January Wrap-Up | oops

Hello, February! 

So, uh, you know how in my December wrap-up I said I was going to take a bit of a blogging break? I didn’t really intend to take almost an entire month off. Sorry about that.

For whatever reason, right now I’m just…not able to do any of the things that I want to be doing? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to write a blog post (because I want to! I have ideas that I’m excited about!) and nothing comes out. I also haven’t been reading much, I haven’t written a word of any of my WIPs in months, and I’ve been terrible at keeping in touch with family and friends, so I genuinely do not know what I do with my time. 🙃 I’m going to try my best to actually post the things I want to post and be more active in the blogosphere going into February, but we’ll see. 

However! Women’s History Month Readathon is coming back this March! Stay tuned for the official announcement later this week.

Anyway…I read a total of six books in January, with an average rating of 4.12 stars. Let’s just jump into talking about those.

Books I read

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Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

This romance novel was just the right amount of lighthearted and fandom-y, even if I couldn’t completely get into the writing style. Mini review to come.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

release: May 25, 2021

Taylor Jenkins Reid proves yet again that she is the master of writing heart-wrenching character stories. Although many aspects of this book just weren’t for me, I still enjoyed this one. Review to come.

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The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (reread)

My LOTR reread continues! Escaping into Middle-Earth has honestly been getting me through the last few months, and it’s always fun to catch all the little details that didn’t make it into the movies. Also, this book reaffirmed for me that Sam Gamgee is the greatest character ever.

The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore’s Scores by Doug Adams

Just when you thought I couldn’t get any nerdier, I go and read an entire book on the LOTR music. Look, I just really enjoy learning about how film scores are used as a storytelling device, and the music in LOTR is some of the best, so I found this book fascinating. I can’t wait to be even more annoying to watch the movies with as a I include bits of trivia about the score!

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Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (reread) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full series review of the Graceling books for more of my thoughts, but essentially: I love Bitterblue with all my heart, and I think right now this book is my favorite of the series. 

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

It’s here at last and it’s beautiful!! The fourth Graceling book introduced us to new characters and an entirely new land, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I hope to have a full review up soon, but in the meantime please know that I would die for Adventure Fox.

January highlights

So some Real World things happened this month, wow! Other than the attempted coup that happened in my country’s capitol (still can’t believe those are actual words that I’m typing…thanks 2021!), which was decidedly not a highlight, we finally have a new president and that feels good. And watching a woman of color being sworn in as vice president made me feel some things. Also, can we talk about how freaking amazing Amanda Gorman was?? 

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Watch Community Season 5 | Prime Video

I know I’m about a decade late on this one, but I’ve been watching Community lately and it’s the perfect amount of stupid and fun and mindless. I’m on season three at the moment and I’m having a great time.

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You thought my LOTR nerdiness peaked with reading a book about the movie scores? Guess again, friend, and gaze upon my hand drawn map of Middle-Earth.

This probably took me about eight hours total, which I did in the span of two days because ~I have no life.~ I’m inordinately proud of it. Now it’s hanging above my desk and I kind of want to draw the maps from all my fantasy books. I am an adult.

Some music that I loved this month:

  • Better Yet by James Spaite | “It’s about time to say goodbye / detoxify, my only life I will not / just get by, just get by, just get by, just get by”
  • More Like You by Orla Gartland | “Oh, I know that I’ve been flirting with the enemy / But please don’t be so perfect right in front of me / I think of all the things that I will never be”
  • New Song by Maggie Rogers & Del Water Gap | “I’ll stay steady, but nights are a-blazing and heavy / Alone in my room and I’m ready / To rest for a while”
  • Little Joys by Maggie Rogers | “Lunar, solar, thought that things were over / Midnight, twilight, thought that things were alright / And don’t you take my heart away / I’m a big mess of little joys”

February TBR

February is Black History Month! I have a lot of books that I want to read…let’s see how many of them I can get to.

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  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  • The Wicker King by K. Ancrum
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
  • Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
  • Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (out: March 9)
  • Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
  • Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

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What did you read in January? Did you do anything exciting this past month? If you wrote a blog post you’re proud of, link it below and I’ll do my best to check it out!

x Margaret

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28 thoughts on “January Wrap-Up | oops

  1. The Wicker King is such a great book! I read it in December and absolutely loved it. Also, Community is one of my favorite shows! It’s so funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. UM YOUR MAP OF MIDDLE EARTH? Holy magic, that’s incredible! I’m highkey so impressed with that. Also, I cannot WAIT to see what you think of The Wicker King. I read it in what felt like a feverish few hours because I literally could not put it down. Anytime I tried to, I immediately had to pick it up again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can really understand how you feel about having massive lists of things you want to do, ideas to post on your blog, writing your WIP, reading, chatting to friends but not doing any of it. It is so frustrating but I think it best to not blame yourself because I feel like that makes it worse. I hope you are able to achieve more of what you want to do in February but don’t pressure yourself as well. I’m sending you best wishes.
    I’m sorry parts of Malibu Rising weren’t for you but I’m glad it had that Reid spark and you enjoyed aspects of it too.
    That map of middle earth is stunning !! You should definitely be proud of it, it is stunning. I hope to see your map collection grow !! 😉
    Community is sooOOooo fun, I love it !!
    I hope you have a great February and enjoy the books you pick up !! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you, Sophie 💕 There are just too many things I want to be doing and not enough energy to do them! Rip.

      I think lots of people will love Malibu Rising, but there was definitely a lot about it that just wasn’t for me 🤷‍♀️ I’m excited to see the response to it, though!

      Thank you, I’m pretty proud of that map, and can’t wait to make more! 😀 I hope your February is lovely as well and full of great books!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I mean, fantasy map making is CLEARLY what we should all be doing as adults. That looks freaking awesome and you should totally do more 😛 I really need to find some time to reread the Graceling series and get to Bitterblue. I’ve been seeing some mixed reviews around so I got a kinda nervous, but I trust your judgment!

    And I totally get your feelings about *wanting* to write posts but not being able to. I was struggling with that a lot lately, so I’m trying to find little ways to motivate myself again. Hope you can get a chance to read/write more this month ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah I’m so, so curious to hear your thoughts on both Spoiler Alert and Malibu Rising. These books are on my TBR and they sound lovely, I’m curious to hear what you thought!
    i’m so sorry you’ve been struggling with motivation lately, Margaret. I hope that you’ll find your rhythm and enthusiasm for it all again and I’m always here if you ever need to talk or rant about anything always ❤ I hope february will be kind to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i’m sorry to hear january wasn’t the best month, margaret! hopefully, things will perk up in february!

    i only saw a couple of early reviews for malibu rising, but apparently it hasn’t lived up to the hype of previous jenkins reid novels. i found both evelyn hugo and daisy jones to be alright, they weren’t ultimate favorites or anything, but i still hope to enjoy malibu rising, simply because rich people’s drama is always fun, hahah.

    honestly, that map looks AMAZING. do i know what it stands for? absolutely not because i have NO knowledge of lord of the rings whatsoever, but it looks printed out tbh, hahah. good job!

    hope you enjoy the wicker king and eve brown this february and that you have a great month!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lais, I hope so too! 💕

      Hmm I don’t think I’ve seen any other early reviews of Malibu Rising yet, but I’m quite curious to see what others think of it. It is very much rich people drama, which is always entertaining 😂

      Haha thanks so much, that map was fun to make! Hope you have a lovely February as well 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so glad you keep writing in your blog! I’ve discovered it about a month ago and I love your writing style, and we have similar tastes in books. So when I’ve read your December wrap-up about a blog break, I was kinda sad (though I 100% respect your choice and you should do what is best for you, and what makes you happy). And I’m so glad to know you have lots of article ideas and that you still want to blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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