To sum-up: July & August 2020 wrap-up + September TBR

I am straight up not having a good time, bro.

(this might be related to my mood while writing the post, we’ll reconvene at a later date)


It’s two months but…yeah. I don’t really have an excuse as to why I didn’t post a wrap-up last month but I was overwhelmed by Life when it was appropriate to post one and then…time passed and I kept wondering whether I should write one and I just didn’t feel like it so I didn’t, so here I am today wrapping up both July and August.

I started work again on July 13th and my life has just been a mess since? Although for years, I had the hang of balancing everything I usually do on a day to day basis, being on lockdown for so long threw me off balance and I really struggled to keep up with everything and for some reason, I just struggled being productive after work, I felt sluggish and it took me longer than usual to do things that shouldn’t take forever. Work has been…busy and tiring. I was in a pediatric surgery rotation in most of July and August and I really liked it. Now though, I switched to a Neonatology department and I’m…in love? If you didn’t know Neonatology is the specialty for newborns and it’s the one that I hopefully want to do, so the fact that I’m liking it is a balm to my soul. The hours are weird and the shifts are long, the work is tiring and sometimes heartbreaking but it really feels like my calling.

Working at a hospital during a pandemic when the government is failing at getting things under control and people refuse to follow sanitary rules though…isn’t the best for my anxiety. I am now luckily in a highly restrained and controlled environment so it’s a bit easier, but all of July and August, I was in a state of hyper-awareness all the time and it’s quite frankly draining, which…might explain why my productivity went down the drains. My mental health wasn’t the best, my anxiety was skyrocketing, I also had to deal with some social media related bullshit AND had a couple triggering events happen. So at this point, I am just hoping for a calmer September, that’s all I want.

The one highlight I’ve had this month is that I FINALLY starting getting my book mail at a normal pace again and I got some pretty cool books and book boxes, including three Illumicrates (reminder I have a code: FADWA5 for 5% off 3 and 6 months subscriptions), my Goldsboro edition of Empire of Gold, Cinderella is Dead with the preorder pin (kindly gifted to me) and a few more that were sent by either authors or publishers, and they made me happy. I might film a book haul soon? ish? I’m just waiting on a few more things before I do.

OH WAIT, a couple milestones that made me happy! I reached 4000 followers on Instagram, 5000 subscribers on Youtube and August was my best month EVER views wise, by a good stretch and I was super proud of that.


In July, I read 11 books and 3680 pages, you can really see that I have gone back to work haha. Plus, I was slumping in the first half of the month, when I DIDN’T have work. Here is my July wrap-up, there’s no need for me to like…name all the book when the video is right there :

In August, I ALSO read 11 books but I barely cracked 3k pages with 3011 pages. Yep, work definitely kicked my ass. Hospital 1 – Fadwa 0.

  • Harbor – I LOVED this one. It’s polyamorous m/m/f between an established couple and the woman who was engaged to the guy their girlfriend cheated on them with. It’s complicated and messy but also full of healing. Also really hot.
  • The White Coat Diaries – This was a DNF that got me in a mess. I don’t want tot talk about it.
  • The House on the Cerulean Sea – This book feels like a hug. It’s pure unfiltered happiness in the form of words and it’s now the first book that I think of when I think of comfort reads.
  • Wanna Bet? – I’ve been procrastinating this book for the simple reason that I knew it was going to be one of my favorite Talia Hibbert romances and I WAS RIGHT! This is best friends to friends with benefits to lovers excellence.
  • Soft in the Middle – This was a reread for me and it solidified this collection as, probably, my favorite poetry collection. This is sapphic goodness, both hurt and comfort, it speaks of love, loss and heartbreak. I adore it.
  • Sunfish – This one didn’t hit me as hard but I could feel how personal it is to the author and I can recognize I’m not the target audience and that it will be a treasure to those it was written for.
  • The A.I Who Loved Me – This is an Audible exclusive and it was pretty fun, but I felt a bit detached from everything that was happening and the romance didn’t win my over. The sound effects are EXTREMELY realistic though.
  • Room for Three – This is a f/f/m romance between, again, and established couple and a woman and again, one I LOVED. I loved the relationship dynamics and how they all fit with each other and worked together. Also hot.
  • American Sweethearts – This is one of my favorite romances I read this year. Second chance childhood best friends to lovers to ??? to lovers that’s extremely sex positive and balances out both the sexy times and emotional stakes really well.
  • Girls of Storm and Shadow – I wouldn’t say this was disappointing because I saw reviews and lowered my expectations but it was definitely a weak sequel. The trauma exploration was amazing but the plot was lacking and it wasn’t well paced.
  • A Lesson in Thorns – I legit cannot tell you if I liked this book or not. What I can tell you though is that 1/ the writing is beautiful, and 2/ the smut is great, although I wanted a bit more of it.

Color the Shelves

Other Posts



Like I said I just…want this month to go as smoothly as possible. No more surprises. No more emotional rollercoasters. Just work, studying, reading and all the fun content I have planned for all my platforms. Please. I have this week off of work because I only work every other week in my current rotation so hopefully I can get ahead of things and…find some time to relax maybe at some point?

I put my content schedule over on Patreon for everyone on there to see to keep myself accountable mainly and stick to it haha, but also just because I thought it would be a good idea so people know what to expect from me in the upcoming month. And I have some pretty fun things planned, I just hope I manage to do them all.

Color the Shelves 2021 is officially A GO. I released the form a few days ago and have SO many excited submissions, some of which are some of my most anticipated releases of the year. I’m gonna plug the form here as well, so if you happen to be a BIPOC author with a book coming out in 2021 and would like to work with me on some fun content, just fill it out and we’ll make some magic happen!


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.


11 thoughts on “To sum-up: July & August 2020 wrap-up + September TBR

  1. Fadwa!! I hope you’re September goes by much more smoothly – you definitely deserve it. I’ve never read any polyamory books but I’m now interested in both and honestly can’t wait to read them. I pre ordered Cemetery Boys but started my semester when it was released so I haven’t had the chance to read it yet. For the romance novels, Harbor and American Sweethearts, do you recommend just starting there in the series or starting with the first books? Hope you’re having a lovely Monday!


  2. I hope your September is much better and smooth! Please take care of yourself. I still don’t understand how you manage everything along with your career. You’re superhuman.


  3. The pandemic has everyone stressed out. To me your reading a lot of books still, so don’t be too hard on yourself, you are still impressive with your reading amount and career and schooling. I only read my first Rebekah Weatherspoon this year and Harbor, while different, sounds good too.


  4. Sending you good thoughts for September. I read Where Dreams Descend during August. I think that’s one of my newer favs. I recently started the Poppy War and enjoying that immensely. I want your thoughts on Blazewrath Games. It looks so ‘ modern fantasy game arena’ and that’s absolutely something I want to see more of in the future.


  5. Your reasons for not posting a July wrap-up are completely understandable! You’re doing amazing work, fighting a pandemic! And while blogging/author drama sucks, it seems to usually end in the blogger’s favor and, ironically for the author, ends up making the blogger more popular. That’s actually how I discovered and followed your blog in the first place. Well done keeping your cool! I can’t wait to see your future reviews!


  6. Ahhhh Cemetery Boys!!! This has been like my most anticipated read this year, but now that I actually have it the going is SO SLOW because grad school 😦 I’m only 70 or so pages in and I wish I could just sit down and read it through, but the atmosphere is AMAZING so far!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s