Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction

FindAHobby

So you know how everyone says, “New year, new me” in January? Well, this series is along those lines. In December I decided to take part in the Reddit Secret Santa and Holiday Card Exchange, it was so much fun! Well, if you are unfamiliar with this it is a gift exchange  through a website called reddit.com. If you have never looked into, I suggest you do. Anyway, to take part in this Secret Santa you need to fill out a questionnaire and about things you enjoy, organizations you like, and a question that asked about my hobbies.

This question took me such a long time because the only thing I could come up with is reading. I am not saying that reading is not a good hobby, I was just surprised I could not even come up with a second one. I ended up asking my boyfriend and my best friend for help. They too could not name anything other than reading. I’m not sure exactly why, but this really hit me.

I think it really bothered me because I realized I did not have time to try new things. I think it bothered me because I thought I was defined by more than just reading. I think it bothered me because I seemed so one dimensional. Now I want to be clear, there is nothing wrong with just having reading as a hobby, reading is a great hobby! I just realized I want to have more. I want to spend my time doing multiple things I love doing. I want to grow.

So, if you could not tell by the name this series is going to be about me trying a new hobby every month. I think it will be a lot of fun taking a month to learn something new and maybe even learn more about myself.

I know this is not book related, but I hope you will all join me on this little adventure. And, who knows maybe I can do some of these new hobbies while I listen to a good ol’ audiobook.


If you have any suggestions for hobbies, I would love to hear them.

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Lets Talk | Reading Formats

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Hello everyone, I wanted to start something a little new on my blog this year. I was thinking that maybe once a month I would introduce a bookish topic we could discuss. The first topic I want to talk about is reading formats. I have to admit, this is a topic I am always a but nosy about. I always like to find out what reading format someone prefers. I always want to know why they like one and don’t like another.

Paperback:

I can see the benefit of paperbacks, they are usually cheaper, smaller, and easy to get your hands on when a book has been out for a bit of time. They also make a nice sound if they are particularly floppy.

Hardbacks:

I can also see the benefit in loving a hard back. They usually have a dust jacket for protection, they hold up a bit better in a bag, and the spine does not break as a paperback.

Audiobook:

Audiobooks have a few benefits as well. You can listen while you are driving, cleaning, or  you are participating in another hobby like knitting, coloring, or embroidery. Another important benefit is the fact it is an assistive technology that allows the sight impaired to read.

Ebooks:

Ebooks have a few advantages as well. They are durable, unless you drop them in water. You can highlight make notes without “ruining a book” or using a pen. Another bonus is you can have 100s of books if not more right in the palm of your hand.


Now, I love to focus on the positive aspects of each, mainly because that is my personality. But, I know that each of these also have their disadvantages. I am curious, what do you think the disadvantages of each are? Are there any positives I overlooked or didn’t realize? Which do you prefer? I can’t wait to read your answers.

Also, I am adding a bit of a poll at the end of this post. I thought it would be fun to add the result in my next discussion post. If you click into the embedded poll it will allow you to scroll down to hit submit.


I hoped your enjoyed this little discussion post, if you liked it please let me know. If you have any ideas for future discussion posts, suggestions are always welcomed.

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TAG | The Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 4

TagTimel12:17Thank you so much Claire from Cup Of Books for the nominations, I had such fun answering these questions! Also, any of you who enjoy doing tags please tell me in the comments. I never know who to tag because I know some people do not enjoy doing them. Without further delay, lets get to the post!

Previous Editions:

THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

TAG | The Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 2

TAG | Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 3

My Questions:

What do you love most about blogging?

I love that I can express my feelings about books and book related topics with others. Without this blog I wouldn’t have a lot of the great conversations I have had.

What’s your story behind your blog name?

My name plus bookish, nice and easy.

What’s one of your favourite quotes?

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now…” -Amy March/Louisa May Alcott

Which book/series makes you happy?

Little Women series, there are actually four novels. Many people don’t know that.

What distracts you most from reading?

Youtube videos always distract me from reading.

What five things are you grateful for?

I am grateful for my life, health, family, friends, and the education I have received.

Which author would you ask to write your biography?

Louisa May Alcott, she writes so beautifully.

What is your favourite sound?

I love to listen to ASMR rooms over on Youtube. Her videos are amazing, they are ASMR revolving around Hogwarts and other locations in the Harry Potter series. She also does ones dealing with LOTR and Game of Thrones. Below you will find the entire Hogwarts playlist. I personally love the common room ones.

 

Which (if any) book series have you DNF’d?

All of Cassandra Clare’s , I feel like I have out grown them personally. They just aren’t the type of books I am into anymore.

Are there any movie adaptations you prefer more than the book?

Christopher and His Kind, I enjoyed the book, but I felt the movie was better. Also, The Imitation Game had a better move than a book. The book was bogged down with to many facts and the narrative of his life was kinda lost.

If your life, as it is up to this point, was made into a film what song would be playing during the end credits?

Oh, gosh. I honestly have no idea.

 


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January TBR | 2018

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Hello January! I love setting my TBR for the first month out of the year. I feel like it is going to set the tone for the following months. I am excited about each and every one of these books. If you have read any of these books let me know what you thoughts. Without anymore delay here is my January TBR!

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

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Lisey Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago, after a twenty-five-year marriage of profound, sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was a celebrated, award-winning, novelist. And a complex man. Lisey knew there was a dark place where her husband ventured to face his demons. Boo’ya Moon is what Scott called it; a realm that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed to write and live. Now, it’s Lisey’s turn to face her husband’s demons. And what begins as a widow’s effort to sort through her husband’s effects, becomes a perilous journey into the heart of darkness

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

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In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While she was there, she began to understand the fate that awaited the Jewish families who were unable to leave. Soon she reached out to the trapped families, going from door to door and asking them to trust her with their young children. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings.

But Irena did something even more astonishing at immense personal risk: she kept a secret list buried in bottles under an old apple tree in a friend’s back garden. On it were the names and true identities of these Jewish children, recorded so their families could find them after the war. She could not know that more than ninety percent of their families would perish.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

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I am participating in a buddy read of The Secret History by Donna Tartt with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and last but not least Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring!  Check them out, they are so kind and have awesome blogs.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.


I know my TBR is a bit short, but I wanted to keep the pressure off and leave room for myself to pick books based upon my mood. I have learned over the past year or so that sticking to longer TBRs are just not for me. I do better with small goals where I can always go above and beyond if I feel like it.


What are you reading this month?

Do you use a TBR or a mood reader?

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January 2018 | Books I Am Excited About

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

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Release Date: January 16th, 2018

In the industrial 1860s at the dawn of the Carnegie empire, Irish immigrant Clara Kelly finds herself in desperate circumstances. Looking for a way out, she seeks employment as a lady’s maid in the home of the prominent businessman Andrew Carnegie. Soon, the bond between Clara and her employer deepens into love. But when Clara goes missing, Carnegie’s search for her unearths secrets and revelations that lay the foundation for his lasting legacy. With captivating insight and stunning heart, Carnegie’s Maid tells the story of one lost woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from ruthless industrialist into the world’s first true philanthropist.

The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

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Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

December 1348. What if you had just six days to save your soul?

With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and suffer in the afterlife. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last.

John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them in further unexpected ways. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived.

As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment, and war. But their time is running out—can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?

Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black by Catherine Kerrison

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Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

My Review: REVIEW | Jefferson’s Daughters by Catherine Kerrison

Thomas Jefferson fathered three girls: two white and free, one black and a slave. This book about Martha, Maria, and Harriet tells the fascinating story of their very different lives at Monticello and beyond, as daughters of one of our most brilliant and complicated Founding Fathers.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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Release Date: January 30th, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.


What books are you looking forward to?

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Reading Goals | 2018

Reading Goals

A new year and a few new goals for my blog, my reading, and myself. I don’t know about you, but I love setting goals for myself. I find it motivating and I am always excited to see if I hit them at the end of the year. For now I am going to share the goals I have for my blog and reading in the new year.

  1. Update my blog post headers
    • I loved designing so I want to introduce a few new headers and give myself that time to be creative.
  2. Read 50 books
    • Every year I set my reading goal at 50. It is an average of a book in little over a week and I tend to not stress out about it.
  3. Read 30,000 pages
    • I though this page goal would be fun.
  4. Try new things
    • This year I want to experiment a little outside of what I normally post, spice things up a little bit.
  5. Complete the 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge

2018 Reading Challenge


What goals do you  have for yourself this year?

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REVIEW | Wonder Woman: Warbringer By Leigh Bardugo

Book Review

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Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

What I Liked

I have been reading Wonder Woman comics since I was a young girl. I vividly remember having a very large bind-up of “The Best of Wonder Woman” or something very similar to this and running to my basement to look at this strong woman standing up for what is right. Most of readings have revolved around Diana being older and had already left her home so it was wonderful to see her as a young teenager. While she was shown in this different way, she kept her personality and her resolve.

I also enjoyed the characters Leigh Bardugo created. While Diana is a powerful and awe inspiring character I loved that she made just as strong and wonderful characters that Diana travels with. Now, I have to say that when I was reading this story I came across these illustrations.  I really encourage you to check them out, they really shows how awesome and unique each one of them is. I found myself connecting with them and feeling like I was just another friend in their group, which I personally find difficult.

Last, but not least this book was nearly impossible to put down. I was buddy reading this book with my friends Amy and Lia, you should really check them out, and all three of us ended up finishing the book way ahead of schedule. I had to force myself to put this book down and go to bed I was so involved in it.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not like was that some of the actions taken by a particular individual, if you read the book you should know who I am talking about, made no sense and seemed to kinda come from no where. While I can find a reason for their actions, it seems pretty far fetched.

Overall Thoughts

This was a very fun and fast paced read. I think it is well worth picking up from your local library or from the bookstore. The characters are fun, you get to dive a little bit into greek mythology, and you get to go on an epic adventure. I don’t know about you, but I read to learn something new or go on adventures to far off lands. Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer was nothing short of an adventure.


Book Information

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Publication Date: August 28th 2017

List Price: $18.99 (Amazon.com)

ISBN: 978-0399549731

Pages: 384 pages


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Review | The Last Girl by Nadia Murad

Book Review

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Description

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her eleven brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia was in high school and had dreams of becoming a history teacher and opening her own beauty salon.

On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. ISIS militants massacred the people of her village, executing men old enough to fight and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia and her two sisters were taken to Mosul, where they joined thousands of Yazidi girls in the ISIS slave trade.

Nadia would be sold three times, raped, beaten, and forced to convert to Islam in order to marry one of her captors. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to the safety of a refugee camp. There, surrounded by bereaved and broken Yazidi families, Nadia decided to devote her life to bringing ISIS to justice.

As a farm girl in rural Iraq, Nadia could not have imagined she would one day address the United Nations or be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She had never been to Baghdad, or even seen an airplane. As a slave, she was told by her captors that Yazidis would be erased from the face of the earth, and there were times when she believed them.

Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to ISIS, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi–has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.

What I Liked

The Last Girl has to be one of the most thought provoking books I have read all year. When you think about genocide and all the gruesome things that go along with it many individuals feel like that was something of the past. Something that ended in WW2 when the Nazi were defeated. But, that is not true. Many people in recent years have watched the news and heard of the horrible things that ISIS has done to individuals, communities, and towns. But, not many people hear a first hand account in detail. This is what this story does.

Throughout this book I was constantly writing notes in the margins. I was making constant connections to how the Nazi’s treated the Jews. I was heart broken hearing about what she and her loved ones went through and I just am ashamed that it happened less than five years ago. This book truly is an eye opener. It does not sugar coat things, but tells you how it was.

Not only did this book give me a better and more in-depth understanding the events over seas, it also exposed me to a culture I had not idea existed. I personally love learning about other cultures and beliefs, since I was a young girl I would read books on these subjects. I really appreciated that not only did Nadia tell us about what happened to her, but also told us about her people, her family, her community.

One thing I wish to make clear is that this book does not hold back. Nadia Murad does not hold back and is very vocal about what has happened to her. If anything in the description of this book makes you uncomfortable, please be aware it is discussed in the book. This includes discussing genocide, rape, living as a refugee, and more.

Overall Thoughts

While this book does discuss difficult topics and for some can be too much, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is one of the best books I have read in a while that has opened my eyes and has taught me so much. I have already recommended it to many of my friends and family. I suggest you pick up this book if you are interesting in reading a first hand account about the actions of ISIS, want to read about a strong woman, or learn more about the world around you. It is written very well and is one of the most personally influential books I have read this year.


Book Information

Publisher: Tim Duggan Books

Publication Date: November 7th 2017

List Price: $27.00

ISBN: 9781524760434

Pages: 306

More Info

Author Bio


*I received this book through blogging for books  in exchange for an honest review.*

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Book Haul | December 2017

Book Haul

Hello everyone! I know the filming in this book haul is a little off, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. These are all the books I received from publishers to review, I bought for myself, or received as presents from my friends and loved ones. Which one do you think I should read first?


I Bought:

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Under the Dome by Stephen King

The Romanovs 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Strange Weather by Joe Hill

I was Gifted:

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

Publishers Sent:

The Last Girl by Nadia Murad

What book did you get this month?

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