July was a great beginning for the summer season. It was a busy time for me, but I had so much fun. 🙂
Let’s Rewind is my version of a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever the hell happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.
Despite the blistering heat wave that hung around the northeast for much of July, I managed to stay cool and enjoy the month. 😛 I had family over to visit for the U.S. Independence Day weekend, which made that holiday loads of fun. I just love it when my family gets together. We talk, we laugh, we cuss, we shout, we love each other. And no matter what happens, eventually we get along. Lol!
It was a great weekend spent shopping and just hanging out. We even had a barbecue; well, my mom did and I laughed at her because there were no hotdogs or burgers at the barbecue although there were buns for them. Apparently, she doesn’t like those things, but she likes the bread. So we had those buns, baked mac & cheese, barbecue chicken, corn on the cob, mixed vegetables, and plantains as well as watermelon. My aunt mixed us up some tasty mojito (very strong mojito) that succeeded in getting everyone tipsey. I placed what was left in the fridge but forgot about it, so it was in there for about a week after the barbecue before I drank it thinking it’s juice and got a little drunk. Lol! It was very strong by then.
July also saw me in Orlando for work. I visited a great restaurant that makes it signature cocktails using dry ice. I loved the presentation. They place a martini glass before you with the dry ice in it and then add the mixed drink. As the drink is added, the ice gives off a thick vapor, like a fog, and causes the liquid to froth and bubble. I felt as if I was drinking a potion mixed up in Snape’s dungeon. I. LOVED. IT. 😀 The drink also tasted good too. Then I had dessert and fell head over heals in love with the butter cake. It was so scrumdiliumtious. Oh my gosh. I savored every bite. They serve the cake warm with ice cream on top and a sort of slightly tart sauce at the bottom and oh… It was divine. I loved that cake so much. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Ohhh…. butter cake. (I love you…)
I got back home from that trip exhausted and having to jump right back into work. Still, I managed to get a day off to visit with old friends I hadn’t seen in a while and eat some yummy sushi. It was my second time trying sushi, and I think I like it; or maybe I just like how that restaurant makes it. I loved the texture. It was very chewy and the combination of flavors was good too. Hmm… I think I’d like to try more sushi.
The rest of the month was spent watching movies at the Shakespeare Theater, which decided to do something new and show some oldie but goodie movies. I enjoyed it and I hope they do it again sometime.
So yeah. July was fun. 🙂
I managed complete just a few books in July because much of my time was spent planning a big meeting at my regular job and then going to my second job, so…exhaustion. I’m working out a better schedule. Anyway, the first book I completed was The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. It’s the last book in his Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, a middle-grade fantasy series about a boy who’s descended from the Greek god Poseidon. This is probably the second or third time I read this book. I enjoy it every time I read it, but I always forget much of the plot soon after completing it. Smh. This one made me really like Nico. I think he’s an underdog in all the books.
I wanted something to listen to at work, so I tried an Audible Original — Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar, narr. by Harsh Nayyar, Annapurna Sriram, Bernard White, Nick Choksi, and Rita Wolf. It’s a thriller story that’s told through phone conversation. It’s about a young woman who’s an aspiring writer living in California who talks often with her mom, who lives in Delhi and wants her daughter to marry soon. The story is hilarious. I enjoyed it and was surprised at the supernatural turn it later took.
My favorite book of the month was probably Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn. It was such a great read! It’s a contemporary novel, and sort of bildungsroman, about a young woman who immigrates to America for love and better opportunities, leaving her daughter behind. The story focuses on the ramifications of her actions, especially how it affects her daughter. Oh man! The story is hard-hitting in some spots. It rang true about life in Jamaica and immigrant experiences in America, and it was just beautifully written and told. I was so swept up in it. I love Dennis-Benn’s writing, and I need to read her other book, her debut novel Here Comes the Sun, soon.
Emily from Embuhlee liest and I completed Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb in July. It’s the second to last book in the Realm of the Elderlings series and, man oh man, we are both excited and anxious about what’s coming in the final books. So much happens in this one. So much! I wonder how it’ll all wrap up. I wonder what will become of Fitz and the Fool, my favorite characters. I wonder if the last book will break me. I might cry just because it’s over and start rereading it immediately.
I still haven’t been able to read as many articles as I’d like, but here are a few I got to:
— Colson Whitehead, author of the recently published The Nickel Boys, talks about what led him to write each of his books.
Erin Morgenstern’s Next Big Novel (publishersweekly.com)
— Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, and her editor discuss Morgenstern’s second novel, The Starless Sea, which will be published on November 5.
Although I haven’t been reading many articles, I do read a lot of blog posts. Here are some great ones I read in July.
★ Kimba the White Lion (ashsilverlock.wordpress.com)
— A discussion about the similarities between the Disney animated movie Lion King and this Japanese anime
★ Subverting Expectations vs. Wish Fulfillment — Differences in Style #8 (theorangutanlibrarian.wordpress.com)
— A discussion about story endings
— A discussion about how the inclusion of diversity in books and the hype surrounding it
Tor Books Presents: Dragon Week! (torforgeblog.com)
— Back in July, Tor Books hosted a week of all things dragons and published posts about dragons by authors who’ve written about them, such as Marie Brennan, Kevin J. Anderson, and Brian Naslund.
Hopefully I’ve haven’t already shared this. 🙂 Anyway, I love playing Sims but so far I’ve stuck to only Sims Freeplay.
Well, this will be bookish news and other interesting links.
Inaugural Caribbean Literary Festival Set for Brooklyn (voice-online.co.uk)
— I’m so excited for this! I really wanna go.
— This is why I don’t mess with e-books too hard. I prefer the physical copy and if I get an e-book, it’s because it’s on sale for like $1 and I’ll still probably get the physical book. Otherwise, I just borrow the e-book from the library.
Book Database: Queer SFF Books Database (theillustratedpage.net)
— Sarah from the Illustrated Page has created a database for queer SFF books.
Book Flowchart: Intro to Speculative Fiction by People of Color (thefantasyinn.com)
— Loads of book recommendations here! The Fantasy Inn has put together a flowchart of speculative fiction (SFF, horror, etc.) that are by people of color. (Btw, they’re also hosting a fantasy readathon this month — August.)
Book recommendations: Translated: Bengali Novels with Bitter Ghosts, Pulp Fiction & Circus History (thebooksatchel.com)
— Resh Susan from the Book Satchel shares 3 books that have been translated from Bengali.
“A ghost who asks about a young wife’s sex life and curses her unapologetically; the formation of the first Bengali circus and story of the first Indian woman who performed with tigers; and desi pulp fiction. How thrilling!”
Anime recommendations: Top 5 Anime Series with Gorgeous Scenery (biblionyan.com)
— Biblionyan recommends 5 anime series with absolutely stunning illustrations. I NEED to watch them.
Comic book recommendations: 40 New and Upcoming Graphic Novels to Discover (goodreads.com)
— This from Goodreads: a bunch of comics and graphic novels that have been and are soon to be published.
Cool bookish graphics…for your phone: Blog Tour: Spin the Dawn Graphics and Thoughts (readatmidnight.com)
— Aentee from Read at Midnight has created some gorgeous phone wallpapers that are inspired by Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn, a YA fantasy novel.
Here are a few stuff I watched in July:
Avatar: The Last Airbender
I’ve been marathoning this series as I experiment on styling my natural hair. I stopped perming my hair and have been going natural for two years now. Last year my hair spent its time mostly in braids, but this year I’ve started to try styling it myself and while doing so, I need something else to occupy my mind. Preferably something I’ve memorized. Hence, Avatar. Love this show.
One of my favorite Disney movies. I love all the songs in it. It was on TV and I watched it and I was glad. No wonder July was so great.
CSI: Las Vegas
OMG! It’s been such a long time since I’ve watched this show! It used to be one of my favs. I saw it on TV the other day and got hooked on it again. I preferred the original, the Las Vegas one with the original cast. Oh man! This show made me want to work in forensics and made me take a forensics class in high school, which was fun.
The Crimes of Grindelwald
I finally got to see this and… I didn’t like it. I just don’t like how dark colors are used in these movies. It’s just dark and gloomy, and I get it that it’s about Grindelwald so it’s not a happy time, but still. Ugh! And I just didn’t like it overall. 😦
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
I saw it again! 😀 I saw it at the Shakespeare Theater and, again, I loved it. It’s now one of my favs. It’s so well done and I loved the illustrations and special effects and all.
10 Things I Hate About You
It’d been a long time since I’ve seen this movie, but I rewatched it recently at the Shakespeare Theater and LOVED IT!! I’d forgotten how funny it is, and gosh man, Heath Ledger. I really liked that guy.