Lana Del Rey & Creative Writing: August Wrap-Up

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Honestly, I can’t believe I’m sitting here, penning my August wrap-up. Didn’t we just do this? Where exactly did this month go? August seemed to breeze by, as if in a dream.

In other news, winter has finally released its frigid hold over Melbourne and spring cannot come at a moment too soon.  There are just no words for how ready I am for the summer months. And, if that wasn’t reason enough to grab a sundress and hit the coast, Lana Del Rey has dropped Norman F***ing Rockwell, her sixth studio album.  Besides Born To Die [because her first will always be my favorite], NFR might just be her best yet. A serious mood record,  NFR has a psychedelic sound, oozing the lush Californian aesthetic and the laid back surfer vibe. While it’s the perfect soundtrack for summer,  NFR is very in-tune with the moment. It laments a world spirally out of control, morning the disillusionment and decay of the American Dream. It’s a hauntingly beautiful look at the world and the planet humanity is destroying.

Favorite tracks: Venice Bitch, Doing Time, Cinnamon Girl, The Greatest and Happiness Is A Butterfly. 

And with that, let’s get into my August reading wrap-up…

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My Month In A Nutshell

You know how you have the months where you never seem to be stopping and yet you’re not really doing anything??? That’s really the only way to describe August – everything was go, go go! but at the same time I feel like I didn’t get out as much as I wanted.

As most of you know, I work in retail. Somethings got to pay the bills, right? But, when day bleeds into night, I shed my retail skin and become a badass writer; an explorer of words and a seeker of truth. Just kidding but not really. Anyway, my boss was off adventuring overseas so guess who had to cover most of those hours. Spoiler alert: it was me. But, when I wasn’t serving or commuting, I stuck to a strict regime of writing. After all, a writer’s voice is a muscle like any other and, like any muscle, it must be exercised. I got back into the routine of posting twice a week which felt great. 

When I wasn’t blogging I was trying to plot my novel. If I’m being honest I think I spent more time building a playlist and making a mood board than actually outlining. As you do. [Side note: considering my novel is a splashy contemporary Lana Del Rey’s Doing Time was on repeat]. I had sort of written myself into a wall and being at a cross roads with my plot I figured I should go back to the drawing board. Working out the kinks hasn’t been easy but at least I’m writing something.

Work life aside, I revamped my bedroom for summer, swapping out my go-to style of classic provincial for a more laid back, boho look. You know what they say – change is as good as any holiday. I saw The Sun Is Also A Star which wasn’t as deep as the novel but captured the essence of New York. And I think I’ve pretty much covered my obsession with Norman F***ing Rockwell.

Books Read

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The Host by Stephenie Meyer |★★★★★| I went on a bit of a sci-fi bender and decided to re-read The Host. The Host is a beautiful slow burn and a close look at humanity  in a post-colonization, invasion of the body snatchers Earth.

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio |★★★★☆| I’m still a little on the fence, on one hand I was obsessed with the quirky characters but the Suddenly 30-esque twist let me down. I did love the fact that Again, But Better focuses on a twenty-something still struggling to get her shit together.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab |★★★☆☆| *Sigh* I did it – I finally got through A Darker Shade of Magic. All I can say is what book did ya’ll read??? The world-building was compelling but I wasn’t invested in the characters. I’m hoping that A Gathering of Shadows will change my mind because I really wanted this to be my new favorite series.

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson |★★★★½| Another sci-fi novel, Skyward is basically high speed Top Gun in space and it was EPIC. Why did I wait so long to jump on-board the band wagon? The plot was mysterious and surprisingly emotional with some seriously intense edge-of-your-seat dogfights.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim |★★★★☆| Reading like a classic fairy-tale, Spin the Dawn is a fantasy inspired by Chinese folk lore told in two distinct parts; the competition and the journey. While part one had me completely hooked, when the quest began I found myself becoming disillusioned and less engaged.

A Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson |★★★★★| I was 110% on-board with the gothic, atmospheric world of A Sorcery of Thorns from page one. I’ll be writing a full review but basically you have a feminist protagonist, a swoon-worthy love interest and enchanted libraries that house evil books which, when provoked, turn into monsters. Oh yeah – there’s also demon butlers who turn into cats.

Blog Posts

Mercury Retrograde & 90’s Nostalgia: July Wrap-Up 

Review: Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir 

A Definitive List of OTP’s, Ships & Hollywood Couples

Review: The Host by Stephenie Meyer 

Buzzfeed Unsolved Book Tag

Review: Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

Review: Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Summer Bucket List Book Tag

Books Hauled 

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Final Thoughts and September TBR

So, during August I got super distracted by all the bright, shiny new books I hauled and totally scrapped my TBR… Whoops. I didn’t start Shadow and Bone and I didn’t read another classic. But, I did finally roll up my lazy-ass sleeves and read A Darker Shade of Magic. Considering how I trudged halfheartedly through that one, kudos to me.

Though, once again I am way behind on my official 2019 TBR. As in waaaaaaaay behind.  What can I say? Your girl is a serious mood reader – I go wherever the wind takes me.

So what’s in the cards for September? For starters, I need to tackle, head-on that said TBR. 100% though I’ll be reading House of Salt and Sorrows because I’ve heard great things. Also, a creepy retelling of the twelve dancing princesses??? Sign me the heck up for that! As for the rest? Who knows? Clearly I’m not kidding anyone – we all know by now that following a set reading list is a lost cause.

As always, happy reading. And, now that I’ve babbled on, I want to hear from you. Tell me in the comments section how your month went and what you’ll be reading this month. xAlexandra

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