Bookish: June 2019 Wrap Up & July 2019 TBR

TBR & Wrap UpWell June was… June. 

In terms of reading it was looking pitiful. In terms of writing it was looking pitiful. In terms of work and stress it was looking…. you guessed it…. pitiful!

Then it started to get ok and I’m gently hopeful for July.

Work and work stress is still a thing but that’s a long term problem which requires a long term solution and I still didn’t write a single word but the reading thing finally started to turn in my favor.

I spent all of June in the reading slump that carried over from May. I read a short story collection in the hopes that short stories would break it. It didn’t. I started reading Webtoon’s online comics in the hopes they would break it. They didn’t but I found some amazing stuff.

Then, on the 29th June, I read a book in one day and today I am over a quarter of the way through another.

I could have cried my friends because I am hopeful that this means the slump is over but we’ll see how July fares.


What I've Been Reading

Once Upon a Curse

Once Upon a Curse is a collection of 17 ‘dark’ faeries tales which, if I’m honest, aren’t always dark or always that good.

The thing with short story anthologies is that you’ll always get a mix and with 17 in a collection there’s a lot there to go wrong or go right. Unfortunately many of these didn’t feel particularly dark. If they weren’t dark then I’d happily take ‘original’ or even ‘interesting’ but sadly many were bland, overlong and poorly edited.

Several, which seemed to have promise, only served to irritate me because they were clearly included as a prologue to a larger piece of work or authors series and frankly if something says it’s a short story then I want there to be proper resolution to the plot.

Many are forgettable but I enjoyed the African inspired ‘No Gift of Words,’ ‘Drawn to the Brink,’ and ‘Still Red’ although these weren’t without their problems (Still Red for example was a dark, yet confusing, version of Little Red Riding Hood. I think there was time travel. Maybe. I’m just not sure).

Overall I gave this collection a 2.

Lore Olympus

Onto the first Webtoon’s piece and my favourite! I haven’t technically finished reading it as it’s an ongoing piece but I’m up to date on all 68 episodes (including Fast Pass) and I’m subscribing. I’m marking it as read because I need the win ok?

I adore Lore Olympus. The only reason it isn’t getting five stars is because I feel that in recent episodes it’s meandering a bit off course and while I appreciate it needs backstory and subplots I just really, really, really need the main story of Hades and Persephone to move along.

I love Hades and Persephone myth retellings guys and this one is both delightful, moving and painful. Persephone is a sweet, cinnamon bun of a person who has been painfully sheltered by her mother but who isn’t quite the fragile flower everyone thinks she is.

Hades is emotionally (and physically) scarred and stoic God of the Underworld who no one likes because… dead things… but he’s also a sweet, cinnamon bun of a person who has been painfully isolated. His adoration of Persephone is so clear to see already and I’m here for it.

Four stars because I love it.

My Dear Cold Blooded King

Honestly I can’t actually believe I’m reading My Dear Cold Blooded King but then so are 6.6 million others. I only say I can’t believe I’m reading it is because it’s an anime style, pseudo Japanese romance which I am strangely invested in.

The main character Mei seems a bit like a Mary Sue and she has people falling in love with her at the drop of a hat but there’s a lot of political intrigue and rebellion brewing. Is it weird that this reminds me of a mash up of Star Wars, GoT and Mills and Boon?!

I’m giving it four stars because I’m strangely here for it.

Blood Stain

Ignore the deceptive picture. Blood Stain is not a horror but a delightful comedy about a day dreaming lab assistant desperate to hold down her job working with a socially inept and massively disorganised university scientist.

This is all about perceptions and stereotypes and how Elliot lets her over-active imagination run away with her to ridiculous degrees.

I am giving this 3 stars because although it’s good fun I really feel like the first three volumes or 60 episodes has been intro and exposition and I’m kind of feeling like the story needs to ‘start’

This author/ artist has a Hades and Persephone retelling out this October called ‘Punderworld’ and I can’t wait!

The Doll Factory.jpg

The Doll Factory was an ARC I requested and which was due a review in May. Due to The Slump that never happened but you know what? This was the book I read in a day and I think is the one that finally broke through!

As it’s an ARC a full review will be written up but I will say that I have given it 4 stars and a big, fat thank you.

Sexy Stats.jpg

I am surprisingly pleased with this month despite The Slump.

  • I gave 1 book 2 stars
  • I gave 1 book (or 1 webcomic) 3 stars
  • I gave 3 books (well, 1 book and 2 webcomic’s) 4 stars

That means June’s average is 3.4 but let’s round that up to 3.5.

I’ll take it!

What Will I Read

I didn’t get round to two of the books that I said I would read for June so let’s roll those over (I’m already over a quarter of the way through one) and because I’m feeling ambitious I’m going to add on two more.

  • Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke (an ARC for July)
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen (part of my Mini Magic Challenge)
  • The Farm by Joanne Ramos (an ARC for May)
  • The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker (part of my Mini Magic Challenge)

What Have I Been Up To

Not a huge deal mostly. June was not a kind mental health month and so I’ve learned to not overdo myself on things that I feel add pressure when I can’t deal with the pressure I already have.

I had a lovely afternoon tea with a friend and her little girl (my husband’s goddaughter) as it was the little girl’s 5th birthday! The afternoon tea was held in a Cinderella carriage complete with crowns and was enjoyed by the big girls too!

We also went to Marwell Zoo with the same family and I now adore red panda’s. They also had otters but I’ve always loved those!

In the effort to be environmentally friendly with my notebooks and to cut back on all the notebooks I use I have purchased myself a Rocketbook Everlast and boy I love it!!! If anyone is interested I will happily provide more info about it because I am just besotted.

Finally, our dining area/ conservatory is still a WIP/ construction zone but it’s slowly being done and I’m so excited. FYI the conservatory is becoming my reading room so I’m beyond made up.

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Also, to encourage a bit of nature this is what we’ve done to the roof outside my study window. In time wildflowers should grow which should hopefully make for a pretty view and I’ve already seen a lot of bees which has made me happy!



I’m hoping that everyone’s June’s went well although it seems like it may have been a mixed bag.

I hope July remains good/ becomes good/ gets better. If it doesn’t then have a squish to carry you through.

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13 thoughts on “Bookish: June 2019 Wrap Up & July 2019 TBR

  1. *clinks glass* Here’s to no more slumps and better mental health!! June hasn’t been super great reading month either (no surprise there), but I read like 7 books in the past week and a half, so I’m tentatively hoping that’ll continue into July.

    “The main character Mei seems a bit like a Mary Sue and she has people falling in love with her at the drop of a hat.” You just described 50% of the shoujo manga/anime that are out there. XD It IS super weird seeing you read Asian style comics, but like, in a good way! And I’ll need to try Lore Gods because it sounds amazing. Cinnamon roll Hades and Persephone? YES PLEASE.

    And your conservatory is already so pretty!! Those skylights! *swoons* And I’m digging those bird and bee houses (?) that are stuck on the side of the garden. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard of shoujo before! I just get stuck into whatever appeals and if that’s an overwrought storyline with pretty people then I’m there! It’s actually really enjoyable and very addictive!

      Yes, do read Lore Olympus. It’s sweet and lovely but there’s a quite upsetting subplot that is being sensitively portrayed so it’s more than just the main love story.

      Thank you! That part of the house had been a wreck for years so it’s nice to see it taking shape. Yes! They are bird, bee and butterfly houses!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhh that’s so lovely! One of my dreams for when (if??) I get a house is to have a little beehouse in the garden. Though I’m pretty awful at being responsible for living things. And I’ve heard horror stories about how those houses can become death traps for bees if you build them wrong………er, maybe I’ll just stick to a vegetable garden. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Bee’s can take care of themselves pretty much, just make sure you have some juicy wildflowers! I would suggest buying a house for them… I did! I’m rubbish at DIY and I don’t want to incur bee’s wrath!

          I grew some tomatoes once, I was very pleased with myself. I’ve never done it again. Couldn’t handle the pressure.


  2. Lore Olympus sounds really good! Never heard of it, but I’m a sucker for webtoons and manga, so I’m definitely adding this to the list. I love Hades and Persephone too (I wish there were more great retellings in literature), so I’m officially hooked. 😀

    I’ve noticed your slump has been ongoing for a while, and it honestly sucks SO MUCH. I was in that exact same state last year; you keep telling yourself to take it easy, but that pressure keeps nagging at you, and it ended up lasting for me all throughout last year. Crazy how these mental health things can build up for so long. You probably don’t need me telling you this, but seriously…take it easy!

    Your dining room by the way…oh I’m so incredibly jealous. That glass ceiling is gorgeous! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lore Olympus is fabulous but I’m DYING for there to be more Hades/ Persephone interaction because their love story is actually so sweet. I adore Hades/ Persephone too and it seems to be popular but not necessarily retold as much as I would have thought!

      Yeah the slump happened and though it’s now broken it’s a slow climb back up but I’m not going to beat myself up too badly. I keep gently reminding myself that I’ve had a lot going on and that I’ll get there!

      Thank you! The dining area/ reading room is also slow progress but should hopefully get there too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love the idea of Hades and Persephone, so I do wish there were more retellings of them! I don’t think I’ve read any good ones yet (apparently ACOMAF was supposed to be one?) so it’s a shame.

        Personally speaking though, I’d love if Madeline Miller chose it for her next retelling! She does romances so incredibly well, and I’d die if she chose Hades and Persephone next! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think the Hades and Persephone myth has such potential because there are so many players involved and it could be left wide open to interpretation as well! I have got Circe but haven’t read it yet, need to get on that!


  3. It’s sucks that June wasn’t the best month for you. :/ I hope that your July is going to be a lot better! ❤
    Your dining area is looking great so far. The wildflowers outside your window definitely make for an amazing view.

    Liked by 1 person

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