Operation Find A Hobby | Scrapbooking

FindAHobby

Welcome to the third installment of Operation Find a Hobby. This round I tried scrapbooking.  Now, I shall admit I have some limited exposure to scrapbooking. A few of my family members used to do it constantly. So I was able to get some first hand guidance. But, before I get any further if you have not see my previous posts in this series, you can find them here; Operation Find A Hobby | IntroductionOperation Find A Hobby | Embroidery, and Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle. Now lets get into my experience trying scrapbooking!

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So first things first, I needed to figure out the actual purpose of a scrapbook. Now, this may just sound silly, but I felt like there was more to it than just taping pictures together. So, a quick google search gave me this definition thanks to Merriam-Webster.

Definition of scrapbook : a blank book in which various items (such as newspaper clippings or pictures) are collected and preserved

For me this still did not seem right. So I decided to actually go to some family members who used to/still scrapbook. I liked their definition a bit better.
Without rambling to much they pretty much told it is a way to celebrate and remember memories, milestones, and  events. Creating a scrapbook was a celebration, anyone can just put their photos and such in an album. But, creating a scrapbook and taking the time to create a page from nothing is giving value to the memory and honoring it. That seemed a bit more appropriate to me. Mainly because of the effort that people put into scrapbooks. When I was searching for some ideas/inspiration and from previous layout there were some detailed layouts. It seemed more than just “preserving items”.
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Now with scrapbooking you need supplies and some of these can get expensive. Let’s just say I used quite a bit of coupons and waited for the supplies to go on sale. I also raided the closets of loved ones. While I was confident I would like this hobby, I was not comfortable with investing a lot of money in a maybe.
I also felt that this hobby needed a but more planning than the previous ones I have tried. Completing a puzzle, all I needed to do was buy one. With Embroidery I was able to buy just one kit and complete it. These were more or less already set up for me where scrapbooking is something I would have to come up with from nothing. So I decided I needed a focus before I went and bought everything.
I ended up deciding that I would use my book to highlight a year and each layout would focus on a month. I then expanded on this and came up with a color pallet;  yellow, green, pink, gray, and off white.  With this I was able to get the creative supplies and the practical ones. Once I collected them from either the store or from others I got to work making my March pages for my scrapbook.
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My Book

My Supplies

Images, scissors, and paper cutter.
Paper backgrounds, stickers, and letters.
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 The Outcome


On this page I wanted to highlight the books I read this past month. So I printed out each of the covers and then decided to highlight my top three, which you can see at the center. I also wanted to remember that I got a new netgalley badge so I added those images to this page as well. I thought the pattern change at the center and the leaf stamps made the page pop a bit more. I will be keeping this method in mind for the future.

On this page I made it a bit more personal. I highlighted a conversation with an author I adore, even though it was totally not substancial in the eyes of some. For me I never thought I would have the guts to talk and ask one of my fav. authors a questions and actually hear back from them. I also added the description of my new netgalley badge on this page. Another things I added that I love is the buddy reads I did this month and who I was reading them with. Just a heads up if you ever want to buddy read a book you can always tweet or message me. If I can chances are I will buddy read a book with you. I find them so much fun!

Refections

Okay, I have to say that I really enjoyed this. It was a lot of fun to just take the time and make this. While it did take time. It took a lot less than putting a puzzle together, thats for sure. I enjoyed picking through my memories and deciding which bookish ones I wanted to remember and honor. I really just enjoyed the entire process, for me this was almost therapeutic. It is very rare that I truly take “me time”, so doing this was almost like meditating and made me more mindful and reflective on the things I have done over the past month.

I also loved that this was create and I was able to make something with my own hands. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to talk to my family members about something I had never talked to them about before. It was nice having a new topic to discuss. Overall, I have to say that this hobby is a winner and I am going to be doing it again in the future. Divider

Well, I am going to continue on my quest to find a new hobby!

Which hobby should I try next?

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Currently Reading | April 2018

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Happy Spring! I know it has been Spring for some time, but lately it has actually started to feel like Spring. For me this is one of my favorite times of the year. The flowers are starting to bloom, I can read outside and not be freezing. I think this year I want to make it a goal to buy a hammock so I can lay down and read outside instead of just sitting on a blanket. Anyway, I wanted to touch base and share the books I am currently reading. Side note, I am surprised that I have gotten my currently reading from 5 down to 2. Woohoo!

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The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

The Female Persuasion

I am about 2 chapters into this book and so far I am very much enjoying it. The author has done a wonderful job building the “scene” and introducing the characters. Her writing is very beautiful and I easily got lost in it. I am looking forward to continuing this book.

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The Pillars of the Earth

This is a huge book and I love it. I picked this book up a few months ago on the recommendation of a bookseller. You can see the details of that adventure in my post Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books . It was a great adventure. Anyway I am about 200 or so pages into this book and it is so elaborate and wonderful. I can see there are going to be a lot of plots intertwining and I love it. I am very excited to see where this goes. In fact I picked up the second book in the series so I can pick it up soon after.

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What book(s) are you currently reading?

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Let’s Talk | Try a Chapter April 2018

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Hello everyone. So as of late I have been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of books I own and need to read. I’m not sure why, but I have been starting to feel flustered by them. Now compared to other people my TBR is tiny, but for me I feel it is too many. But, I want to get into a little back story first.

In 2014 I found booktube and fell down a rabbit hole, I honestly felt like Alice when she entered Wonderland. Prior to this I had no idea there was such a huge book community. It was just magical. During that time I ended up getting a ton of books, mostly used and discounted, but still a ton. Even though I read about 100 books that year my TBR was still well over 100 books. Since then I have done various things to try to get it down and keep it down.

The first thing I tried was a book buying ban, for me this worked in the short term, maybe a week or two at most. Then when it was over I would just end up buying even more books. So that didn’t really work. Then I did the read 5 buy 1 challenge. This was a bit more doable, but still was difficult to stick to 100% of the time. So I ended up doing it on rotation. One month on and one month off until my TBR was in the 30s. Welcome to modern times!

So my current TBR is at 42. I know, I know that really is not a lot compared to others. For me, it is just too much. My goal for my TBR is around 15. That was I have choices, but not too many. Sometimes, I think having so many options gets in my way. So I am going to do a Try a Chapter, which I have done in the past and enjoyed. Try a Chapter | June 2017 and Try a Chapter | August 2017.

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The Books

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

  • goodreads rating: 4.46
  • pages: 582
  • genre: historical fiction

Outcome: I bought this book for 2 reasons. The first being that Joh Boyne wrote The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, if you have not read that book you should. It will break your heart. The second reason is because I found the description interesting. I will admit that this was the most enrolling read out of the bunch. In a mere 10 pages I had to fight with myself to not keep reading. So much had happened and I can tell there is a lot more to come. John Boyne is a gifted writer. I shall be keeping this book on my TBR.

 

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

  • goodreads rating: 4.55
  • pages: 662
  • genre: fantasy

Outcome: Before getting into the first chapter I was feeling like this was going to be a discard because this is an incomplete series where that author has not released/not written the next book in the last 7 year. Do I really want to start a series that has a high chance of never getting finished? Also, I bought this just because I wanted to buy a book, not a great reason. I read about 19 pages of this and decided it isn’t really for me. As of late I have not been into fantasy and it didn’t pull me in. So I shall be removing this from my TBR and donating it.

By Gaslight by Steven Price

By Gaslight: A Novel

  • goodreads rating: 3.6
  • pages: 752
  • genre: historical fiction

Outcome: By Gaslight had a very interesting start, I just was not pulled in by it. I think it was due to the formatting. For some reason there are ” used when people are talking. It was kind of annoying because at first it took my some time to realize that people were talking aloud and not inside their head anymore. I honestly think this could be a very good book for the right person, sadly that person is not me. I shall be unhauling this book and donating it.

The Muse by Jessie Burton

The Muse

  • goodreads rating: 3.85
  • pages: 416
  • genre: historical fiction

Outcome: Before even reading the first chapter I will admit I was leaning towards getting rid of this one because I read The Miniaturist not to long ago and it had a strong start for me, but I ended up not really liking it. There was beautiful writing with that one, but I did not like the plot must. When I did read the first chapter I was okay with it until it said, “Stumpy McGee” (p.6), when referring to a women who had the misfortune of loosing part of her foot. While I know characters can be written to be cruel or rude no one corrected this and it irked me. I shall be removing this from my TBR.

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So there you have it another try a chapter post. I am honestly surprised I only kept one book because I tend to get pulled into books once I start reading them. Either way my TBR is now 38 and a little closer to my goal.

What do you think about unhauling books? What is your TBR currently?

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One Lovely Blog Award | 7 Facts About Me

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I was nominated by the lovely Claire over at Cup of Books, thanks Claire!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts or things about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 15 bloggers that you admire and inform the nominees.

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Seven Facts About Me

1.I used to play multiple instruments, I even read music. But, I have forgotten how to now.

2. My favorite color is green, but chances are that will change in a week. I never have the same favorite color for loIng.

3. I used to HATE reading. When I was a child I would read like crazy then people started to tell me what to read. Then, I refused to read everything, then when people stopped telling me to read I finally did. I am a stubborn person.

4. Watched the first Harry Potter movie before I started reading the books. I know, I watched the movie first, the HORROR!

5. I love collecting mugs, I tend to pick up one from every place I visit or if I think one is cute. The last one I bought was created by Lia over at Lost in a Story, you can find that here.

 

6. I have a huge sweet tooth. I especially love brownies. If you have a good recipe please send it my way. I love trying new ones.

7. I enjoy both coffee and tea, I tend to one each of them every day. Most of the time I have coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

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I Nominate

Misty from Mistys Book Space

Laura from laura-noakes

Aimee from Summer Reads Moonlight Dreams

Lia from lostinastory.blog

Amy from Tomes with Tea

 Regina from Bookish in Bed 

Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring!

Tiffany from Read by Tiffany

Flavia from Flavia the Bibliophile

Ashley Rae from Thrifty Bibliophile

Audrey from Audrey Writes Abroad

Rimpy from Rimpys Reads

Camillea from Camillea Reads

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REVIEW | The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

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The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child MurdererDescription

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read. In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

The first thing I noticed while reading this novel is that Kate Summerscale is very thorough. Her knowledge of not just the crime itself, the perpetrator, and his family, but of the town and the time period are easily noticed. She goes into detail of the events of the town and the economic and social conditions that not only put our child murderer and his family in, but may have even contributed to it. Some of the information she shares in this book you know she had to look long and hard for it.

Another things I liked about this book was the content of the book. Now, I enjoy non-fiction very much and enjoy a book mystery. But, this book was different. It deals with the life of a child murderer. Someone who at a very young age decided to kill one of his parents. To me that both intrigues me as well as worries me. A child is meant to me innocent and this action/situation is the farthest things from innocent. Due to this the entire time I read this novel it was both almost morbid, but very thought provoking. It made me think about many topics, but I don’t want to list them because that might be considered a spoiler. I rather not spoil this book for anyone.

The last thing that really stood out to me was the ending of this book, it was an unexpected turn I was not expecting. While a majority of this book made me uncomfortable due to the subject the ending made me think even more about human nature and how and if people can change. Many non-fiction authors tend to stop at the “big” event, sometimes that is a disservice. I really appreciated that fact that Summerscale no only covered and researched the murder and trial, but continued and expanded beyond the “main” event.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing that can be seen as a negative with this book is that it contains a lot of background information. For some people this can be a downside to the book. I personally did not have a problem with this because I loved learning about the town, culture, and other events happening at the time. But, I recognize that for some this is not what they signed up for when they picked up a book about a child murderer.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this. I think Summerscale did a wonderful job researching and telling the story of Robert Coombes and his brother. Throughout I was interested and I often found myself thinking about the book once I put it down. For me that makes a good non-fiction read. I would say if you enjoy non-fiction, true crime, or reading about morbid topics this book is for you. I just would keep in mind that you will also be learning about the time period etc., but I feel it is needed to understand the environment the Coombes boys lived in. I ended up giving this story novel 4 stars.

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Author Links

Kate Summerscale

http://www.katesummerscale.com

Book Information

Publisher: Penguin Press

Publication Date: July 12th 2016

List Price: $28.00

ISBN:  9781594205781

Pages: 378 pages

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Writing | My Reading/Review Kit

Writing12:17Hello everyone, I hope you are having a wonderful day. Today I thought I would share something different with you. As a book blog I write book reviews and other book related posts. Now, for me this was not always an easy thing. I still struggle from time to time, which is fine by me.

When I started this blog or I should say when I really started to post on this blog was January 2017. At times point in time I never really wrote book reviews and I never really thought ahead with my posts. A little over a year later, I approach my writing a bit differently. That is not to say I am more rigid or I am not free to write whatever I want. In fact, how I approach writing has made it more fun and freeing.

Now, when I started my blog the only reference I had was looking at other peoples blogs. I saw these awesome reviews and blog posts and the entire time I was reading them all I kept thinking was, “How do they remember all these details?” Thus, my journey to create my review/reading kit began.

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What is a review/reading kit?

A review kit or reading kit is a small or big, depending on your preference, tools that help you keep track of your reading, ideas, and thoughts. This is highly personal and will vary from person to person. It could be digital or physical, maybe when a mixture of both. The important things is that it works with you and made the process of keeping track of your ideas and thoughts easier, not more cumbersome.

What does my reading kit look like you ask, I’ll show you.

 This is the pouch I keep my reading kit in. It is small, durable, and lined so no water can get inside. I had a few reasons for picking this pouch. The first was because the size was perfect for what I needed, obviously this is the most important and practical reason. The second is because I liked how the zipper was on the smaller size, that way when I no doubt left it open there was less of a chance of escape by the things that I placed inside. The last reason is the aesthetic of it. I love the colors, they are soothing and remind me of the water. I also love the quote, it is a nice reminder “Life is Lovely”. Sometimes you just need to hear it from time to time.

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But Luna, what is actually inside? Let me show you!


Inside I keep very little because I personally don’t need much. This is a year worth of me trial and error. Finding what worked and what didn’t. It is important to note what wha works for you will not work for you. But, if you need a starting point you may use mine as a reference.

  • bookmark
  • mini notebook (mine is a soft moleskin)
  • 2 mechanical pencils
  • post-it tabs

I have a habit of not grabbing a bookmark when I begin a new book, so I always keep one in my kit just incase. My mini notebook is the perfect size to fit into my pouch and it nice and light. I write a the title of a book on the top of two pages. Once side I write the positives and the other I write the negatives. I write a star next to random thoughts at the bottom of both pages. It almost ends up looking like a T chart with a free block at the bottom. The post-it tabs are used for various things. The first reason being if the book is a buddy read or a larger text I will tab my daily reading goals so I stay on track. The second reason is if I find a quote that inspires me or gets some type of reaction out of me I want to remember where it is.

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Even though my kit only has 4 items in it, it helps me greatly. If I am sitting at home reading I know everything I need is in one spot and if I am out and about it fits nicely into any bag I own. For me this has made reviewing more fun and LESS WORK. I used to dread writing reviews because I thought my brain would explode trying to remember everything. For me that is not an option. I need to keep track of my ideas and thoughts as I read. Now I am writing more reviews that I have ever and I am proud of that. It has given me confidence to try new things on my blog and go outside my comfort zone.

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Do you have a reading kit? How do you keep track of your ideas while reading books?

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Annotating My Bookshelf | III

BOOKSHELVES

Hello and welcome to the third installment of  Annotating my bookshelf! This time we are taking a look at my somewhat color coded shelf. I am not sure how must some of my shelves are color coded and the others aren’t, but this one ended up being a shelf of black and gray books. I hope you enjoy!

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The Books

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Tag |Ace of Spades Book Tag

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Hello all, today I am here to share a tag. I was lucky enough to be tagged by Regina from Bookish in Bed to complete the Ace of Spades Book Tag. This is an awesome tag that surrounds the book written by Amanda Foode, how fun is that? Sadly, I myself have not read the book, but these questions made me even more intrigued. Anyway, without further delay, to the tag!

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1. Ace of Shades takes place in the very mysterious, very dangerous City of Sin. Name a fictional city with a personality of it’s own!

This may be a catch all answer, but Hobbiton and Bag End. I feel like this little town is just magical. I love the Hobbit and I always liked the start of the book and imagined all the things that happen there.

Image result for the hobbit

2. The City of Sin is home to three ruthless gangs: the Irons, the Scarhands and the Doves. Tell us about your favorite fictional criminal family/gang!

Honestly, I can’t answer this. I don’t really have a favorite fictional criminal gang. The only one that really pops into my head are the characters from the Bone Season. So I shall go with that!

Image result for the bone season series

3. Enne and Levi are about to be thrown into a deadly game… Name your favorite book in which the characters must play with, and for, their lives.

The only character that comes into my mind is Sherlock Holmes. While he does not “play” for his life. He often has to play mental chess to solve a murder and keep himself and Dr. Watson safe.

Image result for sherlock holmes book

4. The Doves are a gang of assassins… What book you’d kill to have in your hands right now?

Right now all I want is to have Stephen Kings new book in my hand. It is called the Outsider and comes out in May.

The Outsider

5. The City of Sin is full of people with dark and complicated pasts. Name one book or book series you used to like, but don’t anymore.

Sadly, I loved Sleeping Giants, but I have since lost interest. It is not fault of the series itself I am just a huge mood reader. Chances are I will end up liking it again in a few months or years.

Image result for sleeping giants

6. With complicated pasts abound, we can find many… burnt cinnamon rolls, so to speak. Name a character that has prickly and tough exterior, but is actually a sweetheart deep down!

Gah, I have no idea how to answer this, sorry!

7. Not only anti-heroes live in the Ace of Shades world! In New Reynes, one can find plenty of villains as well. Which bookish character do you just love to hate?

I love to hate Dolores Umbridge. She is a horrid character, but I have to admit so well written.

Image result for pink professor from harry potter

8. You, much like our main character Enne’s mother, went missing in the City of Sin. The main character from the last book you read is the one looking for you… How screwed are you?

Well, it seems like I am in the World of the Dead. I don’t want to say the book because it may be a spoiler if you have not read it just yet. Sorry to be so vague.

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Are you interested in Ace of Spades by Amanda Foode?

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REVIEW | Women of Resistance by Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan

BookReview12:17

Women of Resistance: Poems for a New FeminismDescription 

A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality.

Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new authority. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets—to be released as a handbound chapbook—has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with a portion of proceeds supporting Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker. –goodreads.com 

What I Liked

One of the main thing I like about this collection of poems is the fact that you can tell it is written by a wide array of women. You can tell they all have different life experiences and circumstances. For me, that is a sign of a well rounded collection. Due to this the poems are very different from one another, but they all share that single thread with one another. Feminism, strong women. This also led to there being so many different voices and I found myself really enjoying the scope of styles and stories that these individuals wrote.

Another thing I liked about this was the fact that this was a collection labeled as feminist and was truly feminist. It talked about equality of all. There were poems that dealt with race, violence, and of course gender issues. It was a nice seeing a collection and a book labeled as feminist saying “All. All. All!” instead of “Us. Us. Us!”

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not like, which is more me being unprepared than any fault of the book itself. Some of the poems were difficult, which I think they need to be to be true to themselves. But, this being unexpected made some of the reading difficult. But, as soon as I knew what some of the poems might be exploring I was fine. It was just the initial surprise. So just a warning, some of these poems explore very difficult situations.

Overall Thoughts

I would have to say I enjoyed this poetry collection. It explored the voices of an array of writings giving it a distinct feeling of authenticity. It also gives a voice to those who have gone through difficult experiences. It really makes you think outside of your own bubble and forces you to face it. If you enjoy feminist literature and poetry I would say you should pick this collection up. It was wonderful.

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Author Links

Danielle Barnhart

Danielle Barnhart

Twitter: @dani_barnhart

Iris Mahan

Image result for Iris Mahan editor

Website for both: villageofcrickets

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Book Information

Publisher: OR Books

Publication Date: March 13th 2018

List Price: $14.95

ISBN: 9781944869793

Pages: 204 pages

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I want to note that I received this book from Netgalley for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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April TBR | 2018

ToBeRead12:17

Happy April everyone! This month I think I am going to be reading a lot. I am not sure if it is because I read so much in March, but I just have a good feeling about April. This month I am buddy reading two different books, one a non-fiction and the other a thriller. I am also finishing up a non-fiction and a starting a fantasy series. I also am taking part in the Magical Readathon: OWLs Exams. I made a separate TBR a few days ago and explained the readathon a little bit as well. You can find that here: TBR | Magical Readathon OWLs Exams.

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The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

This month I will finish  reading The Wicked Boy with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and  Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring!

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read. In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past.

  • goodreads.com

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Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Unraveling Oliver

This is another buddy read with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and  Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring. What can I say, we love reading and discussing books with one another?

I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel—a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

With its alternating points of view and deft prose, Unraveling Oliver is “a page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense” (Sunday Independent) that details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.

  • goodreads.com

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

I have been interested in starting this series for a long time now and I think it is finally time. I have heard awesome things about this series and what I love most is that these books are so short. They are a great break in-between the larger books I read.

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

  • goodreads.com

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Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol 2, The Defining Years, 1933-38 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol 2, The Defining Years, 1933-38

I started this non-fiction account of Eleanor Roosevelt last month and I would like to finish it this month. This is the second book in a trilogy written by Cook, I am hoping it lives up to the first one. Fingers crossed!

Historians, politicians, feminists, critics, and reviewers everywhere have praised Blanche Wiesen Cook’s monumental Eleanor Roosevelt as the definitive portrait of this towering female figure of the twentieth century. Now in her long-awaited, majestic second volume, Cook takes readers through the tumultuous era of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the gathering storms of World War II, the years of the Roosevelts’ greatest challenges and finest achievements. In her remarkably engaging narrative, Cook gives us the complete Eleanor Roosevelt— an adventurous, romantic woman, a devoted wife and mother, and a visionary policymaker and social activist who often took unpopular stands, counter to her husband’s policies, especially on issues such as racial justice and women’s rights. A biography of scholarship and daring, it is a book for all readers of American history.

  • goodreads.com

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What are you reading this month?

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