I can’t believe 2018 is half over already! I’m sure many of you share the same sentiment too. I feel like I haven’t done all that much this year in terms of working toward my personal goals. I’ve decided to try harder in the latter half of the year, so let’s see how well that goes. I also have a lot of new ideas for the blog and I want to start posting consistently at least from now on. I want to change things up with my Bookstagram as well and I’m starting to get more active on Book Twitter too. For now, let’s discuss the reading month I’ve had so far and my exciting plans for July!
I started with the Marvel-A-Thon this month and finished 4 books for Phase 1 of the challenge. Unfortunately, this is where I started feeling demotivated to read because I had read a lot of hard-hitting and emotionally-gripping stories back-to-back and I just wanted to take a break from my TBR. Since I’m a big mood reader, I wanted books that would be different from the ones I read. I started on a couple more since then but I haven’t finished them yet, so I can’t count them towards my June tally. Although the numbers aren’t great, all of them were 5-star reads for me, so I’m quite happy with that.
I first picked up Rick Riordan’s third book in The Trials of Apollo series, The Burning Maze. I have been loving Apollo’s journey thus far and I feel like Rick just gets better with each of the books he puts out. This was by far my favourite in the series because the plot was well-constructed, the character arcs were amazing and it packed a huge emotional punch. I then went on to Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. This is set in German-occupied France in World War II and it was such an enlightening read. I really liked how it focussed on the role of women in the war and how they used the bigoted views of the Nazis against them. However, this book affected my mood severely as it was quite tough to read at times. Next I read The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed with Sahitya from My World of Books. This was my favourite read of the month and tackled tough topics like sexual assault, misogyny and privilege. It also had several different perspectives and was incredibly diverse, which made it even more compelling. Finally I finished The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang, which I read along with Etinosa from Uwadis. This was the first adult fantasy I’d picked up in months and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were a few scenes that I didn’t quite agree with, but overall it was one of the best first books in a series I’ve read and I can’t wait for the next one!
- Reached 300+ followers on the blog, 380+ on Twitter and 200+ on Instagram. Thank you all so much for the support!
- Got together with my blogging sisters, Shruti, Charvi and Aditi, and decided to host the Indian Lit Readathon, the response to which has exceeded our expectations. Thanks again!
- One of my Bookstagram pictures was featured on my favourite Indian book subscription box, The Bookling’s Crate’s feed and I also received a comment from the author (Sara Holland, who wrote Everless). I’ve never felt prouder of my photography skills!
- I made two new wonderful friends who are #DiverseBloggers as well – Sahitya and Neha. Please go show them some love!
- New favourite author on Twitter – Akemi Dawn Bowman. She has some of the best threads about mental health and I think everyone should follow her because she is the sweetest!
- Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads discussed privilege in the book blogging and publishing community, which is a must-read for all book lovers out there. It’s time we realised this and started doing something about it!
- Jenna @ Falling Letters reviewed 3 picture books about child refugees, which is a heart-warming post that I would highly recommend, especially to my US friends at this time.
- Simant @ Flipping Through the Pages made a very handy list of 10 things your blog needs, aimed at new bloggers, but veterans can also learn a thing or two from it, so definitely bookmark this one!
- Lia shared her views on the portrayal of romance in media and why the emphasis on a romantic happy ending can be harmful. This is an #ownvoices post as Lia identifies as aro-ace and I want everyone to read this so we can become more sensitive towards people on the asexual spectrum.
- Charvi @ Not Just Ficiton talked about why a short synopsis at the back of the book is necessary and more important than putting praise from well-known authors and I couldn’t agree more!
- Etinosa @ Uwadis interviewed Marija @ Inside My Library Mind and it’s a fun post that you can check out if you need a break from all the other intense posts on this list. I love Etinosa’s interviews and her blog in general, so please go show this one more support!
- Sahitya @ My World of Books listed some of the series she’d like to read someday and if your TBR isn’t already high enough (or even if it is), definitely go through this and add some more to your shelves.
- The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James (July 3rd: US release date) – a sci-fi love story with secrets and intrigue
- Fawkes by Nadine Brandes (July 10th) – featuring gunpowder, a plot to overthrow the monarchy and masks
- Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen (July 31st) – a story about a girl determined to fight her sudden allergy to light
- Sea Witch by Sarah Henning (July 31st) – a dark and enchanting tale that recounts the origin story of Ursula from The Little Mermaid
- The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken (July 31st) – the highly anticipated 4th book in The Darkest Minds series set 5 years after the events of the original
I have decided to do two readathons this month instead of three. I decided to skip the Summer Biannual Bibliothon primarily because it would be too hectic for me to try and do so many readathons. I’m also not very pleased with some of the organizers’ decisions this time and although it’s a lot of fun, I don’t want to support a readathon that doesn’t make me feel included. I have decided to aim for a grand total of 9 books this time – 4 for the Indian Lit Readathon and 5 for the O.W.L.s readathon. Technically, the O.W.Ls readathon already took place in April, but I was too busy to take part in it then. The N.E.W.T.s readathon is being hosted in August, so I decided to finish my O.W.L.s and then take those subjects forward for N.E.W.T.s. I’m being joined by Cam @ Camillea Reads as she wasn’t aware of the readathon when it happened and I’m so glad for the company! She’s also an amazing #DiverseBlogger and Bookstagrammer, who recently graduated (so proud of her!), so go check her out and show some support! I picked only ARCs and copies for review that I’ve received for my O.W.L.s readathon because I really need to catch up on those.
My Indian Lit Readathon TBR –
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Book that was controversial/banned, book perfect for a rainy day and book that has won an award)
- The House of Kanooru by Kuvempu, translated by B.C. Ramachandra Sharma and Padma Ramachandra Sharma (Book with an Indian name in the title, book by an author from the same Indian state as yours and book translated from an Indian language)
- The Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattanaik (Book with a queer main character, book with an ethnic design on the cover and book based on Indian mythology)
- The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore (Book set during India’s freedom struggle)
My O.W.L.s Readathon TBR –
- Astronomy – Read a sci-fi book – The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas
- Charms – Read a fantasy book – Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
- Defence Against the Dark Arts – Read a book featuring secret societies – The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy
- Care of Magical Creatures – Read a book having a magical creature on the cover – Revenge to the Tennth Power by Jack Chaucer
- Transfiguration – Read a book involving shape-shifting – God’s Forsaken by David Brevik
How has the first half of the year been for you? What plans do you have for July? What books are you most excited for in the latter half of the year? Let me know in the comments section below.