Weekly Wrap-up | August 23, 2020

I don’t know about you all, but this week went by so fast for me. I haven’t even gotten used to it starting and suddenly it’s Sunday! Weird when that happens. What made my week, though, was when a friend sent over a batch of red velvet cupcakes for me to taste-test for an online bakery he intends to set up. The cupcakes were AMAZING, but then again, I could be biased.

Anyway, on to the wrap up!

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Weekly Wrap-up | August 16, 2020

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you had a great week of reading and blogging. As for me, this week was a little weird—I’ve been reading more and I got back to tackling my backlog of unreviewed books, which is great, but I also had a lot of unstructured free time while waiting for the results of my exams, which is not so great, since I don’t do so well with unstructured free time. It reminds me too much of the first weeks of lockdown.

On the bright side, the sudden surplus of free time made me eager to schedule a number of catch-ups with my friends, so I ended up doing yoga over Zoom three times this week (for some reason, all three groups preferred exercise as a bonding activity… I’m just glad no one suggested HIIT). And I had a great chat with Melanie @ Grab the Lapels about Butler’s duology over the weekend to cap off my week. So I’d say it was a pretty great week, overall.

Anyway, enough of me. On to the wrap-up!

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Weekly Wrap-up + My reading mojo is back!!! | August 9, 2020

Exams are over, yay!!! I’m so glad I can FINALLY move on with my life. I didn’t realize how much headspace the exams were taking up until I crashed and slept for the rest of the day, right after I submitted my last exam. It felt soooo luxurious to do that, especially since I’ve been waking up at odd hours over the past few weeks due to anxiety.

In other news, MY READING MOJO IS BACK!!! Just this weekend, I finished two of the books I’ve been struggling to get through for the entire July, plus I picked up Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica on a whim (which I first learned about through Callum’s review) and finished that, too. For some reason, I’ve been in a dystopian mood—fitting given my country’s political climate, lol.

Books Read This Week

Books I’m Currently Reading

Today, I’ll be starting the second book in Butler’s Earthseed series, Parable of the Talents. Melanie @ Grab the Lapels is saying this is much darker than the first book, so I can’t wait to see what Butler has in store.

Parable of the Talents

Books Added to My TBR

So I added a bunch of books to my TBR this weekend, inspired by Fatma’s post on Books Translated from the Japanese, Callum’s post on Women in Translation, and Emily’s post on the Booker Prize 2020 Longlist. Check out their posts for more recs!

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Weekly Wrap-up | June 7, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone! Or at least I hope it is where you are. The news has been so distressing lately that I’m finding it hard to concentrate again, either on studying or reading. For one, I’m saddened and angered by news of the Floyd protests. While we here at the Philippines can never truly grasp the extent of systemic racism and violence committed against African Americans, I am still firmly against police brutality. I hope to support the protests in spirit by reading more works by black authors this month.

In other news, our congress has just passed an Anti-Terrorism Bill. This bill is alarming because it employs an overly broad and imprecise definition of terrorism, under which people who voice dissent against the government can be detained without a warrant for up to 24 days. The government can also essentially spy on suspected terrorists under this bill. When people started protesting this, a number of fake accounts of the protestors against the bill suddenly appeared on Facebook. These accounts may be used to spread misinformation and cause harm to the protestors, some of whom are my friends.

We’re all petitioning to junk the bill and pleading with the government to prioritize more urgent issues like mass testing instead. Still, many of us are shaken by this news. This bill, along with the shutdown of one of our major news companies, is reminiscent of the martial law declared by the Marcos dictatorship in the 1970s. During Martial Law, free speech was curtailed and thousands of activists were incarcerated and killed for voicing dissent against the Marcos administration. Hopefully it doesn’t get to that point, but the government’s actions are awakening collective feelings of fear and anger right now.

So it’s been a rather heavy week. I hope you’ll keep us in your thoughts.

Anyway, on to some bookish updates. While I haven’t been able to read much, reading (and playing the piano) really helped keep me sane this week.

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May 2020 Wrap-up

Welcome to my May wrap-up! May still sucked for the world, but it did suck a little less for me, mainly because school has picked up again. I mentioned before that I’m unlikely to feel productive unless people expect things of me, so having obligations to fulfil this May has been a relief.

The downside, though, is that I’m way behind on blogging, because it takes me awhile to adjust to change and re-establish routines, but also, much to my surprise I haven’t done so poorly in terms of reading! I was able to read 17 books this May, which isn’t bad at all.

Here’s what I read this month:

2020-05 Wrap-up

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Weekly Wrap-up | May 24, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone! This week has been unexpectedly full for me, so I’m behind on reading, reviewing, and blog-hopping—sorry for that! I didn’t want to miss a week without posting, though, and the very minimum I can do is a weekly wrap-up, so this will be just another short post.

I’ve started studying in earnest this week for my comprehensive exams, which is in early August, and I spent a lot of time earlier this week just getting used to the idea that I have to study again. Luckily, my fellow graduate students created an online review group, and the accountability (or peer pressure) helped me get started. I’m currently about 30% finished with my first subject out of eight subjects, which is… not ideal, but since I’m just getting used to studying again, I’m cutting myself some slack.

On to some bookish updates!

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Weekly Wrap-up | May 17, 2020

Happy Sunday everyone! This will be a short update—I’ve been feeling under the weather this week, mainly because it’s that time of the month and the cramps and anxiety are hitting hard. It isn’t usually this bad, but my body thought to remind me again why it sucks being a girl—I’m emotional and hangry all the time, I have this intense craving for carrot cake in the middle of the night, and my concentration is shot. It SUCKS, especially on top of COVID and exam preps.

Bleh. Oh well, it will pass.

Anyway, on to my bookish updates!

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Weekly Wrap-up | May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there! This week was a little more ‘eventful’ than my normal quarantine week—we celebrated my brother’s birthday last May 7 by ordering some of his favourite food, and then we celebrated Mother’s Day also by ordering out. My brother and I (half-)joke that our interactions with the people who deliver our food are the only things we look forward to now, lol. Still, the food was pretty great, and we spent a lot of time reminiscing, which was nice.

I’m not sure if our overall situation is improving, though. Just this week, one of our country’s major media and broadcasting companies, ABS-CBN, ceased operations because of the failure of the Congress to renew its franchise permit. Many (me included) suspect this is intentional, because ABS-CBN has been vocal in its criticism of President Duterte (whose populist appeal is very similar to that of Trump’s). Aside from the implications of this on democracy and free speech, a more practical concern is that 11,000+ employees have just lost their jobs, which extremely concerning given the COVID situation. Please keep us in your thoughts—there’s a lot of collective fear and outrage again here.

In other news, things are also slowly beginning to pick up with school. We now have a revised calendar for the next academic year, and I’m just waiting for the final dates for our Comprehensive Exams (we have those on the MA level, for some reason). I’m not looking forward to studying for those but having some certainty and getting back to making plans will definitely be a relief.

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Weekly Wrap-up + Very Tentative Reading Plans for May and Beyond

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week. I know I just said in my April Wrap-up that I don’t do well with a TBR, but… here I am, making one anyway. This is all very tentative—I don’t do well with a strict TBR, but I find I’m more motivated to read if I have a set of options and a VERY loose time frame (much like my Women’s Prize reading), so I’ll try to do something similar for May and for the rest of the year.

A minor life update—my reviewing mojo is back!!! I was able to write and schedule a few posts again over the past few days. Thank you all for your encouragement last week; it really helped to know that a reviewing slump is normal. ☺️

On to the wrap-up!

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April 2020 Wrap-up

Wow, writing this wrap-up post feels like crawling out of a cave and squinting at the sun for the first time in awhile. Seriously, where did April go??? This month is just a huge blob in my mind. I think ever since my university called off classes because of our city’s crappy internet connection (it’s a legit concern—I can’t even turn my video on during calls), I lost all motivation to study. Plus, when classes were cancelled, my work as a graduate assistant was also cancelled, so I went from working and studying ~50 hours a week to just ~10 hours a week for revising our paper. Before this, I hadn’t realized how disorienting having so much free time is.

I know that I’m speaking from an extremely privileged position when I say this, since other people are facing job insecurity now or even risking their lives to treat COVID patients, but I think it’s possible to recognise their reality while seeking to understand mine. I’m starting to think don’t do well with too much free time—I’m more motivated and productive when I know that someone is holding me accountable, so unless someone expects something of me, I’m not inclined to set my own goals. Without the external pressures, my brain assumes it’s not needed and goes into hibernation.

So April is basically a ‘hibernation’ month for me—I hit pause on (almost) all my career plans and responsibilities and retreated to my happy place, i.e. reading and blogging. Does anybody else have these cycles of extreme productivity and extreme ‘laziness’ too? Back when I first started working I tried to be productive at a steady clip, but I found myself burning out easily and getting sick more often. Now I’m wondering if long fallow periods like this are actually essential to my ability to be productive… But anyway, that’s for another post.

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