May 2020 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

June 1, 2020 Best of the Bunch, Monthly Recap 34

My Goings On in May:

  • We have been working on junk art! This is an incredibly fun activity. You should check out my post about it if you haven’t yet. I’m thinking I’ll do a monthly update on our creations!
  • I’ve been consumed with all things PUPPY! Our new little fluff will be coming home this coming Saturday, so we’ve been watching videos and getting prepared!
  • Even with those amazing things happening, May of 2020 has felt … hard, especially here at the end. Some days it really does feel like our society is imploding, and I wish there was some way to fix it ALL. I went to a local protest for George Floyd yesterday—it felt better to do something than nothing, but it still doesn’t seem like enough (I’m researching other ways to help and where are the best places to donate to). And now with so much violence happening everywhere … it all feels a little hopeless, and I just pray that we eventually get to positive outcomes.

Features & Discussions:

May 2020 Discussion Challenge Link-Up & Giveaway
Fun with Spam #13
Our First Junk Art Creations!
May 2020 Wrap-Up Round-Up & Giveaway!

My 2020 Reading Progress:

I didn’t read much this month. I’ve just had a hard time focusing on books, and I’m finding that I’m harder to please lately—I think it must be a “me” thing and not necessarily the quality of the books I’ve been reading. I’m hoping I get out of this slump soon!!

Still, I’ve read 59 books so far this year, putting me 18 books ahead of my (lower-than-typical) Goodreads goal.

May 2020 Reviews

  • The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter by Aaron Reynolds | Review
  • The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar | Review
  • Lucky Caller by Emma Mills | Review
  • Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions by Henry Lien| Review
  • The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston | Review
  • Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling | Review
  • Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling | Review

May Best of the Bunch:

(Best of the Bunch is hosted over at Cocoon of Books. We link up our favorite reads of the month!)

My MG decision was really tough this month! I absolutely ADORED Rex Dexter, but Momentous Events feels like a really important book, and it seems strange to compare them. In the end, I cheated and went with both.

For YA, I chose Lucky Caller. This is just the type of book I need right now!!


2020 Goals Progress:

Progress: 9/21-30 Discussions (Chatty Kathy)

I didn’t really write any actual discussions this month! I mean, there was a Fun with Spam post and a post about my junk art, but I don’t feel like either of those qualify? Guess I’d better start discussing books!

My Teenagers Are Reading Again and My Heart Has Never Been So Happy!!
I’ve Been Impersonated on Instagram!!
Google Searches Are Weird (AKA: You Found Me HOW?)
All Those Deleted Drafts
Book-Related Anxiety. It’s a Thing (and I Have It).
The Wonders of a Writing Accountability Partner
The Cybils Awards Finalists! Which Books Do You Hope Will Win?
My 2020 Goals & Challenges
2019 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts at Midnight


My Bookish Goals for 2020:

  • My Writing Goals

    • Finish first draft of my Selfish Giant retelling. I did decently on this in May, but I need to work harder. I took a look, and I’m actually decently close to the finish line, so I’ve told myself I need to get this to critique partners in July. I can do it!
    • Attend one writing conference and at least one online class. I signed up for the online summer SCBWI conference.
    • Read writing craft books and resources. Okay, start a book in June? (I just keep changing the name of the month here. That seems like a problem.)
    • Edit A Memory of Magic. Not on the schedule for June because I’m focusing on Selfish Giant.

    My Reading/Reviewing Goals

    • Review (requested) review books within two weeks of publication. Ugh! I am … not doing well with this lately. I have been having the hardest time reading lately—and “required” books feel doubly hard to read. I don’t know what to do about that.
    • Review two backlist review books per month. I only read one this month. (See my sad explanation above.)
      • Here’s the spreadsheet I created specifically for my backlist ARCs and review copies. (This was adapted from one of the tabs on Val @ Reader Voracious’s 2020 spreadsheet). Hopefully seeing this list here monthly will help keep me on track!


Wrap-Up Round-Up!

Don’t forget to link your May wrap-up posts up to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up. And enter the giveaway!

34 Responses to “May 2020 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch”

  1. Sam@wlabb

    It’s frustrating that we seem to be living in a loop, but I hope local leaders follow through for one. Time and time again, legislation has been set in motion for reform, just to fade away. Make it happen! Involve community leaders in each state, and make it happen. On a bookish note, I am very excited by your Best of the Bunch, because it features two of my favorite books. Another Emma Mills fan is among us.

  2. Emily

    I’m happy you’re getting your puppy soon! Pets are the best form of therapy sometimes.

    And thank you for doing what you can to help fight against racism! I know we often feel hopeless during these times, but anything we can do to speak out helps. I hope everyone’s June is a lot more peaceful.

  3. Kathryn Trask

    I think so many of us have found reading more difficult to do these days. I see writers have been struggling in the same way with their writing. Oh how wonderful – a new anticipated ball of fluff, enjoy. Take care, hate seeing all the violence in your country – can’t imagine how it is for those of you living there.

  4. shooting

    May has just been one tough month, and June isn’t looking any better. I think it’s great you went to a protest and are looking at other ways to help. It can definitely feel like you’re not doing or saying the right things, but these days, people just have to TRY. To actually care and do what they can. I can’t really focus on the news too much though or it gets overwhelming. I’ve donated to a couple places already and I’m going to try and focus on black authors as much as I can, since books is something I love and can spread the word about.

    -Lauren

  5. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Congrats on the puppy! I loved having puppies, even though they caused so much chaos. I don’t live near any protests, but I have been trying to make donations and boost books by Black authors. I hope you have a good June!

  6. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Awww puppy! What a nice bright spot in these times! I am so glad you got to go to a protest- there was one here but I couldn’t get anyone to watch the kids (in fact, my dad “forbade” me from going and since they are the only people I know… yeah) but I have been signing petitions and donating too, set up a recurring one to this one, which allocates your payment however you like, or to many different bail funds around the country- https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bail_funds_george_floyd

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: The 100 Episode 7×02: The Garden
  7. Dedra @ A Book Wanderer

    It’s a hard time right now, and reading is difficult. I’ve been only managing light reads when I feel like I should be reading more serious, non-fiction books. So, instead I’ve turned to watching the documentaries and films being recommended. I can focus on those better right now.

    Lucky Caller sounds good! I hope you enjoy all your reads this month. <3

    Dedra @ A Book Wanderer recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Give Off Summer Vibes
  8. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    I was so close to being ahead with my review books, then something happened. And I don’t know what it was because I’ve been home with plenty of time to read! I think I scheduled too many at the same time, or kept trying to read one that I just couldn’t get into and had to DNF. When those books happen, they often make me feel guilty when I start a new book and then that takes longer. I can’t wait to see puppy pictures and how all that’s going! I’ve gotten no writing or editing done. I’ve got to do that this summer, but it’s so hard for me to write at home. Guess I need to overcome that if I’m going to ever get anything done.

  9. Literary Feline

    Puppies are so much fun (and work). I am excited for you!

    I’m with you. It does feel like society is imploding and, like you, I want to fix it all. And yet it feels so big and hopeless sometimes. I look at all the protesters coming together and feel some hope, but then I look at the government situation and feel hopeless again. My husband and I are looking into ways we can help more, including through donations.

    I hope June will be a better month for us all. Have a good week, Nicole.

  10. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I feel like I might be as excited about you getting a puppy as you all are. Love dogs so I’m excited for the post where we get more cute pictures.

    I feel like everyone has been struggling with current events. It’s amazing seeing so many people coming together in marches throughout the world to support #BLM and that we are slowly seeing some progress in cases such as George Floyd’s and Breona Taylor but then you remember it took worldwide marches for folks to look at these cases and that’s just not right. I’ve spent a whole heap of time trying to read up more on race and especially the history and situation here in the UK and it’s eye-opening. I can’t believe how much I wasn’t taught at school. I think the biggest thing I need to do is educate myself more so I can speak out.

  11. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    YAY again for getting a puppy, this is so exciting and hopefully will bring on some brightness into these last hard couple of weeks. Let’s hope that all we can do and all the ways to help we can find, monetary or not, will finally bring some much needed change.
    Aaah so exciting about finishing your first draft, wishing you the best of luck for this goal! <3
    I hope June will be kind to you <3

  12. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators

    I just got gifted Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, and I can’t wait to read it! Knowing the sequel was your favorite MG of the month has me even more excited!

    And I’d love to see your junk art projects each month! I think they’re so cute and so cool!

    I hope reading gets easier for you and that you have a wonderful June!

    Malka @ Paper Procrastinators recently posted: The Bookish Baking Tag
  13. Danielle Hammelef

    Your new puppy is so cute! I love seeing the pictures. I forgot about Lucky Caller and have this higher on my TBR now that you loved it. And I need to read Dusti’s books too.

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