- I went to the Brisbane launch of Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff. Jay was a fascinating speaker. I loved learning about his unique writing lifestyle and his approach to plotting and drafting. Events like this always make me feel so motivated to get home and get cracking on my WIP.
- I got my septum pierced! I’m the sort of person who has to do a lot of research before going ahead with something like this. Even so, I wasn’t totally sure it would suit my face until after I actually did it. I’m so pleased with it! It’s changed my opinion of my nose, making me fall in love with my least favourite facial feature.
- I attended training for handling abusive customers. I really needed this professional development. It taught me a lot of practical skills for defusing aggressive behaviour, which I unfortunately see a lot of in my workplace. I appreciated how the presenter focused on protecting our emotional wellbeing and finding a place of calm within our minds through visualisation and breathing exercises.
- I’m using the Buddhify app for short guided meditations. Buddhify was recommended to me by my psychologist. The app cost me around $6, and gives me access to a diverse range of themed meditations ranging in length from 4 minutes to half an hour – unlike other apps I’ve tried that require a $60 yearly subscription fee to access content that targets your needs. But the true beauty of Buddhify is I can easily find a meditation to suit any situation, from work breaks and baths, to coping with physical pain and stress.
- I made yoga classes part of my weekly routine. I’m going twice weekly at my gym, and it’s helped me to feel more grounded and relaxed, ensuring I take some time out to listen to my body and enter a mindful headspace.
- I will be moving house in a couple of weeks! The timing isn’t optimal because my work is extra busy at the moment. All I can do is take the process slowly and enlist help from friends and family to avoid too much stress. It can be hard to remember that this move is a huge positive milestone since I get caught up running through my mental to-do list. I have to let my partner and friends be here for me.
May Reading Highlights
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★★. Although it took me a while to get into this book, I grew deeply invested in Eleanor’s character development. It’s stayed on my mind ever since reading it, which is a testament to what a special story it is. Here’s my mini review.
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson ★★★★★. The cute art is a good enough reason to love this magical graphic novel. But what really hooked me was how it’s about villains and the motives behind their villainy. It was moving and adorable.
- 50 Queers Who Changed the World by Dan Jones★★★★★. In the style of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, this informative and funny book for adult readers celebrates queer role models from history. I learned so much and finished reading feeling inspired.
- Shout Out to the Girls: A Celebration of Awesome Australian Women ★★★★★. Yet another book inspired by Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls and no less awesome! This was uplifting and heartwarming as well as educational. Even though I’ve lived in Australia all my life, I’m surprised by how few of these role models I knew about. Hearing their stories inspired me and made me feel proud of my community.
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell★★★★☆. Like with Eleanor & Park, it took me a while to get into the story, possibly because the pace is initially so slow. But I loved the characters and the ending. Eeeee!
- Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson ★★★★★. This book perfectly balances silliness with seriousness. I’ve never laughed so hard reading a book before. But besides cracking me up with her manic sense of humour, Jenny openly discusses her severe mental illness. This is both one of the funniest and one of the most confronting books I’ve read.
May Reading Lowlights
- The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert ★★★☆☆. The start had a cool, creepy vibe but as the plot unfolded it felt more and more cliched. Readers who love fairy tales will probably appreciate it more than me. I posted a mini review if you’re interested in hearing more of my thoughts.
- Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff ★★☆☆☆. I liked the world of this dystopian sci-fi, but the plot itself was way too predictable for me to enjoy. If you’re familiar with the storyline of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, then unfortunately the plot twists won’t be a surprise to you.
What is the best and worst book you read this month? Have you read any interesting nonfiction recently? I would love some memoir recommendations!