Monthly Wrap || August 2020

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August 2020

I’ll admit that it feels strange, doing Monthly Wraps again. I sort of did one to cover my hiatus in this Weekly Wrap, but the last time Hail & Well Read had a proper Monthly Wrap was all the way back in May. It’s August 2020 now, though, as much as we’d all like it to just…not be 2020, which means it’s time to give it another go!

Life Beyond the Blog

It’s definitely been a month! I mean, you could say that for a lot of months. Most months, in fact. But this time, I had my birthday, lots of new stitching plans and techniques, the blog returning from hiatus, and more! It almost seems like I’ve been running nonstop, but for the first time in ages, I’m not completely burnt out. I have to say, I’m crediting that to taking a hiatus and letting myself rest. If I’d powered through June and July at full speed, I would be sleeping until noon today and definitely not doing anything related to the blog.

But here we are! Rested and eager! Such a nice change of pace. And it made celebrating my birthday on the 21st so much more enjoyable. I got the day off of work (shout-out to my manager for doing that without asking!), and ended up lounging comfortably at home. Plus, I rang in 23 with a little Mrs. Fields cookie cake, which is pretty much the pinnacle of birthday-related desserts. It ended up a little gooey and warm on the bottom by the time I had some because my mom forgot she set it on top of the microwave, then ran said microwave.

In hindsight, I really should have slapped a scoop of ice cream on top. 🤔

And to get more specific about my stitching, I’m not yet ready to open that Etsy (I need to finish a couple more pieces, and need to finalize some graphics with Caroline, my friend and the wonderful talent behind all of H&WR’s graphics!), but I am EXCITED AS HELL. Stitching has turned into such a fun hobby for me, and if you asked me last birthday where I thought I’d be for August 2020, “sitting in bed with a needle and embroidery floss” would not have been my answer.

Apparently, I’m only clairvoyant when there’s Pokémon news afoot, but let’s not dig into that right now.

Other than that, life is blog, work, pet rabbits, rinse, repeat. Frankly, it’s too damn warm out to include anything else. Where are my just chilly enough for a jacket temperatures? Where’s my excuse to hide under blankets?

Books Read and Reviewed

So maybe this wasn’t the triumphant reading month I was hoping for. I finished all three of the Leverage series tie-in novels (review coming in September!), and How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. And later today, I’ll be sitting down and getting comfy for my ARC of As the Shadow Rises, the second book in Katy Rose Pool’s Age of Darkness trilogy! If all goes well, you’ll see that review tomorrow.

But this is a total of five books, only half of what I’d aimed for this month. My Goodreads challenge is getting farther and farther away from me, and I’m a little frustrated, since I managed over 100 books last year, but seem unlike to meet my goal of 75 this year. Ultimately, the GR challenge doesn’t matter that much, but I’m also competitive and a perfectionist.

So it kinda matters. 🤷

Next Month’s Reads

I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself for next month’s reads. I’ll be tackling Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass, since I didn’t get to it this month, along with I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan! Other than that, I’m going to indulge some of the mood reader tendencies that I rarely acknowledge, and just have fun! 😊

(That said, I’m definitely hoping to get to Felix Ever After and House of Dragons soon. They feel like just the right kind of thing at the moment.)

My Top 3 Posts

It seems like there’s lots of posts this month (that’s what happens after taking a hiatus), but somehow, I’ve narrowed it down to these top favorites. If you’ve got some spare time, I’d love it if you read them!

1. Birthday Thoughts: Twenty-Third Time’s the Charm?

2. T5T Characters I’d Trade Places With

3. Chosen Ones Review

Favorites From Around the Blogging World

As ever, you all are fantastic about your posts! The discussions in particular this month were outstanding, and I hope you enjoy these highlighted few as much as I have!

And good luck adjusting your TBR. There’s a couple posts here that are going to add lots to it. 😉

Clo @ Cuppa Clo explains how she manages her blog hopping (and tempts me to try a new system)!

Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea shares seven things she wishes she’d known before she got started book blogging!

Guest posting through Sim @ Flipping Thru the Pages, Elise shares her tips for finishing reading challenges, especially when you’re feeling stuck!

CW @ The Quiet Pond lays out exactly why you should be getting ready for These Violent Delights in November!

Lauren @ Northern Plunder reveals her video guide on how to make the most of your WordPress block editor!

Anna @ Reads Rainbow supplies a list of sapphic YAs you should all keep your eyes on!


And there you have it! August 2020 in a neat little nutshell. I hope this month has been kind to you, and that next month has even better things in store.

Also, I hope you’re ready for fall. Personally, I’m DONE with summer. 🥵

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