March 2021 Wrap-up: Spring, My Blogiversary, and Lots and Lots of Books

Do you ever get that feeling where you feel like the beginning of the month was just yesterday, but it simultaneously feels like it was a long time ago, and you’re confusing yourself by forgetting how time works and when you did what and how long a month is supposed to be? Me too.

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Do you ever get that feeling where you feel like the beginning of the month was just yesterday, but it simultaneously feels like it was a long time ago, and you’re confusing yourself by forgetting how time works and when you did what and how long a month is supposed to be? Me too. But at least I got to read a lot of books.

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

Life Update:

This month was actually really eventful for me.

  • It’s finally spring and my mental health has gotten way better, probably as a result.
  • I caved to my stats nerd side and started tracking detailed reading statistics for 2021 on a spreadsheet so that I can more accurately look at my reading trends.
  • I impulsively got 8 inches off my hair when I got a haircut– and I never want to go back.
  • I finally finished and turned in that huge app development project I’d been working on, and the sense of relief was unparalleled.

Reading

I might just have to restrict my reading from now until my AP exams, because I haven’t really been studying and I have an inconvenient problem: the more stressed I am, the more books I read.

I read 12 books this month: 9 fiction and 3 nonfiction.

Fiction

1.5-2 stars

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (general/adult, contemporary, sci-fi)- I will always like Hank Green’s work on Crash Course but I have to be honest about this book…. it wasn’t for me.I liked some parts of it and thought the discussions on fame/social media were interesting, but many things about this rubbed me the wrong way. It’s a tongue-in-cheek-ish story about an alien invasion and a 23-year-old nobody who makes first contact.

2.5-3 stars

Sadie by Courtney Summers (YA, mystery/thriller, contemporary)– This book is told partly through a podcast, and partly through a regular narrative, following a girl named Sadie after she runs away to avenge her sister’s death. This was a pretty hyped book, but I actually didn’t enjoy it very much. The ending was very, very open, which I wasn’t a fan of, and there was also not much suspense because of the way the dual-POVs were set up.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (YA, sci-fi)– I read this because I really liked Illuminae by the same authors, but this book felt a lot more like your generic YA SFF book– which I guess I’m not that qualified to say because I don’t read those kinds of books often….Regardless, I was really intrigued by the beginning of the book, but it tapered off quickly and the plot became really weird. It follows a ragtag group of teens (I told you, it’s really YA SFF-y) who go on a mission to figure out this mysterious cover-up involving a girl who got magical-ish powers after being frozen for 200 years on a lost spaceship.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (classics) – It pains me to say I didn’t really like this book! I know. Here’s why: I thought it was a bit boring and very preachy, and I didn’t like the resolution for my favorite character (Jo) because it went completely away from her character arc. Though, apparently Louisa May Alcott was forced to end it this way because of pressure from her publisher.

3.5-4 stars

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (YA, SFF/dystopian/historical)– a really weird mix of genres. This had one of the most unique premises I’ve seen. It’s an alternate history/SFF that takes place in 1956- but if the Axis powers won WW2 and follows a girl with shapeshifting abilities who has been chosen to assassinate Hitler.

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (classics, short story, horror)– I read this short story really, really randomly one morning in bed right after I woke up. It took about five minutes because it’s really short! I already knew the ending, but yes, it was creepy.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles (general/adult, historical fiction)– Another pretty hyped book! I wasn’t sure about the beginning, but it got pretty good towards the end, which is why I gave it four stars. It is another one of those dual-POV historical fictions, and follows a young librarian named Odile in Paris during WW2 and a teen named Lily in the 1980s who lives next door to elderly Odile. I really did not enjoy Lily’s POV and the pacing was also kind of strange in this book, but overall it was good.

4.5-5 stars

After the Fire by Will Hill (YA, mystery/thriller, contemporary)- I randomly borrowed this ebook from the library after remembering that I wanted to read it a long time ago. It follows a girl in the hospital and in therapy after the cult she was in was burned down. You don’t know anything about what happened and as she begins to open up about her past, you slowly begin to put the pieces together. It’s more of a thriller than a mystery, but it also kind of is a mystery It explores a lot of topics like… well, cults, freedom, brainwashing, etc. I devoured the book in a little under two hours. It is so underrated!

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (general/adult, mystery/thriller, SFF/dystopian, historical fiction)– Everyone knows I have a thing for whodunnits, especially ones that trick me MULTIPLE times. I loved this book! It takes the Agatha-Christie-book feel and throws in a really cool twist on the premise. The story follows a man who finds himself at a 1920s dinner party at this secluded manor house with no recollection of his name, his family, or anything about his past.Soon he learns that he is trapped in some sort of time loop where he gets to repeat this particular day seven times in a different guest’s body each time, and he can only escape by solving a murder which will happen that night.

Nonfiction

I read a really, really random selection of nonfiction books this month.

Astronomy for Dummies by Stephen P. Maran– I’ve recently been going through an astrophysics and space obsession. I literally just Googled “astronomy books for beginners” and this was the first result so I got the ebook on my Kindle and read it cover-to-cover.

Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook by Grant Smith– what a mouthful. This is one of those “middle school notebooks” books; my mom got it from Costco for my sister and I took it to read because why not. Definitely using this as a reference when I finally get around to expanding my language repertoire and learning Python.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass– read for AP English Lang and if I gave nonfiction star ratings in my wrap-ups, this would get 5 stars for sure. Frederick Douglass is a really inspirational person and this is one of the best biographies I have read. A must-read.

Blogging

I had a decently good blogging month in March. I posted more than in February, and I’m really, really close to reaching 500 followers. Thank you all for supporting this blog!

March Posts:

Book Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Book Quotes to Live By

The Meet the Book Blogger Tag

6 Ways To Find Your Next Favorite Book

(and today’s post)

Also, March 25th was my blogiversary and it seems insane that I’ve been blogging for over a year now. So, just for old times’ sake, here are my March 2020 posts (from back when I posted almost exclusively book reviews and had much more generous ratings…)

Book Review: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Book Review: Emma by Jane Austen

Goals:

Last Month’s Goals:

1) Have a healthier routine– Read: go to bed before 1 AM, don’t scroll on your phone for 20 minutes before getting out of bed in the morning. The usual.

I think I did this better than in February. I’ve definitely been eating healthier, at least– I’m no longer having instant ramen for lunch every day, and I’ve been getting up earlier too. I’m still exhausted in the mornings, but I’ve been going to bed at 12 AM instead of 1 AM (baby steps…)

2) Continue to read a wider variety of genresI still want to make it a goal to read more general/adult and non-fiction books. And within fiction too, I want to prioritize reading books of different genres. Why limit yourself to just one type of book?

I think I also did a good job with this goal in March! I actually had a huge variety of books on this wrap-up list.

3) Don’t make blogging a chore- I only want to blog when I really want to (meaning I’ll try to post at the same frequency but try to write my posts throughout the week instead of forcing myself to write one every Saturday)

I sort of did this one. I wrote my posts a little bit more… piecewise. That’s not the right word. I’m still in calculus mode. I can’t think of the right word at this current moment, but I wrote a little on different days before finishing the post and publishing it. I also managed to post more frequently although I took a huge accidental break in the middle of the month when I was finishing that aforementioned app project.

April Goals:

1) Read some more classics

I always feel like reading classics in April, for some reason, so this is going to be one of my goals this month. I really want to read The Picture of Dorian Gray and I’m also about 1/10th of the way through Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, which I chose because it’s the controversial one.

2) Prioritize school

As I mentioned already, I have AP exams coming up in the spring– five of them to be exact, and I also have physics which besides being one of said APs is also one of my hardest classes, although I like the material. Also, I’m going back in hybrid this month, which will be very interesting.

3) Go outside more

I always feel better when I go outside, so I want to make a point to spend some time outside every day now that the weather is getting better.

That’s it for my March wrap-up! Thanks for visiting my blog. Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What did you think of them?

Previous wrap-ups:

February 2021 wrap-up

January 2021 wrap-up

*When you realize the post is almost 2000 words long….*

Well, my tagline doesn’t say “miscellaneous ramblings” for nothing, does it?

35 comments on “March 2021 Wrap-up: Spring, My Blogiversary, and Lots and Lots of Books”

  1. I’m glad you had a good month!
    PHEW I’m so glad I’m not the only one who loathed An Absolutely Remarkable Thing…Hank Green is probably the only reason that I’m passing AP Bio but honestly the attempt at bi rep was AWFUL man I can’t forgive him for that
    Ah jeez I’m so sorry you didn’t like Aurora Rising! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for reading! Yeah, I was disappointed with AART but it still seems to be really popular. I didn’t hate Aurora Rising, I just thought it was ok (for me, 2 stars is “ok” because I like to keep my average around 3) but I can’t wait to read the second Illuminae book! I have to get it from the library though because I’m not going to read it as an ebook

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen the movie but I want to! It’s always hard for me to get into anything written in the 19th century and it was kind of difficult to get into for me too, but I never DNF so I read all 700+ pages, haha. I wonder if I might have liked it better if I hadn’t already known the plot from reading the “young reader’s edition” adaption when I was younger

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg yes I read the simplified version when I was younger too. Actually, I read about three-four abridged and simplified versions before I got to the real book. I read classics quite a lot so it’s a real mystery why i didnt like Little Women. Not DNF’ing is quite a talent unfortunately I don’t have that much patience😅 the movie was AMAZING, and I totally recommend it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading 12 books in addition to all that schoolwork is so impressive, I really wish I had that kind of time management 😂 I’m so excited that you loved The 7 1/2 Deaths — I need to get around to reading that one, it’s been on my TBR for too long! 🤩And good luck with all those AP exams!!

    I hope you have a wonderful April Emily!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! You manage to read so much books in a month. That’s great! It saddens me to know that I just get the time to read about 5-6 books a month. Best of luck for your AP exams..I also have mine in May this year and one of them is Literature which allows me to read books and not neglect my studies at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I like Hank Green in general because I have watched him on Crash Course and he seems like an interesting person, so I plan to keep an eye out for what he might release next. I don’t think I’m going to finish this series though

      Like

  4. I love all the goals you post! I need to focus more on my goals. I always write them out at the beginning of the year. Then, I never really update them. It is another goal (haha) to get better at this. You are an inspiration for my slacking ways. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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