Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Best Books I Have Read so Far in 2021

Hello and welcome to a little chatty post where I put together a little list of the best books I have read so far in 2021. I decided since we are already in the 6th month of the year, I would take some time this month to reflect on the year so far in a few posts throughout the month, but this is the first!


The Books

The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa

Lady Killers by Tori Telfer (Not Pictured, Loaned Out)

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad (Not Pictured, Loaned Out)

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu


What has been a few of the best books you have read so far this year?

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Crochet | My Project for Pride Month

Hello and welcome to a bit of a different crochet post than I regularlly do. I wanted to showcase something I am planning on making for pride month this year. I am part of a crochet discord group that has a monthly theme or idea that we crochet a project based upon. We decided pride would be this months theme, which is really awesome. For this I choose to make a blanket of sorts out of the ally flag.

The Haul

Red Heart Supersaver in the colors Medium Purple, Cherry Read, Light Periwinkle, Light Sage, Cornmeal, Black, Softwire, and Carrot

The Plan

This project I have a feeling will take more than a month to complete for a few reasons, the first being it is a blanket, they always take a ton of time. The second biggest reason being this is going to be a graphgan, which I have never done in my life before. So, I feel like I might have to make quite a bit of fixes here and there to make sure it is perfect. I also had to design my own pattern for this, which was an interesting learning experience so we shall see how well I actually did with that. But, I am really happy to be taking this project on and working on it throughout the month and most likely beyond. If anyone has tips and tricks I would appreciate it!

Too add on to this, if anyone would like the pattern I came up with I will be more than happy to share, if you have a twitter it would be easiest to reach be on there and I can link it to you, but feel free to comment here as well, it might just take a little bit longer for me to get back.

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To Be Read

To Be Read | June 2021 | Trying TBRvatar

Hello and welcome to my TBR post for the month of June. I feel like June was snuck up on me all of a sudden, but I am really excited about the warmer weather. This month I decided to try something new and play a game created by a booktuber. This month I decided to try the TBRvatar created by Book Roast. She was kind enough to share the cards with all of her followers so we can okay along so I printed them and laminated them, sorry for the glare, I wanted them to hold up over time. Anyway, on to the TBR!


The Books

The first card I picked was Flopsy: Read a book that you find intimidating. I picked the book Assassin’s Quest, the final book in the Farseer Trilogy. I am intimidated due to the size, but also because it is the final book in this trilogy, I have really enjoyed it so far and I hate to see it end.

The second card I pulled is Desna and Eska: Read a Book About Siblings. This was actually a difficult one to find on my shelves, I am not going to lie. I went through a ton of books and finally found this one, where in the description it says, “a sister mourns her brother”. While it is very sad sounding just with that line, the overall description sounds really interesting and I think it is the only book that mentions siblings I have currently on my shelves.

My last pick for the month was the cards entitled, Music Night: Read something that’s between 330-370 pages whilst listening to music. I decided to go with People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, which was gifted to me for my birthday in May by Reg, which was so thoughtful and kind of her.

I really enjoyed pulling a card and going through my TBR to see if I can find a book to go with it. It was really great way to get more familiar with the books that have been on my shelve for a bit and slipped to the back a bit. I actually also ended up unhauling about 10 books while I was doing this, so I am all set to donate those soon as well.


What do you plan on reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2021 & #BasicallyReadathon

Hello and welcome to another wrap up, this time for may 2021! I did not post a Middle Mark this past month because I wanted to change some things up behind the scenes a bit and needed to take some time for that. The good news is my reading mojo came back full force this month, which I am beyond thrilled about. Anyway, I am just going to get right to the books. Also, this month my reviews of the reads are mostly just going to be start readings because I didn’t take a lot of notes. Just a heads up, next month it will be back to a short blurb for each book as well.


Assassination Classroom, Vol. 05: Time to Show Off a Hidden TalentAssassination Classroom, Vol. 05: Time to Show Off a Hidden Talent by Yūsei Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Continues to be a great series.

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Assassination Classroom, Vol. 03: Time for a Transfer StudentAssassination Classroom, Vol. 03: Time for a Transfer Student by Yūsei Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Continues to be a great series.

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Assassination Classroom, Vol. 06: Swim TimeAssassination Classroom, Vol. 06: Swim Time by Yūsei Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Continues to be a great series.

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Assassination Classroom, Vol. 04: Time to Face the UnbelievableAssassination Classroom, Vol. 04: Time to Face the Unbelievable by Yūsei Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Continues to be a great series.

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Assassination Classroom, Vol. 07: On Island TimeAssassination Classroom, Vol. 07: On Island Time by Yūsei Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



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The AgonistThe Agonist by Shastra Deo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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PachinkoPachinko by Min Jin Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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The Once and Future WitchesThe Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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My Brilliant FriendMy Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



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The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels #2)The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (L'amica geniale, #3)Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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The Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels #4)The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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I took part in the BasicallyReadathon this past weekend and actually ended up reading the entire The Neopolian Novels series, which was a huge accomplishment and I did end up enjoying the series. I am so happy my aunt gifted those to me and I was able to read them all together, I feel like it really added to it because able to just sit there and read them all.

I managed to read a total of 14 books, 5,203 pages. Thirteen of those books were fiction and I read no nonfiction books this month. I read 2 ebooks, 1 hardcover book and 11 soft cover books. I have 5 – 5 star read, 4 – 4 star read, and 5 – 3 star read this month.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | Basically 24 Hour Readathon May 2021

Hello and welcome to a quick little post sharing my TBR for the upcoming Basically Readathon hosted by @BrittAlsemgeest on twitter, you can find the readathons twitter account at @BasicallyReadtn. This round as all the rounds goal is to read or start some books that have been on your TBR the longest. Below I will copy the details directly from the announcement video for your convivence as well, but I encourage you to watch it here. I personally follow Britt’s time zone since that is 6am to 6am my time, it just works better, but I love that you can be flexible with this readathon.

  • Date – Sat May 29 at noon to Sun May 30 at noon
  • Goal – Read a book that’s been on your tbr forever Timezone – Follow your own or mine! (Amsterdam/CEST time)
  • Use the #BasicallyReadathon

This round I am going to try to tackle one to two of the books of The Neapolitan Novels. I have two reasons why I am picking these books. The first being that my aunt gifted these to me in December for the holidays so I have been looking at this series for a while without picking them up. The second being I have the entire series of sorts ready to go through and I wont need to go out and pick up an other one if I end up wanting to jump right into the next. Actaully, I lied there is a third reason. I want to tell me aunt my thoughts on this series, but I have a feeling they will be good. My understanding of order of this series is My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and lastly The Story of the Lost Child. I will be honest, I know nothing about this series other than my aunt really liked it. We tend to like similar books, so I think this will be more than promising!


I am always a sucker for a 24 hour readathon so of course I wanted to take part in this one again. I hope some of you are able to join. Share your TBR in the comments if you are!

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | April 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a haul from the month of April. I went on my first day trip this past month after getting fully vaccinated. It was my first time doing so in over a year and it felt so great! On this trip I went to a really awesome bookstore that was new to me and found some gems to bring home with me and picked up a few books from my local bookstore and sent one by a friend. Anyway, here are the books!


The Books

Record of A Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami and Ms. Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami I picked up on a day trip to a Japanese market. They have a really awesome bookstore there and I always find gems like this I would not have found otherwise. Record of A Night Too Brief caught my attention because it seemed to have so much packed into such a small package. Ms. Ice Sandwich caught my attention because of its talk of starting something new and possible love.

The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox, was a gift from the amazing Adrianna. I am really excited to get to this historical fiction novel with a possible paranormal twist to it.

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, I also picked up from the Japanese market. But, I have read this authors work quite a bit. He is a known horror manga writer. This book tells tales of his own life experiences as a dog person then owning two cats. It is quite funny and it was fun to read.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, this book has been on my radar for quite sometimes and I finally picked it up. I am really excited to get to it this month as well.

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella, I will be honest the cover of this book really pulled me in. The cover alone has such a great atmosphere for a thriller and sets the tone so clearly. Then, when I read the description I added it to my pile before checking out from the store. This books talks about a girl going to Harvard to try and figure out what led her brother to suicide. There also seems to be ghosts possibly present in this story as well.


What book have you recently added to your shelves from the library or the store?

What book have you recently read?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | May 2021

Hello and welcome to my May TBR! This month I am going to be keeping my TBR on the smaller size to hopefully give me the opportunity to do some mood reading, which really helped out the second half of April.


The Books

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, I have been reading The Discovery of Witches series on my ereader and really enjoying it. I ended up walking into my local indie bookshop and I was talking about really enjoying it and the seller recommended this book to me. It is a historical fiction, but all about sisters joining the suffragist movement with a twist of witchcraft from my understanding.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, I have heard nothing but great things about this book and I came across it being on sale on a recent trip to the bookstore, so I thought it was the best time to pick it up and give it a go. I am really interested in this because it is multigenerational from my understanding and is historical fiction.

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, I picked this book up on a total whim if I am being honest. I saw a youtuber I enjoy watching get this book and they were so excited about it I just couldn’t help myself. I have no idea what it is about, but I feel like that it is kinda fun and will make it all the more interesting when I read it this month.

The Agonist by Shastra Deo, not pictured, I am reading this book digitally. This is a collection of poems by an author who was born in Fiji. Reading the blurb and reviews I have come across say that it is beautifully written as well as being food for thought and conversation.

What do you plan on reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | April 2021

Hello and welcome to my end of the month wrap up! After last months reading slump, I really just had a goal of finishing the books I already started. Well, I did most of that, but not all and added a few more to my pile.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book reminded me quite a bit of the movie Girl, Interrupted. I can see why this book is a classic of sorts, but it was not entirely something I really enjoyed. I think it brings up some good things to think about, like mental health and the horrible treatment that has happened in places that were meant to help.

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The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated AmericaThe Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I was aware of some of the things discussed in this book, I have to say there was quite a bit I had no idea about. I felt the author did a great job of sourcing a lot of what was talked about, such as laws, court cases, and policy. It really is a dense read filled with a lot of information that I think should me shared more readily. I feel like this is going to be a book I reread in the future, but also think about quite a bit as well.

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Curse the Day (Spellbound #1)Curse the Day by Annabel Chase
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did an entire blogpost sharing my thoughts on this book, but I really did enjoy my first look into cozy mystery. You can read my whole review in my post called, Someone Picks My Book | Tees Book Reads | Curse the Day by Annabel Chase.

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Call Me by Your NameCall Me by Your Name by André Aciman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the authors writing style the most about this book, the writing was lyrical and flowed so nicely. I am interested in seeing the movie now that I have read this book, as well as checking out the next book.

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I managed to read a total of 5 books, 1,304 pages. Four of those books were fiction and the remaining book was nonfiction. I read 1 audiobook and 4 soft cover books. I have 1 – 5 star read, 3 – 4 star read, and 1 – 3 star read this month.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Book | Tees Book Reads | Curse the Day by Annabel Chase

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! This month I read a book picked by Teeana, who you can find on twitter as @teesbookreads and they also has a redbubble called Tee’s Shop! I was so excited to have Teeana pick my book for this month because she picked a genre I don’t normally read too often, cozy mystery.

Description

“The only magic Emma Hart believes in is caffeine and the power of the dryer to lose one sock per load. A public interest lawyer buried under a mound of student debt, Emma’s whole life has been one turn of bad luck after another.

Her streak seems to continue when she gets lost on the way to see a client in the remote Pocono Mountains. A chance encounter with a suicidal angel lands her in Spellbound, a town where supernaturals have been cursed to remain for centuries–probably not the best time for Emma to discover that she’s actually a witch.

Between the recent murder of the town’s public defender, a goblin accused of theft, remedial witch classes, and the attention of one smoking hot vampire, Emma struggles to navigate this unfamiliar terrain without losing her mind…or her life. ” goodreads.com

What I Liked

First thing off the bat that I really enjoyed was the touch of magic in this book, I always love a tale with some magic in it at any level. It can be a high fantasy novel or magical realism, either way I am going to love seeing it in the story. On top of that, this book just felt comforting in a way, I guess that is why they call it a cozy mystery. While, there are a few things that were not totally fluffy etc., but the overall feel was just that.

I have to say, I had a really enjoyable time reading this book, I laughed and was a light read. I honestly think I read it at the best time because I felt like it was a great break between larger or more serious reads. I also feel like I would love to see more tales happen in this small town, I feel like it would have been a ton of fun. But, the great news is this book is part of a series that has a ton of books, 10 in fact at the time of writing this.

What I Didn’t Like

While I loved the overall feel and the setting of this book, I kind of felt like the characters themselves were not fully worked out. I enjoyed them, but I felt like I didn’t really know them while I was reading.

Overall

I enjoyed the feel and setting of this book a lot, it was a great fluffy read. It opened up the world of cozy mysteries to me and I want to explore this series as well as this genre even more. If the description interests you at all I suggest looking into this!

Next month I am reading a book picked by JJ Clapton, who you can find over on twitter as @JJClaptonWrites as well on her website jjclapton.com. She is very kind and I really enjoy her updates on her writing, life stuff, and everything else she posts! I always love seeing her popup on my feed.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Crochet Talk | January – March 2021

Hello and welcome to another crochet check in! The past few months I have taken on quite a few new projects and challenges when it comes to crochet and I wanted to take a moment to share the outcomes of these adventures. I know a bit ago I did a post detailing my crochet plans called, Crochet Talk | Upcoming Projects, I figured I should share an update!


The Projects

The first project I finished was a Crochet Kobo Cover. I used a pattern inspired by Melanie Ham called Easy Crochet Kindle Cover. I used Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend in the color Chai Latte with a 6.0 mm hook. I added a the optional strap and button as well as a fabric lining, the first time I have done either. It was a bit of a challenge doing the lining, but I think the next time I try it will be better.

The next few projects I made were Drawstring Pom Pom Bags designed by Knit Crochet Addict called Crochet Drawstring Pom Pom Bag, I left the pom poms off, not really my style, but it is cute! I used Wool Ease by Lion Brand in quite a few different colors because I made two for me a few for friends of mine. When making this I used the recommended hook size on the yarn to complete the project.


This next project was a basket called the Jessie Stash Basket by Toni Lipsey. To complete the project I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick Color Fisherman doubled up and used a 9.0 mm hook. I really loved how this book came out so much in this cream color! I even placed it on my nightstand to hold my current read and current crochet projects. It is very durable too because the yarn was doubled up. I really love Toni’s patterns and videos.

Next, I created a Highlander Twisted Shawl which was designed by Lilian for a friend of mine. I decided to use Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in the color Galaxy, which is a bit hard to see in the picture, but is a deep purple with sparkles here and there. I ended up using a 9.0 mm hook. On a great note, my friend loved it!

Following the shawl, I made another gift, but this one was a Snoopy Amigurumi plush by Amigurinos softies. I ended up using Big Twist Value Worsted Yarn in black and white and used the size down from recommended hook size for the yarn. What I loved about Amigurumi is you can change up the yarn size and hook size to make a larger or smaller plush. I am happy with how this one comes out and I really hope the person it is meant for will love it.


This month I made a lot of gifts for others, this time around I made an Outlander Cowl by Jamey from Dabbles & Babbles. I used Big Twist Sincerely Solids in the color Oatmeal Heather. I doubled up on the yarn and ended up using a size 10.0 mm hook. I really loved the texture of this scarf and really love how this came out. The person I made it for ended up wearing it all day when I gifted it to them.

This next project is for me, I ended up making myself the Crochet The Claire Shawl From Outlander by Selina Veronique
using Stylecraft Special Aran in Khaki (1) and Camel (4). I ended up using a size 6.0 mm (J) hook. I decided to use yellow and a green color instead of the green and black used in the show because I wanted to make it more spring-y.

The last project I finished in March was Beginner Felici Crochet Socks by Briana K Designs. I ended up using
Patons North America Kroy Socks yarn doubled up, I actually mixed the colors brown rose marl and
gray brown marl together and used a 4.5 mm hook. This was a project I was very much intimidated by, but so happy that I tried. Plus, I am really happy with how they came out.

What hobbies have you been filling your time with?

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