Monthly Wrap-Up – June 2021


Hello everyone,

Another month has passed and just like that we are now halfway through 2021! In keeping with the year I have had so far, June was super busy but ultimately rewarding, with lots of outdoor adventures mixed in with productivity on the writing front.

It was my first full month of living independently and so far, so good! I have not set fire to anything or given myself food poisoning, so that definitely counts as a success. It is wonderful to have my own space. The only challenge I have encountered so far is that I struggle to manage my time effectively, but I am sure that I will eventually master that particular skill!

In addition, as an avid follower of the football I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the European Championships for the most part (Croatia vs Spain and France vs Switzerland last Monday will live long in the memory!), while I also received my first COVID vaccination. As it turned out, the only area where June was not quite so fruitful was reading.

I ended up finishing four books, which on the face of it was hardly a disaster – there were some very good reads in there too. It was just a bit of a slog. Just over halfway through the month I fell into a massive slump and ended up DNF’ing one book (which I hardly ever do) and making painfully slow progress on another. Thankfully, I am over that now and am hoping to make up for it in July!

Here are the books I read in June:


A Thousand Ships ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Fear ⭐⭐
Mirrorland: DNF
Becoming ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Crooked Kingdom ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I just could not get into Mirrorland at all and that is what set me back – it was a shame to have to DNF but probably the right decision for me. Otherwise, The Fear was the only real disappointment as I loved A Thousand Ships, found Becoming a beguiling listen on audio, and was immersed in the voluminous storytelling of Crooked Kingdom.

My July TBR is wide-ranging as ever. I am currently approaching the end of The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter, and listening to Sir Trevor McDonald’s memoir An Improbable Life on audio. Those will soon be followed by The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, a buddy read of The Golem And The Jinni, and possibly Daisy Jones And The Six, among others. Needless to say, I am very excited for all of them!

I reached a blogging milestone in June as my discussion about the pros and cons of historical fiction happened to be my 500th post on Stephen Writes. At the outset I never imagined that I would get this far or come up with so many post ideas, so it was quite something to receive that notification. Maybe one day I will get to 1,000…

As for writing, I was able to get a lot of work done on my ongoing projects, while there was finally some movement regarding the sporting biography which I have been aiming to publish for some time. The agent representing me felt that self-publishing was likely to be the best route, so a couple of weeks ago I contacted an expert in that field and now need to come up with an action plan. Another aim for July is to start writing poetry again, as that has rather died a death in recent months.

To finish, I am sharing some of my favourite posts in June from around the blogosphere. I still need to step up my blog hopping game again, but I am working on it, I promise!

  • Ahaana shared a list of her 12 favourite young adult books. It included a few that I love, too!
  • Sofii provided some very helpful tips on things to do in order to avoid book blogging stress.
  • Yesha gave some fabulous advice on how to comment on less interactive blog posts
  • Mani received an amazing birthday book haul and shared it with us.
  • Florence wrote a very interesting and wide-ranging list of things she learned through studying towards a degree in English Literature.
  • Kaya discussed the importance of content warnings.
  • Amy brightened everyone’s day with her favourite books with yellow covers.
  • Becky celebrated three years of book blogging with a wonderful Q&A.

Have a lovely July, and happy reading! 🙂

21 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up – June 2021

  1. Damn Reading Slumps!!! 😭 I hope July is much better for you in terms of reading. 👏🏻 I’m SO glad you were able to make progress on your writing projects that’s great!!!! 😊 & thanks so much for mentioning my post, it makes me happy that you liked it and it’s an honor to see it in your post, of course.
    Have an amazing day ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, they are so frustrating!! July has started quite well in terms of reading, and I hope it’s the same for you 😊 Thank you so much, Sofii, and of course your post was amazing so I had to mention it! Have a great July! 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad to hear you haven’t set fire to yourself or poisoned yourself! I’m looking forward to the match today. I hope it’ll be exciting!
    Great post 🥳

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading slumps suck. I’m glad you managed to get out of it pretty quickly. I hate DNFing books but sometimes it’s unavoidable. It doesn’t do anybody any good to force yourself to finish a book that your just not enjoying. It will just make the reading experience horrible and it will likely make you hate the book even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. congrats on 500 posts, that’s an amazing milestone! your review of a thousand ships inspired me to add it to my tbr haha. thank you so much for the shoutout! i hope you have a wonderful july, and enjoy all of your reads💜🖤

    Like

  5. Thank you so much for the link back Stephen! Sorry to hear your reading month hasn’t been ideal but at least you had some brilliant reads among the less successful ones. I really enjoyed An Improbable Life so I hope you enjoy listening to it on audio. Also congratulations on 500 posts, that’s a huge achievement!!! 🎉🎉 X x x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Florence! Yes it was definitely a nice consolation that I some of the books I did read in June turned out to be great. I’m loving An Improbable Life so far too. Thank you so much! 🥰❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you SO much for linking my post, I’m honoured to be included on this list and I’m glad that it made your day a little brighter! June wasn’t a great reading month either and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to catch up with some reading goals this month! All the best with your self-publishing journey, I look forward to all the updates!! I hope you’re having an amazing July!

    Liked by 1 person

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