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July 2020 Monthly Wrap Up

Header image for July Monthly Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my July monthly wrap up post.

Usually, the weekends are the only time that I can sit back and catch up on life – both on and off the blog. However, as I’m on summer break, every day feels like a weekend!

So what have I been up to this month?

Well July has definitely been different from the previous few months, hasn’t it?!

The lowlight continued to be all about Coronavirus COVID-19, with the tight lockdown restrictions being eased. People being able to go out and about; pubs, shops, etc. opening. However, I’m concerned about the sharp spike in cases and deaths we’re seeing around the world. We still don’t have a vaccine, although the scientists are working really hard worldwide to have one before flu season! 😢

But I don’t want to dwell on the virus. The highlights for me this month include being off for the summer holidays. Yeh! School opens up on 2nd September. I’m not sure what our primary school will look like then, but we’ll do our best to follow the guidance while teaching the National Curriculum.

In case you didn’t know, Flora’s Musings is a self-hosted blog. I’m still with WordPress, but now I’m WordPress.org blog hosted by ChemiCloud.

ChemiCloud logo image

It’s still a keen learning curve, and I’m far from being an expert. However I’m enjoying the experience and love how freeing it is to be self-hosted. Please let me know if any pages, posts or links throughout Flora’s Musings either doesn’t open or you have problems with.

Click the ChemiCloud logo above and check them out. They’ve still got a 65% sale on at the moment which means their plans start at just 2.76 per month! If you use my link, I’ll get a little referrer fee credited to my account. Thank you. I used the link from Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight to get me started back in May. 💜

💜💚💜 Hello lovely followers! 💜💚💜

As you might remember, this year I’m tracking my follower count. Flora’s Musings has now surpassed the 475 followers mark and, as I type this, there are now 480 of you! That’s flippin’ amazing! I’m now more than confident that we can reach (and surpass) the 500 mark before I’m back at school.

Thank You - My Follower Count 475+

However, now that I’m not with WP.com, Flora’s Musings won’t appear in your Reader. Reader is a free promoting platform that WordPress offer their .com hosted blogs. If you’re a WP blog, you may have already noticed that my posts haven’t been showing up in your Reader feed. However, 📧subscribing 📧 rather than following my blog will make sure that you never miss a post. 😊

Stats for my fellow nerds

The lovely Kal produced an amazing package of Blogger Spreadsheets and graphics. I downloaded them at the beginning of the year and I’m now a stats nerd! I love looking at my numbers, comparing them to last week, month or year. The spreadsheets help me keep track of my bookish stats like ARCs, books read, ratings as well as bloggish stats too. You’ve got to check them out!

Some of my favourite YTD (Year To Date) stats include:

What sub-genres have I been reading?

Looks like urban fantasy type books have been the bulk of my reading so far. Although, that’s not surprising as a couple of the series I’m reading for a challenge are in this category.

Books Read by Release

It’s a close call between those books released this year and older ones. But I’m happy that it’s not the other way around. How would your chart look?

My Growing number of Followers

This is always a lovely image. I know we all want our follow number to suddenly be in the thousands but I like sure and steady growth. Hopefully this means that you’ll all stay with me for years to come.

Which days are popular with you, my followers.

Apparently, you like visiting Flora’s Musings on a Friday. Does this mean that my Friday Finds posts are your favourites? I’m so touched that you visit so often. I’ve downloaded a new plugin this week that tracks how visitors to Flora’s Musings engage with my pages and posts. I’ll let you know all about it next month.

Posting The Usual Blogginess

Although Shanah is taking a much earned break from hosting the weekly Top 5 Tuesday meme. I’m still writing my Friday Finds posts and answering the questions on Billy’s Book Blogger Hop.

I really enjoy joining in with these weekly memes and try to return as many visits and comments as I can. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone this month.

monthly wrap up header title image saying # Looking back on Flora's musings ~ in green

What else have I been posting on my blog?

Feel free to click on anything that you missed this month.

International Tiger Day 29th July

Featured Image - International Tiger Day 2020 (1)

I wrote my first ever post about this awareness day. It was great fun and I’ll definitely do it again next year.


Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) – The Semi-Finals

BBNYA Book Bloggers' Novel of the Year Award - Semi-Final

The semi-finalist were announced! It’s all very exciting!


Book Birthdays

I’ve been helping some wonderful authors spread the word about their 🥳New Releases 🥳

Shining a Spotlight On…

Featured Image - Spotlight On Suzanne Wright

I shone my spotlight on British author, Suzanne Wright this month.

Book Reviews

And, of course, this being a book blog, I shared my thoughts about some books I read this month:

~ Full Reviews and Mini Reviews ~

Moving forward, what can you expect from me in August?

monthly header title image of ~ Coming Up on Flora's Musings ~ in green
  • Celebrating more New Book Releases.
  • Hopefully some author interviews, cover reveals, book tours and spotlight posts.
  • More weekly Friday Finds posts and Book Blogger Hop questions answered.
  • and of course, lots of book reviews!
Monthly wrap up header image saying "My current reading challenges" image with notebooks

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I take part in the Goodreads Annual Reading Challenge but I also join in with other reading challenges. I thought that I’d use these regular wrap up posts to update you on my progress in all the challenges that I’m taking part in …

monthly wrap up header title saying ~ my current reading challenges ~ in green

Amazingly, I haven’t taken part in any new monthly reading challenges this month. BUT. I have signed up to two new annual challenges this year – Bloody hell, what was I thinking!! 😂 🤦‍♀️ 😂

🎧 2020 Audiobook Challenge 🎧

Audiobook challenge 2020 graphic

I’ve been listening to more and more audiobooks each year, so decided to take advantage of my growing addiction interest. 😉 Check out my progress on My Audiobook Challenge 2020 page.

🏁 Finishing The Series Challenge 🏁

finishing the series reading challenge button for 2020

This year, I’ve been lamenting over how many unfinished series are on my TBR pile. Therefore, I’ve joined the Celebrity Readers’ challenge to help. Check out my progress on Finishing The Series Reading Challenge 2020 page.

The ARCs on my Shelf image header title in green

Like so many of you, I use my blog to review ARCs (Advance or Early Reader Copy). Book, ebooks and audiobooks that I receive from authors or publishers. I’m registered on NetGalley and I’ve just signed up to BookSirens. Do any of you get books from BookSirens?

Check out my current ARCs calendar. I think my monthly commitments are looking good.

ARCS on my shelf - July 2020
~ ARCs Yet To Read ~
  • August Releases ~ Season of the Wolf (25th)
  • September Releases ~ Grave Secrets (1st), Sea of the Dead (17th)
  • October Releases ~ nothing yet!

I’ve managed to stick to my NetGalley Plan! Limiting myself to only requesting a couple per month and trying to ensure the release dates are spread out. My ARC TBR pile is now happily under control! 😇

Thank you to the wonderful authors, publishers, tour organisers and NetGalley. The opportunity you give me to read books and feed my addiction is more than appreciated! 😉

monthly wrap up header title saying ~ A bit of randomness ~ in green

I love browsing the various groups I belong to as they always seem to have such great memes for every occasion. 😉 This is the one I’ve chosen for this monthly wrap up. I’ve REALLY been feeling menopausal this month!!

meme - Dont Poke The Old Women

I’ve been linking up to The Sunday Post which is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. Today, I’m also linking up to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up co-hosted by the fabulous Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight.

(See rules here: Sunday Post Meme ¦ Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up)

Don’t forget to hop along to some of the other amazing blogs taking part in the Sunday Post and Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my July’s monthly wrap up post.

signature graphic. Happy reading from flora image sitting on books

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend, stay safe and healthy.

Bye for now.
Flora x

About Author

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog - www.florasmusings.com

(32) Comments

  1. I love the charts and graphs you use, how do you make them – is it a program or from a (hopefully FREE?) website?

  2. […] Flora from Flora’s Musings […]

  3. Great wrap up!
    Are you sure about self-hosted not showing up on WordPress reader? I know my blog shows up in my feed and a few others, the difference is to read the full post it takes you out of wordpress reader to the site in your browser. I think you might need to add the follow button, I can’t remember what link I used but this explains it https://jenniely.com/how-to-add-a-wordpress-follow-button-to-your-self-hosted-blog/. I was stuck a bit on the actual adding to the site bit, but turns out I just add a custome html widget in the side bar and paste the code there.

  4. Glad you are loving self-hosting. I never regretted the move. Yay for Jim Butcher.. love that series. The oldest Royal starts school next week. Masks for Kindergarten …i worry for her and hope we all don’t get sick.

    1. Flora says:

      I’m sure the school will take every precaution, but I understand your concerns. We had a few 4 and 5 year olds coming to our school in June/July. The masks are great – because they were a new, exciting toy – and they didn’t want to take them off at first, but children this young have to be continually reminded (gently) about these things. I’m sure she’ll be fine and will love seeing her class. The school will have COVID procedures in place. We were checking the temperature of our pupils 3 times a day and will continue that process when we’re back in September.

  5. Your charts remind me that I was filling in a Book Riot spreadsheet that creates graphs etc, but I haven’t for months. Must do that!

    I follow you on Feedly, so I shouldn’t miss any posts though I really need to visit more often.

    Wishing you a great reading week

    1. Flora says:

      Getting out of the habit of inputting info regularly to a spreadsheet is far too easy, Shelleyrae! 😉
      Hope you have a great reading week too. x

  6. Enjoy your summer holidays! It’s cool that you don’t have to go back until September. School starts here next week. I love your stats. I track my reading, but nothing blog related. Have a good week!

    1. Flora says:

      Aw, thanks Aj. I didn’t track my blogging until I downloaded Kal’s spreadsheets. Now I’m a bit obsessed! Lol!
      Hope you have a great week too.

  7. Yay for summer break! There is so much uncertainty with school restarting, I hope things go well where you’re at. Thanks too for the WordPress/ self hosting info- I’ve been thinking of maybe switching to WP at some point so that info is helpful. 🙂

    1. Flora says:

      Thanks Greg. I’m enjoying being off. 🙂
      I’m in the planning stages of writing some posts about my experiences switching to self-hosting. I might create a poll to find out bloggers want to know about.

  8. I love the stats and that is something I love about Book Sirens. I haven’t taken any of their ARCs yet though. I wish my stats were as great. I don’t yet have 100 email subscribers after nearly 3 years. But Bloglovin seems to be a success as I have over 100 followers there in just a couple months. I don’t know how active those people will be. UF is my jam too. I also read a lot of mystery/thrillers.

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

    1. Flora says:

      At the moment, my blog has the JetPack plugin which means that it’s easier for existing WP users to follow. I’ve created a Pinterest board with tips I’ve found to help increase follower numbers. I’ve only pinned articles that I’ve tried. I was already following you on twitter Anne, but not your blog. I’ve just signed up. 😉

  9. Your stats are great, I really need to sit down and figure out all mine – I’ve lost a bit of traffic when I went on my very extended hiatus so I’m slowly trying to get it back.

    Corona is supposedly on the decline in Scotland but there are still little spikes popping up.

    Stay safe and have a good week.

    1. Flora says:

      Thanks, Heather. I find the Kal’s charts help me to visualise what’s happening on my blog much easier.
      I think what Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish leaders have done and achieved during this pandemic is inspirational. I wish Boris and his chimps had been so level-headed and strong in their vision.
      Stay safe. x

  10. The woman of a certain age is beautiful! Enjoy your summer break!

    1. Flora says:

      Lol! Thanks, Nise. I loved it as soon as I saw it. Thank you for visiting.

  11. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    Congratulations on all these followers Flora! And good for you to be now on holiday! Try to enjoy these days even with the sad news around us!

    1. Flora says:

      Thanks, Sophie. I’m loving not having to wear a watch (one of the rituals I do as soon as I finish work). Plus, I’m getting lots of stuff done to the blog. Just opened a Flora’s Musings Pinterest a/c so trying to get my head around that now too. 😉

  12. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan says:

    News of reopening amidst corona pandemic is scary. I hope you are staying safe and inside, as much as possible.

    1. Flora says:

      Yes, I am, thanks. A couple of my daughter’s friends wanted to invite her for a SLEEPOVER! Can you believe it. The cruel parents that we are, said no. 😉

  13. You are doing great this year. I love stats, those are so cool. I really should try to do that but I never keep track good enough.

    Our Schools are both hybrid and remote. I am doing remote for my kids so they don’t have to leave the house. Just to keep everyone safe since my husband is high risk.

    I hope you have a great week, Happy Reading!

    1. Flora says:

      Ah, thank you. I do love stats and charts. Couldn’t do it without Kal’s spreadsheet bundle though. She makes it so easy!
      Sound like a sensible plan about school.
      Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you enjoy the rest of August.

  14. I love the stats on this post it is amazing! My favourite is the graph showing which days are the most popular. How is the Buffy watching going? Have a great August!

    1. Flora says:

      Yes, I had no idea that Fridays were so much more popular. I’ll have to examine the results and try to work out why. I’m on Season 3 of Buffy watching Ep.18 next. I remember being freaked by this one. What about you?

      1. Oh yes I didn’t like this one at all. To start with I didn’t like the mouth less demons! They were very freaky.

        1. Flora says:

          {shivvvver} they certainly are! Still haven’t watched it. I’mnotscaredI’mnotscaredI’mnotscared. 😉

          1. A giant cushion or in my case I giant Eeyore is always useful for such occasions I find

  15. So much going on in this post, I love all the stats! Love the old woman pic too, gonna share in on FB. I feel it in my bones. Happy August!!

    1. Flora says:

      I was flying my nerd flag this month, Freda. Lol! I love that picture too. I’ll have to look around and see if it’s on a t-shirt somewhere! 😉

  16. You have a lot going on! Lots of pretty and interesting things to look at. I laughed out loud about the “woman of a certain age.”

    Enjoy your week and all of August!

    1. Flora says:

      Yes, I liked that image too. I’m thinking of blowing it up and getting it framed. Although, not sure what my Hubby would say… lol!

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