Is it just me or was this month endless? I usually feel like months pass by way too quickly but January…just…refused to end? But oh well at least work was decent and I got a good amount of reading done so it wasn’t really bad, just slow.
I…don’t even know what happened this past month. My life was wholly consumed by work, night shifts and night language classes most days, blogging and booktube wherever I could squeeze them and family and friends on weekends. I constantly feel overwhelmed with life and like I need a breather but not really in a bad way, you know? I fear burnout but I also love every single thing I do so don’t see myself giving anything up, especially since I’ve already given up on a couple things that I couldn’t fit into my days without cutting out some of my sleep hours (which are already down to 6 as it is). I’m essentially just juggling everything and hoping for the best, at this point.
That being said, I spent January working the ER and that was such a formative experience for me and my career, it taught me autonomy in my practice and how to make decisions for my patients without having to rely on others (though when in doubt, I always checked with my seniors) and also how to properly take care of emergent cases. It also made me much more confident in my skills and myself as a doctor who’s only a year and some change from graduating. I feel like this year as a whole is really crucial for me career wise because so much has to be learnt before my final year and so many decisions have to be made and constantly thinking about all of that is probably a huge part of why I’m always feeling overwhelmed.
Oh, I also did a presentation that my attending loved, and as someone who has public speaking anxiety, that was extremely rewarding.
Okay, now enough about work. I know that I skipped my December 2019 wrap-up but that was an intentional thing, because although my blogging was super consistent, life was even more overwhelming and work was intense as I was in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) that whole month and it required a lot more from me than the ER so I was barely able to finish three books. That being said when January rolled around and got used to my new schedule, I read more. I also launched Color The Shelves which is going super smoothly and I’m really proud of how it’s turning out. Another thing I launched just a few days ago is the video series I teased in my 2020 goals post which is all about reading books I usually suck at reading, and I had a blast with the first vlog!
title = goodreads review
since I cut down my posting to twice a week and one of those days is pretty much reserved, I don’t review on my blog as much as I used to, I mostly focus on ARCs. So I’ve been putting more effort into my goodreads and writing reviews for every single book I read, so that’s what I’m going to start linking to here. If goodreads doesn’t have a full review then the book is getting reviewed on the blog soon.
First of all, here are the three books I read in December.
- Dark and Deepest Red – Still magical and enjoyable but not up to par with the author’s previous works.
- The Smell of Other People’s Houses – A quiet and yet impactful story about the importance of good family, both blood and found.
- Diamond City – This was a DNF for me. It was taking me way too long to finish and I wasn’t engaged in the story in any way, shape or form.
The in January, my reading got back to normal and I read 9 books. Only one of which was an audiobook because my phone’s earphone jack stopped working and I can’t focus without my earphones. Luckily now it’s fixed!!
- The Sound of Stars – This book is a love letter to books and music. It’s so soft and hopeful, as well as super well done plot and world building wise.
- The Duchess Deal – While this was a fun read, it read exactly this same as the author’s Romancing the Duke and that was a bit disappointing.
- Of Curses and Kisses – A Beauty and the Beast retelling set in a boarding school with an Indian princess as the MC? Yes, please! I really enjoyed reading this one and the spin it took on the original tale.
- The Wolf of Oren-Yaro – HAIL THE BITCH QUEEN! This is a character driven high fantasy that was great but in a different way than I expected to be and I loved following the MC’s journey.
- Siege & Storm – Considering how little I liked the first book, how much I enjoyed this one came out of left field and I had a blast with it.
- Only Ashes Remain – This is what I call a proper villain story that explores morality like no other.
- Poems I Sleep Next To – This collection would have broken me if I’d read it at an earlier time in my life. I felt disconnected from it in the first 40% but the rest of it was gorgeous.
- Salty, Bitter, Sweet – This was another DNF for me. It suffers greatly from the “Not your other girls” syndrome. I’m not sure if it’s a learning opportunity for the MC but I decided not to put myself through the book to find out.
- King of Fools – I had a WHOLE breakdown in my vlog because of this book. It was brilliantly crafted and it’s been a while since I’ve cared about every single character in a book like I did in this one.
As much as I reviewed in November and December to catch up on my backlog, I barely reviewed anything in January.
Color the Shelves
- Interview with Anna-Marie Mclemore, author of Dark and Deepest Red.
- The Importance of Found Family for Children of Immigrants – by Mike Chen.
- Interview with Francesca Flores, author of Diamond City.
- How the “A Phoenix First Must Burn” cover was born – by Patrice Caldwell.
- Exclusive excerpt of CONQUEST by Celeste Harte.
- Yearly wrap-up: Word Wonders’ Blogging and Reading Round-up – 2019.
- My best friend picks my TBR… AGAIN!
- Mini reviews: Neighborly & Xeni – Black authors are the gift that keeps on giving.
- Yearly wrap-up: Looking back at my 2019 anticipated releases.
- My 2020 reading spreadsheet template (for you to use!).
- Yearly wrap-up: My 2020 reading and blogging goals.
- November 2019 wrap-up + Life update.
- My most anticipated releases of 2020 | January to June.
- Choosing my sister’s 2020 TBR.
- My favorite books of all time.
- 20 backlist books I want to read in 2020.
- Best AND worst books I read in 2019.
- Most disappointing books I read in 2019.
- 2019 releases I need to read in 2020.
- Top 10 favorites predictions of 2020.
I feel like I found a good stride with my blog this month and I’m actually ahead of schedule and have 5 posts already scheduled and ready to go up so things should continue to run smoothly around here. I am extremely excited about the Color the Shelves posts for next month as I’ll be featuring some authors I adore. The other blog posts and videos I have planned are some that require more work but that I’m looking forward to posting because it’s content I’m really passionate about, some of which is related to different parts of my identity, a mix of my different passions etc… I hope you all enjoy them!
Other than that I’m not too sure of what my schedule will look like. I’m starting a new rotation tomorrow (February 4th) in the Medical ICU and I’ve been told it’s an intense department by a friend who just did his rotation there so I can’t be too sure of how much free time that’ll leave me so I could very much fall behind on life again, especially since this one will be two months long instead of just one month I had in my previous rotations. But I’m also really looking forward to the learning experience. So uh? Wish me luck? Pray for me? Either one of those works haha.
I’m back to posting my TBRs on here because I won’t be making dedicated videos anymore.
February being US Black History month, I’m celebrating by reading (almost) exclusively works by Black Authors and participating in Blackathon hosted by Jesse and Lauryn. At first I was really apprehensive about the prompts because I couldn’t seem to find books to fit into them but now I’m actually really excited about my TBR because it’s mostly made of books outside my comfort zone but that I’ve been dying to read but too intimidated to actually pick them up. As you can see, I’m doing great on my 2020 resolutions so far.
For Blackathon, there are two teams and like the overachiever that I am, I am aiming to complete the challenges for both of them. Oops!
- Janelle Monae: An LGBTQIAP+ SFF book – An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
- Nnedi Okorafor: A work of Afrofuturism – The Deep by Rivers Solomon
- David F. Walker: A SFF comic/graphic novel – De Novo (on webtoon)
- Dhonielle Clayton: A book with an ambitious MC – A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy
Team Contemporary/ Literature:
- Bassey Ikpi: A work exploring the intersection of mental health and/or disability – Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
- Marlon James: A work that isn’t set in the United States, does not center the black American narrative – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
- Alexa Martin: A lighthearted work that doesn’t center “the struggle” and features powerful bonds – Destiny’s Captive by Beverly Jenkins
- Akwaeke Emezi: A work where a black protagonist challenges preconceived notions of blackness – You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
I will try to squeeze in a couple more books if I finish these + the ARC by a non-Black author I have to read, but we’ll see.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What books did you read this month?
Oh! And if you have any posts you think I should check out, leave them in the comments.
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.