Playing Catch Up in May

I am a really big fan of Sara @ The Bibliophagist‘s weekly updates. They’re so clean and succinct, they must be an absolute treat for her to look back on when she wants to get a snapshot of a specific time in her life. I do not pretend to have nearly enough interesting things to share on my blog in a similar weekly format, however, I did want to record what I’ve been up to in the first half of this month right after sharing my May Goals + TBR.

A past version of myself would have considered this month (not even over) to be a fail, but I think this post will remind me that I didn’t just fall off the face of the earth and abandon all my goals this month. They’ve just been revised along the way…

 ICYMI, Here Are This Week’s Betwined Reads Posts

  1. Revisiting Harry Potter | Part I
  2. Revisiting Harry Potter | Part II

➴ What I’ve Read

  1. A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle (332 pages)
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (870 pages)
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (652 pages)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (759 pages)
  5. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (229 pages, I skipped the sneak peak)

Total pages read: 2,842!

➴ Currently Reading

  1. The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle
  2. The Democratic Surround by Fred Turner

➴ Recently Acquired

  1. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
  2. The Young Unicorns by Madeleine L’Engle
  3. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  4. Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
  5. The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle
  6. Troubling a Star by Madeleine L’Engle

➴ What I’ve Watched

  1. In theaters: Black Panther (2018)
  2. In theaters: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  3. On Netflix: Love (Season 3)
  4. On HBO: Barry (Season 1)
  5. On HBO: Silicon Valley (Season 5)
  6. On HBO: Atomic Blonde (2017)
  7. On HBO: Snowden (2016)
  8. On HBO: Patrick Melrose (2018 mini-series, in progress)

Notes on Life from May 1–19

  1. Shopkicking with Mom. At the end of April, my Dad left for a work detail in Israel. As result, I’ve been spending more time with my mom. He used to go Shopkick with her, so I’ve been doing it now instead. I’ve been able to amass a lot of points very quickly with very little effort. The points on Shopkick amount to digital gift cards you can redeem at the check out in stores like Target or Sephora or online on Amazon. That’s why I’ve been able to buy books on Amazon this month! (Should I do a blog post about the app?)
  2. Un-hauling books at 2nd and Charles. There’s been a big box of books that I’ve been meaning to un-haul for a few years now and I finally decided to do it at 2nd and Charles. I’ve already taken some books to the bookstore chain in exchange for store credit (which is in higher monetary value than if I requested cash). I have about $25 in store credit now, which I hope to use soon before I forget I have it!
  3. Going to the movies. I figure a lot of people wouldn’t consider this too noteworthy, but I love going to the movies. Maybe it’s always been a special occasion because I’m not able to go all the time. But with my Dad out of town, I’ve been to the movies TWICE this month to see movies that I think are worth seeing on the big screen: Black Panther (2018) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). They were both fantastic movies I can’t wait to see again (in the comfort of my own home).
  4. Experimenting with Neutrogena Build-A-Tan lotion. I’ve found it really hard to tan ever since I started using acne medication and have been interested in experimenting with a gradual tan lotion for a long time (thanks, Anna Saccone Joly!). I used it primarily on my legs and arms for two days and then stopped to see how long it lasted (less than a week). I don’t want to run out of it too quickly so I’m going to save it for special outings.
  5. Playing Hogwarts Mystery. I downloaded the app on my smart phone as soon as I started hearing about the game, even though most of the news around the new game was negative because of the energy limitations. I’ve always found it easy to get hooked on games like this that may seem boring game because “all you do is tap.” I was going to post an app review yesterday but I wasn’t fully happy with it so it may come next week instead.
  6. Working on my novel. I’ve been kicking my work into high gear in order to meet my self-imposed deadline. I’ve discovered a new way of plotting that I found helpful and I’ve also found a way to hold myself accountable each day for writing without a word count goal. I’ll share these techniques in coming weeks in specific writing blog posts!
  7. Reading the final three books of the Harry Potter series. I read the first four in April, but I had to set aside my quest to read other books I wanted to get to. It was kind of hard jumping back in. The last three are so long and so much more complicated than the first four. For my thoughts, you can now see the notes I made rereading the books (1–4 and 5–7) this time around. This journey took up a lot of the spare time I would’ve spent actually writing.
  8. Celebrating Mother’s Day 2018. For Mother’s Day this year without Dad, we kept it pretty low-key. I made a special breakfast for Mom and picked her up a card, which I got my brother to sign. I doodled in our dogs (her canine children). We set a pot roast in a crock pot and went to go see Avengers: Infinity War (2018) while it cooked. It was a calm, nice day.
  9. Celebrating my younger brother’s 21st birthday. My younger brother just turned 21 on the 15th. He came home after his finals so we’ve been celebrating early as he needed to return to school for his internship the morning of his actual birthday. He reads maybe 2–3 books a year and I got him one I thought he might like: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It’s an old favorite of mine and a safe choice as I now know he likes historical fiction.

➴ Coming Up on Betwined Reads

  1. Monday (5/21): Hogwarts Mystery ❄ | Betwined Tech
  2. Wednesday (5/23): Making a List of Possibilities | Writing Wednesdays
  3. Thursday (5/24): A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle (Book Review)

End Note

I hope you didn’t mind things getting a little more personal on Betwined Reads today. It’s always been a goal for this blog to capture the best of me and what I’d like to remember, so I’d like to do it more, although not always in this borrowed format. I’ll enjoy playing around with different format on weeks I feel that I have enough to say to fill a post.

Thank you for reading!
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