Date Archives September 2020

Book Explorer Vol. 2 | American Royals

It’s September, fall is here, and I haven’t been this happy since Christmas!

August was a busy month for me, my freelance work stepped up a little, I’ve been doing a lot of job applications, and doubling down on the apartment search with the beau. I also got back into playing Animal Crossing more, which meant fewer reading sessions before bed. I’m definitely looking to change that this month, I’ve never been good about cutting my screentime before bed. 

On the Road book by Jack Kerouac with lush greenery in the background

Last month, I talked about wanting to make more progress on my Goodreads reading goal of 12 books for the year. No amazing progress this month, I finished just one book. But hey, progress is progress!

With cooler weather on the horizon, I’m looking forward to more outdoor reading. And, for anyone who lives in a shore town, locals summer is starting, which means that beach reading days are on the horizon!


White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
On the Road by Jack Kerouac

American Royals by Katherine McGee

American Royals book cover for Book Explorer volume 2 blog post
Photo credit to Casual Fangirl (@casualfangirl1) on Instagram

I’ll admit it right here and now: I was dead wrong about this book.

When my book club picked American Royals, I was pretty meh about the book. I thought it was a non-fiction book about American “royalty” AKA the wealthy elite. Rockefeller’s, Kennedy’s, Vanderbilt’s, or the likes. I’m also one of those people who doesn’t like popular things just because they’re popular. Super annoying, I know. Despite my initial impressions based on literally nothing, I decided to give it a read. And I LOVED it.

American Royals is a fiction novel set in 2020, but asks the question what if George Washington agreed to be the ruling monarch of America instead of the first president. It follows the story of four women with different relationships to the crown and dives into how the crown effects and drives each of their lives. 

This isn’t a deep detailed historical realistic fiction, diving into the geopolitics of an American monarchy. Full disclosure: the book reads like an episode of Gossip Girl. American Royals is a lighter read touching on power and how it corrupts, without losing the reality of the characters’ perspectives. We see the weight of inherited power, the strength of power pulling one in, and the drive to get the power one wants. Problems addressed in the book reflect the reality of what many smaller royals are facing today, problems in the lines of succession in a modern world, problems of a technologically savvy society. But all through the eyes of a twenty-something and older teens. 

It’s a great book to read as a break from reality and was a good follow-up from last month’s ethically messy read. Like a Crazy Rich Asians Lite Version. I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars. The only reason that it doesn’t get a five from me is that the book was wholly predictable and almost surface level. I don’t view that as a negative, but rather a lack of a positive if that makes sense? The book is really good, but could have been better. I already purchased my copy of Majesty, the second book in the series. I’ll definitely fill you in on how the sequel holds up!


Majesty by Katherine McGee

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottleib

Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Find whatever books your reading from your local libraryindependent bookseller, or black-owned bookstore!

Keep up with what I’m reading on a daily basis, follow my Bookstagram, MoiraTheBookExplorer and on Goodreads. Looking for more non-book related content? Follow my main Instagram, MoiraTheExplorer, and keep an eye out for my email newsletter!

Things I’m Loving Vol. 1

Hey! One month blogging down! It was a slow start, and as I write this I still haven’t finished the branding (oops), but we’re getting there. Posting regularly is the first and biggest step though, you’re not a blog if you’re not writing!

This is the first in a regular series on my site. I know like, every blogger has one of these Things I’m Loving on the Radar in my Tuesday Thoughts. But it genuinely is one of my favorite kinds of posts to read. I’ve found great things to read or buy, as well as some great new people to follow. So, lucky for you, you get one of these posts every single month! 

In these posts, my goal isn’t to just try to sell you random stuff. If it’s made it to this list it really is something that I’m loving, have been using, or recently purchased myself.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

First of all, I live for Eurovision. It is truly the highlight of my year, every year since 2016. We live, we love, we stan Jamala always. 

When Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga first came out, I went through a wave of emotions. Super excited at the idea, less so at Will Ferrel, and then pretty nervous as to what an American’s take on Eurovision would be. I put off watching it, in case it was terrible, but finally got around to watching it while I was in the Poconos. I was hesitantly excited going into it, and y’all. It. Was. SOGOOD. 10/10, would recommend. It’s a very fun watch if you know about Eurovision, but it explains enough to it’s still friendly for non-Eurovision watchers!

Universal Threads Shirt Dress

Since the summer started, I’ve been very into the house dress. I can toss it on in the morning and feel like I actually tried, without having to put on pants. It works for Zoom calls, quick errands, running laundry, or just hanging out. I’ve been buying a few more dresses during the QT to round out my wardrobe, and this one from Target, has been SUPER comfy. So much so, I bought it in blue and red. It’s almost out of stock now, but hopefully, it’ll be back soon! 

Outside Xbox Streams

Outside Xbox and Outside Xtra are two of my favorite YouTube channels. Since the start of the UK quarantine, the two sister channels have been streaming gameplay multiple days a week and the streams are great! If you’re not a gamer, streams make for good background noise for laundry days or something to have on while you work that isn’t Love is Blind for the third time. I really enjoy long and more story-heavy games, so the Bloodborne and Red Dead Redemption 2 have been right up my alley. For the non-gaming viewer, the Animal Crossing streams are super fun, as well as Fall Guys and the D&D streams as well!

American Royals

When my book club picked American Royals as our August book, I was pretty meh about it. I didn’t really know what it was about and I’m also one of those annoying people who doesn’t like a popular thing just because it is popular (it’s bad I know). But I decided to get it and read it anyways. I borrowed the e-book from my local library and then proceeded to absolutely devour this book. I didn’t read every day, but it only took three very late nights to finish American Royals. It’s so SO good, and I purchased the sequel, American Royals: Majesty today! I would highly recommend giving American Royals a read, whether from your local library, independent bookseller, or black-owned bookstore! And if you like this, keep an eye out for my next Book Explorer post and follow me on Goodreads.