August Wrap-Up

What a damn good month! It’s been a hellishly long time since I had this many five and four star reads, and I’m just so stoked. I’m also 0% surprised that nearly all of these were fantasy. I read Fellowship of the Ring this month, and it just made me crave fantasy so much that I started grabbing everything in sight, and I am just the happiest little camper ever that I’m going to keep chugging along on the fantasy train until I get run over. Alright, this metaphor needs to die, here’s what I read in August!

Mini Book Reviews

🌈 LGBTQPIA+ characters
πŸ”₯ BIPOC authors
πŸŒ‘ BIPOC characters

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street | Natasha Pulley πŸŒˆπŸŒ‘
(7/31-8/2) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Wow, I don’t know what to do with myself? I picked this up because I was trying to fill the void in my heart that the Amberlough Dossier left behind, and it sounded similar enough with the time period and politics that it might work, but I never expected this masterpiece? I am still crying? I ordered the sequel and just anxiously awaited for it to arrive so I could break my heart all over again over Thaniel & Mori. When they kissed in the dark and it was veiled as what kind of tea do you drink in the dark, I JUST??? The first three pages were devoted entirely to Thaniel drinking tea, so I was going to like this no matter what, but then we get this sweet, soft, thinks he’s not good enough watchmaker paired with a brusque, will fight everyone, but also soft telegraphist, plus casual time travel via physics and actual science, plus a super cute clockwork octopus, and I JUST??? Look, my words are failing me, I spent an entire morning looking for fanart because I wanted to cry repeatedly over how much I loved these two, and if you don’t see a review for the sequel this month, too, it’s because something horrible has happened to me. And yes, the writing & plot were fantastic, too, there’s no way I’m just in love over the romance because it happens literally in the last chapters, so this is me screaming about the entire thing.

The Lost Future of Pepperharrow | Natasha Pulley πŸŒˆπŸŒ‘
(8/10-8/13) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

As evidenced by the fact that I have a series to finish shelf on Goodreads, I obviously don’t read series very fast, but there was no chance of me not immediately diving into this sequel after the unmitigated joy that The Watchmaker of Filigree Street gave me. And, let me tell you, Satan is real, this was the most perfect sequel I have ever read. I don’t think I’ve ever loved something so much? Even with the miscommunication between love interests, which wasn’t even really communication when you actually think about it because they just straight up didn’t talk to each other and thought the same terrible things because they’re anxiety-riddled messes–but even that was soft and sweet and so, so sad. This whole thing was sad. I cried every time Thaniel cried, which means that I cried A LOT, and I swear to hell, I was ready to get all fisticuffs going into this for Mori–you try to hurt him, and Thaniel & I are going to box you into oblivion–but now I will actively dismember someone who as much as looks at Thaniel wrong, that’s just the way this goes now. Fists for Mori, dismemberment for Thaniel. Except Thaniel’s going to help with both. Can we just? WOW. We need to appreciate “small, delicate” Mori who can literally kill you with a gentle punch and stops an entire godsdamn protest just by walking out of the house with his samurai sword. The “he’s a–” sentence fading into shock and horror as Mori stormed out, sword held high, ready to kill every single person that came near Thaniel–YES THANK YOU CHECK PLEASE. But also, we need to appreciate “will cry every ten chapters” Thaniel who people describe as looking like a thug because he’s got hella big boxing muscles. THESE TWO. I will go to the ends of the earth for them. (Also, please don’t let this rambling review lead you to think that the only thing I loved were the MCs. The plot in this duology is phenomenal, and while I maybe screamed about throat kisses more, I definitely screamed about the science, too.)

The Fellowship of the Ring | J.R.R. Tolkien
(8/11-8/18) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

We all know how this goes. Here’s the actual review: FOTR. I was so excited to finally start rereading the trilogy, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I truly believe that reading The Silmarillion before I reread the trilogy massively increased my love of this story. I know, sounds impossible, right? How could I love LOTR more? There’s so much in here that’s just subtly threaded through that you could so easily pass by–Beren & LΓΊthien, Glorfindel, EΓ€rendil to name a few–but, with the added knowledge that The Silmarillion provides, suddenly this book is a treasure trove of lore and shouting incomprehensibly with joy. I had an absolute blast rereading this, and I can’t wait to continue on with the next one.

Iron Cast | Destiny Soria 🌈πŸ”₯πŸŒ‘
(8/19-8/23) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I mean, I knew before I even opened this that it was going to be a five star because Beneath the Citadel was one of my favorite books last year, but then I did open it, and the aesthetic alone of this book had me shouting HELL BELLS YES. Combine that with the fact that the actual inside of the book was fantastic, and, well, thank you, Destiny Soria, mais por favor! I loved everything about this. Ada & Corinne were such interesting characters that grabbed hold of me from the very start. The convoluted development of Gabriel’s character, the sorrow drenching Saint’s character, the utter heartbreak of Johnny’s character–UGH. They were all so complex and painful, and I loved them so much. The writing was phenomenal, and the world. My goodness, the world was truly amazing. The magic system was just so damn cool, and I’d take so many more books in this world just to get hundreds more pages of these characters interacting with the magic around them. It was something I hadn’t seen before, and it was so easy to get lost in this just for the magic alone, but combine that with Prohibition-era Boston? Well, count me in. I’m going to be thinking about this one for a while.

The Faithless Hawk | Margaret Owen πŸŒ‘
(8/27-8/29) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I don’t even know what to say about this. It was the most perfect possible sequel to The Merciful Crow, even more than I could have ever hoped for. There were so many things that I wanted to happen, and Owen went there and more. I truly alternated between full on crying and shouting incomprehensibly and just flailing chaotically. The writing was wonderful, as expected, and I am always going to be 100% ready to go to war for Fie, but it was the plot, and how that surrounded Tavin and Jasinder, that just destroyed me. No spoilers, but Tavin absolutely broke my heart over and over for every single new scene with him, and Jas??? Wow, okay, I did not expect to come out of this thinking, “I just cannot with this gay boy who’s in love with every cat ever,” but that’s where I’m at, and I’m so happy about it. Jas annoyed me so much through TMC, and though I grew to love him by the end, I never thought I’d be screaming at the page over him. The plot in this was just mind-blowing, truly. I loved every single twist and chapter, and it was just so damn good. There is not enough good I can say about this, and if TMC wasn’t already on my list of top ten reads this year, TFH certainly would be.

The Star-Touched Queen | Roshani Chokshi πŸ”₯πŸŒ‘
(8/1-8/3) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Gosh, I don’t think I was properly warned about how fantastic this was going to be. I mean, Indian retelling of Hades & Persephone should have been enough, but DAMN. The writing in this was just gorgeous. Perhaps my favorite thing about this was the writing, which felt like being casually dipped in magic. The language was just lush with description, and the metaphors, OH THE METAPHORS. They were beautiful. This is the kind of book that just devours you whole, ugh. I did think that Chokshi leaned a little too hard on the already built-in characters of Hades & Persephone because there was pretty much no character development, and it was very insta-lovey, but I still enjoyed this thoroughly.

The Beautiful | RenΓ©e Adhieh πŸ”₯πŸŒ‘
(8/5-8/9) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Gosh, I just loved the vampire lore in this. AND THE WEREWOLVES. Look, werewolves belong in vampire stories, both because they were the same myth to begin with, and because they just work so well together. I will be an Underworld fan until the day I die, and there’s nothing for it. I really loved the dark, mildly spooky atmosphere of this. It felt like the perfect stage for a vampire story, and I was just so captivated by the plot. I will admit that I wasn’t too keen on Celine or Bastien for a while, but, during that scene at the parade, when they were both a bit softer with each other, I started to root for them. I think they went from mutual hatred to willing to give up everything for each other very fast, though. Overall, a very enjoyable read, and I’m definitely reading the second one.

Gods of Jade and Shadow | Silvia Moreno-Garcia πŸ”₯πŸŒ‘
(8/4-8/10) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The style of writing was not really for me in this, but I appreciated what Moreno-Garcia was trying to do, create a sweeping epic that sounded like a story you might hear sitting around a fire. It read as very stilted and stale to me, but I understand why, and so, I’m not docking any stars for that. It’s just personal preference, after all. I absolutely adored the characters, though. Watching Hun-KamΓ© slowly fade into humanity was such an interesting journey, and I was fascinated each time Casiopea noticed something newly different about him. Ugh, and Casiopea. I would read dozens more stories with her as the MC. Give me her and the demon (I’ve forgotten his name) traveling the world in their sleek automobile–I’m here for it. Overall, a very intriguing story, and I’ll definitely read more by Moreno-Garcia.

Court of Lions | Somaiya Daud 🌈πŸ”₯πŸŒ‘
(8/18-8/24) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I definitely would have liked this more if I hadn’t read the first one a full two years ago. I knew I should have reread it, but I remembered enough that I thought it’d be no big deal, and yet, I could tell the entire time that I would have just been over the moon about this had I recently read the first one. Even given that, this was absolutely fantastic, and Maram’s character development alone was just DAMN. I was fully ready to pledge my sword to her by the end of this, and I can’t even believe how perfect of an ending she & Amani got. Like, there is literally no other way that I would have wanted this to end than exactly how it did. This was such a fantastic finale for an already outstanding story, and I am just amazed at Daud’s talent. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Elysium Girls | Kate Pentecost 🌈
(8/18-8/26) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

This was one of those books that has both a very unique plot–truly, unlike anything I’ve read before–and a superb execution of said unique plot. The lore and world and magic in this alone would have made me fall madly in love with this, but combine it with fantastic, diverse, queer characters, and I am here for it. The discussion of humanity and struggling with who you are in the world was just so good, and it was so interesting to see that unfold through a daemon’s eyes, particularly one who’s always loved humans from afar but never actually lived amongst them. And Elysium was just so cool. The whole concept, yes, but also just the city itself. And Dust Dome to keep out the dust storms? I can’t get over how much I loved the magic in this. It was so well thought out, with little nods to modern magic, but also very settled in its time period, and it was just so well done. This was such a solid debut, and I’ll definitely pick up whatever Pentecost writes next.

The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid | Colin Meloy
(8/10-8/16) β˜…β˜…β˜…

I saw someone say recently that you’re not really doing middle grade right if you’re writing for adults, and that stuck with me a lot throughout this book. While I enjoy Meloy’s style of writing, it’s very clearly geared for an audience that’s probably NA, not even YA. Obviously, there are some missing stereotypes from the older ages, like romance and angst and all that, but the actual language is not at all geared toward those who middle grades are targeted toward, and that’s a problem. It’s totally fine if, as an adult reader, I like to read MG and YA, but those books should read like their targeted age groups. It’s not okay if I go into a MG and say something stupid like, “This really sounded like it was geared for kids.” Um, duh. Middle grade’s age range is literally 8-12. If it’s not geared for kids, that’s when we start running into problems because why are you even bothering to write a MG? On top of that, there was a startling amount of alcohol and smoking in this book. The crime, I can look past, because it’d be fun, as a kid, to read a book about pickpockets, but a child accidentally drinking gin? Characters smoking all over the place? Um, yeah, no, I’m going to have to take a giant step back here. Even a single instance of alcohol or smoking in a children’s book is a big red flag to me, but to have the kids in the book also partake in those events, even if by accident? Honestly, the bartender giving Charlie gin just reeks of child abuse. Wow, this review has gotten away from me because how in the world could it be rated three stars after all that? If you ignore the high brow writing not meant for the children it’s written for and the seriously immoral qualities, this is well written. It’s interesting, the plot twist totally knocked me off my feet, and the characters were really engaging. Just, like, don’t give it to your kids, and please don’t market it for kids. It’s not.

August Statistics

Books read: 11
Pages read: 4,120
TBR: 4/5
Backlist progress: 35/80

Monthly TBR

I was so mad at myself in July because I literally read 4/5 TBR books in the last week and a half. And I didn’t even want to be reading them anymore, but I forced myself to because I was sick of ignoring my TBR. So, I did the complete opposite in August, and I read 4/5 in the first two weeks. Balance? Whaaaaaaaat? Anyway, I was originally going to stick with pre-2020 purchases for my September TBR because I have so many, and a book haul picture showed up on my Facebook memories the other day, and I miss buying books. However, September is literal hell on Earth for book releases, and the three that are arriving on the first are all by white authors. I’ve been really trying to actively focus on balancing out my reading instead of just letting it happen naturally, and so, this month’s TBR is all BIPOC-authors because I know I’m going to read all three of those releases, and I don’t want to load more white authors onto my TBR with those.

  1. The Wrath & The Dawn by RenΓ©e Adhieh
  2. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
  3. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
  4. A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
  5. Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

(1) I really wanted to read this last month after I finished The Star-Touched Queen, but alas, I had too many other books scheduled, so I saved it for September! (2) Yup, we’re doing my last McLemore! I don’t know why, but I decided, after reading two in a row, that I wanted to wrap up their backlist, so here we are. (3) This has literally been on my TBR since practically January, and it is going to be the first book I read post-September 1st releases or else. (4) Someone recently wrote the cutest review for this, and it made me even more excited! Plus, I’d like to keep up with at least one middle grade a month. (5) There really should be more contemporaries on this TBR because my September 1st releases are all fantasy-heavy, and as you can see from my reviews above, I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy, but I’m just having a great time. Still, I wanted at least one contemporary to give myself a break, and it was either this or We Are Not From Here, so heck, maybe I’ll get to both.

Favorite Posts

The Orangutan Librarian discussed why escapism is so important, especially right now, and yeah, I’m vibing that hard.

Tracy @ Truffle’s Literary Wonders talked about their journey with minimalism and how that ties into book-buying habits that I’ve definitely experienced, and it was a really interesting post that got me thinking about where I’m at with my book collection now.

Fadwar @ Word Wonders blessed us with a list of the top ten things they’ll automatically read a book for, and honest to goodness, YES TO ALL OF THEM. I was nodding along to each new addition so much that my head nearly fell right off.

As always, my CP, Chelsea, wrote a really poignant piece about the term “literary” and how she hopes it can transcend the boundaries of what it was and become something new, and arguably more powerful and inclusive, in the future of publishing.

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books broke down what it is, exactly, that book bloggers do, and I really appreciate her shining a spotlight on all of the hard work we do in addition to our day jobs and personal lives. There’s just so much behind the scenes stuff, like the fact that I’ve been drafting this wrap-up for the entire month of August, that no one gets to see, and it’s important to highlight that.

Simone @ Simone and Her Books gushed over how much she loves big books and why, and I’ve got to say, I found myself nodding along to every single paragraph. Big books are some of my favorites to read, and I’m so excited to dive into the one sitting next to me right now!

Writing Updates

So, there I am, minding my own business, reading The Star-Touched Queen and dying over the Hades/Persephone vibes. I’ve talked about my Greek mythology retelling kind of thing before, and, obviously, two of the main characters are Hades & Persephone. The book was wonderful, and, having just finished writing my novella, I’m just casually driving to work, dreaming about my sad!Hades and extra badass!Persephone, and BAM there are my merry muses like you know what would be fun? AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT BOOK THAN YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO WRITE. So, I accidentally figured out the entire plot to my Greek thing, which was super fun, except for the fact that I’m on track to finish my scheduled four books this year, and I was real pissed that this plot decided now was a good time to show up. I finally caved after telling two separate people I was thinking about it, wrote a quick 3,570 words, and then my merry muses were like okay hold up now we were in the middle of something, and I whiplashed right back into vampire detective.

Seriously, what the hell. Writing is the worst. Not only that, but I also wrote a short story, which I think I’m posting next month (?) because I’ve got a new idea rattling around in my head that wants to be a novel someday, so I just needed to exorcise that real quick, which was an additional 4,984 words. And in case you were suddenly getting worried that I wasn’t going to accomplish my 30k for vampire detective, WELL, 2020 is a trash fire.

I drafted that above paragraph probably halfway into the month, when I was really moving and grooving with vampire detective. And, truthfully, I did do a lot of work on it. 17,936 words to be exact, and then a few things started to happen. One: I had a lot of fun writing the novella, and I’m so glad that I did because it has helped me develop the relationship between Andrew & Rafael immensely, and I’m not sure I would have been able to do that with just the novel. One of the very real disadvantages to writing the novella, though, was that all of my character development happened there, and so, when I started to write Andrew’s actual novel, I kept forgetting that I hadn’t actually already done it. Pretty much everything that’s important in the opening ten chapters of a brand new story has already happened in my head via the novella, but not on paper in the actual novel, and the divorce between those is just not happening. It was starting to feel like pulling teeth, trying to work out what needed to happen again in the novel, which people would actually read someday, and not in the novella, which was written for myself. Thus, two: happened pretty naturally. I started writing the new story that I thought I exorcised when I wrote the short story mentioned above.

All told, I wrote 45,790 words for this new idea after a very long conversation with my CP and friend, Chelsea, in which I talked about feeling guilty for working on something that wasn’t in my 2020 plan, and Chelsea reminded me that this weird, magical thing we do is for fun and, ultimately, for ourselves, so if distance from Andrew & working on a new story makes sense, then why not do it? I’m not going to put any stressors on it and say this is what I’m writing now because I want to have the opportunity to swing back toward Andrew if the want arises. But, for now, I’m working on this new idea, which I have no easy way to reference other than the researcher & the librarian, which gets tiring to type all the time, so I’m going to have to come up with a nickname for it. But, uh, yeah, looks like I seriously overpassed my 30k first act goal for a novel, just not the one I planned?

Overall, my final word count for the month was 72,280. I’m just–so amazed right now. I can’t remember if I already talked about this somewhere, but I’ve been trying to write more consistently rather than a lot at once. I usually write a chapter in the morning, break for lunch, and would continue on through the rest of the day, but when I did that, I would end up feeling so drained the next day that I wouldn’t write for a couple days. And so, I’ve been forcing myself to stop writing after that first chapter in the morning and instead reading for the rest of the day, and wow, it is definitely working. I now write about 3-4k a day instead of just 8-10k a week, and, I mean, I wrote 72k words this month, guys, and I don’t even feel kind of tired. I feel like I could do another damn 70k next month. This is wild. I am so, so happy.

What I’ve Been Watching

The new season of The Umbrella Academy released right at the end of July, and I, uh, might have binged it over the weekend? It was seriously so good, and I was constantly shouting at my screen. I want the next season immediately! My favorite is still Klaus, obviously, but my love for Diego grew exponentially this season, and when he did the thing with the bullets at the end BE STILL MY BEATING HEART. I was weeping, it was wonderful.

After finally getting me to watch Hamilton, next up on Erin’s list was Blindspotting because she’s absolutely fallen head over heels in love with Daveed Diggs. This was truly a wonderful movie, and I can’t wait to watch it again someday because I just know that I will. It was so much fun, but so heartbreaking at the same time, and the conversation around racism and gentrification was just fantastic.

I watched The Old Guard for a third time right at the beginning of the month, and I so badly wanted more Charlize kicking ass that I watched Atomic Blonde. And honestly, men are exhausting. Part of the reason that I loved The Old Guard so much was that, because it was directed by a woman, Charlize is never sexualized. Not once. She wears practical clothes–jeans, t-shirt, comfortable boots. She doesn’t wear a lot of makeup, she’s never naked, and she’s allowed to be loud and abrasive and fierce. In Atomic Blonde, her literal first scene is naked in a bath shortly followed by another. Honestly, she probably has more nude scenes than she does fight scenes, and that’s in a movie where she plays a MI-6 spy, so? Not to mention that the plot is not just unoriginal, it’s literally been done dozens of times before with no differences whatsoever. She’s constantly told to be quiet, talked down to, and lorded over by other men. I didn’t even have to see who directed this. Of course it was a man. I am so tired, I should have watched Mad Max instead. I recognize that’s also directed by a man, but at least Charlize doesn’t fight in stilettos and a mini skirt. Look, I have nothing against women wearing lace and being sexy af and just looking hot while they’re also hella dangerous, but a complex fight scene done in thigh-high six-inch heels is just fucking stupid.

At the beginning of the year, I made a list of all the shows I’d let go by the wayside, and I’ve been slowly catching up on them, so next up was Grace & Frankie! It was a little tough starting this at first because it just made me miss Erin so much, so I watched one episode, ran away for a bit, and then came back to it while I was baking one day. I absolutely adored Grace & Frankie’s friendship throughout this season, so much so that I texted Erin at the end and said, “If your husband ever turns out gay and marries another man, you’re not allowed to remarry, we’re just going to live together until the end of our days.” Grace & Frankie’s friendship was just wonderful, and I aspire to have one like it.

I don’t even know what to say about Parasite. This was a truly wild movie, and I enjoyed it so much. It was so incredibly well done, and I honestly want to watch it again so I can see things I might have missed. I thought something similar was going to happen at the end, but not that quite crazy, and my jaw dropped for the last 20 minutes or so. There were just so many good elements to this, so many good discussions that it very subtly delivered, so many powerful moments where I just had to sit back and go woah.

There are no police procedural shows out there that also have vampires, so I’ve been watching iZombie even though it’s the wrong mood. I love it dearly, it’s just funny where my vampire detective novel is not, but I’ve been having a great time anyway. I was halfway through season four, apparently, when I abandoned watching it, so I’ve finished out that and watched season five! Season four made me cry so many godsdamn times, and I’m only halfway through season five, but it’s just wonderful.

Erin is really trying to test the limits of how much I can handle in one month. Blindspotting was amazing, don’t get me wrong, but it made me cry, and I just wanted to rage at the world. Parasite was also great, but jfc do I want to burn capitalism to the ground after watching it. And now Imperium? She’s trying to put me in an early grave. We had to pause this two hour long movie several times to just mutually shout about how much we hate literally everything, but my favorite bits were the “WHY IS CHRISTIANITY SO PSYCHO” because that just sets me off. Don’t get me started about the Bible, I’ll have a rocket launcher strapped to my spine in about point two seconds. Imperium was really interesting, and it was very well done, and it was so disturbing to listen to DanRad using the kind of slurs he did, but damn, I’m impressed with his acting in this. He reminded me yet again why he’s one of my favorites.

Look, all you’ve really got to do is say Matt Damon, and I’m ready to go, but combine that with old cars from the 60s and Christian Bale acting like a British loon? Hell, I’m in, let’s kick it into high gear. My dad & I watched Ford v Ferrari, and holy hell. First of all, that is one stressful af movie, my heart was going so fast at all times, and also, it was freaking amazing. I enjoyed it so much; I kept yelling and holding my breath. I was bound to like it, just based on what it’s about and that it’s got Matt Damon in it, so I’m really not surprised that I loved it, but I wasn’t quite ready for how much I’d love it. Like, I’d watch that again.

Duh, of course I watched Fellowship of the Ring, and duh, of course I cried over Sam, who do you think I am? It was wonderful, even if I did stay up until midnight because I kept pausing it. I meant to take notes on it, too, for my review, but uh, yeah, that didn’t happen because even though I’ve seen it approximately 37 times, I was still hyper engaged. It was a lot of fun this time, though, because I caught so many new things thanks to my Silmarillion knowledge! If you’re curious what I thought about the book, which has some movie vibes in it, here’s my insanely long review.

After the beauty that was season two of The Umbrella Academy, I was hella down to watch The Road Within, which Erin absolutely adores and I’ve never seen. I’m starting to wonder why I’ve never just devoured everything Robert Sheehan is in? I mean, he literally never disappoints me. Misfits was one of my top favorite shows in college, Klaus is obviously tied for favorite with Diego (look, Diego is the archetypal character that I am always going to love, I can’t help it), I adored him as Simon Lewis, and now I’m even more in love. Prepare yourself for lots of his movies next month. Oh yeah, and The Road Within was freaking fantastic. If I was watching it alone, it would have taken me an extra hour because of how many times I would have rewound it.

My music taste is really weird. Pretty much everyone that knows me in real life can attest to this. I’ll swing from Miss May I to Backstreet Boys like it’s no problem, and so, I’ve got this bizarre love for Machine Gun Kelly. I can’t explain it since I don’t really listen to rap, and it’s probably more of a punk aesthetic thing than it is anything else, but it meant that him playing Tommy Lee in The Dirt was something I shouted about a lot. I want to say I love MΓΆtley, and I do, but really, high school!Mary was obsessed with Nikki Sixx and read The Heroin Diaries about fourteen times, so I kind of loved MΓΆtley by association. Somehow, I never ended up watching The Dirt when it came out last year, but after two weeks straight of nothing but the new Yungblud songs, MGK, and Badflower, I really needed to watch something gritty and horrible and full of punk boys. And, well, this certainly fit the bill. We couldn’t help but compare it to Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocket Man the entire time because they’re all musical biopics, but I think Erin & I both agree that The Dirt is our favorite of the three. It was not only so representative of MΓΆtley, but they actually made it about more than the music, and that was a ton of fun. I was going to say this was probably my favorite movie of this month, but we watched so many good ones, so it’s definitely a top three.


I honestly had a really great month. My reading was amazing, my writing was through the roof, I watched a ton of great shows and movies, I did so much yoga, baked a lot, and just had a really good time.

I smashed my shin pretty bad in the beginning of the month, and literally all I could think about was that scene in The Old Guard when Andy kick Niles in the shin and just absolutely shatters her leg. One of my tests for figuring out inversions in yoga is to try doorway yoga because it’s real hard to accomplish a steady inversion when you’ve got not only so little space to manurer in, but so little space to land if you screw up. And, well, I screwed up pretty bad. I was trying to take a picture, and instead of continuing to use a video screenshot, I decided to see if I could get up in ten seconds, ha. I missed the wall, got scared I was going to break something because I was in the kitchen, so I curled up real tight and just let my shins smash against the tile floor, and yeah. I had a pretty big welt for a while there, and I definitely had nightmares that I’d broken my shin.

Thankfully, pretty immediately after I did that, I was able to go on a short weekend vacation where I mostly read books by the lake and did absolutely nothing besides bake a galette, go on a sunrise kayak, and hike around a short trail.

I also made churro donuts because I’ve been craving both so much that I decided to just smash them together. They were hard to take a picture of, so you’ll just have to trust me that they were freaking amazing.

I got to teach yoga to real live people, too! I’m now teaching a Central Rock Gym in Stoneham outside in the parking lot, which obviously won’t last very long as the sun starts to set earlier and the weather gets colder, but I’m really happy to be there for now. I’m teaching for the city starting at the end of September, too, and it’s going to be a six-week program with both kids and adult yoga. It’s nice to kind of be back to a bit of normal, even if it’s only for a little while. I do still really miss Barefoot, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll come back badder than ever when we do. But, for now, I’m doing what I can to get my yoga fix in. And, speaking of, I’ll leave you off with this post from the other day that I’m pretty proud of:

Wait, just in the nick of time, I hiked Mt Cardigan at the end of the month, and it was so beautiful that I’ve got to share pictures! It was a perfect temperature when we went, low 60s, but the summit was insane. We had to basically hand & foot climb over this huge overhang, and the second we got over, the wind was out of control. It was up to 40 mph, and it was coldddd. Like, it was the end of August, and I was wearing a winter jacket, and I definitely got windburn. It was so much fun, though, and we spent most of the hike just laughing and having a great time.

How was your August?

7 responses to “August Wrap-Up”

  1. Chelsea D.G. Bartlett Avatar

    Wow, you did so much this month!! Like, did we even live the same month?? I did nothing in August it feels like! I’m so impressed. Thank you for the mention, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. That’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and it was nice to feel comfortable enough to express it and share those thoughts somewhere. I hope your September is just as good as your August, but most importantly, I hope it’s fun and feels good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      I am truly baffled by it! When I was looking back on it to write this, I was just like wait whaaaaaat??

      I hope your September is amazing, too! Fingers & toes crossed that autumn is just wonderful to both of us! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. waytoofantasy Avatar

    Glad you had such an amazing month! You read a lot and also did a lot of other things…looks like it was quite packed! I hope your September is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      It really was, I’m so shocked! Good vibes for your start of autumn, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. waytoofantasy Avatar

        Thank you! ❀


  3. Zezee Avatar

    Klaus is my fav too! Season 2 of Umbrella Academy was so great. I def ended up liking the characters more in this one. I still need to get to Old Guard.
    Parasite was an interesting movie. It wasn’t what I expected, so I didn’t like it soon after watching it but after a while I thought it was okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marydrover Avatar

      Same! I can’t wait to see where they take it in season three. Old Guard is absolutely amazing; I hope you enjoy it!


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