Thursday 5 July 2018

June 2018 Recap

You may have noticed that it's been a little quiet round here recently, June was actually a pretty stressful month and it took its toll both physically and emotionally. It started with my Mum going into hospital for a hip replacement - it was planned surgery that went very well with only a minor complication so she's home and recovering nicely but it's been awful seeing her in so much pain and surgery always carries a risk so it was a nervous time for us all. Once she's recovered from this op she'll be having her other hip done so we get to go through the whole process again in a few months time (although I'm hoping we won't have a repeat of everything else next time!). 

The stress of that left me feeling totally run down and I managed to come down with Shingles (for those who don't know what that is it's basically a reoccurrence of Chicken Pox in an adult). The rash is usually limited to a small part of your body and strangely only affects you on one side (for me it started on my eyelid & went right up my face and over the top of my head but it stopped dead centre in the middle of my forehead so only the right side of my face and head was affected!). To be honest I thought Shingles was something that only affects older people so it didn't even cross my mind as a possibility when the rash started & I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something. The only reason I contacted the doctor was because my eye was so swollen so I'm lucky they caught it fairly early and I was able to get started on antivirals straight away. I had CP so young that I'd forgotten how BAD the itching was - it was enough to drive me insane so I now have a huge amount of sympathy for kids who have the rash all over their entire body! - but because Shingles affects the nerves I was (& still am!) also experiencing constant pins and needles and sensitivity in the same area. What I wasn't expecting was the flu like symptoms, I'm still incredibly tired weeks after my diagnosis and I've only just stopped getting the intense headaches that made concentrating on anything pretty impossible. Even though the rash has completely cleared up the area is still very itchy and super sensitive which is getting rather annoying now LOL. Shingles isn't contagious but you can infect people with Chicken Pox if they haven't already had it so I had to stay in quarantine while the rash was bad too.

As if that wasn't all bad enough just after I stopped being contagious (but when I was still feeling like crap!) my Dad was admitted to hospital with chest pains. His heart rate had dropped to between 35-40 beats per minute which is REALLY low and had the doctors very concerned. He does have a low heart rate generally but usually it sits about 50 bpm so that was a significant drop. Thankfully with some medication they brought the rate back to normal and the chest pains have stopped so he was only kept in hospital for 2 days but they're still doing more tests to try and find out what caused it in the first place so please keep your fingers crossed that everything is fine with both him and my Mum.

I'm really hoping that we've had our 3 things as a family now and we're going to be able to relax for a bit! To be honest I'm kind of sick to death of hospitals and doctors after all that and would rather not have to visit one again any time soon. Although I should make it clear that I'm INCREDIBLY grateful for our NHS and the wonderful jobs all the doctors, surgeons, nurses & specialists we've come in contact with have all done, they made a stressful time a little easier with their care and compassion! We're also incredibly lucky in the UK that our healthcare is free and we haven't been left struggling with huge hospital bills that need paying. 

Anyway, now that things are starting to calm down I'm hoping to get back to my normal blogging schedule soon. I'm still not feeling 100% so I'm probably going to pace myself for the next few weeks but you should start to see some more reviews appearing soon (I can't believe I only wrote 4 last month!). I hope things have been going better for you guys and that you're all enjoying the start of the summer. If you've left me messages on Goodreads or sent me an email please bear with me - I've got a lot to catch up on but I'm getting there slowly! 

Books read in previous months but reviewed in June:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Four Psychos - Kristy Cunning (Read in March, review coming soon)
  2. The Queen's Gambit - Jessie Mihalik (Novella) (Read in March, review coming soon)
  3. Honor Among Thieves - Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre (Read in April, review coming soon)
  4. The Girl in the Tower - Katherine Arden (Read in April, review coming soon)
  5. Steal the Day - Lexi Blake (Read in April, review coming soon)
  6. The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman (Read in April, review coming soon)
  7. Ocean Light - Nalini Singh (Read in May, review coming soon)
  8. Recklessly Royal - Nichole Chase (Read in May, review coming soon)
  9. Temeraire - Naomi Novik (Read in May, review coming soon)
  10. Furyborn - Claire Legrand (Read in May, review coming soon)
  11. Monstress, Vol 2: The Blood - Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda (Graphic Novel) (Read in May, review coming soon)
  12. Order of Protection - Lexi Blake (Read in May, review coming soon)
  13. Iron and Magic - Ilona Andrews (Read in May, review coming soon)
Books read in June:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
  1. Iron and Magic - Ilona Andrews (read for the second time)
  2. Spellslinger - Sebastien de Castell
  3. Theirs for the Night - Katee Robert (Novella)
  4. Vengeance in Death - J.D. Robb
  5. Barbarian's Prize - Ruby Dixon
  6. City of Bastards - Andrew Shvarts
  7. Her Cocky Doctors - Tara Crescent
  8. The Mermaid - Christina Henry
  9. The Bone Farm - Dean Koontz (Audiobook Novella)
  10. Wildfire - Ilona Andrews (I re-read this book but the link takes you to my original review)
  11. Lifel1k3 - Jay Kristoff
  12. Thunderhead - Neal Shusterman
  13. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
  14. The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang
  15. Okami - Renee Ahdieh (Short Story)
  16. Yumi - Renee Ahdieh (Short Story)
  17. Iron and Magic - Ilona Andrews (read for the 3rd time)
    Other June Posts
    June Books of the Month:
    (Choices are made from books reviewed this month and the links will take you to my reviews)

    My top YA read in June:

    Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre (read my review here)

    My top NA read in June:

    I didn't read any NA books in June

    My top adult read in June:

    Ocean Light by Nalini Singh (read my review here)

    June Events:

    Just look at that incredible view across London from the HQ offices!
    The very exciting stack of
    books I came home with!

    A few weeks ago (just before I got sick!) I was lucky enough to get invited to the HQ Fiction Summer Showcase along with my blogging friend Kirsty from The Overflowing Library. As I've already mentioned feeling so ill this month has put me in a total blogging slump so I've not had a chance to write about the event yet but we had a fantastic time and HQ have some incredible books coming out over the next few months that you're going to want to add to your wish lists! I'll post more about the event soon but we got to mingle with some wonderful authors including Simon Worrall, Wray Delaney (who you might know by her other pen name Sally Gardner), Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver, Nicola Cornick, Seni Glaister, Adele Parks, Liz Fenwick and Sara Alexander and we didn't even have time to speak to everyone who was there!  I want to say a big thank you to HQ for inviting me, I can't wait to dive into the huge stack of books I came home with. Watch out for my full write up which I'll get posted as soon as I can.

    My Challenge Updates:

    Here are the 2018 challenges I've signed up for:
    2018 Read 100 Books in a Year Challenge - Read 100/200
    2018 British Books Challenge - Read 9/20
    2018 New Author Challenge - Read 12/20
    2018 Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Challenge - Read 51/100
    2018 Contemporary Romance Challenge - Read 14/20

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