TBR

June 2020 Wrap Up & July 2020 TBR

TBR & Wrap UpWeird opening but here goes… In a way I think I’m on an unofficial hiatus. I’ve tried not to use the ‘h’ word but looking at the sparse nature of my blog in recent months I’ve wondered if this is actually something I need to admit to myself.

Two things I’ve noticed:-

  1. I went on a longer, extended ‘official’ hiatus last year and since then I’ve not really managed to regain the momentum that I had before.
  2. A lot of the blogs I follow, including those of friends have either stopped blogging or are also blogging less. There’s a lot of stuff happening in the world and in people’s personal lives so I’m not surprised.

Those two things have hit my blogging enthusiasm and motivation pretty hard (plus  there’s the busy in my own day to day).

I’ve read somewhere, although I can’t quite remember where, that the average lifespan for a blog is two years. Of course, there are those that continue for a lot longer and those that will not make it to two years but apparently that’s the average.

I am wondering if I’ve reached this invisible ‘two year wall’ because it bloody feels like I have!

Now, I have no plans whatsoever of stopping this blog. I just have reached the point of blogger fatigue I think. I need the equivalent of blog caffeine and than I hope I’ll be raring to go!

That’s why I think I’m on an ‘unofficial’ hiatus – so when I feel like it, I’ll just pop in from time to time and just hope the ‘feel like it’ will happen with more regularity!

What I've Been Reading

I can’t believe this but….

I’ve read 3 books!

tenor

I’m genuinely pleased about this because it was looking for a long while like I might never read again!

The Seven Husbands

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was hyped every single place I saw it mentioned. With great hype comes great responsibility… to try and enjoy it I guess?

I read TJR’s second book ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ last year and all I could see in reviews was ‘Daisy’s great but she’s no Evelyn.’

You know what? She really wasn’t.

I loved this book very much and credit it for actually giving me my reading mojo back.

It was just enjoyable to read from beginning to end in terms of characters, story and writing.

I also think I’m a sucker for formats which are based on interview styles with interspersion’s of magazine and news articles. You get to see what people think happened and then you get to know the truth. Or a version of it anyway.

It’s Evelyn of course, who really makes this book. Ambitious, deceitful, manipulative, charming and yet filled with the capacity to love – she’s a character who doesn’t always do good things but boy do you route for her.

The Thirteenth Tale

Now to flip it!

Last year I read Once Upon a River (Diane Setterfield’s second book – I think) and because I loved it so much I decided to read the one that everyone gushes over – The Thirteenth Tale.

In what is also a strange coincidence – this story mirrors Evelyn Hugo’s above. Character A has become an unofficial biographer for Character B and the story is B telling A about their life, revealing mysteries and secrets along the way.

I enjoyed the writing and the overall story but a few things just got under my skin in a not so good way.

First, if this is a story presented as B telling A everything they know – how can B be explaining the thoughts, feelings and secrets of other characters as though they were inside their heads?

This makes the narrative a multiple person POV but the framing of it feels wrong.

Second, there was a deus ex machina ‘twist’ which I didn’t feel was fully pulled off. Maybe it worked for some people but it didn’t for me.

Third, I couldn’t stand Margaret’s character (our biographer). I just…. no. Just…. no.

Do you want more reasons? She was a wet drip who was borderline hysterical about everything and, on discovering as a child that she should have been a twin, meant she’s spent her entire life swooning at her own reflection.

Hard pass on Margaret.

The Familiars

I really enjoyed SH’s debut, The Familiars and I’m going to rush out to get her second book ‘The Foundling.’

Again, I just really liked the writing, the story and the characters especially the friendship between Fleetwood (our oddly named protagonist) and Alice (her midwife who is on the precipice of being accused of witchcraft).

I’m a sucker for historical fiction based on female friendships, female independence and witches – even if they’re not really witches (or are they?) If you want a book about the Pendle witch trials this is not it because the backdrop may be the trials but the story is a character driven one.

Whilst this isn’t without it’s flaws (certain scenes for example – Fleetwood’s sister in laws visiting her adds zilch to the plot) and I still don’t know if all the legal talk was that interesting – I found it incredibly compelling in parts and the good outweighs the bad.

Sexy Stats.jpg

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – 5 stars
  • The Thirteenth Tale – 2 stars
  • The Familiars – 4 stars

This means June’s average is 3.6 – I’ll take it!What Will I Read

Last month I gave a list of three books that I aimed to read in June. I read three books but not a single one was the intended TBR!

I’m actually going to see how July takes me with no scheduled TBR as I think I’m going to embrace the concept of ‘mood reading’ a bit more.

I have started this one already so let’s see how we go.

Initial thoughts? I’m more confused than I want to be!

The_Fifth_Season_(novel)

What Have I Been Up To

We’re still in lockdown in the UK even though it’s easing a bit so I still haven’t done much in the way of socialising!

I had a few days off work in June which was very welcome and I think helped with all the book reading efforts.

I’ve been cracking along watching Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass and really enjoying it and have managed to get some more original WIP notes down so I may be idle on the blogging front but not on the writing one!

My most popular Instagram post for the month surprised me as it was about me using pencil to practice my hand-lettering – smudges and all!

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This weekend I’ve mostly been scribbling (we’ll call it ‘practicing’) mini lettering designs & words in pencil. . . Never underestimate the mighty pencil! It’s actually a great way to practice lettering techniques because it’s a) inexpensive & b) erasable! As you can probably tell from the picture- smudges ARE included! . . If I feel like it I may try & re-do some of these on a larger scale with brush pens. . . I’ve also been practicing blending techniques but that’s another mess for another day 😉 . . ✏️ If you do hand-lettering, do you dabble with pencils? For more than outlines & sketching I mean! . . #handlettering #handletteringpractice #handletteringnewbie #handletteringbeginner #modernlettering #instalettering #creativelettering #pencillettering #practicemakesprogress #practicepracticepractice #minidesigns #lazysunday #lazysundays #lockdownlife

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Blog Hop

Sadly I didn’t really do this – again.

I know I’m missing good stuff – sorry!

breaker

How was everyone’s June?

I hope everyone is keeping well and that life is treating you and your loved one’s kindly.

Pop on bye to say hi!

xxx

6 thoughts on “June 2020 Wrap Up & July 2020 TBR

  1. I’ve read one book in June so cheers! xD If you only write one (long) post per year, do that, just don’t ever quit blogging. 😦 One big part of me slacking on my own blog is that many good friends from my first year of blogging have quit it completely, and I’ve met several new ones, but it’s not the same, I miss my OG Gerry and bishes :S I think your 2-year theory may be correct lol, but I’ll persevere! *shakes fist at sky* Love your June reads, all are of course on my TBR, and I wonder why The Fifth Season has you confused because that’s also on my list? Anyhow, love you! ❤ xoxoxo

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    1. Oh bless you Marina, one long post a year was looking likely at one point!!

      I’ve found it a different landscape on the blog as well but can’t fully put my finger on it. I think it’s a lack of activity overall but I know people are going through a lot!

      The Fifth Season is superb. I was only a few chapters in when I wrote this and yes, it’s so confusing because the world building is complex and we get three different viewpoint narrations but it suddenly clicks into place and I was impressed with how intelligent it all is. Definitely read it because it’s something special. Like you! Mwah!!!

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  2. I’ve been missing your posts, but I totally understand blogger fatigue. I think the way I combat that is just by not posting if I don’t feel like it. Remove the pressure and remember that blogging is a hobby and all.
    I was confused when I first started The Fifth Season, but it starts to make sense around 10-20% in and then you’re hooked. I’m actually reading N.K. Jemisin’s newest book, The City We Became, right now and am LOVING it.

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    1. Oh thank you Ren! That’s actually really kind of you to say. I’ve been so sporadic with them that I kind of thought I’d have disappeared into the blogging ether by now!

      Removing the pressure has helped and I very much am letting it go a bit. When the inspiration and motivation strikes I’ll pick up again. I’m actually back to reading more so that’s helping.

      You know what – you are completely right re. The Fifth Season. For the beginning chapters I just wasn’t sure and then I think something clicked into place for me when I read Syenite’s first chapter and then I was massively on board in a big way. I’m only 25% of the way through but I’m now riveted by it and see how damn clever it is.

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    1. Oh yes, I’m very much being kept busy! I’m hoping taking a break will rejuvenate some enthusiasm!

      Evelyn was fantastic. I really enjoyed Daisy but then I read Evelyn and understood all the reviews that didn’t find it *as good* as Evelyn because it really is fantastic. I hope you enjoy it if/ when you come to read it!

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