Reviews

Book Review | The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories by Eugen Bacon

*Book given via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

The Road to Woop Woop, and Other Stories

Description:

The Road to Woop Woop is a lush collection of literary speculative stories that lauds the untraditional, the extraordinary, the strange, the peculiar, the unusual that exist within and on the borders of normalcy. These tales refuse to be easily categorized, and that’s a good thing: they are dirges that cross genres in astounding ways.

Over 20 provocative tales, with seven original to this collection, and previous works, including: “A Pining,” shortlisted, Bridport Prize; “A Case of Seeing,” honorable mention, Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award; “Mahuika,” highly commended, Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW) National Literary Awards; “Swimming with Daddy,” shortlisted, Alan Marshall Short Story Prize. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

This is one of the most interesting short story collections I have read. Each story is so different than the last and are so distinctive from one another and at times down right quirky. While there were some stories I enjoyed more than others, I really was drawn into these stories. They were out there, but in a wonderful way.

I really loved how unique these tales were, they were a combination of creepy, but thought provoking at the same time. I have a habit of putting down a short story collection between each story and taking forever to get back to it. Bacon’s writing pulled me in and I read quite a few each sitting and easily came back to it. I really wanted to see where the next tale would take us. Like I said each was so unique so it felt like I was going on an adventure with each one I read, but also a surprise.


What I Didn’t Like

As with all short story collections where are just some tales I don’t enjoy, but honestly there were not many I did not enjoy in this collection.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed this collection of horror/fantasy tales. They were imaginative, unique, and inviting as well as making you scared or creeped out. I felt myself reflecting on a deeper meaning of these tales often and it was exciting to read something that made me think on top of enjoying it. If you enjoy horror and want a collection of tales, I think you should look into it and see if it is right for you. I certainly enjoyed it and will be reading more from this author.


Author Links

Eugen Bacon

Book Information

Publication Date: December 1, 2020

Publisher: Meerkat Press

List Price: $16.95

ISBN:  9781946154316

Pages: 192 pages


Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Lists & Recommendations

To Be Read | My Entire Owned TBR 2021 Edition

Hello and welcome to a post where I share all of the books that are on my owned TBR. Now, in 2020 I actually hit 0 books on my TBR, then the holidays showed up and I have a larger than I would like TBR again, but not nearly as much as it was. I just wanted to take a moment and share those books that made their way onto my shelves. Note: This is accurate up through the month of January 2021.


  • Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Shadows by Alex North
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers by Sady Doyle
  • Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
  • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
  • Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
  • The Devil in the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
  • Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon
  • Written in my Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Beautiful Struggle by Coates, Ta-Nehisi
  • Cursed Objects by Ocker, J.W.
  • Tomie by Junji Ito
  • Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
  • The Whisper Man by Alex North
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clake
  • Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger
  • Titian by Ron Chernow
  • Loretta Little Looks Back by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • This is Close to Okay by Lessa Cross-Smith
  • The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans
  • Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb
  • The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa
  • Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  • The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
  • Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
  • The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
  • The Removed by Brandon Hobson
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virgina Woolf
  • The Unwanted by Michael Dobbbs
  • Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
  • World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
  • Sons of Cain by Peter Vronsky
  • White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad
  • Lady Killers by Tori Telfer
  • One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Total: 43 Books

What book should I read next?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | 6 Month Review of Kobo Libra H2O

Hello and welcome to an update post where I discuss how I am feeling about my kobo eReader I bought in July of 2020. This little talk is just to go over how I am feeling after reading on it for about 6 months. If you want to see my first impressions of this device you can see my post, Unboxing | New eReader!. If you are not familiar I picked up a  Kobo Libra H2O because of the price and the abilities of the device.

Picture of eReader and pillow on chair that says “If you were in my novel I would have killed you off by now”.

Pros

I really love how easily this works with my library. I don’t buy many ebooks because I don’t think the pricing is that great over all, so working with my library was one of the main selling points for this eReader. Thankfully, it is as seamless as Kobo made it seem. I can request books at the library and borrow immediately from my Kobo when it is connected to wifi.

I have carried this device in my backpack, purse, and thrown it in my backseat. It has held up very well. There is no light bleeding or spots that don’t go away. I have previously had a kindle and I had to be so careful with the screen and even then spots would show up. So, the quality is there. The buttons on the device as well exceeded my expectations. I thought they would be flimsy, but they work great.

Lastly, if you do like finding ebook deals kobo has them as well as other ebook dealers, but they also have Price Match where you can submit to have a refund of the difference plus 10% of the competitors price at the time of writing this. You do need to buy the book first and then get a refund though. But, having that ability is great in my option.

Cons

If you want to read self published books, chances are you will not be able to get them on kobo. If an author uses amazon to self publish they sign a contract where the ebook is only able to be on their platform. At least this is my understanding. I was really bummed to read this because I love supporting indie authors.

Another con is while this ereader does work with netgalley, it is a few extra steps. It took me a bit of time to actually figure it out the first time, longer than I would expect to find the information. Thankfully, after the first time and I had everything set up I was good to go. I feel like this is more of an adjustment than a con though.

Thoughts

For me personally this was a great choice, I have a great device physically. It holds up really well to my daily needs and movements. I have not found that it has been damaged in any way after 6 months. It is also a great choice for me because it works amazingly with my library. I have not had any software issues as well. I truly am happy with my decision.


Do you have an eReader? If so, which one?

What are your musts when it comes to an eReader?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Reviews

Book Review | The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

*Book given by author in exchange for an honest review*

The Existence Of Amy

Description: 

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead. 


What I Liked

I would like to start this review out by saying I don’t normally accept review requests directly from authors very often, but reading the email with the description of this book that landed in my inbox, I knew I would break my personal rule so I can read and review it. Mental health is something that needs to be talked about and normalized in general, but also the fact that mental health can affect everyone differently and at different times in your life. I felt that this book was a very honest exploration of how mental health can impact you at a later point in life.

I though the authors choice to tell this story in the first person was a very good decision because the reader can see how not only mental health can affect them, but also how they are mad at themselves or frustrated because they really want to do something, but they just can’t. Also, one of the more notable things throughout this book was the narrator/main character understanding why others are mad or sick of them. It was heart breaking and something I have witness through friends and loved ones.

Like I said earlier in this review, mental health is varied and different for each person, but I really felt that this book was a very well done piece of literature that demonstrated how negative mental health can feel to the individual. The book talked about the good days and the bad, which I appreciated because that it a realistic view in m opinion. Mental health can be great one day, bad the next, and maybe neutral for a few days in between. I don’t cry very often, but I teared up quite a few times throughout this book because hearing this persons struggle in their own words was powerful, but also how they viewed their effect on those around them.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. I thought this was a wonderful written book on a very personal subject. Not everyone experiences positive or negative mental health the same way.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I felt that this was a very well done book. It can be hard to read emotionally and may be triggering for some. But, I do recommended it if you feel comfortable reading about this content. I felt that the material was handed well, the writing itself was great. I felt the pacing was on point and it felt like there was a purpose for everything the author added to the book. I also feel like this book would be good for someone who had a hard time understanding how negative mental health can affect someone because they are not experiencing it themselves.

Here is a list of mental health hotlines for around the world, checkpointorg.com. I am not familiar with any of these personally and I not a mental health professional so I cannot speak to all of their quality, but I wanted to share this resource incase anyone needs it.


Author Links


Book Information

Publication Date: August 2, 2019

Publisher: Independently Published

List Price: $8.50

ISBN: 978-1086835816

Pages: 283 pages


Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Crochet, Crafting, Art & More

Crochet Talk | October – December 2020

Hello and welcome to a bit of a round up of my most recent crochet projects. I have quite a few to share today because I didn’t want to post any gifts for anyone so I didn’t ruin a surprise so be warned, there are quite a few projects today. Anyway, on to the projects!


The Projects

I used Patons North America Shetland Chunky in Deep Moss to make this Cowl. I used one of the patterns in the post called 4 Fun Stitches for Chunky Crochet Cowls by Daisy Farm Crafts that uses a front two loop half double crochet. I made this cowl for myself because I needed a new scarf for the winter because last year mine started to fall apart. I thankfully beat the cold weather!

I also made another cowl from 4 Fun Stitches for Chunky Crochet Cowls by Daisy Farm Crafts post. In this one I used the Crumpled Griddle Stitch. I don’t remember the yarn I used, but it colors changed from a dark brown to tan to green. I really liked how this one came out, it was the first time that I used a color changing yarn.

Next I made another cowl, but I made this one out of Bernat Crushed Velvet in Deep Gray. I followed another Daisy Farm Crafts pattern, this one is called Crochet Velvet Infinity Scarf. This yarn is so soft I ended up buying more of it to make some other projects. The pattern took advantage of working around posts in the stitches, which was fun and gave a ridged pattern. This is is another pattern that I ended up using a few times because it was so textural and has more dimension.

Next I made a tic-tac-toe game for a family member. I didn’t follow a written pattern, but I did follow a video Crochet Tic Tac Toe Game | Truc Nguyen Handmade. I used a few shades of blue to differentiate the different pieces, but still tied together. I thought it would also be helpful for my family member to teach shades of color etc. I also like how textural this pattern is with the yarn crocheted through the other parts to create writing of sorts. It was a challenge to complete, but I am really happy with how it came out.

I then got very excited to get my roller skates and decided to crochet a skate leash. I followed the pattern called, Crochet Roller Skate Leash by Crafting Callie. I used a gray cotton and I really loved how it came out. It also looks like a yoga mat strap. I can’t wait to use it when I get my skate in a few weeks.

My most recent project was a snake that I made with Bernat Crushed Velvet in a green color. I followed a pattern by  @niyazova_toys on instagram, but also off of this website called https://amigurum.com/. It was a lot of fun to make a stuffed animal and it is so soft because it is made from this velvet yarn. It also gave it a scaly look as well! I made this one for myself since it was something new and I don’t like to give someone my first attempt at something new. Happily, it came out near perfect.

What have you be doing to pass the time as of late?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Wrap Up

Middle Mark | January 2021

Middle Mark – Md-month check in

I cannot believe I am already writing the first middle mark of 2021. I have to admit I have gotten very lucky with my reading so far and I really hope that it continues that way. I will be honest I am quite a bit concerned about my current read. Anyway, on to the mini reviews.


A Promised LandA Promised Land by Barack Obama
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a book I was looking forward to since it was announced. I love non-fiction and it is rare that a historical figure releases a biography while still alive and someone I am highly interested in their opinion and point of view. It was great to not only learn more about Obama, but also more of a sneak behind the curtain of our government. This was a well written and well. organized biography and I am looking forward to any future additions. I also really enjoyed that Obama touched on social injustice, racism, and so many other topics that I always wanted to hear his views on.

View all my reviews

Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No OtherClanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other by Sam Heughan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really had a fun time reading this book, not only was it fun because it felt like I was reading two friends just hanging a banter back and fourth. On top of that it was a great mixture of the history of Scotland, personal stories, and some behind the scenes shenanigans. It really was a pleasure to read.

View all my reviews

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRueThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have never really been a huge huge fan of V.E. Schwab. I think it mainly came down to a story not really being my thing. But, I did enjoy this story. I though this was an imaginative and tale that went through 300 years. I think the only real down side is there were a few times I was shaking my head at Addie just kind of acting like a child. Also, I would have loved to see her travel outside of the two continents within all the hundreds of years she had. Overall, it was an enjoyable read that I stayed up a bit too late to finish.

View all my reviews


I am currently reading a book called The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi by Richard Grant. It is about a town that was filled with millionaires who built their fortune off of slavery and how the town looks today. I am only 9% into this books and quite frankly I want to smack these people right in the back of the head… a person in the book actually said, “Natchez is very liberal and tolerant in some ways, and very conservative and racist in other ways, although I will say that our racists aren’t generally hateful or mean.”… I’m…what? Racists are hateful! I have no idea where this book is going at this point, but we shall see if I even bother to finish it. I hope the author calls it out, it seems to be going that way because the author seems just as dumbfounded by a few of the statements made.


What have you read so far this month or what are you currently reading?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month Unboxing | January 2021

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing post. This month I landed on a single book, but was able to pick a free book since I have been a member for so long. Since I am a BFF I am able to pick one of the finalists for book of the year, so you will also see what I picked for that. Funny enough, I was going to pick up this book regardless, but to get it for free was a wonderful bonus.


The Books

The Removed by Brandon Hobson, according to the description this novel deals with grief a family feels after a loss of a child to a police shooting. This story itself does not happen right after the events, but years later and gos over how the parents and siblings deal with the grief as well as what life has thrown at them since. It also pulls from Cherokee folklore from my understanding.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, I have been hearing about this book all over the place and it has won 2020 Book of the Year from BOTM. I have read a previous book by the author and I enjoyed it as well so I am looking forward to hearing the story of two twin sisters whose lives end up radically different and how their families progress as the generations pass. Also, from my current understanding the story will also discuss white privilege from the families stories as well. I am really curious to see where Bennett story takes the reader.


Have you read either of these books or heard of them? Did you pick a different book from BOTMs picks?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge | Books I Want to Read in 2021

Hello and welcome to a list or challenge of sorts. I wanted to share some of the many, many books I want to read in 2021. I thought it would be fun at the end of the year to look back and see if I ended up reading this books or if I ended up liking them. I will be completely honest, there is a reread on this list of one of my favorite books so that one I know I will already love. Anyway, on to the books!


The Books


What books do you really want to read in 2021?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Bullet Journal, Writing & More

Bullet Journal | 2021 Reading Bujo Set Up

Hello and welcome to a post where I share some of my spreads from my new reading bullet journal for 2021. In the past I had my life and reading in one place, but this year I decided to use a planner for my life, but I wanted to continue to use a bullet journal for my reading. I really find it a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see what books I will be adding to it this year!


The Spreads

This time around I wanted my year long or bullet journal long pages to be pretty neutral for the most part so I used a black pen, torn up tan paper, and a few blank tags and cut outs to decorate the pages. I also wanted to tie all the pages together so I decided to put a black boarder on every page. The first page on the left is 10 books I want to read in 2021. I putt bullet points to add the books later on. On the right I put a place for random book recommendations I might get. I decided to add a little bee because these books will most likely have some buzz around them.

On this pages I continued to use the tan paper and boarder to just have some type of continuity. On the left I have a space for a favorite book of each month. I need to measure so I can properly print the covers as the months pass. On the right side I decided to list the three series I want to read in 2021. I want to read The Farseer Trilogy, Liveship Traders Trilogy and The Hobbit and Lord of the Ring Series. I just listed the books under their series title and I can put a check when I have read them.

Continuing with the same theme I made a page to track more of my 2021 reading goals. On the left I listed my use the library monthly goal and placed 12 circles to color in, twelve non-fictions with 12 circles as well and lastly for this page read 50 books and I added 50 circles to color in. On the right I made 6 rectangles for each book of the International Booker Prize where I have the title listed and I can add my rating and date read later on. I also added a ticket that was mostly blank and put the title on that.

I wanted to continue to track quite a few stats that I tracked last year so I made a single place for all of them on this page called monthly stats. I am going to track number of books, number of pages, fiction/nonfiction, library/owned, DNFs, 5 star reads, hard cover and soft cover. I left the page on the right empty incase I end up wanting to add more or I end up needing more room.

This year I really want to keep my TBR in check, last year I actually got my TBR down to 0 at one point and I really want to keep it reasonable from now on. I decided each month I am going to keep track of the books I have at the start of the month that are unread, how many I hauled, how many unhauled, and then what I have at the end of the month. Somewhat similar to the series Balancing the Books by Drinking By My Shelf on youtube. Each month has a rectangle and then within that each stat has their own box.

Last and one of my favorites is my Someone Picks My Books spread. Last year I just kept a simple list, but since I love this series I have been doing over a year now so much I wanted to give it a really awesome spread. I decided that I would make a bookshelf for each month and doodle a book on each of those shelves and then label the book spine with the book I am reading that month. I also drew some doodle arrows from the month and name of the person who picked my books to the book. I have the first half of the year already set, huge thank you to those who helped me! I will probably look into getting more help around may of this year.


Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Wrap Up

Let’s Talk | My Year in Book Stats 2020

Hello and welcome to an overview of my reading and reading stats. for the 2020 year! As always I am going to share a link to my good reads stats, but I am also going to be sharing some stats I kept myself in a google sheet throughout the entire year. I am honestly really surprised I kept up with it all year, but I plan on using the same format this upcoming year because it is low maintenance, but fun to see the progress.

Goodreads Yearly Recap

  • Shortest Book: 55 pages, The Night is Darkening Round Me by Emily Brontë
  • Longest Book: 1,020 pages, Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann
  • Average book length in 2020: 329 pages
  • My average rating for 2020: 3.9 Stars
  • Highest Rated on Goodreads: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

End of the Year Reading Stats I’v Kept

I am just going to focus on my totals at this point of the year, but if you want to explore my stats for other months you can check out my monthly wrap ups! You can do so here: Bookish Luna’s Wrap Ups.

  • 136 Books
  • 44.603 Pages
  • 110 Fiction
  • 26 Non-fiction
  • 3 DNFs
  • 12 eBooks
  • 3 Audiobooks
  • 42 Hard Covers
  • 78 Soft Covers
  • 10 Library Books
  • 125 Owned Books
  • 38 5 Star Books
  • 62 4 Star Books
  • 24 3 Star Books
  • 11 2 Star Books
  • 1 1 Star Book

How was your reading year in 2020?

Sign Off 2020

Tumblr Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads