All Work & No Play Makes Me a Dull Girl…. – The April Wrap Up!

Posted May 4, 2020 by Amber in Checking In / 6 Comments


Trimming some of my wrap-up topics this month, my loves, because I am exhausted to my core.  We’ll make this bare bones – new books, books read, and challenges, and posts from April.  Rather than the real life adventures section, I’ll give you a sneak peek here….

First, the inevitable, I’ve definitely got the coronavirus blues.  As an essential worker, I’m only able to quarantine part time.  Some days, I’m really bitter about this, trying with a handful of people to do the work of several while adjusting to wearing a mask and gloves full time.

April rounded out poorly and instead of a 33.34% in-house percentage… I ended up in all but 4 days this month.  May should be smoother, but I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a mess.  Something we can all relate to right now, right?  Although we all face our own unique challenges, life is HARD right now.  I’ve got some other personal stuff going on that I won’t bore you with, but suffice to say I just replied to a month’s worth of comments and I’ve had as little social interaction as possible just trying to, barely, take care of myself.

Next month will be a 50/50 split for me, but I have even less time for self-care as I had stopped studying for my SIE exam in April because a.) I did not have the mental capacity for it (or almost anything); and b.) all the testing centers were closed anyway.  Work has given me the ultimatum that I need to pass two exams in the next six months… so… that’s that.  My new “self-care” needs to be studying, and memorizing, and math.  I don’t expect to read/listen to many books in May or June as reading will be basically “stealing time” from studying.


The Monthly Haul

This month, I decided I really wanted to dig into my “To Buy” list and clear out some books I enjoyed and wanted to own.  Every time I listen to an audiobook via Libby and really enjoy it (4+ stars), I ad it to my “To Buy” list and frankly… the list was getting a bit long.

In general, I’m a huge fan of Thriftbooks for picking up copies of my wishlist titles at a more affordable price – over the years, I’ve probably purchased over 250 books from them.  It’s hard to beat $4/book… if you’re patient.  Sometimes it takes a little while for the books to be available, and of course you are not going to find some of the more popular stuff like Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo.  But if you are look for some books that a 5+ years old, you can usually find a decent copy eventually.

I have a rule about Thriftbooks – paperbacks must be “Like New” or better, hardback must be “Very Good” or better.  This usually works for me and I’ve gotten loads of books that look brand-new.  Unfortunately, Beauty Queens was a bit of a hot mess this time?

I don’t know if you can see it well in the picture, but not only is the spine broken, but the cover has a full crease and is a little torn (near the spine somehow?), and the bottom corner near the spine is worn through and tearing.  Also, water damage?  Not cool.  This one looks like it came off the “Acceptable” rack instead of the “Like New” rack.

It’s okay, though.  I’ve been waiting for Beauty Queens on there for a while, and it’s one I’m willing to buy full-price someday because I just LOVED it.  I was able to get another one I’ve been waiting on a while – A Study in Charlotte – and that one is in beautiful condition.

I guess what I’m saying here is… you never know with used book places!  Either way, I can’t argue with the price, and whenever I go through Thriftbooks I end up getting 1or 2 books free depending on how many I order, so I’m just counting Beauty Queens as one of those free ones and I’ll look forward to supporting the author down the road with a shiny new copy.

All the things I’ve been reading

Not a lot of reading this much, as I have mentioned (and will continue to mention) repeatedly.  But here we are and here’s the meager collection of stuff I read… or (mostly) listened to!

7 books found







Readathons & Reading Challenges

I finished Scorpius for #StartonYourShelfathon!  Small achievement, but an achievement nonetheless.

I have a new constellation ready to go that hopefully/maybe you guys will see next month, but for now… that’s all I’ve got!  Only two books.  I did not meet my goal of 4 books in April.  I honestly didn’t expect I would, nor do I expect much improvement over the next couple months, but I do hope I prove myself wrong!

2 books found



Because I read so few hard copy books this month, it’s not really worthwhile to do the separate break downs.  I quit reading The Historian very early in the book as I was seriously struggling with the pacing, and considering the length of the book… no longer was it a matter of “I’m not feeling it right now” so much as “I am never going to pick up this book to try again” so… yup.  That one went on my growing pile of When All This Is Over I’ll Be Able To Donate These Books.

Neither The Adventures of Tom Sawyer nor Discord’s Apple were particularly exciting books, either.  Tom stayed because of the gorgeous edition and I like Huck Finn enough that I think I may read it again, and Discord’s Apple had some of the coolest world building, but the rest of the book was “meh”.  Hard copy-wise, April was a really unimpressive month and the books snuck in just under the line.

Maybe May will be better?

If I read any books.  HAH.

Magic and Mischief on the Blog

Thank goodness I’m one of those “plans ahead” people!

I had posts peppered for April, and May is almost entirely full (it may even be full, honestly).  My posting went down this month in relation to the amount of books I read, but I want to thank you guys because despite dropping 1-3 reviews fewer each week, the interaction numbers in April 2020 have been my HIGHEST EVER.

May be slightly related to school/life being cancelled because coronavirus, but nonetheless, THANK YOU!


What did everyone do this month?  Did you get a lot of reading done?  Did you start on a new WIP?  Did you go on any grand (or small!) adventures?  I want to hear all about your experiences – let me know in the comments!

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6 responses to “All Work & No Play Makes Me a Dull Girl…. – The April Wrap Up!

    • Amber

      Thanks! I think that’s the hardest for me, and I do acknowledge how lucky I am… one of my friends got furloughed the other day, so I really do feel abundantly blessed to know my job is secure. Doesn’t make it any less exhausting? Thank you so much for your kind words!

  1. I’m sorry to hear that everything is stressful right now! Hang in there! And I know its cliche but self-care really is super important <3 So don't forget to take care of yourself! Even if its something tiny like studying in a warm bubble bath instead of at a desk for a bit! You got this!

  2. I’ve also returned to my one job at an essential store. I also have to wear gloves and a mask. Thankfully most of the customers try to keep their distance!

    Ooh I really want to read Beauty Queens. It’s been on my wishlist for ages!

    • Amber

      I’m so glad people are keeping their distance – that’s really good to hear. Also on behalf of humanity, I’d like to apologize for those customers who think they are above “this whole pandemic thing” and who are rude and get in your bubble. 🙁 Take care of yourself, Kyra! <3

      Beauty Queen was such an entertaining read! I think it's something that you have to be in the right mood for, and of course, you need to go in knowing there are satirical elements, but otherwise... it's super fun.