Monthly Wrap-Up

MAY 2019 | Wrap-Up

What’s this?! My first monthly wrap-up of 2019?!?! I know it’s been a while, but I’m so happy to say that I’m back! May has certainly been a time…

In May I read a total of 4 books:

  1. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
  2. Food by Gertrude Stein
  3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  4. Mary Poppins Opens the Door by P.L. Travers

My favorite book this month was To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I watched the movie over spring break with some friends and loved it, and I think that positive memory definitely shaped this reading experience too. I’m excited to read the rest of the series at some point this summer! Review coming soon.

+ TO WATCH: The only thing I actually watched this month was the new Avengers: Endgame, and let me tell you: what a RIDE. I cried basically throughout the entire thing, especially at the end. (If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean!) It’s strange to think that this means goodbye to some of the characters I’ve grown up with, but there’s also an exciting silver lining: new characters! New stories! An ever-evolving and changing franchise! Definitely recommend watching it if you’re a Marvel fan.

+ TO LISTEN TO: In light of some things that happened recently in my personal life, I’ve opted not to listen to music on my commute back and forth to work every day (can’t get too emotional with those memories…). Instead, I’ve been listening to audiobooks, which has been really nice. Not only do I get a lot of reading done, but it also makes the ride go by a lot quicker.

+ TO EAT: Recently I made lemon and ginger cookies and they are so good. I used this recipe and they were super easy to bake. Will definitely be making these again soon!

+ TO GO: For the last time as a student, I’m going to have to say Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. I’ve made such incredible friends there and have so many amazing memories of this tiny campus.

May was a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs for me. I successfully defended my honors thesis, graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in English, and said goodbye (or “see you later!” as I like to think of it!) to so many of my close friends. I’ve also recently went through some pretty $#!tty stuff in my personal life, which is not fun. But thanks to the help of my family and friends (and my love for books!) I’m getting through slowly but surely. So in lieu of me going into any details, please enjoy these photos of my month of May!

Am I wearing an outfit made of drafts of my thesis? Why, yes I am!
Me and my finished thesis!
After Holi on the last days of classes…. very wet, but very colorful!
The roses they gave us to hold during graduation.
I graduated!

 Here are some posts from other bloggers that I’ve loved this month: 

Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

How was your month of May? What was the best book you read? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Monthly Wrap-Up

MAY 2018 | Wrap-Up

You know what they say: “April showers bring May flowers…” Well, this past month of May was certainly in full bloom! From making it over halfway through Trinity term, doing the usual summertime-in-Oxford activities, and hosting friends and family when they come to visit, I’ve barely had time to breathe lately. May was a whirlwind of so many twists and turns that I won’t soon forget. Here’s what I was up to in May:

In May I read a total of 4 books:

  1. Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
  2. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  3. How to Be Both by Ali Smith
  4. Grant by Ron Chernow

As you can see, I definitely read fewer books in May than in recent other months. Not only have I been incredibly busy writing essays and doing all the fun things that Oxford in summer has in store, but I’ve also dedicated most of my audio book time to finishing the 48-HOUR LONG audio book of Grant by Ron Chernow. I’ve been listening to it off and on since Hilary term (February maybe?) so it feels like such an accomplishment to have finally finished it. I would definitely recommend this to those who enjoyed Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton biography!

+ MOVIE: This isn’t technically a movie, but my favorite thing I watched this month was definitely John Mulaney’s new comedy special Kid Gorgeous. I’m not usually one for stand-up comedy, but for some reason I find John Mulaney absolutely HILARIOUS. Not only are his stories simultaneously relatable and oddly specific, but the way he delivers them always cracks me up. Plus, he gets bonus points for having a bit involving an epi-pen!

+ MUSIC: Shout out to Bastille for FINALLY releasing new music! They released their new song “Quarter Past Midnight” earlier in May with an album likely on the way. I was ecstatic to hear that this is a surprisingly upbeat song by Bastille standards–yet another great song to belt out as I dance in my dorm room!

+ FOOD: Probably fish and chips because I ate it SO OFTEN when my brother visited me for a week. I’ll miss it when I go back home!

+ PLACE: This may sound random, but I think my favorite place I visited in May was the Emirates Stadium in London, home of Arsenal FC. I’ve written an entire post about it that will be posted in the coming weeks so I won’t go into too much detail here, but touring this stadium was AMAZING.

So much happened in May that I don’t even know where to begin. My college’s semester ended back home, which not only means that all of my senior friends have actually graduated (so. many. emotions.) but also that all of my college friends are now on summer break. It sort of feels like summer here–the weather has been gorgeous, particularly by British standards!–but there are still plenty of books left to read and essays left to write. Lately I’ve been trying to balance fitting in last-minute Oxford things with doing school work and prepping for the summer and senior year, but it’s a tricky balancing act to sustain. Here are some photos that will capture my last month better than the my loss of words can:

May Day celebration on May 1st in front of Magdalen College (it was 6am).
A visit to Blenheim Palace.
Croquet is my new fave!
PUNTING!
My favorite view in the city.
I was lucky enough to have my brother visit me for an entire week!

 Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month:

How was your month of May? What was the best book you read? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Monthly Wrap-Up

MAY 2017 | Wrap-Up

What a whirlwind May has been! From final exams and moving back home at the end of the semester to starting work again, it feels as though things have been in a constant state of change. Now that May is over and done I feel like everything is finally settling down into a regular routine again, which is such a relief.

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In May I read a total of 8 books:

  1. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 4 by Ryan North & Erica Henderson
  2. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  3. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  4. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
  5. Sartoris by William Faulkner
  6. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  7. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  8. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

Whoa… May is the best reading month I’ve had in a long time. (The end of the semester works wonders for extra free time!) Because I read so many fantastic books actually going to pick two favorite books of the month: The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather and Sartoris by William Faulkner. I love them both for different reasons, but they both gave me a similar feeling of OH MY GOODNESS I MUST TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. (Sorry, mom, for rambling about the brilliance of Cather and Faulkner for far too long.)

It feels so great to be back reading and reviewing again!

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May was a huge transition month for me. Not only did I move off of my college campus to go back home for the summer, but I also started working and realized that I’m now halfway through college. (Eeek!) It feels strange to know that I have nearly four months of summer break ahead of me before school starts again in September. Such a long expanse of time seems like it will stretch on forever right now, but I have a feeling that it will fly by in no time.

Now that I’m back home I’ve been taking advantage of my newfound free time to read and blog as much as possible. I’ve also had more time to take #bookstagram photos with my new camera, which is really exciting.

On a different note, lately I’ve been watching the original Twin Peaks TV show and I’m obsessed. I only have around ten episodes left until I finish the series, which I’m hoping to do in the next week or so. You have no idea how hard I’ve tried to avoid spoilers online– I hate having endings ruined accidentally!

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Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month:

How was your month of May? What was the best book you read? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Monthly Wrap-Up

May 2015 Wrap-Up

May 2015 Wrap Up

Bookish News

In May I read a total of 5 books, which seems to be my monthly average so far for this year. I’m really pleased with this number, especially since this month was so incredibly busy. 4 of the books I read were sent to me for review, and I’m really happy that I was able to get caught up with them. Thanks to all the publishers and authors who sent them to me!!

  1. Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
  2. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  3. Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons
  4. Ugly People Beautiful Hearts by Marlen Komar
  5. Sapient by Jerry Kaczmarowski

My favorite book this month was definitely Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I wanted to read it before the new movie Jurassic World comes out, but I never expected to love it as much as I did. A full list of why I love it so much  review will be posted soon!

Personal News

At the beginning of the month I survived my AP exams- it was rough, but I made it through! I had four exams this year: Calculus, English, Spanish, and US Government. The calculus one was terrible, but the others weren’t bad. These exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best) and I need at least a 4 in order to possibly get college credit. I didn’t take these classes with the sole intention of receiving college credit, but it would still be nice to get some basic classes out of the way.

My prom hair- how I wish it still looked like that!
My prom hair- how I wish it still looked like that!

I had so many fun senior events this month! Between prom, our senior class cruise, and preparation for graduation, I’ve had to get creative with squeezing in some time to read. Of course, it hasn’t all been fun and play- final exams are coming up!- but it’s been really nice to spend some quality time with my friends.

It still hasn’t really hit me that in just two weeks I’ll be graduating from high school. I’m incredibly excited to be heading off to college in the fall, but at the same time I know I’ll really miss my friends and the familiarity of high school life. And let’s not forget about the glorious summer ahead of me!

Blogging News

Notable posts from this month are:

I apologize that I haven’t been very timely with replying to comments and such- like I said, I’ve been really busy! I’m hoping that I’ll have a lot more time to blog in the coming weeks since school will be over soon. Stay tuned for lots of reviews, discussions, and more!

How was your month of May? What exciting things do you have planned for June, bookish or otherwise? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Favorites

May Favorites: Age of Ultron, Brandon Flowers, and More!

May

Hi, everyone! I hope you’ve had a lovely month of May and that you’ve discovered some new favorites or continued on loving your old ones. This month was crazy busy for me- I feel like I say that every month, but this time I really mean it! Because of everything that went on this month I have plenty of new favorites to share.

I’ve decided to try something a little different this month to see how it goes. In the past I’ve just listed random things I’ve enjoyed, but this time I’m going to try to be more organized about it. I’ve separated my favorites into different categories, so let’s get started!

  • What I've beenlistening to_“Hallelujah” by Panic! At the Disco: If you’re looking for something to jam out to as you go on summer drives, then this is the tune for you! It’s upbeat, catchy, and perfect for blasting through speakers.
  • “Bright” by Echosmith: This song is mellow, adorable, and has such clever lyrics! I haven’t listened to a lot of Echosmith’s music, but this song definitely puts them on my radar.
  • “Still Want You” by Brandon Flowers: The Killers have always had their place in my music library, so when I saw that Brandon Flowers (the lead singer) was releasing a solo album I knew I would have to give it a go. I haven’t gotten around to listening to the entire album yet, but this is my favorite song so far. I can’t help but dance whenever I hear it!

What I've been watching_

Age of UltronAGE OF ULTRON!!!!!

This is by far my favorite movie of the month. Not only is it a great second installment in the Avengers series, but it is also really hilarious and well written! There is a lot of interesting character development, clever twists, and new characters that add depth and diversity to the Avengers. I need to write a full review of it, but for now just trust me and go see it if you haven’t yet!!

My favorite Avenger in this was Captain America- but then again, he’s always my favorite Avenger.

captain america 2

What I've been doing_

  • Kayaking: After prom my friends and I went up to one of my friend’s lake house and spent the weekend enjoying the wonderful weather outdoors. We spent a lot of time kayaking up and down the lake, and I had a fantastic time! I’ve been kayaking several times before, but it’s been a while and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it.
  • Reading Outside: The weather has been so nice lately, and I’ve taken full advantage of it by reading outside. At home I read on my side porch and soak up the sun, and at school I sit at the tables in the senior courtyard during my free periods and read. (Well, I mostly do homework and study. But every once in a while I get to sneak in a few pages!)

How do you like this new format of doing reviews? Are there any other categories you’d be interesting in seeing in the future? What are your May favorites? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Thoughtful Thursdays

Happy May!

It’s May, everyone! And you know what that means: grass is growing greener, flowers are starting to poke their heads above the soil, and it seems as though the sun is shining brighter each day. The winter was a very long and cold one where I live, so it’s nice to finally feel some warmth after many months of low temperatures.

For me, May always seems as though it’s one of the busiest months of the year. The school year is coming to a close, and the teachers are scrambling to finish everything up with lengthy exams and complex projects. Sports are in full swing, and soccer quickly becomes all my family can think about on the weekends (I don’t play, but my brother does). There’s the frantic dash for presents to give mom on Mother’s Day- for some reason it always sneaks up on me. And there are SO MANY BIRTHDAYS! Seriously! I mean, was EVERYONE born in May? Sometimes it sure seems that way…

But there are good things about May as well. The weather is nicer and it’s one month closer to summer. Also, there’s that long weekend at the end of the month in honor of Memorial Day- and after several weeks of nonstop craziness, that one extra day is much appreciated.

So happy May, everyone!

Yours,

HOLLY