It’s August, my friends!
I’m not sure why, but I’m actually so happy that we’re officially in August of 2020. I think part of me thinks this year is going to drag on forever, so making it to another month feels like an accomplishment. We’re also a little bit closer to fall now, my favorite season- and the return to school (and dance for me) is here, too. I usually dread August, but I’m trying to go into this month with as much positivity as possible.
Even though I didn’t really do much at all in July, because I had absolutely no commitments and the COVID situation where I live just keeps getting worse and worse, I still…did things? I might have not traveled anywhere or even left my house more than a few times, but I still had a productive month in the sense of reading and accomplishing some personal goals.
I’ve noticed in the past that July is always one of my more productive months in terms of blogging and reading, probably because it’s a full month of summer vacation for me and I usually don’t have any plans. Adding that to me being in quarantine (is it even still quarantine? I don’t know?), and I had even more free time on my hands! This resulted in worse mental health, but more free time spent on my hobbies and goals.
Well, to start off this recap with something positive, I read a lot of books this month! This was because of all my free time, but also because I participated in The Reading Rush at the end of the month and because one of my close friends and I have been swapping books back and forth.
I feel like I read some of these books so long ago, so I guess that speaks to how semi-slowly July seemed to pass for me! But I was able to read 15 books, which I think it more than I’ve read in a month for quite a few years (7/15 were for the readathon).
My task to do mini reviews just got a lot more daunting, but I’ll definitely be talking a lot about all of these novels in the months to come! I think my favorites of the month were probably The Boy Who Steals Houses, Strange the Dreamer, and You Deserve Each Other. I’m pretty sure I’ll be raving about all three of these (as well as the other great books I read) soon.
I didn’t have any books I didn’t like this month, which was good! I also got to read a couple of my really anticipated releases and finally got around to starting the ACOTAR series- my friend lent her copies to me and in exchange, I lent her The Raven Cycle (and fangirling with her about the gangsey was a highlight of my July).
How I Did on July’s Reading Goals✨
- Read 15 books ✅
- Read 3-4 classics ❌ I only read one…
- Reread Harry Potter ❌
- Post on bookstagram 10 times & stay active ✅❌ I was way more active but only posted 7 times
- Participate in a readathon ✅
August Reading Goals✨
- Read 8 books
- Read 1 classic
- Post on bookstagram 10 times and stay active
I’m trying to be more lenient with my August reading goals because I know going back to dance full-time and school is going to take a huge toll on me and definitely diminish my free time. Hopefully I don’t abandon reading, especially since school is online for August and I don’t go back until halfway through the month, but I know I won’t be reading 15 books again anytime soon.
It’s become a trend that my best blogging month is always July. I’m happy to say that this July was no different- the extra time really made it possible for me to try and stay updated on my Reader and post more than I usually would.
I love the blogging community so much, so being active in it made me super happy, and it also made me really happy to see the Book Blogger Awards going on! (You can vote now.) Seeing the love for book bloggers made my heart smile, and an extra thank you for anyone who nominated me, because I can guarantee that every time I read a nomination post with me in it I was filled with so much love and gratitude. I LOVE YOU ALL, and please remember that you’re all amazing and valid no matter what.💗
In other news, here’s what I posted on the blog this month~
- 12 Book Recommendations Based Off TV Shows
- Ranking Romance Tropes in Books From Worst to Best
- My 2020 Book Blogger Awards Nominations
- Mini Reviews From Quarantine pt. 2
- The Folklore Book Tag
While I know I definitely missed a lot of amazing posts because I would sometimes get behind on my Reader, here are a few posts I especially adored this month~
- Charis shared a super helpful list of all different types of fantasy recommendations
- Nimika screamed about all the greatest YA romantic hits of history and I was screaming right alongside her
- May talked about reasons to love and support book blogs and the amount of love I have for her post is immeasurable
- Ash recreated book covers and her talent is…so amazing, I’m still shook
- Rhi shared 22 books to read by Black authors and I was so grateful for all the recommendations
- Xandra spilled all her bookstagram secrets and I’m infinitely grateful for it
- Annie gave book recommendations based on enneagrams and my 2 self is screaming
- Margaret talked about what books should become musicals and I’m honestly just waiting for Broadway to hire her because her ideas are gold
- Lauren shared what she learned from reading PJO for the first time and her analysis of it was brilliant
I feel like me including a survey in my monthly wrap-ups has just become A Thing, but I’m back with a very small questionnaire and I would be most honored if you’d fill it out!
My four year anniversary of blogging on Purely Olivia is fast approaching (it’s in mid-August) and I wanted to do something at least a little special for it, so I thought, Q&A! Because, well, I always like reading other Q&As and it gives me a chance to talk about something other than books (although I’m very happy to answer any questions about books).
So if you have any questions for me, whether it’s about blogging, books, or anything else under the sun, please submit them in the form below and I would love to answer them!
How I Did on July’s Blogging Goals✨
- Post 8 times ❌ lol @ June me
- Interact & keep track of posts I read ✅
- Mini reviews pt. 2 ✅
- Participate in Book Blogger Awards ✅
- Comment back more ✅ still want to do this more though!
- Fix my friends page ❌
- Work on potential redesign ✅ I started this and then decided I liked my design
August Blogging Goals✨
- Post 5 times (not including this)
- Start my Blogger Origins series
- Find new blogs to follow using BBA
- Comment back
- Fix my blog pages
- Keep track of posts I enjoyed
I hope I can keep up the blogging momentum in August! I know things are going to slow down a little bit due to school and dance, but since I’ll be in online school and everything, I want to at least try and stay more active while I can. But I know blogging won’t be a top priority once I have other things going on, so we’ll see.
As I said at the beginning of this post, July has been such a weird month for me. It was productive in terms of reading and blogging, but was just so strange life-wise. Of course there’s still a global pandemic going on, so I haven’t been able to see my friends like I normally would during the summer (besides the occasional distanced walk) and I’ve been trying to keep busy at home.
There were certainly some days in July where the lack of normalcy was overwhelming, but my hope is that in the coming months or years when life is busy and stressful again, I’ll be grateful for the time I had at home to relax and spend as I wanted. Some notable moments include~
- Taylor Swift’s new album is the best!! ever!! I wouldn’t even be me if I didn’t mention how obsessed I am with folklore. I think it’s Taylor’s best album yet for many reasons that I won’t go into here, but it’s been on repeat since it got released and definitely made my July way better. My favorite songs at the moment are betty, cardigan, mad woman, and the 1 (but I love them all).
- I’ve been binge watching Gossip Girl with my friend. I feel like I mentioned this in my last wrap-up, but my friend and I have perfected the art of Netflix party-ing while Zooming, and spent nearly every single night of July watching Gossip Girl together. We just got to season 4, so we’re making good progress!
- Being outside at sunset has become my new favorite activity. I’ve been bike riding and walking at sunset so much lately. It’s so hot where I live, but it’s tolerable at about 8-9 pm, so that’s when I’ll go on a bike ride or walk. My friend and I had one really iconic walk where the sunset ended up being really beautiful and we were listening to music while watching it set and dancing around in front of it and it probably my best memory of July.
- College apps are real. I knew this was coming, but now it’s here and apps are open and I’ve spent a bit of July writing essays and researching various schools and scholarships. I’ve probably spent more time stressing about it than actually working on it, but still. The goal is to actually apply in August, which is terrifying to say the least.
- I’ve spent quite a few hours making bracelets and listening to podcasts. My all-time favorite podcast is The Office Ladies, but this month I started listening to The Bible Recap and Beautiful Anonymous (shoutout to my best friend for the recommendation, if you are reading this, I love you).
- I’ve also watched so many Marvel movies! My family finally got Disney+, and we spent many a July night watching the Marvel movies together. I definitely am going to go into more details on the movies in a later post, but I think we watched upwards of 15 of them this month?
I’m a mix of optimistic and fearful for August! I’m going back to dance, which is scary because cases are higher now than they were when we did online dance, but I am excited to dance again and we’ll be wearing masks and distancing as much as possible. I’m also starting back school, though it’s going to be online at least through August (I’m guessing probably longer than that too).
August definitely holds a lot of unknown, and while some parts are sad, like having my first day of senior year be over Zoom, I know it’s most important to prioritize the health and safety of everyone. I hope you’re all staying safe and doing as well as possible right now! I’m wishing you all the best in August.🤍
How was your July? What did you read or spend your time doing? Any plans for August? I would love to talk with you in the comments.