Thursday, August 3, 2017

July Wrap-Up


July Snapshots




































1. They won’t be mind-controlled by the government, but squirrels are another matter. The battle of the sunflowers continues. I’ve used everything in my arsenal to protect my garden, but the squirrels continue to destroy it. I’ve resorted to wrapping chicken wire around each sunflower and covering the chicken wire in tinfoil. Instead of tinfoil hats, my flowers are wearing tinfoil pants. With the addition of pants, we’ve had fewer causalities, but the squirrels are still winning the war. They’ve eaten almost all of my plants.









2. Goodreads is my soulmate. It keeps making me giggle like a maniac with this advertisement.









3. For the night is dark and full of Fox News. Remember when I wrote about my neighbor, his outdoor TV, his insomnia, and his Fox News addiction? Well, he still spends his nights loudly watching the news. Last time he kept me awake, I put Game of Thrones on my TV and cranked it up loud. He blares the news; I blare people dying horrifically. Two can play at the noise game, sir. A girl is not afraid of her TV’s volume button.









4. Point #3 reminded me of a random tangent. Before the new Game of Thrones season started, there were all these Internet quizzes that were like, “Find out what house you’re in!” or “Are you a Stark or a Lannister?” I don’t need a quiz to tell me what I’d be in Westeros. Obviously, I’d be one of those snow zombies. I’m way too squishy to survive in that world.


Probably me.







5. The plague of loud stupidity. My other neighbor is having a midlife crisis. He bought an electric guitar. Do you know the best time to practice your electric guitar? Midnight, apparently. This is all summer’s fault. Why does it have to be so freakin’ hot at night? NO ONE SLEEPS!









6. Nothin’ but incompetence since 2013. My 4th blogiversary (blogoversary? Blogaversary?) I don’t know how to spell made-up words, people! I struggle enough with real words. Anyway, my blog turns 4 in August. I want to do a giveaway. I’ve never done one before and don’t know how. Also, my best-laid plans always find ways of going belly-up at the last second. That’s why I don’t make promises. So, if I can get my crap together, look for a giveaway sometime around the middle of August.









7. Shameless plug. Do you need more of me in your life? You’re in luck! Occasionally, I write things that aren’t blog posts or tediously academic. You can read my story “We Stayed Silent” on YAmmering right now. It’s short. It’s YA. Some of you super-powered readers can probably finish it in two minutes. I know you’re curious . . .









Books I Read


I read 9 books in July and finished my Mount TBR challenge. #Winning. Early in July, I decided to read all the hyped YA books sitting on my shelf. #Success.




Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guterson
The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton (reread)
The Love Interest – Cale Dietrich
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli
Cold Summer – Gwen Cole
Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
History is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera
The Serpent King – Jeff Zentner







Best Books Of July




1. The Serpent King – Jeff Zentner
2. Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guterson
3. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton (reread)







Most-Viewed July Reviews











Most-Viewed July Non-Reviews









All The Things!


All the Things! (AKA number of unread books on my TBR shelf) = 30 books.

I’m currently rereading The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough. I really like that book. It was time for a reread.









What did you do in July?













37 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures! I love the ones of the sunflowers. Man, I haven't read The Outsiders since high school - I should really reread things like that, I'd probably appreciate them more now!

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    1. Thanks! I hadn’t read The Outsiders since high school, either. I wasn’t sure if I’d still like it, but I did.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I loved the photos! The ducks were super cute. Aren't squirrels the worst? I always think it's so absurd when I see people purposefully putting out feeders for squirrels. Like, you want more of them in your yard??

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    1. Yes! The squirrels are so annoying. I just wish they’d leave my plants alone.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. The Outsiders is one of my favourite books. I also recommend the movie, it`s brilliant.

    http://www.carmensreadingcorner.co.uk

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    1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the movie. I’ll have to look it up.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  4. Oh, I wish I only had 30 books on my TBR shelf! Unfortunately, I have a book buying problem and 90% of my books remain unread lol. Looks like you had a great month, too :) Thanks for stopping by to say hi!

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    1. I try to be really careful with my TBR pile. My TBR list is out of control, though. I don’t even know how many books are on there. Hundreds.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Awesome month you had! I really need to watch Game of Thrones soon!

    Here’s my July Monthly Wrap Up!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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  6. Love all the pictures. I have taken an overload of quizzes about GoT. I am a bit obsessed although I can't remember which house I was. I still need to get to The Serpent King. I loved The Outsiders . Have a great August!

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    1. Thanks! I’ve been avoiding the GoT quizzes. I know I’ll get lost down a quiz rabbit hole and never come back.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. Looks like a really good reading month. Serpent King and Snow Falling on Cedars are two of my favorites too.

    Your story though. What a moment. I think young people DON'T know how to react to tragedy, because duh, they haven't had much experience with it. That teacher must have felt like a complete asshole when he heard what was going on. I really like your use of "we" to make the reader complicit in the silence as well. Because I guess "we" have all been there in one way or another.

    Rafflecopter is pretty user friendly for giveaways. I was able to muddle my way through, so I'm sure you can do it. The first one I did, it took me MONTHS to actually send the prizes, so the one I did this year I ordered the books sent directly to the winners instead. At first I was all "ack, money," but since I spend zero dollars on my blog, I figured I could splurge once a year.

    Happy anniversary, too!

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    1. Thanks for reading my story! I’ll probably use Rafflecopter for my giveaway. I just need some time to sit down and figure it out.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  8. Wow, neighborhood battles and hot nights (reading Snow Falling on Cedars might cool things off a bit, but only a bit as I remember the title was just from a drive in the winter around San Juan Island). Congratulations on your blog anniversary (my 13th will be in December). I'll check your story out.

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    1. Wow, you’ve been blogging for 13 years? I’m impressed. I hope I can keep my blog going that long.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  9. "We Stayed Silent" is a great story--I thought back to two kids whose father's died when I was in school. One was building a soap box derby, like me, and my dad had him bring over his work so he could watch and help him with power tools. The other's father killed himself and he never came back to school as the family moved back from where they'd come. Nice writing! You kept up the suspense and left us feeling a guilty for staying silent.

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  10. I hope those squirrels find someone else to pester! I also have plants suffering from an annoying pest: whiteflies. I can't seem to combat them fast enough. I had a neighbor who YELLED on the phone and always sat on the back porch under my bedroom window. It was creepy. I miss the little house I lived in, but not that meth-cracked dog-abusing crazy. I'd use Rafflecopter for your giveaway if you still do it. Congrats!

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    1. Loud neighbors are the worst. Why can’t people keep their noise to themselves?

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. I love your photos! I need to bite the bullet and just buy a decent camera...but I hate spending money. Its a problem! Your neighbors...I would lose my mind if I were you. You had a great reading month and I hope you have a wonderful August! Happy 4 years!

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    1. Thanks! My camera is a Cannon PowerShot. It’s not the greatest camera, but it’s small, light, and hasn’t been broken by any of my adventures.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. The Serpent King is one of my top-top-favorites. Wait, I'm crying just thinking about it. I read The Outsiders when I was teen (read: a long, long time ago), but it really is such an amazing and timeless story.

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    1. I loved The Serpent King. It’ll probably be one of my favorite books of the year.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  13. Wow, AJ, your story is incredible. I had friends my freshman year of college who lost their dad, and I remember it being SO hard to navigate- you captured those emotions perfectly. I am so glad you loved The Serpent King, speaking of emotions! I love that book SO much. And I ADORE your pictures!! Also.. how do you only have 30 books on your TBR!? Just... HOW? Teach me your ways!!

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    1. Thanks for reading my story! The secret to having a small TBR is to be very broke and very picky about what you read. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. Beautiful pics!! And I'm rooting for your sunflowers, but yeah- squirrels are persistent and they have this ridiculous ability to get around barriers to their evil. And I can't think of anything much worse than FOX News that you can't turn off??? Agh. I hope he loves Game of Thrones (not)!!!

    Ooh you wrote a story? Will definitely check it out!

    And The Outsiders- I've never read but I remember loving the 80's movie lol. All those young stars...

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    1. I really need to watch The Outsiders movie. Everybody seems to love it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. A girl needs to introduce him to the pointy end of Needle! And a girl DOES become addicted! The squirrels we have don't seem to go on flower destroying missions! I can't think of anything more full of terrors than Fox News...

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    1. Haha! Unfortunately, stabbing your neighbors is frowned upon in this world . . .

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  16. Wow, you have had a busy July! I love these types of posts from you and happy blogaversary (I randomly chose a spelling)!!

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  17. Wow, it sounds like you're having quite a battle with both the squirrels and your neighbours there! :)
    And I just checked out your story and I loved it! The writing itself is so beautiful, and I like how the story was subtle, but emotive. And I could really relate to the narrator - recently a girl I work with died, and her mum and brother come into the shop all the time, and it's so hard to know what to say to them. You really captured that awkwardness, and guilt at not knowing what to do or say so well!

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  18. Ugh, noisy neighbours! I used to have a neighbour who mowed the lawn at three in the morning. Ugh. I also have neighbours who live in the house behind mine who think it's ok to imitate dog barking loudly (and drunkenly) at midnight; the same people throw their garden waste over our fence. So I totally feel your pain.

    Hope you get some better sleep soon! :)

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    1. Mowing the lawn at 3 in the morning?! What is wrong with people?

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    2. If we find out the answer to that one we're set for life!

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