I… actually did things this month?
Who am I!! Somehow I was not an aimless husk of myself floating above everything else and barely taking in anything. I truly have no idea what actually drove me to accomplish two big goals I had, and especially kind of near the same time over my school break?? But I guess it’s just the nearing Christmas Magic making everything possible!! (This is a joke. I love Christmas but not that much.)
Anyway, today I’m here to talk about all the things I was actually able to do during November. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I had a GOOD month! I read lots of amazing books, wrote more than I expected, and had fun doing absolutely nothing to celebrate my birthday. The slump I talked about in October? Gone. Nonexistent. And I’m very glad to see it go!!
I read 12 books this month!! I’m really proud of myself, actually, especially considering the fact that I read half of them during my school break while also writing thousands of words a day. And not only did I have a good month in terms of reading quantity, but so many of the books I read were absolutely EXCELLENT! I found two new favorite books for the year and got to read so many great graphic novels/comics/webcomics.
- The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald // I read this for school and it surprisingly easy to read (hence the half star), but so boring. Nick is gay though ★★☆☆☆ [2.5]
- Freaking Romance Snailord // this was PURELY a pleasure read and it was a wild ride. I binged it in a single day! very fun and addictive, and pretty art too ★★★★☆ [3.5]
- These Violent Delights Chloe Gong // the hyped book of the year did not disappoint! I love Juliette, the writing, and discussion of colonialism, and I can’t wait for the sequel ★★★★☆ [review]
- My Deepest Secret Hanza // this was so, so good! I loved the combination of a romcom and thriller, and the plot twist was amazing and completely unexpected ★★★★☆
- The Drowning Faith RF Kuang // this technically isn’t a book since it’s 15 pages, but it has a Goodreads page so! it hurt me SO MUCH and I would just like to pass away now [no rating]
- Raybearer Jordan Ifueko // this was PHENOMENAL!! a new favorite: it executed and subverted tropes so well (found family, chosen one, love triangle, etc) and… I just adore almost everything about it ★★★★☆ [4.5]
- Monstress Vol 2: The Blood Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda // I’m in love with these comics, with their beautiful art and storytelling. the exploration of grief in this one was so good!! ★★★★☆
- Monstress Vol 3: Haven Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda // I liked this one SLIGHTLY less than the previous volumes, but god!! I love Kippa!! I need the next volume!! ★★★★☆
- My Dark Vanessa Kate Elizabeth Russell // truly one of the most well-written books I’ve read. just an excellent, heartbreaking exploration of trauma and survival ★★★★☆ [4.5]
- Buuza!! Shazleen Khan // unfortunately was a little convoluted/confusing for me in the beginning, but I’m starting to love it, the characters, and the found family now! ★★★☆☆ [3.5]
- The Magic Fish Trung Lê Nguyen // another new favorite!! precious and tender: a beautiful story paired with beautiful art. it examined so many wonderful things (like second-gen immigrant identity) and god I love it so much ★★★★★ [4.5]
- Novae KaiJu // the art is really pretty, and I love that it’s a romance between an astronomer and a necromancer, though a bit insta-lovey. excited to see where it goes! ★★★★☆ [3.5]
For once I actually stayed on top of comments, which I’m very happy about! I have some posts to catch up on from earlier in the year, but I also want to make sure that I’m turning my attention to the many wonderful blog posts that I’ve missed out on. So hopefully you’ll see me in your comments soon!! I also still am lacking a lot of content inspiration/motivation, but with the end of year comes the fun end of year blog posts, so I’m really excited about all of those!
this month’s posts
favorite posts from others
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books discusses why she believes book bloggers should get paid, and, as always, she articulates my thoughts much better than I ever could.
- Lauren @ Love Yo Shelf discusses the harm that comparative titles can do to books, especially with authors of color.
- Shealea @ Shut up, Shealea gives important reminders about diversifying what we read and giving some starting recommendations!
- Charlotte @ Reads Rainbow feeds the audience exactly what we want with book recommendations with yearning.
- CW @ The Quiet Pond gives some tips about the next time you decide to give your blog a revamp!!
The biggest news of the month: I won NaNoWriMo! Like I talked about before, this year, I didn’t go for the full 50k and instead aimed for 30k words, and I also didn’t work on a novel and rather just a collection of short stories. My main goal was to just write, and I did!!
Everything I wrote pretty much sucks, but that’s honestly fine. I just wanted to see what I’m capable of doing after losing so much of my writing stamina, and I’m kind of… proud of what I managed to accomplish. Especially because I was behind for the ENTIRE month, but pulled through at the end! I even managed to write 4.1k one day, which is the most I’ve written in a day ever, I think?
Here’s a look at my stats for the month, tracked on Google Sheets because I regularly messed up the word count on the NaNo website (don’t ask me how)!
Honestly, nothing much happened in my life beyond reading and writing? I think I was just uber-focused on reaching my goals in those areas that everything else just kind of faded away. (But at least it means my mental health didn’t act up!)
I had a birthday, but I did absolutely nothing for it!! I also had a week off from school, and I did nothing beyond a bunch of reading and writing. For the shows I watched, I finished my rewatch of Avatar: The Last Airbender (maybe I cried), and… I immediately started rewatching The Legend of Korra… I also caught up to the current episodes of Haikyuu!!, and ALMOST finished season 12 of Criminal Minds!
- read 12 books ✓ (I feel so powerful for this)
- write 30k for NaNoWriMo ✓
- keep up with Reader ✗
- reply to comments! ✓
- self-care ✓ (with the election and feeling of more academic pressure, I’ve been kind of stressed!)
- get >7.5 avg hrs of sleep ✓ (I got 7.4 CLOSE ENOUGH)
- college prep ✗
- read 13 books (this is exactly how many more books I need to win my GR challenge!)
- finish a short story (I didn’t complete a single one I worked on for NaNo…)
- keep up with Reader
- get >7.5 avg hrs of sleep
- drink! water! (I’m especially more dehydrated during the winter so this is very important)
- college prep
- driver’s ed!!
My school semester is OVER. This has been a wild year for school, but I’m just glad half of it is over. It’s only going to get more difficult and stressful from now on, so I’m very excited for my winter break before diving back into hell!!
The holiday season! This is my favorite time of year… Christmas is my favorite holiday (even though I’m not actually Christian oops), I just love all the bright holiday lights and the warm blankets and hot chocolate and Family Vibes. And though it doesn’t ever get truly cold in Texas, the cooler weather makes me happy too!!
2020 is finally ending. I know we’ve all been waiting for this. Here’s to hoping 2021 will be even just the tiniest bit better than the hellfire 2020 was.