Book Review, Books!, Colorworld Books, Conventions, Inspiration, Manga, NetGalley, Readalong, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost, Writing

May Wrap-Up and June TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, we are almost halfway through the year. It honestly feels like this year has been both incredibly fast and agonizingly slow. And 2020 just continues to be a dumpster fire, definitely more here in the US than in the rest of the world, but I think we can all agree that all around 2020 has not been the greatest year. Though it definitely has been one for the history books. I wonder what teachers and students will say about this time in 30-50-100 years.

Anyway, because yesterday was Calendar Girls post day and my standard Manga Monday, I held off on my monthly wrap-up until today, but I figured you all wouldn’t mind. It makes my post schedule funny, because tomorrow will be my weekly wrap-up post. But that’s okay. I do have a couple books to talk about there that aren’t talked about much today.

As usual with my monthly wrap-up, let’s start off by checking in on my overall goals for the year.

  • Reading: I read 26 books in the month of May, which is pretty darn solid, though 6 of them were re-reads, 1 was a graphic novel, 1 was a manga, and 6 were novella-length. That takes me up to 127 books read in 2020 so far, which is great. Actually it means that I need to adjust my reading goal for the year because I had that set at 125 books, and clearly I’m not going to stop reading now just because I hit that goal.
  • Blogging: I had to slow down on the blogging in the month of May, no longer putting together posts each and every day. Originally it was so I could have a little more time to dedicate to my writing, but now it’s also been because so much else is happening and if I want to have any free time to spend relaxing with Damian, I can’t blog 7-10 times a week. I do kind of miss having all those posts, but if I figure out a better life and work schedule then maybe I can try it again.
  • Writing: I actually did write some in May. I put everything I wrote before on my novel in a different file and then pulled the usable bits out and rewrote a lot of the first three chapters, so now they are actually quite a bit better. I think I’m around 10,000 words into the book. Then a whole lot of things happened at once: change in work hours and position, accepting a job with Colorworld Books, and well, everything going on in the world. So I’m still trying to write, but it slowed down quite a bit again. Still, 10,000 words is better than none, and hopefully that number will increase in June. Even if I only make it up to like 20,000, it would still be progress.
  • Conventions: Gen Con was recently canceled, which I was honestly expecting because it’s a huge convention. Damian and I are currently trying to figure out a vacation plan since we already have those days off from work and it is also my birthday weekend then. And we’re still hoping that Cincinnati Comic Expo in September will still be good to go. My friends at Colorworld Books have actually started doing Colorworld LIVE convention style events just about every week, sometimes two a week. They gather up three or four awesome voice actors, hold a livestream panel, then a VIP panel for anyone who buys some signed merch, and of course you can get shirts, metal art prints, and more with characters these actors have portrayed. It’s pretty cool.

All right, I guess it’s time to run through what I read in May. As always, if I have a review posted, I will include the link to that post.

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire – 5 stars

Animorphs #1: The Invasion by K.A. Applegate – 3.5 stars/5 stars (actual/nostalgia rating)

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – 5 stars

The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron – 5 stars

Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett – 4.5 stars

City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers – 4 stars

Stealing Thunder by Alina Boyden – 4 stars

Mythica: A Quest for Heroes by Kevin L Nielsen – 3.5 stars

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – 5 stars

A Whole New World by Liz Braswell – 4 stars

Colorworld by Rachel E Kelly – 5 stars

Roses In Amber by C.E. Murphy – 4 stars

Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan – 4.5 stars

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner – 4 stars

Lumaworld by Rachel E Kelly and narrated by Todd Haberkorn, Cherami Leigh, Brittney Karbowski, David Wald, and Chiemeri Osemele – 5 stars

Shadoworld by Rachel E. Kelly – 5 stars

Warriors & Weapons by Jim Zub with Stacy King and Andrew Wheeler – 4 stars

Monsters & Creatures by Jim Zub with Stacy King and Andrew Wheeler – 4 stars

Dungeons & Tombs by Jim Zub with Stacy King and Andrew Wheeler – 4 stars

Wizards & Spells by Jim Zub with Stacy King and Andrew Wheeler – 4 stars

All Systems Red by Martha Wells – 5 stars

The Armored Saint by Myke Cole – 4 stars

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert – 4.5 stars

Edens Zero Volume 1 by Hiro Mashima – 4.5 stars

Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons – 4 stars

Forever Your Earl by Eva Leigh – 4 stars

Next is the book haul portion of today’s post…which will sadly not include the OwlCrate unboxing. Packaging and shipping have slowed down a bit due to social distancing and proper safety and health precautions, so my package just shipped a couple days ago. If I get it before my Weekly Wrap-Up post, then I’ll include it there.

So I had a book delivery of books I bought from Barnes & Noble at the beginning of the month, which was cool, but then I got a surprise delivery from Wednesday Books. I had entered a couple giveaways from the Y’allStayHomeCon, not really expecting to win anything because a lot of people entered, and sure enough, I managed to score a couple of Spring 2021 ARCs. I’m super excited about them, but will probably wait until at least this fall before I pick them up.

Then The Book Loft of German Village opened again by appointment, and of course I had to get an appointment. Damian and I wore our masks because they required masks while inside, and there was a hand sanitizer station as soon as you walk in the door. I was able to walk around the 32 room bookstore for an hour or so and just be surrounded by books, and it was just the best feeling. Likewise, this past weekend the local-ish Barnes & Noble finally opened back up, so we had to go, and I finally replaced my old dead NOOK, so I don’t have to read e-books on my phone anymore. That’s nice.

Finally, I guess it’s time to talk about my June TBR. Originally I was going to solely focus my reading plans on the fact that June is GLBT Book Month, as hosted by the American Library Association. But, with everything going on in the US right now, I wanted to do more than that. So I have some of my TBR dedicated to LGBTQIAP+ books, and some of my TBR dedicated to POC authors. Honestly, I don’t think I will be able to read all of these books; I’m still pretty overwhelmed with my work and life schedule right now, but I’m going to try.

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Damian and I actually have a three day cabin getaway booked in a few weeks, and we won’t have any phone signal, though the cabin does have Wi-Fi. So I’m actually hoping to be able to do quite a bit of reading while we’re there, as well as spend some time soaking in the hot tub.

Anyway, I do believe that is all from me for today, but I will be back soon with more bookish content.

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