy – love those two together, can’t get enough of them! Overall this was a fun bind up of 8 Harley Quinn comics and I enjoyed it. It is violent and sexual at times, so not for young kids.

7. Songs in Ursa Major – Audiobook – 5/5 ★★★★★

Sometimes you read a book and you like it, and other times you read a book and you get so lost in the world and you can’t stop thinking about it. You’re driving while listening to the audiobook and you miss your exit because you’re so entranced by the book. That’s Songs in Ursa Major.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction and music and books set in the lat 1960s/early 1970s era, pick up this book ASAP. I have truly found my brand with books I love and this is it.

This is a beautiful story of family, friends, and the love of music. I love how close knit the women of the Quinn family are – her grandmother, aunt, and cousin are her biggest supporters. I love how close Jane’s band is – childhood bests friends who formed a band. And Jane’s passion for music. She doesn’t want to be famous, she wants to sing the songs she wants to sing. As long as people are listening, she’s happy.

8. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World – Audiobook – 4/5 ★★★★☆

If I can take away one thing from a nonfiction book, to me, that’s worth reading it. That’s all I’m really looking to get out of a nonfiction book. It often tells me things I already KNOW but often forget or don’t know how to successfully apply to life.

Digital Minimalism talks about how to live your life offline rather then constantly scrolling apps. It doesn’t tell you to give up technology altogether but rather suggestions on how to become a digital minimalist. My review is going to consist of what I took away from reading this book.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with social media expectations, I would recommend giving this book a read – its relatively short and has some great suggestions, a few which I plan to use.

9. That Weekend – Audiobook – 5/5 ★★★★★

That Weekend started out very stereotypical YA, and I was rolling my eyes a bit and went into this with low expectations, but am pleased to say this plot completely blew me away! I was guessing until the very end – which is exactly what a mystery story should do.

The last 1/3 of the book flipped everything you thought you knew upside down. I love when books take me so much by surprise – even thrillers when you THINK you know who did it – and it turns out you never would have guessed. (Well, maybe you would have. I’m terrible at guessing so I didn’t see any of this coming.)

This is one of those books I wish I could experience for the first time again, because its just so good. I highly recommend this one!


Media:

Movies: I watched The Suicide Squad 2 on HBO Max and LOVED IT! (…loved it so much that I saw it a 2nd time on the big screen!) I mean, I’m a Margot Robbie Harley Quinn stan. I knew I’d enjoy it – but I really loved it overall and though it was a lot of fun! I’m already planning to cosplay Harley in that red dress look, maybe for NYCC this year, we’ll see!

Concerts: On August 4th, I went to my FIRST CONCERT after 524 days (but who’s counting?) – I went to the Hella Mega Tour at Citi Field, which was Green Day, Weezer, and The Interrupters. Fall Out Boy were supposed to perform but due to one of their crew testing positive for COVID, the band decided to not play NYC and Boston shows. RIP me, who was going mainly to see them. I still had a lot of fun and felt giddy like I haven’t in a long time – I love concerts and live music so this was much needed and I’m glad I went!

And then I ended the month by attending Elsie Fest at Prospect Park on August 29th. It’s a festival of Broadway performers and it was a lot of fun! Its an annual festival but this was my first year attending – my friends and I had general admission lawn tickets so we chilled on our blanket and enjoyed the show and it was nice. And it was outdoors and socially distanced – always a plus!

Side note if you made it this far – I also work part time at a concert venue and we reopened in August – its nice to be back, I missed the environment of live music.

Travel:

I started off the month by taking a solo trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art! I haven’t been since 2019 and it was a beautiful weekend so I decided to make a day trip and see the museum and eat dinner in Central Park. The museum required masks worn at all times I really enjoyed myself and I’m glad I did something for me.

I didn’t travel anywhere else this month, but…

September is shaping up to be a busy month ahead. I’m currently planning a week long trip to Seattle for September which is very exciting! I’m looking forward to that! I’ll be in Connecticut for a weekend or two, and I’ll be attending The New York Renaissance Faire for my first ever Ren Faire experience!!! There’s a lot to look forward to in September and I’m happy about that.

How was your August? Read any new favorites?

Let me know!

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7 thoughts on “Wrap Up: August 2021

    1. I’m glad to hear you agree! Yeah, the story would’ve been better as audio with more narrators, I’m shocked they didn’t have more! It was hard to keep track of who was who when they all sounded similar… 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so sorry you didn’t get to see Fall Out Boy. That tour sounded incredible, but I wanted to go on vacation instead. The tickets were just really pricey for the Chicago show. I’m super jealous though. Green Day and Weezer are both bands I’ve been dying to see since the 90’s and I haven’t seen FOB live since 2008 or 2009. I’m glad you got to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vacation definitely beats a concert, even one such as Hella Mega! And yeah they were a lot for NY too – I paid almost $300 in Presale in 2019, but day of I saw the same GA tickets for $200. And since FOB didn’t play, Ticketmaster allowed refunds so I refunded my original ticket and bought a cheaper but still good floor seat for $100 at the box office. So it kinda worked out for me! But yeah they were not cheap! I do hope you can see Green Day and Weezer one day! This was my first time seeing Weezer and I’m definitely a fan now!! And Green Day never disappoint. I’m glad I still went even without FOB ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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