Month in Review: June 2020

It’s July! This INSANE year is halfway over! I’m a little late posting my June wrap-up, and that’s because I finally started a job after 4 months of unemployment. As a research technician, I work with lab equipment that can’t be taken home (for many reasons), which means that I am physically going into work. It is risky, but I feel pretty safe at work – everyone wears masks and the lab I work in is spacious enough to achieve 6 feet of distance between employees. Anyway, I’m mentioning the new job because, until I adjust to my new schedule, I will be posting less on here. Now, onto the monthly wrap-up!

Books read:

Books in progress/July TBR:

I’m not sure if reading 9 books this month is realistic, but I want to try! I bought two of these as audiobooks, which should help. I’m currently in the middle of Catherine House and The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell (seriously struggling to finish Catherine House, though). Other books that I want to read this month include:

  • Death in Her Hands by Otessa Moshfegh: I pre-ordered this AGES ago, and it finally arrived last week! I’m so excited for this (hopefully not too excited, though – sometimes I hype up books too much in my mind, and end up severely disappointed).
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: I’m reading this for a book club this month. As much as the internet and tough conversations have been great resources for unlearning some of my subconscious racist biases, I’m also eager to read a full-on book about race and anti-racism.
  • Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid: this has been on my TBR forever, and doing the Midyear Book Freakout Tag reminded me that I really need to read this!
  • Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman: This was my BOTM pick for July (and yes, I’m still supporting BOTM – at least for now – since they appear to be using their platform to promote authors of color).
  • The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison. Really looking forward to this short non-fiction book about how literature contributes to the narrative on race/racism.
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay. I’ve wanted to read Roxane Gay’s works for a while, so I’m finally committing to it. I hope to read all of her books within the next year or so.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This one has been on my “TBR” since my TBR was just a mental list of books that I wanted to read. It’s about time that I actually read it!

Blog posts/anti-racism resources:

Instead of my favorite wordpress posts of the month, here are some anti-racism resources that helped me this month 🙂

  1. This extensive list of anti-racism resources, including funds to donate to.
  2. This Google Doc full of resources for taking action against racism.
  3. Etiquette for white people at BLM protests.
  4. A list of anti-racist movies and TV shows.
  5. This article (from 2015) about why it is ignorant and harmful to say that you “do not see race.” If you know people who say this and aren’t sure how to talk to them, this article might help.
  6. This article about how to talk to people who always focus on “the riots and the looting!!!” in conversations about race.
  7. This article about how white women unintentionally center themselves in conversations about race, and ways to stop doing that. This one is controversial, and I have friends of color who don’t entirely agree with it, but I’m still including it because reading and discussing it with others really helped me.

June photos:

Month in review: June 2019

June was a busy month in my personal life, and a strange month in terms of reading! I had a lot of free time at the beginning of June, and blazed through like 3 books in 10 days (this is very fast for me). Then I started a new job and life got busy, and I only finished one more book after that. A strange and inconsistent month, but a good one nonetheless. Here are the details:

Books read:

Milkman, Normal People, and My Sister The Serial Killer were all longlisted for the Women’s Prize in Fiction, and they all featured female characters. They were all also fairly heavy, in terms of the topics tackled (a repressed, government-controlled society; two individuals who are struggling with sense of self and unable to let each other go; and tense, complicated family relationships). Red, White & Royal Blue, on the other hand, featured young men, and was a much lighter read. All these books were great, and I would honestly recommend all of them, but Normal People was my absolute favorite. I love Sally Rooney’s writing style, and after finishing Normal People I added all her other books to my TBR list.

Bakes:

I baked a blackberry jam cake at the very beginning of the month; that was inspired by An American Marriage (which I actually finished at the end of May). Then I went through a milkshake phase: I made tahini milkshakes for Milkman, and hazelnut latte milkshakes for Normal People. I also baked lavender macarons (inspired by My Sister The Serial Killer), and a colorful cherry-almond cake with cream cheese frosting (inspired by Red, White & Royal Blue). My favorite of these bakes was hands-down the lavender macarons, because it took macarons – basically the most perfect, light treat to exist – and then somehow made them even more perfect by adding floral flavor!

Books in progress/plans for July:

I’m currently reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I’m not even halfway through yet, but I already love this book SO much. I also plan to read Queenie and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine this month. I’d also like to read one or two non-fiction books (not sure which ones yet), since I have been so consumed by fiction for the past six weeks.

(a handful of) the blog posts I loved this month:

I have a hard time writing this section of my “month in review” posts, because there is so much good content on wordpress. I am being sincere when I say that the following are just some of the blog posts I loved this month.

  • Troy Headrick wrote a post on how “critical thinking” should really be called “creative thinking,” and why it’s important.
  • Millenial Life Crisis compiled an awesome index of mental health terms, and questions related to each term to help people better understand themselves.
  • Ashley Leia wrote a powerful and inspiring response to the Vatican’s recent decision to basically deny the validity of transgender as an identity.
  • And Kaley taught me that you can make cold brew coffee at home using a french press!

Favorite photos/adventures of June: