July 2020 Favourites

August 7, 2020 in Lifestyle

Is there another way to start these monthly posts without talking about how fast the year is going? If so, please let me know. In the meantime… CAN YOU BELIEVE IT’S AUGUST ALREADY??

2020 has been a swirling whirling snowstorm of a year. Without any snow, of course. (That was kind of disappointing.) Between global pandemics, an increase in intolerable behaviours and attitudes and the like, what should be going slow is actually going by exceptionally fast…

And since July has waved its final goodbyes, it’s time to recap and talk about all the things I loved in July. (Note: it’s not a long list. It went by so fast!)

July Recap

As you can imagine, very little actually happened in July. We didn’t go anywhere. We didn’t really do anything. But here’s a few highlights anyway!

 Rebranded my Instagram account into a Bookstagram – @hayleybythebook

Got my highest blog stats OF ALL TIME – thank you so much!!!

I decided to stop letting imposter syndrome hold me back and joined NetGalley! As of writing, I’ve reviewed 4 books and been approved for 2 ARCs – including Murder on Maternity by Holly Greenland!

Went charity shop book hunting and got 6 books on my TBR for only £9!

Matt and I started doing a monthly gift swap where we buy each other payday gifts. He got me a blind date with a book and a self-care box. I got him some Mario/Bob’s Burgers bits and a bag of Japanese snacks!

I signed up to a free trial of Scribd and am now drowning in hundreds of books.

Met up with family in a local park for a socially distanced hangout. (Got attacked by spiders. 11/10 would not recommend.)

Had a Christmas in July roast dinner!

We spent an entire afternoon watching Japanese vending machine videos on YouTube.

Received my first MLM and sugar daddy requests on Instagram. *rolls eyes*

Kind of took part in the Reading Rush. I managed to read 7 books that week just not books for the prompts provided so kind of a win, kind of a fail? I had a lot of fun with the book cover recreation challenge prompt though…

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket book cover recreation

July Favourites

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

We only managed to get one MCU movie in this month and luckily it was a good one! Volume 1 featured in last month’s favourites and this one is here for all the same reasons. My favourite thing about GOTG is the importance of found family. It’s such an important trope within the movie, it’s a very central theme and yeah, I was pretty emotional at the end. Loved it!!

Tsum Tsum Festival

I don’t talk about games very often, largely because I don’t play very often, but I have to shout about how great Tsum Tsum Festival is. This is a game that’s been on our radar for a while but was a Japan-only release at the time. So I was very happy to discover that it had been released in the UK – yay!

It’s full of Tsum Tsums (obviously) which is great because I’m still bitter that they cancelled the entire product line. Of the one thing I was actually collecting. Argh! But yeah, it’s got all your faves, dozens of mini games (my favourite kind) and a very addictive coin pusher game where you can spend your coins to get more coins/Tsum Tsums for your collection. A solid investment for any Disney fan with a Nintendo Switch!

New Book Sleeve

I don’t know about you but I love bookish accessories. I’ve got a book trolley, lots of bookmarks, a book holder thing, a book lamp… I just can’t get enough! So this month I added a new book sleeve to my collection.

This was from MelvisMakes on Etsy and it’s my second sleeve from their store. Basically they had a listing for a mystery book sleeve and I like mysteries, I expected that it would just be a random selection… But no! You fill in a bit of info about your likes and dislikes and then you get a sleeve made in a fabric that matches your personality. And just look at what I got based on my preferences – how awesome is this??

Cat book sleeve with Ghostly edited by Audrey Niggenegger

Comic Con at Home

Yes it sucks that the event had to be cancelled due to COVID. But it was a wonderful opportunity for those of us who would never be able to attend SDCC in the flesh!

I started the weekend with 3 pages worth of panels that I wanted to watch and I’m still not caught up! You can find all of the panels on the Comic Con YouTube channel and here are my recommendations based on what I’ve watched so far:

Conspiracy Theories and Propaganda Throughout Pop Culture

Books for All: It’s Time to Redefine How We Share Books with Kids

TOKYOPOP: Manga for Everyone

Beach Read
by Emily Henry

I won’t go into too much detail here because you can already read my full spoiler-free review of Beach Read… But! This is a contemporary romance novel about two writers who couldn’t be more different who basically swap genres for the summer and develop feelings for each other. It’s got a real feel-good vibe to it and yeah, I just really enjoyed it.

by Alice Oseman

Alice Oseman is widely recognised for her fantastic LGBTQIA+ representation in her books. And Loveless is no different. In fact, Loveless is special because it’s an own voices representation of being an aromantic-asexual. Oseman is aro-ace and so is the main character, Georgia. It’s a young adult coming of age type story set at university where Georgia and her friends are learning about the complexities of sexual identity. It’s not a romance (obviously) but it is very much a love story about platonic love aka friendship.

Okay so Loveless meant a great deal to me. I only learnt about asexuality a few months ago and when I did, I was overwhelmed with confusion and guilt before finally accepting my truth. Many of my “quirks” and experiences finally made a lot of sense. This wasn’t a new thing, I’d always been on the ace spectrum. So I could relate to a lot of Georgia’s experiences at university. In fact, the whole novel felt more like fact than fiction to me – I lived this albeit slightly differently being a heteroromantic demisexual. So yeah, this was a really important and somewhat therapeutic read for me.

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Clap When You Land
by Elizabeth Acevedo

And finally… my book of the month! Clap When You Land is a poignant tale about two half-sisters who only find out about each other upon their father’s death. They’ve had very different upbringings. One lives in New York, the other in the Dominican Republic. It’s written all in verse and it’s just beautiful in so many ways.

July Posts

 January-March Reading Wrap-Up

April & May Reading Wrap-Up

  June Reading Wrap-Up

June Favourites

Reading Rush TBR

How I Rate Books: My Personal Rating System

12 Festive Book Recommendations For Christmas in July

Beach Read Review

August TBR

That’s all I’ve got for you this month – but as always, I’ll be back at the start of next month with even more favourites to share!

What were you loving in July? Let me know in the comments.

Featured Image: heidi_ziller from pixabay


  • Linz August 7, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Great post, really enjoyed reading this. Well done on your goals and achievements! Going to add some of those books to my list 😀

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks Linz, hope you enjoy them! 🙂

  • Kayla August 7, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    What an amazing recap! Congratulations on your blog stats, that’s AMAZING! I love all the book selections you have posted too. Great post!

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      Thank you so much Kayla! 🙂

  • Serena August 7, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Congrats on achieving your highest amount of blog views and reading so much during July! I’ve added Beach Read to my TBR list!

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      Thank you Serena! Hope you enjoy Beach Read! 🙂

  • Markus + Micah August 9, 2020 at 5:27 am

    Oh, some interesting things happened to you in July, how nice! I love the gift swap and the Christmas in July roast dinner. This is the first time I have heard about book accessories – how cool!

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      Book accessories are the best! 🙂

  • Baby Boomer Super Saver August 9, 2020 at 10:34 am

    This year has been unbelievable. I’m glad you had some positive moments, though! Congratulations on the blog stats!

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Amie August 9, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Oooh that book sleeve is gorgeous! I’m a sucker with anything with cats on it!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      It’s even prettier in real life, I love it so much! 🙂

  • Lucy August 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    What a positive post Hayley! Congratulations on reaching your highest blog stats of all time, that’s an amazing achievement! x

    Lucy | lucymary.co.uk

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Lucy! 🙂

  • Jenny in Neverland August 10, 2020 at 11:38 am

    I’ve heard loads of great things about Clap When You Land. I need to get my hands on that book! I swear ALL my posts start with “HOW QUICK IS THIS YEAR GOING” at the moment haha. Can’t believe it’s August already. Ridiculous!

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      Right?? It always flies by! Clap When You Land is just stunning, I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

  • lifestyleseason August 10, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing! Congrats on hitting your goals! I also love guardians of the galaxy 2!

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Savannah August 10, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    Great post! This is a fantastic roundup of highlights and I really enjoyed reading your commentary. I love the idea of a gift swap with your husband, as well as the at-home version of ComicCon. Thank you so much for sharing—I hope you have a fantastic August!

    • Hayley August 12, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks Savannah, we’re really looking forward to carrying on the gift swap! It’s so much fun to do. 🙂 Hope you have a great August too!

  • Shirsha August 18, 2020 at 10:15 am

    You’ve got some lovely books on this list! I am happy for you that you found a book that resonated with you personally. It can mean so much to be understood in these ways. Big hugs to you.

    And congratulations on reaching your highest blog stats! 🙂

    • Hayley August 19, 2020 at 10:49 am

      Thank you so much Shirsha! 🙂

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