Hauls

Tombow VIP Club | February 2019

Unboxing

Hello everyone! I am coming to you with another unboxing. Let me know what you think about me sharing these things or not. I personally love book unboxings/hauls and stationary/bullet journal unboxings. If you are new here, hi, I’m Luna and I love books, pens, markers, and artsy things. This year I made a goal to share more of my loves outside of books and this is my way to dipping my toe. I hope you enjoy!

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What is the Tombow VIP Club?

This is a one time purchase where you get a box filled with goodies that Tombow has just come out with or has been loving.

  • A curated box of your favorite (and soon-to-be favorite) Tombow products
  • Each box will include at least 1 exclusive item
  • Know what’s in the box before you buy it
  • One-time purchase; no recurring charge
  • Limited quantities available
  • All sales are final; no returns or refunds
  • Limit of 1 VIP Club Box per order

Taken from their description of the product, which can be found here: Tombow VIP Club

The price of this box is $25.00, I can’t speak for shipping and international orders though.

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I have to admit, I LOVE the color of the box. I am a sucker for cute packaging and for me this fits the bill. Also, on top of that it is sturdy and you can tell it was well thought out with all the classic Tombow items illustrated all over it.

Next was a card with information on them. Very cute, and I looked at this after unboxing everything if I am honest. While I knew one item beforehand, because I did not read what was inside the box. Yes, if you want to know what is inside they totally tell you so you know what you are spending your money on. I really appreciate them giving consumers the option.

Now to all the goodies. I really found these to all be practical and helpful items to use in my everyday life and in my bullet journal. I constantly use glue tape, I feel like I am buying a new roll every month and to get 3, I am so excited. The washi tape included is also really adorable, I really loved how they tied one of the tapes to the pattern on the card and the product design of the newly released item. These markers are not something I played with just yet, but I am very exited about them being thin and colorful. They seem really vibrant. The main reason I did not add swatches at this time is because I am in the profess of redoing my “craft” area in the shared office. So I didn’t want to open them and risk loosing one or two to the chaos. The last item I thought was a really cute idea. It is a mini learn to draw page with banners and fun doodles you can add into your bullet journal or wherever you feel like you need it. On the other side is the alphabet in a beautiful script typography.

  • NEW TwinTone Marker Set, 12-Pack Rainbow MSRP: $19.99
  • Exclusive Tombow Washi Tape: MSRP: $5.99
  • Exclusive Faux Calligraphy & Planner Doodles Insert: Unpriced Exclusive 
  • Power Mini Glue Tape 3-Pack: MSRP: $8.99

Total cost: $25.00

Total worth: $34.97

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What stationary or art supply do you just love? What did you think of the box? Do you think it is worth it?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | February 2019

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid month check in! This month I feel like I have been doing a ton of reading between buddy reads with Jenna @JK I’m Exploring, Reg @Bookish In Bed, and Amy @ Tomes with Tea. The Co-hosting a Count of MOnte Cristo readalong on instagram with Jenna. All of which I have been LOVING. I had no idea I would love Monte so much! Anyway, between reading those I was able to read

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Read 2
The Clockmaker's DaughterThe Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say that the description for this book does not give it justice. There is so much more to this book, but I don’t want to give details and ruin the surprise. It was really magical and I loved the intertwining of fairy tales, history, and a thriller all mixed into one. The authors writing style is very flowery and enjoyable.

If you find the description interesting, I think you will like it even more than you think because there is so much more.
View all my reviews


Death Note (All-in-One Edition)Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall I thought this was a very unique and interesting series. The artwork was fantastic and I felt that it was the perfect match to the story line. For the size of this I felt that I read it fairly quickly, that was mainly because a lot of stuff happened for the first. 60-70% of this book. I felt like the thought process and mental games that were played in here were very well done. The main reason why I did not give this series more stars is because once a particular character died the quality seemed to go down with the mental games and I felt like at times there was something for the sake of events, but it seems kinda random and forced at times. I also felt that the story slowed down all of a sudden at a point and I felt like I had to push myself through because I came so far already.

View all my reviews

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The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas-

The Count of Monte Cristo

I am currently page 298 at the time of posting this, but as I have said already in my into I am LOVING this book so much more than I thought I would. Due to its size I thought it would be slow, but I feel like so much happens each chapter. It is mind blowing. I highly recommend this classic.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy-

War and Peace

I am on page 154. Yes, I am making progress in my classic of the year while reading Monte as well. Since I am reading a book every 3 weeks, I have a lot of time to read others books. I have read one peace and one war section and so far I think I am enjoying the peace sections more. I think becasue I am seeing more class distinctions that I learned about when I was in college and I really love how the author made a point of adding those in there to showcase the class system in Russia, but also how they spoke more French than Russian.

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What are you reading? Have you read any of the books I have read or am currently reading?

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Books I Loved with Love

Recs

Happy Valentines day to those who celebrate and happy Thursday to those who do not. Since today is my posting day and I do love a good romance in a book from time to time I thought I would share some of them with you. Now, I know that not everyone is going to agree with my choices, but the great thing about books is that there are so many that everyone can find the ones they enjoy. Now, on to the books I love with love!

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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman-

The Rules of Magic
This books revolves around a family curse where only bad things happen when you find the person you fall in love with. It is the prequel to Practical Magic and I absolutely loved the various relationships in this book. While I was heart broken quite a few times it was wonderful seeing some of the characters find love.


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon-

When Dimple Met Rishi

This book was so adorable and so cute. I read it in a single day, that is how much I liked this book. I also loved how the relationship started in this book because I can relate to it on some level with my boyfriend. In addition, I felt like I learned a lot while reading it too.


 

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry-

The Air He Breathes (Elements, #1)

This book really had me smiling at multiple points. The relationship in this starts in such a funny way, but seems to genuine. While they have their share of drama and things working against them I enjoyed it a ton.


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion-

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1)

I fell in love with this book. I found it funny, cute, and I not only enjoyed the romance in this book, but I really liked the friendship and honesty inside of it as well.


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli-

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1)

I feel like at this point this entire book is me just gushing how much I enjoy all of these books, but this book was adorable, but a mystery as well. I highly suggest this book. It is cute, has great characters, and it is just adorable and wonderful.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott-

Little WomenThis book is a classic I am just in love with. I love the relationship and love felt within their family, Jo and her man, and Meg and her husband. I just really enjoy all of the relationships that blossom in this book and in this series.

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What book romance do you just love? What did you think of my choices? Are there any books you would ad?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Reusable Straws

LetsTalk12:17

So for some time I really enjoyed drinking soda, coffee, tea and most of my drinks through straws, even when I was younger. I am not sure why, maybe because it bothers my teeth less or I am less likely to spill my drinks all over me.

Regardless, of my love of using straws I stopped using them for various reasons. The first being money and the second being waste. So I eventually decided I would get some reusable ones to carry around with me. I will say I did save up a bit and I have previously had a metal straw and promptly gave it to someone else because it has a weird metallic flavor to it. So, this time I ordered some glass straws from a company called Simply Straw. The reason I went with this company is because it is made in California, Women Owned, and they are able to be used with hot and cold beverages. In addition, I can hand wash and or throw it in the dishwasher. Also, the nice bonus of a lifetime guarantee.

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-My Experience-

I have been using glass straws for nearly 2 months at this point and I will be 100% honest. While I do love using them I found a few faults. While I was using my straws the biggest drawback is after using them. I often had no where to store the dirty straw because I did not want to restore it in the same container because I was worried about germs and contamination. So I often had to just throw it in my lunch bag and do a deep clean once I got home, but depending on what I drank it sometimes settled in the straw was REALLY hard to clean at times.

Due to that the 3 I had tended to all be in need of a wash at the same time so I could not use glass straws exclusively because 2 of my straws are really skinny the brush cleaner does not fit in there so I had to wash them in the dishwasher.

Moving forward I will continue to use these straws, but I need to find a better way to store and maybe find a good “dirty” pouch. I also feel like I will need to invest more in this, which I don’t really see myself being able to do currently. Maybe add a few here and there to make this really doable.

-Overall-

Likes

  • Less waste
  • Feeling fancy!
  • Reusable/Well lasting

Dislike

  • If you don’t have a sink around, you can’t clean it. I feel like my pouch was getting dirty.
  • Finding the right size is hard, I needed to buy multiple and will need more
  • Investment $$$

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What do you think about reusable straws? Do you use them? What other ways do you cut down on waste?

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Hauls

Book of the Month | February 2019

Unboxing

Well, the start of the month is one of my favorite times. If you have Amazon Prime you get to pick a free book through First Reads and I can pick my Book of the Month. I have been a member of book of the month well over a year at this point and I have found some unexpected favorites.

The main thing I love about this subscription is, I get to pick from 5 books or I can skip if nothing sounds interesting. I love having the books curated for me, but also having the power to choose where my money goes. Anyway, I am getting off topic. I wanted to share the book I picked this month.

Also, I am very aware that my previous post Decluttering | Switching to Ebooks, I said I would not be buying physical books. But, I am making Book of the Month the exceptions.

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-My Choice-

Early Riser byJasper FForde

-Description-

Every Winter, the human population hibernates.

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing and it’s your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it’s unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it’s weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from the Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping, and stamp collecting, ensure you aren’t eaten by Nightwalkers, whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you’ll be fine.

Also, I love that they add a unique touch to all their books. There is not way I will ever forget when I picked up this book.” (Source: goodreads)

-Why I picked this book-

The main reason I picked this book is because I have never read anything like this. It kinda felt like that recent movie with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence when they wake up in the middle of space. How eerie and creepy would it be to be awake while the world slept? How would you protect, care for, and function? I also wanted to read science-fiction because it has been a while and I found this to be one that really peaked my interest. Personally, I have a hard time finding science fiction that really excites me. Any recommendations, please share! I just feel like I have not found the right type because I love watching tv shows and movies in the genre.

-Bonus-

I really do love that BOTM puts the month and year the book was from on the books. That way I know how long it has sat on my shelve instead of just thinking it was a month or so ago. For me this is the ultimate memory keeper, but also kick in the butt to read it.

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What did you think of my pick? What is your favorite Science Fiction read?

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Lets Talk

Lets Talk | Five Star Predictions

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So, for readers there is nothing better than a 5 start book. As I read more and more I have been able to determine if I will like a book, but I find it harder to predict a 5 star read. So, I wanted to flex that muscle a little and really take a hard look at my TBR and see if I can predict some 5 star reads.

When I rate a book 5 stars it means a few things. First, the plot and characters were really enjoyable. It was not completely predictable and flowed nicely. Characters were not annoying or if they character has a fault it is to display a particular lesson or commenting on something else through their writing. I have to find myself surprised, angry, happy, excited, elated in combination or separate. The characters need to be distinct. But, overall I need to enjoy the ride, then entire ride.

5stars

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My Predictions

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

After reading this description I knew I needed to have this book. It seems like a mixture of magical realism and science? Also, kind of a sad future we may be heading for? It seems like a warning letter to what we as a planet to become and honestly, I just really love the idea of this book so much.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

I picked this as a Book of the Month book late last year and I vividly remember it being the second description I read and knowing right away that I needed to have it. It tells a story of women throughout history who have done so much for the world, but have remained silent, it seems like a historical fiction of sorts.

Bringing Down the Colonel by Patricia Miller

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "Powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington

I got this book as a gift and I love it so much. I have heard whispers of this case, but I am very excited to learn more about it. Since it is was one of the first major cases of a women coming forward and saying she was assaulted by a man in power. It seems like it will be a very hard hitting factual book.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room

I will be 100% honest here. I am basing this off of the cover. I know, don’t judge a book by the cover, but the vibe I am getting from the cover has me really excited. Also, to be fair I would not have bought this book if it was not part of my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist. But, I am very happy I did because the description is interesting as well.

The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

I really loved the first book in this series, The Cruel Prince, and I have love quite a few of Holly Blacks novels in the past. So, I think it is safe to say that I will love this one as well.

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What was your last 5 star read? What do you think about my predictions?

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Decluttering

Decluttering | Switching to Ebooks

declutter

So, in the past I have written quite a bit on decluttering and finding balance in my life. You can find some of those posts here, decluttering. I have done many book unhauls and I have gone through quite a bit of my belongings. But, there is one thing I always have difficulty with keeping organized and a bay, my books.

While I know there is quite a bit of talk around books and Marie Kondo, much of it being misquotes and unfair towards her in my option.  Anyway, this is a method I have used to get my life organized and it has helped me quite a bit. Anyway, I digress. Books are still an area I have trouble with, an area I spend a ton of money on. I want to change this.

I currently have 3 bookshelves that are filled with books stuffed all over the place. I don’t feel joy when I look at it, in fact I feel as though I am doing the books a disservice. They look uncared for and unloved, which is far from the truth. Forty of these books are unread, the rest have been read and have found a place in my heart where I can’t currently part with them. Here is the problem, at this point all of the books I own I love and want to keep, but I have no room.

To rectify this I have decided to try and make the switch to ebooks. I already own a kindle, the most basic one, it would not cost me anymore money to make the switch. While I do use it from time to time, I do overall enjoy using it. It is light and I can carry it around with me without worrying about it becoming bent or ripped.

While I know this decision might be controversial to some, I too love reading a physical book. But, it is the best route that I can think of for my own personal journey. I feel like I am not giving my books justice and that just isn’t how I want to feel.

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What do you think about ebooks? Do you read off an ereader?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Indoor Garden Adventures| January 2019

More Than Books

One thing I really wish I could do is keep plants. I would love to have a room filled with plants and books, I have a plan for my future library of sorts. I am planning on turning it into a greenhouse/library. I may have taken inspiration from one I stumbled into in December. life

Anyway, I always want more and more plants, but I don’t have a ton of room for them. But, a few weeks ago I was walking through the store and I noticed that this brand was selling terrarium kits. I thought it would be a great way to start with my current limitations. I ended up picking up two different ones because I could not decide, as well as a mister for an air plant I will show in a future edition of this series. Anyway, I picked up a Forest Floor Scandinavian and Forest Floor Woodland. The Scandinavian edition has seeds for a plant called Hyssop and the woodland has Sedum.

As you can see the kits came with quite a bit. I had to assemble the layers as well and place the seeds inside. I am very nervous about these because I feel like it would be very hard to grow plants from seeds if you are not very experienced. But, I am going to do my best. The picture below is the first day of the seeds being placed in their new home. It is said that it could sprout from 7-21 days so I have a lot of waiting in front of me.

While this is quite a short post I wanted to put together this introduction to this new series on my blog where I am happy to share other interests I have outside of reading. Please wish my plants and myself luck because I am so worried I am going to fail at this and do these little seeds a disservice.

Anyway, if you know anything about plants or anything like that please share your knowledge. I could use all the help I can get!

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TBR

February TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello and welcome to my February TBR, my first one of 2019. Last month I didn’t feel like making a TBR because I wanted to focus on reading some classics and finishing the books I started. Since I am finished with those I thought it was time to make one. I am going to make this post short and sweet so without more of a delay, here is my TBR!

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Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Save the Date

This book I am kinda ashamed to still have on my TBR. I picked it up when I met Morgan Matson at BookCon 2018. She was so nice and lovely, we had a great laugh about my corgi lanyard. I have read and loved previous books by her, but for some reason I have not picked this up. I think it is because I have not been in the mood for a contemporary. I think I am finally in the mood for it though. I want something light after all the intense reads of last month.

World Without End by Ken Follett

World Without End (Kingsbridge, #2)

This is the next book in the Kingsbridge series, which I started last year due to the Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books post I did. I ended up loving the first book, a very large historical fiction. I ended up going out right away and getting the second book, but I did not feel like reading such a large book right away. So, I decided now is finally the time since the 3rd book has finally came out in paperback and I can get that if I end up liking this one just as much.

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The Stand by Stephen King

So it seems that I will be reading quite a few large books this upcoming months and I am not sure how well that is going to go, but I am going to do my best to at least finish this TBR jar pick. I have been wanting to read this for sometime, but since it is so large I have been putting it off because I felt like I did not have the time to dedicate to it. While I do have the paperback edition, the cover you can see below, I think I might get the ebook edition so I can carry it around with me without having the weight of it.

The Stand

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What are you reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | January 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Well, here I am to share my first monthly wrap up of 2019. It seems like this month has gone slow, but also thrown by for me. I saw my first snow fall of the season, started playing around with programming and painting once again. I feel refreshed as well as have a drive I have not had in some time. I am not sure why the new year sparked this in me, but it has and I am happy about it.

So, as before, some of these books have been previously shown in Middle Mark | January 2019, but I wanted to post a comprehensive wrap-up. If you wish to skip over the books I already talked about I have no problem with that, but I have quite a few more books I read because I ended up reading 11 books.

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Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

This is a beautiful book, it details so much of the history of magic that influenced Harry Potter’s world as well as a peek into early drafts, edits, and early doodles of the book. Even though I went to the exhibit I still read through this book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. (Originally found here).

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

I absolutely loved this book, I was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking. If you are looking to read a memoir I highly suggest you pick it up. The writing is amazing, there is something about this book that just appalls you, but also inspires you due to the life that Tara Westover has lived. (Originally found here).

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

Best for beginners and those who are not happy with their current bullet journals. If you already have a bullet journal you are happy with you can pass on this book.

For those who are beginners this is a great way to learn about the process and find out what a bujo actually is. It is well organized and I like the take what works for you and leave the rest mentality of the book. (Originally found here).

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

I have read and reread quite a few Sherlock stories. I will admit at this point some stories I will continue to rereading, but others I will never pick up again for one reason or another. Mainly because I did not enjoy the  the thrill of the story. It is a wonderful collection to have. (Originally found here).

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle

4stars

I recently wrote an entire review of this book, you can find that here: REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan. But, I will say overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you. (Originally found here).

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars

5stars

I wrote an entire review of this book, but I will sum it up here. I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel. (Originally found here REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls)

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

3stars

Overall, this was a really good short eerie short story. I can see why it is a classic that people talk about time and time again. But, it also did not wow me like other eerie stories  I have read in the past.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

5stars

This was an amazing read, I am kinda mad at myself for putting it off so the last few months. I really loved the conversation that book brings to the forefront. How it shows a different perspective that I really appreciate being shared with me. I also loved how I could relate tot the it me period this book takes place in. I remember the walkmans, start of the iPods and I really relate to the high prices text messages and minuets used to be. I feel like the mixture of highly relatable aspects as well as seeing a new perspective really  made this such a wonderful book. I highly suggest you picking this up. I feel like I am not articulating myself quite right, but I loved this book.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies: Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them

4stars

I really enjoyed the fact that this book had so many voices and talked on so many topics. There was a mixture of playlists, lists, essays, poetry, interviews and more. It was a wonderful read that allowed me to read the thoughts of some people I know, but also expose me to others I will now be looking into their work.

Another thing I loved was the continued reading section where books are recommended and also a section to workout your own thoughts on feminism. This book doesn’t just talk at you, it starts a conversation. (Originally found here).

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

4stars

I really loved how this seemed to be more of an anthropological look at death as apposed to her other book. I really enjoyed how she explored how cultures within the US and around the world pay respect to their loved ones with no judgement. It really is eye opening how we are all the same species, but we have our own ways we pay respect to those we love. It is comforting that we can all find a way to honor those who came before us. I hope to see more writings by her because I have enjoyed both of her books immensely. (Originally found here).

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

5stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took. (Originally found here).

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

4stars

This book is such an adventure, it starts with a young boy, age 11. Sadly, he is a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados run by two brothers. The author wrote a beautiful book that shows the ugly that is slavery. It talks about awful psychological games played by owners and the bad treatment many had to endure unfairly. I also like how the author showed abolitionists and aspects of the underground railroad. The dangers of faced by those who escaped and freed those who did not belong to them. I also really enjoyed the science, art, and almost steampunk elements. I am honestly not doing this book justice, but I will say it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is well deserved. I also have to agree with the quote on the front of my book calling it a masterpiece.  (Originally found here).

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