Reading and Real Life: When a Book Teaches You Just What You Need

I mentioned it when I did my May wrap-up, but one of the main reasons I picked up Lynne Cox’s memoir, Swimming to Antarctica, was because I was preparing to do my first open water swim in the coming weeks. Memoirs about swimming are just generally interesting to me since I am a competitive swimmer myself, but I thought this book would give me a different perspective than I was used to. I read it in early June, a solid week and half before I did my open water race.

I’ve been a pool swimmer for 12 years now, which is over half my life; being a swimmer is about 60% of my personal identity. However, it’s important to note that swimming in a pool and swimming in open water (lake, ocean, bay, etc.) are two completely different ball games. Add in the additional factors of sighting (ie, picking your head out of the water to see where you’re going), water temperature, currents, wildlife, out of water starts, and large groups of swimmers trying to get to the same place, and open water really becomes a madhouse. I’ve only ever done one open water swim before, and it was a far more informal experience, as well as significantly shorter. There were a lot of things to be nervous about. I am lucky enough that one of my teammates’ mom is a veteran open water swimmer and I was able to talk to her beforehand, but I needed a far more impersonal account to really help me get over what I was scared of.

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July Wrap-Up and August Goals

Every time I write one of these, I’m shocked that the month is ending. Will that ever stop guys? I’m sick of feeling like the month passed on, like, 10 days. Anyway, July was actually an okay month for me. It was very (VERY) busy, but in the best way. I feel like I’m a little behind on pretty much everything (reading, posting, reading everyone else’s posts), and I’m really hoping to change that in August, especially early in the month since I won’t have quite as much to do until I have to start packing and leaving for school (how is it already that time again?!) But let’s get into the good stuff, shall we?

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli | my perfect summer read

OVERALL: ★★★★/5

(Goodreads summary here.)

I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into when I started this book. I haven’t read anything else by Becky Albertalli (I know, how have I not read Simon vs. yet!?), but I do know that all of her books prevalently feature LGBTQ+ characters, which was the main reason I wanted to pick up this book.

You know how people say that YA contemporary romances are best in the summer? Well, I wasn’t sure I believed that until I read this one. Granted, I’m not huge on contemporaries in general, especially romances, but I finally felt like I understood where people are coming from about this. It was just fun to read, which isn’t something I find myself thinking very often when reading. It was light, it was cute, and yet I still feel like I got something out of it, which is what you really want to feel when you finish a book.

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June Wrap-Up and July Goals

I can’t believe yet another month is over. I’ll probably say that every time the month ends, so sorry if it gets a bit repetitive in these posts. The end of June means that the year is half over, which is absolutely ridiculous. I swear yesterday was March (where does all the time go??) Here’s my monthly update and plan for July! June is always a chaotic month for me, and July usually isn’t any better, so hopefully my reading stays about the same.

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ASIDES: A Semester in Review

Hello all! Happy Tuesday! I’m coming at you today with something a little different, because today is one of the most bittersweet days of the year for me. As I write this, my walls are bare of posters and photos, and my floor is covered in bags and boxes filled with everything I’ve used for the past 8 months. When this goes up, I’ll have finished my second year of college and headed home for the summer. I am more than excited to be home (read: see my dog), but I really do not want to leave all of my friends here at school. Still, it’s not like I have much of a choice, and besides, 3 months of no classes means plenty of time to read. Anyway, I wanted to give a quick overview of how my semester went. 

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