Monday, July 31, 2017

News and Things: July 2017

Summer continues to pass us by at frenetic pace, so I've been busy packing these brief, sun-soaked moments with as much fun as possible. July was jam-packed with everything from camping trips, theater excursions, a Greek family sleepover, to  plenty of fun prep for our upcoming vacation to Disneyland this coming August. Also, a rather unfortunate sunburn.

However, my personal favorite event thus far, has been celebrating my SEVENTH anniversary of writing for this, my beautiful blog, Playing in the Pages. I rang in the lucky day with the purchase of five new novels, including some of this summer's most-anticipated books, one of which - of course - I've already finished!

But beyond my own distractions, there's been a lot going on in the outside world this month. There's been a lot of News. There's been a lot of Things. So, here's some of my favorite News and Things from the month of July! 

Fun fact courtesy of Quartz this month: apparently, in the average amount of time we all spend on social media each year, we could be reading about 200 books. (Joke's on you, TBR bookshelf: you'll have to pry Instagram and YouTube away from my cold, dead hands!)

Ever wonder what schools other than your own have been assigning for summer reading? Or have you just already flown through the course material, and are looking for something else to spend your time with before you're ushered back into the hallowed halls of your university come September? The New York Times gets the scoop on trends in common reading at some of the nation's top schools.

As someone who also believes in signs, and the idea that no one really leaves us behind, Sherman Alexie's reasoning behind why he stopped his book tour for his newest release, the emotional family memoir You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, is understandable, and something I applaud him for being so open about.

In recent dope-as-hell art news, a Parthenon constructed from steel, plastic sheeting, and 100,000 banned books was recently built at a major Nazi book-burning site in Germany

Authors Sam Sykes and Chuck Wendig entertained bored Twitter scrollers this past week, with an interactive and highly meta short horror story, playing itself out in tweets between a confused, campground-stalking masked murderer, and Wendig himself

I recently learned that Dolly Parton is more than just the Grand Dame of Country music, or Miley Cyrus' godmother: she's actually the leading purchaser of children's books in America, thanks to her children's literacy foundation, Imagination Library. It recently crossed the threshold for almost 92 million books having been donated through her programs! 

Okay, so I was originally sold on the popular snack Aussie Bites after it made its way somewhat virally through some of my favorite health YouTuber's grocery hauls, but it turns out it's been available in stores since 2014. I finally managed to pick up a box for myself... and went through it in about a week and a half. I just can't get enough of that crunchy, graham-cracker-y flavor, and I can't wait to try making some of my own at home!

Like most women my age, I followed the progression of Kesha's stalled pop career and sexual assault as she battled it out in the courts with short finger nails, and an even shorter fuse: why wouldn't they let this brilliant girl go, so she could make great music again? Now that the nightmare is - for the most part - over, she's telling the haters exactly what she thinks, by sending out club anthems and chart-toppers alike. And anyone who still underestimates her? I hope your soul is changing

While we may have been stuck on a cell-reception-less mountain at the time, the Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants 2 premiere was one of my family's most-anticipated moments of the summer. We've been playing the soundtrack on repeat - especially our favorite song - and have already watched the movie twice. (Yes, I know I'm 23 years old.)

And speaking of mountains, that was only the last of three trips we took this summer, from Penrose Point, to Manchester, to Ohanapecosh campground on Mt. Rainier. There's still a month left of summer to take advantage of your state's beautiful public resources, and make sure to pack plenty of books for your trip (I managed to finish 6 books on camping trips alone this summer)!

For those who spend a lot of time on the animation side of Tumblr, like me, you might remember seeing concept art a while ago for a short called "In a Heartbeat," the story of a young boy, betrayed by his overenthusiastic heart, into telling his crush he likes him. It finally premiered only July 31st, and quickly amassed significant amounts of admirers... especially me. I'm pretty sure I've already watched it over five times!

Unfortunately for me, The Bachelorette is ending for the season, and we're all hoping Peter pulls through with an engagement ring. Here's Bustle's ranking of past bling.

What have been some of your favorite News and Things this past month? Let me know, in the comments below! 

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