Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Month in Review: July 2020

I know it's only the beginning of August but July already feels like such a long time ago...
The beginning was all stressful with homeschooling, work and the never-ending shit show that began when COVID turned life on its head but the second half was calmer as shorter work weeks and school holidays began.

During school holidays we try to pack in lots of fun activities but I wasn't sure what this year would be like due to the restrictions. 
I'm happy to say that it hasn't been so bad so far!

We've been to the local cat cafe for lunch and to play with the residents, went for lots of lovely walks including visiting Mottisfont House (an old priory converted to a manor house after the dissolution of the monasteries) and visited Stonehenge
We went to the newly reopened cinema (and that was an experience with all the covid-secure measures in place) to see Onward (which was awesome) and we also visited a drive-through cinema for the first time to watch Back to The Future. 

I must say that I was freaked out by doing a lot of things while COVID is so prevalent but the numbers in my area are pretty low (at the moment, I've taken to stalking them) and everywhere I've visited has strict sanitisation and distancing measures in place which people actually seem to be adhering to!
 On top of our own sanitising regimen and wearing masks, it's not been too bad at all... I think I prefer distancing, reduced numbers and all the cleaning and sanitising compared to pre-covid life! 
If things could be like this without the plague flying around, I'd be a much happier human! 😆

Life can't go back normal as yet - or anytime soon - but I'm determined to make the best of what we've got, while being as sensible as I can be, for our collective mental health has taken a battering over the past few months and we need to shore it up before the challenges of autumn and winter hit.
 Outdoor activities are especially awesome for doing this so I'm looking for some more of those to see us through.

Despite what my reading total for July implies, my reading took a hit in July with me either binge reading or reading nothing at all (and it was mostly nothing at all). 

Lots of stuff is still going on with my mother-in-law and my mum but, keeping it simple, they're both doing okay. No idea when we'll get to see either of them but it is what it is...

And that's it for me! How was your July?

In July, I read 14 books... 
This is far more than I could have imagined seeing as I was in a slump all through July!
However, when you break it down, three were novellas, four were children's books, and two were audiobooks so it actually makes some sense.

My favourite book of the month was Lost Talismans and A Tequilla by Annette Marie.
My least favourite read was Lead Me Back by CD Reiss.

Progress towards this year's reading challenges continues to be mixed but I'm not much bothered by it to be honest... It's nice to have goals and having the challenges there is pushing me on but I'm also happy to just do whatever.

Audiobook Challenge is at 8/20

Both of these are re-listens as I first listened to them back in 2018 when I had no end of problems with the narrator of the series and my focus was appalling as I wasn't close to an audiobook fan back then.

I'm pleased that the second time around I enjoyed them more and I'm now refreshed and ready to finish the remaining three books in the series!

New Release Challenge is at 37/31

Read six new releases!

Beat The Backlist is at 40/80 

Five backlist books (plus three re-reads that I haven't included here).

Retellings Challenge 1/10


Bookish Resolution - Shut Up & Read It 2/16 


Bookish Resolution - Nuke Netgalley (pt.1) 0/16


Bookish Resolution - Nuke Netgalley (pt.2) 3/21


In reading the Dead Ringer and Dead As A Doornail novellas from the Octavia Hollows series, I finished the boxset and got it off the review list!

Bookish Resolution - Read The Series 1/12

I read Nightwalker by Jocelyn Drake and began to tick her End of Days series off the list!

(But I admit that it's still a pathetic amount of progress when I wanted to tackle 12 backlist series this year, lol.)

Bookish Discussion Challenge 2/10




  1. I'm glad things aren't as hectic and stressful as they were in early July. So many aspects of the new normal are bizarre and feel like a movie but it's also bizarre how normal much of it now feels. Things I used to not give a thought to now make me nervous. I wouldn't dream of being in a crowd of people these days - and don't even want anyone standing next to me. I wonder when that will ever change.

    Hopefully you'll manage to fit in a couple backlist books this month!

    1. I don't think it will for years at least which isn't a happy thought. :(

  2. It's awesome that you are still able to find so much to do. I am not too keen on being outdoors in this heat, so staying inside isn't hard for me. Hmmmm, there are few things I like about this situation. I love NOT commuting to work. I have so much less stress, but I would love to feel safe enough to fly again. It's been 6 months since I have seen my child and I feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. I avoid the days that are too hot and try to get out on the cooler ones. :)

      I can't wait until I can travel places again!

  3. Cat cafe? That sounds fun!! Happy August!

    1. Yeah, they have 7 "residents" and support various re-homing/cat charities. :)

  4. I think you did well! All things are weird right now so don't be hard on yourself, just do what you can.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  5. I'm glad you found some fun things to do in July and that people seem to be following the rules and trying to be safe - I do wish it was like that everywhere. Onward is such a good movie!! Glad you got to see it! I didn't read a ton last month either, but we'll see how August goes. hah This is such a weird year, I think we can all be forgiven for not reaching goals.


    1. I'm hoping to do some more bits during August. Part of me wants to absorb all the outside I can in fear of getting locked down in the autumn!

  6. It's weird that it's August already and I'm glad my constant Covid panics have reduced. I'm happy that we're taking as many precautions as possible so I feel a bit better. You've been pretty busy. The only place I've gone is the local shop a few times!!!

    1. I'm a lot more comfortable at the moment too but I fear for the autumn/winter!

  7. I’m a germaphobe, so I love the increased cleaning and not having to shake hands. I hope that stays after COVID. I’m glad you were able to get out of the house and have some adventures. Congrats on reading 14 books. I hope you’re having a good August.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. I definitely hope hand shaking dies a death too! It's completely unnecessary anyway!

  8. I'm happy to hear you live in an area where people take their anti-Covid routine seriously! so you can engage in fun activities without having to worry (too much). And I'm so envious you went to Stonehenge! I've been fascinated by the place for years now - I even have a few wallpapers of it, and I was so excited when it featured in a Doctor Who episode!


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