Lately With Lila | July 2020

Well, friends, it’s been…a month. And, yet again, the number of books I’ve read has been…uh…what’s that saying?…less??…”less than stellar”—that’s it! Yes, my reading sure has been less than stellar. But, hey, we’re in it for the long haul, the bigger victories, not the quick and easy wins, right?

So what media did I manage to devour (…er…maybe more like…nibble on?) this past July? Let’s take a look…

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  • The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill (★★★★☆) So…ahem…erm…Yes, friends, the lone book I completed in July and the sole book I finished during The Reading Rush was a 72 page, younger Middle Grade graphic novel but, hey, at least I finished something!…Right? Regardless, I completed The Tea Dragon Society and it was so incredibly cute! It was the softest kind of lovely and I adored the incredibly subtle themes it had about how being independent doesn’t necessarily mean being all alone! All in all, I think this one is a great options for kids (and anyone, really!) looking for a sweet and gentle “adventure”!


  • The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty I know, I know—how on Earth did I manage to not instantly devour the finale to my all-time favorite series?! I honestly can’t tell you why except that I really just don’t want it to end yet or to have to say goodbye to these characters. I’ve made it to the middle of The Empire of Gold already, though, so, slowly but surely, the end is coming…
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko I’m also partially through this one, which I received an audiobook ALC of for a book tour! And I’ve gotta say I’m really enjoying it, so I can’t wait to see where the rest of the story goes!
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn I’m also participating in a book tour for Legendborn, so it’s another book that I’ll be getting to this coming month. I’m so excited to read this one, especially as it’s one of my most anticipated debuts of this year!
  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse And what do ya know?! This one is ALSO an ARC I’m receiving for an upcoming book tour that I’m participating in! What a coinkydink! That being said, I’m very grateful to have received it (as well as Raybearer and Legendborn) and I am BEYOND EXCITED to read this one. It’s an Indigenous American inspired fantasy and I cannot tell you how fantastic it looks to me!
  • Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar I’ve already pre-ordered my audiobook copy of Star Daughter because it honestly looks so. freaking. AMAZING! I’ve always been a big fan of celestial fantasy and seeing that this one also has an Indian twist? I cannot express to you how hyped I am!!!
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer Vol. 1: High School Is Hell by Jordie Bellaire and Dan Mora Confession: I’ve never watched Buffy The Vampire Slayer. My family’s never had cable plus the show was a bit before my time, as I’m a November ’94 baby, so I never got into it when it was actually airing. But I know the gist of the story and it’s always sounded cool to me, especially as I grew up loving shows like Sabrina The Teenage Witch and the original Charmed. So when I heard about this new run of Buffy comics, which is a retelling set in the modern world and which has an art style that I really like, I jumped at the chance to read it. I’ve currently read about 25% of the first volume and I’m loving it so far, so I figure I’ll probably finish it within the next month!



Thank you to the publishers and to Hear Our Voices Tours for providing these ARC copies!

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T-Swizzle Took Us Back To Basics With Folklore

Swift wowed everyone by managing to release her new album, folklore, amidst a global pandemic which left us all confined to our homes! It would be understandable—natural, even—if folklore wasn’t her best work yet, but NOPE! Ms. Swift dazzled again with a beautifully honest and raw album that perfectly blends the OG Taylor Swift sound of her debut and sophomore albums with the more pop-y, synth-y sounds of her 1989 to Lover eras—and it sounds amazing, as per usual!

Mindful Minutes

I’m not usually massively into mindfulness, as I find that, as someone who grew up with a mom who practiced Buddhism for a large portion of her own life and who also happens to be a psychologist, it tends to be a lot of stuff that I already know and have already integrated into my life. That being said, I’ve been experiencing a massive relapse in my depression and anxiety in the past year and when I found this simple and short meditation, I ended up really liking it and feeling that it may end up being really useful, especially with how “on-the-go” I tend to be.

Miss Independent (Study)

We all know it: I’m a chaotic mess! Beyond the fact that I have ADHD, I think I also happen to have a personality that doesn’t lend itself towards making self-discipline, focus, and organization easy and natural habits for me. So, unfortunately, I have to turn to tips from outside sources on how to actually, ya know, get organized, focused, and self-disciplined. Luckily for me, the internet is full of such tips! With quarantine still pretty much in full effect in my area, at least in regards to schools, I’ve been especially needing help with independent studying/learning/schooling—and I found the above video especially helpful! I really like that this video manages to give you the kick in the ass you may need to get started, without talking down to you or making it seem like “everyone else gets this so you’re just the odd one out.” It definitely gave useful tips and it’s a video I’ve absolutely bookmarked to come back to time and time again!

A Musical Moment

High Notes

  • “Be Kind” by Halsey and Marshmello I’ve been a big fan of Halsey since her EP, Room 93, dropped, so I was bound to love her new work too. I’m really glad to hear her say that she’s in a much happier “era” of music making and to see that her songs reflect that. “Be Kind” is one of those songs that does just that, reminding us that, first and foremost, love should be kind. It’s a different topic than “typical Halsey music,” but it has enough of the overarching themes of her actual sound that I can’t help but enjoy it too, for both its happy message and for sounding authentic to the artists.
  • “Forgive Me” by Chloe x Halle I’ve also loved Chloe x Halle’s work for a good few years now, so I was ecstatic to see they’d released a new album! Ungodly Hour sounds just as otherworldly as their previous works, but with a bit more of a R&B/pop “oomph” behind it. “Forgive Me” reflects that, with ethereal, sighing vocals laid over a thumping background. It’s an interesting and intoxicating juxtaposition and one you can’t help but sing or hum along to.
  • “Hate The Club” by Kehlani ft. Masego Masego is a favorite music artist of mine and I love Kehlani’s work as well, so hearing them collab is like a dream come true! “Hate The Club” is a slower, deeper sound with a moody, soulful bump to it and the smooth notes of Masego’s saxophone floating throughout. It’s definitely everything I could want from a Masego/Kehlani crossover!
  • “This Is Me Trying” by Taylor Swift I admit, my favorite song off folklore is a bit of an “unpopular opinion” (if there even is one when it comes to Swift’s music), seeing as my favorite song is “This Is Me Trying,” which seems to be lower on most people’s lists. Nevertheless, sometimes a song’s lyrics, sound, and theme just hit you at the right time in your life, just when you need it, and for me that song was “This Is Me Trying.”

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July was honestly a weird blur of nothingness in terms of my personal life? Like, I don’t remember if nothing actually happened or if I just don’t remember what happened?? It’s strange. Regardless, it was yet another month in quarantine and, friends, I’m beginning to go a little crazy!

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My college’s fall semester actually begins in late August, so I’ll be headed back to school this month. I’m fortunate enough to attend a college which is taking the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and continuing remote learning until at least the Spring 2021 semester, at which point they plan on consulting updated CDC guidelines and reevaluating. I’ll be honest: as someone who’s an extrovert and a “social learner” type of student who works best in person with teachers and study groups, and also as someone with severe ADHD, remote has been incredibly difficult for me to adjust to and work within the boundaries of. That being said, I’ve opted to enroll only in non-STEM courses, so I’m hoping this time around won’t be as difficult. I’ve already enrolled in Principles of Anthropology I (which is basically intro level anthropology) and Intro to Poetry (which is another hybrid creative writing/literary analysis course), both of which I’m really excited for. I may add another course, but it honestly depends at this point. Regardless, I’m sure I’ll find a way to make it through the madness this semester.

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  • Do you remember your July? Tell all about it!
  • Are you looking forward to anything coming up in August?
  • What books have you read lately? Anything you really loved?

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Posted by

Lila is a 27-year-old college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

20 thoughts on “Lately With Lila | July 2020

  1. Aww, thank you for the shout-out! I’m really relieved I’m not the only person who was shocked to learn hyperphantasia isn’t the norm 😅 And trust me, you’re not late reading The Empire of Gold, I still haven’t picked it up even though I adore the series! 🙈😂 Some part of me thought it would be a good idea to save it as a post-exam reward, but every day, I become less and less sure whether I can and should really wait that long…

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  2. I really love the Tea Dragon books! One day I hope I get to try the card games, as well. For now, I am just dreaming of owning my own tea dragon. They’re just so cute!

    Thanks for sharing my posts!

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  3. I mean, if you’re going to finish one book in july, it might as well be something as sweet and pure as Tea Dragon Society, right? 😊 Ahh all the books on your TBR look so good 😀 I’m very excited to read the City of Brass books.
    Thank you so much for sharing my posts! ❤ I also do not remember anything from July ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Here’s hoping August will be a little more exciting (so far, no luck for me, but we’ve still got a few weeks left.) Happy reading!!

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  4. Lila, thank you SO much for the mention, makes me happy you liked my post, I put all my love on it! 🥺🥺✨ & OMG, I loved Folklore, I’m so proud of Taylor and her new work, my favorite song might be August, but I honestly love every one of them! and I adore Be Kind, Halsey is EVERYTHING. 😍👏🏻
    I hope you’re having the most incredible August, beautiful ❤️❤️

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  5. Black Sun sounds amazing and I have seen some great comments about it, I can’t wait to read it!
    Honestly, I love love the studytube community, studygram too and reading and learning about productivity, time management and learning in general, I will definitely check that video!
    Hope you have an amazing August! ✨

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  6. I hope you have an amazing August! Good luck with going back to school- that’s good your school is taking everything seriously and you’ll be able to stay safe, and I really hope your online classes go smoothly this semester.🥰

    Yes for folklore! I really love this is me trying, too. It wasn’t one of my favorites at first, but the more I listen to the album, the more I can’t help but admire how absolutely beautiful (and also heartbreaking) it is and how angelic Taylor’s voice sounds during the chorus…okay, I could keep raving, but I’ll stop here.

    Thank you so much for mentioning my post! I’m really happy you enjoyed and very much appreciate you reading it. xx

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  7. I’m sorry july was a bit of a bleh month for you, but I hope your august will be much better!
    Learning from home has been challenging, even if I’m one of those people who actually prefers to do it alone. I do miss the routine though, the library and meeting up with friends and in-class classes. Despite everything, I’m glad your school is taking the pandemic seriously and that you’ll be safe.
    Lin’s videos are amazing! I’m so happy you like her content as well.

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  8. I’m glad to hear that your college is taking the Covid seriously and the courses you’ve enrolled in sound really interesting, especially the Principles of Anthropology course. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Folklore. Swift’s albums have been a hit or miss for me lately, but Exile is my tune. Anything that features Bon Iver has my attention haha. Hope August is being kind to you.

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  9. wishing you all the luck to school this new semester, lila! we’ll also be having an entire online semester for the rest of 2020 and i am not exactly looking forward to it, as i really struggle with focusing at home, BUT i’ll definitely watch the video you suggested and hopefully the tips will help me be better at it in the new school year. hope you have a fantastic august!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. eep! thank you for the mention! that playlist looks good and i’ve bookmarked it [eyes emoji] TEA DRAGON SOCIETY is adorable, so I’m glad you got to pick it up last month! are you planning to read the sequel? (my favorite grumpy floofball dragon is in the sequel, so i may be a little bit biased hehe)

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  11. I know that I’m super late to this post, but my life has been quite hectic these past few months! Like you, I’ve been dealing with online school, and that has drained so much of my energy! But I still wanted to drop by and thank you for sharing my post!

    Also, from the ARCs that you acquired in July, I’ve already read and adored Boyfriend Material, so I hope you enjoy that one as well! And I just got a copy of Fangs from the library, and can’t wait to read that as soon as I have some free time! Since I love Sarah Anderson’s previous works, I have high hopes!

    Liked by 1 person

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