My Monthly Wrap-Up | May 2020

Hello ladies & gentlemen,

The month has come to an end and it’s time to do a quick wrap-up of what has been done.

Reading Breakdown.

Novels read: 3 (2).
Comic books read: 6 (↑1).
Manga volumes read: 8 (↓2).

BOOK REVIEWS

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence.
The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey.

COMIC BOOK REVIEWS

Superman: Action Comics (Vol. 2): Leviathan Rising by Brian Michael Bendis.
Superman (Vol. 2): Unity Saga: The House of El by Brian Michael Bendis.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.
Event Leviathan by Brian Michael Bendis.
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou.
Superman: Action Comics (Vol. 3): Leviathan Hunt) by Brian Michael Bendis.
Kabuki Omnibus Vol. 1 by David Mack.

TV SERIES/MOVIE REVIEW

Catwoman (2004)

MISCELLANEOUS POSTS

The Benefits of Reading.
Real Neat Blog Award.


TOP BOOK

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Writer M.R. Carey’s latest novel was a fun take on the post-apocalyptic sub-genre and offered an immersive and quick read that promises some exciting adventures in a far-away future!

Check out my review for more on my thoughts!

LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK

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It wasn’t a bad book but this brand-new spin-off series kicked off on the wrong foot by failing to meet expectations and by going down an unexpected road coming from the adult fantasy writer himself!

Check out my review for more on my thoughts!

TOP TV SERIES/MOVIES

My Neighbor Totoro | Reelviews Movie Reviews

It was time to tackle another classic Studio Ghibli movie and it’s safe to say that this one did not disappoint as well.

A completely innocent and whimsical tale of two little girls discovering a mythical creature as they cope with the absence of their mother in their new home.

Purely centered around the life of these children and their beautiful and authentic relationship with one another, there’s nothing pulling this story forward but the momentum of life and all of its secrets.

 4 stars outta 5.

MoviesMay2020

These are all the movies I watched/rewatched this month.

Feel free to share your thoughts on them!

Chernobyl (TV Mini-Series 2019) - IMDb

Special mention to Chernobyl (2019), a historical drama split into five episodes brought to you by HBO and Sky UK. It is centered around the April 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and offers incredible dramatized insight in the event through various point of views. From exposing a political ideology that backstabbed countless lives and generations to the psychological flaws of corrupt individuals, this is a must-watch for everyone.

5 stars outta 5.

CURRENTLY READING

Between the World and Me: Coates, Ta-Nehisi: 8601423687360: Books ...

I started this before the tragic events taking place in Minneapolis and now look forward to finishing it.  

PERSONAL LIFE

This month pretty much completes the second full-time quarantine as everything is slowly reopening out in the world. If there’s one thing that I’ve come to realize is that I have grown way too used to isolation. I have a hard time imagining going back to doing social things without constantly worrying about catching a virus. Imagine going to restaurants now. I’m pretty sure everyone will be much more paranoid than ever before. It’s a bit sad that we have to live with this new reality for more or less a whole year. For the time being, I’ll just be content with being able to do everything I want to do at home.

This month also came with a couple of exciting career opportunities that I never thought would come to me already. Then again, I’m 25. The earlier I get set, the better it is, right? While it’s scary, I think its best to seize those opportunities, especially when they are rare. I look forward to what June will have to offer.

Another thing that the quarantine has successfully helped improve in me, and maybe everyone else too, is my skills in procrastination. I feel like being stuck indoors makes it easier to postpone things you want and need to do. It doesn’t help when the weather evaporates every drop of motivation within you. While I’m glad that I don’t need to deal with snow for a while now, I didn’t expect to reach 40° Celcius so early in the year!

Dehydrated GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY


Thank you all for checking out my monthly wrap-up and don’t forget to check out any posts that might interest you or that you might have missed out on!

Stay tuned for my Monthly Anticipation post coming out soon. 😉

So what’s going on with y’all? What have you discovered this month? What are your thoughts on the books/TV series/movies I’ve checked out?

Yours truly,

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69 comments

  • Do you think you’ll do a review of Rise of Skywalker? Or was Catwoman enough “bad movie” to review?

    When it comes to Miyazaki, I feel like a kid in a candy store pointing at one candy saying “Ohhhh, that’s my favorite” and then repeating it for every single other one as well 😀

    I hope the career opportunities turn out well. As for the weather, it hit 40C for you already?!?!? Oh, I’d so die.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For the time being my plan is to stick with DC-based movies before anything else. But man… Putting words to describe RoS would probably make me drop it to a 0 star movie hahahaha

      Hahahahah I’m with you there. As I started the movie, I was lost. I wasn’t sure what was really going or if it was going to please me but by the end of it all, there’s always that feeling within you that makes you feel fragile and sensible to the nice things in the world hahah

      Yep… We went through one of those weeks with super hot and humid weather. It has all stabilized for now though but I dread the day it comes back when summer ACTUALLY starts…

      Liked by 1 person

  • Im very interested in watching Chernobyl, as i am a massive Stalker fan, just everything surrounding that place and games and books it has inspired. Good luck with your job opportunities. Im turning 35 and nowhere near being set…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heavily recommend Chernobyl. It’s one of the best pieces of television that has been made in the last decade.

      Ah man, I hear you. I know many who are still continuously changing their jobs and trying to find something that pleases them. Or at least changing things for better conditions. Hope you’ll find something that’ll not only allow you to be happy but to meet your needs, Dawie!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh man, Grave of the Fireflies? Wow. I absolutelly loved that movie, but I don’t know that I ever want to watch it again. I found it a difficult movie to watch. Very powerful, very moving, very emotional. But I thought it was so very well done, and I’m glad I watched it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s incredible praise if you ask me! Now I’m even more hyped to check it out than ever before. I find that the movies I’ve seen so far didn’t necessarily have a “plot” to work with and if one of these Ghibli movies manages to follow a certain thread, I’ll be head over heels for it! Otherwise, they still remain soooo soul-appeasing! 😁

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  • Ah, I stumbled across My Friend Totoro the other day on Netflix. Probably should get around to watch it 🙂 . I agree, it will be interesting to see what happens, when shops and restaurants start to open again. Probably a lot of people will have a “wait and see” attitude like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Congrats on the opportunities! Choices are so good.

    I sent my students off yesterday (through Zoom). What a surreal meeting… I usually get to wave to them as they throw their notebooks in the air running off campus. Just crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Paul. I hope it works out!

      Oh man. I’ve been thinking about that lately too with many classes coming to an end. Hope everyone will still be able to appreciate the moment and celebrate in their own way when possible.

      Like

  • Its really hard to go back from isolation and act normal. My anxiety is up again thinking I’ll need to interact with others. I feel bad for feeling like that but i cant help myself. 🙁

    Anyway, I haven’t heard about Chernobyl. I might watch that. It’s intriguing. Also good luck with the career opportunities. You were vague but they seem big for you so hopefully, they go well. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can definitely understand. Everything remotely social will be soooo different from how they used to be and it’s definitely not going to be any easier! Hope we’ll be able to survive the change without too much mental health repercussions. 😮

      I highly recommend Chernobyl. One of the best TV series from the last decade that is not only eye-opening but so, so powerful!

      Thanks, Lili! I’m keeping it extra vague and secret-y to not jinx it hahah Very very few really know what it is but if things go well, I’ll probably reveal it later in the month hahah Hope you have a wonderful month of June as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay!!! Good luck again. ❤❤ I just read your post about things to do during quarantine. I didn’t know you’re the kind of person who loves going out – an opposite of myself. 🙂 🙂

        I’ll definitely watch Chernobyl. I’m actually just waiting for my earphone I ordered online. My little cousin ruined my old one. 😀

        By the way, when I visited your site today, it seems I wasn’t following you which is not right because I visited your site before already. I mean this wrap-up post of yours was posted days ago. 🙂 Anyway, I think it is some glitch. I followed you again. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • That wasn’t my post actually hahah! It’s from my currently rarely active co-blogger. I am definitely not that kind of person at all myself hahaha I will always prefer the comfort of pillows, blankets, warm drinks, and a good book! 😉

          Yikes! Don’t tell me he ate your old earphones! 😛 Just kidding!

          No problem at all, Lili! I appreciate the discussions we have and the time you take to read my posts nonetheless. 😉 Thank you so much and I hope you have a fantastic month of June! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • LOL. 🤣😂 Sorry for assuming it was your post. Hahaha. Turns out we’re the same. pillows, blankets, warm drinks and book are my perfect props are my idea of comfort. ❤️❤️

            Actually, my cousin and a she and yes, she ate it. 😂😂 She’s almost 2 years old. I’m sure you can imagine her antics. 😂

            I enjoyed our discussions too. And wishing you a fantastic June too. ❤️❤️

            Liked by 1 person

  • I think this situation will definitely change a lot of things that we considered “normal” before. It might not be that bad for some things (the environment, people washing their hands 😂) but it is quite sad for others (going to restaurants worry-free). Really happy for your new career opportunities Lashaan! 😊 It’s awful that you didn’t really get a proper spring though.. hopefully the weather will cool down a bit.

    My sister has recommended Chernobyl many times to me so I will definitely try to check it out! Recently I have also wanted to watch (again or not) the Ghibli movies for a nice dose of magic and lovely music!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The new “normal” will indeed be difficult at first and I hope it won’t make us “less human” in the process. Last thing we need is amplified tension between ethnicity out of fear too…

      Thanks, Juliette! I look forward to testing these new waters and hopefully it’ll open a new chapter in my life! 😀

      And I vouch for what your sister had to say on Chernobyl. It’s one of the best TV series from the past decade and it’s bound to be shocking and beautiful at the same time.

      Hahahah I try and indulge a Ghibli movie here and then now. They really are sooo refreshing! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I read Between the World and Me a couple years ago and found it very helpful in my quest to constantly keep learning. Being part essay and part memoir, I think a lot of people can benefit from reading it. I hope you’ll find it to be a rewarding read in some way too.
    Lashaan, did I see a screenshot from letterboxd? What’s your handle? I would love to follow you on the platform.

    Liked by 1 person

  • It’s so true that these months of quarantine have made us a little (or probably more than a little…) paranoid. Last weekend I met with friends after a hiatus of almost 3 months, and it was so weird to meet wearing masks and not exchanging the usual hugs we’re accustomed to – it made things a little awkward at first, but after a while we were all able to relax and get back to our usual closeness, so there is hope that with patience (and some much-needed care) we’ll return to normal as much as the situation allows.

    On a different track, I’m glad of your 5-star rating for Chernobyl: hard as it was to watch, harrowing as it was to learn of so much suffering, still it’s a piece of history we had better not forget, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to see it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww man. I feel so sad that it’s come to that now. I can definitely see that situation with a couple of friends on my end too. I think adapting to the chance will be tough but relatively quick for most of us and hopefully everyone will know how to remain “human” throughout this process too.

      I’m so glad to hear your approval of Chernobyl! I feel bad for having waited this long to finally tackle this mini-series. One of the best pieces of television (basically cinema to me) to have been created in the last decade!

      Liked by 1 person

  • This seems quite a full month! And congratulations for the carreer opportunities!!!
    And I feel you with the procrastination thing… The sad part is that I have not so many excuses since I went to work almost regularly! And yet, I have procrastinated like a champion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Susy! I look forward to them and hopefully come out with a nice surprise by the end of the month.

      Hahahahah let’s celebrate our talents in procrastination despite everything life throws our way to help us not do so!!! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  • I absolutely LOVE Miyazaki’s work, and My Neighbor Totoro is a beautiful one. Glad you enjoyed it. Congrats on the career opportunities. I really hope they work out and you find yourself enjoying them. I’m with you on the whole staying isolated feeling. But I’ve usually been better with that than some, being more introverted. Doesn’t really bother me, but I do need to push myself to get out sometimes. And congratulations on your procrastination achievements!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve enjoyed all of those I’ve seen so far and look forward to the next one already! I think I’m going with Grave of the Fireflies next. I’ve been told to bring my box of tissues with me for this one hahaha

      Thanks, Todd. I too hope it’ll open up a new chapter in my life where I’ll be able to mold an even better version of myself.

      Hahaha I definitely understand that! I mostly miss being able to loiter around with friends or to play ball with them. Otherwise, I’m definitely happy at home with a book between my hands! 😀

      Not sure I want to celebrate that but, hey, why not? Hahahah I think it’s better to acknowledge it than to deny it anyways! 😀

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      • I replied to an earlier post about Grave of the Fireflies. It was probably one of the most powerfully moving anime I’ve ever seen. I hope you enjoy it, though it feels strange saying that. Maybe it’s better to say I hope you appreciate it. 🙂 I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts on it.

        Yeah, I don’t know that any of us should be getting awards for our procrastination, but at least we’re able to have a little fun with it while we try to work on taming it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ahhh I think I know what kind of movie you’re warning me of now hahaha As long as it’s well done, I’m sure I’ll appreciate it a lot! 😀 I look forward to discussing it with you when I do get around to it, Todd. 😀

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  • Congratulations on those career opportunities Lashaan! Totally agree about procrastination and lockdown, I was bad enough before and now I’m much worse 😂. I’m also paranoid about eating out again, I desperately want to go for a coffee, but I’m just not ready and can’t really envisage how it’s all going to work. I guess there’s no rush and it’s best to do it when I’m ready. I’ve just added My Neighbour Totoro to my Netflix list and will give it a try during the week, not normally my thing but I’m open to having a look. Hope June is a good month for you 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Nicki! Hopefully I’ll be able to share a bit more about it by the end of the month! 😀

      I agree. To just walk to your local cafe, drink, read, and appreciate the weather used to be such a normal and easy thing to do. I have no idea how we’ll ever able to come back to that but yes. Time and patience will help a lot.

      I’m so glad that you’re willing to give it a try! It’s unconventional in style compared to other animated movies or even movies in general. It’s just so authentic and emotionally-powerful that it essentially feels magical by the end of the movie. Hope you have a good time with it when you get the chance to try it out! 😀

      Hope June will be kind with you too, Nicki! 😀

      Like

  • Totoro is my favorite Ghibli film! 🙂
    Wishing you all the best on your new career opportunities.
    And I’ll look out for your thoughts on Coates’s book. I haven’t yet read it, but I bought it a while back for my brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh! So far, I’m giving Spirited Away the spot for favourite Ghibli for now! 😛 Can’t wait to try more.

      Thank you so much, Z! I really appreciate it. By the way, do you prefer when people call you Zezee, Z, or Anais (I’m not sure where I saw this last one, maybe IG? And is this one a secret actually? Hahah) 😛

      Ohhh, I think you would enjoy it a lot actually. Steal it back from him hahahah

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      • Oh I love Spirited Away too 🙂 but Totoro was so cute! lol
        Oh yea, I use it on IG. Was thinking to change my name there to fit my blog but I’m lazy. Either works. 🙂 (Zezee I made up for the blog)
        Lol I might do so.

        Liked by 1 person

  • I agree with isolation and procrastination that came with it. Routine is disturbed and everyday feels like Sunday. We are on 4th phase and everything will open from 6th June but we still don’t want to go out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree with everyday feeling like a Sunday!!!! It drives me insane hahahah I hope you’ll be able to do what you want to do without too many problems come June 6th, Yesha! It’s going to be tough but we have to continue to stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  • All the best in your career, Lashaan! This was a strange month indeed, bit I must admit I too have grown used to self- distancing and spending more time at home.
    …did I see The Rise of Skywalker on your list??? 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ola! I appreciate it a lot. 😀 I have no idea how we could even go back to not getting used to staying home now hahahah

      Yes, yes, it is. A bit after you guys dished out your review and when Disney put it on Disney+ on May the 4th, I told myself that it was time to masochistically torture myself to complete the trilogy… I didn’t know this level of butchery was even possible!!!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  • Thanks for sharing your month with us. You’ve been quite busy!

    I have to agree with you on the quarantine. It’s hard to tell what’s safe and what isn’t. Right now I’m in talks with friends about having small get togethers at my new apt, but I doubt I’ll be doing anything public for some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’m so happy you finally watched Totoro! It’s not my favourite Ghibli movie but maybe the one I find the most comforting 🥰 And I absolutely loved watching Chernobyl, it taught us a lot of life-saving tips 😝 I’m looking forward to the post-quarantine period, even though I’m pretty sure it will be very weird at the beginning! I definitely hope we won’t get too used to order food at home, though! 😂😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those movies sure are a lot of fun to watch though! I look forward to trying Grave of the Fireflies next now. 😛

      Pfft I think Chernobyl taught you about the stupidity of many human beings more than anything else hahahaha

      I’ll just use you as my shield against the world as you drag me around all those shops and restaurants you want to go to. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  • All Ghibli films are my favorite. They are incredible, whether they are uplifting or heartbreaking. How many have you made it through so far? My favorites are Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbors the Yamatas, and Ponyo. 🙂

    I’m sorry Lawrence’s most recent book disappointed you. Did he identify himself that this book took an unexpected turn? I’m not entirely certain what “by going down an unexpected road coming from the adult fantasy writer himself!” means.

    Yay for exciting career news! Can you tell us more about it? I’m so curious. I hope it all continues to go your way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen Howl, Spirited Away, and My Neighbour Totoro for the time being! I plan on checking out Grave of Fireflies next; apparently, it’s emotionally-heavy and formidable! 😮 I’ll definitely get around to trying Yamatas and Ponyo based on your reccs now! 😉

      I mention in my review for that book that his latest trilogy spin-off had all the ingredients to feel like a Young Adult novel and I’m not a huge fan of adult fantasy that end up feeling like they are targeting a younger audience. This feeling was not felt when I read his Book of the Ancestors trilogy. It’s why I vaguely mention that it went down an unexpected road. 😉

      I would love to but I prefer waiting till it’s all done before revealing whatsoever. I’m not even sure I’m allowed to share much info about it either. 😉 Thank you so much though. Stay safe and awesome as always, Jackie! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, Grave of the Fireflies is intense. Fun trivia fact — Totoroand Grave were originally released as a double feature when Studio Ghibli first came on the scene. They were shown in THAT order. Ghibli quickly learned that this was wrong order to share the films and flipped them so people would leave feeling positive.

        Oh interesting! I’ll have to go back and hunt down your review then. I want to know more about how it felt like a younger audience was being targeted… but I’ll seek that info myself. 😉

        Fingers crossed for you! You’ll share when you feel you can, I’m sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  • My Neighbor Totoro! A classic favorite. 😀 Well, Ghibli films in general, I think? (or the ones by Hayao Miyazaki haha!) And right, the fear of catching the virus gives me different chills so we gotta get along with the new normal. I can relate well to being used to isolation haha! Although it’s a bit different for me because I used to spend time alone on coffee shops but now, am not willing to risk it. I better stay at home =)) Also, it’s soooo hot as well here recently! I mean, not that we’re not used to it because this is a tropical country after all but the heat is different! It feels like it’s burning the skin lol but I was so surprised it really reaches 40° C there? :O gosh 35°C here is already burning so I can only imagine what 40 would bring :O

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha I’m not surprised that you enjoyed My Neighbour Totoro too! I look forward to trying more Ghibli movies in the near future!

      Aww, it’s really sad to hear about such beautiful habits (being alone in coffee shops) being scratched off the list of things we want to do in our free time now! I do hope that we can learn to find new ways to appreciate time alone outside of our homes! 😀

      Oh no, the humidity in the southern hemisphere countries kills me too hahahah We sort of had a weird Indian Summer week here with those 35-degree temperatures but it has greatly calmed down since! I dread the day when it’ll come back, especially when Summer actually begins here hahahah

      Hope you had a great month of May and plan on making the most out of June, Camille! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I agree on the isolation part. I’m lucky in that an introvert so it didnt take a lot of getting used to but I also cant imagine going out not thinking about the virus. So atm my family and I are staying home.

    Between the World and Me is such a powerful book. Will definitely need to re-read it!

    Stay safe and well, Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to hear that we share something quite common in our personalities! I just hope that things will get better and easier for everyone, especially those at risk due to their daily activities!

      I just finished Between the World and Me and am amazed by the author’s ability to be poetically convincing in his arguments!

      Thanks for passing by, Jee! Stay safe and awesome as well. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • You’re 25? Do you consider yourself an old soul?
    Do you have any trouble with WP? Mine is having issues loading and the colors change randomly. Your links in this post now are a pale blue. Did you set it that way or is it on my end? It looks a little… pale.

    Liked by 1 person

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