Arrest The Cops Who Murdered Breonna Taylor… Also, My June 2020 Wrap Up

Posted July 6, 2020 by Amber in Checking In / 0 Comments


Hi everyone.

I do just want to take a sec and address the title of this post, because it’s been months and the cops who killed her have not been brought to justice.  Her family continues to suffer. If you haven’t already signed the petition for Breonna, please take a second to do so now.

Additionally, if you are able to contribute, please consider donating to her family’s GoFundMe.  Every dollar makes a difference, and money in this fund not only supports her family but also helps pay for the legal fees incurred in continuing to fight for justice for her.  Pursuing justice for Breonna serves a greater purpose than just justice for Breonna – changing laws and holding the cops accountable will save other lives in the future.

I know there are so many wrongful Black deaths and all of them are important.  But we can’t let the momentum on this slide, because we can’t set the example that we get justice for Black men and not Black women.  Lets hold the system accountable.

Thanks for reading all that guys, this is something that’s really important.  Let’s jump from there right into the book haul.

The Monthly Haul

So a good handful of the books I bought in June haven’t arrived yet!  I know for a lot of people, that would drive them absolutely crazy, but for me… I have faith.  Amazon’s got us spoiled with instant gratification.  I’ve got 4 books coming from a Black-owner indie that got destroyed when Black Lives Matter came back to the forefront.  And while I’m not in a big rush for the books (I’ll need them just as much in a month as I do now), a lot of people are being a bit aggressive so I’m going to take a moment to link my Twitter PSA about Small Biz logistics and patiences.

But yeah anywayyyy I got some books y’all!  And there’s gonna be even more in July because of my haul for The Reading Rush and also the stragglers from this month. 🙂  I think I have a couple of July pre-orders, too!

<3 All those beautiful, diverse authors, guys.  It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

I am so excited to read these.  Three of them are on my immediate TBR as they were preorders.  That doesn’t mean I’m sitting on the others, simply that I believe that it’s less important to read everything OMG RIGHT NOW than to have and read diverse books period.  I’m not a huge fan of performative  anti-racism and I want to make sure that I am educating myself constantly, not just right now because it’s “in”.  It should be a thing we do always.

But yeah, stay tuned in the next month or so for A Song of Wraiths and RuinYou Should See Me In A Crown, and A Song Below Water.  All of which I’ve heard WONDERFUL things about, by the way. I’m very excited.

All the things I’ve been reading

A good reading month this month!  You may notice here that I didn’t delve immediately into Black books this month.  This is not for a lack of caring, so please don’t take my message about Breonna above to be contrary to my own actions.  I am continuing to diversify my bookshelf and my goals are to consistently bring Black books forward… not just a rush of them now.

However, if you are looking for a Black character this month… look no further than The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea!  POV characters include a Black gender-ambiguous character as well as two LGBTQ+ characters.  And it does it all flawlessly, integrating diversity in this fantasy book without making the characters all about race.  They are who they are doing what they need to do and that’s great.

If you want to talk about race, though, you absolutely must pre-order Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From. The MC is latinx, but the message is still there in a very accessible way.  There is other diversity rep in the book as well.  Generally, this is a book that not enough people are talking about and we really should be screaming about it.

12 books found












Other than The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea and Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From – both of which were absolutely amazing – I had a few other fun reads this month.  It was a solidly good reading month


Alanna / ★★★★ While I don’t typically recommend Alanna as an introduction to Tamora Pierce’s work to non-MG readers, this remains such an important book for me in that it really got me obsessed with reading and magical worlds.  Alanna is the first introduction to Tortall, though, and a must-read for any Tamora Pierce fan.

Emerald Green / ★★★★★ If you haven’t read the Ruby Red trilogy, you’re absolutely missing out.  It’s not only excellent storytelling, but it’s an all-around enjoyable series with lovable characters.  The last book absolutely delivered and I’m sad that the trilogy is over.  I know a lot of people in the community really like to read only new books, but this is one worth reaching into the archives for.

Highfire / ★★★★★ – Admittedly, Highfire is not going to appeal to everyone.  It was such an unexpectedly enjoyable book that I had to give it a little highlight.  The humor is going to be the breaking point for most, but the characters were incredibly well-developed and the world building was phenomenal.  If you like Artemis Fowl and you like Mulch in particular… worth checking out.

Readathons & Reading Challenges

There is only one star left on my Pegasus constellation for #StartonYourShelfathon, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was killing me a bit. SO. CLOSE.

As I mentioned above, I’m really happy with my reads this month.  I feel like there were a lot of good books, especially in hardcopy.  Every once in a while, things need to go my way, right?

5 books found






Generally speaking, because I had a lot of good reads this month, I didn’t have the best keep/donate ratio?  I ended up keeping 66.6% of the hardcopy books I picked up, and only added 33.3% to my don’t pile.  Additionally, since I’m trying to be totally accountable, I have to be honest and say that of all of the books I read this year, 50% of them were also hauled this year.  So I’m just… adding to my problem, lets be honest.

4 books found





I ended up keeping both books I hauled a LibraryThing ARCs – Highfire I won back in October and recently arrived, whereas The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea was a newer win.  I have really mixed luck typically with LibraryThing ARCs and end up donating most of them after I review.  I’ve ended up holding on to three this year, which is sort of a big deal for me and I’m happy with my ARC haul this year.  It’s been very limited overall (on purpose!) but I’m happy with the ones I’ve received.

2 books found

My unhauls were a little more complicated than normal.  I had really mixed feelings about Masque of the Red Death.  I really liked the idea of that book so SO much that I keep wanting it to be something it really wasn’t, so I struggled with my experience of it.  I wanted so SO much to love it, and I loved aspects of it… but there were other things that were so lacking I couldn’t in good conscience give it a good review.  On the other hand, The Iliad was an easy adieu.  I’ve read it more than once for school and while I have a soft spot for classics in general as far as the storytelling goes (they’ve endured for a reason) I really don’t think that I need to read The Iliad.  Like… ever again.  So not only did I DNF that one, but I unhauled it.

Magic and Mischief on the Blog

One of the biggest things I’ve started working on this month, is my Problematic Authors page.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot and I don’t really want to create a “hate” depository so much as to gather published facts on authors who are deeply problematic.  because I don’t have a lot of time to research every author on my shelf and TBR right now.  What I will do, though, is research each author now before I start reading the book.

I won’t go into too much detail on all of this because I wrote a small novel actually on that page, but I do want to tell you that I am holding myself accountable when I choose to read books by… less savory authors.  There was a great conversation about this on a post I dropped a couple months ago, but I’ve changed my personal stance a little and while I can separate art/artist myself, I do need to acknowledge more deeply the pain and trauma they’ve caused.




Adventures in the real world!

So my big GOOD NEWS thing this month was that I passed my Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam!  As you guys know, I’ve been studying for this one for months.  I’m really glad to have that one done, but I do still have another financial exam (my Series 99) still to pass.  I have that exam scheduled for Sunday, August 2, so hopefully I will be done after that and not have to try again.  I only have until mid-September to pass everything so it’s … I don’t know.  Challenging.  Depressing.  I’m really over studying, because I feel like I work all the time because of it?  I can’t disconnect at night or on the weekends because I’m studying, you know?

In fact, the only other thing I’ve done other than write this blog post in the last… um… two weeks maybe?  Was study/work!

Okay that’s a lie.  We went and saw The Goonies and Raiders of the Lost Ark at the drive-in… but I studied until it got dark!

What’s Coming Next?

Next month is all scheduled and ready to go.  We’ve got more of the same sort of things, another book vs. movie review.  Also next month, I’m going to try and participate in The Reading Rush.  I had a lot of fun with that readathon last year, but I’m a lot busier and stressed out this summer, so we’ll see if I succeed?  I’m going to try.  I don’t like to fail.  I’m going to try really hard.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if I’ll get through any of those books in July (save maybe The Silence of Bones, which I’ve already started) given the fact that I have my own, separate TBR for The Reading Rush that will usurp much of the month.  But I promise I’m going to try to do my best to bring some good reviews this month!


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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