Monthly Books and Blog Chat series: A Wrap up of August
Books I read, Blog Updates, and Personal Life news for this month
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Let’s Chat! A Wrap Up of My August
Say it ain’t so! Summer is already over (I swear, it was just New Years, like, yesterday!) It always feels like summer goes by way too fast while winter drags on with a dreary slowness. Or is that just me?
But, hey, other than time moving too quickly (which is ALWAYS going to be a sad fact of life), August went well for me and I have some great things to share with you all – starting with a wrap up of my personal life.
Vaxxed and Ready to Rock
I’m fully vaccinated, now! Obviously, there’s still a global pandemic and we all need to be mindful of that, but being completely vaccinated has made me feel a lot more comfortable going out.
I went on a few vacations last month and this month I was finally able to get back to one of my all-time favorite pastimes – concerts. I absolutely LOVE live music. I listen to music on i-tunes and the radio, but there’s something about the energy at a concert that really makes the songs come alive.
Being able to enjoy that feeling once again felt so freeing. I haven’t been able to see a concert in over a year and a half due to COVID and I realized just how much I took that experience for granted before.
Another thing that happened to me this month was getting a new job! Actually it’s a second job, but it’s still new so it’s worth mentioning.
So, right now I’m balancing two jobs and parenting and blogging – it’s a LOT but not in a bad way! Next month I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this, but for now, we’ll move on to the books and blogging wrap up.
Reading Wrap Up
I usually try to read about one book a week, but this month was super busy for me and I didn’t quite make that quota.
You Might Also Like: Best Books to Read This Summer
Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty • Lauren Weisberger
I’ll be honest, I went into this book really expecting to love it. It has a solid premise, a culturally relevant topic, and a well-known author.
Peyton, a morning news-anchor who seems to have it all, is suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of the spotlight when her husband is accused of paying a “college fixer” to ensure that their daughter is accepted to Princeton.
But, Weisberger takes an interesting, ripped-from-the-headlines story and turns it into a trite after-school-special. What disappointed me the most, here, too, was the fact that it could have been a great book. The whole college admissions scandal is still topical and it’s an especially refreshing idea to view that through the eyes of Max, their daughter who had no idea her acceptance to the Ivy League wasn’t legit.
Unfortunately, the execution of said idea just didn’t do it justice and this one really fell short for me.
Purchase Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty here
If you’re really in the mood for a Lauren Weisberger novel, here are some of hers that I would recommend:
The Other Black Girl • Zakiya Dalila Harris
I really enjoyed this book – it’s one that has been on my “highly anticipated reads” list for awhile now and I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint.
It’s an interesting genre-blending read, part literary/upmarket fiction, part psychological thriller and mystery. There were some unexpected twists and turns, too, and it definitely left me wanting to read more from her in the future.
I’m also always a fan of any book that brings up important culturally relevant issues such as race or gender, so that was huge plus. I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending, but overall, I’d highly recommend this one.
Purchase The Other Black Girl here
Golden Girl • Elin Hilderbrand
It really wouldn’t be summer without another Nantucket-based novel by the queen of beach reads herself, Elin Hilderbrand.
As with all of her other novels, Golden Girl was a heady mixture of summer-y scenes, easy reading, and intriguing character development. She tends to provide books that could sometimes be considered chick-lit but that have more depth than you might otherwise expect and this particular one was no different.
I’ve yet to read something of hers that I didn’t love and once again, Ms. Hilderbrand did not disappoint.
Purchase Golden Girl here
The Many Personalities of Me • Bailey Gee
*Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Many Personalities of Me is a collection of poems based on heartache, perseverance, and living with mental illness.
It’s hard to really review a book of poetry, but I found that overall, this collection was raw and honest and I loved how vulnerable she was. My favorite poem in the book was titled Faded Memories – the fact that she doesn’t spell out the story but instead leaves you with your own ideas based on reading between the lines was really inspiring.
Purchase The Many Personalities of Me here
Blogging Wrap Up
As far as blogging goes, August has been a really good month for me. I’ve seen a ton of blog growth – plus I’ve been able to start monetizing, which was a huge goal of mine.
Blog Growth and Domain Authority
At the beginning of the month, I had a Domain Authority score of 3 or 4. Within three weeks, it shot up to 9! I can’t even tell you how thrilled and surprised I was by that, and honestly, I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing to cause this spike, but I’m taking it as a sign that I’m doing something right with this whole blogging thing.
Monetizing My Blog
This month also marked the first time I’ve been able to monetize with one of my affiliate links! It was only one, which equaled about 50 cents, but still! It’s a start, right?
Meet the Advertisers!
Another month, another new blog series 😂
The “Meet the Advertisers” segment is one that I’m really excited to have now. Initially, I wasn’t sure how many advertisers I’d even get, so I was planning to include them in my Monthly Blogging Wrap Up posts – but then I decided that as long as I have more than one, I’d make a separate, Advertiser-specific post.
I always love reading the Advertiser Wrap Up posts on other blogs so it’ll be fun to have one of my own. Of course, going forward, each month will depend on how many advertisers I get, but I’m hoping that I can continue with this set-up.
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That’s a Wrap!
Sure, the Monthly Wrap Up is a bit of a navel-gazing blog post, but I really enjoy writing them so I hope you find similar joy in reading them.
What new and exciting thing did August bring for you? Did you read any great books? How did you wrap up your Summer? Let me know in the comments below!
And, as always, thanks so much for reading.