It’s the end of month/ start of a new month where you see people who have read 73 books and listened to 30 audiobooks in a month, and let’s be honest, that just isn’t me.
I think this month I’ve really come to the true realisation of how rubbish the coronavirus and lockdown situation is and my mental health has plummeted. Some areas near to where I live have been put on a local lockdown within the last few days, and it really wouldn’t surprise me if where I live will be locked down next. There’s also a looming uncertainty of how I will be completing my Master’s Degree from September. I was fully under the impression that I’d be actually physically attending university (and I really hope that’s the case), but it’s looking likely I will be doing most of my degree from home. As someone who has been stuck inside the house since March due to shielding family members, I’m sick of the sight of this house and I was looking forward to a change of space and scenery by going back to university. But we shall see..
This month I also stopped getting myself out books and adding them to a TBR pile. I did this in June and got myself a stack of 10 books out. When I didn’t read all of them I branded myself a failure. Having those books off the bookshelf and in front of me made me see them as a challenge and ultimately I lost interest in reading them because I knew I wasn’t reading them fast enough. I’m really struggling to engage my brain at the moment and I think it’s because my mental state is so poor. I have a few plans for August to get my brain working again but I’ll explain them after I’ve wrapped up my books for July!
I read a grand total of 3 books this month, two of which I’ve already posted reviews of on both my blog and Instagram. So this is going to be a very short wrap up to say the least!
Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future – Ashlee Vance.
This is a very interesting non-fiction book about a very interesting man. When scrolling through Twitter I see a lot of people slating Elon and just generally expressing their dislike for him, but I quite like him. But I find the things him and his team are capable of doing really impressive and definitely world-changing. I don’t agree with people being billionaires though. I recently saw a post on Facebook about how someone would theoretically spend Jeff Bezos’ money and after eradicating global malnutrition, polio, and malaria, buying everyone in China a Big Mac meal, buying himself supercars, yachts, fighter jets, and clearing the USA’s $81bn medical debt (as well as lots of other things), that he would still have about $26bn left over. WHAT?!?!!?
The reason for giving it 4 stars is because Ashlee Vance is just retelling the story of Elon’s life and I feel it got a little bit ‘and Elon did this’ and ‘and Elon did that’. I struggle with non-fiction, I find I end up reading it really slowly because it just isn’t as captivating as fiction.
My two five star reads for this month were by young authors Kirsten and Aiyven Mbawa. I’ve written in depth reviews on both of their books and absolutely adore the girls. As I’ve said a million times already, you seriously wouldn’t think the books were written by authors aged just 11 and 12. Their writing is sophisticated and there’s so many words I had to Google because I didn’t know the meaning of them (that just goes to show I should have probably read a book through my teens). I’ll do a little summary of each book here but for the full reviews click the links to my review!
Sagas of Anya – Kirsten Mbawa
This is a historical fiction book based in Victorian time Cardiff about a young girl called Anya. She lives a pretty perfect life with both parents until her mother dies. That’s when Anya’s life starts to go a bit downhill. Her father turns to alcohol as a way of coping and mourning the loss of his wife and Anya ends up being quite neglected as her father is always at the ale house and never there to look after her. He eventually decides (not sure if he was drunk or sober whilst making the decision), that Anya should be sent off to London to work as a maid and make a better life for herself. Despite everything that had happened in her life recently, I feel that Anya was quite a privileged child and her becoming a maid was a complete disaster because she didn’t know how to do most of the tasks which she had been set.
Read my full review of Sagas of Anya here
Land of the Nurogons – Aiyven Mbawa
This is a dystopian adventure novel following the life of Hayden Smith who is your regular teenage boy. Everything about his life is pretty normal until he gets sucked down a black hole into a parallel universe called Nurogonia. He is able to leave Nurogonia on the condition that at some point in the future he returns. Sticking to his word, after a little while back in the real world Hayden returns to Nurogonia, but this time with his sister, Canada. They must complete quests whilst in Nurogonia to win over the Nurogons (the little green alien creatures who live there).
Read my full review of Land of the Nurogons here
I’m now officially starting to fall behind with my 2020 Goodreads reading challenge and so I have a few little plans to get that number back up for August. I’m working around 22 hours a week at the moment (from home) so I’m going to start listening to audiobooks again to get me through my days at work. I’ve been listening to podcasts whilst working but I’m beginning to tire of the the same ones constantly, so I’m going to give audiobooks another go!
With the start of my Master’s degree coming up, I have a few academic books I want to read to get my mindset back into ‘university’ mode. These books I plan to include in my Goodreads reading challenge and I will mention them in monthly wrap ups, but they won’t be getting a star rating as I don’t feel like they should be rated when they’re just books to aid me through my degree.
Finally, I have a few books this month and in September that I’ve been kindly sent to review by the authors, one of which I’ll be doing a book tour for so look out for the end of August for that!
I signed up to a read along of Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah with the #perfectstrangersreadalong on Instagram to try kick start my motivation to read some books. I also think I’m going to make a start at the A Song of Ice and Fire series – quite a bold move due to how thick the books are but I’ve been watching Game of Thrones for the first time recently (I’m not really a TV person and didn’t have a TV at all whilst living in student accommodation) and I’m really enjoying it. If I have enough time, I think I would benefit from reading a classic novel this month too
Come back in a month’s time to see how many of these grand plans I haven’t followed through with