November Wrap-Up and December TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, hello, we have reached December. 2020 is almost over, and I think we can all agree that we hope 2021 is better and brighter. I managed to make it until mid-October/early-November before everything really got to me in a way that was not so easily managed. It’s just so difficult and frustrating to know that Damian and I have pulled back from so much, to try and social distance and do what we can to stay safe as well as protect others, and then to just see so many stories and articles and social media posts of people going out and good-timing it as if nothing is going on in the world.

As usual with these monthly wrap-ups, let’s start by checking in on my progress towards my overall goals for the year.

  • Reading: 11 books completed in the month of November. Overall, I’d say that’s not bad considering I didn’t read at all really in the first couple weeks of the month. Still, this total does make it my lowest reading month for the year. Overall I’m at a total of 236 books read, with my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal set at 250 books, so I definitely think I can make it through 14 books in December. I have a lot of books I’m looking forward to reading, as well as a definite readathon, as well as having the last week of the year off work, so hopefully that will give me plenty of reading time.
  • Blogging: I slacked even more than normal when it comes to blogging in November, because I fell into a funk and didn’t even post my Weekly Wrap-Up posts for two weeks. But I did manage to get my Most Anticipated Winter 2020 Releases post up, so I’m happy about that. I have a few more blog posts planned and scheduled for December, so I’m hoping to have a better blogging wrap-up for next month.
  • Writing: Speaking of being in a funk and not doing anything…well, I think I managed to write a couple thousand words of journal entries for my current D&D character, but I actually didn’t write anything on my D&D romance novel that I wanted to work on for NaNoWriMo, and I’m pretty upset about that. I still want to write it, and I’m just going to have to figure out how I’m going to make that happen.
  • Conventions: There really isn’t much of a point in keeping this bullet point goal check-in, since COVID-19 has effectively cancelled in person events like conventions for the foreseeable future. Yes digital conventions are happening, and they help a little bit with feelings of normalcy, but not fully. I miss actually gathering with my fellow geeks and having lengthy conversations while we wait in line for a photo-op or autograph session or panel. I miss working in the vendor hall with Colorworld Books and seeing so many amazing cosplays and geeky t-shirts and other merchandise.

Next up is the reading recap section. I don’t have any reviews up for these reads yet, but I did write up a few, and they are scheduled to start posting in December, and hopefully I can have one or two reviews up each week from now on, but I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself for that, so they might not be all that regular for a little while yet.

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore – 3.5 stars

The Factory Witches of Lowell by C.S. Malerich — 4 stars

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and narrated by Wil Wheaton — 5 stars

Hush by Dylan Farrow — 3 stars (I will have a review for this one coming soon)

Black Clover Vol 23 by Yuki Tabata — 5 stars

The Umbrella Academy Vol 1: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba, Dave Stewart, and Nate Piekos — 3.5 stars

The Umbrella Academy Vol 2: Dallas by Gerard Way, Gabriel Ba, Dave Stewart, and Nate Piekos — 3.5 stars

The Witcher Omnibus by Paul Tobin, Joe Querio, Piotr Kowalski, Max Bertolini, Carlos Badilla, Brad Simpson, Travis Currit, Marcin Blacha, Borys Pugacz-Muraszkiewicz, and Nate Piekos — 4 stars

Heroes’ Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook by Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Michael Witwer — 5 stars

Vampires Never Get Old edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker — 4 stars

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton — 4 stars

All right, well after all that, next up is my monthly book haul and OwlCrate unboxing section. Why yes, I did buy quite a few books this month. I even supported one of my local comic book and game stores when Damian went to buy some more Magic: the Gathering cards.

Overall, not a bad book haul for the month, with a number of books that I’ve either read and loved, or that I’m really looking forward to reading sometime soon. And now let’s look at the November OwlCrate.

I think what I like most in the OwlCrate box this time is…honestly I don’t know. I really like the dandelion fluff necklace, the flower press, and the Middle Earth flower postcards. This is a really solid box. Having another reading planner is nice too. It basically has all the same content as the one OwlCrate included last year, but they just changed the art and coloring and style a little bit.

Okay, and finally, it is time to talk about the December TBR. Now, obviously I won’t dive specifically into my #JolabokaflodReadathon TBR until I make that announcement post later this week. So, instead I’ll mostly be focusing on my general TBR and my picks for Diverse December.

This is more of a stack of possible reads for the month of December, and not exactly a set TBR. For the past few years, every December I’ve participated in Diverse December, and tried to read books from authors and characters that are different from me in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s racial or cultural, sometimes it’s differently abled, sometimes it’s someone brave and adventurous, sometimes they have different sexual or gender identities…whatever the diversity, I enjoy getting a different perspective. I might even try to actually read some non-fiction diverse reads in December too, but I don’t know.

I do believe that is all from me for today. How was your November? Is there a book that you’re really hoping to read by the end of 2020? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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