Let’s Rewind: July 2020

Social distancing, staying at home to avoid contracting the virus, working from home… Life has become monotonous, and the days are beginning to run into each other. I can’t remember what happened in July. It’s all a blur.

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 else 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.


June was a blur and so was July. But this time remaining inside was starting to get to me. I experienced a serious bout of FOMO thinking everyone was hanging out without me and I was the only dummy remaining inside to avoid corona. I wanted to go outside so bad and connect with another human in person who is not a family member I live with.

It was so weird, that feeling. I’m introverted and have never minded spending time alone. I love my own company. Plus, I’m never actually alone since I live with family. But I was surprised at this yearning to interact with others outside my family unit. I’ve never experienced that before. It was weird.

I did end up driving to D.C. (new experience there) to meet with a friend. It was a refreshing experience. We social distanced and wore our masks. Well, he wore his mask. I struggled with mine. D.C. is VERY humid in the summer, so it was hard to breathe while wearing the mask outside. So whenever I was away from others, I took it off.

It was a nice outing, but it made me realize how tricky it is to maintain all the corona precautions while out and about: don’t touch your face (my hands love my face), wash your hands regularly (it’s hard to find a good public restroom and I always want to wash my hands again after leaving it, especially if it’s one of those with the electric dryer, no paper towels, and you have to pull the door toward yourself to exit the restroom), use hand sanitizer (I do. I don’t trust it. And I always feel as if my hands are still dirty. I prefer to just wash them), wear a mask (I do but damn that humidity!), stay 6 feet apart (I now realize this is tricky to do in the city. D.C. wasn’t as crowded as it usually is, but sometimes it got tricky to maintain this distance).

Well, while in the city I got to visit the Black Lives Matter Plaza. I wanted to take a picture of it but too many people were out there taking selfies, smh. I also got to see protest posters and such tacked to the barricades surrounding the park in front the White House (I forgot what it’s called and don’t feel like looking it up).

Other than that, nothing much happened in July except Trump doing and saying crazy shit as usual.


Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird was the first book I completed in July. It’s literary historical fiction with a smattering of magical realism that begins in the 1950s when a young woman runs away from her abusive father to start a new life. The story has some fairytale influences from Snow White. Many readers raved about this book when it was published, but I didn’t care for it much. It was an okay read.

Next, I completed the Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, which I buddy-read with Rachel at Life of a Female Bibliophile. It’s YA fantasy set in a world where everyone is obsessed with being beautiful but only a select few, the Belles, can alter a person’s appearance to make them beautiful. It was a quick read, but I didn’t care for it either. The only thing that really interested me was the descriptions of the settings and the characters’ clothing. I wish the book had illustrations.

I received an ARC through NetGalley of Julia’s House Moves On by Ben Hatke (illus.), a children’s fantasy picture book about a girl whose house is a refuge for lost creatures. It was a fun read and I liked the illustrations, so I’ll try more of Hatke’s work. This book is slated to be pubbed on September 29.

I also completed Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb, the first novel in her Soldier Son trilogy, which I’m reading with Emily at Embuhleeliest, my buddy-reader in all things Hobb. It’s a fantasy novel about a young man who believes he’s destined to become the soldier in his family. I loved it so much that I consider it a favorite.

Fires of Heaven is as far as I’ve ever made it in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. We’ll see if I can make it through the next book, Lord of Chaos. Fires of Heaven is the fifth book in this too-long fantasy series about some farm boys and girls destined to save their world. The story is interesting but Jordan’s writing and characterizations grate on me sometimes.

I ended the month with a manga — Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-san, Vol. 1 by Honda (illus.). It’s a humorous, contemporary story about selling mangas and other comics at a Japanese bookstore. It’s such a fun read; I was surprised at how similar it is to my experiences working at a bookstore, like some of the stuff in this book are almost exactly the same as we do or I have experienced while working in a bookstore.


VIDEO BREAK

Buju Banton is one of my favorite reggae artists. In this video, he did a performance for the Daily Show with Trevor Noah.


Those with a star () are the ones that stuck with me.

Current Affairs

★ Nobody Asked Me: A Teacher’s Opinion on School Reopening (mrsteacherlife.wordpress.com)

— Just as the title says. Many of the points made in this post are the same my friends who work in the school system have expressed.

BOOKS & PUBLISHING

‘A Conflicted Cultural Force’: What It’s Like to Be Black in Publishing (nytimes.com)

— An article about what it’s like to be a Black person working in book publishing. The article features people from a variety of areas in book publishing: an editorial director, author, bookstore owner, publicity director, literary agent, marketing director, and a senior executive.

“Publishers are now in the ironic position of making money off books by authors that they once held in disfavor.”

History

The Uprising of 60,000 Jamaicans That Changed the Very Nature of Revolt (zocalopublicsquare.org)

— An essay about a momentous slave revolt in Jamaica


AROUND THE BLOG-O-VERSE

Women in SFF Author Spotlight — Zen Cho (Sorcerer to the Crown) (fantasy-hive.co.uk)

— Fantasy Hive did a series of author interviews on female sci-fi/fantasy authors. Linked above is the feature and interview on Zen Cho, who wrote Sorcerer to the Crown. Click here for a list of all the posts in this series.

My Year of Reading Romance (thebookstop.wordpress.com)

— Deb discusses her experience reading romance novels. She also touches on some of the assumptions made about the genre.

Reigning in the Criticism — Reasons I Don’t Review Every Book (theorangutanlibrarian.wordpress.com)

— A discussion on why the Orangutan Librarian doesn’t review every book she reads

Read as Thou Wilt: a Kushiel’s Dart Read-Along (onemore.org)

— Imyril announced a readalong for Jacqueline Carey’s novel Kushiel’s Dart that I’m looking forward to.

24 Delicious Book Covers of 2020 So Far (thebooksatchel.com)

— These covers are stunning! My favorites are the Majesties and Moustache, which I’m curious about and will look up.

STUFF I PUBBED

2020 Reading Wrap-Up: Second Quarter

— My reading stats for April, May, June.

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag: 2020

— Thoughts on what I read in the first half of the year

Half-Year Book Tag: 2020

— Ditto above

NEWTs Magical Readathon | 2020 TBR

— My TBR for the last iteration of the Magical Readathon hosted by the Book Roast. My goal is for the Mind Medic.

Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 10 | Totally Fantasy (begins)

— Here begins the tour of my fantasy bookshelf.


John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80 (nytimes.com)

From Alabama to the Capitol, the Journey to Honor John Lewis (nytimes.com)


Art break

It’s been a while since I’ve included an art break on here, but I love this series of women warriors illustrated by Yael Nathan too much to pass up.

I found this illustration in this post on Bored Panda in which Yael listed 24 illustrations she drew of women warriors of different sizes, ages, and body types. She offers high-res versions of the illustrations for free download through Gumroad.

Yael Nathan’s links: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Everybody Hates Rand

— I’m hooked on this Wheel of Time podcast. If not for it, I probably wouldn’t have made it through the fifth book. It’s hosted by Emily Juchau & Sally Goodger. I enjoy listening to their critique of the books, although they often ramble off topic (lol). I highly recommend you check out the podcast if you’re reading the books or have read them.


Here’s what I watched in July.

More of the Magicians, Resident Evil, and Schitt’s Creek

— Still rewatching the Magicians to get caught up on the episodes.
— I watched 2 more movies in the Resident Evil series — Extinction and Afterlife. They helped to satisfy my craving for zombie shows. I think I only have Retribution and Final Chapter to watch next. I’d really like some explanation why Alice adapted so well to the virus though.
— And I’m still hooked on Schitt’s Creek. I think it’s one of my favorite shows now 🤣.

Z Nation

— I wanted more zombie shows, so I checked it out and… I like it. I wish it was a little more serious.

The Boys

— I’m so mad at this show because I love it and am hooked and now I’ll have to keep my Amazon Prime membership because of it 😦 Yep, I am upset that I like it so much. And… Oh man! Homelander is so damn creepy!

Winchester

— Starts out promising (creepy, atmospheric, psychologist called in), but it wasn’t great. It wasn’t even scary and I’m easy to scare. But I liked that it’s a ghost/haunted house story. I’m a sucker for those (and zombies).

Samurai X a.k.a. Rorouni Kenshin

— A friend recommended that I watch Trust & Betrayal, so I did. It was okay. I was hoping it would get me hooked on the show, but it didn’t. However, I plan to give this anime another try. I watched a couple episodes years ago but wasn’t feeling it enough to continue.


THAT’S IT FOR MY JUly.
HOW ARE THINGS WITH YOU? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO?

18 thoughts on “Let’s Rewind: July 2020

  1. Thanks for mentioning my blog post! Glad you liked it – I don’t see a lot of discussion about romances on the blogs I read. I also appreciated the post about teachers. Two of my sisters are teachers and they are in complete disagreement on the subject – but either way, it’s ridiculous that teachers are the last to weigh in even though it affects their health.

    Like

    1. You’re welcome 🙂
      I was so surprised that they didn’t call on teachers’ input from the beginning. I actually didn’t realize until I read the post about teachers.

      Like

  2. I think I might follow your example and start reqatching Resident Evil. Since we finished watching The Walking Dead this year, I can’t seem to find any new shows that would capture my attention in the same way.
    We watched A Quite Place yesterday and it was SO good! I’m definitely in a very “dystopian” mood right now. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Resident Evil was fun. I just wanted movies that were all action and that’s what I got there. They also made me realize how far we’ve come with special effects in movies, esp when I watched the first Resident Evil movie.
      Oh man! I love A Quiet Place! I saw it in the theater when it came out and it was one of the best theater experiences I’ve ever had because it was SO quiet in there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am itching to go away, even though going away would mean not-spending-time-with-people somewhere remote (we tend to go away to cottages in the middle of nowhere and avoid people in normal times) – at least we’d be in a different house and seeing different scenery on our walks! But it looks like that won’t happen until October for work reasons, so trying to make the most of it. If nothing else, 2020 will be the year I tried out the most new recipes and had the tidiest house 😛

    Glad you got your trip away even if the social distancing aspects were tricky in DC!

    Like

    1. 2020 is shaping up to be the year where we actually get some chores done, lol.
      Sometimes it’s hard to get chores and errands done when working full time.
      I think that type of getaway — to a remote cottage — sounds great. Very laid back.

      Like

  4. You know it’s weird, as much as I hate having to come into the office when we are totally able to work from home (boss just won’t let us anymore) it is SO NICE not being shut up in the house day after day after day. It feels…..less like the world is falling apart somehow.
    Glad you were able to get out and see a friend. 🙂

    Like

    1. I totally get that. I was thinking something similar recently — that if I went to the office, I wouldn’t feel so cut off from everyone. I do love working from home and actually prefer it, but I miss face-to-face interactions with people I don’t live with too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, even as an introvert it is SO nice to talk to other people face to face. I’m lucky we have a very small office (like 5 ppl at the moment) so at least we’re not in contact with too many people here either.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m totally scared to interact with anyone other than my family and coworkers. But I mean at some point we need to, so that’s great that you were able to see a friend, even if the weather sucked!

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  6. The days are blurring for me too. Every day is exactly the same! I’m glad you got to leave the house and see DC. I really want to go back there. I visited way back in the early 2000s, but I didn’t have enough time to see everything. I hope you’re having a good August.

    Like

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