Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer 2016 Recap — Getting my driver's license, Songs from Waitress, and other things that happened this summer


This was an unusual summer. Last summer was my first summer out of school, and I interned in New York City so it FELT like a vacation. But this summer was the same as spring — I worked during the week and went out on some weekends, nothing special. I don't love summer as much as I used to when I was in school, which makes sense because it doesn't mean "a break from school" anymore. But not loving summer doesn't equal hating summer. In fact, I'm happy that I was able to do new things (go strawberry picking, try a new Thai restaurant, celebrate an engagement, etc.) But I am even happier now that autumn is arriving :)

  • Bay Area Book Festival — Joseph was very sweet to suggest spending our first Saturday in June at this event. We went to the panel titled "A Sense of Place: Writing Where We Live (and Lived)" and met Stacey Lee after!
  • My family and I rarely travel together, so it was really nice to take a weekend trip to Monterey this summer. We didn't get to visit the aquarium there, but we DID visit Point Lobos and see sea lions! Just being together is enough for me.
  • I took Joseph to watch/listen to Ratatouille at the San Francisco Symphony in July — the perfect combination since he loves the orchestra and Disney. (Ratatouille is actually his favorite Disney movie!) There's nothing like hearing movie music played live, it was a good experience!
  • I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST, finally! It was my first time trying, but driving is so scary. I still have anxiety doing it but I'm happy that's over and done with. Now my family and friends can stop bugging me about it :p
  • I celebrated my 24th birthday in August with three of my good girlfriends, and it was good just being with them. Joseph took me to Bouchon Bakery the weekend before (to celebrate) and we played a lot of Pokemon Go. I'll be honest, I'm not too invested in that game ... but I was very excited after taking over a gym!

Books and pages read in June, July and August: 10 // 2,827 pages
Books and pages read in 2016: 32 // 9,964 pages

I still have three or four more short stories to read in Summer Days and Summer Nights, an anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins, which I can't seem to get myself to read. I've also returned A Tyranny of Petticoats (edited by Jessica Spotswood) to the library ... I think I need to stay away from anthologies for the time being.

  • I totally forgot to photograph Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin Manuel Miranda, but you've probably seen it already. And if you haven't, I *should* be sharing the spine in an upcoming post :)
  • I still haven't read Cress (by Marissa Meyer) but I still felt the need to buy Stars Above, the ending novellas. I guess having a 20% off B&N coupon helps my case. Maybe.
  • Like I mentioned earlier, Stacey Lee was at the Bay Area Book Festival so I had to get Outrun the Moon, her newest young adult novel. I've since read + reviewed it in my mini reviews post last month and really liked it. It's perfect for younger readers (middle grade age) and those looking for an accurate representation of Chinese culture.
  • Scored Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson for less than $5 at Half Price Books, but I'm not ready to cry my eyes out :(
  • This was supposed to be a stack of books I bought from Book Outlet, but I left out Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle and added Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. Good job, self. Other books pictured: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, and The Bitter Kingdom, the final book in the Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson.
  • I had no idea Jen Wilkin wrote another book earlier this year, so I got None Like Him with a gift card that one of my very sweet friends, Stephanie, gave me for my birthday. (Thank you, girl!!!) I also purchased When I Don't Desire God by John Piper because I think the man is an excellent theologian. I haven't heard anyone talk about this one though, but I trust that it's good.

  • What's Inside: Songs from Waitress by Sara Bareilles — I had this album saved on my Spotify from ages ago, but for some reason I didn't listen to it until this summer. (C'mon, past Amaris ... WHAT ARE YOU DOING.) Sara did an amazing job with these songs, and I really think this set deserved to win the "Best Score" award. Too bad it was competing against Hamilton. My favorites: What's Inside, When He Sees Me, She Used to be Mine, and Lulu's Pie Song :)
  • I flew through the first season of Jane the Virgin at the end of July and you guys, it is SO dramatic and funny. CW is killin' it with all these excellent shows. My only problem with JtV = there's a love triangle. My poor heart can't take it ...
  • Psychological fiction — This started out after I watched Ex Machina, a sci-fi/psychological thriller about a programmer who is given the chance to develop an AI with his CEO. (Great movie, by the way.) Now I just want to read all the books that'll mess with my mind. This also explains why I read Gone Girl :p
  • Grant Gustin's "CW EYES" — YOU'RE WELCOME!
Did you read anything this summer that ended up on your FAVORITES list or take any trips outside of your normal living area? Do you have any recommendations for good psychological fiction? 

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