March + April wrap-up!

Hi, friends and fellow book lovers. I never wrote a March wrap-up because I took a mini, unannounced hiatus at the end of March. Some things happened near the end of March, and it seemed weird to discuss them at that time, so I figured I’d put my March and April wrap-ups together. I’ll get into the life update at the very end of the post, below all of my links, if anyone is interested.

But, for now, let’s discuss what happened in March and April!

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Books Read

  • Middlegame by Seanan McGuire: 5 stars
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russel: 4 stars
  • Bunny by Mona Awad: 4 stars
  • The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates: 5 stars
  • Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice: 4.5 stars
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami: 4.5 stars
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: 5 stars
  • The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz: 1 star

These two months were pretty great reading months. I really enjoyed (almost) everything I read, and managed to get through a lot of my TBR and currently reading shelf!

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Currently reading

  • Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin: I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m really enjoying this so far!
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer: I’ve been listening to the audiobook for this the past month-ish, and it’s really great.

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Things watched

  • Love is Blind: if you have yet to watch Love is Blind on Netflix, please do. It is ridiculous but so entertaining. I blasted through the entire thing in about three days, it was so entertaining.
  • Ford v Ferrari: my family watched this movie, and it was really good! I was fairly hesitant about it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The soundtrack is fantastic, and they did a good job making a kind of boring story interesting. My only complaint is that it’s a little long, and there were definitely some scenes that were unnecessary.
  • Knives Out: I finally watched Knives Out and it was amazing!!!!! 10/10 would recommend, it was fantastic.
  • Ready Player One: I’m just going to say it: this sucked. I’m sorry, but it really did. Especially compared to the book. I wasn’t even that big of a fan of the book, but it was a lot better than this movie. I think having read the book actually made my enjoyment of the movie worse? Because the adaptation was so different from the book that I was just confused. The whole time, I was like, “this happened way further in the book, why is it happening now. That’s not what the first task was like, why are they racing cars? What is this library place? What?” So yeah. I did also watch this at 4:00am after being up for 18 hours and crying for four hours straight so.
  • Tiger King: I, like everyone else, watched Tiger King on Netflix and ho boy was it a ride. The only thing I really have to say is: y’all managed to watch that and got out of it that Carole Baskin killed her husband but are ignoring the literal sex cults and borderline slavery the men were promoting? Somehow Joe Exotic came out the hero, even though he sucks? Okay. (that being said, I cannot hear Savage without going “Carole Baskin,,, killed her husband, wacked him”)

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Reviews posted

Other bookish posts

Some low-stress books to read if you’re feeling stressed // Books I have on hold from the library // Tier ranking all of the series I’ve read

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Other news and highlights

  • So March started with my friends hosting a surprise party for me! Without being too sappy, I’ve literally always wanted a surprise party, ever since I was a kid. I’ve never told anyone because that always seemed like a weird thing to ask for. But my friend Shenille organized a Bachelor-themed murder mystery surprise party for me, with nearly all of my close law school friends. It was one of the best nights ever, and the fact that she would put so much effort into doing something like that for me means the world to me.
  • The next weekend, my school was putting on the musical Grease, in which my boyfriend was playing bass and my friend was playing Rizzo. I went to watch it twice, once with my friends and once by myself, and it was great both times.
  • The weekend after that, the first weekend quarantine was supposed to start, my friends and I had a fun little weekend together. On Friday, a couple of my friends and I went to get cake and went for a walk near Parliament Hill. On Saturday, we had a wine night with our group of friends. It was great to see them all before we had to start social distancing (also this all happened before Canada was suggesting social distancing so please don’t yell at me)
  • In a minor panic, my boyfriend and I flew home to Calgary. We managed to pack everything, do laundry, clean both of our apartments, and prepare for the summer away in under 24 hours. It was kind of stressful, but we made it home, which is the important thing.
  • Now that I’m back home and we’ve been social distancing, I’ve only left the house two or three times. I went for a hike one day with my dad, and my family went to the dog park a couple of times.

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  • April has honestly just been dealing with finals, staying at home, and reading. The most exciting thing to happen was a virtual game night my friends and I had, which was a lot of fun. I would 100% recommend buying some JackBox games on Steam and playing them over Zoom, if you’re able. They’re all super entertaining and fun.
  • Oh, my family and I started doing a Family Quarantine Olympics, which has been fun. Every night, we do a short activity, such as paper airplane making or seeing who can walk the farthest with the most books on their head. I think currently, my brother is winning, my sister is in second, my dad is in third, and I’m in fourth by a lot at this point.
  • We also reorganized all of our books. My sister and I took down, organized and alphabetized ~500 books. They’re now divided into to-read, fiction, and non-fiction and alphabetized within those genres. It turns out I process grief and stress by organizing. We took time-lapses of the whole process, and I was thinking of posting it? Idk let me know.

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How were your March and Aprils? How has social distancing been? Let me know!!

Ally xx

Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads // Buy me a coffee!

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Life update: very sad!!! (*not clickbait*)

(sorry for making a bit of a joke, it’s how I deal with things)

cw: parent death

I’ve really struggled with how or even whether to talk about this on my blog, but it feels weird to just continue and not mention anything.

At the end of March, my mom passed away due to complications arising from breast cancer. She’d been battling breast cancer on and off for the past five years, and in the last week of March, she developed a lung infection that she couldn’t fight off.

Because of the current situation with COVID-19, we weren’t able to see her at all in the hospital. We had to say our final goodbyes via FaceTime, which was shitty and very dystopian. We can’t have a funeral anytime soon. We can’t go visit her sister and put her in her resting place. The only good thing about the pandemic was it meant that I was back with my family, and at school.

We knew she’d likely pass away this year, but thought it would be closer to the end of summer/beginning of fall. It happened really suddenly and unexpectedly, so processing has been hard. My siblings and I have been sleeping in my dad’s room since it happened, my sister and I on couches and my brother on the floor, and I’ll probably only stop when/if I start working.

One of the heart-warming things about this shitty situation has been the outpouring of love and support my family has received. To brag for a minute, my mom was kind of amazing. She was one of the top researchers in her field internationally and across Canada. We’ve received so many lovely messages from people who she worked with, mentored and treated. The university she did her PhD and med school at hosted a memorial over Zoom for her that nearly 200 people attended. That university named their annual alumni lecture after her, which she would’ve simultaneously hated, as she was a very private and humble person, and been proud of. So many of my friends have reached out and been so supportive. So even though everything sucks, that has made it a little easier.

My mom was also a huge book lover, and I’m going to miss discussing books with her. When we were taking her iPad to her at the hospital, I noticed on OverDrive that she’d just finished reading The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee and I was going to ask her what she thought when I saw her. I never got to see her, and never got to ask what she thought.

My mom was the best, and life is going to suck without her.

Anyway, sorry for dumping that on y’all. It felt weird continuing to blog like nothing had changed. Thank you all for you love and support 💕

33 thoughts on “March + April wrap-up!

  1. Ally, oh my God. Your mom sounds like she was completely amazing, and I am so sorry that the stupid world’s general shittiness right now made a shitty thing for your family extra shitty. It sounds like you’re in the place you need to be, and the fact you’re continuing with reading and blogging is both incredible and kind of a great tribute to your mom and your shared love of books. Sending big virtual hugs. xoxo

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  2. Oh Ally, I am so sorry to hear about your mum. There’s no words to convey the sadness and strangeness of the situation especially with how covid impacted your goodbyes. Your words of love for your mum shine through though and she would have felt that too.

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  3. I’m so, so sorry about your loss!! Can’t imagine what you are going through. I’ve heard that because of the virus, people can’t say goodbye to their loved ones, unless they someone manage face-time. This just sucks! I read and loved The Downstairs Girl last year. It was such a heart-warming story, well written, engaging. I bet your mom had a great time reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry for your loss! I don’t know you well, but dealing with something like this during a pandemic must be an absolute shit situation. Sending positive thoughts your way, and wishing you and your family the best going forward. I’m glad you all have each other right now!

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  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. It really sucks that you couldn’t say goodbye in person. I hope you and your family find support with each other ❤

    On another note: I also watched Love Is Blind and what a ride that was. SO much drama and I loved it haha! Tiger King is definitely on my watchlist too, since everyone is talking about it.
    Great wrap-up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Huge hugs! I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’m glad that you’re with your family at least. ❤

    Also, thank you for your thoughts on the Ready Player One movie. I haven't watched it because my friends who read the book didn't seem to like it much, but I felt it might just be standard "the book was better" style opinions. It sounds like in this case, the book really WAS better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nicole 💕💕

      I think the RPO movie is fine as a standalone movie, but pretty terrible as an adaptation. And I think the adaptation could’ve been good if it was just a little better explained, but it unfortunately wasn’t. The book was definitely better!


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