What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.
July: It started out great before descending into a wormhole of stress. I wish I’d gotten some forewarning so I could have prepared for it. The last couple days have been so stressful that I’ve even had to take a break from here. Pounding tension headaches prevented me from spending much time on the computer, so I was unable to blog. I did read a lot, though, but didn’t complete much, mostly because the book I was focused on is quite long.
But earlier in the month was great. The biggest and best thing I did was visit Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida. It was great. 😀 It was both all I expected and not enough. It looked almost as it was presented in the movie, but didn’t exactly match what I had in mind as I read the books. Only Knockturn Alley came close to what I had in mind. It was so creepy and cold down there. It was really cool to see a dragon perched atop Gringotts Bank and it freaked the hell outta me when it roared and blew fire. I was not expecting that!
I didn’t try any of the rides because I was there mainly to look at stuff and buy them. I tried frozen butterbeer, which I didn’t like (wish I’d gotten a gillywater instead), and bought myself a wand, which I later thought was a waste of money because it only works at the Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But despite that, I enjoyed myself and would love to return so I can try the rides and visit the Howarts castle and Hogsmeade.
I ran through this one quickly. It took me only 3 days to listen to the audio book of The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, narr. by Ruthie Henshall. The story was just as interesting as the first time I read it and I liked it as much as I did then. Once again, I marvelled at the scheming of the Boleyn family and was impressed by Anne’s single-mindedness in her pursuit of King Henry VIII. I also felt sympathy for Mary and wondered if she was a real person (Wikipedia assured me she was, but I don’t fully trust it). This was a great reread of one of my favorite books and it was narrated well too.
Afterwards, I struggled through the Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon, the first book in her Deed of Paksenarrion series, which I was buddy-reading with Sarah of Dragons & Zombies. We both gave up on this book and moved on to another because it was boring. The story started out interesting, but slowly devolved into characters talking about what they did instead of actually doing things. It got so bad that I started falling asleep every time I looked at the book. Check out Sarah’s thoughts on it here.
As the month became increasingly stressful, I spent more time reading, so I was able to complete Juliet Dark’s The Angel Stone in just 2 days. It’s the last novel (so far) in the Fairwick Chronicles, a paranormal romance trilogy about a woman who begins teaching at a college in upstate New York that has witches and fantastic creatures. I think this was a decent end to what the story was leading up to, but it left me with a few questions and wanting more. I hope the author will write more books for the series.
Other things consumed in July:
This will be the shortest of these posts I’ve done to date because I have no articles, bookish news, or other interesting posts to share. I had no time to read anything other than the books I was focused on and sometimes I wasn’t even able to get to them. As the month got harder to deal with, I refrained from reading anything that dealt with the real world, like articles and news and such. I wanted to get away so I focused on fantasy. However, I did watch a few shows. Here’s what I saw:
Shows I’m hooked on
The previews for Incredibles 2 got me interested so I decided to finally watch the first one to see what it’s all about. I really enjoyed it and was surprised I did. Now I want to go see the second one.
I was in the mood to rewatch this anime series. But about mid-July, my mood switched so I moved to…
Which I am hooked on at the moment. I’m rewatching it all from season 1. I’d forgotten how crappy the graphics was.
Watching the Incredibles got me in the mood for more animated movies, so I rewatched Shrek. It was almost as great as the first time I saw it.
This is a Netflix original animated movie that’s based on Jack London’s classic novel. It reminded me of The Call of the Wild, another classic novel by London. I loved the story in the movie and liked the animation as well. I thought it was good.
That’s it for July.
It had some bright spots but overall, it was a stressful month.
I hope August will be better.