November Wrap Up 2020

 

We're already way into December, but I still wanted to provide a bit of a recap of November. It felt like one of the longest months yet and also the shortest. Maybe because the first two weeks felt interminable and the final two felt like a mad rush. I've been incredibly busy juggling school stuff while still trying to blog and post YouTube videos, so that has been an adventure. It's definitely hampered my reading goals. I still read more than in October, but I didn't have any saved up posts, so I only got about one blog post up a week. It'll probably be like that until the new year as I try to get through finals, but I do have a couple exciting posts planned for the end of the year.

For a quick school update, I'll be honest and say that I'm completely burnt out. Going to class on Zoom has worn me out completely since the start of the semester, and that hasn't gone away. I'm exhausted, and I've been working really late, so I'm physically tired too. While I can't wait to have a month of break (I promise I'll be a better blogger then!), it feels like I might never get there. I've finished a draft of one research paper final and completely finished another final, so now I just have one major paper left to go and classes till December 18th. This semester hasn't been the greatest, but I'm trying to be more optimistic about next semester. I recently registered for classes, and I'm getting to take all classes I'm interested in and excited about, which will be a refreshing change. Registration was a similar rush to buying concert tickets! I logged in right at 8AM and got all my classes in one swoop. There was only on that I didn't get because of a weird system error, but I'm still happy with my back up. Next semester I'll be taking an intro the journalism and design class, a fundamentals of western music class, an acting fundamentals class (I'm not really an actor, but I've always loved it and wanted to take a class on it. Also, it's all about getting to know and embodying characters which I think is a great skill for both writing and music), and a class about writing music criticism (which feels like an absolute dream to get to take. As you probably know, I love writing about music. I have a whole music blog and YouTube channel about it). 

As for the reading I did do (excluding the hundreds of pages of class readings), I read a nonfiction book, two YA books, and a book of poetry, so I'm pleased with the genre diversity I managed to get into the four books I finished. Even though I didn't get around to many books, I loved most of them. I guess I read more than I'm giving myself credit for between class and rereading I Would Leave Me If I Could three times. 

The first book I read this month, I decided to indulge in a 2021 ARC that has been burning a hole in my NetGalley inbox. Perfect on Paper is a standout book. I've been so excited to dive into Sophie Gonzales's second book. Sophie is a great follow on Twitter if you haven't given her a follow yet. Also, this book features a bi girl, a plot that revolves around an LGBTQIA club, a love letter locker, and more. It's so great to see more bi girls in YA, especially girls who get to date guys too and still be validated as a queer person, which is so important. The is going to be a standout book of 2021 and has been one of the highlights of my year. Also, I'm super proud of the cute, cover inspired photo that I took for bookstagram. I tried to put an emphasis on taking cool photos to go with my posts since there were so few of them. Read the review.

I Would Leave Me If I Could also came out at the start of the month, and it's a book I've thought about every day since. I love this book of poems so so much. I think it made it that much harder to write a review. It felt impossible to capture the beauty, pain, sincerity, and searing honesty in a review that would do it justice. Her words are so pretty and painful at the same time. Every time I read it, it just gets better. I ended up with two copies (which is a small miracle given all the editions that have come out). My first copy, I read immediately before her release event, and then I read it a second time with a marker and pen in hand. I don't annotate books often. I only do them for books I absolutely love, and this one has highlights on every page. My second copy was a signed one from Book Soup in LA. I loved that I got the chance to support a really cool indie, and being on my phone constantly paid off with the hundred limited quantity signed ones. When I got it in the mail, I wasn't sure how I'd feel since sometimes I love having signed books and sometimes it doesn't hit me as much, but I had to stare at it for a while after I looked at the signed page. The best part was that the spine was deeply cracked to the title page. I looked up at my mom and said, "Halsey cracked the spine of my book". For some reason, that made it my favorite object I've ever gotten. I have that copy of the book sitting on the top of my bookshelf next to my Taylor watercolor. The cover is so beautiful that it makes the perfect piece of decoration. I also have to highly recommend the audio book too. Halsey reads it herself, and it brings a whole new layer of emotion to the book. Writing the review was incredibly hard, but it more than paid off in the end. I'm really proud of it. Here's the review

The other highlight of my month was starting an art Instagram. I make these digital line drawing, mostly of music artists I really enjoy, and I decided that I wanted a place to share all of them. If you want to check that out, I'll link it here. I'm super excited to get to post them and have an internet space to just be creative and have fun. It's been a tiny bright spot. I draw a lot during class to decompress, and it's fun to have a place to collect all of them together. 

Those were my two favorite posts I got to publish this month that I wanted to discuss more. I had a ton of fun taking bookstagram photos and sharing those, and I was glad that I was able to just publish the posts as I was proud of them and ready to share. I also published another YA book review, books I'm looking forward to in December, and a holiday (book) gift buying guide. 

I'm also excited to get to start reading 2021 ARCs without guilt. I've had so many waiting on my shelf that sound excellent, so I can't wait to start reading all of them. I'm going to make a post soon with my current 2021 TBR. I'm also currently reading Julie Buxbaum's new YA Admissions, but I've read maybe 20 pages in the last week, so you know how well that's going. I'm really enjoying it, but I've just been way too busy to think about reading for fun. I've been doing a ton of reading for research projects and one book for a final. At least these full books will count towards my final reading goal! 

I'll link all of those posts below. I also got to write some great posts for my music blog and make a couple YouTube videos I'm really proud of. If you want to catch up on my other favorites from November and hear about what I've been up to, make sure you watch my November Favorites video here or down below. Check out all the links at the bottom of this post to make sure you didn't miss anything on here, the music blog, or YouTube! 


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I Would Leave Me If I Could Review

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Books I'm Looking Forward to December 2020

Holiday Shopping Gift Guide 


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