Wrap Up | May 2019 + the unintended hiatus

Hey friends!

Some of you may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve been absent for pretty much the entirety of May. I had planned to take a little step back from blogging anyway as this summer is going to be really busy for me on my Master’s degree, but then I managed to catch/develop gastroenteritis – a nasty contagious stomach bug – which completely knocked me out for almost 2 weeks. Then I had to return to work, start planning my long summer of uni work, and celebrate my partner’s birthday on Sunday. Before I knew it, I found myself at the end of May? I feel like I blinked and missed it.

A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted about my concerns around being able to manage book blogging alongside starting my PhD in September (not to mention squeezing it in amongst all my Master’s work this summer) and I’m still not sure what the outcome of my ponderings will be. It’s definitely something I’m planning on writing a discussion post about so that I can talk about it more in-depth and speak to other book bloggers who manage their blog alongside busy lives. What I do know though, from having my unintended break this month, is that I feel a lot less happy when I’m not blogging and I felt so isolated from my book blog friends. Writing this post is already beginning to lift my low mood but I’m also anxious about how much work I have to do. Anyway, that’s not a decision to be made right now – instead, I want to share with you all what I did manage to get up to during Moody May ❤

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Read

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→ Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – ★★★★☆ ←
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James – ★★★★☆ ←
→ The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – ★★★★★ ←
→ All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – ★★★★☆ ←

I didn’t manage to get a lot of books read this month for various reasons, but all the books that I did read I really enjoyed! With the exception of my ARC of Aurora Rising, the other books were mood reads and it felt so refreshing to just be able to grab a book I liked the look of and read it. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was a YALC read and All the Light We Cannot See was a book from my Down the TBR Hole deadline read.

One thing that I was really disappointed about was that the two graphic novel ARCs that I had been really looking forward to reading this month ended up being archived before I could read them. It’s the first time it’s ever happened to me as I usually download the books straight onto my kindle. However, as they were graphic novels I needed to read them on my laptop and didn’t get round to sorting it out in time. I’m gutted as I really wanted to read them and had been saving them for Moody May 😥 It also feels crappy to lose two ARCs to archiving!

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Games

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Although May wasn’t a great month for reading, it turned out to be a surprisingly good month for games thanks to LudoNarraCon which took place at the beginning of the month. For those who missed me yelling about it on Twitter, LudoNarraCon was an entirely digital convention which celebrated narrative video games and was organized by an indie games company called Fellow Traveller. It was a fantastic event and I discovered so many amazing games via the panels, streams, and demos.

Demo-wise I played Heaven’s Vault (super cool linguistic archeology discovery game), A Case of Distrust (aesthetically pleasing mystery set in 1920s San Francisco) and In Other Waters (unique gameplay about a xenobiologist navigating an alien ocean). I also downloaded a demo for Neo Cab which is a game I am stoked for but didn’t get a chance to play the demo. I ended up purchasing A Case of Distrust because I loved the demo so much as well as Actual Sunlight, Beholder, A Mortician’s Tale, Virginia and Where the Water Tastes like Wine. Although I really wanted to buy Heaven’s Vault, I couldn’t afford the £20 on top of the other cheaper games but it’s a high priority on my wishlist!

Aside from LudoNarraCon games, I’ve been playing a lot of Pokemon Go and also re-installed Reus. I had played quite a bit of Reus when I first bought it and loved it as its a super chilled out, cuter version of Civilisation but had uninstalled it due to space. This weekend Steam held a Spring Cleaning event which gave you medals for playing games already in your library and Reus was one of the ones it prompted me to play, so I’ve been having fun rediscovering the game and trying to work out how to get my villages to progress.

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What’s New?

As I haven’t really got any blog posts to share with you all this month, I thought I’d do a little bullet-point catch up of some of the cool stuff that’s happened instead ❤

🌻 I finally braved buying a Fitbit after dithering over purchasing one for months. Although I’ve only had it a week, it’s been really helpful so far. The one I bought has a sleep tracker and a few other handy things in addition to recording my steps each day. Combining it with playing Pokemon Go has been great for encouraging me to get out of the house each day and be more active which has also helped with my pain.

🌻 I officially launched my sensitivity reading services page on my blog ICYMI! I’d been planning to launch the page since January but kept putting it off due to feeling inadequate, but finally took the plunge and published it. All the money I’ll get from my sensitivity reading services also goes towards funding my PhD so if you know anyone looking for sensitivity readers for any of my areas, please lmk!

🌻 My abstract for the Anthropology in Londay Day conference in June was accepted, so I will be delivering my first ever academic paper next month! My university is the host institution for this year and it’s a conference for postgraduate anthropologists so it’s supposed to be a really chill, supportive environment which will be great for helping with my confidence. I’ve also submitted another abstract for a conference in Poland at the end of the year and will be submitting another one on Friday for a science fiction conference in London in September 😱

🌻 I have my tickets booked for YALC in July where I’ll be attending with my best friends which I am so stoked for. Whilst I was recovering from being ill, I designed a YALC 2019 reading list to catch up on all the books I bought last year but still haven’t read as well as make a note of ones to read for this year. I’ll be doing a blog post about it soon if you want to check out my YALC reading list.

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I’ve been feeling quite depressed these past couple of days, although I’m not really sure why, but writing this blog post has helped me feel so much better. I miss blogging so much, somebody just needs to send me a time turner so I can fit everything into my life!

As I’ve been gone for almost all of May, please drop me a comment below telling me all the things you’ve been up to this month and lmk if there’s any cool posts you’ve done that I’ve missed so I can catch up with you all ❤


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14 thoughts on “Wrap Up | May 2019 + the unintended hiatus

  1. Balancing blogging and everything else is so challenging sometimes, but I’m so glad you’re back cause I missed your posts ❤️ I had an unintentional hiatus at the start of May too and it made me realize how much I love blogging and the blogging community, even if it stresses me out sometimes. Here’s to finding the balance and blogging cause it makes us happy 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the academic paper success, that’s so exciting!

    Loneliest Girl in the Universe is a book that caught my eye for the “someday” pile, I keep seeing it pop up to decent reviews. One day I’ll get to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yikes, I hate losing ARCs to archiving! One time I was approved for an ARC on the exact day it was archived and I couldn’t download it anymore… why bother approving me at that point? :/ But I usually read the graphic novel ones straight away for this reason. The others can hang out on my tablet for months after they got archived.

    I found about Heaven’s Vault not long ago because I think it’s made by the same company as 80 Days, which I loved. It sounds awesome and I’m really excited to get it eventually! And A Case of Distrust has a cat on it PLUS 1920s, so I’m sold. In fact, these all sound amazing 😀

    Huh, that Spring Cleaning event sounds fun, now I’m sad I missed it 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It is made by the same devs who did 80 Days. I haven’t played that yet but I love the look of it from the trailer. I’d like to give it a play as well.

      I only caught the few last few hours of the spring cleaning event and I was SO SAD cause it looked great and I wanted to earn the medals

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I love 80 Days! There’s still so many achievements I haven’t got, and I got a little frustrated because I couldn’t really find new paths, but I love it. And Passepartout is canonically queer in it and if you pick the right options then it’s even canon that he has feelings for his employer (there is a scene at the North Pole that Kills Me, try to go that way tbh) and it’s great.

        Then we can be sad together 😦 I hope they do something similar. Maybe I should check Steam more often 😀

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  4. I hope you’re feeling better! Happy to see you a new post from you. 😀 Maybe you can schedule posts on your free time to go up later in the week/month on the days you’ll be busy with your PhD. I’m sure you’ll get a better sense of time and all of that once you actually start your PhD and get a feel for the work load and everything.

    I really liked The Poet X when I read it. I was surprised too, because I wasn’t sure that would be a type of book I would be into. I’m hoping to read Aurora Rising soon and have my fingers crossed that I like it since I’m not sure if it’s my thing or not.

    I really like Pokemon Go, but it’s kind of a mood thing for me these days when I play it. Sometimes I’ll play it all the time and then other times I just don’t play it at all. I still keep it on my phone, especially if I go to a place that I know there will be a ton of Poke stops to spin haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ashley. That sounds like a good plan actually. I’ve been terrible at using the scheduling on WP but I think it would really help to just queue a few posts up so I at least have some content coming out throughout the month and don’t get drowned in trying to live post every few days!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry that you haven’t been feeling great these past few days. I can only imagine the stress regarding your PHD. But you know, you will figure something out that will work for you with regards to juggling everything. Sometimes its just about trying it all out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad to see your post, missed seeing you around! Sorry that you haven’t been feeling well, hopefully things are looking better now. I totally understand having to balance things in life–sometimes there’s just too much and something has to give. Hope you’ll still be around, even if it’s super sporadically. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh goodness, I hope you are feeling better now! Being sick is not a fun way to live at all, my friend!
    I totally feel you on the isolation from book blogging; I definitely needed my rest but it was really difficult on me as well – I am happier when blogging. I am looking forward to your discussion post, because it is possible to juggle your blog and hope that you will be able to find a way that works for you so you can keep this passion going. I think you will need it with the PhD stress!

    I also played the demo of Heaven’s Vault and my GOODNESS is that game incredible! I am hoping to be able to buy the full game at some point down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

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