August 2020 Wrap-Up

I’m a little bit late with my August wrap-up… but better late than never right???

I swear every blog post I write these days starts off with me detailing how unwell I am currently… I don’t like it. I feel like I’m always complaining and that people will get tired of me and roll their eyes at ‘oh, here she’s moaning about being sick again’….

And that fear is founded in reality.

In experience.

You see when you are chronically ill like I am you are always sick. And being around me reminds people of that fact. There is no escaping my illness. Every day I wake in a sea of pain, fatigue, and nausea… some days it’s okay. I can medicate the pain and the nausea to an acceptable level … but the last few weeks I have been in a giant flare of my illness brought on by a chest infection that has rooted itself deep in my lungs… and I’m exhausted. My body just can only take so much so all I’m doing these days is coughing, medicating, and sleeping.

But people get tired of hearing about me being unwell.

It’s too much. I see it in people’s eyes, their actions…

And so when you are sick you become the girl that’s left behind because you can’t join in on social occasions nor can you be relied upon.

And friends slowly drift away.

It’s impossible not to blame them. It hurts grievously when friends leave you behind and stop calling… but I understand it. It has happened to me and I can’t really blame the friends who moved on with their lives while I am here stuck frozen in time.

No one wants to be around a constant reminder of what being ill looks like. It makes people too aware of their own life, their own health… and there’s guilt at that… why them and not me etc.

And so people like me, chronically ill #spoonies, we retreat to the internet. We find our connections there. Where people can’t look us in the eyes and see the pain lined face. Where people don’t ask us for a cup of coffee and a chat, or a night out, or whatever… Where we can reply to a comment from a haze of pain and sickness, and just for a moment pretend that we are okay…

I love my internet life as I call it. My blog keeps me going. It gives reason to the endless days…

But I have not been able to keep up with it properly since the early summer… and I am afraid. I am afraid that my constant excuse of being too unwell will turn people away… ooof let’s not read *that* blog because she is always complaining about being sick and unwell…

But part of me having this book blog is showing what life is like for a long term chronically ill person. I intended to do that through reviews of books featuring chronically ill and disabled characters, but my own lived experience … there’s value in that. I hope talking about my lived experience will just make some of the readers of my blog a little more aware of those of us in the shadows that can’t live the lives we hoped for because our bodies are holding us to ransom. That can’t hold down a job or a relationship because we are too sick.

I know…

What does all of this have to do with my reading wrap up for the month of August?

Well everything and nothing.

My fatigue, the pain, the sickness… it’s dictating how many books I can read right now. I did manage to read nine books in August which is a nice number… but when you take into account that all I do is read books then you realise that number is not quite as large as it could be.

But nine books is nine books! And I’m happy I read each of them.

(1) After the Silence by Louise O’Neill

I’m a big fan of Louise O’Neill but this book doesn’t quite live up to the standards of her previous efforts. Where the book excels is the feminist angle and looking at the insidious nature of domestic abuse… but it is let down on the murder mystery aspect by falling into a few much too safe stereotypes. Still well worth a read though. 3.5 stars. Full Review.

(2) Never Say No by Elizabeth Neep

This was my favourite book of the month! An easy 4.5 stars. Intelligent writing, witty dialogue, well rounded characters. A great book for anyone in their late twenties, early thirties that is trying to get their head around this thing we call life! Full Review.

(3) Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books by Cathy Rentzenbrink

A book about books for book lovers! What else do I need to say to recommend it!!!! 4 stars. Full Review

(4) The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

BETTER THAN THE FILM!!!!! Also surprisingly darker than the film but in a good way. 4 stars. Full Review

(5) Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

I love Twilight but this was too long… definitely needed another run through editing. But still was a lot of fun for those of us who are die-hard twihards! 3.5 stars. Full Review.

(6) Princess Rose and the Quest of the Golden Crown by Jennifer and Daniel Frazier

An utter delight! Highly recommend this to all fans of middle grade adventure quest novels. 4 stars. Full Review.

(7) The Castle of Tangled Magic by Sophie Anderson

Another middle grade triumph this month! 4.5 stars for the great sense of magic and character. Full review to come.

(8) The Last Charm by Ella Albright

Ooof my least fav of the month… great premise, not so great execution. Still a writer I would return to in the future. 3 stars. Full Review

(9) The Vela by Yoon Ha Lee, Becky Chambers, Rivers Solomon, and SL Huang

BRILLIANT! Diverse. Inclusive. Great storytelling. Drama. Emotion… everything you could want from a space opera. 4.5 stars. Full Review.

That’s it for another monthly wrap up!

How many books did you get through in August?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

29 thoughts on “August 2020 Wrap-Up

  1. Sending gentle virtual hugs, Emer!! I’m sorry some people get tired of your pain. HOW DARE THEY??!! Please know that we’re here for you and I hope September is treating you better!! 💕💕💖💖 Thank you for being so amazing and wonderful as always!!

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  2. Girl, we are friends to the end! It made me really happy that you dmed me on IG the other day. I have zero friends in the real world (unless you count my sister and husband, haha). I’m so glad I found you through here! I’m sorry your health has been meh lately but I’m glad you managed to get through so many books! 💕💕💕💕💕

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  3. Ugh. Chronic illness sucks 😦 I’m so sorry to hear it’s been dragging you down. Just take it one day – one hour – or one minute at a time. And remember that this community is here for you!

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  4. People are always so good at concealing their true feelings and presenting to the world what the rest wants to see. But reading your blog posts, I feel like you’re you. You’re honest, funny, and very brave for showing us all what it’s like to live every single day with constant pain.

    I understand that fear you’re talking about, I think all of us experienced something similar, but I hope it doesn’t prevent you from staying real, from saying things the way they are, not pretending for the sake of what others want to see.

    All of us love coming to your blog, because of you, whether its a happy Emer or the one that goes through a very difficult time. I hope you’ll always have supportive people in your life, be it your family, close friends, or this online community! ❤

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    1. Alex… I don’t have the words to express how this comment made me feel. Just thank you my friend. I am so lucky to have met you through blogging. And I’m so glad that you see that the person behind my blog is really me. That you see it’s all authentic. That what you read is who I am. It means so much to be told that I’m seen, so thank you thank you thank you 😊😊😊💚❤️💜💙🧡💖💛

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  5. Emer, I appreciate and love how honest you always are on your blog. I love that you open up and talk about your health because I think that makes you really brave and really strong – I 100% mean that. I’m always here if wanna chat ❤️

    9 books is amazing! 😃 I have to say you’ve intrigued me about the book Never Say No… I need to go and look it up and possible buy it. September is a new month so I hope you have a better month! ❤️

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    1. Oh Meghan thank you so much my friend. You say the kindest things. It’s so wonderful knowing that there are people out there who see the person behind the words and know that everything I put into my blog is very much me. Thank you my dear friend 💖❤️💙💚🧡💛

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  6. Don’t ever feel bad about telling us how you feel! You can whine about being sick as much as you want, I will never get tired of reading your posts! I love how open you are about your struggles, how strong you are in facing them, and how you are always so supportive! ❤❤❤ I hope you feel better soon!
    Apart from all that horribleness, though, it looks like you had a pretty great reading month! I wish my lowest-rated book had been a three star read 😉

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    1. Spoonie life does indeed suck. I’m so sorry that you can relate. It’s awful being chronically ill but we get through it Mani because the alternative just doesn’t bear thinking about. All my love my friend. Sorry I haven’t popped by your blog in a while…things are just tough right now but I will be back to normal routine soon. Thank you for waiting my friend. 💚💙💜❤️

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  7. I’m so sorry that you’ve had a tough month, sending all my love to you. 💗 Your reviews always make me smile, and your blog will always be close to my heart as one of my the (probably the first?) book blogs that started supporting me. So thank you for everything, all my love 🙂

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