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Photo by Rachel Lees Sandy path going through a grassy field toward a wide expanse of water

2021, Part 7: July

I’m a little late on this update, but that’s okay. I didn’t get up to much in July, though I did read one book that was a bit of a disappointment. While in June, I teetered close to a hypomanic episode, July thankfully had me coming down to something more normal. I’ve been inspired lately, since I’m reading a good book now and I’ve been browsing pixel art on Pinterest a lot. A small spark popped sometime in July, and I think August will be a good time to fan it to something more productive in terms of making art, or writing, or starting a new creative project.

📚 | Books I Read

I have an eARC I need to finish, which also will come with a review I’ll cross-post here on the blog and on Goodreads. I didn’t feel I had as much time to read this month. I borrowed some eBooks through Libby, but the reading experience wasn’t nice on my phone, iPad, or laptop compared to my Kindle (or just a paperback book). The ones I wanted to try were Written in Red by Anne Bishop, and The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst. I’m in the mood for more adult content, since I’ve read so much YA in my lifetime and want a change.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty | ⭐⭐⭐

I can’t quite pinpoint why this book fell flat for me. Was it the pacing, where nothing seemed to happen until halfway through? Was it the characterization of Nahri, who was very interesting in the beginning in Cairo–living her life, doing things, acting on the plot–but then who seemed to lose her fire when on her journey with Dara? Was it the characterization of Ali, someone who apparently was in combat training as a young boy, but who is obsessed with the classical nerdy topics of history, language, and astronomy–when did he have time to read if he’s spent a decade training to be a master zulfikar wielder? (Apologies for spellings: I read the audiobook and have no idea how anything is spelled.)

Perhaps it was the fact that this was shelved as an Adult Fantasy with Older Teen appeal, meaning it could’ve been a Teen Fantasy. Ali is coming of age. Nahri is finding her place in the world. Dara is conflicted about returning home. These are typical for New Adult stories, not Adult.

I don’t know if I’ll pick up the next book. I actually started reading it by accident, getting it confused for the first in the series, so I know what happens in that HOUR-LONG PROLOGUE. And I think I’ll skip it. Something about the series just isn’t gripping me when I’d rather hear about Dara and djinn than Ali being an exiled prince and Nahri reluctant about literally everything all over again.

The world-building is the main reason this isn’t 2 stars. I really enjoyed being a part of Daevabad and learning about the world of djinn. The political intrigue and conflicts there were choice, but unfortunately became overshadowed by the multiple points of view that felt entirely unnecessary, from characters that weren’t quite developed enough for me.

Currently reading: Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh

This one is so much more erotic than I was expecting, but I’m enjoying it! Singh’s writing is really good, and depending on how the rest of this book goes, I’ll likely devour more of her work.

🎶 | Music I Enjoyed

Playlist this month included:

  • Britney Spears
  • All Time Low
  • Mandy Moore
  • Red Velvet
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame score/soundtrack

Most of my background noise was catching up on Animal Crossing: New Horizons stream videos from Vixella on Twitch. While working, I just put my library on shuffle and it gave me lots of good stuff.

🎮 | Games I Played

I didn’t play much this month. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt a little empty. I booted up Puzzle Pirates to play for a bit, and have enjoyed the guild on Neopets. Toward the end of the month, my household started playing Minecraft and that’s been my main game focus heading into August now.

🧠 | Mental Health Check-in:

I don’t really have any details here, to be honest. Nothing much to reflect on.

⭐⭐ ⭐ 🔳🔳

An optimistic 3 out of 5 for July. In June, I mentioned that I might be hypomanic. My sleep right now is still relatively unstable, but my mood is coming down, thankfully.

🏆 | July Accomplishments & Highlights

  • Got my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Came up with a simple egg wrap recipe to make breakfast easier

📋 | August Plans

This month, I plan to create a better routine and decrease my caffeine intake. I’ve found that even my regular amount of coffee keeps me awake far longer than I’d like. Or perhaps I’m just not exhausting myself enough each day, since I haven’t been doing much movement or fitness. Overall, I’d like to have a healthier August than last year.

Are you ready to say goodbye to summer in August?

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