The June Wrap Up: With Movies, MasterClass, & SO MANY BOOKS

Posted July 1, 2019 by Amber in Checking In / 5 Comments


Happy July everyone!

This month reminds me of picnics and spending summers at the lake by my family.  We didn’t have a lake house or anything, but there was a really nice beach in bicycling distance and there were some summers when we were there every day.

Ah, life was so much simpler when I was twelve.


Intense haul this month, mostly due to BookCon on June 1st, and a whole lot of ARCs?  Seriously, y’all are going to be drowning in book reviews in September because most of these books are published in September/October.  I’m both sorry for the future inevitable review spam AND really excited to share all these new titles with you.

I feel both extremely lucky and extremely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of books I’m going to be reading this summer in order to get out these reviews in time for publication.  It’s going to be a lot, but I definitely feel like I’m up to the challenge!  Thirteen of these are ARCs, and I’ve surprisingly already read seven of them, and three reviews have already dropped!

I’m also so, so grateful for The Girl the Sea Gave Back?  Obviously I’m grateful for all my books and all my ARCs especially, but that one is one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and I’ve never had a publisher grant wish on NetGalley before, so it took me completely by surprise.  I logged in to download Mother Tongue, and there it was, like a beautiful gift.  I am so happy. 🙂

Other books here… My BookCon Haul, a ThriftBooks haul, and I stopped at a local thrift store and loaded up.  🙂  Too many books this month!


I’ve been pushing myself to make sure I’m reading at least two non-audiobooks a week.  For the most part, this means I’ve been tucking in on the weekends with a lot of tea and cookies to push my way through and keep up/get ahead of my ARCs.  I’ve been mostly pleasantly surprised, but a lot of my effort isn’t going to reflect here since the reviews haven’t dropped yet.  Just wait to you see how may books I “read” in September – you are going to be so impressed, haha.


The Storm Crow / ★★★★★ – I adored this book!  This is a great fantasy, feeling very reminiscent to Tamora Pierce (to me) and I absolutely LOVED the protagonist.  This first book is a lot of build up, but you’ll be so wrapped up, you’ll hardly notice.  One to add to the TBR for sure.

Spin the Dawn / ★★★★★ Okay, so technically I read this back in January, and I’m sure you’ve all   been hearing the hype.  Spin the Dawn is slated for at least three different book boxes that I know of in July, so if it’s not already all over the place… it’s about to be!  Nonetheless, it’s earned a place in my Top 3 because of the vastness and overall storytelling… I just adored it.

Ship of Magic / ★★★★ 1/2 – A bit more unexpected, Ship of Magic is one of those books that has been on my TBR forever, and since it’s pitched as a pirate book, I had high expectations.  And, more or less, it impressed me!  If you’re like me and can’t resist some high seas adventure, this is a must.


Between work picking up and getting busier with an unexpected project and the sheer amount of reading I’ve got to get done this month, I’ve decided not to participate in July’s Camp NaNoWriMo session.  I’m brimming with ideas, so this is really difficult for me.  However, I did remember that it was one of my 2019 goals to not participate and instead focus on editing?  So yay me, that worked out.

What I’ve decided I want to do is take the month and focus on how I write, instead of how much.  Around Christmas time, I treated myself to a couple MasterClasses and I am going to use July to take Margaret Atwood’s class on writing.

You may know Margaret Atwood from some of her notable books?  Most people will know The Handmaid’s Tale.  She’s incredibly good at telling a story that wraps you up as a reader and I’m really looking forward to watching the videos, practicing the exercises, and learning from a master.


Favorite Post: Unpopular Bookish Opinions:  In Which I Discuss the Grishaverse, J.K. Rowling, and DNF-ing.

Always worthy of note here – you guys are the best?  While salty unpopular opinion posts are always fun to write, the reception can be a little daunting.  Most of this post was aimed at particular fandoms rather than bookish habits, and I was a little nervous I was going to get a lot of hate.  I actually got very little, and what I did get turned into a productive conversation… and I’m grateful for that.  If you haven’t already checked out this one, let me know what you think!

Also popular:  Mid-Year Freak Out Tag – 2019 Edition & Let’s Go On An Adventure:  Excellent Epic Fantasy #TopTenTuesday.

Favorite Review:  Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

I found out after reading this book that there was a lot of controversy about it in recent years, and not only was it interesting and exciting to talk about this book and the conversation around it in the comments, but also to find a lot of other people who loved it.  Goes to show that just because a book is 30 years old, doesn’t mean it’s boring!

Also popular:  Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy & Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim.

A whole lot happened in June!

To start off the month, I went to BookCon in NYC and that was a really cool experience.  I wrote a whole really long post on that a few weeks ago so I’ll spare you here.

Otherwise, I’ve been super busy this month!  Work got crazy busy out of nowhere so that we had a lot of incoming workflow, as well as suddenly being involved in multiple projects doing testing for changes and upgrades.  I’ve gone from being bored to being incredibly overwhelmed… but I have four days off next month between the 4th and a couple days for personal errands and stuff, so I’m looking forward to taking a step away from all the craziness for a while.  Am I the only one who both desperately feels like she needs a break, but also feels guilty for taking time off?

I completely changed my blog layout at the beginning of the month?  This was actually an accident?  I’d been thinking about a a cleaner look for a while and was planing around with preview mode and hit save without thinking… so I decided to commit, lol.  I like it though, and from what I hear, you do too?

Oh, and we’ve seen a few movies this month as well!  Matt and I decided to go in on AMC’s A-List, which means we can see 3 movies a week for the price of 2 movies a month.  We go to the movies all the time – at least twice a month, sometimes we double up on movies, so this is no problem.  A quick review on what we’ve seen?


Great music, disappointing storytelling.  Do not particularly recommend.

Men In Black International

So much fun – I love Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson together!  Recommend.

Toy Story 4

This movie made me cry at least 3 times and I keep quoting it and I loved it.  Definitely recommended.


Next month we’re going to see a bit of a lightening up on posts.  With work so busy, I’m struggling to find time for hobbies, so I can’t make any promises to have a post-a-day next month.  I can tell you there will be a few unboxings, as I’ve got a lot of boxes that came in June and are arriving in July – a lot of one-off, special edition boxes.  So that’s fun, right?

If I’m not doing a lot of discussion and meme posts, one thing I would like to do is get back into the Weekly Teatimes and check in on Saturdays.  I really enjoy doing those posts, but I don’t always have time for them when I’m busy trying to schedule a lot of stuff?  We’ll see how July goes!

As always, I’ll be brining you reviews, come rain or snow or sleet!


Any big plans for July?  My husband and I have been talking about trying to find fireworks show for the 4th, but that’s Thursday and nothing yet! 🙂  Tell me all your big plans in the comments!

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5 responses to “The June Wrap Up: With Movies, MasterClass, & SO MANY BOOKS

    • Amber

      Good luck on your WIP! They’re slippery things, liable to get put off until tomorrow. 🤣 Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? That could help give you a boost! 😁