Hey everyone !!! How are you all doing? The month of May started off quite bad for me with a reading slump, as well as lot of anxiety surrounding the rising number of cases in my country. Thankfully, the lockdowns have eased my tensions a little, allowing me to try and read again, but vaccination still remains elusive.
But… let me not bring down the mood by talking about the bad things irl. I would rather gush about the readathons I participated in, the books I read and new favorites I have found, the shows I have watched and fangirled about, and everyone’s favorite new single that I am listening to as well.
First.. let’s start with the books !!!!
As someone who loves reading books by Asian and diaspora authors, it was a no brainer that I would participate in the Asian Readathon. I ofcourse decided to double/triple up because I didn’t want to commit to reading 5 books in the middle of a slump. However, to be honest, I am surprised I stuck to my TBR and finished the three books I had planned to.
I started off the month with the book Without You, There is no Us – an investigative memoir of the author working as a professor in North Korea. As you can guess, the book was bleak and at times, terrifying, which probably wasn’t the wisest choice during the slump. It took me almost 11 days to listen to, and I didn’t feel like touching anything else in the meantime. But it’s still a worthy read, especially for a novice on the topic of DPRK like me.
Sisters of the Snake was on my anticipated debuts list of this year and I have to say, it was very fast paced and thoroughly entertaining, which I just flew through in a few hours. Probably the book that managed to get me out of the slump.
I have read both Ken Liu’s translated works as well as his own short stories, so I was very excited to read more short stories in Broken Stars and discover interesting Chinese SFF authors. And this was such a wonderful collection. I usually have some complaints about every anthology because not all stories can be to our taste, but I truly didn’t have anything bad to say here, and some of the stories moved me to tears. Anyways, if you are a fan of the short format, you have to give this a try.
My dear friend Krisha introduced me to this readathon, and I was very excited because ARMY is a big community and I wanted to make new friends. I may have failed in keeping touch with everyone in the readathon discord, but I did manage to read books for the 7 prompts I had planned on, and it makes me so happy.
Most of these were four stars and I have no complaints. Other than the books I already read for Asian Readathon, To Love and to Loathe gave me the fun banter I was missing; All That She Carried was a profound perspective on slavery through the story of a bag that gets passed down through three generations of mothers and daughters; The King of Mathura gave me a look into the fascinating character of Krishna that I had never seen before.
Wyrd and Wonder
It’s much better if I don’t talk about my TBR for Wyrd and Wonder. I had planned on 8 books and while I did manage to read 6, only a few of them were on my TBR. However, I think it is ok considering my headspace, and I am glad I read my favorite genre.
The Return of the Sorceress was an interesting novella, though I wished it was longer; Troy was an enjoyable listen because Stephen Fry is a brilliant narrator; and Black Sun is now a new all-time favorite because this is what epic fantasy is all about.
I also wrote a few posts specifically for Wyrd and Wonder this month, and I hope you will check them out if you find them interesting.
I am, as you would call in fandom terminology, baby ARMY. I ofcourse knew Dynamite since the time of it’s release, and I had seen some of their MMA performances since, but I hadn’t actually listened to any of their other songs. But that has changed since a month or two, when I finally started watching their older MVs, and I have to agree that they are amazing.
However, this month was the first time I was awaiting a new single release along with fellow ARMYs and I have to say, the excitement was peaks and I had so much fun following along on social media. And then BUTTER came out, and I am in love. It’s perfect for the season and I can’t stop watching the MV, the performances at the BBMA, Late Show, GMA, the Hotter remix and whatever else I can find. I am also having too much fun watching reaction videos of ARMY youtubers and I can confidently say I am not gonna be stopping soon.
Binge Watching Roundup
Now what would I have done when in a reading slump? Binge watch stuff obviously. While BTS videos have been a solace, my true obsession has been discovering more cdramas.
May started off with the 2 day SHL concert which I paid to see the live stream of, without subs – so you can see how much I love this show and the cast. The two days were an absolute delight, with so so many cute and tender and emotional moments, and I am sure there was no one in the audience without tears towards the end on Day 2. Me and my dear friend Dany still gush about Gong Jun and Zhang Zhehan every single day, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon because I am currently on my first rewatch of the show and it will surely not be my last.
I also binge watched Gank Your Heart, The Blooms at Ruyi Pavilion, and Ancient Detective. All of them were very enjoyable despite being of varied genres, and it has only made me want to watch more.
I tried both Duoluo Continent, and The Sleuth of Ming Dynasty… but had to stop at around 10-15 episodes coz I got bored. I might still continue Sleuth someday but let’s see.
I am as always looking for more and have been thinking about either starting The Long Ballad or The Legends. But I’m quite bad at choosing stuff when I have many options, so I’m still being indecisive.
And that’s it for all that I got up to this month…!!!! How about you? How has your reading month been? Any new 5 star favorites? ARMY – any old BTS songs that you think I should listen – coz I am still pretty ignorant of their huge discography. And cdrama fans among my fellow bloggers …. please give me more recs in the comments below – Anything historical or wuxia is welcome 🙂